I've been co-organising an event called the Fattylympics. This is a non-commercial, community-based afternoon of messing around in the park. It's fat activism and, because I'm always interested in mixing it up, it's about other stuff too, namely the 2012 Olympics, which is happening in, and destroying significant chunks of, my neighbourhood in East London.
One of the forms of fat activism that I enjoy very much is about creating a platform from which many different things can emerge in unexpected ways. The Chubsters is an example of this, it's supported workshops, filmshows and even stonemasonry. I like fat activism with which people can engage in their own ways, where people make their own meanings out of things. I think it's great to draw on people's talents and the things that they like to do, and are really good at. It helps build community and encourages people to think about fat stuff creatively in whatever way it intersects with their own lives, and pass it on to others.
The Fattylympics is also in this vein. It's a satirical Olympics, it will take place on a particular day in London, but I also see it as space from which people can make stuff in their own way, to make something bigger and more complex than I could ever have imagined or produced by myself.
Some of this has come about by inviting people to contribute, for example. I knew that Bad Artists Becky and Corinna would make a great job of the Fattylympics mascots, and they did by coming up with the sublime Egg'n'Spoon. Other people have volunteered things, including performances and events. One person was the musician Verity Susman, of Electrelane, who also has solo projects in her own name. Verity volunteered to write the Fattylympics Anthem and this she did, using words that I wrote. I really love her music in general, so it was a great experience to make something with her.
When I imagined the Anthem I thought about something that people could sing regardless of whether or not they were actually able to come to the Fattylympics. I wanted something hopeful and warm that people could hum when they needed a bit of strength. Although the Fattylympics is a big joke in many respects, I also wanted something heartfelt on the day. The Anthem is also released under a Creative Commons licence so people are actively encouraged to share and remix it. I'm hoping that people might video themselves singing it, perhaps with a group, or that they'll remix it, and that this can add to the project's archive.
We'll be singing the Anthem on the day at the Opening Ceremony. There will be a group of us singing it as a choir, though everyone is invited to join in.
Why not have a sing?
The Fattylympics Anthem