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A glimpse into the lives of the people in and around Belfast.

JANET, 55, WHITEHEAD

Q: So… what’s the craic?

“Well I’m on my way to the train station with my teenage son… He says I’m embarrassing him!”

Q: Tell us a story about yourself…

“I’m very conscious about the effects we have on the environment, so I try my best to live in a sustainable way. I’m a vegan and I buy from ethical brands as much as possible. Today I have on a few different pieces from the Swedish designer Gudrun Sjödén. They specialise in eco-friendly clothing, which I’m all for. I’m also deeply inspired by ‘Advanced Style’ which is a project that documents fashion-forward seniors. I’m hoping to join their ranks one day!”

Q: Words to live by?

“I didn’t want to be old and grey, so I may as well be old and bright.”


SHANIS, 36, BELFAST

Q: So… what’s the craic?

“I just performed with Swing Belfast at the Eastside Arts Festival!”

Q: Tell us a story about yourself…

“I’m Italian, I moved to Belfast exactly four years ago to work at Queen’s University. I do research on dog behaviour and welfare, a job that fascinates me, and I dedicate most of my spare time to swing dancing. A few weeks after moving here I decided to take swing dancing classes because I was attracted by the music and vintage look that goes with it. It was the best decision ever. Not only is it a fun dance but the Swing Belfast community was so welcoming it just felt like being part of a big family…and yes, the best part of all this is travelling back in time during social events. I’ve learned to master my Victory Rolls, tie head scarves and give my outfits a retro vibe. I’ve moved countries four times, for study or work, and now I’m about to move again to work in the U.S. What I love about swing dancing is that wherever I go, there most likely is a friendly community to join, and making friends and settling in becomes so much easier. Belfast has been so good to me, so many lovely people have crossed my path. It will be so hard to leave this time.”

Q: Words to live by?

“Breath. Smile. I don’t go for the inspiring quotes because it’s hard to put them into practice. These, instead, are actions that have an immediate effect on me. Taking a deep breath calms my mind and smiling actually changes my mood from the outside in. It works! Try!”

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