How bad pet sketches are fighting homelessness


How bad pet sketches are fighting homelessness

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Rubbish Pet Portraits

During lockdown, Phil Heckels, a bored father in Worthing, tried to encourage his six-year-old son to pick up some colouring pencils by drawing their own family pet. The picture was terrible but after he posted it on Facebook, dozens then hundreds of people got in touch with their own requests. Phil dubbed himself Hercule Van Wolfwinkle and started raising tens of thousands of pounds to fight homelessness with his awful art. As a book collecting some of his masterpieces is published, we present some of the badly drawn boys and girls.


A history of race

A year on from the murder of George Floyd, society is re-evaluating its relationship with race. This month is the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the single worst incident of racial violence in US history that is still little known. Nobody knows how many were killed, but historian Scott Ellsworth is leading an excavation next month to find more victims. He tells us why lessons from the past are vital for the future.


We also have a piece from Chine McDonald explaining how the notion that Jesus is white is interlinked with systemic racism in society today. And with a new drama about Anne Boleyn casting a black woman in the lead, historical advisor on the show Dan Jones writes about why programmes about history have to speak to the times we live in.


Also inside:

  • Christopher Eccleston tells is why he's returned to the universe of Doctor Who
  • Away from the politics, we present eyewitness accounts from normal people caught in the Israel/Gaza crisis
  • The Thick of It's Joanna Scanlan is this week's Letter To My younger Self
  • Fact/Fiction finds out the true cost of the cladding scandal
  • Our vendor Josh in Bristol tells us how the community around him helped him off the streets
  • And although we started with rubbish pet portraits, we hear from vendor Slavi who creates amazing pictures and was inundated with commissions after his artwork appeared in the magazine!  

Plus much more!

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Tulsa race massacre: 'We need to do something to right this wrong'

One hundred years on, historian Scott Ellsworth explores the untold story of the Tulsa race massacre - the worst race riot in US history

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Bob Dylan: Celebrating a career that changed the world

As Bob Dylan turns 80, music writer, broadcaster and Dylan expert Elizabeth Thomson explores the birth of his iconic career

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Israel-Gaza: 'To help a traumatised child, he first needs the trauma to end'

Two writers, a Palestinian in Gaza and a Jewish person just a few miles away in south Israel, describe the violence escalating around them every day. Their voices tell the reality of life on the ground

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Will it cost £50bn to fix the cladding crisis?

We delve into the debate over how much ending the cladding crisis will cost ahead of Grenfell's fourth anniversary

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Future Generations Bill takes first step towards becoming law

Big Issue founder Lord John Bird gave the draft legislation a first reading for a third time in the House of Lords on Thursday. There's no time like the present to bring long-term thinking to Westminster, he says

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Best dystopian novels: Sebastian de Souza looks to a scary fictional future

The best dystopian novels are a warning for today. Normal People star Sebastian de Souza recommends five of the greatest

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How to retrain for a new job when you're over 50

The pandemic is encouraging more people in later life to reassess their interests and skills and retrain for new industries. Here's how you can choose a new career path

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