Well, the Cleaners' Voice project has progressed rapidly over the weekend; once we realised that because of the shift-work that most of the choir have to do it will be difficult to get them all together for an evening, we decided that the best thing to do would be to make a film the main product- at least for now.
Ana brought it to the rehearsal this morning; one of the cleaners turned up in tears, because a horrible student had barged into the toilet she was cleaning and told her to get out because 'she is only a cleaner' and the student should be allowed to use the loo before she's finished cleaning it.
She said that sometimes students even use the loo in front of her, which is completely offensive.
So seeing Ana's beautiful little film (it's less than four minutes long) was a real boost, especially as this is the same woman who was beginning to question whether the choir project was going to make any difference.
The film shows them working, devising a chant with Luis, talking about their jobs and then singing part of the final song, all with subtitles. It will go up on Youtube tomorrow sometime, and I urge you to watch it and support the cleaners!
Two of them will be performing the song at Stratford Circus on Wednesday evening at about 7 p.m. and the film will be shown then as well- free to get in, if you live East of Old Smokey*
After a meeting with the Unison rep and some other staff to talk about the best ways we can use the film to help the cleaners get better conditions, I went by tube from the University of the East to the University of the West to collect the master CDs of The Chefs compilation, which has been mastered by Colm O'Rourke.
Lucy O'Brien was heading up the hill with a huge wheelie-suitcase full of marked Thesis work and we had a quick catch up chat; her copy of the Messthetics CD of South Coast English punk turned up this morning and I hope mine arrives soon- it has the Catholic Girls (Lucy's band) and The Chefs and lots more.
I have The Chefs masters here but will have to wait till the raging toothache calms down- I have an emergency dental appointment this afternoon. I am just waiting for the sleeve notes to be sent from Australia (Everett True, former editor of Melody Maker and PlanBmag is doing them) and then I can get on with sorting out the booklet design.
Until then, here is a very entertaining video made by a student of mine from the University of the West:
*Linda Lewis, Old Smokey