Dear diarists

Were heading towards the end of our exhibition at Gallery Seven; closing Sunday 23rd May, so we thought we’d start the weekend by sharing some individual diary entries with you. It’s your last chance to get involved with the diversity of diary keeping, so take a load off and pop by this weekend for in-gallery browsing including diary content by Laura Palmer, Dan Eldon, Kurt Cobain, Anais Nin, Sylvia Plath and many more.


Last Thursday saw our event with Cringe at Hoxton Hall take place – with the theatre being transformed into an 80s teenage bedroom which had Djs including Mat Horne and Brett Anderson playing their favourite teenage tracks from a giant wardrobe resplendent with pin-up posters and teen kitsch, and readers coming forward to read their diaries whilst perched on a bed strewn with issues of J17, Smash Hits and Jackie whilst the cast of the Breakfast Club looked on from the retro tv flickering in the background.

Through the course of the night over 10 readers came forward and let us into their teenage secrets – from Henry Holland reading from the shocking diaries of Candi Darling to one girl’s chance encounter with an older goth man on a bus (in her words “yum yum”) to the moving account of one teenager’s experiences in Kenya which importantly brought the event back to the reality of the contrast of our own struggles and that which young people in Africa face on a daily basis.  The event saw the audience in turn laugh, scream, holler and cry. All in all a teenage dream of a night.

In the pictures above are:

Mat Horne

Brett Anderson

Henry Holland reading an extract from Candi Darling’s diaries

Singing from karry-on-up-the-oke

Eleanor Gecks reading an extract from sylvia plath’s diary

Easy Chair

Brilliant to see visitors embracing the comfy chair and its certainly having a desired effect as the journal entries are flowing. 

A beautifully designed, limited edition journal with cover illustration by Alexa Chung as well as diary extracts from Anais Nin, Courtney Love, Daniel Johnston, Dan Eldon, Jodie Harsh and more. 

Available to buy for £18 from Monday 10th May at STORE.JOTTA.COM alternatively copies are also being sold at Gallery Seven now. All proceeds go to Majina Ufanisi, working with young people from the slums of Nairobi.


On Monday 11th May Gallery Seven held the launch of our Ctrl.Alt.Shift Dear Diary exhibition, looking closely at the diversity of diary keeping. The atmosphere felt a bit mischievous reading peoples thoughts and feelings but it was validated – we were all doing it together. Kind of like finding your sisters diary with your friends and having a sneaky look in. The evening was a success, it was refreshing to see so many faces enjoying the minds of others and getting amongst it by writing their own personal comments in the journals which the gallery provided, and which have now become pin ups in the gallery itself. Many were poignant and honest with a light hearted twist. This is something that is ongoing for the public to divulge in. The exhibition is open now and will close on May 23rd. 


As with the ‘For Jesus’ basketball club in the last entry, these gymnasts also use gymnastics as a way of getting off the streets and keeping away from the danger of drugs. The photos below show some of the gymnasts in action, and we’ve also included a diary extract from Boniface, aged 25, who lives in Kibera – the largest of Nairobi’s urban slums.

Below: an extract from the diary of Mary, Nairobi, Kenya

After the post-election violence in 2007, many youths from Kibera came together to form the “For Jesus”‘ basketball club. Attracting over 60 members, the club meets every day and is proud to keep the former criminals and drug addicts on its team off the streets.

Above: This is Nickline and Robin, both 19. They both live in Kibera, in the 2nd largest urban slum.

Below: Some of the players are in professional and semi-professional teams in Nairobi and have played at national level in high school. Even so, some still come to this club on a regular basis since many of their friends still play here.