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We dedicate this digital issue to the legends David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Lou Reed, Sharon Jones, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and the many whom have shaped us in the world we continue to progress in.

Avenoir Magazine Copyright 2016/2017Š All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any form by any means - graphic, electronic, mechanical or recording - without the prior written permission of the copyright owner, except by a reviewer, who may use brief excerpts in a review.

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Typography: Zaeren Safi-Momand / Mikaela Miller




SOCIETY & CULTURE 9 11 13 17

The Feasibility of Democracy in a Post-Consensus World

One Night in Berghain

LGBT Muslims and The Fight for Acknowledgement Strengthening

Is Theatre Losing Its Originality? Curtain Call 2017

the Quality of Healthcare in Libya


49 51


FASHION 55 IMANA 61 A Culture Clash

MUSIC 31 39 41 44 45

Avenoir Photo Gallery 2016 The Downside of Fame


Album Picks | Music Video Selection







CHIEF EDIT O R ’ S LET TER 2016, a year we have lost legends in the arts to witnessing the

instigation of destruction towards humanity in all forms. And though it appears that all hope is lost, there are still those we could count on; such as the doctors of Medecins Sans Frontiers situated in wartorn areas while providing safety and healthcare to innocent civilians to the Refugee Rights Action Network team providing voice to the minority living in states void of humanitarian justice. As we enter into the year of 2017, all I’ll quote is Graham Greene: “Destruction is a form of creation”. - Zaerën Safi-Momand







A PA R T I S A N D E F I C I E N C Y T H E F E A S I B I L I T Y O F D E M O C R AC Y I N A P O S T - CO N S E N S U S W O R L D Illustration by Ashleigh Angus by Chris Gardn er In July of last year, I wrote an article in response to the shooting of five police officers by Micah Johnson in the US. In it, I employed colourful language to argue that this would represent a turning point, that there was no going back, that revolution was inevitable. Looking back I can’t help but think that I was propelled by my own bias rather than a fair assessment of reality. “The train has left the station!” I declared authoritatively. Marxist intellectual and walking Nasonex commercial Slavoj Zizek said, in a Thinknow! video just after Trump’s victory that, to employ a laboured mechanical metaphor, Noam Chomsky’s “machine that generates consent” has broken down. It, like my train metaphor, doesn’t quite do reality a complete justice. But at its core is a potent truth; the underlying consensus of liberal western I agonized for a long time before I decided to write this

representative democracy, that it runs in the correct way,

article. Initially, my intention had been to make a clear and

representing all of us and maximising our freedom and

definite point, referencing theorists and ideas that I felt

quality of life, is eroding. Vast swaths of the electorate

created a coherent framework for the future. But issuing

in many countries, not just the US, are turning away from

diktats from above as I am some sort of authority and not

“establishment” politics. To be fair, they were before the

just another enshackled proletarian would be the antithesis

election too. Indeed, that consideration factored into my

to what is needed now. Predictions and prescriptions are

belief of imminent revolt.

all well and good, but people have been sold snake oil with such regularity this year, worldwide resurgences in

The issue is, liberalism pulled a rather nifty trick on

obfuscating crypto-speak designed to shroud reality in a veil

people, sometime after hippies finally put shoes on. It

of post-modern meaningless subjectivity. I don’t want to talk

convinced people, vast numbers of them, that voting in

about a strategy to disempower the “alt-right” in the political

elections could somehow be equated to revolutionary

sense when my legitimate view is that they’re Nazis that

action. You can see it in the faux-revolutions of Sanders

deserve to get clobbered. Where my initial goal was to map

and Trump. So all that revolutionary potential, all of that

the future, I have come to realise that most of all, what I and

impotent rage slowly growing in potency, was funnelled

a lot of people need to do is take stock, and map the present.

away from any kind of mass collectivisation and instead



towards a non-establishment protest candidate like Trump,

can save them. I’ve met people who are legitimately and

What does this mean for the present, the here and now?

or an economically reckless act of symbolic xenophobia

viscerally upset about the oppression of minority groups,

Well, for one thing it confirms what many people have long

like Brexit. These actions do not subvert or dismantle the

but either wilfully or inadvertently fall under the spell of

suspected; the system of representative democracy has

established order, but instead present it with a slightly

liberal identity politics’ simple good guys-bad guys binary

failed to represent the people. Our “leaders” do not speak

different framework to exercise its authority; if the UK

and ignore the underlying intersectionality of a class-based

for everyone anymore. No amount of voting or between-

becomes free of the EU’s cosmopolitan neoliberalism, it

analysis. I’ve met people from all four quadrants, and one

the-lines protest can unseat the entrenched power structure,

will instead be beholden to Theresa May and co’s hard-

thing remains clear; the discourse surrounding social and

because if it could, it already would have. If you are

right ideologies. Trump may have no desire for war with

political issues is so loaded with partisan, my side vs. your

conservative, the governments of the world have taken from

Russia but giving an admittedly vindictive man access

side implications, either consciously or subconsciously,

you the right to hold to your communities and traditions

to the Obama administration’s vast surveillance and

that we have ceased to talk about direction, and are instead

in the face of ever-accelerating globalised business and

drone programs present a seriously rotten can of worms

talking about stances. Who we are, not where we’re going.

movement of people. If you are right wing, the increasingly

domestically if opened. In any situation, the lurch towards

oligarchical corporate elite have taken from you the

far-right authoritarianism has been presented as an

There are certain inequalities that are impossible to ignore.

opportunity to work towards amassing wealth and prosperity

emancipatory step for the common person, but instead has

To flesh out each individual issue would take at least an

in favour of “crony” capitalism, and regardless of your views

delivered something wildly different in practice.

article in itself, but suffice to say, outcomes for Australia’s

on such an ideology it is undeniable that the current iteration

worst off aren’t getting better. Indigenous communities

only functions for those already in possession of vast

I will make some generalisations here, which I will stress

continue to be ripped apart by complimentary woes of

resources. If you are a liberal centrist, the idea of fair and

are my personal estimations of people based on my

substance abuse, lack of prospects and callous, ineffective

pluralistic debate has been shattered with the election of far-

own experiences. I will say that amongst friends and

government interventions. The continued ideological attack

right neo-fascist demagogues across the globe. If you are

colleagues, many different ethnicities, sexualities, gender

on social services threatens all those with mental health

progressive, your desire to see marginalised groups achieve

identities and political affiliations are represented. I have

concerns, be they white men to queer non-binary people of

some degree of self determination is consistently thwarted

had discussions with conservative Christians and far-left

colour. The list of social failures goes on and on. In virtually

by the single minded profit motive of capital, and if, like

gender-queer atheists, maybe not in equal measure

every way measurable, there represents a stark numerical

me, you are far-left, you probably have a list of capitalism’s

but both of which more times to count. I will not deny

divide between the have’s and the have-not’s. And

failures longer than this article to share. In no quadrant of

that those on the conservative right have views that are

increasingly, who you are, in identitarian terms, has less

the political compass have people not been royally shafted

universes away from mine, but beyond competitive loaded

and less to do with which side of the fence you fall on

by their so-called representatives in the name of global

language, I do believe there are some common threads.

wealth accumulation.

That is to say, I’ve never met a single person who wants

In a lecture entitled “The Freedom of Forced Choice”

to see friends and neighbours rounded up by government

at the University of Porto School of Fine Arts in 2014,

It’s time to stop expecting the failing machine to start

forces. I’ve never met anyone who wants a violent and

aforementioned sniffleman Zizek made an interesting

working again. It’s time to expect the impossible, not in the

chaotic society built around force and distrust. I’ve met a

point, which I think cuts to the core of this issue. To

sense that it becomes possible, but in the sense that it was

lot of people (left and right, progressive and conservative)

paraphrase, his point was that in this, 21st century liberal

always possible and now we simply accept it as so. The

with incredibly biased or plainly incorrect understandings of

capitalism, we are conditioned to believe that many things,

broken system cannot simply install a new leader, a new

historical events or philosophical ideas, who are confused

indeed virtually all things, are possible. We CAN express

ruling framework, and fix itself. That idea, that a framework

by increasingly academic discourse that is divorced from

our sexual and gender identity any way we like. We CAN

so rotten to the core could simply swap out leadership

their immediate experience.. I’ve met a lot of people who

express our culture of ethnicity with pride, and purchase

with a different kind of leadership and fix itself of all of it’s

just want a home, a decent jobs market and wage, and a

virtually any goods or experiences or services provided

structural woes, is the truly impossible dream. There is no

decent world for their kids.

you have the capital. Anything is possible. But then, some

person, left or right, progressive or conservative, who looks

things are starkly impossible. Like raising taxes on the

at the landscape of the world as we see it and could honestly

But there are contradictions. I’ve met people who are

1% and providing better and more accessible services to

say “this functions well, this represents and provides for all

furious about how neoliberal policies have resulted in an

citizens, these things are politically impossible, regardless

people.” And once the debate is viewed, not in tribalistic

upward consolidation of wealth and a slow deterioration

of the will of the general populace. We are given the

terms but in a true analysis of who wins and who loses, it is

of both their communities and sense of community, but

freedom to choose anything on the one hand, within a strict

impossible not to come to the inevitable consensus that it is

truly believe that left-wing thought is inevitably dictatorial

framework of economic hierarchy on the other.

the ruling moneyed class who wins, over and over. Partisan

and repressive, and that only “true” non-crony capitalism

labels dropped, the machine repairs itself.


O NE NIGHT IN BERGHAIN Image courtesy of Nicole Filev by Amy Pra c ilio A certain scruffy hipster ex-boyfriend of mine once told me that I

Berghain’s main doorman, writer, and photographer, Sven

wasn’t ‘cool enough’ to get into Berlin’s most exclusive minimalist

Marquardt is famously not fond of the term bouncer but labels

techno club, Berghain. In fact, as I am a straight edge, tea-drinking,

himself a ‘mood curator.’ In a 2014 GQ article, he said his

old-school hip-hop loving, redhead whose aesthetic more likely

doormen are similarly subjective, and aim at creating friction

fits an extra in Clueless than an industrial neo-goth, he was

among the clubbing masses.

probably right. But the scarily high chance of rejection didn’t stop me from trying my luck at the strictest door policy in Europe.

Despite this objective of friction, the Berghain newcomer usually follows certain pre-determined aesthetics to increase their

Berlin’s church of techno, and the myth that surrounds it, is

chances. There are countless articles, blogs, personal shoppers

fuelled by exclusivity. Every weekend hundreds of Berliners and

to find you that industrial gothic style, and even an app that uses

hopeful visitors line up for Berghain’s ‘Clubnacht,’ an electronic

face recognition technology to decide your fate at the gates.

music party running from Saturday midnight to Monday noon. Many wait for hours outside the former East Berlin power station

Wear black, dress industrial, dress neo-gothic, don’t smile,

just to be halted by an intimidating doorman, and leave baffled

don’t speak English, don’t look at your phone, don’t act drunk,

by their seemingly random rejection.

don’t talk in the line, know the DJs, go alone, go as a couple, and don’t you dare look that doorman in the eye! The rules are


AVENOIR After clearing the cloakroom, I ran into the masses

friends, we down Berliner Luft together, complain of past

before someone could realise I was clearly not cool

relationships, speak of radical feminism, and justify why

enough to be there.

we don’t really require men at all.

Perhaps it’s the adrenaline and euphoria that comes

You can feel the deafening deep techno beat in your

with being ‘accepted’ into a house of exclusivity, but

bones, and in your heart on the main minimalist techno

once past the door Berghain feels free. It seems the

floor. The world-class sound system penetrates, as

numerous and maybe ultimately pointless, but it’d be hard to

ban on photo-taking denoted human engagement,

Berghainers dance alone, yet in sequence whilst all

find a Berghain first-timer that doesn’t at least emulate the pre-

instead of documentation. This lack of incessant

facing (and arguably worshipping) the DJ. In a cult-like

determined uniform of black clothing. I was one of them.

documentation privileges those Berghainers who wish

trance, hours meld into each other.

to embrace their sexuality, with a labyrinth of dark After being rejected with two friends one Sunday morning

rooms available to do ‘dark things’ with one another.

Every so often the blinds open revealing Sunday’s

by an apologetic doorman who stated “not today, ladies,” it

Whilst, the lack of mirrors or any reflective surfaces in

daylight, and suddenly the outside world infiltrates.

seemed that wearing black was not enough. The curiosity and

the venue ward off self-consciousness, and invite the

Club-goers cheered and screamed as if acknowledging

drive that came from this initial obstacle I assume is similar for

eye to observe those interesting beings right in front of

the reality that beckons once they leave.

those that continue try week after week.

them. And so very interesting they were…

I spent some time perfecting what I perceived as a ‘Berghain

Leather and latex clad, neo-gothic, industrial,

survive sixteen hours on a cocktail of adrenaline, gin

style: a mesh playsuit, skin-tight pleather skirt, choker, neo-

choker-wearing, tattooed, often half-naked, whilst

and tonics, Club Mate, and Berliner Luft shots. But if

gothic make-up, dark cat-eye sunglasses, and lace-up boots.

simultaneously unusual looking yet very attractive,

harder drugs are your thing, they are plentiful, easily

And similarly my persona: be quiet, show no emotion, and

Berghain’s crowd is beyond aesthetically intriguing. As I

accessible and often free, undoubtedly adding to

don’t look at that bouncer directly. Catching the U-Bahn to

could not help but feel like an intruder who had slipped

Berghain’s euphoria.

Ostbanhoff alone on a Sunday afternoon, several black-clad

through the techno cracks, I wondered how many of

revellers descended alongside me to what felt like just another

us felt like we truly belonged. Whether these personas

Maybe it is all a myth. As a clubbing novice, you’re

Berlin industrial area until I heard that pulsating techno.

were genuine, or placed upon the crowd by the culture

bound to have an enjoyable time at one of Berlin’s many

and myth that surrounds Berghain. Whether we were

underground clubs with much easier door policies.

As quite the ‘straight-edge’ myself, I was able to just

Berghain’s communist-era façade is as intimidating as its line. I

wearing masks or merely taking them off to reveal our

watched nervously as group after group were rejected. Some were

true selves, it felt freeing.

obvious: a big group of Aussie guys that were too drunk and loud

Maybe Berghain’s urban legend surpasses it. Perhaps the fact that for many of us the random, stringent, door

in particular. But others, like two British men and a German girl

The clubbers I engaged with were as interesting as

ritual, and the reality that our chances of getting in

that ‘fit’ the neo-gothic look to a tee were similarly ushered away.

their exteriors. Welcoming and accepting, upon hearing

are so slim, exacerbates the freeing atmosphere once

it was my ‘first-time’ they were enthusiastic to share

granted entry.

And so it was my turn to be silently judged. I took my

their rite of passage tales. One such regular at the

sunglasses off in the hope that my short-sightedness would

house music mecca Panorama Bar, a black-clad man

Whether its myth evades it or is totally justified, week

add to my nonchalance. A tall, built, dark-haired doorman

from Nice who flies to Berlin monthly to party, seemed

after week in the line-of-judgement people wait for

whose face was not as intimidating as I expected, gestured for

to solidify the club’s essence. He kept coming back to

acceptance into this church of techno. This cultural

me to halt. I waited for the longest two minutes of my life as he

Berghain not to be a part of some mythical ‘scene,’ but

phenomenon harnesses the clubbing scenes gone

spoke to someone on his headpiece. Although he could have

for the freedom and importantly the music.

past, where music, experience, sexuality, and freedom

been discussing his choice of dinner or a funny anecdote, I

are paramount. At Berghain, our contemporary need to

assumed a tattooed, pierced, leather-clad Berliner was judging

An Italian-Berliner personified the industrial aesthetic:

document is trumped by excessive desire to experience

my ‘Berghainness’ from afar. Then, in a gift from the techno

long black shorts, black singlet, and sock suspenders

and maybe that alone is what makes it so brilliant.

gods he didn’t ask me to speak as to reveal my non-German

with trainers. After beckoning me to dance with him and

accent and ushered me in with one swift hand movement!

his girlfriend, he oozed confidence, charm, kindness,

For whatever reason you choose to brave the line: to

and undeniably belonged. His Swedish arts-student

prove an ex-boyfriend wrong, to solidify your coolness,

Although probably the most ecstatic and accomplished I’ve

girlfriend, with a white-chained corset and pigtail buns

mere curiosity, or actually being a genuine techno fan,

ever felt, I attempted to maintain composure through security

presses herself against the sound system to let the

the Berghain experience is worth the unsure wait.

and the infamous stickers placed on your phone cameras ritual.

music pulsate through her. As if becoming instant


Marziya Mohammedali fb: @kikeidotnet tw: @kikei ig: @kikeidotnet

by So p hi a Skea

The lack of LGBT+ representation in modern media is a flag which has been raised many a time, however there is a distinct lack of discussion surrounding the Western lens filtering queer portrayals we do see. When the majority of images we see are whitewashed, it can become easy to buy into the fiction that the LGBT+ community is solely comprised of fair-skinned, middle class humans bound to fall victim to romantic tragedy, or less specifically, that non-straight people do not exist outside of Western countries. The indescribably horrific Orlando massacre ignited heated, and often hate-fuelled, discussion around Islam and homosexuality, pouring gasoline over the Islamophobic bonfire already polluting our recent climate. Much of the world came together in grief, holding vigils and loudly condemning the fact that this level of gross intolerance still exists. Though many LGBT+ Muslims were forced to mourn in silence, hiding from a community seeking to blame an entire religion for one man’s atrocious act.





The Islamic position on the LGBT+ community is not easily

studies or move abroad to avoid this process, some fall into

not homosexual intercourse, few sects of Muslim culture

defined, as the 1.6 million strong faith group, spanning

an ill suited arranged marriage, and some come out.

have been willing to accept this reading – though many

multiple continents, is naturally quite diverse. However, most

Often, the reaction to an individual’s coming out depends

fundamentalist Christians won’t either.

Islamic scholars are of the opinion that homosexuality does

on the family’s social class and education, however

not align with Islamic theology, often referencing the story of

extreme reactions can involve physical attack, ostracism, or

The greater underlying issue is oppression of individual

Lot in the Qur’an, which also features in the Old Testament.

conversion therapy. These actions are frequently said to be

expression and the expected upholding of societal

Moreover, while in several Muslim countries, such as Jordan

made in the name of Islam, as they fit with the oppressive

‘norms’ – which homosexuality is not perceived to be. In

and Turkey, homosexuality is not illegal, most do consider

black cloud that the Islamophobic media presents the

this way, the rights and desires of individual civilians are

it a crime. In some, including Sudan and Saudi Arabia, it is

faith to be. However, we need only to look to present day

suppressed for the perceived interest of the community.

punishable by death.

America, and their Vice President elect, to know that these kind of attitudes transcend religion or culture.

Though the laws are disastrous for those affected,

Considering the harsh social and legal consequences of being oneself, it is easy to see why the rise of activist

authorities seldom seek out LGBT+ folks for persecution.

In Channel 4’s 2016 study of British Muslims, 52%

groups campaigning for rights and, at a more basic

In fact, the arrest statistics are certainly lower than those

respondents agreed that homosexuality should be legal

level, acknowledgement of LGBT+ Muslims has been a

in England in the 1950’s. The Guardian reports that in

in the UK, as oppose to 5% of the general public vote.

slow-moving process. At present, no group or person has

1952 alone there was 670 for sodomy, 3087 for attempted

Naturally, this deeply entrenched negative discourse often

successfully attempted a Pride parade in an Arab country,

sodomy or indecent assault, and 1686 for gross indecency.

leads to high levels of internalized homophobia in LGBT+

though some celebrations have been held in Lebanon and

One reason for the comparatively small number of arrests

Muslims and, manifesting low mental health as well as

Istanbul, despite facing opposition.

is the guise that homosexuality is a Western concept

causing some to doubt their religious identity.

which has not broached the Middle East, a trope which

However, those individuals determined to overturn

further propagates the idea that sexuality is ‘chosen’, and

Rusi Jaspal, Professor of Psychology and Sexual Health

widespread intolerance have found a space of solace in the

who’s fan is flamed by lack of public representation.

at De Montfort University noted that many interviewees

powerful world of social media. Muslims for Progressive

from his own research in the same field had ‘no positive

Values (MPV) is a group of such people, who since their

Still, the problem with even laxly enforced laws against

theological frame of reference given the absence of LGBT

founding in New York in 2007, have committed themselves

homosexuality is that they signify official disapproval,

affirmative voices at an institutional level’, leading them to

to ‘challenging social inequality and human rights’ within

validate anti-gay rhetoric, and provide excuse for

conclude that even endorsing homosexuality was a violation

the Muslim faith, through the teachings of Islam.

vigilantes. In this way, many LGBT+ Muslims are directly

of Islamic faith. One of his interviewees, a gay man, said,

affected by familial and societal attitudes than by inhumane legislation. For most LGBT+ people, coming out is a dizzying

The organisation, with sub groups in Australia, The “It’s [being gay] wrong, really, isn’t it?... I know that doing

Netherlands, and Bangladesh to name a few, align

gay things is evil but I hope I’ll change my ways and take

themselves with ten core principles in their search for an

the right path soon”

accepting world. The acceptance of anyone who identifies

experience whether positive or negative, but for many

as Muslim without questioning the truthfulness of this

Muslims, it is an incredibly difficult decision to make.

However, Prophet Muhummad never outlined a

claim, call for a secular government, encouragement

Though of course there are other communities who

punishment for homosexuality, this is something that

of traditional Islamic morals in conjunction with critical

face similar anti-LGBT verbosity, the pressure to marry

was discussed much later, once again based off of God’s

analysis of scripture and discourse, and the unequivocal

within Islamic culture is immense. For those who are not

punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah. While many have

acceptance of every sect of the Muslim community are

heterosexual, this presents a problem. Some prolong their

realised that this story was discussing sexual assault and

among the light bulbs in their pioneering light of change.


From sharing the stories of out and proud practising

Gender segregation, which is highly popular in

Thailand, but this seemingly liberal country has a darker

Muslims, to linking members globally with Mosques

conservative countries, causes obvious issues for

side. People are often pressured into surgery, be it

occupied by LGBT+ friendly Imams, such as Melbourne’s

transgender, intersex, and non-binary people, as many

transgender people who only want an official gender

Nur Warsame, MPV has penetrated a silenced community

cultures criminalise cross-dressing, and few countries

without going under the knife, or gay men who are

and created a sanctuary for the dissolution of intolerance.

offer a way to register change of sex.

persuaded into becoming women so as not to face

On other screen name dependent networks, such as

Again, this is not derivative of traditional Islamic

pressure is thought to derive from a lack of understanding

Twitter and Tumblr, similar communities have formed by

teachings, as some reports show that the prophet

of the difference between ‘transgender’ and ‘homosexual’

those within the countries most affected by LGBT+ phobic

was familiar with three types of gender beyond the

identities in this and other Islamic countries.

rhetoric who are demanding progression. Fortified by the

widely perceived binary. Eunuchs (castrated males) and

option of anonymity, and the informality of the platforms,

Mukhannathun (feminine men) did not face the same

Yet again it comes down to education, and the ability to

many successes have come to fruition.

gender segregation and could use women’s quarters.

disseminate information in areas with such conservative

The Khuntha, which today would be classed as intersex,

governmental control. We, as a Western culture, often see

An instance of particular note came from Cairo in 2014,

became more complex. The Quran states that god

Middle Eastern conflicts in an ‘other’ light; deeming them

wherein TV presenter Mona Iraqi’s endeavour to expose

“created everything in pairs”, forming the Islamic doctrine

out of sight, out of mind, and viewing attempts at reform

“the secret behind the spreading of Aids in Egypt” faced

that everything is male or female, and thus a sex neutral

to be futile, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

resounding opposition, and later faced legal issues, as

option does not exist. Islamic jurists resolved that the

reported by The Guardian. Another, when authorities

Khuntha had a “hidden sex”, which was determined by

We have a responsibility to support LGBT+ activism within

in Jordan were forced to revoke their decision to ban

where they urinated from.

every culture, to quash Islamophobic flames with blankets

execution for dating other males. This unfortunate

Mashrou’ Leila, a band with an openly gay singer, from performing in Amman.

of unfiltered facts, and to pioneer a world wherein each The importance of this historical ruling is that it shows

individual might just be free to be themselves.

tolerance for sex reassignment only for finding “hidden While these wins are relatively minor when it comes to the

sex”, not for transgender individuals seeking to

Furthermore, on a more direct level, we must demand

reform needed to even begin to reach equality, they have

correct gender dysphoria. A hugely controversial case

and normalise the representation of LGBT+ people in our

created visibility in a way that cannot be denied. They

documented in Brian Whitaker’s Transgender Issues in

media who do not fit in with the current, whitewashed

have provided unapologetic representation. They have

The Middle East involving an Egyptian university student

stereotype. Viewing any societal sect as a monolith

made it that much more difficult for anyone, of any culture,

confirmed this notion, resulting in a fatwa determining

is grossly dismissive, and thus classifying the LGBT+

to deny the existence of LGBT+ Muslims.

that sex reassignment surgery could only occur to reveal a

community as a Western phenomenon is wilful ignorance

“hidden” gender not to change at one’s own “wish”.

in the most socially ingrained form.

most Islamic rhetoric around the LGBT+ community is still

As a result, transgender individuals who want surgery

Just as acceptance of yourself should not be dependent

centred around homosexual men. Relations between two

often go abroad; unsurprisingly though, finding social

on your sexual or gender identity, the validation to do so

women, or asexual relationships are often dismissed due

acceptance and official recognition of gender change is a

should not be dependent on your religion or geography.

to the patriarchal hierarchy that fixates on masculinity.

painstaking process.

The silencing of minorities within minorities is now

Interestingly, despite the diversity of these online forums,

Since homosexuality is perceived as a threat to this, a

untenable, after all, we cannot truly reach equality until our

spotlight is cast upon relations between males. However,

From the surface, Iran has fewer problems with gender

they are certainly not the only identity under fire.

dysphoria than most Arab states and performs more reassignment surgeries than any country other than

whole community is free.



“We, as a Western

culture, often see Middle Eastern conflicts in an ‘other’ light; deeming them out of sight, out of mind, and viewing attempts at reform to be futile




Before 2011, Libya had a fully functioning healthcare system that depended heavily on

While the international community continues to turn a blind eye to the dire situation

foreign medical staff. However, when armed conflicts began in 2011 many foreign workers

in Libya, organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders

left the country, leaving Libya’s healthcare system in chaos. Five years on, the situation

(MSF) have been working in the country since the conflict began. Since 2011, MSF has

in Libya has changed from a revolution to a civil war with the Tobruk government and the

been providing medical care and psychological support to those affected by the conflict;

National Salvation Government fighting for control over the country.

donated antibiotics and painkillers to hospitals; and provided training to medical staff.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 60% of Libyan hospitals have either

Libya is often portrayed as a carnage site of conflict by the Western media. We often see

become inaccessible or closed due to the conflict. Hospitals are overcrowded and their

images of shell-shocked children, heartbroken relatives and destroyed buildings on our

capacities have been severely reduced. The ongoing conflict has had a disastrous effect on

televisions and in our newspapers. While the images offer some representation of the

the healthcare system’s supply chain, leading to a shortage of drugs, surgical and laboratory

events occurring in Libya, certain areas in the country are excluded from the fighting. One

supplies, which in turn limits the standard of healthcare provided to the Libyan people.

of these areas is a city in north-eastern Libya called Al Marj. Life in Al Marj is safe and

Moreover, an estimated 1.9 million people are in urgent need of basic medical assistance.

quiet. There, people go about their daily lives without fear. However, like the hospitals in conflict zones such as Benghazi and Tripoli, Al Marj’s General Hospital which serves a

Furthermore, as a result of Libya’s heavy reliance on “outsourcing to experts”, many

population of over 400,000 people, is in a critical situation due to the very high shortage

Libyan medical staff are under skilled due to being excluded from hands-on patient care.

of nurses and other paramedical staff.



The reason we identif[ied] the maternity unit as the place to work with is that it’s often the women and children who suffer the most when there is conflict

“The hospital basically has an MRI machine which is a

and an obstetrician gynaecologist specialist—to work as a

coming from hospitals […] in Australia and Germany and

very very sophisticated tool for diagnosing illness, but

medical activity manager at the Al Marj General Hospital.

the UK, that’s integrated into what we’re used to.

[doesn’t] have mops for the cleaners,” Andrea Atkinson,

65% of Al Marj’s hospital admissions are for the maternity

You come to work but it’s pretty common to do a training

one of the MSF volunteers working at the hospital

unit and that is where Andrea spends the bulk of her time.

session for an hour, or to have mandatory lectures in

explains. “The infrastructure’s here, the buildings are here,

“The reason we identif[ied] the maternity unit as the place

your week; and that’s how you continue to develop your

the doctors are here [and] often the medications and

to work with is that it’s often the women and children who

professional skills and maintain your practice in line with

supplies are here. It’s just how you use those supplies

suffer the most when there is conflict, because a lot of the

current research and world standards.”

and how you use those people in the most effective way

resources gets redirected to caring for soldiers [and] to the

to actually address the health issues, which is a very

injured, and the places that those resources are taken from

While some might view bringing back foreign medical

challenging topic for us.”

are often maternity and paediatrics.”

staff to Libya as a way to solve its healthcare crisis,

Andrea is a local Perth doctor from Shelley, a small

Medical activity management is a very new role within

are interested in learning and who want to upskill,” she

suburb located within the City of Canning. She grew up

MSF and Andrea’s main role is organising activities with

says. “The short-term solution would be to bring staff from

in Zimbabwe during its upheaval which saw thousands

the hospital staff to address various health issues.

other countries to work here again.”

President Mugabe’s black supporters under his land

“I guess the main issues we’ve identified here are a quality

While Al Marj is safely tucked away from all the fighting in

reform programme through methods of torture and

of care issues, rather than access to care which is a big

areas like Benghazi, in recent months, attacks on health

coercion. After moving to Perth at the age of 15, she

difference from somewhere like South Sudan,” Andrea

facilities in Libya have been taking place and increasing in

went on to study medicine at the University of Western

explains. “You’re in this kind of twilight zone where you

scale and frequency. In February, four people were killed

Australia (UWA) before working at Fremantle Hospital,

need to address basic issues like hygiene and sterility, but

when an air strike hit a hospital in the eastern Libyan town

Albany Hospital and the King Edward Memorial Hospital.

these aspects really may have lost the importance that […]

of Derna. In June, Benghazi’s main hospital and three other

Afterwards, she completed a few postgraduate diplomas

we consider them to have in a hospital full of staff.”

health facilities were targeted by bomb blasts, rockets,

Andrea disagrees. “There are definitely Libyan staff who

of white farmers forced to surrender their farms to

in tropical medicine and hygiene and then undertook an advanced diploma in obstetrics and gynaecology.

grenades and car bombs in the space of five days. While the mission at Al Marj hospital is still in its early stages, Andrea and her other team members are actively

These attacks have done little to faze Andrea and the

She began working with MSF in 2015, where she first

working to reintroduce ideas of hygiene and sterility. The

MSF. “You just can’t wait for a health care system to

served as a field doctor in the Bentu protection of civilians’

hospital still has a functioning sterilisation department

collapse and then go ‘Okay we’ll do what we usually do’,”

camp in South Sudan late last year. There, she assisted

and laundry department, but very little equipment, so MSF

Andrea says.

with looking after people who had been affected by

is working to provide a more constant supply of drugs

Sudan’s malaria epidemic and other diseases such as

and materials to close the gap. Furthermore, Andrea and

“We have to figure out a way to take systems that are

tuberculosis and women who had fallen victim to sexual

her fellow team members are trying to get the doctors

breaking and take hospitals that are starting to struggle

violence outside the camp.

interested in the idea of learning and teaching on the

and help to show them how to keep going with what

job—something they haven’t had access to in a long

they’ve got rather than waiting for them to collapse and

Two months ago, she arrived in Libya as part of a team of

time. “It seems a little bit of a foreign idea to them to do

then just intervene when things are a bit too late.”

six-person team—which consisted of three nurses, a midwife

work and do some training and some teaching. But for us








P hotos by Ma t t hew Ja m es

Photo: Hoi An | By Matthew James




Hanoi: The heart, the flame, the capital. A seamless blend of the old with the new; tradition dipped in fireworks, slogan tees and blue hair dye. New museums housing old history. New uniforms smoked in old fire. New life paying their respects to old ones. Amidst the commotion lay open spaces where incense wisps from temple to temple, temple to garden. The green breaks open and a breath of fresh air fills your lungs. Beneath the surface, there is always more: hands reaching up to catch light.


Ho Chi Minh City: A city of lights that guides you through the darkest of hours. Formerly known as Saigon. Formerly occupied by war. Wild and roaring, the concrete jungle finds itself in the heart of South Vietnam, where power lines drizzle the night sky and buildings tell a history in French. The bustle here pushes the calm into temples. And just out of town, the quiet lives in harmony with hope. With the lapping of water against homes with wooden legs. Above land, dogs run around panting, motorbikes sit in congestion, people cut through coconuts. Below land, tunnels run deep with what came before and what will not go forgotten.




Hoi An: The sky fades into the softest of colours before turning into night. When the day sleeps, the market stalls awake; lanterns line the path & light floats on water. The warm glow flows into the next day. And the next. And the next. 20km North of the city sits Kim, Thuy, Moc, Hoa & Tho. The five elements translated into a cluster of five hills they call Marble Mountain. In them, sunlight flies through the cracks. And you bring this warmth home with you.Â











[Tash Sultana] [CLIENT


[Fat Freddy’s Drop]

[No Zu]






When we covered our first big stage acts [Tame Impala, Florence and the Machine, and a shoutout from the Rudimentals] in less than a year of existence, we knew the only

[Action Bronson]

[Sarah Blasko]





[King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard] SHANNAN STEWART


[Art of Sleeping]

[Courtney Barnett]

[Abbe May]

way was zenith with our talented photographers




Whether it’s Action Bronson raising the roof with sweat and tears at the Villa to Tash Sultana’s exuberant aura of purely reverb soul melodies at Jack Rabbit Slim’s, our photographs exude with memorable nostalgia.





















T h e D ow n s i d e o f Fa m e W he n Mu s i c Ent hu s i a st s p e r p et u a te Ce l e b r i t y M e nta l H e a t h




by Calo gero Al ger i

albums in Man on The Moon: The End of Day and MOTM

often impossible to know exactly what people stand for on

II: The Legend of Mr Rager, Cudi’s experimentation with

the internet anymore.

psychedelic and punk rock sounds left a large proportion of his fanbase turning on him. Until recently, Cudi has

Jay-Z is one artist who has seemingly avoided falling

I don’t think I can remember a week without Kanye West

often been bashed for his musical pursuits, however what

victim to the often fickle nature of fans, discussing the

making headlines. For some reason or another, the guy

fans should remember in situations like these is that the

phenomenon in detail in the song “Most Kingz” and

is constantly doing something controversial or ground-

ambition and confidence to dabble in new sonic concepts

his 2010 book titled Decoded. The song details the

breaking, musically or otherwise. Yet his recent meltdown

is what leads to the breakthroughs in musical trends and

tribulations that fame brings with it, a view reflected by the

which led to his week-long hospitalisation brought with

evolution. After all, Cudi can be attributed with propagating

Basquiat-inspired central line of the song, “most kings get

it an epiphany on the behavioural trends of music fans

the introspective content that is littered throughout

their head cut off”. Hov outlines the capriciousness of his

worldwide. Nowadays any musician that seemingly stirs

mainstream hip-hop today.

fans within a single line of the song, rapping, “Build me up, break me down to build me up again. They like ‘Hov we

the proverbial pot, a characteristic integral to any art form, endures a constant cycle of success, backlash, retribution

From these two examples alone, the thought quickly

need you back so we can kill your ass again”’. Perhaps it’s

and further scrutiny. Why do we bash artists to the point

comes to light that maybe the mental health of artists

this ability to observe the pitfalls of fame from an external

where they hit a climactic peripetea of mental instability

shouldn’t be put to question and maybe our mindset and

perspective while living within its confines that is the key

and their fame implodes?

attitude towards these artists should.

to longevity in the game.

Kanye’s breakdown, while not solely attributed to

So what is the reason we bash artists in the first place?

The brashly honest Vince Staples presents another

public pressure, was only worsened by the immediate

Arguably, this can be denoted to two main reasons: 1) We

example of an artist’s endeavour to navigate the winding

backlash that he received following his onstage rant

don’t enjoy their musical style and/or disagree with the

path of fame. On his most recent EP, Prima Donna, and

and tour cancellation. Did those Sacramento fans who

sentiments portrayed in their music, or 2) We do agree

accompanying short film of the same name, Staples

were screaming “Fuck you Kanye” ignore the fact that

with the sentiment within their music but don’t wish to

illustrates his bouts with paranoia and depression that

only minutes before he had given them one of the most

publically align with these sentiments. The latter of these

fame has birthed. Coming from someone who appears

emotional and long-awaited reunions between himself

has become increasingly common, especially within rap

on the surface level to be so impervious to the views of

and Kid Cudi onstage? It all seems like a bit of hypocrisy

circles in the last decade or so as the content has become

others (just watch any of his interviews), these admissions

on the fans’ end – only 3 years prior you could argue that

increasingly “soft”. Thanks Drake.

regarding the double-sided sword that is fame should be viewed with heightened severity.

if you weren’t privy to a drawn out speech at a Kanye West concert over stretched chords of “Runaway” then did you

Whilst music is a universal experience that brings collective

even really go? We can’t knock Kanye for being outlandish

thoughts together artistically, it is also deeply personal,

This brings us full circle to the recent events involving the

when this same outlook is what gifts us with trailblazing

having the ability to emotionally resonate with a listener

larger than life figure that is Kanye West; the fact that fans,

content which we gobble up faster than you can say

and reflect their beliefs and social stances. In this way, a lot

the media, society – whatever you wish to call it – have

“George Bush doesn’t care about black people”.

about a person can be determined by the music they listen

caused the most chest-puffing artist of our generation to

to. After all, this is one of the most intrinsic reasons for there

reach a point of critical mass, should act as a stark reminder

Yet of course the dragging of celebrities behind the social

being different genres of music in the first place. Perhaps

that these are just people after all. Rather than approach

chariot is nothing new and Kanye is not an isolated case by

many of us are less inclined to fully express our love for an

musicians with intense critique and judgement, maybe

any means. Kid Cudi’s career for one has fell victim to the

artist in fear that it will display more about ourselves than

acknowledging the inherent imperfect aspect of their

same phenomenon. While questions about Cudi’s mental

we wish to portray to the wider community. And perhaps it’s

human nature and truly appreciating their triumphs will

state can be dated back to a very early point of his career,

easier to bash an artist publically or online as a shielding

reduce the pressure and paranoia they endure, and enable

it is evident that a degree of his mental deterioration can

mechanism to mask aspects of yourself that are reflected

them to freely express themselves to deliver their most

be linked to the constant backlash he has received over his

in their music - like an ostrich sticking its head into the

authentic, unfiltered content. We will all be better for it.

acutely fluctuating career. After dropping two successful

emotionally dry sands of the internet. In a world of trolls, it’s


Jo u r n ey i nto C ha ra c te r T he o ry WITH NELSON MONDLANE OF POW! NEGRO




by Zaer ën Momand

According to Triple J Unearthed, your aggressive vocal

good intentions and can be more so infectious. There has

style “falls somewhere between the energetic bounces of

been some aggressive stuff that I’ve seen and heard that I

Zack de la Rocha and the funk come street verses of Mos

wouldn’t exactly align with.

Def”, would you consider them an influence? Would you extend yourself politically as they do and would you align

What do you find aggressive?

POW Negro to a movement? To begin with, I do listen to both of those artists, they’re

Like Death Grips. MC Ride says stuff I wouldn’t do or

not my go-to artists or top of my list. But definitely Mos

agree with. See, he has such passion behind what he’s

Nelson Mondlane, the lead MC of the energy enthralled power

Def in the way he can tell a story in good rhyme schemes

saying that you could end up thinking in the same vein

group POW! Negro discusses with Avenoir the importance of

and flow. Zack de la Rocha’s energy is something that

or experience the same way as him. It’s cathartic and

stage presence and the energy that exudes the inner psyche.

I respect a lot and when people say that we rage in

powerful because it’s raw, and sometimes you don’t want

that sense I find that very complementary. It’s good to

to hear it but you need to because it’s something that we

Having supported Sampa the Great, Remi, and taking on

have energy on stage. In terms of being political, like

need to really acknowledge.

Southbound, how has the journey of POW Negro came about?

I’m educated reasonably, I think it’s more in terms of

So initially I was asked to do a solo rap set at Mojos for

politicism, its something that I think if that’s the way the

Hustle Hustle. We used to play in this band called Casual

music comes out then that’s what it will be but we aren’t

Sets, which is how Koi Child started. And one of my good

aiming to really politicize. But there are things to say

I would say that people need to express themselves

friends from high school Rhys was like ‘man you should get

about that which becomes politically charged.

more. And I want to take them on a journey. There’s

a band together’. We had a week to make a set, and if we

What would you want to be acknowledged?

some things that are said that resonates and people

fucked it up I don’t think I would be asked to play again. So

It’s more about bringing people together, but the way I see

don’t feel as alone. Our latest single release is a song I

we got some friends together, made a set in a week, played

it I aim to bring people together in one place. It doesn’t

wrote in the perspective of anxiety, like it were a person

our first gig and we just got asked from there. It’s been more

often feel that lots of people get to be in a place where

or creature. It is kind of like a voice in my head that is

than a year now so it’s been pretty crazy for everything to

they experience something together that is meaningful.

always there and sometimes you could hold it back and

happen so quickly

Parties are great, but everyone is kind of scattered and

shove it in a box for a good while, but every now and then

doing their own thing. If the right people play at music

it sneaks its way out and fucks with you. For me, just to

Considering the name of your band, is it a way to display a

events understand they have the power then there’s so

write about that is cathartic for myself to begin with. For

sense of pride and power? Would you call it Afropunk?

much we could do to change things. Music is making

me to acknowledge that in myself I could start to think

Yeah, definitely. The way we see it is that POW Negro is a

people aware and as well to pose questions. It doesn’t

about shutting those things away, and to a degree those

character. I’m a mixed race kid. So my dad is Mozambique

have to be mind-changing but it’s good to have everyone

things serve a purpose. And not that you should give

and my mum is Caucasian Australian. Living around my

in one place and to experience a catharsis where people

into those things, but to show people a way through it.

dad’s family and friends there’s all this music and culture

can acknowledge what’s happening around us.

Though not acknowledging the anxiety or depression

that we have. It’s either we’re taking from Africa or we

can be detrimental, you’d have to think why they [anxiety,

kind of have to make our own, and a lot of the music and

One of Fela Kuti’s famous quotes refers to using music

depression] are there. If you manage to get around them,

influence that is prevalent in Perth and Australian society,

as a weapon. What is your way of using music to combat

then you feel better.

you know American music or English music, doesn’t quite

or bring awareness to?

have the same connection. It doesn’t speak to me about

By bringing energy. As performers, we have to make the

Is location the most important when it comes to POW

troubles that I’ve been through, and if it does I feel like it’s

message that what we are presenting is as accessible,

Negro’s sound?

not enough to be talked about for a mainstream audience,

like pop music. You hear pop songs that are pretty

A lot of the issues that are happening in, for example

or people like myself to hear. And by expressing my

powerful in the way they get stuck in your head over

America, wouldn’t be happening here. Like I’m in a

experiences I hope people can vibe or find solace and power

and over again till eventually you’re to realize what the

particular place at a particular time. If I’m making art I

and to be acknowledged in having similarities in a story. It is

person is saying. Like you saying something really deep

might as well make it about the place and time I’m in,

the experience that POW Negro goes through.

but is easy to digest. So by the time you’re singing the

or otherwise it’s not relevant. I want to enrich people’s

tune you’re almost conned into the message, almost as

lives as much as I can and music seems to work in

The music is the world POW Negro inhabits. I feel POW

though you’re happy to be conned into it, because it’s so

making people come together and enjoy themselves. If

Negro is the personification of the spoken word of that

good. I feel music is a powerful weapon. Energy carries

they’re learning then they’re learning in an enjoyable and

journey in the story.


positive way.

temptations but still be able to pull back.

We’ve been really lucky in the sense that there’s been a pretty

What you’re saying reminds me of Cypress Hill’s Rock Superstar

So you also do theatre, do you feel theatre has strengthened your stage performance as a musician?

strong hip hop scene before us. Like Koi Child set the stage

My dad was a performer and my mum was close friends with actors so it was already an influence for me to get

and Downsyde haven’t been active for quite a while, but Koi

Yeah basically [laughs]. But in the song the first half is about money

into theatre. To be able to be different characters, bringing

Child would be the next gen and we came up soon after them.

being this seductive woman trying to get you into bed with the

stories and inhabiting other people’s psyches I found

promise that it will give you all these things that you think you need

it to be cathartic for me. I would definitely not do what I

With venues in Perth - J Shed was great, Jack Rabbits was

and realize that you’re trying to keep a level-head, but you’re already

do on stage if I haven’t done acting. It has given me so

pretty cool, Mojo’s is always really great but just a bit small.

being pulled under and resurfacing with the mentality of ‘fuck it I’m

much technique, in terms of vocals, like warming up.

Rosemount would be one of my favourite places.

just going to do it all and go real hard and I’m gonna get all the girls

There’s such a massive variety of theorists in music and

and all the drugs and I’m just gonna fuck it cuz everyone is doing

in theatre, and I have tried out lots of different practices

In reference to the days of Nirvana, if it wasn’t for the audience

it and its gonna be great’, and you can’t blame people for doing it

from lots of movement theorists, character theorists to

Nirvana wouldn’t have gotten where they were; like they

because it’s so alluring and the people who make that music it’s

see how it’d influence my performance. So while rapping,

say it takes two to tango - so how have the venues in Perth

intoxicating, but at the same time it’s not us - it’s not real.

whatever you’re saying it has to be spoken with vigor, it

reciprocated your energy in the jazz/hip-hop fusion genre?

has to draw the people in. Just like in theatre.

We’ve been really lucky, but there have been a few places

As a lyrical MC in the jazz/hip-hop fusion genre has it ever came to

where they haven’t reciprocated - usually when the crowds

a point where it has become limiting for you? Or is it a genre that

It has helped me to empathize with people and

are a bit older. When we went to Dunsburough one time and

would push you [Pow! Negro] forward?

characters and to better understand their motivation and

a lady came up and asked us to stop playing. It was a festival

We were lucky in the sense that all the people in the band share

the reason why they do things. And that can be quite

that we got asked to perform and we were the last band

core tastes, or have very different styles and approaches in doing

confronting. Especially if you go too deep and don’t have

playing in this little mini festival. It was hilarious because she

things and it ranges across a lot of genres. Any one person can bring

a way of coming out.

was like ‘I’m trying to eat my food and you’re making all this

a song to the table and it would have their main input - whether it’d

noise” [laughs] well she came to a festival and it was like

be heavy rock or jazz or electronic or funk or psychedelia or hip hop.

she couldn’t have chose a better time to say that because

Though I would definitely say jazz and hip-hop would be a strong

we only had one song left to play and the chorus was ‘Young

element that we make, but I definitely don’t think it’ll define it. I

Yeah like MF Doom is a classic example. When you’re

Motherfuckers’.... and it was about generational divide of

mean, we’re not exactly properly trained jazz musicians so I don’t

on stage someone questions: how much of you is on

people and how every generation thinks the next generation

know if it’ll define our sound in the years to come. The thing about

stage, or how much is of the character? Mostly it’s the

are just fucking it up, got no brains and have no respect

jazz it can be so free-falling and unpredictable.

character but there’s always moments where I’m there

for anything and just destroying all the things and all the

So theatre and music is like another portal to the psyche

for a minute but then there’s a character again. You can

foundations that they laid. So that was the next song and she

Will you still be keeping the hip hop element?

bear your soul but that’s incredibly raw. Heath Ledger

literally was the personification of what we sung about, and

As a vocalist I feel it’s a very powerful way to express stories. To

bared his soul for the Joker. But he died. Everyone

the audience just lost their shit when we started playing and

be honest, compared to the Western World, Perth doesn’t have a

agrees that was the best performance, but was it worth

were on the floor laughing and people just jumped up and

huge hip-hop scene anymore. It’s scary sometimes with the scene

it for him to die? What does it tell us? It’s not like I’m

started dancing hell hard. And I felt so, so sorry for the lady.

because they might be like ‘aw man he isn’t putting in as much work’

going to do anything to that degree [laughs] but for the

But I think I craftily put her in her place.

like all the other places like America with all the movements where

musicians to be themselves 100% it’s a really raw thing.

they live and breath hip-hop and where it is originally from. They go

You have to have some sort of armor for your own sanity

Also, another one of our songs called Money for Portraits I’d

hard, like so hard. I feel like if we went to America they’d be like ‘what

to come back as the person you are, but you’re doing

like to mention is more about being a young band in the music

the fuck is this, you guys think you’re rappers? Get the fuck out of

stuff for other people always. Maybe that’s the point! To

industry and how the industry is revved up to be this big cash

here you don’t know how to rap’ [laughs].

make them see that people can get to that extent.

been a lot of people saying that we’re doing a good job but that

For us it’s not a competition, all we want to be is proud of what

This year was a pretty hectic year for everyone, both

we need to be careful not to fuck around in the industry, and

we’ve made and be happy that we could make music that we like,

culturally and politically, what event would you say had

how there’s a lot of sharks in record labels and so forth. The

that’s our main aim.

affected you the most?

cow. The early months of our formation as a band there have

song is all about being aware that you are being lured by such

The Roe 8 highway that was happening in the Beeliar


AVENOIR Wetlands in the South of Fremantle. It’s been going on for a year that they’ve been planning to do it. They’re basically bulldozing through these wetlands to create a big highway for the trucks to go through to the Fremantle port. The roads that they are making is going through the wetlands inhabiting unique wildlife and Indigenous heritage Similar to Standing Rock Yeah pretty much. There’s all these other routes that won’t affect these areas. However, they’re refusing because they’re seeing it as a quicker route and those involved don’t give a fuck about what they’re ploughing through because of money. In the end of the day, the Fremantle port has a max ten more years left in it before either side of Fremantle becomes bigger. The cargo that the roads are being built for won’t even be going along it anymore because it will be going to Kwinana. To have this massive road destroy the whole lot for no reason is just pointless. In the long run, if they got rid of the port in Fremantle and redevelop it into a shopping centre or housing it will be a liveable place that is going to make more money. It’s monopolizing the shipping industry that is run by certain people who will be making a lot of money. There has been a lot of public outcry, especially those who live in the area - though the protests aren’t as violent. We would align ourselves with environmentalism, PLANET MAN [laughs]. I think the music that we have made has been selffocused, instead of covering issues such as that. I always find a fine line between being preachy and self-righteous. Reflecting back to characters in musical performance, in reference to Kendrick Lamar, when he makes a party song he also tries to reveal a deeper message - what is your view on the way he performs and the message he’s trying to persuade? Kendrick Lamar is in my mind the shining star of performing, but he does it in a way that is more studio-oriented. His characters are the characters that sit in your ears. Swimming Pools is one of those Heath Ledger examples. It’s amazing because he’s making the most turn’t party song but he is critiquing what it is to be in that situation - getting drunk and having that voice in your head ‘alright listen to me man, imma take you to victory, we’re gonna get fucked up man, you’re gonna take that shot because that’s what you do’. I know what that’s like, and so many people know what that’s like.

It has helped me to

empathize with people and characters and to better understand their motivation and the reason why they do things. And that can be quite confronting. Especially if you go too deep and don’t have a way of coming out


B A N D F E AT U R E PINEGROVE by Sa m Stopf ort h

I first came across Pinegrove when a friend shared an unassuming video on Facebook of two members playing a live version of their song “New Friends (Schuylkill Sessions).” I thought it was all right, the vocalist’s guitar playing, appearance, voice and general vibe intrigued me but not enough for me to further pursue them in any way. The second time I stumbled upon them was by complete chance (about two weeks later) when a recommended video popped up in my side bar on YouTube. This was their live set they performed for Audio Tree live lasting just over 40 minutes and including 3 tunes from their debut album Cardinal (Cadmium [my fav] , Size Of The Moon & Aphasia), as well as 5 other previously released bangers. This live performance was published on the 27th of May, about a month before they released Cardinal on the 12th of June literally the day before I found their Audio Tree Live video… It felt like the universe was throwing me a bone. This video blew me away and to this day is my favourite live musical performance I have found on the Internet; not just this year but in a long long time… the conviction, skill and musical tenacity of every member is amazing to witness. Usually they are a six piece but you would never have picked it judging from the infectious wall of sound these musicians produced. Although the original studio

versions are still great, I found that with the added live performance energy these songs just kick into another gear and almost take on another buzzing rhythm entirely - that is both clever and a breath of fresh air. The added bonus of not just listening but watching these musicians perform is also an absolute joy. They are extremely tight, have an Indie/Emo/Rock sound with a hint of Americana that is all their own, and they’re mid set banter ain’t half bad either. Evan Stephens Hall’s voice and melody choices are captivating and rich with emotion while also retaining a poignant introspective lyricism that will leave you singing and thinking long after the record finishes. I would say he almost has a conversational quality to his writing – and given his abundantly eclectic vocabulary this is very impressive. The other principal songwriter (in an ever-changing line up) is Zac Levine who is masterful on the drums, able to change a songs direction within a fraction of a second and always keeping the listener on their toes. You can also find on their Band Camp a compilation album named Everything So Far which contains all of their released music that they have put out to date, including a couple

of earlier recorded versions of tunes found on both Cardinal and the Audio Tree Live performance. You can download this for free at your hearts desire. All of these releases by the band have garnered a ridiculous amount of supporters on Band Camp. Each of these supporters leaving long heart felt reviews that read as very genuine, they all seem to be just as into this band as I am. Two standouts on the Cardinal record that you cannot find anywhere else are Old Friends (absolute banger) and Visiting, but Waveform is also lovely. Pinegrove are from Mont Clair, New Jersey – a small town located about a 40-minute drive from New York City. The band began making music together in 2010 but only now are really starting to garner the attention they deserve, they were signed to Run For Cover records in 2015, they have toured the US, Canada and the UK a number of times and their following is only growing stronger by the day. Look out as they begin to take over the world in the coming years, let’s just hope they make it out to Australia soon.



MUSIC VIDEO SELECTION words by Brandon Chiseko

SOLANGE KNOWLES D o n ’ t To u c h M y H a i r

A N D E R S O N PA A K Malibu

CLIENT LIAISON Diplomatic Immunity

The sole non-Australian artist on this list is also, in my fair and humble opinion, the master behind 2016’s best music album. Paak’s frighteningly groovy California neo-soul is one for the ages. Alternately smooth and furious, boppin’ and heartfelt, euphoric and devastating, his intensely infectious dance beats, lyrical wealth and diverse instrumental range emphatically created a hiphop/R&B masterpiece that rivals Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” as the decade’s best of the genre.

Melbourne duo Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller teased their genius to us with a slight but brilliant EP released back in 2014, but I don’t think anyone could have expected the visionary 80s-themed indie-electronic hybrid their first full-length album ended up being. Effervescently upbeat, delightfully camp and groovy as all hell, Liaison’s debut was the purest dance-floor filler released this entire year.

TOP TRACKS: Am I Wrong, Come Down, The Bird

TOP TRACKS: Wild Life, Home, World of Our Love

The videography on “Don’t Touch My Hair” perfectly glued together the strong themes of empowered identity that drove the album. By using tastefully selected locations, blissful scenes of men and women dancing in earth tone robes and using only black performers to empower women of colour, encouraged respect for their natural qualities.




Nonagon Infinity

Utopia Defeated

Easily the most prolific band in Australia, newly coronated kings of psychedelia Gizzard have knocked it out of the park yet again with their eighth full-length album in half as many years. Wildly energetic performances bolstered by hilariously quirky lyrics and a keen eye for experimentation, “Infinity” and its promotional tours exhibited some of the purest, most explosive musical experiences of the entire year.

Utterly self-created, produced and sustained, oneman show Oliver Hugh Perry’s undeniably unique musical vision is nothing short of hypnotic. Beautiful melodies and soulful vocals fuse together with surreal sounds and highly textured arrangements to create an incredibly inventive sound that has deservedly earned him plaudits and fans galore. A contemporary Australian treasure, and quite possibly a legend in the making.

TOP TRACKS: Robot Stop, Gamma Knife, Evil Death Roll

TOP TRACKS: Walrus, Satan, Oyster by Pa trick McCart hy

Following his mysterious disappearance after the release of Grammy Award winning project Channel Orange, his enigmatic behaviour turned him into a cultural icon through the power of social media driving ‘Nikes’ video to major success. The video projects powerful messages about the music industry to Ocean’s life in the years after Channel Orange. He makes clever references to the social and cultural shifts during his brief hiatus - a montage of imagery displaying diversity coercing with sexuality.












GHOST the Musical @ Crown | Allison Read



T H E R I S E O F T H E AT R E A DA P TAT I O N S : I S T H E AT R E L O S I N G I T S O R I G I N A L I T Y ? by Mika ela Zari f is

Originality is a fickle thing. Its been said for many years

however, they have also included the twist of infusing the

local and small-scale theatre like this, which strives for

now that anything original has already been written and

show with more African culture, and they had to figure out

originality, doesn’t always get the credit and attention it

everything else has its roots drawn from somebody else’s

how to transform their actors into lions. The final result

should. And it’s a once in a lifetime experience, because


was mesmerising. Does that not in turn make this an

usually after its initial run, it doesn’t get another.

original take on the story? So, what counts as original? Is originality just coming up

So, what does this mean for the originality of theatre? Well

with something unheard of? Alternatively, can it be seen

But then you have shows like Wicked, Cats, and Matilda,

some have implied that theatre writing that is heavily reliant

as taking something that already exists, and redoing it

which are somewhat more “original” as they are based

on adaptations can be stifling for the writer and inhibits

with a twist that completely changes it and sets it apart

from books. So when the writer, director and composer got

them from being able to write their own original works.

from the original? For example, when recreating a classic

together they had to completely rework this story from a

Whilst others believe that when adapting a novel to the

using an existing script, there’s still originality in aspects

different medium so that it would suit the stage, creating

stage, the playwright can learn essential skills that they can

such as set design, costuming and even just the actor’s

songs that didn’t exist before they wrote them. Which is

then transfer to their own work. I would like to believe in

takes on the character. Is that enough to be original?

astounding, as they also had to figure out at what points a

the latter, especially because adapting a novel to the stage

song would fit, and create whole dance numbers.

does take quite a bit of ingenuity and originality.

turned into musicals, though this particular trend has

Even Shakespeare himself wasn’t as original as we might

As for the future of theatre, well I think that this rising

been around for a long time, with musicals like The Sound

think. Its been discovered that only two of his thirty six plays

trend of adapted theatre means that we are getting to

of Music, Singin’ in the Rain, and Hairspray transforming

were his own completely original works, those two were The

see beloved stories in a whole new light. And if theatre

from classic stage hits to being released on screen. Now

Tempest and Love’s Labour’s Lost. The rest are recognised

companies want to create things that have characters the

I personally don’t find these shows as “original” as others

as being adapted wholly or partly from other sources

audiences recognise and identify with so that they can

because they are simply transferring a popular story from

including history, and other playwrights who were his peers.

bring people to the show, is that an inherently bad thing?

In recent years, we have seen a rising trend of films being

one medium to another. However, that act in itself does

Some people are almost afraid of the theatre; it can make

require quite a bit of ingenuity. They have to figure out

Then there is local theatre; where so many are striving

them uncomfortable being ‘seen’ by those on the stage,

how to transfer something people are familiar with to the

to come up with original stage musicals, by drawing

especially if there is a hint of audience participation. By

stage, which in itself can be seen as changing the show

from their lives, their imagination, their desires. I’ve seen

reusing characters that are beloved and well-known but

from the original.

superhero musicals; I’ve seen a one man show where he

giving the story a little twist, it means that people can

details the stories of his depression, using a puppet to

feel more at ease, they feel like they know what they can

Take The Lion King for example, a lot of the songs in the

portray his inner voice. I’ve seen a spectacular musical

expect. And besides, if the Bard himself felt the need to

musical are the ones we all grew up singing from the

Werewolf Priest, about you guessed it a priest who is

borrow ideas from others, then maybe there really are no

original Disney film, though they also included some

turned into a werewolf, but the musical was amazing, from

original stories left.

that Disney considered too dark for a children’s film.

the songs, to the almost B-Grade horror special effects

So technically it fits in with the aforementioned shows,

and makeup. It was truly incredible. But the sad thing is,


Singin’ in the Rain | Lindsey Kearney



C U R TA I N C A L L 2 0 1 7 U P C O M I N G T H E AT R E & P E R F O R M I N G A R T S A U S T R A L I A N T O U R S by Ro m a Christ ian In the realm of theatre and performing arts, see what notable productions we anticipate enjoying next year, as they make their nation-wide rounds. After what feels like a deeply rich and diverse year in the realm of theatre and performing arts, we can’t help but imagine what lies ahead for 2017. Here’s a snippet of what’s planned, as we reveal what we’re most looking forward to. JANUARY Singin in the Rain (ft. Rohan Brown, Grant Almirall, Gretel Scarlett, Jack Chambers and Erika Heynatz) The world renowned movie makes for an equally impressive stage play. With litres of live action water spilt on the stage floor, front section audiences are likely to ‘feel the rain’ also. [Concluding January 1st - 22nd] Velvet (ft. Marcia Hines) A cabaret and circus disco show featuring Marcia Hines, touring as part of Australian Fringe Festival shows. A previous sell-out success, inclusive of Edinburgh Fringe, Brisbane Festival & Sydney Opera House. [Commencing January 20th] Barbu The world-renowned Canadian ‘circus’ production, amplified with cheek and raucous entertainment. Titled ‘THE rave party of Summer’. Produced by one of ‘the world’s greatest circus companies’ [Cirque Alfonse], the Sydney Opera House stated it provided ‘a belly-full of cheeky humour, with brazen eccentricty’, all whilst ‘supported by an electro-trad soundtrack, and a skilful yet frenetic live band’. [Commencing January 20th] Room on the Broom A delight for families and younger children (or those older Gen Y’s feeling a touch nostalgic) this production is based on the Julia Donaldson book of the same name. Brought to life by the same production company behind ‘Snugglepot & Cuddlepie’. [Commencing January 27th]

FEBRUARY Ludovico Einaudi The globally loved, and acclaimed Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi will return to Australian shores with the release of his highly anticipated album ‘Elements’. The chart topper that he is, often leaves one feeling emotions they didn’t know they were capable of. Featuring tracks intertwining piano, string and percussion, in beautiful buildings throughout Australia. [Commencing February 13th] MARCH Jurassic Creatures Ready to step back into time with an adventure through the prehistoric ice age? Get up close and personal, as you brush up against mammoths, sabertooth tigers and the tyrannosaurus rex. An interactive event that will entertain parents, children, and older ‘young at hearts’. Be a paleontologist for a day as you encover fossils, or enjoy a stage show of ‘mammoth’ proportions? The list goes on of what you could get up to. [Commencing March 31st] TOSCA With it’s own local cast in each state, Opera Australia graces the nation with ‘Tosca’, a production that focuses on themes of love, revenge, violence and betrayal. The production hails its central message of ‘the banality of everyday evil’. Including a man hunt, an interrogation, and a safe passage where he realises “she’s his”, “his upper lip readies himself for Tosca’s kiss... doesn’t see the knife glinting behind her back” - [Opera Australia]. [Commences March 28th] MAY The Play that Goes Wrong (ft. Brooke Satchwell, Darcy Brown, Francine Caine, Adam Dunn & James Marlowe) Let’s type some awards here, detailing the level of acclaim this production has received. Winner of ‘Best New Comedy London’s Olivier Awards 2015’, ‘Broadway World UK Award 2015’, ‘ Award Winner 2014’, and playing on Broadway next year... the list goes on. The recipient

of five star reviews, and playing to packed audiences at London’s West End. The play surrounds an upcoming theatre group [‘The Polytechnic Drama Society’] as they attempt to put on a 1920’s murder mystery, however as the title suggests, what can go wrong does. “Guaranteed to leave you aching with laughter” - [The Daily Mail]. [Commences May 31st] JULY Merry Widow Endorsed by Opera Australia, each state will host its own cast. Set in the surrounds of Art Deco France, the production is a ‘light-hearted look at love, surrounded by champagne and glitter’. The production brings to life ballrooms filled with ladies in silk fishtail gowns, and dapped men in suits and patent leather shoes. It features a widow and heiress to a city’s fortune, as they seek marry her off to a local suitor, not recognising the history and mystery before them. [Commencing July 15th] AUGUST 1984 We’ve all read the book in English class, and we’re familiar with the literary legacy left by George Orwell. It’s almost a must-see in that alone, as the world famous book comes to life in the stage play. A critically acclaimed production hosted by Headlong [labelled ‘British theatre innovators’], Almeida Theatre & Nottingham Playhouse, it has enjoyed three hugely successful seasons in the West End with extensive UK & USA touring also. The show will come to Australia featuring a brand new Australian cast. We hope we’ve caused your theatrical taste buds to salivate in anticipation of enjoying these carefully curated shows. It’s only a shame we’ll have to wait till next year. Perhaps that makes it sweeter. (Dates are West Australia based)









AVENOIR STYLIST’S head scarf and earrings GRIM RAG Vintage Burberry Shirt



GALA APPAREL shorts, $30 LA APPAREL white crop, $40 ist’s striped crop and shoes

GALA APPAREL American crop, $40 GOOD SAMMY’S trousers $6

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TOPSHOP Pettit crinkle twist dress ALEXJUSTSPAT: ‘Never’ mint Choker



AVENOIR ISSUE #2 GOOD SAMMY’S boyfriend jeans $6


f ro m Af g ha n i sta n to t he N et he r l a n d s AN INTERVIEW WITH NAWED ELIAS of ZAZAI DESIGN by Za erë n Mo m an d Before the 1979 Russian invasion and rise of the Taliban, Afghanistan was heralded as “The Grave of Empires”; with the likes of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan to the British colonialists who failed to conquer its mountainous terrains and strong-willed inhabitants. By the time the 60’s arrived Afghanistan was at its pinnacle era of modernity and democratic reform - with Afghan women attending university and wearing miniskirts without apprehension, to tourists and hippies from around the world visiting the beautiful city gardens of Kabul. In 1989, Afghanistan became subjected to Western corruption, including the lucrative trade of poppy fields spread within the Gostan Valley of Nimruz Province; where 90% of Earth’s heroin originates. The media has since shattered Afghanistan’s image and created fear in the world towards a nation known for its transcendent poetry (Rumi) and unshakable valour. Nawed Elias, who left Afghanistan at the age of 14, discusses the blending of both European and Pashtun culture in his label Zazai Design and his hope for Afghanistan’s future You recently went on your trip to Afghanistan, was there particular experience(s) you felt to be eyeopening for you? It was great to be back in my beautiful city Kabul. But it also didn’t feel like I belonged either. Because life in Kabul was totally different than I expected. I was often there to cry on how poor women and children were walking on the streets. PHO TO OF NAWED ELIAS CULT U RE CLASH COLLECTIO N PHO TOGRAPHED BY BARBARA GERMES

There is a lot of money coming into Afghanistan. The world has helped the country but still so many orphans on the street looking for food while everyone does what they want. And besides, Afghanistan is an Islamic country. Faith speaks of love and helping each other. But I have not seen in this country a faithful believer whom really speaks the truth. I have

seen few faithful people share their food with a child who is dying at their feet from hunger and cold. I’ve seen little respect for humanity towards women and children. A woman was harassed multiple times on the street, do you call that Islamic? A country or a city is not valued by its beautiful houses and cars. A city or country is only beautiful if everyone is given a chance at life and a future with children going to school and being educated. Sure, it was great to experience all this. I as a person do my best to give a contribution to humanity and to the poor children who yearn for a better future. I hope that every Afghan makes a contribution to these children. It doesn’t need to be much. You could help by giving one euro or dollar to them, and how much will that be per year? So let’s be human. We are not better than the orphans. In researching fashion history in Afghanistan, all I could find was Vogue’s coverage of Safia Tarzi. Do you feel the arts in Afghanistan lacks representation, and for what reason? Afghanistan has been years at war. People were not concerned with fashion and such things. People are very behind here. What I make is a shock for many Afghans. They do not accept it. They see it as an embarrassment for their culture and Afghanistan. And in addition, people do not eat, so how can they think of fashion? People do not live safely, they live in fear. How can they think of fashion? This is the reason that the fashion world is so little and remains backwards in Afghanistan. But we must not lose hope. I am confident that one day Afghans will be recognized for their contributions in this world. And I’ll do my best to do just that. Right now, Zazai Design is also recognized in the whole of Europe and many support my work. You arrived in the Netherlands at the age of 14, did you


experience any conflict when immigrating from your homeland in the East into the Western world? No. I arrived in the Netherlands at a very young age. Netherlands is like my country. I see no difference between Afghanistan and the Netherlands. I actually faced difficulties when I returned to my country. I’m not accepted as an Afghan. You are seen as a foreigner, even if you speak the same language. What do you believe Afghanistan will need to achieve to be able to go back to what it once was before the Taliban and Western forces took over? The situation of Afghanistan is very different. People are dying of hunger. There are no rules., People are fighting for their rights and they are not safe. But as human beings we can hope for a better future. A quiet and beautiful Afghanistan, without war. Your collection Culture Clash Implements both the western style of the Netherlands with the traditional apparel of Afghanistan, what are you hoping to achieve in blending both cultures? I wanted two different worlds to be brought together. I wanted to show the beautiful and special aspects of Afghanistan. I wanted to show that Afghanistan is more than what you think. And besides, I wanted my people to get acquainted with Europe. But the clothes style would not be easily accepted in Afghanistan. So I wanted to break some taboos, I wanted to show a unique side of Europe and Afghanistan, and to show how beautiful the two cultures together are. Besides the traditional custom clothes of your Pashtun ancestry being an integral feature within your collection and design, what message do you want to send to your audience? I am a proud Pashtun. And I always try to do something for my people. But my clothing line is not prohibited by any nation. I create a collection with a story. My first collection was Culture Clash, my second collection was No Religion. Totally different. I wanted to bring two different worlds together through my first collection, and in my second collection was bringing people together of different beliefs; with the message to reduce hatred. But also break taboos.




am confident that one day Afghans will be recognized for their contributions in this world. And I’ll do my best to do just that.




2016, a year we have lost legends in the arts all the way to witnessing the instigation of destruction towards humanity in all forms. And th...

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