Open Cinema – Bringing Film to Homeless and Disadvantaged People |

Open Cinema is an organisation intended to benefit homeless and disadvantaged people in the UK, through film. On their website, they describe themselves as a nationwide network of film clubs that help to educate and culturally enlighten marginalised people. Their main philosophy is that excluded people need the benefits of being culturally aware and informed, as well as the benefits of food and drink.Their events are free for everyone to attend and participate in, and residents simply have to follow the promotional posters and flyers at their local community centres in order to find out about the activities and events occurring. Their seasons run quarterly, with 48 weekly events each year. These seasons are also often themed by genre, which helps to inform about particular titles. Additionally, Open Cinema welcomes events including filmmakers presenting their work, and speaking with participants directly.The people behind this nationwide network believe that there is a need for this social business, because it helps to inform homeless and disadvantaged people about entertainment and culture, which they describe as another form of nourishment. On their website, they claim that research has shown that entertainment and culture contribute to the mental health and overall well-being of socially marginalised people.Therefore, they help marginalised people to find stability and mental nourishment through film. Also, this enterprise provides a solid alternative to life on the streets for homeless people. They believe that the regularity of their film events and activities provides people with a sense of routine and belonging. Many organisations and leading institutions support Open Cinema and their goals. These supportive institutions include many important figures in the UK film and television industry.Their social business was founded in 2005 by Christoph Warrack, a filmmaker who initiated a weekly support service for disadvantaged people in London. This weekly service, called Open House, provided food and fellowship, mainly aimed at homeless people in the local area. The idea for adding the element of film and culture came from a participant, who requested that his Open House idea included an entertainment aspect.Then, in 2008, Homeless Link (an organisation providing homelessness services) offered support for their cause, in order to help Warrack spread the film club across the UK. Therefore, Open Cinema officially launched in 2009, with many film clubs of this nature established nationwide. They have only expanded since, over the years, and have now officially settled in their 2 head offices, in Shoreditch, London and in Yorkshire.What do you think of this social business, and their aims? Do you believe that becoming culturally aware would truly benefit someone dealing with homelessness, related issues, or someone who is disadvantaged in some way?

Demystifying the Top 3 Stereotypes of Russian People |

There is probably no country in the world without stereotypes, myths or legends. Russia, in particular, has countless stories that depict the life, customs and traditions in one the world’s most exciting and diverse countries.But what do people typically connect Russia with? Several ideas come into mind such as babushkas, matryoshka dolls, pies, fur hats and beautiful women; cold winters, spies and mad dictators. And of course also parties with vodka; tons of vodka.Without exception, the vast majority of stereotypes come from lack of knowledge or misleading information. Naturally, in order to create cultural awareness, i.e. awareness of a country’s heritage and true values, it is first necessary to overcome a great amount of barriers such as geographical, financial and language barriers. That is generally the reason why we tend to be more inclined towards stereotypes and creating generalized images based on information shared by the media, books and films, all of them passing on to us a subjective point of view from one specific angle.Now, let’s examine the most common myths and stereotypes around Russia and compare them with reality.1. Unbearable cold in Russia – A myth beyond question. Although a third of Russia is located above the Arctic Circle, all the major cities are located in temperate climate.”It was so cold… We had to stop eating with metal cutlery. Some people walked around for days with spoons or forks stuck to their tongues!” – Exaggerated testimony of a tourist.2. All Russians drink a lotAlcohol and stories about intoxication are the objects of many jokes about Russians. However, according to a study published by the World Health Organization, Russia was classed 20th for the countries where people drink the most. The stereotype is then a little far from reality compared to other countries.3. Russians can drink too much and don’t get drunkThe stereotypical ability of Russians to drink vodka cannot be explained from the idea that Russians have supernatural traits, but it is rather connected with their traditional ways of eating and drinking. This supernatural ability is thus also a myth.Moreover, according to Russian tradition, the best way to make new friends is to drink together. Refusal to do so may be perceived as an insult, a direct sign that you don’t want to build friendship with others. This is why drinking responsibly is a perfect opportunity to meet new people and perhaps here lies one of the many truths of Russian people: a true Russian friendship begins often with the sincere will to share a drink.

7 Ways Not to Lose Friends and Alienate People |

The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want.~Dale Carnegie~I am sure you have at least heard of Dale Carnegie’s famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. He wrote the book in 1936 and it remains popular today. Its publication came just before we were called on to come together as a nation to put aside our differences and join World War II in defense of western civilization.The world has changed since then. Once we greeted each other on the street, stopped to talk and agreed to meet later for face to face conversation. Now many people live plugged into their cell phones and other devices, shut off from their surroundings. It’s as though the real world doesn’t exist any more, only the virtual one.Carnegie suggested listening to people and their needs as a way to connect for mutual benefit. He also said that the only way to get what you want from others is to give them what they want. That approach seems strange to us these days. To a large extent we seem locked in conflict with each other rather than working together toward mutual goals. Congress and many state legislatures are almost evenly split into polar opposite ways of thinking.Those who elect them are just as evenly split. Those who don’t vote have either given up on the political process or have lost interest in it. We seem to have lost our national will. It seems a shame that the only thing which brings us together is war. Can we find a way to work together again? I think so. The challenge is finding a way to do it.Here are seven steps you can take:
Keep electronics in perspective- Reality does not consist of tweets, text messages and emails.

Open your ears- Unplug from electronics and let in the sound of others’ voices.

Open your mind- Realize that others may think differently from us but are just as concerned about their well-being.

Find common ground- See how your needs fit with the needs of others.

Try to cooperate rather than win- Find a way for both of you to win.

Listen before you talk- Others will be more likely to hear you if they know you understand them.

Don’t hold a grudge- The chip on your shoulder blocks communication.
You might find some or all of these approaches uncomfortable. They are not the way you are used to doing things. Why bother? Think of the number of people complaining about stress these days. In my opinion, one of the main reasons for this is isolation. Others travel the same path as you do but mostly in isolation. It doesn’t need to stay that way. You can wait for others to break the barrier and communicate for you. But why wait? Try taking the first step yourself.Life Lab Lessons
Keep your ears open and your mouth shut.

Hear what is important to others.

Tell them what you heard them say.

Clarify any misunderstandings.

See yourself as part of a team rather than an individual.