New Year, New Question, Bardic Antics.

By Caroline Osella|January 9, 2018|Do You Belong to Worthing?, Uncategorized, Worthing|0 comments

Woby* stumbles over the entrance step, wrong-footed by a couple squatting right inside the bloody door, grabs onto the barbed-wire-and-fairy-lights-festooned tailor’s dummy to steady themself, and realises that the door blocking couple aren’t thoughtless bastards, but had been pushed to the back of a very large crowd. Sid Vicious sneers over the whole club as usual and the pineal eye in Woby’s head feels Sid’s scorn. The place is crowded

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Rootling around in Mockingbird Arts.

By Caroline Osella|December 18, 2017|Is Worthing the New Brighton?, Uncategorized, Worthing|0 comments

Still on Brighton Road, still hoping to find some Worthing BME voices – because I so often move in spaces where I’m part of an un-noticed whiteness. Whiteness: default by-and-as privilege, overwhelming. This can leave the blog very unbalanced. I dodge into Mockingbird Cafe – a place which sometimes feels, if anything, like a little bit of London, more than anything Brightonian (unless we’re going with the line that B’town

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Brighton Road Dissidence?

By Caroline Osella|November 30, 2017|Is Worthing the New Brighton?, The English Seaside Town and Whiteness, Uncategorized, Worthing|0 comments

Wandering along Brighton Road, I overhear a leisurely but intense and highly detailed conversation about Worthing events. I gauge probable friendliness and interrupt the pair, explaining that I’m intruding because they sound like real insiders who know Worthing well, are passionate about it, and probably have informed opinions about The Question. Whoa! I’ve opened a tinderbox. Worthing is not the new Brighton. Brighton is culturally diverse and it meets all

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Pilates and Pounds: grey ones, pink ones.

By Caroline Osella|November 9, 2017|Is Worthing the New Brighton?, Worthing|4 comments

There’s no official lgbtq network, no meetups, no Worthing pride (yet?), but there’s loads of queer folk. This has been true since very long back. These days, the – sometimes quite genteel – discreet older queer crowd has new company. Is this elder flight from youth-worshipping Brighton, white crawl from London? It might be evidence of a generational later-life shift in priorities and needs – less clubbing, more gardening. Naturally,

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Creem Cheeze and White Poppies

By Caroline Osella|October 26, 2017|Is Worthing the New Brighton?, The English Seaside Town and Whiteness, Worthing|0 comments

We’re in The Orchard cafe for their vegan tea event.  There’s 7 of us, in a chock-full cafe (tickets sold out weeks ago), and we look around in wonder, interested to know who are the vegan-or-vegan-curious of Worthing, then? There’s an all-ages crowd, including some very glamorous young folks, a sprinkling of beard-and-tattoo dudes, at least one person who has been vegan since the 1970s – and a baby whose

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A Family 50th Birthday: Mystifying Table Magic and an Unexpected Dance.

By Caroline Osella|October 10, 2017|Is Worthing the New Brighton?, The English Seaside Town and Whiteness, Uncategorized, Worthing|0 comments

There’s about 40 of us hiding, crammed into the dancefloor area at Rustington Manor Hotel Hotel (yes – stretching the ‘Greater Worthing’ concept to its limit, but the family are Worthing folks). We’re trying to hush the over-excited and primped up children but not setting much of an example ourselves. The DJ (dandyish – red trousers, pink waistcoat) is not helping. “She’s left the house! She’s just 2 minutes away

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Stories of ‘blood’ and ‘race’. They’re just stories.

By Caroline Osella|October 9, 2017|The English Seaside Town and Whiteness|0 comments

Jeffrey Cohen posts on In the Middle blog and talks to us about some medieval moments in forging ‘Englishness’. “… the twinned fluidity and substantiality of medieval race, the bodies and bodily performances that gave race forms that proved either enduring or ephemeral. The currents of history that flowed through the British archipelago at this time enabled some groups to congeal into self-nominated collectives, while others found themselves rigidly defined in terms they had never

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Planet Protectors (un)profiled…..

By Caroline Osella|September 28, 2017|Is Worthing the New Brighton?, The English Seaside Town and Whiteness, Worthing|0 comments

What do you imagine a green / eco activist to look like?  Be honest, now. Brighton crusty? Bristol tree-dweller? Shouty placard-bearer? We all trade daily in violent shorthand, stereotypes and imagined Others. Media headlines (“Gay alcoholic mother of two”; “Euro-Mega-Boss”) teach us to do it. Sometimes our families and neighbours teach us, too (“that Polish builder opposite”; “sarky auntie”). A Transition Town Worthing meeting severely (and joyfully!) undermined our expectations of an

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Daniel Burdsey on the Sussex Coast and English seaside.

By Caroline Osella|September 12, 2017|The English Seaside Town and Whiteness, Worthing|0 comments

Read this interview to get a sense of how Englishness, seaside-ness, coastal-ness (in England) and whiteness come together.  These themes get developed in Burdsey’s book and I’m picking them up in Worthing, as I go along.  For more detail, you can also read this article which sets out the book’s themes. Could Worthing initiatives like Women’s Hub and the One Love Festival be signalling our desire for something different to happen here?

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Daniel Burdsey’s Strangers on the Shore.

By Caroline Osella|September 11, 2017|The English Seaside Town and Whiteness|0 comments

You can access here the full text of Burdsey’s article. The abstract (summary) runs:  This article presents an alternative reading of the English seaside – one that centralizes race, specifically the effects of whiteness and racialized notions of belonging and exclusion. It addresses three main issues. First, it provides a theoretical discussion of the racialized production of social space and place, and outlines the implications for minority ethnic groups at

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