Kelly O’Brien Interview June 2013


What do you think are the most important questions we should be asking each other?

How can we build a more healthy, sustainable and human living system that everyone can benefit from?

What projects, organisations or activities are you involved with that you would like to promote?

There is a fundraiser event coming up in June to support the migrants that are living in the refugee camp in Calais, France. The funds raised will go to a No Borders group who will travel over to the camp in summer to cook hot meals for the migrants.

Check out the link for more details –

What is the epitome of beauty to you?

Spontaneous moments in life with smiles and laughter.

If you had one year to live how would you spend your time?

I would take one photograph everyday of that year. Then make a book containing all the 365 images and give a book to each of my loved ones….showing them that life is weird and absolutely wonderful.

Got any good jokes you want to share with us?

Why are there no pain killers the jungle? because the paracetamol!

So bad but so good!

What is the meaning of life to you?

Experience – to understand life I feel we must experience it. And everyone’s understanding of life is different. I think that’s what makes it so magnificent and rich!

What are the most important social issues that you care about?

Social justice and equality.

Human rights.

Freedom of movement.

Protection and respect of other species and our environment.

If you could control all of the media for one day what would be reported and why?

I would report what they seem to be censoring. People uprising across the globe, protests, the truths of war and the exposure of the dodgy dealing of the massive corrupt government and corporations across the globe.

And also all the great positive stuff that I happening in the world… You know all that stuff they don’t want use to be empowered by.

What do you love most about your life?

The people within it, the stories that they have to share and all the things that I can learn from them.

What have been your highlights of 2013 so far?

Travelling to the south of France and participating in a week long Theatre of the Oppressed seminar.

What do you feel most grateful for in your life?

My mother, my friends, my health.

If you could be paid to do anything in the world as a job what would it be?

I would like to work with young people in other communities across the world, tackling some global issue by using with my skills in photography.

What are your favourite things about where you live and why?

I really love my community, the house that I live in and the people within it. I live in a big old shared house with 6 others and we one big family. We live a communal life style and it works for us really well. All of us are diverse in characteristics and occupations but we all share the same interest in trying to maintain a politically and environmentally conscious way of life. Close by there are friends living in similar houses including a housing co-op and a social centre where we hang out, plan campaigns, have peoples kitchen’s, parties and fundraisers.

I also live in very close range to some really cool international markets and loads of Indian takeaways. If your ever visiting forest fields in Nottingham I recommend Ad Nan’s veggie samosas…hardcore tasty.

What does it mean to be a good parent?

To give your child love so they can also love others and be willing to allow your child to be an individual.

If you could go back in time is their anything you would do differently?

Take more risks. Read more books. Go to more punk gigs.


What are the most exciting things that you are looking forward to doing this year and why?

Woking with a group of young people in derby using photography as a way to challenge

I will go France in the summer and visit some interesting political spaces

What do you enjoy learning about most?

Recently I have been on a bee keeping course. That was pretty good, I reckon I’m going to try my hand to some bee keeping in the future. I also really enjoy learning about people love stories!

How do you think the education system could be improved?

I rate Ken Robinson’s thoughts –

What subjects, ideas or thinkers do you think are missing from the national curriculum?

Permaculture, Philosophy, The arts, Sociology, Political studies and Sex education.

If you were 80 years old sending a letter back in time to your present self what would you say?

You made it! Well Done!

In order for you to achieve your dreams what habits would you need to cultivate?

Be more motivated, more honest with my self and less fearful of the unknown. To be able to take criticism better and to put more trust in the world.

What inspires you the most and why?

People who have vision and realise that vision. You know them sort of people that just go for it and they ain’t scared to get hurt on the way! The Risk takers and The Radicals.


Who do you think are the most oppressed people in our society and what can you do to help?



The youth

The poor and the working class

The migrants

The disabled

The vulnerable



We can promote equality, fight discrimination and reject capitalism.

What talents, skills, knowledge or experience do you have that could help others? 

One of my main skills is in photography.My photographic practice is concerned with themes which humanise social and political issues. I work in with young people and groups that have unfortunately become marginalised within our society. I think that photography has a ability to create social change as it have a great power to communicate voices and visions that can go unseen. Photography has a power to communicate on a universal level, so when used in as a tool to empower it can change the viewers perspectives and preconceptions of the marginalised groups involved.

What do you think is the best way to go about creating social change?

Being more critical, connecting with people in our community, community self-organising, creating empowerment by unity, working in non hierarchical systems, sharing and caring.

What questions do you not dare ask yourself? 

Am I making the change within myself that I want to see in the world?

What’s your favourite form of entertainment and why?

Reading in the bath, riding my bike, dancing with friends, David Attenborough, sitting in front of our wood burner and drinking wine in winter and lying on the grass in summer.

Because they bring me happiness and peace.

Who is your favourite author, actor, musician, artist, poet, etc, and why?

My favourite poets at the moment is my mates Alissa and jimmy, composing some relevant rhyming material about the state of things.

How could we survive without money?

Learn how to Grow your own food

Have some bee hives


Find satisfaction within our selves and not to fulfil dissatisfaction with materialist crap.

Eat together

Ride a bike

Make art for entertainment

Have parties at home

Learn how to mend your clothes

Swap clothes or wear each others clothes

Open free shops

Share skills and trade with these skills.

Cut your own hair

Go for walks

Search the streets for furniture

Couch surf


Don’t waste any food

Go skipping for food


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