Issuu on Google+

Digital Love Can artificial lovers start competing with the real thing? ALN investigates See page 9

Big Ballet The Channel 4 show getting everyone up on their toes again See page 14

Friday 28 February 2014

Inside & online

Twinsters CSM student spots identical twin in Youtube video See page 3

US Invasion NFL glitz takes on rugby and cricket in the UK See page 23

All white on the night ALN investigates the controversy over the lack of ethnic minority models walking down the runways at this year’s London Fashion Week shows

Sports Extra

ALN meets futsal superstar Ricardinho

Cover photography by Bethe Dabbs/Andy Fyles/Hassan Nezamian/Mary Sommer/Arunima Rajkumar

Different strokes Tottenham comic tackles diversity in his routine See page 11


2 NEWS

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Sophie Smallshaw s.smallshaw@arts.ac.uk Almost a year since the publication of its investigative report That’s What She Said – women students’ experiences of ‘lad culture’ in higher education, the National Union of Students (NUS) returned to London for the NUS Lad Culture Summit. The event took place at London South Bank University and featured an array of speakers, including Laura Bates (founder of The Everyday Sexism Project), Girl Guiding UK and Lucy Holmes (founder of the No More Page Three campaign). From misogynistic jokes and ‘rape banter’ to pressures to engage in sexual behaviour and heavy drinking, the term ‘lad culture’ has gained significant attention over the past year as many students have flooded to sites such as Facebook and Twitter to report cases of campus sexism. Research by NUS found that 50 per cent of responding students had identified “prevailing sexism, ‘laddism’ and a culture of harassment” at their universities. Opening the event NUS Women’s Officer Kelley Temple emphasised that ‘lad culture’ disrupts the education of both female and male students and is a “real issue on campuses”.

Temple told the attendees: “ You have the power to make real change on your campus on this issue. More people are seeing it as their responsibility that we have a campus atmosphere that is good for everyone.” She called for a “zero tolerance to sexual harassment, advertising campaigns and rules around training sports captains. We need to change democratic structures to guarantee women are represented at university and in unions.” Bates, whose Everyday Sexism website allows readers a platform to share stories of sexism, addressed the audience with some examples of extreme cases of lad culture at play including: “A circulated email encouraging students in Oxford to ‘spike a female fresher’s drinks’,” and “a student club night in Leeds releasing a promotional video that encouraged students to ‘rape a fresher‘.” Bates also noted that Freshers’ Week in particular is when sexism is most present and tolerated at student events. “The idea of banter is a very clever way of silencing the problem; it’s much harder to protest against sexism and rape culture. It’s a veil that lets people hide,” Bates explained. Students and graduates flooded to Twitter to show support for the summit and discuss the rise in ‘lad culture’.

Content News

2-5

Rising numbers of graduates avoid

Photo by Tom Setterfield

NUS holds summit to tackle ‘lad culture’

Lad culture is often used as a veil to disguise more serious mysognyistic and abusive behaviour University of London graduate and ULU Women’s Officer Susuana Antubam tweeted: “Universities are often more concerned about their reputation than the welfare of affected students. This needs to change.” Colum McGuire, current NUS vice-president and University of Kent graduate, also expressed the importance of male participation, tweeting:

“Men are affected by lad culture too. The solution is feminism. That’s why I work with, listen to, and am led by women.” Whilst speakers and participants at the summit drew a noticeably larger female gathering, both the NUS and Bates have made it clear that the fight against campus sexism is a united battle, with Bates also noting that not all

victims of ‘lad culture’ are female, and that not all those involved are male. “ Be t he per son who speak s up about consent. Be the male student who stands up to his peers. Be the bystander who steps in and helps the victim. Be the friend who supports the rape victim. We can change this, but we have to do it together,” advised Bates.

Comment

repaying student loans (Page 5)

7

The issue of racism in fashion modelling (Page 7)

Feature

8-9

Profile

11

ALN looks at the weird world of virtual romance (Page 9) Comedian Inel Tomlinson wants to break the mould (Page 11)

Feature

12-13

ALN meets the Lovely Letters author

Lifestyle

14-16

Nudity on television (Page 16)

Arts London Voices

17 MAs: Invaluable or a waste of time and money?

Reviews

18-19

Previews

21

ALN visit a new cocktail bar that won’t leave you hungover (Page 19) Documentary looks at Gurkha selection process

Sports feature

22-23

Sports reports

24

How Gridiron is winning over British sports fans (Page 22) Arts rugby ease past City

Contact Email your comments to aln.editorial@gmail.com or write to: The Editor, Arts London News, London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SB. Published by the London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SB. Printed by News International Newspapers, London E98 1TH. Arts London News is produced by students at the London College of Communication. Any claims or views expressed within the newspaper do not necessarily represent

the views of the London College of Communication or the University of the Arts, London. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in whole or in part form or medium without prior written permission other than in accordance with the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.

Human contact may soon be unnecessary, but kindness can’t be faked

Photo by Bethe Dabbs

News feature

ALN Print Editor Sarah Lafer

O

ne of our biggest stories this week is about Jodi Ann Bickley,

a young woman who got infected with encephalitis about two years ago (see pages 12&13). This rare but very serious inflammation of the brain has changed her life completely, but Jodi has found a way of helping herself by helping others.

She set up a website called One Million Lovely Letters and sends out warm messages to people who need them or who are just happy to hear an encouraging word every now and then. It is always nice to hear someone telling us how great we are, isn’t it? Jodi is an example of how important it is to interact with others. We are not meant to be alone in this world, but to be with people we love, get along with and care about. Feelings and emotions, no matter of what sort, are what makes our lives worth living. This leads me straight to another topic covered in this issue: the science of love (see page 9). With Spike Jonze’s film Her in cinemas now, the concept of love has been taken to a whole new level: a man falls in love with his computer. The phenomenon is not exactly new, but the storyline is definitely different to most other films out there. Her is a work of fiction, but I am sure that technology will soon be advanced enough to behave very similar to humans. Computers are already smarter than we are in many ways: they have access to all the data on the internet, they don’t forget and they solve problems within seconds.

But I always thought that the one thing computers couldn’t do was to have emotions. How strange would it be to have your laptop not ‘talking’ to you because you hurt its feelings? Or to have a romantic relationship with it? On the one hand, it would (or probably will) be an enormous and incredible step for humanity to make something like that possible. On the other hand, however, this thought is really scary: If computers are cleverer than us and have feelings like us, will they not soon out-smart us completely? How will we deal with these devices, knowing they are superior to us in so many ways, and also potentially immortal? Will we still aim to love other humans with all their imperfections? These thoughts raise some serious questions about our existence. I hope the articles in this paper will make you think about your life and encourage you to find some answers for yourself. And finally, this is the last edition of Arts London News for this term. Speaking on behalf of the whole team, I hope you enjoyed reading the news and features, which hopefully made you aware of some of the important issues happening around you, and helped you form opinions about them. We’re all off now to finish our dissertations, so good luck for the rest of the year!

Sarah Lafer s.lafer@arts.ac.uk


NEWS 3

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

CSM student finds lost twin on YouTube

Student unions protest over international costs

Danil Boparai d.boparai@arts.ac.uk

Photo courtesy of Facebook: Twinsters

A Central Saint Martins student has become one half of an internet sensation after a DNA test proved that she had, through social media, found the long lost twin sister she never knew existed. BA Fashion Design student Anaïs Bordier, 26, who grew up in France, first spotted her New Jersey-raised twin sister Samantha Futerman, now a Hollywood actress, when she clicked on a YouTube video entitled How It Feels to be Adopted…I Am Sam. She saw someone on the screen who looked identical to her, telling viewers about the difficulties of living in an adoptive family. The girl in the video said: “I was born in Korea and four months later I arrived at JFK airport, where apparently all babies don’t come from … and I met my family for the first time.” Bordier subsequently found Futerman on Facebook, and sent her an inquisitive message that read: “My name is Anaïs, I’m French and live in

Long-lost twins Anaïs Bordier and Samantha Futerman get re-acquainted London…About two months ago, my friend was watching one of your videos … and he saw you and thought that we looked really similar. So, I don’t want to be too Lindsay Lohan but I was wondering where you were born?” After exchanging messages, looking at photos of each other, and various Skype calls, there were too many simi-

Universities risk a “marking boycott” if pay disputes are not resolved between themselves and their staff members within the next two months. University and College Union (UCU) publicly announced intentions to stage a boycott from April 28 unless universities agree to negotiate a pay rise for staff, and stated that it would be the first boycott enforced since 2006. However, they are willing to reconsider the boycott if talks between universities and the Colleges Employers Association are to continue. According to UCU, a pay rise of one per cent has been offered, which they say would mean a pay cut of 13 per cent since 2009. Meanwhile, vice chancellors of higher education institutions are currently earning annual salaries as high as £250,000, and have been awarded an average five per cent pay rise in the past year. UCU’s General Secretary Sally Hunt said of the decision: “I fail to see how any university can claim to have students’ best interests at heart if it is not pushing for talks with the union to resolve this dispute. “The strong support for our action so far demonstrates how angry staff are at the hypocrisy over pay in our universities. The employers cannot plead poverty when it comes to staff pay and then award enormous rises to

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Selena Sheridan

Tutors threaten marking boycott Katherine Jackson k.jackson1@arts.ac.uk

News In Brief

a handful at the top,” added Hunt. The boycott could affect everything from exams and coursework being marked, to feedback on the year’s work. Melissa Cross, a third year UAL Graphic Design student, said that she fully supports the decision to boycott, despite the effect that it may have on her receiving her results later this year. “It makes me really angry that there is such a wide disparity between the chancellors’ and the lecturer’s salaries. Universities should always strive to be fair and I think more equal pay amongst staff should definitely be supported. “Teaching is one of the hardest and most challenging professions in this country and that deserves to be recognised and awarded accordingly,” stated Cross. The union are calling the boycott the “ultimate sanction” for the refusal to negotiate a pay increase, and hope that the threat of student’s being unable to graduate will be enough to encourage change.

larities for the self dubbed “Twinsters” to ignore. Both were born on November 19 ,1987 in Busan, South Korea, and had been adopted through the same agency. The pair have since met up with each other four times in the past year in London, Los Angeles and Manhattan. They have now started a Kickstarter

campaign – which has raised $83,000 of their $80,000 goal – to fund a documentary that they had been filming in the lead up to the DNA results. The sisters told ABC News that finding each other was akin to “that feeling on Christmas when you open up the presents; the one you were asking for. It’s that pure feeling of joy – that’s how it always feels.”

CSM grads in running for prestigious design prize Danil Boparai d.boparai@arts.ac.uk The list of semi-fi nalists for the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) Young Fashion Designer Award includes 12 graduates from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. Out of over 1,200 applicants, the 12 alumni to make it to the final 30 selected by a committee of LVMH employees are: - BA Fashion graduate Ostwald Helgason - MA Fashion graduates Simone R o c h a , T h o m a s Ta i t , M a r q u e s Almeida, Jackie Lee and Hellen van Rees - BA and MA Fashion graduates Meadham Kirchhoff, Kathleen Kye, Christopher Kane, Craig Green, Christopher Shannon and Yang Li. The competition is in its first year and was open to any designer under the age of 40 who had presented and sold at least two women’s or men’s ready-to-wear collections. Delphine Arnault, who is second in command at Louis Vuitton, told Women’s Wear Daily: “It was really hard to do a shortlist of 30. I was really amazed at the number of applicants and the quality of the dossiers we received.” The winner of the prize will receive €300,000 as well as support from a special LVMH team to develop their label for a whole year. Arnault, who is also head of the competition, said the prize “has been created to support promising young

fashion designers. Our goal is clearly to energise the vitality and creativity of the fashion world on a global scale. As a leader in our industry, we have a responsibility to discover young talents and to help them flourish.” Canadian designer Thomas Tait, who specialised in womenswear at CSM, told ALN: “I’m of course ecstatic to be selected as one of the 30 designers. It is a competition so tension is high, but to be completely honest, I just feel lucky to involved and have the opportunity to meet all of the incredible experts who sit on the judging panel.” He added: “It’s also LVMH, so I can already tell that we will be very well taken care of during the process. My business could defi nitely use the support, but then again almost all young brands need help these days. It’s a tough business and an even tougher economy, so LVMH could not have chosen a better time to create this wonderful opportunity.” LMVH have flown the 30 semi-finalists to Paris to showcase eight looks from their latest collections. They will meet 40 well-known figures from retail and fashion publishing, and the group will then be whittled down to ten finalists. In May, the remaining ten will make presentations in front of a jury, including industry-leading designers Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Raf Simons, Phoebe Philo and Riccardo Tisci. Professor Louise Wilson OBE, the Director of MA Fashion at Central Saint Martins, will also be among the decision makers.

Over 180 student unions from across t he UK have signed an open letter to vice-chancellors and universities, calling on them to fix international students’ fees for the duration of their courses. The campaign was launched by the National Union of Students (NUS): “These increases in fees are unfair, and exploit international students. They put the academic success of many internat ional students at risk each year.” Research from the NUS showed that over half of universities do not provide international students with details of their fees for the duration of the course.

Oxford don criticised over dress comment Oxford classics professor Robin Lane Fox has come under fire for claiming that “a woman’s evening dress should look like an apparently stormable fortress.” The comment, which was made in a gardening column reviewing an exhibition examining the links b et we e n c l ot h i n g t re n d s a n d gardening for The Financial Times, has been criticised for being sexist. The Daily Mail reported that Lane Fox claimed he had been referring to a quote made by the famous designer Alice Rawsthorn. But, speaking to The Independent, Ms Rawsthorn said the credit was incorrect: “I have no idea why Robin Lane Fox attributed the phrase to me, as I did not write it. Nor do I know who did.” In the same column, Lane Fox also claimed that being a woman would be his “worst nightmare”.

A fifth of UK jobs require only primary education A study found that 22% of UK jobs demanded only primar y education, against less than 5 per cent in Germany and Sweden. The Char tered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said that 30 per cent of workers were overqualified for their jobs, and there were far fewer graduate jobs than graduates, “meaning that too many people’s skills are being under-utilised in the economy.” The institute said businesses had been given conflicting messages by successive governments which had “encouraged businesses down the low road of competition based on low cost, while also exhorting businesses to take the high road of innovation, efficiency and higher skills”. It said the issues were “major factors in the UK’s poor productivity levels.”


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NEWS 5

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Matteo Besana m.besana1@arts.ac.uk More than 70 protesters, including students and lecturers, have been killed during protests in the Ukrainian capital Kiev following the recent political uprising. The ongoing demonstrations began in November 2013 and saw students walk out of universities and march through the city to join several thousand other protesters calling for the Ukrainian president to resign. The revolution was sparked by President Viktor Yanukovich’s EU ‘U-turn’, in which he rejected an agreement for greater integration with the European Union and instead accepted the offer of a $15 billion ‘bailout’ from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Paul Vickers, a British lecturer and pro-European blogger who teaches at the university of Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine, spoke about his involvement with the Ukrainian movement: “My first ‘action’ was to write to

my students to explain to them that these protests were likely to escalate and define the fate of their generation. They would thus be free from any classes if they wanted to participate in protests on any side.” He added: “When the first protests started in Ivano-Frankivsk, the day after the decision not to sign the EU Association Agreement, I was among t h e c rowd e a c h d ay l i s te n i n g to speeches, presentations etc. “With my wife, we called the fire brigade when the Security Service building was set on fire in the city. We also tried negotiating with masked youths throwing Molotov cocktails.” H owe ve r, t h e d e m o n s t r a t i o n s have been fraught with violence and Ukraine is now lamenting the death of protesters such as Bohdan Solchanyk, a 29-year-old lecturer at Ukrainian Catholic University, who was killed in Independence Square in Kiev on February 20. On the previous day, one Ukrainian student, @Mira_mp, had tweeted:

“I held a dying guy in my hands: his head and belly were shot through. I will never forget this night.” Oleg Akhtyrskyi, the Kiev representative for the Oxford University Ukraine Society, said: “The past few months have changed us all. It was the first bloodshed in the modern history of Ukraine. Not everyone supported the protesters, but I am confident that no one was indifferent.” Sofiya Kvasha, a Ukrainian student who lives in Kiev and studied journalism at London College of Communication, spoke to Arts London News about the growing feeling of disillusionment with regards to Ukrainian politics: “Some people are still on the barricades and not too hurried to break them down, as the level of belief in the politicians is low.” Kvasha, who had to move out of her flat in central Kiev for security reasons, thinks that even if the pro-Russian government is out of the picture, the future for Ukraine is still very uncertain. She added: “It can’t be

Photo courtesy of Flickr: Sasha Maksymenko

Students die in Ukraine protests

Destruction and bloodshed continue in Ukraine worse than [the] Yanukovich government, though its too chaotic now and absolutely impossible to make any adequate conclusion. However, ideologically I feel this change is positive.” Though supposedly ousted in a coup, Yanukovich is still refusing to step down and is thought to have

sought refuge in the Russian-speaking eastern part the country. Vickers concluded: “What will be forgotten in the history books is how everyday life carried on even while people were being shot, buildings were burning, and the president was escaping.”

Grads avoiding loan debts ‘Risk-takers’ win

Photo by Francis Wilmer

Almost half of all student debt owed in the UK will never be paid back as students continue to find ways to avoid the Student Loans Company (SLC) A report by the Public Accounts Committee says that the SLC have no information on almost 370,000 students that should be repaying their loans, and neither SLC or the government are doing much to investigate the matter. I n a d d it i o n , m o r e t h a n t h r e e quarters of overdue payments from students living abroad have now been outstanding for over a year. The government is said to have no strategy to recover the money. Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs the committee, said that authorities are “in the dark” about whether these loans will ever be paid back, adding that former students had simply “slipped out of contact”.

She added: “(SLC) knows very little about British graduates who live abroad or about graduates from the EU who have since left the country. Will they ever pay back their loans? The Student Loans Company simply doesn’t know.” The Government estimates that the total amount of unpaid student loans will create an astonishing £80 billion black hole in the UK’s budget by 2042, but the PAC says that even this is an underestimation. “We don’t have confidence in those figures,” Hodge said. “We think that the value of student loans never to be repaid could be even higher – because the Government consistently overestimates what’s due to be repaid by some eight per cent.” The report recommends that the Gover nment and SLC must show “more rigour” in collecting debts from students, claiming that the current approach “just isn’t tough enough.” The Government has also been told

Almost half of all student debt owed in the UK may never be paid back

to share data between departments in order to track down borrowers, including information from health records and welfare offices. But regardless of how tough SLC gets on evasive borrowers, students who are willing to repay may never earn enough to do so. UAL students from the UK and EU currently borrow £9,000 a year to cover their tuition fees, but are only made to repay once they are earning an annual salary of £21,000 or more. One student who wished to remain anonymous told ALN: “I plan to be abroad a lot. To be honest, I’d be surprised if I end up in a position where Student Finance sees any of t his money back in their pockets. I’ve been ripped off big style.” Joanna Penso, who studies BA Fine Art at Chelsea, believes it will be years before she has to even think about repayment. “It’s such an impossible amount of money,” Penso said. “I can’t see it happening for at least 10 to 15 years after I graduate. That’s if I do eventually start earning enough money to start paying back my loan. Doing a fine art course and aiming to be an artist is not a very clear path.” But according to NUS Vice-President Rachel Wenstone, students will still end up forking out one way or another. She said: “Graduates now stand to pay back twice, through their student loan repayments and as taxpayers confronting the spiralling costs of this ill-considered scheme. “Forcing debt onto students as a way of paying for universities is an experiment that has well and truly failed. We now need to see serious thought about moving the system away from this unsustainable funding burden,” she added.

funding for films

Edwige Dubois e.dubois1@arts.ac.uk The 10 winners of the Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Artist Moving Image Film Fund (CCW AMI) have been announced and will have their video work screened at the South London Gallery. E a c h s t u d e n t w i l l b e awa rd e d £500 to create a single screen work t hat ref lects a shif t in his or her own practice. Edward Webb-Ingall, who organised the moving image initiative and runs film workshops at Chelsea College, told ALN: “What stood out for us were people taking risks, people engaging in interesting collaborations, and using the fund and the initiative as a chance to push themselves.” The winners of the award are: Milo Creese, Aylish Browning, Benjamin Dawton, Thomas Ellmer, Sylvie Macmillan, Julian Buchan, Giacomo Raffaelli, Benjamin Whitley, Natsumi Sakamoto and Sam Burford. Raffaelli, a third year photography student, describes the project as an opportunity to “open up the prospect of your audience. At least, you are going out of the safer and protected environment of the studio.” According to Whitley, the initiative has “a high sense of professionalism” and he will use the fund “to build a proper set and work with models”. “[The fund] allows you to be a lot more creative and actually realise what you have got in your head to the extent you want to do it,” he added. Sakamoto, a MA Fine Art student and the only winner from Chelsea

Photo by Francis Wilmer

Callum McCarthy c.mccarthy2@arts.ac.uk

Winners Raffaelli (left) and Whitley College, explained that the fund helped her to materialise an idea she had been developing for a few years while she was still in Japan. Her piece Unforgettable Landscape is an interview-based video that explores the mythical stories of the Rowan Tree. “I will use the funding for the travel fees, because I spend a lot of money on coming and going from Scotland to here and for filming equipment as well,” she said. The awarded students will also benefit from a mentoring session by a member of staff from the international arts agency LUX, that specialises in professional practise and supports artists who work with the moving image. Gil Leung, the head of programme at LUX, explained that the development session will approach the questions such as “how to professionally position their practice – issues like what formats to work with and budgeting for future work”. She added: “It provides a way to look at professional practise while artists are still in education because in a lot of arts schools that area is not covered so much.”


NEWS FEATURE 7

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

When will black be the new white? ALN’s Phoebe White digs into one of fashion’s unspoken realities: the catwalk remains a predominently white environment where the desire for uniformity is at odds with creativity and diversity

T

Initiative Catwalk diversity is becoming a high profile issue and is being raised at fashion weeks all over the world, with famous models choosing to speak out against the apparent discrimination. British model Jourdan Dunn recently stated: “Girls get cancelled last minute all the time but at least it wasn’t because of my skin tone. Which I often get in Paris.” Dunn’s comment followed the launch of the ‘Diversity Coalition,’ founded by fashion veterans and activists including Bethann Hardison, Naomi Campbell and Iman Abdulmajid. The initiative was launched last October with an open letter criticising the fashion industry for its reluctance to use non-white models. The letter said: “Eyes are on an industry that season after season watches fashion design houses consistently use one or no models of colour.”

Photo by Christopher Dadey

he debate about the lack of ethnic models seen in fashion shows has been intensified by this year’s London Fashion Week, where once again the catwalks were dominated by white models. Analysis by Arts London News shows that 84 per cent of the runway models at February’s LFW were white. The British Fashion Council (BFC) has praised labels such as Topshop, Unique, Burberry and Tom Ford, whose shows all featured women of various nationalities, and shunned the idea of ‘runway racism’. The BFC’s stated: “We strongly assert that all participating designers – whether they sit at the helm of global brands or have small independent labels – should recognise that London is one of the most multicultural cities in the world and should consider reflecting this demographic over their advertising collateral, at their shows and at their presentations.” However they admitted that as “the BFC are not directly responsible for casting, it’s impossible to say how much of this messaging is being realised.” White models dominate on the catwalk at most shows The letter mentioned designers that they felt have been particularly averse to diversity on the runway; JW Anderson, Mulberry, Preen and Alexander McQueen were just a few of the designers listed.

Diversity However, before his death in 2010, Alexander McQueen had been vocal about the fashion industry’s tendencies towards racism, stating: “I want to be honest about the world that we live in, and sometimes my political persuasions come through in my work. Fashion can be really racist – that’s mundane and it’s old hat. Let’s break down some barriers.” American women’s lifestyle blog Jezebel has made it their mission to observe the amount of ethnic faces seen on the catwalks of New York Fashion Week, where racial discrimination is said to be worse, year after year. In the aftermath of New York Fashion Week, which precedes its London counterpart, the blog declared: “model racial diversity has not improved” and showed that only 9.75 per cent of the models to walk at NYFW were black, 7.67 per cent of models were Asian and 2.12 per cent were Hispanic.

Photo courtesy of Felder Felder

Analysis

Black models remain rare

ALN followed Jezebel’s example and analysed seven of the main show packs for LFW Autumn/ Winter 2014; these packs are sent out to designers from agencies with the models suggested to use for their shows during Fashion Week. We analysed the packs for IMG, Storm, Elite, Models 1, Next, Premier and Select, where we found that only 68 out of 435 girls put forward to the fashion houses were black, Asian or Hispanic. This means that 15.6 per cent of the girls proposed for the catwalk at this season’s London Fashion Week were from an ethnic minority in comparison to Autumn/Winter 2013, where the same agencies only suggested 13.8 per cent of girls that were not white. While the small increase in the amount of

models put forward for this season’s shows is hopeful, the industry is still predominantly white, continuing to disconnect itself from society today. These figures support McQueen’s views that there is a disturbing side to the British fashion industry; only a small proportion of girls embody the diversity that Britain is well known for, and in some cases ethnic diversity can be a profitable game. More often than not, designers will use Asian women to appeal to the profitable Chinese market, branding and using cultural identity as commodity.

Ethnic minorities should be seen in fashion constantly, not just as a trend now and then

Chloe Watson Experiences Chloe Watson, a student at LCC and a model represented by Storm Model Management, said she can see some people are chosen over others: “Stylists and directors want the girls to look very uniform. It’s very narrow-minded because they have a vision. I’ve been at a show before where the hairstylists have had no direction on how to style the girls with Afro hair to fit with the uniform look of the show – it can make models feel very singled out.” She continued: “I think it’s a shame because they only use girls from ethnic minorities when it’s trendy. For example, last year Asian girls were in high demand. Ethnic minorities should be seen in fashion constantly, not just as a trend now and then.” However, male model Kevin Vedina has mixed feelings about his experiences with racism in fashion and believes it’s not always about the

colour of your skin. “Sometimes it work s for you, sometimes against you. Although I am finding in the male model scene there is beginning to be a bit more of a demand for black models from clients. But even then, it’s very hard to try and break through. Clients often don’t think about black or white; if you don’t have the look they want at the time then they won’t have you,” he said. LCC journalism student Julliet Atto who attended this season’s London Fashion Week, said:“I only saw a couple of fashion shows this year and from what I saw it hasn’t gotten any better. “It has to be equal opportunity and there isn’t any. But the fact that people are talking about it is a start and I love what Naomi and Iman did with mentioning names and holding designers accountable. That’s the only way forward,” she added.

Harmful Sarah Bunter, a casting director who has worked on campaigns for Topshop and Whistles, also spoke out about the discrimination she has witnessed and said designers are unsure about hiring black and ethnic models as they believe they are “too extreme” and “their features don’t fit”. Cameron Flynn, a BA Magazine Publishing student at LCC, held a similar view, adding: “Advertisers think ethereal, alien, white women are what we want to see. It is crazy because it actually does not represent society at all.” He continued: “Labels have a vision and don’t want it representing normality. People with a skin tone that isn’t white can often be regarded as not the ‘look’ the designer wants. It can be very harmful to people who admire the women on the catwalks today.” These stories of models being sent away from castings because “they already have a black girl” is something all too familiar for many young women in the industry, and the fight for models to be seen as more than just a statement or a trend goes on as the £21 billion a year fashion industry continues to grow.


8

FEATURE

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Photo by Bethe Dabbs

The art of science

DesignMatters aims to incorporate exhibitions, a website and a publication which Morrow hopes will grow into a community of creatives

Former LCF student Fay Morrow talks to Catherine Van De Stouwe about her new project, called designMatters, which aims to promote the fundamental connections between art, design and science

A

rt. Design. Science. At a quick glance, art and design are not frequently associated with the sciences. However, scratch away at the surface and the three are inherently linked. Without art there is no design and with no design, science would not be as advanced as it is today. Founder of designMatters, Fay Morrow, is aiming to show the communication between art, design and science, predicting that the cuts to government funding for the Arts will have bigger consequences than having fewer Art degrees available, something that Morrow has already witnessed when applying for her degree. “I’d put things on my UCAS form then the next day they wouldn’t be there. The universities simply didn’t have the funding to run those courses any more,” she said. “It frustrates me that art and design is seen as something that is just an added extra in the world when it’s not. Everything has to be designed.” Morrow is currently finishing her final year in BA Fashion, Promotion and Imaging at the University for the Creative Arts in Epsom (UCA) where, for her final project, she has created designMatters. “I’ve always had an interest in science anyway. Drawing parallels between the two came quite naturally to me. It started off as a magazine and as I was rolling it out I thought ‘I’ll set up a Twitter.’ All of a sudden people messaged me wanting to be involved, inviting me to this thing and that. It is really exciting.”

Created to emphasise how important art and design are to developing scientific theory, designMatters aims to provide a regular publication with profiles and a catalogue of the exhibitions that Morrow is setting her sights on to show case artists specialising in scientific art. Her first show is set to be at the end of March in Brick Lane and artists are already lining up: “I’ve got a girl on my course, Sophie Lobban, who is doing an amazing visualisation of exoplanets. “Exoplanets are planets [outside] the solar system that we haven’t yet been able to get visual data of. There is a lot of written data [and] its very academic but the visualisations are not very creative. She’s collecting all the data that she can about these planets and then using her creative side to visualise what they would look like.” Morrow is also in talks with an MA Arts and Science graduate from CSM. Started in 2011, the course, according to the UAL website, “investigates the creative relationships between art and science and how to communicate them”. An inspiration behind the creation of designMatters is artist, Agi Haines, who Morrow met at a talk Haines gave at Selfridges’ Festival of Imag-

ination in January 2014. Using a bio-printer - similar to a 3D printer - Haines layers up cells and DNA to create working human organs. Morrow explains: “Her work epitomises the concept that I am trying to get across. [Haines is] someone who comes from a design background, but is using her design skills to create ideas that could potentially help to evolve the human form in the future. It’s all about forced evolution and how we improve on our organs to overcome certain health issues or environmental issues...She’s exploring t he potential to c reate a new organ that would sit wit hin t he human body but would increase its ability. For her exhibitions she puts all the organs out on silver trays as if they are ready for surgery, but she labels them so neatly so you can see she’s a graphic designer.” Now in full swing, the designMatters website and blog, becausedesignmatters.co.uk, is aiming to be a community for creatives who share the same thoughts as Morrow. She said: “I’d like it to grow into something that people really take an interest in and [want] be involved in…a community of creative people that are really, really, pushing the point [that sci-

I’ve never done anything on this scale before. It’s terrifying but exciting as well

ence needs art].” Launched on February 17, the website has inter views and demonstrations from bot h designers and illustrators. From DNA Tarot Card Readers by Superflux to the creation of mini-environments by Simon Park, the link between art, design and science becomes very clear. With the publication and exhibition in the not too distant future, Morrow has a lot of work to do: “I’ve never done anything on this scale before. It’s terrifying but exciting as well.” Morrow credits being able to take on the task of designMatters, with her time at LCF, where she completed an Access to Higher Education course in Fashion, Media and Communication in 2011: “LCF was an amazing experience. The nature of that course gave me an amazing work ethic – because you didn’t have any other choice; it’s just immersive. You’re absolutely in that environment and that helped me get a solid foundation in a lot of different areas.” With strong foundations from LCF and UCA, there is no reason why designMatters should not excel. With an exhibition already on the cards, Morrow is off to a good start, emphasising a matter that changes not only science, but is key to advances in medicine and technology. “It doesn’t matter who you are, what background you come from, or what industry you are in. [Art and design] are things that affect every single person.” Follow @_designmatters on Twitter or go to www.becausedesignmatters.co.uk


FEATURE 9

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Rise of the risqué robots L

ove has often been compared to a drug - you’re drunk, high or addicted to love. It has the capacity to create feelings of intoxication, sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat, a strange - but not unpleasant - knot in the stomach, along with a feeling of uncontrollable happiness and delusional belief, perhaps even dilated pupils, to name a few. It’s a shame no one deals in it - just imagine ordering two grams of second date euphoria, three grams of third year opiate. It could be like a summer of love all over again. Some people believe love is down to some uncontrollable force of nature – the truth is love is more at home in a science lab than the big, loving world. Falling in love is a biochemical process, which can be tracked by looking at changing activity in the brain, where it shows similarities to going mildly insane. Studies show that in the first stages of love, serotonin levels plummet and the brain’s reward centres are flooded with dopamine, giving us a high similar to an addictive drug. While you may believe you go about selecting your mates with calculated control, our initial attraction to someone is partly informed by our genetic make up and hormonal balance. We may be attracted to a certain person because t h e i r g e n e s c o mp l i ments our own, while we’re hardwired to be drawn to those who look and smell more like our families. Eau de father, anyone? The much anticipated Sci-Fi romance Her, by director Spike Jonze, tells the story of a lonely writer who falls in love with a highly advanced operating system which is intuitive to the individual needs of its user. The artificial intelligence system, OS1, is called Samantha and voiced by Scarlet Johansson, who has the sultry sort of voice Apple would employ - if they ever get as far as virtual people - and which men would be bound to fall in love with. This of course brings up some existential questions about what it means to be human and the possibility of human-machine relationships as technology becomes increasingly advanced. Scientist David Levy, an expert on scientific intelligence, has predicted that by 2050 the technology will have advanced to a point where

humans will have sex, fall in love, and marry robots. Google recently announced it has paid £400 million for a British artificial intelligence firm that aims to “develop computers that think like humans”, which make Jonze’s recent release seem less of a vision of a dystopian future and more like an exploration of where we are heading in the not-so-far-flung future. We already have sex dolls - currently only available in female vesion, ladies – and for about $9,000 you can cuddle up to ‘Roxxy’, the world’s first sex robot. But could we fall in love with machines? In the absence of hormones, smells and genetics could robots entice romantic feelings, despite the fact they are devoid of any evolutionary purpose. This has not stopped a man from Japan from marrying an avatar from the digital dating stimulator, Love Plus, named SAL9000, while many ‘iDollators’, as they call themselves, see their dolls as life partners as well as sex toys. There are already indications that some people are retreating into virtual relationships, preferring the tidy continuum of a machine program to the messy and unpredictable nature of human affairs. It’s the perfect solution for people with problems surrounding intimacy, commitment and control. With humans increasingly able to satisfy t heir sexual desires independent ly, aided by porn, phone sex, Skype sex and increasingly lifelike sex-bots, technology is beginning to fill the hole - no pun intended - left by dwindling human contact. If we can satisfactorily fulfil all sexual urges with machines that do not get headaches or complain about your intimate shortcomings, would some people stop seeking human relations all together? A survey conducted in Japan in 2008, and another in 2010, indicated that the Japanese famously at the forefront of technological innovation and control - are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with flesh-on-flesh contact. 36.1 per cent of males aged 16-19 reported that they had an outright aversion to sex with another person, while some participants said that sex with another person was a bother, or that they preferred anime characters to the fleshy imperfection of another being. Others commented that

Our young digital natives may be becoming alienated from the reality of sex, with its smells and secretions

Photo by Benjamin Bishop

With the release of Spike Jonze’s Her, Dorothy Spencer examines the ins and outs of virtual love

Growing numbers now find satisfying their needs through technology to be far more convenient online sex is less unpleasant than worldly sexual contact, in a sign that our young digital natives may be becoming alienated from the reality of sex, with its smells and secretions. There are evident upsides for some people’s preference for virtual relationships, since your virtual partner can’t snog your best mate, tell you they don’t love you anymore or break your heart. You’d never have the fear of loss as practically all machines can live until we decide to disconnect them. However, love with another human being is always going to be a gamble, but gambling is exciting. While we may be capable of having superficial relationships with machines, would we ever be able to achieve the level of depth that comes from spending our lives with another human being who stays with us because they want to, who argues and gets old and wrinkly. In the latter stages of a relationship the hormones, oxytocin - important for bonding - and vasopression kick in, these appear to be responsible for feelings of trust and connection. Roxxy can’t produce these hormones, of course. Well, not yet.

Her can be seen as an indictment of our growing dependency on technology as a form of escapism, a relationship that is becoming increasingly life-like and intimate. Our iPhones accompany us to bed, are capable of tracking our sleep quality and even rating our sexual performance, based on noise levels and movement - really not the most reliable indicator. Robots are already being developed as therapeutic tools to serve as companions for people suffering with emotional trauma, and children with undeveloped social skills. Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology who has written extensively on artificial intelligence, believes: “It will be a while before we can have with computers, the kind of complex emotional relationship we have with other people, but I imagine people having one-night stands with androids will happen a lot sooner.” There may well come a time when we are able to create machines that we are capable of forming emotional bonds with. At least once they’ve turned you on you can always turn them off again, avoiding the awkward morning-after.


FEATURE 11

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Photo by Francis Wilmer

Diversity’s comic crusader

Tomlinson’s time as a teacher informs his CBBC comedy show The Johnny & Inel Show

ALN’s Juliet Atto meets Inel Tomlinson, a teacher-turned-comedian from Tottenham who is shaking up the entertainment industry from the inside through his passion for diversity and equality

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etting paid to make people laugh seems like the ultimate job. London native Inel Tomlinson, 29, travels the country on a regular basis with his own show and his own comedy night to do just that - get paid to make people laugh. With performances at Reading and Leeds Festival, Latitude Festival and many other prestigious events and clubs, he has already built up a great name for himself. Being a comedian was something he fell into, but he recalls growing up in the tough north London area of Tottenham and how being funny was his escape. “It’s a tough place to come from. So being a funny guy kept me from trouble and kept me from being bullied and stopped me from bullying people, I suppose,” Tomlinson says. After realising that entertaining people was what he was good at, he decided to study drama and theatre studies at Middlesex University. He graduated in 2006 and went on to qualify as a teacher after studying at the Central School of Speech and Drama. For a year he juggled a teaching job and stand-up, but when his career on the mic took off, he decided that it was time to drop the books. “This is what I’d rather do than teach some kids,” he said, laughing. With seven years as a stand up under his belt, Tomlinson has seen a lot of comedy and been to many different clubs. However, not agreeing with the mainly segregated clubs of today, Tomlinson, along with his childhood friend, director and photographer, Richard Wilson, decided to start their own comedy night four years ago called Kinetic Comedy.

“We wanted to bring audiences from all walks of life together and see if everybody could laugh at the same thing. We found out that they can.” Their concept of bringing people together from all races and places seems to be working as they have already sold out their first two nights. “Our thing is that it’s got to be a full crowd, it’s got to be energetic. It’s a comedy club you want to go to and look forward to,” he said. “It’s not just a night of laughs, but a proper party - we have a live DJ so tunes a re a l ways p l ay i n g . We ’ve got photographers taking pictures so people get dolled up. It’s a night out for them.” Besides being a stand-up comedian and having his own comedy club night, Tomlinson is also the co-host and writer of t h e C B B C s h ow T h e Johnny & Inel Show with fellow comedian Johnny Cochran. Being the host of a children’s programme might not seem like the most obvious choice, but armed with his teaching background, Tomlinson already had an insight into the mind of his audience. “Because we had worked in tough schools in London we thought we had an idea of what children would find funny,” he explains. Tomlinson takes cues from his days as a teacher in how to do comedy for children, without dumbing it down: “We want to pitch the com-

edy high so the kids have to reach to get it. You can’t pitch it low and talk down to them because kids hate it when you do that. I learned that from teaching. As soon as you do that they just go ‘Oh shut up, Sir’.” The Johnny & Inel Show not only attracts parents and their children, but also young adults. “We get tweets from teenagers and students who are doing whatever they were doing while watching the show,” he said laughing. “They found it funny that we got a superhero called ‘Wasteman’ in it. When the BBC found out the meaning, they took the character out.” To m l i n s o n a n d Cochran make it a habit of finding ways to cleverly incorporate words and phrases that only people of a certain age could understand. “ T h e re a re b it s i n there that only they would understand. There are a lot of things that the BBC didn’t understand, that we would get away with.” Although relatively light-hearted, the conversation takes a more serious turn when discussing the lack of diversity in mainstream television. With comedy in television and films being dominated by white, middle class men, Tomlinson is open and honest in expressing his concern. “Being a black guy you don’t get many opportunities, especially in entertainment on major TV channels,” he said. “When was the last time you

Being a funny guy kept me from trouble and kept me from being bullied

saw a black double act?” Tomlinson thinks that it is important to have shows on mainstream television that speak to a variety of people, especially the under-represented working class and ethnic minorities. He also believes that when the black working class gets represented, it is instead in a stereotypical manner. “You get shows like Top Boy instead, which is about drug dealers and murderers.” Despite his concerns with regards to his chances on making it in the mainstream, Tomlinson remains hopeful for the future and happy about the present. “I’m very grateful to be in the position that I’m in. I’ve literally just got my foot in the door, but at the same time they’re trying to shut the door on my foot.” Whenever he feels frustrated about the inner workings of the industry, he thinks about why he is doing all of this. “It’s a case of trying to establish the reasons why I’m here. For me and Johnny with the show, it’s for us to be able to talk to an audience that they don’t cater to.” The same goes for his comedy night, catering to a diverse audience and trying to bring people together. “We’ve got black comedians on the same bill as Asian comedians and mainstream comedians. Go look in Time Out and show me another comedy night that does that,” he said with his boisterous laugh making a welcome return. The new series of The Johnny & Inel Show is out now on CBBC . Visit Kinetic Comedy’s website for tickets and details: http:// www.kineticcomedy.com


12 FEATURE

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Who’s behind all

the lovely letters?

Founder of One Million Lovely Letters, Jodi Anne Bickley speaks to Emma Francis about performing poetry at festivals to writing strangers uplifting letters, and the condition that changed her life Jodi saved herself from suicide by setting up One Million Lovely Letters, a website calling out to anyone in the world who is feeling down or needs a little lift, wherein Jodi will write them a letter reminding them that they are wonderful. “In one hour I set up the website, then within an hour of putting it on my Twitter and Facebook I had like a hundred emails, and it kind of hasn’t stopped since. I thought five or six people would want a letter, but suddenly letter requests were coming from countries I’ve never even heard of. I’ve now sent over 14,000 letters and I have 1,400 letters in my inbox to be written, that grows every day.”

New Beginnings

Jodi (left) and friends at the Reading festival in 2011 are suffering. “I get some of the worst possible things coming in to my inbox every day, but one of the major things is loneliness.” Jodi explains why more and more people are feeling lonely: “Its not only the people out in the sticks; it’s people that are in the middle of London. We are all so insular and need to get everywhere in a hurry, everything becomes anonymous.” Jodi’s illness helped her understand this feeling: “My life went from busy busy busy to n o b o d y. N o b o d y wa s calling, nobody was k n o c k i n g t h e d o o r, everything became very lonely - so these are the letters I can connect with the most.” She describes to ALN t he general style of a letter to someone feeling lonely: “‘Some strangers are to be feared, granted, but there is a world of people out there and we’ve kind of told ourselves that we’re not allowed to speak to them, but what if we did? What if the person sitting next to you on the tube is thinking ‘I wish someone would speak to me.’ What if you did? We don’t need to be scared of everything all the time.

Photo courtesy of Jodi Ann Bickley

I’m either going to lie here and let this kill me, or I’m going to have to do something that’s going to make me want to wake up tomorrow

Encouragement There are bigger and scarier things than a person sitting next to you on the tube. The world is waiting for you, just go and get it! Go out there and fi nd your little bit of sunshine. Go and join something, go and do something, the only person that can hold you back is you’.”

Jodi likes to think of her letters as reminders of things they already know: “I envisage my letters in people’s pockets, or in people’s wallets, on fridges or dressing tables. Some people are only having a dark day, so they only need it for that time. Some are having dark weeks and some are having really dark lives and I’m hoping that sometimes they can look at it and be like it’s not that bad, things are going to be okay.” Some of us may be suffering with mental illness, or we may have a friend that we know is going through a tough time. Jodi suggests that confronting it head on isn’t always best. “Just let them know you’re in the wings. You don’t need to put it in their face and be like ‘you’ve got a problem’ because that makes it worse. You just need to let them know you’re there if they need you.” Through One Million Lovely Letters,, Jodi has shown how good she is at being there for other people, but it’s important that she has people there for her too: “I have a good group of friends and an amazing mum. It sounds cheesy saying my mum’s my best friend, but she is the most incredible person I have ever known in my entire life. She knows the darkest depths of me and the cool bits of me. She’s like my lovely letter, all the time.” When Jodi is not writing letters, it is more often than not because she is ill. “Usually in the mornings I’m really sick so I can’t do anything,” she explains. “Some days I can go out which is cool but there’s so much I have to take in to consideration now like noise and balance. “Home is my safe place, if anything goes wrong here, if I pass out, it’s okay whereas if I pass out in Asda it becomes a massive issue,” Jodi adds with a laugh. Her office where she writes

A mo tivatio nal m essag e from

Jodi t o ALN reade rs is just as you may imagine it would be for such a happy-go-lucky person - pretty little butterfly ornaments hang on the wall, while paper and pens are scattered around with a cat or two wandering across the work-top. As she was performing poetry just before she became ill, ALN wanted to find out if that was something Jodi is intending to go back to if her recovery progresses. “I’ve performed a couple of times since, but One Million Lovely Letters is like my light bulb. It was like ‘ah so this is what I’m supposed to be doing!’ Poetry is something I like to put on a shelf and come back to. It’s nicer to have it as a side thing than as a main thing.” With her sights set on continuing to encourage the world with her kindness, ALN leaves Jodi to write some more heartfelt letters. To find out more about Jodi’s story you can get her book from all major bookstores and on Amazon from 27 February. If you are someone who needs a little uplifting, send Jodi an email at onemillionlovelyletters@gmail.com and see what wonderful words you receive in the post in return.

Photo courtesy of Jodi Ann Bickley

Jodi tells ALN how it was nothing like she had ever experienced before her illness: “I was working in Levi’s and in a pub, but you don’t get to communicate with people from Manamar and Bolivia!” Soon enough, a book publisher heard about what Jodi was doing and asked if she would write about it all. On February 27, 2014, a little over a year since launching the website, Jodi’s book One Million Lovely Letters will be released. Each letter is personalised and Jodi excitedly shows ALN all the different paper and cards she uses. She says: “I write them all on my own, but I kind of like doing it by myself, it’s my little thing.” Sending letters all over the world doesn’t come cheap - even sending post within the UK costs 60p for just one first class stamp. Due to the unpredictable nature of Jodi’s illness she is unable to work so she receives benefits; she uses this money carefully so she can continue sharing her kindness with the world. “I pay my rent, pay for food, pay for cat food, then anything else goes on stamps and writing. That’s what I’ve done since it all started and t hat ’s what I will continue to do until hopefully, one day, the book does okay. That’s all I want you know, to be able to go to Paperchase and buy nice things and buy good bread.” Sometimes people will reply to Jodi’s letters with a few stamps t o s a y t h a n k yo u , while recently, Paperchase sent her a pack of writing supplies, which Jodi said really helps. There has been a lot more publicity around mental illness recently, leading to some celebrities telling how they have suffered with it, too. Jodi thinks this is a really positive step: “One in three people suffer with it. So, the more we talk about it the more people become aware of it. Depression isn’t like a rash where you can see it noticeably on someone. It will be the person you least expect, the person that’s really happy on the outside but they’re crumbling inside. “The more people that come out and say they’ve suffered and they’re okay now they are on the other side, gives hope to the people that

Photo courtesy of Jodi Ann Bickley

dition called ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome.” This is a condition that Jodi now has to live with. “I get it quite severely. When I crash, I can’t move. I can barely talk. I lose my balance, get dizzy, and black out all the time. I have fits where I hurt myself and end up with black eyes and bust lips. I look like a street fighter,” laughs Jodi. It’s incredible how she manages to make light of something so serious. However, it hasn’t always been so easy to talk about her situation with a giggle. “It got me really down - I was 24 coming up to 25 and I couldn’t move. My social life had gone, everything had gone, and I just got really down the lowest you could possibly get.” She explains how this put a strain on her friendships: “Through everything that happened I lost a lot of people. Whenever you go through a big change or a situation it filters people - not the good from the bad, but the people that are going to be there for keeps and the people who aren’t.” Jodi was suffering from depression but knew that she had a decision to make: “I just thought, I’m either going to lie here and let this kill me, or I’m going to have to do something that’s going to make me want to wake up tomorrow. Something a bit magic.”

Photo courtesy of Jodi Ann Bickley

C

olourful hair and a beaming smile, Jodi Ann Bickley, 25, is full of life - but just two years ago she was moments away from death. She was losing hope, losing friends and losing the will to live, but Jodi knew she had to do something amazing to make this new life of hers worth living. If you’ve ever been to Glastonbury, Reading or any other summer festival, you will know what it’s like when you get home covered in dirt and bug bites from sleeping in a tent in questionable conditions. Jodi knew the feeling, having travelled around all the different festivals in 2011 as a performance poet and after her last stop at Bestival, the summer of a lifetime came to an end. Little did she know one of her many bites was from a tick that was carrying a rare brain disease called encephalitis – from this bite, things started to go sadly downhill for Jodi. “The encephalitis led me to having a mini stroke, which took away all my right side, I couldn’t walk, write, or do anything,” explains Jodi. Af ter months of physical therapy for her right side, Jodi decided to go back to work. However, she explains: “I got really, really sick, and nobody understood why. All the doctors were like ‘what’s going on?’ It ended up me having a con-

FEATURE 13

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Jodi holding a heart detailing the things she loves


12 FEATURE

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Who’s behind all

the lovely letters?

Founder of One Million Lovely Letters, Jodi Anne Bickley speaks to Emma Francis about performing poetry at festivals to writing strangers uplifting letters, and the condition that changed her life Jodi saved herself from suicide by setting up One Million Lovely Letters, a website calling out to anyone in the world who is feeling down or needs a little lift, wherein Jodi will write them a letter reminding them that they are wonderful. “In one hour I set up the website, then within an hour of putting it on my Twitter and Facebook I had like a hundred emails, and it kind of hasn’t stopped since. I thought five or six people would want a letter, but suddenly letter requests were coming from countries I’ve never even heard of. I’ve now sent over 14,000 letters and I have 1,400 letters in my inbox to be written, that grows every day.”

New Beginnings

Jodi (left) and friends at the Reading festival in 2011 are suffering. “I get some of the worst possible things coming in to my inbox every day, but one of the major things is loneliness.” Jodi explains why more and more people are feeling lonely: “Its not only the people out in the sticks; it’s people that are in the middle of London. We are all so insular and need to get everywhere in a hurry, everything becomes anonymous.” Jodi’s illness helped her understand this feeling: “My life went from busy busy busy to n o b o d y. N o b o d y wa s calling, nobody was k n o c k i n g t h e d o o r, everything became very lonely - so these are the letters I can connect with the most.” She describes to ALN t he general style of a letter to someone feeling lonely: “‘Some strangers are to be feared, granted, but there is a world of people out there and we’ve kind of told ourselves that we’re not allowed to speak to them, but what if we did? What if the person sitting next to you on the tube is thinking ‘I wish someone would speak to me.’ What if you did? We don’t need to be scared of everything all the time.

Photo courtesy of Jodi Ann Bickley

I’m either going to lie here and let this kill me, or I’m going to have to do something that’s going to make me want to wake up tomorrow

Encouragement There are bigger and scarier things than a person sitting next to you on the tube. The world is waiting for you, just go and get it! Go out there and fi nd your little bit of sunshine. Go and join something, go and do something, the only person that can hold you back is you’.”

Jodi likes to think of her letters as reminders of things they already know: “I envisage my letters in people’s pockets, or in people’s wallets, on fridges or dressing tables. Some people are only having a dark day, so they only need it for that time. Some are having dark weeks and some are having really dark lives and I’m hoping that sometimes they can look at it and be like it’s not that bad, things are going to be okay.” Some of us may be suffering with mental illness, or we may have a friend that we know is going through a tough time. Jodi suggests that confronting it head on isn’t always best. “Just let them know you’re in the wings. You don’t need to put it in their face and be like ‘you’ve got a problem’ because that makes it worse. You just need to let them know you’re there if they need you.” Through One Million Lovely Letters,, Jodi has shown how good she is at being there for other people, but it’s important that she has people there for her too: “I have a good group of friends and an amazing mum. It sounds cheesy saying my mum’s my best friend, but she is the most incredible person I have ever known in my entire life. She knows the darkest depths of me and the cool bits of me. She’s like my lovely letter, all the time.” When Jodi is not writing letters, it is more often than not because she is ill. “Usually in the mornings I’m really sick so I can’t do anything,” she explains. “Some days I can go out which is cool but there’s so much I have to take in to consideration now like noise and balance. “Home is my safe place, if anything goes wrong here, if I pass out, it’s okay whereas if I pass out in Asda it becomes a massive issue,” Jodi adds with a laugh. Her office where she writes

A mo tivatio nal m essag e from

Jodi t o ALN reade rs is just as you may imagine it would be for such a happy-go-lucky person - pretty little butterfly ornaments hang on the wall, while paper and pens are scattered around with a cat or two wandering across the work-top. As she was performing poetry just before she became ill, ALN wanted to find out if that was something Jodi is intending to go back to if her recovery progresses. “I’ve performed a couple of times since, but One Million Lovely Letters is like my light bulb. It was like ‘ah so this is what I’m supposed to be doing!’ Poetry is something I like to put on a shelf and come back to. It’s nicer to have it as a side thing than as a main thing.” With her sights set on continuing to encourage the world with her kindness, ALN leaves Jodi to write some more heartfelt letters. To find out more about Jodi’s story you can get her book from all major bookstores and on Amazon from 27 February. If you are someone who needs a little uplifting, send Jodi an email at onemillionlovelyletters@gmail.com and see what wonderful words you receive in the post in return.

Photo courtesy of Jodi Ann Bickley

Jodi tells ALN how it was nothing like she had ever experienced before her illness: “I was working in Levi’s and in a pub, but you don’t get to communicate with people from Manamar and Bolivia!” Soon enough, a book publisher heard about what Jodi was doing and asked if she would write about it all. On February 27, 2014, a little over a year since launching the website, Jodi’s book One Million Lovely Letters will be released. Each letter is personalised and Jodi excitedly shows ALN all the different paper and cards she uses. She says: “I write them all on my own, but I kind of like doing it by myself, it’s my little thing.” Sending letters all over the world doesn’t come cheap - even sending post within the UK costs 60p for just one first class stamp. Due to the unpredictable nature of Jodi’s illness she is unable to work so she receives benefits; she uses this money carefully so she can continue sharing her kindness with the world. “I pay my rent, pay for food, pay for cat food, then anything else goes on stamps and writing. That’s what I’ve done since it all started and t hat ’s what I will continue to do until hopefully, one day, the book does okay. That’s all I want you know, to be able to go to Paperchase and buy nice things and buy good bread.” Sometimes people will reply to Jodi’s letters with a few stamps t o s a y t h a n k yo u , while recently, Paperchase sent her a pack of writing supplies, which Jodi said really helps. There has been a lot more publicity around mental illness recently, leading to some celebrities telling how they have suffered with it, too. Jodi thinks this is a really positive step: “One in three people suffer with it. So, the more we talk about it the more people become aware of it. Depression isn’t like a rash where you can see it noticeably on someone. It will be the person you least expect, the person that’s really happy on the outside but they’re crumbling inside. “The more people that come out and say they’ve suffered and they’re okay now they are on the other side, gives hope to the people that

Photo courtesy of Jodi Ann Bickley

dition called ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome.” This is a condition that Jodi now has to live with. “I get it quite severely. When I crash, I can’t move. I can barely talk. I lose my balance, get dizzy, and black out all the time. I have fits where I hurt myself and end up with black eyes and bust lips. I look like a street fighter,” laughs Jodi. It’s incredible how she manages to make light of something so serious. However, it hasn’t always been so easy to talk about her situation with a giggle. “It got me really down - I was 24 coming up to 25 and I couldn’t move. My social life had gone, everything had gone, and I just got really down the lowest you could possibly get.” She explains how this put a strain on her friendships: “Through everything that happened I lost a lot of people. Whenever you go through a big change or a situation it filters people - not the good from the bad, but the people that are going to be there for keeps and the people who aren’t.” Jodi was suffering from depression but knew that she had a decision to make: “I just thought, I’m either going to lie here and let this kill me, or I’m going to have to do something that’s going to make me want to wake up tomorrow. Something a bit magic.”

Photo courtesy of Jodi Ann Bickley

C

olourful hair and a beaming smile, Jodi Ann Bickley, 25, is full of life - but just two years ago she was moments away from death. She was losing hope, losing friends and losing the will to live, but Jodi knew she had to do something amazing to make this new life of hers worth living. If you’ve ever been to Glastonbury, Reading or any other summer festival, you will know what it’s like when you get home covered in dirt and bug bites from sleeping in a tent in questionable conditions. Jodi knew the feeling, having travelled around all the different festivals in 2011 as a performance poet and after her last stop at Bestival, the summer of a lifetime came to an end. Little did she know one of her many bites was from a tick that was carrying a rare brain disease called encephalitis – from this bite, things started to go sadly downhill for Jodi. “The encephalitis led me to having a mini stroke, which took away all my right side, I couldn’t walk, write, or do anything,” explains Jodi. Af ter months of physical therapy for her right side, Jodi decided to go back to work. However, she explains: “I got really, really sick, and nobody understood why. All the doctors were like ‘what’s going on?’ It ended up me having a con-

FEATURE 13

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Jodi holding a heart detailing the things she loves


14 LIFESTYLE

this week

Hidden London Trump Card: Camden The Blues Kitchen 111-113 Camden High Street Undisputedly the coolest place on Camden High Street, The Blues Kitchen has it all; with great American food - including a glorious brunch menu - live music and 80 different types of bespoke Bourbon to tickle your fancy. With live music happening every week from live jamming on Sundays to deep soulful jazz, there is something for even the greatest musical novice out there. The Blues Kitchen Radio, a weekly show that you can subscribe to for free through iTunes is not to be missed.

The Roundhouse Chalk Farm Road Outside of London’s traditional theatre and music venue’s sits Camden’s Roundhouse, home to a cacophony of live performances to suit any taste, from cabaret and circus acts, to live music and plays. It is host to a young creative forum for those cutting their teeth as artists or merely wondering where to start - the variation of opportunities to get involved at the creative Centre are mainly for those aged 11-25. These include media projects, music, performing arts projects as well as financial advice and support for emerging artists. The Edinboro Castle 57 Mornington Terrace Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of tourists on Camden High Street, the Edinboro Castle is a haven for pub lovers. Its glorious beer garden and its cosy interiors provide a perfect welcome after a wintery North London walk. With Sunday roasts and board games lining the shelves, it is easy to see the appeal of settling in and having a spicy Bloody Mary and a game of Scrabble with friends. Books Iconica Camden Lock Market Located at the heart of Camden Lock Market, Books Iconica is a boutique specialising in the sale of Penguin books, both old and new. For literary lovers, this gorgeous little shop offers rare and collectable titles as well as the classic books that will transport you straight back to your childhood. Spend an afternoon here and you will walk away with not only your favourite literature but also fun paraphernalia to accompany your book.

Thursday 27th

Friday 28th

Saturday 1st

Free Thursday Guided Tours Somerset House Enjoy an hour exploring the grounds of one of London’s most enchanting buildings. This tour is free with a tour guide on hand who will answer as many questions about the venue’s magical history and architectural intricacy as you like. You will also discover the building’s links from Tudor times through to Georgian enlightenment.

The Boat Show comedy club - Holly Walsh Tattershall Castle Tickets from £11 After charming critics in T V appearances and packed festival circuits for the last few years, comedienne Holly Walsh will perform as part of the Boathouse comedy club tonight, alongside Rob Deering, Ian Stone and MC Caimh McDonnell.

Happy Days The Young Vic Having received rave reviews across the board from the British press, Happy Days continues its triumphant run at the iconic Young Vic theatre in South London. Beckett’s mesmerising stage drama is brought to life by actress Juliet Stevenson as main character Winnie, in a surreal 1960s adaption directed by Natalie Abrahami.

Big Ballet offers a second chance to former dancers

ALN’s Catherine Van De Stouwe looks into Channel 4’s new programme, Big Ballet and chats to dancers who thought they would never do it again “I want to be a ballerina” - a phrase that has been shouted from the mouths of ballet-loving babes for centuries. It is not difficult to see why so many young children, teenagers and adults are fascinated by the ballet; the graceful movement, the sparkling costumes and the pointed shoes are all elements that put the traditional image of the ballerina on a high pedestal. While many children join dance troupes, it is only a small minority that make it to the ballet companies, such as the Royal Ballet and the English National Ballet, and even fewer who make it to the ultimate honour of becoming a prima ballerina. Seeing them dance is an incredible sight, where every bravura and grand jeté is executed with perfect precision. But seeing this perfe c t i o n c a n m a ke ballet seem inaccessible to the rest of us. Traditionally, the ballerina has a tiny frame, an athletic figure and flexibility that even the most enthusiastic of yoga students dream of. However, in the past few weeks Channel 4 has launched t he B i g B a l let . Under t he instruction of former senior pr incipal dancer for the Royal Ballet, Wa y n e S l e e p , a n d I r e l a n d ’s ve r y ow n prima ballerina, Monica Loughman, 16 women and two men of a variety of shapes and sizes are putting together their own production of the most famous ballet, Swan Lake. These dancers all share a common factor: they danced when they were young, but gave up in their late teens for a number of reasons; a decision many wished they hadn’t made and some found it hard to believe that they could dance again. Taking part in the Big Ballet is Shona Stringer. She remembers watching her older sister dance

and wanting to be a part of it: “Even before I could walk [I’d] sit and watch [my sister] in my pushchair with a tambourine and some sequins around my neck. As soon as I could walk I started dancing and loved it from day one.” At the age of 16, Stringer started teaching dance and now has her own dance school in Leeds. As a dance teacher, she feels that she has a responsibility to her students who look up to her. She said: “ I’m glad to be part of Big Ballet which is challenging the belief that you can only perform if you are a certain weight or shape. If this opens the minds of the audience then maybe…it will open a few doors for c lassical dancers of a slightly larger build, meaning there is a pathway for all dancers, not just the lucky few who fit the ‘criteria’.” The Big Ballet has also been a positive experience for Carol Hartley, who started dancing later than most at 14 years of age: “I wanted to [do it] earlier but couldn’t af ford it. My best friend went to dance classes and she taught me. We ’d b e i n o u r rooms and as we danced I had that feeling inside me; I had to dance.” At 17, Hartley made it as a professional dancer working on a cruise ship around the Mediterranean, but slowly fell away from it as she became older. At the 25th anniversary show of her old dance school, it was a teacher who showed the advert and started Hartley’s Big Ballet experience.

“I was nervous at first,” she said. “I thought I was too old and too fat, but it was brilliant. I’m still dancing [now].” Having Sleep and Loughman as their mentors, they could not have been given a firmer or more professional reintroduction to dance and ballet. Hartley said of the duo: “Wayne and Monica were fantastic. Monica has this way of seeing what you are capable of, and if she can see it in you she really pushes you. Wayne is crazy - it was a real privilege to be able to do his choreography.” Through Sleep’s choreography and Loughman’s training, Hartley and Stringer have been able to take part in a 25-minute performance of Swan Lake. By making time to train between work and home lives, both of them feel fitter. Stringer says: “It’s excellent for posture and keeping the body flexible, [and is] a bit different from the gym.” Being different from the gym is something the ballerina’s at UAL’s Ballet Society agree on. Tamsin Rees, a first year Fashion student at CSM, had previously only done a little dancing when she was younger before joining the society: “It’s like yoga but with classical music and a barre. I hate the gym and this is a relaxed group [with] no pressure.” Parr Geng, a Foundation Art and Design student at LCC, put her first pair of ballet slippers on at the start of the first term in 2013, and won’t be taking them off again anytime soon. She said: “There was a trial before you joined and it’s great exercise to shape the body. The teacher is lovely and [we’ve] formed a group to see ballet performances of the Royal Ballet.” However, the Ballet Society is not just for first timers; Alesha Bailey, a Foundation Art studfrom Camberwell, has been dancing for seven years. After moving to London from Canada to study, her cousin at LCF told her about the society: “My Mom got me into it and I stuck with it. Our teacher has a lot of experience and [is very] intuitive about [individual] dancer style.” There is this perceived notion that only those who have the look of a ballerina can take part in ballet. The Big Ballet, societies and other dance classes are proving this to be completely false. Throughout the many centuries of dance, it has been a way of communicating and expressing feelings. Dance also keeps you fit in an engaging way that the treadmill at your local gym will never be able to. Dancing, and ballet in particular, is a passion in many people and it only takes a visit to a dance class to see that anyone can do it if - in the words of Hartley - they have that feeling.

Picture by Alex Zalewska

What’s On...

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014


LIFESTYLE 15

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Sunday 2nd

Monday 3rd

Tuesday 4th

Wednesday 5th

Russell Brand - The Messiah Complex Theatre Royal, Drury Lane Despite being one of the most controversial figures around, there is no denying that Brand is an incredibly talented and intelligent comedian. Returning to the city to perform his most recent show, The Messiah Comple x is a thorough exploration of new age heroes, rituals and values all of which reflect his own disposition.

Confiscation Cabinets V&A Museum of Childhood Daily - 10:00-17:45 Guy Tarrant’s Confiscation Cabinets is an exhibition of confiscated items collected and donated from 150 of London’s schools over three decades. Inspired by his previous teaching career, Tarrant’s collection of items range from banal stationery to figurines.

Lolo, Live Shacklewell Arms, Dalston Having recently changed her name to Lolo, soulful songstress Lauren Pritchard is back to stir our souls. The Tennessee musician’s feistiness contrasts her skill and precision when it comes to penning tales of heartache and angst; with her gorgeous set of smoky vocals, Lolo smoothly croons and wavers delightfully through her songs.

Charles Dickens’ London - Tour 11.00/13.00 – 17.00-19.00 Wander the streets of the city through the eyes of Britain’s most visionary and iconic author. Beginning with childhood woes to adolescence and success, the walk will guide you through the milestones in Dickens’ rags-to-riches life as you walk the same paths Dickens did all those years ago.

No one left behind in this crew R

Photo by Simon A. Thalmann

un Dem Crew (RDC) are the coolest running club to hit London - although, they insist they are not a running club but instead a running community. Founded in 2007 by DJ, writer and poet, Charlie Dark, as an alternative to traditional running clubs, it’s centralised around creativity with people in professions such as designers, directors, journalists, teachers and musicians being a part of a running crew. “The Run Dem Crew is basically a very large collective of friends, associates and family who

meet once a week to run through the streets of London under the cover of darkness,” says Dark. Lawrence Lartey, an associate lecturer at LCC and creative director at Question Media Group, has been running with RDC for four years. Lartey says he prefers to run with them rather than a traditional running club: “I love the social aspect of meeting up with people, running and then going for a burger after…you feel like you’ve deserved a burger after five miles.” Run Dem Crew are committed to change and want to see the best from the next generation, by working closely with young people across London providing mentoring and advice. RDC helps young people to explore the streets of London in a safe and positive environment. The group expects all of the runners to actively engage and support the younger members; they insist giving back in any way ensures the longevity of RDC. This creates a family feel that you wouldn’t get at your average running club. Lar tey has a passion for mentoring and explains what supporting the younger runners involves for him personally: “With the youngers it’s a case of checking in with them and vice versa; more specifically, I’ve been talking to some of the runners about the career choices now they’ve finished uni.” Not only do they support the younger mem-

Eric E. Castro

Emma Francis meets Charlie Dark, founder of one of London’s most unconventional running clubs

bers, but they also hold post-run workshops, films and talks at the Nike 1948 store which the RDC use as their meeting point – the venue is a short distance away from UAL’s London College of Fashion. Anyone is welcome to join the Run Dem Crew, and they have different level groups based on ability. “The first rule of Run Dem Crew: no-one is ever left behind,” states their website. The Tortoise group is for those that want to improve their running ability but are just starting out – if you’re not a gym bunny, then running once a week on a Tuesday evening will be enough to get you started. The groups then build up in skill and endurance levels; the next stage from Tortoise is the Hares, then the Greyhounds, followed by the Cheetahs, and lastly the Elites group for those who laugh in the face of a 10km and can complete a half marathon in 90 minutes or less. “The reason we have five groups is so that you

are never running alone, and you are always running around people who are at your fitness level,” explains Dark. Running has many benefits, especially for a student; a 2012 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health proved that just 30 minutes of running during the week for three weeks boosted sleep quality, mood and concentration during the day. Running with a community like the RDC could also be a fantastic networking opportunity. If you want to get involved with the Run Dem Crew, it’s best to do a bit of training first as they ask that you be able to run for 40 minutes or at least five miles before joining. The crew is so popular that they have now reached full capacity so currently no new members can join. However, the new season begins in late February, so if you think you’ve got the commitment and ability required for the Run Dem Crew then sign up to their mailing list for updates and get added to the waiting list.

Holly’s Guinness cake ALN’s Holly Gilbert shares her two loves, Guinness and chocolate, baked into one delicious cake

Ingredients: For the Cake 250 ml Guinness 250 grams unsalted butter 75 grams cocoa powder 400 grams caster sugar 142 ml sour cream 2 large eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 275 grams self-raising flour

The Icing 300 grams cream cheese 150 grams icing sugar 125 ml double cream This recipe makes a mammoth amount of Guinness cake! You can make one big beautiful cake or cupcakes. Preparation: 1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius (gas mark 4) 2. Pour the Guinness into a pan and add the butter in cubes. When the butter has melted whisk in the sugar and cocoa powder - an actual whisk is preferable, but a fork works fine at whisking the mixture up a treat! 3. Beat together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Fair warning - this mixture will look disgusting. Do not despair at the sight; pour it into the beery chocolatey liquid and whisk in the flour. 4. Pour the mixture into a lined tin and bake for 45 minutes; if you are doing cupcakes they take

Photo by Raghad Bezizi

L

et me be honest and brief - Guinness cake will change your life. I first encountered this chocolate stout revelation at a café in East London, served up by an equally delicious owner. In a haze of culinary prowess - something in my mind that is highly romanticized and slightly deluded - I sought the recipe for this cake and have never looked back to the humble and dry traditional chocolate cake, ever since my first sampling of the damp delights of the Guinness cake.

Guinness and chocolate? These cakes are ‘made of more’ 25. The mixture is pretty runny, don’t add extra flour, the runniness makes this cake moist and delicious. 5. For the icing beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth, add the dou-

ble cream and whisk again to get a spreadable cream cheese frosting. Smother all over your cake to resemble the famous frothy pint and enjoy this scrummy alternative to a traditional and average - chocolate cake!


16 LIFESTYLE

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Stripping for art’s sake Rosie Atkin looks at the representation of nudity from Renaissance perfection to its realisitic portrayal in television shows such as Girls

T

he nude human form has received attention for centuries, from athletic physical carvings of the Greeks, to its smooth, divine representation in Renaissance art. In our age of media saturation, the nude seems to have reached a status as a bastion for debate. In television, nudity is filtered t hrough unattainable physical ideals; the deities in Game of Thrones depict fantasy-incarnated porcelain skin, unmarked by the trials of the war-ravaged plotlines. For those familiar with the HBO series Girls, audiences are likely to be equally familiar with every detail of its writer, director and star Lena Dunham - tattoos, warts and all. Nudity in Girls is por trayed t hrough various contexts; Dunham’s character, H a n n a h , f i n d s way s of stripping wherever imaginable, whether it is while she is cooking, changing, or sheltered slightly by a fluorescent string vest. Somehow Dunham successfully exhibits the casualness of nudity without relying on sexualisation yet this frequency of nakedness has placed her in the firing line. “I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you particularly.” This was one comment directly addressed at Dunham during a recent Television Critics Association Q&A. Journalist Tim Malloy, of The Wrap, continued to compare Girls with Game of Thrones, a popular pairing. Comparing the nudity in Game of Thrones to Girls, Malloy stated: “I get why they’re doing it. They’re doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character [Hannah Horvath] is often naked at random times for no reason.” Regardless of whether the seemingly point-

less question was aimed to provoke Dunham or not, the criticism poses an interesting point in the debate surrounding nudity. Do television shows such as Girls have to provide nudity to titillate? There is sex in Girls, but it is distinctly un-sexy, depicting the realities of unflattering sex and adding hilarious element to coitus in your mid-twenties. Dunham’s defence was simply that, as humans, we are naked sometimes for “no reason” and “it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive”. Does the recurring criticism reflect a stunt in attitudes towards nudity and, ultimately, ideals of acceptable body image? Korey Samuel, studying Public Relations at LCC, believes the discussion reflects continued expectation weighed on physical perfection: “Although we are progressing, women in TV nowadays are still made to be seen as eye candy or decoration, so when we see a beautiful naked woman in Game of Thrones it’s shrugged off as ‘pushing a narrative’, but when we see nudity in Girls from someone like Lena, who might not necessarily be seen as a pin up girl, people - men mostly - become outraged because it’s not the ‘type’ of nudity they want to see.” The idea of male-dominance in television and the media is nothing new, but writers such as Dunham are surely challenging the status quo through defiance and an unwillingness to change. By promoting realistic body types - some with scars, with tattoos and with ‘taboo’ pubic hair - the makers of Girls are opting to harness a right of artistic expression. This draws in lessons from the modern art industry, harking to styles of confrontational, unabashed portrayals of nudity seen in the works

Photo courtesy of Flickr: alien_artifact

What I do is completely un-sexual, it’s in a very controlled and artistic environment Olivia Giles

Lena Dunham and the cast of Girls continue to ignore criticism about the nudity scenes of female artists Jenny Saville, Sarah Lucas, and even the intricate bodily studies by Lucian Freud. So where can the television industry learn from modern art in its approach to nudity? Nudity in art is celebrated, the human form a subject of endless inspiration. Life model and CSM Fashion Design student Olivia Giles compares the industries’ presentation of the naked form: “What I do is completely un-sexual, it’s in a very controlled and artistic environment. The people viewing me, obviously they are aware that I’m naked, but I think their mind set is very different - they will look at my body as just an object. They will be very engrossed in their drawing instead of thinking ‘wow, she’s naked’. “ I have never had a bad response. Nobody has ever said ‘what are you doing?’.” Giles also suggests that modern art is one step ahead in terms of shock factors: “I don’t t h i n k n u d it y a n d s e x will cause that much uproar for artistic minds because you’re exposed to that anyway; if you see a lot of art and you’re surrounded by creativity, fashion is becoming more controversial, that’s what we’re so used to seeing.” Any form of art is susceptible to criticism, complaint, and leaves its makers vulnerable to harsh attitudes. At least Dunham is sparking debate, shrugging off such negativity by repeatedly laying herself bare.

Holly Davies, also studying BA Fashion Design at CSM, applauds Dunham’s self-acceptance: “Normally, in either TV or film, women’s bodies are quite sexualised and have become objects, so to have Lena Dunham just bare it all and love her body is positive to show. I don’t think it’s done in bad taste either, it’s just saying ‘everyone has got a body, everyone has got boobs, so why is it a big deal?” So perhaps the negative reception Girls has received for its tendency for a fleshier type of honesty is simply a drop in the ocean. Cinema is progressing towards the extremes of sexual candidness, with Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac and Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake set to open new avenues of debate surrounding all things nude. By challenging what is accepted, these forward steps of openness - which will no doubt cause a stir - may leak into mainstream perceptions of body image. Girls does, af ter all, reflect many realities of 20-something life; each c haracter is f lawed, moving t hrough t he mundane paces of trying to start their respective careers. It seems only right that where inane details are exposed, so is the odd body here and there. And as Dunham and the cast of Girls continue to shrug off criticism, maybe a new age of relaxed acceptance is on the rise in television, taking heed of artistic attitudes rather than bowing to the pressure of rigid industry expectations.

Women in TV nowadays are still made to be seen as eye candy or decoration

Photo courtesy of Flickr: alien_artifact

Korey Samuel

The makers of Girls promote realisitc body ‘types’


ARTS LONDON VOICES 17

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Are post graduate degrees over-rated or essential?

#postgradstudies YES, especially if you are a bit lost, you don’t know what you want to do and you are not ready to go into the industry.

When third year rolls around the daunting thought of ‘real life’ kicks in. Two (almost) BA grads battle out whether doing an MA is the right way to go Khadija Pandor - Deputy Features Editor

I

am in the final year of my degree in BA Journalism. My original plan, if you can call it that, was to do a three-year degree and hopefully land a job in the journalism industry at least six months after I graduated. I came to UAL to make my vision of being a well-known music journalist into a reality. I worked voluntarily for an online music magazine when I was 16 for two years, until I went travelling around Spain, for a month before starting university. It seemed to my 18-year-old self that this was what I wanted for the rest of my life. To write with passion about the music I loved, hated and was a little bit indifferent about. However, a lot has changed in three years. I learned a lot more about myself than I ever had before and I have learned what was important to me. Not just in close circles and personally, but on the grander scale of things. I wanted to change the world for the better. It’s always been a dream. I thought I would do it alongside my music journalism - a sideline of humanitarian action so to speak. Maybe dip my toes into the political field which flared up so much anger and reaction in my revolutionary heart. Over the three years it became clearer and clearer this was my calling. This was where I ought to be heading. Music journalism became less of a career path, and humanitarian action for bettering the world was taking center stage. I began looking into my options; I knew a BA in Journalism would be helpful but not the best tool to get my foot in the door. I began looking into law conversion courses, but after talking with friends who were applying for law conversions, I realised I wanted to do a Masters – I soon decided on a MA in Political Science. I’ll be applying in the United States, hopefully managing to wrangle a scholarship - so far the Kennedy Trust Scholarship is looking very appealing. The reason for this choice is it will not only help me complete my dream of changing the world for the better, it’ll also give me a chance to travel and continue learning and furthering my knowledge. It’ll provide new and exciting opportunities, which will be much more appreciated three years on from the 18-year-old who was expected to pick out the path for the rest of their life. A postgraduate degree provides the opportunity to further myself. The beauty of it is you don’t have to apply immediately after your BA and can pick it up later in life. A postgraduate degree provides the opportunity to further myself. The beauty of it is you don’t have to apply immediately after your BA and can pick it up later in life. You don’t need to stop aiming high, especially when you’re not even close to your prime. So just keep reaching for different degree opportunities - you’ll never know until you try.

Naomi LCF BA Fashion Photography

Caroline Schmitt - News reporter

I

come from a culture where, if the government could, it would probably lock twenty-somethings into sticky libraries and encourage them to get cosy with Marx and Hemingway for five years. The average time of studies in Germany is anything between five and seven years. “Long-term studies” of over a decade are also no biggie, if the amount of tuition fees are close to zero. So it feels a little odd to be “fully prepared” to enter the working world after just three years. But does a BA prepare us? No way, not in 2014. But an MA doesn’t either. A degree is no guarantee to land the kind of job that you’ve spent the last three years dreaming about. It doesn’t matter if it’s a BA or an MA or a combination of those, employers’ want more than a portfolio of essays or first sketches. Postgraduate programmes are all about adding a specialisation, about increasing your employability and providing you with a clearer idea of what you want to spend the rest of your working life doing. But they also easily set you back by a hefty £10,000 and eat up a whole year that you could be spending getting hands-on experience and becoming engrained in the industry. For some jobs, those certificates are a necessity. You wouldn’t want a doctor who only did a foundation year at med school. But a textile designer? A PR consultant? A graphic designer? All these professions live off creativity and creativity needs to be nourished, not drowned in libraries. Let’s face it; most postgraduate degrees are academically challenging, inspirational and full of incredibly handsome young professors. In short - they are fantastic; only, that is, if there’s an inner nerd living inside of you that’s found itself locked in dark rooms and workshops, in which case you’ve probably chosen the wrong subject and should jump off that sticky canteen chair and start running. But if you want to get a job that cares less about bibliographies and more about colours, shapes and words, then it might just be time to get your hands dirty in the intimidating and incredibly exciting universe that is called the creative industry. Now. I get that it’s tempting to delay the whole job-hunting mare by another year and worry about that exorbitant amount of money at some point in the future when you’re rich and famous and full of swag. It’s not going to be easy, and the job prospects for graduates would probably make Marx and Hemingway turn in their graves, but everyone has to start somewhere. An industry network doesn’t build itself, your rent doesn’t pay itself and a career you can be proud of doesn’t start by boring yourself to death in microeconomics classes - even if a very eloquent curly-wurly professor is teaching it.

Writer’s Blogs - www.artslondonnews.com

YES, although I don’t know much about it. It’s useful and probably also fun if you’re interested in the subject. But it’s too early for me to think about.

Alicia LCF BA Surface Textile

NO, but it depends what you have done before. It might be something more specific but it is not essential.

Stefano LCF BA Design Pattern Cutting

YES, generally but I would say it depends on your field. It is useful if you want to be recognised as a professional.

Marianna LCF BA Design Pattern Cutting

NO, I think three years is more than enough!

Callum LCF BA Design Pattern Cutting

This week in Multimedia YES, I think they can get you places.

Rise of the green army Dorothy Spencer

“Being healthy doesn’t need to be such a horrible bore, do the sort of exercise you enjoy, have sex, swim wildly in the ocean, run around with your children, and remember: Gwyneth Paltrow would rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin.”

Naked doesn’t have to be sexy Nina Hoogstraate

“There seems to be this ‘rule’ that being naked must be within sexual context. In Game Of Thrones there are a great deal of scenes involving naked women. Those particular scenes are of women who are all in one way or another sexualized – they’re not casually walking from the bedroom to the kitchen to make a cup of tea in their birthday suit.”

Us students make terrible chefs… But don’t fear, we are here to help! In Holly’s Food Porn we aim to give you a helping hand in the kitchen and the tools to create delicious dishes in no time! This time, Holly Gilbert serves up a scrumptious treat of Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting. A few clumsy spills never get this girl down! ALN Interactive works closely with the Multimedia team. Check out this week’s video feature here: www.artslondonnews.com/category/multimedia

Natalie LCF BA Design Pattern Cutting READER’S EDITOR Here is your chance to give us some feedback on Arts London News. If you have any comments or opinions on the contents of the paper, or if you would like to see something improved, email the managing editor at: aln.editorial@gmail.com or write to: The Managing Editor, Arts London News, London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SB


18 REVIEWS

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Exhibition

Photo courtesy of Tate, The estate of Richard Hamilton

If you are planning to visit the Richard Hamilton retrospective at the Tate Modern, I can offer one piece of advice; fuel yourself and eat before you enter, because this exhibition spans 18 rooms, each brimming full of diverse work. Barely a single space is left unused, each work imitable. You need to concentrate, so be prepared. London-born and an alumnus of the Slade School of Art, Richard Hamilton was regarded as a titan of pop-art during his prolific 60 year career. His career covered many experimental artistic bases, from his early etchings of engineering technology through to his forays in design, photography and interiors. The exhibition serves as a guided tour through each fine detail of Hamilton’s development; beginning with rooms Growth and Form and Reapers, 1949-1951, onto Early paintings, 1950-1954

Hamilton captured Mick Jagger’s court case

in which Hamilton’s style of meticulous study is introduced. His experimentations with perspective shared Cubist sensibilities, producing repeated paintings from multiple angular and unexpected focal points, most notable in 1952’s d’Orientation. It is from this point that the exhibition engulfs visitors into Hamilton’s mild obsession with pop-culture. This is tomorrow, 1956 exemplifies Hamilton’s continued reference to interiors, through themes of celebrity, product placement, and of course the bright binge colours of pop-art. Pop, 1957-1963 showcases the combination of pop-art Hamilton uses; his tendency to repeatedly study and tamper with perspective against human forms blurring with the man-made. President Kennedy and sports icons hide within collages, hinting towards Hamilton’s political interest in his later works. The variety of Hamilton’s interests is dizzying; from his work with Marcel Duchamp, a collaborative response verging on scientific, this project showed the entrapment of man-made icons within clear plastic - like a petri dish or microscopic slate. As the famed series Swineging Sixties documented Mick Jagger’s court case, Hamilton managed to encompass the dulling down of an era through his use of dark and heavily saturated printing methods. Elsewhere, Interiors, 1964 reveal multiple studies of interior design - the ideal home of the sixties refracted by mirrors, cubist angles and pop-culture icons. Later in the exhibition, these ideas are fully realised in pieces such as Treatment Room and Lobby - rooms transformed into walk-in interior installations. Hamilton’s later works were nonetheless calculated and fine-tuned. The exhibition shows his continued engagement with progressive

Coming back with a Twang Caroline Clastres c.clastres1@lcc.arts.ac.uk

Music After almost two years of silence, The Twang take to the stage for three weeks to present their new album entitled NEONTWANG, set to be released on March 10, and to loudly announce their resounding comeback. From their entrance on the stage of the Village Underground, one cannot fail to notice their unconcealed joy at returning to the spotlight and meeting their fans once again. Both vocalists are in high spirits as they joke and glance around trying to catch their fans’ eyes. A perfect blend of indie, Britpop and proto-rap, the acolytes started their set playing old tunes, and a few riffs of guitar were enough to get the crowd singing along frantically. The Twang’s melodies are ethereal, neat and definitely punchy, while the rousing beats electrify the fans - their liveliness is contagious. Lead singer Phil Etheridge takes the microphone and introduces the next record and very quickly the new song Step Away resonates through the venue. The Twang is a well-oiled machine; we can easily see that the musicians have been practicing thoroughly on their new work and are ecstatic to finally share it. People of all ages jump around like young,

energetic teens, reflecting a generation deeply rooted in the Britpop music and culture. Mainly influenced by groups who brought British alternative rock into the mainstream such as Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and The Smiths, The Twang takes particular pride in making the crowd dance. The method remains simple; choruses are easy to pick up and beats never fail to get you stomping your feet in time. The fact that there are two vocalists on stage truly gives substance to the overall performance. On top of their obvious group chemistry, the excitable chaps sing in unison and show a sincere generosity towards their fans. In between the songs, I find myself immersed in the good-natured atmosphere similar to that of a pub, with clinking pints and friendly banter oozing with a West Midlands accent. Old tunes resound again and Either Way appears to be the highlight of the show. At the end of the song, the public remains so hyped-up that it keeps singing, to the delight of the musicians. If the band seems happy to be back in contact with its audience, then the fans are beyond ecstatic - there are cheers and a visible authentic mutual love between these two groups. The Twang are touring all the major cities in UK including: Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Darby, Southampton, Bristol, and Newcastle.

Hamilton engaged in different mediums of art, including photography and oils mediums of art, dabbling with photography, but never far from a few flickers of his pop-art oilpainted past. Political undertones become more evident, depicted in Hamilton’s response to the IRA ‘dirty protest’ of 1980 in The Citizen, and progressing towards the parody of Tony Blair as a gun-wielding cowboy in Shock and Awe. After 18 rooms and a comprehensive timeline of art, this extensive collection does not skip

a single step of Hamilton’s career. Recurrent themes merge before you, pulling in the diversity of interests Hamilton touched upon. If you dedicate yourself to this exhibition, you dedicate yourself to Hamilton and you will be rewarded by the sheer scope of his engagement with modern art and design. Runs until May 26, 2014

Alcohol-free bar is just a trendy cafe

Photo by Benjamin Bishop

Rosie Atkin r.atkin1@arts.ac.uk

Photo courtesy of Tate, The estate of Richard Hamilton

Hamilton’s timeline of art in Tate exhibition

Emma Francis e.francis1@lcc.arts.ac.uk

Food & Drink You enjoyed the clear head and avoided the embarrassing pictures posted on to your timeline after a night out. However, you are left with few places to go, to avoid the temptation of having a drink or two…or five or six. In the aftermath of what many proclaimed a ‘dry January’, ALN went to check out Redemption - London’s first alcohol-free bar, to see if it can compete with its alcohol-based competitors. Situated in Westbourne Park at Goldfinger factory, the bar oozes up-cycling with mis-matched

vintage furniture and cosy lighting, to create a warm and relaxed atmosphere. If it weren’t called a ‘bar’ you would probably describe it as more of a trendy café. As a dry bar, I thought the mocktails would be expensive as they are a specialty, but all are very reasonably priced at £3. My next fear was that they would have ridiculous names like the classic kids cocktails, the ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Raspberry Fizzler’ but again, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were named just like regular cocktails. The Coco-Rita, the Coco-Tini, the Spiced Cranberry Sour, all served in old jam jars to continue their up-cycle style. Redemption also serves super-healthy food such as homemade curries and vegetable sharing platters. Even their deserts are healthy; you could try the plantain pancakes, or luxury granola. But if you’re looking for an alternative for a naughty night out then the purity of redemption may not satisfy your needs. At weekends they have live music so it could make a nice evening out with a group of friends, or alternatively a great spot to get lunch and a refreshing drink as we enter in to spring. The atmosphere was great, however I don’t think it works as an alternative to a night out, as Redemption is only open until 10pm. If you’re used to staying out until the sun comes up, then this won’t be the place for you. 13-15 Golborne Rd, London W10 5NY


REVIEWS 19

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

An inspirational journey to recovery ‘Teavolution’ Books One Million Lovely Letters is the new book detailing Jodi Ann Bickley’s unbelievable story, and the effect she has had on thousands of people. It is astonishing how much has happened to her in her first 25 years of life, but more astonishing still is her strong will to carry on living through it all. Bickley had her ups and downs growing up, but in 2011 she finally found a good place, working two jobs and performing poetry at events around the UK. However, in that summer, Jodi contracted a rare, life-threatening brain infection from a tic-bite that led to her having a stroke - at 23 she was bed-bound and unable to walk or write. With her life changing so suddenly it was a challenge to find happiness in the situation she found herself in. A year on she was at breaking point with only two choices - give up, or do something special. Thankfully Jodi chose the latter. She set up her own website, called One Million Lovely Letters, and invited anyone who was feeling low or going through a hard time to contact her and she would write them a lovely letter. The response was astounding, bigger than she had ever imagined.

After hand-writing letters to thousands of people, she was happy to be discovered by a publisher who wanted to publish her story and examples of the inspiring letters she had sent out. Due to be released on February 27, her book has a chance to uplift and inspire people just like her letters do. One Million Lovely Letters takes you on the journey from Bickley’s childhood to adolescence, and there is something for everyone to relate to. She writes in a way that captivates your attention and leaves you wondering what’s going to happen next and how she is going to ever get through her illness and the consequences of it. Her style is so personal and relatable, you start to comprehend this story could happen to anyone, even you. This book displays the strength of human spirit that we will never know we have until we are at our weakest point; it almost acts like a counselling session you didn’t know you needed, really making you question what is ‘important’ and how you would handle a life like Bickley’s. By the time you reach the final pages your perspective on life will be changed, your faith in acts of kindness will be restored, and hopefully you too will feel inspired to share love and feel a little less negative towards the world. Available in all major bookstores and on Amazon from February 27. Read our in-depth feature about Bickley on pages 12 & 13.

Kate Jackson k.jackson1@arts.ac.uk

Food & Drink You’re never far away from a good brew in London; our streets are full to the brim with tea houses and coffee shops, offering caffeine fanatics a wide variety of the Nation’s favourite drink, from the classic mugs of builder’s tea to the more refined lapsang souchong. Bubbletea is the new kid on the block and just about as far away as you could get from cosy tea traditions and conventional china cups. They’re calling the new phenomenon the ‘Teavolution’. Bubbleology is popping up all over West London, with shops luring in curious tea fans in Soho, Notting Hill and the newest one recently opening in the Topshop branch on Oxford Street. Originating in Taiwan - where the herbal remedy was invented in the 1980s - Bubbletea can be served either hot or cold, and comes in a variety of fruity and milky flavours, with ‘bubbles’ of chewy tapioca balls at the bottom, referred to as pearls or ‘Boba’, which give the drink it’s name. “Since the early days of its inception, this delicious art has become a science with the kind of strict rules of preparation only usually found in university biology departments or in the ways of the samurai!” said Assad Khan, founder of Bubbleology. I visited Bubbleology in Soho, an inviting and alluring store, with an enticing menu offering seven milk teas and six fruit teas – priced at £3.45 for a regular and £3.75 for a large. The tea itself may intimidate you at first, with bold colours of

Photo by Tom Setterfield

Emma Francis e.francis1@arts.ac.uk

Bubbleology serves up a new type of tea lurid orange, minty greens and shades of pastel, and you may be left worrying about the colour of your insides afterwards. However, the Coconut Pearl tea is a definite winner - with a subtle sweet flavour and a light texture, it’s definitely a closer relative of the milkshake than the humble breakfast tea. Other flavours on offer include Vanilla Pearl, Ginger Red and White Peach. The “Bubbleologists” consider the making of the unusual beverage a fine art, with strict rules in place for the creation. Dunking a tea bag in hot water simply won’t do in the lab of a Bubbleologist. The pearls have to be soaked for hours before the flavours are combined to create the perfect concoction. Be part of the ‘Teavolution’. Bubbleology is located in Soho, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill, Westfield Stratford, Oxford Circus and South Kensington.

Ben Grazebrook b.grazebrook1@arts.ac.uk

Film Lars Von Trier is never far away from controversy and his latest film, Nymphomaniac, does nothing to dispel the preconceptions about the Danish filmmaker. Nymphomaniac is split into two feature length movies that follow Joe – played by Charlotte Gainsbourg and a younger self played by Stacy Martin - a self proclaimed nymphomaniac as she tells her life story to Seligman, played by Stellan Skarsgard, a father-like figure who finds her beaten and bruised in an alley. Nymphomaniac is the vicious story of a sex addict and her attempt to understand the lusts and desires which drive her. Through flashbacks we see Joe exploring her sexuality from teenage masturbation to middle aged flagellation. As she tells her story Seligman is sat hunched over the bed providing a running commentary in which he adapts her tales into abstract digressions. Volume one is by far the lighter and easier to watch of the two films. Martin plays Joe, a laidback, carefree individual who is intrigued by her sexual partners. Joe - who is almost playfully chaotic - despises the idea of love and instead sees sex as a form of youthful protest. In one particularly memorable scene, Joe and her best friend B compete for a bag of sweets by seeing who can seduce the most amount of men on a train journey. Volume two is a much darker and sinister film and sees Joe, now played by Gainsbourg, searching to understand her “filthy, dirty lust”. Volume two witnesses the downfall of Joe, which is high-

lighted more than ever when she begins her work as a debt collector for Willem Dafoe. Joe puts her understanding of male sexuality to good use in this line of work and in one of the more unforgettable and horrific scenes of the movie, Joe exploit a clients paedophilic tendencies in order to get him to pay a debt. The drama gets grittier and heavier as the film progresses and is accompanied by a mixed bag of performances. Uma Thurman is thrilling as a well spoken wife whose husband attempts to run off with Joe. Shia LaBeouf on the other hand is a poor casting choice and his performance and accent both leave something to be desired. Jamie Bell, who plays K, gives a brilliant performance as a dark and dangerous sadist who never quite meets your eye. One of the biggest issues with the film is its lack of place. The film is set in an unnamed European city whose currency is the pound. The film is given no period or context to when it was set, and there are many instances when the film does not feel realistic; the alleyway where Joe is found, for example, is clearly a constructed movie set. The same can be said for Seligman’s apartment. Throughout both volumes Von Trier tries to instil in the viewer that sexuality is the strongest and most destructive of human desires. What makes Nymphomaniac so watchable is the heroic and yet brutal way in which Joe tries to understand her own behaviour. The film is in no way perfect, in fact at times it will annoy and irritate you, and yet it has an emotional punch that remains long after the credits have stopped. Nymphomaniac is currently showing at all major cinemas.

Photo by Tom Setterfield

Gritty Nymphomaniac packs Not your average cocktail bar an emotional punch

Hannah Lockley h.lockley1@arts.ac.uk

Food & Drink Firstly, I have to admit that I had no idea I was going to Lounge Bohemia, so I had no preconceptions of the place beforehand. Nor was I given the chance to google the bar to get the low-down before I arrived - can you tell I hate surprises? However, I was pleasantly amazed to say the least. With ‘speakeasies’ being the drinking hole du jour in London, this cocktail bar is undoubtedly pretty popular, so booking in advance is strongly advised. Although located on one of the busiest streets in East London, you are soon distracted by the bustle of Great Eastern Street and led down a flight of stairs where walls are lined with newspaper print and foreign text. As I entered the lounge, I was dutifully welcomed into a treasure trove of cosiness and opulence, sixties style. The worn out phrase ‘Never judge a book...’ feels like it was coined here, so don’t let the exterior or lack of, put you off going.

The Czech-themed bar feels as though it has been meticulously designed as a tribute to Eastern Europe during the sixties; think avant-garde with low sofas in cool tones of beige, greys and light oranges. What strikes you is how relaxed and calm it feels, aided by the soothing jazz. This place is a definite refuge for anyone tired of packed and noisy bars on street level. You can actually have a conversation with your friend, rather than hand signalling and mouthing the words ‘WHAT?’tenfold. Drinks are ordered from tables only, so no standing around at the bar - in fact no standing at all, which feels like a luxury compared to other cocktail bars. The service feels personal and our drinks were made swiftly. Menus are found inside volumes of classic Czech literature and this is where it gets interesting. Forget your Mojitos and Cosmopolitans; this cocktail menu offers expert molecular cocktails that come in a variety of glasses, selected specifically for each drink. A small edible side accompanies and compliments every beverage. I chose the Apple Pie, Lavender Crème Brulee and the Holy Smoke. The Apple Pie came with a taster spoon of frozen vanilla custard and a mini apple, whilst the Holy Smoke was served in a flask smoking with frankincense and myrrh. The Lavender Crème Brulee tasted as you imagined - I even overheard someone describe it as “a flowery orgasm in a glass”. There are a number of beers on the menu, and drinks to share, like the Tea For Two – however if you want to try something with a strange but spectacular twist, then I’d recommend giving Lounge Bohemia an evening to spare. 1E Great Eastern St, London, EC2A 3EJ


PREVIEWS 21

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Boys-to-men – Gurkha style Award-winning director Kesang Tseten’s film documentar y Who Will Be a Gurkha will be screened for the first time in London on March 6. Tseten offers a nuanced and remarkably humble perspective of the Brigade of Gurkhas; beginning with the recruitment process for potential new soldiers and their rigorous training once accepted. Beautiful images support the story of the interaction between Britain and Nepal - the employer and the employee. The film also shows how the young Nepalese men see the world, themselves and their future. The tough reputation of Gurkha soldiers dates back to 1815 when the British dominance in India was put at risk by marauding forces from the expanding Nepali state. Impressed by their warfare skills and tenacity, Britain began recruiting Nepalese soldiers. Around 200,000 Gurkhas fought for Britain in both World War I and II and 60,000 were killed in action. Today, Gurkha soldiers are sent to areas of conflict such as Afghanistan or Iraq where they do not fear fighting in hand-to-hand combat for the British army. Tseten sets the scene of his documentary in summer 2011. Every year, thousands of Nepalese men compete for the few places to become Gurkhas. The selection, which extends over a few months with a three-phase procedure, tests the aspiring soldiers’ physical condition, intelligence and motivation.

Photo courtesy of Taskovski Films

Caroline Clastres c.clastres1@arts.ac.uk

Gurkhas have been part of the British Army for nearly 200 years Interspersed with archive footage, Tseten presents an observational documentary which gathers all elements to build up a personal feel and opinion. Deliberately wishing to show rather than tell, Tseten chose to let the stories unfold freely as the camera films through the lakeside town of Pokhara in Nepal. “This ‘direct cinema’ approach meant I could not include any on-camera interviews, crucially because it would have been hugely intrusive to pull out individuals from their intense recruitment activities, ” Tseten explains. Even though this process of selection has been used for 200 years, it is the first time the tradition has ever been witnessed so closely.

“Before making this film I did not know much more about the Gurkhas than most people. In fact, I thought I could just walk into the British Gurkha Camp in Pokhara, and start filming. However I soon found out that very few had ever been allowed into the camp to film the recruitment stage and no one had ever filmed the entire process,” says the director. Strong characters are clearly identified through the film as potential recruits and their training is captured as they go through the selection, right until their validation or rejection. Although high spirits and hot tempers are found as much in the British officers as in the Nepalese applicants, the leading forces state their intentions firmly concerning the selection

process: “Fair, free and transparent. We select the ones at the top. Not a single Rupee will get you in,” says the commanding officer. It is made obvious that the determination from the Nepalese applicants is far from being strictly military-motivated. While being asked why they would apply to the British army, many Nepalese reply that “it gives a name and fame” within their society. Salary and recognition are clearly the applicants’ main motives. This immersion into the world of the Army is all the more striking because of the absolute frankness of the Gurkha aspirants. The young Nepalese laugh and then ponder on their possible fate; they talk with pride of becoming a Gurkha but then fear to face their families in case of failure. “I’m going, even if I die. It’s better if we die, then our parents will get money,” says one of the young recruits. “If you join the British army, you will go on operation; you will go to war. You might die or get injured. Every day you will be out because this is your duty. You will grow up and change and from boys you will become men,” says one of the officers to the group of recruits. After three months, only 176 Nepalese men out of 8,000 will be selected to be Gurkhas. This film is a fascinating vision of a military world that goes further than you could ever imagine. Showing on Thursday March 6 2014 at 9pm, Prices are £7 or £5 for concessions. The Lexi Cinema, 194b Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, NW10 3JU

Revisit your teenage years in this comical play Chewing Gum Dreams is a one-woman show that will be taking to the stage at the National Theatre in March. The play is written and performed by actress Michaela Coel, who draws on her experiences from her teenage years and projects them into the main character ‘Tracey’ and her friends. “It’s set in 2004 and based around the school that I actually went to in East London, Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate School,” says Coel. “I guess I’m writing about the craziest, weirdest, most heart-breaking, loveliest characters and they’re all in one massive play. It explores friendships between girls in school, your first relationships with guys, bullying, domestic violence and sexual abuse among young people.” The plot is dramatic yet comical, and Coel claims that not all the events portrayed actually happened to her. “I like to leave it to people to guess which bits are real and which bits are not,” she says. “It’s a coming of age play about that period in your life where you’re not innocent anymore, when suddenly, you start to see things as they really are,” she adds. Coel believes we can all relate to that stage in life; it’s a time when everything is new and there’s a lot to explore. “You will laugh, then cry, then laugh again,” she says, “Just as you did when those situations

were your own reality.“ The soundtrack to her play has an old-school garage vibe. “From Craig David to Sweet Female Attitude’s I’ll Bring You Flowers, it’s all of those songs and all of those memories from that So Solid Crew time - the era when everyone was wearing Chinese print leggings and all that,” laughs Coel. In 2012, Coel won the Alfred Fagon Award for Best Black Playwright of the Year for the play. It’s been shown at the National Theatre’s Cottesloe stage, the National Theatre in Holland, the Yard Theatre and High Tide Festival. However, Coel explains this may be your final chance to see it on stage. “Right now it’s being turned into a TV series with the same company that did Phoneshop and The IT Crowd. So we’ve got a big reading for Channel 4 at the end of the month and fingers crossed they turn it into a whole series, but right now it’s a pilot episode.” The play will be staged at The Shed – a temporary venue at the National Theatre. The site has just 225 seats that circle around the stage creating an intimate theatre experience. The venue seems suited to the style of Chewing Gum Dreams. “It’s a really personal play - it’s just me. There’s no special effects, I can see you really clearly as the audience and you can see me,” says Coel. Chewing Gum Dreams is shown at The Shed, in the National Theatre from March 17 to April 5. UAL students can get discounted tickets of £8 by quoting CGD8, when booking.

Photo courtesy of the National Theatre

Emma Francis e.francis1@arts.ac.uk

Michaela Coel plays the main character, Tracey, in Chewing Gum Dreams

Answers to last week’s crossword: Across: 1. Stump; 5. All; 6. Debt; 8. Obese; 9. Fool; 10. Engagement; 13. Yelp; 14. Cos. Down: 1. Stationery; 2. Ugly; 3. Fob; 4. Rival; 6. Dive; 7. Trousers; 11. Alp; 12. Tip.


22 FEATURE

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

American football finally having an impact on the British public The NFL seems to have finally breached the gap across the Pond. Wembley will host a trio of NFL regular season games in mid October for the eighth-year running. Elliot Monahan reports. By Elliot Monahan e.monahan@arts.ac.uk

“I grew up in the suburbs of Paris, and just near where I lived, the biggest club in France (La Courneuve Flash) held practices, and a lot of my friends really wanted to try American Football. I followed along with them and really enjoyed the first few training sessions. After that I started playing in the regular season games with the team. I was 14 and since then I’ve never stopped and have played everywhere across Europe and the US.” The overwhelming popularity of the sport here has started murmurs of a potential NFL franchise team starting in London, with Jacksonville Jaguars most likely looking to be refranchised. It’s yet to be seen if an NFL team in London could sell out ten times a year. However, three Wembley games were announced for the new 2014/2015 season and have sold out already with half the attendance being season ticket holders in the form of three game pack, showing the significance of having a potential London franchise. Thouant shares his thoughts on how this would effect the NFL’s potential profile here: “I think it would be amazing, but the biggest problem about playing American Football in Europe is that there is a severe lack of media coverage. Nobody knows that you can pick up this sport more conveniently the most people are aware of. If the NFL were to make a team in London, that

can change everything, I’m pretty sure a lot of clubs will appear and more people will want to learn about the sport and try to play.” Promotion for the sport here has been gradually more evident. The use of popular London tourist attractions has brought fans to the UK for both sight seeing and sport. NFL fan rallies at Trafalgar Square have brought fans around the world to see legends of the sport speak on the current climate of the game. Oxford Street was decorated in half American and Union Jack flags with the NFL logo printed on the middle. Niketown is partnered with the NFL in promoting the UK games, with multiple meet and greets with players, competitions and the sale of all types of American Football merchandise. Although this remains all well and good, the sport will never develop to the standard it may need in the UK unless the promotion of playing the sport becomes more attractive to the youth. It is too early to tell if a UK based NFL team would be the right way to go. We’ve seen multiple players from our nation play professionally in the NFL with likes of Jack Crawford and Menelik Watson both playing for the Oakland Raiders this season just passed. It’s becoming increasingly likely that we may be seeing the next great quarterback coming out of our country instead of the next great striker.

Photo courtesy ofWikepedia Commons; picture by: UKEXPAT

The NFL wound down another intense season last month in the spectacle that was the SuperBowl, with the Seattle Seahawks taking down the Denver Broncos. But talk of the sport has not disappeared here in the UK, as the game has reached an all-time high in popularity. The increase in demand for the NFL is largely based around the increase in ratings for the televised games. This is the eighth year that a regular season NFL games will be hosted at Wembley. The surge in NFL’s branding across the UK, has led to the UK being nicknamed the ‘fifty-first state’ of American Football. When the NFL started gaining fans in the UK it was a novelty, as we only were accustomed to a brief amount of exposure to it. The NFL was more of a cult sport supported by those with a passion for it, as its unsuccessful attempts during the last 30 years to create a sustainable league fell short. But the NFL’s greatest impact is better shown in how its unintentionally boosted participation in the sport. Now, it seems the NFL is here to stay. Like many forms of Americanisation in UK history, whether it be through film or music, it seems that European crowds have a great fondness for

the things it brings to our everyday life and culture. One of the 50 British American Football Association Football League (BAFANL) teams, the London Blitz is based in Finsbury Park. It is a team grounded on the ever increasing rise in fans of the sport across Europe. The team’s own success has proven the standard of play this country can produce with their outstanding performances in winning five league championships in the last seven years along with a momentous European Cup victory in 2011. The team also boasts a very open policy with tryouts available, giving chances to all ages and sizes. W i t h t h e n e w B A FA N L s e a s o n a l m o s t approaching, London Blitz’s linebacker, Marcus Thouant says: “Our goal for the new season at the London Blitz is to become Premiership champions once again. We lost in last year’s final during a really intense and tight match against the London Warriors (26-23), so the first goal this season is to be back on top. Our second goal is the Champions League, we have two games against French teams, and we really want to get in play-offs this year, to show the European fans that a British team can also play good football.” It’s no surprise that London is where teams are starting to gain players for the sport, as Thouant explains how he came about to play the game:

The London Blitz is a team based in Finsbury Park London. They are the most successful British American football team. They lost last years’s final against the London Warriors 26-23 in a tight encounter


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artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Photo courtesy of Flikr; Photo by: David Holt London

The NFL aims to compete with rugby and cricket in Britain

The influence of the NFL over British fans is bigger than ever. Wembley will host three games in mid October this year and talk of a UK franchise should have the British fans delighted

By Jack Davis j.davis@arts.ac.uk

•The 1976-1977 Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the record for the longest losing streak in NFL history at 26 games.

It’s hard to imagine a household in the United Kingdom with posters of Payton Manning spread across youngsters’ walls, but with the Super Bowl growing in popularity it may just become a reality in the not too distant future. With Super Bowl viewing figures in 2013 reaching more than four million views , twice as many as in 2007, it may not be too long before our rugby fields are taken over by American football fields. American football is currently the seventh most watched sport on Sky Sports and with rumours of a UK franchise being set up gridiron will be looking to challenge rugby and cricket in the viewing figures stakes over the next few years. The growing popularity may be due to the fact London now hosts three regular season games, which have already sold out, six months in advance. The Super Bowl has also taken advantage of the lack of sports shown in BBC, with Formula One and cricket moving to Sky Sports over the last few years. The Super Bowl has seized its opportunity as one of the only remaining free aired major sporting events. The entertainment factor has also been key, with many tuning in to this year’s Super Bowl to not only catch the game but the expensive halftime show, which included music from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars. Marcus Thouant line backer for London Blitz said: “I believe the NFL is growing in popularity, because people are curious, and today they want to learn and see more things than rugby or soccer. American Football is a really old and powerful sport, with amazing marketing. When you watch a game, you have a really big show, fanfare, cheerleaders, it’s a huge experience. It’s really different to our traditional game in

• It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs. •Miami has hosted the most Super Bowls so far at 10 •Pittsburgh holds the NFL record for most Super Bowl victories at six. •NFL was founded in Canton in 1920 •The oldest record in the NFL’s Record & Fact Book was recorded in 1929 •At the end of the 1966 season the winners of the NFL and AFL competed in the first Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers beating the Kansas City Chiefs. •In 1970 the NFL and AFL completed a controversial merger. •The 1972 Miami Dolphins completed the only undefeated season in the sport’s history. •In 2002 NFL expanded it’s roster to 32 teams with the addition of the Houston Texans.

Europe, that’s why people are interested. It’s totally new, and it’s works perfectly.” A key to sustaining the growing popularity of American football is the participation at grass roots level. Leagues and clubs have begun to spring up all across the UK, with 75 universities having a registered team and more than 4,100 players, coaches and officials. Flag football which is a five-a-side, non-contact version of American football without health and safety issues, has also seen a boom in participation. Another aspect of NFL that appears to be growing a fan base is fantasy football. With official leagues now on the internet which are not too dissimilar from the fantasy football leagues seen with soccer in Britain. This is yet another reason why more and more people are getting into NFL. NFL officials will be hoping that the current surge in the sport stays after a failed attempt in

the 1990s, with London having their own side London Monarchs, that competed in a European-based league. There is now a growing feeling among UK NFL fans that it is here to stay. Jordan Griffin, 21, studying film at LCC says: “I first watched the Super Bowl back in 2002 when New England Patriots won their first Super Bowl in dramatic fashion, since then I haven’t missed one and I even follow New England’s regular season games now. I feel the popularity has risen because the overall coverage is so much better now than it was a few years ago . The regular season games coming over to London has helped massively. Me and a few friends set up our own fantasy league too, which makes watching more interesting.” The coming years will surely indicate if the current UK buzz around American football is here to stay or not.

Photo courtesy of Flickr; picture by: David Holt London

Fact Box

Every year the NFL organises a fan rally at Trafalgar Square where legends and players interact with fans


24 SPORTS REPORTS

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Photo by: Josh Hayes

Arts Rugby power through to cup quarter-finals with win over City

The rugby team managed to defeat City University 39-15. The Arts have now gone through to the last sixteen of the BUCS South East Conference Plate Cup and will be looking to achieve the double this season By Keelesh Bokhoory k.bokhoory@lcc.arts.ac.uk UAL men’s rugby kept their impressive season going by progressing to the quarter-finals of the BUCS South East Conference Plate Cup with a 39-15 victory over City University 1st XV. Arts got off to a flying start with centre Ruairi Fallon scoring a long solo try within the first 10 minutes. UAL kept their foot on the pedal and didn’t have to wait long for their next try as number 8 Mitch Clare powered over in the corner after 15 minutes. City University got off the mark midway through the first half, knocking

over a penalty after some ill discipline in the Arts defence to pull the score back to 12-3. City’s hopes of pulling themselves back into the game were dashed on the stroke of half time after a moment of genius from Henr y Bur ns, t he winger throwing a dummy and breaking the line, before collecing his own grubber kick in the goal and touching down for what is undoubtedly Arts try of the season to date. Burns’ score sent the sides in to the break with UAL holding a comfortable 17-3 lead over City. In the second half, UAL star ted impressively, with the outstanding Hee-Won Cho scoring his first try of

the day after a good move through the backs and a clever offload from fullback Sean Coppack. Cho didn’t have to wait long to get his second of the day as he fended off several defenders to score a superb solo effort under the posts. Cho’s back to back tries had put Arts in a commanding position and a penalty from Coppack extended their lead, any hopes of a City come back were looking increasingly remote. On 60 minutes UAL picked up their final score of the game as top scorer Andrew Pickup evaded some desperate City tackling to give UAL a 39-3 lead.

A degree of parity was added to the score board late on as City University scored two quick fire tries after some uncharacteristic complacency from UAL, but the damage was already inflicted as the Arts ran out 39-15 winners to progress to the quarter final. One negative to come from the game for UAL was a dislocated shoulder sustained by prop Alex Spink whos recovery could be key to a congested run in for the Arts. After the game, vice-captian Sean Coppack praised his side saying, “When you get to the later stages of a cup competition like this, it’s important that you front up and play well

otherwise you’re going home, at times we were superb today” He especially praised both centres who had a terrific game: “Ruairi [Fallon] and Hee [Won Cho] were outstanding, they bring a real physicality that not many teams at this level can match or cope with.” Coppack said. “They boost everyones confidence because you know that as a team you’ll be very dangerous every time you go forward.” Coppack added. With their quarter final opponents yet to be determined Arts focus returns to the league with a crucial top of the table clash against Portsmouth University at Burgess Park next week.

Hockey shines with a great display but football suffers By Max Petch m.petch@arts.ac.uk UAL sport suffered a set-back last week with its men’s football Firsts and women’s netball Firsts succumbing to disappointing home defeats.

Football The Arts football Firsts lost 5-2 to University of Medway Thirds and Arts netball Firsts lost 31-22 against University College of London (RUMS) Fifths. However, UAL Men’s Hockey Seconds got their best result of the year with a 17-1 victory over University College London Sixths. After the previous week’s disappointing derby defeat to Arts Seconds, the Firsts were looking to get back to winning ways. They faced bottom of the table Medway Thirds. The game was a close encounter with both sides playing

high intensity flowing attacking football. It was Medway who broke the deadlock in the first half. Arts came fighting back and found themselves 2-1 up in the second half with goals coming from the strike pairing of Emeka Dike and Will Mowbray. However, the late hamstring injury to winger James Collins proved to be a pivotal moment as the away side took advantage of the extra man and scored four goals late on in the second half to win the match 5-2. Arts Captain Ryan Davies had this to say of his team’s performance, “I think we were unlucky not to get a result. We did well to go 2-1 ahead in the second half but after they equalised the wheels fell off. I think we can push forward and still get a respectable position in the league. I’m sure we’ll bounce back against Essex next week with a better display”

Netball Fresh from last week’s victory, Arts Netball Firsts were looking to keep up their winning ways, but found themselves unable to break down a resilient UCL side. With Arts playing on a different home pitch, they started the game brightly with them putting the pressure on UCL and scoring important goals to keep the scoreboard ticking. However, the closely-fought game played into UCL’s hands with them having an extra edge in attack with their quick and clever offensive play getting the better of the Arts defence, and tilting the match in their favour. After their fifth loss of the season, Arts netball president and woman of the match Shan Randhawa said: “The first team lost last week’s game which was a shame because we were definitely the stronger side. “Their defence was very tough. I’d

say there was questionable umpiring at times as there was a lot of contact that wasn’t being called up. “I managed to get smacked in the face and dropped to the floor-black eyed and all. “One thing we took from it though was that we had some beautiful runs through the court and responded to their aggressive play by zoning and putting pressure on their attack.” Randhawa however believes that the Firsts are going to go from strength to strength, “The first team is really gelling and the standard of play and the level of passion our players have has been the best I’ve seen in three years of being here.”

Hockey With Arts men’s hockey Seconds going through a frustrating season of called-off games and walk-over fixtures, they produced a sterling display

against a UCL side that had no match for the Arts attacking talent and flair. With goals coming from Alistair Cochrane, Ed Hands, David Holmes and Richard Schembri, Arts found t hemselves controlling t he game throughout and constantly being on the offensive. This 17-1 game will certainly go down as one of the biggest victories in UAL men’s hockey history. The defence was superb and only conceded a single goal. Arts men’s hockey Seconds’ player and Man of the Match Oscar Murray said: “We simply had a great game, all the boys played to the full throughout the match despite having only ten men against a full squad. “We played as a unit and got the ball up to our attackers constantly to take away a strong 16-goal lead. Ed Hands played exceptionally with five goals and Alistair Cochrane with seven.”


Cover photography by Lackystrike/Courtesy of Flickr

Fan-owned football clubs: Survival in a time driven by money

Photo by: Russell C/Courtesy of Flickr

Ivan Badev investigates the new fan terraces at Bristol City

Joanne Roque speaks to Futsal superstar Ricardinho on page...3


2 SPORTS EXTRA

UAL student making a big noise in UK futsal scene: Day in the life Brazilian Raoni Medina puts ALN Sports Extra Editor Ollie Woodbridge through his futsal paces

I

remember so vividly the moment Futsal first came into my consciousness. Almost a decade ago, after training with my local Sunday league football club I had a chance encounter with an old school friend who happened to thrust a flyer for local Futsal sessions into my hand on that stormy, sodden Thursday night. I remember being left slightly confused that my old friend, he and I once stalwarts of various school football teams, had now decided to champion the cause of the, albeit popular, pub-based game ‘foosball’. My ignorance towards the then almost unknown South American version of England’s beloved game has since of course been rectified, as my immediate curiosity into the matter led

me to see my immense error. He was of course championing Futsal and I, of course, was mortified that as a self-confessed anorak of the beautiful game had no knowledge of the incarnation of the sport that had given birth to so many of my heroes hailing from that part of the world. Almost all of which were so well versed in futsal and translated their skills to the modern becoming largely responsible for the huge leap in quality the European game over the last decade and beyond.

“What the hell is futsal?!” Although my mistake all those years ago was surely representative of the lack of knowledge that many football fans have about what Futsal actually

Photo by: Joshua Hayes

artslondonnews.com Friday 28 February 2014

Raoni Medina testing out Woodbridges capacity to volley a ball in a straight line- the concentration! is, even now I realised my conception of the game stretched thinly – namely that it was a 5 aside, indoor version of the game played with a smaller, heavier ball. That is it. My years in the futsal wilderness were soon to be a distant memory though as recently a good friend and professional futsal player Roani Medina was to show me out of the dark ages as I spent a day in the life of a member of professional futsal outfit Baku FC. I decided to throw myself in at the deep end and instructed Roani to induct me into a no holds barred version of his regime and allow me to fully immerse myself into a typical futsal player’s day. Having played football since a young age to what I consider a reasonable level of proficiency I had no qualms and if anything knew that this could be my chance even maybe impress a few of these paid pros. I went to bed

Photo by: Joshua Hayes

Early start

Sports Extra editor Ollie Woodbridge is also vice president of UAL mens football club

Raoni Medina and I met at his house at 08:30 the next morning, the early start inspired by my desire to experience every aspect of his day, which would include his most important meal. “For breakfast we’ll have a yoghurt with soya protein, banana and a pre-workout drink...which doesn’t taste great I warn you.” Although it’s taste did indeed leave a lot to be desired I didn’t have time to dwell on the matter as he duly whisked me off to Stratford’s Copper Box arena to meet his colleagues and the much anticipated ‘coach’ who he’d spent much of our hurried breakfast forewarning me about. A former coach of Inter Movistar, one of the most renowned futsal teams in the world, it was clear from Raoni’s tone that this man was to be respected, absolutely obeyed to the letter and I think in general terms ‘feared’. The changing room was a place to which I was very accustomed and after I met Roani’s teammates and members of Baku FC’s immediate staff I then changed and braced myself for the 10 am sharp arrival of ‘coach’ and excitedly braced myself for my first taste of futsal. The next two and a half hours are hard to recall with any real clarity yet I must endeavour for the sake of this editorial. The pain is pretty easy to recollect though, as throughout the session the total rest time aggregated to about ten minutes. It was non-stop, as drill after drill were beset upon us and the predominant thought was how utterly foolish I had been in the days previous to think that my ‘skills’ were going to give me any sort

foundation in this place. The drills were enormously varied yet equally as unrelenting, inevitably starting with some circuits training which I was pretty confident with. I like to think of myself as fit, not into any Paula Radcliffe type dimension or anything, and I expected to eventually be left behind by paid professionals it wasn’t just shortness of breath that left me in their tracks. It was in fact the increasing complexity of these once simple drills that were changing as we were doing them, with frequent shouting of orders and a flurry of movement of cones i was left baffled but was told not to worry and “to take my time.” I persevered clumsily against the almost choreographed backdrop of the well-marshalled Medina and the rest of Baku FC. What felt like months later, but was in fact just twenty minutes, we were given a 3-minute break as we prepared to begin the main course of futsal-based activities. As I was soon to discover a futsal is no football, much smaller and denser even the simplest techniques in my repertoire such as controlling the ball with the side of my foot were unemployable here. As simple a premise as this was torn from me as to have your foot on top of the ball, as opposed to lying along side it, is the start point for everything you want to do in futsal. It allows an absolute control over the smaller ball and is the start point for almost every drill. As easy a concept as that sounds like to master, when each drill is 12-15 minutes long and falls straight into the next with only seconds rest for water, it is incredibly disheartening when you inevitably forget. After such a gruelling day so far I was thankful that Raoni took it easy on me in the afternoon gym work, allowing me to mainly pick his brains about all things futsal while he went through a rigorous upper body program. “I’m 32 now, I love futsal and even though I look after myself I might only be able to do this another 5-7 years. I need to plan for the future and I’m grateful I have the chance to do this with Baku FC.” With football becoming increasing technical and the focus shifting to passing in the modern game, it is easy to see why countries with a thriving futsal culture such as Brazil and Spain are dominating the international scene, leaving England in their wake. Perhaps it is time to adjust the grass roots of the game in this country and introduce the next generation to this variation of the beautiful game to avoid the technical incompetiancies that plagued me.


SPORTS EXTRA 3

artslondonnews.co.uk Friday 28 February 2014

Ricardinho: the magician of futsal on his way to Euro 2014

ALN’s Joanne Roque speaks to Portuguese futsal superstar Ricardinho who was voted the world’s best futsal player in 2010, about his way to the top, his career, UAE and his aims for the future.

Career

Photo by:Norio Nakayama/Courtesy of Flickr

Ricardo’s CV boasts four national championships, three domestic cups, three Super Cups (with Benfica in the Portuguese Futsal League), best player in the UEFA Futsal Championship in 2007, best futsal player in the world in 2010 and the star of the Euro Futsal Championship in 2012. He is one of the most respected players in the game and is certainly set to be one of the stars of UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 in Belgium. Laughter comes easily, yet there is also a fiercely combative side to a futsal player that fans warmly call ‘the magician’. He likes the nickname and it is apt. Ricardinho looks you in

Futsal can be played both out and inside

Photo by:Roani Medina

P

ortugal’s starlet Ricardo Felipe da Silva Braga is futsal’s answer to Lionel Messi. The magic left foot, the 1.64m stature, the stunning goals and inspired assists; the dribbling skills you thought only existed in video games, all remind the viewer of the Barcelona star. In the futsal ranks he is known as Ricardinho and is possibly the most famous European futsal player of his generation. But as we meet in a local café in Leyton, East London, talking about his career and future plans, the Portuguese maestro also happens the most grounded world-class player that is possible to imagine. “As a 13-year-old, I watched in awe as Brazil’s Alessandro Rosa Vieira [aka Falcao], burst on to the international futsal scene with his subtle skills and amazing goal-scoring ability,” says Ricardinho. “Just his pace, skills and his ability to move past players left me in awe I remember after school practicing his skills in the garden, I used to be the garden from 6pm to 9pm until I knew I perfected everything.” The Portuguese maestro instantly decided that he wanted to become better than Falcao. And to drive him on in his quest, he got a tattoo on his left leg saying Falcao was ‘The No.1’. Fifteen years later, he has risen through the ranks with Portugal and racked up an array of achievements.

Futsal superstars Ricardinho (left) and Raoni Medina at the UEFA Champions festival 2013 the eye when he talks to you, even when he is searching for the right word in his adopted language. Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced five-a-side football game that is widely played across the world, “The biggest quality a player needs is thinking fast – and executing fast “, Ricardo continues “That makes the difference. There are players who have bags of technique and players who defend well. But if they can’t think and execute quickly, they normally won’t get the better of their opponents. That’s the greatest quality.” The Portuguese was voted best futsal player in the world in 2010, an accolade that was awarded by magazine website Futsal Planet, which made him the first Portuguese futsal player to win the prize, an accolade he share with with his idol Falcao. “That year (2010) was special for me already, I’d won the league title with Benfica, which was an amazing achievement personally and for the country. That same year I scored the biggest goal of my life, my career ambition, which is to be the best in the world, is fantastic,” he said with a smile on his face.” The nature of futsal places a large emphasis on technical skill and ability in situations of high pressure, and is subsequently an excellent breeding ground for football skill that can be translated into the 11-a-side format of the game. “Futsal was important in helping to develop my ball control, quick thinking, passing, also for dribbling, balance and concentration. Futsal is important, no doubt in a football-players career,” The magician’s response provides a window into this ostensibly easy-going, gregarious character; a player who, minutes earlier, had been entertaining the room with his singing skills. “Perhaps in regular football you cannot appreciate the talent. Everything is more physical. But in futsal you have small details of quality, class

and tactical aspects.” “Futsal is an extremely important way for kids to develop their skills and understanding of the game. My touch and my dribbling have come from playing futsal”.

UAE Over the past 11 years Ricardinho has grown accustomed to packing his bags and finding new adventures in places such as Japan, Russia and Portugal. Yet, having now settled in Dubai he hopes to stay for good. The Mission: He aims to help the sport in United Arab Emirates. Yet, there is a sensitive side to 5ft 4in athlete, a marauding, fearless attacking midfielder he also makes jokes about himself. The magician of futsal believes that United Arab Emirates (UAE) could be a powerhouse on the international futsal scene, he also thinks changes have to be made to raise the profile. Given that is played indoors, the heat and humidity, the lack of grass and high temperatures futsal is emerging as a favorite sport in the country. And the 28 year-old would be more than happy in helping the sport rise further. “UAE need more kids to be involved, the normal thinking has been to have players involved in futsal once they are 18 or 19 years so that they assimilate a separate level of skills from playing futsal. This is no longer true. “We need children getting involved when they are 11 or 12 years old. If they join in when they are five or six years old, then it will be even better. And it would make me even happier to see these kids stay back as futsal players instead of going back to football. You learn much better as a kid.” To raise the profile certain structures have to be put in place. “Besides the children getting involved, there have to be sponsors and investors for futsal here. People will need to believe that

this country has the potential to make it big.” Ricardinho’s relaxed demeanor as he talked expansively of his love for Futsal, is a far cry from the tense character often seen during interviews. “Organisers who stage tournaments need to invite the big international stars, such as the Brazilians and Spaniards, so that they can improve the standard of futsal here. And the national team will need to work extra hard so that they can prove themselves on the international stage. The UAE needs to believe they are capable of playing in the Futsal World Cup. They need to believe they are capable of taking this next step. The UAE has recently been promoting futsal, In 2010, the UAE held its first national futsal league featuring 11 teams, four years on, the league has 12 teams and Dubai held the 2012 Asian Football Confederation Futsal Championship, which featured the UAE’s recently formed national team.

Road to Euro 2014 On t he inter national level, Ricardinho is unhappy with the lack of achievements, Portugal are yet to win a major competition, and are probably the strongest futsal nation without such an honour but, Ricardinho is cautious about their chances. “We can win but we aren’t favourites,” he said. “The favourites are Russia and Spain, because they have already won trophies. We haven’t, so we have the potential and we have a great reputation, but we have to work step by step to get as far as possible, and only then can we win.” With the UEFA Futsal Euro 2014 less than two months away, Ricardinho knows that the key is his fitness, “The small pitch means fitness is underrated. He continues: “But futsal is all about sudden stopping, changes of direction and explosive acceleration. To be better physically than your opponent. Then it’s possible to gain an advantage.”


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SPORTS EXTRA

artslondonnews.co.uk Friday 28 February 2014

SPORTS EXTRA 5

artslondonnews.co.uk Friday 28 February 2014

FA are narrow-minded in their approach to coaching in Britain

Football safe-standing areas can be the lungs of a stadium

Arts London News reporter Ivan Badev investigates Bristol City’s innovative step to include a ‘safestanding’ area at their home ground of Ashton Gate could standing one day return to the Premier League? converted back to seating. Seats can then be attached to every second row as there is a metal clip on every second step. The third option is foldaway seats. As with clip on seats, the barriers are easily removable when the stadium is in all-seater mode, but the main difference is that when the stand is in standing mode, the seats fold away. Every other step is made out of metal, and the seats are placed under the metal steps. All of the models above have been developed to enable the clubs to comply with the FIFA and UEFA regulations, where the stadiums have to be all- seater. Michael Brunskill of t he Foot ball Suppor ters’ Federation brought more clarity on the topic, as it is one of the most discussed areas within their organisation in the recent years: “By FIFA and UEFA’s rules any ground wishing to stage competitive European fixtures or international games must be all-seater. Rail seats are a modern solution for clubs who would like to introduce safe standing areas but who also have ambitions of competing in Europe or hosting international matches. “Rail seats can be quickly converted from standing to seated configuration with minimum fuss. A club can have an all-seater stadium for their big European night and standing areas for domestic games.” Asked about fans’ perception of standing he explained: “Fans tell us that the main reason they would like safe-standing areas is to improve the atmosphere. If you sing in a church, it’s easier if you stand up, and football is no different in that respect. Standing areas can be the lungs

Fans tell us that the main reason they would like safestanding areas is to improve atmospheres. Michael Brunskill

of a stadium. The second reason that supporters mention is price. Standing areas throughout Europe are cheaper than equivalent seated areas.” Brunskill argues that the safe standing areas could add to fans’ match day experience: “It would remove the current conflict between stewards and people who don’t want to sit down. It would improve customer care. Too many fans who prefer to sit have their views blocked by those who would rather stand. Safe standing areas could end that as those who prefer to stand have that option.” Standing areas have been pioneered in the German Bundesliga, w it h B o r u s s i a D o r t mund’s ‘ Yellow Wall’ being the most notable example, boasting a capacity of 25.000 standing places. The standing areas create a b e t te r m a tc h d a y a t m o s p h e r e fo r t h e fans, so they can bring positives to the English game. In the UK though, the future of safe-standing is uncertain. There are many contrary opinions, and currently, it is forbidden by Premier League laws. However, several teams, apart from Bristol City, are keen on applying it in their stadiums: “Celtic say they are going to do it this year. England is more difficult to predict. At present the Football League would introduce a trial very soon, if they are allowed by the government. While the Premier League still says it will not hear about it. But that could change once more top- flight clubs back it”, explains Brunskill. Asked if the model established in Germany is the most acceptable and safe one, Brunskill says: “Rail seats certainly seem to be favoured by

clubs with European ambitions as UEFA only accepts all-seated stadiums for its competitions.” The Football Supporters’ Federation outlines a couple more advantages of the standing areas. They are cheaper to maintain and do not need to be replaced as often as the seats. In addition, standing areas will increase the stadium’s capacity and, should, in theory, lower prices. Currently, the Football Supporters’ Federation is carrying out a campaign to promote the benefits of safe -standing: “We want to persuade the government, football authorities and football clubs to accept the case for introducing, on a trial basis, limited sections of standing areas at selected grounds in the stadiums of Premier League and Championship football clubs,” explains Brunskill. According to a 2012 survey, by the Football Supporters’ Federeation nine out of ten fans prefer to have a choice to sit or stand, rather than be forced by stewards to stay on their seats. It is only natural, that the relatives of the 96 who died in Hillsborough in April 1989 are totally against the return of standing areas, but the new model is in no way a return to the old days, and is not called ‘safe’ in vain. The safe-standing areas have metal rails, which will not allow crowds to push people towards the edge of the stands, which is what happened at Hillsborough. What’s more, there has been a significant advance in regulation of safety, fans’ perception and stewarding on match days, and it is nothing like the 1980s. Safety-standing could soon be coming to a ground near you.

he Football Association is “narrow minded” in how it trains and educates its aspiring young managers are stuck in a mind-set that their way is still the best, according to budding manager Daniel Carter. Carter, 20, is a young ambitious manager, who has just completed his FA coaching badges, a UEFA A and B license, he is now a fully fledged manager and can go abroad and coach, which gives him every chance of success in the future and achieving his dream of becoming a professional manager in England’s top division. The die-hard Chelsea fan is hoping to make it a s o n e o f t h e f i r s t non-playing managers to control a team in the top flight.

St. George’s Park

courses on offer which I am certain will deter a huge percentage of applicants wanting to go on these courses.”

Courses Carter believes that the FA coaching badges and courses are ‘old fashioned’ and says that the organisation needs to drastically re-think how it delivers these courses. He thinks the FA should look at how other countries train their coaches if we are going to produce managers to win the biggest titles around the globe. “Foreign courses teach you what to coach and the many different styles of play that are played around the world, whereas the course over here is based largely around the standard 4-4-2 formation with t he big man up front. Also we get told how to coach rather than the fine details of the sport.”

English clubs need to stop looking abroad for all the answers. We have to trust our young managers and give them a chance.

There have always been questions as to why the Premier League lacks English-born managers. Carter firmly believes this is due to the coaching of young managers and unflinchingly lays the blame at the FA’s door, whilst at the same time admitting the birth of the new St George’s Park at Burton-On-Trent might further hinder the growth of top quality English managers. “St George’s Park will certainly help aid the successful future for the playing staff in our country, but in terms of home-grown managers it could potentially really hurt us. In order to recoup the millions the FA spent on this facility, they have tripled the price of the coaching

Daniel Carter

Going abroad Since the creation of the Premier League more and more international managers have been chosen to manage clubs in this country. It is not uncommon for English managers to travel abroad to coach but with few clinching the bigger jobs in world football, it does raise concerns about the English programme at present. Carter believes that budding managers should be encouraged to spend some part of their early experience coaching in other countries as this will only improve

In the UK, the future of safe-standing is uncertain. Currently it is forbidden by Premier League laws. Ivan Badev

Picture credit: Adithep Prakaianurat

League One side Bristol City hit the headlines this week, not with a footballing success, but with a revolutionary decision to establish a standing area at their home ground of Ashton Gate and install so called ‘safe- standing’. The Robins are the first club across the UK, to install safe-standing for next season. They plan to install rail seats, as part of a demonstration block, that will give both their fans and those of opposing teams an accurate idea of how the system will work. There is one problem, however. The football club will be sharing the stadium with the Bristol rugby team, and due to Football League regulations, only the rugby fans will be able to explore the benefits of the rail seats and standing during games. Although there are Premier League clubs in favour, such as Aston Villa, which would like to to install standing areas, the gover ning bodies a re b l o c k i n g t h e m and safe-standing is not allowed by the Premier League. There are currently three types of approved safe-standing. The first, and most popular, is rail seats. This is the design that top-flight clubs seem most likely to adopt. There is a safety barrier and a seat on every row. The seats are locked into an upright position for domestic games and supporters stand between the barriers. For European games, which demand all-seater stadiums, the seats are simply unlocked. The second option is clip on seats. With this model standing areas include safety barriers every few rows, which are easily removable when

T

The young managers at a training ground in East London

Picture credit: Daniel Carter

Safe-standing areas have plenty of advantages including being cheaper to maintain and increasing the stadium’s capacity and are also increasingly popular with several teams in the Premier League

Photo courtesy of euro-kick.com

ALN reporter David Petter met with young manager Daniel Carter to discuss the FA’s policies for manager development and why he’s encouraging youngsters to go overseas and break away from 4-4-2.

Daniel Carter with England manager Roy Hodgson; who cast his eye over potential England managers their own prospects. “I think it’s vital youngsters go abroad, as you get that extra knowledge and learn other ways of playing apart from the standard 4-4-2,” Carter says. “I have just got back from spending a couple of months in Spain where I helped in a non-league side and I have already got a trip to Hungary planned for next month where I have a coaching placement at a lower division side and then in the summer I am off to Australia to coach for six months.” Carter describes the English mentality as “extremely narrow-minded” as coaches are discouraged from going abroad to gain a better understanding of the game. “We all need to get out of this mind-set where we think England’s the best. By going abroad I have quickly noticed that this way of thinking is not apparent in other countries, so I think it’s time we moved our thinking on.” “I think it is being proven now that to become a successful manager you need at least six different views of how to play. You need to adapt. Just look at Jose Mourinho, arguably the leading manager at this time, and he has always challenged himself by going abroad. As a result has won titles in every major country meaning that now he has an encyclopedic knowledge of different ways of playing football which is making him one of the most in demand managers.”

Promotion However, Carter also hints that English football clubs should play a part in promoting Eng-

lish managers by appointing them at the top clubs instead of always looking abroad. “English clubs need to stop looking abroad for all the answers. We have to trust our young managers and give them a chance. There are some top quality managers in this country who are just waiting for their chance at glory. We need to show our managers that we have confidence in them. “Maybe a rule should be implemented that says every club in the Premier League must have an English assistant.” Carter continues, “I understand that it will be a difficult rule to put in place but something needs to change. I mean young managers are not being given the opportunities in this country. As mentioned, Carter has a busy schedule for the time being with trips to Hungary and Australia just over the horizon . Although Carter still remains optimistic about his future, only time will tell if he fulfills his dream of becoming a top manager in the future.

Uefa A, B & Pro license holders per nation Spain 23,995 Italy 29,420 Germany 34,970 France 17,588 England 2,769


4

SPORTS EXTRA

artslondonnews.co.uk Friday 28 February 2014

SPORTS EXTRA 5

artslondonnews.co.uk Friday 28 February 2014

FA are narrow-minded in their approach to coaching in Britain

Football safe-standing areas can be the lungs of a stadium

Arts London News reporter Ivan Badev investigates Bristol City’s innovative step to include a ‘safestanding’ area at their home ground of Ashton Gate could standing one day return to the Premier League? converted back to seating. Seats can then be attached to every second row as there is a metal clip on every second step. The third option is foldaway seats. As with clip on seats, the barriers are easily removable when the stadium is in all-seater mode, but the main difference is that when the stand is in standing mode, the seats fold away. Every other step is made out of metal, and the seats are placed under the metal steps. All of the models above have been developed to enable the clubs to comply with the FIFA and UEFA regulations, where the stadiums have to be all- seater. Michael Brunskill of t he Foot ball Suppor ters’ Federation brought more clarity on the topic, as it is one of the most discussed areas within their organisation in the recent years: “By FIFA and UEFA’s rules any ground wishing to stage competitive European fixtures or international games must be all-seater. Rail seats are a modern solution for clubs who would like to introduce safe standing areas but who also have ambitions of competing in Europe or hosting international matches. “Rail seats can be quickly converted from standing to seated configuration with minimum fuss. A club can have an all-seater stadium for their big European night and standing areas for domestic games.” Asked about fans’ perception of standing he explained: “Fans tell us that the main reason they would like safe-standing areas is to improve the atmosphere. If you sing in a church, it’s easier if you stand up, and football is no different in that respect. Standing areas can be the lungs

Fans tell us that the main reason they would like safestanding areas is to improve atmospheres. Michael Brunskill

of a stadium. The second reason that supporters mention is price. Standing areas throughout Europe are cheaper than equivalent seated areas.” Brunskill argues that the safe standing areas could add to fans’ match day experience: “It would remove the current conflict between stewards and people who don’t want to sit down. It would improve customer care. Too many fans who prefer to sit have their views blocked by those who would rather stand. Safe standing areas could end that as those who prefer to stand have that option.” Standing areas have been pioneered in the German Bundesliga, w it h B o r u s s i a D o r t mund’s ‘ Yellow Wall’ being the most notable example, boasting a capacity of 25.000 standing places. The standing areas create a b e t te r m a tc h d a y a t m o s p h e r e fo r t h e fans, so they can bring positives to the English game. In the UK though, the future of safe-standing is uncertain. There are many contrary opinions, and currently, it is forbidden by Premier League laws. However, several teams, apart from Bristol City, are keen on applying it in their stadiums: “Celtic say they are going to do it this year. England is more difficult to predict. At present the Football League would introduce a trial very soon, if they are allowed by the government. While the Premier League still says it will not hear about it. But that could change once more top- flight clubs back it”, explains Brunskill. Asked if the model established in Germany is the most acceptable and safe one, Brunskill says: “Rail seats certainly seem to be favoured by

clubs with European ambitions as UEFA only accepts all-seated stadiums for its competitions.” The Football Supporters’ Federation outlines a couple more advantages of the standing areas. They are cheaper to maintain and do not need to be replaced as often as the seats. In addition, standing areas will increase the stadium’s capacity and, should, in theory, lower prices. Currently, the Football Supporters’ Federation is carrying out a campaign to promote the benefits of safe -standing: “We want to persuade the government, football authorities and football clubs to accept the case for introducing, on a trial basis, limited sections of standing areas at selected grounds in the stadiums of Premier League and Championship football clubs,” explains Brunskill. According to a 2012 survey, by the Football Supporters’ Federeation nine out of ten fans prefer to have a choice to sit or stand, rather than be forced by stewards to stay on their seats. It is only natural, that the relatives of the 96 who died in Hillsborough in April 1989 are totally against the return of standing areas, but the new model is in no way a return to the old days, and is not called ‘safe’ in vain. The safe-standing areas have metal rails, which will not allow crowds to push people towards the edge of the stands, which is what happened at Hillsborough. What’s more, there has been a significant advance in regulation of safety, fans’ perception and stewarding on match days, and it is nothing like the 1980s. Safety-standing could soon be coming to a ground near you.

he Football Association is “narrow minded” in how it trains and educates its aspiring young managers are stuck in a mind-set that their way is still the best, according to budding manager Daniel Carter. Carter, 20, is a young ambitious manager, who has just completed his FA coaching badges, a UEFA A and B license, he is now a fully fledged manager and can go abroad and coach, which gives him every chance of success in the future and achieving his dream of becoming a professional manager in England’s top division. The die-hard Chelsea fan is hoping to make it a s o n e o f t h e f i r s t non-playing managers to control a team in the top flight.

St. George’s Park

courses on offer which I am certain will deter a huge percentage of applicants wanting to go on these courses.”

Courses Carter believes that the FA coaching badges and courses are ‘old fashioned’ and says that the organisation needs to drastically re-think how it delivers these courses. He thinks the FA should look at how other countries train their coaches if we are going to produce managers to win the biggest titles around the globe. “Foreign courses teach you what to coach and the many different styles of play that are played around the world, whereas the course over here is based largely around the standard 4-4-2 formation with t he big man up front. Also we get told how to coach rather than the fine details of the sport.”

English clubs need to stop looking abroad for all the answers. We have to trust our young managers and give them a chance.

There have always been questions as to why the Premier League lacks English-born managers. Carter firmly believes this is due to the coaching of young managers and unflinchingly lays the blame at the FA’s door, whilst at the same time admitting the birth of the new St George’s Park at Burton-On-Trent might further hinder the growth of top quality English managers. “St George’s Park will certainly help aid the successful future for the playing staff in our country, but in terms of home-grown managers it could potentially really hurt us. In order to recoup the millions the FA spent on this facility, they have tripled the price of the coaching

Daniel Carter

Going abroad Since the creation of the Premier League more and more international managers have been chosen to manage clubs in this country. It is not uncommon for English managers to travel abroad to coach but with few clinching the bigger jobs in world football, it does raise concerns about the English programme at present. Carter believes that budding managers should be encouraged to spend some part of their early experience coaching in other countries as this will only improve

In the UK, the future of safe-standing is uncertain. Currently it is forbidden by Premier League laws. Ivan Badev

Picture credit: Adithep Prakaianurat

League One side Bristol City hit the headlines this week, not with a footballing success, but with a revolutionary decision to establish a standing area at their home ground of Ashton Gate and install so called ‘safe- standing’. The Robins are the first club across the UK, to install safe-standing for next season. They plan to install rail seats, as part of a demonstration block, that will give both their fans and those of opposing teams an accurate idea of how the system will work. There is one problem, however. The football club will be sharing the stadium with the Bristol rugby team, and due to Football League regulations, only the rugby fans will be able to explore the benefits of the rail seats and standing during games. Although there are Premier League clubs in favour, such as Aston Villa, which would like to to install standing areas, the gover ning bodies a re b l o c k i n g t h e m and safe-standing is not allowed by the Premier League. There are currently three types of approved safe-standing. The first, and most popular, is rail seats. This is the design that top-flight clubs seem most likely to adopt. There is a safety barrier and a seat on every row. The seats are locked into an upright position for domestic games and supporters stand between the barriers. For European games, which demand all-seater stadiums, the seats are simply unlocked. The second option is clip on seats. With this model standing areas include safety barriers every few rows, which are easily removable when

T

The young managers at a training ground in East London

Picture credit: Daniel Carter

Safe-standing areas have plenty of advantages including being cheaper to maintain and increasing the stadium’s capacity and are also increasingly popular with several teams in the Premier League

Photo courtesy of euro-kick.com

ALN reporter David Petter met with young manager Daniel Carter to discuss the FA’s policies for manager development and why he’s encouraging youngsters to go overseas and break away from 4-4-2.

Daniel Carter with England manager Roy Hodgson; who cast his eye over potential England managers their own prospects. “I think it’s vital youngsters go abroad, as you get that extra knowledge and learn other ways of playing apart from the standard 4-4-2,” Carter says. “I have just got back from spending a couple of months in Spain where I helped in a non-league side and I have already got a trip to Hungary planned for next month where I have a coaching placement at a lower division side and then in the summer I am off to Australia to coach for six months.” Carter describes the English mentality as “extremely narrow-minded” as coaches are discouraged from going abroad to gain a better understanding of the game. “We all need to get out of this mind-set where we think England’s the best. By going abroad I have quickly noticed that this way of thinking is not apparent in other countries, so I think it’s time we moved our thinking on.” “I think it is being proven now that to become a successful manager you need at least six different views of how to play. You need to adapt. Just look at Jose Mourinho, arguably the leading manager at this time, and he has always challenged himself by going abroad. As a result has won titles in every major country meaning that now he has an encyclopedic knowledge of different ways of playing football which is making him one of the most in demand managers.”

Promotion However, Carter also hints that English football clubs should play a part in promoting Eng-

lish managers by appointing them at the top clubs instead of always looking abroad. “English clubs need to stop looking abroad for all the answers. We have to trust our young managers and give them a chance. There are some top quality managers in this country who are just waiting for their chance at glory. We need to show our managers that we have confidence in them. “Maybe a rule should be implemented that says every club in the Premier League must have an English assistant.” Carter continues, “I understand that it will be a difficult rule to put in place but something needs to change. I mean young managers are not being given the opportunities in this country. As mentioned, Carter has a busy schedule for the time being with trips to Hungary and Australia just over the horizon . Although Carter still remains optimistic about his future, only time will tell if he fulfills his dream of becoming a top manager in the future.

Uefa A, B & Pro license holders per nation Spain 23,995 Italy 29,420 Germany 34,970 France 17,588 England 2,769


SPORTS EXTRA

artslondonnews.co.uk Friday 28 February 2014

Photo by: Nick/Courtesy of Flicker

6

Stuart Roy Clarke’s new book shows football from the working class point of view froom the standing terraces of the 1980s through to modern day football

Passion for photography takes football back to its roots

Stuart Roy Clarke spoke to ALN’s David Drake ahead of unveiling of his new book, The Homes Of Football collection about his passion for photography, where it all began and his love of the beautiful game.

T

o some, Stuart Roy Clarke may be considered an old fashioned photographer with his vast archive showing subjects from the depths of non-league football to the crowning of the Premier League champions. Clarke has released his latest book The Homes of Football that shows a compilation of the different aspects surrounding the beautiful game. Clarke’s pictures portray a sense of austerity creating a mood that is subdued and often overshadowed by the larger more appealing attraction happening on the field “the action is the denouement, the action is the icing on the cake,” he said. For Clarke it is “mostly about keeping a perspective, hence me not just photographing the best, or the biggest.” Exposing the despair of the fans hunger for their team’s success and draining the lifeblood from their weather-beaten faces. The Watford fan’s, fascination with photography begun with nature and the outdoors but he soon moved into football. H av i n g v i s ite d g ro u n d s a ro u n d t h e U K throughout the 1990s, Clarke’s portfolio bolstered and he set about publishing and exhibiting these pieces in museums and shops.

Nature or football Although Clarke learnt his trade photographing nature, for him football has taken precedence. “I could happily return to photographing nature where I learnt my trade, but I won’t because football is my thing, and a great many other people’s fascination. Also I have a ready-made audience.” Some may not see the correlation between

nature and football, but Clarke thinks. “Football is a great gathering of wildebeest by the oasis in the desert. I apply patience to football situations as the virtue you need most for watching wildlife. Animals don’t as such talk to you. Hyenas may sing. Football fans do both.” In the 1970s and 80s, Clarke was just scratching his chin thinking about the whole football idea but the disasters of Heysel and Bradford in 1985 and Hillsborough in 1989 changed all that. “That signposted me and fast-tracked me to starting the photography archive ‘Homes of Football’,” he says. To witness such horrific scenes is bad enough, but the thought of having to point a camera and document it is sickening. Clarke believed he would have coped photographing the events.” “I just get on with all the living and a bit of dying that goes on everywhere on a daily basis.” This is not to be misunderstood as callousness but seen as a testament to his professional attitude. The disasters of the 1980s among other things, led to sports journalism developing considerably. Fans begun to voice their opinions in fanzines, writers begun writing books citing their personal feelings and Clarke begun representing personality and character in his photos. Clarke says, “I am thinking when I take the pictures: What is the personality of football and the people, the fans? If football could photograph itself, and we all want to make ourselves look a little better than we are, how would it like itself to appear.” Clarke uses a Bronica camera, which is a Japanese brand that uses medium format roll film,

making it simple to use and gives the user a minimalistic feel, Clarke explains. “It is slow and meaningful, it is authoritative.” It looks like a box of magic. It is simple. I use no change of lenses, filters or light meter. I guess all the exposures,” Clarke adds. “[It’s] just me and the black box. A simple love affair.” It is clear to see Clarke’s appetite for photography not only lies in the images, but also in the devices.

Modern technology Photography can be simply picking up a camera and finding the techniques for oneself, with exception to a few rules of thumb. This has become increasing easier to do with the development in new technologies, affordable DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras, and compact cameras or point-and-shoot which provides the user a basic operational interaction; so people who yesterday didn’t own a camera can produce fairly good images. Clarke says, “Modern technology is all very well, it brings more people to the photo-table but it makes more of a mess. They take away the magic. You immediately look at what you have taken. You miss seeing the next moment of seeing.” Many of the modern technologies eliminate the development stage of the film, and it is this stage that brings the image to life. This method puts emphasis on capturing the photo, whilst losing sight of emersion in the experience or witnessing it through a lens. Journalism and photojournalism has certainly

become more open in recent years with the influx of blogs and social media, however on the other hand this has shut many doors on journalists too, as people are less incline to voice their opinions for fear of being hung by their words.” So what impact does the camera have on accessibility in terms of photojournalism? “It’s a two-way street as the camera gives you a reason to be there, a ticket to ride, but can also get in the way of a good beautiful snog. A snog with the subject too aware of your bulge,” Clarke says. He believes that there is a common misconception between photography and paparazzi, which is why he opts for the Bronica camera because it “looks less paparazzi, it is more of a wedding or studio or willingly-get-my-clothes-off camera than a long-lens-rapist thing.”

Favourite photo Having taken an array of photographs, I was particularly keen to find out what his favorite photos were, but in his typically philosophical manner, Clarke says. “My best photograph will tick all or some of my magnificent seven principles of authority, humor, self-interest, surprise, empathy, humility and loyalty.” With numerous exhibitions, books and television appearances Clarke is looking to build on his platform. “Targeting more exhibitions, books and television appearances until it is all one big communal sing-song.” Stuart Roy Clarke: The Homes of Football-Where the Heart is is published by the Bluecoat Press £19.95.


SPORTS EXTRA 7

artslondonnews.co.uk Friday 28 February 2014

Fan-owned clubs are providing first aid for the beautiful game Danny Butterwick looks at fan-owned football clubs and their stories of how they are able to survive in leagues that are driven by money.

FC United Outside the Football Leagues there are also stories to be told. In 2005 a group of Manchester United fans, frustrated with the their club’s hostile takeover by American tycoon Malcolm Glazer, banded together and created FC United of Manchester – the original name FC United was deemed too generic by the Football Association. The club achieved three promotions in a row,

Photo by: Matthew Wilkinson/Courtesy of Flickr

H

idden behind football’s smokescreen of wealth, debt and billionaire owners, there is a minor revolution taking place around the country, one born out of necessity rather than choice. There are now over 30 clubs in England who are majority owned by their fans and even Premier League Swansea City have a 20 per cent fan ownership structure. Beyond Swansea and their European escapades the success stories are far more localised but no less beautiful to football traditionalists. In League Two, AFC Wimbledon and Portsmouth are championing the fan ownership structure, but as with most fan-owned clubs, they were both forced into the change under different but equally harrowing circumstances. Without the power and ambition of their fans Wimbledon simply would not exist as a club today. In 2004 a decision was made that resulted in the club relocating 80 miles north of South London to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. Furthermore Pete Winkelman, head of a consortium for the ownership of the new stadium, bought the club outright and swiftly changed the badge and kit colour, whilst attempting to pass off Wimbledon’s history as their own by adding the famous Dons nickname, branding the club Milton Keynes Dons. The move was met with outrage and heartache by fans who felt that they had lost their club. But from the ashes of the old club rose AFC Wimbledon, a fan-owned club. Headed by The Dons Trust Fan Group the club has spent 11 years battling its way into the football league and building something even the old club didn’t have for the last ten years of its existence, their own stadium. Portsmouth’s plight was a more longwinded affair. Over the course of five years Portsmouth went from playing in the Uefa Cup against AC Milan to being relegated to League Two, via two spells of administration and a liquidation scare. Through court battles and fan power, the Pompey Supporters Trust seized control of their club and now average around 15,000 fans a game, double the second highest attendance in League Two.

AFC Wimbledon fans cheering for their team; without them the league Two club wouldn’t exist but can the club compete with the very best teams? managing to break countless attendance records along the way and now play in the Evo-Stik Premier League – just two promotions away from the conference and three from the Football League. Rick Simpson was one of the fans who helped set up FC United of Manchester and he has continued to give everything for the club, working as a barman and anywhere else the club requires. “When we first took over the club, there was an amazing feeling that we had regained a little bit of control over that passion which was our football club”, says Simpson. “You see a lot of smiles on faces at FC United and they have a laugh and don’t take the football too seriously, obviously we’re passionate about it but, everyone is far more concerned about what happens off the pitch than on the pitch where we can have our destiny in our own hands rather than in the hands of other people. “We’ve got about 2,500 members and around ten per cent of those actually volunteer at the club in some way, shape or form.”

Misconception When FC United were born the media portrayed it as a club born out of hatred for Manchester United but Simpson dismisses the idea of having 3,000 bitter fans in the ground each week and instead points the finger directly at the Glazer family rather than the club itself. “There is a misconception about FC United fans that we hate Manchester United and we don’t. We are all Man United fans but there came a day when we thought ‘yeah I love the club but this guy (Glazer) isn’t even buying the club with his own money, he’s buying it with our money and

he’s going to rip us off through the turnstiles. So we love United but we hate the Glazers. “The love is still there, I’ve watched every game on T V but I’ve never been through the turnstiles on a match day. It’s a bit like an ex-wife and a new wife I suppose.”

Vote Whilst Simpson puts in a huge effort for the club, he is still only entitled to his one vote and this is what he believe makes fan-owned clubs so special. “Whether I put in £100 a year as a season ticket holder or a multi-millionaire chucks a million quid at the club you only get one vote. “The design of the kit changes every year and it will be down to us to vote on that along with ticket prices and season ticket prices and if we don’t like the way the board is going they can get voted out. It’s more than ‘just turn up on a Saturday and have a beer and watch the game.’ It’s a lot more than that now.” “We are in the process of building our stadium, it cost £5 million and £2.5 million has come from the fans so basically 2500 people have weighed in about a grand each in terms of shares or buying a ticket on match day for the half time draw. So we’ve got us there and what happens when we get there is anyone’s guess really.” In different circumstances Rushden and Diamonds fans were faced with losing their club, not to mention the fact that their rivals Kettering Town moved into their Nene Park stadium. But as with Wimbledon, Portsmouth, Wrexham and countless other teams, a group of fans banded together to save their beloved football

club and form AFC Rushden and Diamonds. Acting vice chairman Jon Ward says: “When I walked away from the final fans-forum meeting and found out what was happening to the club, I was thinking someone has just taken my football club away from me. It was an awful time.” “A few of us got together via the internet to see if there was a way we could raise enough money to save the old club but we quickly realised that it was a lost cause. So then it was a case of picking up the phone and finding out how to set up and run a football club.” There are over 30 fan-owned clubs which have all got an inspirational story to tell about how or why they came to be owned by the fans. But it remains to be seen how far these clubs can travel up the football pyramid with the current systems in place. Can these clubs, who are championing a model of sustainability and fairness, compete with the financial inequality that has crept into modern football? Speaking to BBC Sport, Kevin Rye, a spokesman for Supporters Direct, believes the fault cannot lie with fans but with the authorities that allowed the situation to arise . He said: “There’s a particularly lazy lie that still gets peddled by some: that supporters’ trusts like those at Brentford, Chesterfield or York City were failures.” “These were in fact outstanding successes for the fans in not just keeping these clubs alive, but ensuring that they could have futures beyond the daily grind of just survival. The only failure was of football regulation to address the impact of an un-level playing field created by unsustainable spending. Our job still hasn’t finished.”


Cover photography by Lackystrike/Courtesy of Flickr

Fan-owned football clubs: Survival in a time driven by money

Photo by: Russell C/Courtesy of Flickr

Ivan Badev investigates the new fan terraces at Bristol City

Joanne Roque speaks to Futsal superstar Ricardinho on page...3


Arts London News - Feb 28, 2014