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Give and Take Art and Culture Politics and News

Autumn Edition 2013

Food and Tips

Give and Take Art and Culture Politics and News Food and Tips


Cobwebs weaving Time is thieving Chair s rigid The atmosphere frigid. She sits on her throne Distant and alone Her EDITOR’S LETTER to hide. wounded pride Left nowhere Dusty and forlorn Her heart matted we have done it. This magazine is proof to us and and torn But Interacters, kind of heart? towhat everyone out there that people with different backgrounds Half come together and share their ideas and thoughts on equal frozen in the can past. Wedding cake grounds. Working with a group of 15 people was a delightwon’t for me and each and everyone one has taught me something that I last As long will as hair tight carry her on with me to next steps ofSit my life. This Magazine is and full of different individual ideas and interests which show the within theon group butthe also gives us,wire the readers, the don’t stare. Adiversity bird Never opportunity to learn something new from different cultures and Interact has given sorrow all of us the chance to look deep to tire Of theexperiences. grief and Ruling inside ourselves, to face the struggles that are out there in the world, to find solutions andShe’d to face some ofnever the issues. I couldcare not her day and tomorrow. be prouder of my team, articles and thoughts they share in this magazine. I wish allEstelle of you the best of luckHow in life and hope that to tell Anyone but those you’ll continue to move people with your ideas and thoughts as much as you do in this magazine. hopes that had nested For a love that wish all readers inspiration and the best time reading great now festered.Iarticles Cobwebs weaving Time is written by people who are just like you. thieving Chair is rigid The atmosphere Amira Haroen frigid. She sits on her throne Distant - Interact Magazine Coordinator and alone Her wounded pride Left nowhere to hide. Dusty and forlorn Her heart matted and torn But what kind of heart? Half frozen in the past. Wedding cake won’t last As long as her hair Sit tight and don’t stare. A bird on the wire Never to tire Of the grief and sorrow Ruling her day and tomorrow. She’d never care to tell Anyone but Estelle How those hopes that had nested For a love that now festered. Cobwebs weaving Time is thieving Chair 2

Autumn Edition 2013

in this issue Give & Take 04

The Emotional Aftermath of Family Illness Amrit’s personal story about dealing with illness in the family

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished An analysis of the suspect nature of online altruism

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Article 25 A first-hand look at the UK’s leading construction aid charity

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Wasting Food on Your Plate Is there a solution to wasting food?

Art & Culture 10

Secularism The friend of religious minorities and personal freedom

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Banksy Stolen! Why did the Banksy removal cause such outrage?

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I Don’t Do Fashion, I Am Fashion Leicester’s new innovative fashion designer talks about his upcoming success

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British-Asian Fiction & Its Influence on Society Why British-Asian fiction is so important to its readers?

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Sylva Faye Music Exclusive interview with Sylva Faye and her boom in the music business

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Amicable Adaptation You’re favourite book butchered by a movie director? We feel your pain!

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Bilbo and the Dragon A poem about the Hobbit

Politics & News 20

Sympathy for The Devil How do you decide between good and bad?

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In The Interest of National Security I spy with my little eyes something beginning with ... ‘N’

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The Iron Lady Rest Her Fist Margaret Thatcher in a patriarchal society?

Food & Tips 26

City Ad Solutions How two friends created a businness through social networking

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Take my children to the slaughter house Should vegetarians let their children eat meat?

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Chasing Your Dream Jobs In Your Dream City Look into dream jobs of young people in London

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Turning Leftovers into Lunch A simple guide on making your leftovers go further

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Grech’s Guide: Surviving Uni How to enjoy your experience at university and achieve your goals

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Written by Amrit Matharu

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Autumn Edition 2013

For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday , 9am – 8pm) 0808 808 00 00

At the end of the day a family is a family and deep down everyone loves everyone, whether they show it or not. From my experience families can find it difficult to communicate their feelings during such a difficult time. Emotions are flying around all over the place, including those of the patient and the people that care for them. It may be that some people try hiding their emotions to be brave or some simply may not know how to show them. It is important not to hold these emotions in.

It is understandable that talking to your family or the patient can be difficult, especially if there is a distance within the family but that doesn’t mean you don’t care. I found distinguishing the balance between acting as a caring granddaughter and the duty of a translator for my grandma most challenging. It made me question my boundaries as to how far am I supposed to care? Do I sugar-coat the seriousness of the situation and tell her that it’s nothing to worry about and a few pills will fix it, or do I break the news straightaway? Hearing the hard-hitting news before my grandma could even comprehend what that doctors were saying was a shock. Having to take it all in and process translating it into Punjabi in order for my grandma to understand is a day in day out practice for me. In translating all of this, I feel that somewhere amongst the conversion of

Give and Take Art and Culture

I’d do anything for my family even if it meant putting my own life aside and dealing with someone else’s problems first all over again.

Food and Tips

Anyone with cancer, or knows of anyone with cancer understands how devastating it is. I want to highlight the less talked about topic of how people deal with it. And most importantly, how families come together in this time of need.

over again. But it isn’t half hard. Until you’ve been through it yourself you can only imagine how it feels to watch someone you care about struggle, to watch them suffer whilst there’s nothing you can do, to sit beside them throughout their appointments, to translate the doctor’s words while they prod and poke. And most of all, to imagine how the hurt, pain and emotion that you’re feeling yourself, is only a fraction of what they’re going through themselves. l

Politics and News

The Emotional Aftermath of Family Illness

languages a sense of feeling became lost. I had to ‘man up’ quickly and treat my role as her translator proficiently, and that meant using my head over my heart at times. During this time I found ways to express my love and concern differently; in particular I found running the Race for Life with my sister and cousins a great way to come together and work through my grandma’s diagnosis. Running as a family gave us a sense of togetherness and we were able to feel like we were doing something to help. I’ve always been close to my grandma because I’ve always lived with her. Caring for me since I was a baby, the roles have now reversed as it’s me who looks after her. In respect, my grandma is one of the most independent elderly ladies I know (and incredibly strong!), but it’s the little things that count as caring. Driving her here and there, providing transport for all the hospital visits, trips to the shops, translating at medical appointments, and being there through every step of the way, both physically and mentally. It’s not a crime to have your own life but juggling such an ordeal with the stress of uni, dissertation deadlines and exams, coming home at weekends and remembering to make that simple phone call which will make a sick grandma the happiest grandma in the world every day, is a duty in itself. It was hard to believe at first when the routine doctor’s check-up that I attended and translated for my grandma, turned into a cancer scare. You hear stories of this kind of thing all the time, but never ever expect it to happen to you. It still doesn’t feel real. After getting over the fact that it was happening, next came the thick of it. Crunch time. Time to do something about it. The procedure was simple, an operation followed by therapy sessions but the emotional pressure that came with it was not. I’d do anything for my family even if it meant putting my own life aside and dealing with someone else’s problems first all

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Give and Take Written by Catriona Black

Sucked in by the global nature of the World Wide Web, consumers are trading everything from their unloved pet to their previously used underwear.

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Autumn Edition 2013

Politics and News

involved why do people still do it? There is a case to be made for the personal relationships this type of system creates rather than traditionally empty transactions. As with many online social media and dating websites, people are using the internet to get closer to others and this is another form of meeting people from potentially completely different backgrounds. What makes this stand out is that in an age of austerity people are finding new and interesting ways to get together and enjoy themselves without spending huge amounts of money. The ideas behind couchsurfing.com and sites like it are internet-enabled version of age old practises which have evolved to fulfil the basic urge to travel, meet new people and experience new things. The system does have idealistic undertones in the sense that if everyone was essentially good and truthful then the idea would be fool proof. However, the fact that so many people have already balanced up the risks with the potential rewards and decided to give it a try, shows that it can’t be that bad. I mean even Julian Assange is a member. l

Food and Tips

Of particular interest are the types of transactions that by nature seem completely altruistic on the surface. By this, I am referring to those who advertise their sofa online for a stranger to sleep on, or a seat in their car on the way to work for no money in return. What is initially shocking and inconceivable to most is the extent people may be putting themselves in harms way. The danger could be from the direction of both the advertiser and also the consumer. Carpooling with a complete stranger is essentially hitch hiking which is probably one of the first things you are told as a child to NEVER do. Staying in someone else’s, or letting someone stay in your apartment is opening yourself up to getting robbed, abused or worse. This is carried out with no payment and therefore no monetary compensation, upfront guarantee or deposit. There are however some explanations for this type of phenomena. Take couch surfing for example - The Couchsurfing project was conceived by Casey Fenton in 1999. The idea arose after he stumbled upon an inexpensive flight from Boston to Iceland. Fenton e-mailed 1,500 students from the University of Iceland asking if he could stay. He ultimately received more than 50 offers of accommodation. The company was officially set up in 2004 and now has 3.6 million members. The system is based on members’ online profiles, through which people can let others know about their experience with various members. Your transaction is therefore not based on just the seller but a third party reference or even the thumbs up from a community of people. Looking at this from a broader perspective this type of altruism relies on a collaborative community who vouch for one another. But with the risks still

in an age of austerity people are finding new and interesting ways to get together and enjoy themselves without spending huge amounts of money

Art and Culture

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished?

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Give and Take

Article 25

Adequate shelter is an intrinsic human right: so begins the 25th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris, 1948. It is from this statement that Article 25, the UK’s leading construction aid charity, takes both its name and mission. In the aftermath of war or disaster abroad, they do everything they can to meet the architectural, construction or engineering needs of those affected. Founding trustee Maxwell Hutchinson had the idea that would become this group for some time, but it crystallidsed when he paid a visit to Sri Lanka that coincided with the 2004 tsunami. He saw the vast importance of skilled construction during and after such events, and with the help of his friends he launched Architects for Aid, which became Article 25 in 2008. Events like the 2010 Haiti earthquake have further proven how badly such groups are needed – design failures saw more than half the country’s schools collapse in the first twenty seconds. One of the group’s maxims is that it’s not earthquakes that kill people; it’s bad buildings. Article 25 will give Haitian children a safe environment to learn, confident that if history repeats itself, they will be prepared this time around. In just under a decade, a charity that started with two has acquired seven trustees, ten professional partner organisations and 22 partner NG0s, plus a list of sponsors that includes SAS International and Vodafone. Nearly forty volunteers bolster the nine permanent staff members and their university chapters have over 700 student members to promote their work. This combined effort has led to 60 projects in 22 countries, from housing vulnerable street children in Kenya to setting up earthquake-proof homes in Pakistan. They’re building a new model secondary 8

Autumn Edition 2013

school in Gourcy, Burkina Faso, with hopes of reaching over a thousand children in a place where existing schools are overcrowded and stiflingly hot. One of their most well received ventures is providing ex-child soldiers in Uganda with counseling and training. ‘I would like to appreciate Article 25 for their action…for the initiative they have taken,’ says Joseph, a man familiar with the poverty and lack of recognition the young in his community face. The new youth centre lets them learn new skills, share ideas, or simply get away from it all. Women who are often overlooked in school and live with the prospect of forced marriages need these chances more than most. ‘The building has brought a lot of changes in my life,’ says Reinette, who hopes others can benefit like her in the future. Article 25 is just as active here at home – they and Track Academy are turning a run-down library in Brent into a ‘learning hub’ for disadvantaged children. Upcoming fundraising events include the ‘Run to the Beat’ September halfmarathon, an art auction in November, and ’10 x 10 Drawing the City’, which turns an area of London into a 100-square grid for artists to work with. Most importantly, they believe in maintaining their own structure as well as other people’s. Out-of-date websites will be replaced; social media feeds kept up to scratch, and they are always on the lookout for new talent. l

Should we care about wasting food on our plates? Written by Selina Moses

When I was at school, there was a poster on the walls saying ‘There is enough in the world for everyone’s need but not everyone’s greed.’ Every day we throw away too much food. At home, in restaurants, delis and shops, lots of food goes to waste. It’s been calculated that almost 50% of wasted food is just from our homes even though we are more eco-friendly than ever, which makes a dent in our well-meaning bottle and tin can recycling. Predictably, the perishable staples are the most wasted; fruit and vegetables, bread and milk. This is partly down to most of us not realising that even fresh food can be kept for a little longer than the expiry date says. As a waitress, I see various foodstuffs being thrown out on a daily basis, not just leftovers from unfinished plates but whole baskets of pastries, cakes bread and doughnuts. Each day a huge amount of fresh bread is baked on the premises and by the end of the day, it is considered useless. The staff take home as much as they can but there is a limit to how many doughnuts you can eat in a day. The statistics show that in the last few years the need for food banks has tripled, much higher than expected. More than half a million people in the UK are now using food banks which is one of the reasons as to why people eat so much tinned/canned food which leads to poor nutrition. Dried and preserved food simply lasts longer. Even though not everyone has the luxury of having fresh bread and perishables every day, they can still have the chance to if restaurants and delis can drop off their unsold ingredients to be distributed. Ideally unsold food can also be given to homeless shelters where people seeking refuge can be assured of a good meal, an idea that is gaining popularity in India right now and in the Hare Krishna movement. Another thought came to me recently while I was clearing plates in the kitchen at work. Many customers pay a lot of money for a good meal that they never even finish. I don’t like to throw away a plate of good food and I’m not even guilt

tripped into the whole ‘think of the poor starving children in Africa’ argument that parents feel the need to ladle on at the dinner table. That’s not the reason why I don’t waste food. I’m just greedy and love food too much to not to want to finish my plate. As I cleared the plates, regretting the waste of all of that coleslaw and potato salad, I found myself thinking ‘if only that bin would morph into a pig and all of this would make it very happy.’ I could almost image the ears on it. Sadly it didn’t quite make it to pig status. Although it’s not feasible to keep pigs anywhere but on a farm out in the country, I did play around with the idea for a minute. However, there is an organisation that does advocate collecting wasted food for pigs. Unlike other countries around the world, the UK bans feeding pigs household and catering scraps. Why not collect up as much edible waste as possible to feed the animals that provide our breakfast? Pig isn’t on my personal menu but it is for many others so why not feed them actual food instead of destroying the rainforest by growing soy, cereal and grain for feed instead? One problem, too many ways of solving it and not enough motivation on everyone’s part. To give away to shelters and food banks, should the compost heap be fed more than the pigs? In the rush to recycle materials, have we forgotten the importance of recycling our food waste? l

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Food and Tips

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care…

Politics and News

Art and Culture

Written by Harry Read


Give and Take

Ever since Banksy’s jubilee mural of a little boy sewing union jacks appeared on Poundland’s wall off Wood Green High Road in May 2012 it was a source of pride for local residents and drew in a surprising number of students and tourists. The outrage caused by its removal and reappearance at an auction in Miami in February came as no surprise. Secularism is the principle of seperating state institutions from religious institutions. Most of us tend to think that secularism is all about keeping the influence of religion out of politics and governance. However, secularism is also about keeping the hand of government out of religious affairs, protecting religious freedoms and campaigning in favour of minority religious beliefs in the face of state religions. Yet it seems secularism has been used as an excuse by some to do just the opposite. The infamous ‘burqa ban’ in France was lauded as a triumph for secularism or ‘laïcité’. Yet, for me it was a clear example of the state meddling in religious affairs, something that should be an anathema to a secularist. I believe in secularism and I also happen to be Agnostic, but things like the ‘burqa ban’ frustrate me. Using secularism as an excuse to curtail personal freedoms slowly but surely redefines secularism as something that seeks to undermine religious beliefs, rather than something that empowers religions by protecting all people’s beliefs and freedoms. The so called ‘burqa ban’ actually banned all clothing that conceals the face in a public place, although arguably its specific purpose was to prevent people from wearing religious face coverings. Regardless, in a secular society people should be able to dress as they please, according to whatever their beliefs may be, religious or otherwise. If you want to curtail people’s rights by deciding what they can and cannot wear, then you need to come up with a damn good excuse. 10

Autumn Edition 2013

I am convinced that there are some situations where the government must make policy decisions, based on rational reasons and evidence which prevent people from acting upon their religious beliefs and convictions. For instance, I do not believe that teachers should be allowed to cover their faces when teaching students, as pupils must learn to read facial expressions. If the face is covered it denies the students an important method of communication. After all, giving children the best possible education is of great and obvious moral importance. Nevertheless, we’re talking about a dress code in a public institution, not at home or on the streets; it is the private realm outside of public institutions that the ‘burqa ban’ affects. It is perhaps quite an unusual view, but I believe the wearing of conservative religious clothing is very similar to gay marriage. We need to ask ourselves what real harm is being done by permitting these things. If a woman walks down the streets of Paris wearing a face covering, the only things she might hurt are other people’s feelings. Some people might feel scared by her dress, others may tut in

disapproval, but that’s about it. The truth is, if we are to live in harmony with each other in a multicultural Europe, we need to accept that at some point we are going to have our feelings hurt, and will have to tolerate things that we disapprove of. The same goes for gay marriage, it may hurt other people’s feelings, but merely hurting someone’s feelings isn’t a good enough reason for the state to intervene in people’s personal affairs and as such to have it banned. Secularism is a vital part of the modern political landscape in the UK and in much of Europe, especially in France and Turkey, where the wearing of religious head-wear continues to be a matter of active debate. It is a driving force behind policies such as the legalisation of gay marriage but we should not view it as something that harms religion. Secularism has the view that the state is required to do all it can to protect people’s right to believe and do what they want, free from persecution and restriction, so long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. We all have the right to upset people and have the responsibility to tolerate others when they upset us. l

in a secular society people should be able to dress as they please, according to whatever their beliefs may be, religious or otherwise.

Even Haringey council got involved with their ‘Bring Back Banksy’ campaign, asking for the mural to be returned to ‘the heart of the community’ where ‘it belongs’. The campaign for the piece of art entitled ‘Slave Labour’ was not only covered by national media but even attracted international media attention, sparking a debate on public art, ownership issues and its social functions. As a resident of Haringey, living only minutes from the site of the mural, the debate strikes a strange chord with me. I enjoyed the mural and walked past it almost every day but fail to share the degree of outrage its disappearance has caused. While graffiti is frequently regarded as vandalism, it is interesting that in the ‘Banksy’ case it was in fact the removal which was considered an act of vandalism. Haringey Council’s jumped on the bandwagon and the rhetoric of their ‘Bring Back Banksy’ campaign is particularly interesting. Constructing the removal as a ‘morally wrong’ act in a capitalist, rich-against-the-poor conflict, the campaign hailed the artwork as a ‘truly unique feature of Wood Green High Road’ and argued that public art should benefit ‘the whole community’ not just those who ‘can afford to pay’. It is perfectly understandable that Haringey Council seized the opportunity to promote the borough and make the headlines outside the usual context of violence and crime. Yet, considering Haringey Council’s failure to protect real children in the past, their campaign

While graffiti is frequently regarded as vandalism, it is interesting that in the ‘Banksy’ case it was in fact the removal which was considered an act of vandalism dedicated to the mere depiction of a little boy raising the question where the council’s priorities lie. There are certainly other ‘features’ of Wood Green which are worthier of urgent action but less useful for creating a media-hype, such as, for example, the increasing number of individuals begging on the street. Of course, ‘Man Begging on High Road’ is hardly as catchy a headline as ‘Banksy Stolen’ and it is much more comfortable to get upset about a missing piece of art than to acknowledge human suffering which often makes us feel guilty about being better off. Somehow, the same community that feels ‘disgust’ over losing public art, feels less strongly about real human tragedy. We are happy to ignore the existence of child labour but if someone removes a piece of art which raises awareness of this type of exploitation we react emotionally and readily identify the proceedings as unfair. Aren’t we a strange species. Banksy’s commentary on the queen’s jubilee was auctioned in London for

over £750 000 in early June, bringing the whole affair to a (unsurprisingly ridiculous) close. The buyer is unknown. What remains is an excellent case study of what makes news relevant: the alleged ‘theft’ was news. It involved a celebrity (Banksy) and provided many with a reason for outrage without causing any moral obligation to take action. It is indeed a shame the mural was taken in such a manner – but there are many more pressing issues in Wood Green, London and the rest of the world. The Slave Labour case can serve as a reminder of how important it is to keep things in perspective and sometimes look beyond what is considered newsworthy to find what is important. It would, however, be excellent if Haringey Council delivered its social services, especially child protection, with the same dedication it has shown in the Banksy case. l

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Art and Culture

Written by Katharina Grimm

Politics and News

Written by Xander Grace

Banksy Stolen!

Food and Tips

Secularism, the ‘burqa ban’ and our right to upset each other


I DON’T DO FASHION I AM FASHION

Gurtej pictured with his finale piece for the Leicester Charity Fashion Show 2013.

gurtej matharu talks about his success as a self-taught fashion designer. Written by Amrit Matharu

Gurtej Matharu, 22, reveals his story of how he became involved in the Leicester Charity Fashion Show 2013, for the Teenage Cancer Trust at King Power Stadium in May.

Gurtej is known by many names, including Gurt, Gurts and even a playful take on the designer label Cartier – Gurtier! Gurtej’s designer name is recognised as Gurt_Lamorous which was coined by his sister, Harpreet whilst listening to Fergie’s Glamorous track. Gurtej is renowned for the fact he is completely self-taught. Gurtej has learnt his designing methods over the past four years whilst studying Psychology and Forensics at De Montfort University, graduating in the summer of 2012. Gurtej tells me how he felt the pressure from his family who have a typical Indian attitude to study a subject from the sciences and engineering. He now manages his full-time job in Debenhams and his studio at Makers Yard in Leicester. Gurtej starts off by telling me how his Grandmother inspired him...

How did the fashion designing come about, and how did you get your studio? Well, I’ve always been into drawing designs. I used to have a sewing machine in my bedroom; during the summer after my first year at university I made my own collection. I took photographs of my work and it was from the response of that I knew I wanted to go in to fashion and see where it took me. It was after I got the post in the fashion show when I knew I needed a space. The building opened in mid-February and had its official launch in March. I was lucky enough to get my name in and a space reserved.

Your clothes have an Eastern influence. Was this the theme of the show? No, there was no real theme to the show. There was all sorts of styles from belly dancers to break dancers, and other forms of Indian dance – Although there was no theme, it got very Eastern rather quickly. How would you describe your clothes? My idea is to be covered up but still confident. You don’t have to have really low cuts or short skirts. It’s all about having the same kind of confidence if you were wearing such clothes and how they make you feel. I take on board that everyone is a different size and some people don’t like that it shows this or that but still like the dress. My idea is to take that and make it the reverse; to have really high necks, long sleeves and skirts. The inspiration for the show collection was the Middle East. I used sandy colours like golds and nudes, and brought in the evening side by using black. My models

Give and Take ranged from sizse 8 – 14. I want to make women feel that they can wear my clothes regardless of size! You’ve talked about your Grandma as an inspirational figure, but in terms of designers who do you look to for ideas? Zuhair Murad – He can’t do anything wrong. He is my muse. He has the perfect balance of the East and West and that is the kind of stuff I want to do. How do you create your interpretation of the East and West? I like the idea of mixing the East and West. My pieces are quite eveningy, so the East compliments the West with all the beading and detail. In stores you see that simple tops have the Indian beading for effect and that’s what I want to achieve. That’s why I picked the Middle East as a way to start. I kept to the subtle beige tones and saved a pop of colour for my finale, to give the WOW factor as my finish. The future in the fashion industry looks promising for Gurt_Lamorous as orders are frequently being taken since people have seen Gurtej’s amazing talent. l You can find more on Gurtej Matharu at: Facebook: Gurt_lamorous clothing Twitter: @Gurt_lamorous Instagram: Gurt_lamorous

How did your Grandmother inspire you to take up designing? I would watch my Dadi Maa (Grandmother) all the time. She would always sew this one lace suit (Indian Salwaar suit), and be fixing the arms or adjusting the hem. I will always remember just watching her. She made a lot of Indian suits and knew exactly what she was doing. Even when cutting the fabric there was never a crease; I don’t know how she did it! Do the rest of your family show the same support as your Grandma’s inspiration? Since the fashion show they have shown a lot more support. It was when I got the studio that my family 12

Autumn Edition 2013

Art and Culture

What was their attitude before the show? My parents’ always wanted me to get a degree. My Mum always said once I’ve finished university I could do whatever I wanted. I’ve always known I wanted to do fashion, but I never got the chance to go into it and whenever I did, I never really got the ‘yes’ from everybody. Around my second year at university, I knew Psychology and Forensics wasn’t what I wanted to pursue career-wise.

And how did you get the opportunity to be part of the fashion show? It was around December time, by chance I had scrolled all the way down on Facebook on my phone, which I don’t normally do, where I had seen the show advertised on a friend’s status. I got in touch with the organiser and said, “look I’m interested, but I’m self-taught – does this matter?” and it all went from there really. By the end of December they wanted me to do a collection!

Food and Tips

were able to see I wasn’t just doing it for the sake of it; they saw how much passion I had in it. If my Mum sees something she likes she’ll pick it up for me. My Dad even tried to get me a model which was weird – I didn’t think my Dad would have been as supportive as he is but even now he’ll say, “how many orders did you take?”. They came to the show and it was really assuring.

Politics and News

My grandma was such an influence, it’s a shame she wasn’t here to see the show but I know she was watching somewhere

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Give and Take

British-Asian Fiction & its Influence on Society

As every teenager would agree, there are certain elements of an adolescent’s life that are kept separate from members of their family. In addition to this, as the eldest daughter of a British-Asian family, I struggled to communicate the balance between friendships at school and my family’s expectations. I became interested in young-adult fiction such as the likes of Jacqueline Wilson, and her portrayal of the issues that teenagers face growing up. I was soon familiarised with the author Bali Rai, who writes of the similar issues in a British-Asian context. Rai’s books about British-Asian teenagers and their relationships, school life and the Indian home life, introduced me to a world where I was able to draw comparisons between my own life and the characters of books such as, (Un) arranged Marriage, The Crew, Rani & Sukh and The Whisper. The subject matter of British-Asian novels like Meera Syal’s well-known Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee, has provided a platform for many confused British-Asian youths who are tied between the two cultures of their upbringing: traditional family values & the modern generation. 21st century novelist, Nisha Minhas once stated in an interview with The Asian News that she “picked out problems that do exist in the Asian community… and this is hardly ever explored in books”’. Presenting so called ‘taboo’ topics about

failed arranged marriages, divorce, inter-cultural relationships and sex, are authors of these books encouraging such behaviour to the British-Asian youth of today, or are they helping them find their identity as members of the British-Asian youth? I asked the young people of the UK why they choose to read books like Londonstani and Brick Lane and got the following responses: “I enjoy the fact that real life scenario’s and everyday challenges are explored in a way that they provide solutions and help for those who need it. And yet they also allow narrow-minded individuals to look beyond the ‘taboo’ subjects and explore various different ways of thinking about the given situation. I like also how they are not completely absurd and unrealistic.” – Gurpreet Kaur, 21. “The main reason I read such books is that I can empathise with the characters and the situations that they endure from something as trivial as strict parents.” – Jasmin Mann, 20.

“I like to read them because my student life is not very ‘Indian’; although I live in London and it’s very multicultural, you can’t just be part of one thing. Books like these are sentimental to me as I can familiarise myself with situations and feel at home.” – Avneet Matharu, 22. It seems the British-Asian youth uses books such as Rani and Sukh, to face the challenges of growing up in a Western world with the background of their Eastern heritage and come to realise their own interpretation of what it means to be British-Asian. I personally feel that British-Asian fiction is an important part of literature that defines a new age of Asian Britons. The likes of Meera Syal, Gautum Malkani and Bali Rai, have created a medium that allows us to explore the typical taboos of life in the eyes of a modern approach as members of the 21st century Asian community. l

Sylva Faye Music Written by Amrit Matharu

22 year old Sylva Faye from London makes a BBC breakthrough of her latest EP ‘Time Stood Still’ with her musical talent. Shows such as BBC Beat, The Mark Forrest Evening Show and BBC York, North Yorkshire and London have aired her new material and hosted exclusive interviews with the budding musician. Sylva started playing flute at a very young age after having hearing a performance of Syrinx by Debussy, and deciding that she would be able to play that song one day. Sylva can play an array of musical instruments including flute and singing. With a range of music collections from the metal she listened to during her teens to Drum & Bass and Hip Hop, the music Sylva produces is of a broad genre with a hypnotic acoustic sound. Sylva describes her influences as “eclectic; There are a number of women who inspire me personally and musically. Bif Naked is especially my idol.” Sylva has also recorded music samples for leading R&B artists Mark Morrison and Swiss Beatz as the ‘only gangster rap flutist in Leicester’. As well as her wide taste in music, Sylva shows her diversity as an artist through her time spent in Leicester at university. During the four years she has been part of reggae and jazz bands playing the Oxjam and Riverside festivals. Sylva explains

how “it would be cool to collab with someone entirely unexpected whom I’d never be associated with, like Drake” as she is a fan of the “intelligent and underrated bassline” on his track ‘Cameras’. Writing her own songs and lyrics, Sylva would love to overcome the struggle of affording the heavy prices of studio recording and pursue a career in music, but states that “there’s something about fame which seems quite perverse; you work so hard and break your back to become famous, and then people follow you around taking photographs and call you fat? It’s a bit of Catch 22” l

To hear more from Sylva’s music, you can follow her on: facebook.com/SylvaFayeMusic twitter.com/Sylva_Faye soundcloud.com/sylva-faye

there’s something about fame which seems quite perverse; you work so hard and break your back to become famous

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Food and Tips

Growing up in a town with not a single Asian friend, I came to find myself dividing my identity between my Indian family and my English school peers.

Politics and News

Art and Culture

Written by Amrit Matharu


Give and Take

Written by Kingsley Reuben

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effects. Weird how that works isn’t it? A twenty-something year old film manages to still seem better than its ‘reboot’. I remember as a boy I watched Clash Of The Titans and was impressed despite the cartoonish special effects. The story and how it was told, the mythology and the score of music tied in well to deliver me an unforgettable experience. Fast-forward to handsome and older me and Clash Of The Titans comes out and I’m getting goose bumps watching the trailer…only to be disappointed. As a screen writer myself I couldn’t help but feel it was slow a day at the office for the screen writers who came up with the script. The sound track was there for the sake of it, it never slotted into the scenes and the acting was…bog standard. Maybe I’m being mean. Clash of The Titans made a lot of money despite being boring, sadly. So how did this happen? Well, it’s simple. I remember my first play when I wrote it. I had a beautiful picture in mind of how it would appear on stage. It would be fantastic! The director told me my job was over now and I should let her ‘take it from here’. Well I allowed her to and she turned my serious yet reflective play into exaggerated farce. It became an oxymoron. I remember being highly aggravated but happy I was getting a play staged. Fast forward two years and I was at university studying screen writing as a module when my beloved lecturer tells us after we’d read a ‘classic’ Roald Dahl (Mr. Hoddy) story to adapt it and ‘do with it what we will’. Well, I turned what was a quiet story about a man coming with a good fat lie to tell his father-inlaw-to-be into a Mission Impossible type action packed thrill ride…whilst still managing to keep the baseline of Roald Dahl’s story. Needless to say, my screen writing lecturer passed me with flying colours…after failing that particular piece of work. It needed to be ‘toned down’. Apparently I’m a bit Zack Snyder on acid. It was then I realised just how easy it was to destroy a piece of heritage observed and beloved by many. All it really took was screen writers who didn’t

care as long as they were getting paid (or who think they are genius) and a director who has absolutely no vision or respect for source material. Movie goers and fan-boys alike also need to appreciate a good reboot when they see one. No it isn’t like the book you twizzler, because the form and medium is different. It’s like cooking a whole chicken in the microwave and expecting it to be the same as the one done in an oven. There will be differences. If you want character development, television series are perfect but movies have 2-3 hour slots usually, in which to ‘Wow’ you. Adaptation also happens to bring a character or series into the 21st century. The long and short of it is that there will never be an amicable adaptation because no one is ever 100% happy with the finished article- no one I tell you. And in many ways maybe that’s what Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood (the Nigerian equivalent of the first two) and all the other forests out there who make films, deserve. It’s a reminder that you either make the best film you can or don’t bother. l

I realised just how easy it was to destroy a piece of heritage observed and beloved by many.

Politics and News

The one thing all these popular titles have in common is that they’ve all at on point or another, or at several times in history, been subject to that dreaded (or blessed) ‘A’ word - adaptation. So before we begin to have a look at how artists with vision took a work of art and made it something more (or vice versa) let’s have a look at what adaptation actually is. Adaptation is taking a work of art from one medium to another to end up with a completely new work of art that gives a nod to its prior form or simply tries its best to mirror it. Harrison Demchick author of The Listeners says “Adaptation isn’t copying it’s an art in and of itself”. One online encyclopaedia describes the process of adaptation quite aptly as a composition that has been recast into a new form. That last definition of adaptation is where fans of the sacred source material get very ‘touchy feely’ over what is left in, what is left out and what is completely transformed. There are many transitions of adaptations. There is book to film (The Great Gatsby, Man Of Steel); film to book, movie accompanying books mostly; play to film (Phantom of The Opera, Les Miserables); and almost never a film to musical (but hey, they have Spiderman on Broadway don’t they? And did someone say The Bodyguard?). So why the need for adaptation anyway? What’s that you say? Apart from making money? Fans. Yes those faithful fans are a vicious clamouring lot who are as insatiable as the Cracken from Clash Of The Titans, another adaptation albeit one that tried imitating its more respected and aged senior of the same title but with Ray Harry Hausen at the helm of special

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What do, Superman, James Bond, The Avengers, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Great Gatsby and Sherlock Holmes all have in common? They’re all interesting? No. I daresay one man’s bread is another man’s poison and my girlfriend for one would rather watch The Great Gatsby than Superman (or should we call him the Man of Steel?).

Art and Culture

Amicable adaption

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Analogue City - By Peter Whiddon 18

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Food and Tips

Politics and News

Art and Culture

Tail twisting Temper ever shifting The great worm stirring The dwarves ever daring Sending Bilbo down the path To face the dragon’s petty wrath. Light glinting on metal Not a pan, nor a kettle Could shine so bright Yet none were right To Bilbo’s eyes, home was still the prize. He crept further more To a place with no door Where the fearsome Smaug lay For many a night and day. So bloated was the worm His head he could barely turn To seek out the intruder Who so craftily had eluded The dragon’s watchful eye Not detecting the spy Invisible thief Stirred not a leaf No breath was heard Not a sound from a bird The world marched on above But for Smaug there was no lost love His den was snug As a bug in a rug Too lazy to feel The threat looming real Of death and doom Before the next full moon So complacent was he He never could see That the end was near Heralded by the visitor he did not fear. The dragon charm almost blinded Bilbo’s wits, nearly left behind him Back to the route he stumbled At the dragon’s mirth rumbled Word play was finished The thief’s safety diminished But Smaug laughed too soon Knowing nothing of the runes For they were the key To the end of his destiny.

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Bilbo and the dragon

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Written by Mike Spencer

This phenomenon has come about largely thanks to indications from the, now 16 year old, girl that their love was mutual and consensual and adding that she would like to marry her assailant when his sentence is complete. Her father’s recent statement that he would happily give his blessing to their union has only widened the divide between the sympathisers and the hard-line whip crackers. The issues which underpin the morality of his sentencing are his unmistakeable breach of the duty of care which he held in his position as his victim’s teacher. By taking her out of school on a trip to France unannounced and without parental consent, their escapades gained media attention even before the circumstances surrounding their relationship became clear. Despite her apparent consent in this trip abroad, his actions were illegal. At the time the victim was under the legal age of consent, therefore any consent given is irrelevant. Forrest deliberately avoided and ignored the rules (and laws) put in place to prevent this sort of thing from happening and he must have known what would happen to him when they were caught, as he must have known they would be. A question is posed at this point: assuming Forrest knew the moral and legal guidelines, why go ahead with what I am legally obliged to call abduction, then return willingly to England to be arrested, then blow kisses at his victim in the court hearings and trial? Clearly there is an incentive for these actions, or else we might assume him to be deluded. The reason this has not been assumed is because his victim, it emerges in the wake of his trial and sentencing, consented to everything from the abduction to sex. The media’s commentators have filled themselves to the hilt with patronising remarks about her

age and her ‘emotional state’ as a consequent of her being only 15. There is an on-going debate about lowering the legal age of consent from 16 to 14 which has been fluttering about the corridors of power, like a sweet wrapper no one wants to pick up, for some time now. If this law came into effect, future duplicate incidents such as the one above would likely not be a matter of paedophilia, but a matter of breach of the duty of care, transforming the case from a criminal one to a civil one. This is likely the main issue in this case: parents are forced to consider their own horror at these circumstances should they have happened to their own son or daughter. It is the shock of the abduction and the sexual acts at the hands of an individual in one our most trustworthy and revered professions which hits hardest. At this point in time, Forrest’s actions were both legally and morally wrong, but if we are moving inexorably towards a time when they might only be morally rather than criminally wrong, how can we convict a person to half a decade in prison for having what appears to have been a mature and loving relationship, which might continue after his release? The victim might end up marrying her abductor and paedophile, when the very acts for which he was sent to prison might

serve as the pillars of their relationship. This sounds absurd (the chances of her affections being as steadfast in a few years’ time seem remote – but there it is: a patronising comment about her age - some people wait years for their partners to come out of prison, why not a 16 year old girl?) but there is a glimmer of reality in this vision which will horrify many people. With new figures emerging every day about the number of UK computers which contain child pornography, the government needs to be perceived to be doing all it can to protect the nation’s children. The transparency of the sex offender’s register is one example – Jeremy Forrest has been made into one too. But they seem to have been too cruel to this scapegoat and accidentally garnered an unprecedented wave of public semisupport for Forrest and in doing so they have ignored the circumstances of the victim – who, it emerged recently, admitted that she manipulated Forrest, not the other way around. Clearly none of the commentators gave her enough credit at the time of his sentencing, but then it would have been a brave journalist indeed who suggested that the convicted paedophile might also be the victim of a moral crime, if not a legal one. l

The victim might end up marrying her abductor and paedophile, when the very acts for which he was sent to prison might serve as the pillars of their relationship

Food and Tips

The sentencing of Jeremy Forrest to five and a half years in prison for the abduction and under-age sex with a, then 15 year old, school girl has generated some sympathy for the convicted paedophile.

It is the shock of the abduction and the sexual acts at the hands of an individual in one our most trustworthy and revered professions which hits hardest

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Politics and News Art and Culture Give and Take

Sympathy for the devil

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Written by Mike Spencer

The tide is turning against Barack Obama. Whilst the discussions over Guantanamo’s proposed closure drag on, the public have been driven into a frenzy by the recent exposure of the Prism Program, which has been gathering huge swathes of data about many US residents. 22

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It now transpires that the UK government has been using the program for similar purposes and ministers are under pressure to divulge the nature of the program’s inquiries and reveal exactly what the criteria are for determining whether or not to gather intelligence. Edward Snowden came forward on the 6th June to be identified as the whistleblower and released a subsequent interview with the Guardian newspaper explaining his actions and, when prompted, rejected the potential accusations that he is a defector. On the same day that George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four was released in 1949, Snowden released selected data to the Guardian and flew to Hong Kong to await the response of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world. At the time of writing he has escaped to Moscow airport and is submitting asylum to many European and South American countries. Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has had extensive contact with Snowden and says his secrets will be divulged regardless of the former NSA contractor’s fate.

shadow of the nationalistic and territorial administration from which he so desperately wants to escape. George W Bush laid the groundwork for Prism in an act of Congress in 2002 as a response to overseas threats. Prism has been signing up data providers, beginning with Microsoft, since 2007. When Obama first crowd-surfed into the White House in 2009, the eyes of the Western world were watching and expecting great things. With the exception of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare as it’s unaffectionately known, there appears to be very little materialisation of the hope and faith which carried Obama in to office. There are heralds of doom everywhere – ObamaCare doesn’t come in to effect until 2014, but it’s already had so many holes shot in it that it is useless as the parachute Obama desperately needs to stop his popularity from freefalling. He knows that when he renewed the bill in December 2012 which allowed Prism to continue operating that its existence would not be popular, which is why it was a secret. He also, like his predecessor, believes it to be necessary to the safety and security of the citizens of America. Thanks to the latest whistleblower, his administration has lost yet another battle in trying to keep its people protected with the minimum of fuss. Privacy is important, but how much store can statesmen place in its sanctity over the realistic necessity of protection? l

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Politics and News Art and Culture Give and Take

there really isn’t anything you can do except abandon your possessions and live in a teepee in the Himalayas

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In the interest of national security

His justification for the release of confidential information hinges on a belief that unelected bodies are infringing upon civil liberties. The National Security Agency (NSA) has been gathering intelligence from domestic sources ‘by default’ and archiving emails, photos, calendars, messages and phone conversations ‘even if you haven’t done wrong’. Snowden argues that it’s then easier for these agencies to ‘paint you as a wrongdoer’ if you even have accidental contact with the ‘wrong’ person. Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple and Skype are the biggest companies complicit in the gathering of users’ information and data. Media and public response has been erring on the furious side with the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly bursting out ‘this is a major intrusion on the privacy of all Americans. This one is dangerous to us’. This is an issue which affects Britons as well as Americans. If the criteria is to have ‘contact’ with someone outside of the domestic country then this net has been cast over everyone who has a Facebook friend from abroad, who has ever received an email from a Nigerian general asking to store his millions in your account, who has ever held a Skype interview with family in Asia. Edward Snowden believes that we are all being tarred with the same brush for the purposes of making intelligence gathering easier. This is true, but a more moderate and considered response would be to argue that this is not necessarily as Orwellian as it may seem. Ultimately, it is far more acceptable for the government to be ‘governing’ your data rather than allowing it to cross unchecked between multinational conglomerate companies such as Apple and Microsoft to be used and shared at their will (privacy policies and unchecking tick boxes be damned – has anyone ever really read a privacy statement?). Of course, the world’s biggest and most powerful private companies will still share your data to others without you knowing it: unless you have made a conscious effort not to get an email account or a mobile phone your data has been and always will be recorded and stored in a desert somewhere in Western America. If you have a moral problem with this then there really isn’t anything you can do except abandon your possessions and live in a teepee in the Himalayas. This isn’t a smart comment, it’s just true. Most websites store pieces of information on computers (lovingly called ‘cookies’) which can sometimes embed themselves into your programs, cause viruses or leak information. This is the risk we all take because we now need the internet and mobile phones and twitter. The benefits, no matter how marginally, outweigh the negatives. From a utilitarian point of view, society will always opt to keep the internet free and open to all, but this cannot happen without your user data being kept, at the very least for purposes of market research, at the very worst to make sure you’re not planning an attack on domestic soil. So once again, it all boils down to terrorism. Democratic Senator and chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein has said that Prism exists to ‘ferret out [terrorism] before it happens. It’s called protecting America.’ In practice Prism’s sole purpose is to combat terrorism but nevertheless it does nothing to distance Barack Obama from the


Written by Lea Fessahaye

The Iron Lady. The name itself sounds so powerful and demanding. Carrying its own gravitas, virtually nothing coming in its way. A fearless female taking the bull by the horns. As was famously said ‘if you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done ask a woman’.

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Margaret Thatcher was just that, some people would say. She was just like Marmite, you either loved her and her moneymaking mind or hated her, perceiving her to implement a draconian philosophy that was based on selfishness. When Lady Thatcher came to power a new concept was orchestrated, known as the New Right or Thatcherism. Lady Thatcher adopted neo-liberalism and neo-conversativism i.e. a liberal approach to the free market and capitalist economy and a conservative approach towards morality, maintenance of law and order and society in general. The approach was largely obtained from the UK and involved deregulation with privatization of industries such as gas, telecommunications and electricity generation etc. There was disengagement where failing companies would not receive state help as they could not compete in the world markets and abolishing a dependency culture with some state benefits ebbing away. It sounds rather radical especially as Thatcher was firm with shutting down the trade unions, including that of the coal miners who loved their jobs and believed their industry

Without society all hope is lost all and life’s goodness would slowly fade away like a kite amongst the clouds.

nickname suggests… She was like any other person going to the extent of a ‘cult of the outsider’, as author Michael Foley suggested, addressing the public with charisma and considered herself ‘one of us’. She was a greengrocer’s daughter who was inspired by her Dad just like any other little girl. Overcoming all the political obstacles such as the 1984-1985 miners’ strike, the Brixton riots 1981 and taking the prominent role of commander-in-chief sending a military task to reclaim the Falkland Island as a result of the Argentinian invasion. Also, surviving the bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton at the 1984 Conservative party conference where she and her husband Denis Thatcher

of fulfillment in giving to society and not relying on the public purse. Which of course is helping people become independent and proud of themselves. Just as she didwhen she became the first female prime minister making a prestigious mark in history, taking an impressive presidential strategy in her three terms. You can admire her for that, but on the other hand it should be stressed that the prime minister, whom everyone looks to for inspiration and help in creating a secure community cohesion, should never make an announcement convincing the British public there is no such thing as society. Personally I feel that without society all hope is lost all

and life’s goodness would slowly fade away like a kite amongst the clouds Is there any point in living if you cannot help others and see them smile? Her ‘no society speech’ contradicts her first speech at Downing Street referencing the ‘Prayer of Saint Francis.’ ‘Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.’ Ironically in the North of England there seemed to be a loss of hope and harmony. One thing is certain. Margaret Thatcher still remains a controversial figure even after her death and it is not precise what her legacy is. What remains definite is that she introduced her own ‘- ‘-ism’ and encouraged business in the UK. Some people say she brought together the nation encouraging growth while others say she divided the nation even further, closing down trade unions as if they were plebs. Although she always denied being a feminist, what is certain is that she has encouraged many women to prosper with ‘girl power’ and will remain in the heart of the House of Commons and British Politics. Even Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who was against her policies, stated ‘She drew the lines on a political map that we here are still navigating today.’ This shows that no matter what party you’re from or support she did have some sort of effect in your ideology and in society in general. l - R.I.P Lady Margaret Thatcher

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Politics and News Art and Culture Give and Take

The Iron Lady rests her fist

were almost killed. Instead of letting this trouble bring her down she boldly stated ‘this lady’s not for turning’. In the film: The Iron Lady, a film inspired by Thatcher’s life story, you see Margaret Thatcher’s eyes gleam with hope like a light house listening to her father’s speech ‘What is the life blood of any community? Its business. We on this island are strong and self-reliant. We also believe in helping each other and not by state hand-outs. Never run with the crowd, Margaret. Go your own way…’ Who can say that Thatcherism is not encouraged by her father? It explains her famous speech where she stated there’s no such thing as society, with individuals and families can feel a sense

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preserved communities. David Hopper general secretary of Durham Miners Association stated’…Our children have got no jobs and the community is full of problems. There’s no work and no money and it’s very sad the legacy she has left behind…’ This is proof the emotional scars and hate still exist as strong as ever. Evidence of this could be seen after the news of her death. When Brixton residents had a street party and the website http://www. isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk/ portrayed a big black bold YES and stated this lady’s not returning. Bit it springs to mind that Lady Thatcher was a human being and not an emotionless machine as her


Written by Franco Grech

Three years ago, two close friends from Brighton were driven to help clients promote their businesses through the means of social networking and online advertising. Grace Darcy and Sara Al-Aswad explain how they have been successful in gaining the client’s trust and how they have managed to continue to grow.

Tell us about the history of the company and how it came together? We have been friends for years. In 2010 we decided to start our own business. After running ideas back and forth, we decided on two things. The first was that we wanted to work with other businesses, as we believed B2B sales are different in the way that communication is more professional, direct and to the point. We also decided on our company name, City AD Solutions. The AD in City AD Solutions incorporates both our surnames AL-Aswad and Darcy. The name came from our original business idea that we would sell advertising, on free websites to businesses for a small fee. The idea that we would do the leg work for businesses, that hadn’t already taken advantage of the free advertising opportunities available to them online. Due to a variety of personal reasons between the two of us, we decided not to go ahead with the business at that point in time. Fast forward to the tail end of 2012 we felt ready to give it a go. By

this point we had changed our minds about just offering free advertising, we looked at social media management solutions as well. It had become almost essential for businesses to be interacting with their clients via social media platforms and this gave us the idea to offer management services alongside the advertising. With some market research it became apparent that smaller businesses were less likely to invest huge sums of money, to have their social media sites managed for them. we identified the demand for social media management, it was then that we knew who our target market would be. What was your biggest challenge, when starting up the company? Being able to take payments over the phone was essential to us making money and part of our sales process. What we were not aware of was the stringent requirements and gruelling process it took in order to obtain one. After a painstaking 8 weeks we were approved and had our virtual terminal in operation. What services do you offer to your clients? We offer our clients Social Media Management and Advertising solutions to help them maximise their business sales online. We did not state that this would increase sales and revenue for the businesses we worked with though we did identify the need, in that if they did not have these platforms in which to interact with and inform clients they may loose business as a result. We carefully created a variety of packages to suit all business requirements, with the added benefit of also being able to tailor make their own if preferred. We decided from the start after working for other businesses in a similar field, that being flexible was key to giving the client what they required from the service that we provided. We wanted to offer a great service for a fair price. What is the process in which you interact with your clients? We interact with our clients through social media platforms, telephone and email. We find being able to offer our clients a multitude of ways in which to interact/correspond with us ties in well with the services to which we offer them.

How important is it to meet deadlines? Meeting deadlines is crucial as we work on the promise to have our client’s social media platforms and online advertisements up and running within 48 hours of them coming on board. However we typically have them up and running within 12 hours, but allowing ourselves 48 hours ensures we never disappoint. A lot of businesses struggle to survive the first year of being established, how do you think you have overcome that? We decided from the start that we were going to keep costs low. For instance we used Sara’s house as our office, we already had the phones, laptops and other materials, which kept our initial investment low. So even if we faced a slow start, or any other issues that can come up for a business in their first year it would not have a detrimental affect on us. Being careful with the amount of money we invested and cutting costs where we could gave us room to have our idea develop and take off the ground at a steady and realistic pace. Going at such a pace has given us the opportunity to learn more about our own business and the services to which we offer, whilst helping us to maintain a great level of professionalism and an incredible service to our clients. We continue to learn about out clients and there different needs depending on the different sectors they operate in. What advice can you give to students who are willing to start their own business? We would suggest that anyone deciding to do so should ensure that they are in it for the long haul. Here are a few tips to starting your own business that are related to the size and type of small business start up that we went into: 1

Market Research - Do your research, make sure there is a market and demand for your service/product.

2

Don’t give up your studies/job to start your business straight away, take things slow and work part time on your business to begin with.

3

Patience, starting and running a business takes a lot of time and commitment don’t expect things to flourish overnight be in it for the long haul and you will see the results.

4

Only invest money you can afford to lose, we wouldn’t suggest loans or getting yourself into debt.

And finally we would recommend that when embarking on a business venture you are completely happy with your idea and the way in which you intend to implement it. l

Sara Al-Aswad (left) and Grace Darcy (right) contacting discussing a brief with a client

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City Ad Solutions

we identified the demand for social media management, it was then that we knew who our target market would be


Written by Xander Grace

Finally, as I took the first bite of a half-pounder with bacon and cheese in a Missouri bar, I had epically failed as a vegetarian. I tried to blame it on spending two months in the US, often staying in hotels that freely provided mountains of meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I tried to rationalise it as me ‘overcoming’ my aversion to killing animals, and coming to terms with what I was eating. But in reality I had simply failed. The urge to seek pleasure overcame my higher volitions, and I capitulated. I have to say though, despite being willing to admit my failing, I can’t help but envy life-long vegetarians. Myself and my life-long vegetarian friends get emotionally hurt by the thought of an animal being harmed, but it’s a lot easier to be a vegetarian if you don’t know that meat is delicious... much, much easier. I suppose for my ‘lifer’ friends, a veggie sausage is the final word in savoury meatiness, but I know it’s a lie, and that’s my problem. Every time I read a menu, or go shopping, I have to fight a moral battle. I’ve taken the red pill, I know how deep the rabbit hole goes, and try as I might I just can’t untaste the truth. Becoming a vegetarian, then failing, all the while seeing my friends happily going about their lives as born vegetarians with no apparent lose in quality of life got me thinking. If, one day, I decide to have children, will I let them eat meat? I don’t believe in forcing beliefs upon kids. While I am not religious, I wouldn’t force that view upon my children – so would I force them to be vegetarians? I am inclined to say that I would not. Children must be free to disagree with their parents. On the other hand, I could be denying my children an easy path to a way of life that I know will be easier for them if they share my feelings about animals. They will avoid many sad moments in childhood, like when I realised Guinea Pigs were bred for human consumption, despite them also being the beloved family pets. Eventually though, I came to a realisation. I would allow my children to eat meat, but only if they were willing to deal with the reality of what they were eating. If they were willing to go on a tour of a slaughterhouse, or even better raise and kill their own animals... then they could eat meat. I happen to think that would be a fairly good way of making sure my children really knew what they were eating. Or, more likely, it would at least compel them to make the easy choice – to dodge the slaughterhouse tour and shun chicken nuggets. The only issue is, I can’t apply it to them without applying it to myself. I know that if I could watch animals be killed, and still think it was worth it for that juicy steak, then I would be living in accordance with my own moral code. But I can’t do it. I know full well the slaughterhouse would be full of violence and horror that I would probably never forget, and it would never be worth it for me. I cannot bring myself to go to one. So, if I am to be truly happy, no more burgers for me... which, to be honest, I’m pretty sad about. On the upside, I suspect my beer belly will thank me. l

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Autumn Edition 2013

Chasing dream jobs in your dream city Written by Neha Nagpal

Youth unemployment in London has increased in the last three years. A recent study commissioned by BBC London showed an enormous increase in unemployment with the total figure of unemployed young adults in London increasing by 26.000 in recent years. A worrying statistic for London’s University graduates and for those who aspire to move to the capital to follow their dreams. However, I recently met with some young graduates in London who managed to beat this statistic and get a job with some of the city’s biggest companies. Rosie Gray was recently offered a permanent job as a correspondent for the Liberal Democrats. Having interned at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, a development organisation in London, the 23 year old decided to apply for her desired job with the Liberal Democrats, despite her uncertainty. “I knew it would be difficult and competitive and I was extremely nervous about applying”. Today Rosie has gone from being a parliamentary intern to a full time job holder with the Liberal Democrats “I was absolutely shocked when I got the job, I didn’t know what to say, I was pretty speechless. Every morning I go to work and I realise, this is where I work, inside the parliament!” Manan Rathod (Offered a full time job as an analyst in RBC Investment bank) Manan Rathod, a 25 year old Bath University graduate now works at RBC Markets as a full time employee but getting there wasn’t an easy ride. Before Manan was offered a full time job, he worked very hard to get his first internship with one of the top financial firms in London, Morgan Stanley. “I came down to London from Bath two days before my University exams to interview with Morgan Stanley, I was under so much stress to do well in my exams and go through the interview as well but in the end it all finally paid off”. Manan was one among the very few international students who was offered a full time job with a work permit!

Experience, interest and passion matters more than your degree

Shrish Agarwal (Offered a full time as a digital marketer with Contrada) If anyone can tell you about the struggles of getting a job, it’s Shrish! Shrish applied to more than 300 jobs before he was offered a job he loved. “It was a very difficult time for me, I was unemployed for nearly 7 months and it was an emotional ride”. This quick witted, quirky 23 year old got an interview to become a digital marketer at Contrada. Upon completion of his Masters at University of Sussex, Shrish knew he wanted to work with digital applications because of this fascination with technology. “Experience, interest and passion matters more than your degree, I feel like I gained so much more at work than I ever did at University” Mounting unemployment figures and rigid recruitment criteria from firms in London can be extremely frustrating for young people but a wise man once said; if there is a will, there is a way. The most crucial factor here is to not only wait patiently but to invest time in learning the fundamentals to create captivating CV’s and cover letters which is of key importance. l

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Food and Tips Politics and News Art and Culture Give and Take

Take my children to the slaughter house


Written by Selina Moses

As students, living on congealed takeaways seems normal and just. There’s plenty of time to eat healthy and learn how to cook blahblahblah. However, learning to cook with cheap and easy ingredients will sharpen your observation and teach you how to make a meal out of very little on a budget. But this page isn’t about cooking 3 course meals; it’s about making the most of what you have fortified with easy edibles. Instead of wasting food, you can create new dishes when you need fuel for those all-nighters. • Give some love to some spare chicken. Perhaps the rest of a Nandos fowl you didn’t eat all of last night or a supermarket packet that should be eaten by tomorrow? Don’t splash out on Chiquitos, make your own fajitas at home with a pack of wraps and some veggies. Shred the cooked chicken, add some chilli flakes and fry it with sliced peppers, onions and sweetcorn. Use plain yogurt or mix lime/lemon with mayo and line the wraps with them, layer on that salsa you got with your supersize pack of Doritos the other day and stuff with chicken and veggies. If you don’t have wraps, use pitta bread instead to make a pocket fajita.

• Neglecting your fruit bowl? Peel and chop fruit, put them a pan with sugar and water and stew them for 10 minutes. Eat with yoghurt, cereal/porridge, in some pastry or even on its own.

• Homemade pastry is so 1950’s. Just buy a pack of frozen filo/puff pastry, defrost, roll it out and go crazy with the fillings. Scrape the last of the jam or Nutella in the middle and bake in the oven for 20 minutes for a sweet treat. For a main meal or snack, make a light pizza with tomato sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice.

• Tinned tomatoes are your friends. Make your own pasta sauce by frying onion and garlic, add a few tins of chopped tomatoes, season to taste with salt, sugar and pepper and leave it to simmer (stir every so often) for half an hour while you watch TV or devise an essay plan. With this sauce, you can make use of it for pizza, pasta and even salsa.

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Autumn Edition 2013

Instead of wasting food, you can create new dishes when you need fuel for those all-nighters

• Spare vegetables get lonely. It’s tempting to throw away all of the spare veggies but use them up just before they expire. Make a stirfry, bake them in the oven or use that blender stowed away in the cupboard (if your kitchen actually has one) and blend with stock to make a soup.

• Carbs aren’t doomed after a day. Spare rice and pasta/ spaghetti can be fried up with veggies and chicken. Crumble up stale breadcrumbs and seasoning, dip chicken in egg and fry to make schnitzel. If you prefer to eat bread in the morning, revive it under the grill for a few minutes to get it almost perfect. For those with a sweet tooth, use it for French toast.

• Don’t disdain scraps, they have feelings too. Recently all of my stock of Muller fruit corners expired. I opened one to find a curdled yogurt but the cherry filling was untouched. Not to be deterred, I scooped out the fruit and decorated my bowl of porridge instead. Same goes with those abandoned tiny potatoes. Peel, chop them up into strips, sprinkle with whatever seasonings you have to hand and either fry them in the pan or bake them in the oven for chips.

• Never go for those nasty noodles in packets or pots. I found out recently they contain wax to preserve it. If you want something noodley, use spaghetti or fresh noodles from the bargain bin. To make your leftovers into a meal with the help of lower cost ingredients, the options are endless. Happy creating! l

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Food and Tips Politics and News Art and Culture Give and Take

Turning leftovers into lunch


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Are you aged 16-25? Got something you’d love to tell people about? Why not write for our magazine? We’d love to hear from you!Send a covering letter and 200-300 word example of your writing to Amber at amber@interact-uk.org.uk For more information go to interact-uk.org.uk

Grech’s Guide: Surving Uni

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Written by Franco Grech

ASK THE TEAM -

I studied Multimedia Technology at Leeds Metropolitan University for three years. It was a great experience and during my time, I gained a better understanding of my ideal proffession. It was the perfect opportunity to move out from Hammersmith and become more independent elsewhere with others. Here is how you can enjoy your next few years and get the most out of university:

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Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

It is important to get your educations worth and that you understand the topic. Asking for feedback is crucial. It’s the best way to find out where your work currently stands. Find out where your tutor’s office is and see them regularly. If you receive negative feedback, acknowledge the criticism and use it to improve your work.

Join Student Union Societies

My first day at university and it seemed like everyone already knew each other. I found this intimidating but after signing up to a couple of societies, I got to meet new people and make good friends. I also learnt a lot of new things about myself and took on new interests. From joining the Leeds Met Rock Society, I got to film live bands and create promotional material, as well learn to appreciate other music genres. I also started going to gigs with the team.

Which fictional character would you be? Amira Haroen

Magazine Co-ordinator & Photographer

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Get Out the House

Go out with your housemates; attend any events you’ve heard about and say yes to any new opportunities that may arise. Even if you do get stressed out from doing an assignment, everyday you should do at least one thing that you find fun.

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Show Up

You will hear this a lot but it is true. With the ridiculously high increase in education fees, it is important that you are getting your money’s worth and not wasting your time.Making notes during your lectures and working during the seminars is the easiest option.

Learn to Cook

I can’t express how many students (including myself), would rely on fast-food restaurants after finishing an evening seminar or from after a night out. One of my biggest regrets was not cooking regularly, which just made me ill.

Autumn Edition 2013

Work with Your Classmates

Sometimes I would be working in the same room as some of my classmates. We would have different abilities and knowledge This encouraged us to learn from one another. The same could also apply to those who are studying a more academic course. This also makes doing work more enjoyable.

Learn Online

Your tutors are not your only source of learning. From doing a design course, I learnt more about the software that I use from watching online tutorials on YouTube or reading books and blog posts from design professionals. It is also a good idea to look things up on forums such as Stack Overflow.

Treat Yourself After the Deadline

I always found retail therapy after spending many hours to complete a deadline was one of the most refreshing things. When you achieve the results that you want, always take the time to go out and celebrate with your friends, you deserve it!

Enjoy the First Year

Do not over-dedicate yourself in the first year or feel too pressured to get the best grade. It is just as important to enjoy the university experience and make new friends in the area. You should attend your lectures and seminars, but you should also be socialising and exploring the area. The pass mark is only 40%, and the only way you could possibly fail is by not attending at all.

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Enjoy the Final Year, But Work Harder

This is the most important year, as this is where the majority of your final grade is determined.This will probably lead to stress. You really want to find the balance between hard work and having a good time. Do your absolute best to get the best results you can get but also find time to see your friends.

LEONARDO (TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES) “He is a leader, strong, confidewnt and can fight like Karate Kid. Fighting skills I would love to posses.“ Linkedin/amiraharoen

FRANCO GRECH

peter whiddon

Designer & Writer

Designer & Photographer

SPIDERMAN “I take on great responsibilities and face big challenges on a day to day basis. It will also be cool to swing through the city and do some crazy flips!”

DANGER MOUSE “ I am a great problem solver and witty and like a silly partner to add some comedy or correct me.” peterwhiddon.com

behance.net/francogrech

Amrit Matharu

Selina Moses

Kingsley Reuben

Writer & Photographer

Writer

Writer

GENIE (ALADIN) “I can adapt well to people and environments that I am in. Most often with an overly-enthusiastic attitude!”

PIPI LONGSTOCKINGS “ I am a loyal friend, I like to tend to my inner child and indulge in plenty of gingerbread”

DR. WHO “he’s powerful and playful in equal measure.”

www.amarettosworld. tumblr.com

Harry Read

twitter.com/koreuben

gingerchestnut.blogspot. co.uk

Xander Grace

Lea Fessahaye

Writer

Writer

Writer

EDMUND “I’d be Edmund from Blackadder, but I’d probably end up as Captain Darling.”

GREAT GATSBY “From poverty to social elite, with dubstep and Beyonce”

DYNAMO THE MAGICIAN - “I would love to have that intelligence and power and making people shocked and think I am amazing.”

Katharina Grimm

Catriona Black

Writer

Writer

REPORTER TIN-TIN - “I would have a stable job, get to travel to the moon, have a dog and be best friends with Captain Haddock!”

INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU - “Without fail things always turn out right for him.”

FREELANCERS Neha Nagpal - Writer Mike Spencer - Writer Brayan Lopez - Photographer

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Sonnet Of A Sober Drunk

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Autumn Edition 2013


Interact magazine autumn 2013