Connect with us

Lifestyle

Five things to do for free in London

Published

on

Visitors at the National Gallery in London
Free history: founded in 1824, the National Gallery houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.

I was raised in Clapham, South-West London, before moving to the northside near Watford. It is also worth noting that I was literally “made in Chelsea”, as I was born in Chelsea & Westminster Hospital! Therefore, the city holds a special place in my heart as it now makes up much of my identity.

Growing up as a Londoner, I have somewhat become an expert in enjoying what the city has to offer. London is a fantastic city, but the cost of living has reached new levels of ridiculous! Tourists who want to get a London experience can often be left out of pocket. In recent times this has been made much worse through global affairs such as the war in Ukraine and Covid-19 placing a heavy burden on businesses to survive, leading to high inflation and a supply-side recession. Luckily, as someone who knows the ins and outs of the Big Smoke, I can solve your problem with five fantastic activities you can get up to for free whilst visiting the heart of the United Kingdom.

 

British Museum

This is my personal favourite because I’m a huge history and classics geek. In school, I absolutely loved learning about the Ancient Greeks, and Egyptians and even studied Latin in the context of the Roman Empire. The British Museum is actually very controversial because its name is very misleading! The antiquity on display in the museum nearly all originate from foreign lands that the Great British Empire plundered or colonised, leading to social justice groups fighting to have them returned. A great example of this is the Parthenon Sculptures that were taken down from the beautiful temple in Athens by a British diplomat Lord Elgin, who used them for display in his family home in the UK. Whether or not you think antiquity should be returned is a whole other discussion. Still, for now the British Museum is home to some of the world’s most impressive, fantastic and ancient antiquity that will absolutely blow your mind. Entry is entirely free, and I can’t stress enough how much I love it there.

 

Borough Market

I know what you’re thinking; the word market sounds pricey! But to be honest, simply walking around the market is an experience in itself. Plus, most of the stalls give out free food samples, which is definitely worth nabbing. The market itself claims to have existed for over 1000 years, which for context is around the time Ragnar Lodbrok and the Vikings were raiding Saxon churches and settlements. Borough Market is, therefore so much more than just a place of commerce, instead, its actually deep rooted in the history of London, and you will be able to pick up on a level of culture which seems to be dying in our younger generations. So go and experience it before it goes!

 

East London street art

My third recommendation is a slightly more alternative option for those of you who don’t want to do the most obvious touristy things. East London street art isn’t a service, nor is it run by one organisation like those above and below. It is simply an area of art and culture. If you’re a fan of Blur, you’ll love to know that their album cover for Blur: the best of was designed by Julian Opie, who is one of many talented East London street artists. I believe this is a special place because, much like Only Falls and Horses and EastEnders, it captures the essence of east London and the docks. Life was pretty tough for workers and families in these parts, especially during the industrial revolution, and where it’s great to look at how amazing London is as a first-world city, it’s important that you get an understanding of what life was and is really like for lots of people. The east end is full of culture, whether it’s West Ham or Millwall football teams or even memories of Ronnie and Reggie Kray and the gangsters. This is greatly reflected in the street art, and for me, it’s a must-see.

 

Hyde Park

Despite being home to over 8 million people and infamous for pollution during the industrial revolution, London is also one of the greenest cities in Europe, with 8.3 million trees and 14,000 species of wildlife. One significant reason for this is its numerous parks. The most popular of which is Hyde Park. It’s home to a wide diversity of flora and animals for those of you who are interested in nature. Speakers corner is where you can get some of the rawest insights into different members of the public’s views on life, religion, and politics. London is the capital of British politics, meaning that only the most opinionated people get listeners at the speakers corner. Hyde Park also consists of the Rose Garden, fountains, memorials and statues. Overall, Hyde park is visually aesthetic, and its easy to spend a day wandering around the area.

 

National Gallery

Whether or not you enjoy the National Gallery is subjective. Artists and intellectuals love it. However, if you’re not interested in that area of work, you may find it a little tedious. Personally, I really enjoyed my trip there, although this was mainly because I was with my school and we spent the entire time hiding for our teachers! There are over 2,300 pieces of work to observe, meaning that you can definitely spend a day in the Gallery. Its also located in Trafalgar square, which is a really cool part of London with loads of street artists, Nelson’s column, and King Charles I’s statue. The magnitude and fame of the National Gallery made it impossible to miss off this list of the five best free activities in London; definitely worth dropping in!

 

Overall, London is great with so many things to do for free. Some honourable mentions include Oxford street, the Victoria and Albert Museum, St James’ Park and Camden Market. Yes, eating and staying in London is expensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to splash the cash during the day for a good time. For me, London isn’t just a location or city. It’s an artistic masterpiece, a foundation of history, and a way of life. You can’t go wrong, especially if you visit the above places. I hope you find London as heart-warming as I do.

Lifestyle

Samsung’s ‘Newfound Equilibrium’ design exhibition closes today

Published

on

Samsung’s ‘Newfound Equilibrium’ design exhibition closes today
“Newfound Equilibrium" is showcasing the brand’s user-centered design philosophy

Samsung Electronics today announced that it will hold its design exhibit at Milan Design Week’s Fuorisalone 2024 from April 16 to 21.

A design exhibition located at Le Cavallerizze, in the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, Italy, will come to an end this evening.

Samsung’s Corporate Design Center’s exhibition, “Newfound Equilibrium,” is showcasing the brand’s user-centered design philosophy, “Samsung Design Identity 5.0: Essential∙Innovative∙Harmonious.

“Design must fully take the human experience into consideration, and Samsung’s design principles achieve this,” says TM Roh, President and Head of Corporate Design Center at Samsung Electronics. “With our human-centered design philosophy, we aim to create a future that harmonizes with the lives of our customers through innovation with purpose.”

The multi-sensory experience, featuring immersive installations, guides visitors through five spaces that express Samsung’s design identity. The spaces are titled “Essence,” “Innovation,” “Harmony,” “Infinite Dream” and “New Dawning.” As visitors approach the screens in the spaces, translucent elements change into specific shapes and textures, and the shapes beyond the window appear as if they are approaching onlookers, allowing them to immerse themselves in the dream of an infinite future drawing nearer.

Through collaborations with the human craftsmanship of ceramic masters MUTINA, and wood veneer wizards ALPI, the Bespoke Refrigerator and AirDresser have also been reimagined considering the co-existence of people and technology.

Samsung’s “Newfound Equilibrium” exhibition is located at Via Olona, 6 bis, Milan and offers free entry until 6 PM today.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

10 European travel influencers to follow on Instagram in 2024

Published

on

A female travel influencer taking a selfie outdoors
84% of adults in the United States turned to travel content creators for recommendations when planning their trips.

They seem to be living the best lives, always jumping from one city to another and sipping cocktails while posting photos of sunsets.

Welcome to the travel influencer world, one of the most popular niches for content creators across the web. And while taking perfect pictures of their whereabouts, influencers continue to inspire even those traveling on a less generous budget: a 2023 study revealed that a remarkable 84% of adults in the United States turned to travel content creators for recommendations when planning their trips.

With 2 billion monthly active users, Instagram remains one of the favourite social media platforms for travel influencers to share their latest adventures – despite decreasing engagement and the ever-changing algorithm game.

Pack your luggage. Here is a curated list of 10 European travel influencers to follow on Instagram in 2024.

Murad Osmann

@muradosmann

Dubai-based Murad Osmann gained fame for his “Follow Me To” series, where he captures stunning travel moments as his wife leads him by the hand to iconic destinations worldwide. Named by Forbes a top influencer to follow, his photos offer a unique perspective on popular landmarks and showcase the beauty of different cultures.

Jack Morris

@jackmorris

Jack is a British travel originally from a town called Bolton, near Manchester. When he left high school at 17 he started working as a carpet cleaner and did this up until he turned 21.  Nowadays, he is mostly known for photography and adventurous spirit. His Instagram account showcases stunning landscapes and destinations, encouraging followers to explore the world and embrace new experiences.

Leonie Hanne

@leoniehanne

Leonie is a German fashion and travel influencer known for her impeccable style and luxurious travel experiences. Her Instagram feed features glamorous photos from high-end destinations across Europe, providing inspiration for both fashion and travel enthusiasts.

Christina Tan

@sassychris1

Christina, a Swedish travel influencer, is known for her captivating landscape photography and adventurous spirit. Her Instagram feed features stunning shots from her travels across Europe and beyond, inspiring followers to explore new destinations and embrace the beauty of nature. Named top 25 hotel influencer 2024.

Louis Cole

@louiscole

Louis is a British filmmaker and travel vlogger known for his adventurous spirit and positive energy. Through his Instagram account and YouTube channel, he documents his global travels and encourages followers to pursue their passions and embrace the world around them.

Janni Olsson Delér

@jannid

Janni, a Swedish fashion and travel influencer, shares her glamorous travel experiences with her followers through her Instagram account and blog. Her stylish photos and travel tips provide inspiration for fashion-forward travelers seeking luxury experiences around the world.

Tom Jauncey

@tomjauncey

Tom, a Scottish travel influencer and founder of Beautiful Destinations, shares breathtaking travel photography and videos from around the world. Through his Instagram account and media platform, he promotes sustainable travel and encourages followers to discover the beauty of our planet.

Anna Everywhere

@anna.everywhere

Anna Karsten is a Polish travel blogger and influencer known for her vibrant and diverse travel content. Her Instagram feed showcases stunning photos from destinations around the world, along with insightful travel tips and recommendations.

Nelson Carvalheiro

@nelsoncarvalheiro

Nelson is a Portuguese travel and food influencer who showcases the best of Portugal and beyond. His Instagram feed is filled with mouthwatering food photos, scenic landscapes, and cultural insights that celebrate the beauty and diversity of travel.

Jeanne Damas

@jeannedamas

Jeanne is a French fashion and travel influencer known for her chic style and global adventures. Her Instagram feed features photos from destinations around the world, along with fashion inspiration and lifestyle content.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

TIFF announces Writers’ Studio Class of 2024

Published

on

TIFF announces Writers' Studio Class of 2024
Writers’ Studio will take place April 15–19, 2024, at TIFF Lightbox.

TIFF has unveiled the lineup for the 2024 Writers’ Studio, an annual program fostering the next generation of storytellers. This year marks the 13th edition of the collaborative, five-day intensive lab, designed to empower Canadian and international screenwriters and writer-directors. From a pool of more than 200 submissions, TIFF has selected a cohort Zhannat Alshanova, Aram Collier, Rebecca Fisseha, Sophie Jarvis, Amy Trefry, and Asia Youngman.

The Writers’ Studio is a space to consolidate skills, exchange ideas, and navigate challenges, while participating in workshops, artist talks, peer-to-peer mentorships, and one-on-one project development consultations guided by industry experts. Writers’ Studio will take place April 15–19, 2024, at TIFF Lightbox.

“Programs like the Writers’ Studio continue to ignite and drive talent, both in Canada and on the global stage,” said Anita Lee, Chief Programming Officer, TIFF. “At TIFF, our commitment to fostering new talent will continue to grow with a focus on providing industry expertise and unparalleled access to industry leaders, ensuring the program’s enduring impact year after year.”

This year’s lab will support the development of feature-film scripts through dedicated one-on-one discussions with international story consultants Trey Ellis and Christina Lazaridi. Additionally, the participants will engage in daily artist talks and workshops facilitated by renowned filmmakers and industry experts including Ashley Comeau, Brad Fraser, Howard Wiseman and Emma Donoghue. Canadian actors, Getenesh Berhe, Vivien Endicott-Douglas, Thomas Antony Olajide and Ajuawak Kapashesit, will join for a full-day workshop of the projects in development.

New this year, the Sloan Science and Technology Writer Fellowship will offer a project development grant and targeted creative support for one emerging to mid-level feature film screenwriter whose project explores themes of science and technology. This year’s selected recipient is Amy Trefry for her project Lenin’s Embalmers, co-written with playwright Vern Thiessen. Funding for this programme is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Public Understanding of Science and Technology program.

Now in its third year, the Renee Perlmutter Memorial Fellowship for Literary Adaptation provides a Writers’ Studio participant focusing on adapting literary work for the screen with an additional grant toward developing their project. This year’s Renee Perlmutter Memorial Fellow is Rebecca Fisseha, who is working on an adaptation of her own debut novel Daughters of Silence.

Four participants from the 2024 class will also be awarded a grant generously supported by CHANEL, through the CHANEL Women Creators’ Network, to further the development of their feature-length script.

Notable TIFF Talent alumni include filmmakers Meredith Hama-Brown (Seagrass), Fawzia Mirza (The Queen of My Dreams), D. W. Waterson, and Devery Kawennáhere Jacobs (Backspot), Pier-Philippe Chevigny (Richelieu), Jasmin Mozaffari (Motherland), Lillah Halla (Power Alley), Álvaro Gago Dias (Matria), and Johanna Pyykkö (My Wonderful Stranger). Following their involvement in TIFF Talent Development programmes, many of these filmmakers have gone on to present their films at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Berlinale, and Cannes.

2024 TIFF Writers’ Studio participant biographies:

Portrait of Zhannat Alshanova
Zhannat Alshanova (UK)
Present Perfect
Originally from Kazakhstan, Zhannat is a London-based writer, director, and producer. Her short films has been screened at numerous international film festivals, such as Cannes, Sundance, TIFF, Locarno (Pardino d’Argento award for the Best Short Film). She is a London Film School (MA in Filmmaking) and Berlinale Talents alum.

Portrait of Aram Collier
Aram Collier (Canada)
Intro to Swimming
Aram’s feature, documentary, and experimental films have played festivals across North America and internationally. Collier is a mixed-race Asian Canadian/American originally from San Francisco, now based in Toronto, Canada. His Asian diasporic stories deal with race and class through a humanist lens of observed ironies.

Portrait of Rebecca Fisseha
Rebecca Fisseha (Canada)
Daughters of Silence
Rebecca Fisseha is an Ethiopian Canadian writer whose short stories, creative non-fiction, personal essays, and articles appear in various publications, most recently in Addis Ababa Noir, the Humber Literary Review, and Tongues: On Longing and Belonging Through Language. Born in Addis Ababa and raised there and in Austria and Switzerland, Rebecca is now based in Toronto, where she is working on the screenplay adaptation of her first novel, Daughters of Silence (Goose Lane Editions, 2019), and on completing her second novel, Only Because It’s You (Doubleday Canada, Spring 2025). Fisseha is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School’s program in Writing for Film & Television.

Portrait of Sophie Jarvis
Sophie Jarvis (Canada)
Taking the Waters
Sophie Jarvis is a Swiss Canadian filmmaker whose feature debut Until Branches Bend (TIFF ’22, SXSW ’23, Locarno ’23) earned her a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2023. Jarvis’ background as a production designer deeply informs her practice as a writer and director.

Portrait of Amy Trefry
Amy Trefry (Canada)
Lenin’s Embalmers
Amy Trefry is an emerging Canadian filmmaker, who elevates marginalized voices as a queer, non-binary storyteller. Their Masters in Environmental Sociology and upbringing on a Peregrine Falcon breeding facility fuel narratives entwining social and environmental themes. They are a 2022 graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, and were selected as one of ten emerging Canadian Television Producers by RDV Canada in 2021. Collaborating with playwright Vern Thiessin and guided by industry mentors, Trefry blends science and filmmaking, striving for cinematic inclusivity and representation.

Portrait of Asia Youngman
Asia Youngman (Canada)
Until It’s Time to Go
Asia Youngman is an award-winning Indigenous (Cree-Métis) filmmaker. She co-wrote, co-directed and executive produced I’m Just Here for the Riot (2023) for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. Her previous short films include N’xaxaitk’w (2022) and This Ink Runs Deep (2019), both of which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Continue Reading

Trending