A Lighter Alternative for Exeter University | Issue 13 | FREE
h a b i t at edition
Iraq | Refugee Crisis Cowspiracy | New York
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The Habitat Edition
The Exetera Team would like to give a special thanks to Professor Sarah Hamilton, the Humanities Associate Dean for Education for making this edition possible. Thank You x
The Habitat Edition
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR Planet Earth today is a different world to the one that existed when this edition was conceived. The world’s habitats are in flux, subject to political and environmental human failure. The Paris agreement to cap greenhouse gases gives some cause for environmental optimism. However, climate scientists have said it falls well short of what is needed to thwart a global climate catastrophe. Meaningful action is similarly absent from Europe’s refugee crisis. Our Government seems disgracefully determined to keep as many people from entering the country as politically possible, and Europe seems paralysed to deal with the complexity of the challenge in the Middle East, where repressive, failed and conflict ridden states are allowing chaos and uncertainty to breed. For Exetera’s 13th edition, we asked our contributors to present their own interpretation of the theme habitat in their pieces. The results, I hope you will agree, contain a rich biodiversity of accounts. From Ipswich to Iraq via Russia and New York, the pages of this magazine traverse a range of human environments. Our photography team have captured images of natural habitats closer to home, and our illustrators have put their pens to work illuminating some of the more splendidly light-hearted articles throughout (of which there are many). I would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to Exeter University’s Humanities department, who along with our advertising partners have provided the funding for this issue, allowing us to remain a free and independent magazine. I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed making it.
CONT Editor Michael Goodier
8 SHADOW OF SADDAM
Deputy Editor Friederike Ach
Creative Director Thomas Hanks
Visual Director Harry Bowley
Advertising and Marketing Ruby Holley / Lily Plume
Lily Plume / Isabel Iriwn / Friederike Ach / Michael Goodier / Gareth Browne / Alec Butterworth / Jake Tacchi / Ana Shlyakova
Kate Bacon / Ana Shlyakova / Stephanie Bates / Katie Whyte
Ruby Holley / Connie Moon / Ryan Davison / Lily Plume
16 WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
www.exeteramagazine.com Facebook: ExeteraMagazine Instagram: @ Exetera
The Habitat Edition
ENTS 38 LONELY HEARTS
34 LONDON PROPERTIES
30 NY - CONEY ISLAND
28 QUESTIONABLE BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
22 REFUGEE ISLAND
18 FERAL CHILD INTERVIEW
words by Gareth Browne
t is not uncommon to hear accusations that many of the Middle East’s current problems would not have existed if it wasn’t for the 2003 invasion of Iraq by America and a significant number of its allies in the “Coalition of the willing”. Some even go as far as to appear to be romanticising the days of Saddam. The reality is that many of the roots of Islamic State’s proliferation, indeed many of the daily and longer-term tactics employed by Baghdadi and his saplings are pulled straight out of the textbook of the Saddam Hussein regime. Whilst Saddam’s Baathist party was, and still is, described by observers as secular, the reality is that this ceased to be the case in the 1990s. In the wake of plunging levels of popularity and legitimacy, Saddam undertook significant measures to Islamise his regime. These measures were most evident in 1993, as Saddam began his “Faith campaign” – a cynical manipulation of Salafi Islam, the reverberations of which are shaking Iraq today. The introduction of Zakat – an Islamic tax, the building of hundreds of news mosques by the state, and the use of Sharia to justify state amputations and executions all started to change Iraqi society at this time. Religion was also
brought into the classroom: the Quran began to play a central role in state education and teachers had Quranic instruction forced upon them. Perhaps the most visual measure occurred in 1991, with the addition of the words “Allahu Akbar” to the Iraqi flag, where they remain to this day. This period also saw the opening of the Saddam University for Islamic Studies, allowing the regime to promote hard-line Salafi Islam and, in theory, produce swathes of loyal clerics. The reality was very different; perhaps the most notable graduate of this policy of Saddam’s is Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri, who now goes by the name of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi – the leader of ISIS. Furthermore, in an attempt to what Joel Rayburn describes “monitor and manipulate” this new, burgeoning Salafi Islamist movement, Saddam began sending swathes his Baathist officers and civil servants into the mosques in the hope that they would provide him a solid foothold. Unfortunately for the regime, things didn’t work out as intended and instead many of these men became committed Salafists – such is the law of unintended consequences. Documents captured in 2014 revealed the identity of a great number of ISIS senior lead-
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ership, and as expected, many of them served as mid to high ranking officers in Saddam Hussein’s regime. Abu Muslim Turkmani (the group’s former deputy leader who was killed in an airstrike in August) served in the military intelligence section of Saddam’s Special Forces. Abu Ali al-Anbari (a member of the group’s cabinet) served as a Major-General in Saddam’s army, and the former head of ISIS military council (killed immediately before the Mosul offensive in June 2014) was a former Captain in Saddam’s army. The list of senior ISIS figures that held mid-level positions in Saddam’s security apparatus is extensive, and these individuals proved essential in the group’s rapid growth and operational strategy over the past few years. The group’s repressive tactics are so reminiscent of Iraq’s dark recent history that the phrase “the walls have ears”, once used to describe Saddam’s systematic authoritarianism, has been resurrected. The proliferation of arms has also been critical to the Islamic State’s rise, and a recent study by Amnesty International describes the Saddam regime’s stockpiling of weapons throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s as a “seminal moment” in the development of the global arms market. Such stockpiling coincided with Saddam overseeing the development of a vast national arms
industry to produce small arms and artillery shells. Rampant corruption within his army and the ensuing breakdown in the country’s security infrastructure saw huge numbers of these weapons proliferate into the hands of multiple militia groups throughout Iraq. A great number of these can be found in the barracks of IS today. The sickly propaganda produced by ISIS is another factor that can be traced back to the times of Saddam. A great many words have been written on the sleek yet shocking videos that have relayed amputations, executions and the throwing of people from buildings, but they are not a new phenomenon to the Iraqi people. Saddam would throw his domestic enemies from the top of buildings; not tall buildings, but low ones, in order to maximise the amount of times his men might be able to do so and prolong their pain. The Iraqi propaganda machine was relentless and extremely well planned; a lingering lesson from the KGB training given to many of the officers in Saddam’s army. It is easy to develop a form of historical myopia when looking at the current events in Iraq and Syria, but the truth is Iraq’s problems began long before the 2003 invasion. The dictator may be dead, but the people of Iraq are far from being free of his shadow.
I L L U M I F A R T Y
The Habitat Edition
photography & words by Lily Plume
Not only does it carry a colossal carbon footprint, but also raising animals for food causes 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction, is the leading cause of ocean dead zones (areas completely devoid of life due to a dramatic decrease in oxygen concentration) and is a huge strain on the world’s water resources. Everyone can remember the fracking furore that erupted a few years ago, polarising public opinion over the emergence of shale gas as a non-renewable resource. And rightly so; along with the health and environmental threats, a staggering 100 billion gallons of water is used every year in the USA alone for hydraulic fracking. However, raising livestock uses 34 trillion gallons. To add a little perspective: every time you eat a quarter pound hamburger, the water used to produce it is the equivalent of two months of showers (660 gallons, to be precise). Having travelled around America interviewing members of environmental organisations and government water resource departments, Anderson reveals an uneasy truth: they’re hiding something from us. In an interview with the California Department of Water Resources, government officials rattle off spiel on using low-flow showerheads, water efficient toilets, and checking bro-
hat is the leading cause of environmental destruction? It’s a question we’ve been faced with since the days of GCSE science, and it seems we still don’t know the answer. “Walk to school!” cried our teachers. “Change your light bulbs!”, “Recycle!”. We’ve debated endlessly about the advantages of renewable resources, and questioned the benefits of electric cars and nuclear energy. But I bet they never told you about cow farts. The impact of animal agriculture on the environment is the controversial and little discussed subject matter of Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn’s documentary Cowspiracy. Billed as ‘the film that environmental organisations don’t want you to see’, Cowspiracy is also the film that the booming and monopolistic meat industry doesn’t want you to see. The film is an exposé of the animal agriculture industry, uncovering it as the leading cause behind environmental devastation, producing more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, and planes in the world combined. This may be hard to believe, but the methane gas produced by a cow’s digestive process is 86 times more destructive than the carbon dioxide emitted by vehicles.
ken sprinklers for leaks, claiming that these are all areas “with a lot of room for conservation”. When the delicate question of livestock farming is brought up, officials throughout the film descend into a perplexed silence. You can almost see the beads of sweat forming on their furrowed foreheads as they frown, shake their heads, and gaze awkwardly up at the ceiling, before claiming “that’s not my area”. Case closed. Every day, it’s estimated that almost 100 plant and animal species are completely wiped out, as the rainforest is destroyed at a rate of an acre a second. 136 million acres of rainforest have been destroyed and replaced by pastures to graze cattle, and grow their feed crops. That’s 136 million acres of our planet’s lungs gone, directly affecting the air we breathe. However, environmental devastation
Greenpeace, says: “Environmental organisations are not telling you the truth about what the world needs from us as a species… it’s there for everyone to see, but the environmental organisations refuse to act… they are failing us, and they are failing ecosystems”. It seems that the very people who are meant to be saving our planet are deliberately ignoring the devastating effect of animal agriculture on the environment. Having added up all the facts and figures, Anderson comes to the conclusion that a vegan, plant-based diet is the only way to sustainably feed the world, whilst addressing urgent issues like climate change, public health, animal welfare and the conservation of natural resources. Although a utopian solution, it is true that if the whole world went vegan we wouldn’t need to
“the very people who are meant to be saving our planet are deliberately ignoring the devastating effect of animal agriculture on the environment” doesn’t stop at the seashore. Scientists predict that we will see fishless oceans by the year 2048, due to ¾ of the world’s fisheries being either over-exploited or significantly depleted, and due to the horrific by-kill that results from unsustainable fishing. For every single pound of fish caught, there are five pounds of sharks, dolphins, whales and sea turtles ensnared in the net as well; between 40 and 50 million sharks alone are accidentally caught every year. Of course, demanding a behaviour change as radical as eating less meat and dairy would put many people off environmental organisations and affect their bottom-line. Instead, they focus on switching your showerheads and turning the tap off when you brush your teeth. As Will Anderson, a former board of director for the environmental giant
extensively breed livestock the way we do now. If we didn’t need to breed them, we wouldn’t have to feed them, and therefore devote huge amounts of the earth’s land to growing their feed. And what would we do with all this free land? The choice is ours: we could either use it to grow food to feed all the hungry people of the world, or we could let it revert back to its original, natural state; whether that’s a rainforest or a habitat for a diminishing species. Solar panels and wind turbines are all well and good, but they’re projected to take at least 20 years and over £11 trillion before they have a positive effect on the environment. We could stop eating animals today, get an instant impact and it would cost us nothing. I’m not saying we should all go vegan right this instant, but it’s definitely food for thought.
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Kynance Cove | Cornwall | UK 49째 58' 29.8308'' N - 5째 13' 43.6620'' W
West Dart River 50° 34’ 13.1160’’ N -
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| Dartmoor | UK - 3° 57’ 37.4004’’ W
Where are you from? One of the first questions you ever find yourself answering as a university student is about your habitat. Synonymous with introductory conversations in corridors, lecture theatres, or in the pub; “Where are you from?” is a glorious conversation opener that can ensure at least a minute and a half’s chat with, even the dullest of conversationalists. The responses naturally vary from the expected to the exotic. Here, Jake Taachi and Ana Shlyakova share their perspectives on their (rather different) backyards of Ipswich and Russia.
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words by Jake Tacchi
hometown is as formative as relationships with family and friends. It moulds you; it makes you bold: it's where you buy your first beer, get into your first club and start your first fight. It’s a place where all things seem safe: you know the place and because of that you feel as though you could never get in as much trouble as you would in the outside world. Your hometown forges your identity – at least to a certain extent. I am always interested to see whether people conform to my preconceived image of their hometown. Is there a ‘Surrey type’, a ‘Northern type’ or a ‘London type’? Not for the most part. People rarely define themselves solely by where they come from; often they even actively distance themselves from such a stereotype – the tracksuit-wearing, rollie-smoking lad from the Hampshire countryside is never more than a stone throw away at any university. However, aspects of where someone comes from are usually visible, whether in an accent, anecdote, or mannerism. For this article, it had originally been my intention to find Exeter students from the least desirable places to live in the UK (as decided by various polls) and ask them about their relationship to their home towns. I asked around and even posted a plea for people to come forward online. Alas, I had no success. The result could reveal a lack of crap town citizens at Exeter, or that students are embarrassed of their links to Luton, Bradford or Coventry. Sadly, all I can now offer is an homage to my own crap hometown: Ipswich. Ipswich is where I grew up. It regularly features in the running for the Crap Towns series (a collection of books listing the least desirable towns in the UK) and honestly, its listing is justified. It is a place that has great potential
(it’s close to London and a good size), but it only features a collection of crap shops, crap culture, and crap nightlife. In short: crap everything. This being said, I love Ipswich. She is like a great friend. I can slag her off, but I will defend her to death if anyone else tries to. The clubs are terrible, there is very little to do, but whatever you’re doing, no matter how awful, you are doing it with people you love. Living in a crap town provides a different sense of shared experience. Whenever I meet someone else from Ipswich, I'm elated. They immediately understand a part of me, and I a part of them. If I had found out through the awkward fresher’s questions that someone else was from Ipswich, we could have spoken endlessly about losing a shoe on the sticky floor of 'Sin' or being verbally abused at ten o’clock on a Tuesday by a drunkard outside Debenhams. The crapness of my town fosters a sense of camaraderie among its inhabitants. In twenty years’ time England’s crap towns will be a dying breed. As housing prices push people away from London, places like Ipswich will become more desirable. I live in fear of the day when the local Wetherspoons becomes a gastro pub, when the off-licence becomes a whole food shop and the kebab place starts selling whey smoothies and frozen yoghurt. But I do think it will happen; gentrification is inevitable. Until then, I walk the grubby streets of Ipswich with a grin on my face. Although it seems like the least special place on earth, to me it is the opposite. I urge you to be proud of your hometown, no matter how abysmal a place it is. It is an integral part of who you are, whether or not you try to distance yourself from it.
The Habitat Edition
words by Anna Shlyakova
orn in Russia, but having lived in the UK since I was five, I’ve always found myself straddling the cultural gap between these two countries. I now have a British accent (even when speaking Russian) and somewhere amidst the lukewarm murk of British weather seem to have lost my Russian immunity to cold. But, I still see absolutely no logic in putting milk in tea (Russians have it with lemon). Despite the fall of the Iron Curtain nearly twenty-five years ago, Russia still seems like an untouchable, alien place to many Westerners. People's reactions, after hearing I’m from Russia, stereotypically fall into three groups: “Are you a communist, or in love with Putin?”, “I’ve read Anna Karenina and War and Peace; I really want to go there!” and “Isn’t Russia cold?” As someone with insight into the real Russia and also an awareness of British culture, I'd like to share my perspective on these stereotypes. It is rare that a conversation about Russia leaves the subject of communism untouched. I feel like that big, scary, red word which evokes images of propaganda, spies, and mean-looking moustached men crops up, whenever the country is mentioned. It gets particularly controversial when you’re a History undergrad and just happen to utter the words “well… it wasn’t all terrible”. My entire family grew up under communism and they are very far from blind followers of a dead regime (except for my great-grandad, who would resort to threats of needing Stalin to sort out the youth of today). However, this by no way means that they’d agree with classifying communism as inherently bad. For example, my mother doesn’t complain about receiving a free university education or a grade-based bursary that covered her living expenses. Equally, I doubt any of us would have much issue with a guaranteed job in our chosen sector at the end of all those years of studying, or a rent-free flat. These seem like positive, rather than thoroughly harmful or negative features. However, one can’t dismiss the crazy queues for staples like bread and other, in particular Western, goods. The scarcity of products meant that a pair of shoes, for instance, would be snapped up regardless of size, colour or whether they matched a coat one luckily found a week before. Yet despite this, no one felt a sudden sense of liberation when communism fell apart in 1991. An initial awe of Western culture soon gave way to the cold
reality of hyperinflation (yeah, that bread you used to queue for, you still have to queue for it. It just costs 100 roubles instead of 1). So, in answer to whether I’m a communist, no, I’m not. Few people in today’s Russia are, but don’t be surprised when they mention the benefits that English history textbooks conveniently forget. At the same time, although Russia is not an authoritarian, red-flagged state anymore, it hasn’t returned to the days of Tsars and nobles either: it is not bedecked with palaces, overly-decorated churches or pretty wooden cottages. This is much like expecting every guy in Britain to wear a top hat (which to be fair, a great deal of Russian people actually do). The fact is that under Lenin, the communists not only assassinated the Tsar, but the entire royal family, and then spent decades attempting to completely eradicate traditional Russian society and culture. This process is not easy to undo. Although a great many churches and other traditional buildings have been restored, one is more likely to find a block of grey high-rises than anything traditionally Russian. Certainly, cultural hubs like St. Petersburg and Moscow house magnificent restored buildings, but, if one travels outside the big cities, to places that aren’t inhabited by the wealthy and powerful, one will instead encounter the grey blocks where Tanya, the shopkeeper, or Anton, the doctor, live. Of course, tourists are more likely to explore the main cultural hubs, and honestly, why shouldn't they? No one is going to put down a five star review on TripAdvisor for a dilapidated playground that now contains only a half-burnt swing and a lone ladder which once led to a slide. If anything, I’d even advise the stereotypical tourist experience: take the Trans-Siberian Express, watch the endless pine trees whizz past, and avoid the three-tiered bedded compartment the Russians travel in, unless you want some free homemade vodka. There is nothing wrong with a sheltered tourist experience of Russia if you take care to remember that this is not the full picture. Modern Russia does not adhere to simple stereotypes; it is a place with a complex identity and history. There aren't portraits of Stalin everywhere, nor fur-clad Anna Kareninas roaming the streets. Also, it isn't always cold either; it reaches 40°C in July and I burn a brighter red than the communist flag.
Exmouth Beach 50° 36’ 23.9256’’ N
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h | Devon | UK - 3° 23’ 11.5368’’ W
REFUGEE I S L A N D photography & words by Alec Butterworth
Volunteer Alec Butterworth spent three weeks working on the Isle of Lesvos in a refugee camp staffed by Christians. Here he describes a sadly all too familiar story of desperation, brutality and squalor from the camps on Europe’s doorstep.
It wasn’t just our camp; other camps were also bursting with refugees. I even witnessed riot police throwing tear gas over barbed wire fences at crowding refugees. The situation on the island is pretty grim. There were nights when fights would break out and even end in stabbings. I was trampled underfoot by people running to find warmth as it began to rain. Living in the camp has a numbing effect. You would hear daily stories of people and babies drowning on the crossing, and subsequently have to deal with their loved ones as they wept for their loss. People were desperate, and the cold nights would only amplify their desperation. Babies and young children screamed the whole night, their skin blue as they shook from the cold; men would huddle in groups to keep warm. The crossing is neither far, nor generally that dangerous, but boats are over-crowded and the vast majority of travelling refugees can't swim. Smugglers charge thousands of euros for one seat, but bad weather condi-
he Isle of Lesvos, off Greece, marks the frontline of Europe’s refugee crisis. I spent three weeks working at a camp on the island; one of the first set up to cater for the thousands of refugees escaping conflict in search of a better life. Originally only meant to hold 350 refugees, the camp was drastically over-capacity, on some days dealing with more than 3000 people. Whilst I was there we were chronically understaffed and under resourced; there were usually only around 7-12 volunteers for several thousand refugees in the camp. On Lesvos, the days are hot but the nights are bitterly cold. Volunteers spend their waking hours feeding, clothing and caring for people, and doing construction around the camp. The hours were long, with little food or sleep. We spent a lot of time picking up rubbish ranging from bottles and bags, to human waste or used sanitary items. The inescapable smell of shit and trash would cling to your nostrils.
The Habitat Edition
hole. However, as well as these horrific stories, there were stories of hope, of people helping each other. Our camp was run and staffed by Christians and people would come past from other camps and comment on the fact that we would hug the refugees. There was, despite everything, a peace and love hanging over our camp. People from the U.N would comment on the care for the individual refugees at our camp and even the love for the fellow worker. I do not believe God intended this malice, but that He has the capacity to create beauty from ashes. After many tears and a lot of reflection, I still believe that God is good. He provides hope where there is none, and will lead everything to a good end. I want to challenge you to do your part - this crisis is going to change Europe forever. Above all, we need to stop making rash decisions out of fear. There are people in need on our doorstep and itâ€™s time for us to rise to the challenge and love them. Itâ€™s taking me time to settle back home in France, but above all, I feel honoured to have gone.
tions means it costs half â€“ the cheaper the crossing, the greater the risk. The boats only have enough fuel for oneway, if at all; I met people who had to paddle with their hands after their fuel ran out. The boats are so tiny that they cannot turn back for anyone. One woman slipped and dropped her four year old child into the water. The boat could not turn back, so she was forced to watch helplessly, as her child disappeared under the waves. People would arrive at our camp with bullets in them. One lady started giving birth and had to be rushed to hospital. And then there was the emotional pain. People arrive in Europe having seen their loved ones die and everything they know destroyed. I sat with a Kurdish man who told me he had been fighting against ISIS. He had fled after they beheaded his family, whilst forcing him to watch. This war in Syria is affecting everyone, of all ages: I met old aged pensioners and twelve-day old babies. Above all, desperation engulfs everything, like a black
Isle of Lesv 39째 6' 37.1232'' N -
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vos | Greece 26째 33' 43.5420'' E
Wistman’s Wood 50° 34’ 39.8712’’ N -
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| Dartmoor | UK - 3° 57’ 40.6044’’ W
e l b a n o i quest
Fantastic Where to words by Lily Plume
animals di Exeter
Slithering Wolf Boy This particular wolf belongs to the Nike Pack of cobra wolves. Less territorial than the Adidas Pack, they can be found stalking around most clubs and bars of Bristol, but never in ‘The Tunnels’; that is topknot-wearing Ellesse Pack territory. If you are interested in learning the habits of this peculiar species, there’s no better place than Bristol’s very own ‘Mr Wolf’s’ to watch them hunt, eat and play in their natural habitat.
Kettlehorn Rooster Hidden in the alpine forests of the French Alps, only one person in the world has ever seen a Kettlehorn Rooster. This is partly due to its elusive nature; it disappears with the most delicate flurries of snow. If you want to seek one out, listen for a whistle in the wind; the sound produced by the kettle it appears from.
Snalligator An amphibian, the Snalligator lurks in the reedy depths of golf course ponds in Florida. Don’t be fooled by it’s seemingly innocent mollusc appearance, it can get very snappy when provoked.
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Beasts and Find Them
scovered by ra Team
illustrations by Katie Whyte
Eyesaac You’ll find Eyesaac in his graffiti grotto, located under the rumbling tracks and crowded platforms of Waterloo Station in Leake Street Tunnel. A spray can in each tentacle, he’s quite the dexterous fellow. Although he looks a bit dodgy, he’s harmless really. Just try not to stare at the eye.
Kazungulian Flying Girbat This Flying Girbat native to Kazungula makes its nest on top of baobab trees on the African plains. Its wings and long tongue means it can reach the most sun-ripened fruits from the top of these humongous upside down trees.
(that’s Chinese for dragon yeti) Her yeti legs are specially adapted to help her complete the quest of her species: trekking across the treacherous Kunlun Mountains in search of Shangri La. Her ability to blow fire helps her melt the ice door hiding the entrance to the mystical valley, whilst her grass skirt and coconut bra means she’s ready to party as soon as she sets foot in this Tibetan utopia.
N words by Friederike Ach
ly prefiguring its future as a place of supernatural on-goings. By the mid 1650s, it had been sold to the Dutch and renamed for its vast population of konijnen (rabbits). In the early 19th century Walt Whitman described Coney Island as “the long, bare, unfrequented shore, which I had all to myself, and where I liked, after bathing, to race up and down the hard sand and declaim Homer and Shakespeare to the surf and sea gulls by the hour.” As Whitman’s description shows, Coney Island was virtually left untouched until the 1830s, when hotels sprung up and middle-class New Yorkers came flocking in on weekends to seek relief from the city. As an escape from the city, work and reality, the environment shifted from the natural habitat of marsh creeks and green sedge grass to a supernatural dream world with glittering towers and minarets, elephant shaped hotels, rollercoasters, and mechanised cows. Coney Island became the testing ground for architectural fantasies, an exploration lab for the real city, Manhattan. Beaux-Arts architect Frederic Thompson attempted to create an atmosphere of otherworldliness through an abundance of towers in Luna Park (on Coney Island) and thereby anticipated the agglomeration of skyscrapers in Manhattan. To these towers he added networks of wires and light bulbs and through the use of electricity created two cities: Luna Park by day and by night. He emphasises the transformation of a city by night and introduces the idea of nightlife, now a characteristic feature of Manhattan. Coney Island was also a testing ground for social as well as architectural experimentation. Within ‘Lillipu-
anhattan is known as the city of dreams, technology and lights. It is one of the most important cities in the world with a unique architecture of skyscrapers. Yet once it was just marshland inhabited by the Iroquoian and Algonquian Indians, and even until the end of the 19th century it probably didn’t look very different from most big, growing metropolises. However, powerful New Yorkers wanted the architecture of their city to exude power, wealth and cutting-edge innovation like no other. Architecture and society are irrevocably linked: architects, contractors and governmental regulations influence the design of buildings; these buildings in turn influence the development of new buildings and define the character of a city. A never-ending cycle is born, in which ideas, physically manifested through architecture, generate new ideas, and the history of a city progresses through layers of ever-new designs created from the old. Many building blocks stand between marshland and modern Manhattan – an urban ideology that metropolitan architect Rem Koolhaas describes as “Manhattanism, whose program [is] to exist in a world totally fabricated by man, i.e., to live inside fantasy”. I want to highlight one building block in the development of this fabricated reality: Coney Island – playground of ideas for the architectural, social and technological fantasies of Manhattan. European explorers encountered the peninsula first in 1609. It was originally inhabited by the Canarsie Indians, who called it Narrioch, ‘Place Without Shadows’, ironical-
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Y illustrations by Kate Bacon sults, the ideas, such as the incubator and skyscraper, shed their carnivalesque character and entered into the real world. Emerging from the forest of towers at Luna Park, Manhattan’s truculent ambition is thus marked by a new architecture: as Koolhaas writes - “There is no manifesto, no architectural debate, no doctrine, no law, no planning, no ideology, no theory; there is only – Skyscraper”. At first glance, this agglomeration of skyscrapers might appear logical given Manhattan’s physical limitations as an island. Koolhaas however debunks the myth by explaining that this was simply an excuse for all subsequent developments:
tia’, a midget city, transgressive ideas, such as homosexuality, divorce and nymphomania, were encouraged and flaunted. These liberal social dynamics, which might also have influenced Manhattan, might be deemed progressive, but they also had an inhumane character, as ‘midgets’ were collected like mice from fairground attractions from all over the country and offered permanent positions in this community for the purpose of social experimentation. References to literature and art, here in the warped Gulliveresque form of Lilliputia, sugar-coated ruthless, progress-oriented practices.
“There is no manifesto, no architectural debate, no doctrine, no law, no planning, no ideology, no theory; there is only – Skyscraper…” - Rem Koolhaas skyscrapers were actually constructed to support the reality of a business world. Manhattan marks itself as a uniquely modern city exuding unprecedented power and wealth. The character of otherworldliness successfully experimented with on ‘Incubator Island’, provided the real city with a unique architecture that indeed distinguishes it from any other: skyscrapers mark its ascent towards the heavens; they exude power, modernity, and technological progress. Incipient ideas, tested, become real: New York City, a place that New Yorkers wanted the world to associate with great economic power, wealth and innovation, becomes such a place through the skyscraper, the ubiquitous mark that encapsulates their ideology: Manhattanism.
There is something very creepy about the use of a Disney-world style dreamland to house sensitive social or technological advances: the development of incubators for premature babies for instance, which had not been approved of by a conservative medical climate, found a site for its development in a clinic disguised as an old German Farmhouse with a stork overlooking a nest of cherubs on its roof. The mixture of technology and this veneer of false nature again sugar-coated a ruthless, progress-driven agenda. Coney Island in a sense was itself an incubator for Manhattan: a testing ground for yet uncertain technology, architecture and social behaviour. Only when such experimentation yielded promising re-
Bellever Woods 50° 35’ 30.844’’ N
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| Dartmoor | UK - 3° 54’ 51.588’’ W
LONDON’S BEST V Buying or renting an affordable property in London has become an increasingly difficult endeavour. Michael Goodier takes the work out of your property search with our list of some of the best value potential homes in the capital that you may have overlooked.
www.rightmove.co.uk The inside of an antique wood crate (to rent) £8,667 pcm
illustrations by Ana Shlyakova www.gumtree.com The space between my front door and the door behind which it lead to my hallway. £390 pcm - please contact Amanda
Spacious crate crafted from the finest oak (16th Century, French). Roomy, and well heated by the surrounding mansion (not included). Great value.
www.foxtons.co.uk 4 bedroom house (with windmill), Goldfish Bowl, Chelsea, SW3 £41,167 pcm
This spacious four bedroom flint house comes with a slightly hefty price tag. However that is more than made up for by the original, mint condition vintage bespoke windmill included in the property. The aquatic surroundings render the bowl completely soundproof, so you can get the sleep you deserve.
The space between Amanda’s front door and the door behind it which leads to her hallway is extremely good value; it’s secure, and you can even use the kitchen when Amanda is out of the house.
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VALUE PROPERTIES www.onthemarket.com A child’s drawing of a house £17,333 pcm
www.airbnb.co.uk Huge open plan garden canvas flat (with tunnel) £3,672 pcm
This child’s chalk drawing of a house is situated on a paving slab in the centre of London, giving you easy access to all of the city’s major landmarks. It has a unique post-modern design, with a triangular window and pink pyramid-shaped roof. In addition, there appears to be some sort of garden shed, presumably for storing the tools necessary for the maintenance of the rather unkempt long chalky white grass. Or is it a swimming pool? I’m not sure. Either way, it’s a real bargain.
Unfortunately, being on Airbnb, this spacious “garden canvas flat” is only for short term rent. On the other hand it is a great price for the vibrant multicultural neighbourhood of Notting Hill. An added bonus, the tunnel may provide a quick escape route in case of fire or burglary, or a low key exit for overnight guests.
www.primelocation.com Doll’s house within a doll’s house, London W1K £151,556 pcm
www.zoopla.co.uk Coat propped up by sticks £4,442 pcm
Situated inside one of London’s classier doll houses, this doll’s house is a cosy fit, and even comes equipped with a third even smaller doll’s house inside its tiny living room. Complete with 4 bedrooms, a bathroom (plumbing not included), and your own miniature porcelain family.
This four-pocket open plan coat propped up by sticks is extremely good value for the central location of Hyde Park, at only £1,025 per week. It’s one of those puffy coats, so has great insulation, and also includes a hood.
From The Archives:
illustration by Stephanie Bates
Interview with Great Britain’s last feral child (1934) This extraordinary encounter between the renowned anthropologist Ernest Maurice Bloom and Wally the Walrus Boy, who turned out to be the last feral child in the UK, made waves throughout the anthropology world with its original publication in 1934. It is reprinted here with permission from The National Geographic Magazine.
omulus and Remus: Mythical Italian brothers who founded one of the largest empires the world has ever seen. Mowgli: Vanquisher of the evil tiger Shere Kahn and protagonist of the highly successful jungle book stories. Peter Pan: Prince of Neverland and every young boy’s childhood hero. What do these four historical greats have in common? They’re all children. Also, and perhaps more importantly, all of them are feral. The decline of the feral child has been one of Great Britain’s most tragic demographic changes of the pastcentury, yet it is one which has passed us by with shockingly little public outcry. The feral child used to be a fundamental feature of civilized society, and were once commonplace amongst the royal courts of Western Europe, where they were treated as savage human pets. Glorified in many great and classical works of literature, feral infants were formerly viewed as a hallmark of progress, high culture, and sophistication, and were said to provide good luck to any who touched them. However, it is highly unlikely that a modern feral child would be capable of founding an empire, a la Romulus and Remus, and I very much doubt that the feral child of today would be able to rescue Jane, like Tarzan before
them. It is with a great sadness that the sun has finally set on the days of the once noble enfant sauvage. I had recently gained some minor fame within anthropology circles due to a profile I carried out on Jaaku the Jackal girl, a feral child raised by sheep on the outskirts of Zagreb, and am now considered somewhat of an expert on the subject. As we are all too bitterly aware, in our current era of post-modernity you are more likely to find feralchildren in the sewers of Eastern Europe or in the haunted misty forests of countries we know little about (Mongolia), than in the glorious Royal courts of our illustrious Monarch. It is simply common knowledge that the age in which Britannia was a world leader in underage beastly humans has passed. Imagine then, if you will, my simultaneous surprise and delight at receiving a telegram from the Royal Communications office at Windsor Castle, containing a detailed description of a feral child in their possession, and enquiring whether I should like to interview the child for my studies. This being potentially the last feral child in Great Britain, I naturally replied in the affirmative, and so found myself aboard the 9:35 express service to Windsor and Eton central. My excitement at the prospect of
meeting the creature grew as the train gathered speed. Perhaps I was about to interview a future feral great, who would follow in the footsteps of those many historically mighty waifs and strays. I must confess that I got rather carried away in my thoughts, and was, as I stepped off the platform, imagining myself only minutes away from meeting the next Peter Pan or Mowgli. I was briskly shown into the castle’s crimson drawing room by the royal footman, and told to wait whilst he went and fetched the boy. Three minutes passed excruciatingly slowly, my anticipation at bursting point, before they finally brought him in. I quickly realised that my hopes were unfounded; my optimism evaporated as soon as I laid eyes on the child. There was no way that the repulsive, sordid, subhuman mass of putrefaction in front of me would ever live up to the great reputation of the Feral Four. However, there was still value in me carrying out the interview: I had read that this child was brought up amongst a pack of Walrii in the Arctic Circle, and having proficiency in Walrus I felt like I would be able to gain valuable insight into the very essence of our humanity. What briefly follows is an exact transcript of the interview, which I hope the reader will find as illuminating as I did.
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[Start Transcript] E. M. Bloom: What is your name? Wally the Walrus boy: GHUUUUUUUURGH. HUURGH GHUUURGH EMB: My name is Ernest Maurice Bloom. I expect you’ve heard of me? W: oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo eeeeeee EMB.: Nice to meet you too. I would like to ask you a few questions about your upbringing. W: Δώσε μου τα ψάρια. Δώσε μου τα ψάρια. EMB: What did you learn about the very essence of our humanity from being brought up amongst the Walrii? W: oooooooooooo iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii hablonishnosh aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh eshkeeba EMB: [Short pause to make sure the child is finished speaking] How did yW: GUUUUUUUUUURFRGHHH GUUUURGHHHH ةكمس ينيطعت EMB: Most illuminating. I was wondering wheW: PPPPFFFFFUUUUUURTT HURGHGHGH Дай ми риба EMB: Thankyou. Well, that will be all. It’s been an absolute pleW: The pleasure is all mine. [End of Transcript] As you can no doubt infer from the above transcript, Wally the Walrus Boy gained several important insights from his childhood among the walrii. In his relating them to me, he revealed information that has major implications for the study of anthropology, and may even lead to a paradigm shift in the field. I subsequently returned back to my abode in London a more enlightened individual, and was very sorry to hear news of the boy’s untimely death only a few days after my interview. Wally the Walrus Boy may have been a foul twisted creature of unquestionable putridity, but with him passed away the last remnants of a once mighty and revered peculiarity, the Great British feral child.
LONELYHEARTS Lonely John Lewis employee seeking adventurous space-woman to share oak moon bench. Has Waitrose discount and a good view of earth. (Free tea/coffee not yet rolled out to Lunar outlets). Exeter student seeking study space
Discreet and reliable escort service for the Exeter area. Call: 01392 661000 Affable fawn seeking four privately educated Aryan Christian children to inhabit snow-covered fantasy world. Entry through artisan Victorian-era wardrobe.
KNOT A PROBLEM
The best adult masseur in Exeter. Hands down. Discretion guarenteed. Tel: 01392 723528
Hipster pseudo-intellectual art-history student looking to recruit fellow bringer-ofthe-vibes for a flat share in Cavern & production of indie sex-focused alternative publication Exeter student seeking study space
Exeter student seeking study space Tab BNOC of the year seeks absolute lad for s emi-p er manent lodgings in Mosaic. Must be gym obsessed and enjoy their Nandos cheeky. Unattractive, slim feral child seeks company of female walrus in place of normal human interaction. Keen linguist. Xx
niversity of Exeter Annual fund team seeks an equally shit project to fund after ditching Exetera Magazine.
Eccentric millionare who enjoys dressing up as nocturnal animals Call: 01392 723141 seeks young male partner to dress as seasonal bird Exeter student and inhabit under- seeking study space ground cave. Costume not included. To post or respond to
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