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Avenoir Magazine Copyright 2015/2016 © All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any form by any means - graphic, electronic, mechanical or recording - without the prior written permission of the copyright owner, except by a reviewer, who may use brief excerpts in a review.

Thanks to St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Make Love Not Scars, Revelation Film Festival, Paper Mountain, Zokitee and Medecins Sans Frontieres for taking part in Avenoir’s first ever print issue.

For any further inquiries/collaboration with Avenoir Magazine: email: media@avenoirmag.com FRONT/OPPOSITE: COLLAGE by Zaerën. Work by Sam Chirnside & Matthew James EDITING: Caitlin Schokker & Sook Kwan Loong LAYOUT: Alexander Smith & Zaerën Momand LOGO/TYPOGRAPHY: Zaerën Momand / Mikaela Miller PRINTED ON 100% RECYCLED PAPER


C ontents PHOTOGRAPHY

SOCIETY & CULTURE

9 11 13 15 17 19 21 25

Acid Attacks

From Graffiti Tags To Hashtags

The Exclusivity Of White Feminism

47 Jarrad Seng 51 Tashi Hall

The Uprising Of Suicide Nations Seeking Asylum

MUSIC

Achieving Transcendence

AUSTRALIANA 29 Navigating Perth’s Specialty Coffee Scene 33 Spuds of Freedom 35 The Phoenix

TRAVEL 40 What Nepal Was

95 Wim Delvoye & The Sickness We Crave 97 Sam Shields

CREATIVE

The Fear Of Being Seen As A Racist

Paris Attacks

ART

59 65 69 73 77 81

The Perth Music Scene Amazing Grace

Melodic Misogyny Afropunk

A Human Revolution

Australian Music Picks

FILM 85 Independent Vision 89 Arthouse VS Mainstream 91 Television And The Diversity Dilemma

103 Cut. Paste. Deconstruct 105 White Flesh

FASHION 109 The Sustainability Of Fast Fashion 111 PASITHEA

THEATRE 119 2015 Theatre Recap 121 The Difficulties Of Casting 123 What’s The Go In Entertainment

Photo : CAITLIN SCHOKKER


CO N T RIBU T O R S

WRITERS | PHOTOGRAPHERS | ARTISTS

HOLLY LEE JUSTINE SPENCER MELISSA GITARI SOOK KWAN LOONG TAMRA CARR ZAERËN MOMAND JOSIE DYET CLARE JORGENSEN AARON JAKOVICH VILASINI VIEL ANNABEL OWEN VICTORIA FOSS RIAN HOWLETT TOM MUNDAY PATRICK MCCARTHY XAVIER HAZARD ANTHONY IACOMELLA JASMIN MEDEW TARA SIDEBOTTOM PIP WALLER

ADAM HINTON DRIELY S AMY SUTRISNO MARK PIASECKI VIRGINIA PHILLIPS JARRAD SENG JACKSON LORIA MASON DEVINE MATTHEW JAMES LEWIS MARTIN CHRIS WEBSTER ELLIOT CAHILL TASHI HALL LOREN WOHL GEORGE JOHNSON J’AIME FAZACKERLEY CAITLIN SCHOKKER ISAAC GRECAS JOMHEL TOMAS TASHA TONG-FAYE CANDACE NOTTE HAGEN HOPKINS

BERTIE LOUISE HARRISON SEE SAM CHIRNSIDE SAM SHIELDS

CHIEF EDIT O R ’ S LET TER

We began in 2015 with one thing in mind: to exist. To exist

for a generation that is held by a belief that we are what the Orwellian system deems us to be; instead of a system we are meant to defy and sequester ourselves from. Avenoir Magazine is a revolutionary platform for writers, artists, photographers, and all of whom contributed to our first ever print issue, to showcase their imminent passion like no other. With the support of well-rounded, inspiring individuals we challenge ideologies that constrict, demean, or perturb our sense of worth and beauty. Welcome, and hope one’s disposition leads to the enlightenment of the Self within this fata morgana. And I thank you all for believing in it. - Zaerën Momand


Photo : LEWIS MAR TIN


7

S ociety & C ulture


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

Acid attacks How women are maimed and killed in India using household chemicals

Photo courtesy by Make Love Not Scars


AVENOIR

by Holly Le e

“Acid attacks” is a term used to describe the violent act of throwing acid onto someone with the

Modi, the Prime Minister of India (Rs 100 is equivalent to approximately $2.17AUD).

intent to disfigure and maim the victim. The highly corrosive chemical melts the skin and causes distortion to the contact area, but also causes permanent damage to the eyes and even blindness,

If Sharma is successful, the number of acid attacks is going to drop dramatically, and will be a victory

hearing loss, loss of sensation in the affected area, amputations, a variety of mental disorders

for activists and the women of India. This will mean that women don’t have to live in fear of being

including but not limited to identity crisis and psychological breakdown, and death. In India, 90% of

maimed, psychologically and physically damaged, or even worse, simply because of them expressing

the victims are women usually aged between 13-35, with many of the victims being under 18 years of

what should be their right to reject, or disobey, or prove their independence against a man. It’s a right

age and 99% of the offenders are male.

that many of us in the Western world get to exercise on a daily basis. It’s a right that every person in this world, Western or otherwise, should have without this awful, sickening threat. In a perfect world.

The particularly savage breed of violence is due to the rampant gender-discrimination against women in India. The reasons can range from a woman rejecting a marriage proposal, to just being slightly subversive to India’s extremely conservative culture. In June of 2013 in the city Kolkata, a 21 year old woman named Shabana Khatun, was brutally assaulted by her lover’s family with acid. She was in love with a man, who she had intentions of marrying. One night she was brought to his family’s house to ask for their permission to marry. Offended by their disrespect for arrangedmarriage conventions, the family took to force-feeding her a bottle of acid and pouring it over her genitals while she was unconscious, while her boyfriend did nothing. “One of them pinned me down while another held my hands and legs. The father of my boyfriend then forced acid down my throat,” Shabana revealed in an interview. She is one of the many survivors out there, yet she had to live the rest of her life physically and mentally scared, living on a liquid diet while her attackers remain free. Attackers will mostly aim for the woman’s face to devastate what society deemed their most valuable asset: their beauty. In a Western society, we are aware of a woman’s worth beyond her looks, yet in a society where taking away someone’s physical beauty is the worst punishment of them all, these acid attack victims become nothing more than walking scar tissue, if they survive at all. In a perfect world, we would change the ideologies of a society with stern talking-to. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to tell people to stop throwing skin-melting, life-threatening chemicals at women because they acted like the human beings they, we, are. Ria Sharma, the founder of the organisation Make Love Not Scars, has begun a petition to end the retail selling of acid to the everyday consumer. “To explain in layman terms, anyone can go and purchase toilet-cleaning acids without any questions asked, and for just Rs 100 or less for a litre”, she wrote in a letter to Narendra

9


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

From graffiti Tags to Hashtags T h e Evo lutio n o f Am erican Gangs on Soci a l M ed i a by Just in e Spe n cer

INMATES OF THE PENAL de CIUDAD BAR RIOS, MS-13 | by Adam Hinton


AVENOIR

Social media has evolved considerably over the last two decades.

woman and two boys, 11 and 4 years old, were attacked and injured.

11

banging” case known to date happened in Chicago between rival gangs the Black Disciples and the Gangster Disciples (who also

Initially it was a simple communication platform to connect, but then came the age of Farmville requests, Instagram filters and stalking

With so many shootings in the area, majority gang-related, innocent

call themselves BDK — Black Disciples Killers). It shouldn’t be a

boy bands on Twitter. In recent years we’ve seen social media’s true

civilians in the 77th Street District were living life in terror. Some

surprise, seeing as Chicago ranks number two for having the most

potential: the ability to promote, support and raise awareness. We’ve

were too terrified to drive to their local petrol station in fear they’d be

documented gang members —around 100,000 — following closely

seen Facebook’s temporary profile filters and hashtags — like the

gunned down while fuelling up.

behind LA. According to Wired, this occurrence of “internet banging” began when Chief Keef, a successful rapper from Black Disciples,

French Flag and #IllRideWithYou after the Sydney Siege — that have trended globally. We’ve also seen promotion used in a less

While #100Days100Nights was supposedly fuelled by revenge, it’s

posted a rap on YouTube that contained the lyrics, “Fucka Tooka gang,

positive light, like Essena O’Neill and von Hughes producing fake

hard to overlook the advantages gangs would’ve gained as a result of

bitch, I’m 3hunna”. Innocent enough for a gang rap, right? Wrong.

videos, statuses and applications to draw sympathy, attention and

this viral movement. New territories would’ve been marked or extended,

hopefully an opportunity to earn more money. But we’ve also seen

new members would’ve been recruited while others were coerced.

To outsiders not familiar with Chicago’s gangs, the Gangster Disciples are affiliated with the Tooka gang, and in classic Taylor

social media being used for entirely the wrong reasons: to promote What authorities have come to realise with social media, is that

Swift & Co. VS. Katy Perry & Nicki Minaj fashion, the GD’s weren’t

it helps gangs and cartels establish a threatening online identity.

taking this crap. Well, one of them wasn’t. Lil Jojo decided to retaliate

In America, gangs not only run the streets, they run the cyber world.

The SecDev Foundation, a think-do tank focusing on security and

with his own rap, which included the lyrics “Nigga claims 300 but

They’ve transitioned from graffiti tags to hashtags and are using

development, have began to monitor not only online coercion by

we BDK” before threatening to shoot down one of Chief Keef’s

social media as another weapon, with the final consequences

Mexican drug cartels, but the social media activities of Central

gang members. This retaliation continued between the two over

leaving the virtual world to have lasting impacts in reality. As social

American crime gangs, like Mara Salvarucha (MS-13) and the 18th

Twitter (as most musical spats do…) until September 4th 2012 when

media has evolved, so have they, and they’re only becoming more

Street Gang (m-18). Where 53% of them don’t disable their geolocation

someone yelled to Lil Jojo “Ima kill you”. Hours later he was shot and

dangerous in the process.

on Twitter/Facebook, their communication has become transnational.

pronounced dead.

In 2015, the year of the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge, The Dress

But what’s happened in recent years is that social media is no

While social media has become another weapon for gangs and

debate and Drake’s “Hotline Bling”, Los Angeles’ decrease in gang-

longer used solely for growth, but for the promotion of fear and

has acted as a catalyst for transnational development, it’s also

related violence had come to an end. In the first six months alone,

terror. No one can forget the images, the videos or the threats ISIS

been used as a tool to help authorities track gang activity, further

shootings had risen by 26% while gang crime had gone up 18%. On

posted when holding hostages, let alone the horror humanity felt

understand their networks and figure out which individuals are most

top of all that, gangs’ social media influence had peaked when the

as a result. For those in 77th Street District, they were feeling that

likely to be involved in a homicide. For years police departments

#100Days100Nights hashtag went viral in July.

fear every day for the remainder of July. As Marc Goodman, a former

have assumed it’s been certain locations, called “hot spots”, that

LAPD cop, clarifies in Fast Company, “In the same way that terrorist

were dangerous. But as the Chicago PD have realised through

On Friday 17th of July, Rollin’ 100s member, Kenneth “KP” Peevy,

organizations… are clever about creating a narrative online that they

analysing social media, it’s not specific “hot spots” that are the

27, was shot to death, and while KP was only loosely affiliated

want to use to project a particular image, the narcos and the gang

hazard, but rather “hot people” and their connections. By figuring

with the gang since becoming a full-time single father, his death

members have that same capacity.”

out who knows who, police departments and authorities are able to

fear and induce terror into humanity.

better understand which gang members and their connections are

unintentionally left a legacy that shook LA’s 77th Street District. To revenge KP’s death, the Rollin’ 100s and their affiliated gangs were

One way it’s being used as another weapon is in the form of “internet

racing against their rivals to see who could kill 100 people first —

banging”, also known as “cyber banging”. “Internet banging” occurs

gang associated or innocent. This so-called “movement” even had

when social media platforms are used to exchange insults or violent

There’s still a long road ahead for authorities, but with the CPD

it’s own hashtag to support it, #100Days100Nights.

threats that eventually escalate offline and lead to homicide or

monitoring around 14,000 active gang members, social media

victimisation. As Desmond Patton, Robert Eschmann and Dirk Butler

analysation has opened a new window of information that wouldn’t

summarise, “internet banging” contains three elements:

have been obtained through traditional research. While advances in

The first shot resulted in the first death. At 4.10pm the following day

most at risk of homicide involvement.

technology and social media have contributed to the radicalisation

47 year old Anthony Alonzo Cudges was declared dead at the scene when a gunman drove up to his car and shot him. Less than an hour

1. It promotes gang association or expresses interest in gang activity.

now found within modern day gangs, hopefully future advances will

later another man in his 40s was shot. A little after 9pm, authorities

2. Notoriety is gained by publicizing a violent act or threat.

have a counter affect and help control and prevent virtual and real-

found a man in his 20s who’d been shot in the stomach and before

3. Information about rival gangs is communicated throughout the network.

life gang violence.

10pm another three people were shot, with one victim left in a critical condition. The violence continued until almost a week later, when a

Aside from the recent #100Days100Nights, the most notorious “internet


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

Photo by Driely s www . drielys . com


AVENOIR

13

T he E x clusivity o f white f emi n ism by Melissa Gitari

Although feminism is by no means a new concept, over the

femininity is somehow inferior.

fire for its lack of ethnic minority characters, despite being set in New York where only a third of the population is white. Lesley

past couple of years the movement seems to have sprung back into the public sphere and demanded everyone’s attention.

This tradition lives on today. Even when black women assert

Arfin, one of the show’s writers, responded to these criticisms

Pop culture is largely to thank for this. When Beyoncé featured

themselves as supporters of feminism they are often dismissed,

in a since-deleted tweet where she claimed to be bothered that

a sample from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘We Should All

as if the black and female identities are mutually exclusive.

the film Precious did not feature any representations of women

Be Feminists’ on her 2014 hit ***Flawless, she made feminist

Following the release of Beyoncé’s self-titled album at the end

like her, i.e. privileged white women. Arfin has missed the point

thought not only accessible, but enjoyable. Gone are the days

of 2013, the internet was flooded with an onslaught of think

entirely, and her tweet is emblematic of the indifference towards

when women were afraid to associate themselves with feminism

pieces attempting to decry Beyoncé’s feminism. How can she

representing women of colour that has characterized the feminist

for fear of being labelled as militant misandrists; now it is not

claim to be a feminist when she dresses provocatively/takes

movement for decades.

uncommon to see girls, women and even men asserting with

her husband’s surname/uses the word ‘bitch’? Critics who claim

pride that they believe in the social, political and economic

that Beyoncé’s sexual expression undermines her position as a

For women of colour, aligning oneself with feminism can be a

equality of the sexes. However, none of this means that we are

feminist seem disingenuous when Madonna, for example, has

source of inner conflict. Becoming part of a movement that has

living in a feminist utopia. We cannot ignore the fact that white

sung explicitly about the pleasures of sex in her concept album

excluded women like you for decades may make one feel like

voices seem to reign supreme in discussions about gender

Erotica and elsewhere. Madonna’s position as an icon of female

they are prioritizing their gender over their race. And it shouldn’t

relations while women of colour are often marginalized.

empowerment has never come under scrutiny the way Beyoncé’s

have to be that way. Women are not homogenous and feminist

has, which suggests that white and black female sexuality are

spaces should aim to cater to their diverse experiences – not

Since the onset of the contemporary feminist movement, there

polar opposites, the former having positive connotations while the

just women of colour but LGBTQ women, disabled women and

has been a tendency towards silencing black female voices.

latter is deemed inappropriate. When Rihanna wore that infamous

poor women. Alternatives to mainstream feminism that aim to

From a historical point of view, this could stem from the harmful

sheer dress to pick up her Fashion Icon Award, the tabloids were

represent a spectrum of womanhood are perhaps the most logical

stereotypes that black women have had to bear since the

quick to scold her for leaving ‘nothing to the imagination’, while

next step. Womanism, a term coined by author Alice Walker, is

transatlantic slave trade. The ‘Jezebel’ – a promiscuous, unchaste

celebrities like Keira Knightley and Miley Cyrus are praised for

a social theory that focuses on the complex set of inequalities

black woman – was seen in direct contrast to virtuous white

supporting the Free the Nipple campaign with topless photos.

faced by women of colour and encourages women to celebrate

femininity. When Europeans first encountered black women in

The double standards surrounding black and white female bodies

their differences in a way that mainstream feminism does not.

Africa, dressed sparsely in the heat, they misinterpreted this

make it difficult to envision a feminism that is truly intersectional.

This could be the solution to the overwhelming whiteness of the feminist movement. It is time for women of colour to stop trying to claw

as lewdness and came to the conclusion that black women were immoral sex-maniacs. This trope was used to justify the

The exclusivity of white feminism also has its roots in the

their way into a group that was not made to help them in the first place,

countless atrocities wrought against black women, from the

economy. In bell hook’s book Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and

and start making movements of their own.

brutal raping of black slaves to the vile human zoos of the 19th

Feminism, she notes that white feminists were so focused on the

and 20th centuries. The fact that white women were so reluctant

economic exploitation of white women by white men that they

to include black women in the first and second wave feminist

ignored the unique experiences of poorer women and women

movements suggests that these stereotypes had not dissipated

of colour. Early white feminists suffered from tunnel vision; they

over time. Indeed, this culture of misogynoir (misogyny that

were so fixated with how white men earned more money than

specifically targets black femininity) has been internalized not

them that they failed to acknowledge that black women were

only by white men, but by white women as well. Despite their

paid even less than they were. This erasure of black women and

shared gender, white feminists refused to welcome black women

the issues they face can still be seen today in the mass media.

into the movement, and as such, perpetuated the idea that black

Lena Dunham’s comedy-drama series Girls came under a lot of


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

The uprising OF by So o k Kwan Lo o n g

South Korea, one of Asia’s biggest economic markets, home to the Samsung brand, export of Korean-pop and Korean-drama, land of the kimchi, known also as a Suicide Nation? At the last Suicide Prevention Day (September 10, 2015), the latest statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have painted the great nation in a darker shade, with South Korea having the dubious award of leading the way in suicide rates among its contemporaries; reaching 29.1 suicides per 100,000 – a 28 per cent increase since 2002. We’ve all heard the woes of suicide – for both the victim, as well as the close relations left behind. Reasons for their despair ranges from feeling rejected for their differences, their incompetence, and their insignificance. All these and many more escalating in fatal consequences for the suicide victims and survivors’ guilt for the victims’ families and friends.

discussing the subjective reasoning behind the act of suicide, but few are truly comfortable using the proper medical terms, such as “depression” or “anxiety”. Even the phrase “mental illness” is widely avoided by the same people. The real question here isn’t the what and whys of suicide, but the strange aversion towards any form of medical diagnosis to a psychological disorder.

just a slump that will get better” as genuine comforting advice. Generations after generations are taught to be self-reliant and that real achievements are quantifiable and noticeable. The constant intense pressure has led to nervous breakdowns kept behind closed doors or swept underneath the proverbial rugs. Any cracks in emotions are implication of being weak-minded and weak in spirit.

Mental illness has a long history of stigmatization. Even to this date, with the widespread education and awareness campaigns, people are still reluctant to seek professional help. To them, admitting to feeling depressed or anxious, would lead to further exclusion from their peers. Those who do come to terms with their prognosis are unable to seek help because of financial difficulties.

It is no wonder then that you hardly hear anyone with an Asian background discussing the very real consequences of mental illnesses left unchecked and undiagnosed.

Numerous documentaries and articles discussing the topic of suicide and what countermeasures have been taken to reduce the alarming rise in suicide rates are widespread. Among them are the suicide hotlines, the rescue teams stationed around popular suicide sites, some even going as far as to perform a ceremonial burial in coffins to cleanse themselves of their emotional burden.

This situation is further worsened among Asian cultures. In a collective culture where your behavior and actions reflect onto those around yourself and everyone around you, people see being diagnosed with a mental illness equivalent to being labelled as “insane” and unfit for society. This is not just limited to the actual diagnosis. Even the possibility of being associated with a mental illness could bring shame and embarrassment to both the person and their associates. In countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, people would rather seek the help of witch doctors than professional psychiatric help just to avoid any negative social confrontation.

But has anyone ever noticed that the words “depression” or “mental illness” are rarely mentioned in any of these documentaries or articles? These people are comfortable

Those who experience depression and anxiety are often confused with feeling blue. It is common to hear phrases such as “getting over it and move on” or “it’s

Even in the age of the Internet, the current educational awareness campaigns towards mental illnesses in Asia are still severely lacking and limited. There is still only a small pool of medical professionals openly discussing mental illness, and there is an even smaller proportion of public commentary on the subject. The stigmatization of mental illness is so deeply embedded in the Asian mindset that it will take more than educating and raising awareness among the children and public to make a significant dent. Indeed, some rural parts of China still treat being homosexuals as being “mentally ill” and have established boot camps and special mental facilities “to train the gay” out of their “patients”. It is not just young adults and adolescents who are susceptible to suicide. Particularly distressing are the stories involving the elderly population. Countries like Japan and South Korea, who records high elderly population, have revealed that increasing number of stories with the men and women in their sixties and


AVENOIR

15

SUICIDE NATIONS beyond have committed suicide due to poor lifestyle they led. Unwilling to burden their children with the financial and emotional burden from taking care of the elderly, they are willing to sever familial ties and live at borderline poverty. But at the same time, the collectivist nature of their upbringing meant that without these familial relationships, they lose a big part of their identity and making them more likely to fall into depression, eventually leading to suicide. In countries like India, being associated with mental illness has become a war of basic human rights. In a country where women are still being treated like chattel, it is not surprising to hear stories about how women have been involuntarily committed to mental institutions by their husbands and even the police. Women instantly lose their voice and vulnerable to both mental and physical abuse at these mental institutions. Religious sects, a big part of the Asian culture, play a major role in how mental illnesses are viewed. In Pakistan, having a mental illness was a sign to the world that you have been cursed by God, and many have been forsaken for fear of having the same happen to others. But there are also Buddhist and Christian practitioners in South Korea and Japan who have begun to take notice of the alarming suicide rates and implemented their own preventive measures. They do so by establishing suicide hotlines and arranging weekly visits to “mentally vulnerable” people in hopes of dissuading them from suicide, and hopefully leading a more spiritually-fulfilling life. Even here, it is clearly demonstrated that while religious leaders are more than willing to contribute to the cause, they also fail to differentiate between a preventive measure and a cure. A preventive measure only delays the inevitable. Sometimes they manage to kill the problem; but preventive measures are still not the same as the cure. A

cure in this case, is to provide the proper tools to combat and control the influence of mental illnesses in a person’s life. A cure will have an everlasting effect, and if done properly, may even lead to a widespread of constant positive feedback loop and awareness throughout the collective community by actions alone.

The Asian mentality has placed mentally ill people in a place of denial and refusing to seek professional help that they need. The constant denial and exposure to negative societal pressure worsens the mental condition of these people. Given enough time, suicide would become an increasingly appealing choice. It is not a surprise then that the alarming increase in suicide rates are really a reflection of how ill-prepared the Asian community itself is at understanding and combating mental illnesses. In the struggle against suicide, it is imperative that both preventive measure and cure are implemented at the same time. The Asian collective has to deal with the hard truth that just because you can talk someone out of suicide now, it is not a guarantee that it will not happen again. The easy dismissal of mental illnesses including depression and anxiety has only led from one tragedy to another. Without their emotional support system, Asian people from all walks of life and age are becoming increasingly susceptible to ideas of self-harm. The earlier these people are diagnosed and treated correctly, the more people are aware and able to identify and help others suffering in silence like they did before. Who knows? Maybe in a decade or two, not only would South Korea lower their suicide rate, they could be the shiny example of an Asian country that successfully implements a suicide prevention scheme alongside a careful and proper understanding of the mental illnesses.

“...the alarming

increase in suicide rates are really a reflection of how ill-prepared the Asian community itself is at understanding and combating mental illnesses.


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

THE FEAR OF BEING SEEN AS A RACIST by Ta m ra Carr

Artwork by Sam Shields


AVENOIR

17

Rotherham, England; A big minister town resting in South

a tirade of offensive criticisms towards Mexican immigrants and

A charity event organised by sorority Kappa Alpha Theta, that

Yorkshire. It gained its short-lived notoriety after a smattering

Muslims. This led to not only several corporate partners ending

intended to sell Mexican food to raise money for foster children,

of news outlets covered a major story first unearthed by The

their business relationships with him but also a cautious distance

was cancelled because a student complained the maracas

Times in 2010. Four years later an independent inquiry confirmed

from his fellow Republicans.

featured on the promotional posters were offensive.

abused by mostly British-Pakistani Muslim men in gangs

Given the social alienation that is bound to follow if someone

Though it could be argued that these incidents are ludicrous,

between the years 1997 and 2013. Abduction, rape, sex trafficking

is accused of being racist, it is obvious why every effort is made

residents in a free society have the absolute right to react

and torture were among the offences. The scandal, however, did

by most people to avoid being labelled. It has never been so

however they want to what they see and hear. With that in

not revolve around the crimes themselves, but the police and their

important to adhere to and keep updated with politically correct

mind, throwing the word ‘racism’ around aimlessly does a major

lack of effort to stop it. Their reason in a nutshell: they didn’t want

terminology and remain conscious of other peoples’ sensitivities.

disservice to the real victims of hateful actions.

suspicions and reported that near 1,400 girls were sexually

to be seen as racist. Language should be modified when relevant to enhance the

Turning a blind eye to the horrifying statistics of crime in

The blatant ineptitude and cowardice in Rotherham meant the

racially accepting communities we enjoy today. Outdated and

communities of colour does not help facilitate a public

information was suppressed multiple times on the basis of

offensive terms should be eliminated. The ignorant should be

conversation on the best way to provide access to education and

cultural sensitivity. Violent criminals were not identified and

criticised when making harmful assumptions. Those in a position

a positive model of moral behaviour.

punished under the guise of acceptance. Survivors were left

of power over an impressionable public should be held to a high

without justice because officials were frightened of the public

standard when it comes to being inclusive, polite and tolerant.

Rhodes College both hiring and refusing to fire Professor Zandria Robinson for her controversial and inflammatory tweet:

throwing around unsubstantiated labels. Unfortunately, their fears Lately, however, instead of creating code for an environment

‘Whiteness is most certainly and inevitably terror’ accompanied

where everybody is friendly to one another, tolerance has been

with her tweets that the Charleston shooter was only behaving

In recent decades, racist has been seen as one of the worst

accelerated to the point of absurdity. Appropriate language is

the way white people are conditioned to act, shows that society’s

labels that can be slapped on someone and almost nothing can

becoming increasingly restricted based on arbitrary interpretation,

pendulum has not swung in the direction of tolerance, but rather a

be quite as damaging to a person’s character. Incidents in which

fairness and reason are being sacrificed for so-called ‘progressive

different kind of acceptable persecution.

people have lost their jobs for making racist remarks have been

thinking,’ and, in cases such as Rotherham, being too scared

well publicised, with employers quick to wipe their hands clean of

to mention the elephant in the room has caused the repeated

It is crucial to recognise that racism has not vanished from our

anybody who threatens their reputation.

violation of basic human rights.

communities. Those guilty of spreading messages of hate should

Justine Sacco, a former executive for internet company InterActive

A couple in England were kicked off a bus when they started

who seek to create an imbalance in the scales of fairness. It is

Corp, was fired almost immediately after posting an offensive

singing the Peppa Pig theme song to calm down their autistic

important to shift society’s focus from the ambiguity of words

comment about Africans and the AIDS virus on Twitter.

baby daughter. A passenger complained, shouting at them that

with harmless intent to both equality and accountability. And, it

they were clearly being racist because Muslims can’t eat pork.

remains the utmost importance, to not let the fear of being seen

were not without merit.

be both openly accused and criticised, but so should those

as a racist prevent you from calling out hypocrisy, identifying

American famed TV Chef Paula Deen admitted to having used a racial epithet in the past and consequently had her contract

A 70 year old woman in Britain was told by police that the knitted

irrationality and holding each and every member of society to the

terminated with the Food Network.

gorilla she had displayed in her window, one in a series of animals

same standard.

she made and placed there to entertain neighbourhood children, Donald Sterling, former owner of NBA team the Los Angeles

was racist and had to be removed.

Clippers, lost ownership of his team, was banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million after a recording of him telling his

BBC Radio 4 Programme Gardener’s Question Time was accused

friend not to associate with African-Americans was made public

of having a racist rhetoric by a sociology lecturer because the hosts

And, most recently, presidential hopeful Donald Trump let loose

discuss topics such as soil purity, native plants and invasive species.


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

Artwork by Harrison See


AVENOIR

SEEKING asylum by Ta m ra Carr

Legions of boats unfit for the ocean, with peeling colour and spots of rust, hold cramped crowds of

reported, accompanied by malevolent guards, one of which stated that an ill detainee should be left

families seeking shores of safety. Not since World War 2 has the global number of people escaping

to suffer. Perhaps most disturbing is the Federal Government’s decision to use Christmas Island as a

civil unrest been so catastrophically high. An excess of 50 million refugees and asylum seekers have

host to bikies, murderers and sex offenders with cancelled visas awaiting deportation. This wrongly

fled from war-torn regions, heavily peppered with government persecution and blanket poverty.

affiliates detention with prison.

The problem of displacement is only worsening and the Australian Government, a signatory to

From the White Australia policy of 1901, to the Cronulla riots of 2005 and most recently the Reclaim

the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, is committed to help. Our compatriots in

Australia rallies of 2015, Australia has been notorious for both its strong sense of nationalism and

Canberra insist that Australia is a multicultural society and a nation of celebrated diversity which

brazen xenophobia. This is only amplified by the misleading rhetoric spewed by the government and

welcomes refugees. These meticulous speeches only serve to mask the rising problems in our

its supportive media which has created the very powerful illusion that asylum seekers arriving by

detention centers while behind the scenes, under the table policy, aims to zip the lips of anybody

boat without documentation is somehow an illegal activity. However, the facts say otherwise:

attempting to expose the ill-treatment. The UN Refugee Convention recognises the right of refugees to enter a country by any means The Border Force Act 2015 has made it a criminal offence, which can carry up to a two-year jail term,

of travel necessary without any official papers of identification. This is reinforced by an evidently

for anybody working for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to talk to the media,

forgotten Australian law, which also states that ‘asylum seekers who enter Australia are not

or any other person or organisation about what happens in detention centers. Barring the public from

penalised for doing so without a valid visa, or for their mode of arrival.’

access to information on facilities taxpayer money is funding and incarcerating anybody who tries to speak out is a clear example of a democracy on the decline.

In a world riddled with violent entertainment, it is easy to see how people can become desensitised to the plight of the displaced. With foreign extremism seeming like an ever-present threat, it is perfectly

Not only is this glaring threat to free speech sabotaging the values that underpin our society, but it is

acceptable for the public to want identities checked and claims verified. But it is not acceptable to be

covering up the heinous truths the public dollar is sponsoring. In Nauru, multiple incidents of sexual

deaf to the suffering of the refugees, to hide behind the fallacies and excuses made by the government,

exploitation by guards have been observed by social workers, including eliciting sexual favours from

or to fall below the standards that ensures the safeguard of human rights in Australia.

female detainees in exchange for marijuana. On Manus Island, a report by the Human Rights Watch indicates that not one single person has been resettled since the centre reopened, despite 129 detainees being cleared as legitimate refugees. Only a few people have been provided with identity papers they can use to find work, while the rest remain without documentation. Several volunteer opportunities to make the refugees more employable were flatly refused. The dehumanising act of calling detainees by numbers rather than names has caused mass demoralisation on Christmas Island. High rates of depression and other mental illnesses have been

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ACH I EV I NG transcendence w i t h T I M E W H E E L’s M AT T H U M B L E by Za erë n Mo m an d

Influenced by the cultural programming towards the colour of our

In it our various influences, outlooks, and ideals are explored and

researchers in this field. It has only just begun to receive some

skin, the symmetry of our biology, and the history of our race, we

captured in scenes of music and soundscape. We are very much

funding and attention thanks to organizations like MAPS and The

forget that such a predisposed reality is an established illusion.

trying to capture the experiences that we have had that are hard to

Heffter Research Institute. I believe we are on the cusp of another

When we realise this, we can strive to achieve transcendence into

explain in any other format than music, several of which we were

psychedelic resurgence, but this time it will be more professional than

the passionate heart of the Anima Mundi; the World’s Soul on fire.

together during. The resulting songs are the collaborative effort of

that which happened in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

each of our respective angles of approaching music, and so it can Having called overseas from San Antonio, Texas, Matt Humble

sound different song to song. We try to stick to a particular theme

You’ve created BODAISHIN, a channel by TIMEWHEEL to connect

discusses with Avenoir his record label/artist collective

on each project we release and use that project to help us reach

with people through a social network exploring ‘internal alchemy

TIMEWHEEL and the importance of achieving the higher state of

the next stage of our development as artists.

and self-cultivation methods of the Eastern philosophies and sciences’. How much of an impact do you believe you have made to

mind through psychedelics and spiritual discipline. Who are you working with closely at the moment in the TIMEWHEEL

those in the audience/group and do you see it as a way to further

Was TIMEWHEEL first created to cater to the art and tunes of the

Studio? Are there any particular experiences you’ve had with

promote TIMEWHEEL’s presence and ideals?

psychedelia?

musicians/artists that continue to progress one’s interest in the

BODAISHIN is a new sub-brand that we created to more

During its founding TIMEWHEEL was our artistic collective of

psychedelic sphere?

exclusively explore the ideas of eastern philosophy and mysticism.

musicians and visual artists and also serves as the name of our

Lately, the artists stopping by the studio consist mostly of the

I am a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and have long been

studio where we work. We evolved into a record label about two

members of our label, while others are located across the country.

fascinated with the yogic science and its various offshoots like

years after initially releasing our art, music, and curations to the

Arkeologist, Femina-X, Verisimilitude, The INF, Young Airand

Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, Alchemy, Vedic Astrology, and the like.

public. We are all very influenced by the higher mind and the

MASLO are among the most frequent artists to work at our studio

I feel like in its current stage BODAISHIN acts as a hub of spiritual

various methods of attaining mystical and philosophical spaces,

spot. We are all very open about our influences in music and

inspiration, art and information to help aid people on their path to

and that is reflected in our work as a label and our curations for

tend to approach music in a spiritual way. Some of our songs

realization or awakening. We have big plans for BODAISHIN but

our blog. I believe psychedelics are an ancient and sacred tool

are without a doubt influenced by the psychedelic experience,

can’t reveal much more at the moment.

to access states reserved for the initiated shamans, seers, and

whereas others are more about integrating and making use of the

mystics of both our time and the times passed. Despite their

insights that such experiences provide in daily life.

What brought you to the interest of Eastern philosophies and the alchemy of the Self? And what specific teachings do you resonate to

controversial nature, they have proven time and time again to be of substantial importance for healing in various mediums and

The visual collaborations that you include (Mitch Schultz of DMT:

the most?

aiding certain people in becoming more open about the spiritual

The Spirit Molecule, Aubrey Marcus of Huachuma to works by

I suffered, as it seems most do, with depression in my late teens.

concepts of our universe.

Dennis McKenna) were they to be your influence due to sharing

I felt very disenchanted with life and was starting to lose sight of

similar values and beliefs?

the importance of being an incarnate being. I started taking more

What is your project Something Fiction about?

Absolutely. It is an honor to work with the figureheads of today’s

risks in my efforts to alleviate my negative feelings, which led me

Something Fiction is an experimental project that was created by

psychedelic community. I believe that their work is some of the most

(rather late in life compared to some) to plant medicines. Since I

myself, Raul Rodriguez III of Trionre and Nick Greder of MÖBIUS.

important on the planet today. We could always use more passionate

had abstained from intoxication for a very long time before I was


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

open to it, the effects I experienced were shatteringly powerful.

enlightenment? And should it be given openly to the masses?

I began to open my mind to a world beyond the material plane

I have been, yes. I believe that what psychedelics offer is a

which led me on a kind of spiritual quest to explore traditions that

glimpse or an “episode” of enlightenment, if done in the proper

are well aware of these understandings. Eventually, I was brought

set and setting. I don’t think they will ever keep you enlightened.

to Kundalini Yoga as an established method of achieving mystical

That is what spiritual discipline is for. But it is hard to start a path

states without the aid of plant medicines. As these practices

if you don’t know it exists, and that is what I think psychedelics

unfold you start to see them all as different “brands” if you will

are helpful in providing. I don’t think the masses are ready for

of the same thing, and so I began researching the other various

psychedelics just yet. I believe they are only for a certain type

traditions that’s aim are the same – spiritual liberation.

of person with a particular predisposition to be of maximum benefit. Many people have no context for what is to come from

Terence McKenna states in his lecture that we don’t have to be a victim

these experiences and may be easily overwhelmed. It takes a

to culture, all we have to do is clear some space on our disc. What is

particularly weathered (or lucky) person to be able to navigate and

your view on that? Do you believe we have the ability to perturb the

work with the medicine and not be frightened by it.

brain chemistry of the modern-day mind, even though having been prolonged in the calcification of the corrupt media/government?

What would you like people to remember you for?

The truth is that we are animals of habit. We get comfortable,

My aim is to create and help to create genuine art for people to

we get distracted, and we forget what interests us most. Caught

use for their own personal growth.

in the rat race, people look for happiness outside of themselves through means of objects, status, and relationships. As soon as you get what you are out to achieve we simply shift our focus and desire something else. I believe psychedelics allow us to glimpse the infinite nature of reality, even if only for an afternoon, and to become truly intrigued with the opportunity of being alive. Clearing space on the disk is an excellent metaphor for our time. We are so overloaded with what we don’t have that we forget what we do have and that results in an imbalance in our brain, leading likely to depression. Before you know it, your life is almost over and you never even started to live your own personal dream. Gaining a glimpse of infinite possibility, even if only once, can help one take control of their life and direct to what makes them most happy. Have you been under the influence of hallucinogens? And if so what was the recent experience you have had? Do you believe psychedelic properties/hallucinogens is a gateway to reaching

My art is my awakening, and I hope that it can aid in yours as well.

“Gaining a glimpse of infinite possibility, even if only once, can help one take control of their life and direct to what makes them most happy.


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www.timewheel.net

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AVENOIR ISSUE #1

Artwork by Harrison See


AVENOIR

25

Paris Attacks : W he n the W O R L D t u r n ed a b li n d e y e to the east by Holly Le e Around 9.30 in the evening on Friday, November 13th, 2015, a series

lit up with the blue, white, and red of the French flag in a display

Thailand’s history. The day before the attacks on Paris, two suicide

of terrorist attacks hit the city of Paris killing 130 people and injuring

of solidarity. The Sydney Opera House, Canada’s CN Tower, Burj

bombers that killed 43 people and wounded 240 struck Beirut as an

368. The two main targets of the attacks were the Bataclan theatre,

al-Khalifa in Dubai, the London Eye Ferris Wheel, Sydney Town Hall,

act of terrorism. With barely any news coverage, no lit up landmarks,

where the rock band Eagles of Death Metal were performing a

and Parliament House in London, are among the extensive list of

no trending hashtags, the stubborn ignorance of the Western world

concert, and the Stade de France, a sports stadium where a soccer

cultural land marks lit in sympathies.

to acknowledge these atrocities is frighteningly blatant. This has created a divide like a brick wall between the Western and Eastern

game between the French and German team were being held. French President François Hollande was attending the game. There

Social media was flooded with messages of love and hope, as

worlds, which is built too tall for us to see past it. While Paris is

were three suicide bombers that sparked the following horrific

people used the attacks to repost pictures of their last trip to the

being romanticised and pedestalled in Western society, “refugees”

string of events, including more suicide bombings, mass shootings,

city of love as an expression of unity and sympathy. #PrayforParis

are slapped with the label to dehumanise and categorise them into

and holding hostages throughout the two main targets, several

became the next trending hashtag, and even Facebook brought out

something more manageable.

restaurants and cafés.

a new temporary filter much like the rainbow filter after President Barack Obama legalised same-gender marriage across the United

Hollywood glamorises the French capital, with films such as

Radio presenter and witness at the Bataclan theatre told the press,

States, but this one was of a transparent French flag. All over my

Midnight in Paris, Julie and Julia and even Disney’s Ratatouille

“I clearly heard them [the terrorists] say, ‘It’s the fault of Hollande,

Facebook newsfeed I saw smiling face after smiling face, covered

featured Parisians with American accents. It’s become such a

it’s the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in

in this flag, writing messages of love, sorrow, hate, and most of all,

fantastical place that they have their own extreme form of culture

Syria.’” It appears that the attacks were an act of revenge against

relief that they weren’t there. The western world stopped, because

shock called “Paris syndrome” which affects mostly Japanese

Opération Chammal, a French military operation that aims to

this romantic honeymoon destination had been tainted by the

tourists. This is the forefront of Paris that we see in the Western

halt the expansion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, where

terrorist hatred that our world safely ignores.

world. We forget about its largely multicultural population and that they’re not just white people with ascots. We forget about the anti-

massacre shootings and other atrocities to these populations take place. The operation is limited to airstrikes only, as Hollande

The Syrian President Basher al-Assad came out regarding the

Islamic laws set in place to oppress this multiculturalism, because

is unwilling to allow members of the military to touch the ground.

attacks in France and was quoted saying, “France has known

tourism relies on France’s whiteness.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks of terrorism, and clarified

what we have been living in Syria over the past five years”. While

the reasoning within a statement which says: “…eight brothers

al-Assad has been a major contributor to the violence and chaos

Is this why we cared so much about the bombings in Paris? Is

equipped with explosive belts and assault rifles attacked precisely

that is the Syrian Civil War, he is not wrong. Bombings, air strikes,

it because we are only shown the Middle East as a place of war

chosen targets in the center of the capital of France”, and “the

massacres, and all kinds of horrific destruction have killed over

and desert and nothing else? Is it because, maybe, the Parisians

scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in

220,000 people, with most of the victims being civilians, over the

affected by the bombings look like the average Anglo-Celtic

the crusader campaign, as long as they dare to curse our Prophet

past five years. In the month of October of 2015 alone 4,215 people

Australian? Each bombing, each death, each life saved, each

(blessings and peace be upon him), and as long as they boast about

were killed as a result of the war. It is estimated that at least 12

and every person is important, and the level of importance and

their war against Islam in France and their strikes against Muslims

million Syrians have fled their home country, and about half of that

compassion should not be determined by skin colour and location.

in the lands of the Caliphate with their jets”.`

population are children. Many barely go further than the border, with about 4 million taking refuge in neighbouring countries such as

Many residents nearby the attacks were offering their homes as

Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan.

refuge, and taxi services were evacuating people from the city free of charge. The city itself shut down for three days of mourning. Yet,

Thailand was devastated in August of 2015 by a bombing in

it was not just the city that ached with grief; this event shook the

Bangkok outside of a Hindu temple that killed 19 people and

world. Landmarks from all different countries around the globe were

injured over 120, and is said to be one of the worst terror attacks in


AU S T R Photo BY Amy sutrisno


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ALIANA


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

Not your average cup of joe Navigating The Perth Specialty Coffee Scene b y J o s i e Dye t

Photos by Mark Piasecki


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29

You would be forgiven for thinking you had accidentally stepped

is considered an artisanal product much like wine. The baristas

Many specialty coffee shops sell brewing devices for home use,

into a travel agent; the walls are inscribed with the names of exotic

are firm about how they think their coffee should be prepared

so that consumers can enjoy the specialty experience at home.

destinations and tropical fruits. You walk up to the counter and all

and served. If you go in asking for your regular order of an extra

Micro-roasteries join forces with cafe owners to ensure the

of a sudden you’re faced with the decision: Mexican or Columbian?

hot “Mugachino”, you might find yourself on the receiving end

freshest roast possible, and even invent signature blends to set

of a dramatic eye-roll. Don’t get me wrong; most of the people I

them apart from the rest.

Before you start packing the suitcase, relax, you’re just ordering a

meet who are submerged in third wave coffee are extremely warm

coffee from a specialty cafe.

and welcoming. They are simply on a mission to impart their

The coffee menu at a Specialty cafe resembles the likes of a

knowledge onto consumers and to help people understand what

wine list, and includes tasting notes such as blueberry and milk

coffee actually tastes like; they’re purists.

chocolate. Glass beakers and various contraptions that resemble

The term specialty coffee has been around since the 1970’s;

science apparatus take pride of place in “espresso bars” across

originally used to describe coffee that is graded 80 points or over on a scale of 100 (much like achieving a high distinction at uni;

The specialty coffee movement has well and truly arrived in Perth;

the city. These are the places where devoted coffee enthusiasts

if these beans were students, not only would they consistently

establishments are popping up in the laneways of the CBD as well

go for an unadulterated experience.

maintain good standing, they would probably go on to do honours

as the outer suburbs. Hip cafes with intriguing interiors are found

and complete a PhD).

everywhere from neglected industrial areas to little known nooks

Specialty shops select and grade their beans via a protocol known

and crannies, squeezed between office buildings or taking over

as cupping, which unsurprisingly involves several receptacles

entire street corners.

of coffee, each from a different origin and roasting profile. Many

Coffee, similar to feminism, is chronicled in waves: first, second

of the Perth specialty cafes host cupping sessions on a weekly

and third wave. The first wave is to blame for instant freeze-dried powder; what I like to refer to as the gateway drug. Once you start

Step inside a specialty coffee shop and you risk choking on

basis, and the general public is encouraged to attend. As long as

drinking coffee, regardless of quality, it is only a matter of time

chalk dust as you peruse the various blackboard menus. Words

you’re not offended by loud slurping, which is an essential part

before you taste a decent brew and realise what you have been

like undertones, colour and viscosity are thrown about earnestly.

of the cupping practice, known by the professionals aspirating.

missing all your life.

Patrons can pull up a stool and read about flavour profiles, as if

By simply adding hot water to freshly ground coffee, cupping

they were a sommelier deciding on wine pairings.

is an opportunity for coffee professionals and enthusiasts to experience the taste of a particular coffee as pure as can be.

The second wave is proudly brought to you by the letter S: for Starbucks. People became concerned with the quality of their

Here, the baristas are passionate about everything coffee, from

coffee and favour that of genuine espresso, rather than the

harvesting to brewing, and are committed to educating customers

Nectarine, cherry, toffee, treacle & delicate floral notes. Silky, buttery

immortal can of International Roast. Unfortunately, options such

on the many subtleties in taste. When you step up to order a black

body, and maple syrup finish. While it sounds like an incredible

as extra large “Venti’s” (20oz) cups, Frappuccino’s, creamers and

coffee and the barista starts talking about the umami and mouth

dessert, it’s actually just a handful of the many tasting notes that

flavoured syrups don’t lend themselves to the level of distinction

feel of the small-batch single origin beans, you know you’re in a

can be identified in a single coffee during a cupping session.

required for specialty coffee. However, what the second wave did

specialty coffee establishment. So next time you order a coffee, take the time to reflect upon the

do was inform people that coffee doesn’t come from a can. Specialty cafes also offer alternative methods of preparation for

dedicated team of individuals who worked hard to deliver you

Third wave coffee is here, and it is dominating. Caramel latte

your beloved brew. You might have thought that paper filters

that modest cup of joe. You might find yourself mindlessly drifting

lovers cower in the corner of Dome cafes, frightened to emerge

were a thing of the past; I for one had relinquished them to the

away to the exotic origin of the beans as you try to pinpoint the

from their habitual bubble. You won’t find the word Frappuccino

American sitcoms of the 1990’s. The pour-over method of brewing

flavours you are experiencing with each sip. That’s the beauty of

on the menu at a third wave coffee establishment. Owners of

coffee has been revived, and baristas are keen to share the

specialty coffee.

these specialty cafes view coffee as more than a commodity; it

unique flavour that comes out of carefully selected beans.


SPECIALTY CAFES IN PERTH Addison & Steele, North Perth Architects & Heroes, Subiaco Bench Espresso, East Perth Bossman Coffee, Mt Lawley Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse, Fremantle Felix & Co, Nedlands Gesha Coffee Co, Fremantle Grouch & Co, Myaree Humblebee Coffee, Mount Hawthorn Hush Espresso, Fremantle La Veen, Perth CBD Pixel Coffee, Leederville Small Print, Brookfield Place Perth Sprolo, South Perth Typika, Claremont


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AVENOIR ISSUE #1

SPUDS of freedom Sticky fingers of government hypocrisy by Aaron Jakovic h Moments before Luigi lit the match to burn down WA Salvage

watching, scheming, plotting. Then dictating. Now before you

Blinky Bill was just not vegemite, so we sat where we wanted and

for the insurance money, his thoughts surely must have been of

start cussing me out for donning the tin foil mankini in front of

left popcorn on the seats in protest, because that’s just how the

‘legacy.’ As Australia’s primary and most recognizable prototype

the children (get bent, Mayor of Cottesloe, I’ll never pay your

Jakovich men roll. In our house we promote creativity and freedom

for migrants selling cheap stuff to skips, he had developed

fine), let me explain. There’s a rather likely likeliness that you’re

of thought. Except at bed time, obviously. Get upstairs. Lol, kids.

somewhat of a fan base. The blue singlet of destiny is not an

reading this on a computer either via FB or with FB open. You may

honour bestowed upon the chest of just any Marco, Matteo or

find there’s a sponsored ad or seven lurking about your page,

So the next time you find yourself using up that data while

Steve-O. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.

either in the guise of posts/statuses or in plain naked view. For

chowing on that tata, remember: When Tony Galati fights for

arguments sake let’s say the first thing you read is ‘Lonely single

spuds he’s fighting for freedom. And so should you.

Enter Tony Galati. Aka the Spud King. Aka Spudley Dudley.

grandmothers want to meet in your area!’ (a) You disgust me and

Swapping timber for fresh produce, a new Aussie icon emerged.

(b) You are being watched. And not by single lonely grannies

UPDATE! Since the time this article was scribed, man of the

But these are dark times for all potato men, padres. The Potato

in your area. (You wish mate.) But by the powers that be, then

people Tony Galati has overcome the odds and beaten the

Marketing Corporation (PMC, yo) have threatened our saint Galati

targeted with advertising accordingly. Word to the wise, get a VPN

potato marketing corporation in the fight to have the industry

with jail time for the heinous crime of selling too many potatoes. In

or hide your laptop from gramps, if that’s your alibi. When Tony

deregulated. Take that potato board. Your reign of terror has

a potato world run with an iron fist not seen since Nazi Germany,

Galati fights for spuds he’s fighting for freedom. For you, and for

been officially mashed. Hold up, you ever go over something

the mighty spud stud holds his ground. Rising from the soiled

your dirty, dirty Grandpa.

you just wrote and can’t believe you can say it straight faced. Whose bloody idea was the potato board because to be totally

shadows of fascism, Tony arrived bearing an unmeasurable gift for single mothers, low income earners, Portugese exchange students

Next let’s take a little nostalgic journey to nearly a year ago and

honest it sounds like something four dudes schemed up over a

and the working class– a choice. Heaven forbid we get a choice.

the whole data retention issue, because terrorism. Yay? Nay. Was

carton of Coronas and a pass around coke bottle bong. Where is

nobody just a little curious at the timing of Aussies being sued

the Brussels sprouts board, the avocado board and the banana

Not content with upholding the rights of citizen’s to feed their

over torrenting The Dallas Buyers Club (a landmark decision

board? There are a multitude of potential dollars to be made here.

families without taking out a second mortgage on their home, the

for shit films worldwide) and the data retention scheme? And

So many foods! So many potential boards of things! Or perhaps,

villainous dark sith Darth Barnett has attempted to strike down

surprise surprise. The one internet provider who had been vocal

is the potato board a work for the dole scheme that somehow

the potato menace with his light saber of bureaucracy and red

on protecting consumer rights and internet privacy has been

evolved into a paying job? Have we been fighting against a made

tape. Petitions and memes ensue. In a perfect world, our savior

bought out. There’s nowhere to hide now, bill holders. You’re all

up thing like the way monkey magic would whistle and snarl at

Galati would have immediately received a better deal. Then be

going to jail for torrenting Game Of Thrones, forever. Meanwhile

the floating badly dubbed transvestite on the cloud in the sky,

made named potato pope, his name hailed loudly in the streets,

drug dealers, The Boston Bomber, stray dogs and the homeless

and what exactly was monkey magic smoking to see such an

and have magnificent monumental structures built in his name

will create their own dystopian society within our empty houses,

apparition? Was it potato skins? In any event, whether the potato

and glorious image. Once a year during the annual Galati – Gras,

wearing our suits, drinking our beer and sleeping with our wives.

board is real or simply a figment of our imaginations, Tony has

Pope Tony would give a heart warming speech on the importance

These are end times my friends. When Tony Galati fights for spuds

officially layed the smack down. So follow your hearts veggie

of the cheap potato and its importance to democracy atop the

he’s fighting for freedom.

lovers and lovettes, entice change. Demand more of yourselves. Demand more of each other. Demand cheap veggies and/or sell

giant spud float of freedom. Obviously, our national anthem would need to be replaced by ‘hot potato hot potato’ by the Wiggles. The

This type of Big Brother dictatorship is not just restricted to your

them. The domino effect is timeless. Now excuse me, I’m late for a

original ones, not these new effeminate hipster wiggles. I think

lounge room, oh no. Allocated seating in cinemas is destroying

meeting with my colleagues on the board of half price pints at the

this goes without saying.

the souls of our children and hijacking their independence. I can

Flying Scotsman. On Beaufort. Behind the pinball machine. By the

teach my son to count by myself, Hoyts. Get your own son. Plus

beer stained couches. I hope its beer. Viva la pints!

Unfortunately, this goes much deeper than just potatoes. This is

J7 is not even a real number. Nor a letter. It’s some kind of hybrid

the nature of business and Australia’s governing bodies. Always

mutant symbol of suppression I refuse to bow to. Needless to say Photo Manipulation by AAR ON JAKOVICH


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T H E phoeni x watch her rise by Clare Jorg e n se n

Shannan Haisma has always been the best kind of person; filled to the brim with light, laughter and life. You wouldn’t know it, but the road she has been walking, is in fact, a tightrope and the trapeze act she has been performing is holding on by fingertips. Four years ago on June 26 2011, Shannan then 19, was planning her future. Europe travels were on the card, she was training as a professional chef, she had an amazing group of mates and her future held so many possibilities it was all a little overwhelming. These possibilities were snatched from her though and her life changed forever when an unfathomable moment saw her victim to a trauma that belongs in nightmares. On that day, Shannan went to a friend’s end of semester bash. The host and fellow attendees were all very good mates of Shannan’s since primary school. They were country kids, enjoying a few bevvy’s around a bonfire; celebrating surviving their first ever semester of uni. As per any country gathering, liquor was free flowing and the trek to the bonfire was a boggy mess –reserved only for the hosts farm ute. Shannan was not drinking – having driven herself to the party and lost one too many friends to drink driving to sway her sober stance. She was seated around the bonfire when inexplicably, the farm ute rolled down the hill, knocked Shannan into the fire and trapped her beneath the cars axle amidst the flames. Shannan was burning alive. You can’t really fathom that – can you? Burning alive? Not only that but suffocating whilst being trapped under a car, engulfed in flames. That kind of terror isn’t made to be endured – but it was. Shannan unbelievably, somehow, whilst being trapped under the ute on the bonfire, was able to think with some clarity. While she initially screamed for help, she quickly realized it would be her undoing – the smoke inhalation would be toxic. So she stopped screaming. I want you to think about that for a moment. Shannan was burning alive and had the sense to hold her breath. The courage to do such a thing – is astounding. Photo by Virginia Phillips


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There are no words that can do that strength justice. Shannan felt a hand reach for her and used everything she had to push herself towards where she was being pulled. Once clear of the flames – she unsurprisingly went into shock. Not understanding the magnitude of her injuries, she thought she would be ok. No water was on hand, so her burns were being rubbed down with the ice that had been in the eskies. The ambulance had been called. All Shannan could focus on was making sure someone got the ute off the fire. The first ambulance got bogged. People were crying and a member of the party asked Shannan; “Are you sure you need an ambulance?”. The question was answered when the second ambulance arrived and the paramedics advised Shannan she was too unstable to make the journey from the farm, 30 minutes into town; she would die from shock. A helicopter was on its way. True to her nature – when she was loaded onto the stretcher, she maintained her sense of humour and advised everyone that she was too heavy; her boobs were too big. Shannan had to be resuscitated three times in the helicopter. She died three times. Savour that for a moment because you can then understand the gravity of her injuries. Shannan could have died on that flight and she didn’t. This girl was not going to be kept down. Shannan was alone when she arrived at Royal Perth Hospital. Her family was frantically making their way to Perth – not knowing the details or the extent of her injuries. Professor Fiona Wood flew on a private jet from Melbourne to conduct Shannan’s surgery. A 9-hour long surgery that saw the burns cleaned and the skin grafts taken. Shannan was then moved to the ICU unit. Shannan had fourth-degree burns extending to her right leg, hip, hand and stomach with third and second-degree burns to the surrounding areas. Her first few weeks in hospital were hell. Shannan admits to wanting to die; despite the mass of medication she was on, the pain was unbearable. To further the Haisma family’s distress, Shannan’s Dad, George, was dismissed from work because he requested to be at his daughters bedside in the first week. Shannan wanted to give up. She had suicidal tendencies and the magnitude of the task before her, coupled with the pain was devastating. She was distraught by the reactions

of visitors; she hadn’t seen herself in a mirror and the fear in the eyes of those who could see her told her all she needed to know. Despite the black pit swallowing her whole, Shannan still reached out to those who had been at the party. She wanted to know if they were ok. The girl who had received fourth-degree burns and damage to sixty percent of her body, was reaching out to make sure others were ok. The silence she received in return was deafening and their absence cut her to the core.

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support that helped to ease the initial financial burden. The financial burden is one of Shannan’s greatest anxieties. Last calculated, the accident has so far cost $800,000 in medical treatment and recovery. Her parents have had to re-mortgage their house. Her father has been unable to keep a permanent position since being dismissed at the time of the accident and Shannan

It was expected that when Shannan first arrived in Royal Perth Hospital, she would lose her right leg from the shin down as she contracted a staph infection in the wound. By some miracle, someone was watching out for her. One of the nurses spoke for Shannan and told them not to give up. Shannan was young – there was still a chance. She was after all, only 19. I don’t know about you, but at 19 I was pretty carefree. I was travelling Europe, I had no responsibilities – the world was sitting there waiting. For most of us, it still is. We all claim that our lives are a struggle, and to each their own definition of struggle is valid but is our attitude really necessary? At the end of the day it is our attitude that defines who we are. If we allow ourselves to be defeated by circumstances that don’t really call for throwing in the towel – how can we justify giving up? Shannan was in hospital for 2 full months. She had to learn how to walk again while parts of her were burnt to the bone. Her doctors would ask her to spend an hour on physio; she would spend two. They asked her to walk a few metres, she’d walk a few metres more. Professor Fiona Wood used Shannan as her guinea pig for the new technology of spray on skin and it worked better than they could have hoped for. Shannan was committed to gaining her strength again and getting out of there. Once she left the hospital she became an outpatient – travelling 4 hours every day for what could sometimes be, a 15 minute appointment. Not having anywhere to stay in Perth – after an aunt made Shannan and her mum Sylvia no longer welcome for the ‘imposition’ – Shannan was left with no choice but to travel. The physical journey has been a long, excruciating and limiting one with literally tens of thousands of hours spent in rehab and on recovery. After the accident occurred, Shannan’s local community raised $40,000 to go towards her medical bills. It was an overwhelming show of

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is unable to work. How the hell does she live? I complain about a $5 pie or a $20 cocktail. Shannan cannot afford to put petrol in her car. She cannot afford her $8 netball game fee. Her compulsory psychiatrist visits are $680 per session per week. Put quite simply; Shannan cannot afford life. Shannan is in the midst of claiming a settlement – it is, however, being delayed as there are conflicting accounts of the sequence of events from that night. For Shannan, a true understanding of how she ended up on the bonfire that night is a step closer to closure. She is terrorized by dreams that replay the accident, with the words ‘are you sure you need an ambulance’ haunting her, flashbacks daily and triggers such as smoke, barbecues, abandoned cars – all create anxieties that she cannot control. Understanding the circumstances of the event would help her combat the severe psychological distress she currently suffers from. As a society, we place so much emphasis on the physical ideal, that our minds are often an afterthought. Mental health does not have the ‘celebrity’ culture that cross fit appears to have accumulated. Who cares if you’re as fragile as a snowflake in the Sahara if your thigh gap is on point?

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Mental illness has always had an incredibly negative stigma in society – it has always been swept under the rug or locked away behind closed doors. As a general rule, we understand physical limitations because we can see them. The mind, our most precious organ, is very much an enigma. Our understanding of it is very limited so we dismiss that which we cannot see. When something breaks or tears in our psyche – there are no bandages. There is no x-ray to show the damage. It is a long and delicate road that one must walk to find their way back to a happy medium. That road can take literal years. Shannan has been tiptoeing her way back from a very dark, very misunderstood and often overlooked place. Few people realise the internal demons she has to face, every day. After being diagnosed with severe depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – she takes every day as it comes. “In the beginning, there were lots of people supporting me; encouraging me. That was great. But now, it’s just me. I don’t have a nurse telling me to get up in the mornings. And I don’t HAVE to get up. I have nothing on that day. But I tell myself to. No one is going to do this for me and no one else can do it for me”.

No one would blame Shannan if she stayed home in bed. How could you? A young woman, full of confidence with the world at her feet, had that confidence shattered. Her capabilities; taken away from her. Four years on from that day and she still has to have skin grafts, surgeries, physio, psychiatrist sessions, OT sessions, clinics etc. Her world has not moved on and left the accident behind. It is with her every day, in every movement and every thought. One of the demons she faces is the fact that her life is at a standstill. When she makes new acquaintances and they enquire about her life, she feels all she has is the accident. Her life revolves around her recovery. There are no other dimensions. ‘I feel like I bore people. I’m not able to have a job – I can’t sit or stand for long periods of time. I’m a trained chef and I can’t go back into the kitchens because of my burns. I’m not allowed to be more than 3 hours from Perth. I can’t travel because my immune system is incredibly fragile. I have so many limitations placed on me. I have done everything the doctors asked but there have been moments when I wanted to do more (I’m impatient) and I have tried to push myself and I have ended up hurting myself”. Shannan doesn’t want to be defined by what happened to her. Impatience. I feel a little bit ashamed that Shannan would refer to herself as impatient while I have swearing fits when I have to wait for a train or two. She’s been waiting for FOUR YEARS. That’s us though, isn’t it? Leaning on car horns in peak hour; Tapping our foot at a cash register – waving our money at a bar tender. We are all in such a hurry. Where are we going? Is it worth it? When you speed in a school zone, is the destination worth a child? It seems we are all so intent on packing as much content into our lives that we don’t care about the value of it – much like our Facebook newsfeeds. We want more, more, more! Yet we all feel like we have less. If the mental hurdles Shannan faces every day weren’t enough, there is general ignorance to contend with. Granted we are a society that makes assumptions, i.e. a hand that shakes is an alcoholic, not Parkinson’s, a homeless beggar came from drugs not domestic violence. But the audacity of some truly leave you speechless. Shannan recounts being at the burns clinic, discussing her burns with a very young girl who was also there for treatment with her mother. When the child was called into the clinic, her mother turned to Shannan and breezily queried; ‘So, when you die, are you going


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to be cremated? I mean, you’ve already been burned once?’ Roll down your sleeves! Throw some water on yourself – I know. There is nothing we can do. That woman has been and gone but her remark remains seared into Shannan’s brain and causes another angle of anxiety for Shannan to overcome. If only the ignorance was isolated. The first time Shannan went to fill up her car, her hand could barely lift the nozzle; it was still so weak and tender. The station attendant – clearly raised in the back of a cave – told Shannan she was ‘an attention seeking whore with her acid burn’. Holy shit balls. The man in the club line, when Shannan politely asked if he could put his cigarette out or move away as it was causing her distress, promptly put out the cigarette – ON HER BURNS GARMENT. What, and excuse the French, THE FUCK is wrong with people? Throughout her experience Shannan’s attitude has resonated in her mantra; ‘Keep on keeping on’. When imbeciles like the mother, the station attendant and the cigarette man try to throw her emotionally down some stairs; she side steps. Shannan keeps on keeping on, and if it weren’t for Frozen beating her to the punch, she’d be singing Let It Go – another one of her mantras. “I can never believe that people I have never met, who don’t even know me, feel they can say such personal things to me. That they can feel comfortable saying those things. But I have to tell myself that I have to be bigger than them. Whilst I’d really love to tell them to fuck off – they don’t know me and I don’t have to explain myself to them. It is one person that I will never see again. You just have to be better than them. I know what I have been through – they don’t”. That’s admirable isn’t it? If taking the hurdles aren’t enough, Shannan navigates her way through idiots and their crushing assumptions and makes it classy. Classy is a hard feat when you are the epitome of country – but she alternates well with that and a general vocabulary dirtier than a truckie on a two way. Shannan doesn’t pretend there aren’t shit days – perhaps more so now than ever, she is plagued by her anxieties and her depression. Nonexistent finances; her settlement being dragged out; her life at a standstill – all none of her choosing. She admits to having had suicidal tendencies – something she felt she ‘observed’ rather than consciously tried to do. It has perhaps been

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one of the most unsettling aspects of the accident; Shannan no longer feels like herself. She doesn’t recognize her own mind. She is a stranger to her psyche.

was a huge milestone for Shannan, an achievement she has been working towards relentlessly every day for the last 1460 days. Imagine her joy for just one moment.

Despite this, her motivation is clear. “I keep on keeping on, because I don’t want to let the people who have supported me, down”. Shannan, in her true style, just wants to help people. Whilst in the burns clinic, she visited other patients – such as Turia Pitt- to provide support, advice and encouragement. ‘She [Turia] came to thank me after she was up and about, to thank me for saying what I did to her. That’s all I want to do – is help people get through it. I want to give them my strength so they know they’re not alone’.

For Shannan closure is the oasis. To understand what truly happened on that night; to receive a sincere apology from those who were absent when she reached out and needed them most; to be able to pay back her debts and say thank you to the pillars in her life.

In our world where we are constantly bombarded with war, assault, violence, greed and all those other charming sides to humanity – it is refreshing to know there are Sara’s out there. That while everyone is sending back coffees, avoiding eye contact with charity collectors and pushing into the grocery line – there are people like Sara who eclipse it all. Who showcase kindness at the most purest level; with nothing to profit or gain only support. It is a very rare and precious thing. Parts of Shannan’s anxieties come from not knowing the security of her future, yet when handed the question of ‘where will you be in 5 years time?’ – The specifics whilst vague are all pointing in one direction; Helping others. Shannan wants to take her experience and everything it has hurled at her and use it to be a motivational speaker. She wants to be the one that turns on the light in the dark, and give hope and confidence to others. This is the girl who got nauseous in school about oral presentations – which is ironic because anyone that knows Shannan is well aware she was without a doubt the loudest at the back of the classroom, heckling the teacher and being told off for distracting the boys. After what has felt like blow after blow, Shannan is here and celebrating the milestones. In January 2015, Shannan celebrated the physical and emotional victory that has taken literally tens of thousands of hours to accomplish; going out in public with no burns garments on. Terrorised by the evil voice inside us all; self-esteem – her confidence in her appearance has taken 4 years of full time restoration to get her where she is today. This

I asked Shannan if she knew why she was inspiring and she had the following to say, although she swore at me for putting it to her; “I know I have been through a lot but I don’t think getting burnt is courageous. I don’t think it’s inspirational. You’re there and you’re trying to make yourself better. I’m trying to get on with my life. I just see myself trying to help people and be there by their side. That to me, is my inspiration; putting back my experience into them and seeing them get better”.


tr a Photos BY Clare Jorgensen


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What Nepal was

a n d what it will b e agai n by Clare Jo rg e n s e n

The road to The Mountain did not in fact begin the day I flew into

clarity. My fear was my choice. I could hold onto it or I could

fabulously cheap. A city after my own heart, we were made for

Nepal. It actually started long before; when I had to halve my

accept that there were dangers that were associated with this trip.

each other. I had a higher agenda though – I met with my fellow

pastry intake and up the ante on my fitness regime… Like actually

And if something did happen, I could cross that bridge when I got

trekkers – and we made our way to the domestic terminal. It was

start a regime. I started cycling to work, which in itself was a feat

to it. So I let that shit go, Frozen style.

an experience that began in a construction site and didn’t improve much from there. We soon (somehow) found ourselves filed on

because there is no love lost between cyclists and myself (we have a difference of opinion regarding timing and location of said

So came the day that I flew to Kathmandu. I was the intrepid

the tarmac, sizing up our hilariously undersized plane that would

cycling. For the record – I use footpaths). I would cycle 40km’s

traveler off on a new adventure, and was I rearing to go. Alas,

take us to Lukla; the starting line for almost all Himalaya Treks. I

for work and occasionally haul myself up Jacob’s Ladder and

nothing curbs excitement more than economy class seating on a

just want you to keep in mind, the seats in said plane were folding

Kokoda Track (in Perth not PNG). I did this for quite a while – very

long haul flight. After a transit through Guangzhou, I finally found

chairs. We could see in the cockpit that duct tape was servicing a

frequently falling off the dedication wagon. Food and fun times

myself on the flight that would take me to my final destination.

few parts and to demist the windscreen the old reliable Kleenex

(alcohol) often won out against the healthy choice. I have no

I am an extremely comfortable flyer, so the turbulence was

was the tool of choice. You can imagine the faith we all had – or

resolve around food or a Gilmore Girls marathon. The physical

welcomed as a distraction and the thunderstorm lighting up the

rather were calling upon.

game however, had nothing on the mental game.

night sky in the distance only fueled my growing anticipation. I was actually doing this.

To fly next to the Himalayas is indescribable. Many peaks are higher than the plane and some are so close you can make out

Typically I like to think I am relatively unflappable. Takes a lot to faze me, scare me or surprise me. You can imagine my lack of

The international airport was effectively a brick shed. The extent

the ground on the mountainside. They are epic, majestic and

preparation then, when I was hit with anxiety that would rattle

of customs and security was a pat down. But I was there and I

utterly beautiful. They humble the absolute shit out of you and if

me in the weeks leading up to my departure. My fear came down

didn’t care that they were still on Windows 98 at the security desk.

you have any shit left, it too shall pass upon the landing in Lukla.

to a lack of control, which is hilarious because the only thing I

I questioned for a while whether my baggage would join me in

It is famed for being one of the most dangerous airstrips in the

control is my wardrobe. It was lack of control over earthquakes,

Kathmandu – luckily my skepticism was kept in check. My first

world. Reason being; it’s about as long as a paddle pop stick. It

avalanches, altitude sickness (which is determined genetically

encounter with the outside world of Kathmandu was with a local

keeps you on your toes, to say the very least.

and cannot be trained, unless you are prepared to live in said

– my tour leader, Bhim – welcoming me to his city. I was driven

altitude, which I wasn’t, obviously), questionable airports and

to my hotel through dusty streets, past run down and jammed

Lukla, shadowed by snow topped mountains, is where it all

their airstrips, my physical fitness and finally the knowledge that

together old buildings. Stray dogs roamed the streets and tiny

begins and ends for that matter. It is also a lie – your first day is all

people have DIED doing this trek. How could I have the audacity

cars filled to the brim with countless bodies would occasionally

downhill and provides a seriously false impression.

to think that little old me, who had exactly ZILCH experience in

whiz by. It was far quieter than I imagined. How wrong I was. My truck was with Geckos Adventures that lasted seventeen

the trekking department, would take on the biggest, baddest and most infamous of all the treks? All those things kept me awake

Fast forward a couple of days, I had thrown myself into the city

days trekking from the Tokyo Lakes to the Everest Base Camp.

at night. Fret away I did. My favourite question; WHAT IF? Then

of Kathmandu and I was in love with EVERYTHING about it.

Seventeen days of amazing, gruelling, tiring, cold, wet, incredible,

came a point, about a week or so before I was due to leave, the

The people, the food, the sights, the shopping, the colours, the

mud, snow, face planting, wind, laughter, snot, strepsils, ibuprofen,

metaphorical apple fell from the sky and hit with resounding

outrageous and completely uncontrollable traffic, and it was all

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bhat, ginger tea, yaks, layers of clothes, photos and steps. My

On D-Day – the day we trekked it to the EBC (you can’t stay at

of it for last: The Nepali People. I did not encounter one single

catch cry became; ‘MOTHERFUCKING STEPS’. I am not a fan, and

EBC, only expeditions are able to do so) it was a round trip of 5

Nepalese person who was not warm and friendly. They are

the Himalayas do steps very, very well.

hours and the weather started out beautiful. It then turned less

the kindest people on the planet. And for those located in the

than beautiful, with snow featuring bitterly cold winds and minus

villages in the Himalayas, most of their lives depend on tourism

People think of the EBC trek and they think you have to be fit as a

degrees coming to the party. I happened to be on my own when I

and trekking. I returned home from Nepal 24 hours prior to the

fiddle. Being physically prepared is only part of it. The experience

came over a hill and first laid eyes on EBC (I had to go extra slow

earthquake rocking the country, and the avalanche devastating

is as mentally and emotionally challenging, and fatiguing, as it

due to a chest infection I had so conveniently obtained on about

EBC. This disaster cast into shadow the achievement and all that

is physically. Dealing with altitude sickness, be that diarrhoea,

day 3. You can imagine my joy). We had bloody well made it. I HAD

we had done quickly became irrelevant, as I realised that the lives

constipation, headaches, sleeplessness (this is the silent killer),

MADE IT. I had to resist the urge to have a fist in the air ‘Breakfast

of all the locals we met, as well as our guides and porters, had

shallow breathing and just general fatigue, on a daily basis

Club’ moment. EBC is a bajillion prayer flags and a stone telling

been rocked and potentially devastated by the disaster.

becomes a mental battle. You can have all of those things in a 24

you that it is indeed Base Camp you are in. That’s it. What makes

hour period, or even better, if you got super lucky, all at once. You

it so special is that you got to that point, that 5335m above sea

The Nepali people showed us their world, invited us into their

can choose to let it all own you and make you its bitch OR you

level. YOU DID IT. There is no way to cheat, no easy way in or out.

lives and didn’t make us feel bad for walking at paces that were

can drink 200 litres of ginger tea, pop some bowel rectifying pills

You deserve to be there because no one else could get you there.

so slow we were practically going backwards. To know my friend’s

and you can enjoy where you are.

Not one other single person can do what you did, for you. Battling

lives have been shaken, turned upside down and potentially

not only the physical fatigue, but the elements, the altitude

destroyed, is heart breaking. Not just for the Nepali people I know,

The Himalayas are breath taking. I hated looking at my feet

sickness, the horrific lack of sleep, the mountain cough, the never

but for all. It is a country full of love, kindness, and humility. They

because I never wanted to stop looking at where I was. However,

ending fucking steps, the wet socks, the frozen squat toilets, the

deserve all the aid the world has to offer.

the likelihood of tripping and falling to my death was pretty much

ice, mud and snow, the bloody cold, out of control body hair, wind

guaranteed if I did not watch where I was stepping on, the one

and sunburn and the need for toilet lives and paper absolutely

As for the Himalayas and EBC – I got extremely lucky. The world

foot wide path that was built into the side of a mountain that

everywhere you go – you braved it all and made it. I made it.

I saw was not rebuilding and recovering. It wasn’t dealing with loss and fear. It was, what I have no doubt will be again, a place of

dropped to a raging river. There were occasions when my severe lack of balance had me genuinely questioning my lifespan.

My experience in Nepal was unforgettable, but I saved the best

unfathomable beauty. Tended to by people whose hearts are as


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big as the peaks that puncture every horizon, and the backdrop for a journey that only I could make. To a mountain amongst ranges that demand respect and remind you of your sheer insignificance. To the base of a mountain that leads to the top of the world. The Mountain.

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“To know my friend’s

lives have been shaken, turned upside down and potentially destroyed, is heart breaking. Not just for the Nepali people I know, but for all.


P hotograph


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The people’s photographer

J arrad S e n g I n ter v iew by Vi la s i n i Viel


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Photo by Jackson Loria

On July of 2015 we were lucky enough to sit down with the inspiring Perth creative Jarrad Seng at Paper Mountain. We delved into the experiences of Jarrad Seng’s career as a humbly talented photographer, his beginnings as a music journalist, to the time he impersonated Steve Aoki at Stereosonic simply to aid in restorations in Nepal for the Australian Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Appeal. You started your photography career in music, it that right? I started in music even before that because I was playing in some bands and writing about music – I was doing a bit of music journalism. I was the music editor for Pelican for a while. It was all about music because I love music so much! But I remember I had this mate, he was actually a music photographer, and we’d always be at the same concerts and I would be at the back with a little notepad, just writing. I’d always look at him and he’d be right up the front with a camera, right up in the grills with the musicians and it looked like he was having a much better time than I was. And so one day, when I was offered to review a festival, there was a little option on the form saying, “do you need a photography pass as well?” and I was like, “yeah… yeah, I guess I do.” And I thought to myself, they’re not going to give it to me because they know I’m not a photographer. But they did! So I quickly just borrowed a friend’s camera, did a quick Google on how to take music photos and after that it kind of opened my world up to this new cool thing and I just went for it. Tell us about your Hidden Sound project.

It was just an idea I’d had for a while, I mean it’s nothing too original but I just love the feel of the intimate concerts. I’ve been to hundreds of concerts and the ones that you remember are the ones that were a bit different and special. Everyone turned out to love the idea and it sold out in a day. It’s a very risky thing to do because people might not like whoever’s playing. But I think if you set it up in a way that makes it a cool experience no matter what – even if you’re not necessarily a fan of the artist – then it works. It’s all about creatives getting together and doing it for the love of music rather than anything commercial. Tell us a little about the challenges in ‘24 Challenges in 24 Hours for Nepal’ and what they were about. The whole thing was a fundraiser for the Australian Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Appeal. And the idea was, for every hour of the day, there would be a new challenge to do. So everyone involved would donate money to book me for the hour and to set me a challenge. So, there was a lot of crazy little things. One was a ‘quokka selfie’ in Rottnest, and then there was a talk here at Paper Mountain, fake Aoki, we did a little tour at Gage Roads Brewery, I made coffee at Dimattina Coffee. How did that Uber stunt go in terms of driving people around, did people actually catch on? With time constraints, and with legalities as well, I wasn’t actually driving around and picking people up. We just had fun, and we did a few little drives but I wasn’t totally picking up random people off the street. I’m sure that’s illegal (laughs)… But, it is good to clear that up now

because I’ve spoken about this on a couple radio stations, like with Triple J and everyone, about how I was driving around, picking Uber passengers up. So I’m sure the enemies of Uber would have loved to pounce on that story. How hard was it to find a quokka? We actually had support from the guards on Rottnest, and… it was really ridiculous, because there were three of us trying to get the selfie. When we had about five minutes left and the pilot was telling us that we needed to go. So we just ran into the town where the quokkas are a bit more people friendly. There was a lot of people around, having their breakfast. Then there was me, my good friend Pippa McManus, who is a fashion illustrator, and Woody from 92.9 and we’re just crawling on the floor, trying to get close to a quokka, looking like idiots. Everyone was just watching us; they must have thought we were the biggest tourists. I love the silhouetted photograph (Warrior) in your Portraits of Tanzania exhibition series. You went back to Africa a few times, tell us a bit about that. I’ve actually been there like three times by now. When I went for the first time to Tanzania, it was to volunteer at this orphanage and it wasn’t really photography related. But I had just started and it was a good opportunity for me to take my camera and have a play around. So, I volunteered at the orphanage and did a bit of work around the school. And then at the end I took some time out for myself, found a guide and he took me out to some Maasai villages really far out, about five or six hours drive out into the country. That was a pretty mind blowing


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experience, and I met all these great people – but didn’t speak the language at all. It was really eye opening to see how different cultures live and how they’re happy living the way that they are, without electricity and all the things that we have. So I took some portraits without any kind of idea of what I’d do with them and that ended up being my first ever exhibition. And it raised a bit of money for the orphanage and the villages as well to help them with clean water and things like that. Since then I’ve been back a couple times. Do you think that going to places like Tanzania and Nepal, photographing all these different kinds of people that live a completely different life to you has opened up a whole other perspective for you? Yeah, it’s great! My first ever trip was to Nepal, which was just before I’d started photography, and it was just before the Blues And Roots incident. That was, again, to volunteer and experience the world a little bit. So it really opened my eyes up, and what was surprising was that everyone finds happiness in their own way. And people over in developed countries might think that in developing countries the people are having a hard time and they’re not happy because they don’t have all these modern luxurious things. But, actually, the kids over there are quite

happy playing hacky sack with a little ball of rubber bands. They don’t need iPads like they do over here. Is that what made you reach out and fundraise to aid earthquake restorations in Nepal? Yeah, I mean, I was only there for about six weeks but it was enough to make a connection. I lived with a family over there in a remote village and so when all the terrible earthquake news started coming through I really wanted to help out in some way.

Ten thousand dollars is not a bad contribution! In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much, but if there are 10 other people doing the same thing then that will really start to make a difference. I just wanted to help out in some way. To get people’s attention, to really engage people and get them on board with an idea like this, you have to have a really interesting angle. So that’s why I did the 24 Hour Challenge and it was really good to see all of these people band together to help out people that they will probably never meet.

“It was really eye

opening to see how different cultures live and how they’re happy living the way that they are, without electricity and all the things that we have.


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TASHI HALL P E R T H P hotographer

Grown up in Fremantle, Tashi spends a lot of her time on trains with a backpack full of camera gear and about seven dollars in her pocket. Most nights she’s either playing a solo gig, drumming in bands like The Regular Hunters or photographing some amazing live performances for Avenoir and X-Press/The Music. During the day she has a different pace; either teaching guitar or working on film projects. Tashi fell into photography through her passion for capturing moments:

“I quite enjoy taking

photos where you can actually feel a real and raw connection with the person on the other side. That little smile or gesture…that alone is worth more than a thousand words

Photo by ELLIO T CAHILL


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FRENCH R OCKETS @ JIMMY ’ S DEN


AVENOIR ISSUE #1 TAME IMPALA @ BELV OIR AMPHITHEATRE

The PREATU RES @ AR TBAR


AVENOIR T UKA @ AMPlIFIER CAPIT OL

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TEIJ @ JIMMY’ s DEN


AVENOIR JAALA @ The R O SEMO U N T HO TEL

HAIT U S KAIYO TE @ The R O SEMO UNT HO TEL

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GANG OF YO U THS | Photo by MAS O N DEVINE


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M U S I C


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

The Perth Music Scene # sav eli v em u sic v e n u es as a C ommu n ity

TIRED LIO N | Phot O by MAS O N DEVINE


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by An n a b el Owe n

In the past, the world of clubbing and DJ’s was one I often entered

original music when they go out. It’s generally the same group

recently The Bassendean has been hosting live music. The guys

into, with girls in midriffs and short-shorts, where what we called

of people who go to see bands week in week out, whatever the

at Soggybones are doing great things too; they have a very cool

‘bangerzz’ were played on the decks and where there were

genre,” Greg says. He believes that is why festivals like the WAM

venue in West Perth that not many people know about yet.” Greg

expensive drinks and sticky floors. What I didn’t often enter into

Festival, Beaufort St Festival, Leederville Festival, PIAF, Angove

says that the most difficult part is keeping these places open,

were the live music venues. Those with honest and raw music,

Festival and In The Pines are all so important. “They give original

“The owners take a big gamble by hosting original live music

tucked away in hidden venues, especially in an isolated city such

bands an opportunity to perform in places they wouldn’t normally

and should be applauded. It’s very simple, but a lot of people

as Perth. There’s no snapbacks in these venues, no short tight

play, in front of people they wouldn’t normally play to. It gives

don’t realise - if people don’t spend money over the bar then the

dresses or ridiculously high heels. There’s mostly denim and doc

them exposure to the general public at a very broad level, and

bar inevitably closes. It’s not enough just going out to watch the

martins and people dancing simply because they love the music.

they can play in front of people who wouldn’t normally watch live

band, punters need to spend money when they’re there.”

music,” he says. In comparison to somewhere like Melbourne, we Safe to say I graduated from clubbing and entered into: The Perth

are behind them culturally in the sense that the general public

I also spoke to local indie pop/rock band, Teij and asked their

Music Scene. Places like The Bird, with its rustic brick walls and

accept live music as an important part of the city’s identity. “We

view on the closing of venues around Perth. “It’s been a sad

The Rosemount Hotel and 459, which from the outside looks like

need to get to a point in Perth where live original music is a stable

sight to see venues that we love close down,” Chris Young, keys

a plain old abandoned building but on the inside is home to local

part of the entertainment and hospitality industry, rather than on

player for Teij says, “It’s not just the bands who hold strong

Perth bands, The Moon Café with its vintage courtyard home to

the fringe, culturally. Boutique, locally promoted music festivals

connections to these venues, it’s the punters too. I know there

indie talent, Jimmy’s Den with its grungy allure, cheekily tucked

help this cause greatly,” Greg says.

are a lot of people around Perth who are unhappy about certain notable venues closing their doors #savelivemusicvenues.” The

away off James Street, Mojos in Fremantle with a vibe you have to Greg likes to refer to the Perth music scene as a community

band also noted that one of their favourite venues was Mojos bar

rather than a “scene,” and that it can always improve by

in Fremantle because it guarantees a huge crowd and the vibe

But if you haven’t been living under a rock for the entire year,

expanding. “We need more kids starting bands, and their mates

is always good (like I said, experience to understand). Teij also

you’d be aware that the Perth music industry has experienced

going out to watch them, spending money over the bar and

say they secure venues by talking to the managers directly, and

much conflict. The year 2015 has seen the close of iconic venues

buying their merch,” he says, “People who complain about there

providing a link to their online music if needed. “Some venues,

like The Bakery in Northbridge and Devilles Pad. I caught up

not being enough venues don’t know what they are talking

such as the Indi Bar, will let you have 100% of the door sales,

with Greg Sanders, a coordinator of the The West Australian

about. There are plenty, we just need more people going to them

providing they are making enough money behind the bar, which

Music (WAM) festival, which brought many local bands to the

so they can stay in business.” According to Greg, it is just the

is never a problem.”

Northbridge area scattered among a dozen or so venues, to hear

nature of the live music economy for old venues to close down

his expert opinion on the closing of venues and importance of

and new ones to open up all the time; that it kind of ebbs and

When asked if they are happy being a part of the Perth music

live music festivals.

flows constantly. For example, Greg says there are a couple of

scene, the band commented, “If the Perth music scene was to be

great new venues in Perth now despite those that have recently

depicted as some form of food, it would be a big, delicious basket

“I don’t necessarily think there is a problem with venues closing,

closed. “In the last six months Jimmy’s Den, The Boston and

of exotic fruits. There is so much diversity within the Perth music

but there is a problem with not enough people going to see live

Jack Rabbit Slim’s have opened in Northbridge, and even more

scene, and so many incredibly talented bands and songwriters.

experience to understand, and a handful more.


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It’s an honour to be sharing the Perth scene with such ‘fruitful’ and

about all the best spots to play and meeting the best kind of people that

budding musicians; we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” It’s good to

surround this place with great music and great energy.” I love hearing

hear that local bands are enjoying being a part of the Perth music scene.

about the relationships formed within the scene, as Craig says, “The

Teij feel that “Perth music is alive” and in their opinion, a step above the

great thing about Perth is that it’s so tight-nit together that you’ll almost

rest. I am inclined to agree. While the industry has struggled through 2015,

definitely run into another person who is in a band you know and you’ll

it surely has a following (according to the bands) and is bound to take off

just be like ‘Hey look there is Mitch McDonald from The Love Junkies.’”

in the future. “There’s a silver lining to the isolation we have subjected

Kate Gunnell, bassist for Elk also commented on the communal nature

ourselves to in our little corner of the world; competitive edge.”

of the industry; “I’ve found that all the bands I love to go and see all know each other and ask each other to open gigs for their band and

Another local Perth band, Elk of the alternative-rock/experimental-rock,

support each other, it’s legit this huge camaraderie thing and it’s super

post-grunge genre also expressed their views on the state of the music

cool actually.”

scene and how they secure venues in Perth. “Luckily, sourcing out and securing venues in Perth hasn’t been the biggest of challenges for us

It seems that as a community, we just hope that Perth continues

as a band, what with the scene being so tight and full of great bands,

harvesting the ever-growing talent that is found in these WA shores.

it’s almost impossible not to make friends and contacts. As well as the ever huge support from local venues around Perth always trying to promote local bands,” vocalist and guitarist Craig Patrick Moore says. “Personally my favourite venue to play at has to be the Good Sheppard in Leederville,” he says. I asked Elk; how do you feel about the future of the Perth music scene/ industry? “If you were to have asked me that question a year and a half ago, I would’ve described the music scene/industry as a nose dive,” Craig says, “But thank the fucking lord it has taken off. The Perth scene is now thriving no matter what genre you’re looking at. With bands like Branch Circus making a huge splash in the hard-core punk scene, or whether it be bands like Iceage Sugar in the Indi-pop scene. Every person who is coming out to shows these days are getting really into it.” Like Teij, Elk are more than content with being in the Perth music scene. “I am honestly completely over the moon to be in the local scene,” Craig says. “This is the city where I cut my teeth as a musician, learning

GR RL PAL | By LEWIS MAR TIN


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“The great thing about

Perth is that it’s so tight-nit together that you’ll almost definitely run into another person who is in a band you know and you’ll just be like ‘Hey look there is Mitch McDonald from The Love Junkies

METHYL ETHEL | by MATTHEW JAMES


AVENOIR ISSUE #1 DOCTOPU S | by MASON DEVINE


AVENOIR KOI CHILD | Photo By MARK PIASECKI

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Grace Jones @ AFroP U NK Festival | By Driely s


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Amazing Grace C ele b rit y C op y cats A n d T he A rt o f O rigi n alit y by Holly Lee

I’m listening to My Jamaican Guy alone in my bedroom. I’m learning more and more about this woman – the one with the angular features, the flat top, the effortless androgyny, the one who is more than just some singer from the eighties. Grace Jones takes me to this fascinating era from before I was born. Sushi was the new food fad, John Hickley Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan in an unsuccessful assassination attempt, MTV was born, The Cold War was still threatening the United States, and Kevin Bacon graced the world with that glorious sniffer of his. My hair is often large enough some mornings that I feel like I would have really peaked in this decade, but my Scottish heritage stripped me of any ability to dance like an actual human person. Don’t get me wrong; living in this century as a Gen Y is pretty choice. I can stalk celebrities on Instagram, block my distant relatives on Facebook, and have random dudes send me quick snaps of their Philly Cheesesteak to my absolute horror. Same-gender marriage just became legal all over North America, the general public is more socially aware than ever, and a magic rectangle in my pocket will tell me that you’ve read my messages but are just taking your sweet damn time to reply to me, which I understand because I know you’re super busy, but can you not take two seconds out of your day to send me a quick salsa dancer emoji? It’s an interesting time we live in, to say the least.

Yet, our celebrity culture revolves around shock and awe and bored middle-agers question their parents’ involvement. Everyone flipped their shit when Miley Cyrus accidentally revealed a nipple at the 2015 Video Music Awards and twerked for us to Robin Thicke’s sleaze anthem Blurred Lines two years earlier. In 2014, Nicki Minaj had a “wardrobe malfunction” which almost revealed her lady lumps, and Lady GaGa wore a fucking meat dress five years ago at the same damn award show (seriously, the fuck, VMAs?). But what’s all of this for? The obvious result is an increase in interviews, sales, publicity, etc. Just before the VMAs earlier in 2015, Cyrus was interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live and spent six whole minutes talking about her tits and her being a “vegan nudist” – whatever the fuck that is. These conversations in celebrity culture have become so stale and irrelevant, and a cheap way to get noticed, and I’m not the only one to think this way. Grace Jones revealed in an excerpt from her upcoming memoir, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, “They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo, but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces, revealing those tattoos and breasts, singing to those fractured, spastic, melting beats – that is the status quo.” Jones

was one of the first female musicians to wear the scantily-clad-but-rad outfits to clubs and events, to be decorated in body paint, and reveal herself in her most natural, naked self. Yet, when I look at the pictures of her from her heyday, it doesn’t feel like a stunt. I can’t imagine her walking into a club screaming, “LOOK! I HAVE BOOBIES! THEY HAVE NIPPLES ON THEM! HOW SHOCKING AND CRAZY AM I BEING RIGHT NOW, RIGHT GUYS?” She’s above all that. “Trends come along and people say, ‘Follow that trend’. There’s a lot of that around at the moment: ‘Be like Sasha Fierce. Be like Miley Cyrus. Be like Rihanna. Be like Lady Gaga. Be like Rita Ora and Sia. Be like Madonna.’ I cannot be like them – except to the extent that they are already being like me,” she states in her memoir. The truth to this is just shocking in itself when you can literally Google search “Lady GaGa copies Grace Jones” and see hundreds of examples of these instances. In Rihanna’s music video for “Rude Boy”, she is shown replicating the body painting style Jones did with Keith Haring. She commented on this by saying, “Rihanna… she does the body-painting thing I did with Keith Haring, but where he painted directly on my body, she wears a painted bodysuit. That’s the difference. Mine is on skin; she puts a barrier between the paint


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and her skin. I don’t even know if she knows that what she’s doing comes from me, but I bet you the people styling her know. They know the history.” You could argue that this is just a case of misunderstood pastiche, that they were not copying her; they were paying homage to her legacy. However, it seems as though these celebrities aren’t recognising or giving due credit to Jones when they imitate her. They are benefiting from the curve of creativity, incongruity, and incredulity that Jones had already carved out for them 30 years ago. “I have been so copied by those people who have made fortunes that people assume I am that rich. I did things for the excitement, the dare, the fact that it was new, not for the money, and too many times I was the first, not the beneficiary,” Jones wrote for her memoir. She certainly was the mother of the freedom of female artistic expression.


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Watching videos of her performance and seeing pictures of Grace Jones during her Australian tour left me in awe. She delivers herself in nothing but a corset, some knickers and a striking headset. Body paint covers her toned 67-year-old body as she gives out so much energy which I only wish I could have been on the receiving end of. Postmodern artistic expression has become so commercial and repetitive, that going back, watching her movies, listening to her music, and seeing her involvement with artists like Jean-Paul Goude, Keith Haring, and Andy Warhol was so refreshing. She was art for art’s sake. Maybe if we lived in a world that wasn’t so technologically driven, or when every movement is self-documented or otherwise, or if our economy was strong enough that mainstream artists didn’t have to resort to imitation and shock tactics to make an income, I wouldn’t be so disappointed with the musicians headlining our tabloids and blog posts. Grace Jones showed us all what it means to be an artist off the beaten track and how to do it with poise and originality, something we’re seeing lesser and lesser of. And in the wise words of Jones herself: “If the fuck don’t feel right, don’t fuck it.”

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Afropunk

R eclaimi n g the Blac k n es s I n p u n k M u sic

DEATH GRIP S | Photo by Loren W ohl


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by Vic to ria Foss

When you think of punk rock, what do you see? Bright mohawks?

working class people in the UK, as its messages of overcoming

desert town that was pretty much all white, and the punk scene was

Spiked leather jackets? Safety-pin piercings? Neo-tribal aesthetics

social injustice struck a chord then. During the 1970s, black people

very racist,” he recalled in an interview with MTV. “You would go to

and caked white faces? Maybe all of the above.

and British-Irish people were victims of racism and poverty. Both

shows and it was blatantly white power, swastikas, all of that.”

groups were often “forced together because of signs on pub The segregation of blacks from the punk scene inspired both

Like many aspects of pop culture, punk history has been whitewashed.

doorways that read ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs’.”

How? Because when we think of punk rock, we think of bands like

In an interview with David Simpson, British reggae guitarist, Peter

“the other black experience”; especially the intersectionality

the roaring Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Ramones. However, the

Harris, said, “The bond was very simple. Blacks were getting

between race and punk. Afro-Punk debuted at the 2003 Toronto

genesis of punk rock lies at the heart of black revolutionary icons

marginalised. The punks were the same. They were seen as dregs

Film Festival and was also featured on TV and Radio. 12 years

who rebelled against the 20th century’s prejudiced climate and

of society. We were all anti-establishment, so there was a natural

on, Afro-Punk is still screened at film and music festivals.

defied cultural stereotypes.

synergy between us.”

Dubbed as ‘alternative blackness’, Afro-Punk kick-started a

Black punk pioneers include Pure Hell: one of the first all African-

Tunes such as Junior Murvin’s Police and Thieves, Dillinger’s

could not care less about rap music and artists such as 50 Cent,

American punk bands. Dressed in leather clad outfits, with tattoos

sleazy and dangerous Cocaine In My Brain, and U-Roy’s punk

and those who did not want to be defined by the stereotypes

showing, the four-piece band sprouted from Pennsylvania and

rock anthem, Natty Rebel, appealed to and influenced the punk

attached to the African-American racial identity. Shortly after Afro-

burst into the New York music scene in 1974. Pure Hell is one of

community. The Sex Pistol’s ethos is encapsulated in one brief lyric

Punk’s release, the message board Afropunk.com was formed.

the pioneers of the “post-garage, acid rock, glam-theatre era of the

from Dr Alimantado and the Rebel’s Born for a Purpose: “If you feel

Afropunk.com served as a safe forum for thousands of black punk

late 1960s and early 1970s.”

like you have no reason for living, don’t determine my life.”

fans to discuss bands, their outsider status, and share tips on how

Another black punk band, Bad Brains, pushed sonic

Reggae contributed to a majority of punk production and

boundaries and redefined people’s perceptions of Rastafarians in

arrangements. In a 2012 BBC documentary, Viv Albertine of The

After the release of Afro-Punk, Morgan and his friend, Jocelyn

the 1970s, with their “lightning-quick drum beats, intense guitar

Slits said, “I think what reggae really taught punk was about space.

Cooper realised they could turn Afro-Punk into a music festival. The

riffs, and lacerating vocals.”

It was such a relief after the strictness and minimalism of punk.”

first Afropunk Festival was held two years later in 2005 at Brooklyn,

Spooner and Morgan to create Afro-Punk, a documentary about

movement for black people who did not worship Beyoncé, who

to maintain their frohawk styles.

New York City. A decade later, Afropunk is a force to be reckoned

As Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff wrote in her article, “true punk rebellion has always existed in black culture.” How is this so?

However, by the late 1970s, punk was tarnished by the ‘Oi!’

with. Described by the New York Times as “the most cultural

Movement, which successfully rid black influence from the genre

festival in the US”, the festival went international in 2015 with a

and made it relevant to white youth; many of whom became

Paris festival in May, featuring artists such as Lianne La Havas and

members of white nationalist organisations such as the National

Jaden and Willow Smith.

Punk rock found its influence in the massive eruption of British

Front (NF) and the British Movement (BM). Punk’s entanglement in

reggae during the early 1970s —something described by Dave

fascism and its portrayal in the media, is why the genre is seen as a

Over 60,000 people attended the festival in 2015 with influential

Simpson in a 2007 interview with The Guardian as “the black

predominantly white one.

black artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, and Kelis headlining the show.

counterpart to the white heat of punk.” Musical visionary, Matthew Morgan, echoed Simpson’s comments, saying, “punk rock —from

The exhibition of punk as ‘white culture’ is one of the main reasons

a white Western sense—came from the angst and that rebellious

black people have often felt isolated from the punk music scene.

Black artists, whose style lies outside mainstream ideas of how

nature that was from young black people.”

Some of them include James Spooner, who, like other kids his

black music is supposed to look and sound such as Santigold, FKA

age, was into punk rock, growing up in Southern California in the

Twigs, Death Grips, and Mykki Blanco are embraced by audiences

1990s. However, being black posed a problem. “I was in this tiny

at the festival.

British reggae was a welcomed soundtrack for both black and white


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continue to hinder their efforts. Some bands associated with Afropunk Afropunk Festival is a safe space for black rock fans. It is vibrant

are too afraid to talk publicly about their involvement, from fear of

and full of the punk principles of DIY aesthetics. Eccentric hairstyles,

losing their white audience. Some would label it a shame; white fans

stretching far beyond the boundaries of Box Braids, Kinky Twists,

have nothing to fear because their favourite band participates in a

and Marley Twists, are worn in all their glory. African tribal prints

multiethnic festival. A move like that should be celebrated.

are donned and mixed with little bits and pieces from the seventies, eighties, and nineties. Self expression has no limit.

Over the years, Afropunk has slowly gravitated from its musical roots and definition by including artists like Grammy-nominated Bad Boy

2015 marked the first year Morgan and Cooper began charging for

recording artist Janelle Monáe, and Lupe Fiasco.

tickets. Morgan described the idea of making festival goers pay for their tickets as a very hard decision, but it had to be done. When

And Afropunk’s critics have been quick to criticise the move.

Afropunk Festival began, it cost $15,000 to run. However, over the

In August 2015, Vice published an article questioning the status of

years, the production costs have skyrocketed to $2 million.

the Afropunk festival as a ‘punk’ scene. It also spoke of Spooner’s disappointment of what the Afropunk project had become and

“We were going to end up in the poorhouse for this thing that we built

indirectly compared Afropunk to Coachella.

that people love, so we decided to ask people the ultimate question: are you able to put your hand in your pocket to support this black

Morgan shuts down his critics, saying, “Afropunk is a mindset…it’s not

business that you love that has helped you identify who you are?”

a musical genre.”

Morgan explained as he spoke to the Huffington Post. It is a part of the 360 degrees of blackness; an alternative view on In addition to charging for festival admission tickets —$45 for a day

black culture, music, and things that are important to black people.

pass and $75 for the weekend —Morgan and Cooper implemented the Earned Ticket Program: a series of volunteer activities in the form

Afropunk is more than just a black festival; it is a reclamation of the

of community activism that allows festival goers to pay with their

blackness in punk culture.

time instead of money. Activities included creating hygiene packets for the homeless, participating in New York City’s Parks Tree Census, and partaking in a social media advocating program. The Earned Ticket program also allowed attendees to donate $15 to social justice organisation, Colour of Change, in their efforts to investigate the death of Sandra Bland in police custody in rural Texas. While Afropunk aims to erase all racial boundaries, deep racial issues

“Afropunk

is a mindset... not a musical genre.


AVENOIR Photo by Driely S

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AVENOIR ISSUE #1 AR TW ORK by BER TIE LOUISE


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M elodic M isogyny

S e x ism a n d R ape T hreats i n the M u sic I n d u str y by Holly Le e

It’s not news to us when a female musician comments on the

from people, mostly men, to do her producing for her. Boucher

sitting in a puddle of seething disappointment at The Recording

sexism they face while working in the music industry. From

understood this as her fellow producers failure recognised that

Academy snubbing her for the award for Album of the Year in

the media exaggerating catfights, to the degrading treatment

while she is a female musician with a “girly voice”, she’s also a

February of 2015 in place of Beck’s Morning Phase. Even Kanye

by publicists, gossip columnists, television and media

producer who “spend(s) all day looking at fucking graphs and EQs

agrees with me.

representations, and basically anyone else who regards their

and doing really technical work”, she told Fader.

femininity (or lack thereof) as a valid point of judgement of

Grimes’ neglected talent as a producer could be linked to the

Her self-titled 2014 album Beyoncé is filled with songs celebrating

their musical capabilities. Any educated individual is aware of

failure of the music industry to recognise and commend deserving

black female sexuality (“Drunk In Love”, “Blow”, “Partition”,

the transparency and stupidity of the sexist agenda. Yet more

female producers. I took the liberty of looking into the Grammy

“Rocket”), her motherhood (“Blue”), criticisms of the music industry

and more female musicians are coming forward with startling

Award winners of the Producer of the Year, Non-Classical award

(“Ghost”, “Haunted”), black feminism (“***Flawless ft. Chimamanda

allegations of how they are treated, which makes me question:

over the past 40 years. Little to my surprise, absolutely zero, zip,

Ngozi Adichie) and the racialization of poverty in the United States

are we actually in the twenty-first century still or did we all

zilch, nada female producers received any acknowledgement of

(“No Angel”). Not only was she the musical voice behind all of

somehow go back 60 years and no one noticed?

their efforts with the presentation of this award. They were all

these fantastic songs, she was the executive producer, producer

bloody boys, with a few of them winning more than one of these

and surround producer on the album. Releasing the album digitally

golden gramophones.

with no teasers or marketing campaigns accompanied by 17 short

Canadian musician, producer, songwriter and music video

films for each song on the album is simply unheard of in the

director Claire Boucher, better known for her work under the pseudonym Grimes, came out to The Fader magazine detailing

You could argue that there were just no commendable female

industry. Even with all of these attributes, she was only awarded for

the hegemonic misogyny she faces inside and outside the

producers. You could say the gender bias is irrelevant behind the

Best R&B Performance, Best R&B Song and Best Surround Sound

studio. She follows a string of female musicians such as Lauren

scenes of the music biz. You’re also wrong and need to sit the fuck

Album. It’s as if The Recording Academy knew they’re being racist

Mayberry of Chvrches, Ke$ha, Miley Cyrus, Solange Knowles,

down. There are plenty of praiseworthy female producers out there,

and sexist, but don’t give a flying fuck because oh, look! Beck’s

Bjork, Taylor Swift, Janelle Monae and many, many others who

including Grimes, Syd tha Kyd, Sia, Missy Elliot, Maya Jane Coles,

back! Phewf! They were running out of straight white males to

have spoken out on the oppression they face on a regular basis

Ikonika, Nervo, and Queen Bey herself, just to name a few. Out of

validate for a second there.

working as women in the music industry.

a total of 175 nominations to receive a Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical over the past 40 years, only four women

In addition to undermining women in the studio, there is a far

If you’ve ever seen any videos of Grimes’ production and

were amongst the nominees: Janet Jackson (in associated with

more serious threat to these musicians. Threats of rape and

songwriting process, her focus and talent is palpable. She darts

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis), Paula Cole, Sheryl Crow and Lauryn

violence against female musicians both online and offline occur

around with curiosities rattling around inside her head, and

Hill. Is the gender-based discrimination lost on you still?

“quasi-frequently”, according to Grimes. She recounts a time where a man sexually assaulted her after a show as he forcefully

it’s like whoever else is in the room is invisible; she’s got this in the bag. Yet, she commented that she’s still receiving offers

Speaking of Beyoncé Knowles and the Grammy Awards, I am still

locked lips with her in what he told her was an act of “kiss-rape”.


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Terrorisations of this nature against women in the industry for

the representation, recognition of female digital artists from all

corrected it. And they don’t even listen to him. It really is strange.”

Grimes is just “part of the job”, she tells The Fader, as is for any

around the globe. The network consists of a whopping 1500+

Well, what can we do about this? How can we make women in

musician born without a dangling ding-a-ling.

female electronic artists across 65 countries. However, they don’t

the business a norm? Female:pressure responded to this issue by

stop at electronic artists – they also provide a network for female

creating a Tumblr account entitled “Visability”, an online archive

Lauren Mayberry, fabulous front-woman of the Scottish band

cultural workers, visual artists, and researchers who struggle with

of images of women working hard in the studio. This archiving

Chvrches, wrote an article for The Guardian delegating the online

limited representations and opportunities due to hegemonic and

of images offers a counter representation of the way women

sexual harassment and threats of rape she’s received through

societal gender biases. When you visit their website, you are able

contribute to the industry. It shows that, yes, of course women

the band’s Facebook page. While Chvrches aims to maintain a

to search through their database with options to filter results by

can look boss as fuck and make amazing ear porn with skills,

personal connection with their fans, it gets difficult when some

location, genre, profession, and name. Want to search for female

knowledge, and talent independent of their male colleagues.

of these so-called “fans” are sending her messages containing

brazilectro musicians in Amsterdam? No worries. The filtering

However, they didn’t stop here.

sexual harassment and threats of rape: “I’m going to give her

options range from the broad to extremely specific; they’ve made it

anal”, “I’d fuck the accent right out of her”, and “You’ll know rape

super simple for you to find the musically minded women to inspire

Perspectives is an all-female dance and electronic music festival

culture when I’m raping you, bitch”.

you, book for gigs and clubs, or dismantle the patriarchal music

held in Berlin, and was created by female:pressure with intentions

industry by blasting their sweet sounds.

of exposing and showcasing exclusively female talent in an area in which they are so often unheeded. Berlin-based DJ and active

Social media isn’t the only vessel for rape threats. Some male rappers, namely Eminem, Tyler, the Creator, and Rick Ross

Pitchfork’s interview with Björk at the beginning of 2015 exposed

female:pressure member Kaltès told Broadly, “Clubs, promoters

frequently make light of executing acts of sexual violence on

even more ways in which women are constantly undermined as

and press are responsible for creating new headliners. There are

women in their lyrics. In the song Blow, Tyler raps “Now you gotta

technicians and producers in the studio, and how women aren’t

women who are really great artists, but who need to be more

make it easy for me, don’t run… and you call this shit rape, but I

often recognised or even accepted as the mastermind behind

visible and given more opportunities and support in order to

think rape’s fun” which sparked controversy over him entering

the music. For her album Vulnicura, which she co-produced with

become headliners,” and that “They don’t take any risks or book

Australia for the Cherry Bomb World Tour. Eminem has caused a

Venezuelan producer Alejandro Ghersi (also known as Arca),

more women and yet they are still talking about ‘underground’

stir over targeting Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea with his lyrics “So,

he was often miscredited as the sole force behind the record. “It

music”. Because being buried beneath institutionalised

what’s it gon’ be? Put that shit away Iggy. You gon’ blow that rape

wasn’t just one journalist getting it wrong, everybody was getting

patriarchal ideologies doesn’t count as being “underground”.

whistle or me?” in his single, “Vegas”. Around the same time, he

it wrong,” she commented, “I’ve done music for, what, 30 years?

threatened violence against Lana Del Ray, stating he will “punch

I’ve been in the studio since I was 11; Alejandro had never done an

Perspectives is an awesome way of opening up the press, clubs,

Lana Del Ray right in the face, twice” in another set of lyrics.

album when I worked with him.” This isn’t the first time she’s been

radios, festivals, etc., to the extensive catalogue of talented female

Rappers 360 and Charlamagne Tha God came out in support of

faced with this issue: on her album Vespertine, Björk remarked,

electronic musicians, while also changing the way they and the

Eminem over Twitter regarding the debacle.

“Matmos came in the last two weeks and added percussion on

general public will recognise a woman’s role in the industry. It’s

top of the songs, but they didn’t do any of the main parts, and

more than just white girls twerking with fake dreads wearing nipple

The international network called female:pressure, founded by

they are credited everywhere as having done the whole album…

tassels. It’s more than what we see on television. It’s more than

Vienna based Electric Indigo in 1998, is dedicated to strengthening

and in every single interview [Matmos’ Drew Daniel] did, he

what is in the gossip tabloids. There are so many women we can’t


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see, but we can hear, and we should get to know them, and know the extent of them. The skill of female musicians versus male musicians isn’t determined nor distinguished by gender, and continuing to commercially showcase the talents of only the advantaged gender is detrimental to literally everyone. Perspectives and female:pressure are breaking these harmful stereotypes by showcasing those who are constantly overlooked, and God damn, good on ‘em.

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A H U M A N R E V O LU T I O N AN INTERVIEW WITH THE SHABBAB by Za erë n Mo m an d

Photo by george johnson

they live in? I hope he will drown in the ocean soon.

Shuki: Fella Kuti.

East and Europe. But a revolution of the human condition, a human

Your show at the Evelyn Hotel was to be the last chance to see The

Vito: I’d have to say The Shabbab is The Shabbab’s biggest

condition that is empathy.

Shabbab performing live after two-years of touring round Australia,

influence (he laughs). Yeah, sure, like any other band we all started

will this be a chance to work on some new revolution-inspired

wanting be like our favourites, like Bob Dylan and Iggy And The

The Shabbab discuss with us their views on Australian politics,

sounds?

Stooges, but I think that at some point that changed. Things

the refugee crisis and plans to carry their revolutionary sound from

Vito: It’s partly due to Kosta and Shuki getting so fed up with

started to become bigger, faster and louder and The Shabbab just

Australia to South East Asia

Melbourne winter that they need to leave the country, but mostly

started to evolve and mutate from there. Any band plays on their

due to us heading to Asia in November. We’re still locking things

strengths and weaknesses to help them discover their sound.

We claim that we need a revolution. Not a revolution that involves tear gas and water tanks grazing across the streets of the Middle

You’ve expressed quite a reasonable distaste for Tony Abbott in an

down, but The Shabbab will be heading to Singapore, Cambodia,

interview for The Craft back in July, what do you consider Australia

Vietnam and hopefully South Korea. In terms of new tunes, we’ve

Merging the Middle Eastern background into the punk genre, do

will need to focus on in regards to what you believe the government

been laying down the groundwork for some new tracks over the

you see the genre as an outlet to express passionate or controversial

is lacking in?

past few months. Personally, I’ve been really happy with the new

issues happening over in the Middle East? And was it the main

Shuki: Tony Abbott is like that awful child that would have been

ones we’ve written. There’s some really great messages and I think

reason why The Shabbab were formed?

born if Margaret Thatcher and George Bush had a baby. He made

we’ve really come into our own as a band. The only thing we’ll have

Shuki: The original motivation behind starting The Shabbab was

it pretty clear from the beginning that during his time in power he

to worry about now is getting let back into the country.

definitely the will to talk about controversial issues in the Middle

will be serving the corporations and not the people. Now in the

East. When I met Jad and realised how much we had in common

meantime, as he destroys nature and wildlife instead of making

It was mentioned that The Shabbab will be raising funds with

and how many ideas and feelings for the region we shared, it felt

Australia the world leader in renewable energy, he pumps us with

Mangelwurzel, My Elephant Ride, Jimmy Chang and neon-like to go

so strong we knew we wanted get it out there.

fear with his national security nonsense and then fades our privacy

over to SE Asia, how important is this trip for you guys?

and democratic rights away in the name of it.

Vito: Super important. It’ll be the first time The Shabbab have been

I think things kind of changed with what we were writing about

overseas as a band, but also the first time any of us have played

when I got my permanent residency in Australia. Now we don’t

But what kills me about him the most is that you can tell the guy

overseas. To be honest, we’d be going whether people liked us or

write so exclusively to the problems in the Middle East. It’s either

just can’t feel any sense of solidarity or empathy to any of the

not, but I’m mostly curious to see how The Shabbab will translate

more towards the problems that we’re experiencing here in

less privileged people in our society, such as other ethnic groups,

over in a different culture to people under a different government.

Australia or global.

mentally or physically ill people, the poor or even women. Our

We sing about things relevant to the world, but I think some of that

refugee policy is something we should all be ashamed of and I hope

stuff could be seen as only relevant to Australians. Just hope the

Kosta: I think it’s important to write about those issues. Through

that the people who created it will be judged at Hague International

message gets through I guess.

pointing those mistakes in the past it can help you realise how you

Court of Justice for that crime one day. And why the hell do we still

affect the world around you now.

have a photo of a monarchist on our money, a British flag inside the

Who would you consider to be the biggest musical influence for The

flag and kids in school don’t learn the native language of the area

Shabbab?

Did your service in the war-zone for Tel Aviv and Beirut change your


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THE SHABBAB @ MOJO S BAR FREMANTLE Photo by JAIME FAZACKERLEY

perspective about the world?

Kosta: I think it’s funny that we have had such a big reaction to

to be heard these days?

Shuki: Unfortunately I have been naive enough to join the Israeli

something that is fundamental to being human, caring for each

Vito: I always have a little laugh to myself when The Shabbab get

army for a couple of years – it is compulsory but if you’re dedicated

other. It shows just how twisted we have become by global

called a punk band. I feel we’ve fooled everyone by playing really

enough you could get out of it. Though I made sure I wouldn’t be

traditions encouraging scarcity and therefore greed. It’s great that

fast and jumping up and down a lot. It kinda makes sense now I

a fighter and got myself classified as mentally unstable so I didn’t

people are showing compassion, but it’s absurd that it takes this

guess, but we definitely weren’t graced with such a great title when

have to participate directly in the actions made in the West Bank,

much suffering for our hearts to open just that little bit. Like any of

we first started out. When we first started playing gigs it was just

Gaza or any front.

us actually have the right to say yes or no to people seeking safety

Shuki on vocals and darbuka (our only form of percussion in the

and sanctuary. No one has the right to deny or allow that, because

band), Jad on guitar and me on bass. I think after one of our first

To be honest, being born there, I was sure that it was normal to go

it means that somehow people own and control something that is

gigs we were told we were a downer and Jad would get notes in his

through a metal detector every time you enter a shopping centre,

already given by the fact of existing, and that’s land, that’s a place

mailbox after we rehearsed in his shed telling us we sucked and

share public transport with lots of armed soldiers and always have

to be, to make, to love, to give. The right to that safety is created

that we should “fade away”. Simply put; the attitude was punk, but

a gas mask in date at home. It’s only coming here that I realised

by the fact that people need it. There is no greater authority than

the music wasn’t.

how militaristic, sexist, aggressive and basically insane it is over

human need. I don’t really feel like I have much authority to comment on the

there and how war isn’t part of any culture. What was the idea behind the design of the album artwork for the

scene today, but I will say that any need for punk to be political or

Would you consider Milk & Honey & Blood to be the anthem for the

singles The Wind/Baby’s Gonna Get Deported?

anti-establishment died a long time ago. But hey, sometimes it’s

Middle Eastern youth?

Vito: I put together the artwork for that and to be honest, now that

fun to stomp your feet and smash your head around a lot, y’know?

Shuki: I really like that song but, Cheb Khaled is writing way better

I think about it, I’m not really too sure what it’s about. I just kinda

anthems than us.

saw the idea in my mind and knew that I wanted it to be something

From the revolutionary spirit the band has expressed within their

like that. I drew it up, showed the others and we all just agreed on it.

allegorical lyrics, what does The Shabbab hope to achieve in their

In relation to your song Baby’s Gonna Get Deported, what are your

The text at the top is kind of mimicking the Naskh style of Islamic

music?

views in what’s happening with the refugee crisis in Europe?

calligraphy. Something I’ve always wanted to do for The Shabbab.

Vito: Really I think we can only hope that we educate people with

Shuki: Look, the refugee crisis is everywhere and not just in

our music. Help people realise things they knew nothing about

Europe. There are more than 2 million refugees in Turkey, more

I’m pretty infatuated with religion, but I wouldn’t consider myself

or solidify points in their mind they were already thinking about.

than a million in Lebanon (a country of 4 million people) and

religious. In a way I wanted the cover to reflect hints of religion

I hope we bring like-minded people together, help them feel

almost a million and a half in Jordan (the world’s second water-

without referring directly to anything religious. In the end though,

empowered and help promote change through that. It takes more

poorest country) — while in Europe, Germany is the only country

it’s just some naked dude with four arms sitting underneath the

than a really good song to change the world. Even if the song is,

that receiving refugees in number close to those. It’s very sad how

sun. My favourite part is the yellow.

like really, really good.

Syria became unliveable for so many people. The world should work together and make a mutual effort to keep as many people

This may sound cliché, but do you believe punk is in need of a

as possible safe and give them an opportunity for a better life.

revival? And does one’s ideals or actions need to be radical enough


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79

“It’s

great that people are showing compassion, but it’s absurd that it takes this much suffering for our hearts to open just that little bit


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

“You take a sound. Any sound. Record it and then change its nature by a multiplicity of operations. Record it at different speeds. Play it backwards. Add it to itself over and over again. You adjust filters, echoes, acoustic qualities. You combine segments of magnetic tape. By these means and many others you can create sounds which no one has ever heard before.” -”Private Dreams and Public Nightmares,” a 1957 BBC documentary on the weird and wonderful world of wack sounds.

2015. A year of good times, grand music and great company. Here’s a snapshot of what went down in Australia town.

GOLDEN FEATURES XXIV Standing on the shoulders of psychedelic deep, dark and dirty the second outing from this genre defining EDM mastermind is an Australian classic-to-be. Four absolute bangers is the simplest way to describe XXIV. A riotous explosion of crystalline colour for your ears is perhaps more fitting. Either way, highly worth a listen.

Personal Pick: Telescope (feat. K Flay)

by Ri an Howlet t


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TA M E I M PA L A CURRENTS

L I F E . D E AT H . T I M E . E T E R N A L

TIRED LION FIGURINE

of the lyrics of the unstoppable Kevin Parker with any songmeister of this (or every other) millennium. Alongside the instantly familiar yet indisputably alien sounds from fuzz pedals, guitars, drums and an unknown number of strange technical loops, and you have a winning musical combination.

This Thundamentalist’s solo venture is a welcome departure from the ‘Aussie hip hop’ label that brands so many Australian rappers. The outstanding production, the tight flow of his lyrics and the cohesive intertwine of the two make this album a hip hop stand-out in it’s own right. Tuka sends a simple message: Be good humans.

Perth’s very own, home grown, friendly neighbourhood indie rockers tackle your sound holes with this throwback to 90’s grunge. Clearly heartfelt, EP’s only true drawback is its length. I’ve heard it said that less is more, in this case that could not be less correct. Sophie Hopes is one hell of a front woman and provides a rawsome intensity.

Personal Pick: New Person, Same Old Mistakes

Personal Pick: My Star

Personal Pick: I Don’t Think You Like Me

WAFIA XXIX

METHYL ETHEL O H I N H U M A N S P E C TA C L E S

PAT C H O W A R E Y O U O K AY ?

Electronic sustain chords and bass slaps to the face provide the backbeat to this stunning opening effort from Brisbanebased sultry songstress Wafia Al-Rikabi. Perfect production by Ta-ku and Thrupence work wonders with Wafia’s creamy vocals. An exciting debut, cannot wait for EP number two.

Standing on the shoulders of psychedelic giants, Perth threepiece Methyl Ethel have taken the world by storm. Falsetto vocals filtered through dreams and masterful production provide some yum for your eardrums. Best enjoyed in the sun, driving listlessly, pondering how strange and silly we all are.

Thanks for asking Pat Chow, I’m better now you’re in my world. A lo-fi slacker rock breakdown of mental health issues, this album is surprisingly uplifting considering the subject material. The album shouts that it’s a sad world sometimes, so why not be happy in it?

Personal Pick: ‫( شيطان‬Untitled)

Personal Pick: Idee Fixee

Personal Pick : Bad Thoughts

You can favourably compare the delicate intricacy

TUKA

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F I L M


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Heaven 2013 : Don Reid & Wayne Davies


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INDEPENDENT VISION I N C O NV E R S AT I O N with F I L M M A K E R ma z iar lahooti by To m Mun d ay

Maziar Lahooti is one of the Australian Film Industry’s most

a true sense of national identity, which is something I used to

release, and the industry has been so slow (especially here)

aspiring and inventive filmmakers. Hailing from Iranian,

lament over, but have come to appreciate over time. There’s a

in accepting VOD models as a viable form of distribution. It’s

Norwegian, and Australian descent, his unique background has

definite sense of alternate perspective in being able to look at

essentially creating a sense amongst many people in the industry

given him multiple perspectives on the world around him. Based

things from three, vastly different cultural points of view. In that

that stories that don’t fit the very limited scope of viable cinematic

in Perth and Sydney’s burgeoning art and entertainment hubs,

sense, when people ask that question, of how I consider myself

release business models, aren’t worth telling (which financially,

Maziar has become efficient in multiple aspects of filmmaking

in terms of nationality, I guess I’ve come to see myself as an

they’re not, unfortunately).

including directing, screenwriting, producing, editing, and

international. There are heaps of us these days. Generations of

assisting in camera and electrical department. In fact, among his

people who grew up on the cusp of, and within the information

There’s a lot of blame, especially on illegal downloading. My

many talents, Maziar speaks three languages, has won multiple

era, who moved around so much that the blending of cultural

perspective is that illegal downloading is the symptom of our

WA Screen Awards, and has certifications in Advanced Diploma –

identities started to become a culture in and of itself.

industry’s refusal to adapt to the shifting landscape of content delivery, and of the needs and demands of the market. In terms of

Cinematography/Directing from Central TAFE and a Masters from When I think about it, I believe the main influence it’s had on my

short films, the change has been gargantuan. Big film festivals will

perspective of the world is that I well and truly consider us all as

get thousands of film submissions now as opposed to probably

Lahooti has worked on several of his own short films and others’

one. Borders are an illusion, as is skin colour, even differences in

a third of the current number about ten years ago. There are so

feature film, TV, and commercial and documentary productions

culture, any form of separation. I’m not saying they’re not there,

many good short films out there now that to stand out, in the old

since the mid-2000s and his multiple on-set talents have brought

but all those differences are just surface level. Below the surface,

way, is a much bigger challenge. But in many ways, it’s not that

an energy and originality to his filmography. Short films including

we’re all pretty similar, and we all want pretty similar things, at

different, I guess. Filmmakers are doing the same thing as they

Good Pretender, Loveless, The Luger Story, Heaven, Crossroad,

least from my perspective.

were ten years ago, there just seems to be more of us. Ultimately,

the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

I’d say we’re on the cusp of something great, once everyone

and segments of the Henry & Aaron series are raw, eye-opening works mixing brains, heart, and varying genres. Heaven is

You are based in Perth and Sydney’s art and entertainment hubs, how

adapts to the opportunities that the changing landscape offers,

especially heart-breaking, with lead actor Don Reid passing away

has Australia’s film industry changed since you began making films?

content delivery platforms will then be properly embraced and

just before release.

It’s changed massively, not just in Australia, but in the world. The

monetised. Film-making is easier than it ever was, so the only

last ten years saw not only the advent of the digital revolution

thing that can make any one film really stand apart from another,

Despite the inspiring credentials, Maziar lives by a fun motto: “I have

which made the act of film making itself that much easier

is a great story, so that’s where I’ve decided to put my focus.

my goals, but I’m in no rush. I may or may not succeed, but trying is a

(though storytelling remains as hard as it ever was), but the

whole heap of fun, so I’m more than happy to die doing that.”

business end received a massive blow in refusing to adapt to the

Actor Wayne Davies is prominent throughout your filmography,

changing needs of the market, and to the possibilities of internet

how did you realise he was the perfect collaborator?

technology as a delivery platform.

We met at an acting workshop in 2004, and just connected.

You have an Iranian / Norwegian / Australian background, how have these cultures developed your understanding of the world on

Mainly he just gets the characters I write without too much

and off screen?

As a result, it’s very hard to come up with viable business models

explanation. I love how he reads the dialogue I write, and even

It’s hard to tell. The result, for me, has basically been that I lack

for long form dramas that can justify the costs of a cinematic

when it’s stuff I haven’t written, he always manages to find the


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character in a way that I just respond to. You have experience as a director, writer, editor, and technical assistant,

long form. Between the two, these days I don’t really find much

about identifying and building on the relationship arcs in the script.

time for other technical work, but the experiences do remain

With this one we basically ended up building the world outside of

invaluable for when I do produce stuff.

the film, the whole history.

The Luger Story, 2010

There are many violent set-pieces and moments of tension throughout

how important is it to embrace all aspects of film production? I think it’s integral as a filmmaker, but it can also be a distraction.

your filmography, how do you construct these sequences?

It’s easy to start focusing on technical traits, not just for the skills, but as income streams, and suddenly you find them overtaking

The Luger Story covers comedy, drama, and war-period piece, how

It’s hard on low budgets. Usually I’m very aware of these set

your true passion. It’s much harder to make a living as a director or

do you fuse varying tones and genre elements?

pieces all the way back in the writing, and formulate a plan for

writer, than it is in any other role, in my opinion.

I basically just try and identify what’s “real” within the world of

how to achieve it, keeping a likely budget in my mind from the

the story and stick to those rules. Once you do this you’ll find that

get go. Leaving anything action-related to be sorted out on the

Even when comparing directing to writing. I made short after short

things can be funny and dramatic and weird or whatever, as long

day or last minute and discovering it can’t be done is something

for years before I realised that I had to step back from production

as you’re not breaking the rules of the world you’ve set up. Early

that frightens me since it can completely kill the suspension of

and really focus on learning about story, if I wanted to have a

on in making shorts it’s a very intuitive process, but the more I do

disbelief, whereas if done well, it enhances it. So basically, know

chance at the goals I had set for myself. That’s one of the things

it, the better I get at identifying how I’m going to achieve it before

what they are, know how you’re going to do it, and write to that.

you don’t learn on set, or even at film school – the difference

I go out to make the film so I can explain to investors what film

between story and script. It’s also one of the things that you don’t

we’re making.

Heaven, 2013

realize when making short films. There is a downside to relying entirely on intuition though. When

Works including Crossroad and Heaven focus on the human

With short films, in terms of script, a solid script can come in a

you rely entirely on intuition, it’s fine if everyone’s on board with

condition, how important is tapping into the brain, heart, and senses?

much more organic manner where you just sit down and write the

not really knowing what film you’re going to end up with at the

It’s incredibly important. I think if you don’t tap into the heart, into

script with a vague idea.

end. But that’s not really cool the more money and people that get

core emotional conflicts, you may as well not be telling the story,

involved. Usually investors and producers have an idea about what

since conflicts of the heart, no matter what the subject is, is what

In long form, in my experience, at best that gets me to one

the film is going to be, and if it isn’t that, there could be a clash,

you look for as an audience member to engage you. Once you

engaging draft, but then I lose it in the rewriting process, all

so the challenge as the key-creative for me has become to build

engage audiences on a heart level, you can tap into their intellect,

because of a lack of understanding of the story, and how it’s

stronger foundations for those intuitive feelings, so I can identify

but it has to start at a gut level with emotional conflict.

separate from the script. So in answer to the question, I guess I

them in a way so that I can create a real picture how I’m going to

can say that learning about the other elements of film making can

achieve these slightly off tonal qualities in my film. This has also

be very useful, but it can become a distraction, so it’s important to

been really useful for developing my own skills. In a way it’s the

keep an eye on the ball and your priorities.

difference of building a house with real architectural plans, rather than just a drawing of the outside of the house.

You might find that you don’t want to just direct for a living (whereas you can find a career in commercials, and corporations

Good Pretender, 2011

etc) you may find that you want to direct specific things, things which require a script with a story that sings. And the only way to

The Good Pretender tackles several themes including disability,

get that script, unless you’re lucky enough to get it offered (which

family, and treatment of veterans, how do you approach big ideas in

can happen if your shorts start to make enough of a mark) is to

the writing and production stages?

write it. What I’ve tried to do is both. Making shorts and putting

When I co-wrote Good Pretender with Mike Hoath, he’d already

them out to festivals, whilst also focusing on learning and writing

written a few drafts of the script so my involvement was more


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The Godfather, Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone


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I ’ m gonna make him an offer he can ’ t refuse artho u se v s mai n stream by Pa t ric k McCart hy

I became a fan of “serious” cinema when I was about twelve years

I had watched. The Godfather was the first movie that challenged

in terms of mass popularity. If the choice must be made between

old. My parents and sister and I had just immigrated to Perth from

me. How could I love all of these characters - Don Vito Corleone,

a tremendously fun escapist jaunt, and a sullen and darkly

the island of Jersey, and family from my Mum’s side were visiting

Michael, Sonny - when they were inherently sociopathic monsters?

emotional excavation of the human soul, the former tends to win

our new home from Glasgow. Now I say “serious” cinema with a

How could I be so enraptured by the story, so captivated by the

by a landslide, given that the average moviegoer would prefer to

bit of irony, which I shall explain in a bit. You see, even before this

plot’s scope and intimacy, when it is filled with so much violence,

leave the cinema in high spirits.

family reunion I loved watching movies, and always looked forward

misfortune and evil? And, most prominently, how can I ever go

to a trip to the cinema, or popping a classic Disney film into the

back to just being merely entertained by a film, when the film with

When acclaimed American director Francis Ford Coppola was

VHS. The Lion King and Toy Story had stories and characters I

the greatest entertainment value of my life had asked so much of

adapting Mario Puzo’s pulp gangster novel into a decade-

adored, and their beautiful colour palettes made it even easier to

me, and of what I thought I knew about movies?

spanning crime epic of a movie, I like to imagine him rubbing his beard whilst sitting at his desk, reading about the arthouse vs.

justify an ungodly amount of rewatches. My Dad took me to see The Lord Of The Rings at the cinema for each of the trilogy’s three

My viewing experience set me to thinking about films that entertain

mainstream debate, and resolutely deciding: “why can’t we have

films, and their rousing action and epic themes of brotherhood

the viewer, and films that set out to challenge the viewer. As it

both?” The Godfather and its sequel are generally regarded as

perfectly complemented my young, developing male psyche. So, in

turns out, I certainly wasn’t the first moviegoer to board this train

the greatest popular and critical successes in cinema history. The

short, my love of cinema extends further than the aforementioned

of thought. The “arthouse vs mainstream cinema” debate (as it is

first film in particular was a major financial success, which can

family reunion. Nevertheless, I can safely say that a conversation

commonly known) has been a prevalent theme throughout cinema

likely be chalked up to one main reason: gangsters. The American

I had about movies with our Scottish relatives is likely the reason

history - as the early dominance of Hollywood and its influence on

public were (and remain) in adoration of those who live how they

I’m sitting here writing this article for Avenoir Magazine. The fact

moviedom slowly depreciated, allowing artistic merit and authorial

like outside of society’s rules and laws, and flocked to the cinema

that, at the time of writing, I’m sitting in my Grandad’s house all

expression to become more prominent. Put simply, films didn’t

expecting yet another violent entry in a longstanding genre with

rugged up to fend off the Glasgow cold, surrounded by my Scottish

have to be mass-produced for financial gain: films could be art too.

mass appeal. They got the violence, and much, much more: a

relatives, is simply a brilliant coincidence.

No longer was a director a mere studiohead: the director was an

deeply emotional and intelligent examination of family, loyalty

author of visual and aural literature, a commander of the cerebral

and legacy, told through a perfectly wrought script, with Coppola

Unanimously, without quarrel or debate, the favourite film

and the aesthetic. No longer was an actor just a popular, beautiful

commanding the helm at the top of his game, and gifted with

amongst them all is The Godfather. At the age of twelve, The

face: the actor was a conduit for emotion, a creature of deep

arguably the greatest cast of actors ever assembled.

Godfather was an iconic image that I recognised but couldn’t

psychology, and a representative of the human condition. So, when I say that I became a fan of “serious” cinema at the

specifically place; an R-rated challenge that I may one day surmount, one day, but not quite yet. Even having watched none

Now, all of this is definitely not to say that arthouse cinema

age of twelve at the conclusion of The Godfather, the irony is

of it, knowing nothing of the characters or the actors playing

is strictly superior to those films of studio origins. Injecting

evident: it more adeptly combines both mainstream and arthouse

them, I knew that it was a big deal, maybe even the biggest. And

something with artistic merit only means to transform it into a

cinema discourse into one masterfully cohesive conversation

so, after boasting of my growing love of cinema to my Scottish

more subjective viewing experience, opening it up to a greater

than any face-value “serious” film ever has. And honestly, without

family, they looked at one another, smiled, and asked me if I had

degree of interpretation - an interpretation that could range

hyperbole, it changed my life.

watched The Godfather. And I had to say no. And they made me

from a deep, emotional masterpiece to a trough of pretentious,

watch it with them.

manipulative dross. In regards to the latter, a distilled but fantastically crafted piece of mainstream cinema (action

The Godfather and its impossibly perfect sequel The Godfather Part

movies like Terminator 2 spring to mind) would be much more

2 are my two favourite movies of all time. This is because, up until

preferable in my opinion. It is for this precise reason, I think, that

that point in my life, I had only ever been entertained by the films

blockbuster entertainment continues to trump arthouse efforts


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Orange Is The New Black TV series


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TELEVISIO N AND THE DIVERSIT Y DILEMMA by Xa vier Ha zard

Making a poignantly progressive television show is like constructing

From its female-led cast, to its representation of the LGBTQI+

Thomas’ humour bleeds through into this show, fostering a

a successful analogy: everyone can give it a red-hot crack but unless

community, the range of ethnicities, ages and body types

series that is so dynamic and authentic, it’s almost impossible

you know what you’re doing, you’re going to look quite the fool.

positively showcased by the program work to elevate it above

to describe unless you witness it first hand.

many of its commercial competitors. The plot of the show is The way minority groups are represented and perceived in television

inclusive without being forcefully preachy, contains difference

Please Like Me does not shy away from the big issues. Instead

has become a pressing issue over the past decade. Whilst a number of

but not tokenism and follows minority characters with issues

it promotes a positive and normalised discourse around them.

shows have attempted to climb onto the diversity destrier, a tendency

that supersede shallow stereotypes. Put simply, it is quality,

Areas such as mental illness and sexuality are explored in-

towards a heavy reliance on stereotypes has caused a many of them

progressive viewing.

depth, warts and all, but aren’t exploited for the sake of drama. Josh’s world is flawed, he isn’t straight, he doesn’t have a

to prematurely tumble off the aforementioned high horse. And why? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that creator

nuclear family, his friends are not all mentally stable. Josh isn’t

As much as production companies might like to believe otherwise,

Jenji Kohan adapted the series from a book by Piper Kerman

perfect, but here’s the thing: neither are we. And that’s what

audiences are not ignorant. We know when what we are viewing is

based on her real experiences in a minimum security prison. Or

makes watching Please Like Me so wonderful. It champions

a genuine reflection of our society and when we are simply being

maybe the presence of superb actors and advocates for equality,

difference but not artificially; its diversity comes from a place of

served a sprinkling of minorities in an attempt to appease our

such as transgender actress Laverne Cox, has some influence

authenticity that cannot be fabricated.

appetite for diversity. Unfortunately, a lack of understanding on the

on the matter. Maybe the world of this show is more than just

creators’ behalf often leads to the latter.

a fictional diegesis built for light entertainment. Maybe these

And that’s what makes for good television. Diversity, wrapped

factors add the much-needed level of authenticity that is lacking

in honesty, sprinkled with creativity. That’s what television

in so many other programs. Maybe there is no maybe about it.

should be; dynamic, interesting, unforgettable. Like a

When difference becomes normalised, that’s when we can call it

sandwich with the lot.

progress. And where does the ability to make such television shows come from? An understanding of difference.

Closer to home, Australian comedian Josh Thomas’ lovechild Please Like Me is a semi-autobiographical comedy series that

So find these shows and watch them, because that’s how

Streaming service Netflix’s arrival in Australia earlier in 2015, brought

premiered its third season on ABC this October and follows a

progress is progressed.

a number of shows that have begun to pave the way for a more

group of twenty-somethings as they go about doing what twenty-

diverse future in television. And, when someone mentions diversity

somethings do best: sitting around not eating bread, making

And when you do find an absolute gem, let it shine, because,

in television it’s hard to ignore the hit show Orange is the New Black.

cardboard cities and naming chickens after pop divas.

as I told you, they’re not always easy to find. But when you do, they’re worth it.

Premiering its third season of 2015, the show follows an ensemble cast of women as they live out their sentences in Litchfield prison.

OK, so it’s not your usual angsty coming-of-age drama or corny

Whilst the first season began by focusing primarily on protagonist

family sitcom, and that’s what makes this show arguably the

Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), the phenomenal performances

most refreshing on television.

from an impeccable supporting cast – special mention to Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes) who has won five prestigious awards for her performance

The sheer simplicity of the concept makes it relatable, the

in the show, including two Emmys – and their immense popularity

characters are hilarious and genuine but most of all it deals with

amongst the show’s fanbase allowed the show to expand its focus,

so many aspects of life in a way that is so incredibly relatable.

incorporating within its episodes a wealth of diverse representations.

Written from the heart and inspired by his personal experiences,

Much like good analogies.


Photo BY Isaac grecas

ART art


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Meat is murder.

Wim Delvo ye and The Sickness We All Crave

Kashmar, 2012 Carpet on polyester mould 130 x 30 x 61 cm


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by Ant ho ny Ia co m ella

A scrupulous attempt to describe the work of Wim Delvoye as

and gross lifestyles; reflecting our syndicalism and grotesque

and spiting reporters and interviewers who questioned the

morbid is to underestimate the partition which belays most, if

sentimentality towards contradiction.

reasoning of the work. Delvoye’s tattooed pigs embody the travelling art show in a cotemporal society which shudders at

not all, of cynical society. Delvoye’s shit-making machine, Cloaca (2000-2007) epitomizes our own fascination with the morbid

This fascination with the morbid and the horror in modern art

the very thought of old dust laden Monet Haystacks. The work

and the bizarre, culminating in after about 12 hours, organically

began with the German expressionists after World War One. Their

is genius. Delvoye’s work seemingly reverts to a sense of early

produced shit. That shit, which is worth thousands, perfectly

wicked paintings of disfigured war cripples and coexistence of

20th century anarchism and constructivism, where as that world

enables the viewer to understand that implied capitalist and

memory and the grot of modern gluttony are a testament to the

doesn’t retain its order to simply entertain and indulge those who

humongous righteousness underlines all good contemporary art

irreversible casualties of the mind at war and in modern life in

obey its natural reductiveness. The pigs, according to Delvoye,

is intoxicating.

general. The young British artist’s movement of the 90’s once

were being spared from the slaughterhouse and instead they

again brought to the forefront this idea of death, war, human

would become art. This pragmatic twist on the idea that the pig,

In 1968, just hours after the Mai Lai Massacre, several US soldiers

disaster and murder. Jake and Dinos Chapman mentioned in

an emblem of consumerist and post modern filth, transforms into

walked into an old Korean minefield left over from World War Two.

their film Bad Art for Bad People (2004) with images of Nazi

a topic of conversation for uber rich art investors in Shanghai

One soldier tripped a mine, and while he lay there his legs blown

death camps and 9/11 flutter the screen “although such imagery

is vigorously malicious. Emile De Antonio’s 1968 documentary

off and his balls gone he said “God’s punishing us for what we have

is unpleasant, it’s reasonable because it serves a social purpose

In The Year of the Pig crawled into the pussing wounds of the

done, he won’t forget what we did today”. Yet in a cold form of sick

images of violence, atrocity and death contribute to our collective

Vietnam conflict; addressing its historical roots with palpable

irony, everyone forgot what happened that day. Nobody served any

understanding of the moral obligations that form our social

anger and divisive enthral. The stark imagery of Marine Cpl.

real time and nobody was officially charged over the massacre. The

contract”. This understanding has been taken somewhat with

Michael Wynn, the photograph of the eerily transmissive soldier

world got their first taste as to what was to become a sickening and

leniency in 2015, yet its core directive and unavoidable truth

with the words “make love not war” would then ironically be

gross trend of plutonic reverence and diplomatic severance. The

can never be ignored. We use shock and horror as a way of

changed to “Meat Is Murder” in 1985 by The Smiths. The album

same can be said with contemporary society. We have this fixation

determining right and wrong in a landscape where the lines

was heavy with political dictation towards England’s monarchy,

with the bad and the very bad. It would seem that our complacency

seemingly don’t exist anymore. Delvoye’s work crushes this

the Thatcher administration and animal cruelty amongst others.

and fixation on our own individual comprehension of morality and

sentimentality we have with comfort and our own understanding

Yet now nobody gives a fuck about animal cruelty, Morrissey’s

sanity is the driver to see how far we can go, the limits of taste,

of what art should be. His Warhol-esque stores selling everything

vision for a world free and democratic burned and screamed

the boundaries of humanity. This couldn’t be more evident in the

from Cloaca toilet paper to mugs beg the question, what does

as US soldiers stormed Iraqi houses at three in the morning.

fact that we can watch videos of car crash aftermaths, surgical

this have to do with art? And yet all Delvoye could seemingly care

Maybe we as a collective society deserve artists like Delvoye; our

procedures and suicides caught on CCTV footage. Yet willingly

about is that he is famous and rich and that his tattoo artist isn’t.

constructive foray will be the vomit and burden of society with its own grievances, and we seem to be completely okay with this.

ignore the fact that we live in a country where gay marriage is illegal, female inequality and wage gaps that LGBQT’s and ethnic/

Delvoye’s use of pigs in his China art farms raised eye brows,

And that’s what art is. Wim Delvoye transcends mass cultural

racial minorities are being willingly oppressed, and we seemingly

not only from the art community, but also from an ethical

emancipation of our own petty lives and reconnects us with our

are going backwards in terms of action against climate change.

standpoint. It was this controversy that brought Delvoye’s work

own moral ambiguity and disgusting self-reflections.

Delvoye seems to willingly ignore the latter, and tap into our dismal

to the mainstream media. Seemingly lavishing in the outrage


AVENOIR ISSUE #1


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THE STRUGGLE IS NOT REAL INTERVIEW WITH SAM SHIELDS by Jasmin Medew

care about what you do, or what the ideas are.

Sam Shields is a local artist; graphic designer and illustrator that

sometimes it’s good because you get a lot of people that have never

has contributed to so many live local works, as well as numerous

seen anything like it before. I spend all my time looking at different

exhibitions. Sam shares his thoughts on the differences between

types of art and design and (at a point) it just becomes all the same.

We’ll get back to you, what are your main influences for your art?

vandals and street artists, and the history of graffiti, to his Struggle

Then from other people you get a good perspective of what other

Well, originally it was Marvel comics, way back, Spiderman was my

is Not Real exhibition back in June 2015

people think of it all. It reminds you that you haven’t gone crazy.

first influence. It was really more the actual character and not the

We’ll start with how you became interested in art.

How do you answer those stupid questions?

I’ve always like graphic design, skate graphics and stuff like that,

I’ve always been interested in art, since I can remember. Since I

As best as possible, sometimes when you’re painting with spray

ever since I was young. Though now, there are too many artists to

was a kid, I’ve always been into drawing. I used to draw a lot of

cans they just assume you’re degenerate and it’s not true. They

name, there’s just so much stuff on the internet, that I’ve seen, I

stories. That was all through primary school and high school, and

shouldn’t even be saying that about people who are painting

can’t just name one or two influences.

when I finished high school I got more into music. So I played in

anyway, it’s annoying.

comic. And then I got into real nerdy stuff, like Japanese anime.

Okay so you see something, read something and you take your own

bands, from 2007 to 2010, and then I got more into art around 2011. I studied Geology in 2010. There was a demand for mining

I think people find that there’s a really fine line between vandalism

style to it?

and exploration and so they were looking for geologists. So I did

and graffiti/street art and I think they’re now seeing that street art can

Nowadays I’m trying not to do that because you start to rip

that for a year and hated it. I realized I’d rather do something I’m

actually be something really beautiful and not just someone tagging.

everyone off, and your work just becomes a mix of different ripoffs, and you can see in everyone else’s stuff, everyone seems to

actually interested in. So I decided to study design instead, graphic design / illustration, and creative advertising and photography. I

I personally have respect for people that do graffiti, like real graffiti,

finished that last year and now I’m working as a graphic designer.

painting illegal and doing tags and throw up pieces. Because

be doing the same thing.

to do that stuff, it’s risky. You can get arrested and I didn’t really

So how do you think you’re different from these other artists?

So it happened in university, when you knew that you wanted to be

understand at first, but after awhile when you’ve painted you come

I don’t really know, I just don’t even know what looks good anymore.

an artist?

across people from a graffiti background. You can see that there’s

I just try to do the best that I can. I try not to reference anything.

Pretty much, I started to take painting and drawing really seriously

people trying to exploit their groundwork and their culture. So, any

about two years ago. I definitely haven’t come from a standard

old artist who just paints canvas will say ‘let’s start painting walls

Do you do a lot of public events, for example PUBLIC 2015, or

street art background at all, like graffiti and tagging. Some people

because that’s edgy and cool’ and then people that have been

exhibitions?

will say that’s what they’ve done, but I definitely didn’t do any of

doing real graffiti for so long are looked at as vandals and that’s

Yeah, I’ve done a whole bunch of different stuff. I have an

that. I came into it from a different angle.

not really fair because their work is good in it’s own right.

exhibition coming up at the end of the month with myself and

So when you do public work, is there a satisfaction when people can

Do you think street art is becoming a bit too ‘mainstream’?

to be at the Koolroom. So this is a collective that we started,

walk by and see the kind of work that you’re doing?

It’s not really the fact that it’s mainstream. The thing is, graffiti

called ‘10k’, which is based on the idea of 10, 000 hours to master

It’s alright, sometimes people don’t really understand what you’re

is everywhere. Billboards and advertisements, there’s so much

something, so that’s kind of the goal, so the name of the group is

doing, and always ask stupid questions, and you can’t blame people

around that it’s noisy. So we don’t actually pay attention to it a lot

the goal. So, it’s me, Cheeks, Debt and Ferly. We started doing stuff

for that. It’s just frustrating sometimes because they don’t know

of the time. So, it’s everywhere anyway. But I definitely think there

together at the beginning of the year and this is our first exhibition.

what you’re talking about, or what you’re trying to do. But then

might be some exploitation of it, from companies who don’t really

So what’s the idea behind ‘The Struggle is Not Real’?

three other artists. We’re still organizing at the moment. It’s going


AVENOIR ISSUE #1 It’s based on the whole modern day, first world problems. All the

meaning. I think with my work, because I make it and I’m thinking

things that you think you’re actually struggling with in life aren’t

about the technique of it, I often overlook the meaning. And think

actually as bad as they seem. You just need to take it easy and be

it is what it is. People will look into things more and it gives them

happy. That’s the idea that we’re exploring.

something to relate , to make stories out of. My goal would just to be doing everything at once, to do design for three hours and

So can you give us an example of what you might be painting for

then go and paint something.

this show? Well my pieces for this exhibition are mostly going to be

How do you feel that there are now events catered towards street art?

portraiture, so the way that I’ve used the paint and the expression

I think that it’s awesome, I think it’s good that people are more

in the portrait is based on the idea behind this. So, there’s no

accepting of it. I think the annoying part about it is that this is

literal or clever way of depicting it, of what I’m doing. But I know

the new trend; they make art and see that no one is buying their

Ferly and Cheeks are painting characters depicting situations,

canvas, so they start doing murals, and decide to become street

which are about the ‘struggle’. Also, Debt is taking a more

artists. And then those artists fall into the trap of doing that and

symbolic approach, he’s using a lot of animals, and it starts to

they see ideas from other people and they try to copy that and

get a bit psychedelic. So we all sort of have a different take on it.

we end up with a million people trying to copy others who have

Which has taken a long time to organize, about 6 months.

already made it doing what they’ve done. I see that a fair bit, people will look up to someone and think ‘they’ve made it, they’re

Could you talk a little bit more about PUBLIC and how you ended

successful, I have to do what they do to get to that point, to

up not getting any walls for that event?

make money and be famous’. The whole point of art is to create

With PUBLIC, I find that if you’re going to promote urban, street

conversation. Like arthouse movies are to blockbusters, street art

art, I feel like they should have put a lot of energy towards looking

is the blockbuster of art. You can take it in quite easily. It’s a big

into the history of graffiti. There seems to be a lot of focus on

massive colourful painting on the wall.

international artists and big name artists, and local artists, but people that do graffiti are still not a part of it, and I still find that

Where would you like to see your art progress in the next few years?

that’s the original street art. You look at any PUBLIC piece and

Right now I have a lot of stuff going on with my job, so it’s

there’s no letters, there’s no graffiti. I don’t do that stuff but think

distracting me from producing work, producing my art. I’m trying

we should at least try and appreciate it. It’s quite a hard argument

to get away from what everyone else is doing. You just get

to make, because there’s so many ways of looking at it. It’s very

wrapped up in ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that’. I’m trying to learn

difficult to have a broad brush opinion on it because there is so

different skills, branch out into different things. I do shit with all

much graffiti that’s atrocious. I can appreciate tagging for what

different mediums: photography, graphics, music.

it is, but of course there’s millions of twelve-year-olds doing the most atrocious tags. It’s just difficult.

Do you have a favourite piece of work, that’s stood out personally to you?

This might come across as quite a broad question, but why do you

Strangely enough, everything that I like that I’ve done isn’t

create the art that you do?

popular with anyone else. If I had fun and the art came easily

Well, it depends on what mood I’m in and what it’s for. If it’s for an

to me, I enjoy that piece more than something that was utterly

event and there’s a purpose behind it then usually it’s made for the

frustrating. But usually that one looks better to other people. I’ll

people, so I try and make something that’s nice to look at and has

look at a drawing on the corner of lined paper and I’ll like that

some kind of story. But then a lot of the time I just make stuff that’s

but then a wall that I’ve worked really hard on over a few days

free styling. It’s therapeutic to do doodling and drawing. I can do

is something that people usually like. I’m never satisfied with

both because design and illustration is you doing work for people,

anything; I want to change something every time.

so the more of those I do, the more commission jobs I have. How do you think street art contributes to society? It gives your eyes a break from the eyesore of advertising, to be

Sam Shields

honest I don’t really look at art in the depth it should be looked

Claustrophobic

at. A lot of people who don’t make art, they look into it and find

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Paper Mountain is a Perth based artist run initiative with a gallery, co-working space and studios located in the heart of Northbridge, WA. Paper Mountain presents a top notch program of surprising new art and ideas, and is dedicated to supporting a broad span of contemporary arts.

To find out more about our program and how you can be a part of this community, visit papermountain.org.au Image: Sheridan Coleman, Wilderness User (installation view), 2015. Photography by Henry Whitehead.

Upstairs, 267 William St, Northbridge 6003 Open daily 9.30am - 5.00pm


AR T W O RK : SAM CHIR N SIDE www . samchirnside . com


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C reat ive


AVENOIR ISSUE #1


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CUT. PASTE. DECONSTRUCT. my face is not my own but my mother’s her mother’s her mother’s mother… the lineage of women stretches far beyond the stained mirror in my moss infested bathroom beyond the walls of my father’s two storey house white suburban haze and barbecued nights i am a history project born ’96 aged 18 almost 19 face sprouting out of a cocoa pod sandstorm rattling beneath ivory ribs caught in the spinning wheel they call ‘time’ aged 18 history project, i am blessed with my mother’s eyes the curve of my grandmother’s cheeks

a shallow grave two inches from my top lip: my great grand mother’s a history project formed from skin, bones, foreign DNA so i cut. paste. sew new skin deconstruct. paste. cut. stitch. sew new skin stitch -reconstruct- cut copy -stitch- paste reconstruct until my face her face my mother’s face my mother’s mother’s face turns raw a mangled artwork by Vi c tori a Foss

Photo by Caitlin Schokker


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

White flesh by Vi c tori a Foss

The frantic phone call arrives when the first wave of sirens

I shrug my shoulders and stab the bacon on my plate.

slices through the scorching midnight streets. I snatch my phone from under my pillow and accept the call without

The first time I saw Clarissa, she was sitting on the red

checking the Caller ID.

brick wall behind the school oval, chain smoking two

“Janet!” It’s Kira, the girl from my biology class. She

Marlboros at once.

wheezes at the other end of the line

“What are you staring at?” she asked, when I came into

“Yeah?”

view. I said nothing; just raised my vegemite sandwich in

“It’s Clarissa,” she blurts out. “She’s killed her parents.

the air and climbed the wall.

A scream rises in my throat. It coils around my tongue,

We sat there for over an hour, green skirts shoved

penetrates my gums, and shatters my teeth.

between our thighs, legs kicking over the edge. No matter how many times I scrubbed, my uniform

Hot air spills out of the creaking air con. The TV program

always smells of cigarette smoke.

is distorted by flashes of static.

Photo by SAES U RA | JOMHEL T OMAS

Clarissa’s photograph is plastered on the screen and

Jack Combie changes his relationship status on

TEEN MURDERER, is written underneath.

Facebook and deletes pictures of Clarissa from his

Mum puts a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon in front of

timeline. Some minutes later, he posts a status about

me. “Eat,” she says, “Or you’ll be late for school.”

grabbing a fine chick from a mate’s party, later this

But Clarissa’s eyes hold me hostage. She’s grinning at

weekend.

the camera, with lipstick stained teeth, and grey eyes. Her

I suck on my rotten molar until the familiar pain crawls

head is tilted to the left and her nose is scrunched like

across my gums.

one of my discarded detention notes.

Jack had cheated on Clarissa twice. The first time was

Mom takes her seat opposite me, blocking the TV. “Did

with Gwen, the fat chick who bagged fries at Maccas. The

you know her?”

second time was with wide-eyed Emily from Religious Ed,

I reach for the sterling table knife. Mum seems to go rigid

after a cricket game.

for a second as I wrap my fingers around it. “Everyone

What Jack could do, Clarissa could do better. She cheated

knew her.”

on him thrice. In March, she fucked his best mate Tom, at

The camera cuts to Mr and Mrs Stevens’ body bags, grey

Bounce Nightclub. Three weeks later, she took Nathan

and nylon, being wheeled out of their house on hospital

home in her purple Nissan Micra. She let him go the

stretchers, towards the old ambulance on their front lawn.

next afternoon, with claw marks on his back and lipstick

“That’s crazy,” mum says. “Why would a child murder her

kisses on his throat.

parents?”

Four weeks ago, she rode of out town with notorious bad


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boy Ned Hardy, her hands around his waist, chin on his leather

Clarissa Stevens, they wrote, student at Greenly Girls’ College…

tonight.”

shoulders, and black dress bunched around her thighs. It doesn’t

Greenly Girls stands for a lot of things in town: Spin the Bottle,

“You said you wouldn’t bring work home, remember?”

matter now. Jack has won. The pretty boy with charcoal locks

skinny dipping in the town lake, consuming erotic poetry… but not

“Janet”

always wins.

murder.

“You promised!” I’m yelling now. “You promised you’d never bring

Now, we are saturated in it, baptised in the four walls of Clarissa’s

work home!”

We are the Greenly Girls:

home, sometime before midnight. It’s a new badge on our

“Calm down!”

grape scented lips and skirts high above our freshly plucked legs.

blazers, a new symbol on our school crest.

“Have you forgotten what almost happened last time?”

We walk in groups of five, religiously chew peppermint gum, and

Standing behind the gates in our green uniform and brown shoes,

“How the hell do you expect me to pay rent?” Mum screams.

spread malicious gossip in our locker blocks.

we are a Wolf Pack, teeth baring; a Murder Gang with knives

“How the hell am I supposed to pay your school fees, huh?” she

When we arrive at school, we are herded into the assembly hall

behind our backs.

grabs her purse and pulls out a twenty-dollar note. “Here.” She shoves it in my palm. “You know what to do.”

by our teachers, and lectured by the Police. “If you see Clarissa,” they say, “ring us immediately. Do not

The poster

She means disappear, then crawl back inside the house through

approach her.”

is fresh on the tree.

the back door at sunrise.

By recess, we know everything.

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL?

“You should be careful,” I say, “or your brains could be the next

Clarissa made the triple-0 call ten minutes before midnight, after

Clarissa’s smiles on the paper. It’s the same one I saw this

stain on the living room carpet.”

she blew her mummy’s brains out on the carpet.

morning.

The slap echoes throughout the house. I feel manicured claw

Our bubble gums pop.

CLARISSA MAY BE ARMED AND DANGEROUS. IF YOU SEE

marks on my cheek and taste blood.

The Police later found her daddy, purple as a beetroot, slumped

HER, DO NOT APPROACH HER. CALL POLICE IMMEDIATELY.

“Get out!”

over his dinner.

DO NOT APPROACH HER!

I snatch the car keys from the kitchen table and leave the house.

The neighbour’s dog barks

I’m sitting in the middle of Minnow Park

with raw violence. Saliva slips between its teeth, pools its jaw, and

with white flesh between my teeth and tomato sauce under my

flies at the chain link fence.

fingernails. It’s almost eleven and I’m trying not to think of mum’s

We gnaw our bubble gums. Who knew you could replace sugar with rat poison? Kira

porn star moans as she makes pretend love to the man who

slides into the empty seat next to mine, halfway through biology. She blows her strawberry gum between alabaster teeth and

The TV

selected her from the catalogue of girls beside the yellow wall

chestnut lips, pops two bubbles, and says, “Heard more about

is on when I arrive home. Mum sits on the couch, consuming its

near the Community Centre.

Clarissa?”

gospel.

Sweat forms on the back of my neck and thighs. Withered grass

“What makes you think I know anything?” A part of me is dying

A panel of experts sit around a white table, talking about teenage

scrapes my toes and ankles. Crickets creak. Mosquitoes dance

to know how she got my number.

girls, hormonal imbalances and the urge to kill.

beneath the graffiti infested streetlights. I wrap the cold slice of

“I thought you two were friends.” She coils a long stretch of braid

“Research shows that same sex schools can be detrimental to

fish and chips in oil soaked newspaper and toss it in the trash.

around her plump fingers.

teenagers’ mental health,” one of the experts announces. “That

I’m nursing my lukewarm bottle of Coke when she steps out of

“We weren’t friends,” I say.

could explain what happened to Clarissa Stevens. Being in such

the dark, smoking a Marlboro.

Kira leans closer. “You know she did it, right? She didn’t even

an unhealthy environment made her snap!”

She’s barefoot and her ash blonde hair stands wild around her

flinch when we dissected the sheep’s heart last week.”

“She should have shot the whole fucking school, then,” I say.

face. Her school uniform is smeared with brown blood and her

Mum isn’t listening.

knees are covered in cuts and scratches. “I didn’t think you’d do it,” I say.

At 3:30pm, all the Greenly Girls gather at the school gates. We kiss, hug, and

When mum puts on the expensive lipstick

Clarissa smiles and disappears in a haze of smoke, leaving

say farewell. The media across the street, their cameras zoning

she stole from MYER a month ago, my blood boils.

behind the corpse of her Marlboro.

in on us.

“Are you bringing him here?” I ask, standing in the doorway.

I read some of the Facebook posts during lunch.

Mum turns around and flashes an apologetic smile. “It’s only for


fa s hion clothes by GALA APPAREL accessories by GENERICS URBAN APOTHECARY


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The sustainability of fast fashion by Vila s in i Viel

Most of us love to shop, to buy new things, to add more objects

and less extravagant. In the year 2000, Dior exhibited its fall/

cotton and recycled polyester; Puma’s InCycle Collection of

to our lives that might otherwise seem quite empty. We update

winter couture line inside one of the wings in Versailles. And then

biodegradable clothing; Adidas’ Design for Environment line;

our cupboard often as we brush our hair, but at what cost? We

just 10 years later showcased their prestigious winter collection

Zara’s eco-efficient stores; and the Gap’s P.A.C.E program, aimed

have no doubt all heard of the environmental, social, and human

inside a tent behind the Musée Rodin in Paris. Although the latter

at benefiting the lives of female garment workers. All of these

rights issues that surround the mass, over-production of clothing.

was still praised for its brilliance, the prolificacy did not measure

initiatives, and those of others not mentioned here, are great as

However, we do oft-times prefer to look the other way.

up to the absolute grandeur of previous shows.

they benefit certain areas that will lead to a more sustainable

Today, everything is immediate and in reach. Instant messaging,

So many couture lines are falling into the pit of bankruptcy

instant purchases, express shipping – we can barely stand to wait

leaving only around half a dozen houses still prevailing and

seven minutes in line at our favourite coffee house. Now, is this

these existing companies being seen to downscale their well-

We may now be asking ourselves what we can do to aid in the

an intelligent mindset in the long-term?

known spectacles. However, as an addition, there is also a higher

movement towards a more eco-conscious, human rights efficient

demand to keep up with the zooming pace of the fast fashion

and intelligent longer-lasting method of dressing ourselves that

The idea that fashion fades but style remains eternal is something

labels, which has forced high fashion brands to showcase

could make us proud. It is the little things that make the greatest

of an archaic concept with trends coming and going quickly as

collections four times a year instead twice, as had been the

difference after all.

one can say “zoom,” which then leaves no room for the fashions

traditional practice. This means, that the highly skilled team of

to change in any big way. With the rate that clothing lines are

around twenty seamstresses in each couture house, known as

We could always shop smaller, support local stores and

being pushed out, there is never much variance occurring from

ateliers, must work overtime and create these four collections.

companies, visit the ol’ thrift shop every now and then, opt for

business plan. But that is also the problem, these approaches only benefit certain areas and then leave others lacking.

quality rather than quantity to ensure we do not have to buy

the year before. These rapid trends fall under the umbrella of fast fashion, which is the term used to denote low-cost clothing lines

Creating a couture garment is a rigorous process that can take

clothes as often because we know these items will last longer.

that mimic the current luxury trends. And although these smaller

hundreds of hours to complete. The top fashion houses must

One other option is eBay, an oldie but definitely a goodie. Buying

labels swim in a much less extravagant pool than that in which

satisfy the whims of their fickle clients and will often fly teams out

recycled, locally sourced clothing is probably the two most

haute couture resides, one does not exist without the other.

to a client’s home for a personal fitting. This evidently takes time

effective courses of action, especially supporting those brands

and money and a couture garment will rarely be sold twice. The

with a strong ethical vision.

Bernard Arnault, who runs LVMH (world leading high quality

number of couture clientele has decreased and is believed to now

products) and owner of both Dior and Givenchy, told the Telegraph

consist of no more than four thousand customers.

It’s important to shop with knowledge, to buy our clothes from locations with a more transparent supply chain.

in 2015 that couture is not about the money. What does this mean for us little people? Well it is simply a “Set against the money we lose has to be the value of the image

vicious cycle; we want therefore we need – and there are just

couture gives us. Look at the attention the collections attract,” he

so many of us! When once clothes were purchased direct from

said. “It is where you get noticed. You have to be there. It’s where

tailors and artisans, now we would likely never see the face of

we set our ideas in motion.” However, over the past century, the

the individual who made our clothing. Is this mass-production of

number of haute couture houses has declined greatly and we are

clothing sustainable?

seeing this with more severity within the past fifteen years. Look at Christian Lecroix, for example, who’s house and label declared

Many labels have tried their hand at seeming more eco-friendly;

bankruptcy in 2009; or the couture shows that are becoming less

such as H&M with its Conscious collection, made of organic


AVENOIR ISSUE #1

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T he a tre Photos by Chris Webster


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AVENOIR ISSUE #1

2015 Theatre

recap by Tara Si de b ot tom

Photo by Candace N otte


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2015 has been chock full of vivid, heart stopping theatre. As

the character Penny Johnston, the dance instructor. To sum it up,

this show is that everyone suffers, it is enough to make you

we wait for 2016 to begin, it’s time to reflect on the memorable

she falls pregnant and loans money off Baby to have a risky home

consider your actions and reactions more carefully.

moments from a few of my favourite shows from 2015. What

abortion. Her mindset, and that of the father of the child, make it

And Satan Leads the Dance!

makes your favourite show worth seeing? How does the

clear how childbirth out of wedlock was viewed in society at that

experience change you from the moment you’re seated in the

time. Throughout the show how the women, and in particular the

Faust was my first opera and favourite show of the year. There

theatre, until you leave after the final curtain call? These reasons

teenage girls, were treated reflected the sexist ideologies of the era.

is nothing like a show dedicated to the not so humble musings of Satan’s own mischief and mayhem, especially when it’s sung

are what theatre is all about and entice you to explore a new tale

in French. Coming away from this show the main message I left

and a new adventure.

Bend and Snap

No One Mourns the Wicked

Legally Blonde: the Musical is relatively new to me, so I’m still

obvious one. Faust’s greed and lack of repentance made his

singing half the numbers on repeat every chance I get. It’s the

ending bitter sweet. On one hand, the audience feels sympathy

Well, I do. Wicked is one of my all time favourite musicals, and

classic tale, but better. I didn’t know how much I needed this

for Marguerite being used as nothing but a play thing by the pair

I have a long list of favourites. Most people take away the

show until I watched it. The musical version of the story expands

and are appeased when her soul is saved and sent to heaven.

obvious story of friendship, and the balance between good and

on Emmett’s backstory and his relationship with Elle, including

On the flip side, Faust’s actions led the audience to be glad he

evil, but personally I always see this story as one about class.

a glorious scene where she buys him a dashing suit and falls

has suffered and ends just as he started, contemplating suicide.

The undertones of racism and prejudice are woven throughout

head over heels. What really sells this show for me is that the

This battle of right and wrong, particularly when focused in on the

the story, and although the ending is not ideal, it deals with

characters are all aware of their privilege, except Warner. In the

Catholic religion, brings up whether or not these actions would be

these issues the same way society does —Elphaba disappears

song ‘What You Want’ the chorus consistently reminds Elle that

condemned in today’s society or accepted as the norm.

in the dark of night and nothing has changed to combat this

“what you want is right in front of you”. Her father dismisses

institutionalised racism. “From the moment she was born she

the money issue of applying for an expensive school, while her

was, well, different” is engrained into the audience through the

classmate Kate informs her all she needs to do is study to get a

opening number, revealing just how much Elphaba was judged

high enough mark to be accepted. Through the song ‘Chip On

Lion King: the Musical rounded up the year on a high. This

by the colour of her skin growing up. Constant contrasts between

My Shoulder’ her privilege is compared to Emmett’s and in this

production has emphasised my love for the original film by

Elphaba’s dark hair and emerald skin and Glinda’s vibrant blonde

process of compare and contrast she realises just how easy

expanding further on the character development and side stories.

locks and white skin are reflected as the definitions of good

she has it. There is nothing standing in Elle’s way of succeeding

The stage version highlights the story’s roots in Africa, and

and evil in the tale. No matter how many times characters are

except herself.

explores the story through the inclusion of African culture in a

with was to never make deals with the devil, but that is a rather

celebration of tribal music and dance. Coming away from the

reminded that she was born with green skin, they still judge Elphaba on something she can not control. Without her father’s

The Circle of Life

I Dreamed a Dream

show has made me consider different aspects of the tale. In the end, the hyenas are banished and everything is restored. This

position in the community she would have been outcasted long Les Miserables was the first musical I ever watched, so when

moment can be viewed in a number of different lights. Firstly, this

the revival was announced I was elated. This show has always

could technically be the banishment of the undesirable members

been something that has made me cry, which is an embarrassing

of the community away from the perfect life the upper class have.

reminder of just how effective the show is. Although the point

Alternatively it could be viewed as the evil being fought off, while

Dirty Dancing was a spectacular live reenactment of the classic

of view is positioned mainly from behind the barricade, Les

the good rebuild their lives. Currently I’m sitting on the fence. I’ve

film, but it was actually the first time I had experienced the tale.

Miserables reflects how altercations and war affect everyone

always felt a hint of pity for Ed, Shenzi and Banzai, since they

Although this story is set in a different era, it reminds viewers just

in the vicinity, especially children. As a society that is facing a

only want to join in on the food chain. It is in a hyena’s nature to

how far classism and sexism has evolved, or not. Separate from

number of conflicts, having a gentle reminder that we are all

scavenge for food, which is seen as distasteful by the rest of pride

the romance and the raunchy dance moves is the side story of

indeed human is important to our humanity. If all we take from

rock. Whether or not this makes them evil is up for dispute.

before the events of Wicked. I’ve Had the Time of My Life


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T H E difficulties o f casti n g i n theatre by Pi p Wa l l e r

We all know what it’s like to go to an interview for the first time.

Gervais’ new television show Life’s Too Short, Warwick Davis,

But in the end it really depends on the actor, who might not mind

You’re nervous, worried about what the employer will think of you,

shows that being a dwarf is not even close to a disadvantage

if they portray trans or cisgender characters. At the end of the day,

if you’re too over or under qualified for the position. And same

when it comes to acting. And it’s not even about dwarves being

directors and writers need to be more open to transgender actors

goes for auditioning for a part for a play. You’re nervous, worried

cast in roles which suit their size; they are being cast after a

and allow talent to shine over sexuality.

if you will forget a line of your chosen auditioning piece, what

long time of being discriminated upon because of one thing.

the auditioning tutor will think of you. But what about if you are

Regardless of this, an article published in the Telegraph in

great, but discriminated on based on what you look like, or who

September of 2015 reported that De Montford Theatre in Leicester

Despite this, I can say that the discrimination on certain types

you are mentally? What if you don’t define yourself as a boy, or

was planning on ridding the dwarves from the classic tale Snow

of people getting cast is slowly diminishing, especially so far in

a girl? These are the difficulties of casting in theatre, and the

White, simply because they were convinced that audiences were

mediums other than theatre, such as music videos with certain

entertainment industry.

uncomfortable with the word ‘dwarf’. Isn’t the title Snow White

celebrities bringing in talent to show what they have, regardless of

and The Seven Dwarves? We all know that not everyone can be

what they look like. Big names such as Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus,

As a writer, and one who has worked amongst performance

made happy. So why bother? How is it a dwarves fault if someone

and bands such as 5 Seconds of Summer have all done it. The

students within film and theatre, I know that if you are creating

is uncomfortable with how they look? As casting difficulties fall,

television show Glee is also a great example of breaking boundaries

a character you are after a certain type of actor. If you’ve chosen

some remain, but they are breaking as stars such as Warwick

with casting, with fantastic actors such as Lauren Potter as Becky

to audition as a 21-year-old, 185cm woman, going for a part of a

Davis proudly take the spotlight, regardless of their size.

Jackson, despite suffering from Down Syndrome. Much loved Rebel Wilson breaks these boundaries too of what is considered as a

56-year-old, 160cm elderly lady, then obviously you aren’t going to get it. But again, what if you’re the perfect fit for the part, but

Being transgender, and an actor, doesn’t mean one should only

“perfect” actress, bringing us the hilarious ‘Fat’ Amy, showing that

physically challenged or “different”? In 2006, actress Sarah Gordy

be offered transgender roles. We see trans actors being typically

even in judgemental Hollywood talent shines through. The difficulty

played the leading role in Seize The Day with The Hijinx Theatre,

typecast as trans characters, but what of their portrayal of non-

of casting for minorities, doesn’t need to be difficult. So why can’t we

which led to her popular portrayal of Lady Pamela Holland in

trans characters? It’s not that there’s a lack of stories about

normalise the diversity of people, and actors?

Upstairs Downstairs. Suffering from Down Syndrome, Gordy

transgender people. Eddie Redmayne successfully portrays a

states that “I am different, that is good”, in response to her many

transgender character in Tom Hooper’s film The Danish Girl, and

roles on both stage and in film. Perhaps people suffering from

casts a vast number of supporting transgender actors. A new film

certain illnesses aren’t generally cast in theatre, due to the fear

About Ray casts also a cisgender actress, Elle Fanning, as the

that audiences may have of a certain actor not being able to

main transgender actress. But there is a pattern. Yes perhaps it is

deliver their role as well as someone else would? Despite being

good that cisgender actors and actresses are cast in transgender

repeatedly incorrect with their assumptions.

roles, but what about transgender actors themselves? Through research, it was a struggle to find anything, play or film, where a

Similar niches of people are looked for during casting for

transgender actor is cast in a non-transgender role. I came across

theatre, but there are those that are continuously smashing

Erika Ervin, an actress who appeared in American Horror Story:

our expectations and making it into the spotlight. Star of Ricky

Freak Show, as the character Amazon Eve, but that was about it.


What’s The Go I n E n tertai n me n t by Pi p Wall er

Run T uM Tugger ( Daniel Assetta ) | C AT S - T h e M u sical | by HAGEN HOPKINS


123

Compared to popular hotspots like Sydney and Melbourne, Perth seems to be forgotten when it comes to the national entertainment industry, but it shouldn’t be. Perthians have taken a stand and brewed up their own entertainment. There’s still so much happening for the rest of the year in Perth and so much more is planned for 2016. You just need to know where to look, and here is where. Crown Perth seems to be where it’s at for 2016, firstly with Julie Taymor’s The Lion King being shown from November the 18th, 2015. Having personally already seen the musical on Broadway in New York, I cannot recommend enough that you go and see this musical. Unlike anything ever seen before, The Lion King: the Musical is enchanting, audience interactive, and entertaining for the whole family. Tickets are still available at ticketmaster.com.au, but won’t be around forever. Cats, a musical that we can all be excited about, will be showing at Crown in April 2016. Following a successful season in London, Cats will be the cherry on top of a fantastic start to a great line up for Perth’s Theatre scene for the beginning of 2016. Based on TS Eliot’s poem collection, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the show is an indulgence of feline finesse. Expect amazing dances, perfect costuming and loveable characters. Also in theatre for 2016, the Oscar winning 1999 film Ghost is coming to Crown on Saturday the 21st of May. Director Matthew Warchus brings the romantic tragedy to Perth, with big Aussie names such as Rob Mills (as Sam Wheat), Jemma Rix (as Molly Jensen), and many more. Television actress Wendy Mae Brown debuts as Oda Mae Brown, but let’s see if she can beat Whoopi in her performance. A little left field of Crown’s musical scene, the 2016 Opera Season is already being called “The Year of Premiers”, with the West Australian Opera set to deliver an array of different shows. Starting in February, Gianni Schicchi will be performed during the City of Perth’s annual Opera in the Park, followed up with The Riders, a new Australian work, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, and in Spring, The Pearlfishers. Tickets have gone on sale from November 11, so get ready for a year of exciting things in Perth Opera. Just quickly punching into Google “Perth Entertainment 2016” or generalising to “Perth Theatre 2016” or “Perth Opera”, will result in a great list of exactly what’s on when and where in Perth next year. There are hundreds of community and state theatre groups providing great line ups all year. So sort out what you’d like to see now, so that Perth can come out of the past and up to speed with the rest of the country’s awesome entertainment industry.


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We began in 2015 with one thing in mind: to exist. To exist for a generation that is held by a belief that we are what the Orwellian system...

AVENOIR ISSUE 01  

We began in 2015 with one thing in mind: to exist. To exist for a generation that is held by a belief that we are what the Orwellian system...

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