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Festival preview - pages 28-28

Cashing in on Banksy - page 14

Joan Bakewell interview page 8

Issue 275 Monday 12th May 2014 www.epigram.org.uk University of Bristol Independent Student Newspaper

It’s official: UBU has no balls Stephanie Rihon Online News Editor After weeks of build up, the UBU Summer Ball has been cancelled due to a lack of ticket sales. The second annual union ball was due to take place on 6th June at Ashton Court. In a recent press release, the union said that ‘Wonderland’ would include four bars, three music areas, a cabaret tent, fire performers and a finale firework show to name but a few of its attractions. There was also going to be a special section for upcoming graduates such as a Grad Hatter’s Tea Party. UBU said ‘we explored all other options before making this difficult decision but ultimately felt that it was better to cancel the event than deliver an event which was substantially different to what was advertised’. Last year, the UBU circus-themed ball had backlash as guests claimed the union had misleading advertising by pitching it as a black tie event which eventually felt more like a festival. Nevertheless, 2,711 tickets were sold and the circus themed event went ahead. Rob Griffiths, UBU President, said ‘obviously it’s disappointing that we’ve had to cancel and we’re sorry that students did not want to come. We planned the event with students to ensure it would appeal to the larger student body but ticket sales on events of this size are always hard to predict. I’m keen that the union remains committed to organising successful events in the future.’

Markéta Brabcová

Philip Bruland

Thousands turned out to see Luke Jerram’s water slide become a reality

UBU took the decision to cancel the ball now in order for people to ‘have the maximum time possible to make other arrangements’. However, those who did have tickets have been left outraged as they have been left with no end of year celebration and try to look for alternatives. Some took to Twitter to voice their anger and express their disappointment with the union. The union continued to labour the point that they had ‘conducted research’ to ‘gauge the opinion of fellow students’. However, it seems that this research was not successful in creating an event that students wanted to attend. Battle of the Bands winners Carthade, who regularly perform at Bristol’s Fringe and other venues in London were due to play at the event. Carthade’s frontman Oli Higginson commented that the band ‘were a little surprised at the ball’s cancellation since it seemed pretty organised’ but thought ‘one of the main problems was trying to please too many people in one single event which stopped the whole thing in its tracks.’ Goldney Ball suffered the same fate last year when their annual summer event was also cancelled. Goldney’s event was seven years strong and usually the highlight of the season for students, but last year, competition from the union ball and low ticket sales led to its cancellation. This year will see Goldney stage a downscaled summer event for current residents of the hall. All UBU ball tickets, which were £45 each, will be refunded and a separate email notification has been sent to ticket holders.

#makethempay

Full report on this year’s industrial action - page 4

Standards are slipping: catch up on Bristol’s Park and Slide on page 7


25.05.14

Features

Bristol graduate David Stone attacked in Ukrainian capital including Stone’s own bottle wounds and knife slashes on other victims. He was out of hospital within hours after having his wound stitched and returned to his accommodation. The next day Stone reports that he was up and about and

managed to visit Chernobyl. Despite the traumatic experience, Stone and his friends will not be put off travelling to away games. He told Epigram that this is the first time that he has encountered any proper hostility. He has some wise words for other

travelling fans though; these include taking care in countries with a bad history of football violence. Stone warns against openly displaying football shirts, flags or scarves unless near to the stadium or in a large group. None of this should put anyone

off, however, as thousands of football fans travel around Europe each year supporting their respective teams and only a miniscule proportion encounter any difficulties.

Continued on page 3

Bristol rent 3rd highest in UK New Stoke Bishop outdoor gym

Discover Bristol with Travel

Bristol is one of the most expensive places for students to live in the UK, second only to Cambridge and London, research by Haart estate agents has revealed this summer. This year, a student living in Bristol can expect to pay £416 a month per bedroom on average, which is approximately £90 higher than the national average. According to figures compiled by spareroom.co.uk, the average cost of student flats and house shares in Bristol has also risen by 7.7 per cent in the last year. It is not just prices for privately rented accommodation that are soaring; the price of a basic room at a catered student hall in Bristol was between £4,623 and £6,360 per year in 2012/13. continued on page 3

p24

Bangerz blasted page 44

A new outdoor gym in Stoke Bishop heads the list of developments and initiatives launched over the summer by UBU (University of Bristol Students’ Union) Sport and Health. The gym, which is situated between Wills and Durdham Halls, forms part of ‘The Activity Zone’. The new area is available for use by all students and includes a set of outdoor gym equipment, as well as a multi-sports game area for football and basketball. In a further new initiative, the University of Bristol has created its first ever weekly session for disability sport. Sitting volleyball sessions will be completely free of charge and open to anybody in the university, even without a sports pass, which the University hopes will ‘promote inclusivity in all sports’. continued on page 3

Issue 265 Monday 14th October 2013

Editorial Assistant Anna Fleck editor@epigram.org.uk

Managing Director

Cracking job, Gromit!

Bristol University bids £20,000 for Gromit statue, helping raise £2.3 million for Bristol Children’s Hospice

Union building works delayed by ‘last minute complications’

US shutdown: Bristol student reports from Washington D.C.

Building works in the Students’ Union have been delayed until the 14th October. Works on the North Side of the Union were halted to prioritise the completion of the Anson rooms. However, the Anson Rooms are still yet to be finished.

Last Monday at midnight the US government officially went into federal shutdown for the first time for 17 years. The last time this happened, Bill Clinton was the President.

The shutdown is the result of a dispute between hardline As a result of the delay, plans to hold the Freshers’ Fair in the CHVCHES interview conservative Republicans and the President overRobinson the Affordable Tommy quits EDL Union had to be altered due to a lack of space and the building Healthcare Act (AHA), nicknamed ‘Obamacare’, which went into works. The Fair was moved to the Harbourside where societies 47 effect onpage Tuesday morning. 14stalls in a number of tents. had page to set up their

Bearpit Centre Spread page 28-29

continued on page 3

continued on page 3

e2 jo.quinlan@epigram.org.uk Editor Matthew SpencerMcCrory Turner e2@epigram.org.uk spencer.turner@epigram.org.uk News Editor Sarah Newey Alice Young sarah.newey@epigram.org.uk news@epigram.org.uk News Online Editor Deputy News Editors Stephanie Rihon Abigail Van-West newsonline@epigram.org.uk avanwest@epigram.org.uk Features Editor Jenny Awford Hugh Davies jawford@epigram.org.uk features@epigram.org.uk

Features Editor Deputy Features Editor Tristan Martin Sophie Padgett features@epigram.org.uk

deputyfeatures@epigram.org.uk

featuresonline@epigram.org.uk

Josephine Franks Editor Laura Jacklin News Editor Apathy and self-interest were the characteristics that dominated this year’s AMM. Despite Bristol boasting a student population of almost 20,000, only 263 students made it to the union’s largest annual democratic event. This meant that the meeting did not reach quorate and all the motions passed will have to be ratified at at Student Council on Monday 17th February. Of those in attendance, a large number left after the first motion failed to pass. This motion debated the proposed officer role reviews, which would make the fulltime officers more representative of the student body and include the positions of Postgraduate Officer and Student Living Officer. One of the proposed changes included the merging of the current VP Sports and VP Activities roles into the new position of

bad thing, arguing that university is a place for independence and that all students should be seen innocent until proven guilty. Despite the high number of students indicated to be taking drugs, there have been suggestions that this number could in fact be lower than in previous years due to a current ‘drought’ in the drugs market. Students are finding it harder or more expensive to source drugs at university and are resorting to experimenting with legal highs and looking further afield. There have also been suggestions that the amount of drugs being taken this year is far lower than previous years due to a current ‘drought’ in drugs supply. Students are finding it harder or more expensive to source drugs at university and are resorting to either experimenting with legal highs or looking further afield. Despite this there is still a high number of student in the current first year who have managed to buy, and continue to use, illegal drugs at University.

• Sir Eric Thomas announces his retirement to students by email • Thomas to leave the university after 14 years at the helm Oscar Cunnington News Reporter The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol announced to students on 7th February that he is stepping down from the role in August 2015. Sir Eric Thomas has been Vice-Chancellor since 2001 when he succeeded Sir John Kingman. This makes him one of the longestserving current Vice-Chancellors in the UK. Sir Eric let students know via an email sent out to the student body in which he declared that ‘one of the joys of being Vice-Chancellor is meeting our students’ of whom he is ‘fiercely proud’. After graduating from the University of Newcastle in 1976 with a degree in Medicine he went on to work at the universities of Sheffield, Newcastle and Southampton as an obstetrician and gynaecologist before becoming dean

Life on Mars

A right royal visit

Noisiest student area: Redland

Big Deal interview page 47

Eating disorders awareness week page 45 page 11

Full report on page 3

Centre spread special: the Oscars page 28-29

The Walking Dead returns

The

“University should be there for everybody regardless of economic situation”

Issue 273

Issue 267

Friday 7th March 2014

Monday 11th November 2013

continued on page 3

Wildlife Photographer of the Year reviewed page 38

www.epigram.org.uk University of BristolIndependent Independent Student Newspaper University of Bristol Student Newspaper

• 75% students do not trust politicians • 71% not involved in student politics Sarah Newey Deputy News Editor Laura Jacklin News Editor

across the UK in banning Robin Thicke’s #1 hit ‘Blurred Lines’

page 29

now take a strong stance on rape culture in our community’. The second motion, proposed by Taiba Bajar, asking the Union to engage in greater promotion of the Just Ask Movement, was far less controversial and easily passed. As a result, the union will encourage departments and use posters to advise students to contact the ‘Just Ask’ service because students are not aware of services offered by the union. The third motion, advocating that the Student Union should officially support the lecturers strike, was vigorously debated.

Issue 268

Monday 25th November 2013

www.epigram.org.uk

A great escape

graduate, Lindsey Russell, shattered the odds in July when she beat 20,000 applicants for the position of the 36th Blue Peter presenter – the first to be chosen by the public. Now over a month into the role Russell tells Epigram how she’s getting on.

continued on page 3

90 students from across the university took part in the first Jailbreak weekend of the year. The event, organised by RAG, raised over £10,000 for charity – the largest amount raised in a single Jailbreak. 39 teams of students were given 36 hours to travel as far away from Bristol as they could without paying for transport, all in the name of charity. This year the teams travelled a collective distance of 26,208km, comparable to over halfway around the world. 87% of the teams made it out of the UK, travelling to destinations such as Brussels, Berlin, Vienna and Bordeaux. Those who remained in the UK still made a solid effort and managed to get down to Dover. The winning team, ‘The A Team’, consisted of 3rd year medics Amy Samson and Andrew Armson, as well as Epigram’s own Alex Bradbrook, a 3rd year geography student. The three described their Jailbreak journey as ‘nothing short of incredible’. ‘The A Team’ managed to hitchhike rides

Cheeting evolution page 50

Past Epigram editors share their most memorable moments

Issue 274

continued on page 3

Monday 24th March 2014

Women in Sport page 28-29

Issue 274 Monday 24th March 2014 www.epigram.org.uk

• 82% students believe UoB sports policy is elitist • UoB sports passes 3rd most expensive in poll • 90% believe Bristol sport is poor value for money Alex Bradbrook Deputy Editor

Space race:

19 year old University of Bristol student, Jocelino Rodrigues, is one of four UK finalists who will undergo astronaut training at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre this December, competing for the chance to travel into space.

Commemorative 25th anniversary supplement - page 29

University of Bristol Independent Student Newspaper

with five different drivers to get to Rzeszow, Poland. Bradbrook said ‘we are indebted to Clara & Bev, Matthew, Birgit, Pawel and Eric & Anna for their generosity, from buying us Polish dumplings and McDonald’s to giving us CDs of Polish trance music and providing us with beers!’ Each team was tracked throughout by RAG, ensuring their safety. Team ‘Fast Food Fiasco’ finished their journey in Amsterdam, making it to France with the help of some Romanian lorry drivers who came to their aid despite not speaking a word of English. Although the majority of participants were fortunate in securing free transport, some teams were not as honest in their methods, with ‘The Great Escape’ hiding on a train to Genk, Belgium, to avoid paying fares. Regardless of the students’ methods, the weekend raised £10,589 for several different charities including Alzheimer’s Society, Make A Wish Foundation, Cancer Research UK and MS Society. This year saw a large rise in the number of students completing Jailbreak due to its success in previous years. Chemistry student Zachary Edelen reached Monte Carlo with partner Martha Male in the last Jailbreak cycle and commented that aside from raising money, one of the high points of the adventure is the sense of accomplishment you achieve, because ‘you never realise you can do it yourself until you’re there, 500 miles from Bristol’.

• 26,208km travelled

Celebrating 25 years

Sport at Bristol: ‘an absolute rip-off’

Stephanie Rihon News Online Editor

• Winning team reaches Ukrainian border • £10,589 raised for charity

means they go back on promises and do not stick to any ideology they might have originally had.’ ‘I would rather a politician stood for what they personally believed in than compromised their beliefs to conform to a party. I find it hard to trust someone that I know to be pushing beliefs that they do not agree with.’ Last November Russell Brand ignited the debate about trust in the political system once more when he appeared on Newsnight. He suggested that the vote is only significant if it had the power to bring about change; because political parties today have become more similar to each other and break promises so regularly, the vote no longer represents this. Epigram’s survey showed that nearly 30% of students asked have not voted when they had the opportunity to do so, again potentially showing disillusionment with the current system and political parties. The case appears to be very much the same when it comes to Bristol’s own student democratic system, with 71% of respondents having never been involved in student politics. The poor turnout at the Annual Members’ Meeting this year arguably reflects this, when fewer than the 1.5% quorate necessary to pass changes were present. This has led to the AMM coming under review at the last Student Council meeting, in order to increase student participation in and awareness of student politics in future years.

www.epigram.org.uk

Students hitchhike across Europe for charity

student wins chance to fly to space

While 80% of Bristol students say they care about politics, 75% do not trust politicians, a survey by Epigram has revealed. Furthermore, when it comes to politics at university, 71% of respondents to the survey have never been involved in democracy at the University of Bristol. There has been a lot of discussion surrounding young peoples’ involvement in politics in recent years. In the last general election, only 44% of people aged 18-24 voted - contrasting to about 68% in 1997. Although many political commentators have described this as apathy, as Epigram’s survey reveals it is not so much a lack of interest, but apparent disillusionment with the current political climate. With 75% of the students asked having lost trust in politicians, responses showed that broken promises, scandals and a general feeling that politicians do not identify with the average Briton have pushed young people away from the political arena. Student comments included: ‘Many [politicians] are only interested in furthering their own careers and do not understand the needs of their constituents.’ ‘[Politicians] are guided by short term goals which

‘Whilst rape culture is a wide societal problem it’s45 important that as a body of The left’spage future? Lindsey Russell: Living the dream we do whatever we can to combat The Walking Dead it.students returns page The Union, 8 mandated by students, can University of Bristol

societies advocating rape apology. However, only three out the four resolves were passed. After a heated discussion, the clause Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ and similar suggesting rape apologists such as George songs were banned from being played in Galloway should not be given a platform to Bristol’s Student’s Union, at the inaugural speak at the union was rejected by 74 to 53 Student Council, held on Tuesday 29th votes. Representatives felt that it preventing October. The Council fully passed three individuals from voicing their opinions and out of the four motions proposed, which the discussion of ideas - no matter how included tackling rape culture, supporting controversial they are undermined the the lecturers strike, greater promotion of purpose of university. Alice Philips, who proposed the motion, the ‘Just Ask Movement’ and a new quiet said ‘The motion was so important because room in the student union. The first motion relating to rape culture at in our society there are some really worrying the university banned songs such as Blurred misconceptions about rape, for example 26% Lines from being played in the union, only of people asked by Amnesty believed that University of Bristol Independent Student Newspaper allowing instrumental versions. The Union if a woman was wearing revealing clothing will also run more campaigns to debunk she was partially or totally responsible for myths surrounding rape and disaffiliate being raped.

Sarah Newey page 15 News Reporter Drone warfare

www.epigram.org.uk University of Bristol Independent Student Newspaper

Disillusioned?

UBU bans ‘Blurred Lines’ Tackling rape culture: Bristol joins other university unions page 28 Snapshot Travel photoBristol competition

of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Biological Sciences at the latter in 1991. He was awarded his knighthood in 2013 for his services to secondary education. The Vice-Chancellor’s tenure has seen a lot happen to the University; the progress is perhaps best embodied in the extensive building work that has occurred. Since he took the job Bristol has seen the Centre for Sport on Tyndall Avenue, the Botanic Gardens, Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information and many others being built and with the Life Sciences Building set to open this year the trend looks like it will only continue. As early as 2003 Thomas was faced with pressure from independent schools who believed the university was treating their students unfairly in efforts to encourage economically disadvantaged students to apply. This furore culminated in a boycott amongst some independent schools that eventually ended in 2005. Continued on page 3

HRH Duke of York visits Bristol charities and UoB volunteers

p11

page 29 Snapshot Bristol

www.epigram.org.uk

PhD students’ expedition a success, full report on page 4 Vice-Chancellor set toBristol step down

A 23 year old Bristol graduate diagnosed with breast cancer has been blogging about her experience with the disease, and been recognised by the Cosmopolitan Magazine Blog Awards. Laura Cannon was diagnosed in 2012 and set up her blog, ‘Laura Louise and her Naughty Disease’ to share her experiences with others and raise awareness, keeping her followers updated with her progress and on how to rock ‘chemo chic’. Speaking about why she began blogging she told Epigram, ‘My Mum suggested I start a blog. I didn’t think there was much out there for younger cancer patients to read and thought I could help.’ The blog has certainly been a success, with over 154,000 page views and leading Laura to be awarded ‘Best Newcomer’ at the Cosmopolitan Magazine Blog Awards, which received much celebrity support. ‘It was amazing to win the Best Newcomer Award at the Cosmopolitan Magazine Blog Awards and the celebrity support has been incredible. I must admit I did a mini dance when Gary Barlow tweeted me.

Since late September, Bristol City Council, in partnership with the University of Bristol and the University of West England, have been attempting to give students lessons on how to be good neighbours. The initiative includes a ‘welcome door knock’ where a police community support officer inform students about anti-social behaviour, dealing with their rubbish appropriately and avoid creating disturbances. Clifton, Cabot, Cotham, Redland, Horfield, Bishopston and the Trendlewood estate in Frenchay will be the areas targeted first, as according to the Council, they have produced the most complaints. There are approximately 40,000 students living in rented accommodation across the city.

pages 28-29

Issue 272

continued on page 3

Some have suggested that freshers’ week has become far too focused on drinking and clubbing, with little care given to induction events during the day, a trend that was observed in the number of absences to introductory lectures in the first week. Rob Griffiths, President of the Students’ Union, recently wrote an article published in the Telegraph in which he argued that ‘[universities] should shift the focus from evening activities and remove any obligations to drink excessively.’ For freshers away from home for the first time, the temptation to behave recklessly can be overwhelming, especially when getting caught seems unlikely. A first year student living in Stoke Bishop commented,‘the fact that so many people are taking drugs during freshers’ week and getting away with it seems surprising.’ Some responses suggested that this could be due to a lack of police presence, especially around Unite accomodation; however, those who wish to experiment do not necessarily see this as a

LGBT rights around the world

Continued on page 3

Monday 24h February 2014

Win a Domino’s pizza night for your halls!

Margot Tudor News Reporter

Comment centre spread:

Inside

p27

Monday 28th October 2013

Figures show over half of freshers saw illegal drug taking during their first week

was.’ However, she continued to say that she ‘still had hopes’ for the officer role review, which may yet be taken to Student Council. Similarly, Ellie Williams (VP Community) said to the attendees of the meeting that it was ‘not completely over’, with an online referendum a possible course of action. The recent staff strike action was another major issue at the meeting and students voted in favour of UBU supporting staff strike action over issues of pay. Support from the union would entail raising awareness of the issues, encouraging students to not cross picket lines, working more closely with striking unions and organising student events and demonstrations to show visible support. Ethical policies were also a key subject of the evening; Tyrone Falls proposed a motion for the university to create a central record of animals used and killed in research. After some debate, the motion was not passed.

e2

European Fashion Week special

www.epigram.org.uk

An anonymous survey of first years at the University of Bristol discovered that a shocking figure of 51.8% witnessed drugs being taken during week zero. An online survey by Epigram discovered that almost 60% of students have taken drugs before university - a large majority of whom claimed to have taken them of their own volition rather than as a consequence of pressure from a friend or acquaintance. Peer pressure would often be assumed to be the most obvious motivation for drug taking but the figures show that 90% of students have not felt pressured during freshers’ week whilst at Bristol University. One student responded saying, ‘I’ve never taken drugs because of peer pressure; it’s just something everyone wants to try. It’s not that I didn’t want to be left out, I just wanted to see if it was as good as everyone said it was.’

Opportunities and Student Development Officer. Sports teams turned out in force to question the motion, which eventually failed to pass with a slim majority of 52% voting against and many promptly left following their victory. The low attendance figures and departure of many students during the meeting generated feelings of frustration in the elected officers. Both Imogen Palmer (VP Activities) and Alessandra Berti (VP Welfare and Equality) expressed disappointment at the fact that the student body was not accurately and equally represented by those present at the meeting. Attendees were largely students already engaged with the union, while the union wishes to reach out to those currently underrepresented, such as postgraduate and international students. Speaking to Epigram, Berti labelled the evening a ‘disappointment’, calling it a ‘beautiful example of why AMMs don’t work’. Palmer echoed this, telling Epigram that ‘many people in the room couldn’t see how important [the role review proposal]

Life on Mars

Laura Louise & her naughty disease

Arts Introducing page 39

Our Jailbreak journey: ‘The A Team’ speak exclusively to Epigram on page 3

Issue 269 Monday 9th December 2013 www.epigram.org.uk University of BristolIndependent Independent Student Newspaper University of Bristol Student Newspaper

Epigram can exclusively reveal that the University of Bristol is one of the most expensive universities in the country for sport, coming 30th out the 32 elite UK institutions surveyed in terms of affordability. A survey, run in conjunction with the investigation into the cost of sport, also revealed huge dissatisfaction with the sports offering provided by the university. In a poll of 240 students, 90% of respondents believed that the £150 off-peak and £250 peak dual sports pass system was poor value for money, with 82% students stating that the facilities provided by the university do not justify fees far higher than the majority of Bristol’s competitor universities. Perhaps more significantly, just 8% of respondents agreed with the statement that ‘sport at Bristol is accessible to everyone regardless of financial background’, with 82% disagreeing. Many of the comments received by Epigram also served to validate this: one student wrote, ‘I had to quit basketball when I came here because I could not afford to play’. Given the large amount of work undertaken by the university over the past decade aiming to dispel its elitist reputation, this is arguably a sad indictment on the institution in its failure to ensure fair access for all to every aspect of the student experience. One respondent wrote: ‘[The cost of sport] is yet another example of Bristol Uni catering to the large upper-class privately-educated portion of its students’. A major point of contention is the requirement of focus sport club members to purchase a £250 peak sports pass. Focus sports clubs are clubs that receive additional funding to provide supplementary coaching and facilities, and include 20 sports teams. Many students taking the survey claimed that this requirement prevented them from being able to pursue their favourite sports at university: indeed, one student stated, ‘I would have loved to commit to a major sport this year, but with no parental or governmental support I was unable to pay the £250 fee upfront’. Many more comments of this nature were also expressed: ‘I would have liked to try sports such as rowing but have been unable to do so’; ‘I wanted to play in the Uni Football team, but this involves buying the sport membership, something I can’t afford, therefore depriving me of the opportunity to play sport for my university’. When presented with the results of

Epigram’s survey, Simon Hinks, the director of Sport, Exercise and Health at the university seemed unsurprised. On the issue of focus sports being obliged to pay for a peak sports pass, he responded, ‘We believe that given the amount of investment that Sport, Exercise & Health put into focus sports, we don’t see it as unreasonable that club members pay for the £250 sports pass’. When challenged that many students from poorer backgrounds are unable to pay such a large sum up-front, on top of club membership, match fees and sports kit, he responded that ‘everything has a price’ and pointed out the efforts SEH and UBU have made in recent years to promote programs such as UBU: Active, which permit students to take part in sports on a more casual, cheaper basis. A sports consultation led by Hannah Pollak , VP Sport & Health in 2012 similarly revealed a high level of dissatisfaction with sporting provision at Bristol: in her consulation, which can be found online on the UBU website, over 50% of students said that the price of sport had prevented them from taking part. Seeing as this figure has now surpassed 70% in Epigram’s survey, it seems that this problem is worsening. Worryingly, it seems that the university is doing little to rectify this situation. The survey revealed an extensive lack of confidence in university sports policy-making, with 60% of students believing that student feedback was ignored by those in charge. Several other Russell Group universities have taken proactive efforts to promote inclusivity; for example, the University of Glasgow’s peak, fully-comprehensive sports pass costs just £60 per year (76% less than Bristol). They told Epigram via Twitter: ‘we want to promote participation in sport, and keep costs low to ensure that. With nearly 12,000 student members, it must be working!’. When this statistic and quote was put to Simon Hinks, his reaction was one of amusement: ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘but who wants to go to university in Glasgow?!’. Epigram’s survey has shown that sport at Bristol is a highly divisive and contentious issue that highlights the perpetuating class divides at this university. It remains to be seen whether or not the university will act to address this issue, which threatens to further divide the student body into those who can afford extracurricular activities, and those who are prevented from doing so due to affordability. See the full range of facts, figures and quotes obtained in this investigation on page 3.

Institution Imperial Glasgow Plymouth Oxford Edinburgh Durham Coventry Kent Bangor Southampton Cardiff UCL York Lancaster Newcastle Queens University Belfast KCL Aberystwyth Aberdeen Birmingham Swansea Liverpool Nottingham Manchester Leicester Bath LSE Exeter Cambridge

Bristol

Sheffield Leeds

Cost of an unrestricted gym membership £0 £60 £90 £102 £104 £110 £115 £130 £135 £135 £160 £160 £162 £165 £170 £170 £180 £182.50 £183.60 £191 £195 £197 £199 £205 £210 £219 £220 £240 £250

£250

£252 £269

Can you see yourself as Epigram’s next editor? Apply now for senior positions and section editor roles at the University Festival preview - pages 28-28 of Bristol’s independent student newspaper.

Banking in on Banksy - page 14

Turn to page 12 and page 18 for more information. Good luck!

Joan Bakewell interview page 8

Sexism at Bristol

Issue 275 Monday 12th May 2014

45%

www.epigram.org.uk University of Bristol Independent Student Newspaper

of Bristol students have experienced sexism

It’s official: UBU has no balls Stephanie Rihon Online News Editor

Epigram investigation reveals sexism is alive at Bristol, page 3 Permanent home for ‘Bark at Ee’

After weeks of build up, the UBU Summer Ball has been cancelled due to a lack of ticket sales. The second annual union ball was due to take place on 6th June at Ashton Court. In a recent press release, the union said that ‘Wonderland’ would include four bars, three music areas, a cabaret tent, fire performers and a finale firework show to name but a few of its attractions. There was also going to be a special section for upcoming graduates such as a Grad Hatter’s Tea Party. UBU said ‘we explored all other options before making this difficult decision but ultimately felt that it was better to cancel the event than deliver an event which was substantially different to what was advertised’. Last year, the UBU circus-themed ball had backlash as guests claimed the union had misleading advertising by pitching it as a black tie event which eventually felt more like a festival. Nevertheless, 2,711 tickets were sold and the circus themed event went ahead. Rob Griffiths, UBU President, said ‘obviously it’s disappointing that we’ve had to cancel and we’re sorry that students did not want to come. We planned the event with students to ensure it would appeal to the larger student body but ticket sales on events of this size are always hard to predict. I’m keen that the union remains committed to organising successful events in the future.’

Students and lecturers battle it out in BBC quiz show, page 4

Thousands turned out to see Luke Jerram’s water slide become a reality

UBU took the decision to cancel the ball now in order for people to ‘have the maximum time possible to make other arrangements’. However, those who did have tickets have been left outraged as they have been left with no end of year celebration and try to look for alternatives. Some took to Twitter to voice their anger and express their disappointment with the union. The union continued to labour the point that they had ‘conducted research’ to ‘gauge the opinion of fellow students’. However, it seems that this research was not successful in creating an event that students wanted to attend. Battle of the Bands winners Carthade, who regularly perform at Bristol’s Fringe and other venues in London were due to play at the event. Carthade’s frontman Oli Higginson commented that the band ‘were a little surprised at the ball’s cancellation since it seemed pretty organised’ but thought ‘one of the main problems was trying to please too many people in one single event which stopped the whole thing in its tracks.’ Goldney Ball suffered the same fate last year when their annual summer event was also cancelled. Goldney’s event was seven years strong and usually the highlight of the season for students, but last year, competition from the union ball and low ticket sales led to its cancellation. This year will see Goldney stage a downscaled summer event for current residents of the hall. All UBU ball tickets, which were £45 each, will be refunded and a separate email notification has been sent to ticket holders.

#makethempay

Full report on this year’s industrial action - page 4

Standards are slipping: catch up on Bristol’s Park and Slide on page 7

Online

Deputy Style Editor Deanne Ball deputystyle@epigram.org.uk

Science & Technology Editor Molly Hawes scienceandtech@epigram.org.uk

Style Online Editor Deputy Comment Editor Amelia Impey Rob Stuart deputycomment@epigram.org.uk styleonline@epigram.org.uk

Deputy Science & Tech Editor Sol Milne deputyscience@epigram.org.uk

Comment Online Editor Jessica McKay commentonline@epigram.org.uk

What’s On Editor Josie Benge whatson@epigram.org.uk

Science & Tech Online Editor Stephanie Harris scienceonline@epigram.org.uk

Letters Editor Emma Leedham letters@epigram.org.uk

Arts Editor Claudia Knowles arts@epigram.org.uk

Sport Editors Hetty Knox sport@epigram.org.uk

Sport Online Editor Letters Editor Editor Arts Online Editor Deputy Science Deputy Living Editors George Moxey Emma Corfield Erin Fox Sophia Hadjipateras sportonline@epigram.org.uk Emma Sackville artsonline@epigram.org.uk shadjipateras@epigram.org.uk letters@epigram.org.uk deputyscience@epigram.org Chief Photography Editor Sport Editor Music Editor Izzy Kerr Culture Editor Marketa Brabcova Calum Sherwood Mike Hegarty ikerr@epigram.org.uk photography@epigram.org.uk Tom Burrows music@epigram.org.uk culture@epigram.org.uk sport@epigram.org.uk Living Online Editor Photography Editors Culture Editor Editor Deputy Music EditorDeputy Sport MorwennaDeputy Scott Vivian Lee Zoe Hutton Danny Riley livingonline@epigram.org.uk Georgina Winney David Stone deputymusic@epigram.org.uk deputyculture@epigram.org.uk deputysport@epigram.org.uk Travel Editor Chief Proofreader Music Editor Music Online EditorPuzzles Editor Olivia Lace-Evans Ed Atkins Nathan Comer Dan Faber travel@epigram.org.uk Lily Buckmaster musiconline@epigram.org.uk Sub-editors: music@epigram.org.uk Ciara Murphey Head Sub Editor Deputy Travel Editor Emma Frazer Deputy Music EditorFilm & TV Editor Emma Corfield Andrea Valentino Guy Watts Pippa Shawley Gareth Downs deputytravel@epigram.org.uk Hannah McGovern Sub Editors filmandtv@epigram.org.uk deputymusic@epigram.org.uk Jeremy Barclay Harriet Layhe, Travel Online Editor Matt Floyd FIlm & TV Editor Deputy Film & TV Editor Nicholas Irwin Emilia Morano-Williams Kate Moreton, Rosemary Wagg Ryan Maguire Will Ellis Matt Field travelonline@epigram.org.uk Sahar Shah Illustrator deputyfilmandtv@epigram.org.uk filmandtv@epigram.org.uk Tom Herbert Sophie Sladen Style Editor Deputy Film & TV Editor Film & TV Online Editor Maddy Streets Web Designer Anthony Adeane Alejandro Palekar style@epigram.org.uk Rob Mackenzie filmandtvonline@epigram.org.uk deputyfilmandtv@epigram.org.uk

Deputy Features Editor Features Online Editor Andrew White Michael Coombs deputyfeatures@epigram.org.uk

An unAMMicable evening

The University of Bristol won its very own Gromit, known as ‘Bark at Ee’, at the extremely popular Gromit Unleashed auction. A total of 80 Gromit statues were auctioned, raising a staggering 2.3 million pounds for the Bristol Children’s Hospice at the Mall’s outdoor pavilion, which was transformed into an auction room for the evening with 500 Bristolbased guests invited to the event. Over the summer ‘Bark at Ee’ was the red and white Gromit located on Queen Square. Photographed by thousands of Gromit spotters, it will be put back on display for students, staff and members of the public to enjoy once more, although the location of ‘Bark at Ee’ is yet to be decided. The 5ft Gromit was designed by Leigh Flurry, who is a designer and illustrator based in Bristol. The close association that Leigh has to the city meant that this Gromit was top of Bristol University’s most wanted list at the auction. Professor David Clarke, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University, commented, ‘we had our eye on “Bark at Ee” before the auction due to his local connections and we feel he should remain in the city’. The auction of the Gromits was viewed by a 17,000 strong online audience as it was streamed live online. The University of Bristol successfully secured the ‘Bark at Ee’ statue for a price of £20,000. Various bidders from around the world purchased the Gromits at the auction, which was presided over by Tim Wannacott of Bargain Hunt fame. The auction fetched over double the anticipated amount of money, which will be of huge benefit to the local children’s hospital here in Bristol. Whilst Bristol University spent £20,000 on their Gromit, ‘Bark at Ee’ was not the most expensive one at the auction. That accolade went to GromitLightyear, designed by Pixar Studios which fetched £65,000 at auction. ‘Bark at Ee’ will accompany Bristol’s ‘Going Going Gone’ gorilla which was purchased in 2011 to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Bristol Zoo and is currently located in the ASS library.

Issue 266

Drug taking rife amongst Bristol freshers

www.epigram.org.uk

Inside • Officer role review derailed • AMM fails to reach quoracy Epigram

Spencer Turner News Reporter

University of Bristol Independent Student Newspaper

The

Issue 271 Monday 10th February 2014

Arts Introducing: page 39

University of Bristol Independent Student Newspaper

www.epigram.org.uk

Editor Comment Editor Deputy Arts Editor Science Editor Living Editor Jacob Webster Ollie Yorke Tom Flynn Patrick Baker Rose Bonsier Tori Halman Nick Corkjacob.webster@epigram.org.uk ollie.yorke@epigram.org.uk living@epigram.org.uk editor@epigram.org.uk deputyculture@epigram.org.uk comment@epigram.org.uk science@epigram.org.uk News Editor Deputy Editors Jacklin JonLaura Bauckham news@epigram.org.uk jon@epigram.org.uk

on four space shuttle missions, including the flight that deployed the Hubble Space telescope, which involved training at British Aerospace in Bristol during the 1990s. General Bolden was appointed the position as the 12th United States Administrator of NASA by President Obama in 2009, with a mission to focus on research and development in space exploration. In 2012, General Bolden became the first human being to have their voice broadcast on the surface of Mars, via the Curiosity rover. The event will be held in the Great Hall of the Wills Memorial Building. Tickets sold out in 24 hours, one of the fastest selling events the university has held.

Markéta Brabcová

deputy@epigram.org.uk

NASA lands at UoB Laura Jacklin News Editor The current Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), General Charles Bolden is to visit the university to be awarded an honorary degree and to speak to staff and students. On the 29th January, the former astronaut will be awarded the honorary degree, and will speak about America’s history of space exploration and his experiences through his involvement with NASA at a free talk. His time as an astronaut saw General Bolden fly

Flickr: Stuck in Customs

Deputy Editor Alex Bradbrook

Winter storms: the impact on Bristol’s homeless page 7

Fenella Maxwell News Reporter Churchill Hall residents have commenced a campaign to stop the development of a Botanical Gardens coffee shop within The Holmes, due to concerns about disturbance and losing historical legacy. The Holmes is a popular residency within Churchill Hall in Stoke Bishop, located within the Botanical Gardens. This building is also the site of which Americans planned the D-Day invasion. For nearly ten months during the Second World War, The Holmes was the home to some of the most powerful US military men in Britain, including iconic figures such as President Eisenhower and General Bradley. It is understood that the invasion was constructed within the exact room that is to be turned into a coffee shop. Continued on page 3

Philip Bruland

editor@epigram.org.uk

Shark evolution page 51

page 39 Jesse Armstrong interview

Churchill’s legacy threatened

Kai Staats

flickr: BinaryApe

Inside

e2

b.vimeocdn.com

INTERVIEW: Sean Bobbitt 12 Years a Slave cinematographer page 44

Stephanie Rihon Online News Editor Students have been questioning the benefit of the new term structure. The decision to change the structure of Bristol’s teaching year was taken in 2011 but only came into effect in the current academic year. Although it was aimed to improve student’s teaching satisfaction, Bristol’s student population has certainly felt the burden of the twelve-week term. So is an idea that seems perfectly sustainable in theory actually beneficial to undergraduates? Before the new structure, there was no clear divide between the teaching and assessment periods which undoubtedly caused confusion, especially for first years, as students were expected to revise for exams whilst also juggling new course material. Indeed, ProVice Chancellor for Education, Nick Lieven argued that the new term structures would ‘improve the educational experience for students’. However, courses such as Medicine and Dentistry were excluded from this change but every effort was made to make their timetables as closely matched as possible. Some feel there are certainly some clear advantages to this new system. The longer terms gives students a greater amount of time to settle in to Bristol – an invaluable pro for the incoming Freshers – and somehow makes the course seem more spaced out. In the summer term, there will be three dedicated exam weeks with one week before being solely for revision purposes: perhaps a greater incentive to revise one’s hardest when not pressured to learn new material.

Twitter: UoBVC

Katie Pearce reviews the hot new chick flick: The Other Woman

12 week terms: are we feeling the benefit?

Adam Bushnell News Reporter Former Epigram Sports Editor David Stone required hospital treatment after being attacked and bottled outside a bar in Ukraine. He and other fans were drinking with locals on one of the main streets in the Ukrainian capital’s centre a few days before the England football team’s World Cup qualification match with the Euro 2012 hosts on 10th September. Stone told Epigram that he and a large group of England fans were socialising with the locals who were described as being ‘very friendly’. The next thing he recalls happening is waking up in his hospital bed. He suggested that the attackers, who have been widely reported as being either a group of opportunistic troublemakers or organised hooligans, also took the chance to steal the travelling supporters’ prized St George’s Cross flags. The attackers were described as a group of about thirty hooded men who appeared suddenly, throwing gas bombs and smoke grenades into the bar before attacking the England fans, some of whom tried to defend themselves. Stone told Epigram that there was no indication this was going to happen as the locals were being very amicable and interacting with the England fans, even taking photographs of one another. It is believed that the attackers took advantage of the lack of police presence, as the night of the attack was still several days before the match. There were three English fans that required hospital treatment, Stone included, with injuries

Twitter: UoB Women’s Football

43 The Other Woman

Bristol graduate bottled in Kiev

Twitter: UBSWPC

Editor Josephine Franks

Hannah Stubbs Deputy News Editors hannah@epigram.org.uk Joseph Quinlan

Film & TV

www.epigram.org.uk University of Bristol Independent Student Newspaper

flickr: Goddard

Arts Introducing celebrates Cowie’s talent

Issue 270 Monday 27th January 2014

Monday 30th September 2013 www.epigram.org.uk

Editorial team

Comment Editor Rosslyn McNair comment@epigram.org.uk

Britain’s drinking culture page 14

Issue 264

Nick Riddle

40 Robin Cowie

page 14

Markéta Brabcová

Arts

Immigrants fail to materialise page 8

Whistleblowers

page 28-29

Flickr: FDWR

Style takes inspiration from the fashionable 50’s

What’s On double page spread

The

Markéta Brabcová

25 Back to the 50’s

page 8

Andrew Armson

Style

So this is it, folks. Epigram 2013/14 is drawing to a close and though I’m sure the coming weeks will be filled with more retrospectives than MTV on New Year’s Eve and enough angsty quotes to rival a high school yearbook, I hope you’ll forgive my self-indulgent reflections. Epigram’s 25th year has been fantastic. It has seen (and been) a ball, a rebranding, a new website and more students getting involved than ever before (must’ve been the hashtag). It is to these students that the greatest thanks must be extended. To the editors, one of the most creative, dedicated and quick-witted bunches of people I’ve had the privilege of working with; to the writers, who grapple with stories at the expense of essays; to the business team, who not only lurk in the background managing the boring stuff but have also pulled off some blinding events this year. And don’t think I’d forget you guys, the readers. Without you we’d be pulping 5000 copies a fortnight, which would be an awful shame. Despite what the media says about our generation’s inability to read something that isn’t compiled into handy illustrated lists, Bristol students have shown themselves to be open to challenging and thought-provoking material. Responses to articles such as our mental health special, sexism report and sport investigation demonstrate that despite the stereotype of the apathetic student, the Bristol population is ready and willing to engage. There are always improvements to be made; 12 issues pass in a flash and everyone involved with Epigram juggles it with degree, work and extra-curricular commitments. If you’d like to contribute to Epigram next year, we are still looking for section editors and business team members: turn to pages 12 and 18 respectively to find out more. I’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce the senior team who’ll be taking over next year. Zaki Dogliani (Deputy News Editor 2012-13) will be taking the helm as editor and will be very ably assisted by deputies Anna Fleck (Editorial Assistant 2013-14) and Victoria Halman (Living Editor 2013-14). I’m incredibly excited about what the 26th year of Epigram will bring and couldn’t feel more confident in leaving the paper in their hands. Thanks for reading, guys – it’s been a blast. Jos

Photography showcase page 28-29

Poetry: a dying art?

Flickr:FDWR

Travel advises how to deal with ‘end-ofholiday’ syndrome

A (final) note from the editor

Flickr: FDWRMaddie

24 Home-time blues

anna.fleck@epigram.org.uk

Flickr: boodoo

Travel

editor@epigram.org.uk

Flickr: Stephan Geyer

Oliver Carter-Esdale invgestigates UKIP’s future trajectory

Editorial Assistant: Anna Fleck

Twitter@CFCCath

11 So where do UKIP go from here?

Deputy Editor: Alex Bradbrook deputy@epigram.org.uk

flickr: m_cicchetti

Inside Epigram

Editor: Josephine Franks

Andrew Armson

News Editorial

Marketa Brabkova

Epigram

www.epigram.org.uk For the latest news, features and reviews

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Epigram is the independent student newspaper of the University of Bristol. The views expressed in this publication are not those of the University or the Students’ Union. The design, text and photographs are copyright of Epigram and its individual contributors and may not be reproduced without permission.

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News

Epigram

12.05.2014

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@epigramnews Editor: Laura Jacklin news@epigram.org.uk

Deputy Editors: Spencer Turner; Joe Quinlan; Sarah Newey sturner@epigram.org.uk ; jquinlan@epigram.org.uk

Online Editor: Stephanie Rihon newsonline@epigram.org.uk

Recruiting the next Vice-Chancellor • Students asked to give opinion • 75% think it’s time for a female VC Markéta Brabcová

Park and Slide

Markéta Brabcová

Banksy returns Stephanie Rihon Online News Editor The new Banksy mural, ‘Mobile Lovers’, is still the source of great uncertainty as it becomes close to a month since the artwork was first discovered and placed in the care of Bristol’s Museum and Art Gallery. It was found on a doorway in Clement Street and then taken by the leader of the Broad Plain Boys Club to raise money for the organisation – of which Bansky is apparently a supporter. Over the Easter weekend, over 10,000 visitors graced Bristol Museum and Art Gallery’s doors and several members of staff have noticed a significant increase in people coming into the museum.

The discussion, however, continues over the fate of ‘Mobile Lovers’. Some believe that it should be returned to the Broad Plain Boys Club to go to auction. Yet, others argue for it to remain on public display in the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery so that it can become a safe, certain place

The process for appointing the new ViceChancellor is underway, following current ViceChancellor Eric Thomas announcing that he will retire in summer 2015. A survey by UBU revealed that 75% of students at Bristol think the new Vice-Chancellor should be female. The survey, which is still open, asks for students’ opinions on topics such as pay, experience and vision concerning the next Vice-Chancellor. A Vice-Chancellor who is more engaged with the student community was also a desire highlighted by the survey.

“ 84% students think that the ViceChancellor’s yearly salary should be less than £200,000

Whilst the Vice-Chancellor is often a figure unseen by students, half asked felt that the recruitment exercise was important to them. Most students considered student experience more important than overseas expansion and a strong research reputation, and over half wanted the new Vice-Chancellor to have a commitment to equality as a key attribute. The survey somewhat reflected the tensions over pay and industrial action that have characterised this academic year, with 84% of students thinking that the new Vice-Chancellor’s yearly salary should be less than £200,000 rather than the current Vice-Chancellor’s salary, who receives the very significant sum of £314,000 a year. A student consultation meeting in the Anson Rooms on the 2nd May also echoed the results of the survey. Attended by Pro Vice- Chancellor for Education, Judith Squires, students asked felt that key attributes of the next Vice-Chancellor should be someone with a visible presence, who is engaged with the student body, forward thinking, with both academic experience and a business mind. Someone who has experience of large organisations was also a desire, as a way of improving communication within the university. Alumni of the university have also been consulted, from whom the university has received 300 responses so far. University staff will also be consulted.

For now, Banksy’s ‘Mobile Lovers’ is being kept in Bristol Museum

Markéta Brabcová

Banksy never does his street art on pieces of wood - they are always on walls so they can’t be taken away

to see a Banksy original. Bristol’s mayor, George Ferguson, believes in ‘it belonging to the city’ and approves of the decision to move it to the museum whilst a decision is made. The Bristol Post conducted an online survey of 5,000 people to gauge public opinion on the mural’s fate. The vote was split almost 50/50 with 51% favouring it to stay on at the museum. Dennis Stinchcombe, centre director of Broad Plain’s said ‘Only one man can say whose it is really and that’s Banksy - but when I spoke to George Ferguson he said honestly Dennis, if Banksy was to turn round and say it’s yours and Broad Plain’s’ he would not step in our way, which is a really nice gesture on his part.’ Stinchcombe was also reported in The Guardian as saying: ‘I was approached by somebody who knows Banksy very well. He’s an artist himself and he said, “You need to take that, Dennis, get it into that club – it’s what it is meant for’” “Banksy never does his street art on pieces of wood – they are always on walls so they can’t be taken away”. For now, ‘Mobile Lovers’ remains in the museum. The display is accompanied by a collection box, proceeds of which will go to the Broad Plain’s Boys Club, and a comment box where visitors can give their opinions on the mural’s future. Ray Barnett, head of collections at the museum, said ‘it hasn’t been massive, but it’s been popular’. It seems business has improved as at one point the museum was receiving 3,000 visitors per day. It is assumed that perhaps after perusing ‘Mobile Lovers’, the visitors would move on to look at some of the other exhibitions.

Laura Jacklin News Editor


Epigram 12.05.2014

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University lecturers accept a 2% pay rise Sarah Newey News Deputy Editor

as the support from students and members of Unite and Unison as well. I think the student-led campaign has shown the university that students support their teaching staff and value the quality of their education.’ ‘I feel that universities who are threatened to take 100% pay were being unnecessarily aggressive, and am not happy with how our own university has reacted.’

“ Trade unions and students’ unions are working together better than they have in years

Since October University staff in Bristol have been resorting to strike action in an attempt to see pay rises in accordance with inflation. The issue became increasingly contentious throughout the year, particularly after it emerged not only that the Vice-Chancellor has received a pay rise of 5.1%, but also that, among English speaking countries, only academics in New Zealand earn less than those in the UK. In February the UCU announced the potential to initiate a marking boycott, starting on the 28th April, if there was no resolution beforehand. However, on the 15th April the University offered a 2% pay rise - on the condition that current action ends - to

take effect from August 2014. UCU postponed the marking boycott until the 6th May in order to give members an opportunity to vote on the situation. There were several negatives to the offer. Some argue that the offer should have been rejected because it is not in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI), currently at 2.5%, which is used as a traditional means of measuring inflation. Additionally, the suggested pay rise was far lower than those at higher levels have received, and does not allow any repayment of the 15% real-term losses that staff have experienced since the recession began. However, in April the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell from 1.7% to 1.6%, therefore Universities have suggested the offer to be in line with inflation. The proposed pay rise is also significantly higher than other public and related sectors, who have seen an average increase of 1%. Furthermore as Tracey Hooper, Vice-President UCU Bristol, suggests, these resolutions do not solve every problem relating to pay: ‘There is still work to be done. Our employers, your university managers, are refusing to negotiate on any aspect of our national pay claim such as levelling up for those at the bottom of the pay scale or gender equality issues. Other important issues need serious action. Academic workloads are higher than ever before, the incidence of stress-related illnesses are rising and the casualisation of staff is also on the rise. ‘At Bristol some staff have remained on hourlypaid contracts for over a decade with no security, no increments, no career progression and far less than minimum pay for the hours they work - during this dispute we’ve seen academic staff in tears describing trips to food banks in order to survive.

‘This can’t be a fair way to treat academic staff and we are determined to fight, through the union, for a fair deal for these staff. We would ask the student body to continue to support us in all of these key campaigns.’ While the 11 month dispute over a 1% pay rise has been resolved, it is possible that further action will occur over pay related issues in years to come.

Timeline of Events 31st October 2013 – First strike action of the year for Bristol University. 3rd December 2013 – More lectures and seminars cancelled. 23rd January 2014 – 2014 opens with controversy as another day of strike action commences. News emerges that university heads, vice-chancellors, receive a pay rise of 5.1% but still refuse to grant staff pay rise they demand. The union stated that even this 5.1% rise would not take their full package into consideration as it does not include pension contributions. 28th January 2014 – Striking continues for another day. 6th February 2014 – Teaching comes to a halt yet again for another day of UCU action. Marking boycott beginning 28th April also threatened. 3rd March 2014 – Picketing continues with cancelled lectures and seminars. 15th April - UCEA puts forward new offer of a 2% pay rise. 1st May - UCU members vote to accept the proposed offer.

Markéta Brabcová

The offer of a 2% pay rise has now been accepted

The rally held outside Wills Memorial Building on 28th April

Markéta Brabcová

Members of the UCU - University College Union voted on Thursday 1st May to accept the University of Bristol’s offer of a 2% pay rise. Subsequently, there will be no further industrial action this year specifically, no marking boycott. Of the 52% of members who turned out, 83.7% of those voted to accept the proposals. The resolution comes after 11 months of negotiations, with staff striking and picketing on several occasions. The result of the vote will come as a relief to many students, especially final years who may have seen delays in their graduation. This could have caused significant problems regarding jobs and further education. Dr Edmund R Schluessel, a member of the NUS National Executive Council, commented that: ‘My own feeling is that we could all have gotten a better deal if the fight were continuing on, but we should also recognise that, with six days of action over the past year, a coalition of university workers with the solid support of students managed to crack the government’s 1% public sector pay cap and guarantee all full-time, directly employed university workers will now receive the Living Wage. ‘I am confident in saying the university unions in the dispute - UCU, Unite, Unison and EIS - could not have gotten this far without NUS’s recognition that this fight was not a battle of choice but of necessity. Trade unions and students’ unions are working together better than they have in years. We must maintain the links we have made so that the next time trouble comes - and it will - we are ready to stand together from the outset and engage again in struggle in our common interest, to defend education as an institution and as a right.’ The development comes after a rally was held outside the Will’s Memorial Building on the 28th April, to coincide with the Senate Meeting taking place. The rally was well-attended by both staff and students. The rally had originally been planned to coincide with the first day of the marking boycott; after this was postponed organisers decided to go ahead in demonstration against the University’s decision to withhold 100% of pay from staff who participated in the marking boycott. This decision caused widespread anger among the staff and student population. The financial pressures this would have put on staff limits their right to protest. The policy had also been described as aggressive and unfair, as a 100% pay cut would not have taken into account other responsibilities which lecturers would continue to carry out during the boycott. Ellie Williams, Community Officer at UBU, commented that: ‘I am pleased that a decision that both UCU and universities are happy with as been reached. This is testament to the power of unionised action, as well


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‘Big Give’ scheme returning Richard Assheton News Reporter

Flickr: Angels for Action

The Big Give encourages students to donate unwanted household items

The ‘Bristol Big Give’ scheme returns this term following its record-breaking success in 2013. The city-wide campaign encourages students from both the University of Bristol and UWE to donate rather than throw away unwanted household items at the end of the academic year. On 1 May red British Heart Foundation collection points were installed across the city whilst the process began earlier in the term in student halls. In July proceeds will be collected, weighed and distributed to various charities by volunteers. The aim is to double the record nine tonnes of clothes, shoes, kitchenware and electrical goods that were donated last year by increasing the number of donation points. Valued at an estimated £16,000, that collection benefited 11 charities other than the British Heart Foundation, including The Salvation Army, RSPCA and St Peter’s Hospice. Julie Paffet, Regional Stock Generator for the British Heart Foundation, offered: “We’re grateful to the Bristol Big Give campaign once again for encouraging people to have a clear out for charity. This scheme will be a huge help to BHF shops in Bristol and I’d hope as many students as possible get involved and support the scheme. “Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest

killer - you can join the fight for every heartbeat by having a clear out and using the BHF donation bins around the city to donate your unwanted items.” As well as aiming to raise money for important charities, the scheme recognises that tonnes of waste will be produced when students move out of their current accommodation in the coming weeks. In the UK 1.5 to 2 million tonnes of clothing and textile waste alone is created each year, of which 1.2 million goes to landfill. It is hoped that the scheme will increase recycling and reduce university waste. With that in mind, sustainability as well as charity is on the agenda. The expected success of this year’s scheme is not certain however. Fenella Maxwell, President of Churchill Hall Junior Common Room, said: ‘I think it’s a great idea that takes advantage of the items that students would get rid of anyway, but I’m not sure how well advertised it’s been. I haven’t seen many posters and students seem to be unaware of the project.’ The campaign is organised by the Bristol Community Partnership, an alliance between the University of Bristol, University of the West of England, both their student unions, UBU Get Green and the NUS Students Green Fund. The partnership aims to fuel sustainable prosperity for Bristol whilst reducing inequality and strengthening community spirit.

Student gambling levels rise Kim Slim News Reporter

A survey has shown over 20% of university students have gambled t0 increase income

Flickr: Images_Of-Money

The start of term is heralded by, amongst other things, the termly instalment of student loans. Last year the website Save the Student released figures showing that over 20% of university students had gambled to increase their income. Nearly 130,000 people aged 16-24 in the UK have been estimated to have a gambling problem. Jane Rigbye, the Head of Education Development at the gambling addiction charity Gamcare says it is getting easier for young people to gamble, and the problem is worsening. ‘The rate of problem gambling in adolescents is over three times as high as it is in adults,’ she noted. One Bristol student spoke of their experience of gambling with their friends at a local casino; ‘we started off pretty well, and our winnings gave us a great confidence boost, but by the end of the night, we had lost over £700 collectively. I alone lost almost £200.’ The prevalence of online gambling means the issue is not as obvious as drug or alcohol addictions,

and gamblers aren’t as aware of the money they are betting when they play online. Experts refer to the long-term effects on gamblers who start at a young age, which include weaker educational attainment, poor mental health and crime and alcohol problems. In the UK, the legal age for most types of gambling, is 16 but those younger than 16 can still legally gamble on various categories of slot machines. The endorsement of different kinds of gambling on television has also been blamed for the increase in young people suffering from gambling addiction. According to Trevor David, a consultant at Gamcare, universities have been approaching the charity to improve education on the issue of gambling addiction: ‘It’s time to open up a conversation about gambling in universities’, he was quoted saying in the Guardian. The charity aims to educate university staff and students to easily spot a gambling problem in their students and friends, so they can provide support before the problem gets worse. If you are concerned about the amount of time or money that you or someone you know is spending gambling, you can talk in confidence to a Gamcare adviser by phone on 0808 8020 133.

Bristol sustainability schemes recognised Jeremy Barclay News Reporter

Bristol University News

Quinn Runkle, Student Green Fund Project Co-ordinator

In 2013 the Big Give scheme in Bristol, involving students handing in 9 tonnes of unwanted goods for recycling, raised £16,000 for charities such as St Peter’s Hospice and the Bristol Night Shelter. In recognition of these efforts, The University of Bristol Union has been awarded a Gold Standard Green Impact award by the National Union of Students. This is an environmental awards scheme and is the highest accreditation of its kind. Alongside the Big Give scheme, efforts have been made to ensure that recent building development works by the University have been as environmentally sensitive as possible. This has included the installation of a ‘green roof’ in order to encourage wildlife, improve heating systems, and reduce carbon footprint. Students may also have noticed the plethora of signs across the precinct and halls of residence encouraging them to switch off lights and consider alternatives to printing. While these measures may

seem less emphatic than the tonnes of salvaged waste yielded by the Big Give scheme, they have all contributed to what UBU’s Vice-President Ellie Williams calls Bristol’s ‘strong reputation for sustainability as a city’.

We’re really pleased to be contributing to this by being a leading students’ union on sustainability and environmentalism

She went on to comment that ‘we’re really pleased to be contributing to this by being a leading students’

union on sustainability and environmentalism. However, NUS research into student attitude towards waste and recycling reveals that a quarter of students across the country living in University accommodation are unaware of the day their recycling is collected every week, and 10% of respondents stated that they simply don’t recycle. Therefore, there is still plenty of work to be done, which is exactly why UBU have set their sights upon the Green Impact Student Union’s Excellence award. The Excellence award rewards two years of Gold standard achievement with a year-long reward project, in which students can set their heights on a ‘bigger picture sustainability initiative’. The project will provide UBU with further opportunities to work with the University towards larger sustainable goals. Collections for the Bristol Big Give have already begun in Halls of Residence at the University of Bristol and UWE, and British Heart Foundation collection points will be installed in residential areas such as Redlands, Clifton and Cotham from Thursday 1st May.


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News catch-up A good day to International 5G let things slide summit welcomes • Giant water slide on Park Street Bristol academics becomes a reality Laura Jacklin News Editor

Philip Bruland

Dreams became reality as the 4th May saw Bristol’s Park Street turned into a giant water slide- all in the name of art. Nearly 100,000 people applied to ride on the ‘Park and Slide’ in five days, and thousands turned out to watch ticket holders slide their way on inflatable lilos down the 90m (300ft) slide from Clifton into the city centre. Epigram’s very own Sports Editor Hetty Knox was one of the lucky 360 people to ride on the slide. ‘It was so much fun! It definitely made my Sunday special. The atmosphere was amazing- there was music playing, people hanging out of windowsI’ve never seen that many people on Park Street before’ ‘I never thought I’d get a ticket, I hadn’t checked my emails for ages. My boyfriend forwarded me the link and then I got a ticket and he didn’t! It’s fair to say he wasn’t very pleased.’ ‘It’d make a great commute into uni, so maybe it should be a permanent feature. Then again, it’s nice to be one of the lucky few’. The slide was funded through 500 supporters donating through a crowd-funding website, Spacehive, and local business sponsorship. Jerram was reported to have turned down sponsorship from large companies. As stated on his website, ‘”Park and Slide” is not an opportunity to advertise fizzy drinks, swimming trunks or holidays to anyone’. It was the first in this season’s ‘Make Sundays Special’ initiative- which sees parts of Bristol closed to traffic on the first Sunday of each month and allows people to enjoy the city.

Artist Luke Jerram came up with the concept whilst looking out of the window of his office on Park Street. Tests ran in Ashton Court and after the money was raised and health and safety checks were undertaken, the slide was given the go ahead. The Park and Slide aimed to allow people to look at the city in a fresh and new way. Jerram’s website described the slide as ‘a playful response to the urban landscape’. Instructions on how to create an urban slide are to be posted on Luke Jerram’s webpage to allow the concept to spread to other cities. Jerram’s artwork often needs public participation to be activated. His other work includes ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’- the installation of street pianos in public for anyone to use which has toured across the world.

Adam Bushnell News Reporter Two University of Bristol academics have recently spoken at an international conference in New York City. Professors Andrew Nix and Mark Beach from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering were invited to represent the University and the UK at the global event. The first ‘Brooklyn 5G Summit’ was held between the 23rd and 25th April 2014 and delegates from as far and wide as the US, Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Finland, Denmark and France attended. The Bristol pair were the only UK academics to attend. Professor Beach told Epigram that the technological basis of the conference was the development of mobile communications: ‘Mobile phones or Cellular radio technology has rapidly evolved since the early 1980s in terms of different Generations (G, each providing the user with much greater communication capability, geographical availability and accessibility (cost and ease of use). 4G is now operational in the UK, with the network operators increasing coverage and the infrastructure and handset providers enhancing the level of end user functionality, with the streaming of video to your smart phone a key example. So we were discussing 5G and beyond technologies, with the industry seeking to deploy operational systems by 2020.’ He went further to say that ‘5G is about increasing the speed or “bit rate” to the user, both peak rates and also delivery at the cell edge,

where dates rapidly decrease when conventional cellular architectures are employed. 5G is likely to employ heterogeneous technologies such as 4G, Wi-Fi and millimetre wave access, using Software Defined Network (SDN) methodologies evolving from fibre or optical networks to provide seamless connectivity. Bristol University has considerable expertise in Wireless (Prof ’s Beach and Nix - Communication Systems and Networks Group) and SDN (Prof Dimitra Simeonidou, High Performance Networks Group) to help the industry develop this new technology. Use of Millimetre wave spectrum (30GHz to 300GHz) for mobile connectivity is new and we need to consider this spectrum as there is insufficient bandwidth available in the current bands (below 6GHz) for cellular and Wifi. The Brooklyn 5G summit focused on the use of millimetre wave access for 5G and beyond.’ The aim of the conference was to ‘dis-spell the myth that millimetre wave wireless can’t be used for mobile communications, identify the key research questions and encourage the standardisation of the technology and a single global frequency allocation, thus helping to make the technology cheap.’ When asked who the technology would benefit the most, he replied ‘It is the younger generation who consume the bandwidth in our connected world and they could enjoy this connectivity tether free with 5G. For global adoption and for the network operators to recover their costs, it will need to be ‘cheap’ as the business model assumes a massive user base.’ The technology is hoped to be in mass use by 2020.

MyFiles system failure angers students Billy Gore News Reporter

pixuffle.net

A recent technical problem to the University of Bristol’s MyFiles storage system has caused significant problems for staff and students that use the service. The MyFiles service (or O: drive), which enables each user to save and store up to 50GB of documents on the University’s server, encountered technical problems that could have led to the permanent corruption of data. Problems were first encountered on the Staff MyFiles service around 20th March but the same problems were quickly identified on the Student service leading to prompt action by IT services. In order for the necessary maintenance of the MyFiles servers to be carried out, the service has to be taken down. Initial maintenance work on the 21st March by the University’s IT Services was not expected to take too long. However, it later

became apparent that the whole day was needed to perform the maintenance and further additional maintenance was needed in the long run. Later emergency maintenance carried out by IT services on the MyFiles system caused some files, according to IT Services, to ‘not be visible’. While that same week, further maintenance led to the possibility that some students’ data might not be successfully copied from the mirror server to the repaired original MyFiles Server. Students have been left feeling angered by the constant disruption caused by MyFiles to their academic work. Harriet Rogers, a post-graduate student, said ‘my friends and I have found the MyFiles problem to be really irritating. Not only do the files just disappear, but often they do so for long periods of time which is really disrupting for work.’ However, (at the time of going to print) a new and improved MyFiles Service is now back online and fully functioning, and any more problems students and staff encounter on MyFiles should immediately be reported to IT Services.

The problems with the MyFiles system caused disruption among staff and students


Epigram

12.05.2014

Features

@epigramfeatures

Editor: Hugh Davies

Deputy Editor: Sophie Padgett

Online Editor: Michael Coombs

features@epigram.org.uk

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either because they were pretty or because somebody thought they might do quite well, but they didn’t really expect it. One or two very strong women were making it, there were producers on Panorama in the fifties, they were good and they were allowed to get on with the job. However, what tended to happen was that when promotions came they went to the men. It just went to the men because men, it was thought, had the authority and leadership roles. Men would set the standard, judge the criteria. Women were fine, just let them get on with what they do. It wasn’t that women were absent at all, they were there, in some numbers, Women’s Hour was already going and women’s magazines were abundant. However it was only in exceptional circumstances where they seen to be as serious as the men.

An interview with Joan Bakewell Baroness Joan Bakewell has built herself quite the legacy. As one of the first women broadcasters to tackle serious matter on the television, she did not just climb her own way up the greasy pole of the male dominated world of the media; she defiantly blazed a trail which would allow more intelligent, modern women to follow in her footsteps. Now 81, her impressive career as a broadcaster, author and journalist is far from behind her. More recently she has become a Labour Peer and from 2008 and 2010 was appointed the role of Voice for Older People by the British government. Epigram’s Sophie Padgett spoke to Joan Bakewell to find out more about her iconic career and life as a woman in the media. Sophie Padgett Deputy Features Editor As a young woman fresh out of university, what were the first steps you took towards working in the world of media? When I was at Cambridge in the 1950s the BBC held total monopoly, so when we went into our third year and thought what we were going to do, it seemed natural to look towards the BBC for a job. Television was still a fairly limited enterprise. Radio was the thing, and I applied and I got a job as a technician, a studio manager. It was completely inappropriate because it was a technical job and I was very, very poor at it. It was really depressing, I went there straight from university and while I was doing the technical job I noticed that other people were what you called broadcasters. They didn’t work

full time, or rather they worked at a time of their own choosing. I remember noticing that and thinking, I’ll log that for future reference. When I had the first of my two children it was then I thought, what I need is part time work, and where I will find it is as a freelance broadcaster. All selections in life are a mix of the random and of good luck, only a very small part of it is intentional. As one of the first women to break into the male dominated world of broadcasting, what did you find presented the biggest challenge? One of the most difficult challenges was just to be taken seriously. To be taken seriously, as a serious broadcaster on the level of the man. To not to be considered to be doing it as a sort of secondary activity that was just to keep you cheerful. They didn’t take me seriously.

Even when I went to Late Night Line Up in the sixties. I was paid less than the men, and I questioned that, in response to which somebody said, ‘oh yes but she only does it for the pin money.’ If you had a husband who was earning, you might do a job for a bit of fun, but you weren’t serious about it.

“ One of the most difficult challenges was just to be taken seriously. To be taken seriously, as a serious broadcaster on the level of the man

Women were seen as a frivolous part of the population, in television they were there

As one of the first women to break through and have a successful career as a serious broadcaster did you feel you had a responsibility to set an example to others or to behave in a certain way? I was just enjoying it too much as a job. We were all working very hard. I was married with a small child. I didn’t have to time to think whether I was taking my role seriously or not. I was just having to do it as well as I could. It was difficult, I had to write scripts and interview interesting people, it was very varied. I took that very seriously, but I didn’t go in for any ideological aspirations, I didn’t want to be an emblem of this or a heroine of that at all, I was just too busy. In a sense, we grabbed what opportunities we could in those days and we didn’t theorise about them. That came later with younger women, but doing my job wasn’t seen by me or by anybody else as in anyway emblematic.

can’t solve it, it’s not easy, I don’t know what the solution is. But for every individual woman who wants to have a family it presents a problem, and they will find their own solution. It will affect your generation as much as it affected my generation; and that’s extraordinary. If you had to pick a proudest moment of you career, what would it be? I was very pleased to be part of a team who got access to Nelson Mandela after he’d come out of prison. He gave a big press conference that everybody went to, but we followed him to where he went next, which was to Sweden to see Walter Sisulu. We got an exclusive long interview with him. That took a little bit of planning and string pulling, which was worth doing of course; it was enormously rewarding. It is now a historic interview of those first days after he came out so that still warms my heart when I think of it. Simply because it is always good to take on something that you think is not possible and then make it possible, that’s always very gratifying. Also just to meet someone so outstanding as a person, which is what he proved to be.

“ “ Being good at what you do is what gets you where you are and what keeps you there. That’s what defies any challenge to your role as a woman

Do you feel it was harder to be a young woman breaking into a world in which women had previously been absent, or as an older woman working in an environment where there is a distinct lack of older faces, especially female ones?

I lived the first set of experiences when I was much younger and didn’t care very much. Now I’m very old, I don’t really worry a lot about how much broadcasting I do or not. I was the person who broached this issue of older women’s faces on television, which are basically the faces that cause the offence, ha! What a terrible thing to say! I broached this with the then Director General, Mark Thompson, and said it won’t do if a large segment of the population are just invisible. He took that point on and it is slowly getting mended. The heroine of the story of course, is Miriam O’Reilly who took the BBC to court. That really was a courageous thing to do. People said at the time,‘oh Miriam you’ll never work again, take care!’, but she decided she would go all out. When she won the BBC was absolutely amazed! She has worked since but she doesn’t have the standard, regular job and income she once had. It took someone like her to make it a front line issue.

Do you feel there are any women who have had, or currently hold a prominent position in the media that have actually done women a bit of disservice?

No I don’t think so, I’m really rather loyal to women overall, even the giddier pop groups, the bright young women who bare their bums for pop music. I just feel that women have to make the grade. You’ve got to be good at things that the public want to see. You’ve got to have the standards good enough to earn your place. That’s what matters in whatever field - whether you’re joking, or dancing, or singing or discussing politics. Being good at what you do is what gets you where you are and what keeps you there. That’s what defies any challenge to your role as a woman. Where do you personally feel we currently are with the state of women’s rights and where do you think the feminist movement is going?

I think we are now enjoying a new wave of feminism of really very assertive young women who I think are terrific, they run things like the Everyday Sexism website. The big issue across the board is pay. Women are not paid the equivalent of men, and it is absolutely amazing that that is so. The problem is that women get trapped because of the major challenge for women, the fact that they are the ones who have the babies and stay at home to look after them. They then gravitate to lower paid jobs, which is all they can manage when they are trying to juggle families. The social dimension of women and their child bearing responsibilities, their time out to have children, is simply beyond men. Men don’t have any grasp of what that means and what problems it creates. Women still

It is always good to take on something that you think is not possible and then make it possible, that’s always very gratifying.

What words of advice would you have for young women of my generation who are just coming out of university and entering the world of work?

I think it is very important to stay true to your inner self. I don’t think ambitions that are hooked on getting a very famous role, or being in the public eye, or earning lots of money are themselves good enough. All those are very nice I might say! They are all very gratifying, but you really must look into your heart and do what you want to do. I found very early on that having that studio manager job was a bad direction and I simply pulled away from it. It’s tougher now because the jobs aren’t there so if you get a job you count yourself damn lucky. To give up a job with an income and try something else is tricky but I do think you’ve got to know what you want for yourself and qualify yourself as well as you can to go for it.


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station on the moon but that does not mean that British companies are prohibited from purchasing a chunk of the moon. British space Scientist, Professor Richard Holdaway, has worked with China in recent years and believes that they could have astronauts on the moon by 2025 which is a remarkable achievement. However, there are concerning similarities with the Space Race of the Cold War. Professor Ziyuan has made comments such as ‘Lunar exploration is a reflection of a country’s comprehensive national power…It is significant for raising our international prestige and increasing our people’s cohesion.’ Doesn’t that sound eerily familiar? We all remember what happened last time a Communist government decided to put space travel above the quality of life of their own people. The moon has always had a considerable and highly influential bond with earth and there was, naturally, upset when President Obama announced in 2010 that he would be cancelling the Constellation programme created by known intellect George W. Bush. Constellation had plans to return American astronauts to space by 2020 before hopping onto Mars. President Obama deemed it too costly. But – joy of all joys – commercial exploitation is a chance for the American Dream to be lit afresh. John Logsdon, former director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, commented that private investment in manned missions could be ‘a way of NASA getting back involved with the moon without violating the president’s policy.’ Whether or not the legalities of private companies have been ironed out yet, there are several ethical dilemmas that arise when it comes to Space travel and whose jurisdiction we are invading. NASA needs to weigh up the true value of the resources on the moon against the potential damage because otherwise there will be no going back.

flickr: dingopup

Ideas of commercialising the moon have long been quashed for being, at best, capitalism gone mad and, at worst, potentially destructive. Recently, however, NASA has expressed interest in partnering with private companies to resupply the International Space Station in return for their permission to scavenge resources on the moon. Critics have been shocked that an organisation so dedicated to the education and understanding of space would stoop so low as to encourage and aid in its degradation. The idea of commercialising the moon conjures up the idea of McDonald’s hideous, glowing golden arches contaminating our night’s sky but what are the true implications of a privately owned moon? More importantly, who actually has the power to make this decision? NASA’s argument is as follows: these partnerships have worked ‘well’ before in lower orbit according to Bigelow Aerospace’s Michael Gold in an interview with AFP, and so ‘there is no reason it won’t work just as well on the moon.’ Words of logic indeed. The financial motive for NASA’s involvement is its primary justification. ‘In this austere environment it only makes sense to leverage private sector investments and capabilities.’ In the competitive world of space exploration, NASA simply could not support its desired missions with only federal funding. NASA’s researchers argue that the faster we commercialise the moon the faster we can utilise the reserves of Helium-3. Helium-3 is rare on Earth and has rapidly become one of the major candidates for future clean energy as it is ideal for nuclear fission. The moon’s soil is rich in coveted elements that we simply do not have enough of on earth. In total, 17

chemicals on the periodic table that we could gather from the lunar soil that are in greater demand on earth due to their role in modern electronics. There is also a considerable element of international competition. China’s attempts to lead the battle over the moon began in 2013 with the oddly titled Jade Rabbit Lunar Rover which was part of China’s Chang’e-3 mission which has been sent to the moon to gather scientific data and test new technologies. The rover, despite suffering from some seemingly major malfunctions, has awoken from what has been described as ‘scheduled dormancy’. Professor Ouyang Ziyuan, a Chinese scientist, explained the moon’s ‘beautiful’ source of minerals and energy to the BBC earlier this year. He described that the Chinese have three motivations in investigating the moon: firstly, to develop Chinese technology ‘this is the key reason’, secondly, to learn more about Earth we need to ‘know about our [planetary] brothers and sisters’, and thirdly, China wants its own independent intellectual team to ‘explore the whole lunar and solar system’. The Americans are clearly not the only nation to have discovered the valuable resources residing on the moon. As the moon operates in a vacuum, solar panels would work far more efficiently and could possibly power the earth for up to 10,000 years at the Chinese estimate. Professor Ziyuan has pitched building a ‘belt’ of solar panels on the moon that would ‘support the whole world’. The blueprints for this plot wouldn’t be out of place in a Bond villain’s lair. But it seems that Michael Gold sees a collective global opportunity in the profits of the moon, ‘There are a vast amount of opportunities not only in America but across the globe.’ The United Kingdom are far from building a space

flickr: Geoff Greer

Absolute Lunar-cy: The race to exploit the moon hots up Margot Tudor Features Writer

12.05.2014

The fuzzy ethics of Modafinil Alex Green Features Writer It’s only human nature to want to push against our limitations. In sport the use of steroids to improve performance is common despite being frowned upon and in almost all cases banned. So how should we treat the increasing trend of students using so-called ‘work drugs’ to help them study longer, retain more information and better their peers? In the past, both Adderall and Ritalin have been popular among students who seek to toil for days on end in the library with little or no sleep. However, in the last year a new drug designed to combat narcolepsy and marketed to promote ‘wakefulness’ has come into common use by students around the country. Modafinil will give even the most slothful student the motivation of a singleminded automaton. It is no surprise then that the French Government has indicated that the Foreign Legion has used the drug in covert operations in recent years. Reports indicate that it suppresses the appetite, increases alertness and makes those that take it lose the need for conversation or human contact. To focus on a single problem becomes the easiest thing, and to be deprived of mental stimulation causes uncomfortableness and irritation. A Bristol second year student studying Economics told Epigram ‘I wrote 3,000 words of an essay in under 3 hours without needing to take a break. It felt wrong to leave my room and I found that I could recall more of what I had written than before. When I read it back my words were lucid and clear’. Limited trials in the US suggest that the drug could increase memory recall by up to 10%. It is also being researched as a form

of relief for those with MS. Writer MJ Hyland, who suffers from the illness, said that she ‘went from utter fatigue to feeling like me on my best day’ once she began self-prescribing herself Modafinil. However, students are not so likely to use the drug in as responsible a manner. The risk increases as the dosage does, and a small number of students working towards their finals have reportedly used the drug to go on 30+ hour cramming sessions leading up to their summer exams. Repeated use could lead to dependency that could follow one out of university and into the workplace. Immediate negative effects include dizziness, blurred vision, and headaches. Many users complain of bouts of nausea. Modafinil also makes contraceptive medication less effective.

“ I wrote 3,000 words of an essay in under 3 hours without needing to take a break

Modafinil can be easily bought off the internet. Many students swear by its ability to make even the most unmotivated student toil away for hours over an impending deadline, but there are risks. Despite being readily available online, little or no information is available about the drug’s long term effects, and many students may be putting themselves in harm’s way. Immediate danger comes from the illicit nature of the sellers. Students may have no idea where they are buying from. They are likely to look to cheap, unsafe sources that

may sell contaminated stock. This is due to Modafinil’s status as a prescription only drug in the UK; whilst it is not illegal to buy or take the medication as a work aid, it is illegal to sell it. Anyone attempting to buy Modafinil is forced into the hands of companies that ship from overseas. There are very real worries that come with this trend. One possibility would be a university drug-testing scheme by which those found to have been using ‘work drugs’ would be penalized. Another potential issue would be the unintentional introduction of a two-tiered system that separated those that could afford to purchase Modafinil and those that could not. A level playing field would become impossible as those that work to the best of their abilities may be trumped by those that get help in the form of a small white pill. Whilst these issues may not be apparent now, they may not be very far off. Outside of student life, Modafinil has the potential to be used in a number of high stress situations. If the anecdotal evidence rings true and the drug is proved to be safe it could aid men and women working long shifts, sleep deprived and in positions where lives are constantly at risk. Pilots would stay more alert throughout the longer international flights and surgeons may make fewer mistakes under pressure. If the controlled use of such a drug statistically decreased the number of deaths in casualty wards around the country, the debate may very well open up regarding whether the use of such neuro-enhancers should be condoned or not. At this time the morals of the situation remain murky, and whilst many may condemn them, there still remains an overwhelming popularity among students that will not likely decrease. This is the fuzzy ethics of cognitive enhancement.


Epigram

12.05.2014

10

Ruthless immigration policy continues down under

Never mind the bankers; inequality rife in the UK Holly Jones Features Writer Despite the cyclical nature of politics, the current state of the UK’s wealth distribution is one which has not been seen in the post-industrial era. History shows us economic booms and busts, recessions and recoveries and the changes they leave in their wake: history is cyclical, but the nuanced nature of today’s inequality is unique. Class is no longer about manners, tastes and behaviours. Class used to be dictated by occupation – whether you were paid by salary or weekly, your job perks, how you spent your leisure time and money. In the UK, the decline of traditional ‘working class’ occupations in the primary and secondary sectors like mining, agriculture, and the manufacture of valueadded goods has seen the service, or tertiary, sector fill the gap, often to the detriment of workers. The impact of this gradual process is huge: we now buy most of our textiles from Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and as of this January, China has overtaken the USA as the largest global exporter of valueadded goods, or, goods which are manufactured as whole products and sold cheaply in bulk to importing countries like the UK. The ‘Buy British’ mantra only works so far as one’s budget can stretch – and budgets are being stretched like grimacing taffy due to a plethora of contextual pressures which have never before hit the British public in quite the same way. The decline in the purchasing power of wages is one such pressure: not only are real wages falling at an ‘unprecedented’ rate – 8% between 2008 and 2013 according to figures released this month – but inflation

has only just come under the Bank of England’s target of 2%, with March being the third consecutive month of doing so at 1.6%. As the country is now officially out of recession – with GDP growing 0.8% in the first quarter of this year, far below the Bank of England’s target of 3% growth – there is speculation of increasing the base interest rate from a five-year record low of 0.5% to 5%, with several financial institutions currently testing to see whether or not they could survive such a move, which would jeopardise people living on loaned money. This would disproportionately hit working class individuals unable to live hand-to-mouth despite being in work: the working poor are now in receipt of benefits owing to their paltry wages not being enough to sustain them, instigating calls for the minimum wage to be raised to a ‘living wage’. Working class people now have higher chances of redundancy due to the vast nature of employers (and their efficiency in cost-cutting) and having no in-demand skilled trade: tertiary sector low paid work is often classed as ‘unskilled’ despite increasing numbers of overqualified candidates being employed. All this and cuts to previously universal government benefits, too: the middle classes have lost as much as 25% of their household income, which hardens their existence to a standard of living they are not accustomed to nor comfortable with. Ours is the first generation since the industrial revolution and creation of the Poor Law which may be worse off than our parents, since housing prices – especially in cities, where there are more likely to be well-paid jobs – have jumped with scant regard to real wages to the extent that, according to the housing charity Shelter, if

bananas had increased at the same rate since 1971, a bunch of six would cost £8.47. This paints a bleak picture for everyone – except the richest 20%. While the poorest 20% in the country have less than 1% of the total wealth, the rich have in excess of 60%, and just keep getting richer. And it is they who are the ones setting policy agenda and re-evaluating what constitutes ‘working’ or ‘middle’ class, thus stunting social mobility even at a time when more people than ever are enrolling at universities. Amidst Robin Hood tax advocates protesting for a redistributive tax system, where taxes are higher for those who can afford to live at a much higher level than ‘comfortably’, Barclays Bank recently upped its board’s pay (and bonuses) in spite of a 32% profit drop in the last financial year. This redistribution of wealth towards the already richer end of the scale leads to what sociologists term the ‘champagne glass’ (think saucer, not flute) distribution of wealth, where money is clustered disproportionately at the wide top end of the glass and the poorest, in the glass’s stem, have comparatively very little wealth. The Gini coefficient – a measure of how unequal a society is - of the UK is only going to increase as long as government spending cuts adversely affect the lives of the very poorest – the unemployed are now expected to live on a meagre £71 a week – and the richest continue their detached frenzy of outdoing each other’s salaries. Some call for increased taxation on the richest as the solution: not as punishment for earning so much but to ensure that those at the bottom end can survive. Decreasing a salary from £1m to £500,000 would not diminish one’s ability to live, after all.

Following the recent MH370 crisis and the headline-grabbing situation in Crimea, Australia’s practice of a ruthless policy against immigration has been largely overlooked by the media. A supposed beacon of humanity and modernity, The Regional Resettlement Agreement (RRA) exposes Australia’s distinctly darker side. After coming into power in September 2013 Australia’s new Prime Minister Tony Abbott has vigorously implemented the RRA, a policy introduced by his predecessor Kevin Rudd that denies access to unauthorised immigrants arriving by boat. The Australian Defense League (ADL), which is linked to the UK’s own English Defence League (EDL), has, quite unsurprisingly, showered Abbott’s government with praise. On March 29th, they celebrated the fact that it had been 100 days since an illegal boat successfully arrived on Australian shores. The ADL’s growing support and confused, racist ideology highlights the continued prevalence of Islamophobia in modern Australia. Although it was officially dismantled in 1973, the White Australia Policy - that favoured immigration of European settlers - seems to be very much alive in the hearts and minds of many nationals. The ADL fails to gloss what happens to those immigrants denied access to their country. In the past five years 1100 immigrants (and counting) have died on the journey from Indonesia. Illegal boats that do make it to Australia are automatically redirected to neighbouring Papua New Guinea. Immigrants are then placed into outsourced tent prisons set up by private companies. Men, women and

children are detained together in cramped, unsanitary conditions. Chances of rape and assault are high, resources inadequate and riots frequently break out. In February, twenty-three yearold Iranian immigrant Rezi Barati was killed during one such riot on Manus Island and several others were injured. The Australian Human Rights Commission recently gained access to a centre on Christmas Island and reported disturbing findings. Some of the children told commissioners that the camp was ‘hell’ and begged to be taken away. ‘There’s no school, nowhere to play and nothing to do’. Commission President Gillian Triggs said: ‘the overwhelming sense is of the enormous anxiety, depression, mental illness but particularly developmental retardation’. Drawings the children composed depicted prison settings. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has refused to reveal exactly how many boats have been turned away in the past 100 days. Although he asserts that there has been ‘a rise in the repatriation rate’ around 30,000 immigrants remain in limbo in asylum camps: displaced and frightened.

“ The ADL’s growing support highlights the continued prevalence of Islamophobia in modern Australia

Polls suggest that the majority of Australians (48%) support the immigration policy. Shockingly, 60% said Abbott should increase the severity of their treatment

of asylum seekers. However, he does have his critics. A website called ‘sorryasylumseekers.com’ has been set up for Australians to share messages of sympathy for asylum seekers. Its founder Ryan Sheales, who hails from Melbourne, says that the site ‘started out from a feeling of helplessness’.‘Surely we can treat these people who are fleeing persecution in a more humane and compassionate way’, he posits. Sheales has received contributions from every Australian state and territory. In addition to sites like Sheales’, candlelit vigils - including a 4,000 strong congregation in Sydney Town Hall - have been held across Australia. The irony of the entire situation is, of course, that Australia - a developed country with the twelfth largest economy in the world - would not have the global standing it does today had immigrants not settled there through penal transportation in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Australia’s current population is, predominantly, composed of the descendants of foreign immigrants. After serving their sentences, prisoners were allowed to go forth and ‘prosper’ in a new land full of possibility. It seems somewhat unfair that Australia’s current government has so little empathy for immigrants seeking a similar sort of relief, ‘the Australian dream’. Unfortunately, no such dreams are set to come true in the near future. With the majority in favour of the policy, Abbott’s government - a government that appears to lack a conscience - seems unlikely to relax its rulings. Humane ideals cede to conservative agendas in ‘modern’ Australia: the moral price of keeping asylum seekers caged in camps is perceived to be far less than the cash cost of ‘introducing’ them into society.

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flikr: zoonabar

Jessica McKay Features Writer


Epigram

12.05.2014

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‘So where do UKIP go from here? U PICK’

Oliver Carter-Esdale Features Writer UKIP’s meteoric rise to prominence into the dizzying yet often dull British Political stratosphere is nothing short of alarming. Once labelled a party of ‘fruitcakes’ and ‘swiveleyed loons’, Nigel Farage has steered his party of bigots up-stream, riding high on the tide of sensationalised red-top headlines warning us against the perils of immigration and the apparent eroding of British values and laws by Eurocrats. It’s all a conspiracy you see, cooked up in Brussels, and served by Westminster to the British customers. It would seem then that Britain is being overrun: racists, xenophobes, homophobes, misogynists, rape apologists, and worse are running amok up and down the length and breadth of the country. Across the land, UKIPs fear-mongering bigotry is being allowed to spread its pernicious and damaging hatred, lies and ignorance over the airwaves, internet, billboards and now even through our letterboxes. In the past year in the run up to the European Parliamentary elections, UKIP have managed to gain more traction than any other political party. The supposed voice of protest, the voice of dissatisfaction with the political class, the voice of the ‘I’m not a racist but...’ brigade, they have now become a major player. In fact, they have even been granted ‘fourth party’ status, which means UKIP have to receive equal coverage from the major news networks. More troubling still, according to the most recent YouGov poll, UKIP are placed well above the Liberal Democrats rather meagre 10% with a rating of 15%. When we turn to the European parliamentary election polls however, they are at a staggering 31%, holding the majority of opinion in the

and in a much more general sense across the British Isles, as Paul Nuttall, their deputy leader once said UKIP ‘have been knocking on the door of Westminster now for the past two years, and very soon we will kick that door in’. Sounds a little menacing, really, doesn’t it? The question is, what could UKIP really offer in Westminster? Apart from a worryingly large minority of Conservative backbenchers who follow the Eurosceptic line, could they have many (or indeed any) friends in the Commons? Could we be about to see the biggest overhaul of Westminster’s political direction since the Iron Lady took to the helm and diverted our course towards the current socio-economic divide with which we suffer today? I am now going to return to that 31% poll rating. It is of course entirely coincidental that Nigel Farage and UKIP have the same 31% working-minority percentage that Hitler and the Nazi party achieved in the 1933 Reichstag elections. What is not coincidental however is the following: (if you think I am being facetious, please, bear with me on this) The Nazi party and Hitler – a similarly inspiring demagogue – rose to power by climbing in the back door. The Germans had their own economic crisis after World War I. It was Hitler, the brilliant orator and proud nationalist

who blamed the ills of the German nation on a supposedly non-indigenous group and European imposed economic and legal controls at the treaty of Versailles. It suddenly all sounds so terrifyingly familiar, doesn’t it? In spite of this comparison, something I had until recently been more hesitant to make, I do not think UKIP will take charge in Westminster; nor do I think that the Queen will be inviting Mr. Farage to be forming a government in the near future. Yet, it is vital for us to ensure that such an outcome can never take place. Racism is insidious by its very nature. It creeps around in language claiming to raise legitimate concerns. We must remain vigilant in order that it not be allowed to infect the general discourse any longer.

“ “ UK. On a personal level, I am shocked and dismayed at the way in which the public have been hoodwinked by a party whose pseduo-fascism has seemingly flown under the radar behind a veil of John Bullish nationalistic anti-EU vitriol.

Given their ‘fourth party’ status they have to receive equal coverage from the major news networks

So should they win the most MEP seats, as they most probably will, where do they go from there? UKIP have often performed quite well at these in the past, indeed Farage himself has been an MEP since 1999. It is, then, not all that surprising that in the face of a recent Eurozone crisis and the derestricting of the more recent EU member states’ freedom of movement that a fringe party should be performing so well. Once they are crowned the probable victors of these elections, UKIP will begin to turn its ugly face away from Brussels back towards Westminster. What will then occur, as has been already, is a spate of political shots fired at the traditional Westminster parties, amidst claims that they are all the same and only UKIP offers a viable alternative. The once one-issue party will and have been seeking to legitimise their political position and enter into the Westminster equation. Until now, UKIP’s chances in Westminster have been fairly limited and probably no better than those of the BNP. However, having gained huge support in both local council elections

Racism is insiduous. It creeps around in language claiming to raise legitimate concerns

Some of UKIP’s policies include: A flat rate of Income tax at just 25%. Real man of the people stuff you’ve got there, Nige. Opposed to same-sex marriage. In 2014. Yes, really. Doubling the number of prison places. The move towards imprisonment and punishment for the majority of crimes, rather than rehabilitation represents an outdated archaic view of justice and ignores how criminality

is often borne from the ills of low socio-economic standing. Revelations of UKIP party members and supporters being closet racists (amongst other things) are almost a weekly occurrence. Then again, what can we expect from a party that is apparently rather proud of taking supporters from not just the traditional Westminster trio, but the BNP? It is my hope, that despite wrapping their bigotry in a bright and colourful purple and

yellow ribbon, UKIP will come undone from the inside. It is now up to me and you, to all of us, to ensure that such bigotry is neither allowed to stand in Westminster, Brussels nor anywhere else where they might have any power whatsoever. With our feet, and our ballots, we must expose and oppose such disgusting xenophobia.So where do UKIP go from here? U PICK.

flickr: BinaryApe

flikr: European Parliament

As the UKIP train picks up speed and takes aim at the European elections Oliver Carter-Esdale assesses whether the wheels will come off


Comment

Epigram

12.05.2014

@epigramcomment

Editor: Rosslyn McNair

Deputy Editor: Rob Stuart

Online Editor: Jessica McKay

comment@epigram.org.uk

deputycomment@epigram.org.uk

commentonline@epigram.org.uk

Are tattoos worth the commitment? Yes

Anna Davies In January, I got a tattoo. It was my 21st birthday present from my sister, who got the same one in the same place. It is a small, lotus flower, about the size of a 2 pence penny, at the back of my neck. It is discreet, simple and personal. And I do not regret it. The connotations of criminality and delinquency that have for so long tainted body art are no longer relevant. Of course, I understand that, when taken to extremes, excessive tattooing can be intimidating and can subsequently restrict the individual in a professional

Ro sslyn McNair

at them as a wise investment for the future?

I have a friend who got a tattoo when she was nineteen. It was an act of rebellion, a decisive moment of independence in her life. She was her own woman, her tattoo meant something to her, this was it, adulthood beckoned. After getting her tattoo, my friend sat in front of a mirror for three hours and cried. The permanency of what she’d done suddenly hit her. This wasn’t a piercing she could take out, or a top she could take off, these was an image burnt irrevocably onto her skin, and

tattooing in broader society is no more than conformity to ‘anti-establishment’ ideals and thus, tattoos still ultimately perform their traditional roles of indicating belonging. I am not ruling out that this may be a factor in some people’s decision. However, crucial to this perception is the cynical presumption that self-expression always has underlying, ulterior objectives in communicating the desire to belong to a particular

c u l t u ra l group. I did not get a tattoo so I could fit into a certain counter culture image. I got it for myself. It was empowering. Tattoos are a form of self-affirmation. The notion of the body as a canvas has strengthened the concept of tattooing as an expression of values, ideas and memories. Furthermore, this concept fosters a certain sense of self-acceptance. The idea of the body as a potential surface for art stresses the beauty of the human form as well as the body as worthy of self-love. As a potential canvas for art the body is re-defined. I love my tattoo. I have attached my own meaning and significance to my small lotus flower. It is not there for other to judge but rather, for me to enjoy. Society’s condemnation of body art is symptomatic of broader cynicism of self-expression. In a time of increasing pressure to achieve bodily perfection, tattooing should be embraced as a defiant stand.

No

even have a tattoo yourself. But should we look

s h e regretted it immediately. H e r experience is indicative of many in relation to tattooing, a whimsical decision made once which you have to live with forever. Society’s attitude to tattoos has changed in the last few years. Formerly the war paint of sailors which traditionally associates it with the working classes, it has stopped being a form of deviance and more of an art form. Now, when it turns out the quiet one in the group had a mental one in Croatia last summer and woke up with the cast of Marvel tattooed on her ribs, that information prompts polite surprise, discussion of the artistic merits and precipitates others wishing for such art. Visible tattoos are still a no no if you want to work in a profession other than the creative industries. Even though the expensive of tattooing actually makes it quite a middle class activity, we still associate

Flickr/probert

sense. You wouldn’t see a primary school teacher with sleeves depicting the zombie apocalypse. However, exempting these tattoo extremists, body art is now becoming a fixture of the modern, twenty-first century body and we should celebrate this. Getting myself ‘inked’ was definitely not an impulse decision. It did not mark some passing fancy or an attempt to rebel against any specific authority figure. Rather, my small lotus flower is, for me, a small rebellion against an oppressive and controlling society. Sound a bit far-fetched? Let me explain. We have been conditioned by certain superficial and image-conscious features of the media and popular culture into believing that our body is not our own. Instead, they are the property of society as a collective, existing to be openly judged and approved of or criticised accordingly. Tattoos can be a small way of reclaiming the body for oneself. They are a visible declaration of ownership, as well as an assertion of individuality, through artistic expression. There is no other way to express oneself in such a personal manner, next to the skin Traditionally, tattooing was a way of branding an individual and indicating their membership to a specific group. This notion persists in certain tribes and criminal gangs. Some people sceptical of body art claim that

We all know somebody who’s got one. You might

Remember you can write for Comment online at any time - just email commentonline@ epigram.org.uk

it with a lack of professionalism and possibility criminality. In Japan, you can be refused entry to certain public places like bathhouses if you have a tattoo because of their association with the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. Perhaps part of the reason I am apprehensive about tattoos is because of the mixed response that they necessarily invite. You might think your body is a canvass and the Arabic poetry tattooed up your arm is meaningful and artistic, but the client you’re dealing with as part of your company’s new merger thinks it’s pretentious and orientalist. Or the giant house of a

man who has a snake rippling through the eyes of a skull with ‘mum’ carved into its forehead, might just be really, really sad that his mum has passed away, but the young woman who has crossed over the other side of the street as she walks home at night doesn’t know that. Tattoos are a pictorial representation of an abstract feeling and as such there is potential for so much to get lost in translation. When I was seventeen I was absolutely convinced I was going to get lyrics to a Chris Cornell song imprinted along my spine, when I was eighteen that changed to a line from the Roman poet Catullus. Now aged twenty one I’ve learnt that the whim that informs so many reckless decisions in my life is not conducive to coming to a mature decision regarding a tattoo. Also beyond the abstract implication of regret, there is the reality that tattoos fade and stretch with your skin as you age. The oriental technicolour you got inked along your rippling 21 year old torso, will probably not be as impressive when the sun, sea and sand of life has jaded it green. Ultimately a tattoo is too permanent. You can’t exchange it, divorce it, sell it or burn it, it’s there forever. A permanent reminder of a temporary feeling.


UBU NEWS

News and opinion from the University of Bristol Students' Union www.ubu.org.uk

THIS SEASONS BEST

MAKING A REAL DIFFERENCE

WHAT'S ON

UBU Intramural

Raising and Giving

Upcoming UBU events

WHAT A YEAR May 2014

Here at UBU, we’ve been looking back on the last 12 months and the fantastic contribution students have

• 1,300 students take part in intramural sports every week.

• We have seen an 81% increase in postgraduate students voting in elections.

made throughout the year through activities, events and community engagement. We'll be launching an impact campaign in the next few

• Over 150,000 people have attended

• The UBU Lifeline Fund has given 32 grants

one of the 14 Anson Rooms gigs this

totalling over £11,000 to support societies who

year.

needed financial support.

weeks but here are just a few of the great things we and our members have been up to this year: • 10,000 students have joined one of UBU’s 214

• 255 properties have been let by UBU

• The Fair Access Fund has given 27 grants totalling

Lettings saving students £15,000 in

over £1,800 to enable students to pursue a hobby

agency fees.

or interest.

societies. 3,000 are in a UBU sports club. • 4,500 NUS Extra cards sold providing • Almost 500 students have been given advice by

We really welcome your feedback on how you

discounts to over 200 companies

think we’re doing. If you want to let us know what

UBU Just Ask. 87% said the information helped

and giving Bristol students a potential

UBU should be doing for you please contact us at

them stay on their course.

saving of over £2.2 million pounds!

ubu-info@bristol.ac.uk.


BRISTOL BIG GIVE: LET'S BEAT THE BRISTOL RECORD! Every summer, thousands of students move out

You can donate your unwanted items until the end

of Residence. These donation points will be clearly

of their accommodation. Why not get rid of your

of June. There are fifteen British Heart Foundation

labelled with the items you can donate, but you can

unwanted items and help the environment at the

donation points across the city.

still donate to the city bins too! You can also find a full

same time by recycling your waste? This raises

list of Hall donation points on our Facebook page.

thousands and thousands of pounds for charity and

For bin locations please check the Bristol Big Give

prevents your reusable items from going to landfill.

Facebook page www.facebook.com/BristolBigGive

If you have any items that are too big for the bins, contact the British Heart Foundation on 0808 250

Last year the Bristol Big Give prevented over nine

There will also be donation bins in all University of

tonnes of waste from going to landfill and raised

Bristol and University of the West of England Halls

0030 or visit their website www.bhf.org.uk.

over ÂŁ16,000 for charity. Let's beat that this year!

13

14

12

May 2014 11

10

Redland

9

Montpelier

8 15

6

Clifton Down

4

5

3

7

1

University of Bristol Precinct

2

Broadmead & Cabot Circus


THIS SEASONS BEST: UBU INTRAMURAL The UBU Intramural Sports Programme gives students the opportunity to play sport on a recreational level. This year 115 teams have competed in Football, Hockey, Netball, Basketball and Badminton during terms one and two. Whilst Football still has a couple of weeks remaining, the rest of intramural has finished and the winners have been crowned. Intramural Netball saw POLO finish first in Division A with an undefeated run

A GREAT YEAR IN RAG

which was matched in Division B by Biosoc who also finished unbeaten. Division C crowned Durdham Hall the winners in a tight fought race.

This year, Raising and Giving (RAG) has raised a whopping £125,000 through events and collaborations with societies. The wide ranging events included;

Intramural Hockey saw Hiatt Baker Hockey charge to victory with a huge 11

international trips such as a Kilimanjaro trek, Jailbreak, RAG Week, Raids,

point lead in Division A, whilst Team Churchill won Division B with an almost

Casinos, Marathons, Bike Rides, Runs, Pub Crawls and much more.

unbeaten record. Over £8,000 has already been awarded to ten different local charities and Intramural Basketball saw Spartiates lead all the way through the season and finish

community projects through the Quartet Community Foundation – a local

unbeaten in first place whilst Centaur 1 emerged victorious in the Intramural

grant giving organisation. The charities and projects benefiting from the funding

Badminton after a tight fought battle.

include; Bristol & Avon Chinese Women's Group, Bristol Bisons Wheelchair Basketball Club, Golden-Oldies, Hop, Skip and Jump South West and more.

The UBU Intramural Sports Programme happens every year and is open for all students. For more information about taking part next year visit

The rest of the money will be donated to a number of national and

www.ubu.org.uk/intramural

international charities including; Meningitis Research Foundation, Practical Action, East African Playgrounds, Future Sense, Breast Cancer Campaign, Marie Curie and many more.

YOUR NEW CHAIRS Earlier this month, we asked you to cast your vote in the Chair of Executive elections by cross campus ballot. The Chair of each exec acts as a representative and champion for students who participate in UBU activities. They attend Student Council and work with the Full Time Elected Officers to ensure that the views of students are represented at the University and the Union. This was the first year the elections were held online, resulting in more candidates standing for positions and more students casting votes. 352 students voted casting 699 individual votes. Your new Chairs are: Sports

Volunteering

Rich Elston

Jemma Callander

Elected first round with 211 votes.

Elected first round with 63 votes.

RAG

Societies

Chris Dias

Teodora Gheorghiu

Elected first round with 109 votes.

Elected third round. Won by 2 votes!

All students involved with fundraising and volunteering are invited to attend the Community Awards on Thursday 5 June. The night will celebrate a fantastic year and reward the students who have made significant contributions to RAG and Volunteering.

May 2014


WHAT'S ON MAY MONDAY 12 Just Ask Revision Skills Workshop, AR3, Richmond Building, 3pm-4pm TUESDAY 13 BME Students' Forum, Arts Complex G59, 6pm - 7:30pm WEDNESDAY 14 Just Ask Welfare Workshop, AR11, Richmond Building, 3pm - 4pm TUESDAY 20 Just Ask Welfare Workshop, AR3, Richmond Building, 10am - 11am Womens' Forum, Wills Memorial Building 1.5, 4:00pm - 5:30pm White Denim, Anson Rooms, 7:30pm - 11pm WEDNESDAY 28 May 2014

LGBT+ Students' Forum, MR1, Richmond Building, 6pm - 7:30pm THURSDAY 29 Just Ask Welfare Workshop, AR3, Richmond Building, 10am - 11am THURSDAY 29 3MT Competition Semi Finals, Anson Rooms, noon - 6pm

JUNE SUNDAY 1 Make Sunday Special, City Centre, 11am - 3pm IAS Film Screening: Honor Diaries, Reynolds LT, Wills Memorial Building, 5pm - 6:30pm

THURSDAY 5 Postgrad Brewery Tour, Butcombe Brewery, 6:30pm - 9pm FRIDAY 6 3MT Competition Final, Anson Rooms, noon - 6pm TUESDAY 10 Just Ask Welfare Workshop, AR3, Richmond Building, 10am - 11am SATURDAY 14 Varsity Gliding, Aston Down, Gloucestershire, 9am - 5pm SUNDAY 15 Varsity Gliding, Nympsfield, Gloucestershire, 9am - 5pm

JULY THURSDAY 3 Brian Jonestown Massacre, Anson Rooms, 7:30pm - 11pm SUNDAY 6 Make Sunday Special, City Centre, 11am - 3pm TUESDAY 8 The Dandy Warhols, Anson Rooms, 7:30pm - 11pm Contact UBU University of Bristol Students’ Union Richmond Building 105 Queens Road

MONDAY 2 Student Council, Anson Rooms, 6pm

Bristol BS8 1LN www.ubu.org.uk

For For a a full full list list of of events events visit visit www.ubu.org.uk www.ubu.org.uk

/BristolSU @UBUBristol


CULTURE

Illustration by Robin Cowie. See p.37 for full featurere.


Epigram

12.05.2014

Arts

Editor: Claudia Knowles

Deputy Editor: Rose Bonsier

Online Editor: Erin Fox

arts@epigram.org.uk

deputyarts@epigram.org.uk

artsonline@epigram.org.uk

@EpigramArts

Hannah Clark: Artistic Director, Bristol Biennial H The launch of Shaun’s public artwork I’M STAYING coincides with the inaugural Bristol Art Weekender, a festival that joins up arts organisations in Bristol to celebrate the arts over four days. As a partner we wanted to produce one of the works that we had selected from our open call as an early introduction to the festival. I’M STAYING launches on the outside of the Arnolfini and then begins its first public vote to travel to its next location for the launch of our festival in September. His work encapsulates much of our ethos for this year’s festival, reaching into the public realm and listening to the people. M Were you influenced by other European Biennials or art fairs? H There are many Biennials across the world, small and large, known and emerging, it’s great to see so much activity. As well as being influenced by other festivals we are influenced by our international relations with the Bothnia Biennial in West Finland and IPA, the International Performance Art association based in Istanbul. M What are you most looking forward to exhibiting in September?

I’M STAYING - Shaun C Badham, launched the Biennial on 3rd May at the Arnolfini

From September 12th-21st 2014, Bristol will host its second Biennial; a citywide art festival showcasing international talent. Interview by Maisie Waters

M Why is Bristol’s art scene relevant to the British art market? H The Bristol Biennial is an artist-led festival of Visual Art, we work predominantly with emerging talent and this year have a big focus on interaction and accessibility in the art work we produce. We are one of many exciting festivals in Bristol who showcase segments of our bubbling cultural city. Bristol is known nationally for its vibrant street art scene, we’re looking to present another taste of Bristol’s Art. We look to produce work that takes all kinds of forms, that is experimental

WHO Vincent van Gogh Artist 1853-1890

and as our 2014 theme illuminates: crosses the line. I think that the art scene is part of a natural ecology where artists work in diverse areas and bring new energy into locations and buildings that are sometimes more rough around the edges. Vitality that is brought about by the arts inherently affects the art market and indeed other markets in a positive and enterprising flux. M Which galleries in Bristol are you working with on the project? H Our upcoming projects will be based in various locations around the city, from established creative buildings such as the Arnolfini, to local parks, community centres and more unsuspecting locations like pubs and shops. M Why did you decide to open the Biennial with Shaun C Badham?

for myself, some of the big names I really admire are artists Nathanial Mellors, Olafur Eliasson and Martin Creed. M Why is art important within contemporary society? H Like science, physics, maths, literature, music and so many subjects that have experienced ground breaking movements in history to test out what their subject could be, contemporary art within a contemporary society is essential, to live with what Art is and can be right now is the most unimaginable and exciting thing to me. It can rebuild deteriorating areas, it can help give new energy to communities, it can make episodes of the day personal and experiential, it attracts travellers, it creates jobs and has an emotional power, it creates social debate, it’s a subject where you think... anything is possible. M Bristol seems almost unique in its encouragement of all types of art. Why do you think this is? H Bristol really embraces collaboration. I couldn’t pin point why exactly, but it surely has something to do with the hard working arts organizations, artist run spaces and cross disciplinary activity that goes on daily. I also think that the people that live in Bristol are open minded and want to be surprised, there is a generosity on each side to watch and to make.

H Everything! M You talk about the idea of exhibiting outside the traditional gallery space with your theme, Crossing the Line. Could you expand on this idea? H We want to make art truly accessible. By using alternative and public spaces as well as creative buildings to present art work, we hope to expand ideas of where art can exist in our city, who can encounter artwork and where people want to see it happen. We hope to excite new eyes upon the Visual Arts and give the public a taste of what artists are experimenting with now. M Who is your favourite contemporary artist? H I couldn’t really say! Absolutely speaking

www.bristolbiennial.co.uk

WHAT A Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, famous for consuming vast amounts of thick leaded paint and cutting off his own ear (some say as a gift for a prostitute, others think it was lopped with a sword by Gauguin). Although van Gogh only sold one painting within his lifetime he has now become one of the most recognisable and famous artists in the world.

When working as a missionary in Holland, he created one his most famous pieces, The Potato Eaters, his first major work. However, his series of Sunflowers painted from 1888 – when he first left Paris for the South of France, are his most iconic works; initially made to decorate the walls of his friend Gauguin’s bedroom before his arrival in Arles, these images have become emblematic of Van Gogh’s career.


Epigram

12.05.2014

39

‘Women can’t box? Watch.’

where she talks of her dad. The simplicity allows the humanness of the character to come through, creating an unfathomable intimacy. Bitch Boxer is setting a benchmark for contemporary one-woman shows. A far cry from Chapter 7 – Why don’t you like me!

Old Vic’s one-woman show packs a five-star emotional punch. Claudia Knowles

Bitch Boxer is on tour around England until the 24th May. www. snuff boxtheatre. co.uk

Fresh out of drama school in 2011, Charlie Josephine, Bryony Shanahan and Dan Foxsmith set up Snuff Box Theatre Company. Three years later, they’ve had multiple awards, performed in the Adelaide Fringe and are now at Bristol Old Vic with their most successful play so far, Bitch Boxer.

I hate it when people say ‘oh, she’s a strong woman’. No! She’s just a woman!

Usually, the prospect of a one-woman show sounds pretty daunting. My memory flickers back to the infamous Friends episode; Chapter 1 – My First Period. But as soon as 21 year-old Chloe (played by Holly Augustine) stepped onstage in her Lonsdale shorts and boxing shoes, you knew this wasn’t your average monologue. Bitch Boxer, written and previously performed by Josephine, follows one girl’s fight to box in the London Olympics, the first ever to hold a women’s tournament. Pounding with energy, director Shanahan has Augustine nip about the stage in an impressive display of fitness, the power of her punches reverberated in the brusqueness of her voice as she recounts her attempt to break into her locked house. Within the first

ten minutes Chloe discovers her father has died, and the next hour sees her battling the loss in the only way she knows how; through fighting. As the play goes on, Josephine’s script pieces together more of Chloe’s world, drawing the audience intimately into her hopes and sorrows. Whether it’s through Chloe reminiscing about her father, or the comic impression of boyfriend Jamie – ‘a lovely guy, but he’s got swag’, Augustine tells us later – her emotional fight becomes as apparent as the physical. Through faultless writing, direction and acting, Chloe steps onstage as a real person, rather than a character. Perhaps it is because of this that Josephine can portray the sexism within women’s boxing so subtly. It isn’t mentioned outright, we’re not lectured. But even finding out that women couldn’t box in the Olympics before 2012 is enough to highlight the issue at hand. Chatting to Josephine, she told us how in researching for the script she’d begun boxing herself (and carried on – she recently won silver at a competition in Sweden). Whilst boxing clubs themselves seemed more than happy to take on more women, the troubles at the top were obvious, with the Olympic board originally asking that women wore skorts. Skorts. No, repeating it does not shed light on how they could possibly have thought this would be an acceptable proposition. Thankfully, someone down the line reminded them we’re not in the

Jobs in the Arts For those of you in your final years, you may be getting sick of the inevitable question: ‘What are you doing next year?’ I, for one, reply with a rambling list of all those dreams that will probably never materialise: the American roadtrip, the life on the Seine in my dusty attic apartment that I’ll share with my tortured-artist lover... Sigh. Fantasies aside, there’s actually a hell of a lot of great opportunities right here, in Bristol. As graduation looms, I’ve realised that there may be no need for the woeful farewells and series of ‘last-evers’. The solution: stay in Bristol.

1950s. Of course, if some female boxers prefer to wear skorts they should be more than welcome to, but imposing a dress code on the grounds that ‘it’s more feminine’ is a view harboured by the backwards and ignorant, i.e. an all-male boxing board. ‘It’s getting better for women’s boxing’, Josephine says, ‘but there’s still such a long way to go… it’s a painfully slow process.’ Bitch Boxer isn’t directly about promoting women’s boxing. Chloe isn’t even phased by the apparent barriers in place, her focus instead lies on her dad and on achieving her goals. What her character goes through isn’t uniquely female, but human. It’s this humanness that Josephine captures seamlessly, and what makes Chloe so relatable. ‘I hate it when people say “oh, she’s a strong woman”. No! She’s just a woman!’ Josephine says. Meeting Josephine, Shanahan and Augustine after the show, they spoke of Chloe like a close friend, hardly surprising considering they’ve spent almost every day with her for the past year and are about to tour England. There’s a lot to be said for subtlety. In Josephine’s writing, commenting on bigger feminist issues through the grounded realism of the story. In Augustine’s performance, pumped full of energy yet never overreacting. And in Shanahan’s direction, associating different parts of the stage with different aspects of Chloe’s life; the centre always

Inspirational alumni

Orca Design

What - Assisting in the studio of this up-and-coming graphic design company, specialising in typography and illustration. They’ve done work for the likes of Angel Jackson, Boston Tea Party and Digital Artist Magazine. Details - Offering a 3-6 month internship, but also constantly looking for fresh creative talent. Internships can also be organised to fit around your busy student schedule, perfect for any eager 2nd years. How to apply - Visit www.onlyorca.com, email info@onlyorca.com or give them a ring at 0117 9244013.

Finborough Theatre

Best Internships Bristol Biennial

What - With the the Marketing team, helping promote the event in the run up to September. It only happens every two years, so jump on the wagon and be a part of celebrating Bristol’s unique art scene. Details - Unpaid, working up to the end of September. How to apply - Email your relevant work experience to rowan@bristolbiennial.co.uk

In Between Time

What - Trainee Marketing Assistant with the Bristol-based international production company, who’ve worked on shows at the Arnolfini, The Watershed and the Cube among others. Details - Paid, 32h per week, 9 months. Application deadline 21 June. How to apply - See more info at www.inbetweentime.co.uk/news

WHEN Van Gogh’s fleeting yet fruitful career spanned from 1880, when he first enrolled at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium until his untimely death in 1890 when, due to a bout of depression, the artist shot himself in the chest – dying two days later.

Snuff Box Theatre Company

Flickr: donna-makes-cakes

What - Production internship. Directly reporting to the Director of Production and Artistic Director, you’ll be liasing with the cast and crew, with set designers and press offices, managing the budget and running the sound and light board during productions. This is certainy a full-on opportunity. Details - Minimum three days/ evenings a week, for at least a month. How to apply - Send a 500 word personal statement plus your CV to admin@finboroughtheatre.co.uk, no more than 2-3 months before you wish to begin.

Mark Ellingham and Natania Jansz - co-Founders and Publishers of The Rough Guides. BA English 1980, Honorary MA 2004 and BSc Psychology 1980 Jack Malvern - Arts Editor of The Times, and former Epigram editor. Mark Ravenhill - Playwright. Author of Faust is Dead and Handbag (Evening Standard Award). BA Drama and English 1987

Bristol Arts’ claims to fame:

Derren Brown, Angela Carter, Dick King-Smith, Matt Lucas, Simon Pegg, Harold Pinter, David Walliams.

WHY

WHERE Van Gogh was born in Holland, where his father was a pastor. Before beginning his artistic education in Belgium he left Holland, travelling to London in 1873 and Paris in 1874. However, the main portion of his artistic career was spent in South of France, namely the town of Arles where he lived in the small yet vibrant ‘Yellow House’ that he shared with the painter Gauguin in 1888. His last months were spent in an asylum in St Remy.

Julia Donaldson - children’s author, wrote The Gruffalo among others. BA Drama and French 1970

All images: Neftali

Not only has van Gogh come to epitomise ‘the tortured artist’, he was also instrumental in the beginnings of modern European art. Although his works were not appreciated within his lifetime, it is clear now that his use of thick impasto combined with a hyperrealist palette sit at the root of contemporary art, and have continued to directly and indirectly inspire artists to this day.

Olivia Webb


Epigram | 12.05.2014

40

Beyond academia: Bristol’s student talent ARTofficial’s annual exhibition ran from March 25th – 29th, unveiling the artistic talents of our fellow students. This year’s venue was The Christmas Steps Gallery, a small studio tucked away along the steep descent from Lower Park Road to Colston Avenue. The society’s committee had worked tirelessly in the days leading up to the event, hanging the pieces and finalising details to ensure a successful opening night. Their efforts were rewarded on Tuesday, as the gallery was filled to the brim with students, some even dressed as tributes to favourite artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Frida Kahlo. In the following days, students continued to drop by, admiring the works of their peers and showing their appreciation for the arts. The pieces were united around the theme Expose and Disguise. Becky Black, President of ARTofficial, said, ‘When we came up with ‘disguise,’ we knew we needed something to counteract it.’ Adding ‘expose’ opened the door for the artists to examine the juxtapositions of everyday life. Another quality that expanded the variety of mediums and focus points of the pieces was the fact that the society attracts students from all disciplines: James Ormiston, a Palaeontology student, explored how fossils allow us to have a glimpse into life on Earth millions of years ago. A painting by law student Ruth Crackett considered how the religious focus on modesty through covering also requires public exposure through faith. Art history student Leticia Houston touched on our materialistic society and human greed

Frankie Roe - Sketchbooks 2011-2014

through her sculpture of King Midas’ hand. Without a doubt, the University of Bristol is home to some amazing talent. Students had been preparing their pieces for months, whether on their own time or by attending ARTofficial’s open sessions where they had access to a variety of materials such as canvases, charcoal, and acrylics.

92% of students identify as having had feelings of mental distress. Bristol needs to embrace the benefits of art as therapy.

ARTofficial isn’t the only society that allows students to show off their artistic side. The options range from dance, to photography, to pottery, just to name a few. With so many creative outlets, it begs the question – why our university doesn’t offer practical art subjects as courses? One guess is that the arts are seen simply as hobbies, or ‘soft subjects.’ After all, the University of Bristol’s reputation is grounded in engineering and the sciences. Another possibility for our university’s lack of the arts is due to nearby UWE, who offers its own specialisation in undergraduate programs like Photography, Drawing and Print, Illustration, and Fine Arts. Whether or not the arts are ever integrated into our university’s prospectus, these societies that advocate avenues of selfexpression are a necessary part of student life, contributing to their wellbeing. In recent years, Elsevier, a journal committed to medical and scientific literature, has published several studies on the positive impacts of art as therapy for those suffering from a range of emotional disorders. A 2013 survey from the National Union of Students reporting that ‘92 per cent of participants identified as having had feelings of mental distress, which often includes feeling down, stressed and demotivated’; perhaps it is more relevant than ever to help societies such as ARTofficial flourish.

Shannon Kwit

Arts Introducing: Robin Cowie 4th year, studying French and Italian

Leticia Housten - King Midas’ Golden Touch

Jessica Fairlie - Mussels


Anson Rooms

Presented by

White Denim

Brian Jonestown Massacre

20 MAY

3 jul

The Dandy Warhols

Manchester Orchestra

8 jul

27 sep

Vance Joy

John Cooper Clarke

29 sep

18 oct

Jungle

Boy and Bear

4 nOV

12 nov

For information and tickets for these gigs and more visit

www.ansonrooms.co.uk


DELIVERING TILL

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Epigram

12.05.2014

Film & TV

@epigramfilm Editor: Gareth Downs

Deputy Editor: Matthew Field

Online Editor: Alejandro Palekar

filmandtv@epigram.org.uk

deputyfilmandtv@epigram.org.uk

filmandtvonline@epigram.org.uk

The Other Woman: just another cliché Katie Pearce Film and TV Writer Whoever said all good things come in threes couldn’t have imagined the fate of Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in The Other Woman. This sees the Danish Coster-Waldau (best known for playing ‘Jaime Lannister’ in Game of Thrones) cast as the typical ‘bad-boy you love to hate’, if not quite as ‘bad’ as his portrayal of the popular ‘Kingslayer’. This revenge-comedy sees Mark emotionally, physically and psychologically crippled by three seething victims of his compulsive adultery. If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted twist on a traditional rom-com, this may be the film for you. Following a succession of staid dramas by director, Nick Cassavetes, including The Notebook, She’s So Lovely and My Sister’s Keeper, it comes as a pleasant surprise to see a film laden with quirky banter and comical folly. The atypical romantic comedy sees three women spurned by the same unfaithful man who, rather than dumping-and-ditching the low-life, decide to team together and plot revenge. Cameron Diaz is well cast as a high-powered, assertive lawyer who plays “Carly” (mistress number 1). At first, you might enjoy her witty but bolshy attitude but she, along with the other two female leads, are largley portrayed as stock rom-com characters. The female leads are reduced to neurotic stereotypes only interested in romantic retaliation and other love interests.

Leslie Mann (Kate) brings the much-needed farce but, combined with Kate Upton’s character, Amber, providing almost nothing meaningful to the film, we are left with a film that is at best a fun, better-than-your-average, chick-flick, at worst little more than a faux feminist cliché. The film opens with no-nonsense Diaz who is besotted with suave businessman, Mark King – that is until an unfortunatelytimed attempt at a kinky surprise lands her on Kate (the wife’s) radar. With her world turned upside-down, the fragile and needy scorned wife pushes her way into Carly’s business, creating the most uncanny an unconvential friendship. After a plot-lull, the film gains momentum with the introduction of third scorn-ee, the beautiful and voluptuous Amber. Determined to serve comeuppance to the cheating bastard, the women plot the ultimate revenge, beginning with immature horseplay involving laxatives and hormone pills before thankfully escalating to more serious treachery. Despite uninspiring character development, predictable relationships and lack of plot-twists, the movie is a respectable adaptation of revenge comedy. On paper, it may seem like your average rom-com, actually more ‘rom’ than ‘com’, but the film is saved by Leslie Mann who continues to deliver a humour that reminds the viewer of the intended farce. Mann has made her mark in Hollywood as a sought-after comedic actress. Following films including Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and This is 40 it comes as no surprise that she truly delivers as quirky Kate in The Other Woman, possibly making it one of her better performances. She convincingly combines the hilariously eccentric surface of her character with a serious complexity. Although Mann’s character comes across as a feeble emotional wreck, it is the false feminism of the plot and not Mann’s acting that is to blame. Diaz meanwhile portrays the more hostile Carly who may leave something to be desired but, alongside Mann, completes a surprisingly complimentary duo. As for Kate Upton and Nicki Minaj, it is interesting to see how they fare in their first major acting roles. Upton (best known for her modelling work) fell short with little meaningful contribution. She is excluded from elaborate scenes, displays little to no emotion and often comes across as an unnecessary third-wheel to Diaz and Mann’s interesting chemistry. As far as her commitment to the role, she was perhaps suitably cast, offering predominantly visual support as the beautiful mistress – “the one with the boobs”. Nicki Minaj, with her strong personality and distinctive accent, gives a much more striking and enjoyable performance as the sassy receptionist to Carly. It is clear that she would have injured the film with more screen-time but was indispensable in small doses. Although the zany Mann-Diaz combination, complimented by essential secondary characters, does a lot to make the film more memorable, the plot remains defined by weak attempts at

Eva Rinaldi

The female leads are reduced to neurotic stereotypes only interested in romantic retaliation

Out for revenge: Kate Upton (Amber), Cameron Diaz (Carly) and Leslie Mann (Kate) promoting The Other Woman feminist undertones that end up thwarted by an, albeit comedic, inconsistently pitiful portrayal of the female leads. Opening with high-powered career girl Carly, the film sets the stage for a modern twist on the ‘wife versus mistress’ drama. However, the plot quickly commences its gradual decline into an ultimate faux-feminist cliché. The women aren’t empowered by their revenge-plot, but rather come across as pitifully obsessed with their cheating beau, still quick to fall into new consuming romances. Cassavetes had the right idea by giving relatively little screen-time to the few male leads but was ultimately unable to make the point intended. Granted this was always going to be a difficult task whilst maintaining the necessary comedy that is predominantly provided by eccentric and obsessive housewife, Kate. Somewhere towards the end, the dumbed-down revenge-fuelled slapstick becomes tedious and we are left wondering why three

strong women have up-and-left everything (including apparently their careers) in order to retaliate to (and get over) a loathsome man to whom most of us wouldn’t even give the time of day. Feminist proclivities aside, The Other Woman will make you laugh, if only at Leslie Mann’s hilarious performance. It won’t offer sound thematic structure or thought-provoking content, but will make for a light-hearted date-movie many will see as a step up from The Notebook.

The Other Woman is in cinemas now Dir. Nick Cassavetes 109 mins


Epigram 12.05.2014

A noir too far? Matthew Field Deputy Film and TV Editor The BBC and S4C very nearly managed something quite special with Hinterland, the Ango-Welsh joint crime venture set in Aberystwyth. Unfortunately this BBC4 production fell just short and has left me with the haunting worry that we may have reached ‘peak-noir’. Hinterland was just a bit too much. There was literally no hope, no respite and none of the dark humour that makes these grey-scale character studies intriguing. The crime plot itself was actually fairly interesting if unoriginal, as the scary orphanage and a decades in the planning revenge feels been-and-done but it had enough twists to keep you guessing. As for the setting, Hinterland lent itself perfectly to the ‘detective noir’ genre. It was beautifully shot over characteristically bleak and windswept

landscapes. The small towns, the isolation, the loner characters, it was all set up perfectly. Unfortunately the first episode left the viewer with very little desire to come back to the characters. I had to go and double check the main detective’s name for this review because he failed to interest me so spectacularly. For the record, it is Tom Mathias. Far more exciting was Mali Rhys Harries as his deputy, a real shame because it would have been great to see her in a lead role and from her record she could have definitely lent a certain dark comedy and character depth to the plot. So we have now reached ‘crisis-noir’, the tipping point of the current style of crime drama? There is just so much television trying and often failing to emulate the Scandi-Noir style, that laws of nature suggest a natural predator must emerge to take its place. That could be kind of a big deal in television production, for those of us that actually watch BBC4 at any rate.

Spiderman’s amazing love story Gareth Downs Film and TV Editor The Amazing Spiderman 2 was this week dubbed the worst of all the movies centring around our favourite swinging, spider-related superhero in terms of critical reception. The audiences don’t seem to mind or care, though, as they flocked in their droves to catapult this instalment towards its huge box office target. Financial successes aside, the reviews have been incredibly harsh on a film that deserves credit for its sharp script helped largely by the seemingly perfect casting choices - and its emotional weight. The story follows Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) as he continues his attempts at balancing normality with his web-slinger vigilante alterego. Furthering his struggles is his tumultuous relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone); tumultuous only because Parker is unable to cast aside the guilt weighing him down over the death of her father in The Amazing Spiderman. This sequel certainly ties itself up in numerous enemy storylines but manages them effectively, never becoming convoluted or confusing. Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan both execute their villainy excellently, and there is a comical - albeit minor - turn from Paul Giammatti which is commendable. The only shame with the multiple and varying villain plot lines is that we don’t get to see enough of Foxx and DeHaan, considering the heavyweight acting ability of the pair. The film’s strongest asset is its masterful creation of an entirely believable and engaging love story between Parker and Stacy, which is rare in a superhero movie. The on-screen - and off-screen, one can imagine - chemistry between Garfield and Stone adds so much emotional pull to their story. They have a natural rapport and it leaves the audience entirely enamoured. For me, it is an incredibly fulfilling sequel that will excite, charm and get you right in the feels.

therpf.com

Hinterland

BBC/S4C

44 30

The Amazing Spiderman 2 Dir Marc Webb, 142 mins

A perfect waste of time: procrastiviewing

For when revision becomes all too much: Richard Assheton gives us his top films and TV series for binge watching and procrastination The “Before” Trilogy - Richard Linklater (1995, 2004, 2013) Shot and set at nine year intervals, these three pretty much consist of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy walking around beautiful European settings talking. There’s not much more to it, but their improvisation and romantic chemistry make for three real life-affirming films.

The Mighty Boosh - Paul King/Steve Bendelack (2003-2007) Often described as a cult sitcom, this one will always divide opinion. Either it’s inane drivel best suited for landfill, or its absurdist comic genius that made crazy cool. Give it a go and see. (Also try Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace – precedes Boosh and is arguably even weirder.)

Drive - Nicholas Winding Refn (2011) One of the coolest films either side of the last decade. After watching this, all you’ll want to do is drive around Bristol at night, in third gear, match stick in mouth, listening to Cliff Martinez’s fantastically moody soundtrack. Plus Ryan Gosling’s terseness will prevent you from talking to anyone for at least a week.

Modern Family - Various (2009-) I’m not being particularly imaginative here because this is unbelievably popular, but for good reason. With more British irony and self-effacement than the usual US sitcom, hilariously human characters and its finger always on the cultural pulse this has serious binge-watching capacity.

Entourage - Various (2004-2011) I know it’s massively popular and old and not far out, but it just cannot be beaten for the purposes of wasting time whilst having a great time. 20 minute episodes, celebrity cameos and Jeremy Piven as the Blackberry-wielding, incandescent Ari Gold. Plus your brain won’t need to turn up. The Office (UK) - Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (2001-2003) Again, so famous and so iconic, yet so many people haven’t watched it all the way through. Gervais may be a bit of a conceited (insert four letter word…) but his comic subtlety and nous for nuance I haven’t seen bettered. It’s a masterpiece. This Is Spinal Tap - Rob Reiner (1984) It’s mad to think this came out 30 years ago. Mock Rockumentary following one of England’s loudest bands on tour in the US. It would be interesting to see if non-musicheads appreciate it. “Have a good time all the time.”

Metropolis - Fritz Lang (1927) A bit more high brow, this one’s a German silent film set in an unnamed dystopian city. Turning the sound off and listening to Aphex Twin’s 1994 album Selected Ambient Works Volume II instead makes for mind bending viewing. Storyville - Various (2002-) Storyville is the BBC’s strand of some of the best foreign documentaries. Often exposing human rights issues, each one that I’ve seen has been eye-opening, thought-provoking and wonderfully shot. If you don’t want to completely switch your brain off you can get loads of these on iPlayer.

flickr: Ella Mullin

The Breakfast Club - John Hughes (1985) Another 80s titan. I was going to pick Ferris Bueller, but that’s got to be watched when exams are over. This one’s equally as good though, and for me goes in the same drawer as a book like Catcher in the Rye. Five High School students in detention discover that the stereotypes they seem to fit are more superficial than they thought. Loads of laughs too.


Epigram 12.05.2014

45

(and the Nazis) Generation War: Our Mothers, Our Fathers is the exception to the BBC’s deluge of WWI related broadcasts this year. Generation War was a major success in Germany, however it has also diced with criticism, with its deeply controversial portrayal of German war crimes. As a television spectacle Generation War is superbly made, the kind of high budget television we see coming out of US giants such

as HBO. Brilliantly filmed, it will obviously draw comparisons to other internationally successful German WWII productions such as Downfall. However, while it is well performed, Generation War left me slightly uneasy. Starting out in 1941 the group of five friends are initially unlikely; these friends, including a Jewish character, are happy and full of life, in spite of an open acknowledgement - and resistance - to the police state they live in. What is clear is Generation War is trying to show the complexity of life under the Nazis, how normal, apparently liberal people can be manipulated into the worst of crimes.

Sure enough their initially cosy view of their victorious war is destroyed as the two young Winter brothers, Wilhelm (Volker Bruch) and Friedhelm (Tom Schilling, above), head out onto the brutal Eastern Front. Confronted by atrocities they quickly find themselves drawn into the total war, where prisoners are slaughtered and populations decimated. Probably the most interesting story is that of Charlotte (Miriam Stein, left) who serves as a nurse on the front. Her conflicted love story and her sympathetic character are most obviously challenged when she informs on a Jewish nurse. Probably the most cutting moment in the episode, the good and loving Charlotte changed from sympathy and kindness to an accessory to a war crime. However, Generation War has been criticised as much as it has been praised. For all the excellent acting and fairly interesting story telling it feels, at least after the first episode, as if the difficult questions are being avoided. The murder of civilians has mostly occurred off screen, or in one case perpetrated by Ukrainian Auxiliaries. German and Polish criticism has focused on the depiction of the Nazis as an evil ‘other’ compared to the central characters. Eastern Europeans are portrayed as stereotypically fanatical and anti-semitic while the Germans almost offer a kind

of nostalgic pity. The Germans were victims of the Nazis, but the inescapable truth is that many supported the Nazi party in its early years of victory and conquest. For now our heroes remain (mostly) blameless; orders of executions come from unknown and unseen members of ‘high command’ and the only S.S. officer we encounter is so obviously evil it is slightly unbelievable. An interesting comparison might be Philip Kerr’s novels where S.S. characters are fleshed out into believable individuals, cruel yet by no means merely one dimensional. For the most part Generation War: Our Mothers, Our Fathers has very much been ‘Our Mothers, Our Fathers and the Nazis’. No doubt huge numbers of Germans were not Nazis, but film depictions such as the epic downfall - definitely a must see of German cinema - perhaps come closer to the bone, presenting the unspeakably inhuman as strikingly, harrowingly real, exacting a kind of empathy for the greatest monsters in history. It’s a bold move from the BBC to show a foreign language subtitled German TV series in prime time on a Sunday night, and an extremely controversial one at that. For me, Generation War is probably the best, and most interesting, thing on the Beeb at present. Ultimately, the best, and bravest, German portrayal of the war remains Downfall. Generation War is more an everyman’s Downfall; we know where our sympathies lie, how this will be challenged by the writers in the next few episodes remains the burning question for British viewers.

“ ” criticism has focused on the depiction of the Nazis as an evil ‘other’

BBC/ZDF

Matthew Field Deputy Film and TV Editor

BBC /ZDF

Generation War: Our Mothers, Our Fathers

Generation War: Our Mothers Our Fathers All episodes are available on BBC iPlayer


Music

Epigram

12.05.2014

@epigrammusic

Editor: Mike Hegarty

Deputy Editor: Danny Riley

Online Editor: Dan Faber

music@epigram.org.uk

deputymusic@epigram.org.uk

musiconline@epigram.org.uk

Holden Out For A Hero

When we commissioned Alex Schulte to interview James Holden ahead of his performance at Field Day, we didn’t expect the in-depth discussion of dancefloor politics, good trance and neophilia it would provoke. Here are the thoughts of the man behind 2014’s most human and heartfelt electronic albums. Q: The Inheritors, which is utterly staggering I must add, is a pretty firm departure from the stuff you made on your last album so many years ago. Was it a gradual transition for you over the last 8 years away from dancefloor orientated music, or had you always felt a draw to make such, for want of a better word, an ‘experimental’, almost anti-dancefloor record? Thanks! I think it probably is a gradual evolution - if you listen to the remixes I did between albums you can see me working it out bit by bit, but it’s also kind of decided for you - obviously I couldn’t re-tread the same ground, so I had to look for new ways to achieve the same thing. I’m not quite sure that saying that it’s not-dancefloor describes The Inheritors well though - a lot of it is still all about the pulse, the repetition - maybe even more so than the first LP. Looking back, I had always been trying to make more organic sounding music just I’ve got better and braver at it with time. Q: Do you reckon you’ll ever find yourself making another ‘Break in the Clouds’ or are your ambitions now set on expanding the scope of your music further into a beat-less kind of niche? I tried playing that track in a DJ set a year or so ago and it just felt so wrong! It made sense at the time, as a reaction to what was there then, but I don’t think you can go back - digging up something 10 years old is always going to be regressive. Q: You once declared your intention to distance yourself and Border Community from ‘emo schmaltz trance bullshit’.

As a producer almost uniquely known in your field for a strong Trance influence, do you still find yourself looking to that end of dance music for inspiration? Yeah, totally; and trance as a wider kind of music than the dance genre - encompassing Terry Riley and Steve Reich and Moroccan Gnawa music etc. To be honest what I hated most about the people who ripped off BC’s early period was the change in intention: the originals were an aggressive act against what was around - dry, noteless techno and were executed in a fairly free way - naive, a bit rough-edged - certainly not trying too hard to be a successful DJ record, but the copies were full of a different meaning, which showed in their execution - it all became crass and a bit Hollywood-movie-pulls-yourstrings etc. You can’t really level those accusations at early (real) trance, for example. Q: To mention another revival, electronic, and particularly house music seems to have taken a subcultural hold on what young British people listen to. The problem is so much of it seems so completely slick and faceless, especially for what used to be, in a lot of ways, quite an outsider genre. Do you reckon that this sudden burst of interest in a very unadventurous form of electronic music, with more and more people looking for a particular easy aesthetic in what they listen to, will end up in fewer records like The Inheritors or, say, the kind of stuff that Oneohtrix or Donatto Dozzy have been doing, being made in the future? I

wouldn’t

worry

about

the

‘I’d like to challenge this obsession with “new” - a byproduct of capitalism and its obsession with product.’

disappearance of odd music there’ll always be people reacting against the norm. But electronic music and the economic factors around it have led to a growth of attention for music that is for people who don’t really like music a lot - I’m thinking the crowd of people watching Disclosure or Skrillex at a festival, for example. In that context the music is just a part of a pure entertainment product, and after watching that mimedalong-to synchronised soundand-light pantomime show maybe something a bit more real or genuine would seem less entertaining - largely because the good bits of real music aren’t even present in the mainstream version. So the audience are unused to noticing and enjoying things like musicianship, surprises and new ideas because they’ve been distracted from their absence by bright flashing led screens for so long. To be honest I find it hard to get angry at the mainstream stuff, but my blood boils when I see people pretending to be genuine, worthwhile music but adopting

the same bullshit. Acts pretending to be art but just miming along to a pre-arranged Ableton timeline using ornamental modular synths with no patch cables in. I get double-mad when journalists can’t spot the difference too. I might snap this summer and start a name-and-shame campaign with backstage photos of people’s Ableton sets. We’ll see.

anyone, but I feel I’m never doing the opposite of that: treating them like they’re stupid. So many DJ’s sets feel like an insult to the crowd.

Q: Your DJ sets are known for their eclecticism. Do you ever feel apprehensive or shy away sometimes from playing Krautrock or ambient so as not to upset the big room vibe or do you always try and go for the Theo Parrish attitude and ‘educate’ the house?

For new people: Vessel’s forthcoming second album is the best electronic thing I’ve heard for a long time, very original.

I feel like my job is to be as interesting as I can get away with - it’s about finding the line, the balance. So yeah, quite often I’m in a position of choosing whether to play something risky or to keep the crowd’s goodwill to spend on something else later. If you get it right then you’re not trying anyone’s patience, they’re actually enjoying the obscure/ weird/unplayable record. So I never think that I’m educating

“ ‘I wouldn’t worry about the disappearance of odd music there’ll always be people reacting against the norm.’

Q: Finally, can you give our readers any recommendations for newly emerging producers who are really pushing the boundaries in a similar way?

But I’d like to challenge this obsession with ‘new’ - a byproduct of capitalism and its obsession with product. To your readers there are certainly records from 1960 (or 1860) which would be ‘new’ to them and probably more interesting than whatever’s floated to the top of the toilet bowl in the current hype-cycle. If you don’t already own a couple of Terry Riley, Don Cherry, Sonic Youth, Bach, Cluster or Ornette Coleman records then money spent on any of this year’s new releases is money wasted! My favourite recent discoveries include Ornette Coleman’s first couple of LPs, Gregory Whitehead ‘s The Pleasure of Ruins (free on UbuWeb I think), Pharoah Sanders and Maalem Mahmoud Ghania’s Trance of the Seven Colours, and something by Don Cherry and Latif Khan, though I can’t remember the title or find the folder. Sorry! And I should mention that the Luke Abbott album Wysing Forest that we’re releasing in a couple of months is the first record I’ve been bitter-green-jealous of in at least a few years. James Holden plays Field Day in London on June 7th


Epigram

12.05.2014

47

Doomsday is in Motion

flickr: kmeron

When the main topic of conversation surrounding one of the most anticipated headline performances in Bristol’s recent history is whether anybody’s actually going to bother to show up, it’s hard not to be wary when you load up the booking page. (MF) Doom, hip hop’s very own man in the iron mask, is probably the greatest MC of the last 15 years, responsible for a slew of idiosyncratic, splendidly baffling records made with the production skills of the genre’s real heavy hitters, but noshows, impostors and swiftly aborted sets have plagued his reputation as a live act for enough years to make any scheduled Doom show more of a source of trepidation than excitement. Nevertheless, the sour taste left by the man’s infuriatingly lax approach to his own income wasn’t enough to stop the Stokes Croft cognoscenti, slathered in eau de kush, from making their way down to the grim feeder roads around Motion for a night of half-time beats and high-vis jacket dodging. First up on the bill was Bristol stalwart Buggsy, a man who compensates for a lack of a memorable catalogue of tracks with a grinning charm and a genuinely remarkable rate of words per minute. The same cannot be said of the utterly despicable Four Owls, the golden boys of the atrocity convention that is High Focus Records and a group that encapsulate everything that makes most UK Hip Hop so woefully

Devil Horns and Crucifixes Though the two have never exactly seen eye to eye, heavy metal has always had a kind of fascination with Christianity. Perhaps it’s the shared obsession with death, the penchant for wearing robes or a general interest in the supernatural, but metal has a long tradition of absorbing and subverting the tropes of Christianity and its more occult and rock-friendly counterpoint, Satanism. So when Epigram heard the Church of St Thomas the Martyr was hosting The Body, the Portland sludge metal two-piece responsible for one of 2013’s most discomforting and brutal albums, in spite of our religious upbringings we somehow thought ‘yeah, that’s a great idea.’ Upon arrival, the pews were lined with a scuzzy, leathery congregation sipping cider and murmuring as an organ droned in some unseen corner of the church. Up where the altar should have been, long-haired musicians set up their amps lit only by candlelight, throwing flickering shadows up onto a fresco I recognised as the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus looked down on me, arms outstretched, looking holy as all fuck, and I felt a little uneasy. Last time I had stood on an altar I think I may have been an altar boy. Really though, the theatricality all felt a bit Led Zeppelin III at this point. I half expected dry ice to drift out into the crowd, Morris dancers to skip out onto the altar and Robert Plant to descend from the ceiling with a tambourine. As Årabrot took to the stage and people crowded onto the altar, singer Kjetil Nernes’ silly widebrimmed vicar’s hat did little to assure me this wasn’t going to be the case. Their music did, however. The Norwegian four piece kicked instantly into an athletic but expansive noiserock that would have made The Melvins proud. Songs jerked and sections stopped and started with a deftness

that I expected to be completely lost in the echoing venue, but miraculously was not. Around appropriately daft lyrics like ‘They dance gaily around yonder maypole, they hammer nails to the cross’, Årabrot built a pummelling intensity for almost an hour. When they could presumably take no more, their backing vocalist/percussionist abandoned her post and ran screaming down the central aisle as the remaining members thrashed their instruments in a series of Swans-like blasts. It was a batshit move from a batshit band, and everyone absolutely loved it. It was a tough act for The Body to follow, and one I’m not sure they could really better. Though uncompromising in the extreme, I couldn’t help but feel their set was just a little too undifferentiated. They sounded huge, of course – I’ve never heard such colossal sound come from a single guitar, and Chip King’s vocals really were, as one Quietus reviewer put it, ‘the screams of the penitent, a man torn to pieces by the uncaring universe.’ They actually sounded best from the back of the church, where the medieval acoustics churned their sound into a scalding, immersive white noise that gave me the willies. I’m sure there would be many uncomfortable with the somewhat blasphemous juxtaposition of these bands and this venue, which is understandable. But the Grade II listed church is apparently owned by the Churches Conservation Trust, a charity set up to protect churches made redundant by the Church of England. Whatever David Cameron and Eric Pickles may have publicly reinforced about Britain being a fundamentally Christian nation, this night showed that if there aren’t enough Christians about to inhabit our cool creepy old churches, there are some great, mad metal bands who will.

hilarious - the red eyed conspiracy theory bleating, the smugly archaic DJ Premier mimicry, the awful, awful hats. Sure, there’s a certain boisterousness that makes the set almost tolerable, but when you strip away the endless call and response shout-outs and Dirty Dike’s shotter posturing, you’re left with a stage occupied by 30 year old men who’ve spent the last half hour shouting about how much weed they’ve smoked.

The words of John Lydon were ringing loud in my mind ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Much of the like applies to Split Prophets’ set, but in this case a dash of sympathy is deserved; drafted in seemingly at last minute to fill the slot left empty by Doom’s characteristic disregard for punctuality, they were faced with the task of appeasing an

increasingly restless crowd and, tedious music aside, admirably managed to prevent a mass exodus. Even so, the set was marked by a simmering note of desperation, band members endlessly looking towards the backstage door and almost pleading for Doom to finally put them out of their snapbacked misery. When, however, the lights dimmed for the headline act two hours behind schedule, the mood of hostility in the room seemed to dissipate immediately. His live production beefed up considerably over the last two years, Doom took to the stage flanked by a live drummer to deliver a slick, clearly very well-oiled show, punctuated by some mildly amusing raillery with his impressively-fat hype man. The setlist, mainly drawn from his landmark 2003 collaboration with Madlib and a smattering of stuff from his earlier solo records, was simultaneously a very by-numbers affair and a guarantor of good will; one feels that, after a long and lifeless delay, a B-side and rarities set for the true heads wouldn’t have been exactly prudent. Yet when Doom and co slouched off after only an hour without even a word of apology for his backstage dilly-dallying, the words of John Lydon were ringing loud in my mind - ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

Creepily tucked behind The Fleece, the Church of St John the Martyr recently hosted some of the most uncompromising bands in metal. Mike Hegarty overcame Catholic guilt to go check it out.

flickr: rossgrady

The ‘Will he? Won’t he?’ of MF Doom’s live shows has become almost as well known as his mind-bending rhymes. Alex Schulte headed down to Motion last month and thankfully, so did Doom.


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The Bombay Bad Boys Lock up your daughters! North London freakjobs Bombay Bicycle Club are coming to a town near you, and they’re bringing their randy guitar technician with them. Gunseli Yalcinkaya grills ‘em.

Since the release of their first EP, The Boy I Used to Be, in February 2007, Bombay Bicycle Club have become indie-rock heavyweights; their new album, ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’, reached number one earlier this month. After working with the likes of producers Ben Allen and Jim Abbiss, the new album shows that the band’s skills lie not only writing and performing music, but also production. Taking inspiration from many different cultures, (old Bollywood soundtracks and a Turkish wedding band, to name but a few) Bombay Bicycle Club have shown a more mature sonic development from their earlier indie-pop roots. Indeed, the leading internet publication and music maven Pitchfork has described the new album as ‘euphoric electronicpop’. With its fresh cacophony of crowd-pleasing, electronic synths and raging drums, it’s safe to say I was very excited to be given the opportunity to speak with the band’s drummer, Suren de Saram: Where did you find inspiration for the new album? A variety of places around the world. Towards the end of the last album, Jack would often stay out after gigs to go record shopping and write songs. An obvious example would be our track ‘Feel’,

which is heavily influenced old Bollywood soundtracks; he wrote it at a festival in Mumbai. Lots of people are calling the new album experimental; it definitely has more experimental, electronic sounds. Jack loves playing around with electronic music outside the band, so its influence inevitably found its way into the album. What was it like to produce your own album? Initially, we had a couple of producers in mind that we’d wanted to work with, but selfproduction made us a lot more involved with the whole process. We recorded our first album when we were eighteen; despite our age, we were working with one of the biggest producers at the time (Jim Abbiss), which was daunting to say the least. Working with someone so influential in the field made it difficult for us to voice our own opinions – we were almost scared to disagree with him. As we’ve grown as a band, we’ve gained both confidence and experience. This album feels a lot more vocal; it has our own personal stamp on it. How do you feel about the tour so far? Great! It definitely feels like a step up from previous tours; it’s a much bigger production in general; an aural and visual experience.

Visual experience? Ed’s old school friend who’s an animator drew up animations which we then projected onto a discshow projector. The first time we ever saw the animations was at our Leeds show which was pretty amazing. Any funny tour so far?

anecdotes

from

Hmm… Don’t know what I’m allowed to tell you. Let’s just say that our guitar technician made a lovely lady very happy in a skanky toilet in a club in Liverpool. Lovely! So, is there anything in particular you do before and after performances? We have pretty funny vocal warm up routines. Jack usually gets his guitar out – we did a cover of ‘Thirteen’ by Big Star the other night – pretty ridiculous really! Oh, and we high five. If it’s a special homecoming London gig, we usually celebrate afterwards with a bottle of champagne, but on a normal night, we just chill in the dressing room with a couple of beers. Favourite tracks from the new album? Definitely ‘Overdone’, the first track of the album – it’s the closest I’ll ever feel to being a hip-

‘My advice is to focus on writing the best material possible ... and don’t think of all that extra shit, like record deals.’ hop drummer. Also ‘So long, See You Tomorrow’, as it’s the most interesting sonically, the way it builds up dynamically is great – especially the psychedelic, freakout moment at the end – we set up two drum kits in the studio and ended up having a drum duel! After such incredible success throughout the years, how do you keep yourselves grounded? We don’t do anything special, we’re pretty down to earth guys naturally. I mean, we feel like normal people and we slip under a lot of people’s radars. I guess we’re not the types to go making noise about ourselves. The friends we hang around with are mostly our old school friends, which definitely helps. How do you feel about the popstar/MTV culture which is becoming growingly prevalent in the media and the Top 40? It’s not necessarily a new thing; it’s often been like that. For example, Miley Cyrus is a really sad case, I

think. The whole sexualisation thing – I’m assuming it hasn’t come straight from her; it’s people exploiting her, trying to make money. Then again, I guess that’s an extreme case. As for the Top 40 thing, it’s very strange and a completely different world to ours. It’s the pretty face of the industry and, frankly, we’re a strange looking band. Aw, I think you’re a pretty bunch! Hah, thank you very much. We’re not able to put on a public persona like the popstars in the media. A lot of people call us boring because in interviews we don’t seem as enthusiastic as people expect, but we’re just being us. No frills. Any closing words of wisdom for those interested in the music industry? A lot of bands and musicians start out with the sole aim of becoming successful, but I don’t think that ever leads to longevity. For us, the whole process was a gradual one. We started out when we were 15, but waited to sign a record deal. In retrospect, we probably came into the public eye a little too soon, I mean, looking back on those early TV interviews, they are excruciatingly bad… My advice is to focus on writing the best material possible, take every opportunity given to you and don’t think of all that extra shit, like record deals.

flickr: lisaembleton

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Epigram

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25 49

Wikimedia commons: Rwenland

A Broken Music Scene?

Jonny Hunter looks at the opinions surrounding the planned building of a massive indoor arena near Temple Meads and questions the effect it will have on Bristol’s vibrant existing music scene. After more than a decade of discussion, planning and setbacks, the Bristol City Council finally committed to building a 12,000 capacity indoor arena near Temple Meads station. A campaign promise of Bristol mayor George Ferguson, the £91 million project is due to open in 2017. This has been a long time coming for a lot of Bristolians, who have long had to put up with a lack of large-scale facilities and an area around Temple Meads station eerily reminiscent of the apocalyptic

collapse of civilisation. The mayor told reporters: ‘Bristol is the only major city in the UK without a facility of this scale and with the funding package now in place we can at last move forward to make an arena for Bristol a reality, taking advantage of learning from other cities’ experiences to deliver the best possible venue.’ Of course, not everyone is so happy. £91 million is a lot of cash to be throwing around at any time, but when public services across the country face harsh cuts it seems a little

ridiculous. The ever-present green contingent have also done their best to be heard: raising concerns about the ecological impact such a large entertainment venue will have. However, general opinion is in the arena’s favour, and with the economic nod of approval from various financial sources there’s little to say against it. This is all very well and good, but what does this mean for music in Bristol? The cultural impact of the arena is something rarely touched upon: with the debate so far

Album Reviews Tremors

focussed on aesthetics, traffic and, most of all, money. When you’re introducing a huge music venue in a city famous for its musical output, you would think people would talk about music a bit more. In fact, taking into account the fact Bristol has always modelled itself as an alternative to the arena-filling mainstream, you might wonder if £91 million couldn’t be better spent on something more in line with the city’s reputation. Bristol’s contributions to hip-hop, dubstep and house came as

direct responses to the genres proper: offering unique, local blends of equal parts bass and sweat from the city’s swarm of small venues. Music here has traditionally been centred around smaller, dedicated scenes, which couldn’t be further from what an arena represents. When arenas do actually host music, which they do increasingly rarely, it’s most likely to be an X-Factor audition. They seem a little quaint now international superstars can sing to over 100,000 people in a muddy field in Glastonbury. Arenas are left with the kind of artists possessing a large fan base but not taken seriously

Epigram puts the cream of recent releases through the critical meat grinder. ESTARA Teebs Ninja Tune 7th April

SOHN 4AD

enough to get on a festival lineup. Has-beens cynically cashing in on their fame as it quickly dwindles, basically, which is why the similarly sized Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield offers such titillating shows as Bryan Adams, Kylie and McBusted. Even if the new arena can’t be said to actually damage music in Bristol – I doubt the city’s music scene is really going to see any difference – it will be quite sad to see the two exist side by side. Music has played such a small part in the debate for a reason: the arena is just about money, and trying to make as much of it as possible.

Food Kelis Ninja Tune 18th April

7th April

To address the lukewarm corpse of Tremors’ hype, retrospect helps us see why certain music ‘journalists’ (who were definitely not me) were mistaken in predicting BANKS-producer SOHN as the biggest thing to look out for in 2014. Most of the signs were there: forward facing, RnB-inspired pop, slippery smooth production and enough Soundcloud followers to populate Trinidad and Tobago (seriously, over a million). But so far SOHN has made do with a trickle of the success he would have been justified in expecting. Somehow it just failed to kick off. Poor SOHN. Perhaps it’s all down to the name, which stunted any word-of-mouth advertisement because shouting one word of a sentence is frowned upon. It’s certainly not the music outright. SOHN builds on the short legacy of James Blake et al. to offer his own quirk on self-produced indie/ RnB/ electronic pop: marrying his above-passable falsetto with more experimental yet still comfortably sensitive beats. Overall Tremors is a very pleasant and hard to fault experience, with the vocal melody of ‘The Wheel’ and blaring horns in the title track taking on the Goldilocks trait of not being too poppy or too experimental, instead settling in to a happy medium. Sadly for him, music is listened to by more

people than Goldilocks and neither daddy, mummy or baby bear are entirely satisfied. Despite the obvious attempts to reach out for his own style, SOHN’s clean and slightly over-clinical production has the effect of sapping away a lot of what he hoped to gain with experimentation. It leaves a whole roster of great pop tunes to a sterile and robotic afterlife. Listening to ‘Lights’ is like facing the sun and not feeling any heat, and acknowledging a good song but not reacting is quite disconcerting. At the same time, SOHN takes his music too seriously to pander to the more experiment-averse crowd, which leaves him stuck in the middle: awkwardly shuffling his feet in the shy, Woody Harrelson-lookalike manner of his promo photo. It isn’t all doom and gloom. This overengineered collection might only survive multiple listens with all the charm of your doctor’s waiting room, but it still manages to be interesting, recommendable and, above all else, very listenable. SOHN is simply unfortunate in entering a genre already dominated by a few accomplished and unique artists, and finds his meticulous approach lacking the excitement brought by those before him. Jonny Hunter

The new Teebs album is a pretty little thing. It flutters around in a world of its own, hints at some percussion, tentatively suggests a little piano, always flirting with the idea of being something substantial, but never feeling the need to be more than the fulfilment of its own fancy. Teebs filters through familiar song structures (and even more familiar tape hiss) a bevy of bells, beats and strings to craft each bitesized ditty a microclimate of its own to frolic briefly in before fading imperceptibly into nothingness. The mystery here is why a major figure in the LA beat scene at the time when it exploded with Flying Lotus, Kutmah et al. has taken three years to create an album which is just so relentlessly pleasant. Perhaps it’s a noble pursuit. Maybe Teebs wants to tear down our very notions of what it means to be agreeable, rip up the handbook on charming and redefine the whole sphere of mildly enjoyable. Unfortunately, this seems the most likely explanation. E S T A R A is the work of a man too caught up in intricacies when the basic formula is dire in need of refreshing. It’s a nice album, but its time to shine was a few years ago when this all felt new. It’s not a regression, but a definite sign of stagnation in Teebs’ work. It’s amazing how much less engaging these honeyed compositions can feel when you’ve heard it all before. Dan Faber

There’s a great variety of exciting songs on Kelis’ sixth studio album Food. Overall the sound seems fresh with lots of uplifting gospel-influenced R’n’B songs; however Kelis’ voice is a major flaw with the album. Her vocal quality- the raspy texture which permeates the work –makes it seem as though she is losing her voice, and is especially strained in the higher register. The opening song, aptly titled ‘Breakfast’, starts slowly but builds into a chirpy, mischievous track complemented by the use of her 4 year old son’s voice. Following this are ‘Jerk Ribs’ and ‘Forever Be’, both pop songs with brass and string counter melodies accompanying the melody line, with ‘Forever Be’ being particularly catchy. ‘Floyd’ is an interesting soul ballad that uses EQ to create space around the melody and jazzy organ chords. The remaining highlight on the album is an easy listening duet with Sal Masekela, originally by Labi Siffre, called ‘Bless the Telephone’ which demonstrates a soft tone to her voice lower in her register. Overall, Kelis demonstrates a great ability to combine soul, funk, R’n’B and rock into thoroughly enjoyable songs. This makes it an even greater shame that her voice is not at its best. Guy Barlow


Epigram

12.05.2014

Science & Tech

Editor: Molly Hawes scienceandtech@epigram.org.uk

@EpigramSciTech Deputy Editor: Sol Milne deputyscienceandtech@epigram.org.uk

Online Editor: Stephanie Harris

A discussion on the illegal trade in wildlife Samuel Gregory- Manning Science Writer On the 30th April, the charity Ape Alliance held a panel discussion at the University of Bristol on the issue of illegal wildlife trade, a major threat to biodiversity worldwide. The international trade is estimated to be worth £400 billion - the illegal component of which is worth £20 billion, and threatens many species, including apes, big cats, elephants and rhinos. It is linked to criminal cartels and terrorism, and each year sees millions of wild animals mutilated, poisoned, shot and trapped in order to be traded by criminal networks, incentivised by high profit margins and low risks of detection and conviction. Chaired by, Ape Alliance founder, Ian Redmond OBE, the discussion ran as a Question Time style event, where members of the audience could raise questions to a panel composed of four experts: evolutionary biologist and BBC presenter Ben Garrod; Professor of Anthropology Vincent Nijman,; Head of Research for the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation Dr Christoph Schwitzer; and President of the Born Free Foundation Will Travers OBE. The illegal ivory trade was heavily discussed: the poaching of elephants and rhinos has had devastating consequences for their populations, with 50, 000 elephants and 1,000 rhinos slaughtered in 2013 alone. Members of the audience enquired about potential solutions to the crisis, one of which was the controversial notion of setting up a legal ivory trade. However, the

panel unanimously agreed that such an idea would not work, as the sale of ivory, whether legal or illegal, only increases demand. Another proposed solution was to remove rhino horns, preventing them from being targeted by poachers. Will Travers explained that the animal needs its horn for defence and even when removed, a kilogram of ivory remains within the rhino’s head. Previous removal attempts have resulted in the animals being shot anyway, their ears removed to prove to their clients that a rhino had indeed been killed, making rhino horn even more valuable due to its rarity. Professor Vincent Nijman pointed out that the plight of the Asian rhinos is far graver than their African relatives, with less than 60 individual Javan Rhino left in the wild. He also spoke of a worrying trend in Vietnam amongst the rich and young of using rhino horn shavings as a ‘hangover cure’ - which, unsurprisingly, does not work unless taken with an aspirin. The killing of wild animals for bush meat is another serious threat to many species, particularly the great apes, a prominent subject of discussion. The trade has escalated in recent years due to logging making more areas of forest accessible and Dr Christoph Schwitzer spoke of how political instability in Madagascar has lead to an increase in the hunting of the islands’ unique wildlife. Ben Garrod recounted his time in Uganda with the Jane Goodall Institute, where he helped to tackle the issue of chimpanzees being trapped in hunting snares. A solution came by teaching the local people how to use the metal wire normally used for snares to make crafts they could sell,

providing them with an alternative source of income and saving the chimps from being injured or killed by snares. An audience member also raised concern about the rise of ‘Tiger Temples’ and similar establishments aimed at young, Western student travellers, unaware of the harm caused to the animals they pay to see. Another audience member queried the potential shortcomings of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), but both Will Travers, who has attended every meeting to CITES since 1989, and Professor Vincent Nijman, a member of the Dutch CITES Scientific Authority, were quick to defend the work of the treaty. They pointed out that such a global partnership is required to ensure the protection of

Stronger regulation is necessary to protect biodiversity worldwide

animals and stressed the importance of international cooperation to combat the threat of extinction. Ultimately, the panel discussion was successful in providing a stimulating dialogue, with the panellist’s wide range of expertise in different areas of biology offering insightful viewpoints on an issue at the forefront of conservation worldwide and the necessity of stronger regulation to protect precious biodiversity worldwide.

Photo: Emily Rose Davies

Government spends £600m on useless vaccine Bethany Rielly Science Writer The British government has spent £600m on a stockpile of allegedly useless influenza drugs, according to a major report. The anti-flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza are apparently no more effective than paracetamol at relieving flu symptoms. Tamiflu and Relenza were extensively purchased during the mid-2000s amid public fears of swine and avian flu. The pharmaceutical companies behind the drugs - Roche and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) - made claims that the anti-virals significantly reduced complications such as pneumonia and disease transmission. However they withheld the full clinical trials which contained contrasting information to these initial statements. The trials which have finally been released, four and a half years after these claims were made, reveal little evidence that either drug would be effective in preventing a pandemic or reducing complications caused by flu. In fact, the only significant benefit is that they shorten flu symptoms by about half a day! The report produced by independent medical scientists of the Cochrane Collaboration a not-for-profit

organisation that assess the effectiveness of drugs and health care decisions- provides an analysis of the full results and methods of the released drug trials. It shows that Roche and GSK not only overestimated the effectiveness of the drugs in their claims but also underreported the harms. Some of the more worrying side effects that were not stated include renal syndromes and psychiatric disorders such as depression. The methods used are also criticised as being poor in quality and highly biased towards achieving a positive result – a finding that is less surprising when you consider that the trials were solely financed by the drug companies themselves. The authors of the report have thus advised the government to stop purchasing Tamiflu and Relenza. So who is to blame for this monstrously expensive and potentially health damaging failure? Some would argue that the decision to stockpile millions of pounds worth of drugs with little evidence of their effectiveness is ludicrous and would thus put the blame on the British government. As it would happen, the level of scientific expertise in parliament is alarmingly low, with only one scientist currently in the House of Commons. This brings

to question whether the government is qualified to make informed decisions when it comes to scientific policies and possibly highlights the need to improve science literacy among our politicians. However this ordeal not only questions the scientific competence of the British government but also the lack of transparency of the pharmaceutical industry. Shockingly it is common practise for drug companies to withhold clinical information, resulting in ambiguous medicines frequently entering the market. This worryingly implies that Tamiflu and Relenza may not be isolated cases. Even more worrying is the considerable amount of publication bias in drug company research. Trials sponsored by the drug industry are more likely to show results in favour of the product than research funded by independent bodies. This has been partially attributed to low quality trials that exaggerate the benefits of the drugs. It has also been noted that drug manufacturers have attempted to prevent the publication of trials which are unfavourable to their products. It is clear to see that there are serious flaws in the drug regulatory process and in the way pharmaceutical

companies operate. This has been acknowledged by the British Medical Journal which is campaigning for drug companies to make all data from drug trials (whether desirable or not) openly accessible. Hopefully the Tamiflu/ Relenza ordeal will pressurise the drug industry further into releasing all information gathered from drug trials before they are purchased. Trials should also be overseen and

regulated by health officials who are independent of the drug companies in order to ensure research is not biased. If these changes are made we may finally be looking into a future where the drug industry serves the public, rather than its own pocket, a future where drugs are bought with the full knowledge of their efficacy, function, and side-effects.

Flickr: Sonafi Pasteur


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Homeopathy conference dilutes the facts Joe Taylor Science Writer Come the 6th, June following a lastminute venue change, Exeter Castle will play host to the Back to Health Conference: a three-day ‘Integrative Cancer Health-Care’ event offering a range of alternative treatments to individuals dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Last week, Bristol City Council took the decision to evict the conference, which was due to be held at City Hall, after a legal team concluded that it was in breach of the 1939 Cancer Act - a piece of legislation which prohibits the advertisement of any form of alternative cancer treatment. So, what is integrative healthcare, and how does it differ from traditional complementary and alternative medicine? In short: it doesn’t. The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine defines it as ‘healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle.’ The recognition of the patient as a whole as opposed to treatment of a specific condition is not a new concept. In fact, it is central to the practices of traditional alternative medicine. The language of ‘Integrative Healthcare’ is purely euphemistic. It’s likely that the council’s decision to uproot the event, which had been planned since last May, stemmed from controversies that have recently mired a number of the conference speakers. Several have faced legal action as a result of unjustified claims regarding their practices. One such practitioner is nutritionist Barbara Wren, who runs the College of Natural Nutrition. A BBC investigative piece filmed Wren in 2008 teaching her

students to ‘cure’ thyroid cancer by means of an application of an external compress soaked in castor oil and the patient’s urine. Patricia Peat, a detoxification specialist who will also be presenting, has recently faced criticism for promoting the use of baseless remedies, including high intravenous doses of Vitamin C, which recent laboratory studies have found may even accelerate cancer growth. Peat is on record as having said ‘probably the worst person to ask about this is your oncologist. They rarely know anything about herbal medicine.’ The most notable attendees are homeopath couple Phil and Rosa Hughes. Only last year, the pair fell foul of Advertising Standards Authority guidelines for claiming to be able to detect breast lumps through thermal imaging. The ASA ruled that ‘because the advertiser did not provide robust evidence to substantiate the claim that thermography could detect active breast abnormalities or that it was medically recognised… the ad must not appear again in its current form.’ The advert appeared in the highly controversial magazine ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’ alongside an article titled ‘The Great Mammogram Con’. According to the Phil Hughes’ website, a number of patients have also opted for treatment at his homeopathic clinic – at least one woman rejected surgical removal of a stage-II tumour in favour of the alternative therapy. Homeopathy is based on the principle of ‘like-cures-like’, which states that whatever has caused your symptoms will also cure them. Coupled with this principle is the idea that the potency, or efficacy of a substance increases

with dilution. For example, at 30 centesimals- the homeopathic measure of concentration equivalent to one part in 1060 – you are statistically more likely to win the National Lottery five times in a row than you are to find one molecule of the initial substance. Homeopathy, just like intravenous Vitamin C and urine-soaked compresses, lacks robust evidence of efficacy. Homeopathy has long been considered a pseudoscience, but a recent report by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council served as the most systematic and conclusive debunking of the treatment. After studying its effectiveness in treating 68 different conditions there was no evidence to suggest that homeopathy was any more effective than a placebo. In response to the council’s verdict, conference organiser Fiona Burns denied breaching advertising laws. ‘Of course, we never make any promises,’ she said. ‘We just believe that people have a right to know about new developments in the world of cancer so that they can make their own informed choices.’ Days earlier, the event’s official Twitter account posted a link to a webpage with the title, ‘This video may convince you to avoid chemo and cure your own cancer’. These people are not selling placebos. Events like this not only provide false hope to the most sick and vulnerable, they actively encourage dangerous courses of action and undermine the efforts of genuine medical practitioners. We should praise Bristol City Council’s stand against pseudoscience and quackery. It’s a shame that the influence of those promoting it remains so strong. Flickr: charl1ie

Diabetes medication brings renewed hope Liz Kelly Science Writer Having clocked up a fairly impressive 7,500 injections over the last 5 years, I thought it was time for another delve into the current status of diabetes research. Type 1 diabetes affects approximately 0.5% of the adult population, and results from a failure of cells in the pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin is crucial for bringing glucose into the body’s cells, and glucose is vital for cellular function

and survival. In diabetes, a ‘mistake’ in the immune system leads to the destruction of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. This causes high blood glucose levels, and requires urgent treatment. Insulin delivery is therefore the aim of diabetes medication. This often comes in the form of around 4 injections a day, accompanied by no small level of carbohydrate monitoring. This may seem oddly crude for the present day of advanced medicine, and indeed many avenues of research aim

to address this. Pancreas transplants are occasionally carried out, yet these are recommended only in severe cases due to the associated risks and the low availability of donor organs. Another avenue concerns the ability to predict – and therefore aim to reduce – diabetes onset: this approach makes use of identifiable differences in bloodbased immune system markers prior to disease onset, providing a potential to identify high-risk individuals. However, a key approach widely discussed in modern science is that of stem cells. Stem cells are ‘undifferentiated’ cells – that is, they do not yet ‘know’ what cell type they will become. Treating such a cell in one way may cause it to become a liver cell, whereas a different approach will prompt it to become a pancreatic cell. The early embryo provides a vast supply of stem cells, but such cells can also be found in the adult body. A prime supplier is bone marrow. We hear a lot about stem cells being used to repair of regrow damaged tissue, such as brain tissue in Alzheimer’s disease and cardiac muscle tissue in heart disease. This approach has a similarly vast potential in diabetes: if we could coax stem cells into becoming functional pancreatic cells, they could be transplanted into

diabetic patients to replace the cells damaged by the immune system. This would then remove any need for daily insulin injections curing the condition. This is, no doubt, an elegant theory, and has been widely researched. Bone marrow stem cells from the patient in question are an obvious candidate, with the ethical benefit of not requiring embryos. Bone marrow cells

The stem cell approach has a vast potential in diabetes

are extracted in their undifferentiated form from the diabetic patient, treated with a cocktail of chemicals to prompt their differentiation into pancreatic cells, and then transplanted back into the patient with the aim of restoring functional cells to the pancreas. The use of bone marrow cells additionally removes the risk of the body rejecting the transplant, as often occurs when tissue is transplanted

from one person to another. Some have successfully demonstrated that such a technique raised blood insulin levels and reversed high blood sugar in diabetic mice, and may even have prompted growth of the patient’s own endogenous pancreatic cells. However, this is one study of many, and others have produced contradictory results. This stems from the huge number of factors involved in such a procedure: the requirement to prevent a similar immune attack on the transplanted cells, a possible necessity of re-growing the blood vessels supplying the cells in addition to the cells themselves, and the requirement for a large number of stem cells for transplantation. Although there is some way to go, the field of diabetes research is undoubtedly progressing rapidly. To realise this, we need only look 50 years in the past, when sterile needles were a luxury and testing blood glucose was but a dream. Stem cells are at the cutting edge of diabetes research, but at the same time accompanied by advances in the management of diabetes, such as the use of insulin pumps to provide easier means of insulin administration. The field of diabetes research is constantly evolving, though in what form the next advance will arise is yet to be determined.


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Epigram

12.05.2014

54

UBAFC fill the trophy cabinet after superb season Benj Cunningham Sports Writer

University of Bristol Association Football Club have gone from strength to strength this season. The 1st, 2nd and 4th XIs have all been promoted from their respective BUCS Leagues - an almost unprecedented level of success. The dominance didn’t stop there, the 3rd XI were runners up in their league with only the 2nd XI ahead of them and the 5th’s, who cruised the intra-mural competition, are further proof of the winning mentality that has filtered so smoothly throughout the club. All this, coupled with a brilliant 4-1 Cup win for the 1st XI over Bath, is further indicative of one of UBAFC’s most successful seasons on record. The prospect of such success at the outset of the 2013-14 season was always a possibility, but never a probability. The whole club earned 24 BUCS points the season before, and a couple of key leavers left holes in the UBAFC armour. While promotion for both the 1s and the 2s was always the goal, the fluctuating nature of University

football meant that it was difficult to predict how the club would fare as the season unravelled. However, bolstered by talented freshers such as Alec Fiddes and Robbie Cox – and a number of experienced figures stepping up – Bristol’s footballers have fought their way to 65 BUCS points. A turnaround like this does not happen overnight. Club Captain George Starkey-Midha has instilled professionalism into the entire club admirably, and assigns great credit to the club’s coaches. The likes of Alan Tyers (dubbed a “top man”by Starkey-Midha) and Robbie Fox, according to Starkey, “have worked extremely hard to push all the players to work hard, develop their footballing skills and get some great results too.” This season’s feats, however extraordinary, will mean little if they are not backed up by a strong showing next year. Incoming Club Captain Alex Wood is keen continue the theme of professionalism next year, ‘I think I’ll … [introduce] more hours a week dedicated to training and moulding the players into better athletes.’Wood

told Epigram. The determination not to rest on laurels is an impressive trait, especially when the laurels are quite so grand. The 1st XI’s success has been built around defence this season. Conceding only two goals from open play since November has played a huge part in a well-deserved league and Cup double. The likes of Jamie Thompson and Rex Palmer were stalwarts in defence, and Fiddes and Nick Cunniffe expertly pulled the strings in midfield. Their promotion to Western 1A was on the cards, according to Wood, but ‘the way in which they dominated those leagues was a pleasant surprise.’ Such dominance bodes well

for next year, and it will be interesting to see how UoB’s premier footballing outfit makes the step up but with a good fresher intake and a solid season away from their ‘Fortress Dingle’ home, back to back promotions may be on the cards. The 2nd XI steamrollered their league this season, holding top spot since game one and grabbing promotion into Western 3A in their continued bid to climb the long BUCS ladder of University football. There were noteworthy performances throughout the spine of the side, with ‘keeper Matt Charman singled out for a string of fine displays between the sticks, and Captain Josh Marcus and top

goal-scorer Jonny Walker have also been instrumental towards the side’s success. The 3rd XI, only denied champion status by the 2nd’s, and have the added feather in their cap with a Cup run, only narrowly losing to Bournemouth 1s, a team who, on paper at least, are some way above their pay grade. The 3rd’s key players have tended to be freshers and newcomers, with the likes of Ian Todner (who labelled the season a ‘truly incredible performance’) and Matt Bignell both touted for big futures at the club. The ‘surprise package’ of the season, the 4th XI, continued the theme of young talent, with fresher captain Matt Ground leading them to an unprecedented unbeaten season on their march into Western 4A. Finally, the oftforgotten 5th XI, who ply their trade in the intramural league, have gone about their business quietly, winning the title thanks to sterling performances from Daniel Avanzi and Dave Jarvis, and the Union has allowed them to be entered into BUCS next year – great news for all involved in both the team and the club as a whole. All this success means that Wood has big shoes to fill but, with these foundations, there is little doubt the potential for future success is there: ‘One of the main things is maintaining the momentum, each team has a lot of confidence and a winning mentality so I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be looking at more promotions next year.’ It is clear that Bristol are beginning to foster an atmosphere of success, and under the continued guidance of Tyers et al., the future looks bright for UBAFC.


Epigram

12.05.2014

55

Sophia Sullivan

Katrina Smith

The inaugural ignit10n saw an incredible £19,000 raised for local charity Above & Beyond by over 500 Bristol University students participating in a 10-hour sports challenge marathon. On Friday the 7th March 2014, ignit10n was launched at the University of Bristol. A total of 550 students took the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health by storm. 13 of the University’s sports clubs undertook various 10-hour athletic endurance challenges, supported by their friends and motivated by their sponsors. The ignit10n athletes demonstrated outstanding determination, which was reflected in their achievements on the day. All sports clubs completed or exceeded their ambitious targets. The Team of 2014 are American Football, who aimed to lift 4 million kg, but managed an unbelievable total of 10 million kg in the 10-hour period. The Football and Futsal Clubs completed a 10 hour Dribbleathon around the city; The Triathlon Club swum the equivalent of the English channel in the less choppy waters of the Union pool; the Netball club scored 11,683 goals; and Cricket made 1,900 diving catches. Together, the Athletics and Cross Country clubs ran the length of England; Hockey completed a 10-hour indoor game with a score of 159-157; Lacrosse spun to Rome; the Cycling Club completed their fantastic Tour de Burrito; Rowing covered an incredible 641km and the Rugby Club stair climbed to the top of Everest… twice! The atmosphere in and around the Tyndall Avenue sports centre was overwhelming. The sports hall and was buzzing and the street was alive with enthusiastic volunteers raising awareness and money for our fantastic cause. The impact and dedication of our student athletes, volunteers, the university staff and our generous donors has been incredible and has sparked the beginning of what is set to be an annual event in Bristol University’s fundraising and sporting calendar. It is a testament to everything that sport at Bristol represents – passion, dedication, competition and respect. The organisers are incredibly grateful to the students involved; to the Alumni Foundation for their generous donation, which launched the event and spread the word of ignit10n’s mission throughout the university; and to the University’s SEH department for their unwavering support, guidance and for the use of their fantastic facilities. We are proud that the work we have done will enable the continued development of the facilities, treatments and research that is being carried out in Bristol’s hospitals by our sole beneficiary, Above & Beyond. Their Golden Gift Appeal will raise an outstanding £6m to transform the BRI and the BHOC. The appeal will equip these two hugely important hospitals to deliver both today’s life-saving care and the pioneering treatments of tomorrow. Every donation, big or small, will help give patients throughout the region the gift of gold-standard healthcare. So far, we are proud to announce that ignit10n has raised £19,000, but with an overall fundraising target of £20,000, we still have one final push to go.

League and cup success for ladies tennis

“ “ “

Katrina Smith Bristol Tennis

Wednesday 26th March saw the culmination of this year’s tennis for Bristol Ladies IIs. Although playing in Cardiff for the Conference Cup Final which was also a decider for league promotion, they faced local rivals UWE. Twitter: @ignit10nBristol

Both Bristol and UWE were tied in the League having been unbeaten throughout the year, so Bristol faced their toughest match yet.

Both Bristol and UWE were tied in the League having been unbeaten throughout the year, so the Bristol players faced their toughest match yet. Playing tennis outside in Cardiff in March is a task in itself, but the Bristol girls proved to be determined despite the tough conditions and battled their way to the perfect start. The doubles went on first, which proved to be a tense pair of matches. Lowri James and Katrina Smith pulled through 7-5 4-6 10-8, and Hely Phillips and Joanna Kondratowicz had an equally long match, winning 2-6 7-5 10-8. Those doubles matches proved to be crucial in the overall score for the day. Impressive singles wins came from Lowri James and Lauren Hayward to put Bristol in an unassailable position. Unfortunately, the number one player Joanna

Kondratowicz lost in an extremely close three set match and number two player Hely Phillips felt her ongoing back injury was too bad to continue playing following a long and hard doubles match.

Bristol Ladies came out with an 8-4 win over UWE, this saw them win in the Conference Cup two years in a row as well as gain promotion to Division 1

Therefore, Bristol Ladies came out with an 8-4 win over UWE, this saw them win in the Conference Cup two years in a row as well as gain promotion to Division One. Special mention must go to Lowri James who was the most successful player in the whole division- remaining undefeated for the whole season and Bristol’s Katrina Smith the second most successful. With the Ladies First Team in finishing third in Premier Division this year, it’s been the most successful year for Bristol Ladies Tennis in a very long time.

It’s been the most successful year for Bristol Ladies Tennis in a very long time


Epigram

12.05.2014

Sport

Editor: Hetty Knox

Editor: Jacob Webster

sport@epigram.org.uk

jacob.webster@epigram.org.uk sportonline@epigram.org.uk

Online Editor: George Moxey

@epigramsport

BUCS gold for men’s Water Polo

The University of Bristol Men’s Water Polo team has won their third consecutive BUCS title in a faultless series of matches; being undefeated in their last 28 BUCS games. Throughout the semi-finals and finals, Bristol was clearly the team to beat. Despite the pressure, coach Mark Taylor’s team approached their crucial games with confidence

and determination. This year’s win was, in the words of Simon Hinks, Director of Sport at the University of Bristol “a new milestone in the history of Bristol sport” as Men’s Water Polo became the first Bristol sports team to win a BUCS title for three years in a row. The BUCS Water Polo Championship round-robin finals took place over the 25th and 26th March at Surrey Sports Park at the University of Surrey. Here’s Bristol path to their

thrashing victory. The Bristol boys’ first match is against Manchester, who score their first and only goal 3 minutes from the end of the match. Diego Lara, Bristol’s goalkeeper, can’t hide his disappointment: he wanted to keep a clean sheet for the entire game. Final score: Bristol 16, Manchester 1. The stats are impressive: all six mandowns were defended by Bristol, while all man-ups were scored. The only penalty conceded was saved, and Bristol scored

its penalty. In short: 100%. In the words of Manchester’s coach, Bristol Uni played “at National League level”. What a compliment, coming from a former GB coach! One game down, two to go. The second game, on Wednesday morning, is slightly tougher. Leeds manages to score 8 goals, while Bristol put 19 at the back of the net. The impressive number of counterattacks scored by Bristol shows a great alertness in defence as well

Marketa Brabcova

2boysinaboat.com

Clement Rames Bristol Water Polo

as physical dominance in attack. Bristol’s Captain, Joe Worland summarises “we worked hard in the first quarter, and then kept our discipline”. Two down, last match is for the title. Durham University prove to be the strongest opponent, as is shown in the final score of 9-6. Yet, in spite of the pressure imposed by Durham’s tight defence, no one doubted Bristol’s ability to win. Bristol reacts with pride to the Durham’s strength, working hard to secure their 9 goals.

Durham’s defensive strategy, at times quite aggressive, is sanctioned by 2 penalties, which are both skilfully scored by Bristol’s GB Saxons player Tom Dean. Bristol Men’s Water Polo team’s commitment to training is once again rewarded with success, only making them more determined to keep up the hard work and do it all again next year!

We know that exams, coursework, practicals, dissertations, theses and vivas can be stressful. But UBU is here to give you support and advice! Pick up an Assessment Survival Guide or attend one of our events. From cookery classes and study skills sessions to welfare workshops and revision roadshows - these events are designed to help you put our advice into practice.

For a full list of events visit www.ubu.org.uk/revise, or check out www.ubu.org.uk/ents/eventlist/revisionevents

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Epigram #275