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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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
From Graffiti Tags To Hashtags
The Exclusivity Of White Feminism
47 Jarrad Seng 51 Tashi Hall
The Uprising Of Suicide Nations Seeking Asylum
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
The Fear Of Being Seen As A Racist
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
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
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
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
Social media has evolved considerably over the last two decades.
woman and two boys, 11 and 4 years old, were attacked and injured.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
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?
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
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:
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.
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
Artwork by Harrison See
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
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
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
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
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
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
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
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.
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?
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
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
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
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
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
hot chocolate, poo…so much poo, Mars bars, card games, dhal
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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
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.
“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.
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The peopleâ€™s photographer
J arrad S e n g I n ter v iew by Vi la s i n i Viel
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
FRENCH R OCKETS @ JIMMY â€™ S DEN
AVENOIR ISSUE #1 TAME IMPALA @ BELV OIR AMPHITHEATRE
The PREATU RES @ AR TBAR
AVENOIR T UKA @ AMPlIFIER CAPIT OL
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
TEIJ @ JIMMYâ€™ 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
GANG OF YO U THS | Photo by MAS O N DEVINE
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
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
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
“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
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
Grace Jones @ AFroP U NK Festival | By Driely s
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.
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.”
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
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
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
is a mindset... not a musical genre.
AVENOIR Photo by Driely S
AVENOIR ISSUE #1 AR TW ORK by BER TIE LOUISE
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
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”.
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
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
see, but we canÂ hear, and we should get to know them, and know the extent of them. The skill of female musicians versus male musicians isnâ€™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 â€˜em.
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
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,
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
Did your service in the war-zone for Tel Aviv and Beirut change your
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
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
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
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
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
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
F I L M
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
Heaven 2013 : Don Reid & Wayne Davies
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
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
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
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
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
The Godfather, Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone
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
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
Orange Is The New Black TV series
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
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
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
Meat is murder.
Wim Delvo ye and The Sickness We All Crave
Kashmar, 2012 Carpet on polyester mould 130 x 30 x 61 cm
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,
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
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.
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
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
honest I don’t really look at art in the depth it should be looked
at. A lot of people who don’t make art, they look into it and find
Paper Mountain is a Perth based artist run initiative with a gallery, co-working space and studios located in the heart of Northbridge, WA.Â 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 UserÂ (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
C reat ive
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
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
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
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
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.
Four weeks ago, she rode of out town with notorious bad
boy Ned Hardy, her hands around his waist, chin on his leather
Clarissa Stevens, they wrote, student at Greenly Girls’ College…
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
“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
We are the Greenly Girls:
home, sometime before midnight. It’s a new badge on our
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
She means disappear, then crawl back inside the house through
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.
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.
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
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.
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
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
Photo by Driely S
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
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
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
recap by Tara Si de b ot tom
Photo by Candace N otte
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
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
AVENOIR ISSUE #1
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
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.
Whatâ€™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
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.
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...
Published on Jan 1, 2016
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...