The Riots A Year On: Has Anything Changed?

August 3rd, 2012 by Andy

Last Thursday I went to Nottingham to interview young people involved in the riots that swept England this time last year. I’m creating a short film with Alex Farrow, for, looking at what policies were recommended to deal with the problems that the riots threw up, and whether things have shown signs of improving.

Last year the riots made me realize how far removed I was from those involved. I did not see it it coming and I had no idea at the time why they were happening. I couldn’t really believe people would riot and loot out of pure greed and immorality, and this was a great opportunity to find out what people’s motives were.

Alex had a link with a youth worker in Nottingham called Darnell, who drove us round to visit young people that were either directly involved, or who had a strong opinion on the subject.

The two main problems that people talked about repeatedly were a lack of job opportunities and friction with the police. Both issues have stayed the same or got worse since then, in the experience of the people we spoke to. One 16 year old told us his life was ‘hell’. He’d just left school, had applied for a job and been laughed at. Already, at such a young age, he thought his life was hopeless. Over 50% of young black men in the UK are unemployed.

When we asked why they thought the riots happened, the most common answer was that it was retaliation against the police, who they have not only lost respect for, but feel a mounting anger towards. They described Mark Duggan’s death as the final straw in what they see as a litany of unpunished police brutality as well as harassment in the form of stop and search.

Darnell has sold his car to start building a youth centre in his local area in response to youth services being closed down since the recession. He said community and social workers who vulnerable people used to look to for support had lost their jobs and needed help themselves.

Recently a BBC documentary about the riots was blocked by a court order, for an undisclosed reason. We’ll be releasing the video and a blog on Tuesday. Let’s hope it doesn’t get censored!





How I Met Jon Snow and Desmond Tutu in the Same Week

July 5th, 2012 by Andy

When I first set up the blog on the HixMedia website I didn’t have much to put on it because I didn’t have much work, and what work I did have wasn’t really worth talking about. I decided to post links to viral videos that I thought were clever or funny, as a way a drawing attention to the site. Understandably, a lot of people thought I was posting the videos because I’d made them, on occasion applauding me for work that was in fact produced by Pixar. After a while I stopped posting.

However, meeting Jon Snow and Desmond Tutu in the same week had persuaded me that I do have enough to say to write a regular blog.

Yesterday I got this rather cheeky photo of me and ‘Arch’ as apparently he’s known to his friends. We were both at an event organized by The Funding Network (TFN) to get people to pledge volunteering time for Nelson Mandela day.

TFN invited me to the event after I made a video for their 10th Anniversary, which is how I met Jon Snow. He’s the patron of the charity, and I suggested that we could get him to do the intro and outro to their 10th Anniversary video in the style of a news item.

The charity got in touch with him, and he was more than happy to help. Myself and Sonal Shenai from the Funding Network went to the ITN studios last week. I arrived with my Brompton and Jon offered to carry my bag for me. Legend!

We fed the script into the auto-cue and he nailed it in about ten minutes. What a hero. Here’s the result.



December 8th, 2011 by Andy

Laladoo is a Dutch baby-clothing company. Inspired by the Cradle to Cradle principle, they make products that contain zero toxins that are 100% biodegradable, and packaging that grows into sunflowers.

HiddenCity Hunt at the Museum of London

October 25th, 2011 by Andy

Waste No More

October 5th, 2011 by Andy

Van Gansewinkel is a Dutch waste company that does not believe in waste.

Venlo City Hall

October 3rd, 2011 by Andy

This city is southern Holland is embracing the cradle to cradle concept from the education system to the city hall.


September 22nd, 2011 by Andy

For more information visit:

Moving Planet: A Day to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels

September 20th, 2011 by Andy

Great video from to promote Moving Planet. Made up of footage shot with supporters around the world, it includes a few shots from HixMedia!

This is the Future

August 1st, 2011 by Andy

Why We Need a London Cycle Map

July 8th, 2011 by Andy