lois Darlington
@Lois / Trailblazer member


Female, birthday 4th April
Joined August 2016

I wrote the normal kind of biog and realised it said too much - and too little. Here goes for version 2....

I'm a mother and that is the most important part of my life. I am an earthy person but I live in London of all places. I love nature, the countryside and peace but I spend most of my time responding to the many varied demands of an inner city FE college and its students from all over the world. I trade in words but I would like to spend more time with my images. I live in one of the biggest cities in the world yet I am painfully aware of what modern living is doing to our planet. I have a lot of experience but I know that we are not listening enough to our young people and that we need their energy, optimism and creativity. I'm proud of the globalisation of our society but not the tyranny of our global corporations. Now for the chronological bit....

Born and brought up in Sussex, where I still have strong connections, I spent 4 years doing a Joint English and French degree in Leeds where  I began to form my own ideas about life and politics and this continued when I subsequently went to live in South West France. I lived in and around Toulouse and in Spain for 7 years before coming to live in London.

The next 10 years were spent working in World Music for the groundbreaking label Stern's African Records as their PR person, as editor  and journalist for Tradewind, City Limits and Folk Roots among others), as consultant and broadcaster for radio stations such as Premier, Spectrum and Hackney Community Radio. It was a very exciting time, during which I experienced the most amazing music in all kinds of contexts and I used my French and Spanish to interview many of the great musicians that I and others were discovering (Youssou N'dour, Abdullah Ibrahim, Fela Kuti, Manu Dibango, Salif Keita, Baba Maal, Papa Wemba, and Ali Farka Toure, among many others).I was privileged to learn so much about these people and their cultures and ideas and I made it my business to try to make their voices heard, in their own words, in their own ways, about their own most pressing concerns. I felt and feel  that we in Europe could learn a lot.

When my daughter was 6, I returned to a previous career: teaching English, this time teaching ESOL to London's immigrants (many of them asylum seekers and refugees). I have been teaching students from all over the world for the last 13 years. My interest in global cultures and the need to listen to voices from around the world seems to have become a theme in my life. 



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