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Contributors: Amber Wilkinson Anais Devenish Andrew Douglas Christopher Spencer Elisha Hammond Holly Ferguson Jackson Lavell-Lee Jesceline Requiero Jesse Newell John Haycraft Jordan Brunnen Lalia S Marley Amphlett Samantha-Jane Rose Sophie Nicolas Tristan Sherlock Vanessa Vlajkovic Yvonne Ardley Zachary Sheridan
Dircksey Team Editor-in-Chief: Holly Ferguson email@example.com
Literature Editor: Tristan Sherlock firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Affairs Editor: Elisha Hammond email@example.com
Art & Film Editor: Zachary Sheridan firstname.lastname@example.org
Music Editor: Jackson Lavell-Lee email@example.com
Marketing & Promotions: Lauren Reed firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover Artist: Zoe Wolski Feature Artist: Shona Wong Art: Holly Ferguson Laura Ion Marley Amphlett Maxine Singh Shona Wong
Logo: Sella Winadi The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Dircksey Editor(s), sub-editors/ section-editors, Edith Cowan University or the Edith Cowan University Student Guild. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that Dircksey articles and other information are up-to-date and as accurate as possible, as of the time of publicationâ€“ but no responsibility can or will be taken by the abovementioned entities if an issue of Dircksey has any errors or omissions contained herein. not Editor(s), Cowan University taken other accurate publicationâ€“ taken issue omissions
Online print just got better.
President’s note: I’m Stewart Lee and I’ve been studying engineering at ECU for almost 3 years. I chose electrical engineering because it would allow me to work on some of the largescale renewable energy projects that Australia is likely to see in the coming years. I’m originally from Scotland – still have the accent – and I’ve lived in Australia for nearly 6 years. Student unionism is strong in Scotland and plays a big part of students’ time at university - from being service providers, event planners, and community organisers. Student guilds are inherently political; born out of a strong student movement that opposed foreign wars, campaigned for civil rights, and fought against nuclear weapons proliferation. My view is that today’s student guilds should continue this tradition and ensure that students are being represented both on and off campus. This means making sure that students are represented on university committees, lobbying our local Members of Parliament and Ministers, and rallying against harmful funding changes like the deregulation of fees. As well as doing this, of course, the Guild should be a service provider. A huge focus for us in 2018 is to secure
the Guild’s first commercial outlet, which will give students more control and increase the Guild’s budget to allow us to do more things. I will keep you updated on this as the semester progresses. Planning is well underway for our first party of the year – Toga – and Caitlin Gibbs is going to make it our biggest yet. We’re making solid progress for 2018 and it’s going to be a busy year. You can email me at any time if you need to ask a question or you want to make a suggestion – email@example.com Come and see us during Guild Week, which takes place during the first week of study, to get your Guild sticker and to see what we’re up to for the year. I personally wish you all the best for your studies in 2018 and hope your year is filled with success. -Stewart Lee ECU Guild President
Editor’s note: Hey everyone! I’m Holly, your 2018 Dircksey editor! This is my second year, and last, in the role and I’m so excited to be back making this magazine with and for all of you! So, if you’ve picked up an edition of Dircksey before you may have noticed that we have grown in size! Previously we printed six issues a year with 32 pages (including the self-cover). Now we’re printing four issues with 56 pages (with a plus cover). Although we’ve cut two issues, we’ve gained pages; meaning more content for you! This also gives the Dircksey team and our contributors more time to work on each issue, ensuring a higher quality product. This year you can trust us to provide inclusive, up-todate, fresh and innovative content, all of which will be produced by ECU students and alumni. If you’d like to contribute to Dircksey head to our Facebook page to find out more info or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
In this issue we have a range of features, including several interviews with some of Perth’s finest talents and community leaders. We also have our Uni Survival Guide with some helpful tips and tricks to get you through your time in hell. You may have noticed that we have a semester one calendar. Cut this out and stick it up on your wall, or in your diary, to keep you up-to-date with all of your uni assignments and tests. Keep an eye out for the semester two calendar, coming out in our third issue. I hope you enjoy this issue and have a tolerable (as tolerable as it can be) first semester of uni. You can expect to see the next issue of Dircksey in May! See you then! -Holly Ferguson Editor-in-chief of Dircksey Magazine
Uni Survival Guide
9 7 things you should know if you’re starting uni this year
16 Blurred Lines
45 Book to Film Adaptions of 2018
18 Economy of Care
10 Need To Know: Tips 21 The trouble with and Tricks for students feminism 12 Fun Stuff 13 Your Year in Pixels 14 What kind of uni student are you?
46 Five books every 20-something should read
22 Women in Roller Derby
47 Interview with a Bookstore Manager
24 Derby Kisses
48 Book Reviews
25 Just Another Night 26 Jay Emmanuel 28 Artist Feature: Shona Wong
Film 49 What Makes Rotten Tomatoes Rotten?
32 We need to talk about education
50 Donnie Darko: Fear, Love and Everything in between
34 Michelle Dunlop
51 Film Reviews
36 Freud and Jung: Points of Divergence and Convergence
38 Are we already living Black Mirror
52 Fuzz Toads 53 ShockOne
40 Clare Testoni
56 Music Reviews
42 What You Should
57 Issue One Playlist
44 A Senseless Time at Uni
What is Dircksey Magazine? Dircksey is ECU’s student magazine. All the content you see here is created by students. How often is Dircksey published? We publish four print issues a year, alongside our website www.dircksey.com which is updated daily. How do I become part of the Dircksey team? The best way to find out how you can get involved is to email us at email@example.com Tell us a bit about yourself, your interests, what you’d like to contribute to the magazine and include any questions you may have. Where can I keep up with Dircksey? LIKE us on Facebook for updates about print issue releases, updates, Dircksey events and to read our latest online content.
7 things you should know if you’re starting uni this year By Sophie Nicolas
When you don’t know exactly what to expect, University can be daunting. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered; here’s seven things you should know if you’re going to be a newbie at uni. Happy studying! BYO food University has some great places to grab a bite to eat before heading off to your next class. But if you eat on campus too often, you’ll start to notice your bank account is rapidly decreasing to the lower digits every week. No, someone hasn’t stolen your card and gone on a spending spree, it’s you. It’s all you.
without it. This is a lie. You will probably use the text book twice during the semester, and never look at it again. I say probably because there may be a slight chance that you will be using the textbook regularly, but in your first year it’s highly unlikely. Text books are expensive and if you really want to spend money to get the text book rent it from the library. Problem solved!
Uni cafes know you’re not going to travel off campus to get some decently priced grub; so they’ll charge you about $20 for some chips and a drink, the cheeky buggers. If you don’t feel like going into debt every week, don’t be lazy and bring your own food to class!
Get a parking permit If you are going to be driving to uni then it’s a good idea to get a parking permit. You can pay around $40 for the semester or about $80 for the whole year.
It’s okay if you don’t make friends right away. Going straight from high school to uni can be confusing because you think life will be exactly the same. But university is vastly different from school – it’s way better! You don’t need to make friends on the first day or have somebody to sit with on your lunch break. You’re paying to be there and you are there for your own personal education. If you want to keep to yourself, that’s completely fine. You don’t have to ask permission Remember that you don’t have to ask to go to the bathroom anymore. There have been times in my lecture when I see a first year meekly raise his/her hand and ask to go to the toilet. This will result in the class dissolving into sniggers at the lecturers’ confused face. He’ll be wondering why you interrupted his class to tell him that. If you need to go to the bathroom, leave early to go to work or just simply don’t want to be there anymore, quietly pack your stuff and leave. No one will stop you! You don’t need the textbook You’ll have at least one class where the lecturer tells you that you MUST buy this $200 text book because it is absolutely vital to your unit and you will fail miserably
Parking tickets at uni are expensive and a waste of coins that you could be spending on coffee. And if you think you can get away with not buying a ticket, you are mistaken. It doesn’t matter how many cars there are in the lot, the ticket man will find you…and fine you (I speak from experience). The uni parties are awesome Cheap booze, like-minded people and great music. Try to experience a uni party at least once during your degree, even if it’s not really your thing. It’s a beautiful time where students – newbies and third years alike – come together to get drunk and forget about our crippling debt and multiple assignments. Who knows, you might meet a lifelong friend or a study buddy. You don’t have to be sure When you’re a first year it can seem like everybody else has got their shit together except for you. It’s okay to not know where this degree is going to take you and it’s okay to experiment with degrees (just not too much, this stuff costs money you know!). Know that uni is a personal journey for each student and it may seem like everyone has got it figured out, but they don’t. Pass or fail, you have a great support network of teachers and students to talk to, so do your thing boo!
Need To Know: Tips and Tricks for students To help you survive the worst that uni will throw at you By Yvonne Ardley and Holly Ferguson
Tips for all nighters -Wear the comfiest clothes you can possibly find -Take snacks. -Box of tissues for endless crying you will experience -Deodorant, mints and dry shampoo will be your best (and probably only) friends -Remember that Uber eats is a thing -Have mum on speed dial -Have framed photo of mum for support & encouragement -Meditation guide -Have Sia on loop -Place yourself in a good spot/near a toilet (but not too near) -Bring a friend -Bring fave pillow -Multiple sources of caffeine -Netflix for when you give up
Should we start a campaign to have sleep pods in every classroom & lecture theatre?
The ECU Student Guild: The Guild is a student run organisation that delivers services for ECU students. Some of the stuff the Guild does includes: -Provides Student Assist Services Guild student assist officers can help with academic and welfare issues -Hosts various events and parties during the semester, including the Ball -Provides discounts at various businesses -Provides funding for clubs & Dircksey Magazine - Provides free tea and coffee in the guild office
Cheap Eats! The student life is a poor life. Sometimes, when the mi goreng isn’t cutting it, you want to treat yo self and eat out. Here’s a list of our fave places to get a cheap & fulfilling meal, so you can chow down like old mate Shorten!
-Taka Located in the city and in freo. Food averages under $10 and you really get bang for your buck! In an average large meal you can get a meat, veges or tofu, rice and miso soup! Not to mention there’s free green tea. -Nao Ramen Located in the city you can get a massive bowl of ramen for $12. -Govindas Also located in Northbridge, here you can get a massive meal (dessert included) for $10 or under! -Annalakshmi Located in Elizabeth Quay, Annalakshmi is a gold mine for students. It’s pay what you feel! The food is delicious and you can’t go wrong with the stunning views that the restaurant provides looking over the river. -Poppo Korean So, it’s pretty clear that the CBD is a great place to get a cheap meal. Poppo Korean has an extensive menu with a majority of dishes being under $15!
Health at Uni Uni is a testing time. It’s important to make your mental and physical health a priority. As a student at ECU, you have access to ECU’s Counselling Service. The service is free and confidential. They can talk with you about a range of topics, both university and non-university related. Here’s what one student said about their experience with ECU’s Counselling Service: “The first thing I felt when I finally decided I needed to see a counsellor was desperation. I had let my anxiety and depression linger and overwhelm me to a point where I knew something had to give. Being a proudly independent person though, the second feeling that came over me was a feeling of shame. I was embarrassed that I required help. I didn’t want to run into someone I knew there, and I was especially embarrassed to open up to a total stranger. I cannot, however, express how much those sessions helped me to regain my mental stability. The counsellor was amazing and far more understanding than I thought. I certainly gained valuable insights but what helped the most was
just to have someone to talk to about my problems, as I often felt like a burden or like I was bringing the mood down talking to friends. In addition to this the counsellor helped me with my uni work, by emailing lecturers, and without disclosing the nature of why I was seeing her, recommended in her professional opinion that I be given certain leniencies. Having that pressure off my back eased my anxiety and helped my transition back to normalcy. Above all else, after such a positive experience seeing a counsellor, I easily and shamelessly booked myself in for more sessions the very next year when I was experiencing mental health difficulties again.” -Yvonne They can also discuss referrals with you if you need specialised support or treatment. For more information on their services head to: www.intranet.ecu.edu.au/student/support/counselling
LECTURE BINGO Play this with your friends in your next lecture Mature age student talks to lecturer about irrelevant topic
Lecturer has technical difficulties (bonus point if IT doesn’t show up for at least 20 minutes)
Spotted at least 3 people scrolling through fb (bonus point for 3 on tinder)
Shit falls off someone’s desk
Lecturer asks question, no one answers
Someone cracks open can of red bull
Someone furiously tries to write down lecture slides word for word
Someone walks in 15 minutes before lecture ends
White student with culturally appropriated hair enters room with kombucha/ cold brew/green smoothie
Obnoxiously loud distracting conversation
Someone’s phone rings (bonus point if it’s the lecturer)
Someone remarks how hungover they are
Male makes unsolicited advances on obviously uncomfortable female
Avoided eye contact with someone from high school
One person answers every question
Someone falls asleep (bonus point if it’s you)
Search for the negative emotions & feelings that you will experience at some point during your uni semester. Words can go diagonally, backwards and share letters.
What kind of uni student are you? A personality quiz 1) a. b. c. d.
What motivated you to enrol in university? You wanted to prove to everyone that you could It was vital for your dream career You wanted to make friends Sounded like it’d be shit so why not?
Which of the following is most important to you? a. Finding love b. Friends and family c. Money d. Inspiration
2) Which of the following motivates you? a. The people who you love b. The fear of never achieving anything in your life c. Money d. Your parents’ expectations
7) What’s your university average a. High Distinction b. Pass c. Credit d. Distinction
3) a. b. c. d.
What is your biggest fear? Never being loved Never succeeding in life The inevitability of death Being forced to do something you don’t want to do
8) What’s your go to alcoholic drink a. Champagne b. Don’t drink c. Something expensive d. Cheap Vodka
4) a. b. c. d.
Choose a pet A Chihuahua A child Ew pets? Gross A cat
9) Favourite film genre a. Rom-Com b. Animation c. Thriller d. Musical
5) How would your friends describe you? a. Fashionable b. Childish c. Iconic d. Cynical
10) Go to board game a. Game of Life b. Uno c. Cluedo d. Trivial Pursuit
Results If you answered mostly a’s you’re the Elle Woods type: To begin with your ride at university was bumpy, the new atmosphere caused you to feel a little out of place. Fortunately, you quickly got into the swing of things and now uni is child’s play for you. You’re an inspiration. You’re a hard worker and determined to succeed no matter what the reasoning. Even then you never lose sight of the importance of friendship and helping others out.
If you scored mostly b’s you’re the Mike Wazowski type: You know how sometimes you have a friend who says ‘yeah, I’m gonna do everything right this time around’ and then first day in they’ve already failed? You’re that friend. But you work best doing things under pressure. And sure, you may have to bend the rules a bit to get that pass but you get it. You know what you want to be and know what you need to do to get there. The road will be long a bumpy but if you make sure to seek help and help others you will one day get your wish.
If you scored mostly c’s you’re the Chanel Oberlin type: You’re the top bitch of your friend group and you know it. You always make sure to come to Uni looking like the bomb.com. You’re the kind of student who rocks up to the one hour lecture to just sit on your phone before complaining about how tired you are and heading home. But hey you’re still passing right, but that’s probably because your dad paid off the lecturer or you got someone to do the assignments for you.
If you scored mostly d’s you’re the Beca Mitchell type: You’re probably doing a course you couldn’t care less about. Either for your parents or because you honestly have no idea what you want to do with your life. Deep down you have some passion for the arts but being a doctor or an accountant is a more realistic choice so you’ve decided to go with that. Even though you never rock up to class, surprisingly, you still pass and you do it well.
Quiz by Tristan Sherlock
Blurred Lines Consent in relationships & why it matters
Once you enter a relationship, have you signed a contract to have sex anytime your partner wants? To do whatever sexual acts they want? NO. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean that consent goes out the window. In fact, it’s vital for you and your partner to have a strong relationship. Whenever a conversation about consent arises it often centres around hook-up culture. There seems to be a distinct lack of conversation about consent in relationships and why it’s so important, a topic that needs more promotion. When you’ve been with someone a while, you can easily start to get comfortable with noting your partners ‘yay’s’ and ‘nay’s’ around sex. For many couples, sex and consent become part of an unspoken routine, a familiar (and often taboo) subject. Consent shouldn’t be assumed in a relationship, and should continuously be sought by all parties. Sometimes, partners give consent despite there being no desire for having sex. Reasons for not wanting to engage in sexual activity can vary, with the main factors including fatigue and stress. This can become an issue when you don’t want to disappoint your partner
because you care about them, so you do things even when you don’t want to. For anyone who’s been in a relationship, you’ve probably been there: you’re not exactly in the mood, but you’ve still had sex with your partner to make them happy. It’s not that you’ve been forced into it or haven’t consented, but you’ve compromised on what you want to satisfy them. While this might seem like a one-off or something small, it can end up causing major problems in the long run. If a partner begins to take advantage of this compromise, asking you to participate in sexual activity while knowing full well you don’t want to, then putting their wants ahead of your own is going beyond the boundaries of consent. This abuse of compromise can be troublesome as it can make it harder to determine the lines of sexual assault. If a partner is pressuring the other into unwanted sexual activity repeatedly it could be sexual assault. It can be hard for people to determine this as sexual assault because they are in a relationship, as they may be seeing it as compromised consent rather than assault. Neither partner should take advantage of the other in order to have sex when one person doesn’t want to. This can easily happen because you don’t want to disappoint your partner,
something we all know isn’t a good thing. It is important that you can say no to your partner and to feel safe doing so. If you feel bad for saying no to sex when your partner asks, or you find they pester you to do so even when you’re not in the mood, this could be a major red flag. Consent creates an open and safe space in a relationship, allowing both partners to ask for, accept, and reject intimate activity at any time without fear of judgment. Relationships are built on trust and respect for the other person and their wellbeing. Failing to gain consent can hinder this trust and respect and impact on the relationship, so it’s important that partners talk about their boundaries regularly and often. By keeping lines of communication open and discussing consent, you and your partner can continue to grow together and enjoy fun, new experiences. So next time you tell your partner you’re not in the mood, don’t fret. Also, don’t get upset if your partner turns you down. Consent isn’t a boring conversation to have; it’s exciting and can lead you both to trying fun new things together happily and safely. By Amber Wilkinson
Art by Shona Wong @somechuppy
If you need support, or would like to make a report please contact: Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC) Crisis 24 hour (08) 9340 1828 Country areas (free call) 1800 199 888 Ph: (08) 9340 1820 (office) Fax: (08) 9381 5426
Lifeline 13 11 14 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention Beyondblue 1300 224 636 Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 www.police.wa.gov.au/Your-Safety/Sexual-assault WA Sex Assault Squad (08) 9428 1600)
Economy of Care An interview with Amy Sharrocks ‘Museum of Water is a collection of water, any water, in any bottle.’ That’s how its curator, Amy Sharrocks, describes the live artwork and museum. ‘It is an invitation to each one of us to consider water, to notice what we like about it, to chart in any way we like how this substance impacts on our life.’
Interview and image by Zachary Sheridan
useum of Water began four years ago in a dark, cold spring in London on a street corner. Since then, it has travelled to over 50 different sites worldwide, been visited by over 70,000 people, and currently holds over 1,000 bottles in the collection. After its influential presence during last year’s Perth Festival, it returns this year on a much larger scale with an exhibition at the Fremantle Arts Centre from February 7 to March 23. I’ve been lucky enough to be the ‘intern kid’ on the project. ‘Museum of Water is the residue of our days, the smear or dregs from our cup, the tear from our eye, the last drop,’ says Sharrocks. ‘It offers a different value system, and a new economy of care. It collects and cares for the most crucial thing in the world, but the very last thing to be considered, the leftovers, the spill, the stuff you wash down the loo.’ Amongst the collection is water from the Atlantic, splash from the shower at Cottesloe, and even some sand globes. A sand globe or sea globe – as opposed to a snow globe – is a concoction of sand, saltwater, seaweed and shells that can be shaken up. A young donor by the name of Gabriel made theirs from materials at Mettams Pool. The shells buried in the sand are like treasure. ‘Treasure is anything that you treasure. It doesn’t have to be gold or diamonds. It can be whatever is treasure to you,’ Gabriel says. Inspired by Gabriel, I go to the Indian Ocean and make my own sand globe, and carry it on an aeroplane to gift my family in Sydney. This is what Museum of Water does. It asks us to reconsider our precious relationship with water in all its forms and cherish those relationships. This is a particularly important pursuit today. ‘We are facing climate ruin,’ continues Sharrocks. ‘I am bewildered by this modern life that seems to prioritise concrete and capitalism over human and environmental experience… I have a constant and appalling feeling that in order to live, we have been taught to not see things – to look away
from difficulties, injustices, inequalities. Everyday, we have to manage our days knowing that millions of people are in horrible situations. We can only do so much each day, and we have to bear it – but is there another way? There must be ways to care better for each other! New systems need to be proposed. This is the century for questioning all our institutions, all our perceived understandings. None of our systems are holding, the histories we were told don’t add up, and all our boundaries are being put under pressure from population growth, water
Water has travelled from England via Rotterdam to Perth, an uncanny counterpoint to the early European routes to Australia. A lot of my travels across the WA have of necessity uncovered staggeringly violent and terrible acts, from night wells in Albany to covered wetlands in Perth, abuse, loss and pain. Pipelines and mining, kindness, power sharing, the environment and ecology of WA, current issues are immediate questions of history and future crises that affect us all. The history of Australia over the last few hundred years as well as before has
scarcity and climate change.’
been a history of water: where to find it, how to keep it, how to share it, how to give back.
“A lot of my travels across WA have of necessity uncovered staggeringly violent and terrible acts, from night wells in Albany to covered wetlands in Perth, abuse, loss and pain.” Museum of Water encourages listening and empowers voices. ‘It matters to this Museum whether you get up in the morning. The Museum is different because you visited. You are the donor, artist, curator. You are the expert of our days.’ For Western Australia in particular, questions of vulnerability and resilience feel especially pertinent. A place where townships clutch the coastline while deserts stretch inland. A place where the drying climate is combatted with desalination – the source for almost half of our fresh water. ‘I have had extraordinary conversations with Australians about their water: the size of their tanks, and of their neighbour’s tanks, their processes for hand harvesting water, their laying out of every pot in a rain storm, right down to the yoghurt pots, in various desperate arrangements. They have shared difficult memories of lack and thirst and abuse, as well as glorious fantasies of excess, childhood dreams of swimming down the pipeline to Kalgoorli. Of course, being here and exploring the nature of sharing, of borders and holding onto things, brings into question the nature of empire and the history of Australia. Museum of
Most of all, I have learned from the traditional custodians of this land, the Aboriginal elders that I have had the chance to meet and explore with. I have felt a deep connection to their methods of existence, their appreciation for the land and everything in it, their systems of care. They have taught me about the community of water, and as a live artist who has made work about people and water, this has chimed strongly with everything I know.’ When the word ‘custodian’ was chosen at the Museum’s beginnings, Sharrocks couldn’t know then how the word would resonate with the artwork and indigenous understandings that have vibrated through the almost two years of her work in Australia. ‘My understanding of the Museum’s oral history, and how this relates to the circuits of stories and the repetition of song lines and stories to educate us all, has deepened immeasurably. The original custodians have given me a lesson in knowledge, longevity and ancestral understanding of appreciation to the world.’ I ask Amy whether she has any favourite stories. ‘I don’t have favourites. I am consistently awed by the
Museum of Water at Stretch Festival Mandurah, photo by Sarah Rowbottam
people who have come and shared their words and water with me. There are many different bottles that I think about a lot. Many people, situations and words continue to resonate strongly with me, they will stay with me forever There was a marvellous water that all the custodians were a little bit in love with. A great couple came to the Museum one day, very much in love, and very caring of each other, the man very tall, his partner much smaller. They gave the water from their favourite beach, into which they had put two shells - one small, one big - with some of the sand, because that is what they did when one went swimming without the other, they brought shells home for each other from their swim. She talked about the difficulty for her of moving cities, changing cultures, knowing no one. She started swimming in the sea here, and she used this extraordinary phrase, “the water helped me befriend myself”. I think of that often, what the water gives us.’ Amy discusses her own relationship with water. ‘I could tell you about the kindness of water, about my dad and his back operations, how the only way back to standing for him was through water and swimming. He couldn’t stand for months after each one, but
he could swim. I began making artworks about water when I was pregnant with my son Jake. I was ENORMOUS when I was pregnant, so I was constantly aware of this delicious but heavy weight I carried. I have always swum, and it began to feel a bit miraculous, the gravity shift that happens when you get in water and all your weight changes. The water carried me, supported my heft when I had been cumbersome. Immediately where there had been strain, there was ease: water offered balance and equilibrium on a physical scale I hadn’t understood before. I was very aware of the double layering of us, water, person, water, baby, it was so clear that swimming and water are a natural state for us. My babies were born in water, and once you see how warm water can soothe muscles and ease a birth, you also notice the flipside, how jarring the world can be, all hard-edged and dry. Water is kinder than air.’ I ask Amy what are the major lessons she’s learned through this work. ‘What haven’t I learned? A lot of my work deals in things which are disappearing, and often I
find myself trying to trace things that were only ever almost there to begin with: the Museum deals entirely in something that is evaporating before our eyes, is impossible to hold in your hands, and whose narrative is constantly changing. I have learned to be ok with loss; we are all in a process of evaporation. In Australia the extraordinary openness, bright light and landscape seems to concentrate experience to deal with the very smallest molecules, the photons and decibels of existence. I have been amazed at the dualities of understanding, that kindness and generosity can sit right alongside vicious selfishness, that boundaries – borders of bodies, bottles or countries – will be consistently transgressed and there is never only one truth. What is extraordinary is how long societies have got away with pretending there was! Displacement is a basic fact of life, and experience is composite, not exclusive. One of our brilliant custodians, Finn Love, phrased it beautifully, she said, “Every pot and jug is proof of mindfulness… the Museum helps people to become aware of their poetry.”
The trouble with feminism By Samantha-Jane Rose - Women’s Officer at ECU Women’s Community
ow that I have your attention, there is no trouble, but there is ignorance, confusion and a breakdown in understanding. Too often, people approach dialogue with feminists from a combative and defensive standpoint. Contrary to what many may think, feminism is not some monolithic evil conspiracy to emasculate men and to strip them of their rights, feminism is not out to get men, to make their lives miserable and unbearable. The very core of what feminism is, and always has been, is the struggle to improve the rights of women and girls, everywhere. Feminism isn’t the inevitable enemy of mankind, ironically, it has been a force for improvement for men and the lives of men, too. It is all too easy to fall into the defensive, confrontational struggle that is the us-versus-them mentality, the battle of the sexes that only serves to perpetuate the inequality and inequity that women face, and that also negatively affects men and boys. We live in a patriarchal, masculinist society where boys are raised and socialised to repress normal, healthy emotion, to suppress their feelings to the point where they are inhibited. This is a contributing factor to the disconcertingly high male suicide rate. It is often claimed that feminist women don’t care about issues like male suicide, and that feminists are only focused on improving the rights of women and girls to the detriment of men and boys. That is not the case. In fighting for the rights of women and girls, in fighting to change male culture and the culture of masculinity, we are improving the lives of men and boys. Feminism is fighting to destroy harmful stereotypes, which limit the potential of men and women alike by rigidly applying gender roles. A woman should be able to engage in a traditionally male profession without stigma in the same way a man should be able to engage
in traditionally female professions without stigma. It saddens me as a pre-service teacher that my male colleagues are stigmatised and judged negatively based solely on the fact that they are male. Boys need positive male and female role models in their lives in order for them to grow into young adults who respect and value their female compatriots. The future, however, is not as bleak as some might want to think. Iceland provides both maternity and paternity leave for new parents, it has one of the highest percentages of female engagement in the workforce, and rates highly on indexes for gender equality in politics and society. Iceland is of course, a small sample size, but it is an example to follow. The reality is that we live in a world where just twenty-two percent of politicians are female, globally. Seventy-eight percent of politicians are male, making decisions affecting women and girls who comprise a fifty-two percent majority of the global population. One hundred and thirty million girls will not receive any education what so ever, and this is something feminist movements have sought to address. To quote courageous young woman Malala Yousafzai, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the solution. Education first.” Without the tidal waves of feminism, women would not have the right to vote, would not be educated, would not have access to the opportunities that they have today. They would have remained the property of their husbands, shackled in an indentured servitude enforced by an oppressive and entrenched patriarchal society. It took courageous women to change that, and it will take many more courageous women to continue the struggle for the improvement of women’s rights across the world. Our feminism must be intersectional, it must be respectful of the needs of all women, not just a select few. Fight for women of colour, fight for trans women, fight for sex workers, fight for women of all sizes. “Those of us who understand, who feel strongly, must not tire.
Women in Roller Derby Breaking Gender Rolls
W By Sophie Nicolas
hen you think of Roller Derby your first thought is probably of that movie Whip It with Ellen Page in it. Or maybe you think of a bunch of potty mouth women on skates. Or maybe you’re thinking “what the hell is roller derby?”
For those unfamiliar, it’s a sport played by women on roller skates who basically beat the crap out of each other. The main gist is that there’s a jammer for each team who scores points by lapping all the other players. There are blockers who want to prevent the opposing team from scoring a point, so they have to try and bump the jammer out of the rink. And “bump” is a very tame way of saying it, because if you were to get bumped out of the ring by these ladies, you will go flying. But not to worry! The first thing you learn in Derby 101 is to fall safely when you go sprawling, and Derby girls are no strangers to bruises. In Roller Derby, there is a lot of strategy and skill involved. You have to know how to position your blockers so your jammer can get through, use an amazing amount of strength and endurance to skate multiple times around the rink, while getting smacked into on all sides…and try doing all that while balancing on skates!
The Women In a world where women’s sports are seen as frivolous and not competitive, Roller Derby prides itself on women who value strength and fierceness. And you’ll find women of all different backgrounds. Lawyers, mums, students, teachers who all come together to kick some ass. Here’s a couple: DERBY STORIES Tahlia Sanders – Psychology student Fresh meat (or Beginner) What made you want to try roller derby? Initially, I just thought it sounded really fun! Any sport that doesn’t require much hand-eye coordination is a good one in my books. But when I attended the first information session, I was told that it is very common for people in support-worker roles (as I do) to get involved in derby for the emotional release. I found this idea empowering and was keen to get involved! Why is derby important to you? Derby is always challenging! Every week at training we
push ourselves to try a new skill, that I never would have imagined myself doing a year ago. The sense of community at derby is also very uplifting. Although I have only just started, there is a sense of camaraderie amongst all the girls who train together, as we cheer each other on and encourage one another.
sexy and power. The short shorts, the tattoos, the monster bruises and the colourful skates. Seeing the women tear through the rink with grace, speed and brute strength is sure to make you glad you are sitting safely in the stands. Here are some more reasons why Roller Derby defies stereotypes:
How do you think roller derby challenges gender roles in competitive sport?
There’s no need for an athletic build
Derby training is defined in my mind by sweat, muscle pain and grit. It is certainly not a prissy sport! I love seeing all the girls at training giving everything ago, unafraid of what anyone might think. I always have a strong sense of female empowerment when I am at derby training. No one is afraid to be loud, or to have big, muscly legs, or to stink of unwashed protective gear. Lisa Black – Librarian Experienced skater What made you want to try roller derby? I have a couple of chronic illnesses plus some problems with my feet and legs so I was looking for a sport that wouldn’t involve running, that I could keep my shoes on during, and that was primarily an individual sport so I wouldn’t be letting a team down during my inevitable fatigue cycles. When I heard about roller derby, it seemed perfect and so I went and watched a game. The whole time I was watching I was thinking how fun it looked! I got some skates soon after and starting practicing so that I could join fresh meat being able to at least stand up in skates! Lisa Black (Hermione Danger) Why is derby important to you? Roller derby has given me so many new friends plus a form of exercise that I look forward to doing! I started refereeing so that I could be more involved at home season games as I struggled to compete fresh meat cycle, I found I really enjoyed it; so roller derby has also given me the intellectual and emotional challenge of refereeing.
In Derby, you don’t need to fit a certain body type in order to play. In fact, there are women of all shapes and sizes rocketing around the rink. And it all depends on how well you can manoeuvre yourself on wheels. Don’t get me wrong, these women are athletes, take one look at their powerful leg muscles and see for yourself. But you don’t need a particular body type for derby, in fact, you can use your body type as your greatest strength. Sexuality, vulgarity and intellect are prized Where in most sports a woman has to act or speak a certain way, Derby has no such rules or images to live by. Where in most sports flaunting your sexuality gets shamed, in Roller Derby it is encouraged! You earn respect among your team mates by giving everything a go, getting back up after you take a fall and being there for your team mates – the victories and the losses. In Derby, you can be anything you want to be the sport is accepting of all kinds of women (and men) whatever personality trait you have, it is valued. There’s a lot of strategy involved Roller Derby isn’t just about skating around the rink in a raunchy skirt and ramming players out the way. Believe it or not there is a huge amount of strategy involved when playing a bout (game). The players practice multiple times a week in scrimmages, which are basically pretend games (with everything a ref opposing teams) and practice different types of strategy and drills until they’ve got a few tricks up their sleeve for the next bout. Don’t make the mistake in thinking this is just for fun! That’s a big part of it, but for most of the players Derby isn’t just a game – it’s a lifestyle.
How do you think roller derby challenges gender roles in competitive sport? In a way, I think roller derby is a balanced mix of feminine and masculine aspects. It’s cooperative, yet competitive. It’s aggressive, yet the skaters are kind. When you see a roller derby player, you can tell that are an athlete, but that doesn’t preclude a hyper-feminine presentation. Or any type of presentation, really! I think it’s wonderful that roller derby leagues aim to include people who aren’t cis and straight, which I think in itself challenges gender roles by questioning the usually accepted idea that sports must be segregated. Furthermore, referees and NSOs can be people of any gender, which I believe is rare for other sports. Roller derby is definitely a dangerous combination of
Derby Kisses The hall of fame for the breaks and bruises of honour
Amber Howard Roller Derby name: BAMBA “I was blocking Hella (another player), who is very strong. She came in and caught me low in the stomach, which led to me being flipped up and sideways! I landed hard on my hip and was in a fair bit of pain. I sucked it up and kept on training. I knew it would be a ripper so took pictures when I got home!”
Lisa Black Roller Derby name: Hermione Danger “This is from being dragged over by a falling skater and landing on their skate. You can see the wheel shape!” (lower back) Lara Irons Roller derby name: Hot Wheels “I was at the Rollercon skate park tour in Vegas. I broke my face when some cool American guys saw me doing some jumps and backwards spins. They said, “that’s cool, try this trick!” I did, and fell on my face. Renee Morriss Roller Derby name: Randy Bichova “Had a skater fall directly on top of me…hard!”
Katie Timms Roller Derby Name: Hades “This was my first and only good one. No good story though, I just bounced off Snappa (another player) when trying to hit her and landed on my own skate”
Just Another Night
hen boarding the train in the early hours of the morning, one is often exposed to the boils and burns of the underbelly that is referred to as ‘nightlife’. One such exposure occurred last night during my timely plummet from what was a few hours ago - a considerable intoxication. This comedown, I regret to say, unravelled under the regime of a band of troublemakers of whom I was foolish enough to judge as good standing citizens, upon selecting my seat. Any belief in the consistent quality of my fellow man which I had previously held, was briskly incinerated within minutes; by a member of the group, whom rather impressively removed a series of females from the vicinity - using merely his ignorance. British, the men of their early 20’s seemed merry, with a hint of unlawfulness - to be expected however, on a night when the full moon had drifted too close to souls which posses such provocable beasts. As we progressed down the seemingly infinite tracks, the ratio of merriness to roguery began to tip visibly in the favour of the less idealistic, for one sat next to such commotion. The rather overt and audible chauvinism continued, despite the flocking of all females to the opposite end of the train - probably to discuss either their menstrual cycles or Simone de Beauvoir. I felt that through my persevering with the bigots, that I had been reluctantly inaugurated into their sexist cult, as it were. In the midst of this rather justified female outrage upon the service, rose a noticeably intoxicated phoenix. From the ashes I heard stiletto boots march rhythmically up the train, eyes fixed intensely upon the personification of sexism, sat directly to my right. One may only envisage a singular scenario less favourable than a radical feminist high on methamphetamines, undiplomatically addressing the patron sat next to oneself - that of being the direct victim of such humanistic assault. The timely arrival and swift intervention of transit security put out the burning fire of justice before it exacted further damage to itself or others. The removal of this disruption from the service allowed for the men to recommence with voicing their impressively outdated opinions, still, at quite a volume. Once the initial wave of hatred had passed however, the group’s ringleader seemingly took it upon himself to pioneer a voyage into new realms of discrimination. The newest manifestation of idiocy presenting itself when a group of African youth, wandered blissfully onto the service. Whispers and rustles amongst the young men inevitably ensued, as the new presence of transit authority, as well as the other passengers, held their breath in
anticipation of what was sure to become quite the spectacle - for the wrong reasons. Such a spectacle however, did not arise, until some irreverent yet non race-related gossip amongst the men was halted by the second intervention of transit authority, in a preventative manner. This lawful intervention, ironically, bridged the gap to further discrepancy. The emasculation of the Brits was seemingly very much to the amusement of the youthful African passengers whom rather distastefully began to taunt them. It was thus that I came to bear witness to perhaps the most archaic and primitive display of civilized man in immediate recollection. An intense brawl between the two groups erupted in almost comical fashion, any humour however, was fundamentally extinct given the fact of my still being sat in the centre of the chaos. Suddenly, the fact of my autonomy dawned on me as being the immediate solution to this conundrum. In surprisingly peaceful and irreverent fashion, I stood up and slowly began to make my way through the gang violence, in the general direction of the previously outraged, yet now thoroughly enthralled women. As if having parted the red sea, the brawl came to fragment and dissolute into various smaller confrontations upon my attempted escape, there fashioned a path through, which I transitioned gracefully, with such ease as if to lend the whole ordeal an almost theatrical element. My stylish aversion of the mass violence, seemed to me worthy of significant acknowledgement from the female passengers, initially so repulsed by my apparent affiliation with the chauvinists. The red carpet was seemingly laid for my progression down the carriage, to the applause and blush that my heroism rightfully deserved. Contrarily, my presence was, as I was swiftly made aware, obstructing the view of the women to whom’s affection I considered myself such a worthy recipient. My frame, apparently so hindering of the spectacle, was ushered to one side, as the women, so invested, were able to recommence their thoroughly involved viewership. The ordeal, though short, came to reflect quite telling and instinctively prevalent characteristics of all those involved. The men, so naturally predisposed towards violent tendencies as a means to domination, voiced their opinions with unwavering assurance. The group of women, so enthralled by the conflict, renounced their humanitarian conscientiousness under the light of more archaic developments. Furthermore, and perhaps more significantly; I found myself confused, lethargic in my judgements, and with no prominent compass nor defined position in the increasingly chaotic and unpredictable situation. Thus, I deemed it responsible to either quit drinking or stop taking the train. Now I Uber. By John Haycraft
Interview and image by Zachary Sheridan
Indian-born, Perth-based choreographer Jay Emmanuel is the Artistic Director of St. George’s Dance and Theatre. Recent works in the space include Biryani, MAA – a story about Jay’s childhood – and they also hosted Proximity Festival. Cathedral Square will pay host to four works as part of Fringe World Festival – Cathedral Cabaret, Syncope, Exposing Edith, and Tableau/Tablao. Jay is an incredibly generous artist and so it was a pleasure to have a conversation with him about all things theatre.
How would you describe your artistic practice? I do not set out with an idea of what my artistic practice is. I’m more of a person who lets the body decide, and so too my body of works. Rather than pre-deciding, I just let it happen. I create works I have a desire to create, and now, looking back at them, I can see some spices in the mix. What are some of those spices? Joy. And play. We play a lot in the rehearsal room. I see my actors as if we are on a football field together, and I’m the coach, and my duty is to keep the fun alive during the process. The other big thing is collaboration. I’ve always been attracted to companies who have a collaborative process – like Théâtre du Soleil or DV8. I try to create an inclusive atmosphere in my rehearsal room, and I like working with artists with different world views, strong opinions, who are super versatile and also, most importantly, listen to what other people are saying. Apart from that, improvisation is also key. What is it that you seek to share with an audience? It’s almost as if the project decides. Most recently, I’ve been drawn to ideas of the heart – melodrama, relationships have been in the middle of it. My dad, who passed away when I was very young, was a doctor. And my mother’s a nurse. And my grandmother’s a nurse, too. So I grew up going to hospitals a lot. And you know what doctors do? They look at the wound, take out the excess skin, treat the scabs, clean it, etc. And I think that’s what I do with my shows. I talk about the communal scratches and wounds, expose them, acknowledge they exist, and through this, help these wounds to heal. You’ve had some amazing theatrical experiences – including training at Jacques Lecoq and working with Ariane Mnouchkine – has there been a standout experience to date? When I was studying at Jacques Lecoq – really broke, because I went there with not much planning (it was a very guttural decision) – you would go to this beautiful hub space where you could go and rehearse for free. There’d be hip hop artists in one corner, Lecoq students doing their mime, musicians practicing trumpet, etc. And there was this audition happening for a dance company. I hadn’t danced in a while but I thought I’d give it a go. You had to show them a small piece of dance choreography. At that point we were studying animals at Lecoq, and I knew I could do a really good cat, and also I could do a really good penguin. So I decided to make a cat-penguin dance thing, to some really intense music from Jocelyn Pook. I went in there and there was a line of about 600 people – a crazy amount of dancers. I’m sitting down thinking, ‘This is fucked. This is going to be really embarrassing.’ There were about fifty people per group, and you’d have
1-2 minutes to show your piece in front of all the other people… I did the cat-penguin dance and they asked me to stop after about 40 seconds. But I had so much fun. I even made the sounds. I left the space and I said to myself that I did my best, now forget about it. The best advice I can give is forget about an audition after you’ve done it. A week later I got a call and they asked to see more of me. We had a ballet class and a contemporary dance class. And I’ve never done ballet – ever, like western ballet. I was very intimidated. We had to make a choreography piece where we moved from A to B that said, ‘I love you.’ With your body? Yes. No words. And for me, at that moment, I was thinking a lot about my mother who I’m very close to. I thought about that, it touched me, and I think it touched others, too. About three months later they asked me to come on board. I learned a lot – Radhouane El-Meddeb was the first choreographer who took a risk on working with me. I especially learned about the power of simplicity. When it comes to the body, what more do we have? Our instincts are at the centre of us. We train to unblock so that we can act on our instincts. We learn so much from the outside world how to filter our instincts, analyse them, and so on to the point where they fade away. Our instincts can tell us so much about where we want to go. It’s the driving force – but to get to it is the hard part. That dance premiered at Pantheon. I became one of the first ten dancers to dance in that space. Emily Zola is buried there, and Voltaire, and Alexandre Dumas. At the end of the dance, the huge front doors opened – usually just reserved for presidents – and this was a metaphor for opening it for artists. It was magical… Doing a cat-penguin dance can get you into the Pantheon. What are your hopes for St. George’s Dance and Theatre? Our work in 2017 was very intimate. So I guess in 2018 we are going to explore scale a little more. How do we go bigger but maintain that intimacy? That’s something I’m thinking about. We have some exciting things planned. There’ll be a festival in July for works that can dialogue with the world. Artists need to grab what’s happening, and help heal the wounds before they become infected. Also, there’ll be an emphasis on residencies. We will be looking for interventions as part of these residencies. How do you talk to the community that you exist in? Finally, your favourite song to get down to on the d-floor? Beautiful Tango by Hindi Zahra, when I’m being the romantic, on-the-dance-floor, kind of guy. And Take Care – Drake & Rihanna.
Artist Feature Shona Wong
Bachelor Degree: Creative Industries | Major: Graphic Design What’s your first memory involving art/creating art? The clearest memory I have is when I was around 5-7 years old and I used to draw tick-a-box dress up games. I would draw a head and then a selection of clothes. After, my friends would tick the boxes and the head would become a character with all the clothes and features that my friends selected. What was the most valuable part of your learning experience at ECU? I’m glad to have been introduced to so many different ways of thinking. It has expanded my perspective on life. Because of university, I’m encouraged to think critically but still stay ambiguous. Understanding that thinking doesn’t have to be black and white but rather can be many shades of grey.
How have you developed through your studies? Looking back, I was naive and insecure. I went straight into university from Highschool. As I went through university I allowed myself to be open to new perspectives in thinking, which expanded my knowledge. I met many people who became my support network and encouraged me to challenge myself. What uni gave me was confidence, support and growth. The experience is invaluable. Share a bit about your process in creating art from start to finish. For each work, the process is different depending on what the goal is. For example, the patterns were supposed to be unplanned and to allow my imagination to run wild, so I wouldn’t think much while drawing. For art such as the organ characters or the Christmas comic, I try to approach it from the object’s perspective. I tend to personify things and think what they would be like if they were characters. Do you have a favoured style? And why do you think it’s important to be a multifaceted artist? I think I enjoy hand drawing from scratch, perhaps because it feels original; it is my own from start to finish. Being a multifaceted artist has many perks, you get a huge advantage in the industry. It’s also cheaper to do things yourself and you’ll never know when you’ll need certain skills. I think it’s good to be open to and try many styles, you never know if there is something out there that is actually more suitable for you unless you try it. So, my mentality is, why not try everything?
Following graduation, what’s next for you? I’d like to take the time to improve my skills and knowledge as well as meet new people, build my network. A job would be ideal but it’s not a top priority. I’d like to continue building my portfolio and eventually open a store (pop-up or online) selling my own merchandise and collectibles featuring my wacky characters and creations.
Project Descriptions Patterns: I first started these patterns when I was doodling. I soon realised that I did these patterns without thinking. The goal became that I allowed it to be anything it wanted it to be. So, each pattern is different and unpredictable. It’s an interesting study of my subconscious and mood, which is why I think it’s interesting and unique. Christmas Comic: I decided to put this comic in because I feel it reflects my current humour and style. The comic personifies the Christmas tree, demonstrating how it feels when it’s put away but set up again just for Christmas.
Organ Characters: I started this project as an independent study project for university. The project was looked at how I can brand and market collectibles to an audience. Of course, it was harder than I imagined because I was not only making the collectibles but also doing the business and marketing side of it. I thought about how would organs think and whether there could be an entire organ world. I expanded upon the world this year in a merchandising and collectibles project. So far, I’ve made stickers, badges and trading cards, which have become family friendly and educational for children as well as a fun and enjoyable novelty.
ORGAN CHARACTERS / MERCHANDISE / COLLECTIBLES PROJECT
CHRISTMAS TREE COMIC ILLUSTRATION
We need to talk about education ‘Do your best,’ your parents and teachers would always say. ‘As long as you always try your best, we will always be proud of you.’
ut today, if your best doesn’t add up to a good score in the realms of standardised testing, then the broad message from the Department of Education is that your best isn’t good enough.
Through an initiative to nationalise our curriculum and education standards, we have begun to lose sight of teaching the creative and the complex; and Australia’s kids are worse off for it. In the last decade policy makers and national government bodies have taken an invested interest in monitoring and regulating schooling across the nation, though it’s not necessarily their responsibility. The management of education (in addition to facets such as emergency services, public transport, conservation and recreation) is a state power in the constitution. But with the majority of funding coming from a national level, it is easy for the federal government to demand greater autonomy of state services in exchange for much needed grants. What’s more is that the Federal Government’s plan for a unified education vision means that a large portion of the education budget goes towards streamlining the curriculum and ensuring all schools sit on the same playing field. According to University of Canberra lecturer, Misty Adoniou, this is one of the reasons our students are struggling. “The more federal politicians get involved in education, the worse we perform,” Adoniou notes. “Our decline began at about the same time our federal politicians took over education with their own personal ideas picked up from their politician mates in other countries, and began playing games with the states and territories, holding them to ransom if their latest great idea wasn’t implemented.” Adoniou also argues that our intense focus on getting ‘back to basics’ is proving toxic to our students’ learning. “Our attention needs to focus on developing the deep comprehension skills of our upper-primary and high school students,” she says. “And our teachers need – and want – the resources and the professional learning to help them do this.” This simplified schooling trend was introduced during Christopher Pyne’s run as education minister back in late 2014. It was there that the government initiated a focus on narrowing the scope of primary school subjects,
eliminating “critical and creative thinking” and “ethical understanding” from the curriculum - elements necessary not just in our tertiary education, but in our adult lives. As policy decisions immediately impact our primary and secondary school teachers, you would assume that such educators are very involved with the setting of the curriculum that tests our students so greatly. It’s common sense, right? Wrong. According to some teachers, the education boards and councils don’t comprise of many practicing educators; they’re ministers, politicians, concerned parents and involved academics who boast little classroom experience. Additionally, tests such as NAPLAN (National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy) are directed by bodies such as the Education Council in order to measure “skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy.” However, such assessments seem to cause more harm than good in the context of the performance of Australian students. I have personally watched students struggle not necessarily with the basic literacy and numeracy aspects presented within NAPLAN tests, but with the pressure to perform at a standard that is in line with their parent’s expectations and their school’s standards. For a test that seeks to determine their standing on inequitable playing field, it fails to consider the individual talents and abilities of our kids. We used to celebrate individuality and creativity, but how can we continue to do this if our Federal Government continues to impede on our educator’s ability to develop these qualities? So, what are our options? Use the money currently funding excessive regulatory tests, that pit student against student, to reduce the inequity in our schooling systems. Education isn’t a competition, nor should it be treated like one. Tests such as NAPLAN identify where students are currently struggling. Using these results to fix current problems rather than ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ at the results every August is surely a step in the right direction. By Elisha Hammond
LIVING AWAY FROM HOME? FOUR VIDEOS TO HELP YOU LEARN ABOUT SEXUAL HEALTH IN AUSTRALIA
HEALTH SERVICE COSTS
IMPORTANCE OF SAFE SEX
SAFE S TAY
Watch the videos healthywa.wa.gov.au/internationalstudents 33
SEX AND THE LAW
Michelle Dunlop I first read about Michelle in The West Australian in 2016. It was an article about her group of concerned citizens, Street Friends WA, who every Thursday night meet at the corner of Wellington and Pier to provide provisions for people who are homeless. I started helping out and met a whole raft of wonderful volunteers. Michelle began the venture 10 years ago when she brought a few blankets into the city one cold night. It has now grown into a committed team who now give what they can each week to over 150 people who are homeless.
I begin by asking Michelle what motivates her. I’ve always felt a compassion to help. Because I’ve known suffering from a young age, people’s pain is not unfamiliar to me. And I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to try and make it better for other people. Empathy would be the underlying element. But with action. We can all be empathetic and do nothing. But empathy that drives you to assist people – if you can – is key. Everyone has different seasons in their life, and it’s not always the right time. And when I began Street Friends it was right for me, and I could give that time. Michelle is also Co-Founder of Grief Centre WA – a not-for-profit who provide help to those suffering from grief. She also assists refugees and asylum seekers with visa and immigration needs, and last year won the People’s Choice ‘Spirit of Volunteering’ Award. We all have a certain amount of hours here, and I suppose I decided to use some of that time to help others, rather than myself. However, it’s very gratifying. We had a large Christmas Event and a young guy came down and said that he used to come to Street Friends as a recipient of what we do. He then said that because of the kindness that was extended to him, he wanted to change his life. He went to rehab for three months, got himself sorted out, got a job, and is now living independently as a contributing member of the community. I asked him, ‘What was the difference?’ And he said the kindness. He wanted to give that back to other people. I ask Michelle if she can share an experience that galvanised her.
Interview and image by Zachary Sheridan
One of the really impacting moments for me was to do with this young man. Who was new on the streets. I watched other homeless people take him under their wing and orient him to life on the streets. He always looked a really sad young man. He used to sleep up at Kings Park. And one really cold night I asked him if I could give him a lift because of the weather. He said that would be great. We got up there and he got out and got his belongings from a bush – because there’s nowhere
else to keep them – and he went to where he was going to sleep – on a bench at this open gazebo. He then asked if he could use the towel in the back of my car, and I said sure. The next week I asked him how his week had been. He said that without that towel he would have frozen…That really affected me. That’s how hard it is. I kept talking to him regularly – he really touched my heart. Christmas came around, and he had bought me a gold, little chain bracelet. And I couldn’t believe it – I said you can’t do this. But he wanted me to have it, and I just felt so indebted because he had given so much, and I had given so little in comparison. Eventually we reconnected him with his family. He felt so ashamed of his life that he didn’t think his family would want him back in their life. Anyway, long story short, we found his family and they were so emotional and happy to welcome him back. It was a beautiful experience. He had a good outcome. I just think back to that cold, cold night and all he had was a towel. You know, I go home and I think, ‘Darn. I haven’t turned my electric blanket on…’ I thank Michelle for sharing. This week I got donated a van, with insurance and registration. We were desperate because we have to be out this week from where we are when it comes to storage. And I’ve been knocking on every door in the city trying to get support. A little article was put in The West Australian – ‘a homeless charity is going to be homeless’ or something like that. Michelle lets out a hearty laugh. And then a person rang me up, just a citizen, who wanted to give his van. I said, ‘Are you serious? Why?’ And he said he felt like it was the right thing to do. We needed help and he could provide. Michelle says the wonderful thing about volunteers is that their motives come from a place of compassion. I inform her that I’ve read that she’s running with the Queen’s Baton for the Commonwealth Games. I’m actually honoured, and I’m running – I sincerely mean this – for all the people helping other people. It’s just I was fortunate enough to get nominated and elected by the committee. But there are so many other people doing so much more than me, and I see it as doing it for people trying to make a difference… I’m scared of the word ‘running.’ I do want to run, though. I want people to say, ‘Who’s that old lady running with that baton?’ You’ll be fine. Well, at the moment I can’t run to the letterbox. But by then I should be fine.
Finally, I ask Michelle if she has any advice for young people looking to get into this type of work – or, rather, just life advice in general? I’ll share an experience with you that changed my life. I was about 19. I was going through a really hard time. And I felt like this life was indulgent. I kept thinking, is this all there is? There must be more meaning to life? Then a friend invited me to help out with this older lady who was housebound. She’d had a stroke. So you would tidy the place up, get her shopping, that kind of thing. I started doing that and I began to feel differently. I felt happy. I kept going and going, and I visited her 3-4 times a week. It really changed my heart, and changed me, and that was one of the catalysts in helping me develop my social conscience. And it’s a bit selfish – because I felt so good doing it. So, if life is not working out for you, find someone or something to serve. Give out any expectation of anything back. Give freely. And there is something wonderful that happens to you when you are consistent in doing that. That’s what changes lives. That’s what changes hearts. That’s what changes the world. People caring about other people.
Art by Laura Ion
Freud and Jung: Points of Divergence and Convergence 35
Ego, archetype, extrovert, projection, Oedipus complex are all terms from the psychoanalytic lexicon.
ome of these terms have become par t o f o u r eve r y d ay language. Despite this familiarity, little is known about the history of psychoanalysis and its divergent schools of thought. Psychoanalysis is often viewed as one uniform entity. However, there are two major schools that extend back more than a century - each with distinct theoretical perspectives and differing therapeutic techniques. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Viennese neurologist Sigmund Freud began to study and codify the then baffling array of psychiatric and personality disorders. Using techniques such as dream analysis and free association; the field of psychoanalysis was born. Among other things, it revealed that much of our personality was unconscious with the conscious part merely the small exposed tip of an otherwise much larger, concealed ice berg. He concluded that the bulk of human pathology was the indirect result of sexuality - its drives and its repression by society and its rules. According to Freud, insanity is the price we pay for civilisation or, more plainly, society stuffs everyone up to some extent. Central to Freudian theory is the Oedipus complex — the means by which all the repressions and difficulties of life began. It pertained to the (repressed, supposedly sexual) feelings aroused in the child towards the parent of the opposite sex. The individual goes through a series of stages in this psycho-sexual development (oral, anal, phallic). These stages are universal and always occur in the same order with the major elements of personality well set by the age of puberty. As with any major and controversial movement, there were frequent discussions and disagreements among its members. However, Freud rarely compromised; alternate
interpretations or even modifications to his theories were not accepted, unless made by him. For example, Freud viewed the Oedipus complex as universal occurring across all cultures. Like the founder of a new, secular religion, he viewed his role as ‘sacred’ and above reproach with any deviations akin to heresy. Ultimately, this stance led to rifts within the psychoanalytic movement. The most significant schism was between Freud and his younger disciple Carl Jung, which occurred just before the First World War. This rift stemmed from disagreements over the actual composition of the
Freud, all this was a distraction - all that mattered was our innate biology and individual experiences. Given these differences on the nature of the unconscious, it is not surprising that different schools of psychoanalysis emerged with their respective therapies. Generally, each school focuses on different stages of the life cycle. Freudian analysis tends to look back on the life cycle to early childhood experiences and traumas, which have resulted in maladaptive patterns. On the other hand, Jungian analysis tends to look forward in the life cycle, at potential goals or obstacles. For example, it identified the
‘While Freud jealously claimed the title of psychoanalysis, Jung’s subsequent ‘deviation’ came to be known as analytical psychology to distinguish it from the Freudian school.’ unconscious. For Freud, the unconscious drives were motivated by sexual urges, whose frustration led to all sorts of pathology. For example, he would reduce all imagery within a dream to a sexual context. For Jung, however, sexual aspects were important but not the exclusive motivators: other issues such as power and control could be as significant. In fact, sometimes dream imagery might not relate to the person’s individual experience.
phenomenon of the ‘mid-life crisis’.
For Freud, the unconscious was personal and there was only one. For Jung, there was the personal and the collective unconscious - the sum of human experience, which we all share as members of humanity. If each individual psyche is an iceberg then the collective unconscious is the ocean, which connects it to all others. This concept arose from Jung’s interest in the paranormal and psychic phenomena in general. As a theoretical construct, the collective unconscious helps explain things such a telepathy and precognition. But for
While Freud jealously claimed the title of psychoanalysis, Jung’s subsequent ‘deviation’ came to be known as analytical psychology to distinguish it from the Freudian school.
Freud and Jung were both strong characters from markedly different backgrounds which, in turn, affected how they viewed the world, including the causes of human pathology. Since psychoanalysis was originally a theory about human personality, it is perhaps not all that surprising it was strong personalities that led to conflicts and ultimate rifts within psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalysis was a pioneer movement that over a century ago emphasised the importance of sex and sexual repression in human suffering. Ultimately, the rift between Freud and Jung weakened the entire movement and diminished its reforming potential. By Andrew Douglas
Are we already living Black Mirror? Unless you’ve been living as a hermit in an isolated shack with no WI-FI, you’ve probably heard of the Netflix series, Black Mirror. By Holly Ferguson
lack Mirror is phenomenal. Not only for its strong cast, crisp cinematography and intriguing scripts; but for its fresh outlook on the human condition, in how we navigate through future settings that present morally challenging situations in conjunction with new technology.
Each episode is poignant and strikes a chord with the viewer, as they acknowledge that what they just watched isn’t far-fetched and could realistically happen. Although the show presents many interesting discussion points about society, often regarding where we draw the line morally, what is equally intriguing is the technology they feature that has become a well-integrated part of everyday life. Much of the technology has become incorporated physically into the human anatomy, turning everyone essentially into cyborgs. So, how close are we to experiencing some of the technology featured in BM? Well, we might be closer than you think! One of the most prominent pieces of futuristic technology we see used appears in Season 1 Episode 3, where
people have ‘grains’ implanted behind their ear. The grains allow for them to record memories and watch back on them either with their own eyes or as a projection. The grains are very much integrated into the society we see in the episode. So much so that they have become part of official procedures, such as going through security at an airport. At one point in the episode the central character is asked by airport security to rewind his last 24 hours (at a high speed) and then his week. In the episode characters are introduced to the idea of being ‘grain-free’, something very much out of the norm. In other episodes of BM there are various chips and implants with monitor like controls, used by people outside of the body of the chip recipient, as well as mind and vision altering effects. We currently don’t have access to chips that are able to be inserted near or in our brains and that can record memories or access our vision. But we do have variations of this technology. Radio frequency identification chip implants are becoming increasingly popular amongst daring tech nerds, keen body modifiers, bio hackers and, now, even work places.
What is RFID? “A radio frequency identification (RFID) system consists of a ‘transponder’, a ‘reader’ and a ‘back office’ system.” The ‘transponder’ transmits data through emitting radio waves, the data is then collected by the ‘reader’. The collected data is then sent to the ‘back office’, which is a data processing system. RFID tags are most commonly placed on things such as clothing tags, shopping trolleys and plastic cards. Readers can be fixed in certain located such as an entrance to a store, warehouse or toll gateway or they can be mobile like hand-held barcode scanners. These microchips are the size of a grain of rice and are usually inserted into the hand, wrist or arm (when inserted into humans). They can be used to replace key cards, credit cards, hold information about ourselves and can interact with other devices.
Advocates for RFID implants claim that it could save lives by giving access to your name, age, medical records and other information to emergency services. As mentioned, even work places are using them. A Swedish company, Epicenter, implanted chips into their workers to monitor their every move at work, including toilet breaks. However, the introduction of RFID chips has certainly been met with scepticism. Various religious leaders have spoken out against chips, calling it the devil’s work. More legitimate critiques place questions around the ownership of the information collected by the chips. Does the person who has the chip own the information? Who can access this information? Will the government obtain access? Many Tech experts are now encouraging governments to create legislation around human RFID implants before the technology progresses further. So, we have implants but they currently don’t have access to our eyes or brain. We are getting closer, however, to technology that will be primarily centred around and used by our eyes. In 2016, Google made several patent applications for different parts of a ‘Google Smart Contact Lens’. One of intentions for these lenses is for them to communicate with your smart phone through optical communication. They will also be able to be charged whilst being worn through the lens’ ability to harvest optical signals, through photodiodes, emitted by a smart phone. It’s expected that you will also be able to charge the lenses by looking at other light sources. What Google has indicated to be the most beneficial part of their lens is its ability to monitor the wearer’s health. It’s expected that the lenses will work in conjunction with an app where it will be able to tell you all sorts of information such as; your glucose levels, body
temperature and even your blood alcohol content. It will even alert you if you need to seek medical attention. Other features that the lenses may include are retina scanning, which will have RFID functions. It will also be able to assist with eye sight and a visible display that’s accessible without looking at a smart phone. This technology is happening. And if the integration of smart phones and other 21st century technology says anything, it demonstrates our ability to quickly adapt to new devices; which often sees us signing over our information, rather naïvely, to large corporations. Although RFID chip implants are not widely used, they are on the rise. With the current lack of clarification on where our data goes, who owns it and absent government legislation, perhaps we should proceed with caution towards these technologies. Without being mindful, we could be heading towards our own real-life version of Black Mirror.
Clare Testoni Clare Testoni is a writer, actor and shadow puppeteer. Her recent work includes West of The Moon, a children’s shadow puppetry show, and Curbside, a large scale puppetry work with young performers for WAYTCo. Clare is also a writer and presenter of Singing Bones, a podcast that explores the histories of folktales. This February, her work The Beast and The Bride is being presented by The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights and Bow & Dagger, a new company created by Clare and fellow theatre-maker Finn O’Brainagáin. As someone I look up to in the theatre world I was delighted to have a conversation with Clare ahead of 2018.
alternative is very bleak. It does not compute to me.
What is it that you most want to talk about with an audience?
The beauty of theatre is that the audience is complicit. If you sit there and watch a young girl start a relationship with an inappropriately older man, and then you find it a bit sexy, well, I wanted to play with those uncomfortable feelings.
I think it changes. A lot of my work lately has been about romantic relationships, with an emphasis on what romance is and romance culture. I think a lot of people talk about the damaging effects of porn, but I’ve always thought that romantic novels, and movies, things that don’t just model a sex act but a whole relationship, is actually where problems lie. We repeat the same tropes over and over again, and expect different results. We keep making the same rom-coms. And I’m also interested in how women can be complicit in their own oppression. And I look to my own behaviour – my guilty pleasure is a supernatural romance. I love the idea of a ‘girl falling in love with mysterious stranger,’ but that’s really fucked up. I’m always drawn back to the capital ‘R’ Romantic Movement because I feel upper case Romantics created these ideals and systems, that’s where you get Jane Eyre and Pride Prejudice. They’re super problematic but they were also the only scripts available to women. And I can see why women made those stories sexy, because the
West of The Moon, 2017. Images by Daniel Grant
My play for the Emerging Writers group explored these ideas a very Australian context. Did you want to talk about that? It’s called Heed The Spark. I set out to write an Australian Gothic. I was really interested in the landscape and the tropes of the gothic. Then I realised it wasn’t enough to tell just that, and that it needed a level of criticism.
I was getting a lot of feedback about the sexiness and eroticism, and people thought it was funny a lot of the time. The commentary wasn’t coming across so I created this interwoven layer with a feminist academic and made it more her story and why she loved the play and the writer, and explored her own torn feelings. It was also about her being a gay woman, and the relationship between her and her partner while she uncovers this text, and how we mirror these relationships. I didn’t realise this at the time while I was writing it, but it also became about sexuality. Some people set out to write from the heart whereas I write from the head and realise I’ve put my heart into it. It became about what is natural and unnatural, and female sexuality, and freedom represented by space – it all happened organically. It made me feel much more comfortable in calling myself a queer woman, too.
Why do you have the passion that you do have for fairy tales and folk tales and those types of stories? They’re cultural short hands. And you can read many psychologies into one story. I love that you grow with them. I feel like, as a cultural lexicon people are very familiar with them. They transcend culture, too. There are Maori stories about ocean-living women that, apart from a few technical location-specific things, are almost exactly the same as stories about selkies from Ireland. There’s something unifying about that language. I can also see that a lot of the stories we have now were originated by women, and that’s a reason why they resonate for women. I also think it’s a huge loss that we’ve lost a lot of the boy stories, or they’ve been reduced down.
The Beast and The Bride, 2018. Image by Daniel Grant
So, is The Beast and The Bride a collection of stories? We are telling five stories that are all Animal Bridgegroom stories. One of them is a Bluebeard story, but they sit close together. Bluebeard is a fairy tale about a serial killer. A man who marries a young girl, and has had seven wives before her. He says, ‘I’m going to go away for a while – you can go into any room in the house except this one room.’ And, of course, she goes there and that’s where all the heads of his ex-wives are. It follows the same rhythm as the other stories. What do you keep in mind when adapting stories like fairy tales across to mediums like theatre? They can be interpreted many different ways so you have to make a decision about where to show the audience where to look. If you read a fairy tale on its own, you might take one thing, I might take another – and that’s what makes them amazing. But when you adapt them, you have to make a decision about what it’s about and shape them. OK, two more questions. What to you is the modern Australian myth? I think there’s a few. The ANZACs are a really big one – the notion of the larrikin is a real iconic motif. The history has gotten to the point where it’s a mythology – and there is a difference between mythology and historical fact. Then there’s the bushranger – Captain Thunderbolt and Lady Thunderbolt, and there’s the idea of landscape as monster like Picnic at Hanging Rock. Throughout all these there is a haunting, there’s colonial ghosts, and maybe we need to confront them.
Clare Testoni, 2018. Image by Zachary Sheridan
Finally, your favourite song to dance to on the d-floor? Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush is on brand. Also, Beyoncé’s Formation. Interview by Zachary Sheridan
W h a t Yo u S h o u l d :
What You Should Watch: Alias Grace
Young Grace Marks is convicted of murdering her employer and another house maid, in this 1843 crime series. Based on a true story, Grace is sentenced to life in prison and each episode recounts what lead up to that day, while flashing forward to the future and her time in prison. Buckle your fucking seatbelts boys and girls, because you’re in for one hell of a ride. I beat my personal binge-watching record with this series, I can guarantee you will too. There’s only six episodes *sob * but each is an hour long, so still plenty of time for you to fall in love with the series. Grace (Sarah Gadon) beautifully narrates each episode as we witness her hardships and suffering at the hands of her abusive father, the press who distort the truth, asylum workers who take advantage of her and the lawyers who lock her away for good. Following a similar theme to the Handmaid’s Tale, the show portrays how a woman can endure the impossible and do what needs to be done to survive. You’ll be left conflicted as the show debates whether Grace is guilty or innocent.I can promise you that you won’t be able to guess the ending, as the murder scene plays out multiple times throughout the show but in different ways, symbolising Grace’s fragmented and confused memories. Netflix’s Alias Grace is a powerful yet subtle masterpiece that will leave you thinking long after the show has finished. By Sophie Nicolas
What You Should Watch: Crashing This short TV series is hilarious and worth the binge. It’s about being an ‘adult’ and living with wild housemates, all the while trying to make life more bearable through fantastic and awkward humour. Featuring: sexual tension(s), awkward conversations about love and sex, a narcissistic Australian and fluid sexualities. Rather than a boring love-triangle scenario, all the housemates have major roles, revolving around the consequences of most of them having sex with each other. The show dares to live on
What You Should Watch: The End Of The F***ing World 17-Year-old James thinks he’s a sociopath and decides he wants to try murdering something a bit bigger than animals, such as new girl Alyssa. He gets her to fall in love with him, and when Alyssa suggests they run away together he sees it as the perfect chance to murder her. Only… he never seems to get around to it. This hilarious Netflix original is a painfully raw coming-of-age teen romance. The show goes from one extreme to the next, leaving you thinking, “what the hell just happened?!” Definitely binge watchable, but maybe not something to watch with the fam. It’s got a lot of crude British humour, with themes regarding sex, losing virginity and murdering people. While light hearted at first, the show delves into some dark topics that will make you think long after the episode has finished. So, expect the unexpected and enjoy the crazy ride the show takes you on. By Sophie Nicolas the verge of cringe-worthy humour: hangovers that involve spewing into soup, digestive problems in bed, and the problems that come from living in a place that is falling apart. Taking place in a hospital, the housemates deal with crazy things, giving us hope that we can function and survive in this weird, modern world. Ever have a bad day because your life sucks? Having an existential breakdown because of your useless degree? Freaking out because you are six months behind on your phone bill? Give Crashing a go because it is realistically relatable, makes ‘adult life’ more bearable, and acts as a therapeutic activity. These young cosmopolitan Londoners are worth your time. By Jordan Brunnen
What You Should Follow: @makedaisychains
What You Should Listen To: Do Go On
Instagram, the place that makes you feel ugly, makes your life boring and grey, makes your singledom ever more…lonely. Sure, your life is alright, but it’s not the pretty beaches of Costa Rica, not the fit and hot bods of gym-goers, and don’t even mention the plants in your yard. They’re dead, and insta flowers are fucking gorgeous. But I can show you a light in this doom and gloom. In the land of the ‘gram, there is a beacon that is @makedaisychains. With beautiful drawings and images of all bodies, shapes and sizes, it has messages and hope for everyone in the land of Instagram. It’s like a living unicorn in a graveyard. This account dares to show something different. Whoever thought a bit of grocery shopping was a good thing? It is. Why? Because you need it to survive and thrive. Who thought a bit of washing up was fun? It can be because we live in a time that demands using plates and cutlery and clean things are usually nicer than dirty. Who thought a flabby belly was nice and sexy? Well, it is. There’s no shame in your body. This ‘gram says be you, be wonderful you, even though we are all really weird anyway. Like one of her thousands of posts about ‘boring self-care’, she asks, ‘Do I feel like an alien or look like an alien?’ I think we are both. Embrace it with arms wide open and a massive grin. By Jordan Brunnen
Ever heard the story of the large winged creature that terrorized a small West Virginian town in the 1960s? Or the one where thousands of barrels of Canadian maple syrup mysteriously went missing? Hosted by three comedians from Melbourne, Do Go On is a factbased podcast dedicated to intriguing, and often quirky, moments throughout history. The crew take it in turns to deliver the weekly topic in the form of a report, with a section devoted to fun facts at the end. However, being comedians, they often go on hilarious tangents and hypotheticals. The show was conceived by Dave Warneke (creator and host of the comedy quiz show Facty Fact) and has been running since late 2015. For the past seven years, Dave has toured his shows to various comedy, arts, writer’s and fringe festivals across Australia. When he’s not hosting the podcast, he’s working full time as a producer and “funnies” editor on The Project. Alongside Dave is Matt Stewart, co-manager of Stupid Old Studios and winner of the 2014 RAW Comedy competition. Matt pairs his dry wit and his love for the St Kilda Football Club to deliver some quality banter to the podcast. And last (but not least) is Jess “Bop” Perkins, fellow comedian and National Finalist of the 2015 RAW Comedy competition. With a heart of gold and a laugh “like an air horn”, Jess is sure to have you in stitches. You don’t have to be a history nerd to appreciate this podcast. If you’re searching for something to listen to on your way to university or you just want to take your mind off things, you should check out Do Go On. New episodes of Do Go On can be found on iTunes, Spotify and planetbroadcasting.com every Wednesday. By Jesse Newell
What You Should Eat: DelBoys Diner
Ever wanted to drink milkshakes and eat curly fries at a 50’s American diner? Well now you can! The newly opened DelBoys Diner in Joondalup is every bit as American as it gets. As you walk into the little diner you’ll see red leather booths that you and your friends can slide into, accompanied by vintage collectables everywhere. On the walls are famous icons such as classics like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, with each of his award-winning records hanging next to his frame. The checkered floor, milkshake bar and 50’s swing music will make you feel like you’re in the movie Grease. The menu, although on the pricey side, is true to the theme of the diner. Their servings are large and the desserts will probably give you Diabetes. So, don’t come here if you are trying to stay true to your diet. Open from 10am to 10pm, it’s the perfect place to swing by for a great feed and fun vibes. By Sophie Nicolas
A Senseless Time at Uni: try it in silence You’re probably totally confused by the title of this article, and I don’t blame you. It’s not at all what you think, I promise. My name is Nessa and I’ve been at ECU, studying journalism, for two years. 2018 is going to be my final year. What’s the big deal? Well, I’m doing it without two senses; I am deafblind.
I store them away in my memory for the moments I need a laugh. Remember that if your first year of study isn’t a walk in the park, I understand you completely. We could have different issues but overall, you’re not alone.
That really isn’t anything spectacular, I know. But I wanted to write this for anyone who is commencing study in 2018 and has a disability. Well as anyone who’s interested in knowing how things are done in silence and blurriness.
Somehow the time has flown. Now that I am almost at the end of the tunnel I feel like I’ve accomplished something huge. It’s not a medical or a law degree, it’s pretty low-key what I chose to study – but nonetheless it’s been quite a bumpy journey and yes, I feel like throwing in the towel at some points. But I pushed through and graduation is just 13 months away – I think my final year should be the best.
Uni is challenging for any student; it’s a new environment. This holds true especially for those fresh out of high school; it’s a massive and, quite frankly, daunting change. But things get a bit trickier when you add two interpreters, a note-taker and a guide into the mix. That’s right – I have four people in my entourage on campus. I can’t exactly be subtle and hide at the back of the lecture theatre hoping to go unnoticed. Impossible. And that is the very reason I’ve struggled with friendships at ECU. Students become intimidated by the sheer amount of support around me that they simply keep their distance. And while I have certainly met some wonderful people in the past 24 months, the fact remains that uni isn’t too different from high school for me, in terms of isolation. The aim here is not to be negative – far from it. Uni hasn’t been totally shit – it’s had its moments and
Despite the social difficulties I’ve encountered, it pays to remind myself of the distinctions and high distinctions I’ve gained. The triumphs are what make it worthwhile, so if for some reason uni becomes a pain in the ass, (who am I kidding, it will become a pain in more than your ass) - hold your head high and soldier. Not easy, hell no. But quitting isn’t something you want to be known for. Just for the record, I am not a top student. I’m no brainiac who gets HD’s on every thing. But I TRY, and that’s all I can do – that’s what matters. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just do what you can and know you gave it a shot. That applies to everyone, disability or not. By Vanessa Vlajkovic
Art by Maxine Singh @maxinesingh
Book to Film Adaptions of 2018 By Tristan Sherlock
Book-to-film adaptions, we love to hate them. No matter how many times they leave us disappointed we still come back. Of course, I can’t predict what will and won’t be a good book-to-film adaption. Instead, here is a list of 2018’s most exciting book to film adaptions. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez and Tessa Thompson come together in this female lead, science fiction adventure directed by Alex Garland. Annihilation is sure to make an intense and thrilling film, that’ll leave you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Synopsis: After eleven failed expeditions, four women: an anthropologist (Gina Rodriguez), a surveyor (Tessa Thompson), a psychologist (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and a biologist (Natalie Portman); with a mission to map and observe, begin their treacherous decent into Area X. Release Date: Feb 23 (USA) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle This children’s classic turned film is sure to be highly adventurous. Not only does this film boast a highly diverse cast including Oprah Winfrey, Michael Peña and The Office’s Mindy Kaling but director Ava DuVernay is also the first black director to have a budget over $100 million. Synopsis: On a dark and stormy night, Meg Murry, her younger brother Charles Wallace and her mother are interrupted by a random stranger claiming the tesseract (a wrinkle in time) is real. The aftermath of this meeting leads to an adventure across space and time, as Meg searches for her father, a scientist who went missing after researching on the tesseract for the government. Release Date: March 29 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline If you’ve read Ready Player One you’ve probably been waiting for its film adaption for a long time. Tron meets Blade Runner in this wild, nostalgia-filled space opera, directed by Steven Spielberg. Synopsis: In the year 2045 to escape the grim world he lives in, Wade Watts, spends most of his time in the virtual
Utopia, OASIS. In OASIS, you can be anything or anyone you want to be. But that all changes when Wade stumbles across a series of puzzles based on pop culture references. Now Wade must face danger in the real world, as well as solving the remaining puzzles to win the ultimate prize. Release Date: March 29 Love, Simon by Becky Albertalli Love, Simon based on Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a step in the right direction for queer films. Staring Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Miles Heizer, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel and is directed by Greg Berlanti. Love, Simon is the first large budget film to feature a gay teen lead character. Synopsis: Not-so-out-of-the-closet Simon Spier is blackmailed after the emails between him and an anonymous classmate fall into the wrong hands. Now Simon must figure out a way to keep himself from being outed while not alienating his friends or compromising the anonymity of his online crush. Mean Girls meet The Perks of Being a Wall Flower in this coming-of-age, teen love story. Release Date: March 29 The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken This film has years of expectation to live up to. Starring Gwendoline Stacey and Amandla Stenberg, directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson. Synopsis: After surviving a deadly disease, Ruby finds herself with a frightening special ability that leads her to imprisonment at Thurmond, a “rehabilitation camp” for super powered children. Ruby makes a daring escape from Thurmond, to find the one safe-haven for people like her. Super powers, a dystopian society and a road trip all in one, what more could you ask for? Release Date: Sep 14 (USA)
Art by Shona Wong @somechuppy
Five books every 20-something should read Here’s a list of novels to help you on your way to becoming a well-read adult. Happy reading! By Sophie Nicolas Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Reading a book that was published in 1846 is interesting and sometimes a bit difficult to keep up with. The author obviously uses different vocabulary to what we are used to hearing today, which makes the book a challenge. The characters never say what they truly mean, hiding behind the flirtatious courteous language of that era, making their intentions and thoughts a sort of puzzle to solve as the novel progresses. But if you stick with it, you’ll find that the story is actually a chilling and dark tale and takes an unexpected turn. Any 19th century novel such as Great Expectations or Little Women will open your mind to new and challenging novels and give you unlimited bragging rights! The Duchess by Amanda Foreman Educate yourself with this historical novel and impress all your friends with your new-found facts! Take a step back in time to 18th century England and live life through the eyes of Duchess of Devonshire, Georgina Cavendish. This captivating true story reveals her life as a public icon and the drug use, gambling problems and marriage disasters that follows. This biography paints a touching portrait of misunderstood women and the rise and fall of a Duchess who just wanted to be loved. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Narrated from the point of view of Death himself, this novel will leave you thinking long after you turn the last
page. Although not based on a true story, it is set in Germany during World War II when fear and terror plagued Hitler’s long reign. Death narrates the story with rich and beautiful imagery while delving into the themes of heart break and the strength of family love. It is not just any ordinary war novel but all the same, you’re going to need some tissues for when it ends. Animal Farm by George Orwell Most of us might have been forced to read this book in school but for those who haven’t, there is a reason why it’s on the school booklist. The whole novel is an allegory for the Russian revolution of 1917 and each talking animal represents a certain public figure that contributed to the revolution. It’s only a short novel, so perfect if you don’t have a lot of time to spare on a big series, but want something light hearted with deep undertones of allegorical meanings. Animal Farm is like the 20th century version of throwing shade through literature. You should read it just for the saltiness. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden This is my all-time favourite book because it takes such a new and intriguing look into the Japanese way of life. Although a fictional novel, Geisha’s really did exist and still do today! The author’s style of writing is just beautiful and nothing you’ve ever read before. His descriptions and rich imagination will transport you into another time where the old traditions and customs of Japanese culture will enthrall you and teach you things you never knew. Friendship, love, betrayal mixed with war and heartbreak. What more could you want?
INTERVIEW WITH A BOOKSTORE MANAGER Interview by John Haycraft
There seems to be a general decline in the sentimentality of learning. This, I’m sure, may in no small part be attributed to the technological evolution of literature and folio. The virtue of the transition may be considered as manifest entirely in its convenience. The rise of electronic books has been one of tremendous vogue over the past years. Whilst boasting undoubted advantages, the evolution has been, and continues to be, one of detriment to the business of book selling and sentimental education. I spoke to the general manager of Ocean Keys Book Exchange, Jessica Allia, to get a better idea of this phenomenon. Tell me about the business; what drew you to it initially? The book exchange is a family business, we opened it when I was still a teenager. The main thing that drew me to it is just a pure love for books, they’ve always been a big part of my life. How do you think the industry has changed since the introduction of electronic books and devices like Kindle? When electronic books were initially released, most of our customers were unable to access them, as a large portion of them are elderly, and therefore don’t have access to a lot of electronics. Furthermore, a lot of children actually prefer to have a physical book over an electronic one. I don’t quite know why that is. Plenty of customers speak to me about the special feeling of turning pages, and the wonderful smell which physical books have. These are just sentimental things. Electronic books also take away the human aspect of book buying; at our book exchange, we pride ourselves on our book knowledge and customer interaction. That doesn’t exist on a Kindle.
The sentimentality of book collecting is of course taken away through devices like Kindle. What’re your thoughts on this? I have collections of books that I’ve had since I was a child, it’s a really sentimental thing. A lot of customers are very interested in having books in the same edition, purely for the reason that they look beautiful together on a shelf. It may sound fussy, but it’s not… It’s a very special thing. You can compare it to collecting records as opposed to having music on iTunes. Streaming services may have the convenience, but where’s the sentimentality? Humans are tactile creatures, and it’s important to have things that we can touch and feel, it’s important to us. Do you feel as though there is inherent value and quality specific to physical books, as opposed to electronic ones? There’s definitely inherent value. A big factor is that they’re things you can share with others. There’s something special about sharing this sort of thing with a friend, something that is so dear to you, and that has influenced you. There’s no emotional connection with computers or Kindle.
Ocean Keys Book exchange is located at 48/36 Ocean Keys Blvd, Clarkson, WA. 46
Book Reviews Nevermoor Jessica Townsend, 2017 Nevermoor, while full of magic and fairytale themes, is actually quite different to your average fiction book. Told from the viewpoint of a 10-year-old girl, it outlines her journey as a “cursed” child – we are made to believe that Morrigan Crow will not live past her eleventh birthday. However, she cheats death by escaping to another world with a man named Jupiter. The story is full of unusual names – the author gives her characters some uniqueness by not using common human names. I read Nevermoor as part of my book club, it’s not something I would have picked up by myself, unprompted. But I did realise along the way that it went beyond smoke and mirrors – it talks about a little girl whose family don’t love her merely because she was born on an unlucky day. Morrigan craves love, friendship and belonging – things that many children around the world no doubt also lack, for varying reasons. Additionally, bullying is a topic ever present as Morrigan’s thirst for friendship leads her to discover some awful people. So while it wasn’t the best book I ever read, Nevermoor did pique my interest enough that I felt inclined to read it through to its lengthy end. By Vanessa Vlajkovic Women of a Certain Age Edited by Jodie Moffat, Maria Scoda & Susan Laura Sullivan, 2018 Women of a Certain Age is a surprisingly wholesome, heartbreaking and empowering recount of the lives of fifteen very diverse Australian women from the ages of 40 onwards. What was surprising about Women of a Certain Age was how each story was captivating in its own way. Nothing was boring or repeated. What was even more surprising, however was the racial and cultural diversity. Women of a Certain Age really does tell stories from all different walks of life, including the lives of aboriginal women, Muslim women and more. The same can be said for women of different sizes, ages, backgrounds and privileges. Women of a Certain Age lets itself be for women by women. It doesn’t cover up talk of sexuality, menstruation, menopause or anything else for that matter. Women of a Certain Age empowers women by showing them they can be women. Women of a Certain Age stands by what it’s representing. It tells the stories of women of certain ages and in doing so empowers not only women of that age but women much younger. By Tristan Sherlock How Not to Fall in Love, Actually Catherine Bennetto, 2016 How Not to Fall in Love, Actually is Catherine Bennetto’s debut novel. It follows 27-year-old Emma George, a soon-to-be single mother who is torn between giving up her job over the discomfort she feels towards her co-workers. The novel tells the struggles Emma faces in order to get her life together. Despite her problems, we see that life is not as bad as it appears to be. Sometimes all it takes is winging it and accepting advice from people who know you and truly love you. How Not to Fall in Love, Actually is a romantic-comedy novel that will make you laugh and cry, and enjoy your time with Emma. Emma’s journey is relatable; it will make you feel thankful for the people around you and realise life has so much more to offer. This novel is successfully relatable and heart-warming. Bennetto and Emma teach a powerful lesson about being grateful no matter what your status in life is. By Jesceline Requiero
What Makes Rotten Tomatoes Rotten?
magine you’ve waited three years for a film to be released. In that time, you’ve watched all the trailers and kept up to date on the behind-the-scenes gossip. When you finally purchase your tickets, you search for the film on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is sitting on an alarmingly low score of 23%. How dare Rotten Tomatoes do this to you? You’ve spent three years obsessing over this film and they go ahead and give it a bad score? This warrants a revolution!!! We should start a petition to fight this injustice!!! DOWN WITH ROTTEN TOMATOES!!! There’s a common misconception that Rotten Tomatoes is a mighty and arbitrary rating scale that assigns one percentage to a film. That’s simply not true. So how does Rotten Tomatoes actually work? Rotten Tomatoes calculates the scores from hundreds of professional critics to display the average percentage (this is known as the Tomatometer). Underneath the average percentage, you’ll find the average rating from critics; how many reviews have been counted, how many of those are “Fresh” and how many of those are “Rotten.” The important thing to note is the Tomatometer is an aggregate score, not a singular score delivered by the site itself. Additionally, there’s a big distinction between the Tomatometer and audience scores. The audience score is an accumulation of scores submitted by anyone who owns a free Rotten Tomatoes account. In December of last year, Star Wars: The Last Jedi earned an impressive “Certified Fresh” rating of 91% on the Tomatometer. However, the audience score sits at a polarising 50%, with some cinemagoers citing it as the “worst Star Wars movie” of all time. So, who should we believe - the critics or the audience? Audience scores are not always accurate reflections of how people truly feel about a film; after all, not every cinemagoer owns a Rotten Tomatoes account. How do we know that some trigger-happy Star Wars fanboy didn’t just create 15 “Rotten” reviews on different accounts, just to lower the audience score of Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Audience scores can be good for getting a rough idea of how audiences feel about a film, but that’s about it. From my experience, it’s better to pay attention to the critic scores as they offer authentic constructive criticism.
There is a noteworthy correlation between a film’s Tomatometer score and its box office performance. Many people will allow a film’s Rotten Tomatoes score to determine what they’ll see at the cinema, an understandable phenomenon considering the hefty price of a movie ticket nowadays. In 2016, Warner Bros released the much-anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Being a comic book film featuring arguably two of the greatest superheroes in the title, Batman v Superman was expected to cross the $1 billion threshold with ease. According to Box Office Mojo, the film earned an impressive $166 million (domestic) in it’s opening weekend. However, when the abysmal Tomatometer score of 27% was solidified, the film’s earnings dropped by 69% to a meager $51.8 million (domestic) in its second weekend. In total, the film only made $873 million (worldwide) and was proclaimed as a box office flop. You can see why the Tomatometer has a significant impact on whether a film is a financial success or failure. With all these percentages and box office figures in mind, it can be easy to lose sight of what a film really is. Film is an art form; it’s not mathematics. You can’t sum it up in a percentage because, like most art, film is subjective. Just because I loathe Bright (2017) with a passion, doesn’t mean someone out there isn’t allowed to enjoy it. What’s more is that you are allowed to change your opinions on a film over time. Upon initial release, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) was “misunderstood” by critics and received mixed reviews at best. Now Blade Runner sits on a 90% Tomatometer rating and is widely considered to be a “sci-fi masterpiece.” If you want to know whether a film is good or not, don’t just write it off because it has a “rotten” rating; take the time to read reviews from critics. You can compare different reviews and use them to develop your own opinion. Or you can ignore the reviews and go see the film regardless. Because at the end of the day, you should be the one who determines what you watch. By Jesse Newell
Donnie Darko: Fear, Love and Everything in between.
was first introduced to this film as a 13-year-old arts student at Balcatta Senior High. At that time, I found it intriguing, a little frightening but overall quite fascinating. Re-watching the film as an adult I am able to dig deeper and identify a more complex understanding of the narrative.
As that 13-year-old I would’ve had more of a literal interpretation of the film, as opposed to analysing it for metaphors. I wouldn’t have considered, for example, the popular Reddit theory that Donnie was actually at the centre of a complex mission to repair a glitch in the time space continuum. As an adult, I’ve been diagnosed with major depression and an anxiety disorder; now I can look at the film with an understanding of mental health, which I lacked as a teenager. I can appreciate the complexities of the thought processes of someone experiencing symptoms from a mental health disorder. In my experience it takes quite a bit of practice to think through certain scenarios from a logical perspective. Donnie has enough self-awareness that he knows he thinks and sees things differently to those around him. What appears on the surface to be a coming of age film, (littered with typical jocks, bullies, awkward girls and popularity contests) very quickly warps into Donnie’s twisted and dangerous world of demonic bunnies, flooded schools, arson and the exposure of undercover paedophile rings. As if negotiating teen angst isn’t challenging enough, Donnie, played by a young Jake Gyllenhaal, has to deal with the frequent appearance of an ominous 6ft grey, undead rabbit by the name of Frank (played by James Duval).
It is quickly revealed in the film that Donnie is the survivor of a freak accident. On the morning of the accident, he’s found dishevelled and disoriented lying awkwardly in a public golf course. It appears that Donnie has had a sleepwalking episode and has no recollection of how he came to be there. This incident of sleepwalking has prevented Donnie from being crushed to death by a detached jet engine, that has apparently fallen from the sky, plummeting into the teenager’s bedroom. The film begins on October 2nd 1988. It is on this fateful day that Frank reveals himself to Donnie (and only Donnie) to inform him that the world as he knows it will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. Donnie convincingly presents as having hallucinations caused by paranoid schizophrenia. His symptoms include his frequent visions of Frank, acting according to voices telling him what to do, the ability to see vortexes that indicate what is going to occur ahead of time and feats of incredible strength. Donnie’s mother, Rose Darko (Mary McDonnell) and his father Eddie Darko (Holmes Osborne) are very supportive of their unusual son. The fact that mental health issues are acknowledged in a film set in 1988 is progressive. Donnie Darko is a series of chaotic and violent yet deliberate and purposeful events. If analysed carefully the puzzle pieces slowly come together to reveal the much larger picture. It’s a film will require multiple viewings. Is Donnie a troubled teen suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, as diagnosed by his therapist, or a sophisticated timetraveller trapped between two worlds? Be prepared to dig deep to fully understand the multi-layered narrative that is ‘Donnie Darko’. Art and Article by Marley Amphlett
Swinging Safari | Stephan Elliott, 2018
Man of the Year | Barry Levinson, 2006
Sex, bad hair-dos and grazed kneecaps. These are just a few of the many cringeworthy elements that contribute to the “so-bad-it’s-good” decade known fondly as the 1970s. Director Stephan Elliott reunites with Guy Pearce to deliver a wild, nostalgic joyride of a film. Swinging Safari is a comingof-age comedy set in the small surfing town on the east coast of Australia. The story focuses on Jeff Marsh (Atticus Robb), a teenage boy with a passion for filmmaking. Jeff struggles to find his place in a sex-obsessed community and must deal with his feelings for Melly (Darcey Wilson), the shy girl next door. The two are drawn closer together when a whale washes up on Nobby’s Beach. Packed with a plethora of local talent, the colourful characters are what stand out the most. They are portrayed brilliantly and had me constantly laughing. Ridiculous as on-screen antics may seem, the overarching themes and ideas are relatable. The film is not without its flaws. The pacing is jarring at times, the plot is relatively thin and not all the jokes land - but those things didn’t stop me from enjoying the film. By Jesse Newell
This is a Morgan Creek production by Barry Levinson and presented by James G. Robinson. A comical, political satire that puts the American voting system under the microscope, using a clever play on words. It has a cast of well knowns: Robbin Williams, Christopher Walken, Laura Linney, Lewis Black and Jeff Goldblum. Tina Fey makes an appearance as herself and so does Amy Poehler. Striking at the core of political issues affecting the world, without holding back, it has messages to send about the age of technology, big business, morals, honesty and finding one’s place in the world. The sound-track that backwashes the film has a sometimes serious, but cheeky and light-hearted feel by writers and performers ranging from Bob Dylan to Martin Gore, Depeche Mode, Donovan, M & I Gershwin and Michael Bolton. By Anais Devenish
Pink Narcissus | James Bidgood, 1971 This alternate film is something of a cult classic of early gay cinema. It is unconventional, both in terms of its form and content; composed entirely of the fantasies of an attractive young man, Bobby Kendall. It has no dialogue and no plot but consists of a series of often colourful, usually highly erotic, dreamlike sequences. These sequences alternate between those which take place in Bobby’s bedroom and those which occur outside. Even the mundane acts of Bobby talking on the phone, lying on the floor, undressing - are rendered more interesting by close-ups, slow motion, soft focus and imaginative editing. These ‘everyday’ scenes contrast with more fanciful scenes such a Bobby dressed as a matador in semi-transparent tights waving his red cape at a leather-clad guy riding a motorbike. In another scene, Bobby is a Roman slave placed at the feet of an Roman emperor by a pair of athletic guards, clad only in helmets and G-strings. The film never becomes boring or predictable. These elaborate fantasy worlds dominate until the final scenes when cold, hard reality intervenes and stops the proceedings. It remains just as vibrant and entertaining as when it first appeared in 1971. By Andrew Douglas
Fuzz Toads Fuzz Toads are a psych-rock band from Fremantle that have changed members and evolved their sound heavily over the past couple of years. Theyâ€™re now recording some new stuff with Psychedelic Porn Crumpets Record Label What Reality? Records. I sat down with them after their Super Jimini Tin Festival show to chat about their name, feels and growth. The fivepiece were happy to talk about their inspirations and aspirations after a riff heavy head-banginâ€™ gig. Interview & Images by Jackson Lavell-Lee
Hey guys, cheers for having a chat! It’s a trippy name, what’s its significance and how did you become the Fuzz Toads? The band went through a few members before we found our groove. We were having a few beers in the beginning and we just thought it was cool. We love Fuzz the band as well. They’re one of our inspirations so it’s kind of stuck with us through our evolution. We’re also a bit toady, kinda slimy and gross – very in your face. What inspires you to make music? Is there a certain goal or experience that you guys share?
It’s challenging being a bit more aggressive but we’ve all learned a lot about ourselves and our taste in music. We want to make people feel something and bang their head up and down. Get some enjoyment in ya! You guys tend to have a quite heavy live set, is that intentional when you begin writing? We love it. I think with the music we grew up listening to with so much tension and release we want to harness that. If you don’t have a heavy breakdown in your live set where you’re thinking ‘Oh FUCK!’ then what kind of rock band are you?
It’s all chops and fuzz and that’s our end. Lyrically, a lot of our ideas sort of revolve around this big invisible thing hanging over us. It’s a bit of a reference to mental issues we’ve experienced but we want everyone to have fun with us, throw their hair down and remember not to sweat it so much. Life goes on, so we may as well have a head bangin’ time.
What are some of your favourite songs to perform live?
Austin, your voice is pretty cool, what sort of musicians do you look up to in terms of a vocal mentor?
What new songs have you guys been working on? Can I get a preview explanation?
I spent so many years with grunge influences and as I practiced with the dudes singing a bit more I grew into it more and more. I’m a huge fan of The Doors and Queens of the Stone Age.
Over the next couple of months, we will finish recording our EP and we have quite a few tracks so we may have a second in store. Keep your eyes peeled! We have some exciting things coming up with a few friends with the potential for a debut album soon with What Reality? Studio. We also recorded a new track on Tectonic Tapes a Perth compilation album which is on Bandcamp now and worth a listen.
With the changing band members how has that changed your creative process or feel of the band? We’re all on the same page but we all bring different styles and every time we do something we want to improve and evolve. Our style is always changing and growing.
Orange and White and Avalanche are two of our favourite songs to play because there’s so much energy and a bit more freedom in the verses. Do You Know God is so good to groove along to. Witches has a lot of meaning as well, it’s bangin’.
Check out the Fuzz Toads on Soundcloud and Triple J Unearthed - you’ll thank me later for the adrenalin rush.
ShockOne WA bass king ShockOne played a massive set at the left bank on Christmas Eve 2017, presenting the debut of new track â€˜Bleed Blackâ€™ featuring Cruz Patterson from Koi Child, along with a deep array of bangers. The crowd was going wild all day and during the festive celebrations I took 5 minutes with the world-renowned Drum n Bass producer to talk his new studio, the Perth DnB scene and music over fashion.
Interview by Jackson Lavell-Lee
Images by Lewis Martin
t’s been a busy year mainly writing new music but also touring, I don’t know where the year went, you have your head down all year and then it’s all over. Compound with pendulum here was a real vibe at the exhibition centre in the city, it was fucking hectic and the Japan tour was pretty amazing too.
So, you lived in the UK, which do you prefer London or Perth? I’m spending most of my time back in Perth now, I built a studio here in the northern suburbs so I’m spending most of my time in my “box”, my very own recording studio which I don’t really leave unless my girlfriend comes out and forces me to keep a semi normal life thing. I’m trying to have a surf every morning too. How does it feel to be back in town looking around on stage and seeing so many adoring faces looking back up at you rinsing their faces off? This show is pretty different for me, I’m used to playing at 1am or 3am to a drum n bass centric crowd whereas this crowd is a little bit more commercial. Each set is slightly different and I enjoy the variety, I’ll do this show, I’ll do one at Metros or Villa or Origin and each set is a little different and unique. Let’s be real, if the sun is shining I’m not going to play the heaviest DnB. I’m still going to melt their faces off but it’ll be a bit more feel good. Perth is one of the best places in the world to play a DnB set, I’m not just saying that because I’m from here, the crowds here are so crazy and so open minded, I love it! I remember I curated a show here at Metros with CultureShock and some other dubstep guys from America and we were talking after the show, they were saying this is as good as it fucking gets all around the world! 2000 people vibing to underground bass music. We had a real euphoric moment where we thought we were really lucky to be here. I know that you recently said in an interview with Pilerats that you felt like an outsider in the Australian music scene. Why do you think that is? I didn’t realise it was going to get so many people talking. In Australia, I find myself feeling like a fish out of water sometimes. I don’t do music like Flume or What So Not stuff. I do drum and bass and there is plenty of other great DnB artists in Australia but they haven’t got enough exposure in my opinion. I’m touring over east to crowds that aren’t really a DnB or Dubstep crowd so I feel a little bit on my own in that sense. I kind of adapt my set but if I’m in London in Europe there’s that scene where I can just do my thing. I feel like that’s indicative of the Australian music scene, what I do is a little more Niche here. That used to give me the shits but now I actually kind of relish it. I’d love to see bass music get a little bit more love here. I’m trying to champion the DnB culture a little with my next album. I thought, I could follow what everyone else is doing and
change what I’m doing to fit into a certain mold that is popular in Australia or I can do what I love which is dark underground drum and bass and that’s what my album is. It could backfire but I don’t care. I remember seeing you at your shows back in 2011 and 2012 at Villa and Ambar and just being obsessed with your tunes, especially chaos theory, and your DJ Skills. The music scene has changed since then, how do you think you’ve improved or changed? What we’re talking about isn’t music, we’re talking about fashion trends. When Dubstep was massive everyone was like “Fuck yeah bass music!” But then people got sick of that and some other trend took over. Meanwhile Dubstep and DnB keep doing their thing making real music. I’m not interested in fashion, I’m interested in music and creative expression and that’s why I make music. I don’t make music to get likes and plays on Soundcloud or Youtube. I’m interested in something I have in my head and expressing that. Whether that’s in vogue I don’t have any control over so I’m just going to make music. I think that makes you more impressive, because each set is different and unique and you’re testing the boundaries of popular music with your releases and pushing the underground sound of bass music. Sometimes it’s hard though because I feel like sometimes it falls on deaf ears. You do something that you’re really proud of and because it doesn’t fit into the parameters of Australian popular music it isn’t appreciated as much at home, as say, in London. Let’s say from a marketing perspective it would make sense to make a grime song right now but that’s not what I’m about and I don’t want to be an imposter or conceited, I’m not going to pretend I grew up with that movement. I really rated your collaboration track with HWLS “Gamma.” How did that come about? He’s one of my best mates and he was working on their EP and I was doing some mix down work on it and this track just came about from hanging in the studio. I’d written the guts of it and I threw it to him and he had some ideas and it just came about organically. I forgot I wrote that, I’m going to chuck it into today’s set. Thanks for reminding me! What’s your production process? Do you use a sample first or drums or vocals, how does the process work for you? It depends really, it’s all over the place most of the time it comes from an instrumental first and then I’ll get my sister Reija to come in and do some vocals, I really liked her vocals on Dark Machine. I’ve got another Perth Male vocalist on a new trappy track that I’m going to preview in today’s set, he nailed those rap vocals. Every song is a different beast. You put your head down, make noise, make a mess and see what happens.
Music Reviews See You in The Winter | Hash, 2017
See you in the winter is the first EP for Perth’s Hasham “Hash” Khan and the best word to describe it is, “catchy”. At first listen, it’s hard to pigeonhole this Pakistan born Artist’s work into a single musical genre. See you in the winter seamlessly blends eastern musical stylings with infectious beats, poetic lyrics and an upbeat vibe. The EP features a mix of high energy, dance tracks such as ‘Lights Camera Action’, and ‘Fade’ but also offers heartfelt ballads like ‘Closer’ and ‘Amnesia’ that deal with issues such as heartbreak and loss. ‘Lights Camera Action’ honours Hash’s adopted hometown of Perth, which is an integral part of his live set. In the liner notes Hash acknowledges the role Perth’s music scene has played in his journey as a musician. Overall, the album would suit anyone looking to be a bit more adventurous with their playlist while remaining within their comfort zone. Hash lists artists like J Cole, Drake, Tupac, Jay Z and Perth Boys Karnivool as his main influences who can be heard throughout the EP. By Lalia S The Night Train Vacancies | Liminal Drifter, 2017
The Night Train Vacancies explores the ideas of shifting identities, semi-consciousness and even reincarnation with its tender translucent drops, heavenly keyboard and synth build ups and echoing fades. Perfect for background music at a campfire or for intense study sessions this chill techno album features remixes by Erik Nilsson, Chloe Mark, Robwun, DNA, Lvmark, Escue and Striphy. Troubled Mystic, the introductory song from the 10 track EP uses beautiful vocals, which produce a narrative of a conflicted soul fighting herself for understanding of life and surrendering to nothingness. Soothed by summer is a bass heavy, slow bpm song with heartbeat drums and thought-provoking light synth. Dark sunlight, although an oxymoron, is a ponderous track that would be amazing for a hyper lapse video montage of night and day transitions on a journey of personal growth. Lullaby is the most pop-like song of the EP which is warp similar synth track with up-tempo drums and a funky keyboard riff. Liminal drifter is heavily influenced by Bonobo, so if you were excited by the London producers’ Laneway set then give this EP a late night listen. By Jackson Lavell-Lee Wish You Were Here | Pink Floyd, 1975
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios and released in 1975, Pink Floyd’s album Wish You Were Here was made from demand. 1973’s Dark Side of the Moon was such a commercial smash that the record label sought more and more. The constant pressure resulted in the album’s themes of capitalism and how people get lost in the struggle. The tracks Welcome to the Machine and Have a Cigar communicate that hatred of the music business clearly. The remaining tracks, the 9-part split-track ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ and the titular song ‘Wish You Were Here’ are much more direct messages at lost band member Syd Barrett. Wish You Were Here was the crossroads for Pink Floyd. It was more arduous, more pressured because of success, and the personal nature of the songs brought up long-buried feelings from each person. The result: musical perfection. Each song, though only a few, is a perfect piece of theme, message, emotion and technical mastery. The album is a vessel that will always take you somewhere you might not want to go, but a world you need to see. Shine on. By Christopher Spencer
Issue One Playlist Cold feet - Ukiyo & J. Cal Home - ShockOne & Reija Le Don’t Make a Fool Out of Me - Kitty Daisy & Lewis Soothed by Summer - Liminal Drifter The Other Side Of Paradise - Glass Animals Tattoo - Death by Denim Lucky I Got What I Want - Jungle Blue Train Lines - Mount Kimbie In Your Bones (Chiefs Remix) - Crooked Colours Insanity - Blessed Feel It Still (Zhu Remix) - Portugal. The Man Power Trip - J. Cole & Miguel Don’t Touch My Hair - Solange & Sampha Spiders - Illa J Colours of Freedom - Tom Misch Nostalgia - Surf Curse Seaweed - Hockey Dad Goodbye Soleil - Phoenix Love Is Only a Feeling - Joey Bada$$ Cut You Deep - Dear Seattle 99 Bottles - Pist Idiots
Playlist created by Jackson Lavell-Lee
Dircksey Magazine: Issue 1 2018