Natalie Wartew | Week 13


This week my number one theme has been ‘communication’.  Last week I vlogged – you got an understanding of my week through pictures, motion, and music alone.  I would say that of all the weeks we have been blogging now, that last week’s was the most clearly communicated.  There’s not much room for information to get ‘lost in translation’. It happened – I filmed it – I played it to you – now we have both experienced it.  I think it’s like the difference between me calling you while I am at the art gallery and explaining to you what Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ looks like, and you seeing it for yourself.  If you have never seen it, then you could be imagining any variety and combination of semantically similar information, when I use the appropriate words such as, ‘yellow’, and ‘sunflowers’ and ‘painting’ and ‘vase’:

But if I bring you back a postcard (of course we don’t take photos in art galleries ;D ), then you will KNOW what I saw, and you can experience it too:

One of the most commonly used phrases that I hear people saying to me is: “Use your words.”  But sometimes that is hard!  Not because I couldn’t string a sentence together at a push, but because I don’t want people to have to settle for sunflower picture 1, 2 or 3, when they could experience the fullness of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting if only I could get it right.


This week at Not For Sale, during a staff meeting, an example was used, which went along the lines of: “If you ask me to explain the experience of a life-changing event; to answer the question, ‘how did it change you?’ and I am able to explain and put it into words, then it can’t have been very life-changing.”  In other words, the things which affect us most cannot be put into words.


There are so many experiences here at Not For Sale that I think have affected me to the very core – made me stand back and look: at the global problem of human trafficking, at Not For Sale as an organisation and a movement, at my role within it, and at myself.  I am experiencing one of those life-changing events, where what I feel is very different to what I can say.
Natalie xx


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