Quill Magazine Issue ZERO
London based culture magazine. Covering upcoming artists, designers and everything in between.
49-59 98-100 : BLINKERED AWARENESS The Problem with TED Talks 117-119 : HICCUP KITTY Hello Kitty Beer launched in Taiwan and Vhina 101-112 : KHUSI HONA The Diaries of Feel Happy Ambassadors 120-121 : THE ART OF LISTENING The Sinister Cash Machine 113-116 : COCOA KITCHEN Pop Up Tapas or How to make Everyone drool 123-127 : WALKING THE DEAD What Zombies tell us about.., well Us. 37-48 TRAVEL Khusi Hona The Diaries of Feel Happy Ambassadors 101 TRAVEL 102 TRAVEL Diary One BY Alexis Clarkson I have always had a wanderlust to travel. I love the adventure of navigating unknown paths, sharing smiles and stories with old and new friends alike, and capturing these priceless moments in time. I had been to 11 different countries, and every trip provided invaluable lessons that opened my heart and mind to the world outside. Most recently, I had been to Nepal for a therapy mission. It affirmed that providing care as a pediatric physical therapist for children in need is my purpose in life. When the opportunity to travel and volunteer with Khusi Hona in India presented itself, I wasn’t afraid to take the leap. It was serendipitous that I would cross paths with the director, Matthew van Rooyen. We talked for hours about our lives’ “work” and he gave me a Khusi Hona “Feel Happy” bracelet: a small gesture that helped to open an even greater gift of perspective. What if I could give up all of my attachments at home to be a part of a global community? What could I do to give the gift of happiness to others everyday? What if I could take on a new role as an “ambassador of happiness” for those that need the most, and therefore equally for myself? I was inspired to be a part of this purpose, and I happily accepted the invitation to come to India and volunteer. I talked with friends and family of this passion, and their encouragement brightened my belief that this was the opportunity of a lifetime! With their support and donations, we could share this happy feeling together every step of the way. 103 TRAVEL 104 TRAVEL Matthew was there to greet me in New Delhi as I took my first step out into the intoxicatingly warm air of India. He thoughtfully crafted our itinerary based upon where I could experience the most culture as a traveler, combined with the most work that we could accomplish as volunteers. We flew into Bagdogra in the West Bengal region and took a jeep up over 7,000 feet elevation to the refreshing Himalayan city of Darjeeling. I enjoyed breathtaking vistas of the lush green valleys, rooftop gardens and prayer flags connecting homes, and the gift of the stunning snow-capped mountains as I did yoga from the balcony. At the Japanese Peace Pagoda and Druk Sangag Choling Buddhist Monastery, we were afforded an equally spiritual experience while present during their mediations and prayers. My heart was already full of excitement and gratitude when we met with Pema Bante, the director of the Kripasaran Childrenâ€™s Home. He graciously accepted the donation that Khusi Hona had raised for a 5-month supply of propane. It could not have come at a better time as he reported they were in need of restocking to be able to cook for the orphans. His gratitude shined through the compassionate, selfless care that he provided, and was evident by the growing relationship between these two partners. We toured both the girls and boys orphanages and were excited to see the new construction expansion. Every corner of space and resource is utilized, without waste. There is no room to play outside, and no field for grass to grow. I thought back to my childhood and the simple joy and freedom that running around outside barefoot provided. 105 TRAVEL We were inspired to give them more than just their basic necessities, but also a memorable token of a happy childhood by purchasing some “happies” for the girls’ orphanage. When we walked in, the girls were full of bright faces sitting hip-to- hip hovering over aluminum-topped tables anticipating our arrival. “Sister! Sister! Come sit!” the girls excitedly called out as we handed out maps of the world, picture books, art supplies and board games. The sound of Doma’s laughter as I attempted to pronounce Hindi phrases correctly was sundar, beautiful, as my new dost, friend, was kind enough to write out the translations. Alisa talked about how her favorite subject was physics and that she planned to attend nursing school. Anamika said that she liked to draw, and her picture told the story of a “small Hindi man that went on a long journey down from the mountains to sit under a tree and meditate.” I knowingly smiled feeling a shared story. I had come a long way, half way across the world, to be here, and in this moment, I could not be happier anywhere else. Their happiness was a gift of a lifetime. Even more we can continue to share this happiness with every organization that we partner with as we explore new experiences and places! We travelled to the Hindu spiritual epicenter of Varanasi and I dove into learning about their culture and traditions with happy tokens of henna painted on my skin, silk sarees, and healing ayurvedic massage. We watched an aarti floating on top the Ganges River in a wooden boat at twilight. We also had the honor of spending time learning about the Guria organization, which seeks to end the cycle of forced human trafficking and prostitution. Ajeet Singh and his wife have created a sanctuary in the middle of the red-light district so that the children left behind of these crimes have a safe and positive outlet off the streets. It was our first meeting, but after, we were welcomed to a family lunch and intimate interview with documentary filmmakers from Princeton. The meal together was amazing as it immediately gave us a sense of belonging and fellowship to this family. We talked about the importance of “connecting people to their existence” and developing the self through meditation and art as a tool for empowerment. We also toured their center with Ajeet’s wife where we could observe these miracles first hand. With a room full of over 50 children, she acted out a fable in Hindi that I recognized from my childhood, as we all sat together knee-to-knee in a circle. Their deep laughter filled the rooms spilling out into our hearts as they clung to us in excitement and pride. After, she lead them through music and meditation to a deep, restful sleep, as their bodies gave way to her nurturing hands. These children were happy, safe and NOT FOR SALE. They were loved and cared for as their own children. Guria has had to put up barricades and locks due to threats, but here within the walls of the center, all of our hearts were open and safe. 106 TRAVEL It is because of these people and places that I am overfilling with the inspiration and conviction to be a member of the Khusi Hona family no matter where I am in the world. Iâ€™ve traveled to many beautiful and enlightening places, but I am more than a tourist here in India. I gravitate towards her colors, warmth, energy and people as she equally welcomes us into her home. Here, I can offer my time, skills and love with a purpose as a volunteer for Khusi Hona. Here, my heart is full of gratitude for what we give, and what we receive in working with these children and organizations. Here, I am a part of an even bigger family. Here, I am a di di, a sister to every child. 107 TRAVEL Diary Two BY Emily Carroll After many months of planning and hoping to find an affordable ticket to India, I finally found one at just the right price, one month before I left. This was my moment to finally volunteer abroad, and to hit the ground running with Khusi Hona. Khusi Hona has consumed my time and thoughts since the moment it was born. The Khusi Hona Orphan Project came to life in July of 2012, and to finally hop on a jet and meet the kids I only saw in the photos seemed like a dream coming true. I arrived in Delhi, and after our first night we set out to Rishikesh. We took a taxi on our four hour drive up and that is when the life changing experience began. This drive is just a fraction of what India has to offer, and the anticipation to find out what else is out there, was a positive over whelming feeling. The realization that much more is soon to be offered from this vast country is a feeling that one cannot be put into words, but only felt, smelt and seen. The scenery, the people with their beautifully colored clothes, and the animals, are glorious and gruesome, mixed in something you could never imagine unless experienced it on your own. To see beauty and destruction daily, allows someone to understand what it is to truly be grateful. 108 TRAVEL 109 TRAVEL On day three we made it to Ramanas Garden. A haven for orphaned and abandoned children, a place you know they feel at peace in, and so do you. Not much time was spent at Ramanas Garden, for we were set out for paradise in Kodiya; deep into the Himalayas where organic food is grown and children are nurtured in fresh mountain air and drinking pure spring water. As we arrived at the camp retreat, beautiful happy faces of multi cultured children ran up and greeted me. I have never felt so much love coming from people I haven’t met before, but felt immediately as if they have already loved me for a lifetime and more. The children, and the workers, they make this place a little spot of heaven. They indulge in hugs, advice and mere presence, and the gratitude overwhelms you, you just want to keep on giving. In most cases, certain children shine from the crowd, but these children, they all shine bright and there isn’t enough time in the world that would allow you to take it all in… it’s never ending. My experience with these children made me want to stay, but also pushed me to find more, to reach more, to help more feel as happy as they made me feel. Oinak, a sixteen year old multi lingual young man and I sang Carly Rae Jepsen’s song “Call Me Maybe” in English, Dutch, Nepalese, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, and Bihar. Alternating nights the kids and volunteers would light a candle and play games or sing together, hugging, laughing and living in the moment. There is no place in the Himalayas where you can experience awe at its fullest, like this place. I wish I could write all my enjoyable moments in just one page, but I’d be cheating you if I told you that were possible. For now, I will pick a few. Walking with the children up the hill sides, higher into the Himalayas, to more farms, historical temples, vast scenery, a dancing boar named Samba and beautiful baby rabbits, can only be described as heaven on earth. To breathe fresh air, to laugh constantly and get a work out while being guided by my new found friends is a moment where photos don’t need to be taken, because it’s all imprinted in your mind, like a permanent album. We, me, you and strangers were able to raise enough funds to provide some crops with fences to keep out the wild life. The children, their providers and possibly you, thrive off the produce raised on this farm; this fence was essential. Everyone helped out to build a barrier around the potatoes; a vital vegetable to assure nutrition for the children, equally important vegetable as all the others. Everyone was happy to help, because they knew this meant dinner for tonight, tomorrow, and every day after that. In the west we see our produce nicely packaged, waiting for us to take home, and we don’t intimately understand what it means to protect our life source. The act of raising the funds and providing the fence is one of the many eye opening and fulfilling experiences. 110 TRAVEL Our time in the mountains with the orphans was truly an outdoor experience, living the same life the children and caretakers live. Every morning we would have Chai Tea. For some reason it was very hard to find a cup to use and eventually I figured out why. The little ones, around five, six years of age, would hide the tea cup when they were finished with their tea. Although these cups were meant for everyone to use, they still hid them. These children do not have possessions to call their own, and this tea cup meant warmth in the morning and so they kept it sacred. TRAVEL I did not expect a thing upon arriving on my volunteer trip for these kids, but they surprised me with their enthusiasm to succeed, to learn, and multi lingual abilities. I was happy to offer my help to one girl with her economics, and I learned a lot on the way too. This act initiated another girl to ask me to help her expand her vocabulary. We grabbed a random book and started finding words to build on her English. Matthew van Rooyen, the founder of Khusi Hona and I found interesting and helpful ways to explain what a word meant, like extraordinary, tremendous, emphasize, emptiness, anxiety, nagging, and many more. Itâ€™s a challenge, even for a native speaker to explain and describe words we never once had to think about and their basic meaning. These kids helped me more than I think I helped them, scholastically and personally. I can say with a hundred percent of truth that I have never laughed crying so many times in such a short amount of time, and that alone filled me with more smiles and happy feelings than I know what to do with. The Khusi Hona Orphan Project has brought the essence of Feel Happy into my life and it has proven to be the best decision I have ever made. - Feel Happy, Emily Carroll 112 FOOD Cocoa Kitchen Pop up Tapas or How to make everyone drool BY Phoebe Amoroso TASTY stuffed pepper specimens. 113 FOOD Welcome to the age of pop-ups and what a fun age it is. No longer tied to locations, rents, fixed times and dates, anyone with an idea for an event and a good amount of enthusiasm can start entertaining. This means themed events, ranging from Jamaican supper clubs to breakfasts on rooftops. Yet we are also in an age of experimentation, pushing the boundaries of what could be considered food, of what flavours go together. Out of this innovative gastronomic climate, Cocoa Kitchen was born – a pop-up that focuses on using chocolate in all dishes, both savoury and sweet. Somewhat unsurprisingly, founders Annette Boraks and Jeremy Wickremer met through their shared passion for food. In the winter of 2010, Jeremy was organising a food festival and advertised on Gumtree for event organisers “I responded on the spot,” explains Annette, “as it was the ideal combination: events, something I am experienced in and enjoy, and food – my true passion! We met and became friends on the spot.” This led to a friendship firmly founded in food, but it wasn’t until early 2013 that they decided to organise pop-ups themselves. Their inspiration stemmed from an event on how to organise pop-up restaurants where four entrepreneurs from the dining industry shared their experiences. “I remember my favourite speaker was Ceviche's owner, Martin Morales, a Peruvian who came to London and put almost everything he had at stake to open his first restaurant,” Annette recounts. “His funny and touching life story was what made me believe that anyone can do it. You just need to do it! After the event, Jeremy and I were exploding with excitement and energy. We didn't even have to say it – it was already obvious we had to do something with that energy.” Jeremy had already founded Ubuntu Chocolate, and given the general absence of any savoury chocolate dishes, the duo quickly spied a niche. They then invited Rado Andrian to join the team, bringing wine and cocktail expertise to the project. Just four months later, in July 2013, Cocoa Kitchen launched their first event, a three-course dinner. This included Michel Bras’ dark chocolate and blue cheese aperitif and the tantalisingly intriguing combination of white chocolate mashed potato with dark chocolate and sesame tiger prawns The chocolate tapas dining event, however, was a more casual affair to match the style of dining. We went along to Kingly Court, Soho, to find an open kitchen with stalls scattered around worktop tables. Several appetising plates were crammed next to bottles of various beverages and glasses. It was clear that this evening was not purely about the food: it would be an opportunity to talk with other foodies and acknowledge that you were all eyeing up the large saucepan of chocolate melting on the stove. 114 FOOD STUFFED dates with goat?s cheese drizzled in chocolate. After some drinks, chit-chat and a lot of self-restraint, we were presented with a bowl of different types of chocolate and Jeremy talked us through the tasting. Needless to say this just whetted our appetites, and we soon were diving into the other tapas dishes. Some of our favourites included: Cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil with white chocolate pesto The pesto was simply stunning. The chocolate not only sweetened the flavour but added a smoothness that meant it could have been eaten by the spoonful without anything else. Butternut squash, red onion and feta, drizzled with chocolate Butternut squash and feta is simply one of the best flavour combinations that exists â€“ sweetness and tanginess rolled into one, but the chocolate brought these flavours out even more clearly on the tongue. Roasted peppers stuffed with ricotta, white chocolate, garlic and other secret ingredients ( see previous image) This could never fail as who could resist garlicky, cheesiness with a mild sweetness inside perfectly cooked peppers? Perhaps not surprisingly given that their event was attended by some serious chocolate lovers, but the star of the evening was the sweetest: dates stuffed with goatsâ€™ cheese, drizzled in chocolate. There is no way that words can do justice to the flavour experience but they almost dispelled the warm, sociable atmosphere as we snatched them off the plates in a desperate frenzy. 115 FOOD The chocolate raspberry and chocolate orange cocktails were equally praiseworthy. They provided the most intense chocolate flavour of the evening – warm, rich and too thick to gulp quickly, tempting though that was. We mingled whilst sipping these, and happily chatted among the embarrassingly numerous piles of discarded cocktail sticks, a testament to just how much everyone enjoyed the food. People stayed late and the question on their lips on leaving was what would be coming up next. Fortunately, there will be no-one suffering from chocolate withdrawal symptoms: Cocoa Kitchen have big ambitions for the future. As Annette explains, “We would like to regularly host events that gather inspiring and wonderful people, to create a cocoa community, where we share experiences and cool stuff. Practically speaking, we would like to challenge the limited the cooking presents us with, explore new ways of cooking, new ways of using chocolate in our everyday lives.” And who wouldn’t raise a chocolate cocktail to that? For more information and for future events, head to: http://www.cocoakitchen.com/ BUTTERNUT squash, red onion and feta, drizzled with chocolate 116 HAUNTED MAGAZINES, horror and damsels in distress, the perfect way to introduce the undead. 123 FILM Waking the Dead BY Charlie Djordjevic The theater darkens, the crowd grows silent. Those annoying kids two rows ahead of you pipe down and you hope you get your money's worth (you had to take out a bank loan to afford the tickets, the snacks and the drinks). The opening is almost always the same- a city somewhere. Usually a family, perhaps eating breakfast. A radio or tv is on, with vague snip-bits about waves of cannibals in far off lands or a strange sickness that is sweeping the nation. The frazzled mom (or, for those with a more feminist bent, dad), hustling kids out the door towards school. And then... well, anarchy! Escape the city! Find the safe zones! Sometimes a cure, sometimes only darkness. Close with a tv quoting Revelations or a sermon about the fitting punishment for our sins. Perhaps sitting in a junk yard, blurred and wavy- transmitting messages on auto-record from long dead people. Closing credits- maybe steal a kiss (though usually not) and you're on your way home. I am, of course, describing that oh so modern genre of pop culture- zombies. There are two things that are really interesting about zombie movies and, for that matter, the zombie mythology around them. The first is how new they are. The second is how much of an industry they have become. Video games, TV shows, action figures, movies, novels, the works. But where did the idea come from? And why are we so interested in them in the modern world? 124 FILM Zombies originated, as near as your humble author can tell, in the African Voodoo tradition and were carried to Haiti. But the first thing to notice is how different our zombie is from this traditional one. In contrast to things like vampires and werewolves, which have stalked the forests of Europe for at least 200 years (in some form, going much farther back) and ghosts and demons that have haunted mankind's imagination, and the shadowy neither realm of the subconscious, for as long as we've had stories to tell and ways to record them, our modern zombies are very new and very now. The traditional zombie most close to ours is, indeed, a resurrected dead person. But the traditional zombie is a slave of the bokor (roughly, a wizard or a witch). The re-animated corps is merely an extension of the will of this bokor; a mindless brute that more closely resembles not-to-distant robot servants than modern day zombies. The concept of zombie, when it made its first debut into the film going, novel reading public, was this traditional form of zombie. The Magic Island, a psudeo-anthropogy book written by William Seabrook (an amazingly interesting study in himself!) in 1929 made use for the first time of the word ‘zombie’. This film in turn inspired the movie “White Zombie,” a 1932 horror starring Bela Lugosi. The plot portrays a couple, about to be wed, encountering in Haiti a bokor, by whom they are enslaved, at the behest and request of a third party. The film received mixed reviews. From there, the traditional zombie concept was translated into the rather confusing “I Walked with a Zombie” (1943) and into comic books via the character Solomon Grundy in the 1944 “All-American Comics #61.” Grundy is an interesting figure in our tale because he has both a nearly uncontrollable urge to kill and no bokor whom he answers to. He is not totally mindless, however. As with so much else, the real transition- our missing link- is a novel that is neither quite a zombie novel nor quite not one. The 1954 film “I am Legend” is where this strange not-quite-zombie animal we've been seeking, first emerges onto the stage in something like its modern form. The plot of the accompanying book introduces the idea that the creatures (which the book calls vampires and which are, in several senses, closer to those undead than their zombie cousins) are caused by an infection. Said infection is spread by mosquitoes to both the living and the newly dead. These vampires-slash-zombies then roam the night seeking new victims. The modern zombie is, however, in many ways, the product of one man and one film. This man is George C. Romero and his film, the classic “Night of the Living Dead” (1968). It is here, in this work, that the modern zombie- soulless and mindless abomination that hunts the streets looking to feed on those around itcan be seen in its fully recognizable form. From this, Romero would produce “Dawn of the Dead” and “Day of the Dead” as well as some comics and other things involving his monstrosities. The cat was finally out of the bag and the modern zombie was born. 125 FILM This answers our question of where. But the deeper, and more interesting, question is why? What we find scary, what truly frightens us, are reflections of our own cultures, inverted images of what we hold dear and sacred. The black mass of the middle ages and the sex crazed sister vampires of Stoker's Dracula are all inversions of things those moments in history found sacrosanct. For a Victorian lady to read of such sexualized man-eaters (literally!) must have seemed both attractive and repulsive. In short, it was the stuff of horror. Zombies unlike vampires, are never sexual beings. The are always portrayed as deformed and decaying heaps of flesh held together by little more than a strange act of will-less will. This is the first thing to notice about them. Their other key attribute is their insatiable need to feed. They are always hungry, always seek more. And yet, zombies are dead. They have no need to eat; so why do they feed at all? What does this tell us about our moment in history? â€œWhat does this mirror of inverted horrors show us about ourselves?â€? 126 FILM Looking at our own time, we immediately notice two disturbing things : we are youth obsessed and we are driven by the need for more. How much money, time, and energy and how much waking thought, is spent on trying to look younger, trying to ward off the inevitable manifestations of the hands of time? We are told, over and over again, that being young is being beautiful, that the ravages of old age can be stopped and even reversed. Indeed, in a delightful bit of irony, the first “Resident Evil” (2002) movie explains the virus that gives rise to zombies was originally developed as a serum from the fountain of youth itself. It promised to give the users back the beauty and radiance of a long dead prime. To see what truly happens, to watch the naked decay of rotting flesh and the putrid bodies stumble across the screen, must strike us as horrifying. This image, this unvarnished and unkempt rot that we so desperately seek to ward off with the weapons of science and the magic of make-up, shows its inevitability and its true form. We are all rotting bags of flesh heading for the grave and zombies are an honest reminder. Our first bit of horror is here. And what of the need to consume? Well, do we really need new stuff? How much is too much? For every advance in income, for every raise, for every entry into a higher class, new tastes emerge that cater to it and put “real” happiness forever out of reach. The poor student may simply want enough for a meal out every now and a gain. In 2 years, the poor middle management drone that the student becomes will want just a bit more for a bigger apartment, etc. etc. etc. The rat race, as they call it, never really has a stopping point. So too with the zombies. They consume. But for no reason and towards no goal. The act of consumption is, itself, what drives them. Many works of French theory have been devoted to the logic behind this and so I won't go too far into it. I simply note, in passing, that we are told that happiness is consuming and acquiring. A zombie is this logic to its logical extremeit doesn't need to feed and yet its raison d'etre is feeding. Not for nourishment or sustenance, but merely for the sake of the act. An empty gesture from an undead thing- a parting gift from a soulless monster. Above all, an answerless questionwhy feed? Here is our second bit of horror. Thus, as only a world devout could fear the black mass and only a sexually repressed one could be terrorized by women vampires, only our world - our world so obsessed with youth and consumption- could create the zombie. True horror always negates what we most try to conceal. So too with our modern day demon - our zombie. 127 The End. For more stories visit us at : www.quillmagazine.co.uk Quill Magazine Issue One. November 2013. All rights reserved. The views expressed in Quill Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by Quill Magazine and its entire staff. All images in this issue fall within the terms of copyright or are part of the public domain as far as the publisher is aware and has been able to verify. 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