Issue 569

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C R E AT E D B Y S T U D E N T S , F O R S T U D E N T S


ISSUE 569 Hello! Fasten your seatbelts because we are about to embark on a new journey. That’s right guys, it’s the start of semester one and CUB Magazine is back with its first printed issue of the 2018/19 academic year and a brand new team.

section launching this year to showcase female talent and creativity, and to promote female perspective; where anyone who identifies as a girl can express themselves freely and without restriction!

At the Fresher’s Welcome Fair (see picture), I was asked what CUB actually stands for. It turns out the mascot of the Student Union is a leopard and CUB is its baby. In light of this, my aim having taking over as Editor-In-Chief, is to allow CUB to grow and evolve by the time the fourth and final print edition is released. Going forwards, I want CUB to reflect my vision to make the magazine as inclusive and representative of QM’s student population as possible, but also to reflect the talent of our editors and writers. Our 67-strong team have worked extremely hard together to create a magazine created by students, for students.

I hope you enjoy reading this edition as much as I did making it. If you want to read more from our fantastic team and find out how to get involved with QM’s arts and culture magazine, go to: www. for weekly content. Also don’t forget to keep up to date with us by following CUB on social media: @cubmagazine

Inside, you will find our popular sections including Arts, Style, Features, Film, Music, London, Unisex, Photography, and our columns which delve into issues such as mental health, feminism, politics, and the Middle East. You will also find a page introducing ‘MUSE’ – a new

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Words by Karina Bogdan



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By now we are all quite familiar with what Fashion Week is: a glamorous 6-day event which allows designers to present their collections to potential buyers and A List celebrities, but maybe most importantly to advertise their work to journalists, social media ‘influencers’ and bloggers. Fashion Week takes place twice a year and realistically speaking, events are actually spread across the whole month. London Fashion Week represents one of the most iconic events of the fashion calendar, and has central importance for the developing culture and economy of the fashion sector in the UK. According to a market research conducted by Oxford Economics in 2014, the British Fashion Industry produces a £26 billion direct contribution to the UK economy (GDP). With these numbers in mind, you are most probably already picturing all these elegant, pretentious and highly exclusive glamorous events, filled with passionate and creative fashion enthusiasts, enjoying an expensive glass of champagne while gossiping about the latest trends. I myself manage my own fashion blogging platform, and it is the 3rd year in which I had the opportunity to attend diverse presentations and catwalks during London Fashion Week. I had the chance of gaining an insight into the realities of the Fashion Week world, and this article aims to confirm or squash your previous expectations or beliefs about these events. Everything about these events sounds amazing, but behind closed doors lays a ton of hard work, stress, pressure and unexpected difficulties, which in seconds, can mess up months worth

of organization. Attending Fashion Week, you should expect to fill your mornings with strong coffees, afternoons with quick snacks from the closest bistro next to your venue, and during the night be prepared for some interesting combinations of cocktails. From the outside it may appear a relatively chill schedule, attending a couple of shows during the day and simply spending your time taking pictures or having your picture taken. In reality, if you truly want to make the most out of Fashion Week, your day will start at 8 am and it will be filled till late into the night, with only 10\15 minutes breaks between shows in order to change venues. No one truly mentions the hours of walking in heels down London streets, the multiple Uber rides, or the amount of time you truly spend queuing in front of each venue. Each show goes quite fast and in approximately 10 minutes the magic is gone. Everyone will crowd next to the closest exist in order to catch the next show or will entertain small talk with their seat partner in the hope they can exchange business cards, and with a possible collaboration in mind. In the end, these events are all about business. Each brand or small boutique owner is looking for a potential journalist or blogger to write a beneficial article, or a so-called influencer to advertise and promote their work. On a brighter note, you will also meet the most creative, colourful, and cheerful people who are genuinely attending Fashion Week for its true meaning. They will look behind the social media statistics and focus on discovering unique, talented individuals with strong personalities, and innovative collections and brands, which can truly represent their style and perceptive about fashion.


Words by Simran Singh

Through Freshers

A warm welcome to all our new students! What do you call a bunch of students together late at night, dressing up and drinking lots (and lots!) of alcohol? Sounds like a cocktail called Freshers! The craziness of Freshers’ week (more like a month or whole year of endless activities and partying) is literally exhausting. During the rush and buzz of it all, we forget to look after ourselves. So, without further ado, here is my personal guide for how to survive Freshers…


Keep water onlock

Clean Clean and Clean!

Let’s be honest – you’re going to be spending most of Freshers going out to clammy clubs and drinking lots of alcohol. You need to make sure that you keep drinking water to stay hydrated and to replace the fluids lost during your sweaty and dance filled nights out. When you go out drinking, it’s important to know your limits so make sure you drink responsibly. Trust me, water is your saviour: it will flush out toxins from your system, and prevent sore headaches the next day.

Living with new people can be quite nerve racking but it’s a good experience. Everyone has different habits, but it is important to keep on top of hygiene. I learnt from first year that keeping clean was the best way to make sure your living space was easy to adjust to. So, clean on the go, whether it be your room or the kitchen. Use antibacterial wipes and sprays to kill all germs on surfaces and share cleaning responsibilities with your flat mates. A clean environment is vital to a clean bill of health!

Post-partying spa

Safety first

When you wake up the next morning, it is natural to feel sluggish, dirty and tired. You need to pamper yourself and give your body the care it needs. Try using a face mask which will clean your pores and leave your skin feeling fresh. I’d recommend using Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask which is infused with Clary Sage – a natural ingredient which provides intense hydration. If you want something a little easier, try using sheet masks like Garnier Moisture Bomb Pomegranate Hydrating Face Sheet Mask. Place the sheet on your face for about 10-15 minutes.

During Freshers you will meet so many new people and make lots of new friends. My biggest advice is not to travel home alone- stick close to your group of friends, make sure you always have your phone on you, and be aware of your surroundings. If you do meet an attractive girl or guy, be careful and take things easy. If you do decide to have sex, remember to be safe. Carry around some condoms to avoid STI’s and unwanted pregnancies, and if you’re unsure about what contraceptive method to use, consult your doctor.

Keep on top of work

DON’T sleep with your makeup on!

Besides from all the partying and socials, keep up to date with your work. Buy some cute stationary items and get yourself organised! Write down your assignment deadlines on a calendar to you plan ahead. Try joining the gym, a sports team, or society to help you maintain good health, keep active, and meet new people. QMotion Gym offers great student friendly prices and memberships!

I can’t stress how important it is to take your makeup off after a night out! I know when you come back home you barely have the energy to keep your eyes open, but make sure you remove your makeup before flopping into bed. I’d recommend using facial cleansing wipes to remove makeup quickly. Try using Garnier Micellar Cleansing Wipes as they are super light and gentle on the skin. Micelle’s powerful dirt- lifting formula helps to remove even the stubbornest and tough makeup. After using these wipes, your skin instantly feels hydrated and clean.


Remaining Fresh Faced


4. (Creative) Writing

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1. Queen Mary Theatre Company I personally only heard about QMTC in second year, through a friend who studies Drama. If you are into performance arts, then QMTC is for you. A platform for students with a huge variety of interests in the performing arts to experiment and develop their creative skills, QMTC offers an opportunity for anyone, regardless of degree or previous experience, to explore, create and grow. There is something for everyone – actors, producers, directors, designers, writers, administrators, or spectators. You name it, QMTC has it.

My biggest regret is that I didn’t get involved in writing and publishing during first year. I remember going up to The Print at Fresher’s fair and asking them what I had to do to get published. They responded they had no committee or editor’s positions available, explained something vague about a contributors’ group and I assumed that meant I was too late. Little did I know how varied student media at QM is. So, here’s an overview of all our media outlets: The Print: the official student newspaper at QM. The Print offers a mix of campus-related reporting and current events, and they are always looking for people to write for them, be it as an Editor when there is a free spot, or as a flexible contributor. PEACH: all about creative writing, poetry, and fictional prose. Throughout the year, they have opportunities to write, and to perform your work to an audience. If you’re imaginative and creative, this is the place for you. CUB Magazine: QM’s arts and culture magazine. CUB is constantly on the look-out for new contributors, designers and photographers to join and publish weekly online, and quarterly in print. Whether you want to review your favourite band or the latest Tate exhibition, showcase your artistic talent, or offer something new, it’s easy to get involved! More subject-specific, research-focused media outlets such as the Dental Mirror, ROYA, or the QM Human Rights Review, are also always looking for contributions. Check out the QMSU website for more!

6. London

5. End of year projects of drama and film students 2. Edinburgh Fringe Festival (and others) If you think QMTC is limited by university boundaries, you thought wrong: it’s also a fullyfledged independent theatre company, and participates in many different events across the UK. Last year’s highlight was the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where QMTC brought not one, not two, but four different shows, entirely written, directed and performed by QM Students. It could be you designing the next Fringe poster, or playing the next lead. As Fringe’s slogan proclaims – take a leap into the unknown, and join QMTC!


3. TV and Radio Whether you have an interest in film, radio or TV, QM student media have got you covered. Want to be a writer, producer, camera person, director or reporter? QMTV and/or Quest Radio are the places to be. Student media also organize other media-related events, such as media masterclasses, where guests ranging from an ex-BBC reporter to Fashion journalists, are invited to talk and teach students about their careers and specialization.



remember Fresher’s week vividly (how is it already 3 years ago?!) – a deluge of new faces, fresh information, deadly hangovers and countless socials. From adding your first Facebook friend to picking societies at Fresher’s fair – you have to soak up enormous amounts of info and make a million decisions, small and big, based on first impressions. Most people sign up for the same societies their new housemates signed up for, plus one or two subject-specific ones, and then maybe, if you’re feeling courageous, you get a gym subscription. So, dearest freshers (and other newbies), here’s an alternative guide to Queen Mary’s extracurricular opportunities in Arts, ranging from performance to poetry, and more.

The end-of-year performances of QM students are easily accessible and very affordable. Just look out for posters on campus or check Facebook for events. Who knows, maybe you’re watching the debut of the next Ian McKellen!

Words by Charlotte Rubin

London offers EVERYTHING you can dream of. Most galleries and museums have student deals; if you sign up online (for free) you can go to most exhibitions at a bargain price. Internationally renowned museums such as Barbican Centre and Tate Modern have subscriptions which give you 5-pound access to all exhibitions. Some galleries, such as Saachi Gallery or, closer to home, Whitechapel Gallery, are simply free. The same counts for dance and theatre tickets – being a student really has its perks, so take advantage of them! 9

You’ve done it, you’ve survived Fresher’s week and are now officially beginning what will be the next (for the majority) three years of your life. Endless essays, late night study sessions, cans of red bull, and flash cards are what your not so distant futures hold. It can all seem a little overwhelming at first. Having to get used to lectures, working independently, finding your way around campus; it’s all slightly foreign right now. As a third year looking back on my early days as a QM student, I think of all I wish I’d known during this period. Fortunately, you have me to give you a heads up on everything useful to know as a fresher.


irstly, it’s important to go in without expectations. I headed straight into first year thinking that I would find my best friends instantly. I thought the transition from classroom to lecture hall would be seamless. Little did I realise it could take a few weeks to settle into the fast paced nature of it all. I think it’s detrimental to have grandiose ideas of your university experience so early on, because things may not pan out as you expect immediately. This only leads to disappointment when in fact an open mind and patience is all you really need. Once I ditched these expectations, opened up and found myself going with the flow of university life, everything began to fall into place. Just be yourself and try not to put emphasis on the idea of ‘reinvention’. Yes, university is a place for starting over, but it’s also one that allows you to hone in on who you already are.

and interesting people. At the end of the day you freshers are all in the same boat, new to campus life and trying to connect with other likeminded individuals. Why not take advantage of what the Student Union has to offer? And if joining a society on campus isn’t for you, attending events within the local area is just as good an idea. You may have spent some time during fresher’s week friend requesting fellow students on Facebook; some of whom might be strangers. You may even have noticed them show interest in similar events to you. Why not turn a stranger into a friend and go together? Other suggestions include getting an on campus job or attending lectures and special events held by your department. Or why not start a conversation with you neighbour in the lecture hall? Put yourself out there and the rest will follow. Some of you may be shy (I know I was initially) so try one new thing everyday: a small conversation with an acquaintance or Immerse yourself in the university maybe a society meet and greet. community. Now this is something I’m sure we’ve all heard plenty of at Freshers; “join a society” they say. I know it sounds cliché Contribute, make your voice heard. By but as someone who didn’t do this until late this I mean to participate in seminars, or into second year, I can vouch for its validity. run for positions in the Student Union if Whether it be a sports society, student media you feel passionate enough about something. outlet like CUB, or a cultural society, it is Challenge ideas you disagree with. Selfsuch an easy way to expose yourself to new censorship doesn’t work in your favour. How


do you expect people to understand you as an individual if you reveal little? Containing all your big ideas and passions from others out of fear or reservation will only cause harm to yourself. Do not forget that your opinions are valid. I think in this case many of us are our own worst enemies so if you have something to say, speak up. I’ve also come across individuals who stifle our expression, those who aren’t open minded and so you find yourself skirting certain topics or areas of interest. If this is your situation, ask yourself if it’s worth sacrificing your voice for a few individuals who have befriended an idea of yours?

Never feel reservations about asking for help if you need it. Thinking that you’re the only one finding it difficult to keep up with lectures and the workload, or the only one having made few friends, is typical in first year. If at any point you need support, whether academic or emotional, there are services and people on campus who will be more than willing to help. Once again, personal advisors and lecturers have allotted time slots in the week open to supporting students. If you can’t go during this period, a simple email requesting another appointment is an easy solution; most teaching staff will be happy to accommodate you.

Next is to go to office hours. I guarantee the quality of your work and what you get out of your degree, will only increase when you make the time. I don’t think I went to one session in my first year, but I found that each later assignment I got support on had a much improved outcome. Speaking to lecturers sparks new ideas, allows you to consider perspectives previously not thought of, and clarifies any misunderstandings in lectures. Take advantage of the resources you have at hand.

Queen Mary also has an Advice and Counselling service for those of you feeling like you may need more intimate, focused support. If you’re sceptical or scared about utilising this service, know that there is categorically nothing wrong with you, or with wanting to speak to someone about what you’re going through. Don’t forget that family and friends from home and university can be a shoulder to cry on. You’re not alone in anything.

Remember to play hard (as well as working hard). First year is typically the most relaxed of all you’ll spend at university. While it’s important to work hard and take it seriously, having fun is just as important. If you find yourself feeling swamped with work don’t feel like you shouldn’t blow off some steam. Putting huge amounts of pressure on yourself can cause unnecessary stress. Maybe go on a night out with friends, or if that’s not your thing, go for a meal or a movie. Remove yourself from the work environment for a little while and you’ll find yourself relaxing. Even heading out on your own can be just as effective; going to an exhibition solo has all ways been one of my cures. Alternatively, studying with a friend or in a group can be just as helpful. It reminds you that you’re not alone. Sometimes just the presence of another is enough of a calming mechanism.


Gaby's Declassified Fresher Survival Guide

And finally, do take lots of photo’s. Photographs and videos are what you’ll have to look back on once you graduate. I’m fully aware that it can feel awkward rounding everyone up for a photo, but later down the line you won’t regret it. Whether slips, candid or posed group photos, all act as documentation of your experience. I wish I’d taken more when I had the chance because other than a certificate at the end of it all, and the friends you’ll have made along the way, photographs are what you’ll have to remember all the small moments. That’s everything I wish I’d known before starting university. I hope you find them helpful in your transition from a-level to undergrad and I wish you all the best in your first year at Queen Mary!

Words by Gabrielle Agyei



MILE END & Being a young adult in London is, in our wholly biased opinion, utterly and completely liberating. You’ll meet so many new faces, discover countless groovy spaces, have access to infinite resources, watch an abundance of creative performances, taste epic flavours, enjoy sweet gigs, encounter striking style… the list goes on. In a city full of so many opportunities it can be difficult to admit that, on the back of all that wonder, life in one of the world’s wildest metropolises can sometimes be overwhelming. In an attempt to combat any rising feelings of intimidation, or simply to provide some recommendations with regards to keeping yourself busy and entertained, we London Editors have compiled a list of our favourite and cherished places in London; both local to Queen Mary and in and around The Big Smoke, to recognise the human and personal elements of the City.

Words by Lisha Halai, Samantha Vincent, Taylor Humphreys, Stevie Cannell.


I’ve lived in East London all my life, but with so many places in London to explore, I rarely go to the same place twice. That makes it pretty tough to choose a favourite. Local to Mile End (only 6 minutes on the Tube) Liverpool Street is one of my favourite places. There’s Hardy’s old-fashioned sweet shop just around the corner, but more importantly, there are tons of burger restaurants that I love: Byron, Honest, Bleeker and The Diner. Another of my go-to spots in the area is The Breakfast Club. Their menu is amazing; they serve breakfast all day long so no one can judge you for having a stack of pancakes for dinner! There’s also happy hour every day between 5-7pm where cocktails are pretty reasonable. For more decadent cocktails, Dirty Martini is a bit more sophisticated and do some delicious martinis like my favourite: blood orange and vanilla. Slightly further out, I love More London Riverside next to Tower Bridge. I used to work here (a few of my friends still do), and since it’s buzzing with young professionals, there are some pricey, but great, lunch spots like bakery Spianata or the Vietnamese takeaway, Velo. It’s a charming open green space overlooking the Thames next to City Hall, where you can see Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the Shard and admire the incredible architecture surrounding you. In the summer, there’s usually a pop-up bar, the Scoop, an outdoor amphitheatre hosting free film screenings, and the occasional open-air art gallery. During the winter, you can pick up some seriously tasty treats for Christmas by the River market stalls.





Exploring Mile End was one of the first things I did when I started university back in 2016. One of the very first places I stumbled upon was Sweet; just like its name suggests, it serves sweet treats such as waffles, pancakes, brownies, cookie dough and ice cream. Sweet is one of my favourite Mile End hotspots and a mere 5 min walk from campus. My friends and I hang out there in between lectures and even celebrate birthdays there. Let’s be honest there is never a wrong time for desserts, so why not try it out? Another one of the hidden gems I found was the Rinkoff Bakery in Whitechapel; although it is quite tucked away, trust me it is definitely worth the visit. They do the most amazing Instagram worthy rainbow cake (be sure to have your camera ready) alongside a plethora of delicious pastries and desserts to choose from. They even have cronuts (a mixture between croissants and doughnuts)! The mouth-watering baked goods are reasonably priced, so you can select a few goodies to devour. Moving away from the food, another one of my go-to destinations is the Tate Modern. University has given me the chance to explore London’s cultural and artistic side. My friends and I often find ourselves in the Tate Modern exploring a variety of exhibitions and learning about art (and assigning our own meanings to the more abstract pieces on show!). But the main selling point of the Tate Modern is the viewing platform located on the tenth floor of the Blavatnik building. The stunning 360-degree view of the city never fails to mesmerise me. I would recommend visiting at one of the quieter hours for a tranquil and relaxing experience. You get so engrossed in the blissful views that it is very easy to lose track of time; there is no better way to wind down than by feasting your eyes on London’s breath-taking views from up high!



Only a short bus ride away from QM, Brick Lane is blooming with hidden treasures for students seeking an original and authentic London experience. After hitting Old Spitalfields Market for an array of fresh and wholesome cuisine - as well as some of the cutest handmade products that will make perfect Christmas presents for those back home - head over to the liveliest of roads that will become your base point for the next three years. Whether it’s 3am and you’re desperate for an iconic bagel from the Beigel Shop (partly because it’s the only thing you can afford with the quid you have left) or 3pm and you’re in dire need of some retail therapy and a stiff drink after a difficult lecture, you can always find comfort in this East End utopia. You’ll inevitably discover a shop, cafe or bar that you’ll mark as your own and acquire legendary status among your friends for revealing it to them - but may I suggest starting with Dark Sugars Cocoa House? With two separate locations along Brick Lane, it’s a sign that you need to sample every wonder they have to offer. I first stumbled across them a few years ago after succumbing to a lethal sugar-coma in the Cereal Killer Cafe (another must for a nostalgic - and delicious - return to childhood that houses every cereal known to man) and, fearing for my life that I could not find water, I wastefully consumed gallons of their hot chocolate. Since then, their hot chocolates are the only thing that can console me on a bleak winter’s day; the sight of the freshly cut shavings heaving from the cup is the ultimate de-stresser. Not only do they provide rich and creamy reassurance in a cup, they also display a selection of handmade chocolates in almost every flavour, alongside the option of choc-tails if it’s been an especially hard day. If you and your sweet tooth are feeling a little more adventurous, the next stop is Cookies and Scream in Royal Holloway Road: a haven for those who are vegan and gluten-free - and for those who aren’t! Their spooky desserts are made fresh each day; my personal favourites are any available doughnut and the ice cream cookie sandwich - just be sure that you also purchase something to go, otherwise it will haunt you for the rest of the week!



I love city life just as much as the next Londoner. I revel in all things art and culture (particularly contemporary art), and I’m a big fan of curated aesthetics; so for me, living in the creative hub that is London is ideal. The fact Londoners have the work of so many artistic institutions and creative pursuits at our fingertips is SO cool; recently I’ve made visits to the ‘Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy’ at the Tate Modern, Anthea Hamilton’s ‘The Squash’ at the Tate Britain, ‘Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier’ at the Design Museum, and been to a gig at The Village Underground, all of which were possible due to my location. Having said that, being a country girl at heart, I have noticed that my go-to spaces for relaxation or escape often tend to be small pockets of greenery which work symbiotically with the metropolis. My favourite destination local to Mile End is, without a doubt, the Pavillion Café in Victoria Park. Particularly in the autumn semester when the days are crisp but bright, there is nothing better than a warm beverage beside the lake shared with mates or accompanied by a good read - and it’s also a fab spot for people watching. Expanding the horizons slightly further afield, my choice destination across London would be the Queen Elizabeth Rooftop Garden on the Southbank. A little slice of pastoral heaven, the rooftop garden allows bring-your-own, and also has a well-stocked bar. Savour a cup of hot spiced apple as you watch the sky turn into the visual manifestation of your drink’s taste - utterly glorious. If watching the sun melt into the cityscape doesn’t leave you feeling serene, I don’t know what else will.



We’re all mad here

We’re all mad here

Words by Georgina Gambetta

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

- Young People and Mental Health in 2018

Our years of adolescence and early adulthood have it all going on. Our hormones are more erratic than a hamster in a microwave, our bodies and bits are growing left, right and centre, we leave home, we start university or join the world of work, we have to book our own doctor appointments. And for a quarter of us, the hydra of mental health will also be thrown into the mix. On October 10th it was World Mental Health Day, this year’s theme was Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World. As you can see from the surrounding images, provided by Mental Health First Aid England, mental health affects a lot of people in different ways, and sadly, many are not getting the help that they desperately need. For those of you who read my column, you will 16

know I have spoken about mental health being particularly prevalent amongst young people for a long time. From my article in September, ‘Does childhood exist anymore? If we aren’t going to change our society for ourselves, we have to at least make it make it better for the next generation’, in which I discussed the mental health crises for children in refugee camps and the growing self-harm epidemic among British teens. To my piece in April, ‘Are we an anxious generation? I now depend on satirical anxiety memes to get me through the day’, here I pointed out that despite a lot of people calling our age bracket (16-25 year olds) lazy, sheltered and wrapped in cotton wool, we are actually the most anxious the demographic has been in over a decade.

Its understandable when you consider the world we live in, and I’m not just talking about the current geo-political climate of Trump, Brexit and Putin, I mean the institutionalised and day-to-day, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism and sexism, many of us endure. Moreover, the pressures we face from social media, rising student loans, low employment rates, even buying a house is in the distant future for many of us – if you weren’t aware we are dubbed generation rent - in 1991, 67% of 25-34-yearolds owned their homes; contrastingly, in 20112012, only 43% did. And let’s not forget the inner demons and issues people face, relationship problems, bereavement, loneliness, feelings of failure, I could go one. Hence, with all of this, is it really that surprising that a lot of us end up struggling?

Yes, young people and mental health sadly come hand in hand in this changing and quite terrifying world. However, just reeling off how awful everything is won’t solve anything, as you will also see from the surrounding images, there are a lot of services you can access if you think you are struggling. Or, if that seems too daunting right now, try one of the self-care tips. For me, a cup of tea goes a long way. Another thing, although our age group is clearly approaching a mental health crisis, we aren’t that bad. I would also say we are a demographic fighting to break down barriers, stereotypes and inequalities. We may hate ourselves, but we want to help others and create a better tomorrow. So, for this mental health day, I ask my fellow young people, give yourself a break and ask a friend how they’re doing. 17


Welcome to the World of Art, Where, Like Uni, everything is Political!

What if I told you that Picasso was a communist? Would that surprise you? Well, it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if it did, as the famous cubist artist is rarely mentioned in terms of his politics. You would think he might be, considering that he was a lifetime member of the French Communist Party, and a winner of both the Stalin and Lenin peace prizes, but perhaps to admit the world fame of a commie made our cold-war descendants uncomfortable. What’s interesting, apart from western capitalism’s frail ego, is that Picasso’s political musings have remained absent from popular culture. It’s not like he tried to hide it, as some of his most famous pieces hold political under (and over) tones. One such painting is Guernica, Picasso’s Mural whose violent scenes can be seen in this article. The work, created on a wall in his home in June 1937, protests the bombing of Guernica by a coalition of fascist forces led by Nazi Germany. The mash of colliding shapes form an image of chaos, whilst crying, contorted figures engulfed in flames remind us of the horror that comes with


civil war. There is no colour in the mural, nothing but greys and white, showing us a torment expressed through a sombre depression. The bull and the horse, famous symbols of Spanish identity, are slaughtered amongst the people as a broken hilt lies gripped by a dying hand. The open palm posited on the bottom left, which presents a stigma, a Christian symbol of martyrdom, sits below a grieving woman with a dead child in her arms. You could see this painting in terms of its cubism, surrealism, and emotion-wrenching imagery; or, you could also see it as something densely political, and embedded within an anti-fascist, pro-art movement intended on reviving Spain. Picasso tells us that: ‘in the panel on which I am working, which I shall call Guernica, and in all my recent works of art, I clearly express my abhorrence of the military caste which has sunk Spain in an ocean of pain and death.’ Just as he had done in his later life within French Communist Party, Pablo has made the political world the centre of his artistic creation. It is what

drove and motivated him in his most famous years; and yet, despite Picasso being a household name, his activism is rarely known. But that is the regular world, and now you are at university, where politics is centre-stage pretty much all of the time. If you are a second or third year, you know it already; but if you are a newcomer you are just about to find that out. Most, if not all things, will be judged via certain political, or sociological parameters, whether that be the decor of the student union or the wording in text books. For some, that sounds like a nightmare, but for others, it is just a part

Words by Samuel Clarke

of the political discourse they live and breathe. Whichever one of those people you are, will be decided whether or not you will like my column, in which I actively encourage the latter. Picasso’s Guernica wishes to tell us something, to fight for something outside of its artistic form, just as much of the art we see today either consciously or subconsciously speaks a political or social message. In this column, both online and in print, I will unearth and debate all kinds of political messages and conflicts. For you, as a new or continuing student, I would say embrace the politicisation and student activism that comes with university, and fuel your creative and academic ambitions with your beliefs and your desire to debate, argue and criticise. Welcome to Queen Mary, and to CUB magazine, I hope you will read us again and again!


Words by Isabelle Rose Hathaway I have been told on many occasions to avoid talking about politics for the sake of a ‘nice time with family.’ The precursor to holiday dinners is always a list of topics I cannot bring up. I know that I am not alone in this experience; every other woman I have talked to has been given the same instructions when attending an event where family ideologies clash. Politics are expected to be put aside for the ones that we love. Except for women, politics can’t be put aside. Women have been involved in politics for as long as there have been politics. Governance is speckled with female rulers as far back as the nineteenth century BC, when Pharaoh Sobekneferu sat on the throne of Egypt. Today, 20 women hold the title of head of state or head of government, and thousands more work in politics. The fight for female suffrage created the illusion that politics is a ‘man’s game,’ but women being among the last demographics to be enfranchised has no bearing on their activity in the political sphere. The man’s game illusion is just that: an illusion. Upon closer reflection, there are many ways in which women actually have a more intimate relationship with politics than their male counterparts. Even women who choose not to involve themselves in the political sphere have politics thrust upon them by laws exclusively designed to regulate female bodies and livelihoods. Twentieth and twenty-first century cases, such as Roe V. Wade and Burwell 20

V. Hobby Lobby, are two glaring modern examples of decisions that had no impact on men but effected millions of women. History is littered with similar attempts by governments to regulate womanhood. Every nation in the world has its own variation of politics that are not a choice for women. Political involvement for women is an unavoidable reality. Roe V. Wade is the supreme court decision in the United States that in 1973 historically protected women’s rights to abortion on a federal level. It is often regarded as one of the great feminist victories of the second wave; far from being problematic for women, it served to protect their fundamental rights regarding bodily autonomy. Although it marked a great improvement over the previous set of laws that failed to protect a woman’s right to choose, it also served as an excellent demonstration of the involuntary involvement of all women in political issues. Whether a woman needed to utilize the services offered by abortion clinics or not, her body was made into a political battleground and her rights were put on the line. Female body politics did not end in 1973. Roe V. Wade was swiftly followed by Planned Parenthood V. Casey over the same issue, and birth


Politics V. Family

control continues to be a hotly debated topic in the UK and US today. In 2014, Burwell V. Hobby Lobby allowed companies to refuse birth control coverage to patients on the grounds of ‘religious freedom.’ In the state of Massachusetts, birth control cannot be advertised through mail, preventing it from getting to thousands of women who do not have access to the internet or a GP. Regardless of opinion on contraceptive issues, it is impossible to deny the impact they have on women’s livelihoods. There are issues I have no problem discussing and debating—I can talk about fiscal policy and foreign affairs and then sit down to dinner. But when my body is the debate and my free existence as a woman is the thing in question I don’t have the luxury of distancing myself, even for the sake of family. Yet I am repeatedly asked and expected to, begging the question: why?

I questioned several of the men in my circle of family and friends as to how their differing political perspectives are treated by their extended family. One or two of the more radical individuals reported being asked to refrain, but the majority had never been told explicitly not to discuss any specific topic. Though women have a closer relationship to many political debates, they are the ones being instructed to overlook differences. The exact reasons for this are undoubtably varied but the trend fits within the broader historical context of women and the home. Feminism is in its fourth wave, and the ‘separate spheres’ mentality has largely been dismantled, but the expectation that women make efforts to maintain families rather than speaking out and potentially causing rifts is alive and well. Especially in the era of #metoo, voting a certain way is a statement not just of conservative or liberal leaning, but of acceptance of a kind of behavior that directly threatens women. Kavanaugh is just the latest in a long list of politicians that have been accused of rape or harassment, when more than 80% of women have been harassed or assaulted (based on data gathered from #metoo participation). The political has become the personal- my opinions on feminism are perhaps stronger than many women, as an activist and feminist writer, but being asked to sit next to a person who voted for my oppression is unreasonable. I cannot remove myself from politics, so it is unfair to ask that I remove politics from what I talk about, even for the sake of ‘family.’


The Silver Lining's take on the pressure of being a fresher Words by Charlotte Whittaker



It’s true when people say coming to university is a life changing experience. For most freshers, starting university isn’t just simply moving into higher education and obtaining a degree. It involves leaving home for what could be the first time and moving to perhaps a new city, into a new house, with lots of new people. University life is, to say the least, a bit of a culture shock. Of course, everyone gets the initial nerves about meeting their new flatmates, starting class, yada yada. But at the back of our heads we’re also somewhat comforted by the reassurances of post graduates. “University is the best years of your life” or, “university is where you make friends for life” are common things that prospective students are told, making university seem like three wonderful years of fun memories and making life-long friendships. University is no longer just a place for education- it’s also a place where you think you’re going to be constantly happy, partying your way right up until your dissertation, and will leave truly saddened that the best three years of your life are over. But what happens if you’re a fresher and don’t really get on with your flatmates? What happens if it gets to around week 3 and you haven’t really found “your people” yet? Sure, it’s early days and there’s still years left, but when you’re new to a city and don’t feel a connection with a group of people, or perhaps even worse, are friends with people you don’t particularly like, university can feel extremely isolating. On top of this isolation comes a certain kind of pressure to being a fresher. You were told that fresher’s week is filled with drinking, partying and all that jazz. So you must be having fun, right? Even with people you don’t really get along with? And on top of that, social media is filled with posts on Instagram and snapchat stories of other freshers, perhaps friends from home, who seem to be having the time of their lives. This no doubt makes you feel worse, wondering why everyone else seems to be having fun when you’re left feeling miserable. There’s the pressure to be having fun and loving every second, and the pressure to also

appear as such on your social media. But, as I’ve discussed in a previous article about loneliness (I’m not always writing about depressing stuff, I promise), social media is a massive lie for which we all seem to fall. I know so many people who seemed to be having an incredible time at university on social media, but in reality were feeling lonely, didn’t like the people they’d made “friends” with, and were actually really homesick. Yet thanks to this pressure to fulfil the expectation that university is going to be all fun and games, we post online about how much fun we’re having, unintentionally feeding the pressure we resent. No wonder student mental health is becoming a national crisis- if we’re not enjoying university we believe there’s something wrong with us. So my message to freshers is this: if you’re miserable right now, hating every second and think you’re the only one- rest assured, you’re not. I was going to drop out of university right up until reading week of semester one, and couldn’t understand why I was the only one out of my group of friends from back home hating it. But in reality, so many people are struggling to not only enjoy themselves, but also maintain the image that they are. So don’t worry if you feel as though you’re not fulfilling the expectation to have the time of your life; university can be wonderful but is probably one of the most challenging things you’ll ever face. Just take off the pressure to have an amazing time all the time and trust me, you’ll start to enjoy university a whole lot more.



> Chicken breast > Bell peppers > Onions > Sweet Corn > Tomato Passatta > Fajita Spices or other spices of your choice > Cheese > Rice or Wraps

RECIPE Of the Week Words by Maleeka Imam Photo Credit: Jenya Verma


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Easy Chicken Fajita Bowls

Start off by spraying a clean baking tray with a little bit of oil to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom while cooking. Next, put your oven on preheat around 210o – however, this may vary according to your oven.


My name is Maleeka and I am the editor of CUB’s ‘Recipe of the Week’ column. I have been cooking since I was 11 years old, and I’m 21 now – so it’s been a while. When I moved out for Uni, I found it difficult to balance cooking with classes and socializing. Therefore, my aim is to post recipes which are super easy, convenient, and affordable so as to inspire anyone. Cooking is something that can be really daunting; especially if you’re a fresher adjusting to living on your own. I encourage you to cook yourself for the purpose of budgeting, to improve your time management, and also to control what you put into your body. The best part is, you can always tweak recipes, get creative, and add your own twist. What follows is a super delicious recipe that anyone could whip up - it’s a one pan dish, and you can add or subtract any of the ingredients to make it your own!

Secondly, prepare the chicken and vegetables. Take one chicken breast (or more depending on how many servings you want to cook) and cut it into small cubes. Top tip: buy a few chicken breasts in advance and then freeze them for later use. This will save you time when you cook next. After cutting up the chicken, add it to the baking tray and squeeze fresh juice from one whole lemon. This gives the chicken a really juicy and fresh flavor, and also helps tenderize the meat.

Next, chop your bell peppers and one whole onion into vertical strips. I used red, green and yellow peppers for a vibrant, veggie-laden dish- I love incorporating colour veggies to make my meals look Insta worthy and restaurant quality! Once your veggies have been prepped, transfer them all to your pan. I also added some sweetcorn and some more spices to my chicken and vegetables – as a Pakistani, I LOVE my spice, but you can totally skip this part if you can’t handle it! I used paprika, cumin, a pinch of cinnamon, and oregano. Skip this if you must, but you HAVE to add a good dash of salt and pepper. Spice or no spice; season, season, season Next, add the tomato passatta. This ingredient is a game changer; it will transform your dish and make it incredibly delicious! Put in about half a packet and give everything a really good mix before putting in the oven to cook for about 20-25 minutes.

While your chicken fajita mix is in the oven, heat up your wraps, or cook some rice if you have the time. I am a huge fan of rice, and with chicken fajita, I normally opt for spicy Mexican rice. You can make your own rice in a saucepan (great for budgeting), or to save time, take the lazier route and heat up pre-cooked rice. Add salt, a sprinkle of lemon juice and lemon zest, and coriander to pack your rice with plenty of flavor! Once your chicken and vegetables have cooked, sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and wait for that delicious cheese pull later! Lastly, transfer your rice into a bowl, load it up with your chicken fajita, and sprinkle some extra cheese (and maybe coriander) on top – because why not? Alternatively, use this filling on top of a jacket potato, a fluffy mashed sweet potato, or inside a wrap. For extra freshness, squeeze over some lemon juice and add a dollop of sour cream and guacamole.

If you end up recreating this recipe, make sure to upload it on to instagram using the hashtag #CUBRecipies! Happy cooking! 25


Amira Hajj* recalls the first time she heard about a bomb going off at the local mall in Beirut’s Achrafieh district. She was 14, having just arrived from Dubai, and spiraled into a panic. She called her mother first because her friends were unnervingly calm about the fact that their plans for the day included seeing a movie at the very mall that now had a cloud of black smoke hovering above it. She also called her friends back home, informing them that she was safe, but that everyone around her was going on with their day: traffic didn’t speed up or slow down, shops remained open, and Friday night plans proceeded without caution on Hamra Street. “I remember feeling so scared but having everyone around me remain calm and collected invoked a sense of comfort–like it really wasn’t the end of the world. My panic didn’t last for long after my friends from school started laughing at me for my naivety and shock.”

When the electricity in the UK goes off (in the rare moments that this happens in “developed” countries), you point out how unusual it is, you wait it out, and if it’s taking too long, you check Twitter to make sure you’re not under attack. In countries that exist in perpetual conflict – internal and external, armed or unarmed – this nonchalance is extended to crises like favelas, famine, and even bomb alerts. Eilat, Israel - Walking around the souk (Middle Eastern market) by the beachfront, some European tourists pick up a bracelet and negotiate its price with the vendor. A loud siren goes off – the tourists are confused; what’s happening? Is it a fire exercise? They realize the noise is a bomb alarm, they panic, drop the bracelet and frantically look around for refuge – but they’re out in the open air,


there’s no bunker nearby, and no one to give them instructions. They follow the lead of the locals, who seem awfully calm in the middle of all the chaos. Everyone crouches down close to the walls of the nearby mall, the most solid building in close vicinity, and waits until the siren ends. When it stops, and no one got hurt, a few Israelis simply stand up and walk on. The tourists are baffled – are they not supposed to wait for another ten minutes after the end of the siren before leaving their safe space, as prescribed? Why are people standing up? But by the time they even finish the thought, everyone is standing up. Someone picks up the bracelet and puts it back on the vendor’s table. A woman is speaking to her sister on the phone about the scarf she just bought. The souk is back to normal – as if a rocket did not just almost fall on top of one of the vendors’ heads.


LET THERE BE BREAKING NEWS camps to chemical attacks, militant regimes to religious extremism, is distinctly humane. The assumption that a society ceases to exist under war, strips a population of its agency and its dignity; life goes on, even under messed up circumstances. However, this nonchalance should not be normalized – locally or internationally. It isn’t normal to wake up in the middle of the night from a siren only to hide in a bunker for safety, or to call your parents once you’ve heard that a bomb has gone off in the bank by your house. Whether or not the attack results in casualties, does not negate the fact that such an experience is traumatizing, inhumane and unfair. We should not forget that a country in war is not just that. However, we can never forget that it still is in war. Whilst Damascus’ youth still parties on Saturday nights, it remains a ghost town – left behind by families who faced the ravages of war and destruction.

This phenomenon, whether it be the result of *Names have been changed to respect desensitization, apathy, or social conditioning, anonymity requests. speaks volumes about human resilience. The ability to adapt and rebuild, from concentration




Arabian Women: A Long Way to Go The overturning of the decades-long ban of women being able to drive in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was overturned on 24th June 2018. While many such as the UN Secretary General – Antonio Guterres – praised the ‘important step in the right direction’ championed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Many of the Kingdom’s conservative religious elite were quick to characterise the progressive step as merely an “Women need consent overly publicised from their guardian to liberalisation drive by the Crown Prince carry out any major to modernise the activities” petro-state. Although the lift of the driving ban came among other reforms such as allowing women into sports stadiums, allowing them to attend music concerts, and the re-opening of public theatres and cinemas. Women in the Saudi society still struggle with an innumerable amount of restrictions on their everyday lives. The most significant, perhaps being the guardianship system whereby all women residing within the Kingdom are expected to

have a male ‘wali’ – an official guardian – typically the wali will be a member of their immediate family (father, brother, husband, uncle). Although not written under Sharia law that is practised in Saudi Arabia, government, legal and individual authorities within the Kingdom generally all act in accordance with it. Thus, meaning that all women need consent from their guardian to carry out any major activities. These include: possessing a passport, travelling to other parts of the country and abroad, signing legally binding contracts and getting married or divorced. Perhaps the most oppressive detail of the guardianship system is the fact legal complaints are near impossible for female victims of domestic abuse to file, due to authorities insisting that guardians need to authorise any complaints. This is rigorously enforced even when a complaint is being filed against the guardian themselves. Thus, making legal redress impossible and ineffective for women on the whole, especially when it comes to domestic violence.

The same women also have severely reduced economic rights. Although now able to drive vehicles, they are still not allowed to swear “The number of Saudi on the Qur’an in a women that particpate court of law and have to be represented in the work force- a by a male. A female mere 6.1%” real estate investor complained in a blog post in 2010 that for her to be able to go to court to buy/sell property, she was required to bring two male witnesses to confirm her identity, and an additional four male witnesses to confirm the credibility of the first two witnesses. In total, a woman is required to bring six male witnesses that all personally know her and each other to attend court with her even in matters of business. Not only leaving rights severely damaged but also, easily opening a path for corruption. This struggle can be directly seen in the number of Saudi women that participate in the work force- a mere 6.1%. This is a stark contrast to other Muslim majority nations such as the UAE and Malaysia, which have at least a 40% female workforce. This figure actually comes as a surprise due to the fact that within Saudi Arabia, women make up

70% of the student body in higher education. Socially, women are required to limit the amount of time they spend with men they are not immediately related to. This can be seen through the segregated entrances male and females are expected to use for the majority of public buildings such as offices, banks and universities. Most aspects of social life publicly are segregated as well. This includes public transport, public parks, beaches and amusement parks. Mixing with the opposite sex in public for too long, in an inappropriate manner leads to fines and punishment being placed on both parties- with women generally facing more severe penalties. Under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, reform has indeed been championed with the lifting of the ban on women drivers “Women make up 70% and the re-opening of of the student body in cinemas and theatres higher education” for both sexes to enjoy. However, women still face various restrictions and great resistance from the conservative religious elite with continuing crackdowns on women’s rights activists.

Words by Azmin M. Mistry 28


PHOTOGRAPHY Credit: Dizem Tekin (@dizem_a_tekin)

Credit: Dizem Tekin (@dizem_a_tekin)

The Beauty of Queen Mary from the perspective of its architecture

The famous clock tower of QM, probably one of the first things you see near the Queens’ Building. Incorporating the environment around the tower was our aim, creating a natural frame of the main subject.


The G.E Fogg Building brilliantly stands out from the rest of the campus and capturing its entirety was our goal for this shot. 31


Credit: Ali Bahcaci (@ali.capture) Credit: Ali Bahcaci (@ali.capture) The Curve is another unique building on campus and we tried to capture just a glimpse of it to focus on its simplicity.

The canalside of QM is very scenic. Our aim for this shot was to capture elements of both QM, the canal and the surrounding area. This is probably a side to QM that many people are yet to discover.

Credit: Ali Bahcaci (@ali.capture) 32

The graveyard that sits in the heart of the campus. We framed this shot as naturally as possible to incorporate the main tree that is within the graveyard as well as the surrounding buildings and the graves themselves.


through the movies essential coming-of-age films ‘There are years that ask questions and years that answer’ so wrote Zora Neale Hurston. Finding oneself is never easy, and in your shift to university you may find out a lot about yourself. With a new year of university starting there are certain things that come with it for many students – a new lifestyle, new friends and classes, and even a new place to call home. In the spirit of this, the film team discuss the coming-of-age films that have resonated most strongly with them through this period of change.

The Graduate (dir. Mike Nicholls, 1967) The Graduate is a comedy of errors about college graduate Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) who finds himself disillusioned and torn between an older lover and her daughter. Hoffman’s Ben spends a lot of his time floating in his pool, a part of the film’s enduring iconography, this suits his character – removed from the ground he escapes his feelings of listlessness in a culture he doesn’t much care for. Before university, it’s fairly normal to feel disillusioned with the prospect of the future; uncertainty about what you want to do with your life. Indeed, when Benjamin is asked what he’s going to do with his future, he replies

The Breakfast Club depicts a small group of students in a weekend detention class, between whom friendships begin to flourish, despite their differences. This film has massively impacted my transition into a young adult in many different ways: from fashion sense, to the types of films I have grown to love and cherish. Besides his aggressive and disruptive behaviour, John Bender (Judd Nelson) is my favourite character; I love the person he truly is: kind, sweet, and funny. Not to mention his offbeat fashion sense, which I often aspire to copy. Loving Nelson’s character gave me the confidence to dress however I wanted, without fear of people questioning my style, giving me a much needed self-esteem boost during A-levels. The Breakfast Club always helped me with this, all the characters find commonalities between themselves and each have their own struggles and issues,


Defining yourself

The Breakfast Club (dir. John Hughes, 1985) something that has helped me to understand the people around me. The film offers an honest depiction of the social cliques that we see on a daily basis. Whilst other films may also achieve this, few present the emotional ties these cliques can share. The Breakfast Club has an honesty to it; the characters are unlikely to remain friends after the detention finishes. In my opinion, this bears a lot of truth to university; when it comes to meeting people, speaking to people is important, regardless of whether you end up being friends or not. We may not always be friends, but the confidence gained through getting to know people matters a lot; it’s important to overcome barriers imposed on oneself and break down any negative stereotypes and preconceptions you may have.

Words by Guy Meliha Siddiqui

with a deadpan: ‘that’s a little hard to say’. The film’s imagery and editing feels removed from its roots of Hollywood, instead inspired by the French New Wave. The Graduate is continually visually compelling as it uses its medium to shape meaning – we see and feel from Benjamin’s perspective, through a subjective lens. With a haunting score from Simon & Garfunkel, it’s iconic love affair and resonant post-college mood, it’s difficult to pin down just one thing to love about this film. Amidst all of the uncertainty about his future, it’s difficult not to resonate with what Benjamin knows he wants, he knows he wants to be fulfilled.

Words by Guy Edbrooke Pullen 34


Frances Ha contends with the titular character’s struggle to make her way through her 20-somethings. Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s film isn’t a traditional coming of age movie. In fact, the characters are all in their late 20’s. Frances (Greta Gerwig) remains youthful and free flowing and, at least at a surface level, directionless. Dig a little deeper, and you find someone striving to be loved by their friends and the world. Developing an opinion on love and companionship is a huge part of growing up, and Frances’ thoughts on love are what made the film crucial to my own personal development. Here’s an excerpt from her short monologue: ‘It’s like that thing where you are with someone and you love them and they know it, and they love you and you know it but it’s a party and you’re both talking to other people and laughing and shining and you look across the room and catch each other’s eye not because you are possessive or that it’s precisely sexual but because that is your person in this life. And it’s funny and sad, but only because this life will end, and it’s a secret world that no one else knows about that exists right there in public unnoticed- sort of like how they say

Words by Ethan Beberness

other dimensions exist all around us but we don’t have the ability to perceive them.’ It’s good to note that Frances’ primary love interest isn’t a romantic one. The film’s plot actually follows her relationship with her best friend, Sophie, in the same way another film might follow a romantic relationship. In the final scene, they have the moment Frances described above. And that’s how I’ve come to understand love in all contexts: deep, secure, fulfilling friendship. The knowledge that you have a companion, a comrade, in the thick of it with you.


Frances Ha (dir. Noah Baumbach, 2012)

Almost Famous (dir. Cameron Crow, 2000) Almost Famous is about 15-year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit) who manages to score a cover story on the Rolling Stone Magazine about the band Stillwater and accompanies them on their tour to get the full rock’n’roll experience… but it’s about so much more. It deals with not fitting in, about figuring out what you want and finding ways to pursue this despite having constant noise around you. And of course, it’s about passion, sex, relationships, fame, and that love interest that you shouldn’t pursue, but you still do.

What would life be without those things? I think one of the key messages is that your own opinion about yourself is, and will always be, the most important in life. Other people might disagree with you on certain matters and they might dislike you because of the path you’re pursuing, but it doesn’t really matter. You gotta do what you gotta do, even if rock stars are standing in your way. I guess I love this movie so much because of the music. It’s a love letter to music featuring one of the best soundtracks I know; the music excels this movie from being just ‘good’, to legendary.

Words by Florian Kasperski Superbad (dir. Greg Mottola, 2007) Superbad is the first film I remember seeing that struck me with its crudeness. It was my first exposure to how shallow and sex-obsessed teenagers could be and the first time I saw a lot of the actors that I would eventually come to love. It was also the first R-rated comedy I watched! It deals with Seth (Jonah Hill), Evan (Michael Cera), and Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), three high school seniors trying to get alcohol for a party to impress girls they like. There’s a lot to enjoy about Superbad; the brilliant writing, the quotable lines, the perfect casting, the energetic pacing, it’s hilarious comedy and gigantic heart. Despite much of the film focusing on the hijinks that the three leads get into in their quest to get and take alcohol to the party, the final third reveals the serious consequences of their journeys and how each character must make up for the problems they cause. There is also the inverse of this: of allowing yourself to live a little and have fun despite being a professional adult, as shown in Fogell’s subplot with the two police officers. Whilst both messages were noticeable to me as a young boy, they resonate with me most today. Although it’s a film that has convinced me that being vulgar and care-free is okay, it has also convinced me that the only way to be a proper adult is to be responsible. The film overall is a great ode to immaturity, but it contains a perfect silver lining of adulthood.

Words by Robert Stayte 36


Words by Anna Tranter


The publication of these statistics, and the wide media attention they attracted, coincides with the launch of PRS Foundation’s Keychange in February this year. The programme, marketed as a ‘pioneering EU initiative,’ creates a platform for women to shape the future of the music industry by encouraging festivals to pledge to a 50:50 gender balanced bill by 2022. Vanessa Reed, PRS Foundation’s CEO, noted with enthusiasm in an interview with PSNEurope that the rapid evolution of the project suggests that it will be a “real game changer for live music” going forward. As well as working towards a 50:50 balance, “many festivals are beginning to examine their own structures.” This a fundamental step in tackling the endemic issue of underrepresentation of female artists.

The Future Of Female Headliners Underrepresentation of female artists in the festival spheres.

80% of UK festival headliners were male in 2017

Trampled fields across the country have breathed a sigh of relief: 2018’s festival season and the hottest summer on record since 1976 has drawn to a close. Pop, Rock, Indie, Electronic, Rap, Grime – the music styles that dominate festival stages year upon year are as varied as the people they attract. However, you only have to look at a broad crosssection of many festival line-ups to reveal a single unifying factor between them: the lack of female performers occupying the top tier of artists on the bill. According to a BBC study, 80% of UK festival headliners were male in 2017, while in the same year, Pitchfork found that female representation across the board at festivals sat at a measly 14%. Earlier this year, Wireless Festival came under fire when it announced its initial line up, which featured only three female acts across three days. Green Man and Slamdunk festivals have also been subject to criticism for being male centric. At Chicago-based Lollapalooza, Chvrches are the first female act to appear on the poster, listed fifteen spots from the top.

As it stands, over 100 festivals and conferences have signed the pledge. From the UK, the list includes Kendal Calling, the BBC Proms and Bestival. The pledge has also been adopted by BBC Music Introducing, which hosts stages for new artists at some of the UK’s biggest festivals. The momentum behind the programme is encouraging as festivals, and bands themselves, support the goal. However, though Keychange certainly has the right idea in confronting the underrepresentation of female artists, it has drawn criticism for its chosen approach. Distilling such a multifaceted and structural issue of female underrepresentation in the festival circuit down to fulfilling a quota requirement seems a reductive line to take. As Dutch Frontwoman Pip Blom remarked in a BBC interview: “I want to play at the festival because they want me to play there, not because I’m a woman.” London based DJ and Producer Nabihah Iqbal, has pointed out that this is a pervasive industry problem, and the approach should be more concerned with changing mind sets, rather than quota filling. The real change will come when the attitudes of the industry gatekeepers are shifted.


Melvin Benn, the Managing Director of Festival Republic, promoters of Reading and Leeds and Wireless, is reluctant to support the quotas. Instead, he has launched a new programme ‘ReBalance’ which will provide female artists studio recording time with a long term aim of creating a “bigger pool of female acts” for festivals to consider- a commendable, but less direct and longer route to the same goal. Meanwhile, Reading and Leeds have not had a female headliner since 2014. The real underlying issue is a structural one. Behind the scenes, only 17% of record labels are majority owned by women, and only 32.2% of employees across the industry are female (Brighter Sound). If the industry is serious about remedying the issue, there needs to be an effective talent pipeline. As Kate Lowes from creative charity Brighter Sound points out, music education and a professional career in music are miles apart. Talented female artists on the rise should be supported from the inside of what is, for now, a male dominated industry. So where does that leave us? A quota-based pledge system seems insufficient to challenge the underrepresentation of female festival acts, especially when we consider that this issue is rooted firmly in the traditions and structure of the industry. Keychange and its 50:50 pledge should act as a platform from which to vocalise and educate on these underlying issues rather than a final solution. If momentum and public attention can be maintained over the next months, female artists should expect a brighter, more balanced and equally sunny, 2019 festival season.


What does it mean to be black Does grime indicate the blackness in London in our time? What does it mean to be black and love rock? Rock n Roll, not soul Soles of my feet sore from standing in a Pierce the Veil concert Sorry I missed On the Run II Two, the number of times I have to deny being white on the phone Phones, used to differentiate calls for England and calls back home Home a misguided word used to create safety But what’s safe about a misplaced sense of origin The diaspora disperse all around the Earth Being unwelcomed in their new homes But adopting new behaviours along the way Then they go, home home And get rejected the same day. How do I define my blackness Where do I belong Both my passports sing to a different song A blackness based in culture In history and village ancestry A blackness based in migration In colonialism and multiculturalism


Black History Month



Words by Efe Uwadiae

What does it mean to be black?

A Passing Thought

On Blackness

What does it mean to be black? My blackness laid bare along my skin My sole indicator of who I should consider kin Is the only requirement melanin? What if I was albino Or my skin developed vitiligo Does my blackness become stronger, the darker I am? This should be an encouragement to tan But tanned black girls are blick, blurple not fit. Colourism won’t let us be fit Maybe I just need to be thick Develop my bum and my thighs And my blackness will be valid What will I teach my daughter about being black Aside from working twice as hard to prove herself I will teach her being black is about how you use yourself How you overcome the tropes And disregard the boundaries When you step onto the stage And let the sound speak Let your voice speak Her blackness will depend on herself Just like my blackness depends on me No definition is necessary Being black comes under my identity. 41

darker side of freshers...


resher’s week is known for its outrageous partying, drinking games, ice-breakers and the inevitable freshers’ flu. However, it has come to my attention that the dangers that first years could face are not made as public as the events themselves. So, I have taken on the mission to discuss the darker side of Freshers’ that we students should be made aware of. Of course, go out and enjoy Freshers’ week, even if you are not a first year, as it is an amazing experience, but please be aware of some dangers that can lurk amongst the strobe lights and red cups. Freshers’ week brings an influx of students, full of excitement for their newfound freedom. Most of them awaiting the events that have been advertised for the duration of the summer break which they have already bought their tickets for. Nights of partying, drinking with new flatmates, new friends and socializing on the dance floor, which will most likely end with freshers’ flu and a hangover the next morning, will stand out as one of the best weeks of the new students lives. However, in these environments sexual harassment can occur at any given moment, to any person of any sex and gender. On average, around 40% of female students and 12% of male students experienced ‘unwanted comments about their body’ and ‘unwanted groping’. The Guardian stated that ‘Universities are home to a rape epidemic’. Unfortunately, freshers’ week is the powerhouse of these sexual harassment cases due to the exposure students face when going to such events. For most female students, the biggest danger is the possibility of the date rape drug being put into their drinks. Date rape drugs are extremely dangerous and powerful. The drugs are colourless, have zero smell or taste and can be easily dropped into


an unattended drink without anyone batting an eyelid. On Wednesday 26th of September 2018, two students appeared on ‘This Morning’ to come forward about their own “roofie” incidents which occurred during Freshers’ week. Alix Taylor and Emily Walter both received medical attention and have now taken their cases to court to fight for their justice (more information can be found online). Sadly, this is not a one-off case and many of these incidents go undetected as victims do not come forward. This recent event only highlights the urgency that young students should take precautions when out drinking, especially in the rumble that is Freshers’ week, and on Uni nights out throughout the academic year. However, even though the drugs themselves are very hard to detect, there are ways that students can protect themselves. The obvious one being: never accept drinks from anyone. In the moment, accepting a free drink from a good-looking guy can seem almost romantic, but this is extremely dangerous. If you do want to accept a drink from a stranger, go to the bar with them and watch it being made, then take the drink yourself, never allowing it out of your sight. Additionally, even if you are positive that you have not misplaced your drink all night and that no one has gone near it, do not drink it if it tastes or smells strange. On rare occasions the drink may taste off due to the bartender making a mistake, using a different spirit for example, but never chance it. Discard of the drink immediately or ask the bartender to make you a new one (believe me, they will nearly 100% of the time make you a new drink, free of charge.)


The unfortunate

Yes, these tips may sound obvious but once you’re in the atmosphere of a club or party, once you have relaxed and had several drinks, these tips seem to leave us, and we can attract danger. In no way am I saying students cannot go out drinking with friends, or enjoy the freebies and parties put on during Freshers’ week and beyond at their university. However, to ensure that you do have that once in a life time Freshers’ and Uni experience, always stay alert and never leave your drink unattended.

Words by Demi Whitnell

For more advice on the date rape drug and how to stay safe visit online sources such as


UNISEX As generically stated by sexual relationships work? every brochure, ad, and Probably. But that doesn’t mean adult, university is a time you don’t have insights into for exploration. From the the world either. Your insights outset, you’re dropped into are unique and specific to the an environment full of life you’ve lived and the one excitement and personal you aspire to lead. Without freedom - and, for some, that such a diverse range of beliefs, has a lot to do with sex and aspirations, and experiences relationships. Whilst the fact inherent within the people that everyone around us, the world around you would be pretty dull. seems to have been involved You, as a human, have in countless experienced so much relationships and prior to getting to here, flings, don’t let meaning you’ve got the fact that experiences to draw you’ve not had upon as well. Whether your first kiss yet, deter those experiences are sexual you from feeling just or romantic is irrelevant. No as equal and valued as matter how left out someone a human. It’s easy to may try to make you feel, or become consumed by the even how left out you manage prospect of being labelled to make yourself feel, nobody as the virgin, the prude, can change the fact that you’ve or even just plain lonely, been through the same world but even if you do feel this as everyone else, just with your way, you’re so much own unique beliefs, words by Matthew Ferguson more. experiences, and problems. Surely enough, there will be people who’ve ventured into Whether your choice not to the world of sex far more engage, or lack of engagement than you have - and that’s in sexual and romantic activity completely fine. Will they have is from the beliefs you hold, more practical knowledge the way you were raised, or the about how romantic and challenges and oppression you





may face, you are equally as valid of a person as anyone else. From sexualities that veer off the path of what mainstream society deems as acceptable, to the hostile political environment you may have grew up in, barriers set themselves up in order to deter us from becoming intimate; these barriers, as evident as they may seem to oneself, become hard to define and explain in the wake of questioning from friends. Being asked who’ve you done what with can feel like an interrogation an investigation into the most personal and intimate crevices of your mind - but it doesn’t have to be this way. For those of us who’ve not been in relationships or have not had sex, whether by strict choice or natural occurrence, feeling a sense of shame is not the answer. The discomfort felt as a whole only helps to further the stigma against virginity and those whose lives are devoid of romantic engagement. Even though getting rid of the stigma is beyond easier said than done, there is a solution: acceptance. Accepting ourselves means not only accepting the people we are, but the people that we aren’t - or those that we’ve yet to become. Being able to admit to others confidently that you’ve not done X, Y, and Z with him, her, and them is a step far bolder than any other. The confidence that you show will shatter the skewed conceptualisation that others have of virginity and beyond. Simply put, you’re not lonely or prudish simply because you haven’t had sex or been romantically involved with others prior to uni. Instead, you’re human - flawed, experienced, inexperienced, emotional, and exceptional all at once.



Editor-in-Chief Nicole Brownfield


Features Fran Spree, Gabrielle Agyei, Tabitha Purslow, Jasmine Ali Arts Moneeka Thakur, Charlotte Rubin, Layla Angell, Louise Fligman, Maria Albano

What is MUSE?

Muse is a platform for anybody who is a girl, or identifies as one, at QMUL. No matter your race, religion, sexual orientation, or nationality, Muse is a place for female students to express themselves freely and without any obstacles. Run by a female team of editors and contributors, it aims to reach everyone in the student community.

Why we started it:

We started it because we wanted to give a voice to female students and get them involved in student media.

What kind of articles are expected:

Our goal is to showcase female talent and creativity, and promote female perspective. We want it to be unique, and an explosive mix produced by the dynamic and diverse female population at QMUL. Every idea will be considered and welcomed; articles will range from politics, to culture, to arts and lifestyle. It can also be a platform for you to publish your prose, illustrations or photography. As long as anybody identifying as a woman contributes, everything will be published - we do not want to impose restrictions on creativity.

Our aim going forward:

We want to provide a great outlet for girls at QMUL where they can express themselves freely and support each other. To create a space where every voice is heard, creativity and collaboration are encouraged, and talent is unleashed.

Don’t forget to check out our section on CUB’s website – and send your articles/projects to:


PR/Marketing and Social Media Naseha Yasmin, Ruchika Naidu, Vaneet Kaur Sandhu, Ali Bahcaci

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London Lisha Halai, Taylor Humphreys, Stevie Cannell, Samantha Vincent

Music Rachel Peters, Josephine Whitehouse, Anna Tranter, Azraa Khan, Flora Medford, Heather O’Brien Unisex Demi Whitnell, Matthew Ferguson, Georgina Gambetta Columnists Georgina Gambetta, Isabelle Rose Hathaway, Flora Medford, Samuel Clarke, Charlotte Whittacker, Maleeka Imam, Maria Jones, Azmin M. Mistry, Charlotte Rubin & Tracy Jawad

Film Photography Guy Edbrooke Pullen, Robert Stayte, Meliha Ali Bahcaci, Jenya Verma, Safiya Raja Siddiqui Design Style Michael Lau Hing Yim, Sarah Bardell, Erin Wallace, Karina Bogdan, Roma Moneeka Thakur Ramsden-Gupta, Aneesha Thakur, Simran Singh, Sarah Maycock Columnist Online Editors Louise Fligman, Stevie Cannell, Georgina MUSE Gambetta, Layla Angell, Zannath Rahman, Juliette Raskauskas, Silvana Limni, Rauda Calin Butnaru, Aneesha Thakur Aldarei, Vanda Suha, Sara Giovannini Regular Contributors Ariane Denore, Paula Jenson, Bethany Lamey, Frida Peterson, Tracy Jawad, Zannath Rahman, Mara Mihailovic, Florian Kasperski, Ethan Beberness, Ash Malik, Shola Lee, Aneesha Thakur, Sylvie Wilkinson




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