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ISSUE NO 5 apr. 2018 vol. 6

arts & culture

13 Beyond the Tower

24 Incarcerated 43 Uncensored


EDITORS’letter

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!

Dear Readers, As we approach the end of the year, the time has come to add our signature to this magazine one last time. Throughout our time as editors, we have learned the importance of broaching sensitive and deserving causes. By utilizing our confidence, ability and platform as writers, we hope to bring culture and art to Paly with as much depth and sentimentality as possible. In that vein, this issue explores topics that are often times kept under wraps: nudity, drugs and prison. The cover story, “Incarcerated,” addresses the nuances and tribulations of the prison experience as told by those close to the issue and those living it. Writers Amanda Hmelar, Claire Moley, Maddie Yen and Lia Salvatierra hope to chip away at common misconceptions of life behind bars to reveal a more authentic image. In “Uncensored,” staff writers Angie Cummings, Grace Rowell and Gigi Tierney delve into the complex intersection of nudity and art, calling today’s hypersexualized view of the human form into question. With the limitless bounty of options that music streaming provides, there is an increasing tendency to toss a few songs from an album into a playlist, ignoring the holistic work of the record itself. In “Cool Album Club,” writers Chiara Biondi, Gabe Cohen and Katie Look review a few albums that should be listened to in their entirety. The sunnier seasons are on their way, and it’s time for your eyes to take cover. Flip over to the snippets section to see Paly students sporting some unique eyewear, styled by Hollie Chiao, Lhaga Dingpontsawa and Hazel Shah. As we prepare to step out of our leadership roles, we hope that C Magazine has evolved to suit our modern culture, and that each reader has benefited from the variation in content throughout this past year. Thank you to all of our readers for your support, and we are so excited to introduce our entire readership to the new set of Editor-in-Chiefs. Happy reading!

Nazila Alasti Sherwin Amsbaugh Arden & Marilyn Anderson Chip Anderson Melissa Anderson Maya Benatar Angie & Shane Blumel Carol & Larry Blumel Martha Brouwer Lynn Brown & Bob Stefanski Denise & Eric Buecheler Mark & Melinda Christopherson Lina Crane Joan Cummings Dave & Lois Darby Susan Gelman Kirk Gilleran Deb & Paul Gilleran Evelyn & Jim Guernsey Bill & Jane Hadly Juliet & Mike Helft Ed & Susan Helft Gary & Wendy Hromada Mary Irving Karen Lambert Juliana Lee Anne & Richard Melbye Bill & Cookie Miley Caroline Moley Andrew & Cathy Moley Katie Passarello Bob Rowell Frida Schaefer Bastian Christa Angelika & Guenther Schaefer Ken & Melissa Scheve Tomasina Smith Charlee Stefanski

Chiara Biondi, Hannah Darby, Amanda Hmelar, Ally Scheve Editors-in-Chief

EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Chiara Biondi, Hannah Darby, Amanda Hmelar, Ally Scheve CREATIVE DIRECTOR Katie Look WEB EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lhaga Dingpontsawa PHOTO EDITOR Ryan Gwyn MANAGING EDITORS Maddy Buecheler, Alexis Pisco, Rosa Schaefer Bastian COPY EDITORS Charlotte Cheng, Hollie Chiao SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Lara Nakamura

STAFF WRITERS Charlotte Amsbaugh, Ellen Chung, Gabe Cohen, Kailee Correll, Angie Cummings, Emily Filter, Ellie Fitton, Jaime Furlong, Sam Guernsey, Ashley Guo, Isabel Hadly, Leon Lau, Claire Li, Rebekah Limb, Claire Moley, Mattie Orloff, Benjamin Rapperport, Grace Rowell, Lia Salvatierra, Hazel Shah, Raj Sodhi, Talia Stanley, Jack Stefanski, Mahati Subramanian, Gigi Tierney, Tyler Varner, Maddie Yen ILLUSTRATORS Mia Bloom, Bo Fang, Andrew Huang, Katie Look, Leon Lau, Raj Sodhi ADVISER Brian Wilson COVER David Foster, Ryan Gwyn and Katie Look

PALO ALTO HIGH SCHOOL • 50 EMBARCADERO RD • CMAGAZINE.ORG • @C__MAGAZINE


TABLE of CONTENTS

04

40

culture 09

arts

THE PATH(S) TO SUCCESS

31

THE UNTITLED BAND

13

BEYOND THE TOWER

34

WOMEN BEHIND THE CAMERA

16

MEDICINAL MISCONSEPTIONS

36

ALBUM BOOK CLUB

TRY BEING A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY

38

Q&A WITH GABE

C MAG PERSPECTIVE

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

snippets

18

04

SUNNY SIDE UP

20

HEAR US OUT

40

PASS THE MIC

06

THOUGHTS OF TINY TOTS

22

MEAT THE WORLD OF PLANT BASED PROTEIN

43

UNCENSORED

SIGN OF THE TIMES

24

46

BEHIND THE PAINT

08

COVER

INCARCERATED

C MAG Q&A


sunny side up Sunglasses have always been a staple in our closets, and with spring just around the corner these accessories are once again making a big appearance. Shades with popping colors and unique shapes evoke images of the groovy 60s and accessory-heavy early 2000s. Join C Mag as we showcase some of our favorite pairs of unique shades.

Estelle Martin Thrifted

Summer Daniels Free People

4 • SNIPPETS


Ilayda Turgut

TEXT AND DESIGN BY HOLLIE CHIAO, LHAGA DINGPONTSAWA AND HAZEL SHAH PHOTOS BY RYAN GWYN

Thrifted

Halle Gelman Urban Outfitters

Elif Turgut Urban Outfitters SNIPPETS • 5


B

efore you know it, you’ve transitioned from a preschooler to a high schooler. As you’ve grown up, your perspectives on certain things have changed drastically throughout elementary, middle and high school. As high schoolers, what we think of our classmates contrasts from what our middle and elementary school counterparts think of us. The perspective of younger kids on those older than them is often amusing and heartwarming. We asked kindergarteners what they truly think about high schoolers and young adults, as well as what they are looking forward to in the coming years.

Thoughts of Tiny Tots “I don’t know. I don’t play with them a lot; they all play by themselves and I play with smaller kids. My mom said when I’ll be 7, I’ll get a dog!” “Yes, I think they’re fun. In high school you’re allowed to drive your own car! It’s so cool!”

6 • SNIPPETS

TEXT BY ELLEN CHUNG, CLAIRE LI AND MAHATI SUBRAMANIAM DESIGN BY KATIE LOOK • PHOTOS BY CLAIRE LI


“We’re going to grown up school! It’s humongous! I’m responsible, and once my brother lost his paper today and I found it. When I get older, I get money that I’ve already collected and I’ve already gotten a hundred dollar bill.”

“They’re big like giants.”

“They play with me, they’re funny and they’re silly because they play pranks on teachers and other people.”

SNIPPETS • 7


SIGN of the TIMES

P

rotest signs are loud, colorful and no two are the same. Although it can be overwhelming and sometimes even irritating to have to scroll through all of these slogans and phrases on your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds, they serve an important purpose. According to Liz Sawyer, a reporter from The Star Tribune, “protesters say signs are specifically designed to grab the attention of passing motorists. Demonstrators want pedestrians to come out of their homes as they march down the street. In a perfect world, those people would see their cause and join them.” To take a closer look on how protests have impacted Paly students, we interviewed senior

Tyler Marik. “My favorite [sign] was the ‘we are stronger than any wall,’” Marik said. “This was at the beginning of the Trump presidency when there was a lot of fear for immigrants and ‘the wall.’ It’s just a great way of saying that love is stronger than hate.” Paly students have participated in numerous marches, protests and walkouts. The most recent being the Paly walkout that recognized the 17 victims of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. Using social media for social movements allows activists to expertly combine freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. So, the next time protest signs flood your feed, take a moment to read the many messages that define the values of our generation.

TEXT BY TALIA STANLEY • DESIGN BY CHARLOTTE CHENG AND MATTIE ORLOFF • PHOTOS COURTESY OF HANNAH DARBY, STEPHANIE LEE AND JORDAN SCHILLING


The Path(s) to Success This fall, Paly’s Wellness Center started passing out copies of Frank Bruni’s “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be.” C Mag looks at the misconceptions that many highschoolers have in regards to the college they attend and their potential for “success.”

A

TEXT AND DESIGN BY ELLIE FITTON, ASHLEY GUO AND LARA NAKAMURA ART BY ANDREW HUANG

well-known quote states that life is about the journey and not the destination. However, in the college application process, these wise words seem to be disregarded. At Paly, there is a standard for students to feel overwhelmed by the exaggerated misconception that their future is predetermined by the prestige of the college or university that they attend. This dangerous belief is a significant source of stress that can plague students’ thoughts and affect their ability to enjoy their lives throughout high school. In order to combat this issue, the Paly Wellness Center is loaning out 25 copies of Frank Bruni’s “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be” to students. After being approached by Challenge Success, an organization that partners with schools and families to broaden the the definition of the word ‘success,’ the Wellness Center began to loan out this book to students and their families. The goal is to challenge the convictions students may hold regarding their posthigh-school plans. “Many students believe that they have to go to a four 9 • CULTURE


year college right out of high school in order to be considered student’s life in his novel “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be.” successful,” said Elizabeth Spector, the lead coordinator at the His novel is full of student stories that all follow a trend which Wellness Center. “We need to look at redefining ‘success.’” Bruni claims is not unusual in the slightest; students who apply Spector and the team at the Wellness Center believe that and don’t get into their dream schools then ultimately end up Frank Bruni’s book is a way to illustrate that there is no definite thriving and doing well at lower tier universities. path to success, but to also give students a resource to see real-life Bruni presents the example of a student named Peter Hart stories of ‘atypical’ success stories when they may be feeling any who says that he went through a “self-image transformation” pressure. when he opted for a less “showy” “This book really emphasizes “This book really emphasizes that university, Indiana State, rather that you don’t have to go to an Ivy than an Ivy League. Hart found you don’t have to go to an Ivy League school to be successful,” himself to be more confident at a Spector said. “In fact, even if you school where, instead of fighting League school to be successful.” do end up at an Ivy League you among the masses, he was thriving may get there and realize that it’s at the top of his class. Hart says really not a great fit for you after this gratification made him feel – Elizabeth Spector all.” For Spector, it’s all about what more motivated to get the most fits each individuals’ needs. She encourages students to be open- out of his education and to take the first steps in planning his minded towards all the options that are available to them, and to career. After graduation, Hart landed the same job as his high not be afraid to look in a direction that might not be the norm. school friend who attended Yale University. This was also the goal of Frank Bruni, an Op-Ed columnist “‘I got to be the big fish in a small pond,’” Hart said. “If he for The New York Times. He examines the college frenzy that wanted to, he could swim with the sharks,” Bruni wrote. seems to be an increasingly important part of a high school Another story follows Jenna Leahy, who felt devastated and 10 • CULTURE


worthless after she was rejected from every prestigious school she Biden and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger applied to. Now, she concludes that the experience has shaped attended the University of Delaware and Santa Monica her for the better. Community College respectively. “I applied for things fearlessly,” Leahy said. “Because I knew The same has even gone for the men and women of the that I was worth something, movies. Many well known even if I wasn’t accepted.” actors and actresses have “I applied for things fearlessly After college, she continued on taken unconventional paths to eventually become the coin their education and their because I knew then that I was worth founder of a charter school for careers to get them to where something, even if I wasn’t accepted.” they are now. These famous low-income families. In the book Bruni also names include actor Morgan examined the Fortune 500 Freeman, who was a graduate – Jenna Leahy top ten companies (2014) of Los Angeles City College, and revealed that most of the and George Lucas, creator CEO’s were not alumni from the esteemed Ivy’s, but instead of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. Lucas attended graduates from large state schools such as University of Arkansas, Modesto Junior College before eventually transferring to the University of Texas A&M, University of Nebraska, University University of Southern California. of Kansas, etc. Some listed did not even attend a four year As new classes of Paly students continue to embark on the university. Bruni examines the same result with U.S. Senators college application process, it is important to remember the final and professionals with successful careers in engineering, science question Bruni asks his readers, “Does a prestigious college make and journalism. Public figures such as former Vice President Joe you successful in life? Or do you do that yourself?”

11 • CULTURE


b

nd t h o y e e

t owe r

Genevieve Liebscher, a former Paly student, represents one of the few who decided to take an untraditional career path. Delve deeper into two Paly alumni’s lives as they pursue their dream lifestyle. TEXT BY BEN RAPPERPORT, CLAIRE LI, TYLER VARNER DESIGN BY CLAIRE LI COVER PHOTO BY VICTORIA GOLD PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE STYLE SAUCE AND VIVIAN LAURENCE

I

t’s always been easy to follow the same path as your peers. You take the same classes, take part in the same extracurriculars and go to the same colleges. It’s a path we have been following throughout our school careers and one that many are happy and fortunate to take. However, some realize their goals and aspirations don’t lie in the lecture rooms

of a college campus, and go on pursue their dreams in alternative ways. Those who have different aspirations for their future follow many different paths, from designing their own clothing to share with thousands of blog followers to finding their space in the music world. All around us, people are forging their own creative life journey.


genevieve liebscher the style sauce

G

nevieve Leibscher is a full-time fashion blogger based in Venice Beach, Los Angeles. Liebscher was attracted to the aspect of living in Los Angeles because she wanted to pursue an acting and modeling career. However, she quickly fell in love with the city because of the excitement and all the activities it had to offer and decided to stay, acquiring a degree in communications from Marymount California University. After graduating from Paly in 2005, Liebscher wasn’t completely sure about her future. She wound up going to college and after graduating attempted many desk jobs. The lack of freedom and the constant repetition proved detrimental to her happiness. She decided that she wanted to then pursue something that interested her and provided her the flexibility to keep showcasing her skills. “I was bartending and modeling, then I was wardrobe styling and I did a lot of nighttime jobs because I was able to just be myself,” she says. Eventually, her hobby in wardrobe styling led her to start a blog dedicated to discussing runway styles and street fashion. This soon morphed into a personal blog about her style , and she began to gain attention on social media, launching her into a unique career. “I started to gain some traction on social media and three years later, it’s become my full time thing,” she said.

14 • CULTURE

She describes her style as unique editorial fashion. For example, she loves to incorporate vintage pieces into her everyday looks, as well as mixing high and low fashion clothing such as Louis Vuitton and Forever 21 to make herself approachable to a wide range of followers. Liebscher finds great joy in her job, even though there are no company benefits, such as paid health insurance. “I love being my own boss,” she said. “I love the challenges that it takes for me to make money and how so much of my job is going around the city every day and meeting so many people,” Liebscher says. This independent and adaptable lifestyle allows her to work anywhere, as long as she has her laptop, really stands out to her as a rare and valuable opportunity. Liebscher offers advice and wisdom for those at Paly thinking about pursuing a nontraditional career path. “I don’t think you should ever be hard on yourself just because you’re 19, 17, 23 or 33 and you don’t have your life ‘together’ because you don’t make a certain amount like your friends do,” Liebscher said. “It’s totally okay to try a lot of things and it’s just going to be part of the journey to figuring out what you want to do eventually.” Even now at 27 years old, Liebscher doesn’t have a clear cut idea of where her blog will lead her in the future, but she aspires to begin her own line of clothing within the next year.


vivian laurence

V

artist & singer

ivian Laurence, a Paly alumni, is living and pursuing her various passions in San Francisco. After graduating from Paly in 2014, she moved to Los Angeles to study Visual Communications at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, but soon realized it was not for her. “The main takeaway is that I was learning more from the work I was immersed in outside of the classroom,” Laurence said. “Experiential learning, as they say.” She quickly realized that the life that everyone around her was living is not the one that she wanted. “My goals for my life are more like visions, so a ‘traditional’ workplace just isn’t my cup of tea,” Laurence said. Ever since graduating, Laurence has been looking to expand her music career. “For the past three years, I have been focused on recording and releasing my music in LA and Atlanta,” Laurence said. As an aspiring musician, Laurence has been growing and building her following on multiple music platforms. Her most popular song has 179,942 plays on Spotify and she continues to develop her sound, hoping to flourish into the artist she knows she

can be. One of her favorite aspects of her job is the way she can travel and experience the world while working. “One of the best parts about having my heart intertwined with my work is that I get to follow them both wherever they take me and I can work from anywhere,” Laurence said. At the moment, she is living in San Francisco studying sound therapy, but plans to move and explore other places soon. Laurence is constantly ready for a new adventure, “I gravitate towards spontaneity, innovation and exploring our potentials as a collective humanity,” Laurence said. Laurence wants other teens that are trying to find their place in the world to use her experiences as an example. “I believe the most valuable thing we can give to ourselves in times of uncertainty is space to slow down so that we can feel into what we really care about before moving forwards,” Laurence said. She recommends taking a gap year in order to find what inspires and motivates you in life. Living in a world where we rush to follow the usual path, Laurence has a different view. “This life thing is a marathon, not a sprint.”

CULTURE • 15


P

otheads. Stoners. Mainstream media often falsely portrays those who have or seek to acquire medical marijuana cards as recreational users looking for a legal avenue to maintain their unlawful drug habits, rather than patients seeking prescription medication. Misconceptions contribute to a persistent stigma that surrounds the use of medical marijuana, and misrepresent patients as drug addicts, despite genuine efforts to seek a cure for their ailments. Under much scrutiny from the law, marijuana has recently thrust itself into the American marketplace as a legal substance, be it medically or in some places recreationally. The plant, widely used throughout the second half of the 21st century – despite its status as an illicit substance – was originally banned for the psychoactive effects it has on users. However, marijuana has recently entered a new era regarding its use as a medicine. Since 2003, users have had the alternative option to be prescribed marijuana strictly for medical use. But in order to acquire and use medical marijuana, users must hold a physician-verified identification card, also know as a med card. C Magazine talked to the students at Paly with this privilege to unpack exactly what they use it for and why it is effective. Marijuana is a widely used drug due to its desirable effects. Two main chemicals are active in marijuana, the first being Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, and the second being cannabidiol, which is commonly referred to as CDB. Different chemicals can be used to treat varying and specific ailments. For example, THC, which is the chemical

TEXT AND DESIGN BY CHARLOTTE AMSBAUGH, RYAN GWYN, ALEXIS PISCO, RAJ SODHI AND TYLER VARNER ART BY MIA BLOOM


that is known for inducing the ‘high’ feeling closely associated with marijuana use, has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration to treat nausea and improve appetite. CDB is widely prescribed for pain management, anxiety and nausea, among other things. Together, THC and CBD are found in multiple different products, with varying doses. CBD is commonly consumed through oils, vaporizers, smoking, edible products and topical lotions or ointments. THC can be similarly consumed through vaporizing and edibles, as well as smoking. To obtain the products, patients must go to designated dispensaries where, based on their prescriptions, they can purchase the products of their choice. Pierre, a Paly student whose name has been changed to maintain his anonymity, is a regular user of medical marijuana. Pierre suffers from insomnia, depression, anxiety and lack of appetite. “It helps me to feel happy,” Pierre said. Another student with a medicinal marijuana card, Arial, uses medical marijuana for insomnia and chronic migraines. “I’ve had [chronic migraines and insomnia] for the last year and a half - it’s affected my schoolwork and social life,” Arial said. “I just can’t function when I’m in pain.” Similar to other medications, marijuana must be prescribed by a doctor. Additionally, there are no age restrictions on the prescription of medical marijuana, which means that minors, with a parent’s permission, can legally obtain medical marijuana. “I was extremely failed by traditional medicine,” Pierre said. “There are certain cases of illnesses or ailments that don’t respond to [standard prescription medication].” This is a common theme in medical marijuana patients—the lack of answers provided by traditional medicine often push them to seek alternative treatments through medical marijuana. “It was sort of a last resort after traditional medicine,” Pierre said. Arial shares this experience. “Nothing was working for me,” she said. “Tea and Advil just were not the solution.” Although first legalized for medical use in 1996, medical marijuana is still surrounded by stigmas that impact its patients, as well as its status as a legal drug for recreational use. Villanova University researchers Nancy Sharts-Hopko and Jennie Ryan published a study about medical

marijuana patients in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. After reviewing multiple studies that were published between 2003 and 2015, they found that patients seeking to use medical marijuana often were reluctant to ask their primary care physician because they were fearful of the stigma that would ensue. Additionally, they found that some patients would rather experience the pain of their ailment or sickness than ask their doctor about trying medical marijuana. Luckily, Pierre did not have to face this stigma from his physician. “This [was] the same doctor that saw all of the other past methods fail me,” Pierre said. “I [told him], ‘Hey I did this thing a couple of days ago and it did exactly what all of these medications can’t do.’” Similarly, the doctor Arial consulted with welcomed the idea. “At first I was nervous about asking for [the medical marijuana card],” Arial said. “But [the doctor] was so nice about it and was really understanding.” Despite its tainted reputation, medical marijuana patients continue to report the effectiveness of medical marijuana. In fact, in a 2014 study published in the Drug and Alcohol Review, 92 percent of 7,525 California adults felt medical cannabis was helpful in treating their disease or illness. In contrast, someone dies from a prescription overdose every 19 minutes, whereas marijuana doesn’t lead to an overdose no matter how much is used. “After nothing had worked,” Pierre said. “[Marijuana] worked.” Despite the positive impact of medical marijuana on patients who use it, only 30 states have legalized the use of marijuana in any form, which means that potential patients continue to suffer. “[Medical marijuana] has changed my life for the better,” Arial said. “I don’t know where I would be without it.” The stigmas that surround the use of medical marijuana actively prevent those who are suffering from even asking about the potential medical treatment. Those who seek to utilize medical marijuana through a med card are not dealers or stoners, they are beings looking for genuine treatment of their ailments, for which marijuana very well may be the answer to. “In a way,” Pierre said, “Cannabis made me feel like a person again.”

CULTURE • 17


TRY BEING A

Social Butterfly SOCIAL MEDIA HAS RECENTLY COME TO BE SEEN AS A NEGATIVE THING, WHILE IN REALITY IF IT IS USED IN A GOOD AND PRODUCTIVE WAY, IT CAN BE A VERY POSITIVE ADDITION TO OUR LIVES.


R

ecently, I have noticed a negative attitude towards social media within our community and I don’t understand why this is. I hear people saying, “I hate it when people post four times in one day,” and “I hate social media, I just want to delete it all,” and yet, right after, they are scrolling through their feeds commenting on people’s photos. If you are going to make fun of people for posting on social media and expressing themselves, then do everyone a favor and delete the app. You are obviously not finding any satisfaction in having social media and only end up upsetting others through your negative energy. I personally think social media has a lot of healthy social benefits for the 21st century lifestyle, but its benefits can be lost if used to create a false reality. Social media is a great tool for self love. I think selfies are therapeutic, and I recommend taking at least one selfie a day. Taking selfies can make you more confident and can be a small step towards loving yourself. Whether or not you post the selfies you take, they’re nice to have and they remind you of how beautiful and unique you are! Similarly, social media allows for efficient communication and keeping distant relatives and friends closer. I follow numerous people who were in my life at some point and no longer are, and I get nostalgic seeing their posts and what their life is like. I have many acquaintances that I would not be in contact with today had it not been for social media. These once influential people in my life would be nothing more than a fading memory. If you’re irritated by boastful or aesthetically inclined users who are no longer a part of your life, the solution is simple: unfollow them. The world will not end. You are most likely blaming social platforms for the habits of particular people, rather than appreciating the fact that you can watch your baby cousin grow up through pictures and videos. For so many people major events like traditions, holidays, festivities and celebrations carry so much sentimentality. I invite you to share these moments with as many people as you can. I use my social media to share my life with people, and if something brings me joy, I want to share it with my friends in a casual and easy way, in hopes that maybe my posts could bring my followers a little bit of joy as well. If you are a person who follows me and you don’t TEXT AND DESIGN BY SAM GUERNSEY ART BY BO FANG AND RAJ SODHI

want to see what brings me joy, what I think might bring others joy or what I want to share with the world, then please just unfollow me. Social media has also brought unprecedented awareness about injustices around the world. A few years ago many people got their information about current events from watching the news on TV, or reading newspapers. Today, most current events and social issues are also brought to light through sharing posts on Facebook or Instagram. Social media has created a place where conversations and movements can gain attention. Recently, dialogue about sexual assault has become more normalized, in contrast to the previously hushed conversations that gained little attention. The influx of support has merited the issues of respect that at one time were brushed over with financial settlements and suppressive power dynamics. The “Me Too” movement created a trend out of empathizing with victims of assault, allowing victims to post knowing that they are not alone and have unwavering support. No victim is pressured to partake in the “Me Too” movement, but it’s a new and popularized platform that allows women to exist in pop-culture realms and remain relevant and empowered while speaking about their experiences and traumas. It also reinforces that victims are not alone, and shows those who do not know the gravity of this matter just how widespread of an issue sexual harassment is. How social media is a part of my life will continue to evolve, but for my current mindset and lifestyle, my use of social media has been positive. I post pleasing pictures on Instagram, but I don’t have notifications on so I only open the app when I feel I have a reason. I use my Facebook for school or group purposes and communication. I use Snapchat almost solely for communication with others. Twitter, which I have recently redownloaded, is where I go when I am bored and want to laugh at funny memes. I have found a way that social media currently works for me; yes, that will change, but for now I am happy with it. I encourage you to explore the ways social media can add to your life. If there are any negative influences regarding social media, make an effort to take them out. Your experiences with social media are completely up to you. You get to choose how social media can positively add to your life and what negative parts you would rather not participate in.

CULTURE • 19


Hear US OUT A

s different styles of media have progressed throughout the years, so have the different forms of journalism, some more recognized than others. One style that is often brushed over is podcasts. Podcasts are a mechanism for reporting and opening up the minds of others by allowing listeners to empathize with the emotions and ideas that can only be presented through sound. The journalists behind the making of podcasts use their creativity to present a variety of information, dialogue and interviews as one cohesive piece. Even students at Paly experience the difficulties of creating a successful podcast. “When you are recording someone for a podcast, you have to engage in thoughtful conversation with them and really understand the story you are telling,” Michaela Fogarty, a staff member of KPLY Radio, Paly’s radio station, said. “We are forced to ask critical questions to people we interview in order to get good material.” Podcast’s content varies from news, personal stories, journals and many other forms of storytelling, giving them the ability to captivate a wide range of listeners and draw them into an intriguing listening experience. “I think the best thing about radio is that voices evoke emotion in a more personal way,” Fogarty said. “There is something to be said about hearing a story first hand by someone you talk to.” Paly is lucky enough to have such a wide variety of publications, including our

Taking a look at an underrepresented journalistic style, C Magazine sparks the interest of new listeners with an introduction to podcasts and their history.

own radio station where students regularly produce podcasts. The students in KPLY are working on spreading the word in order to grant this form of journalism the attention it deserves. “Paly has granted us with a lot of software that helps us make good quality podcasts,” Fogarty said. “We use mics and an application to record, and then we edit and add music.” Students who take part in KPLY have felt that the radio station has left a large impact on their life. “KPLY started very recently, so there are so many ways to express your creativity,” Fogarty said. “Many podcasts take a lot of planning, interviewing and editing to make, but producing something you are proud of is extremely rewarding.” history: Surprisingly enough, podcasting was only established around 2004. Many people do not know the origins of podcasts, and often think of it as an age-old medium, yet only in recent years has there been proper technology to publish and distribute podcasts. Adam Curry and David Winer are credited with the invention of podcasting and Liberated Syndication (Libsyn.com), which launched the first ever podcast service provider, giving many people access to a variety of podcasts. In 2005, podcasts became prevalent in the media due to President Bush’s decision to start delivering his weekly address in the form of a podcast. Next, Yahoo launched a podcast search engine where people could

easily listen and subscribe to their favorite podcasts. Later, in 2006, Steve Jobs drew attention to the practice by demonstrating how to use Garageband to create a podcast, enabling any owner of an Apple product to produce their own podcasts. Though it seemed that podcasting was on the rise, in 2012 Google killed their Listen app, leaving Android devices without access to podcasts, and consequently cutting the journalistic form’s audience down significantly. According to Edison Research, at this point in time only 29 percent of America had ever listened to a podcast. Yet, one year later, Apple announced having reached one billion subscribers to various podcast channels. Today, podcasting is still growing and about 40 percent of Americans have listened to a podcast – an 11 percent increase from 2016. Statistics shown that podcast’s audience ranges from young adults to people in their early fifties, showing the diversity of the listeners that these stories can affect. AVAILABILITY: Many people turn away from podcasts because they believe that they cost money. However, what they fail to realize is that most podcast are in fact free. Anybody with an iPhone or other Apple device automatically has access to the Podcast app which contains many high quality podcasts for free. The Podcast app is not the only place to access podcasts; another resource is the app Audible.


reviews

S

Serial

erial,” a podcast produced by the makers of “This American Life” and hosted by Sarah Koenig, started in October of 2014 and has now produced multiple seasons digging into a murder mystery that began in 1999. The victim, a young girl named Hae Min Lee, went missing and was soon found in a park, strangled to death. The police soon arrested their suspect, Lee’s ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. Syed has been in prison since his conviction in 1999, but to this day he preaches his innocence. It is quickly revealed that many things about this case are suspicious, and so in the following seven episodes the podcast continues to explore novel and tried angles along with supporting evidence, attempting to reach closure. “Serial” itself is unlike many straight forward crime podcasts or stories, as Koenig is relaying her investigative process to Syed by prison phone throughout. Listeners are exposed to his raw emotions as well as those of the other individuals involved in the case, who are both for Syed’s innocence and against it. In addition, the podcast stands out because every episode reveals new information to analyze, leaving no time for boredom. You know that feeling you get when watching the end of the most recent episode of your favorite tv show, knowing you have to wait another week to find out what happens next: anxious and frustrated, but craving more? “Serial” brings out all those emotions and more, all while depicting a real life story. If you are craving a little thrill in your life without the danger, pop in some earphones and get ready to not want to take them out for around 14 hours.

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The Moth

he Moth” is an organization that has a presence across the United States and provides a platform for live storytelling surrounding a particular theme. These talks are recorded from all over the country and compiled into a uniquely themed podcast. “The Moth” was founded by novelist George Dawes Green, and has been around since 1997. The podcast form of this organization has been download over 47 million times a year and has become very popular and well known in the podcast world. Because the stories are live and therefore unedited, listeners are exposed to the unfiltered feelings of these storytellers. Some of these individuals are well-spoken and give off the perception of feeling comfort on stage, whereas others expose to their nerves and intimidation on the stage. The organic nature of these podcasts is what draws listeners into each authentic and unique story. Not only do these stories provide insight on all types of topics, but they can come from a wide range of people. To be featured in “The Moth,” individuals only have to submit a snippet of their story to prove its intrigue for an audience. Therefore storytellers can range from an average highschooler to a well accomplished adult, making these stories relatable to many different types of people. As “The Moth” continues to provide platforms for storytelling, their message of the importance of expressing your individual experience will go on.

TEXT AND DESIGN BY ISABEL HADLY AND ROSA SCHAEFER BASTIAN • PHOTO AND ART BY ISABEL HADLY


MEAT THE WORLD OF

PLANT-BASED PROTEIN! Recently, many food companies have come up with alternatives to meat products using plant proteins. But how do these products compare to the real thing? Here we provide an indepth view of what plant based meats are and reviews of various items from local food establishments.

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or many years, vegetarians and vegans have faced limited options when searching for meals that fit their lifestyle. Since then, many food companies have recognized the demand for alternatives and have crafted substitutes to popular meals like cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets. Welcome to a world where plants are the new meat. For decades the meat industry has been known to use artificial growth hormones and other additives in order to maximize meat production. This has warranted the ongoing debate of the ethics of meat production and potential health consequences. According to the National Institute of Health, excessive consumption of red meat can lead to serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. With these recent discoveries, the food industry began evolving to create better products for those seeking an alternative to meat. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are two prominent companies who have started capitalizing on the growing demand for meat-free options. Both of these companies are advocates for reducing human impacts on the planet by producing plant-based meats, as they requires less water, energy and land to produce. But how can one possibly recreate the savory, juicy and unique flavor of meat with merely plants? At Impossible Foods, ingredients such as wheat, potato protein, coconut oil and heme are used to create

22 • CULTURE

the Impossible Burger. Heme is a protein molecule that contains iron and occurs naturally in muscles and plant cells. It is also the essential molecule that is responsible for the rich and meaty flavors of a burger. Leghemoglobin, the plant counterpart of this protein, can also easily be found in legumes, allowing for the recreation of the familiar burger taste. Unlike Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat chooses not to use use heme, but instead plant proteins to mimic the flavor of meat. Other companies similar to these include Gardein, Tofurky and Light Life. These companies hope to eventually provide convenient and satisfying replacements to animal meats with the help of their plant-based

counterparts. These burgers and imitation meat products are making their way into grocery stores and popular restaurants alike; Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Garden Fresh, Gott’s Roadside and Veggie Grill are some such examples. We decided to try dishes from three of these establishments to determine if the products are as good as they’re marketed to be.

TEXT AND DESIGN BY CLAIRE LI AND MAHATI SUBRAMANIAM PHOTOS AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY CLAIRE LI


VEGGIE GRILL Veggie Grill, located in the San Antonio shopping complex, is a completely meat free restaurant dedicated to providing meatless and tasty food options for vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike. “[Veggie Grill] was started as kind of an alternative to the typical chain restaurant. We have a lot of different options like the Beyond Burger and cater an experience different from the typical poultry and American red meat,” a Veggie Grill waiter said. The versatile menu has a variety of delicious appetizers, entreés and desserts. The Grillin’ Chicken sandwich is a satisfying and affordable

GOTT’S ROADSIDE Gott’s Roadside, located in Town and Country, recently added the Impossible Burger to their menu, which sells for $11.99. The manager, Adrian Zamora, explains the reasoning behind their latest addition. “The original reason to add the Impossible Burger to the menu here was to give an alternative for meat eaters,” Zamora said. “It wasn’t purely based for veganism or anything like that, it was just a healthy alternative for people who like eating meat.” Currently, Gott’s sells an average of 70 Impossible Burgers per day. In the future, they plan on adding more Impossible Food products to the menu to provide a greater variety of options for their customers. At the first glance, the Impossible Burger looked like

$ meal, costing $10.50 with a side of fries, soup or veggies included. We were greeted with an appetizing sandwich with all of the components of a real chicken sandwich; from the signature grill marks to the crispy skin texture. The tang of the cilantro pesto, spice from the chipotle ranch, and the crunch of the lettuce and tomato provided the perfect medley of a complex, yet fresh flavor. The chicken, sourced from the company Gardein, is full of fiber, proteins and other organic ingredients. It was incredibly juicy, yet it still contained the soybean flavor exhibited in the chicken at Garden Fresh. Unlike real chicken, it is softer and less flavorful, which is compensated fo by the other flavors of the sandwich made up for those aspects. If you’re looking for a new, delicious and fun dining experience, stop by Veggie Grill.

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any other medium-rare burger, complete with the juicy appearance of a much anticipated meat patty. After taking a bite, the savory taste instantly flooded our mouths. The patty had a crispy exterior, yet it was still tender and juicy on the inside. However, it was noticeably more crumbly and had a less sturdy texture than a regular beef patty. Another difference occurred within the aftertaste, which was slightly nutty. Despite these differences, the taste of the Impossible Burger would be difficult to discern from real meat if we didn’t know which it was.

GARDEN FRESH Garden Fresh is a restaurant chain that specializes in Chinese vegan cuisine. Located in both Mountain View and Palo Alto, the restaurant was started by husband and wife Alice and Robert Liang. The two aspired to create a restaurant that served quality Chinese food with vegan and gluten-free options. Here, the imitation meat served is created with soybeans.We tried the orange chicken dish, which was a $7.50 bite of crisp, zesty perfection, with their signature orange glaze topping the chicken. At a first bite, the tender textures otherwise found in meat were mostly

$ replicated, yet it was slightly softer and less structured than real chicken. The taste of the imitation meat, mostly masked by the glaze, was more of a cross between tofu and chicken. We ordered the fried rice for $10.50 as well, which did not disappoint. Combined with the chicken, the rice had all the typical components generally found in a Chinese style fried rice. The crispy bites of chicken and the orange glaze complemented the soft texture and mild taste of the rice. Garden Fresh offers a variety of vegan dishes, and although it fails to completely replicate the taste and texture of meat, it is still a delicious restaurant if if you ever find yourself on a quest to discover unique food. CULTURE • 23


AS PRISON REMAINS INSTITUTIONALLY THE SAME, THE CONDITIONS EXPERIENCED BY INMATES HAVE DECLINED, MUCH TO THE CONDEMNATION OF PRISONERS AND ACTIVISTS ALIKE. TEXT AND DESIGN BY AMANDA HMELAR, CLAIRE MOLEY, LIA SALVATIERRA AND MADDIE YEN • ART BY DAVID FOSTER PHOTOS BY RYAN GWYN

INCARCE


ERATED


THE QUESTION ver-incarceration has been an issue on the rise in the United States – in part due to a faulty justice system – and has resulted in an overwhelming prison density. The sheer number of individuals in jail has been detrimental towards efforts to support younger and more impressionable inmates. Institutionalization as a means for criminal detainment is traditional and effective. However, for developing inmates the climate and treatment of harsher punishment inhibits any possibility for future positive growth. The population now subject to the prison system has called into question the basic purpose of incarceration: to punish and confine or, alternatively, to rehabilitate and prepare for re-entrance into society? Beginning in the mid 1970s the priority of incarceration systems has leaned towards containment of the wrongdoers. Up until now, the shift has been away from assimilating these individuals back into society, which in turn has cast down efforts for integration and maintenance of prison rehabilitation programs. This stifles the likelihood that the inmates will move forward in their lives productively. The massive influx of the inmates has merited no proportional increase in funding towards the prisons or their programs, resulting in the deterioration of even the most basic infrastructure of the prisons. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, institutionalization refers to “the process by which inmates are shaped and transformed by the institutional environments in which they live.” For prisoners, this is often displayed by a lack of self-determination, hypervigilance, alienation and diminished sense of self worth. Hypervigilance is a psychological effect that results from the dangers of being surrounded by many other convicts. Inmates begin to construct a psychological barrier around themselves, muffling emotional reactions and rejecting vulnerability. Many internalize this suppressed projection of themselves so deeply, to a point that it may evolve into a second nature. This naturally leads into a state of retreat from the outside community, and many prisoners find themselves isolated and unable to engage in relationships. A testament to this occurrence is found in the psychological aftermath of a brutal prison murder. In a level four prison, a gay inmate was murdered for attending church services

despite threats and pressures from other inmates to stop his continued attendance. What ensued was a prison-wide lockdown and, for one individual – new at the time of the lockdown – the initiation of his personal shield, forming social distance and emotional isolation. Another inmate named Cameron, over time, experienced the internalization of this shield and its effects when his mother came to visit him at a level four prison. Although embracing someone you love may seem to be second nature, he found himself mentally uncomfortable and physically unable to give her a hug. The concept of human touch, and the vulnerability that it elicits, can be foreign for those who exist under the suppression of institutionalization. After transferring from the level four to San Quentin, Cameron witnessed two men embracing during a dance group – he was baffled by the willingness of the men to be tender and trusting. When his mother revisited him, this time at San Quentin, he felt that the nature of San Quentin helped him regain the ability to embrace – welcoming her with a hug that lifted her off of the ground. It is with this access to rehabilitation programming that inmates transform or reverse the implications that institutionalization can have on their mental state. In addition to emotional damage, the sense of alienation inmates feel is heightened by society’s aversion from prison that perpetuates a lack of volunteer participation or visiting hours. Prisoners themselves are at loss of self-determination or ability to make even the simplest decisions. The absence of individuality can deteriorate self-worth and hopes of building a constructive future. These issues are particularly enhanced when individuals are sentenced to life in maximum security at a young age. Specifically at these higher level prisons, rehabilitation programs are not built into the infrastructure of the prison, and individuals often have no support or reminder that there is a choice to better themselves. Oftentimes the prisoners need to be reminded that the quality of their actions is valued and that they can work towards a meaningful life. It is evident, however, that maximum security prisons do not provide this constructivity, particularly for institutionalized youth. To address this, advocates are acknowledging the situation and enacting reform.


THE HUSTLE lizabeth Calvin, senior advocate for the Children’s Rights Division of the nonprofit organization Human Rights Watch, has focused the majority of her efforts on trying to change how the juvenile justice system sentences youth offenders. As an attorney, Calvin works to change legislation in the state capital, as well as advocate for the enforcement of laws that protect youth offenders through the practices of the prison facilities. “I think that people become focused on the idea that the only way to really make change is in Sacramento at the capital by changing laws when, in fact, there is a lot of other ways to change laws and just as importantly, a lot of other ways to change practices,” Calvin said. Through education, public awareness and working at both the city and county levels, Calvin makes it a priority that the laws she changes are implemented correctly. “It is relatively easy and uncomplicated to pass a law, but to make sure that it is actually enacted and implemented correctly is a lot more work,” Calvin said. Over the last few years, Calvin has been involved in passing a total of ten laws. All of them involve helping young people who have been accused of committing serious crimes by trying to improve how the state handles those cases. These laws give early and special consideration to individuals who have received extensive adult prison sentences at a very young age. Calvin works to inform the Juvenile Justice System that the brains and social skills of young people are still developing, in ways that are relevant to how culpable they are in relation to their crime. “Instead of dealing with them like they are monsters who should be locked up and the key thrown away, we are just really trying to create laws, public awareness and practices that recognize that these individuals have made mistakes, in some cases terrible mistakes … but they are human beings with incredible potential to not only become the individual that they want to be but also turn around and help society,” Calvin said.

Along with working to create and pass numerous laws, Calvin also focuses on how to make the laws effective by collaborating with agencies, such as the Department of Corrections, to set relevant regulations. Calvin has already made a significant impact within the juvenile justice system through her many years of dedicated work. There, she has had the opportunity to witness her ability to make positive change for individuals in the system. “I know hundreds and hundreds of people who are just waiting to get out with the spirit of, ‘how can I give back,’ and there is nothing I would rather be working on than helping people get that opportunity,” Calvin said.

“DO WE WANT IT SPENT ON REHABILITATION PROGRAMS OR DO WE WANT IT TO BE SPENT ON MORE GUNS AND GUARDS?” ALEX MALLICK

Alex Mallick is the Executive Director at Re:store Justice, an organization that partners with California prisons and jails to reform and re-imagine communities and the criminal justice system from a human rights perspective. At Re:store Justice, Mallick works with prosecutors, presently and formerly incarcerated individuals and survivors of violent crimes to shift the focus of the criminal justice system in order to encompass restorative justice principles. Mallick has contributed to legislation and bills, as well as programs inside prisons such as San Quentin. She also is a part of a media program that produces videos with prisoners to change the common narrative that surrounds incarcerated people. “I think at this point, the only thing that we see in the media are images of extreme, raw lockups and we are trying to change that narrative to show that, yes some of that is true, but there are also people inside prisons that are working on healing, changing their

communities and working on themselves to make amends,” Mallick said. San Quentin is a level two prison. Many offenders, especially youth offenders who have committed a violent crime, are originally sentenced to level four – maximum security prisons. The majority of the prisoners who have commited a violent crime that are now in San Quentin have had to work very hard for many years in order to move to a level two prison. “Many of men at San Quentin are now in their thirties and forties, and something that the prisoners taught me is that there is not one thing that really made them change,” Mallick said. “In fact, a lot of them were already going through their healing process in level four, but they didn’t have the resources that San Quentin has.” Mallick explains that to prisoners, San Quentin is an incredible place where they are able to take advantage of the many programs it has to offer. The University Project brings in professors from UC Berkeley and Stanford to teach the regular curriculum courses to the inmates. Inmates can earn their Associate of Arts degree for free. There are also programs available aimed to help inmates with future employment. An organization named The Last Mile has set out to assist incarcerated individuals in developing the skills necessary for joining the workforce in the future. These skills will hopefully aid in a smooth transition back into society. Another program offered by Re:store Justice involves victim-offender dialogue in which inmates work through a curriculum of healing and accountability. In one of their exercises, prisoners are each given a small piece of paper that explains the circumstances of a hypothetical crime and are assigned a role of a person who would be involved. They then take on their assigned role and reenact the crime, allowing the prisoners to get a different perspective and empathize with the effects of violent crimes. “It allows them to put themselves in the shoes of others who are affected by that crime,” Mallick said. “We all CULTURE • 27


“ALL MINDS AIN’T STRONG ENOUGH FOR THAT.” SAN QUENTIN INMATE


try to understand that when a violent crime happens, it doesn’t just affect your family and your victim as well as their family, but it affects everyone, including police, first responders, district autories, everyone.” Once the prisoners go through this activity, they can then become a facilitator and take on leadership roles. “We really believe that true change can happen through people who are impacted, and the people who are closest to the issue are the ones who are going to change the issue,” Mallick said. Another program at San Quentin is a thespian program, in which prisoners produce a Shakespeare play over the course of one quarter. In the following quarter, the men write their own scripts based upon the theme of the Shakespeare play they previously performed. San Quentin is also the producer of the oldest prison newspaper in California, The San Quentin News. Their newspaper is distributed to all California prisons, including higher level prisons. Mallick has been featured multiple times in the San Quentin News for her work in restorative justice and focus on rehabilitation for prisoners.“When you are on 24 hour lockdown in your cell and to have this kind of news, and for people to understand that there is hope and that there are people who care about you and that you have community means a lot,” Mallick said. This idea of hope continues to become more of a reality for prisoners through the recent passing of Proposition 57. This proposition allows for people to reduce their sentences by participating in rehabilitation programs. As a result, more rehabilitation programs will be implemented in prisons. Mallick expressed concern for the campaigns fighting to undo Prop 57. “90% of people who are serving prison sentences are going home,” Mallick said. “How do you want them to go home? What do you want them to have? We have a 12 billion dollar a year budget in California for our prison systems, so what do we want our money spent on? Do we want it spent on rehabilitation programs or do we want it to be spent on more guns and guards?” Going forward, Mallick is looking to continue advocating for effective policy change throughout the state prison systems. Mallick’s goal is to ensure that whenever there is violence, instead of extensively punishing those who made the mistake of committing a violent act, people view the offender as a person and take their circumstances into account. “We need to understand that real criminal justice reform is not something that only works if we only focus on non violent offenders,” Mallick said. “We have to look at people who committed violence and figure out ways that we can let them back into our society. I have had the pleasure calling people who committed incredibly violent crimes – and who have gotten out – my colleagues and they are now doing incredible things for the community and they have taken responsibility.”

JAILHOUSE BLUES any would not think twice before picking up and drawing with both blue and red colored pencils. But among individuals involved in gangs, colors can kill. Growing up, many children have the luxury of being safe, the freedom to wear what they want and even the liberty to express themselves artistically. This was not the case for Terrance, whose name has been for the purposes of this story. Since childhood, gang culture was as much a part of his life as family dinner is to most kids. Coloring and drawing are things many attach to childhood. Drawing pictures of flowers or animals are ways for young, developing children to express themselves. Terrance remembers being young and desiring to draw the ocean, but due to the ocean’s deep blue color, he couldn’t. Growing up, Terrance became more involved in gang culture, and quickly got caught up in the violence. When he was 16, he was involved in a murder and Terrance was arrested. On the day of his court hearing, the judge looked him in the eye and told him he was a monster undeserving of freedom. Terrance was then sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. It took Terrance a while for this reality to set in; it was difficult for him, as a young teenager, to fully grasp how he would be spending the rest of his life. It wasn’t until he was in another cell spending time with a fellow cellmate when he saw a postcard taped to the wall with a picture of the ocean. In that moment, he realized he hadn’t, nor would he ever, see the deep blue ocean. This initiated a turning point in which all Terrance could focus on was to try and better himself. After being in prison for many years and participating in the many rehabilitation programs available – due to the law passed by Elizabeth Calvin – he received the opportunity for a resentencing. This time around, the judge took into account Terrance’s childhood circumstances and his young age at the time of his crime, acknowledging that he shouldn’t have received the harsh sentencing in the first place. He continued to engage in ways to better himself and after years of perseverance, on March 1, Terrance was released. Terrance’s story is one that displays the importance of bringing former inmates back into society. When Terrance first arrived in prison, he was completely illiterate, but through his time in prison he taught himself how to read and write, and discovered poetry as an outlet of expression.

CULTURE • 29


NUANCES ar Hustle has become a pillar in the journalism world as inmates at San Quentin State Prison are given an unfiltered microphone that is projected into the society they have been renounced from. Working out of the media lab in San Quentin itself, inmates Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams work alongside visual artist Nigel Poor to produce podcasts featuring intimate stories. During the the first season of the half hour podcasts, co-hosts Poor and Woods engage in discussion about topics such as gangs, solitary confinement, relationships and race, among others. Williams is skilled in the recording, editing and sound design of the interviews, all of which take place within the prison. The intent behind the podcast may have begun as self empowerment, but the attention earned by its content and professionalism has spoken volumes the importance of its message. “I want to know what it’s like to be in prison, but I don’t want to be in prison.” A quote by an unnamed inmate sarcastically epitomizes the nuanced curiosity that outer society has of life in prison. It’s true that within casual media, prison is referenced in various lights, few capturing the reality in which the inmates live. The first podcast in the series features Ron Self, an inmate serving time for attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Fearing a cell mate became Self ’s reality after meeting his newly assigned roommate, Duck – a man he feared would kill him. The issue of unfriendly cell mates can feel especially dangerous due to the intimacy of the cells, which span a four by nine floor space, allowing little room for privacy or personal space. Co-host Woods also discusses his experience of being re-assigned a roomate of his choice when his former “cellie” was released. Inmates and brothers Eddie and Emil share their similar experience of electing a “move of convenience” in which inmates may request certain cell mates; this is allowed due to the lower security nature of San Quentin. One brother remarked on the feeling of safety provided by their move. “I was happy; I was relieved to be able to just exhale and relax for a moment in prison,” he said. In another podcast, an inmate discusses his path to prison, beginning with an upbringing

in a secure home with a nurse mother and a pastor father. As a teen, his misbehaviors at church warranted harsh whippings by his more traditional father, skewing his perceptions of authority figures to the point of resentment. He was 13 when gang members approached him after school one day. He quickly became attracted to the unity, mannerisms and habits of the gang. One of his first experiences with the gang was a street fight, which served as his gang initiation. “Even though I was beat up and I had two black eyes, my face was swollen, I really felt proud,” he said. The experience was called getting “jumped in,” and other gang members

doctor visit or a cell extraction where you are forcefully removed – and that’s not something you want but some people might want that interaction– just to touch, to rassle, to feel alive maybe,” Flores said. In the sixth episode, Poor and Woods explore the reality of marriage and relationship in prison. Only four states in the United States allow prisons to host conjugal visits – or family visits. California is one of them. During family visits, prisoners are allowed a 48 hour visit with family members or spouses in a cottage on the prison property. For a short time, prisoners revert back to normal, intimate family life. Maverick, an inmate who has been in a relationship for 21 years, discussed with Poor and Woods how he and his wife handled their relationship at the time when conjugal visits were not allowed and visiting rooms were the only place for families to interact. “There was an understanding that in the visiting room between inmates that for the first hour and the last hour of all the visits, the patio was couples only,” Maverick said. In the podcast entitled Unwritten, which is about the unofficial rules that inmates abide by based on race, the inmates jokingly refer to racial tensions as “politics.” One inmate, Drew, has taken on the role of party planner at San Quentin, and often takes initiative to decorate and make cards for 167 inmates in the prison. He also cooks for other inmates on their birthdays using the limited cooking supplies provided, including a boiling plate that heats water to a lukewarm. Drew, who is white, has experience with some of the “politics” of race in prison, a major unofficial rule being that white inmates do not eat food if the package was opened by a black inmate, despite who prepared the food. In the same way, black inmates do not eat food if it was opened by a white inmate. Food opened by a different race is said to be “tainted.” The nuances of life at San Quentin are testament to the emotional desire of prisoners to return to life before limitation. Rather than retreating into the defeat of life sentences, inmates do the most they can to live as though they were free, and to share their stories.

“I WAS RELIEVED TO BE ABLE TO JUST EXHALE AND RELAX FOR A MOMENT IN PRISON.” SAN QUENTIN INMATE violently beat new members until he is visibly injured. “You wear that sh*t like a badge,” he said. Woods and Poor also touch on solitary confinement, which in San Quentin is called the Security Housing Unit (SHU). Inmates serving time in the SHU do not spend days or weeks there, but rather years, in San Quentin’s off site location situated at Pelican Bay State Prison. “All minds ain’t strong enough for that,” said Woods. Isaac Flores is an inmate who currently is serving time on the main line at San Quentin, but had spent 18 years in the SHU. “When I go to San Quentin, I stay awake the whole ride because I like to see the sights,” said Flores. “You don’t know when you’re going to see them again.” Another inmate described the irrationality that arises from such isolation. “There’s no physical contact unless you have a


untitled NOT PICTURED: JEVAN YU


“What’s fun about [the band] is we created it completely on our own initiative. No one is holding us to anything; we can practice whenever we like, and I think that is because we have this freedom.”

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usic is ubiquitous, and it can appear anywhere. The sense of universality in music allows for the establishment of communities centered around this art. Those within these communities strive to enjoy cohesive sounds and rhythmic harmonies produced by themselves or their peers. The concoction that is music can draw people together – it has the unique ability to link to one’s emotions, thus it sustains a sense of camaraderie. With all music comes a label or name. Essentially, music is a system; one that is organized by way of multiple names and references, whether it be genres, albums or songs. A name is generally nothing more than a few letters strung together whose purpose is to provide someone or something with a title. It can be quite effortless to match a reference with an object or a being, but because one’s name can serve as a significant aspect of their identity, creating a name proves a more difficult task. Upon request for the name that construes their band, several Paly students find it difficult to provide a clear answer. Miles’ Garage, M’Jevan & the Three L’s and Garage Mahal are a few of the names that have been suggested, but all have failed to establish consensus within the group. With a lack of unanimity, the adamant band members might as well be referred to as the band without a name, given the current status of agreement. Band members and Paly students Lucia Amieva-Wang, Miles Schulman, Leela Srinivasan, Lucas Washburn and Jevan Yu find their prospective label a prevailing topic of discussion. The group was formed in November 2017 and materialized in an unglamorous way. Before coming together as a band, the lead vocals Srinivasan and Amieva-Wang began playing together as a duo; just two girls and their guitars. Guitarist Washburn and drummer Schulman had also been practicing together on their own time. While discussing their passion for music in the library, Srinivasan, Amieva-Wang, Schulman and Washburn decided to join forces and form a band with each other. “Lucia and I had been playing a bit on our own, and when we figured out that Miles and Lucas also played we decided there was no harm in seeing what we’d all sound like together,” Srinivasan said. “It started over thanksgiving break in Miles’

garage and turned it into a weekly thing, which it has been ever since.” Later on, bassist Jevan Yu joined the band as their fifth member. Though they have all had different prior music experiences, each individual brings a unique talent to the band. Schulman, Washburn and Yu are all current or former members of the Paly pep band, notorious for musical chants and refashioned pop songs performed during school events. For them, their unnamed band gives them the opportunity to utilize their skills in a less repetitious way. “Band is fun sometimes and boring sometimes, but it really depends on what you do during class,” Washburn said. Although the Paly band teaches them more about music and their instruments, their band allows them to extend their music abilities and play songs they wouldn’t for school. “[Paly band] is different from our band because we usually can’t choose what songs to play and we have less control over what we want to do,” Washburn said. Overall, the band serves as a casual environment in which members can enjoy music outside of school. Ex choir member and lead singer, Lucia AmievaWang enjoys her time practicing with her friends, “Our band is more of a get together to play songs that we like or songs that we want to try out, just for fun. Wang said. "That’s what makes our band unique and awesome.” An additional source of conversation within the band surrounds the genre of music they enjoy playing. Unlike the traditional tunes of the Paly band, their band accredits musical influences to artists from the

Leela Srinivasan


60s and 70s. Their unanimous love for this era of music makes choosing pieces and songs to cover much easier. Bands such as The Beatles, The Grateful Dead and The Police have provided them with the inspiration and influence necessary to solidify their music style and the respective songs they choose to practice. While the group enjoys music from the past, they have also given their personal music preferences a unique name. Washburn calls it “early 1930s southeastern swamp funk,” an interesting amalgamation of several

we’re much more invested in it and we have a lot of fun.” However, one day a week is not enough. Each band member finds time to practice on their own and work on themselves as musicians so when they get all

different styles and eras. When it comes to practice, finding time is not always easy. As juniors in high school with various extracurriculars and hours of homework, their band manages to get together at least once a week to practice and play the music they love. “What’s fun about it is we created this completely on our own initiative,” Srinivasan said. “No one is holding us to anything; we can practice whenever we like, and I think that because we have this freedom

together, they can focus on playing as a group rather than on their individual musical challenges. “While I know we all practice our parts on our own, there’s something great about hearing all the instruments at once and the complete song come together,” Srinivasan said. The future of the group came into discussion when they performed at Paly’s first annual Quadglobe. Miles’ Garage, a name that pays homage to the place where they practice, served as a simple name for performance purposes. However, the name was created in a rush. “Miles’ Garage was a last minute measure because we had to introduce ourselves as something at Quadglobe,” Srinivasan said. “But, we don’t like the idea of representing one person in the name as we don’t have a

designated band leader.” In preparation for their Quadglobe performance, the band came together to perform at Lytton Plaza in downtown Palo Alto to perfect their set list. “Performing downtown was great because people are constantly passing by and can hear little pieces of your songs,” Srinivasan said. “It’s also nice since you don’t have to have a wide variety of songs down as the crowd is constantly changing.” Their first formal performance in front of a crowd helped them not only realize the tweaks that needed to be made, but that their long hours of practice were finally paying off. In the future, they plan on continuing their performances downtown and at the local flea market located at Palo Alto High School. The forming of this band quickly became an important aspect of all five of their lives. Not only does being part of a band make you part of a community, but it allows one to expand on their love for music. As for the name of their band, this important part of the group’s identity has yet to be chosen. “I think we’re just waiting for the perfect name to arise, and until then we’re [going to] remain undecided,” Srinivasan said.

TEXT BY EMILY FILTER AND GRACE ROWELL • DESIGN AND ART BY LEON LAU • PHOTOS BY RYAN GWYN


WOMEN behindthe

camera

TEXT AND DESIGN BY CHARLOTTE AMSBAUGH, ELLIE FITTON AND HAZEL SHAH • ART BY CHARLOTTE AMSBAUGH


WHY

does this matter?

I

n the 90 years of the Oscars, only women have been nominated Best Director. Of the five women, only Kathryn Bigelow won. According to the Motion Picture Association of America and the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, 52 percent of movie

L

G

reta Gerwig is an American playwright, actor, director and screenwriter. In 2017 she made her first solo-directing debut with “Ladybird.” “Ladybird,” which she wrote, is a coming-of-age film that tells the story of high school senior Christine McPherson and her tumultuous relationship with her mother. “Ladybird” was so well-received it set records; it beat out “Toy Story 2” for the most “fresh”, or highest possible rating, reviews on the movie critic site Rotten Tomatoes. Gerwig was not only nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for her work on the film, but also the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Gerwig is a vocal advocate for gender equality within the television and movie industry and continues to be a trailblazer for other women. “The women who have been nominated [for Best Director] before me were such an inspiration,” Gerwig said in a recent interview with the Sacramento Bee. “What I hope is that women of all ages say, ‘I want to direct my film.’ I couldn’t be more grateful. I hope it is an inspiration.”

athryn Bigelow is best known for directing the 2008 war thriller film “The Hurt Locker” which was granted the Academy Award for Best Picture and earned her the Academy Award for Best Director. This made her the first woman to ever win in the category and a pioneer for other women in her profession. She also directed the political action thriller, “Zero Dark Thirty,” which follows a female operative, played by Jessica Chastain, as she leads the way in the worldwide manhunt for terrorist Osama Bin Laden. “Zero Dark Thirty” was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, cementing Bigelow as a directing great. Bigelow has never allowed the limitations of her gender to prevent her from persuing her ambitions; in an interview with The Tech in 1990, Bigelow was asked about her thoughts on the difficulty of being a female director. “If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons,” Bigelow said. “I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.”

GERWIG DUVERNAY

ava

BIGELOW

K

lina kathryn

greta

WERTMULLER

ina Wertmuller was the first woman to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director at the 1977 Academy Awards Cemermony. The nominated film “Seven Beauties” was not only directed but also written by Wertmüller. The film tells the story of an Italian army officer who is captured by the Germans during World War II after deserting the Italian army. While he is imprisoned, the story of his family is told through a series of flashbacks. As the first woman nominee, Wertmüller’s impact on the the community of female directors is significant. When speaking to Variety Magazine in 2017, Wertmüller described her experience as a female director in the 1970s, before so many women had entered the entertainment industry. “There were social rules that said that the husband brought home his salary, and the wife took care of educating the children and running the household,” Wertmüller said. “I’ve always refused these bourgeois rules, and I went down a different path.”

goers are women but only eight percent of the top 100 grossing films of 2017 were directed by women. In the face of these disparities and current political climate, it is more important than ever to recognize and appreciate the cinematic work of female directors.

A

va Duvernay is a well known director, famous for her films “Selma,” “13th,” and the newly released film “A Wrinkle in Time.” Unlike the other women mentioned here, Duvernay has not been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. However, she gained substantial recognition for her film, “Selma,” which was nominated in 2015 for the Academy Award for Best Picture. “Selma” told the story of Martin Luther King Junior and his historical civil rights protest where he and hundreds of activists marched from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery. The nomination of this powerful film made her the first female black director to have a film nominated in the category. Additionally, her documentary “13th,” was nominated in 2017 for the Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary. Duvernay remains an advocate for women who want to pursue their passions regardless of their age, as Duvernay herself made her first film when she was 35. When speaking to Cosmopolitan on standing out as a black female director Duvernay said she believed she does stand out, and is proud to do so. “I think that black people making art, women making art, and certainly black women making art is a disruptive endeavor” Duvernay said. “And it’s one that I enjoy extremely.”


contra - vampire weekend

Oliver Tree is a new dance musician from Los Angeles who blew me away with his debut EP “Alien Boy.” “Alien Boy” is a six-track long EP containing new songs as well as some previously released singles – and wow, it slaps. Oliver Tree’s power comes from his versatility; he’ll switch from poppy dance tracks to post-dubstep bangers, and then to hip hop without blinking an eye. His rapping on tracks “All That” and “Welcome to L.A.” is bouncy and fun. His distinctive singing style that dominates tracks like “Enemy” and “All I Got” will grasp your attention and demand you to listen. Even though it is relatively short, “Alien Boy” showcases Oliver Tree’s incredible potential and will hopefully lead him to much bigger things.

With its buoyant rhythms, cleverly spun lyrics and allusions to Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries, Vampire Weekend’s idiosyncratic sophomore album “Contra” establishes the band’s own intelligent niche within the rock genre, without sacrificing an ounce of fun. The songs are wonderfully versatile, providing listeners with a soundtrack equally apt for afternoon drives and late night study sessions. Lead singer Ezra Koenig’s vocals seamlessly transition between the varied paces within the album: his smooth serenades in “Taxi Cab” and “I Think Ur a Contra” sound as natural as the rap-like rambles of “California English” and “Cousins.” The album’s diverse track listing is matched with an evenly eclectic mishmash of instruments, featuring the marimba, rebolo, piano, cello and shekere. “Contra’s” playful melodies and twinkly synth pop beats can sit comfortably in the background, but its delightfully puzzling lyrics dare attentive listeners to delve into the depths of the album’s hidden wisdom. At its core, “Contra” is about opposing the restrictive nature of a dichotomy, both in its sound and lyricism; it’s about privilege, choice, class and image, and yet these undertones don’t weigh down the elegant melodies reminiscent of a sunny summer daze.

- gabe cohen

- chiara biondi

alien boy - oliver tree

36 • ARTS

TEXT BY CHIARA BIONDI, GABE COHEN AND KATIE LOOK • DESIGN AND ART BY CHIARA BIONDI


flower boy - tyler, the creator Tyler, the Creator has long been making artful beats and laying down skillful verses, but for much of his career his reputation has preceded any praise of his musicianship. His fourth studio album, “Flower Boy” provides listeners with the opportunity to appreciate Tyler’s production chops free of any of the unruly details that cluttered his previous releases. The album is unlike his past works in a number of ways: the samples, more often instrumental than vocal, draw less focus; the tracks follow more typical pop structures; the lyrics, without any perceivable bigotry or threats of violence, are far less controversial; it is the first of Tyler’s albums without a track exceeding six minutes. And yet, “Flower Boy” is still characteristically Tyler, with obvious continuations of his previous work including an introspective opening track, a multi-song track 10, as many guest appearances as ever and production that showcases a familiar attention to detail. Tyler said in an hour-long interview posted to his YouTube channel that the album is meant to play like a film score; with the transitions and ever-present nature motif, it has a definite narrative feel. Tyler certainly adopts the role of director, rather than star, of the album. Four tracks (“Who Dat Boy,” “Garden Shed,” “Boredom,” “Droppin’ Seeds,”) don’t touch

Tyler’s vocals until at least 45 seconds in. “Enjoy Right Now, Today” has hardly any vocals at all. With his voice as just one of many tools at his disposal, the emphasis is on mood and story-telling rather than stardom. On the album’s third single “Boredom,” a playful track which prominently features the vocals of British indie newbie Rex Orange County, Tyler spits witty and satisfyingly percussive bars about loneliness over chords that he admits poaching from Stevie Wonder’s rendition of “God Bless the Child.” With “Enjoy Right Now, Today” serving as an outro, “Glitter” is a colorful and earnest love song to end the bulk of an otherwise heartbreak-driven plot. The track features Tyler’s recognizable distorted vocals, pitched upward first, then descending when the beat unravels halfway through. Without any of the frills that previously pulled focus from the core of his music, “Flower Boy” shows Tyler at his most sincere. The album explores angst, heartbreak and self-discovery with the most authenticity ever seen from a notorious jokester. And yet it is still recognizably Tyler, urging listeners to consider whether he’s been hiding introspection and awareness behind insolence and antagonism all these years.

- katie look

cool album club Nothing beats the satisfaction of discovering an album so wholly great that it creates a playlist of its own. Listening to albums in their entirety allows listeners to fully engage with musicians and their intentions, with all of the artistic nuances and backstory unique to that particular work. Here are a few such albums for you to enjoy.


WHY ARE HIP-HOP/R&B ALBUMS SO LONG? This question has a few answers. Hip-hop albums have had lengthy run-times almost since the inception of the genre. These long track lists would usually contain many skits in addition to the songs on the album. A skit is a recorded dialogue, usually humorous in tone that often served as interludes between songs to add to the flow of the album. Skits are still a part of the R&B culture, but are not nearly as omnipresent as they were in the early ‘90s and 2000s. The tracklists, however, are still just as long. The reason for this is related to the shift from purchasing music to streaming music, and the quest for sales. Charts like the Billboard 200 are based on the number of albums bought. Streaming platforms provide people the luxury of listening to songs and albums without actually purchasing them, which in turn creates a problem for record sale tracking. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the company that tracks sales of albums, decided that a stream of a song is equivalent to around 0.0006% of an album sale, meaning that 1500 streams are equivalent to one full sale. Music artists and labels had to figure out a way to boost their streams in order to make it on the chart. The easiest way to do this? Release more songs, to obtain as many streams as possible. Chris Brown’s newest album,” Heartbreak on a Full Moon,” had almost fifty songs o n it, and went gold (500,000 albums sold) in a week, something that Brown would never be able to do right now with a normal length album. Until the RIAA finds a better way to track streams as sales, expect album lengths to keep on growing. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ALBUM AND A MIXTAPE? Mixtapes are a huge part of hip hop culture, but many people don’t understand why artists call some projects mixtapes and others albums. On the surface, they seem exactly the same. The difference between an album and a mixtape comes from the legal issues of sampling songs. Sampling is when a producer will take a part of a recorded song and rework it into their own music. Since most recorded music is copyrighted and protected by lawyers, artists must ask permission and pay a fee to “clear” their sample before putting it on an album and selling it. This can often be a difficult and expensive process, making it hard for small artists to use samples on their albums. There is a loophole, however: if you sample a song but release it for free, then you are allowed to use any sample you want. This is where the mixtape comes from. A mixtape is an album made by an artist full of samples that are not paid for, and mixtapes are always given away for free. Some artists have caused confusion by calling projects on spotify and apple music mixtapes, like Chance The Rapper did with 2016’s “Coloring Book.”. Even though Chance called it a mixtape and released it for free on mixtape downloading websites like Datpiff, “Coloring Book” is actually an album due to the fact that he is making money off of it from streaming services. Mixtapes are an incredibly important way for artists to get their name out and build up a catalogue of music, but in a world where all music is basically free, mixtapes are losing the appeal and traction they once had.

Q&A GABE WITH

TEXT BY GABE COHEN DESIGN BY HANNAH DARBY AND KATIE LOOK PHOTO BY RYAN GWYN


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ARTS • 39


Pass the mic TEXT AND DESIGN BY ROSA SCHAEFER BASTIAN, MADDY BUECHELER AND JACK STEFANSKI PHOTOS COURTESY OF CALLIE HOLTZMAN

P

alo Alto is home to many talented, young artists­— most of whom lack platforms to exhibit their skills. Fortunately, the Teen Arts Council (TAC) supports these students in showcasing their artistry. TAC hosts open-mic nights, along with many other events, that encourage teens from both Paly and Gunn to perform their music, poetry and comedy to an audience of their peers. Open Mic Night creates a place for students to find their artistic voice. “I’m normally someone who gets nervous before performing, but the atmosphere at the Open Mic doesn’t

put you under any pressure,” Leela Srinivasan, a Paly junior, said. “I was surprised to find that I was comfortable going up there.” Paly senior Emily Tomz has found performing, while nerve-racking at first, to be a huge boost to her confidence. “The first time I even performed in front of people was at a TAC open mic with an original song, and the support I got both before and after performing was so gratifying,” Tomz said. The performers are surrounded by their peers who have similar interests and support each person’s individual skill. “The atmosphere is relaxed and warm, but still provides

performers with an opportunity to share their talents with a group of people, which can be a difficult setting to find,” Srinivasan said. The members of TAC meet for an hour once a week at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, and it is very simple for new members to join. They simply have to show up to one of the meetings to be a part of the group. “My favorite part is the atmosphere at our meetings because they’re so relaxed and joyful, but also super productive,” co-president of TAC and Paly senior, Nandini Relan said. “Members participate by joining event committees, sharing their ideas and creating their own events if they want.” Gil Weissman, a Paly junior, first went to an Open Mic Night his freshman year and then decided to join TAC as a sophomore. As a member, he was put in charge of sound and started setting up the microphones and sound equipment for each of the TAC events. Weissman is also a frequent performer at TAC’s Open Mic Night. “Performing at open mic is a great way to showcase whatever you want to do in a low-stress, very supportive environment,” Weissman said. Srinivasan, who plays the electric guitar and sings, initially only came to the Open Mic Nights to listen to others

Paly students Caity Berry and Maya Reamey (left) and Maddie Lee and Gunn student Crystal Guo (right) perform a song at a Teen Arts Council Open Mic Night.


One of the most popular events planned by Teen Arts Council is Open Mic Night, where students have the ability to display their passions to their peers.

perform. However, after attending a couple of times, she decided to team up with two other Paly students and perform there herself. “It isn’t anything you have to prepare rigorously for, we just got together a couple times so that we could learn the songs together,” Srinivasan said. Still, some performers get nervous before going up to perform. “I was usually afraid of something going wrong like my voice will crack, my guitar will be out of tune, or I’ll misplay a chord,” Tomz said. “It’s also scary to be sharing my own songs — they’re up for judgment, but that’s what performing is, no matter if it’s performing on a stage, on a sports field, or just in life.” Yet, she was able to leave her nerves behind and get on the stage and perform. “When I started to realize that it’s just me and my song, it’s pretty neat,” Tomz said. “I stop worrying about there being an audience.” The Teen Art Council is also unique, as it incorporates a diverse population of students from Gunn and Palo Alto High Schools with varying age ranges. “I’d say I don’t know about half of the people there, so that makes performing even cooler and more realistic.” Tomz says. If you or any of your friends are looking for somewhere to share your expertise, you

can be assured that there is no better place than TAC Open Mic Nights. The supportive environment is the best place to practice in front of a crowd and get feedback. Everyone is welcome at both Open Mic Night and the

“I stop worrying about there being an audience.”

TAC meetings so feel free to get out there and get involved. No matter how much or how little time you put into it, you will be welcomed to all the events and meetings with open arms.

EMILY TOMZ ARTS • 41


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UNCENSORED Can the human body be art?

F

rom the mathematical precision and beauty of ancient Greek sculpture to the contemporary and controversial reclining nude paintings of 19th century Europe, the human body has been a pivotal element in artistic expression for centuries. In primordial art, the human form maintained relevance because of its established status of perfection. The human body, which had previously been portrayed as flawless through art, has since been transformed into a vessel that serves as a commonality that links the human race together, regardless of background, culture or ethnicity. This sense of familiarity provides artists with the ability to utilize the human form to demonstrate concepts that are universal and pertain to everyone. However, there are inherent controversies that have begun to surround the display of nudity within art and society, and consequently, movements have emerged in attempt to erase the taboo that surrounds the naked form. ARTS • 43


TEXT AND DESIGN BY ANGIE CUMMINGS, GRACE ROWELL AND GIGI TIERNEY PHOTOS BY RYAN GWYN AND GRACE ROWELL

THE HISTORY

A

n examination of art history reveals that the most common portrayal of the human form is derived from ancient Greco-Roman art and sculpture. In ancient Greece, the presentation of the human body was commonplace, as it was paralleled with exemplary divine figures. Philosophers and artists alike studied the human form in an attempt to emulate this natural perfection via marble and bronze sculptures. Sue La Fetra, Paly AP Art History teacher, comments on the use of nude forms and their significance within ancient art. “Nudes were used extensively in ancient Greek and Roman art,” La Fetra said. “The athletic human body was considered an expression of perfection, and reflected [the Greco-Roman] belief in Humanism, where the perfection of the body took on spiritual significance. The ancients were obsessed with the beauty of math, and saw perfect proportions of the human body as a manifestation of perfect beauty.” The ardent value of the human body held by ancient society allowed for a civilization in which one could freely admire and recognize the worth of a depiction of a naked form. Natural body parts, such as breasts, were appreciated for their pure aesthetic appeal when portrayed in a sculptural or painted form, rather than being branded as ‘pornographic’ or ‘explicit.’ “Throughout art history we have the presence of the ‘male gaze’,” La Fetra said. “That is, the female body is portrayed with an awareness of a man looking at her. She appears coy, or trying to cover herself.” 44 • ARTS

Due to the ‘male gaze,’ female nudes in art were generally created not for the aesthetic appreciation of everyone, but purely for the eyes of men. Contrary to the early depictions of female nude forms in art, nude male forms sustained the Humanistic perspective prevalent within Greco-Roman art. “Interestingly, male nudes generally don’t [recognize the male gaze], which is a result of most art being created from the male heterosexual point of view,” La Fetra said. There was generally little skepticism concerning the artistic value of the expressive nude sculptures that visually demonstrated man’s inner and outwards struggles during the Ancient Greece Era. Polykleitos, a famous sculptor from Ancient Greece, worked with great precision to create Doryphoros, which is a nude representation of a male athlete. The chiseled sculptural features within Doryphoros demonstrated admired qualities associated with divine figures and deities, as well as a portrayal of purity that the Greek gods possessed. As artistic styles developed within ancient civilizations, the nude form depicted in art began to garner a negative perception. “Negativity toward the nude began because the nude no longer was idealized, as in ancient Greek art, but was portrayed as a real person,” La Fetra said. “Instead of looking at beauty personified, the public was looking at a common [person] and [were] confronted with their humanity.” This negative perception has now transformed into the sexual themes that are associated with nude artistic depictions today.


THE MOVEMENTS

A

s as the modern age progresses, art and the boundaries of what it can be called expand and contract. Due to the present oversexualization of naked bodies, especially of the female body in the media, the majority of people are more likely to perceive nudity as pornographic or explicit rather than artistic. However, if those associations can be separated so that the art is detached from sexual connotations, then the human body could be used as a direct mode of expression in art as it was originally intended. In an attempt to revive the artful use of the human form, contemporary artists not only employ nudity for the purpose of aesthetic gratification, but also use it to shock, question and challenge the norms of society. Photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe utilize the formal techniques of photography to completely contradict the portrayal of women and men throughout classical art. Mapplethorpe, an American photogra-

pher known for his exploration of controversial subject-matter, posed and photographed female bodybuilders in feminine clothing to contrast previous artistic representations of women as demure, displaying them as a balance of strength and femininity. Artists such as Mapplethorpe use nudity to portray women and men in opposition of societal expectations. In the same manner as Mapplethorpe, Paly alum Emma Toma is a photographer whose work is also centered around the human form. Toma’s photographs depict the exposed upper body of men and women, and by manipulating their expressions and scenes around them, she presents her models in unconventional ways. When addressing the way she photographs women, Toma writes to her social media followers, “my goal is to push your stereotypical ideals of how a woman should act and present herself.” Similar to La Fetra’s observation of the male-gaze throughout art history, Toma ad-

dresses the tendency for nude women to be portrayed as if a man is looking at her. “The point that many people fail to see is that usually, when a nude photo is taken, it is for somebody else’s pleasure and typically tends to be soft and subdued in order to satisfy the viewer,” Toma said. In attempt to trump this habit of portraying women in this way, Toma says she photographs women “for no other pleasure than her own.” Since the human body is perceived as the most vulnerable part of one’s individuality, artists can manipulate representations of the body and ultimately change how one’s identity is perceived in the eyes of others and to oneself. Although artistic styles have evolved, the nude form has maintained its status as an influential element in art, as it is applicable to all viewers. Ultimately, an artist’s ability to utilize forms of expression, like nudity, gives them a tool to confront controversial subject-matter and transform the way that women and men are regarded in society.

ARTS • 45


L

BLUE LIPS

ocated right outside the Central Haight Cafe on Haight Street, the Blue Lips have become one of anonymous street artist Fnnch’s more popular works. Fnnch had wanted the opportunity to create a piece on the Haight, so when he got word that a nearby wall had just been repainted, he immediately contacted the building owner and received the spot. “I like that [the lips] are bright and vibrant, and that I can paint them in multiple colors,” Fnnch said. “The ones in the Upper Haight are currently blue, but they have been purple and red in the past.” Painting the same image in multiple colors is efficient for a stencil artist, while simultaneously paying tribute to one of Fnnch’s artistic inspirations, Andy Warhol. Using printer paper, spray adhesive, x-acto knives, masking tape and spray paint, Fnnch created this mural in about two hours. “I want the viewer to have a moment of surprise and delight and to realize that someone they don’t know cares for them,” Fnnch said. “My goal is to bring art to the 95% of San Francisco’s residents and visitors who do not go to its modern art museums.”

BEHIND THE PAINT X

-Ray of a Wolf,” located at Haight and Ashbury, is Austrian artist Nychos’s second mural in San Francisco. “I’m still thrilled about the spot,” Nychos said. “The intersection of Haight and Ashbury is iconic.” It is also one of his first translucent pieces, which are paintings that depict the skeleton, organs and veins of humans and various animals. Born into a hunting family, Nychos was exposed to many elements that now influence his numerous anatomical pieces seen in the photo taken by James Pawlish. Each layer of the mural is strategically planned. “I sketched out the proportions with a neutral colour and then I built it up step by step, starting from the skeleton, then adding the intestines, the skin and the fur,” Nychos said. “The last step was adding the translucent layer.” Capturing a wolf ’s hunting instincts, Nychos says the piece is up to individual interpretation and wants each viewer to follow their own instincts when deciding what his art means to them.

46 • ARTS

x-ray of a wolf


M

ax Ehrman, otherwise known as EON75, or Extermination of Normality, has devoted many years of his life to street art in San Francisco. “I fell in love with graffiti art when I was going to architecture school in Florida,” Ehrman said. “I was influenced by a group of writers that created a large scale mural that was beyond my belief.” From full wall murals to collaborations on coffee houses, Ehrman does not disappoint viewers with his creations. One of his more awe-inspiring murals titled “Eternal Dreamer” is located in the Mission District. Although the significance of this masterpiece may not be immediately obvious, it touches on a pertinent worldwide issue. “This piece is about how Mother Earth is suffering over how we treat our environment and our love of oil,” Ehrman said. He used only spray and acrylic paint to deliver his powerful message to the streets of San Francisco. Ehrman continues to share his personal ideals and opinions through all his work and he hopes that his art can spark productive conversations. “Hopefully murals create a bridge between the observer and the creator,” Ehrman said. “This then can create a dialogue about an issue or problem.”

Fnnch Eternal dreamer

L

ining the streets of San Francisco, eye-catching murals are seen as the heart of the art scene. Now, we get a glance at the artists behind the stencils and spray cans, and dive into the meaning behind this city’s street art.

TEXT AND DESIGN BY KAILEE CORRELL, JAIME FURLONG AND REBEKAH LIMB ART BY JAIME FURLONG • PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ARTISTS

T

he Bay Area native, Allison Torneros, who creates under the name Hueman, has painted many murals up and down the California coast. Her unique art style can completely transform a street. Her mural “Wanderer,” painted on the front side of a real estate company building in South Park, does just that. “Wanderer” is the first mural Torneros has painted in San Francisco, taking four days and many bottles of spray paint to complete. The mix of cool colors and triangles creates an image of a woman’s face, but with some features left unfinished. The mural communicates a message of female empowerment, encouraging women to speak out for the issues they care about. “I wanted to paint a strong female figure, with the placement of the windows being a metaphor for the windows into a woman’s mind,” Torneros said. “Wanderer” was featured in the 2015 Wander & Wayfare art exhibit, which is an all-female street art show that aims to bring accomplished street artists together to work on making the streets of San Francisco a more colorful place.

wanderer ARTS • 47


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