As people globally unite during World Mental Health Day, a new event calendar, What Does Not RAW, run by culture agency, What Does Not, is taking the capital by storm.
What Does Not, named after the famous aphorism by Nietzsche, ‘What does not kill you, makes you stronger’, is a community giving ‘misfits’ and ‘fits’ a place to interact and engage. What Does Not is setting out to eradicate loneliness and celebrate the importance of difference, and its power to drive social change.
What Does Not's RAW events have been called by many attendees ‘the best event in London.’
Each WDN RAW storytelling event has a different theme and brings together people from all walks of society to celebrate the power of that theme. Previous themes have included resilience, courage, acceptance and, most recently, deviance. Testimonials by previous event speakers are below.
The events are designed to tear down preconceived notions that prevent true connection and opportunity. RAW events bring the cool, edge, and sense of belonging that are needed for navigating this age of uncertainty and change. Each event also has live music and DJs, as well as art and immersive elements that are on theme and thought-provoking.
What’s more, each RAW is a platform for emerging creators, to help them be seen by big brands and showcase their creative potential. Helping emerging artists and creatives is central to What Does Not's mission, and it seeks to give them a leg up in a city where connections are the way to get ahead.
To date, seven WDN RAW events have taken place in the capital at the global members club, Soho House, and the hundreds who have attended come from all walks of life, and countless sub-cultures.
At the RAWs, you don’t need to squeeze into latex or be LGBTQ+, or meet social preconceptions of what constitutes difference. The only prerequisite is to be human, and kind.
Three more What Does Not RAW events have been confirmed before Christmas: on October 21, November 17 and December 15th, all at Brixton Studio by Soho House. People can book their free tickets >> here <<.
Each RAW event is a safe space for real, human stories, but the underlying narrative is to tackle loneliness. Loneliness is a serious public health issue plaguing modern-day society to such an extent that, in 2018, the UK government appointed its first ever Loneliness Minister, and launched The Tackling Loneliness Network.
What Does Not founder and RAW events organiser, Christine Charitonos, commented:
London is the city of ‘niche’, with hundreds of thousands of people living in social siloes. However, these ‘misfits’ are the beating heart of the capital, and have so much in common with people who conform to social norms. Our events are intended to give people a place where they can celebrate their difference and be reassured that difference, and difference alone, is the true driver of social change."
What Does Not is the brainchild and hustle of divergent thinker and story collector, Christine Charitonos. Christine is a creative industries veteran and professional Swiss army knife, who knows all too well how soul-sapping traditional networking events can be. She’s setting out to change all that, and the world, with her culture agency and creative incubator, What Does Not.
WDN is rolling out its programme of events across London, with an international presence in the pipeline for 2023. They are seeking more venues and partners to unlock the change-making potential of humans for brands, creatives, and the world.