Tuesday, 28 February 2012

This is what we dig at the Fattylympics

Why waste time writing a windy mission statement about our organisational values when we can generate a word search puzzle online for free instead?

Here's a list of things we dig and hope that the Fattylympics will represent. You can download and print a version of the Fattylympics word search via the link. Please share this.

This is what we dig at the Fattylympics wordsearch puzzle (.pdf, 20kb)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Introducing the OFFICIAL Fattylympics Mascots: Egg'n'Spoon

There couldn't be a Fattylympics without a pair of cheeky, loveable mascots for everyone to fall in love with. We wanted mascots that would fire the imagination, inspire and empower, and truly represent the values of the Fattylympics. We knew that we had to have the best, so we approached Becky Sanchez and Corinna Tomrley, kingpins of the Bad Art scene in the UK, and they produced your new best friends: Egg'n'Spoon, an egg in a leotard and a spoon with a whistle.

Egg'n'Spoon: first concept drawing

Here are some concept notes by the creators of Egg'n'Spoon by Becky and Corinna, who are part of the Bad Art Collective and are always up for a bit of crap drawing and crafting.

Egg'n'Spoon: the bio

Egg’n’Spoon met at school sports day, where they found that they both had the rare talent of being able to neck more cups of orange squash than is usual. Although not advocates of violence, if pushed, Egg'n'Spoon would smash Wenlock and Mandeville into oblivion.

Egg has the largest collection of leotards of anyone in the UK. He likes walks on the beach, spring rain and the music of Mr Neil Diamond. Spoon was not inspired by an iconic London taxi-cab.

Egg'n'Spoon: the creation

Egg'n'Spoon came about because we were inspired by the general ethos and feel of the event: fun, celebration of crappness and having a go. In their chat about the Fattylympics Kay and Charlotte mentioned School Sports Days and we instantly thought of the best event in a SSD: the Egg and Spoon race. While browsing clipart for inspiration we saw a gymnast and so Egg’s leotard outfit was born. Another piece of clipart showed a teacher with a whistle and so Spoon's accessory was sorted. Corinna was particularly amused when Becky drew Spoon's face on the thin end of his anatomy. Becky explained that it was because otherwise Egg would be sitting on Spoon's face, and The Fattylympics is, after all, a family event.

Egg'n'Spoon: Official Mascots for the Fattylympics

What to do with Egg'n'Spoon

a) Download the picture, print it, colour it in, take a picture of it and send it to us beefergrrl@hotmail.com

b) Make your own Egg'n'Spoons: drawings, sculpture, outfits, comic strips, poems, critical commentary, go wherever your fancy takes you.

Unlike the You Know Whats, Fattylympics does not keep a litigious rein on its symbols, we support copyright liberation. Egg'n'Spoon are released upon the world under a Creative Commons licence (see blurb below). This means that you can share and remix Egg'n'Spoon non-commercially, as long as you attribute Becky, Corinna and Fattylympics and, you know, let us know about it so we can promote your work here too. What are you waiting for?

Creative Commons Licence
Egg'n'Spoon by Becky Sanchez and Corinna Tomrley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.fattylympics.blogspot.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.fattylympics.blogspot.com/.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Propose a Fattylympics Event!

There will be four participatory competition events at the Fattylympics. One of these events is spoken for, but there are three remaining slots that need filling.

We are inviting proposals from people who want to create Fattylympics events for these three slots. We're looking for events that are:
  • Hilarious
  • Visually appealing, eye-popping
  • Make you feel glad to be alive
  • Congruent with Fattylympics themes of DIY, satire, making things together, community, imperfection
  • Accessible to people with all kinds of bodies and abilities
  • Not insulting to anyone, least of all fat people (parody is encouraged, but ask us and other people if you're worried about what is and what isn't insulting)
Please be aware that the Fattylympics values non-competitiveness. In devising your event please avoid creating winners at the expense of losers, consider events where everyone wins, and be imaginative in the ways that special awards for particular kinds of merit can be given.

What's in it for you?
  • Amazing, fun-filled, beautiful times with incredible people
  • A chance to create something really great at a unique and never-to-be-repeated event
  • A lovely afternoon messing around in the park
  • An opportunity to make something meaningful in the face of the You Know Whats
You will need to be able to attend the Fattylympics on 7 July 2012 in East London in order to set up and manage your event. There are three spaces available: a hard surface, a playing field behind the venue, and a grassy area out the front of the venue. These are public spaces, so please bear in mind that there can be no amplification beyond a megaphone and a whistle; that any mess you make must be easily tidied and won't get us into trouble with the park management. Please refrain from using the language, trademarks and symbols of the You Know Whats. Each event has been allocated 30 minutes, with ten minutes at the beginning to set-up.

You are welcome to promote your own stuff in the event, but you should not treat it as an advertisement. There will be general Fattylympics banners and decorations around the place, but if you need special equipment, you will have to make/acquire it yourself. There may be help available for transporting things to the venue. We cannot pay you but we have a very small amount of money to cover some costs. We will supply judges and stewards.

Proposing an event
ANYONE CAN PROPOSE AN EVENT! Group proposals are also welcome and encouraged. Your proposal should be no longer than two pages and should include:
  • Your name
  • Contact details
  • An explanation of what you'd like to do and in what space you'd like to do it (hard surface, playing field, grassy area)
  • Pictures, diagrams, links etc
  • A list of things you'll need help with
  • Potential costs
  • A plan for encouraging people to participate
The proposal does not have to be perfect, just send in some ideas and we can work something out.

Please send this information to beefergrrl@hotmail.com

Deadline for proposals is Friday 30 March 2012


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Fattylympics site visit

Kay and I bunked off on a miserable January afternoon to do a Fattylympics site visit and I'll tell you what, it cheered us up no end.

Grassroots is a community centre situated on the edge of Memorial Park in West Ham. It's really close to West Ham tube station, and there is also a free car park on the site. There are places for parking your bike or your kid's buggy, solar panels all over the place, and the building and surrounds are accessible for wheelchair and scooter users.

On Fattylympics day, we'll have use of a big hall inside the building, where there will be stalls and whatnot going on, and places to have a rest if it all becomes too much. There's a café on site but we'll need to check if it's open. You can bring a picnic, and there will be things for sale to eat and drink too.

There were a few things that made us really excited about the site:

The building looks a bit like Teletubbyland. It has a green roof that you can go on, and lovely slopes that look perfect for rolling down, no dog poo there either.

There's a space out front that has a memorial sculpture on it for the shipbuilders and people who were killed in a terrible accident. Grim. But the sculpture is in the form of big rusty hammers that you can clang. If a load of people clang them together it will sound incredible. We must use this in our opening ceremony.

There are different kinds of areas that would be great for different things: a grassy area surrounded by trees; an area with a hard surface just in front of the building; an amphitheatre. There are places for kids to play, a fat-friendly swing and a roundabout too.

The whole site is within spitting distance of the You Know Whats, but sort of untainted by them. It's a public park with community history and connections, there will be other park users there on the day, but it's also a peaceful place and there will be enough space for everyone that wants to come. The building is comfortable and modern, just right for us. Even on a cold January afternoon we could imagine a happy group of people having fun on 7 July.

Got any questions and comments? Drop us a line beefergrrl@hotmail.com

Aerial view. Click the image to make it bigger.

This is the hammer sculpture

Inside the hall, it looks out onto the park

Bike racks, hard surface

Rolling area!

Out the back

Solar panels and the green roof

Monday, 6 February 2012

Other stuff we've done

Fattylympics is the latest in a series of related events. Here are links to them, and some minor explanations, to give you a bit more context.

We have produced these events in collectives and by ourselves. What motivates us is to make playful and accessible spaces in real life that engage with fat and queer sensibilities in various ways. Sometimes it's a bit more than that too. Generally, the things we do are not preachy or dry, we do our best to make things that are full of joy, where everyone is welcome. We like making things that are a bit offbeat too.

The Chubsters
This is a semi-fictitious fat queer girl gang, but you don't have to be fat, queer, a girl, or gang-ish to be a part of it. Since it started in 2003, The Chubsters has become a platform for all kinds of things, from film shows to stonemasonry, handicrafts to songs, jumping-ins and other kinds of weirdness. The website is dated, sorry, but there are now over 100 card-carrying badge wearing Chubsters.

Big Bums
Four of us produced a little zine in 2008 with a small grant from NOLOSE, based in the US, "a vibrant community of fat queers and our allies, with a shared commitment to feminist, anti-oppression ideology and action, seeking to end the oppression of fat people!"

The Fat of the Land
In 2009 a group of us organised a fat queer harvest festival in London. Yes, a harvest festival, possibly the dorkiest kind of event on the calendar. We had performances, Morris Dancers, competitions, games, things to eat and buy, and lots of people came to hang out for the afternoon.

Big Bum Jumble
Kay used money from The Fat of the Land to produce a fat jumble sale. The Big Bum Jumble was an amazing day of rummaging, trying things on, and sheer abundance. We produced an unforgettable fashion show too, and had a sympathetic write-up in The Daily Mail, of all places. The money we raised from the Big Bum Jumble is what's paying for the Fattylympics.

The Bad Art Collective
In 2011 Corinna Tomrley and Becky Sanchez hosted a Bad Art workshop at a wonderful feminist activist conference in York. The event was a lot of fun and, together with Francis Ray White, we decided to form the Bad Art Collective and do more of this sort of thing. Bad Art is all about having a go, bodging your way through, being inexpert, and having a laugh. It's great to make things together, epsecially when they come out looking weird and stoopid.

A Queer and Trans Fat Activist Timeline
This is something that I did by myself in 2010-2011, but it involved a lot of other people. It's a community history project that takes a number of different forms, including a workshop, a timeline object, an archival object, paper and digital zines, an object to talk about, an artist's residency, and an academic paper.

We hope to produce more events in the future, but Fattylympics is our most ambitious endeavour to date. Please support us!