Kathryn BFI LFF Bolkovac 2011: Part II
Interview on page 10
Exeposé Continued coverage on page 22
Interview on page 28
Monday 7 November 2011 • Issue 585 • www.exepose.com • Twitter: @Exepose
Protest over guest speaker Joe Johnston News Editor
A PLANNED discussion led by Gilad Atzmon, writer and political activist, has caused Exeter University Jewish Society to announce a protest on campus. The discussion, titled ‘Gilad Atzmon: The Wandering, Who and Where?’ is being hosted by Friends of Palestine Society, and will be taking place on Tuesday 8 November.
“Gilad Atzmon is notorious for his extreme anti-Semitic views”
Benjamin Salamon, President of Jewish Society The event is advertised as being a discussion of “Jewish identity politics and its significance to the Palestine-Israel conflict.” Benjamin Salamon, President of Jewish Society, has called for a peaceful protest outside the event, on the grounds that Atzmon “is a racist and should not be allowed to speak here.” He said: “Gilad Atzmon is notorious for his extreme anti-Semitic views. He has called the burning of synagogues a ‘rational act’. We feel that it was very irresponsible of the Friends of Palestine to invite this man to speak.” Zain Beseiso, President of Friends of Palestine Society, has stated: “The Jewish Society’s opposition to Gilad Atzmon is based on a Zionist attempt to prevent criticism on Israel and the Zionist narrative. Gilad is not anti-Semitic.” Beseiso continued: “Friends of Palestine Society does not support racists, nor racist ideas. However, we support criticism of any ideology that oppresses a people and we believe this is what Zionism does. Gilad does not promote hate
Photo: Henry White
or violence against Jews or any other people.” The event is being advertised by Friends of Palestine Society with the disclaimer: “Gilad Atzmon does not represent the views or political beliefs of Friends of Palestine and Palestine Solidarity Campaign.” Salamon has stated the protest will be “completely peaceful and non-confrontational.” He added: “This is nothing to do with his stance on Israel; it’s to do with his stance on Judaism. “The Students’ Guild, although getting a guarantee that nothing of an antiSemitic nature will be said, has given full support to the talk going ahead. We think this is unacceptable.” Nick Davis, President of the Students’ Guild, commented: “Friends of Palestine approached us, asking if they could host a talk by Gilad Atzmon and after reminding them of our policy around equal opportunities, they were allowed to go ahead. “We recognise that Jewish Society disagrees with many of Gilad Atzmon’s views though, and we are happy for them to express their concern by way of a protest before the event.”
Housing campaign launched Ellie Busby Editor
“He does not promote hate or violence against Jews or any other people” Zain Beseiso, President of Friends of Palestine Society
Guild Activities has confirmed the event will be fully attended by security staff, Estate Patrol and local Police. At the time of going to press, the location of the discussion was being advertised as Queen’s Building Lecture Theatre One at 19:00, but this may change to the Peter Chalk Centre subject to attendance.
SSB theme unveiled See page 3 for full story
THE Students’ Guild launched their new housing campaign last week, which hopes to deter students from rushing into signing legally binding contracts for houses. The campaign’s main target is to emphasise to students the importance of taking time over finding a house. The Students’ Guild aims to highlight all the aspects that one should look for in a house to decrease the panicked rush. The campaign is a direct partnership between the University and Students’ Guild, and it comes in light of the recent ‘Community Survey’ which over 300 students participated in over summer. The survey results showed that one of the most common problems for students was housing disputes. Half of the responses from the students who attached comments made reference to the negative aspects of rushing into a housing contract too soon. Rory Cunningham, Community Liaison Officer for the University, said: “This is not a new phenomenon - and such issues have been addressed by the Advice Unit for many years. “I think that the main difference with this campaign is that so many departments within the University and Guild have decided to work together.” On Monday 31 October, the housing campaign officially began. An article advising students on the initial steps to take when searching for a house was uploaded on the Guild Website. Over the term, more articles will be put onto the site offering different advice about the various aspects of looking for a house. Continued on page 2
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Lifestyle speaks to Exeter Experience co-founder, Felix Sullivan, about the new society which aims to help you make the most of living in Exeter.
Books P 24 Books speaks to Exeter graduate and writer Rob Shearman about his University days in Exeter.
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Drive to halt housing rush
The Guild is also hosting a Housing Information Fair on Tuesday 29 November in the Great Hall to help guide students. It will provide information on all the different types of accommodation available, and the different areas to live in Exeter. Another housing fair will take place on 17 January where landlords and agencies chosen by the Guild will showcase the accommodation they have on offer. Emma Payne, VP Welfare and Community, said: “Looking for student housing in Exeter has always been a stressful task which more often than not, results in students rushing into signing legally binding contracts. “We have decided to put together this campaign to inform students, especially first years who are most likely looking for a house for the first time.” She added: “There is a plethora of housing in Exeter now meaning students have the consumer advantage and can afford to be choosey about their future house.” Cunningham stated that: “With a clear campaign, a memorable brand and an ongoing commitment to push this campaign each year, I think we’re on the right track.”
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A ‘Thriller’ start to RAG Week
Photo: Hannah Walker
A SURPRISE flashmob designed to raise awareness for RAG Week was held at Building One on Thursday 24 October. Members of Exeter University’s Dance Society performed Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, attracting passers-by and diners from the nearby ‘La Touche’ cafe. The stunt was hampered by heavy rainfall, which forced the dancers away from Stocker Road to Building One, part of the Business School.
“I was very impressed. It’s a shame they had to do it inside” Ed Latham, RAG Week Coordinator
Exeter University’s Dance Society performed ‘Thriller’ at Building One to passers-by
The relocation, and the resulting delay reduced the impact of the stunt, as fewer students were present to witness the event. Despite these setbacks, organisers were optimistic. Ed Latham, RAG Week Co-ordinator said: “I was very impressed [however it’s] such a shame they had to do it inside.” Penny Simons, VP of Events for DanceSoc , agreed: “It would have
been a lot better if it was outside”, however she promised further stunts, noting that the flashmob “was just a taster.” The flashmob was intended to improve awareness of the academic year’s first RAG Week, which ran between 31 October and 5 November. Mr Latham stated that: “RAG Week hasn’t always been well publicised”, and that the flashmob was part of an effort to “try to achieve some hype”.
RAG Week featured a number of events, including paintballing, a vintage fair and a mixology class held in Coal. A firewalking event and sponsored skydive have been postponed, and will be rescheduled for later in the year. Last year, Exeter RAG brought in just under £100,000 for charities including Community Action, The Eddystone Trust and Cancer Research UK.
Oxfam society campaign for ‘Robin Hood’ tax Nicki Carter and Sophie Lock ON Monday 31 October, Exeter University’s Oxfam society led a march across town to raise awareness of the ‘Robin
Hood’ Tax. This charge is a small tax on bank transactions (0.05 per cent) that could raise billions of pounds a year to fight poverty. Campaigning began on campus Photo: Nicki Carter
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Aaron Porter fights for students
Continued from page 1
Music interviews Cosmo Jarvis about Limewire and his filmmaking.
7 November 2011
The ‘Robin Hood’ tax could generate £20 billion annually in the UK alone
where Oxfam canvassed students. The society moved on into town where they approached members of the public, informing them about the tax and directing them to the website in order to vote. Of the ‘Robin Hood’ Tax profits, 50 per cent will go towards tackling poverty in the UK, 25 per cent to fight poverty abroad, and 25 per cent to aid work to combat climate change. The tax is relevant to students as the money raised could help to prevent cuts to universities and further rises in tuition fees. David Millar, Oxfam society CoPresident, described the campaign as “a last ditch attempt to raise awareness and get people online to pledge for the motion.” Tuesday 1 November was the last chance to vote before Nicolas Sarkozy proposed the idea at the G20 Summit on Thursday. The campaign hopes to persuade David Cameron to show his support.
The campaign in Exeter is one of many that were held nationwide by university societies and independent groups. Supporting the tax is high on Oxfam’s agenda as they say it will make a huge difference to those the charity supports.
“It was a last ditch attempt to get people online to pledge for the motion” David Millar, Oxfam society Co-President
Despite support from Richard Branson, Bill Nighy and Desmond Tutu, the issue remains controversial in politics. The Oxfam society are primarily supporting the GROW campaign this year, which is focused on creating a sustainable solution for people in the UK and abroad fighting hunger.
Exeposé WEEK Six
Luminar goes into administration
Photo: Hannah Walker
ARENA NIGHTCLUB’S parent company, Luminar, has gone into administration after defaulting on bank repayments on Thursday 27 October. The firm owns 76 clubs nationwide such as Oceana, Lava Ignite and Project. The announcement has left Arena in need of a buyer for it to continue operating beyond the coming weeks. The announcement of administration follows a difficult year for Luminar. The company lost £200 million in the year up to February. Luminar’s administrators have already closed 11 venues and are hoping to find someone to buy the remaining 65 venues, which employ 2,500 people in total.
EXETER RAG has released details about the 20th Safer Sex Ball. The theme for this year’s Ball, which features on FHM’s Top 100 Things to Do Before You Die, will be ‘Fantasia – magic, myth and fairytale’. The Safer Sex Ball, which will be held on 8 December, is part of World AIDS Week and aims to promote sexual health awareness and raise money for charity. Westpoint Arena will be the venue for the Ball for the second year in a row. This year, the event will include a free Oxygen bar for students, and more money will be spent on decoration and security. The cloakroom problems experienced by attendees last year have also been resolved.
“We hope it will be a fantastic spectacle”
Katie Frampton, fourth year Spanish and International Relations student
The SSB Team
Three protestors were removed from last Friday’s Debsoc debate on nuclear power Arena Nightclub is in need of a buyer if it is to remain open in the coming weeks
tions student, said: “I don’t think Arena will close. There aren’t enough clubs in Exeter and another company will buy it up.” At the time of going to print, there
had been no announcement of closure or a takeover, The management were unable to be contacted for further enquiry.
UK university applications decline Helen Carrington APPLICATIONS to university for the coming year have fallen as tuition fees are increased to £9000 a year. Official figures suggest that the number of UK-born applicants for this September has dropped by over 12 per cent. According to UCAS, there have been 52,321 applications from within the UK, compared to 59,413 last year. The number of applications from mature students has also fallen, with applications from those aged over 30 decreasing by up to 28 per cent. However, the figures do not indicate whether those from lower-income backgrounds have been particularly dissuaded. Students starting from September will have to pay £9,000 for courses at the majority of higher-ranking universities, provided that these universities can prove they are ensuring access for
Safer Sex Ball theme announced Luke Graham Screen Editor
“I don’t think Arena will close. There aren’t enough clubs in Exeter and another company will buy it up”
The clubs to close are in Brighton, Bury St Edmunds, Basingstoke, Wigan, Hemel Hempstead, High Wycombe, Northampton, Mansfield, Redditch, Sunderland and Swindon. The company is also still recovering from the closure of the Lava Ignite nightclub in Northampton, following a legal investigation into the death of student Nabila Nanfuka on the premises. Despite uncertain times for Arena, some students are optimistic about the club’s future. Katie Frampton, a fourth year Spanish and International Rela-
poorer students. In March, Exeter was one of the first universities to announce its intention to charge £9,000, despite failing to meet its 2009 target of recruiting more students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“The number of people taking a gap year fell dramatically last year - this will have knock-on effects for this year’s application figures” James Eales, VP Academic Affairs
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said the figures suggested that the increasing tuition fees were affecting students’ choices. She commented: “These de-
pressing figures take us back to the time when it was cost, not ability, that determined your future.” James Eales, VP Academic Affairs, suggested the declines this year were a result of increased applications last year: “As a result of the rise in fees the number of people taking a gap year fell dramatically last year, something which will have knock-on effects for this year’s application figures.” The University has commented: “It will be some weeks before we are able to give a definitive answer on our position regarding applications.” The figures are calculated on early applications, and the deadline on 15 January may bring different results. Nick Davis, Guild President, said: “The Guild is confident that not only will Exeter meet its targets for student numbers in 2012/13 but that the student experience provided by the Guild and the University will be second to none.”
Last year’s Ball raised just under £40,000. Jennifer Jones, RAG Publicity Officer, told Exeposé that this year RAG intends to beat last year’s profits. 50 per cent of these profits will go to Devon-based charity The Eddystone Trust, which cares for people with HIV and promotes sexual health. The rest will go to RAG’s nominated charities: Clic Sargent, Headway
Devon, Refuge and World Child Cancer. The SSB team said: “We are really excited for 8 December. All the planning and preparations are finally looking like they’re coming together and we’re hoping it will be a fantastic spectacle! “We hope to make the 20th RAG Safer Sex Ball a night to remember for everyone who attends and to raise as much money as we can for charity! Roll on December!”
“RAG’s SSB has a reputation for being one of the best nights of the year and I’m sure it will not disappoint” James Fox, VP Participation & Campuses
James Fox, VP Participation & Campuses, commented: “RAG’s Safer Sex Ball has a reputation for being one of the best nights of the year and I’m sure it will not disappoint. “It is a fantastic event that raises thousands of pounds for Charity and without it the Eddystone Trust would not be able to continue the amazing work that it does for people with HIV in Exeter.” Tickets for the Safer Sex Ball will be sold online from 9am on Thursday 10 November.
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Diwali celebration lights up campus Mike Stanton On Saturday 29 October Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, was celebrated at the University of Exeter. The event, organised by the Students’ Guild and the Exeter Asian Society, was free and open to all with visitors being able to take part in a range of cultural, musical, dance and art activities as well as try traditional Indian food and drink. The Diwali festival is one of the Asian Society’s biggest events of the year. Although this was only the second year the event has been running, its popularity has increased, with numbers rising from 400 in the first year to an estimated 1000 attendees this year.
The festival created the atmosphere of an Indian market with food, henna and dressing up stalls. There were also opportunities to watch Kabbadi (Indian wrestling) matches, snake charmers and a Dhol Drummers performance.
“It’s a great way of involving the community in an important event for Exeter students” Deville Pandit, University student
The festival culminated in a firework display outside the University’s Xfi Building.
Exeposé Photo: Henry White
The organisers received many compliments from attendees, and the essence of the festival - celebrating the Hindu Faith and bringing the community together, seemed to be felt by many. Deville Pandit, a student at the University, commented that the festival was a “great way of involving the community and students in an event important to a lot of Exeter students.” The story behind Diwali and the manner of celebration is different in areas all over the globe. Syed Farrukh Ali Qandhari, the secretary of the Asian Society, said: “This event is of great importance to the Society, as students and locals from India and all over the world celebrate and come closer to each other on this festival.” Students and locals gathered to celebrate the Festival of Light in the Lemon Grove
University research Free legal advice service for students aims to feed 7 billion Tom Kelly
Raj Kular UNIVERSITY OF EXETER scientists have joined together with scientists from Bristol University to help find solutions to feeding the ever-growing global population. The universities have collaborated with Rothamsted Research – the UK’s largest agricultural research centre, and aim to use their wealth of expertise to address a number of agricultural issues. Professor Nick Talbot, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter said: “Ensuring global food security is without question one of the biggest challenges facing humanity.” He continued: “The need for research to help secure global food security and ensure resilient land management lies at the heart of the new Alliance.” Exeter University scientists in particular are focusing on the detrimental effects of the bacterial Xanthomonas wilt on bananas and plantain farming in Africa. This bacterium is of major concern to East African nations, as bananas
and plantain are a major food staple and cash crop. As a result of the banana wilt disease, millions of people’s livelihoods have been devastated over the past few decades.
“Ensuring global food security is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity” Professor Nick Talbot, Deputy Vice Chancellor
The research team, led by Dr Studholme and Professor Grant of the University of Exeter, aims to ultimately develop resistance to the disease, with the help of funding from the National Agricultural Research Organisation of Uganda. Chris Harper, a Business student at Exeter, commented: “With the global population having surpassed 7 billion this week and set to reach 10 billion by the end of the century, Exeter’s research is fundamentally important in helping to find sustainable methods for food cultivation.”
Exeter University scientists hope to help find sustainable methods for food cultivation
THE legal advice service Student-Law, run by law students at the University of Exeter, is attempting to raise its profile amongst Exeter’s student population, coinciding with the 10th Annual National Pro Bono Week. The service launched in 2008 offers free and confidential legal advice to students at the University of Exeter, in areas such as housing and debt. A Student-Law volunteer William Barnes said: “Though the focus of the project has been on the law surrounding
landlords and tenants, we now cover a wide range of areas of the law such as consumer, employment, and criminal.”
“It’s a fantastic idea as students don’t generally have the money to use law firms” Georgina Treen, first year student
Student-Law runs an online clinic and a legal helpline supported by Slee
UKIP leader Nigel Farage fills theatre George Hobbs NIGEL FARAGE, leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), visited Exeter on 31 October and gave a talk to a full lecture theatre. Students of a number of different faculties were gathered as Farage discussed topical issues such as the UK’s membership of the European Union, as well as other pressing domestic matters. Farage had appeared on BBC’s Question Time just a few days before coming to the University; and Exeter students were keen to ask the MEP their own questions. James Eales, Vice President of Academic Affairs, described Farage as “holding no prisoners in his analysis of British, European and International politics”, whilst one second-year English student hailed him as “an inspirational speaker, although one who possesses a
warped view of British society.” The UKIP has grown in popularity in recent years, and the University’s Politics Society, and its president Joe James, were fortunate to be able to attract such a high-profile name to Exeter.
“He was an inspirational speaker, although one who possesses a warped view of British society” University student
Farage has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1999 and leader of UKIP since November 2010, having previously held the post between 2006 and 2009. The party is the second-most represented British party in the European Parliament, behind the Conservatives.
Blackwell, which is listed by the legal 500 as one of the leading law firms in the field of claimant personal injury law and professional negligence. Head of the Guild Advice Service, Michelle Jagger, said: “The Advice Unit promote the Student-Law service as an alternative source of assistance to students.” Georgina Treen, a first year student, said: “It’s a fantastic idea as students don’t generally have the money that would be needed to use a law firm.” National Pro Bono Week begins on Monday 7 November and ends on Friday 11 November.
Uni wins £13m for energy research Tom Payne Books Editor THE University of Exeter has announced plans to support pioneering research into the exploitation of previously untapped geothermal energy sources. As part of the bid, which will benefit from £13 million of government funding, the British firm Geothermal Engineering Ltd is to set up a research centre with the University of Exeter Sustainability Institute. It is among nine successful bids in the South West which aim to kick-start economic growth .It is hoped that the development of the UK’s deep geothermal industry will create jobs in a variety of sectors. Granite found under Devon and Cornwall has previously been said to have the “most promising” geological formation for hot rocks energy production in Europe.
Exeposé WEEK six
Entrepreneur Baroness Floella unveils reception Week
Photo: University Press Office
Ciara Long GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK will see several events running at Exeter University, including business workshops from the likes of Exeter City Football Club, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. The week beginning on Monday 14 November will feature a week-long trading competition in collaboration between Exeter RAG, Exeter Entrepreneurs Society and the Innovation Centre. Participants will be given an item of low value and must trade with other participants for items of higher value. At the end of the week, it will be auctioned on eBay by RAG. Tom Carrington-Smith, Student Entrepreneur in Residence at the Students’ Guild, said: “Entrepreneurs are vital for a country’s economic well being, in terms of growth and job creation, both locally and nationally. “With the university now taking notice of the bubbling enterprise scene within the student community, we’re starting to put a good support system in place for budding young business people.” Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of the successes of the last year for entrepreneurs and is run by Youth Business International.
EXETER student entrepreneur Nicole McMurray has launched an up-cycling business with an investment from the University. McMurray developed her brand Roses are Rubbish alongside a masters degree at the University of Exeter, to combine her passion for philosophy and the environment. She explained: “The name of my business speaks to something written by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist philoso-
National Student News Teenagers take Government to court over fees
Baroness Floella Benjamin, Chancellor, unveiled a commemorative plaque at the opening of the reception on Friday 28 October
James Crouch THE Chancellor Baroness Floella Benjamin unveiled a commemorative plaque at the opening of the new reception area on Friday 28 October. This marks the completion of another phase of the ongoing £48 million Forum Project. The event included a tour for staff, students and guests around other newly opened buildings on campus, including
Building One and the INTO Academic Centre. Floella Benjamin said: “We believe this state-of-the-art reception will help provide a new focal point within the heart of campus. She continued: “It is really exciting to see the new facilities which include informal meeting spaces and information screens where students can meet and interact with each other as well as members of staff from across the campus.
“It is no doubt reassuring to both present and future students, as well as parents, that the extensive building developments on campus illustrate that they are entering a world class University which is in good health in what remains a difficult financial climate for so many organisations.” The reception also contains a specially commissioned glass artwork, designed by Alexander Beleschenko.
Student’s up-cycling business given the green light Hannah Brewer Senior Reporter
pher who I admire, about how flowers and garbage are not as separate as we think they are; the flower will die and will become garbage, and the garbage can in fact be fertiliser to the flower, thus becoming the flower... so roses and rubbish are not so separate.” The business, which has recently received a grant from the Innovation Centre, aims to use landfill waste to create fashion products - such as wallets from end-of-life vinyl banners. Nick Davis, Guild President, supports investment in student business enterprise. He said: “Nicole’s up-cycling Photo: Nicole McMurray
Roses are Rubbish products are available online and will be stocked on campus soon
scheme is a fantastic example of the incredible innovative nature of our students.”
“I have a vision that this whole ethos is incorporated into the purchasing for retail and food services” Nicole McMurray, Exeter student and entrepreneur
Davis continued: “The Guild in conjunction with the Innovation Centre are putting a real focus on our students entrepreneurial exploits. “I don’t doubt that by the end of the academic year the campus and beyond will be adorned with pieces created by this talented young student.” McMurray has strong ambitions for the future of her business: “I have a vision that one day it’s not just the shop selling a couple of fun items that are made by alumni business people, but that this whole ethos is incorporated into the purchasing for retail and food services.” Nicole continued: “I am incredibly thankful for the help I have received from the Innovation Centre, including Tom Carrington Smith (recently appointed Student Entrepreneur in Resi-
dence at the University). “Meeting with them has really helped me to flush out my own ambitions for the business, and the environment they create is both supportive and challenging.” Carrington Smith expressed his support for the business: “I’ve been working with Nicole and her up-cycling fashion business, Roses are Rubbish, over the past few months. She’s been brilliant and worked incredibly hard to get Roses are Rubbish to market whilst finishing her masters.”
“Nicole’s been brilliant and worked incredibly hard to get Roses are Rubbish to market whilst finishing her masters”
Tom Carrington-Smith, Student Entrepreneur in Residence Roses are Rubbish products are already available in shops in Bristol and will imminently be available in the student shop in Devonshire House. Items are also available to purchase online at www.etsy.com/shop/rosesarerubbish.
TWO 17-year-olds have begun a legal battle against the government’s decision to raise the cap on tuition fees to £9,000. Callum Hurley and Katy Moore are claiming that the increase is an infringement of human rights legislation. The case, which has been taken to the High Court, is expected to last two days and has been paid for through legal aid and pro bono work. The two teenagers are both students, Katy Moore is currently at sixth form and Callum Hurley studies at a further education college. Sam Jacobs, a solicitor from Public Interest Lawyers, is representing the students pro bono. He said: “It is astonishing that it was thought appropriate to make such an important decision in such a rushed manner. “In these circumstances, it is not surprising that there has been a woeful failure to give ‘due regard’ to promoting equality of opportunity.”
Visa reforms reduce student numbers by 11,000 OVER 450 colleges have been prevented from recruiting international students, resulting in the number of overseas students falling by 11,000. Many private colleges failed to sign up to new inspection rules set by the Government, meaning they lost their licences to offer places to international students. Universities UK estimates that 40 per cent of overseas students attend these colleges prior to studying at UK universities. This is part of a Government effort to crack down on the student visa system. Student visa reforms were introduced in April, and include more stringent English language and sponsor requirements. Damian Green, the Immigration Minister, said: “Widespread abuse of the student visa system has gone on for too long and the changes we have made are beginning to bite. “Too many students have come to the UK with the aim of getting work and bringing over family members.” However, Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, said: “It’s important that the UK appears ‘open for business’ to those individuals who are genuinely committed to coming to the UK to study at one of our highlyregarded universities.”
THE Guild’s housing campaign directly responds to the recent survey results which showed that one of the main issues for students was housing problems. It is crucial to take time over decisions when looking for a house, and it is crucial to get the best deal. It’s good to see that the Guild’s campaign promotes this idea.
“It should act as a clear reminder that tenants and landlords must be informed about their rights before they sign anything” This new campaign should act as a clear reminder that tenants and
landlords must be fully informed about their rights and understand the system before rushing to sign any legally binding contracts. The Guild has clearly taken student needs into account through this campaign, and hopefully it will reduce the panic around renting houses through regular advice being uploaded on their site and through the housing fairs that they have organised for November and January. It is likely that the effects of the campaign will not be immediate. However, if the Guild continue to push this campaign over years to come it will, hopefully, reduce the housing problems amongst students, as more care and consideration over decisions will lead to happier and more satisfied tenants.
Safer Sex Ball fever returns to campus TICKETS go on sale for the infamous Safer Sex Ball this week, and this year’s theme will be ‘Fantasia- magic, myth and fairytale’. The SSB remains an extremely popular event, and for many it is seen as part of the ‘Exeter experience’. Thousands of students rush to buy tickets and last year’s online service, which replaced overnight queues outside the box office, has this year been switched to the university’s online ticketing system (used for events like the Graduation Ball) to cope with the high online traffic. In 2010, the online ticket sales were completed in just over an hour, with 4,000 students paying £38 each to attend the ball. The demand is expected to be even higher this year. The venue will be Westpoint
Arena and RAG aim to improve on last year’s event by allocating more money for decorations and security. Also, after complaints about long queues for the cloakroom and general disorganisation, they have ensured there will be a more robust system in place for this year’s ball.
“Exeposé hope to exclusively reveal the acts in the next issue” The SSB always excites students and speculation is rife about which acts will be playing. Exeposé plan to exclusively reveal the headline acts in our next issue.
Thanks to all those who helped proof this issue:
James Crouch, Imogen Crookes, Fiona Lally, Alice Scoble-Rees, Lauran Richards, Callum McLean, Amelia Jenkinson, Ben Stupples, Eleanor Christie, William O’Rourke, Harriet Baker, Thomas Ling, Jon Jenner, Lucy Cryle, Matthew Bugler, Nicole Mascarentias, Tom Bond, Emily Lunn, Jasmine Gardosi, Joshua Irwandi, Ronald Liong, Tom Nicoll and members of the Exeposé Editorial team
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Guild launches housing campaign
7 November 2011 Exeposé
‘THE University Experience’ is a term frequently banded around by students and non-students alike – generally to refer to the great time that the former are having and the latter are missing out on, but what does it really refer to, and why is it relevant to the subject of housing? To those who left school and, instead of pursuing academia, chose to go and earn some money and contribute to society, I would suggest that ‘University Experience’ evokes a carefree world where getting inebriated and falling asleep under a stranger’s kitchen table is perfectly acceptable. To those of us studying at university I guess it does, to a certain extent, have the same meaning, but I would also suggest that if you were to undertake a campus survey as to what ‘University Experience’ means one of the popular responses would be “the freedom of living away from home”. Certainly this is one of the reasons prospective employers like taking on graduates; the experience of having to live away from the security of home and fend for yourself for three years is an invaluable life skill and choosing a house after your year as a Fresher is one such example of having to fend
for yourself. Having made the transition into a house this year I now feel I could do it again and again; however deciding where to live wasn’t easy and I’m still not convinced I made the right choice. When my housemates and I first viewed our current residence, I must admit I felt crest-fallen to say the least – the house was dingy, old and in severe need of decoration. Yet, I thought to myself: “A house is what you make it, after all it may be painted over the summer, we can always add new furniture and once we are living in it things will feel different,” and I wasn’t wrong. Having informed our landlady of some problems we had noticed with the house, she made sure these were rectified over the holiday; I have painted my room and changes are gradually being made to improve the house overall, but here I emphasise the word “gradually”. The problem with some student housing, in a similar way to ours, is not necessarily just the condition of the house but the condition of the landlord. Renting out a house to students is a very lucrative market, and one somewhat open to exploitation. There will never be a shortage of prospective tenants year in-year out, and no matter how uninviting your house looks, if your rental price is right it will attract attention. There are rules that govern the rental of a property and all landlords must have a licence, which can be
revoked if the house is in a bad condition, so a landlord does have certain responsibilities (in the same way that the tenant does). I am not for a second suggesting here that my landlady is shirking her responsibilities, but merely suggesting that an inactive or sluggish landlord who hasn’t actually seen the property for two years can often cause more trouble than the low rental price warrants.
“The problem with some student housing is not necessarily just the condition of the house but the condition of the landlord” In answer to my initial question therefore of “Choose a house or choose a landlord?” I would recommend striking a balance between the two. A house is what you make it; if I was on the phone to my landlady five times a day and I offered to undertake decoration work and organise the ordering and delivery of new furniture then maybe she might put her hand in her pocket. But surely isn’t living in a slightly dilapidated house part of the “student experience” anyway, and maybe that’s a view my landlady shares.
Exeposé WEEK six
Ottery St Mary: Playing with fire? Abi Jenkins The spectacle of Ottery’s flaming tar barrels often defies explanation, especially to those unaccustomed to the importance afforded to tradition in more rural parts of the country. On face value, as an event it is almost stereotypically inconceivable, conjuring the romanticised image of ye olde Disney townsfolk armed with pitchforks and a catchy tune, but to the local population, it’s a worthy tradition, and to actually participate in it, is something of great pride. The tar barrels are almost a rite of passage as a student and, everything else aside, it really is an experience like no other. I went in my first year and feared for my life, but still went again the next year just to check I hadn’t missed something, because everyone else seemed so completely enamoured. In an effort to rationalise its appeal, in the case of most freshers, coming to university is the
first time away from home, and also a chance to find your boundaries by pushing them to the limit. Perhaps this literal baptism of fire is a chance to throw off the perceived parental shackles by doing something that in all honesty, would make most rightminded parents weep with horror. It strikes me that fire is pretty near the top of the list of things that parents are supposed to not put their children in, so this is clearly the perfect way to rebel en masse.
“Even with organisations like St John’s Ambulance very close at hand, the prospect of actual harm is still very, very real” Some might argue that it’s about the adrenaline rush, but there are other, safer, less unpredictable ways to achieve that. With the flaming tar barrels, there is no safety harness, no air bags. In the cold light of day, these are just regular people, with actual, real-life flaming barrels of
Photo: Henry White
“In the cold light of day, these are just regular people, with real-life flaming barrels of tar, pushing their way through overly crowded streets”
tar, pushing their way through overly crowded streets. Adrenaline rushes within discernible limits, and big red override buttons are one thing, but even with organisations like St John’s Ambulance impressively organised, vigilant, and very close at hand, the prospect of coming to actual harm, is still very, very real. So by all means, go along, experience it for yourself, and make your own mind up, just try not to be too perturbed by the “Caution: Flaming Tar Barrels” signs everywhere, and know that buying a pasty, and snuggling up by the massive bonfire also comes highly recommended. Me? I’ll stick to sparklers.
Campus should be more card-friendly Education needs to be James Crouch
I’m sure many of the new students at Exeter are beginning to realise how few working ATMs there are on campus, and that the ones that do work are unhelpfully all in the same place.
“Many a time have I gone through the Lemmy and would have loved a pizza or a coffee, only to have no cash and no place to get cash” Many a time have I gone through the Lemmy and would have killed for a pizza or a coffee, only to have no cash and no place to get cash. Before someone wants to remind me about the Lemmy cash machine, I have yet – in two years at Exeter and countless Saturday Lemmy’s – to actually see a single note dispensed from it. The problem (in the daytime at least) is compounded by having a corner shop there which has a card machine to pay by, but does not offer cash back.
I count myself as one of those last minute customers, whose stomach rules my head, and if I could get cash out – without marching up the hill and down again in 20 minutes – I alone would probably make the facilities a small fortune. Just think about the overwhelming majority of second and third years that have to walk past the Lemmy almost every day on their way to and from campus. Imagine how much custom could come from all of those who find themselves in the same position I do walking back home. Of course, if working ATMs is a stretch beyond the imagination, perhaps more places where you can
use your card might be a good idea. Long Lounge, Lemon Grove, even the RAM could be a possibility. It would all end in Guild services selling more food and drink. In fact, any step to make campus a more card-friendly place means more of us get fed, the Guild gets paid, and everybody’s happy. From my position, it’s purely selfish. I love so much of what is on offer on campus, and all too often I have the means to pay but can’t. Hopefully by the time I finish third year, I can say that I was able to get a coffee from the Lemmy without having planned my purchase 20 minutes in advance. Photo: Hannah Walker
taken seriously Thomas Goodsir It’s not that I’m counting, but there are just 1277 days (at the time of going to print) remaining before the next UK General Election. Ample time, you’d think, for Messrs Dumb (in yellow) and Dumber (in blue), our very own U-Turn extraordinaires, to find some favour with the population. Unfortunately, a wobbly economy, a few numbing backbench bore-o-sceptics and Mr Osbourne’s difficulties with his own shoelaces look set to occupy PM and Deputy Dawg for the foreseeable.
“We, at Exeter, need to start thinking about how we present ourselves” Sadly, the preoccupations of our favourite comedy couple mean that the cost of a degree for next year’s intake is going to be £27,000, like it or not, and if we want to keep up with Oxbridge and Warham and University
College Southampton Spa, we here in Exeter need to start thinking about how we present ourselves. Of course it’s you and I, fellow student, where the marketing starts. The prospective entrants pick universities on prospectuses, the quality of Classics modules or the grouting in the new reception; they go by what their image of the current students is, and, Exeter, we have a problem. We need to drop the moaning about the self inflicted hangovers, lose our trophy drinking culture and stop kidding ourselves that there’s anything worthy of column inches in ‘beer pong’. We need to stop trying to compete with UCLA on the pretentious slang, the fancy dress sportswear and the athletic elitism and we need to start pursuing some individualism rather than the caricatured drunken lout that’s falling over its bin liner and high heels in the high street on a Tuesday night. Yes, it’s a stereotype, and it’s not the majority, but it doesn’t half do the reputation of the University (and the reputation of students across the country) some damage. If we want future applicants and future governments to keep taking education seriously, we, as the educated, need to start taking ourselves seriously.
7 november 2011 Exeposé
Beats and Bass nights rejuvenate Exeter’s nightlife Philip Thomas
WHAT I am about to write may sound preposterous, even harebrained, but there is a nightlife scene in Exeter which is breaking the stranglehold of the infamous clubs. Now, I am not criticising places such as Arena and Rococos in this article, as they pro-
vide everyone with a great opportunity to drink and dance the night away, and I have had many good nights out to these venues. However, personally, and having talked with others, I know I am not alone in thinking that the strict rotation of nights combined with the constant repetition of songs such as ‘Mr Brightside’ can make many evenings rather forgettable. This is where the Beats and Bass society come in; they have attempted to rejuvenate Exeter’s nightlife scene. Every second Wednesday, Beats
and Bass hold an event at Cavern club, playing a range of music from Drum and Bass to Hip Hop to Garage. Unlike other nights, there is no pressure to drink or to pull; some come to rave, others to appreciate the skills of local DJs, whilst many just love to socialise with friends. Although the surroundings and clientele can feel slightly exclusive, people are very friendly as they enjoy the hedonistic and fresh feel to the nights. Therefore, with the variety of music offered, in combination with the vibe of Cavern,
these Wednesdays offer something refreshingly different to students. Having interviewed Laurence Mulchrone, the Beats and Bass publicity officer, I learnt that the Society itself is an ongoing success story. Founded in 2006, the events have increased in popularity year on year, and they were able to secure a stage at Beach Break Festival 2011. Despite these achievements, the society is planning to go further still, including providing cheap trips to clubs in Bristol. Such intentions go some
way in illustrating the devotion and enthusiasm of a society whose aim is to share their love of music with all of Exeter. To conclude, this article is not asking you to stop going to Exeter’s classic student nights; it is inviting those of you who are slightly bored of religiously attending these venues, or who want to try a different experience, to attend the Beats and Bass nights at Cavern, as they provide a fantastic alternative nightlife scene in Exeter.
the construction has been phased so that the most disruptive elements (e.g. pipework installation, wall demolition and stock transfers) have been undertaken as far as possible during the quieter vacations or in early mornings before the library gets busy. The work has followed a floor-by-floor process to avoid complete closure of the Main Library. As each floor takes six months to refurbish, some noise and other disruption is inevitable in term-time - especially so in a building which has 24/7 occupancy. Construction is a series of interdependencies and cannot always be scheduled to non-peak times but where possible this has been done. Because of the original 1980s library design, waves of hand-drilling (necessary for the fixing plasterboard walls, lights, power and network cables etc. on level 0) do reverberate through the whole building and the noise meter remains on ‘medium alert’ until this is completed. In the meantime there are many alternative, quiet study seats available in libraries elsewhere on the Streatham and St Luke’s campuses for those who find the drilling disturbing. Details can be found on the Forum Project web page and from Library staff.
crazy radical stuff. I am not an English student, but I can understand Henry’s point. Imogen’s talk of innovation conjures up images of Steve Jobs stood on stage holding up a reading pack saying “It’s magical, it’s revolutionary, it’s only £9”. £9 isn’t a lot of money in and of itself. But with so many blunders and problems it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Fix the timetables, fix MyExeter, give us big enough rooms and a library that is fit for purpose, then we will buy your reading packs.
fine and clearly more efficient. This has only added extra pressure on the already under-resourced bar staff. The knock on effect is the long queues mentioned earlier. Luke was completely right in arguing that we have to pay too much for drinks. Compared to other southern universities where sub £2 a pint is the norm, £2.40 (an increase of 20p from last year) for a pint of Carslberg is outrageous. The Guild just doesn’t get it. Considering this is supposed to be a student bar, if the prices were more reasonable, perhaps taking a hit on the margin would actually be a worthwhile move considering the extra sales and happy customers. Condiments: I shall concede not having to pay for mayonnaise or ketchup is an improvement. That is if they are actually there of course, which in my experience, they tend not to be. As for Felicity to exclusively blame students on causing this lack of condiments by being wasteful, that was just childish. Felicity’s flour comment was rude and facetious, I and friends happen to completely agree with the excess of flour used on the buns. So much in fact, I explicitly avoid the burger deals completely. My chicken burger was considerably worse than what the Imperial would have offered for less of the cost! I am really struggling to comprehend the ‘100 extra seats’ comment. Felicity, genuinely, how on earth can you justify that? Unless you are a counting a stack of exam chairs in a cupboard, that is simply untrue. The RAM has a special place in my heart, but the shocking service and complete lack of attractive drink deals is drawing me and a lot of other people away. Like most other aspects of this University, at the expense of the students themselves, it seems that profit margins are more important than the actual service and experience (Lafrowda anyone?). This greed is highlighted by the University boasting of being ‘one of Europe’s fastest growing companies’. I miss my RAM.
Letters to the Editors
Send your letters to email@example.com Exeposé
It seems the Guild may be contributing to its own problems. In Issue 583 of Exeposé two articles appear about the Lemon Grove. In one, a very brief mention was made of the fact that the doors nearest to campus are locked to prevent the venue being used as “a short-cut onto campus.” Later, a longer editorial bemoans the drop in attendance at events in the Lemon Grove. As a part of the Business School, I’ve been using Cornwall House for five years, as both a Master’s and PhD student. The amount of traffic through the building was significant, and all of it could have been used to promote the new venue and its events. However, now that the building is locked from the campus side, the potential to use the hall as a means of promotion is gone. Wasted, really. Secondarily, the locking of the campus-side doors has proven to be a nuisance, and should be reconsidered by the Guild. The stated goal of this action was to “emphasise the fact it is a nightclub,” which should be accomplished through holding events there, not by preventing foot-traffic. Shutting doors has simply prevented more people from knowing that the refurbishment has taken place, from seeing the improvements, and from learning more about upcoming events. Additionally, it has piled up some frustration from those of us who use Cornwall House for its food outlets and the shop (especially on rainy days!) Kind regards, Kyle Alves Re: ‘Fox Hunted’ (Features, p11, Issue 584) Exeposé Whilst it was tempting to stop reading James Roberts’s article, entitled “Fox Hunted”, in last fortnight’s Exeposé when the author asserted “What Liam Fox did is irrelevant”, I decided to continue. What, as I expected, befell me was a sadly misguided piece by an in-
dividual who thought the press was the best medium through which to attack the press. And that was just the start of it… This is not a blind-sighted defence of the British press. As we all know, certain journalists must be held to account for the abhorrent actions that were revealed in the phone-hacking scandal this summer. However, the very thing that we must admire newspapers for is their dogged attempts at unearthing corruption, greed and deception in politics and, last week, they came up trumps. Not only had Dr Liam Fox been bankrolling Adam Werrity, his ‘personal advisor’, but he had also, in his capacity as the Defence Secretary, allowed details of his diary into unauthorized hands, putting the UK’s security at risk. I’d say that calling these actions ‘irrelevant’ is one of the most deranged statements ever to be printed in this newspaper. As is often found with people who hold what one might deem to be explicit and outspoken political views, bravado and bullish behaviour take precedence over sense and rational thinking. This seems to be the case here. At times Roberts’ article verged on the hilarious, at others it was simply disappointing to see students who should know better belittling the honest work of both tabloid and broadsheet journalists. They were right; Fox was wrong, and no amount of undergraduate spin can undermine those facts. Anonymous Re: ‘Will the library ever be quiet?’ (Comment, p6, Issue 584) Exeposé Rebecca Lodder asks ‘Will the library ever be quiet?’ and makes a number of points about disturbance arising from library refurbishment as part of the Forum Project. As she says, the current works on level 0 are still on target to complete by January 2012. The end of this phase will bring 120 additional, much-needed seats including 30 extra PCs into public use to alleviate current pressures. Even more will follow in the Spring. Despite comments to the contrary,
Martin Myhill Library - Forum Project Director Re: Letter from Imogen Sanders (Comment, p8, Issue 584) Exeposé Talk about calling a chair a donkey, Imogen Sanders has the cheek to moan about student participation in university democracy! As if the SSLC is a gleaming example of student representation. Now I have neither been elected to any kind of “I cant believe its not a school council” body nor done any research into it, but I’m pretty sure that most if not all students would vote for timetables that don’t change? Essays that are handed back on time (perhaps the staff should have their salaries capped at 40% if they’re late)? What about rooms that are actually big enough for the number of people taking the module? I know its
Luke Appleton Re: Letter from Felicity Bains (Comment, p8, Issue 584) Exeposé As a long serving, loyal and proud RAM fan, I found Felicity’s letter completely out of touch with the consensus. I do not feel she addressed the complaints put forward in a respectful manner. She wrote in a highly dismissive and bigoted manner that was frankly rude and unhelpful. Luke had several legitimate and addressable points that were completely ignored or blown out of proportion. Whilst we all appreciate the efforts which have been made to improve the RAM, to not acknowledge any current shortfalls is purely delusional. It is understandable that during Freshers’ Week queues were long, but the same problems commonly occur during the lunch time, a point conveniently unaddressed by Felicity. I go to the RAM twice a week and seldom find myself straight at the bar. Service has definitely gone downhill; understaffing and the lack of competent management seem the main issue. The current system causes a great deal of aggravation for staff and customers alike. Gone are the days where a group of friends can sit down with food all at the same time. The time gap between different food orders arriving at the table is not ideal. It is a flawed system that was not properly thought through, considering the old system of having a separate food section was
Kind regards, Jonathan Finch
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7 november 2011 Exeposé
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INTERVIEW The DynCorp Whistle Blower
Karrie Anne Grobben talks to Kathryn Bolkovac, the real activist behind The Whistleblower
The real Kathryn Bolkovac, who blew the whistle on the DynCorp and UN involvement in sex trafficking rings in Bosnia; Rachel Weisz playing Bolkovac in the 2010 film adaptation
IN The Whistleblower, Kathryn Bolkovac’s account of her time working as a contractor for the UN in the Balkans, she describes how, not long after a young Ukrainian woman’s dead body is found floating in the river in Zenica, Bosnia, she came across a locked door in a seedy ‘club’ that even her fellow officers appear reluctant to open. Kathryn kicked the door down. Inside, she found seven young women and underage girls being held captive. They had been trafficked across borders from countries all over the world, beaten, starved, raped and forced into prostitution. In broken English, a young blonde girl pointed out of the window at the river below and said, “We don’t want to end up floating”. Her meaning was clear. When Nebraska policewoman Kathryn joined private military contractor DynCorp to support UN peacekeeping forces in Bosnia in the late 1990s, she not only discovered a thriving sex traf-
ficking industry in Bosnia, but that both DynCorp and UN workers were involved. As a result of her investigation and at great personal risk, she decided to blow the whistle. Subsequently, she was intimidated, threatened, demoted and then fired. She fled the country when she learned her life might be in danger— but not without a duffel bag full of evidence. The fact that DynCorp and UN workers were not only involved in hushing it up, but were also clientele, was revealed in the documents it contained. Kathryn says that while she “never intended to write, in the end, that became a good basis.”
“They had been trafficked across borders from countries all over the world”
Kathryn’s story first came to light when she sued DynCorp for wrongful termination in the UK courts and won. Since then, her story has been published and made into an award winning film starring Rachel Weisz. I was fortunate enough to be able to interview this incredible woman: “I never considered myself a whistleblower. It was my job, as a police officer, to do the right thing.”
One of the reasons human trafficking flourished in the presence of international police was because of the immunity that officers enjoyed from the normal laws of their respective countries on these missions. It became a free-for-all. According to Kathryn, “That’s what needs to be changed.” At the moment, in the US, the Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act only has the power to prosecute those linked to the military. “But if you’re working for the State Department, or something not connected to the military, then you’re still not covered under these laws.” An officer can be implicated with human trafficking or rape and, as shown by Kathryn’s experience, “Nothing happens. Unless the company chooses to prosecute you for some reason. They can either fire you or call the police and get an investigation started. I mean, can you imagine if this was about money? What if Jamie Popwell [an English DynCorp employee implicated in human trafficking by Kathryn’s investigation] had been embezzling money? You can bet your bottom dollar charges would’ve been filed and there would have been prosecution. “But because it’s about raping women or young girls, or forced prostitution—that’s not really a crime, in their eyes: ‘awh, just fire ‘em and let them find a new job’”. As it turns out,
Popwell was, in fact, promoted. In her book, Kathryn also describes an employee who casually admitted that he had bought a young girl: “‘Life as normal. Everybody’s doing it.’ That’s the mentality of these employees that DynCorp has working for them.” I ask Kathryn what she thinks can be done by individuals to help police the growing epidemic of human trafficking around the world—as it is, in fact, present in the Western world as well: “I think every country, every citizen in every individual country, needs to be at the point where they can openly discuss these things with their police officers, their chief of police.” Bolkovac points out that while awareness education should be encouraged, the police are the ones who will be actually facing up to human traffickers. “For me, it’s about education at the front line and also curbing the demand. And I think the demand side is prosecution. Finding a way to prosecute the demand.” And what can we do? “Contact your police chief and ask what is being done in the police academies to train police officers about human trafficking and how to investigate [it].” Just as the victims of these crimes often were terrified to go to UN and DynCorp officers, Bolkovac maintains that the key is trust. “If you don’t have that trust between the community and the po-
lice, you’ll never make that progress. That’s the most important thing.”
“If there’s world peace, where’s that money going? I mean, look at the big picture” When I ask what the long-term effect on global relations would be, when international police and peacekeeping forces are committing crimes of this nature, Kathryn laughs wryly: “That’s what these [private security] companies are counting on, you know? If there’s world peace, where’s that money going? I mean, look at the big picture. DynCorp goes away if there’s world peace.” Meanwhile, financially and personally, the burden of being a ‘whistleblower’ continues to impact on Kathryn’s life. “It does throw a shadow, I think, over whistleblowers in general. And I think it ruins their life. It ruined my life. I mean, I lost everything. I lost my retirement. I’m still trying to rebuild. You know this book and the movie are not financially lucrative. This isn’t something that’s a financial gain operation for me. This is something that I did from my heart and because I really needed to tell this story.”
Exeposé WEEK SIX
On the ground in Tunisia: Election coverage
Harriet Baker is in Tunisia, the birth place of the Arab Spring, to witness the groundbreaking elections
IT was clear to see how life for Tunisians has already changed since the rule of Ben Ali. The mood at our time of visiting seemed to be one of cautious optimism. However, what is not clear is the path that Tunisia is to take from here. The air of enthusiasm was apparent everywhere in Tunis, it seemed; even taxi drivers were eager for our views on the elections, and told of their optimism for the future. It was incredible to see people so politically engaged, though perhaps not surprising when it would have been unthinkable to talk about politics so openly in the previous regime. Al-Nahda, a moderate Islamist party which was banned under Ben Ali, gained over 41 per cent of the votes, and 90 of the 217 seats in the assembly that will write a new constitution. We
Name: Harriet Baker Subject: Politics, Third Year
talked to some of their representatives in Sousse, who were keen that we should understand the party’s clear and reasonable points made in their manifesto and how they will be incorporated in their policies. They had even brought along copies translated into English (as well as leaflets and stickers) so that we could ask detailed questions. Their aim to be seen as moderate and fair was clear to see, and they expressed their pleasure at being able to talk to young people from Britain about their political views. They knew exactly what they wanted to say and how to say it, perhaps because of their desire to be seen as legitimate from an international perspective. One question that we, as observers of the new democracy in the Middle East, were keen to ask, was how democracy can work in line with Islam. Their reply was that democracy comes from within Islam, and reiterated their belief in checks on government and civil liberties. There is certainly unease about AlNahda’s victory. Though their manifesto outlines very moderate policies, many express concerns that they will be either pressured into adopting a more conserv-
ative agenda or will shift their manifesto once in power. We met with Dr. Amor Boubakri, Professor of Law at the University of Sousse, who eagerly showed us around Sousse Electoral Observatory. Immediately apparent to us was an air of excitement, and when we spoke to some of the workers there, they shared their feelings of confidence for the elections ahead, as well as their great pride for Tunisia for being the first of the ‘Arab Spring’ countries to take this significant step.
How did the trip to Tunisia come about? It’s for a module called ‘Understanding Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East.’ There were 12 students, two PhD candidates, and our lecturer who led the trip, Dr Larbi Sadiki. He has lots of really good contacts and set up meetings for us. He’s Tunisian originally, but was
banned under the previous regime for writing against them.
On the day of the election itself, our group visited a busy polling station in Sousse. Those who had just voted were glad to share the experience, one simply stating ‘We are free now’. An elderly man told us with a smile that he was un-
Could you sense a difference in mood depending on the place? Sousse is a very political place, and the last Presidents came from here. There was lots going on. But Sidi Bouzid is more poverty stricken, and where the revolution was
able to read or write, but such was his joy at being allowed a vote that he had simply chosen at random a candidate on the list. This seems to epitomise the sheer emotion the Tunisians feel about these elections. Throughout the day we saw the joy and celebration of Tunisians, with young people holding their ink-stained fingers out of their cars as they drove down the streets, waving the Tunisian flag and beeping their horns. Their enthusiasm is clearly reflected in the exceptionally high national turnout, which averaged over 70 per cent. In one place, we heard that people had queued for over four hours at a polling station. In Sidi Bouzid, we met a representative from the Popular Manifesto party, who spoke of their commitment to practical solutions to solve their country’s problems rather than the application of a strict ideology. However, a few days after the election, we heard that these candidates had lost their seats due to “financial irregularities” being discovered. In this town, where the revolution originated, unemployment is overwhelmingly high, which was made evident from the number of young males sitting outside on chairs simply watching sparked. There’s so much unemployment, and that’s why they want change. Not because of democracy, necessarily. Would you like to go back? Dr Sadiki led another study trip in Saudi Arabia a few years ago, which must have been completely different. I’d love to see more of the re-
The fight for freedom has yet to be won
Joanna Clifford on the human rights violations taking place in Syria
THE death of 40 protesters on Friday 28 August was the culmination of the ongoing crackdown on Syrian protesters. Since March around 3000 demonstrators have been killed, a figure which, according to the UN, includes 187 children. The continued brutality of Syrian soldiers, and the development from civil unrest to armed insurgency, has led many commentators to question whether NATO involvement is now imperative. Reading the recent Sunday Telegraph interview of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, one could be forgiven for warming to him. He is not a subversive Gaddafi or secretive Ahmadinejad, but an open, humorous and well-spoken leader, who lives an apparently humble lifestyle.
Despite admitting mistakes on behalf of the Syrian government, and acknowledging that pressure from Western countries was likely to increase, Assad appeared calm about the future conflict. He claimed that the “tide started to turn” when he began implementing reforms six days into the rebellion. Indeed, he not only repealed the harsh emergency law, but awarded citizenship to the stateless Kurds living in Syria. However, Assad’s shrewd manipulation of the Sunday Telegraph interview enabled him to portray Syria in a manner which belies the true nature of the conflict. Assad reports that the initial slaughtering of civilians has evolved into a legitimate struggle against “terrorist” groups, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood. Yet the majority of protestors are motivated not by an Islamist agenda, such as that of the Brotherhood, but by the protection of essential human rights and liberties. Furthermore, the Syrian government’s rather superficial reforms continue to be undermined by the use of violence against civilian protesters. On 16 October, the Arab League gave Syria
15 days to implement a ceasefire. Between that date and the 15-day deadline approximately 343 people were killed, and there is no foreseeable end to the violence. Moreover, democratic restructuring seems implausible as long as Article eight of the Syrian constitution upholds that Assad’s Ba’ath party must govern. Other tyrannous measures include the prohibition of international media within the Syrian state, thus making it increasingly difficult to verify reports of armed conflict. In the search for a decisive victory, the opposition have become divided on the issue of foreign intervention. Although Assad’s Ba’ath party suppresses the Sunni majority, they maintain the support of the Christian and Alawite (an offshoot of Shia Islam) minorities. This lack of religious homogeneity means that an internal compromise remains preferable to an externally enforced resolution. Assad himself warned against NATO intervention on the grounds that “Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the faultline, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake.”
Assad’s belief that Syria plays the most crucial role in the Middle East led him to assert that foreign involvement would create “another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asserted that the Syrian leadership must look to “far reaching reforms, not repression and violence”, but the UN is unlikely to intervene at this juncture. Unlike Libya or Afghanistan, Syria is afflicted by a rebellion, not a civil war. Therefore, the level of violence does not justify a Western military presence, which would require long-term commitment to the reconstruction of the country and the establishment of a post-war government. As the situation stands, the concept of foreign intervention lacks the regional consensus, as well as the wider international support, which would be required for the UN to assent to a NATO presence in Syria. Most importantly, China and Russia remain ambivalent about the Syrian conflict. Although China’s Middle East envoy has called for the Syrian government “to speed up implementing its promises of reform”, it has lacked conviction in its response to Assad’s violation of in-
time pass by. The contrast between here and Tunis could not have been more obvious – the people here need jobs and local development, and are less concerned with democracy in itself. Many areas in the south seem to have been forgotten, and their long-term poverty will need to be tackled by any new government.
Whatever the outcome in Tunisia, and whatever form the government takes when coalition talks have finished, it is clear that these elections are a milestone in Tunisia’s history. It is hard to tell the extent of how free and fair they were, but nonetheless what is clear is that Tunisians at large are convinced that the country has taken its first crucial step towards the creation of a lasting democracy. gion, and would love to go back to Tunisia one day. What was the best part? In Britain, there’s a lot of apathy around, so it was amazing to see such a contrast. But for the Tunisians this is their first experience of free and fair elections. They can talk without fear of being arrested.
ternational warnings. Moreover, Russia’s role as a supplier of military equipment to Syria makes it improbable that they will impose political and economic sanctions, let alone use their coveted UN Security Council vote to support military intervention. Amnesty International has called the halting of UN resolutions by Russia and China “nothing short of a betrayal of the Syrian people” after “more than six months of horrific bloodshed on the streets and in the detention centres of Libya”. Along with other human rights groups, Amnesty is calling for an arms embargo on Syria, an asset freeze against President Bashar al-Assad and his senior associates, and for the situation in Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court. For the present, we must hope that the effect of tougher sanctions and increasing diplomatic pressure will encourage democratic reform in Syria. If the largely Sunni uprising does gain more power, relations with neighbouring Shia countries, such as Iran, may become turbulent. The world anxiously awaits the next chapter of the Arab Spring.
7 November 2011 Exeposé
Discovering our brains’ never-ending ability to change Patrick Ussher explains the ground breaking neurological discovery, neuroplasticity OUR brains are adaptable, malleable and changeable. Up until quite recently, the conventional medical view was that our brains stopped developing cells early in life. However, technological advances, which allow 3D imaging of a person’s brain with a frequency of 1/1000 of a second, have meant that we can now see how the brain is constantly changing both in response to our external environment and, perhaps even more interestingly, as a result of our own thoughts and actions. Prof. Eric Kandel, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2000, has described this newly discovered ‘neuroplasticity’ as something that “is going to occupy us for the next 100 years.” For Norman Doidge, of Toronto University, it is “the single most important change in our understanding of the human brain in 400 years.” And with good reason, for the underlying principle is that thought can change the structure of matter, something that has far reaching implications for every one of us. When we look at examples of neuroplasticity in action, the importance of this development emerges. Dr. Edward Talb, of the University of Alabama, works with stroke patients. The scan of one patient, whose right arm was paralyzed, showed that “the area of the brain involved in producing movement of the affected hand had shrunk by a half.” Talb used Constraint Induced Movement Therapy, a guided process which forces the patient to use the paralyzed hand, whilst the good hand is essentially ‘clamped down’. Through great effort, the correct part of the brain started to work again and after two weeks of therapy, the scan showed that the area of the brain they were targeting had doubled in size; movement had returned. Dr. Michael Merzenich, of the Uni-
versity of California, is concerned with how neuroplasticity can help improve attention, language skills and memory. He has developed programs to improve the function of a part of the brain known as the lateral frontal cortex which is associated with reading accuracy. He has also developed programs to counteract neurological impairments in the ageing brain. After just 40 hours of a special training program for people aged 70+, brain performance was improved, on average, by 11 years. For Merzenich, neuroplasticity is about using the “incredible power that resides in the average human skull to drive the brain in a useful and corrective direction.”
“The brain is, therefore, plastic enough to rewire itself towards more compassionate, healthier states over a short period of time”
Neuroplasticity is also behind the emerging field of “contemplative neuroscience,” an area which has focused on how the brain responds to conscious effort to create a positive mental state. For example, for an experiment on how the cultivation of compassion might affect the brain, several universities in America (including Wisconsin, Harvard and Berkeley) studied the brains of Buddhist monks (for the simple reason that they had spent considerable time meditating on compassion). Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk who holds a PhD in molecular biology and who himself participated in these experiments, describes compassion meditation as an attempt to
“generate a state in which love and compassion permeate the whole mind, with no other consideration, reasoning or discursive thoughts.” The first experiment involved 15 expert meditators, who had practiced meditation for an average of 34,000 hours each, and a control group, of the same number, who were instructed in compassion meditation over the course of one week prior to the experiment. Then, everyone’s brains were scanned using 256 electrodes within an fMRI scanner and the subjects were asked to alternate between states of rest and states of compassion. The results were nothing less than extraordinary. In the control group, brain-wave activity remained more or less the same. Amongst the experienced meditators however, brain-wave activity rose remarkably, as a result of generating the compassionate state, by up to 1200 per cent. The left prefrontal cortex, associated with joy and enthusiasm, showed a marked increase in activity whilst both the right prefrontal cortex, associated with depression and rumination, and the amygdala, associated with fear, anger and anxiety, actually showed a marked decrease in activity. The tens of thousands of hours these monks had spent in meditation had dramatically altered the makeup of their brains. But not everyone can afford to spend so much time meditating in the Himalayas. And so, Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the Univeristy of Wisconsin, conducted another experiment. A group
Release the restraints of the euro
of people, new to meditation, were asked to practice the compassion meditation for 30 minutes a day over three months. During that time, they and a control group were monitored. The results showed that stress and anxiety in the novice meditators decreased by 30 per cent over the three months and that their left prefrontal cortex showed a marked increase in activity (though not by the same extraordinary proportions that were witnessed in the case of the monks). Interestingly, their immune system was also boosted, on average, by 20 per cent. Conversely, the anxiety and stress of the control group actually rose over the three months. The brain is, therefore, plastic enough to rewire itself towards more compassionate,
healthier states over a short period of time. What are the implications of neuroplasticity? Davidson argues that we “shouldn’t think of negative states as fixed characteristics of people” and further emphasises that “the brainmechanisms associated with happiness are themselves [ … ] among the most plastic circuits in the brain that are transformable through experience.” But he does talk of the conscious effort that is required for change to occur on a neurological level. He points out that while all sorts of external factors are constantly influencing and changing our brains, we rarely choose to engage deliberately in practices to change our brain for the better. And meditation is, of course, but one way. Other examples may include positive thinking and lifestyle choices, as well as the practice of ethical codes. Ultimately, for Davidson, this may be a question of responsibility. And so he says: “If we take responsibility for our own minds, we can produce more positive individuals […] which in turn will have a synergistic effect in making our culture and society a more positive one.”
Anthony Chambers assesses the centralised currency and its weakness in today’s global economy Photo: Larry Lilac / Alamy
of flagging economies. These are not options available to the countries of the eurozone. Instead, the club members have a shared rate sanctioned by the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, which, rather like a faulty clothing line specialising in garments of one size and one shape, issues a single rate regardless of the performance and condition of the 17 diverse national economies which use the single currency.
“These nations are strapped into an economic straitjacket” TWO years ago Eurocrats celebrated the tenth birthday of the Euro currency, lauding the apparent stability and success it had brought to the member states of the eurozone. Now in the midst of its first severe crisis, with its survival in the current form under threat, the arguments in favour of the single currency have never looked so thin.
For beleaguered economies the route of currency devaluation and the ability to adjust interest rates have been options for governments in a bid to ease their economic woes and to hopefully improve their current predicament. Goods exported abroad become cheaper and an interest rate cut can act as a stimulus to consumers, businesses and governments
Let’s review some recent examples. The ECB’s rate stands at 1.5 per cent. Germany, the powerhouse of the eurozone, has emerged strongly from the global downturn. Its economy last year grew by 3.6 per cent (an annual leap not seen since pre-Reunification) and would be more suited to a higher rate, to avoid Germany’s historical fear of inflation. On the other hand, the dire economic
situation chiefly of Ireland, Greece and Portugal cries out for even lower rates, akin to those that Britain, the US and Japan possess. Being a signed-up member of the Euro Club denies this basic fiscal freedom. These nations are strapped into an economic straitjacket; there was no surprise when the Danes voted in a referendum to retain their krone; nor is it bewildering that half of German voters wish to see the reinstatement of the mark. The arguments in favour of currency independence should have been solidified in the 1990s after Britain’s involvement with the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). As the precursor of the euro project, participating currencies were tied within a narrow fluctuation bracket of a basket of participating currencies. Despite raiding the Treasury and hiking up interest rates to record levels, the Conservative government was unable to keep the pound sterling within its strict range of fluctuation and the country was forced to exit the ERM in September 1992. What happened subsequently is the crux of the argument for independ-
ence. Free from the constraints of this flawed experiment, the pound sterling found its own level and Britain entered a period of prosperity lasting for much of the next decade.
“The arguments in favour of the single currency have never looked so thin” What can also be concluded from evaluating the euro project is that the eurozone requires a single economic policy, something only achievable through even greater integration of the euro countries and the establishment of a European federal state, most likely the desire of some who prowl the corridors of power in Brussels and Strasbourg. Thankfully we declined the opportunity to partake in this circus act. Some of our European brethren will probably wish they had done likewise.
Exeposé WEEK SIX
Where the Green movement went wrong
Tom Kelly examines the successes and failures of a movement that promised so much
THE Green movement, such as it is, has a problem. With carbon emissions still rising, and governments either unwilling or unable to act in the radical, stalwart way necessary to prevent climate change, this is a problem for everyone. Even as awareness has grown, the prospect of the broken earth grows increasingly real. According to James Lovelock, climate scientist and originator of the Gaia Theory, such a prospect is increasingly likely.
“The failure of the Green movement to provide any sort of popular protest has been both predictable and shocking”
The scale of the devastation visited by a two or three degree rise in the earth’s temperature is difficult to fathom. We know that we would see a rise in sea level, predicted by credible bodies such as the JPL (NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) to be as much as one foot by 2050 and six feet by 2100; the destruction beyond repair of the Amazon rainforest and the creation (from the Arctic ice) of a new, dark sea. If carbon dioxide in the atmos-
phere reaches 400-500 ppm (parts per million) it is likely that the warming that will ensue will be irreversible. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Earth Systems Research Laboratory places the current figure at 389 ppm, rising by 39ppm in the last 20 years. The failure of the Green movement to provide any sort of widespread, popular protest to the imminent danger has been both predictable, and shocking. After the desiccated wreck of the Copenhagen Climate Council of 2009, the predicted worldwide Green movement failed to materialise. But there is something rotten in the movement itself. For a start, a movement supposes some degree of ideological conformity. The CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) failed as a result of both differing philosophies on public protest, and differing motivations within the movement itself. There is a dangerous parallel here with the modern-day environmentalists which constitute the Green movement. As noted by science writer Mark Lynas, too often the Green movement asks too much. The prevention of climate change is not enough, they demand that the system be changed fundamentally. They call, in short, for the abolition of capitalism. The assumption that a capitalist system may not be able to accommodate the environment, and that the concept of un-
limited growth and earth-stewardship may not be compatible. Such opinions have merit, in fact the Australian philosopher and ethicist Peter Singer argues persuasively for an anti-capitalist Green movement in his collection of essays ‘Unsanctifying Human Life.’
“The choice is not between nuclear power and renewable energy sources, as the Greens seem to believe”
Green movement is, on its own terms, a capitulation to moral absolutism. The choice is not between nuclear power and renewable energy sources, as the Greens seem to believe. If it were, there would not be much of a debate. All too often, where nuclear power could be used, fossil fuels are exploited further; heightening the prospect of a zero hour. And renewable energies cannot be expected to cover the outlay of both fossil fuels and nuclear energy. The case against renewables can be put simply: there is not enough time for
them to do what we need them to do. Through blind ideological naiveté the Green movement must bear the cost of the earth as the cross on their backs. A movement at war with itself cannot survive and if climate change is to be prevented, or limited, the Greens must hold fast to that which they believe. But first, the Green movement must decide what it is that it believes, and what it is that it can achieve, and then become the radical, ethical cause which it never quite was.
Yet the theory behind the opinion is, in a very real sense, irrelevant. The ethical principle is not always the correct mode of action. You do not have a moral imperative to do what you cannot do. A ragtag troupe of scientists, writers and jobbing activists cannot overthrow the world market system. Whilst it is not quite an act of vanity to attempt it, it could well be argued that it is an act of negligence. The Green movement must attempt to work within the system as it exists, or risk changing nothing, allowing rampant climate change, egged on by industrialised nations to wreak ruin on the earth. The same must be said for nuclear power. The full-throated support for renewables within the wider
How effective are the trade unions of today?
Focussing on the recent grounding of Qantas, Ronald Liong analyses the importance of the union ALAN JOYCE, CEO of Australian flagcarrier Qantas, announced the grounding of the airline’s operations on Saturday 29 October 2011. This was made necessary as industrial action by members of three unions effectively left the airline inoperable. The strikes and subsequent grounding have affected roughly 70,000 passengers, which translates into a loss of $68 million (£44 million). Although flights have since resumed after the outcome of a tribunal order, it is difficult to ignore not only the poor state of the workermanagement relationship at Qantas, but the impact trade unions still have in the modern day. The row began in August 2011, when Mr Joyce announced plans to restructure and outsource the company to
cut losses from their uncompetitive and loss-making international services. As part of the plan, Qantas would establish 2 new airlines in Asia; this would mean a cut of 1,000 jobs domestically. Although these plans make business sense, they do not translate into good news for the Australian-based workers, who have effectively lost their job security as Qantas aims to cut costs and shift focus away from the domestic market. The purpose of a union is to protect the workers that it represents, in terms of working conditions, remuneration, and job security, through collective bargaining. Meanwhile, the objective of management is, often, to maximise profit and return for its shareholders. To achieve both at the same time is not impossible.
The company can satisfy its workers by compromising and meeting some, if not all, of their demands, while maintaining a healthy bottom-line with the support of a motivated workforce. But why then, have the staff from British Airways, Qantas, University and College Union, and London Underground, amongst others, had to use drastic collective bargaining tactics in recent times?
“The general trend for unions seems to be a downward one”
In the case of Qantas, it almost seems like a paradox. While the Australian unions did achieve their objective of protecting staff salaries, they failed to defend job security. The power of the unions, in this case, has made it difficult for Qantas to adapt and streamline their operations to adapt to today’s marketplace. Amongst this, however, it is worth noting that Mr Joyce is entitled to a $5.1 million (£3.3 million) pay package for the 2010/2011 financial year – a staggering amount, considering the tough economic climate, the poor performance of the airline’s international operations, and the fact that he is about to make 1,000 people redundant. You could put the blame on either side of the firing line, but that would just be an exercise of your political belief.
You could argue that the general breakdown of industrial relations across the world is a side effect of the economic situation we are in. Understandably, in a weak economy, company directors are doing their best to weather the storm by cutting costs – this may involve redundancies. In the public sector, governments and councils are slashing spending to rein in budget deficits, leaving public sector employers to make difficult decisions. Workers have every right to be concerned if they know they could be out of a job soon. It is this lost job security, perhaps fuelled by the rage towards management with their seven-figure salaries and bonuses, which brought about the drama at British Airways last year, and now Qantas.
“It must be asked, though – are the unions doing more harm than good?” It must be asked, though – are the unions doing more harm than good? It is true that in the past, unions have fought on behalf of the individual worker for the right to improved working conditions and fair remuneration. But what about now? In the case of Qantas, it seems that the “improved conditions” they are bargaining for are hurting the company, to
the extent that they are now slashing jobs in Australia while hiring cheaper workers elsewhere. Furthermore, their strike action has not only cost the company financially, but also their reputation. The general trend for unions seems to be a downward one. In the UK, we saw a dramatic tug-of-war between Downing Street and the unions during the Thatcher era, which reduced the power of unions, as well as the number of union members. A similar fall in membership has been visible in the USA and Australia. However, this should not be viewed as signalling the end of unions; do workers no longer join because they know they can still free-ride and enjoy the benefits that the unions have bargained for? The unions of today may not be as large or influential as the unions of yesteryears. Nonetheless, their numbers are still significant enough to disrupt major companies and make headline news. As long as workers have insecurities or discontentment with the management style of the directors, the status quo will remain.
Zoe Dickens & Cyan Turan - email@example.com
7 november 2011
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Rage Against The Routine
Zoe Dickens, Lifestyle Editor, talks to Exeter Experience co-founder Felix Sullivan WHEN I meet Felix Sullivan on a wet Thursday afternoon I’m not exactly sure what to expect. I know he’s a student but it is also quite clear that this is a man with grand ideas and a big vision; so I’m slightly taken a back when he nervously begins playing with the sugar between us and comments on how intimidating my Dictaphone is. Eventually I hide it behind a coffee cup.
“If we can motivate people through discounts then we’re very happy to do that”
Felix is the co-founder of the Exeter Experience, the new not-quite-society that has popped up around campus this year, most obviously in the form of Mariokart characters and drum-playing apes, but this is just a fraction of what they have to offer. “I didn’t go to the Cathedral for the first three years I spent in Exeter, I’d been to the Quay maybe twice,” admits Felix, “I hadn’t done all the things that you can do that are specific to Exeter.” This is what the Exeter Experience is all about – getting Exeter students to do the things that you can only do as an Exeter student. “We want to give you the opportunity to go surfing, climbing, kayaking, all the things that you don’t think you are able to do because maybe the membership is too expensive,” he tells me. “If you enjoy it go and join that club but experience Exeter, do the things that we all should do but we don’t because we’re too busy nightclubbing and watching DVDs.” The Exeter Experience is the younger, but much more official, sibling of a movement started during a year abroad
at Deacon University, Australia. Due to the radically different method of Australian higher education Felix says there was “just no social life there... I was walking around campus and literally no-one smiled, I would smile at people and they just didn’t smile back. I thought; ‘This is miserable, if I’m going to stay near campus I need to make something happen.’ So we just created a group, we didn’t charge any money at all and we got about 150 members in the first week. All we did, on the Wednesday of the first week, was walk around smiling at people. It was so nice, you’d see people you were only friends with on Facebook, people you’d never met, four people away just smiling at everyone. Some people were asking, ‘Why is everyone smiling?’ It was just a perfect moment in the day, you never met them afterwards, you didn’t say anything, you just smiled at them, laughed and carried on your day.” On this side of the equator the Exeter Experience is taking shape in the form of a discount card which, at present, gives members money off ten attractions, ten activities and ten student lifestyle essentials. Just don’t expect to find discounts for Domino’s or Blockbuster, “We’ve gone to businesses, not the ones that give us the best discounts but the ones that we believe are the best, and asked them what discounts they can give our card members that will encourage the most amount of students to come and use their stuff.” At the moment this includes the Imperial and a variety of lesser known establishments, such as, 44 Below, to get students to try something new. “For me, the first year in Exeter, although the nightclubbing and Freshers was really good, it got a bit samey. I was going to Rococo
every Thursday and all the nights kind of merged into one, it was the same music, the same people. You’ll look back in two years, when you’re in London and in an office, and you’ll be wishing that you’d done all this stuff. If we can help motivate people by giving them discounts then we’re very happy to do that.”
“Experience Exeter - do the things that we all should do but don’t because we’re too busy nightclubbing and watching DVDs”
There’s a lot more to the Exeter Experience than just discounts though.
Review: The Cellar Door
The club has a strong social aspect and a large part of the organisation is doing “fun stuff that we can’t do as individuals but if we all group together we can.” So far this includes Mariokart Go-karting (complete with character suits, bananas, mushrooms and strobe lightning), dressing up as Spartans, in conjunction with RAG, History Society and Classics Society, to support the Exeter Grecians football club, and teaming up with Hide&Seek Scoiety to play ‘Where’s Wally?’ in Exeter city centre. Felix asserts, however, that they do not see themselves as a society in the traditional sense: “We don’t limit ourselves to specific events, we don’t just want to go sailing every week. We want to do everything and we want to encourage everyone to join in. With enough members we can hold these big events once a month
and every week we’re going to have an event of the week to promote other societies.” So more a society’s society then, but this is also a group that seems to truly care about their members. Felix tells me that, back in Australia: “We had big ideas, lots of flashmob ideas, but also things like, if it was your housemates birthday you could let us know and we would all turn up, 40 or 50 of us, at the tram station when you got in. We’d line up like a choir and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to your friend.” This more personal side of the group is something he seems very keen to continue because, as he rightly says, it is something you will never forget. So, yes, the discounts are enticing but try to look past them and join the Exeter Experience for what Felix and his team really want to give you – memories.
Ciara Long says Exeter’s newest night out offers an escape from the same old clubbing scene JUST a short distance away from the churned out chart hits that pulse through Exeter city centre on a Saturday night, a new sound is emerging. The Cellar Door, situated on Exeter’s beautiful quayside, presents both students and locals alike with somewhere to enjoy, what can only be described as a different night out. With a similar underground layout to Cavern and a refusal to play anything vaguely resembling pop music, you could be mistaken in thinking that The Cellar Door is merely a copycat of something already to be found in town. However, with a mix of DJs and genres ranging from old school hip-hop to elec-
troswing and beats-and-bass-style tunes, as well as a decent-sized dance floor and proper air conditioning (something that even Exeter’s bigger clubs lack), The Cellar Door is not one to be missed.
“Exeter has been lacking a place like the Cellar Door for too long” The bar area, the laid-back lighting and the numerous nooks and crannies give The Cellar Door a casual vibe, whilst the invitation to decorate the
walls (they give you paintbrushes at the bar precisely for this purpose) and the DJ decks in an old Jeep add to the fun. The main disadvantage that The Cellar Door has is its size. Whilst it appears larger than Cavern, The Cellar Door is insistent that there is only enough space for 200 people. Drinks are not as cheap as you might hope, with the cheapest drinks at about £3, and it is also a little further away than other nights out – although by less than 10 minutes. Despite this, The Cellar Door is what Exeter’s nightlife scene has been lacking for too long and promises to be a diverse and entertaining night out.
Exeposé week six
“The unnecessary Your problems solved problems with... Heels” Aunty Lucy and Uncle Ian are here to help Lifestyle’s columnist, Thomas Ling, contends with the agonies caused by tiny girls and tall footwear MY nights out in Exeter usually end with me passing out on my bedroom floor in the foetal position, accompanied by a questionable pile of curry sauce and chips. Even with my personal night-time failings, a recent night out left me with some serious concerns about the rest of the student population.
“She looked disgusted, as if I was a naked Ann Widdecombe complete with spinning nipple tassles”
The evening in question had not started well. Suffering the horrendously long and cold Arena queue was made considerably worse by an encounter with a drunken ‘rah’ so posh even his chunder probably bore a ‘Jack Wills’ label. After staring at my hair for a while (I’m assuming he couldn’t see that well without his monocle) he slurred, “I say, are you the milky bar kid?” Then a few minutes later he loudly enquired “Oh my god, are you like an actual Boris Johnson lovechild or something?!” Luckily the queue ended before the word ‘BANTER!’ was used. In this case I would have been obliged to tie him up with some Abercrombie & Fitch jogging bottoms before commanding him to recount his Peruvian travels whilst being force-fed an Ugg boot.
Once in the club I thought my woes were over, especially after being beautifully serenaded by rap star Onyeka, the famous Arena toilet attendant. My night was truly taking off in style. However, whilst innocently dancing to the Steps classic ‘Tragedy’, I was repeatedly trampled on by a tiny girl behind me wearing the biggest, sharpest stilettos of all time. This stomping gradually escalated, so eventually I tapped the gnome on the shoulder and jokingly said “Ouch!” moronically hoping to receive a nice apology and continue with my appalling dancing. Instead of apologising she glared at me disgusted, as if she was staring at a naked Ann Widdecombe, complete with spinning nipple tassles. Being heeled in nightclubs is such a common occurrence that I propose all female (or male) high heel wearers should only be allowed in after completing some form of examination, a shoe cycling proficiency if you will. This test would involve walking round an empty dance floor, avoiding numerous foot shaped cones. Failure in the test would result in constantly wearing reflective neon heels and a flashing siren on your head that loudly beeps whenever you walk backwards. This would ensure that everyone is aware of the heel hazard and countless innocent little toes could be saved. The girl that had stamped on me would have definitely failed this test, but she didn’t care, she’d come with backup. Behind the stiletto wearing ewok was a gigantic man that could have easily been a third Mitchell
brother. Their height difference meant that looking at the couple was like watching a scene from King Kong. I was sharply given the ‘I’m going to beat your fluff ball head in’ look by Kong so I fearfully turned around, yet for some stupid reason thought dancing in the same spot would be a moral victory on my part. This meant I spent the remainder of my pathetic night being routinely stabbed by her ice pick shoes until finally retreating to Mega Kebab and then graciously stumbling home.
“He enquired, ‘Oh my God, are you like an actual Boris Johnson lovechild or something?!’”
As I curled up on my bedroom floor I thought of the important lessons learnt that night. Although heel wearers may appear logical and reasonable people, they are easily corrupted. As soon as they put on their stilts and enter a club some unknown force possesses them and they set sail on their quest to dominate the dance floor and destroy all toes in their path. It’s a kind of ‘Lord of the Rings’ with Jimmy Choos. A note to the horrid girl who played the sick game of whack-a-mole with my feet: go and put yourself on the naughty step immediately! You’ve let down stiletto wearers everywhere, you’ve let me down and worst of all you’ve let yourself down.
“Dear Lifestyle, I am a first year and in a long-distance relationship. We’ve been together for a year but since we both went to university I’m finding it hard to carry on. To make things worse, my flatmate is really attractive and we’ve been flirting quite a bit. My girlfriend can tell something isn’t right and it’s causing arguments between us. She gets really jealous which just pushes me away even more. Should I stick it out and ignore my flatmate or break up with my girlfriend now? Yours, Torn Fresher”
SCORES of first years head off to Uni leaving behind newly dumped exes for this very reason. Long distance relationships are hard. Between socials, sports, uni-work and actually having to take care of yourself without any parental input, relationships fall by the wayside. I know of few long distance relationships that made it out of fresher’s week intact. Cut your losses now whilst you still have good memories together, rather than end up cheating and hurting someone you care about. A jealous girlfriend (justified or not) who is hundreds of miles away is going to be imagining the worst. The fact that you are even considering flat incest shows that you are not fully committed to your relationship. Get out there and enjoy being single! Think twice before breaking the age-old rule of ‘don’t shit where you eat.’ Hooking up with a housemate is risky. You have to live with this person for a whole year. If things don’t work out you have at the least a very awkward situation on your hands, worse still, things could turn nasty if you spurn them in favour of your newfound single lifestyle.
Ian Whittaker I WAS once a fresher with a long term girlfriend, attempting to make it work long-distance. I am now in a relationship with a flatmate from first year. My advice to you is therefore from the heart. University moulds you into a different person: more mature, more independent, new friends and new interests. Old girlfriends don’t always fit in with this new life and new you. Having a jealous girlfriend may quickly wear you down but giving her a reason to be envious is unfair so you must make your decision before things with you and your flatmate go any further, don’t try before you buy. If you are having these feelings about your relationship already, perhaps it is time to admit that you and your girlfriend are not going to be together forever and that it may be time to end it and move on. University is supposed to be the time of your life. Make the most of it. If being with your girlfriend is preventing you from doing that then maybe your relationship has had its day and it’s time to have a talk, sooner rather than later.
Campus Style Spotter: Bags Special OUR roving photographer and style aficionado, George Connor, brings you the best style on campus!
"This week we were looking for the best bags on campus. A good bag can not only hold everything you could possibly need for your lecture but it can make or break an outfit. Here we have a selection of our favourites: one vintage, one high street and one designer. Rhian's classic Longchamp is given some zest in a bright citron, the ultimate in sophistication and fun. Emma's croc print bag from an Italian boutique shows that bright clashing colours can work together to create an exotic feel while Charlotte's vintage satchel from Florence shows that simple, chic bags can be a great lower-key option." Left-right: Rhian, Emma and Charlotte
7 November 2011 Exeposé
Dish up, cook sharp…
Four students review eateries in Exeter and beyond
Amelia Jenkinson soaks up the atmosphere at Herbie’s on North Street, Exeter MY first impression of ‘Herbies’ was of a warm, relaxed atmosphere; nothing fancy, but cosy and friendly with fun, bohemian décor. As you often find with slightly ‘alternative’ cafés and restaurants there were clearly several regular customers. If you have been to a vegetarian/wholefood restaurant before, Herbies’ menu is fairly typical of the rest of them, with lots of bean/pulse-based dishes (falafels, dahl, Moroccan tagine). There was a good variety nonetheless, with lighter options of soups, salads and Anti Pasti available if you didn’t fancy a main. Again, as with many ‘veggie’ restaurants, food tended to be organic and/or local sourced, and there was a large selection of Fairtrade wines. We were surprised by the portion sizes - my carnivorous guest who had joked about sneaking in some chicken struggled to finish the ‘Nachos Supreme’, which did live up to their name; a huge pile of nachos with cheese, guacamole, bean chilli, salsa, sour cream and jalapeno peppers. My ‘Spicy Vegetable Satay’ with brown rice and a side salad was equally filling, and although not
exquisite, it was tasty, and like all the dishes was made with fresh, seasonal vegetables. My guest’s ‘burger mealdeal’ – a chunky nut or bean burger in a wholemeal bap with a side salad or wedges, plus a drink – was definitely good value for money at just £7.50 (and she was too full to finish). When it came to puddings, I was pleasantly surprised to see I was spoilt for choice as a vegan. My dairy-and-wheat-freeapple-and-sultana-sponge-with-vegancustard was delicious, and my guests (with normal diets) concluded that they would not have been able to tell that it was a “funny” alternative; meanwhile they enjoyed chocolate brownies and sticky toffee puddings (also with dairy/ wheat-free options). Herbies is also open for lunches, and would be pleasant to visit just for homemade cake and coffee. Overall, I would certainly recommend ‘Herbies’ to any vegetarian/vegan/ lactose intolerant/coeliac, but also to anyone looking for a healthy, ethically sourced, diverse menu and a laid-back atmosphere.
Becky Lodder visits Chaucer’s on the High Street, Exeter IF you’re looking for somewhere to take your family when they visit, or want to have a more sophisticated night out with your flatmates, then Chaucer’s pub and restaurant is the ideal place to go. Located on the High Street just after Princesshay, the quirky and atmospheric nature of Chaucer’s is apparent from its Tudor inspired exterior. The restaurant itself is described as a ‘subterranean cellar’ and boasts traditional oak beams and comfy arched alcoves to match. The knowledge that you’re underneath the town and evening lighting, adds to the friendly and almost historical atmosphere. In addition to this, no children under the age of 14 are allowed so there will be no unruly interruptions to your meal. The menu, though not the cheapest place in town, is certainly not overpriced, as each and every meal is prepared to perfection. Whether you’re looking for lunch, dinner or even just dessert, the portions are extremely generous and will not leave you wanting. It is also unique to Marston’s, the UK’s
James Crouch gets curried away on the restaurant takeaway EATING out is always a treat, and I’m sure we all have our favourite restaurants. Personally, if I could, I’d do it at least once a week, at as many different places as I could. Of course, if you want to eat out – unless you like breaking what feels like a taboo – you can’t do it on your own. But now, people like me are saved by our knight in shining tin foil: the takeaway. Not a cheap Chinese or bowel-irritating Indian, but the delights of a cheeky Nando’s or tasty Wagamamas. Restaurants are now tapping into a huge possible market. The obvious being people like me who would kill for a table and menu to themselves, but have yet to expel their self-consciousness to the point that they’re not embarrassed to eat on their own. Or, even possibly we could be talking about large groups. Often if you go with a group of friends a wait for an adequately-sized table could challenge the rumbling stom-
ach of even the most determined restaurant-goer. Ordering for take-out in these circumstances takes less time and gives you the freedom to go and eat where you want and perhaps to fit more into your day! Once I found myself in Pizza Express with a 40 minute wait for a table for eight. So what else could we do but sacrifice the plate for the cardboard box and leave 15 minutes later with our food? It was only then did I realise how absolutely amazing the whole concept was. The third category of people, which sadly to say includes me as well, are the lazy people who find a 20 minute walk back from town just too much to bear without some reward at the end. And what reward could be more satisfying than tucking into some chicken wings that aren’t KFC-greasy or a katsu curry? In fact, Wagamama’s even has an app for those hungry on the move. The only possible downside anyone could attach to these meals is the cost.
Takeaway restaurant food is, unfortunately, no cheaper than if you were to sit in. A possible reduction in cost could come from not needing to pay a tip – a bonus for those students out there who give one without fail. The one fact I find hardest to deal with is that few do delivery. Most require you to go to the restaurant to pick up. It might not be the end of the world, but it does restrict this delightful idea to those either oddly desperate for dough balls or those who live round the corner. Otherwise why not just eat in the restaurant anyway? Although it has further to run, this idea does have currency, and from my own experiences I have been far from the only one taking advantage of it. Once they see how truly popular it is, they may start delivery, which, I’m sure for all other good food lovers out there, is nothing short of a divine thought.
leading independent and pub retailing business. Just a selection of food on offer is honey-glazed ham and eggs, beer battered cod and chips and a traditional Sunday roast for less than £10. There is also a delicious range of starters, desserts and sides to choose from. Chaucer’s bar is another delightful part of the experience, offering a whole host of wines, ales and cheap cocktails. Get a sharing platter if you’re just looking to have a cosy chat with friends and enjoy the relaxing and original ambience with polite and efficient waiting staff. Don’t forget to take a look at their promotions and specials online, where you can also find both their wine and main menu. If you’re looking for a true Exeter experience, then you cannot fail to visit Chaucer’s restaurant.
Flora McCrone heads to the Café, Putsborough Sands, North Devon
THREE miles south of Woolacombe along one of the finest beaches in the South West of England is Putsborough Sands. Only those with local knowledge could come across this picturesque stretch of beach, only reachable via a maze of small, hedge-lined roads. The sea here is dazzling in good weather and atmospheric in bad – and all this is only an hour and a quarter’s drive from Exeter. From the café, 30 feet above, there is shelter from the rain and salt spray. There is everything from steak sandwiches to jacket potatoes and cream tea. Wash it down with a stroll along the breaking waves in the direction of the distant Woolacombe. It is not always open in winter, so be sure to check before you go. But not many afternoon breaks from Exeter University can match this for a bracing change of scenery.
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7 november 2011
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Upcoming 08/11 - The King Blues, The Lemon Grove 08/11 Dananananaykroyd, Cavern
11/11 - Cabaret Voltaire, Cavern 12/11 - Scratch Perverts, Exeter Phoenix 13/11 - ExTunes Live!, The Old Firehouse 13/11 - Oysterband & June Tabor, Exeter Corn Exchnage 14/11 - Lacuna Coil, Exeter Phoenix 18/11 - Madina Lake, The Lemon Grove 18/11 - Joanne Shaw Taylor, Exeter Phoenix 20/11 - ExTunes Live!, The Old Firehouse 24/11 - Martin Simpson, Exeter Phoenix 26/11 - Lau, Exeter Corn Exchange 03/12 - Show of Hands, The Great Hall
Blasting into the Cosmos
Andy Henley muses over Limewire and human relationships with Cosmo Jarvis
WHEN reading a description of Cosmo Jarvis, a twenty-one year old songwriter hailing from Totnes, you are likely to come across the words ‘idiosyncratic’ and ‘unique’ with tiresome frequency. People tend to get bogged down trying to define his music, being as he is that rare example of a musician who doesn’t stick within a set genre, but you really needn’t bother coming up with a catch-all title for his enormously varied output. Suffice to say he makes good music; music with something for just about anyone to enjoy. Sliding between folk, punk, country, reggae, urban and pop with baffling ease, Jarvis’ tongue-in-cheek humour and unrelenting honesty prevent his work appearing schizophrenic, instead providing a set of universal ideas spread across a series of changing musical backdrops. Such an apparently complicated musician, you would think he would be a nightmare to interview, but Jarvis cuts a warm and relaxed figure, happy to perch on the steps of the Cavern while his bandmates do some last-minute rehearsing. Tonight is the first leg of what he hopes will be his breakthrough UK tour promoting the album Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange?, after his first effort –
live reviewS Rihanna Bercy Stadium, Paris 20 October THE tour is Loud in more ways than one. As the Barbadian songstress strutted onstage wearing what appeared to be underwear constructed from a variety of Liquorice Allsorts, I knew I wasn’t in for a quiet evening. Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad image, coined from the title of her third studio album, seems an apt way to describe the pint-sized R&B diva. Effortlessly transitioning between
2009’s twenty-track debut album Cosmo Jarvis – didn’t make the impression the label bosses were hoping for. “They said it was just too hard to follow,” Jarvis muses, “too many songs. It’s not necessarily a bad thing though, I mean the new record is a lot more focused. There are some songs on that first record I don’t want to hear again really. Like ‘Maxine’, I fucking hate that song.” He is pretty clear about where he gets his varied musical style from. “Limewire. Definitely. When I was growing up you just had access to the best work from all these artists over the years, you didn’t have any allegiances to one band. I would listen to a Beatles track, then an Alien Ant Farm track and then a Prodigy track and take inspiration from all of them.” Something that comes across powerfully when you listen to the new album is the searing honesty with which Jarvis speaks about people close to him. I ask if there’s anything he is not prepared to put in his songs, anywhere he feels is just too sensitive. “Nah not really man. To be honest, it’s not really my problem that people put so much emphasis on human relationships. I’ve always loved my mum and dad, but I’ve always thought of them
as just people, they can fuck up like anyone else.” A man of many talents, Jarvis is also an active filmmaker and director (he directed the music videos for his singles ‘Gay Pirates’ and ‘She Doesn’t Mind’). “I have to prioritise music for now, but it’s definitely something I want to get more into at some stage. I just finished my first feature-length film actually. It kind of taught me about the logistical
nightmare that is making a movie. We ran out of cash pretty fast.” A talented and honest performer, Cosmo Jarvis seems tailor-made for the iTunes age in which music fans can pick and choose tracks they enjoy from a larger album. With a growing fan base and a catalogue of interesting, funny and moving songs, he will now hopefully get the acclaim which an artist of his ingenuity and perseverance deserves.
sweet, understated acoustic arrangements to raunchy renditions of such hits as ‘S&M’, Rihanna is the mistress of reinvention.
pected, her voice was flawless throughout, highlighting the growing maturity of Rihanna as a performer. Now touring her fifth album Loud, Rihanna owned the stage. Whether strutting confidently in barely-there outfits, riding onstage astride a fluorescent pink tank or even whilst straddling a member of the audience, Rihanna created an electric atmosphere within Paris’ Bercy stadium. Having fun with her performance, Rihanna descended into the audience several times, at one point performing a drum solo on a small stage amidst enthralled fans. Taking pictures on audience members’ phones and remaining playfully communicative throughout, previous criticisms regarding her audience interaction seemed unfounded on this tour.
down arrangement saw Rihanna simply sitting on a stool with minimal accompaniment, providing a welcome break from the hedonistic performances of ‘S&M’ and ‘Rude Boy’. Her rhythmical, lilting accent, combining her Barbadian roots and Californian lifestyle was even more exaggerated in her live performance, lending a greater sense of originality and authenticity to her Caribbean-influenced musical style. As the show rose to a crescendo, past hits such as ‘Please Don’t Stop the Music’ succeeded in heightening the crowd’s excitement. The finale was breathtaking, as Rihanna took her seat on top of a baby grand piano which proceeded to be raised high above the stage. Singing an emotive solo performance of ‘Love The Way You Lie’, Rihanna had the crowd in the palm of her hand. Finally, and spectacularly, Rihanna ended the set with a predictable yet welcome performance of ‘Umbrella’. As golden confetti fell from the roof and Rihanna said her goodbyes, I left the stadium; hot, sweaty and with my ears ringing. Loud was everything I had expected and more. I’ll drink to that.
“Rihanna created an electric atmosphere within Paris’ Bercy stadium”
Opening the show with a belting version of ‘Only Girl in the World’, Rihanna’s vocals combine a soulful Caribbean tone with an endearing streak of girlishness. Much more powerful than I had ex-
“Sass, sex and sensitivity shone through in her performance” Rihanna’s unique mixture of sass, sex and sensitivity shone through in her performance and I found myself engaging with her lyrics as if for the first time. ‘Hate How I Love You’ was a particularly powerful moment in the set. A pared
ROSIE SCUDDER DEPUTY EDITOR
Exeposé week six
Bastille Cavern 8 October OKAY, to be fair I was partially dragged along to see Bastille. As far as I was concerned I had never heard of them and I was pretty content without them. However, quite shamefully, by the end of the evening I was a deliriously screaming potential groupie. This journalistic contribution therefore fights figuratively for the recognition and merit of a band that has been unjustly overlooked, even by me, just as the French fought their way into the Bastille for justice and revolution! Their music is quite simply not given enough credit; the modest turn out on the night reflected this. However, so convinced am I that one day they might be the new Mumford and Sons with a surprising and eclectic techno twist, or
rather a polished Miike Snow with fresher tones and vocals, that a friend and I hounded them after for a photograph, sure that one day it would be worth millions!
“I am so convinced that one day they might be the new Mumford and Sons with an eclectic techno twist” I hope these London lads will not be offended by my musical comparisons for I feel they truly portrayed something internationally credit-worthy. This band is rising through the ranks not by musical talent and vocals alone, but hard work and determination focused on a dream that they oh so deserve; their laddish charms and handsome good looks are,
let’s say, not only convenient but a much appreciated bonus Their EP Flaws was enjoyed thoroughly by the audience, not only because of its upbeat use of percussion and the enchanting racing of the notes on the keyboard, that had a line of girls, quite embarrassingly, trying to dance seductively at the lead singer; but also because of their enthusiastic and energetic performance. This was quite admiringly evident when the main vocalist ended up clinging onto the ceiling as he tight-roped along the edge of the stage, leaning over fanatic girls, boyishly laughing between lines, making eye contact with each and every one of us. If anything, this made the whole experience even more endearing. Even despite this, their performance and vocals were effortlessly tight, their harmonies even tighter. ‘Laura Palmer’, newly released as an EP, displays a far more emotional, masculine Florenceesque sound that again compliments the pulsating beat of the drum and the fluttering scales from the keyboard.
SINGLE REVIEW Baby Says The Kills ‘BABY Says’ is the third single from The Kills’ critically acclaimed album, Blood Pressures, and is one of their sultriest tracks to date. Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince come together perfectly in creating a song which lyrically and musically epitomises their dark, gritty sound. Lyrics such as “Take you off and make your blood hum / And tremble like the fairground lights” scream of overt seductiveness and not giving a damn so everyone knows it. Despite sounding gloomy, The Kills stay the right side
of gothic and channel a ‘too cool for school’ vibe as opposed to ‘school-age angst’. There is not much progression in the track, echoed in the monotonous drum beat, but this is part of its beauty. The killer hook of ‘Baby Says’ in Mosshart’s instantly recognisable tones is all that is needed to pull you through the haze of a chilled grunge vibe. The minimalistic track creates impact through the underpinning of Mosshart’s vocals with Hince’s rumble and a distorted guitar riff. The Kills are truly underrated as a band – ‘Baby Says’, and the album Blood Pressures for that matter, prove that this is one duo who deserve more attention. Who said rock and roll was dead? DAISY MEAGER
“By the end of the evening I was a deliriously screaming potenial groupie” Finally, all I can urge you to do is to seek the Bastille out and to support these regular lads, who, much like the famous events of 1789, (although perhaps on a tad smaller scale), are causing a revolution. ALICE BOORMAN
album REVIEWS Mylo Xyloto Coldplay WITH over 50 million sales of their first four albums, Coldplay have long established themselves as one of the world’s biggest bands. Their latest effort, Mylo Xyloto, continues the change in musical direction introduced in their previous work Viva la Vida – perhaps the first attempt wasn’t recognised due to the success of the title track, which stuck to the traditional Coldplay sound. The enigmatically titled Mylo Xyloto was started on as soon as their last album was released, and is upon us after a summer of headlining festivals and showcasing new material. The album gets off to a flyer, with ‘Hurts like Heaven’ followed by second single ‘Paradise’. The former is driven along by Jonny Buckland’s uplifting guitar, setting the trend for several songs where the rest of the band outshine frontman Chris Martin. ‘Paradise’ has the makings of a classic, with its soaring strings and irresistible chorus unleashed two minutes in. Indeed, there are few songs built around a massive chorus, but this won’t stop them becoming fan favourites. ‘Every Teardrop is a Waterfall’ gets better with each listen, as we hear Brian Eno’s influence in the polished strings leading to the anthemic refrain. The riff in ‘Charlie Brown’ will stick in your head all day, and there is some-
thing innocently powerful in the way Martin joyfully sings “We’ll run wild / We’ll be glowing in the dark.” With the strength of the upbeat songs, it can be slightly underwhelming when Coldplay slow things down. Unfortunately, it seems that the days of writing sing-along ballads like ‘The Scientist’ are behind them, and none of the Mylo Xyloto tracks seem single-worthy, with ‘U.F.O.’ particularly forgettable. Instead, they provide restraint between the louder songs, noticeably when the soft, mournful ‘Up in Flames’ leads into the intensity of ‘Don’t Let it Break your Heart’. Some fans may have been alarmed when Coldplay announced they would
be collaborating with Rihanna on ‘Princess of China’. In fact, it is one of the highlights, with the boy/girl vocals excelling over the synthesisers. Rather than being an attempt to guarantee a pop hit, it uses Rihanna to contribute to the story of lost, fairytale love, although perhaps it would be even better if the chorus “I could’ve been a princess, you’d be a king” had been repeated. Nonetheless, Mylo Xyloto proves that Coldplay are adept at creating fine melodies, which only confirms their status at the top of the musical spectrum. MATTHEW BUGLER
Bad As Me Tom Waits THE day after talking with my dad about whether Tom Waits would release a new album, my monthly subscription arrived with a headline “Tom Waits Returns!” So naturally we were fairly excited about both his new album and our newfound soothsaying skills. Our next step was to instantly start talking about Crystal Palace getting promoted and a lost Beatles album that would mysteriously be unearthed. We’re nearly halfway there so fingers crossed still. If, unfortunately, you bought this on the same day as a power-cut, you could still spend time leafing through the case. Firstly, of course, are the lyrics, the scenes Waits creates cover as much personality as some novels, making you understand and empathise with the vagrants and sufferers. Unusually, there is very little protest about current affairs. Some war and a brief mention of bankers aside, he largely tells his compelling stories with skill using his classic dark humour: “nothing makes me go/I’m like some vestigial tail”, “when I’m gone, roll my vertebrae out like dice” and my personal favourite “you’re mother superior in only a bra.” From the lyrics you would move onto acknowledgements and instantly run to the next house with power, having seen Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) appearing on bass, the skilled musician Marc Robot and then, on guitars and once on duetting vocals, Keith Richards.
Once you’ve settled in comfortably with a cup of tea in your new best friend’s house, you can finally dive straight into the high tempo Richards’ rhythm of ‘Chicago’, offering a classic example of Waits growling at you like a pissed bear. His music and vocals vary throughout, with ‘Bad As Me’ moving from broken barfly to snarl, stopping occasionally on the way. The music itself is tremendous, providing thumping beats for the title track and ‘Hell Broke Luce’ but also thinning out, giving room to breathe for some despondent or hopeful memories, heard in ‘Kiss Me Like a Stranger’ and ‘Face to the Highway’. There is a good supply of brass in tracks like ‘Satisfaction’, which features Richards and references the Stones, and there’s the rockabilly drive of ‘Get Lost’.
“Waits tells his compelling stories with skill using his classic dark humour” This latest record touches on all the factors that make Tom Waits great; imagery, gravely voice and a vibe that’s cooler than Jack Sparrow air guitaring to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. This really is a stunning album, absolutely one of his best and a great choice for any Waits beginner. JOSEPH PLATONOFF
7 november 2011 Exeposé
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For all you Doris Day fans out there, the lovely, yet reclusive, star of many musicals of the 50s and 60s is set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Critic Association. High praise indeed! On a more masculine note, the 23rd Bond film will be entitled Skyfall and star Ralph Fiennes and the ultra-cool Javier Bardem as the villains of the piece, alongside Naomie Harris and newcomer 21 year-old Bérénice Marlohe as the ‘Bond girls’: 007 will be wearing himself out... The next directorial effort of Steve Buscemi, everyone’s favourite bugeyed actor/director, will be an adaption of William Burroughs’ novel Queer, with Guy Pearce, Ben Foster and Kelly MacDonald (his co-star in Boardwalk Empire) set to star. Jason Statham has been cast shockingly against type as an ex-Special Forces London gangster in new film Hummingbird- gritty British crime drama anyone? Finally, last issue we attributed a feature about Downton Abbey to Liam Trill, the author was actually Liam Trim, we apologise for our (Luke’s) mistake...
COMPETITION AND now it’s time for another awesome Screen competition. Last time only two (TWO!) people entered our competition to win a pair of FREE TICKETS, so you’ve got a massive chance of winning! Just send an email to email@example.com with the subject: GIVE ME STUFF! Please email us, it’s cold and lonely now the nights are so dark...
Alex Hawksworth-Brookes, Video Games Editor, voices his mild dislike of The X-Factor
IN case you hadn’t heard, The X-Factor is back: moronic voice-over and all. And it’s still an atrocity. I’ll start with the contestants because, as we’re told unnervingly often, it’s all about the ‘talent’. The X-Factor is dominated by oddballs, wannabes and atrociously named boybands. We no longer have to suffer the criminally named NuVibe, although The Risk is equally awful, made worse by the band-members’ attempts to perform “with chemistry,” making it painfully obvious that they’ve been thrown together like a dreadful Blue/Boyzone Frankenstein’s monster. As for the solo contestants, there’s Johnny, the creepy falsetto, and Janet, the meek Irish soul who’s so demure it’s a miracle she can look herself in the eye. There’s Frankie Cocozza, the mop headed, vocally inept cash-cow who has crafted a career from having several tattoos etched on his arse. I could fill this paper with reasons why I hate this “cheeky chappy,” or, as I refer to him, the “gonorrhea infested… chappy.” It’s a shame the two best singers in the competition, Kitty and Misha B, have been demonised as a lunatic and a bully respectively, making it more likely that Frankie might reach the final, unless Louis Walsh has a schizophrenic outburst and accuses him of being a paedophile – al-
though that would probably be fine, he is a cheeky chappy after all… Then there’s the emotion-vomit of the heart-wrenching backstory, where a bleary eyed contestant weeps about how “singing is the only thing that makes it possible for me to live with the horror of being working class.” Reminders to vote constantly flash across the screen, whilst Dermot O’Leary harps on about how the show could change lives. Not Simon Cowell’s though; he’s already loaded. ITV are breaking the bank with gyrating dancers, laser shows and over-thetop sets, in an attempt to mask the lack of actual entertainment. Every performer has a make-over to bring them in line with current trends, emphasising the fact that discovering unique talent was never the intention. The show stinks of manipulation: the producers may not be able to decide the outcome of each
vote, but they’ll do their utmost to influence it. Possibly the worst part of the show is the audience, who behave like an ecstasy-riddled mob, screaming their adoration for even the most lacklustre of performances, then baying for the blood of any judge who criticises an act for being out of tune/uncoordinated/one of the other judges’ acts. The judges’ unwillingness to speak honestly about the lack of artistry on display is evidence of the focus on making money. When one of the most regular comments is ‘you have a fantastic image’, it’s obvious the show isn’t really about music. You may be wondering why I even bother to watch The X-Factor. The reason is simple: for me, there is no better way to spend a Saturday night than screaming at my TV for an hour and a half. No, not even the Lemmy… The X-Factor: ITV1, Saturdays and Sundays, 8:00pm
TV Review: Merlin NOTHING warms the heart on a chilly autumn night like the sight of a muscular man in chain mail. In case it hasn’t cast its spell on you yet, Merlin is the BBC’s answer to Smallville, giving us Merlin and Arthur in their formative years, before the long white beards. We’re talking knights, sword fights, magic and monsters, all created with BBC budget production values and family friendly dialogue (look out for the insult “clotpole,” coming soon to a playground near you). This series signals some changes in Camelot. We’ve already said goodbye to Morgause, who died in the first episode (apparently of a terminal case of boils-on-the-face), Lancelot is gone (though not forever – we all know what’s coming with him and Guinevere) but most importantly, Uther, Arthur’s father, has finally kicked the royal bucket. King Arthur has now emerged; but what sort of king will he be? We’ve got the rest of the series to find out. He’s going to come up against tough opposition: Morgana is more evil than ever this series (though seemingly unable to find somewhere better to live than a leaky shed). We also have a new character, Agravaine, Arthur’s uncle, pretending to help Arthur whilst actually working for Morgana. Luckily, Arthur’s got Merlin and his secret magic powers to help him along the way. Merlin is a great show. Admittedly some of the special effects do look a bit homemade, but Camelot and its characters always have me gripped. At a time where every headline seems to be about corruption and crisis, there’s something comforting about escaping to a world where chivalry and honour still stand… and it’s populated by handsome knights too. Merlin: BBC1, Saturday evenings. Series catch-up available on iPlayer
Films to see before you graduate: They Live (1988)
Director: John Carpenter Cast: Roddy Powder, Keith David, Meg Foster (18) 90 mins
THEY LIVE, from legendary director John Carpenter, is a crazy amalgamation of traditional 50s Sci-Fi, political conspiracy, cutting social commentary, and kick-ass action. Set in the late 80s, America is going through an economic crisis and lower class workers feel manipulated by the upper classes (relevant much?). Our hero is John Nada (WWF Wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Powder), a drifter and construction worker, who finds a pair
of magic sunglasses (I know…), which uncover an evil conspiracy: society is being controlled by evil aliens with TV, newspapers and adverts all being used to transmit subliminal messages like “Consume”, “Obey” and “Money is your God” (the media is brainwashing us? How subtle, Mr. Carpenter).
“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I am all out of bubblegum”
Upon discovering this life-changing truth, Nada does, without any thought or hesitation, what any all-American
guy would: get a gun and start kicking some alien ass! How exciting does that sound? It’s really fun, but with enough wit and intelligence to back up the ludicrous action, and it has some brilliant lines of dialogue. There is even a scene where Nada tries to convince his friend Frank Armitage (David) about the aliens, and they end up having a brutal fistfight that lasts about five minutes. There are some great visual flourishes from Carpenter: when Nada puts on the sunglasses, everything is in black and white, and Nada can see the aliens (which look like purple zombies for some reason), and it’s a visual reminder
of those classic 50s Sci-Fi flicks that had equally bizarre plots played totally straight (for instance, the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers). There’s also great entertainment to be had laughing at how incredibly 80s the whole thing is, with ridiculous outfits and the infamous mullet haircut. Every aspect of this film is pure pleasure and offers something for everyone, with adrenaline-pumping action, high concept Sci-Fi, and even a romance with the gorgeous Meg Foster. A true cult classic.
LUKE GRAHAM SCREEN EDITOR
Exeposé week six
The Adventures of Tintin
Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig (PG) 107mins
LEAPING from the two-dimensional comicbook page onto our three-dimensional cinema screens, Tintin is a rollicking two hours or so of adventure that hooks you from the word go. From the title screen to the finale, little is found wanting in this film adaption of the much-loved Adventures of Tintin. The most obvious challenge facing those behind this adaption was translating the paper-borne characters into animated human beings. They are, however, successful in their task as they get the balance right between keeping the recognisable aspects of a cartoon and yet making the characters believable humans beings. The cast, especially Jamie Bell as Tintin, also seem to snugly fit into their decades-old roles. Although marketed as The Secret of the Unicorn the film also includes The Crab with the Golden Claws and Red Rackham’s Treasure, all three stories cleverly and seamlessly blended into one plot line, and despite this film being an entirely new amalgamation of these Tintin comics, it is still faithful to the
originals. Most important is how loyal the film is to the spirit of the comics, and the playful edge given to the adventurepacked life of everyone’s favourite reporter. This is never more true than with the bungling detectives Tomson and Thompson (Nick Frost and Simon Pegg respectively) and the perpetually drunk Captain Haddock (Serkis), all of whom are never far from providing further onscreen entertainment, particularly with an assortment of hilarious exclamations. Along with laughter, Tintin will have audiences clinging to the edge of their seats. Numerous high-speed chases involving cars, bikes, planes and heaven knows what else are only the tip of the iceberg for a film that packs a lot in!
The infamous 3D must not go without mention either as, although it is invading our viewing experience in the cinema ever more often, it is highly welcome with this feature. In fact, the whole idea of Tintin as a new cinematic creation – in the field of feature-length animation – lends itself perfectly to fulfilling our expectations for three-dimensional cinema, as well as for Tintin as a whole.
Director: Steven Soderbergh Cast: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law (12A) 106mins STEVEN SODERBERGH has assembled the cast of 2011 for his last film before a directorial ‘sabbatical’- but don’t let that fool you into thinking that he won’t kill them off at a moment’s notice. Contagion is a thriller tackling the potentially prescient issue of the international spread of a sinister disease, and how the world (which, of course, means America) would handle such a catastrophe. The answer that Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns have come up with is apparently ‘not well’. The US Center for Disease Control is forced to use its most capable scientists (Laurence Fishburne and Winslet) to race against the clock in an attempt to develop an innoculation to handle the mass outbreak caused by Gwyneth Paltrow’s hankypanky during the film’s opening. A refreshing aspect of Contagion is its handling of the oft-cocked-up premise of multiple story strands and characters. As Soderbergh’s cast is all A-List, it doesn’t seem to matter so much when a few are off-screen for a fair chunk of
time, and this happens quite rarely (unless, y’know, they’re dead). Each thread works well in the film because at no time are they woven together in Hollywood’s usual contrived manner: these are separate individuals in realistic situations. Some characters are clichéd: Matt Damon as the super-dad, and Kate Winslet as the earnest and selfless scientist. Jude Law also features as a morally dubious blogger, with a bizarre Australian accent and hilarious snaggletooth - apparently the only way Law could appear ‘ugly’ enough to be a journalist.
“You won’t want to touch the doorhandle on your way out” Contagion has an abrupt ending but it is designed to make you think hard about a worryingly real threat, and not to wrap everything up with a pretty bow. Other than casting Jeff Goldblum, the film couldn’t have done anything much better, and you certainly won’t want to be touching the door handle, or your face for that matter, on the way out.
TORI BRAZIER SCREEN EDITOR
What I’ve been watching: Spaced We Need to Talk About Kevin IMAGINE, if you will, the following situation: you’re a young, single woman, struggling for money, and flathunting. You sit in a café, mulling over the property section in the local paper, when a strange bloke with peroxide hair, a questionable beanie hat, and a portfolio of drawings of aliens comes and offers to flat-share. You don’t accept, right? Actually, if you’re Daisy Steiner (Jessica Stevenson), and he’s Tim Bisley (Simon Pegg), you do, with oddly hilarious consequences.
“Wright’s kooky direction meshes nicely with the script”
So starts Spaced, springboard to stardom for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and showcase for the raw directorial talent of Edgar Wright, whose recent film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is testament to his burgeoning reputation. The show, which ran for two series, focused on Tim and Daisy’s chaotic attempts to
be normal, efforts that are commendably disrupted by their friends, artistic oddball Brian (Mark Heap), militaristic Mike (a brilliant Nick Frost), and fashionista Twist (Katy Carmichael). If I had to pick just one moment to illustrate why you should watch Spaced, it’d be this one: Tim is working in a comic book store, when a young customer comes into the store looking for a Jar Jar Binks puppet. Tim, who didn’t take too kindly to The Phantom Menace, proceeds to rant at the boy enough to make him cry, then chases him out of the shop, before we segue to a shot of Mike performing commando rolls in a forest. Bam. Spaced. There’s loads of reasons why you’d enjoy the surreal experience of Spaced. Edgar Wright’s kooky directorial utilisation of super slowmo and bizarre flashbacks meshes nicely with a sharp script written by Pegg and Stevenson and manages to make you howl with slapstick-induced laughter at the same time as persuading you to empathise with a drunk and disconsolate landlady. Basically, this is a show that you have to see, on a DVD that you have to buy, simply because it happens to tick literally all the boxes. Copious Star Wars references? Check. Domestic disputes settled by bouts of Tekken? Check. Nick Frost in aviators and a string vest? Give me two copies. Spaced is available online (4oD) and on DVD
Director: Lynne Ramsay Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller (15) 112mins
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN shines in many places as a disturbingly chilling thriller charting the relationship between troubled mother Eva (Swinton) and her even more troubled son Kevin (Miller), which deteriorates disastrously over the course of the film. Right from his early childhood (told in a tapestry of flashbacks) Kevin is not all that he seems, manipulating and tormenting those around him with full force until the heart-wrenching climax of the film.
“Kevin: a disturbingly chilling thriller”
The acting from all the cast (with the possible exception of a miscast John C. Reilly) sets the film apart from the standard milieu of the genre. Miller gives a startling performance, and the younger Kevin encapsulates the demon-child
Director: Tate Taylor Cast: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer (12A) 146mins
THE HELP is set in America in the 1960s and focuses on Skeeter (Stone), an ambitious, young white woman, and Aibileen (Davis), a middle-aged black maid. Based on the novel of the same name by Kathryn Stockett, it presents an account of the lives of black women raising the children of their white employers, whilst having to neglect their own. The film has a ‘modern woman’ for us to empathise with as Skeeter uses
character so well it’s scary. Yet, whilst aesthetically Kevin plays as an art-house type production, the film, without giving too much away, increasingly relies on the staples of a B-movie, Omen-like horror, piling stereotype on top of caricature in a way that feels unfortunately misguided. Also, whilst Eva becomes aware of the problems with her sociopathic and largely evil-incarnate son, her reactions, or more to the point - lack of action – despite the evident issues surrounding the malevolent Kevin, are simply laughable, considering the vast networks of social care now offered in modern day society. All in all, however, it is a good movie, shedding perhaps the intricacies of its source material - the original novel by Lionel Shriver – in favour of a visual appeal and a more controlled story telling economy, that ultimately delivers come the closing credits. See p26 for the book review of We Need to Talk About Kevin.
CHRIS GROSVENOR work and independence, rather than a husband, to gain happiness. The Help initially seems overstated in its portrayal of the racial differences between white and black women, but the main distinction is only wealth. Both the maids and their employers are strong minded, albeit with differing aims, and suffer from the same problems: juggling a family and a place in society. In focusing on the ideals and how a woman ‘should be’, the problem of sexual harassment faced by many maids at the time is ignored. The film’s rating is perhaps why it refuses to deal with such a controversial issue, consequently reinforcing its tagline that
“change begins with a whisper.” Indeed director and writer Tate Taylor presents a very mild version of American homes from 50 years ago. The portrayal of men (both black and white) is also fairly similar: they are either universally absent or abusive towards their wives. Overall, and despite the lack of subtlety, The Help is incredibly interesting and moving. Though the protagonists are women, and the film seems centred towards a female audience, this is not to be dismissed as a chick flick; I would recommend it to anyone, as long as you bring a tissue with you.
Screen’s Quick Casting Call:
7 november 2011
BFI LFF Fest! Part deux
Luke Graham and Tori Brazier, Screen Editors, continue their report on the th BFI London Film Festival The Ides of March 55 AFTER weeks of literal sweat and tears, tions. Reilly nails his part, while Wysocki petitive, awkward scenes and cringingly and has a friend called “Big Jim”, to an Director: George Clooney Cast: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Paul Giamatti 101mins
Director: Azazel Jacobs Cast: Jacob Wysocki, John C. Reilly, Creed Bratton 105mins
Director: Michael Winterbottom Cast: Freida Pinto, Riz Ahmed 117mins
The Descendants Director: Alexander Payne Cast: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer 115mins
Into the Abyss
Director: Werner Herzog 106mins
A Dangerous Method
Director: David Cronenberg Cast: Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen 93mins
here is our concluding coverage of 2011’s London Film Festival, and we’ve cherry-picked the best for you... We kick off with George Clooney, who directs an all-star cast in a new political drama, The Ides of March, which follows Governor Mike Morris (Clooney) on his presidential campaign, exposing corruption in the system. The characters end up betraying their integrity in search of success. The film, however, is more about people than politics. At the film’s centre is Stephen (Gosling), Morris’ young and ambitious campaign manager. He loves the excitement of politics and honestly believes in Morris. However, Stephen’s optimism is gradually stripped away by the machinations of rival campaigner Tom Duffy (Giamatti) and revelations that shake his faith in Morris. Gosling steals the film, perfectly communicating Stephen’s dramatic arc and showcasing his mastery of internal tension, just as he does in Drive and Blue Valentine. This truly has been Gosling’s year! The script crackles with wit, and exchanges between characters range from playful conversations about politics, to arguments with the force of a fistfight. Clooney’s direction is stellar, using every element, from colour, sound and even the weather to construct a great film; for instance, the soundtrack is phenomenal, beginning with a patriotic drum-roll and later building tension with beautiful piano pieces. Ides feels longer than 101 minutes but is gripping. Whilst not perfect, this is still one of the best films of 2011. Moving onto Indie fare at the festival, Terri is an endearing comedy about an obese yet sensitive student (played delightfully by Wysocki) who cares for his dementia-suffering uncle and has developed an intense apathy towards life. He no longer cares: his grades are slipping, he’s late to school and he wears pajamas all day. Vice-principal, Mr. Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly), tries to reach out to him but in a heavy-handed way, and misunderstands his problems. The great script generates humour from the characters’ awkward conversa-
makes his character sympathetic and believable, and his deadpan apathy makes his emotional moments more powerful. Terri is jaded because of adults who have betrayed and neglected him and is hesitant to trust Fitzgerald at first, but the actors manage to create a genuine bond. Azazel Jacobs’ direction is strong: he allows his actors the time to breathe and sets a gentle pace with a great soundtrack and bright colours. The only problem is that we’ve seen it before. The “anti-social student challenges society” genre is packed with gems like Rushmore, and Terri has nothing new to say. It is, however, well made, well acted and well scripted.
“A Dangerous Method is not as sexually depraved as one might hope” Home-grown talent now as British director Michael Winterbottom continues his trend of Hardy adaptations with Trishna, his take on Tess of the D’Ubervilles set in modern-day India. Trishna (Pinto) is the daughter of an auto rickshaw driver forced to find full-time work after her father is injured in an accident. Jay, the anglicized son of a wealthy property developer, takes this opportunity to get closer to the girl by offering her work in one of his father’s hotels. The couple then move to westernized Mumbai as their relationship continues, where Trishna encounters cosmopolitan citylife for the first time and must adapt to the discrepancy in rules and society compared to her home of rural Rajasthan. As this is a Hardy though, their relationship is doomed to dismal failure from the beginning… Trishna is a reimagining that could have worked so well. The striking colours and lush visuals of the film’s authentic locations are stunning, and it is interesting that the sexual double standards of 19th century England still ring true in India today. The improvised nature of the acting, however, weighs the film down in re-
awful dialogue (in English, at least), particularly during the latter half. Riz Ahmed also has a tough time of making Jay believable as he is an amalgamation of both Angel, the novel’s ‘hero’, and Alec, ‘the villain’ of Tess, making him a slightly unbalanced character with uncertain motivation. The Descendants, the new film from Alexander Payne, director of Sideways, brings us another tragicomedy mash-up, this time about George Clooney, who stars as a wealthy Hawaiian lawyer reconnecting with his estranged daughters after his wife falls into a coma. George Clooney is brilliant, and Payne is able to draw honest and emotional performances from his cast. The comedy is great and doesn’t undercut the serious drama and character relationships. The film explores the themes of family and loss and asks deep questions about what we inherit from our family, both in material possessions and our values and feelings. Betrayal and redemption are par for the course in Payne’s films, and it’s all mixed with indulgent scenery porn, with montages of Honolulu street life and Hawaii’s gorgeous landscape. It’s not quite as good as the classic Sideways: the first twenty minutes are incredibly bleak, and the problems the daughters have are dealt with surprisingly quickly, with everything being resolved in a Hollywood fashion. Overall though, it’s a good, well-crafted film, which should definitely be checked out. Werner Herzog’s Into the Abyss, which won best documentary of the festival, examines America’s capital punishment system. It presents us with death row inmate Michael Perry, who committed a triple homicide. Herzog provides us with the case details and interviews the people the families and friends of the victims and the culprits, as well as Perry and his accomplice, Jason Burkett. In fact, we meet Perry only eight days before his execution. Herzog is neutral throughout, neither judging nor condoning capital punishment. There are even moments of levity from an interview with a Texan who sounds like Cletus from The Simpsons
interview with Burkett’s wife (who met and married him after his conviction). It also contained my favourite visual from the whole festival: towards the end of the film, there is a shot of a huge flock of seagulls flying above a landfill. I don’t know what it was, maybe the tranquility or peacefulness in the image, but we were mesmerized. Definitely try and see this thought-provoking documentary. Finally, David Cronenberg’s latest release was one of the most anticipated films of the festival due to its rather litigious nature. Based on Christopher Hampton’s play The Talking Cure (Hampton himself adapted it for the screen), A Dangerous Method focuses on the relationships of Carl Jung (Fassbender) with his mentor and father figure, the famed Sigmund Freud (Mortensen), and a Russian patient at his Swiss clinic, Sabina Spielrein (Knightley), on whom he uses Freud’s controversial new method to great effect in the early days of psychoanalysis. As Jung is drawn into an affair with the intelligent and ambitious Spielrein, his bond with Freud begins to splinter both personally and ideologically. For a film in which one of the characters is aroused by beating, A Dangerous Method is not nearly as sexually depraved as one might hope. Indeed, it is quite a ‘talky’ film, as comes with the territory of a stage to screen adaptation, and the performances are not a showy as some - but this does not mean that they are not good. Knightley dives in with some impressive gurning and an all-ornothing Russian accent, and Vincent Cassel provides madcap comic relief as unashamed sex-addict Otto Gross. Fassbender and Mortensen are quieter in their performances but no less impressive as they truly seem to embody the real-life figures of Jung and Freud. So there you have it all, and we didn’t even have space to include the two worst films ever seen onscreen by Tori (both French, if you’re interested), as well as Luke’s crazy Japanese gem, Dendera. Make sure you catch these rascals when they’re released nationwide!
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7 november 2011
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Esmeralda Castrillo & Tom Payne - firstname.lastname@example.org
Exeter writers in the spotlight
Photo: Hannah Walker
Tom Payne, Books Editor, speaks to Rob Shearman - an Exeter graduate and writer with a taste for the fantastical
SINCE graduating from Exeter, Rob Shearman has quickly evolved into one of the country’s most experimental writers of short stories and plays. He was also responsible for bringing one of Doctor Who’s most persistent enemies back to the small-screen in 2005, and has enjoyed a plethora of critical acclaim and awards for his most recent prose works. I begin by asking about Rob’s best memories from his time studying at Exeter. “I was sent some photographs only a few days ago of my days in Exeter – thank you, Facebook, you have so much to answer for! And I see this very shy, rather paunchy English student performing Doctor Faustus outside in the Queen’s Building Quad, and having an absolute whale of a time. There’s also a photograph from the same time of all the cast doing warm-ups, and everyone is bent over touching their toes, and I’m the only one with his hands in the air – I think coordination was never my thing.
“I was a very shy, rather paunchy English student having an absolute whale of a time”
Shearman won international awards for his work acting and directing at the Northcott
“But it was in that arena, trying to be creative with so many like-minded new friends, whilst studying literature during the day, that I really found I fell in love with what the stage could do. Okay, it was absolutely true, the stage could do a lot better for itself if I wasn’t on it at the time – but I began to direct, reasonably well, and write plays, somewhat more effectively. And the most remarkable thing was that I had a group of wonderful tutors in the English department who not only gave me the space to open my mind and my critical faculties, but also the encouragement to turn those faculties
upon myself. I know full well the only reason I’m a writer now is because in those formative heady three years as an undergraduate, when I didn’t think I was necessarily worth a damn, Exeter gave me the confidence to shape myself.”
“I know full well the only reason I’m a writer is because in those formative heady three years as an undergraduate, Exeter gave me the confidence to shape myself” I ask Rob if he ever writes with a specific genre in mind. Referencing one of his short stories, about a man who falls in love with the ghost of Hitler’s childhood pet dog, it becomes clear that there’s more to his stories than absurdity for the sake of absurdity. “I think true absurdists have a very bold take on the world, and see within it something profound and dissonant. I think I’m more of a comedy writer. My background was entirely in wanting to make people laugh, and one of the best ways of doing that is by twisting expectations skewiff, and seeing how very identifiable characters cope with the unidentifiable. “I still see myself as a comedy writer, really – but I’m aware that my prose often feels a bit more serious in intent. Either that, or it goes for the scares – when I’m at my most playful now, I seem to drift into horror. But I still see every story I write as coming out of a joke. From the readers’ point of view, I hope that they see my silliness in free fall.” “When they read stories about Luxembourg vanishing overnight off the
Esmeralda Castrillo and Tom Payne, Books Editors interview James Bartholomeusz - an English undergraduate whose debut novel is being published in December FOR most second-year English students, the distant dream of a debut novel is often just that - something comfortably far-removed from the everyday reality of student life. But for James Bartholomeuz, that reality is real, and it’s happening now. “On top of essays!”, he says. “I think I’m going to have to pull off a few allnighters...” In December this year, his debut novel, called The White Fox will be released under the independent Chicago-based publisher Medallion Press. We asked him how it all came about. “I wrote it over Sixth Form -
and it went through loads and loads of revisions before they were happy with it. Before that I’d sent off quite a few round to editors and publishers, and suffered quite a lot of rejections.” “Then one of my friends pointed out Medallion’s YA YA scheme to me [young adults writing for young adults], so I sent it off there and they got back to me, and said yes. “I’ve always wanted to have a book published - I just didn’t think it would be so soon.” We ask James what The White Fox is all about. “It’s a novel aimed
towards 12-18 year olds, about two British teenagers who travel across the world, go to lots of different places and meet lots of different people.
“I’ve always wanted to have a book published - I just didn’t think it would be so soon” “I wrote it as something I’d like to read at that age - and I certainly felt in a much better position to write fiction for young adults, rather than adults.”
James has been contracted for a full trilogy of novels, and his deadline for the subsequent novel is looming. “Trying to write the second book at the moment.... there’s more of an effort to put a glass ceiling on it, and my deadline is in March.” We ask James about how he feels about being published at such a young age: “Well, I was very lucky - the publisher just happened to be looking for new, young writers. If there’s any advice I can offer - it’s that you must keep going. “There are no real rules - keep on submitting and revising until you’re totally happy with it.”
globe without explanation, or people stripping off their former selves like dead skin and sticking them in the attic, or, indeed, a man falling in love with the ghost of Hitler’s childhood pet dachshund – it might make them look at the world from a slightly different angle, and re-examine the things they take too much for granted. Or, at the very least, I hope that I’ll surprise them a little and make them laugh. That’d be okay too… That’d be better than okay.” Considering his own experiences as a student writer, Rob goes on to offer some advice to aspiring writers. “I think writing takes an almost contradictory amount of arrogance and self-deprecation. You have to believe you’re good. You look around the bookshop, and there’s Dostoevsky and Dickens on the shelf, and why should anyone bother to read you before they’ve read them? So you need to find the answer to that, the part of your work that really does feel like it offers something new: if you’re just copying someone else, why bother? You have to ask yourself, ‘so what’?”
“Writing takes arrogance and selfdeprecation. You have to believe you’re good” And the rejection…? “At least you’ll look back and realise you did write a novel. That the graft of it was done. That particular mountain was climbed. And the next mountain may be a bit higher, but you’ll climb it better and with new confidence.” Rob Shearman’s latest anthology, the enigmatically-titled Everyone’s Just So So Special, was released in June this year. Photo: Josh Irwandi
The White Fox is set to be released in December this year, with two sequels set to follow in 2012.
Exeposé week six
Photo: Victoria Collins
What gives readers sleepless nights? Zoe Bulaitis, Arts Editor, looks to the nineteenth century for examples of great bloodcurdling reads... THE Monster is a presence that has been part of the story since the beginning of storytelling itself. In the tenth century epic tale Beowulf, the reader encounters the sinister character of ‘Grendel’. This fascination with the monstrous continues onwards until the terrifying It written by Stephen King in the eighties, and right into the 21st century with the Dementors that haunt the Harry Potter novels. However, the monsters we have read and feared have arguably never been scarier than throughout the 19th century. The works of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, were all published during the 1800s and provide a truly spine-chilling demonstration of the monster in fiction. The 19th century was one of vast scientific improvements from Darwin and evolution, to Morton and anesthesia to Mendeleev and the Periodic Table. However with this increased knowledge came increased responsibility of how to use such information. This is a concept that 19th century writers used and abused to create their monsters. The most frightening thing about what Shelley, Stevenson and Wilde create is that they are borne from the
intellect of a rational man; they are manmade and artificially created. It is this element that makes the monsters truly terrifying as they challenge the positive advancement of science to create horror.
“Good horror works by showing how the monstrous comes from within us” Frankenstein – one word connotes the iconic green monster. This, however, is not who Frankenstein is: Victor Frankenstein is the name of the man who creates the monster. The monster in Shelley’s novel is never given a name, or a real identity, referred to variously as fiend, wretch and demon. This misconception, however, is important in highlighting how horror works – the monstrous comes from within the man. Likewise, in the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the monster is no ulterior force but the sinister alter ego of the perfectly pleasant Dr Jekyll. This time, the monster is not made from body parts but is created by drinking a potion which Jekyll himself takes. The transformation here is equally originated in mankind and cannot be attributed to the fantastical sphere of dragons or goblins.
To turn to The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde’s only published novel, we see similar themes emerging. The protagonist Dorian, on viewing a portrait of himself as a young man expresses his desire to sell his soul in exchange for eternal beauty. His wish is granted and thenceforth the portrait bears the effects of his subsequent debauchery upon his soul. Here the monstrosity is entirely held within one man. There is no alter ego, no created self, but a reflection only of the true nature of his soul. Whilst like Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde, Dorian is struggling with two sides of his personality; the need to be an aesthete and his involvement in criminality, the two aspects in The Picture with Dorian Gray become intertwined completely. So the scariest book you could pick up this Halloween? For me it’s got to be The Picture of Dorian Gray. Not because it has the most blood curdling screams or the hairiest monster, but in fact for the very opposite reason. The monster in Dorian Gray is a man who appears on the surface to be the vision of success. There is something darker in the human elements of monstrosity than the shock factor of a pair of fangs.
Alex Hawksworth-Brookes, Video Games Editor, re-lives some of the most nail-biting literary experiences of his early childhood... GOOSEBUMPS may not rank amongst the heavyweights of horror; in many respects it’s strictly PG – cheap thrills for children. However, the series, written by R. L. Stine, ranks as one of the best-selling children’s series of all time, having sold over 350 million copies and spawned multiple spin-offs, including a TV series. Dealing with topics ranging from haunted houses to cursed cameras and possessed puppets, Goosebumps gave me some of the most horrifying reading experiences of my early childhood, delivering the undeniable thrill of supernatural scares, all from the safety of my living room.
“The Goosebumps series ranks as one of the bestselling children’s series of all time” Part of Goosebumps’ charm came from the series simplicity – the protagonists were always children, making them easy to relate to. With titles such as ‘Piano Lessons Can Be Murder’ and ‘The Horror at Camp Jellyjam’, each book was set in typical childhood territory, but always with twists to set ten-year-old hearts racing. Stine wrote
his books simply, but with enough essential description to make it feel as if you were standing in the misty graveyard instead of Jimmy, Susan or whoever. Even the covers were suitably terrifying, making those first few turns of the page all the more tense.
“Each book was set in childhood territory, always with twists to set hearts racing” So Goosebumps may not carry Poe’s pedigree, or the literary styling of Lovecraft, but the series was responsible for some of the most terrifying moments of my childhood, rivalled only by events such as losing dad at the supermarket, or having to scoop a spider out of the bath. Although the language and characters are simple, and the plot of every book pretty much interchangeable, there is an undeniable charm to R. L. Stine’s series and, even with age on my side, flicking through the pages of my old books still sends shivers down my spine, bringing back memories of reading by torchlight under the covers, too terrified to sleep.
7 November 2011
horror lives & lit
Becky Lodder explores the life and works of Thomas Harris - the infamous creator of the Hannibal Lecter series of books
“A CENSUS taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” It is one of the most memorable and parodied quotes of the century from the adapted movie script for Silence of the Lambs but it is actually not a direct quotation from the original book series. The Hannibal Lecter series has probably seen more fame as film adaptations but their success renewed interest in some of the most psychologically horrific crime fiction in the history of the genre. Thomas Harris was born in Jackson, Tennessee in 1940 and though not much is known about his personal life, it is thought he had a difficult childhood and was felt to be an introvert by many of his peers. He majored in English and has one daughter from his marriage and unfortunate divorce in the 1960s. He has not given an interview since 1976, although his friend and literary agent Morton Janklow has said: “He’s one of the good guys. He is big, bearded and wonderfully jovial. If you met him, you would think he was a choirmaster. He has these old-fashioned manners, a courtliness you associate with the South.” Harris originally began his writing career as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press in New York City though he also worked for his local newspaper whilst in school. Unsurprisingly he mainly covered murders and other crimes which obviously sparked a unique interest in the topic. His first novel, Black Sunday, printed in 1975, focused on a terrorist plot to kill thousands of people during a Superbowl match using a blimp and law enforcements attempts to stop them. However, this novel also only achieved minimal success until the rights were bought by Hollywood. The film starred Robert Shaw and Bruce Dern and was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award for best motion picture in 1978. Following this success, Harris decided to devote his time completely to writing novels. He then wrote the Hannibal Lecter series with Red Dragon in 1981, The Silence of the Lambs in 1988, Hannibal in 1999, and Hannibal Rising in 2006. The first novel was actually not widely known or credited though it was adapted into a movie starring Brian Cox as Dr Lecter in
1986 called Manhunter. The film though critically well received, did not do very well at the box office unlike the re-make which was made after the extremely successful film of the second book in the series. This fame caused audiences to beg for another book in the series which took Thomas Harris nearly 10 years to write. On the release of the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, Stephen King called Hannibal “one of the two most frightening popular books of our time, the other being The Exorcist.” He has also stated that, to Harris, writing is like “writhing on the floor in agonies of frustration”, because, for him, “the very act of writing is a kind of torment.” Yet, it is the readers who in fact are further forced to decide for themselves whether they believe the monster deserves a companion in the world.
We Need To Talk About Kevin Lionel Shriver ISBN: 1852428899
Lionel Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin has been thrust back into the spotlight with the recent release of the film adaptation. A hugely popular book, it won the Orange Prize in 2005. The film promises to be equally successful, but will the film remove the power of Shriver’s narrative? Told by Kevin’s mother, Eva, the narrative battles with two separate stories. On the surface, it deals with the impact of a high-school massacre. It explores the trend of high-school and college shootings in America, and questions the motives behind them. It plays
horror review The Shining Stephen King
ISBN: 978-0385121675 IT has become something of a tradition for me at Halloween in the last couple of years to simply immerse myself in what I consider one of the greatest Horror stories ever told – Stephen King’s The Shining. I, of course, devour the 1980 Kubrick film version of the Torrance family’s winter retreat, marvelling at Jack Nicholson’s crazed performance (“Here’s Johnny!”) and Shelley Duvall’s continually tormented wife character (promiscuous bear-costumed ghosts et al). I even revel in the parodies and homages to the iconic narrative with The Simpsons - Treehouse of Horror IV being a clear favourite (“That’s odd, usually the blood gets off at the second floor!”). At the heart of all this is, of course, the original novel released in 1977 that
on Eva’s maternal fear: is evil nurtured, or is it natural? Underneath this is a story of the dynamics within a seemingly normal family. Shriver pays particular attention to the tensions in Eva and Kevin’s relationship. Shriver uses Eva to portray the uncertainty of parenthood, and of what might be created.
“Kevin has been thrust back into the spotlight with the recent release of the film adaptation. Will the film remove the power of Shriver’s narrative?” The
cemented King’s reputation as master of the horror genre. The novel is nothing less than a horror classic; it grabs a hold instantly and torments the reader with all the atmosphere, tone and impending doom that any good horror narrative should do.
“The original novel cemented King’s reputation as master of the horror genre” And whilst the novel plays with all the fundamental hallmarks of its respective genre; ghosts, haunted houses, and an assortment of chilling twists and revelations – its genius lies in how it transcends all these (perhaps) gimmicky or clichéd elements of the macabre, by keeping a firm grip on the psychological, human aspect of horror. Simply put, we are continually taunted with the question: is this all in Jack’s mind? His character is perhaps
flawed, and the complexity of Kevin and Eva’s relationship gives the reader much to consider. Shriver suggests that the responsibility of parenthood should not be undertaken lightly, yet also allows that evil may be inherent. Kevin is developed into a manipulative character, who remains inexplicable until the end. Kevin’s crime rests as a backdrop to the entire narrative, creating a sense of suspense and intrigue. The narrative is manipulative, gripping, and keeps the reader alert right until the final twist in the tale. This final revelation gives the reader a sickening drop, and the book would be incomplete if it was read with that knowledge, and deprived of the suspense. Whether this book is enjoyable or solely thought-provoking is a question that has divided reviewers. I feel that
the most frightful aspect – he is an alcoholic and, as we learn, often prone to violent outbursts aimed at members of his own family. The horror lies not in the supernatural, but in the atrocities that humanity can inflict on itself. The threat is not remote or alien – it is home-grown. The novel will, of course, always be held up in comparison to Kubrick’s film, King himself having notoriously denounced the film in its absence of certain traits, particularly the examination of alcoholism and its effects on the family that he himself was suffering with when writing, and what essentially is the genesis of the piece. However, I urge anyone, particularly those who have seen the film and not read the book, to pick up this brilliant example of the horror genre at its very best. And for those that don’t know the story at all, here’s a little taster – REDRUM (mirror not included). CHRISTOPHER GROSVENOR
the complexities of the relationships are intriguing enough to make it enjoyable, though the final revelation is sickening.
“The narrator is manipulative, gripping and keeps the reader alert right until the final twist of the tale”
I will be interested to see if the film manages to sustain the suspense of the original narrative. Either way, I feel that this is a book that has to be read before you see the film. See page 21 for Screen review: We Need to Talk About Kevin emily lunn
7 november 2011 Exeposé
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Poetry, prizes and private life
Tom Payne, Books Editor, catches up with the Irish poetry Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Muldoon LAST week I had the pleasure of listening and speaking to Paul Muldoon, an Irish Pulitzer Prize winning poet whose works have been described as some of the greatest and most important of our generation. The occasion was incredibly intimate, which seemed to suit Muldoon’s very personal style of address (he personally thanked two audience members who had to leave early, and offered his water to a cold-ridden attendee). Muldoon read a number of poems from his collections Horse Latitudes (2006) and M a g g o t (2010) before answering some
questions. Muldoon remained very attentive and seemed genuinely interested in his audiences’ observations of his work. The impression was o n e
of a poet in action – thriving off our observations and frequently delving into anecdotes and references to his family, or his upbringing in County Tyrone, Ireland.
“Intellectually the person that can tell you your work is rubbish is your friend. My wife is great at telling me my work is garbage” Muldoon elaborated on why a number of his poems seem at once very casual, sly and enigmatic: “These poems really need to ‘come out’”, he said. “I do a lot of revision, but I do it as I go along, and I refuse to write drafts. It’s a way of getting it right as though it was always meant to be.” After talking about his influences, particularly American
music and film he said: “I’m very interested in the song lyric as a ‘mode’. I’m not going to write another iambic pentameter – that’s over.” Muldoon conceded that the capacity for selfdelusion in a poet is phenomenal and, unusually and interestingly enough, claims he takes issue with “poets who don’t pay enough attention to editors.” “The truth is – poets dis-improve with age. There’s a lot of that in Yeats. The person who can say ‘there’s a problem with your work’, in intellectual terms, really is your pal. My wife is great at telling me ‘that’s garbage.” Muldoon moved on to talk about his family and the problems involved with writing about personal issues: “What can one say? You’re dealing with peoples’ lives…but the last thing a poet should care about is themselves. I do feel a reluctance in publishing my personal poems.” Muldoon is a poet who speaks sensitively and honestly as though his ideas are constantly folding out before him. When I asked him why he felt
he was such a bad English student at University, he honestly replied: “I just regret everything. I spent a lot of time playing catch-up. One must be an incredibly attentive and astute student and take everything in.”
“Remember when you’re strolling around the gorgeous campus at Exeter, your chances of being shot are nil. Then you know you’re in a good place”
Afterwards I catch the eye of the Pulitzer Prize winning poet, and he says, in a typically masterful stroke of life-affirmation: “Just remember as you’re walking around this beautiful campus, your chances of being shot by the end of the day are practically nil – then you know you’re in a good place.”
Creating a buzz with Graduate art “IT’S terrible. Just outrageous,” Meghan Peters of Exeter’s Art Society commented on the government cuts to Arts funding. Yet, with hundreds of young artists graduating each year, the call for artistic activity is poster paint obvious. Even here, at our university that lacks a dedicated Art department, the arts scene is very much alive. Currently Art Soc has more than 150 members, who will sketch, paint, tie-dye, screen print and make jewellery, amongst other imaginative activities. So the question remains, despite all this enthusiasm, how can the graduate really break into the world of professional art?
“The Arts cuts are just outrageous” The problem is not with the University, which provides both work and exhibition space free of charge. The issue is not with demand; The Exeter Phoenix welcomed over 25,000 visi-
tors to its gallery just last year. Yet, says Rose Skevington, from Art Soc: “I’ve always seen becoming a professional artist as something impossible to do.” Could this be because to display work at venues such as the Edinburgh and London Fringe Festivals, a young artist has to pay around £10,000? Perhaps. Yet there is a time-proven solution to this stunted artistic growth; and that is the creation of the everelusive “Buzz”. Recent graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, Sam Derounian, stresses the importance of living in cities where students create a ‘vibrant art scene’; he himself regularly organises original events to exhibit his art. His previous exhibitions have been held in hollowed out, white-washed houses in the urban heart of Glasgow, with performance artists lurking in the bathrooms, electro bands blaring from the living room, and tiny Alice-inWonderland-style doors being carved into the walls. Derounian describes these autonomous exhibitions of his art
as “immensely satisfying and untainted communal experiences, particularly since we operate outside the ‘commercial’ space – i.e. established galleries.” This isn’t the gratuitous shockfactor of Damien Hirst’s diamondencrusted skull. This art is from a new generation of artists unwilling to bow to the coalition government’s apparent dismissal of the importance of creativity.
archives are held at the University. There is so much literature at the moment about how hard it is to be a graduate, particularly in the Arts, but let’s not forget how exciting it is too. Initiative, as Derounian highlights, is the key. It seems ultimately, that it’s
not so much about ‘breaking in’. It’s about creating a Buzz. Sam Derounian’s work is at the Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; from 25 October - 19 November.
“This art is from a new generation of artists unwilling to accept the government’s cuts to arts” Closer to campus, a project uniting the University, local schools, non-profit print company ‘Double Elephant’, and the Phoenix Arts Centre is being planned. The scheme would see local school children creating prints based upon the poetry of Ted Hughes, whose
Josephine Sloan’s work in ‘Birds, Beards and Barbarous Tyrants’
Exeposé week six
ART ENCOUNTER I’M late, which is hardly unusual, eyes to the ground, nothing slowing me down, until something brings me to a standstill. I’m staring at a mosaic of a Space Invader. I’ve never noticed it before but it beams its colourful familiarity down on me. I walk on from this interruption, slowly, with an added smile, with whatever I was late for pushed to the back of my mind. The creator of this mosaic is suspected to be the French graffiti artist named Invader. His aim is so simple it’s almost self-explanatory: he is an invader of space. Having reportedly tagged over 30 cities including L.A., Paris and Tokyo, I am stopped in my tracks in a muddy cutthrough in Exeter (Hoopern Lane) and forced into a smile. Up until that point the day had been mine, or at least whatever I’d been rushing for. The encounter made no sense and was disarmingly personal: the rest of the day my thoughts belonged to the Invader. Or maybe my attitude towards that day had been warped by an Invader-imposter, a cheap copy devoid of originality. The author didn’t matter, what mattered was the jolt of something unexpected; the fact that Invader’s mosaic pattern,
of a retro classic, was far from original to start with added to its relevance. I was not drawn into the world of the artist but thrown into my own memories of childhood. The afternoon after my encounter felt childish and silly, a healthier perspective was restored. While writing this I am reminded of Michel de Certeau and his description of the city as: “A universe of rented spaces haunted by a nowhere or by dreamed-of places.” I have not visited an art gallery recently or sat down and absorbed myself in a symphony. Instead, art has barged its way into my day-to-day life to interrupt my obstinate mood. Someone has allowed de Certeau’s “dreamed-of places” to emerge during my walk home and throttle me. If that isn’t art then, well, the Mona Lisa certainly isn’t either. RICHARD GRAHAM
An Arrangement of the Materials Ejected @ SpaceX Gallery 1 October - 26 November FRANKLY, it is refreshing to be able to visit an art gallery in which the work is not too ambitious or ambiguous. Salvator Arancio’s latest exhibition, inspired by volcanoes, geological formations and all things rock-related, is quite the opposite.
“Elements of his work are influenced by areas of Devon” Arancio was originally trained as a photographer and despite this exhibition being astonishingly varied in media – including etching, video, collage, sculpture – his photographic skills are still quite apparent. The entire collection is monochrome and maintains an element of photo-realism. Throughout ‘the Rock’ is Arancio’s focus. The most interesting of which is his ceramic
piece De Alruin; a sculpture made in the shape of a mandrake root. It reminded me of the Marvel character Thing from The Fantastic Four. Seriously though, his inspirations are varied and cross-cultured: from the folded strata, to the film Super 8, to a Native American tribe … and of course the all encompassing (and possibly cliché) muse of nature and science. There is more to learn from Arancio’s inspirations than from the art itself. Elements of his work are even influenced by areas of Devon and for that I commend him. He has succeeded
in bringing professional, modern art out of London and into Exeter. I cannot recommend going to Spacex as a day outing. However, if you’re into your art, geology, or quite simply fancy having a go making your own rock formation (lumps of clay set out for the general public to ‘have a go’ with), then definitely go along. It’s free, and not far from the centre of town. JESSICA BRYANT
Style and Subversion: Art for the Postmodern age ART review
Postmodernism: Style and Subversion @ V&A Museum 24 September - 15 January POSTMODERNISM: STYLE AND SUBVERSION FROM 1970-1990 explores postmodernism’s considerable legacy of unresolved intellectual questions, from our apparent obsession with excess to the possibility of a posthuman age. The exhibition looks at the movement’s impact in various mediums, from architecture and design to music and photography. And although postmodernism seems worn today, the show reminds us of its enormous influence and at times defends its contradictory nature. The show begins by delving into postmodern architecture, highlighting the movement’s conflicting relationship with Las Vegas, its attraction to the past, and experience of dystopia. Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s 1968 film extract brings the viewer into the noisy vitality of Vegas from the view of a car, and by its conclusion you’re lost in the flashing images of casinos and clubs, as the driver’s viewpoint vanishes. The admiration and disgust of Vegas’s hyper-consumerism reflected postmodernism’s desire for ‘both’ rather than ‘either/or’, as de-
scribed by Venturi. The extract of an urban apocalypse from Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, which encompassed a pastiche of genres (film noir, sci-fi, futurism), demonstrates how the postmodernists were not only motivated by the past, but also by the possibility of a post-industrial future, emphasising postmodernism’s eclecticism. Postmodernism’s impact on music and photography is further evidence of the movement’s vibrant palette. The exhibition presents Grandmaster Flash’s sampling of hip-hop, which mirrored the movement’s use of appropriation, as well as Jean-Paul Gonde’s stunning photographs of Grace Jones, who is transformed into a synthetic item, again suggesting the possibility of a post-human epoch. Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Number 74 explores the seductive nature of images, particular-
Andy Warhol’s Dollar Sign
ly the role of advertising, which along with big business would be postmodernism’s undoing. Postmodernism’s ‘fatal encounter with money’ gives us insight into the movement’s complicated relationship with capitalism. Warhol’s Dollar Sign, an ironic statement on the value of art, contrasts markedly with Karl Lagerfeld’s Sequin Jacket by Chanel, a whole-hearted embrace of commercialism. Jenny Holzer’s Protect Me From What I Want photograph captures the paradoxical sentiments experienced by postmodernists and society as a whole, in relation to the 1980s’ commodity culture. Yes, the postmodernists could be sickeningly artificial, but as the exhibition crucially brings to light, postmodernism acknowledged superficiality as ‘the profound difficulty of human life,’ as claimed by Alessandro Mendini. Essentially, the exhibition questions the principal charge against the movement that it sold out, for it generally intended to capture the frivolity of the ‘me’ decade. New Order’s Bizarre Love Triangle video concludes the exhibition, asking: “Why can’t we be ourselves like we were yesterday?” This nostalgic sense of loss is combined with thrilling, rapid-fire imagery, including men and women floating in the sky. This postmodern masterpiece is a powerful interpretation on the contradiction and complexity of modern life itself. OSCAR WARWICK THOMPSON
WE asked students what they thought of Jean-Paul Gonde’s photograph of Grace Jones’ outrageous maternity dress. Postmodern dream or fashion faux pas? Katharine Bardsley: Perfectly postmodern. Laura Stevens: It’s innovative, startling and creative. Love the colours, the idea of it challenging the concept of a maternity dress and the exclamation mark! Will Roberts: I can see the point(s) but I’m not a fan. Nick Vines: Looks like Macy Gray got attacked by a five year old with his first six pack of felt tip pens! Rebecca Lodder: I’m confused by
what it’s supposed to be and I think the designer was too! I think it’s just fallen short of being revolutionary into the category of just plain odd. I don’t know how many women would think of this as a practical maternity dress either! Zoe Bulaitis: I think this looks like THE perfect dress for X Factor’s Misha B next week! But I don’t think it’s art. Bethany Fuller: If you’re concerned about your body changing shape during pregnancy, then this outfit would certainly distract from that. I would kind of be expecting the baby to come out with a question mark on its forehead and a green square for a body though. Jack Flanagan: It strikes me as a exaggeration of what clothing is, an expression of self.
Video Games Alex Hawksworth-Brookes & Jessica Leung - firstname.lastname@example.org
7 november 2011
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E-sports FTW (For the West)
Can the West ever catch up with competitive gaming? Will Hayman tackles the big leagues of E-Sport IT’S about 9pm and my stomach is churning. I am gaping at my monitor, transfixed by the history unfolding before my eyes. I am watching the final of the Team Liquid StarLeague – a Starcraft 2 tournament hosted by the primary Starcraft community: Team Liquid. The stream is broadcast over the internet and there are 65,000 other viewers sharing my nausea. This is ThorZaIN vs. NaNiwa, and in true Hollywood form, the best-ofseven series has come down to a seventh ‘ace match’. NaNiwa puts some early pressure on ThorZaIN by moving out with two Colossi (War Of The Worldsesque machines). However, he fails to secure a sufficient economic advantage and ThorZaIN moves his Marines and Marauders (infantry – think Starship Troopers) aggressively forward. The game goes into macro-mode – both players sit back and build workers, units and structures. I blink. Something I haven’t done for about 15 minutes. This is e-sports. Competitive gaming: video games played at the highest skill level for money and prestige. You could be forgiven for not being aware of the many tournaments that beget champions of games like Starcraft, CounterStrike, Halo, Quake and League of Legends, they are typical internet phenomena. They are ubiquitous to those in the know and largely invisible to the majority of people not part of e-sports circles. This may seem obvious, but think again. Or rather, think of curling. Curling is a sport that involves sliding rocks around on ice. With brooms. You probably don’t do curling. However, if I asked you about curling, you would probably agree that it is a competitive
sport with tournaments, prize money and lots of competitors training to win it. A lot more of us here in the West play video games than go curling, yet the relative awareness of e-sports remains small. What hope is there that e-sports will become as popular in the West as it has in the world-capital of competitive gaming, South Korea? E-sports developed in stages. It began with community-run tournaments and ladders. Fans would form ‘clans’
Exeposé Video Games asks ‘What Have YOU Been Playing This Week?’
Let us know on Facebook and Twitter Jonathan Jenner: “Team Fortress 2, because I have left my PS3 at home. I need my online fix SOMEWHERE.” David Rees: “The Sims 3, because if I did half the stuff I can do on there in real life, I’d probably be dead, in prison, or both.” Luke Graham: “Dungeons of Dreadmoor, because losing is fun.” Hannah Walker: “The Where’s Wally? app on my iPhone! Worth every penny!” Tori Brazier: “Barbie and her Magical Dream House, because I am so mature!” Matt Bevan: “Starcraft II because the swarm never sleeps, ever.”
Reasons why Skyrim will be the greatest game of all time
A new set of skills! Skyrim promises to build even further on the levelling up system in Oblivion. In Skyrim you can really make your character your own by upgrading the stats you specifically want to. To level up your character looks to the starts and upgrades his talents using constellations.
Duel wield weapons! We are finally able to hold two swords in our hands, or a spell and a sword or even two spells to make a super spell! In Skyrim you can swap between hundreds of different weapon combinations to suit your playing styles. The
or ‘guilds’ and do battle over the internet. These community projects were the essential grassroots. They were also ghettos: small communities who developed their own languages and etiquette.
I recall with nostalgia the days of being ‘gimped’ by a ‘nade’, ‘TK’d‘ and ‘humped’ in Rainbow Six. The next stage of e-sports is characterised by sponsorship. Tournaments remain largely community-run and organised through the inter-
new fighting system also enables you to execute gritty and awesome finishing moves on your opponents.
amazing new powers, called shouts. These come in the form of thunderstorms. Plus, any game with Dragons is bound to be cool!
A brand new and more detailed environment. Bethesda promises that Skyrim, though having an area the same size as Oblivion, will have much more detail. For example, for Oblivion there were five designers for dungeons and caves. For Skyrim there are 17! Environments are set to be much more varied than in Oblivion, with many more detailed locations. Improvements range from better looking backgrounds through to seeing NPCs go about their daily business, rather than just waiting for you to come and talk to them.
DRAGONS! These awesome flying beasts play a huge role in Skyrim providing you with
The life you play on Skyrim will be better than the life you live! Skyrim, like Oblivion, will be a truly immersive game that will create unique moments for every player. These moments make great conversation with friends as you compare your different experiences. The world and imagination are what hook me most and I can’t wait to jump into a new world!
net. But, zeroing-in on their target audience, gaming and technology firms start putting up prizes in money and goods. Competition becomes semi-professional and good players put in many hours in pursuit of loot. The apotheosis of e-sports brings it to full-blown corporate nirvana. Tournaments move from the internet to the acres of floor space hired in the world’s most prestigious conference centres. Big firms fall over themselves to offer sponsorship and the pro-gamers who reach this level have skills that extend into the meta-game of their chosen ‘sport’. So where have we reached in the Western world, the primitive first stage, the developmental second? Unfortunately, we are well into the saturated endgame. Recent years have seen an explosion of professional, slick and expensively-produced e-sports events, replete with blue-chip sponsorship. Blizzcon, the World Cyber Games, Intel Extreme Masters and Major League Gaming are a few. Yet, you’ll only find these events if you go looking. Mainstream exposure is non-existent. Being an e-sports fan precedes exposure to e-sports, it seems. These facts bring me to the unhappy conclusion that despite the backing of all the corporate monies in the world, the increasing number of accessible esports commentators and the rising production values, e-sports has reached saturation in the West. We just don’t have the interest in e-sports to make it go any further. We consider video games the domain of leisure and tomfoolery, not dedication and competition. That is reserved for curling.
Exeposé week six
Batman: Arkham City: Rocksteady; Warner Brothers Games; 360/ PS3/PC Oct 21 2011
BATMAN: Arkham City outdoes its predecessor, Arkham Asylum, in every possible way by offering improved visuals, new villains and a grander sense of scale. Events now take place in a cordoned off section of Gotham which contains all the criminals from Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison. The whole operation is overseen by Dr. Hugo Strange, a lesser known villain, and part of
the story revolves around finding out who Dr. Strange really is and how this whole system came to be. The other half of the story is a continuation of the events started in the original game. Within Arkham City each villain has a faction fighting for supremacy, with very little control exerted by the guards. This is some of the darkest Batman material around, featuring murder, mutilation and other adult themes. Players take on the role of Batman as he does what it takes to solve the mysteries at hand whilst fighting thugs, investigating crime scenes and defeating super-villains. The combat in Arkham City is brilliant, with the player able to weave together attacks, counters, dodges and stuns in a fast and fluid style that
Battlefield 3: DICE; EA; 360/PS3/PC Oct 28 2011 WITH the release of the Frostbite 2 engine, Battlefield 3 is certainly taking this 7th generation of consoles to its utmost limits. Running at 30fps, half the conventional rate, and spanning two discs on the 360, it’s clear that a compromise had to be made. The question however, is whether this increased performance is overtly noticeable, and whether it is enough to have w a r ranted such a drastic
is both fun and varied. As you would expect, Batman comes equipped with a large variety of upgradeable gadgets that can be used to navigate the environment and offer aid in combat. Over the course of the game there are several sections where you take on the role of Catwoman, who plays very similarly to Batman but is a lot more agile and has her own items. Catwoman has her own agendas and often prioritises herself above anything else, adding another element to the storyline. Traversing Gotham is a big part of the game and to aid in this Batman can now use his grapple to accelerate and gain elevation to glide around the environment. Dive bombing unsuspecting
enemies makes you feel like an absolute badass. Cutscenes throughout the game help create a cinematic experience which is aided by strong voice acting: Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise their roles as Batman and the Joker. Hamill’s Joker is especially brilliant as he is intelligent and witty but also totally insane. Overall, Arkham City improves on every aspect laid down in Arkham Asylum; the boss fights are more interesting, the story is more gripping and whilst it isn’t the longest game, side missions and challenges will hold your attention for a long time. Arkham City is a must-have.
change in these relatively grounded visual rules. Aesthetically, DICE has created something worthy of this controversy. The new lighting system really is worth noting, due to the implementation of real-time radiosity. This results in some truly dramatic changes – an example being each bullet casing showcasing its own dynamic reflection and shine. The maps are well constructed and the textures remain sharp throughout. During the campaign there are, however, some cinematically jarring moments. Having created such highly photo-realistic environments, it is then strange to come across props with so low a polygon count.
This is not so much an issue for PC versions of the game, and only really becomes salient when off the beaten path. Not since the likes of Crysis has there been so discernibly detailed and attentive advancements in large scale graphic realism. The single player campaign does not raise the bar significantly.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception: Naughty Dog; Sony Entertainment; PS3 Nov 02 2011
“YOU’RE fit, but my gosh, don’t you just know it.” Clearly, one of the most nuanced, eloquent couplets of all time, and one that’s also curiously applicable to this latest instalment in Naughty Dog’s outstanding Uncharted franchise. Seemingly every level features some vaguely gratuitous ‘look at me’ posturing, strings soaring as the camera majestically pans out to reveal whichever eyeball-blisteringly stunning locale you’ve stumbled into this time. And, yeah, it’s true, the graphics are absolutely, relentlessly awe-inspiring – to the extent that in one memorable occurrence I inadvertently hurled myself (and my commendably obedient horse) off of the latest beautifully-rendered cliff-face whilst attempting to get a better view. But the real question, of course, is whether it’s got the goods to back it up. And, well, honestly? It really does.
“The graphics are absolutely, relentlessly aweinspiring”
peerless throughout. At times it really does feel like a movie, to the extent that my housemates were quite happy to spectate for literally EIGHT HOURS. Additionally, a series first, characters even address the ever-present elephant in the room – namely, is their possibly entirely-mythical objective really worth all this trouble? It’s a question that most games generally prefer to ignore, and by not doing so, Uncharted 3 lends itself a narrative depth that arguably sets it a cut above most of its fellows. Gameplay-wise, there’s also very little to criticise here – puzzling, shooting and platforming all flow seamlessly, and, for the most part, the few problem areas from previous games have been successfully ironed out. Obviously having the same button for ‘roll’ as ‘take cover’ can occasionally prove fatal, and once you’ve been playing long enough you can spot any imminent ambush a mile off (‘oh my, look at all these upturned boxes, almost as though I’ll need cover momentarily!’) but in general, as a third person ac-
tion-adventure game, it’s pretty much genre-defining. Factor in the aforementioned graphical brilliance, blockbuster production values and perfectly implemented Epic Setpieces™, and you’ve got one of the best PS3 titles out there. Your move, Xbox…
The plot sees series hero Nathan Drake searching for an ancient city supposedly lost in the Arabian desert, and, as usual, the voice acting and scripting are
The narrative is decent and certainly won’t leave you wanting. AI is nicely done, resulting in the greater sense of teamwork that the Battlefield franchise strives for. However, your personal squad will move at roughly 30 per cent of the speed you would like them to, which often becomes frustrating. Combat sequences really do have a magnitude about them, thanks to a brilliantly crafted soundscape where silence is often met with dread. On the whole, expectations are met, but by no means is Battlefield 3’s single player the focal point. The multiplayer, however, is phenomenal. The weapons feel powerful and robust, with enough character to easily make distinctions between otherwise similar armaments. Vehicles play a heavy role, with jets now introduced to console versions. All are substantially fun to use, and are well balanced within the maps with other players. Classes have been subtly remodelled, resulting in a better defined role than seen in previous games. Maps are incredibly well put together, with strikingly aberrant transitions between areas. Battlefield 3 is a game that knows its role within the industry. Having only progressed in areas known to be successful, DICE has made something simply entertaining.
9/10 Cameron ward
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: 360/PS3/PC Mar 24 2006 LOOKING off Dive Rock, bow in hand. Before me, the beautifully crafted landscape of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. And blocking my view is the tiny tuft of yellow hair touched on the head of my ever Adoring Fan, who is soon to find himself plummeting down the side of this icy mountain with all the glory of Oblivion’s magnificent physics engine. Surely this, the constantly annoying but always expendable Adoring Fan included, is everything one could ever ask for in an RPG? Ever since my stone-faced Nord broke free from the shackles of the Imperial Prison, I have been in love with this immersive world that Bethesda has built around me. Looking back now, I have given far too much of my life to the quests which have dominated my adolescent existence. But Oblivion was the first game that consumed me as much as I consumed it. Even with every quest completed and enough gold to buy every available residence in Cyrodiil, I simply invented new ways to further sacrifice my lifespan on the altar of this wondrous universe. The murdering of the Adoring Fan, with his rendered little frame punc-
tured by arrows and seared by fire spells, was simply another outlet for my psychological need for this unlimited, processed paradise. It dictated the rules, provided the equipment, but for the first time I created the game. Oblivion was not just an imagined place, but became a place for my imagination.
“For the first time in my gaming life, a game played me” It provided the keys to another world in a computerised dimension, and then the tools by which my imagination could be unleashed into the universe built around it. For the first time in my gaming life, a game played me. I am not going to give you an amusing account of creature encounters, or an outline of the plot to entice you into giving it a go. Instead, I will simply say: if you have a moment to spare, make it an afternoon, then sit down and try The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Lose yourself in a world that ends only with your imagination, and submerge your whole mind in one of the best games ever made. Let Oblivion work its magic. And soon enough, like me, you will become the Elder Scrolls’ truly Adoring Fan. James roberts
7 November 2011
Photo: University Press Office
Biomechanics: An end to injuries? Biomechanics combine technology with medical science to dicsover and create new techniques to treat sports injuries and ailments
Rachel Bayne, Sports Editor talks to Martin Haines, a pioneer in biomechanic physiotherapy, about the benefits it could bring and the challenges it faces
THE constant fear for every athlete is the plague of the long-term sports injury. From the first twinge of the back or niggle of the knee, the athlete’s career is issued a time-limit, intense physiotherapy and sometimes even surgery at a later date. But this does not have to be the case. Most sports injuries and cases of repetitive strain injury can be prevented by a revolutionary physio-technique: biomechanics. Biomechanics is the application of mechanical principles to biological systems and is used by sports coaches to identify the intrinsic weaknesses in athletes so that when they stretch, they start in the correct position for their physiological make-up. It can also be used to identify the correct stance for the athlete, when they hold a racket or bat, so that their technique is suitable for their body and so that every exercise is safe and effective for the individual.
“Haines’ biomechanics program has worked with F1 McClaren to create the best seat to support each driver’s backs” Martin Haines, of Intelligent Training Systems is one of the country’s foremost experts on biomechanics and its
application in sport. He has developed a training course for sports coaches so that they can work out the correct stance for each of their sports players, to prevent injuries from taking place.
“Techniques should be individual, based on the set-up of each person, training techniques should not be based on a common principle” His company has screened over 4,000 people in the past 25 years through retrospective studies of the patient’s activity, manual screens in the lab and through adapting training techniques using the highest collerative information collected from their gold machines. Haines’ biomechanics program has worked with F1 team McClaren to create the best seat to support each driver’s backs, alongside coaches in the England Rugby set-up and on an individual basis with Olympic medallists Sir Steve Redgrave and Dame Kelly Holmes. Haines is a Chartered Physiotherapist and originally qualified as a Remedial Gymnast and Recreational Assistant. He started working with biomechanics after finding that his patients’ injuries were not solved by traditional
physiotherapy methods: “I would see a patient and then they would return after six months with the same, recurring problem. It was clear that my cure wasn’t working and that we needed to look into how people moved and didn’t move in their daily exercise routine.” He explained that when he first trained as a physiotherapist, “the emphasis was very much on treatment and now it needs to be on prevention.” Sports training, traditionally, is very much based on the ‘right’ way to position yourself and Haines explained that actually a person’s intrinsic physical make-up can compromise their movement in the sporting activity. His programme helps coaches to “reverse the technique, so that the injury doesn’t develop. Techniques should be individual, based on the set-up of each person, training techniques should not be based on a common principle.” Haines’ research goes very much against traditional sports coaching. Actually, when schools line up children and ask them to use the same position for a sporting exercise, this may in fact be part of the reason why adults develop long-term sporting injuries. He said frankly that it will be very difficult to change the culture of sport coaching, due to lack of funding and lack of expertise in the field of biomechanics: “Teaching needs to be developed, but the resources aren’t there, and at the moment we primarily work in personal fitness and training coaches.”
Although, the funding may not be there for all primary schools to have coaches trained in biomechanics, Haines’ company works with university sport programmes worldwide. A team from Intelligent Training Systems is currently in Sweden and they plan to travel to North Carolina in the spring to work with university sport programmes. Haines also offered immediate advice for University of Exeter students. He explained that injuries are often caused by not using the correct muscle groups in each stretching exercise. For example, he advised that with squats, placing your feet in a fixed position/ width apart is not necessarily the best idea for each athlete.
“It was clear that my cure wasn’t working and that we needed to look into how people moved and didn’t move in their daily exercise routine” To test the best position for you, he suggested that each athlete walk forwards four steps with their eyes closed, stop, squat and see what position the feet are in. He said don’t be surprised if the feet end up in an asymmetrical position, as quite often a symmetrical position may not be the best for an athlete’s
pelvis. Haines said that if students are suffering, they should perhaps try going to a physiotherapist who specialises in biomechanics, as it may be an intrinsic problem which is causing the external injury. He finished by saying that the most important thing to do is to think carefully every time you stretch or do physical activity, as it may be the position you repeat which is the problem.
Exeposé week six
EUWBC outclassed by Oxford Fresher’s Grand Prix Basketball
Photos: Josh Irwandi
Ellen Gibbons EUWBC Publicity Sec
Will Kelleher Reporter
.In their first ever outing in the Premier league, Exeter Women’s Basketball team were outclassed 52-84 by Oxford. The game truly tested EUWBC, a team that were virtually undefeated last season. Oxford pushed Exeter to the limit, giving them a stern test and keeping up an intensity throughout the match that Exeter couldn’t face up to. The first quarter of the match held promise for Exeter, who despite falling behind, managed to keep pace with the opposition and defend well – a quality that continued and improved over the course of the match, with Captain Maria Savchenko continually blocking the ball at the post. The first quarter ended 11 – 22 to Oxford, but Exeter still stood a good chance of making up the difference and really challenging the other team. However, Oxford didn’t relent in their aggressive offence and their speed across the court left Exeter trailing at 22 – 40 at the end of the second quarter. Oxford showed blistering shot accuracy that Exeter couldn’t replicate, and as a result the gap between the two teams, which was apparent at the start, remained for the entirety of the match Oxford’s Lindsay Whorton presented a constant threat across the court, sinking numerous three pointers, and as a result Exeter changed their strategy from a zone to a box and one defence using Exeter’s Sam Matthews, who did an excellent job in marking Whorton. This resulted in a much needed reduction in scoring from the Oxford player, who came first in the top 15 BUCS Women’s Final 8’s Leading Scorers of 2011. However, this wasn’t enough to turn the tide of the match as Oxford defended strongly, snatching the ball whenever a chance presented itself. Nearly every single free throw shot Oxford took was sunk. Exeter’s free throw average was poor in comparison which they simply couldn’t afford. Exeter didn’t give up, they rallied on the defensive, and as a result they were only beaten – they weren’t crushed. In the final quarter both teams scored 14 points apiece, which demonstrates how Exeter improved and adapted to Oxford’s forceful play. This was Exeter’s first match in the Premiership, the first match the BUCS team have played together since March and the first time that two team members have represented the University. In this context, the team did well despite their loss. In the face of Oxford’s continual offensive onslaught Exeter held their ground and regularly scored baskets. Nerves definitely played their part in Exeter’s loss on Wednesday 26 October, but once the team settle into their new division hopefully the fans will see their true potential. Exeter went on to lose their next match 42-75 against London South Bank on Wednesday 2 November away from home.
EURFC’s Freshers endured a less than successful outing at the second ‘Grand Prix’ of the season at Duckes Meadow on Saturday 29 October. After a good quality showing at the previous tournament at Coombe Dingle, Bristol, the teams were confident going into their home ‘Grand Prix’. However, a solitary win from five matches across the two sides dented this pre-tournament optimism. The structure of this ‘Grand Prix’ requires clinical finishing, punishes small errors and certainly the ‘A’ XV were left to rue some basic mistakes that cost them dearly throughout tight encounters. Each match lasted only 30 minutes and so there was no time to ease yourself into the game. The games were characteristically frantic and scrappy with plenty of mistakes on both sides. The ‘A’ XV’s first fixture of the day was against a powerful UWIC side. The game was rather attritional with both sides not showing much in the way of adventurous rugby. Exeter cancelled out an early UWIC try from a five-metre scrum with a solo breakaway effort by Rob MacFarlane, having intercepted in his own half. However EURFC’s gallant defensive work was undone by too many infringements around the rucks, and they paid the price with the game ending 13-7. Bristol were next on the agenda for the ‘A’ XV. The game was a very even contest with both sides threatening in possession. Exeter improved on their first outing, putting together
some flowing moves. They dominated in the scrums and were unlucky not to capitalise on a couple of gilt-edge chances. Again penalties were Exeter’s downfall as they went down 6-0 in a very tight match. Before the ‘A’ XV had a chance to redeem themselves against rivals Hartpury, the ‘B’ XV managed to narrowly beat UWIC ‘B’s in a tough encounter. They fought hard and ended up scraping it 3-0. For the ‘A’s it was onto Hartpury, a burly brigade of rugby players intent on physical domination. As became the norm in the ‘Grand Prix’ the game was a tight affair with plenty of aggression and heart on show. Exeter rose to the challenge laid down by their rivals and fronted-up when it mattered. Despite clear authority in the scrums, Exeter were 10-0 down by half time after a neat chip-and-chase try from Hartpury’s right winger. The second half became a battle on and off the pitch with coaches and substitutes alike willing their side on from the touchline. Exeter were camped on Hartpury’s line for much of the second period and were unlucky not to be rewarded with a try for their efforts. Finally, however, Exeter put a fantastic move together with flanker Tom Dowding breaking through a weak defence and scoring under the posts. It was too little too late for the men in green as the match ended 10-7. The ‘B’ XV managed a 0-0 draw with Bristol ‘B’s in another scrappy affair to put a better slant on the day’s results. In general, Exeter were unlucky on the day with basic errors costing them dearly.
EUAFC slip up in the rain Football
Jonathan Jenner Reporter
Exeter University Women’s Basketball team battled hard against a formidable Oxford team in their first match of the BUCS season
EUAFC’s late fight-back was not enough to save the Men’s first team from their poor first half performance, which saw them concede four goals in the opening 35 minutes. They went on to lose 5-3 against Marjons. Exeter enjoyed the lion’s share of both possession and chances, but their opponents repeatedly carved open their defence on the counter-attack. The Plymouth-based side scored their first goal against the run of play, with a series of short passes through the middle creating the space for a near-post finish. Whilst Exeter continued to play their own game, heads began to drop after Marjon’s second and third goals came in quick succession. A rebound left by the defence was smashed in and a simple ball over the top brought the score to 3-0. A panicked Exeter reverted too quickly to long balls up-field in an attempt to equal the score, but with hardly any finding their targets and gaps opening up all over the pitch, Marjon struck again on the break to make it 4-0. Thankfully, the second half saw a
different Exeter step back onto the pitch, with every player intent on redeeming their first half performance. A fantastic double save from goalkeeper Tom Clifton-Moore gave the team a huge boost, and soon after they had a goal back. Mike Dale’s cross found Chris Onoufriou in space, and the midfielder stroked the ball into the bottom corner. Marjon responded instantly, with another ball over the top that really should have been dealt with better. The opposition striker shrugged off his marker with ease and slotted their fifth goal past the keeper. This remained their sole play of the half, with Exeter duo Onoufriou and Andrew Waddingham dominating the midfield. Onoufriou scored a spectacular volley from the edge of the box, and in-form striker Ben Nash took the ball through the defence with tight control and supplied a cool finish to make the score 5-3. After the game, goalscorer Onoufriou explained the defeat: “We didn’t turn up at the races. “We just weren’t there as a team, collectively we weren’t good enough.” The midfielder remains optimistic, however: “The second half was more positive. Next game, we’ll be ready to come out better, stronger.”
7 november 2011
Epic match as Exeter take
Mens Hockey: 19.11.11 Hockey
Ben Stupples Publicity Officer
On Saturday 19 November, England’s Club of the Year in 2009, the defending champions of the National Indoor League and the National Indoor Finals, East Grinstead, will visit University of Exeter for a game that promises to be a showcase of class. After beating Reading in their opening game of the National Premier League season, University of Exeter will be looking to add another former EHL winner to their steadily growing list of victories. Between them the two teams can boast over 20 internationals. England’s Captain, Vice-Captain and Young Player of the Year in 2009, Barry Middleton, Glenn Kirkham and Ashley Jackson respectively, will all be playing in this fixture – sport at the University of Exeter is rarely more exciting that this! As well as fireworks, freebies and a half-time performance from the cheerleaders, food and soft drinks from the likes of Nando’s will be found at this charity event too. EUMHC Varsity will not only be great entertainment, however, but also fantastic value for money. The Group Stages of Hockey at the Olympics, for example, cost up to £65; EUMHC Varsity, conversely, with barely any
difference in standard of performance, will cost you just £5. Some of your money will go towards DecAid and JR4JR, two charities founded by University of Exeter students, whilst several other leading brands and businesses such as TeachFirst will also be present as the event’s sponsors. Andrew Miller, EUMHC Club Captain, describes this charity event as “a fantastic opportunity to experience hockey at the highest level before London 2012. Come and watch Premier League Hockey” And Nick Beasant, EUMHC 1st Team Manager, said that: “We welcome East Grinstead to the Nando’s Sports Park and thank them for agreeing to partake in this inaugural varsity hockey match. East Grinstead are one of the EHL’s (England Hockey League) and Europe’s leading club sides both in the outdoor and indoor game. They can boast a vast array of international talent and are renowned for playing fast paced, attacking hockey. The University side looks forward to the challenges of the match.” Tickets can be bought by contacting email@example.com or simply by purchasing them off members of the 1st XI squad who will be selling them on campus in the days leading up to the event.
Mens Rugby: 9.11.11 Rugby
Arthur Fane Reporter EXETER RFC Men’s 1st XV take on Bath in this year’s much anticipated Varsity match, on Wednesday 9 November. Over 2000 people turned up to this fixture last year where Exeter turned Bath over in a hard fought 23-13 victory, and even more are expected this year as the University turns up in force to cheer on the Green Machine. Defeats to Hartpury and Swansea to begin the season don’t provide an ideal build-up, but this year’s team will be hoping to repeat last year’s heroics. Bath’s Zak Vinnicombe, who made his debut in this fixture last year, will need to be watched carefully – Bath, contrary to Exeter, have won both this season’s matches; a ground out victory against UWIC, and a 39-3 away drubbing of Bristol - and Vinnicombe has played an instrumental role for Bath, scoring over 20 points in
those two games alone. Having had 12 weeks of the season to prepare for this game though, Exeter are sure to come out all guns blazing at Sandy Park, home of the Exeter Chiefs. With tickets just £5 if bought in advance, students will be able to cheer on the Green Machine in the safe knowledge that entry to Timepiece is included, where the after-party will hopefully be celebrating a momentous victory.
Exeter v Bath
Alexander Keane Publicity Officer The Exeter Women’s Table Tennis team got off to a dream start in this year’s campaign, with a 5-0 victory at home against their rivals Bristol. Exeter’s two players, Sarah Hall and Phoebe Lai, were outstanding. Not only did they win every game but they didn’t drop a single set. Sarah, who used to play for Wales’ youth side when she was younger, got Exeter off the mark with an 11-1, 11-2, 11-2 victory against Li Na. However,
Alex Parry and Chris Gardiner lost their doubles 9/11 in the final set match tiebreak. Alex Parry and Chris Gardiner lost after not quite converting their chances to win, Julien Herisson on debut and Ashtey Pauls went down fighting in both their singles and doubles, with Ashtey Pauls eventually going down 7/10 in a final set tie break in the singles. Special mention this week must go to Chris Gardiner who came through an
extremely tough match in just over 3 hours. Chris Gardiner came through in his singles matches to win in three sets – 6/3, 4/6, 6/4. Although the team got beaten, had they taken their chances more sharply the end result could have been different. They look forward to the reverse tie and to playing them in the cup competition in mid November. The 2nds side faced UWIC 1sts in
“They kept on coming back over the net, it can drive a player to the edge”
Updates from the Men’s Tennis teams Tennis
James Hooker Men’s BUCS Rep
9.11.11 @ Sandy Park
Then Phoebe Lai faced Li Na, beating her comfortably 11-3, 11-2, 11-1. But Lai’s game against Bristol’s Wang was a much harder story. Throughout the first set Phoebe pressed Wang with increasing vigour, her movements were sharper and
her hitting harder, making it awfully difficult for the Chinese Bristolian. She was pushed hard in the first set, but ending up winning it 11-5. The second set was, by far, more straightforward for Phoebe. Plenty of Wang’s shots were hard, accurate and in the corner; it’s just that they kept on coming back over the net, and when that happens, it can drive a player to the edge of insanity. Lai rounded off the match 11-8, 11-5. It was easy to see that Bristol had lost confidence towards the end of the afternoon. The doubles match was marred by errors from the away side. Exeter won the final game 11-5, 11-3, 11-2 conclud-
she was only warming up. She then easily defeated Yangjing Wang 11-2, 11-2, 11-6.
The Tennis 1st side had a spirited encounter against Bournemouth in their BUCS Premier South face-off on Wednesday 26 October. Bournemouth came out on top as
Exeposé week Six
on Bristol across the table
No. 25 by Clare Mullins
Photos: Ronald Liong
Across 1. German motorway (8) 4. Deep-pile carpet (4) 6. & 8. (Down) Cult 90s TV show (2, 2, 6, 4) 9. Even prime number (3) 10. Abstain from food (4) 12. Pasta (8) 14. Bleat (3) 15. Leaves used to preserve modesty (3) 16. Sub-genre of horror film that specialises in excessive gore (8) 17. Furry red monster (4) 19. Geg [anag] (3) 22. Rick James’s, inappropriate-for-achild-beauty-pageant, hit single (5, 5) 23. River in Hades (4) 24. Jellystone Park’s most famous inhabitant (4, 4)
Down 1. Teen ailment (5) 2. Raffle (7) 3. Sculpture of head and shoulders (4) 5. South American mountain range (5) 7. Person with a dependency (5) 8. See 6. Across 11. Children’s game (3) 13. Sportsperson who wears natty knitwear (6) 14. Hairy-bodied insect (3) 15. Small area of pigmentation on the skin (7) 16. Gazpacho or bouillabaisse (4) 18. Hungarian composer and pianist (5) 20. Author of The Female Eunuch (5) 21. Abominable inhabitant of the Himalayas (4)
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Bath, who have a superior goal difference of 18 points to Exeter’s five. Exeter will look to make up this goal difference when they play their league leaders in the next fortnight.
ing this thrilling and electrifying match 5-0. After the match, the two players spoke to Exeposé, saying how pleased they were with the result. Sarah Hall commented that: “It was a good match; Bristol are always tough and it’s a fantastic way to start the season.” Phoebe Lai echoed her teammate’s response and said: “It’s my pleasure to have such a brilliant beginning in BUCS with my teammate and I hope we can keep it up.” The Exeter women’s team now sit in second place in the Western 1A league behind Bath. Exeter are one game behind
The men’s 1st team are currently sitting in third place with three points and a goal difference of 12 points in the
the Western 1A league. Dan Hunt came away from the match with a solid win. There was a very tight three set loser for Andy Higham. Special mention must go to Hunt and Higham who won their doubles match 7-6, 7-5 and came back from break down in both sets. The 3rds side faces Solent 1sts in the Western 2A league away. Jacques Sheehan came away from the match
with an impressive win, after coming back from one set down, with a result of 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. The match started as gloomy as the weather with Exeter 3rd losing both doubles matches in third set match tie-breaks. However, as the weather improved so did Exeter’s performance. Jacques Sheehan came back from a set down to win in very impressive style. This was backed up
“Exeter are behind Bath, who have a superior goal difference of 18 points”
Western 1A league after having played two games this season. The team lost to Cardiff 6-11 on Wednesday 26 November, but can easily make up the difference with a win next time, as they are only trailing five goals behind their league leaders Southampton. All the Exeter Table Tennis teams next have tough away fixtures in their respective BUCs tournaments on Wednesday 16 November. The women’s table tennis team face Bath, with the men’s 1sts facing Glamorgan and the men’s 2nds team facing UWE.
in BUCs fixtures last fortnight
by George Hackett’s triumph over a very highly rated player. Greg Caney also came through in impressive style but unfortunately Felix Browne was unable to complete the comeback losing 6-4 in the third set. On 2 November, Alex Parry and Chris Gardiner put on a great show in their doubles match, but Exeter lost against Bath. The 2nds also had an unlucky loss against Southampton.
MOnday 7 november 2011 Exeposé
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Exeter dominate the net
Photo: Josh Irwandi
Vincent Ng Publicity Officer
The University of Exeter Badminton Men’s 1st team arrived at the Sports Hall last Wednesday with their biggest test of the season so far right in front of them, University of Gloucester Men’s 1sts. Exeter did not disappoint, emphatically winning 7-1 on Wednesday 2 November. So far in the season, with wins of 8-0 against both University of Exeter Men’s 2nds and University of West England (UWE) Men’s 2nds already under their belt, spirits were high and Exeter was looking forward to a challenging match.
“Exeter did not disappoint, emphatically winning 7-1 against Gloucester 1sts” The action kicked off with the Singles matches; Milo Rapacioli showing all the recent commitment to pumping iron in the gym by putting out a solid performance. His opponents could not keep up with the intensity and power in both of his singles matches, he won comfortably in two sets with a combination of fast movement and focused aggression. Mark Milton, the new boy on the block with a point to prove, beat Gloucester’s second singles player in two sets 21-18/21-16, taking the battle to his opponent fuelled by the strong support of the home crowd.
“In this form the Badminton team will be striking fear into the hearts of UCP Marjon, who they are due to play away in two weeks time” After two gruelling games, Mark narrowly lost to Gloucester’s top singles player 17-21/18-21, the scores not reflecting the hard fought battle. Tom Fenner and Harry Hacking dominated their doubles matches using combined height and raw power. They dominated Gloucester’s doubles pairings, winning 21-2/21-0 and 210/21-2, looking like a formidable new
Exeter Men’s Badminton club jump for the ace in their emphatic 7-1 win against Gloucester last week
partnership in the process. Andy Muir and Raj Ram were also on form with two strong wins of 21-1/21-4 and 21-2/21-2 to wrap up the win.
The training given by Helen Ward is clearly taking the players in the right direction as they look to build on their recent winning streak and turn around the bitter disappointment
of relegation last season. In this form the Badminton team will be striking fear into the hearts of UCP Marjon, who they are due to play away in two weeks time.
EULCC on their way to Lords Ladies’ Cricket
Charlotte Miles EULCC
On Saturday 22 October Exeter University Ladies’ Cricket Club headed to Sapphire Gardens, Cardiff for the BUCS indoor cricket regional finals. The girls only had two 12-over matches to ensure their qualification and with the prize of a place at the BUCS finals at Lords at stake, there were plenty of nerves flying around the changing room. EULCC’s recent history in this competition didn’t inspire much confidence either, as they have crashed out at this stage of the indoors three years running. It was probably a bonus therefore, that a new team consisting of four fresh faces made the trip. There was little doubt that the first match against Cardiff would be the decider. Exeter skipper Jess Rippin won the toss (a very rare occurrence) and elected to field. Cardiff started strongly, with their openers scoring quickly. It took an important spell from Rippin to remove the first batter with a sharp stumping by keeper Hannah Clark. From then Exeter started to reduce the scoring rate and gain more control over the innings with quick, tight bowling from Phoebe Graham, Lorna Browne and Hannah Burgin. Cardiff finally posted a decent score of 135/1 from their 12 overs. Exeter openers Emily Robinson and Hannah Clark had a stiff task to score at over 11 runs per over, but were more than up to it, Robinson scoring a swift 24 and Clark retiring on 27. Graham and Browne came in at 3 and 4, maintaining the rate, and skipper Rippin helped finish the job with 3 overs to spare; in the end a comfortable win for Exeter. The second match against Aberystwyth started fairly similarly with the Aber batters starting strongly. However, the pace and consistency of Exeter freshers Browne, Graham and second year Suzie Wood were too much and wickets started to fall including a prize piece of luck as a thick edge cannoned off Keeper Robinson’s helmet and into the hands of Wood. Captain Rippin again had the pick of the figures conceding just 12 runs off her three overs. Aberystwyth ended on 94/3, a score that didn’t threaten Exeter’s batters and the runs were knocked off with ease by Robinson, Browne, and Graham. Exeter qualify for the BUCS finals at Lords on 25 January where they will no doubt meet rivals Leeds Met in yet another showdown for a BUCS medal.
Published on Nov 7, 2011
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