Moji Adegbile Student Photographer of the Year nominee
Mo Features Editor Courtney Pochin
arl Lagerfield once said that what he likes about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever and impossible to reproduce. This passion and skill involved with capturing special moments is something UEA student Moji Adegbile knows all about and rightfully so considering she’s just been nominated for Student Photographer of the Year in the Guardian’s Student Media Awards 2014. As one of only five people across the UK to be shortlisted in the category, it’s a pretty big deal, so it’s only natural for one to wonder what goes through a person’s mind when they hear such brilliant news. “It made for quite an afternoon actually”, Moji states when asked. “The first person to notify me of my nomination wasn’t a representative of The Guardian Media Group, it was in fact one of last year’s Concrete fashion editors, Ella Sharp. She sent me a Facebook message at 4 P.M. congratulating me on being nominated. “I was at work; I’d had quite a stressful couple of days and had completely forgotten about even entering some media competition, so when she told me I could only describe myself as feeling dazed and confused for a good ten minutes. I remember just standing still. Some may have mistaken my expression for the thousand-yard stare. And then it finally hit me, I’d been nominated for a very reputable award for a hobby I took up in a state of panic. I’ve been flying ever since!” Moji speaks so passionately about her snaphappy ways that I couldn’t help but become curious as to whether photography was something she’d always been involved with. Luckily she was more than happy to reminisce with me. “My first memories of wanting to dabble in photography are from secondary school. It was 2009 and all my close friends were getting DSLRs, it was the fashionable thing to buy at the time, alongside Longchamp bags. I remember wanting one but I couldn’t think of a good enough reason why I should get one”, she admits, and I feel a sense of déjà vu, as I too remember gazing longingly at the professional looking cameras my friends all received for birthdays and Christmases. However unlike me, Moji finally caved and splashed out on what was probably, at the time, one of her most prized possessions. “I finally bought myself my first DSLR, on impulse. A combination of stress, panic and stupidity saw me spend my entire month’s allowance on Canon’s latest model at the time. I still remember the shock in my mother’s voice when I called to ask for more money the first week of that month. Following the impulse purchase I became that annoying friend who documented everything and thus began my journey in photography”. So photography quickly became an important hobby for her, and as time progressed quickly became something more. But how easy was it to get started with? In my mind taking a photo doesn’t seem as if it requires vast amounts of work, but I’m not nominated for a photography award, so what do I know about it? Thankfully Moji was happy to enlighten me on the situation, and even managed to throw in some brilliant pop culture references as she did. “It really depends on what you want to achieve
with your pictures”. She says thoughtfully, “when I started with photography I always knew I wanted it to be more than a situation of me just pointing and shooting. I didn’t want to be another girl with an expensive camera”. So how exactly did she separate herself from the gaggle of expensive camera wielding photographer wannabes? “First thing I did was set my camera to manual mode and I read up about the ‘holy trinity’ of photography - ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Furthermore I’ve had to spend a kidney’s worth of money on photography equipment and programmes. You could compare it to buying your first Game Boy but having only Super Mario Land 2 to play with. It’s a fantastic game and it keeps you occupied for a while but then you wanted to play The Legend of Zelda and then you didn’t feel adequate unless you owned Pokémon Blue, Red, Yellow, Gold and Silver. That’s where the hobby gets you, you end up needing all the extras, and it’s just never enough.” Joking aside, I discover there really is a lot of effort involved with photography in order to hit the nail on the head. “All fields of photography require you to have an idea of what you want in your frame as you’re shooting. At university I decided to focus on developing my skills as a sports photographer. I’ve always admired athleticism and felt I’d enjoy that area of photography, which I did. So I spent more money on a zoom lens, contacted Concrete and told them about my interest in capturing UEA teams on the field and thankfully they asked me to shoot UEA Rugby’s first game post-ban. “Seeing how the photos came out I knew I’d hit my photo fun goldmine. Getting involved with sports photography meant that I was required to learn how to predict what was going to happen on the field before it even happened just so I could get the shot. I remember coming away from games having taken hundreds of photos from which I would only be truly happy with no more than 50 shots. So I would say the initial step of purchasing the camera is easy but depending on your goals the journey can feel like an uphill trek”. It’s all sounding pretty intense to me, there’s so much going on and clearly a lot to learn. I’m not the best at organising my time, between coursework and Concrete I’m pretty much chock-a-block, so I can’t resist asking about her photography work and how much she’s been able to do so far. She animatedly begins to explain that she started to get really involved with more advanced photography at university: “There wasn’t really much time to fully explore shooting anywhere else other than for Concrete. I also didn’t feel I had enough experience or a large enough portfolio. When I first started out I really wanted to go into fashion photography. This was probably due to my exposure to the fashion industry seeing as my mum’s a women’s clothing and lingerie designer. “My first paid job was actually for one of her brands. The shoot took place in Norwich over at Elm Hill and it was a fantastic leg up for me. Towards the end of my fourth year I started shooting events for various clubs and societies including the Hockey Club and the Pharmacy Society. Having moved to Nigeria however I’m hoping to go into documentary photography. There are so many stories to be told in this country and as you know, a picture says a thousand words”. Truer words could not have been spoken,
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50 firefighters called to UEA after fire in chemistry lab Geri Scott Editor-in-chief The Fire Brigade was called to UEA last week following a small fire, which started at 10:25, in the School of Chemistry. Students and staff were evacuated to the assembly point, but many thought it was simply a drill or malfunction with the alarm. However, when eight engines and 50 fire fighters arrived on the scene over the course of the morning, along with an ambulance, it became clear that this was not a false alarm. A student told Concrete: “When the alarm went off, we all assumed it was a drill and
walked outside but when we found our lecturer he said it was a real incident – whilst we were standing round waiting to go back in we heard fire engines arrive”. The fire started when a chemical spill occurred at the top of the building. Ryan, a chemistry student, told Concrete: “The compound that was spilled was pyrophoric, meaning it is very flammable. It was flowing towards a solvent fume hood full of other flammable liquids, so it could have been pretty serious”. Although reported to be minor, one person was injured in the accident, which left the main teaching wall largely cordoned off until the evening. Large crowds of students found themselves gathered in Unio while their belongings remained in the evacuated buildings, some having to wait until 20:00 before they could be escorted back to collect their personal items. In the interim, UEA offered to provide food for those students who had been separated from their wallets. Holly Staynor, Welfare and Diversity Officer at the Union of UEA Students said: “I’m really sorry to hear a student has been hurt, we really hope UEA has measures in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I really hope student welfare is treated with utmost priority through all areas”. The fire’s cause is still being investigated.
Adam Dawson interviews Ian McEwan, the award-winning novelist and former UEA student.
e could be anyone. Blue shirt open at the collar, old-looking blazer, a shock of thinning white hair, and clear glasses. Or rather, he could be a professor in the literature corridor, furiously tapping away on his latest manuscript before elegantly lecturing on some fine point of a novel no one has heard of. He could easily fit the English literature lecturer mould, except he isn’t one of them. Nothing out of the ordinary, especially not at a university. He’s just given a talk to a room of MA Creative Writing students. It’s a room full of him 44 years ago. He’s made it now, ascended to the heights of worldwide literary superstar, who somehow manages to be both critically acclaimed and wildly popular. The people in the room want to be him. We stand at the end of a corridor, grabbing a brief moment after his talk
Norfolk fire crews respond to the fire in Chemistry Above: Will Cockram, Concrete photography. Below: Olly Sanham
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before he shoots off to a lecture hall full of people waiting to hear the person they’ve been reading for over thirty years talk about his latest novel, The Children Act. He shifts on his feet as we speak. He talks slowly, intelligently, thinking in paragraphs that wouldn’t seem out of place in one of his novels. “I always like coming back”, Ian McEwan says. “My whole life seems to unravel along the railway line because I went to boarding school near Ipswich, and when the train comes past Manningtree and those muddy flats, there’s a sort of sinking feeling about the beginning of term, my parents two thousand miles away in Africa. Then it lightens as I come here”. As everyone at the University of East Anglia knows and is constantly reminded of, McEwan studied the MA in Creative Writing. He was its only student at the time. It does help to be taught by the great
Sir Malcolm Bradbury though. “Most of the MA was in fact academic work, with a tiny provision for writing fiction which I seized and had a very productive year”, McEwan says. Arguably the most famous creative writing graduate on a list that includes Kazuo Ishiguro and Anne Enright, McEwan’s novels have always been very highly praised. To some horror (angry middle-class person on the Guardian website kind of horror), The Children Act was left off the Man Booker Prize long list. McEwan has been nominated before, and won for Amsterdam in 1998, but not even being nominated this time seems like a glaring oversight. McEwan’s win and nominations came before the prize was opened up to novels written in English, not just English novels (a semantic difference if ever there Continued on page 11
editor’s column THE
Geri Scott Editor-in-Chief
“The annual Concrete Sex Survey has gone live today!”
he first stage of the works on Union House are finally coming to an end, which makes us very excited at Concrete as this means we’ll soon be moving into our brand new Media Centre alongside UEA:TV and Livewire1350! From Saturday 1st November you’ll find us in the old Student Officers Centre, just follow the big green sign at the top of the stairs in Union House if you want to pop in for a chat. I’m very excited to announce that next month, Concrete members will be able to take advantage of an amazing opportunity to attend a ‘Getting Started in Freelance Journalism’ workshop with Lauren Razavi. Lauren is a former UEA student who studied Politics and International Relations and also wrote for Concrete! She has since gone on to build a very successful career in freelance writing, appearing in New Statesman, the Telegraph, Wanderlust magazine, the Times, the Independent, Clash magazine and the Guardian. The workshop, which has been specially tailored for Concrete, will be loosely based on ‘An Introduction to Freelance Journalism’, which is taught by Lauren at the Unthank School. Usually, this day course costs £60 per
person, but I’m delighted to be able to offer it to Concrete society members for just £2! (Or £5 if you’re a non-member). If you’re a nonmember, subs for Concrete for one year are £5 anyway, so it may well be worth signing up so you can get a discount on future events like this too! Keep your eyes peeled on the website for more details coming soon! Earlier than normal, we welcome the return of the annual Concrete Sex Survey which has gone live today. The results will be released on the 11th November, but until then please go to www.surveymonkey. com/s/P5J3N6Q to give us your thoughts, confidentially, and contribute to the results! Finally, I’d like to congratulate three new members of the Concrete team! Helena Bradbury is our new Social Secretary and will be working with UEA:TV and Livewire to organise the always-popular Media Ball, as well as other events. Beth Piggott has taken on the task of running the Concrete social media, and Anastasia Dukakis will be working closely with Venue as their new Art & Design Director. If you’d like to get involved with Concrete then I’d love to hear from you, you can email me using the details to the right and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Revolutionary lifestyle advice from the father of Communism
Comrade! OK, so how many of you have ever felt personally victimised by the Tab? Quite a lot of us, huh? And I don’t think they like me much either... While I strongly approve of the glorious socialist red with which they bedeck
their jumped-up high school blog, I sympathise with your situation. The Tab’s language is hamfistedly negative; its tone is smarmier than Piers Morgan’s arse – “Aren’t we so cool for dicking all over just about everything?”; and to pad the one or two newsworthy pieces it publishes each semester they delight the curious reader with nationally syndicated churnalism and click-baiting videos of drunk people knobbing in Belfast car parks... Oh, and some bloke hitting his housemate over the head with a chair. In slow motion. That, people, is public-service journalism at its zenith. So do not fear for your reputation – which, anonymous-correspondent mine, I am sure is unsullied
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and pure. I can tell, even from the top left-hand corner of this box. Your friends shall return to you even as the news cycle of time brings down the curtain on the blog post of twattery And, once all’s done, I suspect that the offending ‘article’ will prove marginally less memorable than a YouTube video of a sneezing kitten.
Dear Marx, I’m struggling to keep up with my university work and restaurant hours. What should I do?
comrades-in-arms and seize the means of production in your workplace and university by whatever means necessary. Only once you break free of the shackles of wage slavery, and crush the heads of the bosses beneath your noble proletarian boots, will you truly know the joy of communist victory. To the barricades!
Dear Marx, I have fallen in love with a capitalist. What should do? Comrade! Take my word for it: don’t even go there.
Comrade! The bourgeois industrial classes are forever snatching at the products of your labour. Rise up with your As revealed to Peter Sheehan & Ella Gilbert
Corrections, clarifications & complaints It is the policy of Concrete to correct errors of which we become aware. A photograph of Neil Ward in issue 301 (Assessment and feedback: the complete briefing) should have been credited to the University of East Anglia. We apologise for the omission.
One of the dingbats in issue 301 was mistyped. We apologise to anyone who spent an indecent amount of time trying to solve an impossible puzzle...
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Dear Marx, I have been slandered by the Tab. How do I struggle through this darkest of hours? What can I do to rebuild my reputation and get my life back on track? How can I make my friends speak to me again?
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In the contributors list in Competitions (issue 301), we incorrectly stated that the UEA Gaming Society provided the quiz. It was, in fact, the UEA Quiz Society.
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N EWS Universities have an “unacceptable lack of
Elections to be held for NUS conference delegates and GSA committee Page 5
diversity in their leadership and senior staff ’ Yan Malinowski News reporter Chuka Umunna, Shadow Business Secretary and senior Labour politician, marked Black History Month last week by delivering a passionate speech in Brixton. In the speech, he not only alluded to ‘forces in British politics’ which he felt could ‘undermine our Great British values of openness, tolerance and respect’, but spoke in no uncertain terms about the poor levels of black representation within university staff across the UK. Last year it was revealed that out of 18,510 professors in the UK, only 85 of that number (below 0.5%) are black; a statistic that Mr Ummuna said could deter young people from higher education as a result of a lack of black role models. Further, only 17 out of those 85 black professors were women. In his address, Ummuna also called for a change in the law that would require employers to report on both the ethnic and gender diversity within their workforce and management. Despite a rise in the number of women teaching in higher education in recent years, there is still only one female in every 10 professors, in a large number of higher education institutions. A study conducted by Times Higher Education last year indicated that the universities of Aberystwyth, Bournemouth and Bath Spa were the biggest offenders when it came to gender diversity. During his speech, Ummuna also praised his opposite number in government, the
Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, Vince Cable, for promising to take action on the issue of ethnic diversity at large. Ummuna promised to support Mr Cable in parliament should the latter put forward a bill which requires employers to report on ethnic and gender diversity, in line with what Ummuna has called for. The Labour shadow minister claimed that such a bill would not only pave the way for improvements in diversity in the structure of private companies but also “hold our universities’ feet to the fire” on the Chuka Umunna, the Labour Party’s Shadow Business Secretary. Wikimedia unacceptable lack of diversity within their teaching and senior staff. UEA’s Head of Equality and Diversity, Helen Murdoch, spoke of UEA’s commitment to a diverse workforce “as a basic starting point, all employees at UEA are entitled to equal opportunities for recruitment, promotion and progression, regardless of any personal characteristic – this applies to all applicants and all roles at the University. “In recruitment, all candidates are considered on the basis of their abilities, skills and experience and the Human Resource Division provides mandatory training every year for recruitment panellists which covers diversity and equality and our responsibilities
within this, along with a wide range of other equality training. Our next focus is on understanding unconscious bias, which will underpin fairness across all protected characteristics”. She went on to add: “The University monitors its staff and student profiles, and reports annually looking at the diversity of staff and students. The profile of UEA staff has been changing in many respects over recent years, as has our understanding of working effectively with an increasingly diverse workforce. One example of our commitment to equality is our recent focus on gender equality with more females achieving senior positions and two complete faculties actively engaged with the Athena SWAN Charter Mark, in which we have made real strides over the last couple of years. Other Faculties are starting work towards the forthcoming Gender Equality Charter Mark due to begin in 2015 and we’re watching closely for more information about the Race Equality Charter Mark which has recently completed its first trial awards but is yet to be fully launched. “The University is proud of this increasing diversity of its campus and works with staff, students and organisations around Norwich and Norfolk, regionally and nationally to achieve its aim of being an inclusive place for study and work. But we recognise there is much to do and, given the effectiveness of the Athena SWAN initiative are very keen to see what the new Race Charter Mark will finally look like and how we might apply its framework here”.
UEA student denied housing over Ebola fears Megan Baynes News reporter A UEA masters student has been reported to have been denied two student houses simply due to coming from the Ebola-hotspot of Sierra Leone. Amara Bangura is an aspiring journalist who works for BBC Media Action and recently returned to Sierra Leone to produce broadcasts and radio shows to educate people about Ebola. When he returned he struggled finding private accommodation. He said: “The first person turned me down for no reason. The second person was very close to signing the lodgers agreement, and then he asked me; ‘Wait a minute, where are you from?’ As soon as he looked at my passport he sent me a message turning me down”. The message said: “Under normal circumstances your profile would be a great profile to be one of our lodgers. Given that the world is about to probably experience an Ebola pandemic we have decided not to accept anyone that has been anywhere near the Ebola outbreaks within the last two months, or is likely to visit those areas in the near future. Sorry”. This comes despite the fact there is no evidence to suggest we are about to experience a worldwide Ebola pandemic. The disease is not airborne and can only be transmitted through touching infected bodily fluids, with the person only becoming infectious once symptoms are shown. Amara said: “He needs help. He doesn’t
understand the dynamics of this world and what Ebola really is. He doesn’t understand what he did to me. “I felt bad. I felt really sad that I spent all this time producing programs and there is this person who knows nothing about the disease and is telling me what to do. There are many people like this, and I would like to educate him. “I have found accommodation now, and the person is happy to have me, and he knows where I am from”. Education is the reason behind Amara’s radio broadcasts, and his work with the BBC. He said: “I bring medical experts to talk with people, which helps dispel some of the myths. I haven’t come into contact with people with Ebola, only spoken to them on the phone. I appreciate that I had the opportunity to go back home and contribute to the fight against Ebola”. He explained how there is a huge problem of denial in Sierra Leone, as people initially didn’t believe the disease existed; instead believing it was a political game or an evil spirit. “It was difficult to get them to believe. There is one particular district in Bort-loko that was very persistent in their denial. When the outbreak started, they believed it was witchcraft. We used influential people from the local district to talk to them and to convince them that Ebola really does exist”. He believes it is important to bring journalists together, and send out information and a common message to their listeners about the disease. Luckily Ebola has not affected his family, although their village is part of a district that
has been quarantined to prevent the disease spreading. “I couldn’t see my family before I came here. They are in another district in a village and the village is safe. So they are trying as much as possible to stop people coming in and out. “I’m a radioman; this is what I do for a living. I like telling stories; I like educating my people. After this, I’ll go back to the same thing. “These are my people; if I have anymore opportunities I will always want to help them. In this world it is not just about questioning people in authority but is about providing life saving information for people that needed it”.
Union news round-up Union Council to vote on free education demo Union Council, the representative body of the Union of UEA Students (UUEAS), is set to vote on whether it supports or opposes the abolition of tuition fees. The vote will be held this Thursday (October 30th). Union councillors will be presented with a motion expressing support for a November 19th demonstration that will back free education. However, the full text of the motion will commit UUEAS to broadly supporting “progressive policies such as free education or a graduate tax”. Postgraduate Education Officer Liam McCafferty will present an amendment that would commit UUEAS to only supporting free education, and not supporting a graduate tax.
Lead delegate to NUS conference elected Student union officers have elected Campaigns & Democracy Officer Chris Jarvis as UEA’s lead delegate to the National Union of Students (NUS) annual conference. At a 16th October meeting of the student officers nine of the officers voted for Chris Jarvis to be lead delegate, and six voted for Undergraduate Education Officer Connor Rand. The lead delegate advises other delegates and votes at the NUS Annual General Meeting. UEA has five delegates to NUS conference, including the lead delegate; the other four will be elected on 5th – 7th November in a cross-campus ballot open to all students (see page four). Elections will also be held on those dates for delegates to NUS Liberation Conferences.
First liberation caucuses held UUEAS has begun to hold meetings of its new Liberation Caucuses where marginalised students have the chance to feed into union policy on issues that affect them. The Women’s Caucus was held on Tuesday 21st October. The International Students’ Caucus will be held at 18:00 on 28th October in the Bill Wilson Room of Union House, while the LGBT+ Caucus is set to be held at 5pm on 29th October in Arts 3.03. The Ethnic Minority Students Caucus will meet at 5pm on October 30th in Arts 01.03, and the Disabled Students’ Caucus will be held at 17:00 on 4th November in Queens 0.08.
Union holds march to raise awareness of sexual assault UUEAS will be holding a “Carry that Weight” march on 29th October at 12.30 in the square. Students of all genders are invited to bring a pillow or mattress and march together to the 4women centre in Norwich, to express solidarity with survivors of sexual violence across the world. The event is inspired by the case of a student at Columbia University in the United States who pledged to carry a mattress around campus as long as her rapist continued to attend the same university as her. Photo: Wikimedia, Jorgeroyan
Controversy after NUS rejects ‘boycott Isis’ motion Cameron Bradbury News reporter The National Executive Council (NEC) of the National Union of Students (NUS) has declined to support a motion to condemn the Islamic State at its September meeting, over fears that parts of the motion were Islamophobic. The motion called on the NUS to boycott “anyone found to be funding the Isis or supplying them with goods, training, travel or soldiers” and asked the NUS to “stand by the thousands of Yazidi Kurds slaughtered” by the Islamic State. However, concerns were raised about how those who provide support for Isis would be identified, and about whether the motion would exacerbate calls for American intervention. A new amended motion condemning Isis will be brought to the next NUS NEC meeting, and is expected to pass. The initial NEC motion was criticised by Malia Bouattia, the NUS’s Black Students’ Officer, who argued that elements of the
motion were islamophobic and supportive of American military intervention. In speaking to the NEC, she argued that “condemnation of Isis appears to have become a justification for war and blatant Islamophobia. [The motion’s] rhetoric exacerbates the issue at hand and in essence is a further attack on those we aim to defend”. Proponents of the motion argued that it was aimed at supporting Iraqi, Syrian and other international students affected by the Islamic State, and argued that the motion expressed no confidence or trust in the US military intervention. Daniel Cooper, who sits on the NEC and proposed the motion, said: “The motion fell as large numbers of NEC members either abstained or voted against (including the bulk of the political left […] I think this says a lot about the current state of the student movement”. Cooper continued, saying: “Many people who voted against [the motion] didn’t care about [what] is happening in Iraq”. Bouattia published a Facebook post
Elections to be held for NUS conference delegates and GSA committee Elliot Folan News editor Elections are set to be held for UEA’s delegates to various National Union of Students (NUS) policy-making conferences and to places on the Graduate Students’ Association Committee. Voting will be open from 7th – 9th November on vote.ueastudent.com All UEA students will be asked to elect delegates to vote on their behalf at the NUS National Conference, while women students will be asked to vote on their representatives to NUS Women’s Conference and LGBT+ students will be invited to decide who will represent them at the NUS LGBT+ Conference. Ethnic minority students and disabled students will also be able to elect non-voting “observer” delegates to the NUS Black Students Conference and the NUS Disabled Students Conference, respectively. Postgraduate Students will have the chance to elect seven members of the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) committee, including the new position of Equality and Diversity Officer which was recently endorsed by the Graduate Assembly of the GSA. 2014 is the first year that elections have been held for UEA’s delegates to the NUS Women’s, LGBT+, Ethnic Minorities and Disabled Students Conferences. While NUS National Conference decides policy and elects student officers for the whole of the NUS, the other conferences decide policy and elect student officers for the NUS’s autonomous “liberation” campaigns, which aim to represent and champion the rights of marginalised students. This year also sees a change in how NUS National Conference elections will be counted. Due to a rule change originally agreed at NUS Conference 2014 and confirmed by a recent meeting of the Union of UEA Students (UUEAS) Union Council, at least 50% of NUS delegates (rounded down) must be self-identifying women. As a result, two of UEA’s five delegate places will be reserved for women; according to UUEAS
the process will involve only counting votes for women candidates when allocating the first two delegate places, and counting all votes normally when allocating the final three places. Although UUEAS has expressed concern over these rules - as union officers argue they do nothing to help representation of non binary genders - they argue that they have had to implement the changes because it is an NUS matter, and say that to not implement the rules would mean UEA would lose its representation at NUS conferences. All elections will be by the single transferable vote method of preference voting – voters can mark a ‘1’ for their most preferred candidate, a ‘2’ for their second preferred candidate and so forth until they have no more preferences they wish to express. Their votes will then be transferred if their most favoured candidate is eliminated during the election count. A full list of the positions being elected can be found at www.ueastudent.com/election. The NUS is the national federation of student unions; it provides training, support and services to student unions, campaigns on issues affecting students and provides a collective voice for students. The Graduate Students’ Association is the independent collective voice of postgraduate students at UEA.
on Monday on behalf of the NUS’ Black Students’ campaign, saying the NUS stood in “complete solidarity” with Kurdish people against the recent attacks by Isis. “[We] join many others in condemnation of [Islamic State’s] brutal actions. In doing so we recognise that condemnation of Isis appears to have become a justification for war and blatant Islamophobia”. Liberation Officers from various student unions have argued that the way in which the issue has been reported has led to Bouattia facing a “witch-hunt”, with student union officers at SOAS saying that “vile misogynistic, racist and Islamophobic abuse…has been directed at the NUS Black Students’ Officer Malia Bouattia, which has included violent threats against her and her family and messages of hate from far-right groups. “The character assassination, vilification and misrepresentation she has endured is deplorable [...] Malia raised concerns on behalf of black students with regards to a motion concerning Isis and proposed to draft
another motion to condemn the group for the [NEC]’s next meeting. This position has been horrifically misrepresented by other NEC members and in the press”. Dan Cooper, who unsuccessfully stood for NUS President in 2014, also accused the NUS of focusing too much on “identity politics”, while others have pointed out that the NUS boycotted the Israeli military despite arguments from some that doing so was antiSemitic. A spokesperson for the NUS said: “At our most recent NEC meeting, a motion on this issue was presented and voted on by all members. Some committee members felt that the wording of the motion being presented would unfairly demonise all Muslims rather than solely the group of people it set out to rightfully condemn. “Of course NUS does not support Isis and a new motion will be taken to the next NUS National Executive Committee meeting, which will specifically condemn the politics and methods of Isis and offer solidarity for the Kurdish people”.
Ukip latest party to pledge student removal from migration figures Dan Falvey News editor The UK Independence Party is notoriously known for their strict policies on immigration. Therefore it will have come as a shock to some people when they announced their pledge to remove international students from immigration figures. The shock move sees Ukip join Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party in advocating the switch. The Conservatives are now the only national political party polling at higher than 5% to not have pledged such a move. Universities UK has lobbied political parties for a long time to seek the removal of non-European Union university students for net migration targets (at present European Union legislation already states that students from member states must be taken out of net migration figures). A spokesman for Ukip said: “[We know] that the UK has some of the finest educational establishments in the world, and we believe that students from around the world should be encouraged to come here to study in our firstclass facilities. “We do not feel the need to add student numbers into the country’s migration figures
The percentage of students who would back Ukip in a general election, compared to 18% of the broader electorate. Polling by YouthSight.
because they are usually here on student visas, unless they are from within the EU”. They went on to say: “These potential students will have to meet the correct criteria, varying from financial support and qualification. Our policy is that every student who is not a citizen of Great Britain should be able to apply to study here under a short-term student visa varying from one, three and five years. “After their visa […] has expired they will have to apply for permanent residency if they have found employment within a specific sector.
Photo: Flickr, European Parliament If not then they will have to return to their country of origin”. However, Lesley Grahame, the Green Party’s 2015 general election candidate for Norwich South, indicated that Ukip’s policy was a part of a much larger plan for immigration: “Taking EU students out of migration numbers is a fairly harmless, if cynical way of reducing the numbers. “The more worrying point is that Ukip plans to charge excessive, perhaps prohibitive tuition fees to overseas students and to add to the list of people who are unwelcome… Ukip are asking the wrong questions about migration”.
Student union joins TUC protest for higher pay Amy Rust News reporter
Photo: Flickr, Luke H. Gordon
Graduates should remain in their university city, claims Royal Society of Art Ned Samuels News reporter A report called UniverCities from the Royal Society of Art has suggested students should be encouraged to live and work near their university after graduation. The RSA suggest that as universities receive public money, they have a duty to stimulate local economies, and can help their local area by encouraging graduates to stay local, with their work helping improve the area. Jim O’Neill of the RSA City Growth Commission says in the report’s introduction that graduates who could be “a key ingredient to helping […] cities prosper” too often go “back overseas or down to London to employ the fruits of their enhanced minds elsewhere”. Some cities are struggling to retain graduates, and the report suggests a solution is to search for graduates who were studying in these cities, and that universities should be helping to tackle this problem. Report co-author Jonathan Schifferes says “Universities are key economic assets in
every major UK city – our objective should be that their global competitiveness is reinforced through their metro [regional city] contribution”. The report suggests local councils and other organisations running ‘ReFreshers Weeks’ with universities, wherein they could campaign for students to stay local through offering careers advice, helping people find local organisations to work at and helping people find accommodation. A ‘graduate clearing system’ that takes the details of graduates who didn’t get the jobs they applied for and sends them onto local firms was also suggested, along with the idea of ‘golden handcuffs’, a scheme where graduates get a bonus to be set against student loans if they’ve committed to working locally for a set number of years. Helping graduates become entrepreneurs was also encouraged, the report saying that sandwich years and graduate placement schemes should be offered on every course, and that a graduate’s entrepreneur visa could be extended from one year to five provided their business is established locally.
The Union of UEA Students (UUEAS) joined thousands of protesters in London last week for a demonstration that opposed austerity and called for pay increases for public sector workers. The demonstration, part of the ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’ campaign organised by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), aimed to send parliament a message about “unfair” pay. Plans are going ahead in Westminster to increase MP’s salary by 10% to £74,000 at the start of 2015, which trade unionists have contrasted to the public sector wage increase of 0-1%. The protest comes on the heels of a midwives’ strike earlier this month over the same pay issues. Britain has one of the highest number of low paid workers in the developed world with over six million working people living in poverty. Chris Jarvis, UUEAS Campaigns and Democracy Officer, called for greater student involvement regarding this issue and public demonstrations saying: “The student movement has played an important role in the
fight against cuts, and as the next generation of workers, we need to keep pushing for our future to be funded, through the ballot box and in the streets”. An estimated 80,000 people took part in the protests which also took place in Glasgow and Belfast. In London, protesters marched through central London, ending with a rally in Hyde Park. Frances O’ Grady, TUC’s general secretary and Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, both gave speeches on the struggle faced by workers “locked out” of a decent living. Ms O’Grady said the high turnout will send a strong message to those in parliament about the reality faced by workers due to the government’s austerity plans. Chris Jarvis added “‘students, like so many other groups in society are being squeezed by the government’s austerity agenda”. Other union leaders and public figures called for all left wing political parties to take a strong stance and “stand up for working people” at the next general election. The demonstration was supported by the National Union of Students (NUS) and the Union of UEA Students. The demonstration received coverage from many national media corporations including the BBC.
Photo: Amy Rust
Student activists escalate campaign for fossil fuel divestment Elliot Folan News editor Student activists at UEA marked the escalation of their “Fossil Free” campaign with a protest last Monday, calling on the university to end its £180,000 investment in fossil fuels. The protest on Monday 20th October saw activists gather in the square and stage a ‘die in’ while covering the ground with a mockedup oil spill to symbolise fossil fuel pollution. The action was repeated outside the Registry. Activists handed out leaflets and asked fellow students to sign a petition urging UEA to ‘divest’ from fossil fuels. A meeting was also held on Friday 24th October with community activists from Colombia and Indonesia who have been affected by fossil fuel extraction. Fossil Free activists have been encouraged by the recent decision at Glasgow University, where the university decided to reallocate £18m worth of investments that had previously been invested in the fossil fuel industry. Although UEA have resisted the proposal for divestment – arguing that “the
Photo: Victoria Rawlins
university is not a campaigning organisation” and does not take positions on such issues – campaigners are hopeful that an upcoming meeting between Fossil Free and the university will yield positive results. Emma Silk, co-President of UEA People & Planet – which runs the Fossil Free campaign at UEA – said: “Creating a visual stunt is a great way to draw attention to the Fossil Fuel Free campaign and the Dirty Coal Tour. For those that we spoke to, it hopefully got people guestioning [sic] whether investments in fossil fuel industries are moral given their poor ethical track record and the effects of climate change that they are thriving. Especially given that UEA already has an ethical investment policy which prevents investments in arms.” Fossil Free is a student-led campaign which calls on large institutions such as universities to end their investment in fossil fuel companies, and to support renewable energy instead. The campaign began in the United States, where 12 universities have already agreed to divest, and is supported by the UK’s National Union of Students.
The missing students of Mexico Oliver Hughes Global editor On 26th September, a student led protest near the city of Iguala, Mexico, turned sour when their buses were attacked by police. 43 students were last seen being taken away by local police. During the protests, police fired on a group of some 100 students, killing six and injuring 25. Those who were taken away have not been heard from since. Locals began to fear the worst when nine mass graves were uncovered in the week of 13th October. 28 badly burned and dismembered bodies were found. In the following days, two more mass graves have been uncovered in the area around Iguala, a fertile mountainside known as Loma del Zapatero. Local authorities refused to provide support to community police investigating the graves, and the major suspects are police officers. Iguala is located in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. With Mexico’s government struggling with drug cartels and corruption, the remotest areas of Mexico are often completely out of touch with the central authorities. The levels of corruption between police and local authorities are incredibly deep – it is believed the police work closely with local drug cartels, the largest of which is related into the family of Iguala’s mayor. When the government is absent, the cartels rule. A community police officer was called by an unknown number shortly before he and his comrades discovered two more graves last week – the voice on the other end told him to “Stop poking around in those hills, or else”. The Mexican people in these rural areas consequently live in total fear. The students, who were pupils at Ayotzinapa Normal School, were aged between 16 and 18 – and many of their families had enrolled them there to give them an opportunity to escape a life of subsistence farming. As with any totalitarian state, an intellectual class is one of the largest threats – and the drug cartels that seek to assume control over the country have no desire to entertain such opposition. It seems only a matter of time before the students are found in another mass grave. However, as of yet, forensic scientists have yet to identify any of the remains as any of the students. They are all locals, with some of the disappearances dating back years. The
Return of the Kim: Kim Jong-un no longer Kim Gone-un Charlie Mills Global writer It would have been unsurprising to have heard a cohesive sigh of relief across North Korea on 14th October once leader Kim Jongun made his first public appearance since 3rd September. Speculation was raised after the almighty Mr Kim went unseen for 40 days – missing two fundamental dates in the uniquely absurd North Korean calendar. The leader was absent during both the Foundation Day of The State (9th September) and the anniversary of the Korean Worker’s Party (10th October). The North Korean populace would not have known what to think (literally) as this marked the longest period in which their leader remained undetected since the death of Kim
Photo: Fusion problem is far greater than the events of the past few weeks. With over 30 dead found so far, and at least 43 students still missing, the death toll may well reach into the hundreds. What has the government done about this? Armed police – gendarmerie – were sent to Iguala in the weeks following the protest. They patrolled the city square, and not much else. Anger at the lack of government action led to protests in Chilpancingo, the Guerrero State capital, 132 miles south of Mexico City – government buildings were trashed and set fire to. The police response? More violence. It is only in the face of citizenry reprisals that action has been taken. The Iguala mayor, Abarca, is allegedly on the run – officially he is
still in power. The Guerrero State Prosecutor and Mexican Attorney General have both called for there to be an investigation into the local police forces and for no effort to be spared in the search effort of the students – but little actual action has been taken. For Mexico to truly break free of its shackles, the local people must overthrow their corrupt authority figures and challenge the drug
cartels that roam freely in the countryside. The government must take action across the whole country rather than just in built up areas. Every Mexican who considers themselves a patriot must be willing to do what they can for their country – a nation that is a third in the hands of the cartels could only be a few steps away from full-blown civil war. There have been several large demonstrations demanding justice for the 43 disappeared students, involving many tens of thousands of people. Although the international community is as unwilling to act as the Mexican government, this shows that the power to create true change really is in the hands of the people.
Jong-il in 2011. The 32-year-old’s last public appearance on 3rd September saw him hobbling in front of his advisers (although the extent to which they advise is questionable) and the dictator looked in some discomfort. It is thought poor health was the root cause for his vanishing, and experts suggested he may have been suffering from gout – the same condition that plagued our very own chubby ‘Dear Leader’, Henry VIII. The more dramatic interpretation circulating the world was that Mr Kim’s disappearance was a result of a political and military coup. Kim’s inner circle were seen around the 4th October in South Korea, causing many to assume that a major alteration in power had taken place. Being a hugely secretive state, however, one could only speculate where and why Kim had gone ‘missing’. Naturally, the official stance maintained that nothing was wrong. Fortunately though, Kim Jong-Un returned to the North Korean spotlight on the 14th October whilst visiting a residential facility with the aid of a walking stick. Mr Kim was said to have had health concerns regarding his hip – perhaps due to the weight of 25 million
North Koreans on his soldiers… *shoulders*. John Delury, analyst at Yonsei University, Seoul, informed the Guardian that Kim could not appear in public because the issue was of a “physical” nature “with aesthetic consequences”. It would have been preposterous to display happy, smiley Kim as declining in health now wouldn’t it! Although, this series of events does prove that the young dictator is human after all, unlike his paternal predecessor. Clearly, Kim’s disappearance was deemed to be a health issue. In spite of this, the relentless world of social media was left dissatisfied, resulting in those on Twitter to launch their own assumptions of the dictator’s true whereabouts. Twitter have been positing their own suggestions for an answer to the question of #wherewasKimJongUn? Allegedly Mr Kim was “off celebrating his recent World Cup success”, “DJing a sick concert” or alternatively “grabbing a Snickers because he is a right Diva when he’s hungry”. These accusations may have been true, but the more popular response suggested that there was never any need for panic as Kim was “just waiting for a mate”.
Kim Jong-un looking at something Getty
The number of students seeing been led away by police in the mexican city of Iguala. They have not been heard from since.
C OMMENT Brooks Newmark is the latest victim of the
Sam McKinty examines the Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong Page 9
British press’s obsession with personal failings Joe Jameson Concrete editor
rooks Newmark has had an unfortunate run of bad luck, and has been the latest victim of the harsh and brutal world in which British politics now lives. The separation of a public figure’s personal life from their professional life is always tricky to get right, and it can result in the destruction of one or both, should either of them bleed into the other. Chris Huhne and Liam Fox are other characters from the current government, who have also felt the force of the justice blood lust demanded by popular media. Obviously this isn’t something limited to politics, the recent scandal involving the hacking of personal Apple accounts of many celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, is an example of the obsession with ‘gossip’ within the entertainment business. However, it is perhaps more interesting to look at how similar tactics are branded in different ways. Should a politician do something questionable
in their personal life, which is then picked up by the media, the chances are that they will be forced to resign from their position, however in the case of the leaked photos, this breach of personal privacy is, quite rightly, branded as immoral and totally unjustifiable. Meanwhile
“The true victims of these practices are their family and friends” politicians seem to be fair game when it comes to picking on personal weak spots, some claim that this is part of the duty of accountability that the press performs and that those in charge of us should be subject to a very high level of scrutiny. While this is a fair case, it is very easy to see that it has gone too far. The tactics employed by journalists in order to generate stories have simply lost their basing in reality. While it is important that investigative undercover journalism is undertaken to highlight illicit activities, tricking someone into committing
an offence or an act of indecency surely isn’t the same as a person making a positive, independently conscious decision to perpetrate the same act. The true victims of this behaviour are not the individual who behaved in a certain way, but their family and friends, those with strong personal ties to these individuals, who are then left with bitter feelings towards someone they feel has ‘failed’ them. The poison within our mass media can be shown by the decision taken by elements of the media to print text messages sent between Chris Huhne and his son Peter, during his court hearing in 2012. That the contents of such personal and private messages were published shows the lack of humanity with which our popular media now operates. The whole reason for Brooks Newmark’s resignation was fabricated; the recipient of the photos was an undercover journalist, digging around for a story. Are we really content to allow the media to continue to ruin lives and disturb the political waters simply to sell more copies?
Falling unemployment: a manipulation of the truth Simeon Paton Concrete columnist
nyone with an basic understanding of statistics would know that facts and figures can be manipulated to say pretty much whatever you want them to. The recent fall in unemployment to 6% may sound promising, but it is not quite the success story the Tories claim it to be. Matthew Aldrich, lecturer in Economics at UEA, notes that the fall in unemployment is “A positive headline indicator for the recovery of the labour market” yet adds that there is evidence that “some slack” in the economy remains. Although things are indeed improving, the falling unemployment rate masks a far bleaker reality. Firstly, the unemployment rate fails to take into account those that have given up looking for work and therefore underestimates the actual level of joblessness. These socalled ‘discouraged workers’ may want employment, but feel there is no hope in them ever finding a job and hence stop the search for one. The government only considers an individual to be unemployed if he or she receives unemployment benefits or is actively seeking work. Similarly, individuals on zero-hour contracts may never be asked to work a single hour, yet are still classified as employed in the statistics. While the official unemployment rate has been falling, the number dropping out of the labour force and those on zero-hour contracts has been rising steadily. Researchers at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research in Sheffield calculated the hidden or true level of unemployment to be closer to 8-10%. This
Photo:JJ Ellison implies that almost one million individuals are left out of the 6% unemployment rate championed by government and indicates the economy is much farther away from fullemployment than it initially seems. Once people leave the labour market they often find it very difficult to give up benefits and start looking for employment. Even when they find a job, an individual being paid the minimum wage would be earning substantially less than the benefits they previously received. When such a disincentive to work exists there is clearly something very wrong with the current system. The problem is not, as suggested by Osborne, that benefits are too high, rather the minimum wage is too low. Secondly, employers have started to hire more workers, but these workers are having to work for less and less. Unsurprisingly, this has prompted protests in London carrying the slogan “Britain needs a pay rise” and strikes by NHS staff for the first time in more than 30 years. Some argue that raising public and private sector pay will force employers to compensate by reducing the number they hire, but as yet there is no evidence to support this claim. Instead the low unemployment rate enables politicians to downplay the severity of the problems of stagnant wage-growth and falling living standards. Furthermore, the government has more
influence than it my realise; increasing the national minimum wage will likely cause wages in the rest of the economy to be bumped up as well, greatly multiplying the effect of the initial pay rise. Not only will those on the minimum wage be better off, but also those at higher income levels. This will also benefit the government’s rather depleted coffers in the form of increase revenue from income tax. Lastly, employees are voicing a growing desire to work more hours. This results in a situation of underemployment whereby workers want to work more hours, possibly go full-time, although their employers are unwilling to do so. Workers are therefore unable to work enough hours nor earn enough money to financially support themselves. The unfortunate manifestation of these compounding factors is an increasing number of working poor, who despite being employed must rely on food-banks and other charitable handouts to provide for themselves and their families. All in all the Conservatives are too focused on getting every last soul off the dole, while neglecting the real issues of a real wage squeeze, underemployment and a persistent gender pay gap. Although economic growth is picking up and unemployment is falling, living standards are yet to improve for much of the population.
Revolutionary opposition to IS N. R. Quist Concrete columnist
e’ve heard a lot about the role of Kurdish forces in the fight against Islamic State (IS) – yet the collaboration between Kurdish and Turkish forces is an unlikely one. For more than three decades, the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state in a violent bid for national separatism and statehood. Although originally MarxistLeninist, and taking inspiration for its threestage insurgency directly from Maoist rhetoric, the PKK has recently started down a new ideological route, which may have implications for the fight against IS. Their demi-god leader, Ocalan, was inspired by the writings of Murray Bookchin, who himself was an ex-Anarchist exploring ideas of communalism. The PKK’s new direction is more peaceful and democratic – Ocalan suggests they only use weapons when attacked, critiquing their earlier praxis of separatism and violence. Now, they are all about “protecting our community … regardless of political ideology, religion and ethnicity”, and are considered a “democratic popular militia”. They have widespread support in towns and regions where they have power, such as in the town of Derek Hamko, where they have established People’s Councils based on principles of communal living and bottomup participatory democracy. Kurds are the most numerous stateless minority globally: Kurdish people originate from Iraq, Syria and Turkey, but currently have no national soil. Many Kurds support the PKK and its militant wings, the People’s Protection Unit (YPG) and YPJ (the all-female arm), and the new democratic model of ‘municipal confederalism’ or ‘libertarian municipalism’ chimes well with people in the proposed autonomous regions of Kurdistan. The PKK is fighting for autonomy and national identity, as well as freedom from the oppressive regime IS wants to instate. 35% of the Kurdish forces in Syria are female, according to YPG spokesman Redur Khalil, and many are young; frequently in their teens and twenties. The female fighters of the YPJ are particularly fearless and unafraid of death – these are women who are prepared to do anything to defeat IS and defend the “revolution of the woman” as well as their cultural and political values. The fight against IS is more than a struggle against a repressive imposing force – it represents a struggle for autonomy, for democracy, for equality, for heritage, and for honour. The co-chair of the Rojava People’s Assembly, Sinem Muhammed, spoke at the International Political Women’s Council about “the threat of a large-scale massacre” in Rojava, an autonomous women’s region under attack by IS. She added “the YPJ is struggling against ISIS on behalf of all the women of the Middle East and the World”. The seriousness of what is on the line, and the dedication Kurdish fighters have for the cause was revealed in recent events. Some weeks ago, reports suggested that rather than fall into the hands of IS soldiers who would subject her to torture and rape, 19-year-old Ceylan Ozalp used her last bullet on herself. This demonstrates something important: this is not just a fight against Islamic fundamentalists; it is a fight for survival.
8 Comment Women watch porn: is that really too difficult to understand? Zoe Jones Concrete columnist
omen watch porn. If that is news to you, and you’re feeling unsteady now that your world has been turned upside down, then stop reading now. Even at university women face quite a stigma about watching porn, which is surprising. University is shameless and unapologetic, and often that isn’t a positive thing. But when it comes to self-expression, university is a good time to admit you’ve completed the five Ls, vomited in a welly boot at a festival, or even that you watch porn. Therefore I was surprised when the subject came up last year that two of my good friends were quick to renounce they’d ever watched porn, and that they’d never even been curious - not even to look for tips. Of course it might not have the same appeal to some people as it does to others, but guaranteed, sex is appealing to most. Porn is some of the best sex education you can get, cucumbers and condoms just don’t suffice. So I refuse to believe that blatant curiosity hasn’t taken most of us to the deep dark corners of the internet at least once. According to a statistics presented by PornHub, more women are searching terms like ‘hardcore’ and ‘rough sex’ than men, in fact 90% more. That means women are just as
likely to know who Sasha Grey is. Group sex is also a much more popular search term with women, with ‘threesome’ being the second most popular search term and ‘gangbang’ being the fourth - for men they don’t even come in the top twenty. So women aren’t just watching the ‘female friendly’ category… far from it. Not only is there a stigma about women watching pornography, but women starring in the explicit films is also the subject of regular debate. Part of the problem it seems is that
Photo: Antonangelo De Martini
“Porn is some of the best sex education you can get” feminism doesn’t seem to know how to react to women in pornography. Some feminists think it’s damaging and that women porn stars are exploiting and degrading themselves, other more liberal feminists find it empowering. Miriam Weeks, more commonly known as the ‘freshman porn star’ Belle Knox, and a student at Duke University studying Law, found her sexual endeavours were soon revealed by her fellow students. She received death threats and a petition has even started at the university in order to get her expelled. In an interview on The View the panel express their shock when Belle admits she has been watching porn since she was twelve. One can only question whether the same shock and
horror would have existed had it been said by a male counterpart. In any case, it’s safe to say that incognito man is friend to those of any gender, pornography is something that many adults enjoy and should not be shamed for what they do privately, legally and in their free time. Next issue: masturbation.
Percentage difference between women and men searching terms such as ‘hardcore’ and ‘rough sex’.
Ferguson: the failure of modern mass media Ellen Musgrove Comment columnist
hen Mike Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri this summer it seemed to be just the latest link in a long chain of similar cases. In a so-called ‘post-racial’ society, the shooting of young black men by police officers appears to be a tragic theme strung out across the landscape of American current affairs. No one could have predicted that American society was about to boil over, into more than two months of unrest. While Brown’s body was abandoned for over four hours by his killer on the street, his community began to mobilise, to demand a reckoning for generations of oppression. The ‘Hands Up’ protests which ensued have inspired global solidarity, from activists in Palestine to the ‘Umbrella Revolutionaries’ in Hong Kong. What is special about the activists in Ferguson is the fact that their movement has been, for the most part, an organised and coherent effort which has continuously built momentum and remains active today. It is evidence against the arguments of those who complain of the laziness and apathy of Generation Y, of the decriers of the soulsucking internet, of those who perceive this to be an age where narcissism rules supreme and all community feeling is crumbling at our feet. The kids are alright, actually, and we have the internet partly to thank; Ferguson demonstrates the burgeoning presence of truth we can access through the internet, if we are fortunate enough to have access to the platforms which host it. Ferguson is one of those truths: white privilege is still very much alive, in America particularly, but also across the globe, despite what the Murdoch news empire would have
Photo: Jamelle Bouie
“Fergurson demonstrates the burgeoning presence of truth we can access throught the internet”
that “the myth of the so-called Black savage” is the reason they “must keep emphasising the civil nature of [their] disobedience”. This myth has recurred throughout American history and culture. Today it has evolved into a slightly subtler strain such as the New York Times’ ‘angry black woman’ blunder. This letter, which is well worth reading, crowns the wealth of online evidence of these protesters’ struggle against insidious, institutionalised oppression.
in Europe either. A recent ProPublica.org article reported that “[American] young black males in recent years were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts, 21 times greater”. In a beautiful open letter titled An American Horror Story, the Ferguson Protesters write
he fact that such a lasting, inspiring, fiercely dedicated movement has had inadequate coverage from the majority of UK media outlets is disappointing. In many cases it has been necessary to use American news sources, and social media platforms such as Twitter and Tumblr, to get the full picture. Perhaps the official line within the
us believe. This is reflected in the racial profiling, and resulting disproportionate violence, regularly committed by police officers in America, and it is not unheard of
UK media is to steer clear of publicising the instability of one of our closest international allies. Perhaps this reveals something ugly about the way our society views black youths engaging in social activism. As a white British citizen, perhaps I have little place pontificating about these matters. My nationality, and especially my race, have afforded me a privilege which means I can never totally empathise with the people living the daily horror story about which I write. It is wonderful then, that through the internet we can follow their struggle, sympathise, and show our solidarity. Mainstream media outlets would not normally come close to shedding light on individual situations, unless that angle suited them. So next time you’re confronted with the Google homepage, consider the human truths that await and the voices that speak them.
Hong Kong: why the fight for democracy is so important
Sam McKinty Concrete columnist he end of September marked the 65th anniversary of the Communist Party in China. The mood on the streets of Hong Kong, however, was anything but celebratory. The streets were, and continue to be, awash with tens of thousands of student protesters angered by recent changes to the electoral policy of Hong Kong. Whilst everyone on the island will still be able to vote in the next election in 2017, in the future there will be far fewer candidates up for election: just two or three as opposed to the standard five or six, all of whom would need a stamp of approval from a Chinese national committee. Essentially, this all but guarantees that the next leader of Hong Kong will have strong links to mainland China. The problem here doesn’t end with the undermining of Hong Kong’s sovereignty, it also has implications for Universal Suffrage in Hong Kong, which was part of the handover agreement between the UK and Beijing in 1997, which is unlikely to be granted given the hardline backlash from Beijing authorities. Initially, sympathy from the residents of Hong Kong lay with the student protestors. The fight for democracy isn’t just a passion of
Pro-democracy demonstrators on the street of Hong Kong earlier this month pocketnews.com the young, it has benefits everyone could get behind. Pressure has built up as time has gone on, but demands have been ignored, and patience has worn thin with the protestors as the once peaceful protests have turned violent. As of October 5th, the official figure for arrests stood at 38. It could be possible to argue that the demonstrators are in fact risking the civic cohesion of Hong Kong by ignoring the instructions of their security personnel, and in some cases using violence against them. However, the blatant infringement and undermining of the democratic rights of the people of a sovereign nation threatens the long-term stability of a population. The use of violence, by any side, always sours a popular public protest, no matter the topic or geographical location. The UK tuition fees
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protests back in 2010 also suffered from the same setbacks; initial public support helped to maintain the protests but as the debate reached a stalemate, the demonstrations turned violent. This was largely triggered not by protesters, but by opportunists. The petty acts of violence undermined the legitimate demonstrations and very quickly the imagery of the events changed, and they were no longer student protests; they were student riots.
ust as public opinion changed so quickly with the students in London, so has the reaction in Hong Kong. A poll by the Wall Street Journal puts public opinion at roughly 50% in support of the students, last week it stood at 58%. It’s no coincidence, then, that in the same week that public opinion of
the protesters has dropped, the number of protesters being arrested for violence has risen, and currently stands at close to 70. It’s no illusion that the right to a fair and transparent democracy is fundamental. Violence, however, is to be avoided. It only serves to delegitimise and undermine your message. The fact that the government in Hong Kong have already rejected the key demands of the protesters only serves to prove this. The violence in Hong Kong has also blocked potential backlash towards the Government and police. Videos of police brutality carry relatively little sway, and don’t cause the same bad publicity, when your own protestors are filmed beating police officers. Democracy may be a fundamental right, but the threat of violence should not be used to obtain it.
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Hannah West explains how KTroo can help keep you fit and healthy Page 13
A triptych of photographs of Ian McEwan, taken during the interview. A video of the conversation will be released by UEA:TV soon UEA:TV
Adam Dawson interviews Ian McEwan Continued from front page was one). “I was very much up for it”, McEwan says. “I don’t see why English or Commonwealth writers can’t stand up to the American scene”. He agrees with most critics and writers, that the second half of the 20th century belongs to American writers. “It seems inevitable to me that Richard Ford would have won the Booker Prize. His marvellous novel Canada would have swept the board. There’s a strong sense among the writing community that if you got five different people to judge you’d come up with a different winner.” He recalls his friend Julian Barnes’s phrase ‘posh Bingo’. Let’s not count literary prizes out altogether though. McEwan is winning them all the time, the first in a long list being the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his debut collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites. More recently, he accepted the controversial Jerusalem Prize in 2011, though did use his speech to criticise Israel. A compromise, perhaps. Literary prizes obviously have a point, otherwise there wouldn’t be such a fuss over something as little as letting some more people enter, and McEwan wouldn’t accept the ones that come his way. “Winning has a huge effect, especially if you’re young and not very well known. Richard Flanagan [the 2014 Man Booker Prize winner for The Narrow Road to the Deep North], whose work I’ve admired for years, was hitting the buffers in his career. He was thinking of going to work in a mine. Now he’s a planetary celebrity”.
The same can be said of McEwan’s status now, though he was already well known before his Man Booker Prize win, which safely saw his transition from his younger, radically gothic work (he was given the nickname ‘Ian Macabre’) into a part of the literary mainstream. His novels are a staple at A Level (Enduring Love, On Chesil Beach), he often tops polls of most important British writers, which isn’t to mention the colossal achievement that is Atonement. He’s the first introduction many of us get to ‘proper’ literature. “It’s wonderful to be read by more and more people. At the same time I worry about people being forced to read me”, McEwan says. The curse of literary fiction indeed. McEwan’s work doesn’t easily fit into that category, whatever it even means. Sure, he’s institutionalised and taught across the board but he’s not only the reserve of university students. Writing literary fiction and a bestseller is the stuff writers dream about. McEwan has always had both the academic and the popular readers on his side. Writing bestsellers and critically acclaimed novels isn’t that easy for everyone, especially when they have to fight with things as reductive as genre labels. “Categories can really obscure good writers”, he says. “There was a wonderful novel called Tony and Susan by Austin Wright. Hardly anyone reads it because it gets stuck in the thriller section when it could easily have been a major literary novel.” This isn’t a problem for McEwan, who’s always on the literary fiction shelf. He’s currently reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Despite its cleverness, it could easily be relegated to the thriller shelf. Perception of it as nothing more than a trashy beach read has changed with the release of David Fincher’s dark film adaptation. McEwan hasn’t seen it – he’s read the book, why bother? When his own works are adapted, McEwan clearly likes his voice to be heard in the process. “If I’ve written the screenplay, I get a lot of say, or I make myself an executive
producer and at least pitch in with it”, he says. Though he doesn’t write with a mind to adaptation, his detailed prose lends itself to the screen. “I always think of the novel as a visual form. I think of people as visual creatures. It’s our strongest sense. The key to an important scene is to get the visual details correct”, he says. His precise, lyrical style is easily adaptable, down to the details you probably won’t even notice when they’re filmed. That’s not to say he’s unwilling to let someone else take over his projects. His claws aren’t in so deep he can’t let the director and director of photography do their jobs: “There comes a moment when you just have to back off. Once it goes into pre-production, all the big decisions are made and you really don’t want to be lurking around saying ‘it’s not like this in my novel!’ ” o what plans for the future, Mr McEwan? It’s unlikely he’s going to slow down in his increasing age. A screenplay for The Children Act is in the works, as is trying to find funding for his already-written screenplay of On Chesil Beach. Ian McEwan is a rare writer, who is no longer the dark wonder-child of angry intellectuals, but one can still speak to those who were with him when his first novel came out. Younger people, reading him in a dusty classroom on a rainy Thursday afternoon in double English, might find him dull. That’s reductive. McEwan’s themes have changed considerably, but who is going to be the same in forty years’ time? The dark subjects of First Love, Last Rites have been replaced with a serious study of the darkness of everyday life, of peaceful middle-class suburbia interrupted by a nightmare, of the cruellest thing one person can do to another. Ian McEwan explores the blackest corners he can find of seemingly mundane life. He understands what it means to be human, and there’s no greater gift for a novelist to have.
Could you go five days without make up? I
love makeup. I wear it pretty much every day, I spend a lot of my time reading about it and yes, I’ll admit, I spend a fair bit of my student loan on it. It’s so satisfying to finally find that perfect mascara, or to buy that lipstick you’ve had your eye on for a while. But reading the recent Buzzfeed article, ‘This is what I learned going make up-free for a week,’ I started to rethink my thoughts on make up slightly. While I’ve always rationalised my love for make up as being an art form, maybe I was becoming a little too dependent on it. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d left the house without it, and the thought of doing so made me a little nervous. So naturally the best path of action was to take five days off make up and write an article in which the entire university could see my make up free face. Enjoy. I woke on day one, after going out the previous night, and admired my relatively hangover free face in the mirror. Not putting make up on meant I had time to eat my leftover Piccolos chicken from the night before, so I wasn’t too fussed about not wearing any. In my seminar I was my usual talkative self, and I actually forgot that I wasn’t wearing make
up until I rubbed my eyes and realised I didn’t have mascara all over my face. Win. For day two I met up with my parents, who of course assured me that I looked fine without make up (thanks Mum). However, I felt a little inadequate going into some of the fancier shops, just because I always feel like I should live up to some kind of standard just to go into them. Seeing my face in the changing room mirrors was a little tough too, because I’d had a minor breakout that day and changing room lights are unflattering as it is. I shook it off though, Taylor Swift style, and managed to enjoy my day without feeling too self-conscious. Day three was a Sunday, so it was mostly spent actually doing some dissertation work. I regularly make trips to Tesco Express in much worse states, so going make up free while food shopping wasn’t too daunting. Generally, while I may not have been entirely excited about being make up free, it was starting to become relatively normal to me. Day four was actually kind of difficult, not because I felt particularly insecure or anything, but because I have a lipstick that goes really well with the top I was wearing and I really
t was on my third lap around the manically packed societies fair that I stumbled across an untapped, wellspring of passion. Headucate is a society at UEA (and elsewhere) that I just did not know about. I am so glad it exists. In their words: “[Headucate is a] mental health student organisation set up in 2012 based at the UEA. Our main aim is to raise awareness of mental health in schools by running small workshops with children and teenagers to tackle misconceptions about mental health issues and to tackle associated stigma”. In my own words: well, to me, one of the side effects I suppose you could say of the heightened consciousness I feel at university is that actions seem to have a great, weighty consequence. I have a new gravity. I can see (in an analogy beautifully described by my flatmate, Cicely) the tiny threads each decision makes, spilling out from a large loom of time. For instance, if I hadn’t been re-roomed I wouldn’t have had the same experience I am having now. I would be running along a different thread. Further back: if I hadn’t decided to take a year out to contemplate further which university I was to go to I wouldn’t have ended up here at all, even studying my course. Further still, if, when I suffered a serious bout of depression in my early teenage years, if I’d made different decisions – I might not be here at all. I had little intervention or education about mental health before I fell into its grasp. It’s as debilitating and all consuming as any physical illness I have felt or can imagine, and, as there are one in four sufferers, I know that there’s an often-quiet quarter with recognition of this fact. In light of recent and formative events I’ve been constantly extending out an offer amongst my friends and further to speak candidly about mental health. Specifically mental health at university, which is such a key issue. When I was more clued up and had the will to grasp the small glimmers of light, I found, fortunately, that I could clear my mind with exercise and healthy lifestyle. Now, although I am often overshadowed – I am filled with a furore for making this a very
wanted to wear it. I genuinely considered making it only a three-day process, but I powered through and stuck to five. Otherwise I felt fine all day, and was happy to notice that my skin was starting to clear up quicker than usual without the layer of foundation over it. I’d like to say that by the fifth day I was a new woman and was all ready to denounce make up for good, but that wasn’t really the case. It wasn’t that I felt really bad about my appearance, but I just didn’t entirely feel like myself. I assumed before I started the five days that being make up free would get easier over time, but actually I found it was very dependant on how I felt that day, or what I was wearing. So while over the past few days I’d learned to accept how I look ‘naturally’ and be more comfortable with not looking 100% all the time, that didn’t mean I enjoyed it. I missed the process of putting my make up on in the morning, and I think denying myself of it just made me miss it more. That doesn’t mean, of course, that I think everyone should wear make up all the time. Some people don’t want to put in the time or effort, and that’s fine, because they look great anyway. Some people don’t feel as confident or as comfortable without it, and that’s also fine, because people get their confidence from a whole variety of places. While I did miss make up, I know that my appearance isn’t the only thing that matters about me, and I will be trying to have a make up free day every now and then to remind myself of that.
Photo: Flickr, wavy1
With make up
Without make up
Photos: Charlotte Earney
Features writer Charlotte Earney takes on the latest craze spreading on the web, A week without make up, in attempt to discover why we’ve become so dependent on beauty projects.
of leading experts on a wide spectrum: dementia, mindfulness, eating disorders and Postpartum Psychosis (which I still need to educate myself on). We then met the kind and caring people of Operation UEA in the students’ union, who obviously supplied free pens, treats and handouts (standard). They also encouraged you to leave a positive message on a post-it note. This has a history behind it at UEA, which made some news outlets: a particularly lovely student had the inspiration enough to do this on her own will around campus. It makes me think of all the random acts of kindness that accumulate day to day and to some whom sadly these cannot penetrate.
I World Mental Health Day and UEA: how to get involved with raising awareness on campus Joe Platt discusses his experience of the student support group, Headucate, and of mental health support on campus. public and pressing issue. If I could myself be a glimmer, or, as I aspire always for more now – a beacon – to reach higher and higher, perhaps I can spiral a loom away from the dark and up in the stars. I am filled with passion and firstly I set
out to inspire my flatmates. I have recruited two of them. Cicely, whose metaphor I took on loan, accompanied me on a gorgeous 10th October – the day the world over people spread awareness on mental health. UEA put on a series of open lectures consisting
t also seems an appropriate time to share a Facebook post I made regarding my flatmates. Obviously, playing around with an old uni horror-story that the passive aggressive post-it notes will become the bane of your life. Well, be different – as our flat is – “Be the kindest, most positive person you know for its own reward”, to paraphrase something else I also saw flying around social media on the 10th. My flatmate Carl for instance, who wished us a Happy Monday, is a Vietnamese exchange student (a fantastic feature of diversity mentioned in previous posts; a Buddhist, a vegetarian – an absolute legend who’s teaching me so much) has, entirely independently, taken on the job of leaving little posts of good advice for each of us. Its these positive vibes that make our flat and university such a gorgeous place to reside. UEA and Norwich are very mindful places – extremely friendly and safe. Yet people still endeavour to make it better for each individual. The astonishing amount of informal and formal drop-in help services on offer, dedicated to each and every person’s wellbeing, is astonishing and incredibly reassuring. Headucate could possibly be the most rewarding opportunity extended out to me and I am so incredibly excited to start my training with the society and meet more likeminded people at their sophisticated socials.
Photo: Dazed Photography, Victoria Cook
Bounce and laugh for a healthier heart Hannah West Features writer KTroo exercise classes are fun, intensive aerobic style classes centred around kangaroo style rebound boots. KTroo was founded in Norwich earlier this year by a final-year UEA student Kate Batty, who had seen the popularity of the rebound boots in Spain and Mexico while on her year abroad. She decided to work with the UEA enterprise team and start her own classes on the boots! The UEA KTroo society also launched this year, with great deals on classes to students, along with other fun events such as food and nutrition workshops, socials. They also offering students the opportunity to get involved in the KTroo business with marketing & PR opportunities, events organisation and working within the local community. The next big step for KTroo is the KTroo
Kids campaign. The campaign is going to make 2015 the healthiest and happiest yet for Norfolk’s local kids and families and inspire local youngsters and their families to lead healthier and more fulfilled lifestyles. Kate is hugely passionate about what KTroo can bring to people, and along with the rest of the KTroo gang, cannot wait for the next step (or “bounce”!) with KTroo Kids. Within the next month KTroo will be launching a crowdfunding campaign and calling for local sponsors to enable the purchase of equipment (such as the rebound boots and marketing materials) needed to start running exercise classes for kids and families. This project will enable children and their families to “Bounce and Laugh for a Healthier Heart!” It will also stand proudly alongside other local businesses and projects which play vital roles in local economic development, giving Norwich and Norfolk the
strong community feel that makes living here so unique. KTroo wants to help transform the lives of the local community and help them to become fitter and healthier. KTroo needs the support of students to help publicise the campaign and raise funds to start the new KTroo Kids project. The main way that students can get involved is by buying a ticket for the KTroo club night at the LCR, which will hopefully be held around the end of November (date to be confirmed, keep an eye out on KTroo social media for more information on this!). Tickets will be available on the Campaign website. Unfortunately we won’t be able to bounce on the rebound boots, but the KTroo playlist of the latest hits along with the best international tunes from Africa to Latin America will
keep you on your feet all night! The club night will hopefully also include a performance from rising star Becka Pimenta with her new single Ruined so it isn’t one to be missed. The campaign will be launched with the Indiegogo Crowdfunding website under the campaign “KTroo Kids: Bounce & Laugh for a Healthier Heart”. Tickets for the club night will be available here. There are loads of other ways for students to get involved and be part of the rapidly expanding KTroo business. There are also many other perks and rewards available for donating on the Indiegogo Crowdfunding website such as free workout classes and soundtracks, so make sure to have a read and find out how you can help!
For more information and to get involved with the campaign visit: Twitter @KTrooKTroo Facebook facebook.com/KTrooKTroo Photo: Dazed Photography, Victoria Cook
Stem cell treatment for macular degeneration proved successful Caroline Little Science&Environment writer Stem cell research has been a hot topic in the medical field for many years. The ability of stem cells to divide and differentiate into any type of cell has suggested we could replenish any adult tissue that has been damaged. This could lead to out-and-out cures for many diseases, including degenerative ones with poor prognosis. Recently, this was shown to be the case with macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an age-related form of visual impairment that affects the retina. It occurs when cellular debris accumulates between the retina and the network of blood vessels supplying the retina, obscuring vision. In the most severe forms, blood vessels can grow up behind the retina and the retina may even become detached, making it even harder to see. There are no surgical and few medical treatments available for this disease – the only one in common use is the regular laser removal of some blood vessels. This can be a debilitating disease, often eventually leaving the sufferer completely blind - indeed, it is the leading cause of blindness in adults in the developed world. A recent clinical trial regarding macular degeneration used stem cell transplantation to attempt to improve vision in 18 patients. Human stem cells were transformed into retinal cells and then injected into the worst affected eye of each of the 18 patients – 50,000 – 150,000 cells per injection. All patients reported improvements in their eyesight in the treated eye, with one 75 year old man regaining vision in an eye which was previously completely blind. The fears that these cells could divide too quickly and cause tumours, or be rejected by the body entirely, seem to be unfounded. Over the 37 months since the patients first had the injections, there has been no evidence of rejection or overactive growth. Researchers involved are therefore saying that the treatment appears to be safe. The use of stem cells in a safe and effective treatment for a previously incurable disease is cause to rejoice. The restoration of even partial sight is something to be celebrated, and many follow up studies and trials are sure to be in the pipeline – not just for macular degeneration but for many chronic and degenerative diseases. This may be a glimpse into the future of some groundbreaking medical treatments – we will just have to keep watching the world of medical science to find out.
Alexander Hendry Science&Environment writer Last Tuesday marked the 50th anniversary of a prestigious event in every wildlife photographer’s calendar, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition (WPY). The overall winner was declared to be “The Last Great Picture” by Michael “Nick” Nichols. His monochrome picture of a sleeping pride of lions set against the African plain was described by Judge Magdalena Herrera as “not just a portrait; there’s a whole story going on inside it”. The story, however, has a sad ending after several of the animals pictured ventured beyond the park boundaries and were killed a few months after the photograph was taken. The competition, co-organised by the Natural History Museum and the BBC, saw tens of thousands of entries from 100 different countries and a cash prize for the overall winner of £10,000. Submitted over four age groups, the entries this year encompassed a huge variety of different organisms and environments in ten different categories. Thus highlighting the diversity of life on earth as well as the environments they live in and the photographic techniques used to best capture them. This is a far cry from the first year of the competition, back in 1964 for which only 500 photographs were submitted and the winner was presented with his award by a young David Attenborough. The 50th anniversary of the competition presents an opportunity to reflect not only on the rapid change in photographic technology, with the rise of digital cameras, macro-lenses and infra-red lighting, but also the changing state of the environment over the last half a century. With ever increasing pressure on the world’s ecosystems, this competition serves to remind us of the breadth, beauty and diversity of wildlife on our planet, but also captures the quintessence of some of the species we share our world with. To see the winners of individual categories as well as the finalists, visit: www. nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/wpy/index.html
Top: an eye showing signs of macular degeneration. Bottom: normal vision (left) and vision impared by macular degeneration (right) Top: www.myretinalinstitute.com Bottom left and right: Wikipedia, National Institutes of Health
COMMENT Holly McDede worries that the quagga mussels may eat us before we eat them...
50th Wildlife Photographer of the Year announced
t’s difficult to decide if we should be shaking with fear or hunger, but the truth is this: Quagga mussels could soon be coming to the Broads. Quagga mussels are an invasive species, so environmentalists are worried. Even a basic Google search of, “Can we eat Quagga mussels?” yields no results. “Can we eat wild mussels?” yields recipes, but still, one must occasionally be careful about what goes in one’s mouth these days. Besides, these Quagga mussels aren’t in the Broads just yet. They were discovered last week in the Wraysbury Reservoir near Heathrow Airport, and that’s quite the walk. But ecology experts are warning that they could soon be found in Norfolk and Suffolk waterways, and in theory, ecology experts are experts.
These mussels were originally from Ukraine, and one wonders if this alleged destructive invasion doesn’t too closely mirror UKIP-esque views… With invasions of certain individuals that come to Norwich to steal jobs and destroy moral sanity. These mussels measure less than five centimeters long, breed like crazy, attach themselves to hard surfaces, can smother boat hulls, block pipes, and cause flooding. You know how the food chain works: they remove food from other habitats, and other animals die. Other animals die, and we all die. Actually, let’s talk about death some more. Perhaps you are not quite so sure how scary this world is. For instance, killer shrimp are another
invasive shrimp in Norwich. The name pretty much says it all. They can measure between three and 30mm. They eat water boatmen which, to make this story less interesting, does not mean they eat men in boats, but in fact a boring, aquatic insect. They also eat native shrimp, smaller fish and native freshwater shrimp. Then there are the Americans, who keep swimming around the Broads from time to time but who have not broken anything altogether just yet. Indeed, other invasive species include the American mink and the American signal crayfish. The Americans feed on anything big enough to catch, because Americans know how to play the game. Be vigilant. Be on the look out. If you come across a suspected Quagga mussel, report it on www.nonnativespecies.org/ alerts/quaggamussel
Science&Environment Once-paralysed man walks again following cell transplantation
Photo: Flickr: The Speaker
What’s new in science? A new drug, OTS964, can destroy aggressive human lung cancers transplanted into mice with few side effects.
A tractor beam that can drag objects for distances of up to 20cm has been developed. DNA analysis of a 45,000-year-old human has allowed scientists to find when in our history our ancestors interbred with Neanderthals.
Jacob Beebe Science&Environment editor A man, previously paralysed from the chest down has been able to walk again following a new treatment involving transplantation of olfactory cells into his damaged spinal cord. Following a knife attack four years ago, Darek Fidyka was left paralysed and left unable to walk. After undergoing a revolutionary new treatment, Fidyka has been able to walk once more using a frame, stating: “When you can’t feel almost half your body, you are helpless, but when it starts coming back it’s like you were born again”. The treatment involves taking the patient’s own olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), which in situ enable continual renewal of olfactory neuronal fibres, and transplanting them into the damaged spinal cord using microinjections above and below the injury. They obtain these cells by surgically harvesting one of the olfactory bulbs from the underside of the brain-just above the nasal cavity- and culturing them ready for transplantation. In the case of Fidyka, they also used four nerve tissue grafts from his ankle and used them to span a gap in the spinal cord. It is thought that the OECs help by allowing pathways for disconnected nerve fibres to reconnect.
Rainfall patterns affect tea flavour, as well as health compounds. Drones have help to show how environmental changes affect spread of infectious diseases.
The national grid has said that the UK’s windfarms have out generated it’s nuclear power stations for 24 hours due to nuclear faults and high winds.
The leader of the research team and chair of neural regeneration at University College London’s Institute of Neurology, Professor Geoff Raisman, said this outcome is “More impressive than man walking on the moon”. And it is quite understandable why. The prospect of a paralysed person being able to walk once more is often used as an example of the impossible, and indeed it is almost synonymous with miracles themselves. It is a potential breakthrough for medical science that will likely change the lives of many as well as the direction of biomedical science itself. Following the surgery, Fidyka, has been undergoing extensive physiotherapy and has also gradually regained other functions in his lower body such as some bladder and bowel sensation. However, whilst the progress with this individual has been outstanding; researchers are hesitant to invoke too much expectation pending further, more extensive clinical trials with other patients.
Human intestines have been successfully grown in mice.
A probe that combines tarantula toxin with a fluorescent molecule has been developed to aid visulaisation of electrical activity in neurons and other cells. How you walk has been shown to affect your overall mood.
Photo: sciencenews .org
Micorobes found in deep sea rocks that respire using methane are helping remove greenhouse gases from the ocean. Inflammation may be the link between Vitamin D and prostate cancer. Using the same method that was recognised with the Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2014, scientists have discovered more about bipolar disorder.
Photo: Flickr: poppy
“I wanted to make a difference, so I did” Robin Hartfield Cross Taught: Maths Now: PwC Graduate Scheme
Teach First Employer Presentation Wednesday 12 November | 6-7pm JSC 1.02 UEA Campus Contact Joe for further informationn firstname.lastname@example.org
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Photo: Wikimedia, Bernard Gagnon
Main: Barentsburg on the island of Spitsbergan Flickr, Geir Arne Brevik Top right: the Great Wall of China Flickr, oenvoyage Bottom right: Sedlec Ossuary Flickr, jeffr_travel
Spooky hidden locations around the world Nora Frydenburg explores the destinations that are likely to give you goose pimples... There are some places that you don’t find in the fright house or dungeon section of guidebooks, but they wouldn´t be out of place there. Some places just have that creep factor about them but you can´t quite pinpoint why. They send a chill down your back. These are the places that make your hairs stand on end and cause unexpected shivers.
Barentsburg Barentsburg is the last Russian settlement on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, and resides two hours north by plane from the northernmost point of the Norwegian mainland. Being 78 degrees north, the village is immersed in darkness for large parts of the year, with winter temperatures below -20°C. The little mining village is four hours on snowmobile away from the nearest town, Longyearbyen, and when commuting between the towns you will need to carry a weapon due to the posing threat of polar bears. Entering Barentsburg is almost a step back in time. What first comes to mind when arriving is that it certainly must be a ghost town. The houses are old and crumbling, with countless broken windows. “This can’t possibly be someone’s home”, you think as you proceed through the village – past the old mining site, the statue of Lenin and rows of seemingly empty houses. That’s when you might get a glimpse of the odd person hurrying between buildings, or children playing in the snow in front of houses that look more haunted than inhabited. Whether enjoying a traditional Russian meal before driving the long four hours back
to the main town, or heading straight out again, Barentsburg is a village visitors leave accompanied with a chill that has nothing to do with the temperature.
Jinshanling The Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China is another location that can give you goosebumps. An hour further from Beijing than most tourists are willing to drive, at this
“Inside are the bones of 40,000 people” section of the Great Wall you shouldn’t be surprised to be the sole tourist. From the large car park you begin your hike up to the wall on a narrow paved path. The walk through the forest is steep, but with plenty of man-made plateaus from which you can enjoy the view and rest. The Great Wall is not visible from the bottom of the valley, but as you climb higher up the hillside you’ll catch the odd glimpse of the old fortress. Then suddenly it is there in front of you: the Great Wall. Following the mountain ridge for as far as you can see, the wall divides the wild forest in two. Walking along the Wall eastwards, leads to the Simatai section of the wall, where you still can still see unrestored parts. The grandness of it all can be intimidating, and the Wall can seem desolate. The only people you
are likely to encounter, however, are women from farming villages north of the wall. They come in small groups – young and old – following the visitors as they walk along the Wall. It is surreal being lost in translation with these women as you stroll along in a landscape with never-ending dark green hills. When the fog comes rolling over the hills and comes crawling along the Wall, you feel surprisingly glad to have befriended these women. Although you’ll have to cash out in souvenirs at the end...
Fact File Barentsburg A Russian coal-mining settlement. It’s under Nowegian sovereignty, but signatory countries have equal rights to exploit natural resources under the Svalbard Treaty of 1920. There are only around 500 inhabitants. The island is reliant on mainland Russia for food.
Sedlec Ossuary The final place to drag your thrill seeking travel companions along to is the Sedlec Ossuary – situated about an hour’s train journey out of Prague – in the sleepy outskirts of Kutna Hora. As you get off the train and start walking through the nearby streets you probably won’t find anything you haven’t seen before. An old church, the school, the petrol station… But as you continue you’ll come to what looks like a small, quite picturesque church. Oh, but how wrong you can be! The Sedlec Ossuary, only distinguishable outside by the name sign in front of it, is also called the Church of Bones. Inside are the remains of more than 40,000 people. Bones and skulls of thousands of victims of a horrible plague now decorate the interior of the church. There are large piles of neatly arranged bones, overlooked by skulls that decorate the ceiling and form grand candelabras. Not everyone can last for long in the church, and it is without doubt an experience you will never forget. For thrill seekers, it is well worth a trip to seek out the spooky horrors across the globe. Whether it is in Asia or Europe, these places are sure to get your blood pumping.
Jinshanling A 10.5 km-long section of the Great Wall of China. A cable car has recently been constructed to transport visitors to the highest part of the wall. The section of the wall was built from 1570 BC during the Ming Dynasty. The general tower was named to commemorate Wu Guihua, a heroine who sacrificed herself to resist northern invaders during the Ming Dynasty.
Sedlec Ossuary It’s a Roman Catholic chapel near Prague. It houses a chandelier of bones that is composed of at least one of every bone in the human body.
Exploring Jack the Ripper’s London 13 Brick Lane Daisy Jones Competitons&Listings editor
The infamous Whitechapel murders of 1888 made Jack the Ripper one of the most notorious and illusive serial killers of all time. There ares books, there are films, and if you venture into London, there are walks and tours and live experiences. But what about the real thing? With the recent claims to the Ripper’s secret identity (Polish immigrant Aaron Kosminski, if you believe the evidence) and seeing as it’s nearly Halloween, Concrete takes a look at Jack the Ripper’s London…
Durward Street This street used to be called Buck’s Row, but it was changed soon after the horrific discovery of the body of Mary Ann Nichols, Jack the Ripper’s first victim, to avoid unwanted attention. Nichols’ body was found on the south side of the street, and today you can still see the wall and Board School, the site of her death, unchanged since the Ripper’s time.
St Leonard’s Church A simple memorial was put in place here in the 90s to mark the grave of Mary Kelly, who is widely believed to be the fifth and final victim – and the one who was killed and butchered most savagely. To this day, people leave flowers there in her memory.
Ten Bells Pub At the corner of Commercial Street and Fournier Street stands the Ten Bells Pub, famous for its association with the Jack the Ripper legend. You can have a drink here, just as Ripper victims Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly did over a hundred years ago.
If you feel like a refuel after all this wandering around, you can always stop off at the curry house at the corner of Thrawl Street. Formerly the site of the Frying Pan pub, this was where Mary Ann Nichols lived at the time of her shocking murder.
Mitre Square Yes, there might be some nice flowers and a few benches here now, but the south corner of the square is where Catherine Eddowes’ body was found in the early hours of 30th September, 1888. Armchair detective Russell Edwards claims to have used the blood-stained shawl she was wearing that fateful night to discover the identity of her killer. Whether you believe him or not, don’t rest in Mitre Square too long – you might run into Catherine.
Hanbury Street In Spitalfields, in a street buslting with shops and flats, lies the site of Annie Chapman’s murder. She was found in the backyard of No.29, which has since been demolished and built over by the Old Truman Brewery. Lots of people visit it today for the fashionable weekly markets.
Henrique Street On the same night that Catherine Eddowes’ body was discovered, so was Elizabeth Stride’s, right here, in Dutfield’s Yard. The site of her murder is now a school building, making something of a grim education.
The Royal London Museum Although it’s best known for its association with the ‘Elephant Man’, the Royal London Hospital is also where you can see forensic material relating to the Jack the Ripper murders.
The Kent coast dissected Travel Editor, Jodie Snow, looks at the decline of the coastal holiday.
or the Victorians among us, a trip to the Kent coast-side towns of Margate and Whitstable would be an exotic getaway out of smoggy London. Yet these days, Kent’s quaint sea-side towns seem to hardly lure visitors. The 21st century appears to have hit the coast hard, as we flock to the continent, opting for sunny Spain rather than windy Whitstable. When travelling by train through the Kent countryside to reach Margate, it is almost uncertain as to why anyone would not want to see what Kent has to offer. The train passes through fields and farms, all interlacing together to create a patchwork of green and yellows. Upon arrival to Margate however, a different story is told. The train station’s enormous size serves only to highlight its emptiness and to show Margate simultaneously as what it once was and what it has declined to. Leave the train station and the sea becomes immediately visible. The salty wind hits you, just as the shock that such a sandy, long stretch of beach can be found in unassuming Kent. Yet, one only has to avert their eyes away from the beach for a moment to see the reason why so many holiday makers have severed their ties with this Kent sea-side town. Greasy-spoon cafes, run down arcades and empty shops clutter the seafront. Not to mention the derelict condition of many hotels and B&B’s that show how Margate has aged. The town shows Margate clinging to their
popular past. The buildings are worn and dated and depressingly reflect the decline in Margate’s tourism. The only saviour to this Kent town is the beach itself – yet even then, it’s hard to ignore the eye-sore, aged buildings. While Margate shows where Kent went wrong, Whitstable is a testament to what Kent did right. This sea-side quirky town is a pure delight to visit. Its beach is pebbly and not as naturally impressive as Margate’s, but the town itself is a thriving community. Walk along the sea-front and the sweet smell of fresh fish hits you magnificently. Whitstable is well-known for its fresh fish culinary delights, so it is to no surprise that the sea-front is full of market stalls and restaurants all offering the fine opportunity to taste Whitstable’s biggest export: oysters. Through the town, independent shops are in the majority, making a trip to the high street a refreshing experience. The main allure of this coastal town is the people that inhabit it. Whitstable’s strong sense of community is felt by any visitor. It is with dismay, that some of Kent’s coastal towns have declined so dramatically since their hey-day as popular tourist resorts. While Margate’s derelict sea-front acts as a grim reminder of the town’s struggling tourist industry, the beach itself is a sight and experience that makes the visit worth while. Luckily, Whitstable’s unique and friendly atmosphere make the Kent coast a must visit. Photo: Flickr, John Newton
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Premier grand cru or Chateau-neuf-du-crap? The guide to student wine tasting Page 20
Ways to make exercise fun Lydia Tewkesbury Lifestyle writer Making time for exercise tends to get forgotten in the busy world of university. In your life of work, socialising, Netflix and exercising can often seem like the optional extra you just don’t have time for any more. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And honestly, it probably shouldn’t be. With the UK now having the worst obesity rates in Europe, it seems time that we take responsibility for our bodies. Also, exercise can actually be really fun. Especially on a diverse campus like ours, you’re bound to find a form of exercise suited to you.
for the year and you can sign up for classes on their Facebook page at the UEA Ktroo Society. You don’t need to buy Sports Association Membership (SAM) for Ktroo, which makes it pretty attractive to those looking to save a bit of money this semester.
“Exercise can be really fun”
Running Running is great. Running, once you’ve got yourself a decent pair of trainers which you definitely need, is free. Running can be done at any time, in almost any place. It can be a great solitary activity, or you can do it with friends. Norwich is great for running. There are beautiful locations such as the lake at UEA, or Eaton Park just outside of it, where many people of all abilities go to jog. It’s good for us in so many ways: it helps strengthen bones, can help prevent us getting cancer, and generally contributes toward living longer. For some, running is simply great because of the emotional effects it produces. There is an almost endless list of studies these days telling us that exercise helps lift low mood. They aren’t lying. It really does work.
of the impact of exercise, so they protect our muscles in the way that other sports do not. Over time, Ktroo can help improve spinal and core strength as well as improving the flow of your lymph system (part of the circulatory system), which helps get rid of nasty toxins the body accumulates through the stress of every day life. Ktroo is really fun, to the extent that, after you’ve taken the boots off, normal walking on your boring non-bouncy feet simply doesn’t feel good enough anymore. Ktroo costs £25
Sports societies UEA has many sports societies. There is almost no limit to the exercise you can try during your time here. If you’re looking to join a UEA sports club, you’ll first need to buy SAM. It costs £45, and that money goes towards the costs of running sports clubs, and also means that students are protected under the union’s insurance. All the available clubs can be found online at ueastudent.com and range from yoga to fencing.
Ktroo Ktroo is a new sport on campus in which participants wear rebound boots. They are bouncy shoes, essentially. Bouncy shoes that you dance around in. What’s not to like? The rebound boots used during Ktroo absorb 80%
Photo: Flickr, Ryan Hyde
Weird and wacky study tips Isabella Cicchirillo Lifestyle writer E-S-S-A-Y the five letters that students dread. Writing an essay is not a pleasant experience for many, so here are some study tips to help make the experience more enjoyable! •Listen to Ludovico Einaudi whilst you are writing or reading. The soothing music will help you to focus. •Reward yourself: set yourself a goal every hour and reward yourself with chocolate or anything that you enjoy! It will keep things exciting and help you to stay motivated. •Take breaks: have a bath to cleanse your soul, or simply chat to your friends, that way you are refreshed when you go back to the work.
•Find somewhere you can concentrate: whether it is in your room or at the library, make sure you are free from other distractions, as it will help you get the essay done quicker. •If you are having a mind block: take a walk round the lake at UEA, it is a beautiful place and you will be surprised by how much it can clear your head. •Book one of the study carrels in the library: these little booths are excellent to concentrate when writing an essay as you are away from everyone else in the library. •Plan, plan plan! If you work out your points and what you are going to say, you can start writing straight away! •Don’t Panic! Look at example essays, the marking criteria and do your research.
Make the most of your spare time at uni Bronia McGregor Lifestyle writer Sometimes it feels like the only way to relax and unwind after you’ve finished your reading and seminar prep is an inevitable trip to the pub or to vegetate in front of Netflix for a few hours with a selection of your favourite snacks. However, there is a way to spend your spare time more productively and also have fun at the same time. There are a number of opportunities you could be making the most of, wherever your interests may lie. Not only something fun to distract yourself from university work after a long day, some of these can also provide useful skills and be a valuable addition to your CV. Probably the most obvious suggestion for filling your spare time is to join a club or society. With UEA’s vast list of groups to choose from, there really is something for everyone. From UEA Snow to Archery and Baking to Minecraft, and not forgetting all the subject specific societies, there’s a lot to choose from! As well as an opportunity to indulge an old passion or try something new, it’s also a fun way to meet new friends and a great chance to learn a new skill. If your interests are giving back to the community and you can spare a few hours for a good cause, there are some great opportunities for volunteer work in Norwich. From dedicating a few hours a week to visiting an elderly member of society and offering a friendly ear, to giving up some time to work in a charity shop or help a small local business,
there are various types of work available and www.voluntarynorfolk.org.uk is a great place to start looking. On the other hand, if you’re really looking to boost your employability in your free time, look no further than the university itself. The Careers Centre runs a number of workshops each week to help students with things like writing the perfect CV and even how to impress in a job interview. Just book your place online and show up on the day, they’ll even send you an email reminder. Or, if you want something more full time, there are a number of great services within the university
“There are some great opportunities for volunteer work in Norwich” that you can apply for to gain experience in a certain area, like the Next Steps to Teaching programme and the University Writers Service. However, if you want to venture outside of campus, the city offers some great things to do with your time. You could apply for a part time job or look into some of the events and classes in Norwich. The Birdcage hosts a number of different events if you want to do something different with your evening, from open mic to comedy nights and even life drawing classes. So, whatever grabs your interest, why not bring along some friends and head into the city to try something new.
Photo: Flickr, Chris
How to make your own lavender-scented heart Katie Wadsworth Lifestyle writer
DIY can be daunting for some, spelling out expensive materials and complicated instructions which leave you frustrated and wishing you’d just gone to the shops! But this doesn’t have to be the case. These lavender scented hearts not only look great but they’re really simple to make and easy on the purse strings. They can be made out of any bits of fabric you may have lying around and are a great
“Lavender scented hearts are really simple to make” way to make your uni room feel like home. Plus, with Christmas just around the corner, they also make fantastic presents for all your friends’ and family. You can even personalise them with family and friends names for that extra special touch, so give it a go!
You will need: • 32 x 18 cm piece of fabric (light or heavyweight cotton are ideal) • Matching thread • Ribbon, approximately 23 cm • 16 x 16 cm piece of paper
• Toy stuffing • Lavender seeds • Scissors • Needle • Ruler • Pencil • Pins
ON A SHOE STRING WITH PETER SHEEHAN
Chablis is simply the Waitrose word for chardonnay. 1. Fold the paper in half and sketch half a heart. Cut around and open out to produce a symmetrical heart template.
That £2.99 bottle of Aldi “party wine”? It’s not cat’s piss, it’s “refreshing, sharp and arresting”.
2. Place the fabric pattern side down and trace around the heart template. Repeat the process so you have two identical hearts. 3. Cut the hearts out.
Always start the night with the most expensive bottle: price decreases with one’s ability to tell the difference between left and right.
4. On the wrong side of the fabric, measure in 1 cm from the edge of the heart and mark the fabric with a small dot. Repeat this process at regular intervals around the edge of the heart. Sketch a line to link up the dots. Repeat the process on the second heart.
Blind tests show that most people are unable to tell the difference between cheap wine and very grandest of crus. So reach for the botton-shelf Tesco Value. Proudly.
5. Take the ribbon and fold it in half to create a loop. With the patterned side of one heart facing up, centrally pin the loop in place at the top. 6. With patterned sides facing, place one heart on top of the other so that the loop is sandwiched between the two halves. Secure around the edge with pins. 7. Thread the needle and tie a knot in the end. Begin stitching the two halves together from halfway down the right-hand side. Use a running stitch to sew both halves together, following the pencil line around the heart until you are 4 cm from where you began sewing. Tie off the thread leaving a 4 cm opening. Use small stitches to ensure that both halves are joined securely, taking particular care to secure both sides of the opening and the
Don’t do what my cousin did. Chateau-neuf-du-crap: the finest cornershop plonk on the Unthank Road. Photo: Katie Wadsworth loop. Remove the pins. 8. Using the 4 cm opening, turn the heart the right way out by gently pulling the fabric through the opening. Remove the pin holding the loop. 9. Stuff the edges of the heart with toy stuffing. Next add the lavender seeds as required. Finish off by stuffing the heart with toy stuffing until the heart is plump.
“Once opened, drink within three days”: the most pointless words ever written on the side of a bottle. No, it isn’t “just for cooking”. You’re not fooling anyone. Always make sure to finish the bottle. You never know: it might get better as you down.
10. Use a slip stitch to sew up the opening.
Lifestylefood Pumpkin soup
Victoria Maitland Lifestyle writer This dish is a great way to use up the flesh of the pumpkin after you’ve hollowed it out for carving. Serves 4 Photo: Flickr, Leighton Cooke Ingredients 1 medium pumpkin – about 500 g flesh diced 1 medium onion (red or white), finely chopped 1 pint vegetable stock (mix a stock cube with warm water) 1 teaspoon butter 225 ml milk
Method 1) Place your butter in a deep, large pan and fry onions on a low heat until translucent. Add more butter if they start to stick. 2) Add your diced pumpkin and place the lid on the pan to allow to sweat for ten to 15 minutes (or until the flesh has started to soften and released some liquid). 3) Add your vegetable stock and milk, raise the temperature to a simmer, and allow to cook for 25 to 30 minutes. If you’re using cow’s milk, watch to make sure it
Victoria Maitland Lifestyle writer Photo: Flickr, Crazy House Capers doesn’t boil over (leaving the lid slightly a jar helps prevent this). 4) Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can add other spices at this stage if you like (Chilli works well). 5) Whilst waiting for your soup to cook, you can carve your pumpkin, or rinse and toast your pumpkin seeds. 6) Once the pumpkin is very soft, turn off the heat and blitz in a food processor.
And that’s it! It tastes lovely with a few drops of hot sauce and a couple of chunks of cheese melted in. This also freezes really well, so you can portion it off for later.
This is a sweet potato take on the classic stuffed jackets. You can use baking potatoes if you’d prefer, or if you have an oven, you can also do this with butternut squash – just ramp the cooking time to one hour, place back in the oven rather than under the grill, and double the bacon, garlic and cheese. Serves 1
Ingredients 1 medium sweet potato 2 rashers of smokey bacon 1 handful of grated cheese 1 clove of garlic chopped or half a teaspoon of Lazy Garlic
Method 1) Scrub the potato to get rid of any dirt, then pierce it with a fork all over the skin. 2) Place the potato in the microwave on a high heat for ten minutes, turning halfway through. 3) Whilst waiting for your potato, grill or fry your bacon then cut into centimetre squares and set aside. 4) Fry your garlic, either using the fat from your bacon or in a small amount of butter. 5) Once your potato is done, slice it in half and scoop out the middle, leaving 0.5 cm of flesh around the edge. 6) Mash the scooped out potato with the bacon, garlic and three-quarters of the grated cheese. 7) Stuff back into the potatoes and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. 8) Place under the grill for two minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to take colour.
union news to receive this as an email direct into your inbox every week, or to read the digital version of this, register at www.ueastudent.com
Register to vote This week we’re asking you to register to vote in next years General Election! Every 5 years, people across the country cast their vote for the MP they want to represent them and in May 2015, you’ll have a chance to. This time around
EVERYONE has to register to vote but it’s pretty easy, you can do it online. If you think you might need a hand, drop into our help desk in The Hive (Union House) this Friday, 10-4. Scan the QR code for more info.
Scan this QR code to register to vote in the next UK General Election
Carry That Weight As part of our ongoing initiative to prevent and raise awareness of issues surrounding sexual harassment and assault on our campus, the Union of UEA Students and Hollaback! will be supporting the ‘Carry the Weight’ national day of action. We are inviting all
students to grab a pillow and come down to the square and join us to walk to the 4women centre in Norwich in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence across the world. You can find out how you can get involved here by scanning the QR code.
Tell us stuff
Have you tried a coffee or panini from Unio yet?
In our last sixty second survey we found out; when asked what you’d do to improve your accommodation, the most popular choice was more competitive pricing, adding weight to our campaign on the student cost of living! We’ll be working on how to bring about
change! This week, we want to know what a day on campus costs you- how much was that bus ticket? Is a baguette breaking the bank or the price of milkshake making you tremble? Let us know by scanning the code!
Go beyond your degree UEA Student Pop Up Market is a FREE opportunity for student entrepreneurs on Thursday in Hive, to test out their business ideas by taking on a pitch in our monthly
market. Come along to sell your goods, or to buy some great products! For more information and to find out how to book a pitch please contact V.Cook@uea.ac.uk.
Are you aged 16-30? If yes, you could save a life! UEA Marrow are recruiting donors to the stem cell register on the 27th October, 10-6.30, in the Hive. We need
you and it’s as easy as giving a spit to find out if you are a match for someone with a life threatening blood disorder. So come along, be a match and save a life!
In profile: UEA Blue Sox
Baseball is one of America’s most popular and enduring sports, so who better than Concrete’s resident Oakland A’s supporter, Holly McDede, to find out more about the flourishing UEA Blue Sox? James Newbold Sport editor
n a long career in the top flight that has seen him win the Champions League and five Premier League titles, deputise in goal and score a winner for Manchester United against bitter rivals Liverpool at Anfield, you could forgive John O’Shea for thinking that he’d seen it all. But in all his 33 years, O’Shea won’t have experienced anything like the rollercoaster ride of this past fortnight. Having three months previously dismantled Brazil in front of their home fans with an effortless panache which defied belief, before going on to beat Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the final, Germany will have expected their European Championship qualifier against O’Shea’s Republic of Ireland to be a walk in the park by comparison. Despite the international retirements of all-time record goalscorer Miroslav Klose and defensive stalwarts Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker, and deprived of the services of injured trio Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger, it looked as though Toni Kroos’ long range shot clipped in off the post had done the job for the home side. But they had not anticipated O’Shea’s 94th minute leveller, stabbing in from close range after Jeff Hendrick’s cross, the
“As is so often the way in football, all pre-match optimism was quashed in the most brutal fashion” perfect way to mark his 100th cap in the famous green jersey. The result puts Ireland level with Poland on seven points from a possible nine and in with a very real chance of making it out of the group. News that the Sunderland skipper had committed to a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the Stadium of Light until 2017 meant the Black Cats travelled down to Southampton in buoyant mood, with the second best defensive record in the league; only their opponents had conceded fewer. But as is so often the way in football, all pre-match optimism was quashed in the most brutal fashion possible as Sunderland shipped eight goals in a single match, more than they had conceded all season previously. A painful 90 minutes that beggared belief, capped by an own-goal of the season contender from Santiago Vergini set the tone for a miserable afternoon that was only compounded by the prospect of a 300-mile journey home. From Ireland’s hero, O’Shea was reduced to a mere passenger as Gus Poyet’s team capitulated, powerless to stop a rampant Dušan Tadic racking up a record-equalling four assists and a goal after a mistake from goalkeeper Vito Mannone. Sunderland’s 2,549 away fans are set to be reimbursed by the players themselves for their ordeal, but the memories won’t go away for a while. It’s a funny old game.
he University of East Anglia's baseball team, the Blue Sox, just won the national tournament for the third straight year. Wait, baseball? Yes; not only do people play baseball in England, but UEA has a baseball team, and they're really, really good. The tournament was played in Farnham Park in Slough over the course of two days and involved five different teams throughout the UK. In the first match, UEA won 9-5 against Southampton. UEA also won the final match 11-3 against Imperial, but it was the 7-3 victory over Nottingham that most of the players remember, as UEA left it late to score all seven runs in the very last inning. “We played for our lives”, said baseball coach Ethan Attwood. “Nottingham had this huge, new pitcher. For three innings, he was dominant. Chris Blandford, who hadn't struck out for two years, struck out. I struck out. But then he started to waver and in the last inning, we took the lead”. Baseball is kind of like rounders (but not) and also kind of like cricket (but also not cricket) and kind of like running in a circle (that may or may not be exactly right). A pitcher throws a ball. A batter tries to hit it. There's a field. There are bases. It's all very metaphorical; you run around in a circle in a desperate attempt to make it home. “With a lot of sport there's a wall”, Attwood said. “With football, you can't play if you're not fast. With rugby, you can't play if you're not strong. But with baseball, the skills you need are so diverse that you'll be good at some aspect of it”. And it's OK if you've never played before. “Most people who sign up haven't played before,” says Blue Sox President Emma James. “Every year we have to train people up. We start by explaining the rules”. While some are totally new to the sport, some have watched it for years. On a family holiday in Florida, Elliot Wotton watched the Tampa Bay Devil Rays play for the first time, and was hooked. When he arrived at UEA, he signed up. Three weeks later, he was on the national squad. “It was amazing. You don't get a lot of opportunities to play in a national tournament, so being able to play in it after three weeks of joining the team was pretty surreal,” Wotton said. “I've been watching it for a long time. I kept thinking, 'Oh, I'm in that position now'. You get a buzz”. Then there are the players who have played baseball before, who show others how it's done. Take Joe Rollwagen, an exchange
Photo: Tom Lee / Pitcher Chris Blandford student from Minnesotta, who Andreas Fopp credits with turning him into an electrifying pitcher. Fopp pitched for a total of 11 innings in the two day tournament against 52 different batters. He struck out nearly 40% of those at bat, emerging with a 2.45 ERA. He had pitched a little while studying at an International School in Germany, but here, he's been getting a lot more attention. “I certainly have had a lot of people come up to me and say, 'Heard you did well. Congrats!' I've never experienced anything like it because over in Germany I was kind of a bit further down in terms of pitching ability”, Fopp said. “UK baseball is still developing. It's nice that I'm here for a full, three year course to see it develop”. When Fopp was considering universities, his mum came across the UEA baseball page. He created a Twitter account, and promptly followed them. “It's kind of a dream come true that I'm on the team”, he said. If you watch a baseball game, you'll probably see a lot of people standing around. It's sometimes like watching paint dry, but while the paint dries, something crazy will happen that you'll miss if you're not looking. Someone will make a double play, someone will catch a ball with their bare hand, a pitcher will throw a 90mph fast ball. Baseball players are a tough old bunch. “Don’t listen to anyone who says baseball doesn’t fuck you up; we're lucky we still have both our ears”, said Attwood. The catcher’s elbow is barely attached to his arm. We're like a platoon of soldiers after a war”. Like the American mailman mantra “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night”, the Blue Sox play all year round and have thus thrown their share of waterlogged baseballs in Nottingham. “We are FedEx,
except we play baseball”, James said. One of the reasons the team is so good is because they know each other so well. Don't take for granted the role played by team socials, organized by Social Secretary Roz Cresswell, in building the team spirit and camaraderie essential for success. “Everyone knows each other’s strengths and weaknesses and the closeness of the group means we can tell if someone is likely to make silly errors through being stressed”, she said. For catcher Tom Mott, being able to communicate is super important. He has to know what the pitcher is about to do. “You're playing with your pitcher, and you communicate with him, and everyone is communicating with each other”, Mott said. “The Blue Sox just have a great atmosphere, whether or not they're playing or on the bench. Just the family appeal is so great”. The Blue Sox only started playing softball last season, which may have accounted for their defeat this past weekend, but there was still massive potential. Casey Ditzler, for instance, managed to hit a single, double, triple, and a home run during the tournament. Softball uses a larger ball as well as underhanded, and slower pitching. While the baseball squad included two girls, the softball tournament was about half female. But softball is exploding throughout the UK, even more so than baseball. While only 5 teams participated in the baseball tournament, 12 teams took part in the national softball tournament last weekend. But, by and large, the Blue Sox remain their own biggest fans. “We don't get any money from the Union. We don't really get noticed by the University,” James said. “But, every week, we play for the love of the sport”.
UEA Futsal taste continental success Amit Puntambekar and Joe Atkinson Sport writers Following on from the league-winning success of the UEA Futsal first team in 2013-14 and subsequent promotion to the Premier Midlands Division, the club has added continental success to its roster in the Eurofives Autumn Cup in Amsterdam. The well-esteemed tournament, now in its 11th year of competition, was also contested by RBS London, Apollo, Simple Seven, and OMS. After a 21-hour coach journey to reach Amsterdam and an inspirational team talk from captain Chris Swann, UEA kicked off the tournament against Simple Seven, a team with some excellent technical players, but no match for the solid shape and fast pace of the UEA team who came away 4-0 winners. This was swiftly followed by a close game
against Apollo, whose Essex roots made them a natural rival for UEA. After a slow start, the match remained goalless until five minutes from the end, but UEA made their class tell and took a 3-0 victory. A further 3-0 win against tournament veterans RBS London guaranteed a spot in the final, but there remained one group match to play against OMS, who would be UEA’s opponents in the final. Another 3-0 win to maintain UEA’s unbeaten record in the group stage saw the yellows head into the final full of confidence. Despite conceding their first goal of the tournament, UEA saved their best performance until last and comfortably saw off OMS 5-1, to bring the Eurofives Autumn Cup back to East Anglia. With two goals in the final to bring his tally for the tournament to eight, UEA’s Joel Potter was also voted the player of the tournament, an accolade he and the UEA Futsal team plan to defend next season. Roll on 2015!
Photo: UEA Futsal
Vettel rocks F1 driver market Photo: Takayuki Suzuki
Ryan McDonagh Sport writer Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsport – only the best drivers in the world get a regular crack at driving a Formula One car. For the teams involved the drivers are arguably the single most important person in the whole operation, so the driver’s market is a key chapter in the long story that is a Formula One season. The first big player to announce his intentions for 2015 was four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who dropped a bombshell on the weekend of the Japanese Grand Prix by confirming that he would be leaving the Red Bull Racing at the end of the 2014 season. The most successful product of Red Bull’s young driver programme, Vettel has amassed all but one of his 39 wins with the team, forming a formidable partnership with the Adrian Newey-designed mounts to score an unprecedented nine consecutive wins as he cruised to the title last year. Having found himself in the strongest car for each of his four championships, Vettel
has often been the subject of conjecture suggesting that, in order to truly validate his driving ability, he must win another World Championship with a different team. Only two drivers have won the Driver’s Championship more times – Michael Schumacher (seven) and Juan Manuel Fangio (five) – both of whom achieving that feat with more than one team. Red Bull moved swiftly to announce Daniil Kvyat as his replacement alongside Daniel Ricciardo after just a single season at Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso. The man Vettel will most likely be replacing at Ferrari, Fernando Alonso, is also on the move. The Spaniard, a double World Champion with Renault in 2005 and 2006, has been plagued by uncompetitive machinery since joining Ferrari in 2010, but transcended the limits of his car to take the title down to the wire in both 2010 and 2012, finishing runnerup on both occasions by less than five points. Having originally planned to see out his career at Ferrari, the 33 year-old’s relationship with the Maranello has dwindled in recent years, with criticisms of the team becoming increasingly vocal. After the Hungarian Grand Prix, a reporter asked Alonso what he
wanted for his birthday, to which he replied, “somebody else’s car”. Instead, Alonso received a scathing reprimand from Ferrari, a very proud institution in the F1 paddock who don’t receive public criticism well in any circumstance, least of all from their own drivers. After all, they famously fired a certain Alain Prost, then a three-time champion, for the same misdemeanour in 1991. With both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton set to remain at Mercedes for 2015 at least, Alonso’s most likely destination would appear to be McLaren, whom he left after a single acrimonious season in 2007. The British team will reignite their hugely successful partnership with Honda, with whom they won four drivers and four constructor’s championships between 1988 and 1991 as they look to put two uncompetitive seasons behind them. The Japanese manufacturer is known to want Alonso, who is widely regarded as one of Formula One’s biggest talents, but there will be no guarantees that the new engine package allow him to challenge for the third title he so desperately craves. Alonso could even opt to take a sabbatical until a seat at Mercedes
becomes available – echoing Prost’s decision to sit out the 1992 season before winning the title on his return with Williams in 1993. But should Alonso choose to put his faith in the McLaren-Honda package, the British team will be left with an agonising choice between their current drivers Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen. At 34, Button is reaching the twilight stages of his career and has been linked with joining Mark Webber in the World Endurance Championship, but has a good working relationship with Honda, having driven for BAR-Honda between 2003 and 2008, which could prove crucial in the programme’s early stages. Rookie team-mate Magnussen has acquitted himself well and steadily improved over the course of the season, but although his qualifying performances have generally been the better of the two, Button has shaded him in the races, crucially outscoring him by 94 to 49. The Dane has unquestionable potential, but whether Honda can afford to be patient with him remains to be seen. Button is desperate to “go racing” next season, but with whom (and in what form of motorsport) is still up in the air.
England announce squad for autumn internationals Rob Staniforth Sport writer England head coach Stuart Lancaster has named his initial 33-man Elite Player Squad (EPS) for their upcoming November test matches against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia. The announcement was moved from its more traditional August slot to enable the England coaches to watch players in domestic and European action as competition for places in England’s 2015 World Cup squad hots up. Chris Robshaw retains the captaincy in a squad which includes three uncapped players,
including winger Semesa Rokoduguni, who replaces Chris Ashton, and George Kruis, both called up for the first time. However, there is no place in the squad for David Strettle, Christian Wade, Danny Cipriani or Freddie Burns, despite strong performances recently, while Manu Tuilagi remains on watch for the time being, following an injury sustained in the European Rugby Champions Cup match against Ulster. Cipriani is perhaps the biggest name to be ommitted, having impressed for Sale Sharks. Nonetheless, Lancaster is evidently not afraid to experiment. Lancaster will hope Tuilagi doesn’t spend long on an already lengthy injury list, which includes Alex Corbisiero, Tom Croft, Mako
Vunipola and Geoff Parling. The Rugby Football Union’s policy of only picking players based in England means Toby Flood is left out of the squad, following his move to Toulouse in the summer. European Player of the Year, Steffon Armitage, has also been left out of the squad, after a possible move to Bath fell through. The strength of the opposition will ensure England are given a tough test ahead of next year’s tournament, where they will have the added advantage of playing on home soil. The squad can still be changed, and upcoming club fixtures, as well as injuries, could effect changes to the squad before England begin the QBE Internationals Series against New Zealand on 8th November.
Flickr: Fearless Fred
Issue 302 28th October 2014
concrete-online.co.uk @Concrete_UEA ConcreteNewspaper
UEA Blue Sox Profile Page 22 UEA Ladies Football have turned things around after a difficult first day in Lincoln Steph MacLoughlin
UEA Women bounce back against Trent Rebecca Rylott Sport writer UEA Ladies Football hit back with a 3-2 victory over Nottingham Trent after suffering disappointment away to Lincoln on the opening day of the BUCS season. With very fresh faces aboard the coach heading to Lincoln, only three remained from the starting eleven of last season, and with no available substitutes on the day, new head coach Lee Hamilton recognized a tough battle was ahead of them. “We struggled with injuries at Lincoln, but if we continue to put in the same amount of effort and application for the rest of the season, we’ll be very difficult to beat”, said Hamilton. UEA fell to an early goal in the first ten minutes, but kept their heads up. Using the wings and Sammy Algar as a key central player, UEA challenged and Paige Paddy looked likely to score on two occasions, putting endless pressure on Lincoln’s defence though out the first half. However, it was to be Lincoln who scored the crucial second goal, with a lob over the top from the half way line to a clearly offside attacking player. Despite the defence battling to get back, they could not keep up with the pace as the attacking player thumped the ball home.
At half time, the girls were disheartened at 2-0 down, particularly goalkeeper Helen Gibb as she made her debut on her 22nd birthday. However, Gibb made two impressive saves in the second half, rushing out of
“UEA looked far more comfortable against Nottingham Trent” the box to clear the ball out of arms reach, showing excellent promise for the future. Her efforts led to her deservedly receiving ‘Player of the Match’, as it was clear to see her heart and soul went into the performance. The second half issues lay in the Lincoln squad consistently finding themselves in attacking positions, which frequently troubled the UEA defence, as they scored two more goals. UEA did show great response to two Lincoln corner kicks, an improvement on a particularly weak area of last season, as they made excellent clearances and breakaways from the UEA half in to attack. The first half’s poor refereeing decisions cast a shadow over the defence, but UEA kept their focus nonetheless. Jess Keeling repeatedly weaved in-between Lincoln players causing trouble for their most
talented attackers as she wiggled into space. At this point, UEA became much more comfortable and took more and more shots, but they once again found themselves unlucky on many occasions. The best chance would come from Keeling receiving a free kick from a reckless challenge. The Lincoln captain lingered over the ball trying to put the team off but Keeling crossed over to Katie Fray, and one of UEA’s most trusted goal scorers hit home, taking the score back to 4-1. The final nail in the coffin again came from Lincoln, and disappointingly the match ended as a 5-1 loss, but UEA left in high spirits, and will no doubt be seeking revenge come the rematch at home. Having had time to gel and get used to each others’ style of play before the Nottingham Trent game, UEA looked a far more comfortable outfit. In fact, after a thundering start, the Yellows found themselves 3-0 up, and showed tremendous tenacity to hold on to the three points despite a gallant fight back from Trent, who looked promising with the score at 3-2. Please come and support the girls in their home matches and the other sports teams that play down at Colney Lane on Wednesdays this year: 12th November kick off 13:30 19th November kick off 14.00
Flickr: Jake Archibald
Formula One Shakeup Page 22
Flickr: The Sport Review
England Rugby latest Page 23
oji Adegbile interviews Moji Adegbile, who has been shortlisted for Student Photographer of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards
and by such a kind and talented person. Our conversation slowly draws to a close, but before we’re done I can’t resist asking another question. What would Moji photograph, if she could take a picture of anything or any place in the world? “That’s a very tough question”, she muses, lost in thought. “My favourite photographs have been of social issues captured in an emotionally disarming light. I want to take images like that. I’m not too bothered about where because there are issues that need reporting all over the world but I would love to be at the forefront of a breaking or relevant story, armed with my camera and capturing photos that touch many”. She advises me to browse the internet for images of documentary photography to get a better idea of what she means, before finishing with what can only be described as the perfect quote to sum up our chat and her new outlook on her future: “I’ve joked about one day seeing my photos published by National Geographic, perhaps with this new confidence boost, why not?”
This page, clockwise from left Helena Bradbury models for a fashion shoot UEA Men’s Rugby in action on Derby Day UEA Women’s Rugby warm up before a match A member of the lacrosse team
Front cover The sun sets behind Norfolk Terrace
Back cover Construction workers in Nigeria
“A combination of stress, panic and stupidity saw me spend my entire month’s allowance on Canon’s latest model”