YOUTH IN GAZA What does the future hold ? Issue 1 2013
Voix magazine â€˘ 3
From The Editor- In-Chief
ords either flow from the ink in your pen (or the tips of your fingers on your keyboard) onto your page, or you’re disgruntled at your lack of words. Funnily, a writer; who is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of words and their arrangement, sometimes feel just that: disgruntled. Sometimes it’s the time old writers block: no matter what you try, nothing seems to want to get written. Or maybe you know what you want to say, but you just can’t put it into words. The trials and tribulations of writing. Yet, what exactly is writing? For me, it’s a form of expression. Be it through poetry, prose, a song lyric or a piece of journalistic news, all of it is expression. Expression of opinion, truth, emotion and so much more. VOIX magazine was created out of a small idea that was resting in my head that, like the ink in the nib of the pen, was stuck. With the right set of section editors and organisation, we’ve slowly developed into a magazine that wants to hear your voice. Whatever your background, whatever your language: we want to hear from you.
“A writer from the day I could scribble on any wall in the vicinity, words have always been my speciality. Having studied Linguistics and Literature, this further strengthened my love for the written word and what can be done with it. Whether it is journalism or creative, I am a fan. I am monolingual, and think that languages create bridges between cultures and people that no physical object can. I have written frequently for many journalistic outlets and wish to continue to do so; in the hope of providing a voice to all people.”
There are so many different stories out in the world; and it would be too easy to report on the same thing that everyone else is reporting on. Why be another sheep in the herd? We’re upsetting the setup and creating our own platform: so why not join us? Whichever part of the world you’re from, we want to hear from you.
Naila Missous VOIX Editor-in-Chief
Meet The Team Cronin
I’m 21 years old, based in Birmingham, England. West Bromwich Albion fan and football fanatic. My interest lies in the culture which sport creates, and its power to simultaneously unite and divide people in such entertaining ways.
Danica Tr a v e l Ed i t o r
Diamonds? No no, she’s going to be bored. Get her a waterslide. A world traveller by nature, I live my dreams and want to learn about yours. Hop on that plane, boat or buckle yourself into that car and travel away.
Elizabeth Fa s h i o n E d i t o r
My name is Elizabeth Harper, I am 21, and I am an English Literature MA student at the University of Manchester. My previous journalistic escapades include Fashion Editor at The Mancunion newspaper. I take an avid interest in Shakespeare, Angel Delight and the music of Michael Jackson. Tweet @E_S_Harper.
A Jordanian Bedouin urban planning student and blogger with a passion for cities, sustainability and the environment. Anoud is also a vintage jewellery enthusiast and a passionate animal lover.
Aaron Sports Editor Leggott
Hi there! My name is Aaron Leggott and alongside James, I will be editor of Sports here at VOIX. At 20 years old, I study Sports Journalism at Staffordshire University and add VOIX to a long list of experience gained within the media industry. I hope you enjoy my work!
Doa’ a Politics
Doa’a Abdel-Raman is a media communication officer at a non-profit women university in Omdurman, Sudan. She received her B.A in Political Science from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, her interests vary between both politics and media; but her focus is on East Africa and the Middle East with particular concentration in human rights, media freedom and stateless people. Follow her on Twitter @d3akar
James Sports Editor
Politics Editor Ballesteros - Sabatar
Nathaniel Culture Editor
I am a freelance writer based in Chicago, IL and the Middle East. Always fascinated by the world and the people who live in it, I received a B.A in International Relations and Political Science from Syracuse University in 2009. Garret’s main interest and focus is the Middle East, in particular Egypt, Syria, Turkey and U.S. foreign policy. Having spent time living and studying in Istanbul, I developed an enduring affection for the history, politics, food and culture of the region. I also am a Contributor at YourMiddleEast, an online media organization, where I have written several articles focusing on the issues of the day in the region.
I’m from Northeast England, born 1991. Besides writing reviews, I’m working on a novel, and soon I’ll be starting an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. I can’t drive, but I love road trips, and I’d like to spend more time whittling.
Growing up in New York, I became an avid traveler of the world and am always in search of a good story and a new take on life. A lover of languages, I speak Hungarian and French and conversational Italian.
I am a ordinary guy who was born on the outskirts of Barcelona in 1991. My two passions are martial arts and books. I recently graduated with a degree in English Language and Literature and now I am about to start a Master’s degree in Translation and Interpreting.
08 A not so bright future for Gaza youth
12 Turkey caught between East and West with fewer friends. 13 The Venice Biennale: A distressing metaphor? 14 Is the new Egypt Violent or Xenophobic?
18 The Healing Power of Art 19 English Language Course in prison in Homs: It started with an ‘OK’ 20 God’s Blueprints: The anatomical drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci
24 Dependent or independent travel?
28 There’s no place like home-grown farms. The benefits of supporting local farming.
32 Drunk driving, The Lagosian Pasttime 33 Be healthy for Healthy’s sake
36 37 38 39
Alternative Style Icon- Aung San Suu Kyi Fashion Moksha The Anti-Liberation of the female image: Miley Cyrus Fast fashion news
42 Battle off the pitch Bamboozle Brazil 44 Wassim Benslimane- Interview
A Not So Bright Future For Gaza Youth By Garret Pustay Politics Editor Istanbul
For 1.7 million Gazans living in an area only twice the size of the city of Washington DC, their life can be best described as dire, unbearable and not sustainable. This is the message heard time and time again from those living in the Gaza strip I spoke with over Skype and by our email correspondence. The latest statistics from the CIA fact book, a generally good source regarding population numbers, reported that over half the population is younger than 24 years old. More astounding is that the percentage under the age of 14 stands at 43.5 percent. That is a staggering figure that points to the weight that the youth of Gaza might have in the coming years. Ruled by the Islamist group Hamas since 2007, the Gaza Strip is essentially isolated and cut off from the rest of the world. Most of it is closed off by Israel, which severely restricts goods, services and people from entering or leaving the tehrritory. The one border crossing that it has with Egypt, at Rafah, is closed frequently and without much notice. This has especially become the norm since the army overthrew President Mohammad Morsi, which enjoyed cordial relations with Hamas. Since the military takeover in Egypt, the economic situation in Gaza has worsened. Many of the tunnels that Hamas had along the border between Egypt and Gaza, have been shut down or completely destroyed. With this, Hamas lost much of its source of income as it had heavily relied on the taxes it imposed on the underground trade. With the economy in an increasingly dire state and with such a youthful population, what does the future hold for the young in Gaza?
Sabeena Alkaisi is 21 and lives in Gaza Strip. Originally from Hebron, in the West Bank, she says that situation in the Gaza strip is bad and that it’s due to many reasons including the economic situation and the different governments that exists, Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank. Despite the situation, Sabeena remains optimistic that the future will be better. “In the future, I think everything will be better because of our vision which we are working on,” she said. “In my opinion, we can do a lot of things to make our vision (a) reality. First of all, we can make a plan, and show it to the people to (tell) them about our vision. Then, we can imagine and draw a picture about Gaza now and Gaza in 2050 to know the differences between them.” Asked about what such a plan could include and what the vision would look like, Sabeena said that she didn’t know.
Challenges surely remain for Gaza and Sabeena recognized that. “Gaza is trying to survive and in the future Gaza will be challenging all the obstacles that she may face,” she said. Despite expressing some confidence in the future for Gaza and her hopes for a vision for the future, she concluded that “in fact there is no future for us in this country.” Khaled, who asked not to have his last name published, is a 21-year-old journalism student at the Islamic University in Gaza. He said that his future is not too bright if nothing changes at home. “I think the future is so bad for me and for everyone here and I must work by myself,” he sad. Khaled understands that the economy is bad in Gaza but that “everywhere (in) the world, the economy is very bad.” As for the Hamas government and their role in the depressed economic situation, he
kept his answer to the point. “I don’t know anything about the government, but its ok. I think it can’t do anything for us because all of the world (is) against it,” he said. The feeling, the one of not believing in your country and the knowing that there is no future, is difficult to comprehend and imagine. The future of any nation is in its children and Gaza is no exception. The proof that the youth is its future can be found simply by looking at the percentage of young people that makeup the demographics. While many expressed dismay and frustration with the situation there, there was a glimmer of hope in both Sabeena and Khaled’s vision to take Gaza out of its depressed situation. But a vision is only that and without a plan in place to make that happen, the feeling persists that the outlook for the youth in Gaza remains out of reach for over 50 percent of the population.
Poli 10 •
itics â€˘ 11
Turkey Caught Between East and West with Fewer Friends.
eace at home, peace in the
(Kurdistan Worker’s Party) and the hosting of
and had solid relationships with these same
world.” These famous words
Iraq’s Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi,
were said by the founder of
who is wanted back home for allegedly run-
Modern day Turkey, Mustafa
ning death squads.
Times have changed and this is no longer
Kemal Ataturk in 1931 and
the case. It’s plausible, the Gezi park protests
became the nation’s foreign
For Syria, Prime Minister Erdoğan urged
shook the West’s confidence in Turkey and
policy mantra. As Turkey celebrated its 91st
President Bashar al-Assad to reform early on
more so in its confidence of Prime Minister
Victory Day (Zafer Bayramı in Turkish), the
during the protests in 2011. When he didn’t,
current Turkish President, Abdullah Gül, reaf-
Turkey quickly dropped Assad and became
firmed this principle and vowed to continue
outspoken in the need for him to go. Today,
A foreign policy adviser for Erdogan, Ibrahim
following Ataturk’s vision.
we see Turkey as a forceful proponent of
Kalin, said last week that Turkey now finds
taking action in the crisis; especially in light
itself in a state “precious loneliness.” True or
Writing in the official guest book at the
of allegations chemical weapons were used
not, Turkey is in a different position today.
mausoleum of Ataturk in Ankara, President
by the regime.
It is sticking to its morals and convictions,
Gül wrote that “Turkey will continue to go
particularly on Egypt, by standing with the
ahead with determination in line with ‘peace
Egyptian and Turkish ties warmed significant-
Muslim Brotherhood, and on Israel, long
at home, peace in the world’ doctrine, will
ly when the Muslim Brotherhood won par-
demanding and ultimately receiving an
always rise as a country active in the inter-
liamentary elections and after Mohammad
apology from Israel over the Mavi Marmara
national arena, developed in every field,
Morsi became President.
powerful and prosperous.”
ousted Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood
When the army
on July 3, PM Erdoğan became one of the
But this comes at a cost. It’s no longer the
most outspoken critics of the army’s action.
‘mediator nation’ that it once was. It has
Davutoğlu, Turkey has expanded on Ataturk’s
Two months on, Erdoğan still hasn’t accept-
fewer friends in the neighborhood and yet
foreign policy orientation by developing a
ed the military takeover and the removal of
again finds itself between East and West,
‘zero problems with neighbors’ outlook.
Morsi from power.
not knowing where to turn next. While the
For a while, it certainly worked.
Domestically, Turkey has also been rocked
mantra, it is getting increasingly compli-
enjoyed cordial, productive relationships
with protests and violence this year that
cated and sticky for Turkey.
with most countries in the region including
began over the government wanting to
Syria, Iraq and Israel. But looking at the pres-
demolish a park in the heart of Istanbul. The
So perhaps it is telling with what Kalin said
ent day state of affairs, the love is either long
protest became the biggest challenge to PM
last month in that “Turkey is neither alone
gone or deeply diminished.
Erdoğan’s tenure in office.
either in its region or in the global politics.”
government continues to stand by its peace
It’s true that Turkey is sticking to its position Turkey has become quite isolated in its own
What happened to Ataturk’s “Peace at home,
on many of the complicated issues in the
backyard with fewer close allies and friends.
peace in the world” mantra? What about
region. But in the process, it’s drawing the
Israel is one such example of this.
Foreign Minister Davutoğlu’s “zero problems
gall of both the East and West while finding
with neighbors” philosophy?
itself as the ‘lonely kid on the block’ so-to-
deteriorating relationship with Israel can be dated back to Turkish Prime Minister
speak. Ultimately though, it’s feasible that
Tayyip Erdoğan’s spate and walkout with
Something has changed in Turkey and it
it’s waiting once again for its moment to
the Israeli President in 2009 over Gaza.
increasingly is finding itself between East
step in and regain its role as regional media-
2010, the raid of the Mavi Marmara flotilla
and West. This in itself is not new, as Turkey
tor that worked so well in years past and did
bound for Gaza that left several Turks dead,
has long been at the crossroads between the
justice to Ataturk’s philosophy of “Peace at
for all intents and purposes practically cut off
two. However, it finds itself getting lonelier
home, peace in the world.” If this is the case,
and perhaps arguably, less influential. The
all eyes will surely be on Turkey to see what
appeal of Turkey, especially for the West, was
For Iraq, tensions with Baghdad have esca-
that Ankara had good lines of communica-
By Doa’a Abdel-Rahman
lated especially over the issue of the PKK
tion open with many players in the region
VOIX Politics Editor
English Language Course
in Prison in Homs It started with an ‘OK’
he Syrian war has been
hand, Syria has no abundance in natural
weapons- especially innocent children
ongoing for the latter part
resources like Iraq or Libya. But Syria has
of the past two years. Bashar
over the years patronized the West, made
Assad has chosen a path
friends with their archenemies – China,
influential in the region sit tight, hand
All this and the economically
of destruction not only for
Russia and Iran and has not played nice
over checks while they turn a blind eye to
political part (the infamous Ba’ath party)
with Israel. Despite all this, Syria only got
the realities of what has become Syria.
but for Syria as a whole. The amount of
a slap on hand and faced economical
destruction is beyond numeration, death
sanctioned that didn’t quite diminish their
tolls are in the tens of thousands and inter-
economy but it did sever ties with the
nally displaced people and refugees are in
the millions. The war is not over, and will
not be anytime soon.
kicks, the EU are waiting for the United
By Garret Pustay
VOIX Politics Editor
The USA along with their side-
Now, the death of thousands of
Nations report on the chemical bomb-
mainly women and children in the sub-
ings, nevertheless with or without the
urbs of Damascus from chemical bomb-
discretion of the United Nations Security
ings by regime has brought the attention
Council, the USA and her allies will take
of the powers that be - the United States
place. However, the US knows a long term
of American. Now, thousands have died
intervention would mean a regional war
over the last two years but this specific
that would be inclusive of Iran, Turkey and
case of the use of chemical weapons by
Israel, among other nations like Lebanon.
Assad has alarmed the international com-
Such a war would be bloody, rootless and
munity. Despite the fact it should have
endless. The US neither has the money
been alarmed earlier on when Al Qaeda
nor the man power to take such an action
and Hezbollah joined the civil strife in
Syria earlier this year. The US along with
the EU is calling for military intervention
a moral obligation to intervene shortly in
the affairs of the region. Nonetheless, they
One might ask himself, to be on the safe
do not aim to fight in this war alongside of
side. What is in for the USA and EU if they
those who oppose Assad nor intend this
do go on and intervene in Syria?
intervention to be a long and financially
Perhaps this time the West feels
The USA and EU tend to military
draining one. This military intervention
intervene in the Middle East or even else-
by the West, is not meant to cripple the
where in the world, only when it comes
regime but rather say, “Fight all you want
down to their own personal gain. On one
but don’t bomb civilians with chemical
Is the New Egypt Violent I t does not take much atten-
with a vicious Shakespearean tempest.
tion to notice the turmoil that
In a picturestique scene –to sum up the
threats. We are each other’s demons.
is taking place in the MENA
Middle Eastern political scene- a building
In the late 1980’s, 1988 to be more pre-
region. The Arab world was
is on fire, the fallen people on the streets,
cise, the Arab world was on the road
the center of a spring, a festivity of
ambulances rushing to salvage those
to prosperity, local markets to interna-
human capability and the triumph of
they can and one wonders, where is
tional products, tourism was a booming industry, step by step development was increasing especially in renter states of the Gulf region. Egyptians, Lebanese and Jordanians were being hired to be the teachers, engineers, doctors and middle management in the Gulf, with both parties delighted with the money and the skill kit respectively. It was the period of the first intifada that started in December 1987; it was ample with a hope of freedom and the implementation of the Right of Return. The Palestinian issue was dubbed as “ El Qadeya ( The Cause)” in Arabic, as there was no other cause worth discuss-
social justice advancement and free-
that? It might be Baghdad, Cairo, Aleppo
ing until Palestine is free. Close rela-
dom. Why has it turned into a grave-
or even Beirut, and the list goes on. Every
tions with the West, guarded by a peace
yard for hundred-thousands of its own
Arab capital is being shredded to pieces
treaty sealed by blood that truly defies
population? Recently compared to the
by its own people, be it the citizens
the Arab nationalistic dream of the Holy
Prague spring, the season is officially
or ‘government’ (I use this term freely).
land being free. The Arabs –if such an
over, and instead of summer, the MENA
In the Arab world, there is no longer
expression of unification still exists-
region has embraced a harsh winter
a foreign existential threat! Domestic
shared a common history, a common
and Xenophobic ? ing and speculations. Every flag in a pro-
regions known to be flooded by an
was once the solace of many Arabs
test is questioned, studied and leads to a
influx of X-Nationality. Take a minute
became another reason to find resort
thread of false prophecies. It is a tragedy
and ask those people about their liv-
in another country, maybe even a
to see a country like Egypt, that is not
ing conditions in Egypt. They would
western one. Where did we lose the
only popular among tourist but gener-
tell you the story of lost hope; they
unity of the Arab spring? Where did
ates a substantial amount of income
have fled the violence back home to
we lose sight of our January dreams?
from tourism, torn by political and media
come to a land that they can call home.
agendas that criminalize foreigners –
However, with the current xenophobia
especially if their respective countries are
and the turbulent security situation, they
against the current political situation.
are torn. Have they fled the violence to
It seems that some of the population
more violence, insecurity and…racism?
would salute you if you are with us and would close their eyes, cover their ears
Syrian | The most heartbreaking stories
and curse at you if you are against us!
of all is that of the Syrian women, the
So, watch what you say next time you are
beautiful women of the Levant. These
smoking hookah in a café in Khan El Khalili.
beautiful women marry Egyptian men
Iraqi | Back in 2003, after the United
to find a decent way of living. A Syrian
States of America’s invasion of Iraq,
woman marries an Egyptian man to be
Al Jazeera had a live coverage, with a
able to eat, to find shelter, to find a back-
headline at the top right part of the
bone to protect her from the hard times
screen, “Baghdad is burning”. Sadly,
in Egypt. However, this is the bright side
Baghdad has been burning for the
of the story. Majority of the unfortunate
past ten years. During that time, many
tales of Syrian women end in exploita-
Iraqis have fled to Egypt, ten years later;
tion. Once they have been used to satisfy
Egypt became the venue of exodus
an instant gratification, they are aban-
of many Arabs. 10 years and Iraqis are
doned and worse case abandoned with
still waiting to return to Baghdad and
a child. Later, their burden is doubled,
still hoping to buy their ticket home.
their trouble has increased and all this is
If you come to Cairo, you will soon
in a place that they sought protection at.
realize that it has been the ‘home’ of
This moment in history confuses me.
so many Iraqis, Sudanese, Syrians and
What is happening to the Arab world?
Palestinians. Yes, in Cairo, there are
It is sad to think that the country that
Cult 16 •
ture â€˘ 17
The HealinG Power of ART by Lucas Ballesteros Sabater
still remember the face of astonishment that my parents
need of cultural knowledge. Ancient Greek philosophers believed
made when I told them I had decided to study an English
that the best citizens of the ‘polis’ (town) were those ones who had
Literature and Linguistics degree. Hardly had the announce-
been taught exercise for the body and poetry for the soul. Indeed,
ment left my mouth and my Father followed with the so ever-
arts and literature possess a healing power in individuals. They fulfil
tedious question: “and ... what for?”.
a therapeutic function like any other chemical.
I am sure they would have preferred their son to be either a Doctor,
Spanish neurologist and psychiatrist Carlos Castilla del Pino claims
or an Engineer, or even a professional in Computer Science. But
that human beings are able to develop a special sensitivity when
reality was far from going this way and I found out, as a young lad,
observing a piece of art or reading a book. He adds that our brain
that literature and language were my true vocation. This experience
segregates a hormone which is in charge of making us sympathize
shows the current technification which the world is undergoing on
with what we are watching or reading; and thus there is an imminent
a large scale. The sciences are regarded as respectable degrees
response of happiness. For those who are still skeptical, professor
whereas arts and humanities degrees are progressively being kept
Fritz Breithaupt maintains that sympathy is something inherent in
in a lower level of knowledge. One has the disconcerning feeling
us. He conceives the word sympathy as ‘the capability to under-
that there is no place for artists in this 21st century era, as if science
stand intellectually and emotionally other people’. Therefore, this
is only truly worthwhile. It is not a coincidence that many European
sympathy allows us to experience the observed behaviour in others
governments, such as the Spanish government, have started
as if it was ours. The process of mimesis studied by Breithaupt is
an open crusade against arts and humanities. The Comparative
specifically mentioned in Aristotle’s Poetics. He wrote that the good
Literature and Literary Theory degree has been swept away over
piece of art is the one which provokes a feeling of κάθαρσις ‘katar-
the last three years in many Spanish universities; and the same
sis’ -a purification of the soul- through a previous αἴσθησις ‘aisthesis’
goes to Art History and Philosophy degrees which are about to
–a sensation given by the piece of art which is being appreciated-.
The Department of Education, however, claims that
these degrees are not disappearing but they have adopted a more
It has come to the point that I wish I could move back in time and,
immediately after my father’s question, tell him without hesitation that arts are here to heal people’s souls, to heal a society which is
It is clear that nowadays arts must be ‘profitable’ in order to be wor-
increasingly becoming aesthetically sick, which seems to have for-
thy of being taught in college. Nevertheless, we cannot avoid the
gotten the motto in the front wall of the Temple of Apollo in Delphos
fact that an essential- even species-defining human trait is that we
which said Know Yourself.
value culture and the arts; as such, we find ourselves in constant
The Venice Biennale A distressing metaphor? By Kate Pleydell, based in Manchester
here is something obscenely paradoxical about the pairing
exhibition at the Cini foundation. Featuring over fifty works by the
of a forward thinking, vibrant art festival, and a historic city
multimedia artist, the exhibition displays Quinn’s amazing talent:
with a questionable future. Drowning in both tourists and
ranging from stunning photorealistic oil paintings, to marble and
the rising sea level, Venice is a dying city. In contrast, the
bronze sculptures, Quinn’s work questions the nature of the human
Venice Biennale, an internationally renowned art festival
body and its relationship with the exterior world—a topic brilliantly
in which a plethora of countries exhibit their most promising art-
embodied by his piece ‘breath’, an eleven metre high sculpture of a
ists, is a refreshing celebration of the importance of art. But is this
pregnant disabled woman.
importance sinking like the Biennale’s host city? Does this location
On a more positive note, many pavilions and individual artists cel-
poignantly comment on the loss of faith in the value of contempo-
ebrated aesthetic and sensual delight. Most memorably, Lin Xue, a
rary art—a loss reflected by the UK government’s blows to the Arts
Chinese artist, exhibited a series of drawings inspired by his hikes in
Council funding? On the 1st of July this year Arts Council England
the mountains. These intricate, other-worldly ink drawings are mes-
reduced their staff numbers by 21 percent, property costs by 50
merising, creating Surrealist contours and landscapes. Similarly,
percent and halved the number of administrative executives, in
the Welsh pavilion, presenting an entrancing grotto of lights and
reaction to the Government’s hefty cuts in administrative costs. In
shadows, and Portugal’s charming boat, offering free boat trips in a
total the annual budget was reduced by £20,000,000, causing many
surreal underwater interior, were a welcome relief from the emotion-
treasured galleries and museums to close.
ally turbulent exhibitions.
This unavoidable trail of thought followed me around the exhibitions,
I emerged from the Biennale undecided about its commentary
heightened by the somewhat morbid content. Britain’s pavilion
on the art world’s future. Though the location of the festival is
houses ‘English Magic’, a societal narrative led by the conceptual,
effectively doomed, the exhibitions were a thriving hub of creative
video and installation artist, Jeremy Deller. Almost nauseatingly
gusto, and hundreds of people were happily investing twenty euro
ironic, the grandiose pavilion features a tea room, a criticism of
to visit. In any case, dilapidated Venetian buildings are a wonder for
Prince Harry, and the suicide of UN weapons inspector Dr David
any curator. No doubt the residing and unshakeable annoyance at
Kelly, among other factual and fictional musings. Such politically
pesky tourists clouds my optimism; and perhaps, in fact, the Venice
saturated pieces (other than the tea room) resulted in leaving me
Biennale represents a spark of hope.
feeling questionable about the concept of Britain. A more successful expression of social morbidity was Mark Quinn’s
God’s Blueprints: T h e A n a t o m i c a l D With the almost-complete incorporation
would not be confirmed by cardiologists
of modern technology in medical science,
for another 400-odd years.
we are permitted a perspective of the body’s internal machinery that is unprec-
Yet Renaissance representations of the
edented in its detail. The body, for anyone
human form—whether artistic or scien-
with a minute to spare and Internet con-
tifically motivated—were statements of a
nection, is a radically open book. Thus,
philosophy about the human form. Due
demystified to the point of blasé indiffer-
to contemporaneous anatomical knowl-
ence, our understanding of human anato-
edge being largely speculative, any such
my is widely taken for granted.
images were poetic or mythological in nature. As such, the body in this exhibi-
The upshot of this is that realistic visual
tion is rendered poetically, rather than
representations of the human form—
merely scientifically: the images appear
thanks also to the ubiquity of photogra-
suspended between life and death,
phy—inspire little more than quiet kudos.
engendering a narrative of mortal tension.
Such images are taken as an exercise of
Some drawings, particularly those of the
skill, and skill alone; apparently superficial
shoulders, arms and legs, show limbs con-
in their composition, they lack meaning.
sciously positioned to accentuate muscle
The anatomist’s diagrams, then, are about
form, poised like one of Degas’ ballerina
as far from what’s deemed art as we can
still lives, at once en avant and en bas.
Similarly, other drawings conflate naked surface detail with grimly accurate mus-
cle differentiation, which serves, in such
sion of The Mechanics of Man, the cur-
cases, to reanimate a cadaver’s portrait in
rent exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery,
a posture of glorious physical display.
Holyroodhouse, is this: Leonardo Da Vinci’s artistic genius has regrettably eclipsed
More than evidence of a disinterested
his pioneering investigations in human
exercise in dissection, what these draw-
anatomy. Juxtaposing ink-on-paper dia-
ings ultimately offer amounts to a reli-
grams with corresponding CT and MRI
gious statement, which asserts a won-
scans, the exhibition’s ostensible motive is
to show the remarkable accuracy and pre-
intelligent design. To behold these plates
scient clout of Da Vinci’s beautifully lucid
is to witness a mind—alien to most of
draftsmanship. Indeed, the 240 drawings
us now—whose humbled appreciation of
on display, along with over 13,000 words
the human form is predicated, primarily,
of notes—dated 1510-1511, collectively
on awe. In a world where the sanctity of
known as Manuscript A—comprise an
the body is predominantly disrespected,
exquisitely rendered treatise. And beside
Da Vinci’s message to mark our corpo-
the sketches’ beauty—their elegance and
real orchestration with reverence is one
precision—the findings of the dissections
of perennial, if not vitally contemporary,
are farsighted at least: from injecting mol-
significance. Religious or no, this exhi-
ten wax into an ox heart, for instance,
bition is an effective encouragement to
Da Vinci was able to observe the coro-
view the most fundamental aspects of
nary system at work, and deduced that
ourselves—our physicality; our mortality;
vortex formations in blood flow facilitate
our vulnerability—with fascination, won-
the opening and closing of the aortic
der and respect.
valve with each heartbeat—a finding that
By Nathaniel Ogle
Drawings of Le onardo Da Vinci
‘MILK’ by Tyler Hatwell
In her unwashed dressing gown, Louise padded down the unlit hall to the kitchen, where she proceeded to open the fridge door, remove the new milk, place it on the floor, and jump on it. Milk jettisoned in all directions. The bottle lay destroyed on the floor. And Louise went to bed, questioning herself. Had her parents seen this, they’d have thought she needed to move back home immediately. Had visitors of the Tate seen this as a piece of performance art, they’d have thought it ‘bold’ or ‘provocative’. This action was, however, witnessed solely by Mr. Peters, Louise’s cat, whose only thought was ‘Jackpot’.
Trav 22 •
vel â€˘ 23
Dependent or Independent Everybody is different
when it comes to
travelling: some like to ride solo, while others like to be a part of a crowd. So are you a savvy independent traveler? The kind of person who solely
Dependent resort, bus an all-inclusive ke (li ny pa m tour guide, Use a co rent, teacher, pa ) ip sh se tour, crui end. responsible fri older adult or Visit many places with the kno wledge of a set cost. day. of time and Lose track bout ess a tr s little ience ation. Exper rganiz o r o g in plann Feel uneducated about the destination or schedule for the day but get well informed upon arrival. Meet other trave lers with simila r interests. m point A to point B. Get shepherded fro Really feel like you’re on a holiday . y bumps along the wa Be reassured that no time”. will be sorted out “in Adapt easily to new environment because you have an immediate support system with you.
relies on yourself to arrange and execute the trip? Or maybe you’re the dependent traveler: you rely on someone else to book, plan, and organize the trip.
Independent Spend months planning and budgeting Carry your own passport. Roughly know where you are, where you want to go and how you want to get there. Shuttle yourself to and from events. Navigate cities alone. Feel overwhelmed with responsibility. Choose where to dine. Make new friends along the way and send emails home so no one worries. You’re often outside of your comfort zone, adapting to new environments and situations. Make new friends along the way and send emails home so no one worries. Face dodgy accommodation, hidden costs. Understand every moment as a reflexive period of self-discovery.
Independent Traveler Are You Cut Out?
by Macey Nielissen, Vancouver, Canada
aggage check was we had arrived at Milano Malpensa the cut-off. I saw in my Airport. Before my nerves rose I father’s eyes both the joy grabbed my bags and shuffled off the and sadness of seeing his plane. daughter grow up. In my mother’s, the worry and holding on I had scribbled my next to what she had left to care for. instructions in a small - leather agenda. I was l e While I was gaining indev a tr dent ; to find the Malpensa pendence, n e p alone express train and take de y n l i l she was a n e tAs a e never r grea it to Corona station. scared y b r a he ded of it. As I ler you nd t It became apparent rroun a u s , s e rolled my ar er- that English was no orie you d ov mem n , a s luggage longer the spoken r fea face g to language and the n i o t through the est w ro nge by g with- signs were not crowd, the challe e r m a e you e th faces and helpful. I overwho com d n a waves of my heard a family t s y der ace of tourists lookM ~ parents got fur- un . hem ther and further out t ing for the same away until it was train and decided to follow just the airport them. This was not the most couraand I. geous way of doing things, but it worked. The couples waiting for their flights entertained me, arguing over I was sweating and my itineraries and directions. I was enviheavy bags started to cut off the cirous of the businessmen making travculation in my arm. Blisters began on elling to foreign places seem so easy my feet, and I managed to make it to and routine, but I also felt sorry for the nearest seat on the train. Sitting their lack of excitement. Then there next to an older Italian man I decidwere the families with the complained to practice my new language, ing children, one having to go to the “Bonjourno”. He replied with a string bathroom, the other wanting a snack. of vowels, which I did not recognize. I made a mental note to thank my Laughing, he said in broken English, parents for putting up with the same “What are you in Italy for?” I replied, nonsense from my brothers and I. “Myself”, and smiled. He smiled back with what seemed like empathy from I nodded off on the plane. his youthful past, and wished me After the hours passed I woke up good luck on a journey that had only to an announcement in Italian that just begun.
“At the end of
your tra so easy vels it c an feel to go h o m e , but so return t o the s hard to ame pe when y r s o n you we ou left. re You brin each m g a piece o onume f nt, sun cobble s e t , s e stone s a, and idewalk with yo y o u met ba u. You ck are a becaus b e t t er pers e you’v on e been see, fee t h e r e . You w l or drea ill m some change t h in g t hat will you fore ver .” ~Mace
Environ 26 •
nment • 27
“There’s no place like home-grown farms.” ` The Benefits of Supporting Local Farming By Salma Othman
remember being seven years old in rural
One way to get back our whole foods is by choosing to buy locally.
Warsaw, sitting around with family in a
Whatever city you’re in, there are almost definitely numerous little
relative’s garden talking politics and sipping
grocers or farmer’s markets that can be found by the internet, paper,
steeped lemon tea. Being the age that I
was, I was less interested in polls and more intrigued by the Alice in Wonderland type
Those living in the USA can check out localharvest.org for
garden that lay before me. Wild, unruly, and displaying more colours
a map with all the listed markets that support independent farms.
than the costume of a late Friday-night drag show performer. Having
I’m sure you’re wondering how this simple change can affect our
little self control, I was running up to every tree and bush and pulling
environment, carbon footprint, and well being, aren’t you? Well, by
off the vibrant fruits and vegetables, devouring them in a manner
paying for foods brought to us from only X miles away, we’re voting
that only a completely self-unaware child could.
for a cleaner environment. The average distance most conventional foods travel from farm to plate is about 2400km (about 1500miles),
It was the bright red, summer sun-ripened tomato that left
which burns up heaps of gas, leading to more pollution and more
its mark on me. After a swift wipe clean on my purple frock, I bit into
global warming. Foods from local farms don’t only cut the carbon
it, juices trailing down my chin, wide eyed, and giggling so much I
footprints down to a small percentage, but they’re much less likely
almost lost my mouthful. It was good. No salt, no pepper, no drizzle
to have been sprayed with an abundance of toxic pesticides. Even
of extra virgin olive oil to add an earthy taste, none of that was
organic foods that have been imported are sprayed as per the
approved food regulations of almost all countries. So, that imported
I sit here now, in a modern, trendy cafe, plated salad before me, with
“Certified Organic” packet of raspberries isn’t exactly what you’re
that fond memory playing in my head. These tomatoes just don’t cut
it anymore. I knew the reason why. This plate of vegetables probably did more travelling on their way here than I have during my university gap year.
Conventional foods are so highly processed nowadays
that their natural state and flavours have been altered beyond recognition. We’ve got pretty looking veggies, but they’re bland, void of nutrients, and have just become fillers with the added toxins from pesticides. Horror of horrors, we might as well eat the plastic display fruits.
ut that’s not all. By buying right from the
This choice ensures a “clean” decision.
farmers, we’re supporting their families’ well-being and preserving natural farmland.
I have a friend who, not only buys exclusively from farm-
Working together, financially supporting and
ers, but gives back to them in more ways than a weekly purchase.
building relationships with the farmers not
She throws the skins, ends, eggshells, leaves, and unusable bits of
only ensures getting good quality foods, it
food that she’s bought, puts them into a bin, and makes compost
helps support the farm as a whole. This way independent farmers
out of it. Every week she returns back to her favourite stalls, hands
can avoid take-overs by large corporations who’d make the land out
over bins of organic, homemade manure, and gets jars of all sorts
to be only a cash cow (pun only slightly intended), and we can enjoy
of homey goodness. I have to say, some of the jams and nut but-
good, wholesome foods again.
ters that she had brought back would put the store-bought stuff to shame.
More natural farmlands also means less pesticides leaking
into groundwater and into neighbouring farms, thus saving a range
There are all sorts of websites that give details on donating
of species from endangered extinction. Not forgetting that freshly
funds to local farmers, but one of my favourite ways to help has to
picked foods means fresher than most store bought foods. No pre-
be a recent fad called “Cash Mobs”. Cash mobs is a play on words
servatives, hormones, and flash-freezing for us, thank you!
of the more popular “Flash Mobs/dances”, where groups of people
You should probably keep in mind that the big boy corporations
from a community go into local shops and buy a majority of their
have caught wind of this and have also started labelling their
produce for the week.
products as “Greenwash”/”Localwash” to confuse consumers into believing they’re buying a healthier option. Reading the fine print
on labels is key to knowing what’s really making up our food. So,
popular online-shopping website called “Etsy” has an option to buy
But don’t think that buying locally is limited to foods. A
always make sure that you’re shopping resourcefully, and don’t be
locally by entering in your area codes and browsing sellers. That
afraid to ask the sellers questions.
could be found at etsy.com/local.
To truly know what growing methods are being used in
food and household products are coming from, you can improve
your area, it’s important to do your own research. For example,
dozens of people’s lives, first and foremost being your own. All in all,
you may have a regional seller with an open-air farm farther out of
working to improve the ecosystem around you will always result in a
the city, and a seller who grows in a sustainable greenhouse much
healthier, cleaner community, and hopefully more children enjoying
closer to you. By choosing the greenhouse, you can cut down on
summer sun-ripened tomatoes.
By taking simple steps to become aware of where and what your
gas miles and enjoy certain veggies even if they’re out of season.
Lifes 30 •
style • 31
T H E L AG O S I A N PA
Before I begin in earnest, I urge you to read
false, here there is an element of truth to it. In Nigeria,
the short introduction provided somewhere
good driving has nothing to do with the strict adherence of
in the pages of the magazine. If it is there,
carefully laid out laws to protect both the safety of yourself
then I need not write it here, for tautology is
and your fellow road users. Good driving here is all about
often just as tedious as it is insulting.
you, getting where you’re going as quickly as possible without thought for anyone but yourself. It’s very similar
I have always been aware of drunk driving. I
to a game of Mario Kart, we dart past each other on any
would blame it on a childhood, or a teenagehood glued to
road, without thinking about the fact that we may be driv-
E!: the entertainment channel we all know and love, that
ing in the wrong lane, or considering the possibility that
has done some incredible reporting on Lindsay Lohan’s
there may be a speed limit. The Highway Code is a game
many DUI’s, but that would be a lie. As a Nigerian, and
of chicken. The man afraid of being hit, gives way to the
more importantly, as a Lagosian, drunk driving is some-
man who’s more than happy to do the hitting everytime.
thing that everyone knows, and everyone speaks against, but everyone does. I suppose it is a little bit hypocritical of
While there is some daylight drunk driving, that
us, but that too is a fundamental characteristic of Nigerian
is usually done by the danfo bus drivers, or the okada
society. There’s a reason why we are so religious, but yet
bike riders. We cannot say for certain that they are drunk,
so blatantly corrupt.
but anyone with half a mind can see that they are on something. They have to be to drive as recklessly and
In Nigeria, drunk driving is a criminal offence.
fool hardily as they. My experience of drunk driving, is
There’s no debate about units consumed here, if you
mostly restricted to Friday nights, when the boys and
have drunk, then you are afoul of the law. That may be
girls, feigning full adulthood come out to play. They are all
what makes the law so useless, as drunk driving is prob-
so enamoured with the idea of driving that some of them
ably quite low down on the list of the Nigerian Police
even turn up with drivers, but force them to endure their
Force’s priorities, and even if it was quite high up on
folly in the passenger’s seat. As they move from bar to bar
the list, they do not currently have the means to test for
and club to club, because our culture dictates that staticity
drunkenness on the spot. At the moment, to be booked for
is equivalent to social irrelevance, their driving becomes
drunk driving, you’d have to be driving, while chugging a
increasingly erratic. Some of them resort to forming infor-
bottle of vodka from the bottle. And even then, to be taken
mal convoys, with the hazard lights of the car in front,
to the station and charged, you’d have to be severely
reminding our drunken minds of our lanes and our route.
deficient in both charm and cash.
Most of the time, everything is fine. They laugh about how stupid they were the night before the morning after, know-
When I went around on a random Friday night
ing full well they’ll be at it again the following weekend. I
and asked those who were out with me on the young
would ask why it is that we, the young, relatively moneyed
person’s favourite pastime (getting hammered) why they
and incredibly reckless are the way we are, but I fear that
were drinking stupendous amounts, a common reply I
I might hear a solitary voice scream “YOLO!!”
got was, “I drive better when I’m drunk.” These are sentiments shared by Afroman in his song, Drive Better Drunk.
The song features lyrics like, I can barely talk, I can barely
VOIX Lifestyle and Health Editor
walk, but I can glide that Cadillac like a hawk. While both the song and the statement are nearly always incredibly
Be Healthy For Healthy’s Sake
Jennifer Lawrence is this months Vogue cover girl. In The Silver Linings Playbook most viewers marveled at her incredibly toned physique. It is incredibly likely that she became the “fitspiration” of several women after they saw the
It would be extremely fair to say that the vast majority of
movie. However there’s a vast
us suffer from a mild form of body dismorphic disorder.
difference between being fit and looking like Jennifer
We obsess over our bodies to the point that we believe
Lawrence. The startling truth is that not many women
that the standard is an incredibly fresh faced, lean and
can look like that. In the same vein, it would probably
slim but never skinny, smooth skinned beauty of a human
be unhealthy for me, a rather skinny, five foot and seven
being, who doesn’t deal with every day problems like
inch African to gain 20 kilograms of muscle for the sake of
ingrown hairs, back pimples, and keloids. If you’re a
looking like Vin Diesel.
woman, you believe that the standard comes with large enough breasts, a tiny waist, a more curvy than not bot-
While all of the above is probably true, something has
tom and abs. And if you’re a man, your standard comes
to be said about the people that are blatantly obese, but
with bulging muscles of every kind. You’re expected to
claim that big is beautiful. Yes, big is beautiful, but it isn’t
be a miniature Henry Cavil with pectoral muscles like
necessarily good for you, the same way being anorexic
Hercules, shoulders like Mars, and an arse like Kim
might be beautiful, but may also be fatal. When your muf-
Kardashian’s. Every man knows that when he turns to
fin top, has developed its own muffin top, and your muffin
walk away there’s at least one pair of eyes trained on his
top’s muffin top, is showing signs of developing its own
poo vent. If you don’t know this, then you probably haven’t
muffin top, chances are that your big is not healthy. Of
watched television in the last three decades.
course, we must understand that the issues we have with our weights are often symptomatic of both mental and
Needless to say, the standards by which we judge our-
physical illnesses. It is especially bad, when the reason
selves are not real. We all know that the actress on
for obesity or being dangerously thin, is as a result of a
the cover of that magazine, has been airbrushed within
mental illness, because the bulk of us do not believe that
an inch of her life, and that Henry Cavill, or your buff
mental illnesses are actually illnesses.
Hollywood man of the month didn’t get that way just because he wanted to. He was probably paid very hand-
We must remember at all times that, beauty and health
somely for his sudden interest in fitness and weights. And
are often mutually exclusive. It is about time that we
that’s the problem with health and fitness to day. We all
sought fitness for health, and not for the sake of beauty.
want to be healthy and fit, but not many of us want to be healthy and fit for any of the benefits that healthiness and fitness provide. We don’t even particularly want to
be healthy and fit, we just want the bodies of the beautiful people that we see on the covers of all the popular magazines.
Fash 34 •
hion • 35
ALTERNATIVE STYLE ICON- AUNG SAN SUU KYI By Elizabeth Harper
f there’s anyone who represents the fight for political and social freedom in recent history, it’s Aung San Suu Kyi, the Chairperson and General Secretary for the National League for Democracy in Burma. Primarily, thinking of her as a style icon does not in any way belittle or reduce her as a political figure: for anyone involved in politics or who features predominantly in public life and in public consciousness, appearance is important and should not be underestimated. Everyone from Barack Obama to grass roots activists carefully consider their wardrobes because if politics is about anything, it’s about presenting and maintaining a particular image of yourself, almost in the way an actor might don a costume. Clothing acts as a visual narrative for all that you want to do and stand for, and therefore is an
important strategic tool in a politician’s figurative arsenal. What I love about Aung San Suu Kyi is that she does not conform to a trouser-suit or two piece combo that many Western female politicians typically wear. She elects for colours, soft and unstructured tailoring of Burmese national dress, and frequently wears flowers in her hair and draped around her neck. Yet, whilst these may carry connotations of comfort and gentleness, there is the unmistakable sense that this woman means business. Her image is inherently intertwined in her continued campaign for freedom and democracy in Burma: the flowers are an act of remembrance for her father, assassinated in 1947, and the violence that has reigned in Burma for over half a century. However, they also symbolise a hope for concord and harmony, the perfect accessory to her Nobel Peace Prize.
If her perseverance and dedication to her cause and country was not enough to inspire or make her an icon for democracy and peace, then her wardrobe does much to further endear her to her fellow countrymen, and politicians abroad. She appeals to people of all ethnicities, young and old; there is nothing about her or her appearance that serves to alienate or discomfort. Her clothing speaks of experience and continued strength, and her dignity, self-belief and undeniable femininity means she successfully fulfils her title, ‘the Lady’, bestowed on her by her Burmese supporters. On 6th June 2013, Aung San Suu Kyi announced that she would run for the presidency of Burma/Myanmar in 2015, and VOIX Fashion wishes her unmitigated success, and heartily anticipates her political and sartorial campaign.
oga is an ancient Eastern practice that has numerous theological and philosophical roots, and has had an increasingly conspicuous presence in the UK and USA for its therapeutic and health related benefits. There are many different avenues of yoga and the most predominant in the West is Hatha yoga, a path that focuses on postures and breathing which collectively aim to prepare the mind and body for meditation. Yoga and fashion may seem at odds with one another: one is a meditative and spiritual discipline whilst the other is a fast-paced, capital driven commercial industry. However, I think there is one big way in which these two areas of lifestyle meet: they both deal, in a therapeutic way, with the body. As I have just highlighted, fashion is an industry, however I believe the relationship people have, and have had in the past, with clothes can transcend industrial uniformity, whereby dressing becomes a deeply personal and private process. Many men and women do not dress for the acceptance of others but for their own gratification and personal enjoyment. As a result, clothes and dressing do have a therapeutic, remedial function, which I will explore more later on. One of the areas of yoga that
struck a chord with me is the way in which it helps the practitioner to map their body. Speaking from a Western position, I live in a culture that encourages people to become alienated from their bodies. This happens in a variety of ways, for example through advertising, reality television shows and glossy magazines amongst other things, all of which encourage us to aspire to lives and bodies beyond ourselves. We seek to identify with men and women we see in the spotlight, served up for us by media corporations, and we are left feeling that our bodies do not match up with this sugar coated and extremely limited and limiting ‘ideal’. Another way in which the alienation of the mind from the body takes place, which ultimately results in discomfort with our bodies, comes from having a fast-paced and hectic lifestyle. Instead of ‘being’ which a practice like yoga encourages through breathing and meditation, we are obsessed with ‘doing’. Even when people have time alone to relax, they are plugged into telephones, iPods, radios, televisions and books. We are not encouraged to just do nothing and ‘be’ in our bodies, getting accustomed to our own bodily movements and landscapes. In many ways, taking care with the way you dress, like the prac-
tice of yoga, helps you to become reacquainted with your body, with the way it is shaped and what it needs. I think to successfully do this, we have to buck what the media serves up to us, including what is shown in fashion magazines, by focusing on what your body specifically needs and is suited to. There is no point in wearing a dress or a pair of jeans that is completely wrong for your body, even though it is being presented as the new ‘it’ item, because it does nothing for your self confidence and comfort; something that is far more important than trying to achieve an ideal that someone else has decided to set. As a result a lot of strength is required in developing your own style, however I think this is something that we must all try to strive for because it results in a better awareness and understanding of your body, and who better to know you than yourself? For Hindus, yoga is a means of acquiring good karma so that they can achieve ‘moksha’, liberation of the soul from the body so that it can be reunited with Brahman. I am also of the opinion that clothes and dressing can be pathways to a different kind of liberation: self-value and selfknowledge of your body, in turn helping us to ‘be’, instead of perpetually seeing our purpose in life as ‘to do’.
The Anti-Liberation of the Female Image By Jessica Cusack
It is with reluctance that I say the
towards females and seek to
following two words. Please don’t
shame and taunt them for mir-
stop reading once you see them,
roring the sexual behaviour that
but here goes.
society tells them to perpetrate. Once again a woman is reduced
Yes, her performance at the 2013
to the virgin/whore dichotomy, in
VMAs was eye opening to say the
which she can only be one, and
least. Yes, it has also been inter-
preted as racist, yes it was totally pornographic, and yes her tongue
Cyrus, like many girls today, must
is a being from another planet who
decide between the seemingly lim-
will soon, I can only suppose, have
ited options presented to her. Is
its own Twitter account.
she the ‘good girl’ in Robin Thicke’s infamous song (don’t even get
What is wrong about the plethora
me started on him), which actu-
ally means a bad girl in disguise
thrown at Cyrus by the public
because deep down ‘you know you
is the language used. Slut.
want it’? Or is she the bad girl we
Whore. Dirty bitch.
saw on stage – an image which she
And those are
was heartbreakingly desperate to
prove – a glorified porn star giving
the salivating world, with its sexism and Page 3, what it asks for, only to be lambasted as a ‘slag’. The signals that the media and society as a whole send out about the female sex are confusing and difficult to interpret, especially if you’re a teenager or young girl negotiating changes in your body and image as you grow older. The foam finger humping, nude PVC wearing, wannabe punk princess on that stage used to be Disney’s Hannah Montana, for crying out loud! That kind of transformation would make any
parents heart skip a beat, but the
use of sexist language, so called
‘slut-shaming’, is totally inappro-
priate, especially when Mr Thicke
can talk about these blurred lines
between what a girl says and what
she means, which he finds so baffling, and get off scot-free. Now of course this debate seems to go round in circles. I accept
that whilst, on the one hand, we shouldn’t judge anyone on their
image, and we certainly should never throw about sexist and derogatory names such as those directed
women across the globe on a daily basis. However, Cyrus is, as a pop star, a role model to young girls and therefore her performance at the VMAs disseminates the central issue: women are still pressured to embody ‘sex’, with little regard for their brains. By fulfilling this hypersexualised stereotype, especially to such an extreme degree, Miley has reinforced this problem. Yet isn’t Cyrus just another victim of the pornographization of women in our society? OK, she’s hardly doing anything proactive to reverse the problem, but when you work in an industry in which sex sells more than anything, this is a Catch 22. What I learned from the VMAs was that Cyrus is very badly informed by the team around her, who are, admittedly, probably cackling all the way to the bank, but at the expense of her dignity and pride. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling sexy, wanting to look sexy or expressing your desires, but at the same time it should not be a requirement of the female sex. But Cyrus proved that in our world of excess, sexiness and confidence is being shoved out of the way in favour of resembling a porn star. Was the performance Miley’s idea? Did she come up with the moves? We may never know. What we must ensure is that young girls in our communities are liberated as they grow up and transform into their desired image of a young woman, not suffocated by a pornographic ideal.
Fast Fashion News
Rosalia Mera, the Spanish co-founder of ‘Zara’ has died at the age of 69. She was the world’s richest self-made woman, spawning a global fashion empire and was a political and charity activist in her native Spain.
The N a t i o n a l Committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers have approved an official association to foster the design talents of at least forty female fashion designers, in a hope to re-vitalize the Saudi Arabian fashion industry.
T o m m y Hilfiger have cancelled their menswear show in New York, instead choosing to emphasise their range for women, which currently makes up 40% of their business takings.
Brazilian beauty Gisele Bundchen has topped the Forbes highest paid model list for the seventh year in a row, earning $42 million last year. In second place is Miranda Kerr with $7.2 million and Adriana Lima in third with $6 million.
Britain and France meet in fashion heaven, as Burberry opens up a pop up space in the Printemps department store in Paris, running from 22nd August-20th October 2013.
Danish model Freja Beha Erichson has designed a capsule collection for denim brand Mother, explaining her notable absence from recent catwalks and advertising campaigns. • 39
Welcome to VOIX Sports. After all the blogging and tweeting, weâ€™re pleased to bring you the first edition of VOIX Sports. We hope you all enjoy the Sport we deliver on these pages within the coming months.
Unlike many other publications, we wonâ€™t just stop at the headlines; and strive to offer you new insights into the world of Sport and those not under the media stare. So, sit back and get ready for some first class coverage here at VOIX!
Battles off the Pitch Bam By James Cronin - Sports Editor There is no doubt that the Brazilian nation has always had an enchanting relationship with the world of football. Ask anyone, anywhere, and the two seem almost interconnected, an inextricable bond of culture and sport. This union has yielded a yet unsurpassed five World Cups across four different continents, and they are the only nation to have participated in every single one of the tournaments. The most famous ambassador of such success is undoubtedly Pelé and his own words testify to the extent of his footballing fame: ‘Wherever you go, there are three icons that everyone knows: Jesus Christ, Pelé and Coca-Cola.’ As Brazil prepares to host the 2014 World Cup, these words are oddly pertinent. The Cristo Redentor, t h e statue of Jesus standing loftily above Rio De Janeiro, will witness the millions pouring into Brazil for the tournament, the first icon of Pelé’s surmise. Secondly, he himself represents the illustrious footballing history of the nation, and the weight of
expectation which the Brazilians and the watching world will hold. Finally, it is the presence of the corporate conglomerates that complete the picture, their inevitable presence defined recently by Coke’s CEO; ‘where there’s sport, there’s Coca-Cola’. Sport is literally indebted to this commercial connection, and in the case of Brazil 2014, it is the allegations of corruption and embezzlement that have haunted the preparations from the outset. Despite the promise of large-scale investment happening nationwide, as the nation prepares not only for the World Cup, but also for the 2016 Olympic Games, the people themselves are yet to see positive change. Both the footballing and public infrastructure has been branded inefficient, by the Brazilians themselves as well as visiting inspectors. Stadiums are in a rush to be ready in time, hotel prices have been inordinately ramped up, and the nation’s airports are far from ready to welcome the world. The ensuing protests, all beginning after the government announced an increase in bus fares, have dominated the world’s media in recent weeks, as thousands took to the streets nationwide. These protests made
the most impact in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, Rio finding itself particularly vulnerable, with the Pope’s expensive state visit doing little to appease disgruntled protesters. However, speaking to Amanda Barros, a journalist living in Brazil, it is clear to see that the problems go further than just hiked up bus prices: ‘Public transportation is just one of our problems, we chose to go to the streets to let world know that we have had enough with corruption. How come a country can spend millions on stadiums when our public hospitals don’t have the equipment, medicine or remedies to save someone’s life?’ These insightful words seem to summarise the opinion of so many Brazilians, disheartened by the lack of infrastructural progress. I spoke to Roberto Picoli, a São Paulo resident, who voiced similar concerns: ‘In my opinion if I could see the money being spent was to bring improvements to Brazil, I would approve of these upcoming events. The money is being badly distributed and invested incorrectly, I don’t approve of them.’
mboozle Brazil There seems to be a nationwide discontentment with the ruling classes in Brazil, and a demand for transparency in a society that has been governed behind smoke and mirrors in recent years. The summer protests conveyed this sense of injustice quite fervently, but with the continued governmental opacity, still the same unanswered questions loom over the forthcoming tournament. Where is the money really being spent, and will the improvements be made in time? FIFA’s role is not to be overlooked, as Blatter and co. will have inevitably demanded a great deal from an already strained Brazilian government. Despite the crippling effect the tournament may have upon the host nation’s economy, FIFA are still predicting a $4billion taxfree profit from the tournament. If the Brazilians are concerned with where the money is going, this statistic may not make pleasant reading. However, amidst such controversy and bureaucracy, the one thing that seems to be forgotten is the sport itself. Brazil has the honour of playing host to arguably the two biggest events in the sporting world, and the passion displayed in protest will hopefully bring the streets and terraces to life come June. The South Americans will no doubt bring unparalleled levels of energy and colour to the world stage, the sound of samba drums complimenting the certain chorus of Vuvuzellas. ‘Imagina na Copa’, (imagine the cup) has become a Brazilian cliché in recent
months, as the public playfully anticipate the problems the tournament may cause. However, a new organisation under the same name has been working tirelessly within communities nationwide, attempting to turn the cynical definition into a positive message. I spoke to Mariana Ribiero, who summarised their intentions: ‘We started designing Imagina na Copa to be a project to engage young people in social impact initiatives throughout Brazil and switched the phrase itself from a negative sentiment to a positive movement, since we believe “imagination” should rather be used positively. The metaphor changed from an expression of annoyance and aggravation to one of possibility and action.’ The organisation has promoted charity projects, as well as setting up workshops to encourage more people to get involved. The general themes of positivity and optimism have radiated from the project so far, and they plan to continue it right up to the start of the tournament. I asked Ribiero if she had a message for anyone planning to attend next summer. Her response, ‘Hope you come with your heart open and leave Brazil loving this country as much as all Brazilians do.’ It is this passionate enthusiasm that the Brazilians will hope can spread throughout the nation as the tournament looms nearer.
powers that be in Brazil must surely balance their priorities with more care than they have done thus far. A questioning population demand action and answers, and FIFA want deadlines met. There is anticipation and excitement amongst the people, but it has been reigned in by an apprehensive suspicion. Barros, the Brazilian journalist, describes how delicately the situation is poised: ‘We don’t have anything against the World Cup or Olympics. We love sports, especially football, you know that. We just want the government to invest in our health, education and public transportation, not only in stadiums and hotels.’ This defines the balance that must be attained, suggesting that the passion is in plentiful supply, but that it comes at a cost, with the Brazilians refusing to be taken for granted. Again it is the immortal words of Pelé in his playing days that can so fittingly define what needs to be done: ‘I represent Brazil all over the world. Wherever I go I have to do my best, to not disappoint the Brazilian people. And that I’ve done.’ There is no doubt that the footballing icon delivered on his playing promise, but now in his role as Minister for Sport, he has an entirely new opponent to tackle. We can only hope that all involved in next summer’s tournament can reflect on the World Cup with a similar sense of satisfaction, and leave a legacy befitting of Brazil’s illustrious sporting status.
As the summer fast approaches, the Illustrations © Melissa Roberts 2013. www.melissa-roberts.com (Brazil Article)
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How does freestyling work in terms of competitions and rankings? And what is your favourite competition?
As a rather unknown sport, what made you get into freestyling?
Football freestyle is a mix between sport and art and consists of doing tricks with the ball using every aspect of your body. We [freestylers] usually gain inspiration from different sports such as dance, gymnastics or basketball freestyle.
There are a lot of different competitions and sometimes rules are different. There isn’t an official federation like FIFA so everybody with a budget can organise their own world championship with their own rules. But usually, freestyling involves face to face battles, with the one doing the best tricks coming out victorious.
I first saw freestyle in 2002 when Nike advertised the likes of Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Luis Figo freestyling to advertise their products and I was totally in love. I used to play football and played for about eight years but I couldn’t juggle and after seeing this advertisement, I started to look around for videos on YouTube. I saw that there were many freestylers in the world and it became my dream to be able to do the same. I decided to stop playing football in 2006 and start training in football freestyle.
“Many of our readers aren’t experts on freestyle, so would you be able to give us a quick lowdown on what it involves?”
– and alongside his crew called Street Style Society (S3), he has an art of mixing football and basketball freestyle alongside hip hop with choreographed shows. As a 26 year old, Wassim has been freestyling for almost seven years after starting in 2006. He spoke to VOIX to give us a lowdown on freestyle football, as well as a number of famous faces in the sporting world.
As VOIX is a magazine focused around hearing YOUR voices and opinions, we felt it only right to delve deeper into the world of Sport than ever before. Introducing freestyle football and one of its pioneers in Wassim Benslimane: a Guinness world record holder and triple world vice champion. His record involves producing the most globe tricks in one minute – 34 to be exact
] w e i v r e [Int
Do you have a favoured skill move when performing, or do you just act on instinct?
And finally, what are your hopes for the future in terms of yourself in freestyling and also for the sport?
I have had many models when I started in different styles. I have now created my own style and my own tricks but I will never forget where I came from – I am very privileged
Of course. I have my commercial routine for shows but sometimes the music brings me to another world and I try something new because of the beat. It’s important to have your own set routine but it’s also important to have a part of freestyle and play with the music – remember, freestyle is also an art!
In terms of my hopes for the future, I would love to be able to keep on making a living with my passion for freestyling for as long as possible. I also aim to develop freestyling all around the world and in my home country (Algeria). I’m also looking to organise events around freestyle and maintain my current lifestyle – but there is only way that will happen – work work and more work!
Did you have any role models when first starting in freestyling?
During my career I have met a lot of personalities – singers, actors, sportsmen and of course a number of footballers. I have come into contact with people such as Zinedine Zidane, Ashley Cole and a number of French national team footballers. In general, they have a lot of respect for what we do and they don’t to try to play with us because they think they will be humiliated. However, I try to make them understand that it’s only for fun and not to show who is the best! Sometimes these footballers actually play with us which can be very funny.
Have you ever encountered any notable personalities from the footballing community? And if so, who were they and what were they like in terms of their personality. For example, are they similar to the media persona that they have created or a totally different person in private?
I don’t have any unique memorable moments because freestyling brings me to great locations and puts me in a number of situations that I will never forget in my life.
What has been your most memorable moment during your career?
How different is the lifestyle to footballers who play professional 11 a side games?
The difference between football or any other sport is that we don’t have any coaching and we have to depend on ourselves. There are no agents, so we have to manage ourselves, decide when to train and also what to eat. Football freestyling is my job so I act as a professional as you would imagine – so I train every day and eat healthily as I know how important it is to manage my body for my career. Regarding money, I would say that there is a huge difference between football players and football freestylers - we cannot be compared but there is no price for the passion that I live for with freestyling.
Thanks to Wassim for the brilliant interview! For those wanting to find out more about one of freestyleâ€™s greatest participants, you can access his website on the following address: www.wassfreestyleball.com Let us know your views on freestyling either on our Facebook or Twitter page.
Wassim Benslimane Photography II
Quotes Sport is defined by so much more than merely the actions on the pitch, and so often it is the opinions and insights off it that can heighten the drama, or simply make us laugh. We’ve picked a few of our favourites to kick off our first edition.
“Sports do not build character. They reveal it” Heywood Broun.
“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.” Muhammad Ali. “I’m tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok.” Shaquille O’Neal
Did You Know? • Korean golfer Kevin Na set a professional golfing record at the 2011 Valero Texas Open, but not one you’d be proud of. After starting the round in good fashion, Na shot 16 on a par four hole, a world record attempt on a par 4…. watch out for that tree! • Aurele Couture will be forged into the record books for different reasons, as the boxer managed to knock out opponent Ralph Walton in just 10.5 seconds in their welterweight bout in 1946. That must have been some punch! • Between 1900 and 1920, Tug of War was actually considered an Olympic sport, and one of few events that Britain excelled at, receiving the most medals (5) during its tenure in the Olympic programme.
“Yeah, I am lazy. There’s no doubt about that.”
Usain Bolt. • 47
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