Saturday, 12 September 2020

Watford Celebration Sacred Space 2020

 


Hi Everyone! Hope you're well :-)

I was delighted to be asked once again to join in the Watford Celebration Sacred Space discussion as the Humanist representative. It's something I've done a few times now, and the conversations which emerge are always interesting, engaging, respectful and eye-opening. This year we were unable to meet in person because of social distancing, but we did go manage to go ahead by meeting on Zoom, the upside of which is we could record the conversation and share it with those who couldn't join us on the day. If you fancy a watch, the video's above! The question this year was in paraphrase: How can we use our faith and belief to help us through difficult times? Hope you enjoy it!

Much love, Alex x

Friday, 17 July 2020

Jonny Peat Interview



Last month I was interviewed by Jonny Peat, an alumnus of the Penguin Books Write Now project. It was a really fun conversation and a great chance to talk to another writer about what inspires us to write and how we overcome some of the perennial barriers to sharing our work more widely. Do have a listen if you get a chance, goes nicely with a cup of tea and a Jaffa cake! Much love, Alex

Monday, 15 June 2020

You Can't Lock Us Down!


In June 2020, George Floyd was murdered on the street by police in the USA. Having spent weeks I lockdown, trapped at home and social distancing when not, the overwhelming emotional response from the public sparked protest marches around the world. This painting entitled 'You Can't Lock Us Down' was my response to that moment. I shared the image on Facebook and have had a flood of positive responses, thanks to everybody who sent me a message or clicked like. For me, the inspiration for this image was not the heinous act of inhumanity itself, but the life-affirming public response, hence the sense of colour and vibrancy. My partner then shared the image on Twitter, and The Black Lives Matter movement contacted me to ask if they could place the image in an archive of artistic responses to this historically important moment. I was honoured to be asked and delighted to give permission. It's simple acrylic on cardboard, which just goes to show you don't need fancy materials to paint something meaningful, we can all have a go and find new ways to express ourselves in these turbulent times. So while The Dial Up is on hiatus I hope you're managing to keep your creativity alive in whatever way is meaningful to you. As ever, much love!

-Alexander Williams 15/6/20

Saturday, 30 May 2020

The Lost Children is now available to buy online!




Delighted to announce The Lost Children Original Musical Theatre Soundtrack is now available to buy online! If you want a sneak peak head to the videos tab where you can watch a 15 minute version of the story with a few songs thrown in which I performed for The Dial Up last year! But if you already know you'd like to hear all the songs, then here are the links to follow! 
Much love xx

To buy the soundtrack visit:



Friday, 24 April 2020

World Book Night Video



Calibre, a charity which provides audio books to people with visual impairment, asked me to record a video for their celebration of World Book Night 2020. Here it is for anyone who fancies a quick intro to my books!

Humanist Teacher Network lockdown message

Hi Dial Up family!

It's been a difficult few weeks with many lives being turned upside down, others feeling like they've been put on hold, as a result of Cornoavirus and the ensuing lockdown. Many of us are missing The Dial Up and the space it created for all of us to share, enjoy and celebrate community and creativity. I'm delighted to see how many online spaces have opened up to keep people connected and creative.

In my role as Present of the Humanist Teacher Network, I wrote a message to my members a couple of weeks ago and felt many of the themes might chime with what regular Dial Uppers are feeling at the moment. I've copied it in full below for those who fancy a read. I hope you're all coping well with lockdown. Stay well, stay safe, stay creative and much love. Alex xx

Dear Members,
  
Firstly, I hope you're all well and safe in these turbulent times. Covid 19 has changed the way we have been working over the past few weeks in quite remarkable ways. So few of us would ever have imagined at the start of the year that by April we would have become experts in remote teaching and learning, employing new digital technologies to try as much as possible to provide high quality education, motivation, and quite frankly a bit of normality in the lives of our students. I hope you've all felt able to cope with the radical changes that have been expected of us, whatever your educational context.

I've been particularly pleased with how powerfully the message about relying on science and scientific advice has been expressed by the government and politicians at large during this time. Humanism advocates evidence based decision making, and we don't have to look too far into the past (or indeed too far across the globe) to find examples of superstition taking a more prominent place in the public debate. This is a wonderful learning moment for our students if we're able to bring it to their attention.

These have been difficult times, and there have inevitably been moments of confusion, anxiety, and uncertainty in all of our lives. But one thing is certain: we're rising to the challenge. And we're doing so by relying on one another, by strengthening our human connections, exercising our human resourcefulness, and wherever possible extending kindness to friends, family, neighbours, and strangers. I've been touched each day by stories on the news of people looking out for one another, from restaurants setting up schemes to provide free meals, to our brave NHS workers, to communities clapping for carers at 8pm each Thursday.

I'd like to take this opportunity to clap for you, as teachers and educators, for all you're doing to keep your students learning, inspired, and well supported. Please remember that the Humanist Teacher Network is here to support you, too. Our education resources are free to download and so might provide interesting activities for remote learning. Our free online courses might also help to keep you busy during lockdown: they are a great way to develop your subject knowledge of humanism and engage in social learning with other learners from around the globe. Feel free to email me on teachers@humanism.org.uk if you have questions or points you'd like to raise. If we can help we will. 

It's important we keep talking, keep exercising, keep striving to be the best we can be, and keep humanism visible even in our new educational contexts. I wish you all the very best during the next few months. Stay safe and stay well.

Yours, Alex Williams
President, Humanist Teachers Network

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Chasing Dreams: Cancelled due to corona virus

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing and indoor

Thank you to everyone who came to support our February Love Songs Dial Up, we had more duets than we'd ever had before, it was a brilliant night! It's great to be back monthly at WPT for our open mic celebration of community and creativity. 

Our March Chasing Dreams open mic is cancelled due to corona virus following government advice to restrict public gatherings. Obviously the situation is constantly changing, so do check back here once a month for news about when our next Dial Up will take place. Until then, stay safe everyone, and hopefully see you back at The Dial Up very soon! Much love, Alex xx