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DEBATE ISSUE 05| MAY 2017

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CONTENTS Pg 4 Editor’s Letter

Pg 16 Growing up Jewish in New Zealand 


Pg 29 Giving a face to the trans community

Pg 5 Prez Sez


Pg 18 Cool Shit

Pg 6 An insightful afternoon with Professor Edwina Pio


Pg 20 Feeling the Rainbow at AUT


Pg 30 “We won’t see your beautiful hair when you cover it”

Pg 8 “It kind of saved me in a way” Pg 12 Why diversity in sport is dropping the ball

Pg 32 Reviews

Pg 22 From then to now


Pg 34 Recipe

Pg 25 Experiencing diversity in the flesh Pg 26 Female-gamers tackle prejudice and the president

Pg 35 Puzzles

C O V E R I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y H O P E M C C O N N E L L

EDITOR Julie Cleaver debate@aut.ac.nz SUB - EDITOR Grace Hood-Edwards

CONTRIBUTORS Birdie Chetwin-Kelly, Conor Leathley, Ethan Sills, Hope McConnell, Jess Furmanski, Lydia Lewis, Nicky Price, Sarah Pollok, Simran Singh, Sophie Smith

DESIGNER Ramina Rai rrai@aut.ac.nz

ADVERTISING Harriet Smythe hsmythe@aut.ac.nz

PRINTER Nicholson Printer Solutions DISCLAIMER

Material contained in this publication does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of AuSM, its advertisers, contributors, Nicholson Printer solutions or its subsidiaries.

Debate is a member of the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA)

This publication is entitled to the full protection given by the Copyright Act 1994 (“the Act”) to the holders of the copyright, being AUCKLAND STUDENT MOVEMENT AT AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY INCORPORATED (“AuSM”). Reproduction, storage or display of any part of this publication by any process, electronic or otherwise (except for the educational purposes specified in the Act) without express permission is a break of the copyright of the publisher and will be prosecuted accordingly. Inquiries seeking permission to reproduce should be addressed to AuSM.

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Editor’s Letter

don’t know the difference between turquoise and teal (apparently teal is greener). The fact is, I was colour blind, and the only reason I, or any of us, know about race and ethnicity is because we were taught it.

Becoming the acting editor of Debate is somewhat of a dream for me. I have been writing for this magazine since high school, and over the past five years my love and vision for these beautiful, matte pages has been brewing. Personally, I would love to see Debate continue to be the voice of the students, while also providing funny and light-hearted content to laugh at before lectures. Also, I’m big on making connections, so if you have any ideas, feedback, criticism, inspiration, or just want to say hi, please email me at debate@aut.ac.nz.

Bear with me here, but the scientific community ubiquitously agree that there are no specific genetic differences between people of diverse races. This means that if you put a brown person and white person’s DNA under a microscope, it would be impossible to tell who’s who, because no particular gene belongs exclusively to one race. Put simply: we’re not as different as we think we are.

Introducing Julie Cleaver

Now that the introduction is out of the way, I’d like to share a quick story. The other day I was tagged in an old class photo from primary school and seeing it instantly brought back a tonne of memories. I remembered my nice Canadian teacher, the boy I had a crush on, and the kid who came to school every day wearing pyjamas. But there was one thing I didn’t remember, and that was the ethnicity of my classmates. It took me sixteen years to realise that out of a class of thirty students, I was only one of two white kids. At age six I didn’t know the difference between a brown person or an Asian person, the same way I still

However, not everyone is a genetic scientist or an unbiased six-year-old, and we all know that currently there are gross injustices happening around the world towards members of the LGBT community, people of colour, religious groups, women, and other minorities. To shine a light on this intolerance, this magazine will discuss some of these issues head on. It will also celebrate diversity and feature interviews with people of different faiths, genders, and life paths. I hope it showcases how wonderfully different us humans are, and also how unnoticeably similar we all are too. Have a great week! Julie


Diversity Representative Ashley Kirkness

Society Faculty Representative Gillett Kabigting

Hey, I hope your break has been bomb!

Kia Ora everyone!

Kia Orana, annyeonghaseyo, konnichiwa and hola, my name Ashley and I am your Diversity Representative for the Student Representative Council (or SRC for short). Check out our Facebook page if you haven’t already.

My name is Gillett Kabigting. You can call me “Gill”, pronounced as “Jill”. I am the Culture and Society Faculty Representative for this year 2017 and this means that I am here to help and support you in your study here at AUT by being your voice, particularly the voice of those who are under the faculty. It would be my pleasure and goal to see everyone happy and comfortable as much as possible with their learning journey.

So what is diversity and what does it mean? There are a lot of academic definitions, but what I like to believe diversity is about is learning and growing together as one people! Sure that sounds airyfairy and not everyone will share my view, but nowadays there are way too many people out there who are ready to shoot you down for what you believe in. Anyone who is just a little bit different or has a different view to the norm becomes a target. But why not unite under the banner of our differences? Why remain divided? Sure it is going to take some time to make a change, but small steps in different places allow us to do that. So why not begin your steps here in uni? AUT has always tried to create different spaces for various diverse events to happen. Working alongside different staff members really made me realise how much the university does strive towards a more diverse learning environment. So if you’re on campus and see an event on, pop on over, they are really fun!

Here at AUT your voice matters and you deserve to be heard, especially when it concerns your studies. Me and the other AuSM members are all willing to provide you with the best support we can give because we care for you. We want everyone to have an awesome learning experience and get the best out of what God has given us this year! I am excited to work with you and for you all! I hope you get yourself all sorted, so I encourage you to go and don’t hesitate to ask for help, meet new people, make friends, learn as much as you can, share to others what you learn and learn more, give more and receive more, make this year an awesome year for you! Always remember that you are not alone. Let’s do this together! Together, we can do anything. May God bless us all!

University, much like life, is not a smooth ride and anyone who tells you otherwise either got it easy or is straight up lying to you. Be prepared to put in the hard yards now but know when you come out the other side it will all be worth it. Join clubs, make friends, seize opportunities that come your way. All easy things to say but are ultimately the reason why I am loving my university journey and why you can too. Stay open minded and let the good times roll! All day, all day!

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An insightful afternoon with

Professor Edwina Pio

Julie Cleaver When I walked into Professor Edwina Pio’s office I instantly felt calm. Classical music was playing on the radio, the sun was streaming in, and the smell rose perfume filled the air. I was offered a drink, and two small plates – one containing almonds, the other mini guavas – were already on the table waiting for me. “Help yourself Julie,” she said, gesturing towards the treats. As New Zealand’s first ever Professor of Diversity and AUT’s University Director of Diversity, Professor Pio’s passion for celebrating people’s differences is obvious. “I am a minority, a woman, and scholar of colour, I am also a Christian who practices the teachings of Buddhism, so diversity has always been something that is very important to me.” She has taught and presented at universities across the world, written several books and been published in top ranking journals. “If you Google my name, far too much comes up,” she joked. At AUT her role includes developing a programme that will enhance the university’s understanding and effectiveness in regards to diversity and inclusion. She also ensures the university respects and incorporates different ethnicities, genders,

religions, ages, sexual orientations and identities. Evidentially, this is a task AUT seems to be doing pretty well at. The work force here is made up of people from more than 90 countries, 53 percent of whom were born overseas. “AUT is courageous and bold in their efforts towards achieving diversity. Creating an appointment of University Director of Diversity signals that being a diverse and inclusive organisation is very important to our university,” remarked Professor Pio. However, at AUT women only make up 41 percent of professors and 36 percent of senior academic staff, which is not bad in comparison to other organisations, but still not fully reflective of the population. Additionally, only six percent of professional staff are NZ Māori, and this number has not increased in several years. In terms of how Professor Pio will continue to ensure AUT moves in a more diverse direction, she said “powerfully compassionate disruption” is the way to go. “All parties involved must be treated with dignity and respect. Also, we shouldn’t only look at what we are not doing, but instead focus on what we are doing well and try to cultivate more of that.”

Ensuring AUT has a diverse staff and student population is extremely important. Professor Pio said without diversity, life would be monotonous and nothing would flourish. “In nature everything is diverse. Diversity is not important – it’s vital and critical.” In terms of how AUT students can promote a positive and inclusive environment, Professor Pio suggests bringing the best of your background and culture to the table and leaving the negative aspects of it behind. “All countries have negative aspects to them, but we can seek to leave the negativity behind, so that positivity and happiness can be created.” Her other message to students: cultivate happiness through discipline, humility and courage. “Happiness is not a given, it must be cultivated. Students must remember how blessed they are to live in New Zealand, which is a safe and wonderful country with no bombs or wars.” I left Professor Pio’s office that day full of almonds, guavas and inspiration.

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“It kind of saved me in a way� By Julie Cleaver and Sarah Pollok

In some ways, religion is becoming less and less popular in New Zealand. In 2013, two out of five people identified as having no religion. This is around a 12 percent increase from 2001. But on the other hand, as more people move to the country from overseas, the number of people identifying as Sikh, Muslim and Hindu is rapidly increasing. To understand more about different religions, we asked five AUT students from diverse faiths about their lives, struggles and what their religion means to them. The answers were all varied and beautiful. Of course there are many other religions on campus, but we decided to profile five of the largest: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism.


Rohit Gautam Hinduism

“Since moving to New Zealand it has been a lot easier for me to practice my faith. My father back home in Delhi is an atheist – a total atheist – a non-believer in absolutely everything. So he made it hard for me to fully practice Krishna Consciousness as I am a Hindu and follow Hinduism. One time when he was really mad he threw all deities of Lord Krishna in the dustbin. My sister and I were shocked. It was so disrespectful. I just took the deities out of the trash, washed them, and put them back where they belong. I have been in New Zealand for a few months now and already I am much more into to my faith, mainly because I don’t have to worry about my father being around and scolding me. Since I’ve been here I have started chanting more

rounds praising Lord Krishna every morning. I say it 108 times, because that number carries an ancient significance in Hinduism, and to help me keep count I use my prayer beads – there are 108 beads on the string. I also read one paragraph of the Bhagavad-Gita every morning. That book is absolutely mind-blowing. It’s full of so much wisdom as it was spoken by Lord Krishna himself in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. I love doing these practices because they make me more calm and content with life. Two years ago I was so irritable. I got angry at the tiniest of things and was pretty greedy too. But now I am content and happy with my life, no matter what happens. I do not desire many material things. I do not stress about getting the best grades in my class – I just want to pass and be content with the way things happen. I am respectful of every religion, but I think being a Hindu is a great thing because it has helped me so much in my life and made me what I am now. My hope is that everyone finds something that gives their lives meaning, just as I have.”

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Jess White

Harvinderjit Singh

Christianity

Sikhism

“My Mum was actually born Buddhist and my Dad an atheist, but they both found their way to Christianity. Dad started doing some soul searching in his twenties after he was the victim of a horrible hit and run car accident. Because of the way he was hit he was told he would never walk again, but somehow he managed to fully recover. After the crash he started getting visions of the accident and for some reason he couldn’t shake the feeling that something had lifted him partly out of the way of the car. After this realisation and some time on crutches, my Dad became a Christian. As for my Mum, she moved to New Zealand and met Dad, attended some church services and found Christianity too.

“I’ve been a Sikh since I was born, but I guess there was a time during middle school when I questioned my faith in God or why I wore a turban. There was mo re social pressure back then and people judged how me for how I looked.

I’ve been a Christian for most of my life. I left the church for a few years when I was young and then properly returned at age 13. I have met some incredible Christian people and always wanted to know what it was that made them so kind and loving and accepting, and it turned out to be believing in Jesus. Really the most fundamental part of Christianity is love. People think it’s all rules and judgement and hating gays. That’s so not what it’s about – it’s just about loving people and accepting them as they are. Christianity to me is just following values that help you grow into an accepting and loving person. I practice Christianity by having open conversations, going to church on Sunday, volunteering with youth, praying, and reading my bible, although not every day. I used to be very, what’s the word… withdrawn from society. I didn’t put myself out there or make deep connections with people. I suffered from anxiety for a long time, and finding God really just gave me freedom from worry. After I found God I no longer accused people or held onto grudges, because I knew that He would have my back no matter what. Christianity has really helped me open my eyes to my potential.”

I think a lot of people don’t understand Sikhism and just think we’re terrorists because of Bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks. Not so much in New Zealand, mainly in America, but just last week a Sikh was shot and killed for being who they are. Also people often mix us up with Muslims. Not to undermine that religion, or say that Sikhism is better, but there’s definitely a knowledge gap with some people because they’re totally different religions! Wearing a turban does mean I get stereotyped, but it’s helped me to accept who I am and stop being afraid of not fitting in. As my Dad always says, “You’re born to stand out, so why fit in?” I think society just needs to accept difference rather than force someone to fit into the same cultural boxes of what is normal. It’s better to have diversity! There are a few fundamental teachings that Sikhs follow. First, there is honest living. Then there is honouring God through prayer and sharing our wealth with others. Prayer is definitely one of the main ways I practice my religion. I start with a morning prayer for half an hour – it’s a pretty long one! – then get on with my day. Towards the end of the day I have another prayer to thank God and ask for a better day tomorrow. Essentially we practice no hate towards anyone. We see God in everything, and when it comes to helping others, we are always at the front line, looking for opportunities to share what we have.”


Esraa Eldawoody

Thushini Jayawardena

Islam

Buddhist

“I studied electrical engineering in my home country, Egypt. The course was maybe 30 to 35 percent female, but I can count on one hand the number of women who went into a career after the degree. Most of them got married and started having children straight away. Not me though. I wanted to do something different. But it’s not easy as a woman to make it in engineering. Some of the job advertisements in Egypt would specifically say “males only”. It took me nine months to find a job, and I was really grateful when I did. I was screened down from 2,000 applicants for a position at a big multi-national company.

“I was born into a Buddhist family, so that’s basically how I became Buddhist at first. Growing up in Sri Lanka, I attended a Buddhist school as well, and to be honest I didn’t really like going there because I felt like I was forced into it.

After a while work got boring though. It was the same thing every day, and I just wanted more out of life than that. So I started applying for scholarships to continue studying. I applied for one in New Zealand that I really wanted. I prayed to Allah every day during the month of Ramadan for help. At first I thought I didn’t get it and I cried my eyes out, but then I found out later I actually did get it and I was so happy. I still am happy. I love New Zealand. Most people here treat me really well, but sometimes I get a few strange looks because I am different. Actually, I get looks from Muslims because I hang out with my male friends, and I get looks from kiwis, probably because of my hijab [head scarf]. It can be tough, but I wish people knew that even though I might look different to them, and I pray five times a day, I am exactly the same as everyone else. I love music, dancing, and going to the movies with my friends. I hope people ignore the media and what is happening in America and know that Muslims are just normal people.”

Later I moved to New Zealand and started doing my PhD, which isn’t easy. It’s a very stressful journey, and on top of that I was also going through a divorce. I think that was when I really understood suffering for the first time and really turned to Buddhism. I read a lot of books and listened to Dharma podcasts on YouTube and started meditating because I had so much anger and sadness. I was blaming other people and reacting without thinking, but Buddhism helped me realise that I can’t judge others and that only I can control my emotions. Buddhism teaches people that if you want to change your life, then start with your mind, and your behavior will follow. Buddhism kind of saved me in a way. All the anger and hate I had was only doing me harm, so I learnt to practice loving kindness towards myself, towards those around me, and finally, towards my ex-husband. The fundamental teachings of the Buddha are called the “Four Noble Truths”. First is “The Doctrine of Suffering”, which is the idea that suffering will always be a part of life, but if we learn to let go of desire, anger and ignorance, then we can mitigate it. Second is “Morality”. We are called to be ethical and right in what we say, do and how we make our living. Next is “Mental Discipline”. This is the meditation element that helps us practice effort, mindfulness and concentration. And fourth is “Wisdom”. There’s received wisdom from books and information, conceptual wisdom that is what you are taught and what you learn, and finally experiential wisdom that is gained by living out what you learn. People often mistake Buddhism as a teaching that is pessimistic and all about suffering. But it’s more about your perspective on it. Like, we will all die one day and that causes suffering, but if we view this suffering in the right way, then it can help us live better today.”

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WHY DIVERSITY IN SPORT IS

DROPPING THE BALL


Conor Leathley I don’t think it’s out of line to say that sport is one of the most ethnically diverse forms of mainstream entertainment. A place like Hollywood can hide behind whitewashing, because the box-office takings are more important than the calibre of performance that an actor gives. But sport is the purest form of a meritocracy. Black athletes are often superior to white, which is why leagues such as the NBA and NFL, that are so reliant on athleticism, are so diverse. Black athletes such as LeBron James are also the face of their league, and are marketed thusly. What a novel idea, having non-white people represent an organisation! According to VICE media, African-Americans make up six percent of the United States population and 70 percent of the National Football League (NFL), a league which surpassed $16 billion in 2016, making it the richest sporting league in the world. The Premier League is the richest soccer league by some margin, while featuring players from countries all around the globe. The NBA is also 75 percent black. Need I go on? The black athletes dominate these leagues, making them eminently more entertaining, attracting more eyeballs, ergo leading to more advertising and TV dollars. It’s very easy for these leagues to appear as proponents of diversity when they are making billions of dollars off it. But when it comes to gender, the same cannot be said. Case in point; The Republic of Ireland women’s national soccer team. Representing your country is the pinnacle of team sports. But for these women, it has become something of a nightmare, as they were not afforded many of the amenities that are commonplace at club level. One of their key issues was compensation: “Last year, we gave up over 40 working days to train and prepare for international games,” the team said in a statement. “We currently receive no loss of earnings, no match fee or bonus for the time we give to represent the country.” Perhaps the most disappointing treatment that the team faced was the fact that they didn’t even have their own kit, and were oftentimes forced to change in airport bathrooms. Jeez, I play on a social soccer team and even I can take my kit home. Also, for comparisons sake, on the ‘Management’ web page for the National Men’s Team, five staff appear. The women’s? One (read into that what you will).

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These issues and more were the basis of the women team’s protest, where they threatened to boycott a game unless their meagre demands were met. Of course, the union relented once the social media blowback hit, but soccer institutions have never been especially fond of female players. At the 2015 World Cup, the turf for the females was artificial, rather than grass, something that men would never play on due to the higher risk of injuries that it can bring. Just briefly while on soccer: a somewhat common refrain I hear from people about why they don’t watch soccer is because the players act too much like ‘girls’. People say they act like they’ve been shot after being hit with a stiff breeze, which I understand is a turn-off, but I do not understand the “acting like a female” (Dudebro, 2016) part. A study done on the comparisons between male and female injuries in soccer found that, on average, men spent 30 seconds longer on the ground being ‘injured’ than woman. Furthermore, men also spent 30 seconds longer celebrating goals, and took a longer time to leave the field when being substituted. So, god, please act more like the females when you’re playing football. So why is it that women are treated poorly? If you listen to the former FIFA President (and habitual line-stepper) Sepp Blatter, all the problems could go away if women just “have tighter shorts. Female players are pretty”. Crass, sure, but that speaks to a larger issue, which is that when it comes to sport, it is looked upon as a man’s world. And sadly, that perspective isn’t wrong. Many decision makers in the major sports are male. And there are a few female coaches in assistant roles, but none in the head role. Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, the people in charge of reporting sport are mostly male. However, the Tucker Centre for Research on

Girls and Women in Sport found that in the United States, around 40 percent of sport participants were women, who also made up around a third of the fans of major male sports. The people who produce sports coverage just do not reflect this kind of diversity. The Women’s Media Centre in 2015 reported that the number of sports editors who were men was nearly 90 percent, with nine out of ten of them being white. I don’t think that I’m talking out of order when I say that the majority of female sports just do not attract a wide following. Now, this gets into the chicken or the egg argument. Does society not follow female sports because they are not readily available? Or because we have no interest in them? Some of this is informed by our own bias. Very rarely can Serena Williams be called a ‘great athlete’ – it must first be prefaced that she is a female athlete. Ronda Rousey, for the briefest moment, was the biggest star of UFC. These examples are singular talents that were relevant in the current zeitgeist, but besides those in individual sports, I think most people would struggle to know the name of a female athlete who plays in a ‘male team sport’. I know I sure do. I think that we as a consumer need to take some ownership of that. Will anything change in women’s sport? Perhaps incrementally, but do not expect sweeping changes on the horizon. There just isn’t money to be made from many female sports now. Athletes like LeBron James, Usain Bolt and Serena Williams aren’t the faces of their sport because it’s out of a necessity to be diverse, they’re just the best. So again, sport is hugely diverse, but that’s because it must be, not that it necessarily wants to be. While I wish that on a human level women could receive equal treatment, I just can’t see it happening. Because, unfortunately, there is no money in morality.


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Growing up Jewish in NZ “Does saying ‘oy vey’ a lot make me Jewish?” Jess Furmanski The first exposure I had to the Jewish community was at Hannukah in the Park in 2014. If I’m being honest, I only went in the hope of seeing the cute friend of a friend I had met on the bus earlier. (Side note, he was there – score.) Despite having Jewish family in Israel, I grew up completely removed from the Jewish community; but since 2014, I’ve been learning more about what Judaism means to the individual and what Judaism means to a community, and those two things are not one and the same. Many insist that being Jewish is not a race, not a culture, and not a religion… but all three. Confused? Welcome to our world. I’ve found myself thrust into a community rich in personality and tradition, where millennial Jews encourage one another to find their own meaning in their faith. For such a small group of only 6,000 people, the New Zealand Jewish community is extremely diverse. Auckland itself has two synagogues (buildings in which Jews meet for cultural and religious reasons); one synagogue identifies as reform and generally progressive and the other is seen to cater to the more traditional, orthodox community. David, a 19-year-old South African Kiwi, and Seth, 22, both grew up in the orthodox community. Personally, they both identify as being traditionalists. They take part in the tradition Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest from Friday sundown through to Saturday, attend synagogue regularly, and follow Jewish holidays.

Traditionally, Jews on Shabbat must refrain from doing any work. Many take the opportunity to turn off their devices, and the more orthodox communities refrain from driving, carrying things or even using electricity. When Seth lived in Wellington, he would observe Shabbat by switching off his phone and walking to his local synagogue. Also, for Seth, his belief in prayer is less to do with his relationship with G-d (for Jews, G-d is considered too holy to be written in full), and to do with maintaining a mindful and meditative standpoint. While Seth and David both relate to many aspects of the Torah – the law of G-d – Seth and David also recognise their place in the 21st century, and their responsibility to future generations for the advancement of their community. Seth is trying to bring change his community from the inside out, as he’s concerned that “the New Zealand [Jewish] community isn’t interested in pushing the boundaries” of what Judaism means. For him, this means greater acceptance of new traditions. During their Jewish youth camps, Seth’s youth group prays three times a day. This is an aspect of Judaism females are generally excluded from, but he knows that’s not the way toward community growth. He’d love to see his female youth leaders take more of a role in aspects of Jewish life where they’ve traditionally been excluded, and knows that change is up to his generation. He will admit he isn’t the most popular person amongst the more orthodox, older generations for holding these ideals.


Despite their interest in creating change, Seth and David still maintain some traditions. To them, finding a Jewish partner is extremely important. They want to raise children in the same community that they were brought up in, and according to orthodox law, they can only do that if their kids’ mothers are Jewish. So, they’re on J-Swipe, a Jewish millennial’s answer to Tinder. They have their settings turned to international mode, and are looking at girls who have their profiles set to “just Jewish”, “traditional”, or “orthodox”. Not that New Zealand Jewish girls aren’t all total babes – it’s just they’ve met them all. Hooray for small communities! Justine, a Kiwi descended from generations of pure-bred Lithuanians, says she’d also prefer to marry a Jew, and it’s expected of her to marry Lithuanian Jewish. But she admits it’s pretty hard when there’s only three other gay Jewish girls in New Zealand, and she’s met them all, too. Perry, also a South African Kiwi and AUT journalism student, is worried this statement will sound cheesy, but believes that “love should transcend all boundaries”. He’s supportive of Seth and David and our other friends who are looking for Jewish partners, but for him, a religion doesn’t define who a life partner is. He admits it might be easier, as he’ll never need to explain how to pronounce names of holidays such as Pesach (pess-ah-phlegm), but having grown up in a more progressive community, it’s never been a priority for him. Both Seth and David also identify as Zionists, meaning they believe in the right to a Jewish homeland; for many, that Jewish homeland is Israel. But like Seth’s refusal to exclude female youth leaders, David also defies community norms. He admits he found a connection to G-d in Israel that he could never replicate anywhere else in the world, but he doesn’t necessarily believe that everyone should make Aliyah (a Hebrew term that means immigrate to Israel). He stresses the importance of the Jewish diaspora for world education and

acceptance of Jewish people, and wouldn’t want to see communities deprived of that. Avigail, a 22-year-old politics and international relations student, also agrees that not all Jews should make Aliyah and move to “the homeland”. But unlike Seth and David, she is fervently against a Zionist mentality. Avigail describes her and her sisters as secular Tel Avivot; in other words, non-religious babes from Tel Aviv, Israel’s party central. Avigail’s anti-Zionist views have gotten her on the wrong side of some of the

Seth is trying to bring change his community from the inside out, as he’s concerned that “the New Zealand [Jewish] community isn’t interested in pushing the boundaries” of what Judaism means. Jewish community, most of whom believe that Israel should be for the Jewish people. Her popularity isn’t helped by the fact she started a uni group called “Dayenu – Jews Against Occupation” who aim to educate people about the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land in the West Bank. Avigail maintains that everything she fights for is for the love of her country. “I just want to smoke shisha on the beach and eat falafel with my friends.” Admittedly, she says it’s kind of hard to do that when both sides are getting the shit bombed out of them on the daily. “My Dad searched for me and my Mum’s body through rubble after a terrorist attack,” which

Avigail and her mother had missed by only a minute. She says her family sprinted to New Zealand after that, and although she loves it here, she would like to move back some day. But that can only happen if the state of the nation drastically improves. Despite identifying as more of an Israeli expat than being part of the Jewish diaspora, both Tomer, a 22-year-old mechanical engineering student, and Avigail closely follow Jewish holiday seasons, which are usually about family, community, and celebrating the fact that we’re not slaves in Egypt anymore. Like Seth, Tomer practices Shabbat on a Friday night, but for him it’s less about prayer and meditation, and more about getting together with his family to celebrate the end of the working week. It’s about plenty of food and plenty of friends, and it’s not uncommon for his house to be crammed on a Friday night. Avi, a biology and environmentalism student, also sees traditional Jewish holidays as a defining aspect of her Judaism. She has Friday night dinners with her flatmates and they cook up a storm for celebrations, but she’s always cautious of following tradition for the sake of tradition. Part of being Jewish is being critical and asking questions, so Avi challenges her family with vegetarian replacements of traditional Jewish dishes – an extremely unorthodox move when it comes to Jewish food! A Jewish millennial in New Zealand is made up of all these viewpoints and more. We’re a combination of old and new, a junction between tradition and progression. Judaism shares a number of ideals with other religions, like the idea of family, tradition, and not being a dick, and for many of us, these are the main teachings we choose to take from Judaism. Combine all that with a dedication to your community and a proclivity for suffering, and you’ve got yourself a Jewish millennial.

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Good Health Pack Winter is coming, which means flu season is on its way. To avoid catching the sniffles, Debate is giving away one Good Health Winter Wellness Pack. This adorable little gift contains four different types of immune boosters, including vitamin chews, Everyday Immune Support, Viralex Attack and Throat Lozenges. To win, Facebook message us your name, campus and your favourite about winter.

Debate Magazine

Pretty in Pink Friday the 26th of May is Pink Shirt Day, and to help combat bullying AuSM is giving away three gorgeous, bright pink shirts! We have two female cuts up for grabs, sized medium and large, and one large male shirt. If you would like to win one, Facebook message us your name, campus and what makes you awesome.

One Buzzy Afternoon We had tonnes of entries for the Odyssey Sensory Maze last time it was in the mag, so we decided to give away another double pass this issue! This is probably the trippiest way to spend an afternoon – touching, smelling, seeing and hearing your way through a maze. To win this pass, which is valued at $39, Facebook message us your name, campus and your buzziest, non-drug related memory.


Brace Yourself Former AUT student and rising comedy star Melanie Bracewell is giving away a double pass to her show ‘Brace Yourself’. It will be running at 7pm from Tuesday to Saturday May 6 at the Backbeat Bar on K Road, and the tickets we are giving away are for the Saturday performance. To win this awesome prize, Facebook message Debate your name, campus, and something that will make us laugh.

Free Ice Cream! The Gelato Workshop based in Birkenhead has hooked Debate readers up with five $5 ice cream vouchers. Who doesn’t love free ice cream? To win one, Facebook message us your name, campus and your favourite flavour of ice cream.

Keeping it Natural Tailor Skincare is giving away a sample-sized skin care pack, valued at $70. The products are made out of all natural ingredients and are super kind to your skin. The pack includes a Masque Detoxing Facial Treatment, Dry Cleanse Polishing Exfoliant, Hydrate Calming Oil Free Gel, Lip Balm, and an Oil Balancing Moisturising Cream. To win, Facebook message us your name, campus and your favourite natural skin care trick (egg face masks anyone?).

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Feeling the Rainbow at AUT Gender inclusive toilets and a new Rainbow Room are good steps, but more funding is needed, says OUT@AUT co-president.

Julie Cleaver | Illustration by Hope McConnell AUT is pretty well known for its inclusive attitude towards gender and sexuality. In 2015 it was the first tertiary provider in New Zealand to be awarded with the Rainbow

Blair said this year AUT has also provided the community with a new Rainbow room, WB212, which is an inclusive space for the community to hang out, talk about their

community to live in. She said it has many Rainbow community support agencies, an annual Pride festival, and a Rainbow community focus. “These factors also

Tick. Its work within the Rainbow community inside and outside the university was stated as the reason. In the certification report it praised AUT for its vision, stating, “We would particularly like to mention that AUT is the only organisation we have dealt with that places Rainbow community diversity and inclusion in its strategic plan: this is commendable and sets an example for others to follow”.

experiences and feel safe in. “It’s really colourful. We have couches, cushions, beanbags and a popcorn machine,” he said.

contribute to an individual’s sense of belonging and inclusion within the city,” she added.

And to this day, AUT still the only university with the Rainbow Tick. Additionally, just this year, we all know AUT converted existing bathrooms into ‘all gender’ toilets for gender non-binary and transgender students. Blair Speakman, the co-president of OUT@AUT, who just completed his Masters in Communication focusing on Lady Gaga, was one of the key people behind implementing this change. “Getting the all gender bathrooms has been absolutely massive,” he said. Before this change, Blair said many students had no bathroom they felt comfortable using and would instead choose not to drink water all day or just “hold it in” until they got home. “This had terrible effects on their mental health and was obviously hugely stressful. So the bathrooms have made a huge difference to these people’s lives. It’s also a great way for AUT to say, ‘Hey, we support your community and the rights of these students,’ which is fantastic.”

“Despite our nondiscriminatory laws and same sex marriage, Rainbow people are still being discriminated against in employment, socially, and in accessing healthcare. Rainbow people are still the highest risk community for abuse and discrimination.” He also mentioned the community has movie nights in the room every month or two where they showcase Rainbow-themed movies or TV shows that would not normally make its way into mainstream cinema. “Before this room we used to meet in coffee shops, but less people went along as they didn’t feel comfortable talking in a place where people could potentially overhear them and judge them.” Audrey Hutcheson, AUT’s Rainbow  Community Manager, who was also instrumental in bringing the all gender bathrooms to AUT, said Auckland in general is a positive place for the Rainbow

However good these advancements are, Audrey said Auckland and New Zealand still have a long way to go in terms of accepting the Rainbow community. “Despite our non-discriminatory laws and same sex marriage, Rainbow people are still being discriminated against in employment, socially, and in accessing healthcare. Rainbow people are still the highest risk community for abuse and discrimination.” To further support this community at AUT, Blair said more funding is needed for events and support groups. “There are also heaps of forms to fill out to get any sort of money, which I understand is necessary, but it does make things difficult and stressful,” he said. On a larger level, Blair hopes that prisons will recognise people’s correct genders and allow transgender women to stay in the women’s prison. He said the “No Pride in Prisons” movement is doing a great job at raising awareness of this issue. “Also it would be great if just forms and things would be less gendered. They always tend to have very limited choices when it comes to gender, and changing this would make people feel less excluded,” he added.


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From

THEN TO

Now

Ethan Sills met up comedic veteran Justine Smith to talk about industry challenges, international TV, and advice for aspiring female comedians.

“We’ve always been fucking funny.” Justine Smith is not one to mince her words. The interview had barely started and already she was making her feelings clear on one of the most bizarrely contentious issues in comedy today: women being funny. You’d think that, with the likes of Joan Rivers, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders entertaining people around the world for years, people would have noticed and accepted a long time ago how funny women can be. Yet today people still appear surprised by the idea, something that annoys Smith. And rightfully so. For over 20 years Smith has been part of the local comedy scene. She started in the early 90s when New Zealand stand-up was just finding its feet, and has been performing on Queen Street’s main comedy club, The Classic, since it first opened in 1997.

Smith says she loved how it was at the beginning, when many of the issues todays comedians face didn’t exist yet. “It was awesome because there was just so much stage time for everyone, so that was a non-issue. I think for us, you kind of got good really quickly as you just had so much time to learn. “Now the comedy scene has gotten so much bigger, so it must be hard for younger people to be able to grow and do it. You can’t do it with your hairbrush in front of your mirror. The only way to do it is in front of people.” However, one thing that female comedians then and now have faced has been the condescending attitudes of the public. “For me personally, I think feminism and sexism goes in real waves,” she says. “I think back then it seemed more like an even playing field.”

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“I’ve been in a line-up of heaps of guys and they’d go ‘you were good, you were good’, and they’d get to me and go ‘you were really good’, surprised, really taken aback that I could be as good as the boys.”

She thinks that social media and media attention have given people more of a platform to make their comments public. However, Smith says that people have always been condescending towards female comics. “People have always had that attitude. I’ve been in a line-up of heaps of guys and they’d go ‘you were good, you were good’, and they’d get to me and go ‘you were really good’, surprised, really taken aback that I could be as good as the boys. “It’s always been that way, it’s always been a male dominated industry and people always say stupid things to you.” Another issue in the local industry has been that limited opportunities to get on television has seen male comics such as John Clarke and Billy T become the defining faces of New Zealand comedy, as opposed to the United States or England where there were more opportunities for women. “Around that time, there was no New Zealand comedy on TV or on the radio, so it’s hard to draw comparisons,” Smith says. “It’s just so different as the US and the UK were so far

ahead of us. Even Australia was, comedywise.” She says another issue has been that a lot of female comics tend not to stay in the industry for very long. “The thing up until really recently has been that lots of women start and fall away. They don’t stay for whatever reason. I’ve seen so many women start who seem really promising and then they just disappear. At the moment though, there seem to be a lot sticking.” The local industry has seen a number of female comedians come to prominence in recent years, thanks largely to the increase of comedy shows on our screens, something Smith is loving. “I think Funny Girls is really good. I think Rose [Matafeo] and Laura [Daniel], what they’ve done is just show that we are out there and there are a lot of us.” Her own prominence and successful career has made Smith into a kind of matriarch on the scene, something that doesn’t sit quite

right with her. “It doesn’t feel natural at all,” she jokes. “I still feel like I’m fucking fumbling along, really, but I’ve just been fumbling along longer than anybody else.” She isn’t sure how much longer she will do comedy. Smith turns 50 next year – “I won’t let that number define,” she adds, laughing – and says she doesn’t want to get tired of the job. “I love it at the moment and as soon as I start to get sick of it I’ll stop because I don’t want to fuck out, I want to finish when I’m good.” While it may be a murky world out there for female comedians, Smith’s one piece of advice to any aspiring comic is to just do it. “If you even have a slight inkling that it’s something you might want to do, you just got to fucking go for it. If you ever wondered about it, it’s so much fun. I mean, it’s terrifying, it’s like bungee jumping, but afterwards it fun.” Justine Smith: An Hour Roughly is at the Q Theatre May 16 – 20.


Back row (from left): Emma Ballard, Sofie Heaphy, Oliver Bowen, Sophie Brown-Haysom, Sam Lucy, Caitlin Pike and Kaycee Bottcher. Front row: Rikayla Richardson, Bridget Morris, Sophie Smith, Nadine Wriesnik and Peta Thomson.

Experiencing diversity in the flesh Sophie Smith From a young age the idea of being able to make an actual, solid difference to someone’s life and make it even marginally happier has always been a dream. Seeing so much poverty and sadness in the world drives this passion even more. That is why I will be travelling along with 13 other Paramedic students to travel to Cusco, Peru to provide volunteer medical support to local Peruvians. Populations in remote areas would not usually have access to healthcare, so we will be providing assistance in the form of vaccinations, cleaning and dressing wounds, as well as health education and awareness. These are all vital tasks that can really make a difference to the quality of life of individuals. Influenza is one of the leading causes of death in Peru, and we will be aiming to reduce the occurrence of this disease by providing flu vaccinations, among many other things.

Peru is such a beautiful country, with so much history and culture. If I can help just one person while I’m over there, with the skills that I have learned during my studies, I will feel as though it was worth my time. My fellow students and I have made our dreams a reality and are set to embark on the trip of a lifetime. We will immerse ourselves in the culture, learn Spanish so that we can communicate with locals, and hopefully create moments and memories that neither us nor them will ever forget. However, quality medical supplies are sparse in Peru and so we will be bringing supplies over with us, such as bandages, dressings, and disinfectants. This will all be funded by us (poor uni students) and so we are calling out for help from you guys, in the form of donations of medical supplies, or financial support. We are currently running a raffle, as well as a Givealittle page which you can donate to. For more details on how you can help, visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Perustudentparamedics/

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Female-gamers tackle prejudice and the president Nicky Price | Illustration by Hope McConnell If you’ve been on the internet at all in the last year, you’ve probably heard about a game called Overwatch. For those who haven’t, it’s a team-based MMO along the lines of League of Legends and DOTA, based around a set of 24 playable characters... and it’s been overwhelmingly popular. The hype was insane even before the game was released – those of you who were anywhere near the streaming website Twitch on release day will remember the pages upon pages of login screens from anxious players, waiting to be allowed in by the overwhelmed servers. While its gameplay and mechanics have undoubtedly been a huge part of its success, Overwatch’s greatest calling card comes from its characters. Taken out of context, the mixture of veteran soldiers, Japanese yakuza, robots, scientists and technologically advanced guerrillas (and gorilla) make an interesting lineup, but Blizzard’s team somehow manages to make it work. In December, the game’s flagship character, Tracer, (whose face can be seen plastered all over billboards) made headlines when official comics revealed that she was a lesbian. And just recently, another character was confirmed by the head writer to be autistic. There’s one character in particular, however, that has drawn a lot of attention. D.Va, a South Korean pro-gamer named Hana Song, pilots what’s known in-game as a “mech”. It’s essentially a giant robot, similar to Pacific Rim and Neon Genesis Evangelion. As you can imagine, considering her existence as a 19-year-old girl in a skin-tight suit, she’s quickly become one of the more marketable characters. Try searching for her on an online store like eBay, and you’ll see exactly what I mean. However, not all the attention she’s been getting is quite so... predictable. One focus has been on her occupation, which got her into the position of mech pilot to begin with, and led to her joining the organisation Overwatch (the basis of the game). The concept of a female pro-gamer is difficult to imagine in Western culture, with gaming typically considered a male-dominated industry. The same goes for Eastern culture, so a female pro-gamer from South Korea is ground-breaking.

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D.Va, whether or not the Overwatch team intended it, has become a symbol of what feminism wants to achieve – a woman who, despite all the odds, wedged herself into a male-dominated environment and made a name for herself. In society’s current environment, women still find difficulty stepping outside of the roles society has assigned to them. The presidential election in America, society’s attitude towards sexual assault, the fights over abortion rights, the news coverage (or lack thereof) of the Women’s March. It’s 2017, and yet here we are, still fighting for the most basic forms of gender equality.

a hint, America), and while at first this may seem like something a feminist organisation might want to support, there were huge concerns about Park’s conduct. In the simplest terms, Park wound up being impeached after it was discovered that she, along with a childhood friend, had been collecting tens of millions of dollars in bribes from huge corporations like Samsung. Despite both Park and her friend denying the allegations, Park is now facing prosecution for charges of bribery, extortion and abuse of power. And groups like For D.Va helped ensure Park and her friend were held accountable.

In society’s current environment, women still find difficulty stepping outside of the roles society has assigned to them. The presidential election in America, society’s attitude towards sexual assault, the fights over abortion rights, the news coverage (or lack thereof) of the Women’s March. It’s 2017, and yet here we are, still fighting for the most basic forms of gender equality. So, when a group of South Korean female gamers became concerned about their president, Park Geun-Hye, they took inspiration from Hana and founded “For D.Va”, AKA the National D.Va Association. According to For D.Va’s official tumblr page, the reason they chose D.Va for their mascot is “because we thought that in a sexist country like ours, it would be impossible for a person like her to appear... so we decided to act for feminism under her emblem, so that... someone like D.Va could actually appear”. When thousands of protesters gathered to demand that Park step down from her position, For D.Va’s members were proudly among those numbers. For context, Park was South Korea’s first female President (take

However, once they’d achieved what they set out to do, For D.Va members decided against disbanding. In their own words, “After the President’s suspension, we decided not to disperse, but to keep fighting for gender equality.” A group comprised solely of female gamers, they have an intimate understanding of the kind of sexism that can be found in places which are, for whatever reason, designated for men and men alone. They’ve continued participating in marches and protests (their emblem was seen among the crowd during the Women’s March) and they also run a feminist book club and are planning a women’s Overwatch competition (with genderqueer individuals also welcome).

I’ve always had an interest in how popular culture influences society (hello, psych major here), so seeing this group so inspired by a fictional character is, frankly, really inspiring. Admittedly, there is also a level of personal satisfaction in seeing a character sexualised by male fans end up becoming a feminist mascot. I doubt that the Overwatch team had this kind of thing in mind when they were developing the game, but considering Tracer’s effect on the rainbow community, maybe they were hoping to have a positive influence on their fan base. If so, then they’re definitely succeeding. Besides, if there were ever a character who would happily become the face of a feminist organisation, it would be the girl whose signature move is sending her self-destructing giant robot into the enemy team, while shouting “nerf this!”.


Giving a face to the trans community Many transgender and non-binary people live in fear, and AUT student Alley Salaya Williams is speaking out against it. By Birdie Chetwin-Kelly ‘Transgender’ is word that is becoming more and more frequent within today’s society. It isn’t new, and it’s not as rare as you might think. However, a lot of people within the community hide out of fear that they will either be found out and assaulted, terrorised or bullied. A health and wellbeing survey conducted in 2012 by Rainbow Youth of 8,500 New Zealand secondary school students found that around 40 percent of all trans students had “significant depressive symptoms”. It also discovered that one in five students had attempted suicide within the last year. Non-coincidentally, nearly one in five students experienced bullying on a regular basis. Like so many other transgender or non-binary humans, AUT student Alley Salaya Williams lives in fear and is sick of it. Alley hasn’t always been a woman, but she knew at the age of about four or five that she was more feminine than most of the other boys: she knew “something wasn’t quite right”. At age 13, she begun the long process of changing herself to become the correct gender. A common reason for change that many transgender/non-binary people have is the belief that they were not born in the right body, or that they

were not assigned the correct gender. Like a lot of people within this community, Alley also believes that there is a serious lack of education around what it means to be trans. She says the best way to help people understand the community is to give a face to the word transgender. That is why she is speaking out: “I think the only way to educate people is to put ourselves out there.” Although a lot of progress has been made towards understanding and accepting the transgender community, New Zealand still has an extremely long way to go. It is about time that instead of ignoring and misunderstanding the community, we start to learn, accept and listen. This acceptance can start with something as simple as understanding your own sexuality. For example, the term CIS is commonly used now by people who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth and their sexuality as heterosexuality. Something as simple as knowing this can go a long way. Also, non-binary people often to use the personal pronoun “they”, because they don’t identify as being either female or male. This identity is their choice and not society’s. It is out of respect to your fellow human that people are identified the way they identify themselves. Alley’s parting words are, “Being trans has helped me be free, but it does not define me,” she adds, “We may be trans, but we’re just like everyone else – we are no different. We are not freaks.”

If you need support during your time AUT contact OUT@AUT on Facebook or visit the Rainbow Room on the City Campus – a safe place where you can be yourself. Or, if you are in a crisis, call AUT’s Health Counselling and Wellbeing staff: City Campus: (09) 921 9992, South Campus: (09) 921 999, North Campus: (09) 921 9998, Urgent enquries: (09) 921 9999 ext 8888

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“We won’t see your beautiful hair when you cover it” Converting to Islam in rural NZ By Lydia Lewis

Carmen Rowe describes herself as your average kiwi woman with fair skin and green eyes. Born in Taranaki to Christian parents, you wouldn’t guess she is Muslim. But twelve years ago she converted from Christianity to Islam. At the time she was a single mother with four children between the ages of eight and eighteen. Her second eldest did not know how to deal with her mother wearing a hijab (head scarf). Many teenagers dislike their parents kissing them in public, but having a mother wear a hijab in a rural town, that was a different story. Carmen explained how hard it would have for her children and wanted to say this to all four: “I love them very much. Also, their journey may be different from mine. Islam is always a door that respects parents and family relationships, and they are always in my prayers.”


Initially the hijab was the hardest aspect to adjust to for her family.

Carmen’s journey began in Wellington, where she was working as a Security Manager Teacher for the Government. At the time this role included implementing a terrorism unit. “I was doing research and then I ended up chatting with a Muslim and they asked me, ‘Do you live the clean life?’ and I wondered to myself and I got a little bit insulted and a bit defensive.” With an open mind, she started looking deeper into Islam. As a teacher she said it felt natural to ask questions. She wanted a first hand account of what being Muslim really is instead of going to “any newspaper and getting a third hand account”. Carmen researched a lot and said her decisions just “snowballed from there”. She recieved an invitation to go on holiday to Istanbul where she “fell in love with the Blue Mosque and just the culture, the food – everything.” She said she was shocked by how friendly the Muslim people were as they welcomed her into their homes, fed her, and helped her understand their religion. After twelve years of practicing Islam, Carmen says her journey keeps changing and evoling. When asked why she does not wear a burka (head scarf and mouth apron) or nikab (full face covering) Carmen says said this, “I’m not ready in that personal journey to adapt like that, it is more of a cultural aspect than a requirement.” Many women who convert to Islam find it hard to start wearing a hijab, but Carmen felt it was the right thing to do and instantly wore one. Initially the hijab was the hardest aspect to adjust to for her family. Carmen’s mother said, “We won’t see your beautiful hair when you cover it”. And wearing a hijab has attracted some negative attention while in public for Carmen. “I have had mainly younger ones yelling from the car, things like boom like a bomb was going off. I just rolled my eyes and went about my business.” She said it was

obvious that the remarks were aimed at her head scarf. One specific time a “Kiwi man” from the “baby boomer generation” started interrogating her. He asked what the purpose of the hijab is in an intimidating way. Carmen said, “I didn’t feel scared, it was a little bit of frustration on my behalf, I couldn’t get him to understand. I was in my early stages of conversion and I didn’t have all the answers for him… I am still learning.” In contrast to the bad perceptions she has observed, she has also experienced the complete opposite with many non-Muslim men in general dealings, with work colleagues, and with customers whom have never come across a woman in a scarf. Carmen believes some men she has met are more polite to her because of the head scarf. She said both the hijab and burkini (modest swimwear) were very easy aspects of the religion to adapt to. Carmen covers shifts for modest swimwear store Chador Couture. She says the stigma around covering up at the beach is “grossly unfair”. Although Carmen loves her faith, she says Christmas times at home can be difficult. Her first ever Christmas as a Muslim in the Naki was particularly “hilarious”. “My mother out of fun found the biggest ham she could and plonked it in front of me, very Naki kind of sense of humour.” The family were aware that Christmas is not celebrated in Island and now Carmen visits her family whenever she can and not just on Christmas. Despite her diverse journey, Carmen says, “I am still the mince and cheese pie, gumboot wearing Naki girl. That will never grow out of me.”

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Reviews

D E NIA L

P LEA S E LIK E M E

Dire ct ed by Mi c k J ac k s o n

S t a r r in g : J o s h T h o m a s , C a itlin S t a s ey, D e b ra L a wre nce

Reviewed by Julie Cleaver

Reviewed by Ethan Sills

In this film, which is based on a true story, a sassy Jewish Holocaust scholar from New York enters into a legal battle with a neo-Nazi, racist ass-whole. The initial charge was over defamation, but soon the Holocaust itself goes on trial, and the Jewish scholar (played by Rachel Weisz) and her incredible team of lawyers attempt to prove that millions of Jews did indeed perish in WWII.

Easily the best part of Netflix is not their original series or the countless seasons of classic shows you can binge to your hearts content, but the small gems that would never reach our shores if it wasn’t for the streaming service. Independent movies, British crime dramas, European cinema and television, and, surprisingly, a lot of quality Australian shows that for some reason haven’t made the short trip across the Tasman to us. The undeniable gem of that selection has to be Please Like Me. Written by and starring comedian Josh Thomas, the autobiographical series follows him as he realises he is gay after years of pretending otherwise. He does this on the same day that his mother tries to commit suicide. It may sound the bleak plot of a depressing HBO show, but Please Like Me strikes the perfect balance between comedy and its portrayal of mental health that very few shows manage to achieve.   As much as it tackles topics such as abortion and suicide, the show never fails to be funny. It isn’t one of those shows that calls itself a comedy when really you end each episode feeling worse than when you started. Josh Thomas and his co-writer and star Thomas Ward fill every episode with awkward, witty humour that is never as forced as many of their foreign counterparts and is more in-tune with the type of comedy so prevalent in our Australasian countries but so rarely gets applied to millennial characters.   With three seasons available on the service, Please Like Me is the perfect show to indulge in over a long weekend. It can, at times, be as sad and challenging as it is funny, but mostly it is a heart-warming and hilarious look at relationships, sexuality and family. The ground it treads may be familiar, but it always manages to be fresh, engaging and, primarily, hilarious.  

This movie is fascinating as it showcases evidence attesting to the existence of the Holocaust. The film also points out the flaws and lack of proof surrounding the Holocaust – an element of balance I wasn’t expecting, but one that gave the film credibility. A lot of the movie is spent inside the court, but luckily the subject matter is so engaging the lack of scene diversity is not noticed. However, the visuals are changed up at one point when the actors travel to Auschwitz to collect data, which is moving and beautiful to watch. There were some fantastic acting performances, particularly by Timothy Spall, who plays the Holocaust denier. The second you see him you instantly hate him, which is a testament to his skills. However, the chemistry between the actors was not on-point, and the character relationships were at times disengaging. The film was also pretty low budget and the occasional shot was over or under exposed, and some scenes had minor continuity issues. Regardless, this was still an incredibly well put together, low-budget film that had great character and creative flair. Some people might be put-off watching it due to the touchy and emotional subject matter, but I’m Jewish and I watched it with my German partner, so if we can handle it, anyone can.


Got an idea? Your North Campus Student Representative subcommittee want to meet with you and discuss any ideas you have for the North Campus. Whether you’ve got a suggestion, solution, or just need to get something out there, we’d like to hear from you.

FL APS Thea t re

Reviewed by Simran Singh

1PM | North Shore Campus | AF107 27th March,15th May, 4th August, 6th October

You’re welcome to speak to us privately too. Feel free to send any questions to: hesfacultyrep@aut.ac.nz

PRO1159_013_DEB

I made a last minute decision to spend my stormy Friday evening at The Basement Theatre watching FLAPS, and trust me, clouds weren’t the only thing bringing the thunder that night. In contrast to the angry skies outside, it was a warm atmosphere inside with the audience all snuggled up on cushions and mattresses. The actresses were all pretty girls in pink wearing nothing but singlets with undies. There was a scent of feminism in the air, and I was very excited for the show to commence. The show had a satirical theme and covered serious matters ranging from Chlamydia to pregnancy, embarassing period blotches to body shaming, PMS to black pride, body-hair struggles to rape – so basically, being a woman. Amongst all the butt, rack, pussy and crack that was comically flashed every once a while, my personal favourite was a rap dedicated to penises, which ended with a dildo (mic) drop. I especially liked how between scene transitions the artists dimmed the lights and played a game of ‘Never have I ever’. These scenes included some interesting questions like, “never have I ever tasted my own pussy.” (You’d be surprised at how many people had done that one.) I believe this little show was aimed to make the women in the audience realise that it’s okay to have experienced some of these embarrassing moments, and that they’re not the only ones who have. Audience participation was encouraged to some degree as the girls targeted the front seats for certain scenes. Many of these targets happened to be males, who seemed to be having just as much fun as the ladies in the room. The show ended with a singing performance led by a human-sized walking, talking and very embellished vagina. An hour and a half later, I walked out with a goofy grin on my face, a stronger sense of pride in being a woman, and the word “VAGINA” ringing in my ears.

SHAPE YOUR CAREER SHAPE OUR CITY We offer opportunities for graduates and students from a range of different disciplines. Applications for our Auckland Council 2018 Graduate and 2017 Intern Programmes will be open between 24 April – 11 May. Make Auckland a better place to live, work and play.

For more information and to apply visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/graduates

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Photo by James Ransom

Cheap Creamy Chicken Curry Ingredients • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil • 2 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped • 2 ½ teaspoons curry powder • 2 teaspoons ground cumin • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes • 1 teaspoon ground tumeric • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces • 1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste • 1 cup coconut milk • 2 teaspoons salt • 1 cup hot water (optional)

Method 1) In a wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, cook for 6-8 minutes or until transparent. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes. 2) Stir in cumin, tumeric, 1 teaspoon curry powder, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste. Mix to combine. 3) In ziploc bag, toss chicken pieces in remaining curry powder, season with salt and pepper. Add to wok, and cook for about 5-6 minutes until outside is golden brown. 4) Pour coconut milk into the wok. If coconut milk has separated from the fat, pour the liquid in and add a tablespoon or so of fat until you have the creamy consistency that you desire. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add hot water if there is not enough liquid, because it has cooked down. 5) Serve hot with white rice if desired. Sprinkle with cilantro and a squeeze of lime if desired.

Check out more recipes out https://food52.com


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Debate | Issue 5 | Diversity