THE UNITY ISSUE
THE DIGITAL EMANCIPATION OF SEX WORKERS Looking at the broad climate of digitalised sex work
CARDIFF STUDENT MEDIA PULLOUT
BORED OF ALL THE BAD NEWS?
how to get involved with Cardiff Student Media
we share our favourite positive news stories from 2020
2 - EDITOR’S LETTER issue 178
audience, and developed our social media pages to a new level of growth. Our design has reached new heights thanks to our Head of Design Orlagh Turner and record number of design contributors – a success that was recognised upon making it onto the Student Publication Association Best Design national award shortlist. Back in November we were awarded Best Publication in Wales for the third year running, only to be shortlisted for Best Publication in the UK in the upcoming SPA awards. None of this would have been possible without the help of my executive team and I hope every one of them is as proud of myself as I am of them.
When I began my stint as Editor-in-Chief of Quench Magazine back in May of 2019, I often thought about what the future of the publication would hold. I tried to picture the front covers we would create, the articles we would write and the positive reception we would hopefully receive. What I could never have predicted was that I would be sat here writing my final Editor’s note in the middle of a global pandemic, producing our last issue remotely with the help of team members who have returned home from University and are now dotted across the globe. But then again, I never would have believed you if you’d told me that by the end of this I’d be a Taylor Swift fan - Quench really has been full of surprises! The necessary shutdown of Cardiff Student Media provided us with a big hurdle that seemed uncrossable in regard to my plans for ending the year at this magazine. It came in a week where I had already been notified of the cancellation of numerous events in my 2020 calendar that I had been counting down the days to and I felt like I had lost my sense of purpose. Following the initial shock, I decided that cutting the year short just wasn’t an option. I was determined to keep Quench above water, even if everything else around us seemed destined to sink. I had my priorities in the right order, with safety coming first but the survival of our publication coming in at a close second. And, as you can see, we’ve managed to come together and produce our longest issue of the year to date to bring the 2019/20 run to a close. This year has been a delight to say the least. But, if I am allowed to, I would also like to deem it a success. We’ve changed our printing size from A3 to A4, developed our Cardiff Story front cover series to give a voice to University students who came to study in the city from a range of different backgrounds, created local and national content that appealed to our
I can’t thank my team enough for sticking together when things have been difficult, especially in these current times when we could have ceased to continue altogether. Across the year they have demonstrated passion, artistry and resourcefulness. I have no doubt that they all have bright futures ahead of them, and I look forward to hopefully seeing some of their names in various bylines in the future. I also could not end my last issue without expressing a final thank you to my Deputy Editor. Luisa, you have been the glue that has held Quench (and me!) together. Your creativity has no limits and the dedication and support you have shown is unrivalled. I’m so proud of everything we have created together, and I could not have done any of it without you. So, Issue 178. We’ve really pulled no punches in terms of content. We tried to stray away from discussing the virus in too much depth, as it’s saturation across news headlines is enough to send anyone crazy. Instead, we’ve focused on the positive as much as possible to produce an issue that fits into the theme of ‘togetherness’ – something very much needed in the current climate. Our features section have looked at some of the more uplifting events to occur in 2020, Food & Drink have looked at bars in Cardiff that can provide you with an alternative night out to the frequently attended SU nights, and our Head of Music Josh has written a piece in an attempt to persuade you that Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream really is the best teenpop album of all time. Find that, and so much more, in this extra special online-only issue of Quench Magazine. On that note, thank you for joining me on this journey. Five magazines later, and I’ve got friends, memories and enough print issues of Quench to last me a lifetime. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I have making them.
KATIE MAY HUXTABLE Editor-in-Chief
l from your
d deputy... Farewell to my Journalistic Haven
I don’t know what I expected when I took the decision to leave Mexico City for three years and move to Cardiff. In retrospective, the whole experience was quite bold: I had never visited Cardiff before and my only knowledge of British culture consisted on scones (which apparently, I still pronounce wrong) Skins, and Monty Python –two shows that definitely do not give you a rational idea of what the real thing is like. Yet, here I am, three years later with an endless array of British culture trivia knowledge (thank you for that Katie, Danny and Josh), with an unexplainable addiction for cider and pork scratchings (hello Mia), and a mad obsession with Gavin & Stacey, The Inbetweeners and Fresh Meat (we still need to finish that last one, Nathan). Since I moved to Cardiff there has been a peculiar question wandering in my head: where is home? I don’t know why I was so obsessed with finding an answer. It was almost as if I had to choose between Wales or Mexico, as if my identity had to be based on one or the other, but not both. Today, as I find myself #StayingAtHome (ironically, neither in Wales, nor Mexico, but actually England), I realise this whole dynamic was unnecessary to begin with. Why should it matter where home is? I’ve felt at home at so many instances in so many occasions in the last three years. I felt at home every time I walked in to my house in 85 Woodville Road after a day of lectures; I felt at home when I came back to Mexico after spending nine months abroad and I finally ate the papas Habaneras, tamales and tacos al pastor that I had been craving for so long; I felt at home when I celebrated my sister’s quinceañera party in Mendoza; I felt at home when I visited Maya in Beirut; I felt at home when I reunited with Constanza and Claudio in Barcelona, with Florian in London, Diego in Vienna, and Sofia in Ireland; I felt at home every time my dad shared the Quench articles I had written on his Facebook. I feel at home now, as I share my quarantine madness with my boyfriend’s family (thank you Silvia, Geoff and Oli). All along, I should have known. It was never about the geographical location, it was about the people around me. Now, you might be wondering what on Earth all this has to do with Quench. Well, the truth is, Quench is, and has been, the home I always craved for. Yes, we might technically be based in Cardiff, but this quarantine has demonstrated that the thing holding us together is not the geographical location: it’s the passion we all share to create something meaningful. From the amazing design implemented and polished by Orlagh and our contributing designers, to the original articles pitched by each one of our editors and written by each one of our contributors, Quench is ultimately
DEPUTY EDITOR’S LETTER - 3
a big collaboration of ideas. Ideas that breathe and multiple within these pages. It feels like a lifetime ago when Katie called me to offer me the role of Deputy Editor, but since day one I have been so grateful and honoured that she trusted me with her mission. I like to think that together, we created something that brought light and (literal) colour into both our lives. It gave us something to look forward to each month, and it gave us a platform to let all our contributors explore their creativity with no constrains. Quench is a home where each pillar is set by the individuals behind it, it’s a place where we don’t have to worry about profits, readerships or clicks. It has been my journalistic haven, and I couldn’t be happier that I got to share it with so many amazing souls. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication Laura, Lauren, Katie, Cynthia, James McClements, Sofia, Neus, Indigo, Janaki, Phoebe, Mike, Ella Woodcock, Eduardo, Jasmine, Nicole, Ellie Ball, Denise, Hazel, Kate, James Barker, Molly, Marcus, Izzy, Josh, Elaine, Becca, Coby, Emily, Ella Cuss, Charlie, Rhianna, Elly, Orlagh, and Katie May. I hope you also found a home within these pages, and I wish you the best in your future (multiple!) homes.
LUISA DE LA CONCHA MONTES Deputy Editor
4 - MEET THE TEAM issue 178
Social Media Manager James Barker
Editor in Chief Katie May Huxtable
Social Media Assistants Janaki Selvaratnam and Coby Barker
Head of Illustration Elaine Tang
Deputy Editor Luisa De la Concha Montes
Head of Photography Charlie Troulan Deputy Head of Photography Ella Cuss Head of Design Orlagh Turner Deputy Head of Design Ula Rodakowska
Dear Ella... Ella Woodcock
Front cover illustration based on a photography by Yulia Gorbachenko. Credit: https://www.behance.net/ yuliagorbachenko / https:// www.behance.net/gallery/56813393/ ColourPop-Campaign-Summer-2017
Columnist Phoebe Grinter
MEET THE TEAM - 5
Features Rhianna Hurren-Myers, Elly Coyle and Rebecca Astill
Culture Sofia Brizio and Neus Forner
Clebar Indigo Jones
Food & Drink Katie Duffin and Lauren Stenning
Travel Marcus Yeatman-Crouch and Molly Govus
Music Kate Waldock, Josh Ong and James McClements
Fashion & Beauty Izzy Wackett and Emily Ricalton
Download Mike Oâ€™Brien
Copy Editors Ellie Ball, Denise Dogan and Hazel Thayre
Film & TV Cynthia Vera and Laura Dazon
Q3 Editor Jasmine Snow Q3 Deputy Editors Eduardo Karas and Nicole Rees-Williams
6 - CONTENTS issue 178
CONTENTS: Cardiff Story
8-9. Interview with Maya El-Moussaoui
Playlist of the Issue 10-11.
12-13. Diolch, Caerdydd
14-15. Bored of all the Bad News? 16. An Ode to Handwriting 17. Let’s Talk: Labia 18-19. Break Ups: Falling Out of Love & Finding Your Feet
20-23. A Beginner’s Guide to Photography: Defining Your Style 24-25. Feminism Across Cultures 26. Bibliotheraphy: Can Reading Make Us Happier?
27. Llythyr i fi fy hun 28-29. Ein Hoff Selebs Cymraeg 30-31. Y Gorau O Gymru
Food & Drink
32-33. The Alternative Student Scene 34. Food Apps You Didn’t Know You Needed 35. Chef Sensations 36-37. Our Very Own Student Led Farmer’s Market 38-41. Food Photoshoot: Home Recipes
42-45. The Places that Changed Us 46-47. What Travel Means to Us 48-49. Behind the Scenes: The Importance of Place in Film & TV 50. Travel Gallery
Cardiff Student Media: The Pullout 51-62.
Phoebe Grinter Rebecca Astill Rhianna Hurren-Myers Molly Govus Elly Sava Luisa De la Concha Montes Neus Forner Sofia Brizio Indigo Jones Catrin Lewis Dafydd Orritt Katie Duffin Eva Rodericks Anna Hart Anna Heledd Sai Isabella Marcucci Peter Wolinski Josh Ong Lauren Stenning Francesca Ionescu Sarah Belger Tammy-Louise Wilkins Marcus Yeatman-Crouch Olly Allen Amira Banaulikar Ona Ojo Luke Griffiths Abigail Thomas Kate Waldock Craig Strachan Joshua Allen Kristie O’Connor Cynthia Vera Tabitha Jukes Laura Dazon Mike O’Brien Phoebe Bowers Sahina Sherchan Bronte Spargo Pui Kuan Cheah Lottie Ennis Alex Daud Briggs Muskan Arora Ella Woodcock Katie May Huxtable Tomos Evans Finegas Stockting Polly Denny Hannah Priest Orlagh Turner Reece Chambers Jasmine Snow
issue 178 CONTENTS - 7
Film & TV
Album of all Time 66-67. The Best Underrated Female Artists in the UK 68-69. Best Album Covers
63. Local Artist Spotlight: Memory Camp 64. Robbie Williams is Britain’s Best Ever Popstar 65. 10 Years On: Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream is still the Best Teenpop
Fashion & Beauty
70. Our Favourite Fashion Designers 71. The Revival of the Androgynous Model 72-73. A 70’s Revival 74-77. Fashion Photoshoot: Student Photography
78. Gazing at the World Through Cinema 79. Editor’s Picks: Our Favourite Films 80. Sympathy for the Devil: The Anatomy of the Likeable Villain 81. 20 Years of... 82-83. The Digital Emancipation of Sex Workers 84. The Sunken Titans of Digital Culture 85. The Human Cost of Amazon
86. Staying in Touch 87. Q&A
Katie May Huxtable Alessio Philip Grain Luisa De la Concha Montes Esther Loi James Barker Josh Ong Neus Forner Orlagh Turner Elaine Tang Lottie Ennis Amelia Field Elly Savva Kate Waldock
8 - FRONT COVER Q&A issue 178
Interview and modelling: MAYA EL-MOUSSAOUI design by: LUISA DE LA CONCHA MONTES
FRONT COVER Q&A - 9
This year at Quench, we gave a different student the chance to feature on each of our issues. Due to the physical constraints of COVID-19, we couldn’t hold a normal photoshoot, instead, we present here a collection of self-portraits taken by Maya; highlighting that individual narratives –achieved through collaborative work– are still at the fore of our publication, regardless of the limitations imposed by the lockdown. In this interview, Maya talked to us about her close-knit life in Beirut, the challenges she confronted when moving to Cardiff and the relatable strangeless of staying at home.
Maya El-Moussaoui Age: 20 Course: Media, Journalism and Cultural Studies What was your life like growing up? The majority of my childhood was spent in Beirut. It was very family oriented and communal way of living. I was living in a big city, but even for such an overpopulated place, everyone seems to know each other somehow. I attended the same school from kindergarten to college, so naturally I had a very intimate relationship with my classmates. It was an American school, so it was a very free environment where I was encouraged to express myself and try new things. Those days were carefree, it was good weather, good food and good company.
How was your life at home different to your life in Cardiff? Moving from Beirut to Cardiff was a complete culture shock. I had been to the UK before, but it was the first time living somewhere alone, which was drastically different from my life back home. I had never experienced life outside of my sheltered bubble, which put me at a very vulnerable state. It’s challenging to create a new foundation and maneuver in new surroundings. Every university student can relate to that experience. But personally, the most challenging thing is the culture barrier. Coming from having the same friends for eighteen years and being surrounded by lots of family, to moving somewhere completely foreign was isolating. It’s not that I’m not familiar with the culture that I was in, it’s the fact that I barely met anyone who could relate with my background or put the effort to really get to know me.
What aspects of your childhood do you feel influenced your time at University today? My school helped me excel in the subjects I was better at, such as Arts, English and History. That influenced my decision at taking journalism at university. In a non-academic view, my childhood helped me be an individual and embrace my culture, which I have taken into my university life.
What will you miss about your experience in Cardiff when you graduate? I’ll miss long nights in and spontaneous nights out with friends. I’ll miss barbeques at Bute Park on sunny days. I’ll miss going to lectures and skipping them. I’ll miss adventures outside of Cardiff into the beautiful outskirts of Wales. I’ll miss the people too. But one thing I won’t miss are the seagulls.
What are has kept you busy during the lockdown? There is a list of things I’ve attempted to do, like workout, read a book and do my coursework. I’ve tried to do those things, but it’s been dependent on my mood. What I’ve successfully done is waste hours playing Sims 4 and Fortnight. Painting has also been a therapeutic pastime, but the thing I’ve done most is eat. No summer bodies in 2020.
What are you most looking forward to doing when the pandemic is over? Seeing friends and family, and just go out anywhere. Food, drinks, parks, beach, I don’t care as long as I’m out of the house.
10 - PLAYLIST OF THE ISSUE issue 178
1. 4. 7.
DON’T START NOW DUA LIPA
TIMES LIKE THESE -ACOUSTIC VERSION FOO FIGHTERS
PART OF ME KATY PERRY
2. 5. 8. SUN QUEEN
IF YOU’RE TOO SHY (LET ME KNOW) THE 1975
HANGING OFF YOUR CLOUD COURTEENERS
3. 6. 9. CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT TAYLOR SWIFT
ADVERTISING SPACE ROBBIE WILLIAMS
OBSTACLE 1 INTERPOL
11. 14. LAMPSHADES ON FIRE MODEST MOUSE
12. LIVE FOREVERREMASTERED OASIS
playlist by: JOSH ONG design by: ORLAGH TURNER
PLAYLIST OF THE ISSUE - 11
12 - COLUMN issue 178
Diolch, Caerdydd words by: PHOEBE GRINTER design by: ORLAGH TURNER
After four crazy years, my time at Cardiff University has abruptly come to an end. After years of essay writing, revision cramming, late nights and occasional early mornings, I want to thank Cardiff for being my home and the best years of my life so far. With (virtual) graduation looming, the end of my time in education has come and I am feeling all the emotions. While there are some things I won’t miss about uni – like exams on a Saturday – there are a lot of things I will miss and am very grateful that I had the chance to experience while living and studying in wonderful Cardiff. The best thing about starting each term at uni is crossing the bridge into Wales and getting the perfect boomerang so all my followers know. That feeling when you cross the bridge, when all the signs become unreadable and it immediately starts raining, is when you know you’re entering Cardiff. Although I complained about it at the time, I loved living in Uni Halls in first year. Despite being labelled a bus w*nker, while people trekked it to and from Taly in the constant Cardiff rain, I was very smug on my Uni Halls bus. The people I met in my first-year halls ended up being some of my best friends at uni, which was lucky because we only had each other for company up in Roath, far away from humanity and dangerously close to Cardiff Met. Living in a student house is an experience I will never forget. From hosting huge pres in second year to having sophisticated wine and movie nights in final year, I wouldn’t change a thing about my two Cardiff houses, not even the mould, unreturned deposits, or unexpected house viewings while I was still in bed.
I may be biased, but Cardiff is the best night out in the UK, if not the world. Whether you’re into cheesy live bands or funky DJ events, Cardiff has something for everyone. From going out twice a week in first year to once a month in final year, I have experienced it all and I already can’t wait to come back for a Juice sesh. Everyone says you meet your soulmate at university, and it was on a night out drunk that I met the love of my life: cheesy chips and curry sauce. You’re all invited to the wedding. Before I came to Cardiff, I was indifferent to rugby. hat quickly changed. Rugby international weekends in Cardiff are something very special to savour. Whether you’re going to the Principality or just enjoying the atmosphere in the city centre, there’s nowhere on earth like Cardiff on international day. For a true cultural experience, it has to be rugby and it has to be Cardiff. People dressed in red, singing the Welsh national anthem and wearing daffodils had me forgetting that I’m actually English and not Welsh. Another massive highlight of my time at university has to be the best day on the academic calendar: Varsity. If you’re not drunk by 10am you’re doing it wrong. Everyone comes together on this day to chant, drink, and be merry. If you’re staggering home in the early hours with only one shoe on, the other lost in an eagerness to participate in ‘shoes off if you hate Swansea’, then you know you’ve had a good time #bleedRED. Obviously I need to mention the beauty of Cardiff city itself. From Roath and Bute parks to the Bay and Barry beach, we are lucky to have havens of natural beauty in the hustle and bustle of the city centre. From high street shops to cute arcades and boutiques, and top chain restaurants to artisan coffee shops, you’re never short of things to see and do while avoiding any form of uni work. Cardiff Student Media has played a big part in my university experience from first year, but especially as Quench columnist this year. I am thankful that I have had the pleasure of seeing my work in print and online alongside the work of Quench’s talented writers, designers and photographers. Although I still don’t know how to say Clwb Ifor Bach properly, I have learnt a lot of things living in Cardiff. I have learnt that wine comes in three measurements: small, large, and pint, never wear an England shirt on international day, and that I was never truly cold until I was student-house cold. Whilst I am so sad that my time in Cardiff is over, I am thankful for the time I spent in this wonderful city and I am excited for what’s to come - and for a night in Live Lounge in the near future. Diolch, Caerdydd.
COLUMN - 13
14 - FEATURES issue 178
It’s been a tough old year for us humans and we’re not even halfway thr our eyes by the news everyday. Modern media expects us to shoulder e Acceptance of vulnerability should become acquainted with strength. I back and smell the roses - take a look at some of the good news which h
Animal shelters have emptied after mass adopting to cope with self-isolation
Tesco now sell plasters in different skin tones
It isn’t just toilet rolls and paracetamol that people are stockpiling during the coronavirus outbreak – people are also taking home a new foster pet. Best Friends Animal Society, a non-profit organisation which operates nationwide, and Muddy Paws, another shelter, have both closed in New York City, because all of its animals have found homes. In the UK, Battersea Dogs and Cats home found forever homes for 86 dogs and 69 cats in one week in March. It seems that everyone is looking for some form of companionship in self-isolation.
Tesco have become the first supermarket to stock plasters in light, medium and dark shades in an effort to better reflect ethnic diversity and a more accurate depiction of Britain. This was inspired by Dominique Apollon, a black American man whose viral tweet said that he was ‘holding back tears’ when he first came across a plaster which matched his skin tone. Such a mundane product can become so emotive if you think about the impact on everyone – one person replied to the tweet saying that they remembered wearing light plasters as a child making them selfconscious about their skin colour. Representation is so crucial to belonging to a community. Hopefully this can be the beginning of other retailers following suit.
ASOS now shows clothes on different sized models
Amsterdam canal boats to switch from diesel to electric power
Along the same vein of diversity, ASOS now offer a ‘see my fit’ option, an augmented reality tool which depicts clothes on sizes 4 through to 18. Although this is not available for all its products yet, it is for over 800 dresses on the site. Everyone can relate to the frustration of shopping for a pair of jeans online, unable to tell whether they will suit you or not when they are all modeled on the same body shape. Gone will be the frustration of returning clothes the day after they arrive (or a couple of weeks later if you’re anything like me). This is a big step towards inclusivity in fashion.
In some more good news for the planet (the planet seems to be doing rather well out of the pandemic!), Amsterdam are converting of all their canal boats from diesel to electric by 2025. Many boats have already been or are in the process of being converted. Although this will undoubtedly come at a sizeable cost to the business owners of the canal boats, they will become more durable and environmentally friendly. This comes as part of a wider scheme for Amsterdam to significantly reduce their energy consumption by 20% in 2020 and use more renewable energy. For a city fundamentally driven by tourism, these are huge steps which will have a prolific impact.
Galápag save spe
When o tortoise Galápag program 2000 to high se branded ‘hero’. H back int it’s Dieg
FEATURES - 15
rough. It’s easy to be deeply impacted by the content paraded in front of everything bad in the world, but nobody can do this and remain sane. Instead of becoming numb to the bad news, its important to take a step has come out of 2020…
gos tortoise, Diego, fathers 800 offspring to ecies
only 15 wild giant Chelonoidis hoodensis es remained on the island of Española, the gos National Park began a captive breeding mme. This was so successful that it produced ortoises, with 40% being thanks to Diego’s x drive. The 100+ year old pensioner been d in the news as a ‘sex addict’, a ‘playboy’ and a Having saved his own kind, he has now retired to the wild. If anyone’s going to cheer us up, go.
Father hears late son’s heartbeat in teddy bear gift In the USA, Dakota Reid’s parents donated his organs after he died in a car crash last year. The recipient of his heart recorded the heartbeat and had a teddy bear made which makes that sound when its heart is pressed. The gift was sent to Dakota’s parents, Josh and Stephanie, and Josh’s reaction was caught on camera as he realised what the sound was. This is an incredibly heart-warming story in a time when the safety of our loved ones is playing on our minds even more than usual.
Cardiff school acquire therapy dog called Daisy A bit closer to home, Llanishen High School have taken on a Cavalier King Charles puppy to help pupil wellbeing. Daisy is officially trained as a Pets At Therapy 3 year old dog who has helped to reduce stress and anxiety, particularly in those in public examination years. The school allow Daisy to sit on pupil’s laps during lessons, and the students can make appointments to spend time with her. I might’ve been more excited for school if I got to see a puppy everyday.
There is so much community spirit throughout humanity right now Ironically, although we are all in isolation, this pandemic is likely to be the most communal experience that any of us will witness. This is embodied by the UK clapping NHS workers at night, Italians singing together in their balconies, and children around the world drawing rainbows on their windows to show that the clouds will pass. Maybe we should listen to the children – after every storm, comes a rainbow. With every end comes a new beginning. Take this time to refresh. Life is a bit weird at the moment and it’s OK to feel anxious, angry, sad and confused. It’s completely OK if you’re pissed off about something that you were looking forward to being cancelled. Make sure you pick up the phone and keep in touch with your friends and family – especially older relatives who are probably really lonely and scared. Make sure you express your gratitude to any key workers you know – NHS staff, volunteers, teachers, supermarket staff, and emergency service workers who are all risking their lives each day, and all have families of their own. Think about how great life is going to be after this. I don’t know when that will be, but I do know that we are going to emerge with a new lease of life. Think about all the pub trips with friends you miss now, the endless cuppas you’re going to have at your Grandma’s, the first time you play that sport which you haven’t been able to. No one knows when things will go back to normal, but I do know that it’s going to be epic.
PLEASE DEETE THESE BORDERS WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED DESIGNING
words by: REBECCA ASTILL design by: ESTHER LOI
16 - FEATURES issue 178
AN ODE TO In 2006, a short article in the “arts” section of the Guardian online made the bold claim that we are witnessing the death of handwriting. Humans have become numbers, Stuart Jeffries argued; automated algorithms have rendered even our signatures obsolete. Over 10 years later, and perhaps his words ring truer than ever. At the end of February, David Jones of Qualifications Wales declared computer-based assessment was the next logical step for GCSEs. He pointed to the ‘new normal’ of communication – young people are spending far less time writing with pen and paper, and are therefore much less likely to utilise handwriting in their future careers. There are some aspects of this, however, that he could have got completely wrong. Perhaps most obviously, revision itself. We are constantly told throughout our education that writing out our notes is a much more effective revision tool than typing them, and it’s not uncommon during university lectures to see the odd notebook amongst the wall of laptop screens. Just like our unique handwriting, everyone has their own unique method for note-taking. But is one better than the other?
What inspired you to start your Instagram account? I wasn’t doing too great in my A-Levels and had seen other accounts like mine on Instagram. I really needed something to keep me motivated, so I started posting my notes on my Instagram. This way I was tracking my progress and interacting with other students around the world. It pushed me to keep working so that I had something to post! How do you like to record your lecture or seminar notes? I download the lecture PowerPoints onto my iPad and annotate them with any extra information the lecturer gives. What is your daily studying schedule like? I always aim to do at least two hours of studying/uni work a day. If I have a lecture, I’ll come home and read over it, do some extra reading and then condense it into handwritten notes. If I have the whole day off, I aim to do a 9-5 of studying (with breaks, obviously). This means when it comes to the weekend, I don’t have to do any studying!
Quench Features caught up with Zoe Petre, whose flawless handwritten notes have made quite the splash on the ‘gram, to hear her thoughts…
Do you have any revision tips? The earlier you start, the better. Get your revision resources for each topic/module made as soon as possible and try to revisit old content regularly. Create a checklist so you don’t forget to revise topics, and this way you can track how confident you’re feeling with them.
What do you study and what are your contact hours like? I’m currently in my second year studying Biomedical Science. My contact hours are quite low this year, with around 6 lectures a week and 2 labs. Second year really focuses on independent learning.
Can you recommend any good study apps? Forest is a great app to keep you from being distracted from your phone. You set a timer and grow a tree for that duration, if you leave the app the tree dies. Quizlet is also great for online flashcards, and even has games which encourage you to learn!
What do you hope to do after university? I’m not too sure just yet! I’m thinking about doing a PGCE and going into teaching or trying to get into the NHS scientist training programme. All I know is that I want to do something that has a positive impact on people!
How do you stay study-motivated? Thinking of my future goals and aspirations keeps me motivated. I always remind myself that what I’m doing now is going to pay off and get me to where I want to be in the future. Think to yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, and what you hope to achieve with it.
What do you most enjoy about university-style learning? The variety in the way you’re taught by different lecturers, and the different type of assignments you’re given. It really tests your knowledge and understanding. There’s a great balance between working independently and getting the opportunity to work in a group with people you’ve never even met on your course.
words by: RHIANNA HURREN-MYERS design by: ESTHER LOI picture: ZOE PETRE
Once and for all, laptops or good old fashioned pen and paper? I think a balance of both! Laptops are great as everything is in one place, and you can do everything on them. Nothing beats pen and paper for me when it comes to writing up my notes. It really helps me retain the information.
Get study-inspired by Zoe’s Instagram account: @zoestudies
No, not ‘lips’, the ‘lady V’ or ‘lady bits’ – it is, quite simply, the labia. Say it loud and proud. Do you feel a little bit of cringe entering your body? Maybe. I don’t blame you if you do, because, for some strange reason, it is 2020 and yet we still shiver at the thought of addressing vaginas for what they really are, and the respect they so rightly deserve. It is about time that we get our terminology straight. So, what is the labia? The labia consist of the labia majora (outer lips) and the labia minora (inner lips), or as some lovely mediums jump to call it, the dear old ‘flaps’. The irony is, it is so much more than just a piece of skin, and, let’s be honest, ‘flaps’ is hardly an appealing adjective. The ‘flaps’ of the labia minora can provide sexual stimulation for sexual partners through friction during penetration, and when aroused, the skin provides a lubricated barrier to protect from irritation and ensures you have pleasurable sex. You would assume, in this case, that bigger is better…right? If only this were the preferred opinion. Overall, the labia are brilliant at their function in the human body. We’ve all watched porn or have been held witness to a similar depiction of female genital anatomy. We’ve all seen our poor ladyflowers presented as hairless and as plucked as naked mole rats with a symmetry only ever seen in geometry. I bet that we’ve also all pondered, head-angled, ‘why doesn’t mine look like that…am I weird?’ It’s time to give up the joke – the ‘perfect’ vagina is far from real and it will always remain as an artificial facade, because the average and normal vagina will always be found between our legs, not on our screens. This small and creeping feeling of self-doubt about our own anatomy can be detrimental, and this can often start from a young age. Statistics from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery revealed a distressing truth: in one year alone, 200 girls under 18 went under the knife for labiaplasty. Over 150 of these girls were under 15. This should hardly be surprising, given the feeling of inadequacy that we have all experienced - a mirror wedged between our legs on a cold bathroom floor, examining every nook and cranny, and yet, still wondering why it did not look ‘enough’. At a woman’s most vulnerable, alone and naked with her legs open wide, she is still judged for her most intimate parts.
Labiaplasty is often marketed as a way to ‘reduce the size or correct the shape of the labia minora and majora…a designer vagina surgery’ according to medbelle.com. You hear that? Correct. As though there was ever a problem with its shape and size in the first place. Very rarely are these types of surgeries performed for medical reasons, but instead, for aesthetic purposes to give the aspired ‘perfect vagina’. If that weren’t enough, large labia are often fetishized as something alien-like and freakish for the pleasure of porn-watchers. Labia can be stretched or change in shape or size due to the wonderful phenomenon of childbirth – if only people knew that it was more than a piece of flesh to be sexualised. More often than not, it is shown that women either fit the mould, or they don’t; if they deviate from this specific standard then they are subject to dehumanising and fetishizing. When will simple and plain acceptance of the body win and rise above societal expectations? It is all good to ask the questions, but having an action plan to stop and change this is what will move things forward for future generations of women. The perfect woman with the perfect body is something ingrained deeply within all of us, but it is so important to think about where we got these ideals from. Advertisements, marketing, pornography, surgery – it isn’t real. If you want to see true and honest variation, all you need to do is look at Jamie McCartney’s 2008 masterpiece, ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’. A brilliant title if I do say so myself. It is a nine-metre-long piece consisting of 400 plaster casts of real vulvas across 10 panels. The plaster casts include the vulvas of women age 18-76. The first time I saw this piece, I felt at ease and relief and I hope that it brings comfort to you, too. Female sexuality is integral and hell, is it powerful. The pivotal moment that we realise our bodies are enough as they are is the moment that all the power from outside sources are lost. We are all that matters, our opinion is all that matters. For your own female sexuality, a certain appearance of your genitals is not necessary. It’s time to talk about the ‘L’ word, and to be proud of it.
words by: MOLLY GOVUS design by: ESTHER LOI
PLEASE DEETE THESE BORDERS WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED DESIGNING
It’s time to talk about the ‘L’ word.
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18 - FEATURES issue 178 illustration courtesy of Matilda Welsh (@matildawelsh on Instagram)
“There’s always a price to pay for accepting love, and so there is from stepping away from it too. Either way, you forego your right to innocence. When you walk away from someone you used to love, you step closer to who you really are” Jessie Burton - The Confession
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There’s no denying that breakups really suck. You’re either left feeling sad, feeling guilty, or a bit of both. Whether you’re the one that’s been broken up with or the one that’s done the dumping, the fallout isn’t fun for either of you.
the jar, she can’t tell you off anymore. What are the things that you used to enjoy doing before that you lost along the way? If you think back, there are probably a lot of sacrifices you’ve made that are easily forgotten about.
Relationships are great for many reasons; there aren’t many things more exciting than the initial honeymoon period when you fall in love with somebody. After that, you have a best friend to share all the mundane parts of your life with. Family gatherings are much more bearable when you have somebody to bring along with you, there’s somebody there to call when you’ve had a bad day and you’ve missed your bus, and there’s somebody there to stroke your hair and lie beside you when you’re hungover and suffering on Sunday mornings. Breaking up with someone isn’t something you ever think about when you get together. However, it’s likely that you’re going to date people who aren’t right for you, and some things won’t work out.
The post-breakup period is also one of the best times to throw yourself into something completely new. A friend of mine who had been devastated by a break-up decided to buy a one-way plane ticket to Portugal and move into a hippy community. During this time, she lived in a van with two other humans and a rodent in the roof that sounded like a Jack Russell. Although I might have questioned her sanity at the time, a couple of months down the line she knocked on my door grinning ear to ear, and I had never been happier to see her looking so well and full of life again.
When things come to an end, you enter the mourning period. It’s similar to hibernation, but with much more eating and crying. At this time, daylight is your nemesis and your bed is your best friend. Netflix has probably asked if you’re ‘still there’ too many times to count, and the empty mugs (or wine glasses) build up in your room. At some point, you’ll get bored of all the moping and sleeping. Whether it’s one week later or four months on, one morning you’ll open your eyes and things won’t feel so bad. When this happens, it’s time for you to pull open the blinds, tidy up the mess, and get yourself ready for your new life. Alexa? Play Juice by Lizzo. In relationships, a part of your identity was shared. All that time spent with one person leads to often-identical tastes; the music you listened to, the sports you watched together, and the food that you both enjoyed eating. You also take on their bad habits. Smoking all the time? Sleeping in until 4pm? Using terrible puns? Apparently these are all contagious. By the time your relationship ends, you’ve probably ended up to be quite a different person from the one that you were when you went into it. Now you’re re-entering the world as a singleton, there’s a part of you that you’re going to go out and find again. Did you used to love Kate Bush but your boyfriend didn’t, so you stopped playing her? There’s nobody to complain when you listen to her now. Did your girlfriend hate the smell of mackerel? Pop open
Obviously, a stint in a commune isn’t something for everybody. However, there are a million other life changes you can make that are a little less drastic. For the first time in a while, you only have yourself to look after and put first. You don’t need to think about the consequences of your actions on anyone else (well, at least not too much). You could do cliché things like dye your hair, buy a ukulele, or even learn how to make your own sourdough. Who knows what you’ll become next. It is true that there’s a bit of a ‘void’ to fill when you leave a relationship. However, you don’t have to fill this up with romantic love. After my last break up, it really hit home that I have more than enough platonic love in my life to wish for anything more. I realised that I was already surrounded by friends who cared about me, who I could call up regularly, go for ‘date’ nights with, and they’ll even stroke my hair when I’m hungover too. If you look around you, there’s so many other ways of feeling complete. There’s no arguing with the fact that getting your heart broken is one of the worst feelings. However, it can teach you more about yourself than your relationships ever will. Seek comfort in your friends, try new things, and just enjoy being yourself again. Break ups suck, but if you play your cards right you’re going to have so much fun and love who you are more than ever before.
PLEASE DEETE THESE BORDERS WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED DESIGNING
words and design by: ELLY SAVVA
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A Beginner's Guide to Photography:
Defining Your Style
illustration based on a photograph by: TODD HIDO Todd Hidoâ€™s website: www.toddhido.com words, illustrations and design by: LUISA DE LA CONCHA MONTES
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This article is a continuation of Culture’s series “A Beginner’s Guide to Photography”. Previous articles covered: • What Is Photography? – https://tinyurl.com/rjwc3lc • Brief Glossary of Technical Concepts – https://tinyurl.com/thmv4xn • Budgeting & Being a Good Photographer – https://tinyurl.com/wyyg7qb In these moments of social distancing, photographs are becoming a visual document of how the situation is constantly shifting and evolving, and for me, this might be our best chance to bridge the gap between the academic and social side of photography. Regardless of what your relationship with photography is, we are all indirectly asking the same questions: What realities are these photographs constructing? What are they saying about our reaction to the crisis? And more importantly, as audiences and photographers ourselves, how can we contribute in a meaningful way? This article, will answer some of these questions by exploring the way in which you can develop your own photographic style, and create meaningful work that will stand out in this world of overwhelming images.
What makes an artist recognisable? In the first article of this series, I argued that painting should be acknowledged as the predecessor of photography because ultimately, both mediums are about finding a distinguishable personal style. If you look at the work of any iconic photographer, you will realise that the one thing they have in common is a well-developed obsession. Take for example the work of Todd Hido. A quick Google search will show you that his most iconic photographs depict American suburban houses with mysterious light effects. Alternatively, if you look up Andreas Gursky, you’ll see that his photographs consist of a conglomeration of objects, from houses to supermarket products, all of his photos ironically imitate the repetitive aesthetic of consumerism. I could go on listing many different artists and exemplifying what makes their style stand out, but you get the idea: their work is iconic and recognisable because it’s consistent. By owning up specific symbols and ideas, they have found their artistic voice.
Why photography? Photography is so embedded in our daily lives that it can be difficult to start asking yourself why you take photos. However, if you want to start using photography as an artistic medium, it is essential that you start deconstructing your photographic habits by questioning yourself. Why are you doing it? This is such an obvious thing to start with, but ironically, a lot of people get carried away with the ‘trendiness’ of photography and skip this step entirely. Do not fall for that. You need to know why you’re doing it in order to have realistic, yet ambitious goals. Is it because you want to find a way to tell stories through photography? Is it because someone in your family took photos and you want to follow their path? Or is it because you think it might be a fun way to earn some cash? Any reason is valid! However, the approach that you take should depend on your reason, which is why it’s essential that you know your motives first. Other helpful questions to ask yourself: • Why do you want to use photography to express yourself and not a different artistic medium? • What can photography offer you that painting, writing etc… can’t? • What do you want to say with your photos? – Remember, it’s all about creating a narrative!
Now, this might seem like an impossible task, and you are not entirely wrong: finding your own style can take a lifetime. Trust me, I’ve been taking photographs for six years now and I am still not sure whether I have a style or not. However, if you are committed to it, and you keep your goals realistic, you will get there eventually. In this article, I will show you where to start.
What realities are these photographs constructing? What are they saying about our reaction to the crisis? And more importantly, how can we contribute in a meaning ful way?
all ph otogra phs by :
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Planning your journey Mind maps are an ideal way of setting goals and visualising how to get there. Once you know your motive for pursuing photography, then you can start exploring your options to get there. Here is an example of what that mind map could look like.
Research. Find out what other photographers are doing, and ask yourself: What do I like and what do I not like, and why? Write it down so that you can keep track of your interests.
Finding the right equipment (refer to the article on equipment for this).
Another pro tip: Go to photography galleries as often as you can! This is a great way to immerse yourself in the world of photography and to familiarise with the current trends. The National Museum in Cardiff has recurrent displays of photography exhibitions, which are often free.
Decide what skills you need for the type of photography you want to create, and start developing them. For example, if you want to focus on night-time photography, learning how to use long-exposure might be a shout. Use online resources for this step. The subreddit r/photography is extremely helpful for tips and ideas, and there are tons of YouTube channels that specialise in photography and cover everything from selection of equipment to tips on building a portfolio.
Once you’ve found a couple of photographers you like, it is also a good idea to start following them on Twitter and Instagram, so that you can keep track of their recent work. You can also make your own photography account so that your photography content doesn’t overlap with memes and friend’s selfies.
Plan a shoot! This is when it starts getting real. Planning a shoot is not as simple as telling a couple of friends to come over, and improvising. Remember, good planning will allow you to develop your skills effectively. Planning includes, but is not limited to: developing a concept, finding a location, selecting your models (if you want subjects in it, but you don’t have to), and selecting props (you don’t need to spend a lot of money on this, there are online videos of how to make D-I-Y props). By doing all of this beforehand, the chances that you will be satisfied with the final result are a lot higher.
Post-production. Your job is not done once the photos are taken. After this, you need to select the best ones, or in fancy words, curate them. If you think all of your photos are amazing, you’re not being critical enough. Bear in mind, exhibitions often showcase 20 to 30 photos, so a single project should not consist of hundreds of photos. Quality over quantity.
Get feedback. Don’t get your feedback only from your friends and family, as they can often be too nice for your own good. Ideally, you should be getting your feedback from other photographers. Again, subreddits are ideal for this if you don’t personally know any. You should also be developing personal feedback: Ask yourself what went wrong, and what went right, and keep track of it so that you can improve the next time.
Repeat the cycle. Patience is key, plan as many shoots as you can and keep on exploring your creativity. Only that way you’ll be able to improve.
issue 178 CULTURE - 23 Here are some helpful websites and books if you don’t know where to start your research. Essential books: • On Photography by Susan Sontag: This collection of essays is a great way to start understanding the theoretical background of photography. • The Ongoing Moment by Geoff Dyer: In this book, Dyer explores the history of photography through the artistic obsessions of famous photographers. • Ways of Seeing by John Berger: This book is based on the 1972 BBC series, and it’s your key reading not only to understand photography, but to understand visual theory in general. Websites & Magazines: • Aperture Foundation: Founded by key photographers, such as Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams, this magazine is your go-to source for interviews, articles, and essays on photography. • LensCulture: This photography network for contemporary photography is your best source to keep up to date. Plus, you can also take part in their workshops, portfolio reviews, and even contests. • Magnum Photos: Magnum is the key agency in the development of photojournalism, and it provides a wide array of articles to propell your creative knowledge and inspiration. • Ffoton: This is Wales' own photography source and it features interviews with Welsh artists, videos, and more.
Moving forward Once you feel confident enough, you should start considering sending your photographs to magazines, local contests, or even upcoming exhibitions. That way, you’ll grow more confident with your style, while also gaining exposure. Other things you should consider: Social media: It’s great that we now have access to amazing apps such as Instagram, which allow photographers to share their work. However, you need to be very aware of the pros and cons that come with relying too much on the app. You should not be taking photos only to have something to post on IG. You should be taking photos. And then, if you want to post them, post them, but Instagram should always be secondary to your work. Additionally, you should approach photography in the same way as gym-goers approach IG fitness influencers: remember that what is exhibited there is extremely curated. A lot of the most-liked photographs on Instagram are extremely photoshopped, or if they’re not, they depict locations that might be impossible for you to go to. Do not compare your photos to them. Personally, one of my favourite accounts is @insta_repeat, because it mocks the ‘normative’ narrative that many influencer-photographers have, and it makes you realise that a good photograph is not the same as a meaningful photograph. Besides, you do not want your photos to look like all the other photos on Instagram, do you? Collaboration: In many occasions, I’ve seen photographers blaming each other for copying or plagiarising their style. Firstly, if your style is unique enough, this should not even be an issue, and secondly, you will lose a lot more by being competitive than by approaching other photographers’ work with an open mind. You should not be against them, everyone is expressing themselves in different ways, and the last thing you want is to make enemies in a world that literally depends on collaboration and mutual support. DM photographers you admire, ask them what tips they have, and when possible, organise collaborative shoots, you will learn so much from that. I hope this guide helps you on your journey, and remember, your level of expertise and your equipment do not define your talent; your talent can only be defined by your commitment to explore, construct and refine your own artistic voice.
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M S I N I M FE S S O ACR S E R U T L CU Often, feminist discourse mainly focuses around Western cultures, ignoring the specific issues that affect other countries. In this article, to overcome these biases, we will show how the movement has been adapted to cultural perspectives outside the UK. I will firstly discuss the current feminism wave happening in Spain since it’s the one I’m most familiar with. Feminism in Spain gave a huge jump in the summer of 2016, in consequence of one of the most brutal sexual assaults that have happened in the country. This case, known as “La Manada” which translates to “The Pack” was highly reported in the media and caused a lot of discomfort and rage across Spain. As the name suggests, this case was brutal, leading to most citizens thoroughly disagreeing with the sentence passed. After that, feminism was present everyday, everywhere. On the 8th of March after the event, the streets were filled with a wave of purple. Millions of women across the country left their jobs and protested against sexism. Television programmes were left unattended, men were left to take care of their children alone, and half of the country stopped. The shock and repercussion this protest had was incredible. It made a tangible difference in the feminism movement. Since then, every 8th of March, the streets are tainted purple, and the country stops enough to give a firm push to the Spanish society. I have been lucky enough to attend two of these protests, one with my mum and one with my friends. These experiences have changed my view on feminism. The feeling of sorority that was palpable across every woman of every age and colour is something I had rarely experienced, and I since then, this feeling has become essential to understand our fight. International Women’s Day is no longer just a day to celebrate women in Spain, it is a day of reflection and visibility in the feminism fight. The mobilisation
and the number of women protesting have positioned Spain as the leader of this movement. The government has also been including some measures that resonate with the force of the movement, including a ministry of equality, or approving the law of consent where only yes means yes. Each year the numbers of attendants in the protest grow, bringing the movement a little bit further. The last five years have been key to the movement of feminism. Trump’s rise to the presidency seemed to be the push for the movement to regain strength. The day after his Inauguration Speech, millions of women across the US marched the streets with ‘pussyhats’, a clear statement for the feminist fight in the US. Following this iconic protest, the Harvey Weinstein case – in which more than 80 women claimed to be sexually harassed by the film producer – emerged. Many actresses spoke up about
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the injustice, giving the case extreme visibility and attention all around the world. Harvey Weinstein was sentenced just in March, with the final verdict being 29 years in prison. This case also brought the #MeToo movement to the front. People all over the world used this hashtag on social media to share their story and raise awareness on sexual harassment and assault. This movement also echoes in South America. From Chile to Mexico and Argentina, the movement has been a revelation for young women, and the streets have been filled with protests against sexual assault and sexism. The famous song Un violador en tu camino (A Rapist on your Way), created by the feminist collective Lastesis in Chile, quickly became a hymn for the feminist movement in South America, even being translated to different languages and sung in many different cities around the world (Paris, Manhattan, Beirut, Buenos Aires, New Delhi, Barcelona, Mexico City, amonst others). The lyrics describe how the state –including the police and judiciary institutions– are guilty of upholding violations on women’s rights; signifying how these issues are political because by being disregarded by the public institutions, the institutions themselves have become
perpetrators of such assaults. The chant is also accompaigned by the protesters wearing pañuelos verdes (green scarves) that represent the campaign for legal abortion. These issues are more important than ever in countries like Argentina, Chile and Mexico. Women are tired of the violation of their rights, and they are ready to stand up for what they believe, letting the whole world know that they are here to stay. Learning about the feminist movement across different countries is inspiring and powerful. Understanding the different necessities and barriers women face in each country is necessary for the fight. Feminism will be intersectional, or it will not be. Our fight is not over yet. Girls can, and girls will.
words and design by: NEUS FORNER
26 - CULTURE issue 178 Bibliotherapy: Can reading make us happier?
An interview with a multi-disciplinary therapist, Marilyn Devonish. I had a pretty rough start of 2020 due to an extremely painful chain of events in my personal life. Whenever I’ve felt at a loss and unable to get back on my feet after a major setback, I have always relied on books, and they have never failed me. In the words of Charles William Eliot, “books are the quietest and most constant of friends, the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers”. For me, books have always been a lifeline; no matter how bad things are, diving into narrative gives me shelter when everything around me is falling apart, and thanks to them, I come out the other side reborn. But this time, it didn’t work; just the thought of opening a book made me feel sick and I never thought I would go back to loving reading again.
On one of my worst days, I stumbled across a 2015 article from The New Yorker examining whether reading could make us happier. I smirked, thinking that I no longer believed that books could make me happy and give me the stability I so desperately longed for. But then I skimmed through the article and found out that bibliotherapy is a thing and, simply put, it’s books on prescription. It’s designed to allow you to work through your feelings while rekindling you to books. I decided that this could be my solution and I wanted to know more, which is how this article came to be. I had the opportunity to speak to Marilyn Devonish, a multi-disciplinary therapist and instructor of PhotoReading, which is a form of bibliotherapy. Whether you love reading and want to become an even better, more attentive reader, or you lost your love for books and want to find it again, bibliotherapy might be just what you need. So here’s a few things you need to know.
“If you’re reading for healing, choose books that speak to your soul. For example, the title and imagery grab your attention, or the book synopsis speaks to the situation you find yourself facing”, says Marilyn. One of the advantages of bibliotherapy is that it’s extremely accessible – if you don’t have money to spend on books, you can always get them from your local library. You’ll be surprised how far you can go without spending a single penny!
Getting lost in books
Although many people tend to think of books as scary and indecipherable tomes, actually “even the simplest words have the power to invoke thoughts and feelings, and invite us into the depths of ourselves”, reveals Marilyn. Bibliotherapy is designed to enhance your ability to get lost in words. In PhotoReading, for example, you read the book upside down and back to front, to really “transport your mind and senses to another world”.
What does a bibliotherapist do?
“It’s like your college reading list, but for your mind and body”, says Marilyn. “When ‘prescribing’ books for clients, I take the following into account: where are you now in terms of the thoughts, feelings and challenges you’re facing? What do you most want to change or improve? How does your mind work and what is your primary learning style? What are your favourite films and why? Is there a genre of films and books you most enjoy? How much time per week can you allocate to reading for pleasure? Do you have a favourite designated reading spot?”
You can go against type
When approaching bibliotherapy, it’s important to remember that this technique is often used along with other kinds of more traditional therapy, for example to treat depression and anxiety. Like all kinds of therapy, it is designed to make you question your principles and assumptions so that you can make real progress. This is why it’s important to go against type. “Just because you prefer action and adventure, and your favourite films include James Bond, this doesn’t mean you should automatically go for something similar. There are times when it would be far more beneficial to read a story based on quantum physics and the holographic nature of our universe because it more easily breaks old habits and patterns and opens you up to a different way of being or perceiving the world. So long as the core of the story relates to what you’re going through, it’s sometimes beneficial to make creative book choices”.
The power of dialogue
Whether working on your own with a therapist or in a group, talking and discussing what you learned is a powerful way to gain deeper insights. I ran my first online Group Coaching Program based around a book in February 2013. Everyone received a copy of the book, daily written exercises for 28 days, and took part in a 6-week seminar series where we would sequentially discuss each chapter. The physical, mental, emotional, and life transformations which took place during that short period of time were incredible, and within days, participants reported moving from waking up feeling depressed to ‘jumping out of bed with a spring in their step’”.
The benefits of bibliotherapy
In case you need more convincing, bibliotherapy also has proven benefits like improvements to your vocabulary and self-esteem, and access to a wide range of perspectives that we might not otherwise encounter in our daily lives and which broaden our horizons by introducing us to other cultures. Moreover, “all the great stories follow an archetypal journey. Books can resonate with us deeply whether based upon fact or fiction, because they mirror both how we move through life and the deeper human experience. As you follow the main protagonists through the book, you gain ideas, a deeper understanding of your own issues and potential strategies or steps to avoid, seeing how the story plays out. The books you choose allow you to take a mental and neurological step back, and provide perspective and insight into your own situation by observing it or seeing it through the eyes of others. Bibliotherapy also helps us see we’re not alone”.
words by: SOFIA BRIZIO design by: LOTTIE ENNIS
Llythyr i fi fy hun
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Annwyl Indigo yn 2017, Dwi’n ysgrifennu i ti heddiw ar ôl gorffen fy nhrydedd flwyddyn o brifysgol yn sydyn, fel canlyniad o Covid-19. Ond, yn lle teimlo’n drist am yr amser yn cael ei dorri’n fyr, rwy’n ysgrifennu hwn i gofio’r amseroedd da a gafwyd yn y brifysgol a’r profiadau rydw i wedi’u cael dros y tair blynedd diwethaf. Bydd y llythyr yma yn ffordd i fyfyrio ar fy amser, ac efallai yn rhoi bach o gymorth i eraill wrth iddyn nhw orffen prifysgol. Lle gwell i ddechrau na freshers eh? Yr wythnosau prysur ar ddechrau eich blwyddyn gyntaf, lle mae’ch corff yn cael ei chreu lan o 25% Echo Falls, 25% VKs a 50% Dominos am ddim o’r ffair y glas. Wrth fyfyrio, gan edrych nôl at wythnosau cyntaf prifysgol fe wnes i greu ffrindiau am oes o fewn amser byr. Nad oeddwn i’n gwybod ar y noson gyntaf allan gyda fy fflat bach yn Talybont South byddwn yn byw gyda nhw am y ddwy flwyddyn i ddilyn. Yn fy mlwyddyn gyntaf dysgais i sut i goginio i fy hun, sut i olchi fy nillad a sut i ysgrifennu traethawd mewn 24 awr, a obvs pethau hanfodol i fy nghwrs. Y flwyddyn gyntaf, neu’r flwyddyn nad yw’n cyfri yn dysgu i ni sut rydyn ni’n eu sefydlu ein hunain am weddill ein bywyd prifysgol, ac roeddwn i’n lwcus i greu grŵp da o ffrindiau ar fy nghwrs a hefyd yn fy fflat. Os oedd rhywun yn gofyn i mi yfory pe bawn i eisiau mynd yn ôl i’r flwyddyn gyntaf, byddwn yn dweud ie, heb feddwl am funud. I dreulio amser nol yn fy nghegin fach yn Talybont yn bwyta takeaway gyda fy ffrindiau neu drio diffodd y golau wrth i ni wylio Eurovision, neu hyd yn oed mynychu fy Varisty cyntaf yn brifysgol. Byddwn I’n wneud e gyd mewn curiad galon. Yr ail flwyddyn, gwnes i’r penderfyniad gorau posibl i mi, ymunais i â Chyfryngau Myfyrwyr Caerdydd. Mae rhaid i fi fod yn onest, gwnaeth CMCC cymryd drosto fy mywyd. Rhwng neu sioe radio wythnosol gyda fy ffrindiau i dreulio oriau yn golygu’r adran newyddion ar gyfer Gair Rhydd. Ond ni fyddwn i byth yn newid yr amser yma, oherwydd fe wnes i greu’r ffrindiau gorau a gallwn yn brifysgol, gan hefyd datblygu fy sgiliau newyddiaduraeth yn barod i fy nyfodol yn y maes. Ar ôl wneud hynny fe wnaethon ni gyd dathlu yn ystod y CSMs, o feth rydw i’n cofio. Roedd yr ail flwyddyn yn wahanol iawn i’r flwyddyn gyntaf, roedd y gwaith yn cyfri, roedden ni’n byw mewn tŷ myfyrwyr a nawr ni’n edrych yn hen os rydyn ni’n mynd i Quids in. Fe wnes i orffen yr ail flwyddyn yn teithio o amgylch, China, Japan, Portiwgal a Sbaen, ac rwyf mor falch fy mod wedi gwneud hynny, gwnes i atgofion anhygoel gyda theulu a ffrindiau, ac rwy’n gwerthfawrogi’n fwy ar ôl bod ar lockdown fel canlyniad o Coronavirus! Yn fy nhrydedd flwyddyn fe wnes i symud mewn i dŷ llai o faint gyda fy ffrindiau, ac oedd o’n galed i ddweud hwyl fawr i weddill fy fflat o’r flynyddoedd cynt. Ond, roedd rhaid i ni ddod i’r arfer â’r ffaith ein bod ni’n tyfu i fyny ac yn gorfod canolbwyntio’n ar gyfer blwyddyn fwyaf ein gyrfaoedd prifysgol. Eleni, roedd ein bywydau llawn traethodau hir, cyflwyniadau, diwrnodau trist o flaen y teledu a llawer o nosweithiau yn y Taf neu’r Mack. Wrth wisgo lan am Yolo neu wneud pub golf gyda fy ffrindiau, ni allaf ddweud fy mod wedi cael eiliad ddiflas yn y Brifysgol, anaml iawn yr wyf wedi diflasu, ac wrth edrych yn ôl ar fy atgofion gallaf weld yn sicr pam. Wrth i mi orffen fy nhrydedd flwyddyn dwi’n myfyrio nôl at y tair flwyddyn ddiwethaf llawn hapusrwydd, ac yn eithaf trist oedd rhaid i fy amser brifysgol gorffen yn gynt. Ond mae rhaid i ni edrych ar yr amser gwych cawsom ni, ac edrych tuag at y dyfodol. Wrth gychwyn yn y brifysgol, wnes i erioed ddychmygu y byddwn i’n ei fwynhau cymaint ag yr wyf i, ac ni fyddwn erioed wedi meddwl y byddwn yn parhau â’m hastudiaethau trwy wneud cwrs ôl-raddedig newyddiaduraeth ryngwladol. Trwy gydol fy rollercoaster o brofiad bu dagrau, methiannau ond hefyd digon o chwerthin a hwyl gyda’r bobl fe wnes i gwrdd ar y ffordd. Rhywbeth rydw i bendant wedi dysgu wrth fyw yng Nghaerdydd, yw bod fi’n caru’r ddinas yma! Mae fe fel adref oddi cartref, a dydw i fyth eisiau gadael. Dwi’n sicr byddwn i yn cael fwy o brofiadau byth cofiadwy yn y flwyddyn nesaf yng Nghaerdydd, ac yn edrych ‘mlaen tuag at yr hyn sydd ganddo ar y gweill i mi!
Cofion Cynnes, Indigo yn 2020 words by: INDIGO JONES design by: LOTTIE ENNIS
Ein Ho Sele f f bs C ymr aeg
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O gantorion i sêr ffilm, mae enwogion Cymru wedi meddiannu lle i’w hunain ar lwyfannau rhyngwladol. Yn eu plith mae ambell i BAFTA neu BRIT fel tystiolaeth o’r dalent di-ri sydd gan Gymru, er mor fach, i’w gynnig. Isod mae straeon rhai o’r enwau fwyaf adnabyddus sydd a’u gwreiddiau wedi eu plannu’n gadarn mewn tir Cymreig.
Nid yw rhestr o enwogion mwyaf dylanwadol Cymru yn gyflawn heb y gantores pop Shirley Bassey. Ganwyd Bassey ym Mae Teigr, Caerdydd ond erbyn hyn mae hi’n enwog ar draws Ewrop a thu hwnt. Cyrhaeddodd cerddoriaeth Bassey y siartiau am y tro cyntaf yn 1957 pan dderbyniodd The Banana Boat Song safle o rif wyth. Fel ei chyd-gymro, Tom Jones, cân agoriadol i’r gyfres James Bond oedd yn gyfrifol am ennill adnabyddiaeth ryngwladol i’r gantores. Goldfinger oedd y cyntaf ond ers hynny mae ei llais pwerus wedi cael eu defnyddio ar gyfer dwy gân arall i’r fasnachfraint sef Diamonds are Forever a Moonraker.
Yn ystod y 60au cyrhaeddodd pump o’i halbymau safle o 15 neu uwch ar y siartiau. Llwyddodd Bassey i sefydlu ei hun o fewn tirwedd cerddoriaeth yr UDA o ganlyniad i’w gwaith cabaret yn Efrog Newydd a Vegas a phoblogrwydd y ffilmiau James Bond yno. Mae hi’n enw adnabyddus yno hyd heddiw a chafodd ei dewis i berfformio Goldfinger yn seremoni’r Oscars yn 2013.
Nid yw’n syndod, felly, bod Bassey wedi derbyn amryw o wobrau yn ystod ei gyrfa gan gynnwys BRIT yn 1977 o dan y teitl ‘Unawd Benywaidd Gorau Prydain yn y 25 mlynedd diwethaf ’.
Efallai ei fod yn ddewis amlwg, ond nid oes dwywaith fod Syr Tom Jones yn un o selebs enwocaf ein gwlad. Mae rhai o’i anthemau’n adnabyddus yn rhyngwladol ac mae eu pwysigrwydd i ddiwylliant Cymreig yn amlwg. Er y bu dadleuon ynghylch ei addasrwydd, caiff y gân Delilah ei hadnabod fel ‘anthem rygbi answyddogol’ Cymru. Ganwyd y canwr ym Mhontypridd yn y 40au a chychwynnodd ei yrfa ychydig dros ugain mlynedd yn ddiweddarach yn ystod y 60au. Y gân It’s Not Unusual oedd yn gyfrifol am lansio ei yrfa broffesiynol a chyrhaeddodd frig siartiau cerddoriaeth y DU am y tro cyntaf yn 1965. Arweiniodd hyn at y cyfle iddo recordio caneuon agoriadol ar gyfer y ffilmiau What’s New Pussycat? ac y ffilm enwog Thunderball o’r gyfres James Bond. Ers hynny, mae sawl un o’i ganeuon wedi dringo i fyny’r siartiau, gan gynnwys 36 yn cyrraedd safle o 40 neu uwch yn y DU a thair cân yn cyrraedd safle rhif un. Nid cyfyngedig i’r Deyrnas Unedig yw ei lwyddiant chwaith ac mae wedi perfformio ar lwyfannau ledled y byd gan gynnwys Las Vegas ble gyfarfu â’r canwr roc a rôl Elvis Presley. Erbyn hyn mae wedi bod yn feirniad ar y sioe dalent The Voice ers 2012 ac mae’n parhau i fod yn ffigwr amlwg o fewn y byd adloniant.
CLEBAR - 29 words by: CATRIN LEWIS design by: JOSH ONG
Treuliodd yr actor rhan o’i blentyndod yn Llanfairpwll, Ynys Môn, cyn symud i Aberystwyth pan oedd yn 12. Er mai ym Mhenbedw ganwyd Taron, Cymraes oedd ei nain ac mae’r actor, yn ei eiriau ei hun, yn cymryd balchder yn ei allu i siarad Cymraeg ac yn ystyried ei hun yn Gymro ‘drwodd a thrwodd’.
Ynghyd â bod yn actor, mae hefyd yn ganwr ac yn defnyddio ei lais mewn ambell un o’i ffilmiau, gan gynnwys yn ei rôl fel Elton John yn Rocketman.
id oes posib gwneud rhestr o selebs Cymru heb gynnwys seren chwaraeon arno. O athletwyr Olympaidd i chwaraewyr rygbi, mae gan Gymru eu cyfran deg ond nid oes amheuaeth fod Gareth Bale wedi bod yn un o enwau Cymreig mwyaf adnabyddus y byd chwaraeon dros flynyddoedd diweddar. Ganwyd y pêl-droediwr yn y brif ddinas a chychwynnodd chwarae i dîm Southampton pan oedd yn 16 mlwydd oed. Aeth yn ei flaen i arwyddo gyda Tottenham Hotspur yn 2007 cyn ymuno a Real Madrid yn 2013. Chwaraeodd Bale i Gymru am y tro cyntaf yn 2006, chwaraewr ieuengaf erioed y tîm ar y pryd. Agorodd Bale Elevens Bar yng Nghaerdydd yn 2017 ac ar hyn o bryd mae’n gweithio ar leoliad newydd yng nghanol y ddinas mewn partneriaeth a chwmni Cymraeg annibynnol. Bydd y lleoliad, Par59, yn cynnwys bar, bwyty a chyrsiau ‘mini-golf ’ gan fod y pêl-droediwr hefyd yn chwarae golff yn ei amser rhydd. Mewn cyfweliad eglurodd ei resymeg tu ôl agor busnesau yng Nghaerdydd ac esboniodd ei fod eisiau ychwanegu fwy o gyffro i’r ddinas, yn enwedig i bobl ifanc.
Ruth Jones Daeth Gavin & Stacey, a ysgrifennwyd gan Ruth Jones a James Corden, ag Ynys y Barri i sgriniau teledu ar draws y wlad yn 2007. Bellach nid oes posib sôn am fod yn Gymraeg heb i rywun ofyn y cwestiwn mawr, “Have you watched Gavin & Stacey?”. Mae modd dadlau mai Nessa, cymeriad Ruth, yw un o gymeriadau mwyaf eiconig y gyfres ac mae rhai o’i llinellau cofiadwy yn parhau i fod yn boblogaidd ymysg gwylwyr. Yn wreiddiol daeth y gyfres i ben yn 2010, cyn dychwelyd gyda phennod arbennig ar ddiwrnod Nadolig yn 2019. Degawd yn ddiweddarach, mae’r gyfres yr un mor boblogaidd ag erioed a denodd y bennod gynulleidfa o 11.6 miliwn pan gafodd ei ddarlledu. Wrth gwrs, nid Ruth yw’r unig actores Gymreig o’r gyfres gan fod Joanna Page, Melanie Walters a Rob Brydon hefyd yn chwarae cymeriadau allweddol ynddi. Yn ogystal â Gavin & Stacey, ysgrifennodd y seren o Sir Forgannwg y gyfres Stella sydd wedi ei leoli mewn pentref ffuglennol yn Ne Cymru. Daeth y gyfres i ben yn 2017 ond bu’n llwyddiannus a derbyniodd dair gwobr BAFTA Cymru yn 2013. Cafodd yr actores ei gwobrwyo gyda MBE yn 2014 am ei gwasanaeth i adloniant. Ar hyn o bryd mae hi’n gweithio ar ei hail nofel ac mae hi’n rhan o gyfres newydd fydd yn cael ei ddarlledu ar S4C sy’n dilyn pump seleb wrth iddynt ddysgu Cymraeg.
PLEASE DEETE THESE BORDERS WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED DESIGNING
Cyn ymddangos ar y sgrin fawr, chwaraeodd rôl fach yn y rhaglen Lewis, cyn symud ymlaen i chwarae rhan fwy allweddol yn y gyfres The Smoke. Erbyn hyn, mae’n lawer fwy tebygol i ymddangos mewn ffilm Hollywood nag mewn rhaglen deledu ac ers cychwyn ei yrfa mae wedi serennu mewn amryw o ffilmiau gan gynnwys Kingsman, Eddie the Eagle a Robin Hood. Un o’r diweddaraf yn eu plith yw Rocketman, ffilm fywgraffyddol sy’n seiliedig ar fywyd Elton John. Honnodd ei barch fel actor gyda’i berfformiad ynddo a derbyniodd wobr Golden Globe yn dyst i hynny. Yn ystod ei yrfa mae hefyd wedi derbyn enwebiadau am y gwobrau SAG, BAFTA a Grammy.
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Y Gorau o Gymru words by: DAFYDD ORRITT design by: ELAINE TANG
Hoff Lyfr Ers 2018, mae’r llyfr yma wedi bod ar feddyliau bawb ers i’r awdures Manon Steffan Ros ennill y fedal Rhyddiaith yn Eisteddfod Caerdydd, sef ‘Llyfr Glas Nebo’ Ychydig dros wythnos yn dilyn yr eisteddfod roedd ailargraffiad o’r llyfr yn cael ei baratoi, cyn yna i’r nofel ennill y wobr driphlyg yng nghystadleuaeth Llyfr y Flwyddyn 2019. Llyfr sydd yn mynd a ni i fyd gwbl anghyfarwydd, byd oni ddim yn gallu ei ddychmygu cyn darllen y nofel arbennig hon. Mae ‘Llyfr Glas Nebo’ yn dilyn stori Mam, sef Rowena a’i phlant, Siôn a Branwen wrth iddynt ddod i arfer ac i ymdopi byw mewn byd yn dilyn ffrwydriaid niwclear. Cawn olwg ar fywyd llawn gobaith a marwolaeth yma, a hynny wedi ei ysgrifennu gan Siôn yn ei lyfr bach glas ar ôl i’w fam awgrymu ei fod yn syniad da i gofnodi’r erchylltra sydd o’i bywydau bellach. O’r gair cyntaf mae’r nofel yma yn nofel weledol, sydd yn lliwio lluniau hardd o berthynas a chariad teulu, ond hefyd erchylltra ei bywyd nhw. Yn sgil llwyddiant y nofel hon, mae bellach cynhyrchiad llwyfan yn seiliedig o’r nofel, gan Gwmni Theatr Fran Wen.
Hoff Gan Mae sawl tiwn eiconig Cymraeg gân y mawrion Bryn Fôn, Caryl Parry Jones, Huw Chiswell i enwi rhai! Ond mae fy hoff gân Cymraeg i yn dod gan fand a enillodd Brwydr y Bandiau yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru Eryri a’r Cyffiniau nol yn 2005, a sawl gwobr yn dilyn hynny, gan gynnwys ennill “Band Gorau” a “Band Byw Gorau” yn wobrau Roc a Phop Radio Cymru 2009. Y band hwnnw yw Derwyddon Dr Gonzo, a’i chân ‘Bwthyn’ Mae’r band wedi ei ffurfio o 10 aelod, a rheini i gyd yn chwarae offeryn gwahanol fel drumiau neu sacsoffon. Er bod y band heb berfformio yn fyw efo’i gilydd ers 2011 (reunion yn fuan plîs!) Mae caneuon y band yma yn parhau i’w gael ei chwarae ym mhob ‘steddfod a pharti Cymraeg ar hyd y wlad! Maent yn disgrifio ei sŵn fel band ffync, ska, afro-beat Cymreig. Mae’n un o’r caneuon prin Gymraeg sydd gyda rhan dda er mwyn dawnsio yn wyllt mewn parti neu unrhyw le, ac mae’r dorf wastad yn mynd yn wyllt pan maent yn cael ei chware!
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Hoff Le Er bod hyn ychydig yn ‘basic’ ond wir, fy hoff le i yng Nghymru, ac yn y byd i gyd, yw Ynys Llanddwyn yn Ynys Môn. Fel y gwyddoch, mae’r ynys fechan hon yn cael ei gysylltu â Santes Dwynwen, sef nawsant cariadon Cymru. Ar yr ynys hon mae eglwys fechan a ffynnon lle fu Dwynwen, ac sydd yn cysylltu i’r chwedl o’r Mabinogi. Mae’r ynys wedi ei leoli ar ddiwedd traeth Niwbwrch, traeth hardd, gyda choedwigoedd yn mynd am filltiroedd yn cuddio’r traeth rhag gweddill y byd. Ym mhen draw’r ynys mae rhes o dai bach, oedd yn arfer cael eu defnyddio gan bysgotwyr a dau oleudy. Ceir nifer o ynysoedd bychan yn amgylchynu Ynys Llanddwyn, yr ynys fwyaf o’r rhain yw Ynys yr Adar. Wrth i chi sefyll ar Ynys Llanddwyn, mae’r golygfeydd o fynyddoedd Eryri yn amhrisiadwy, heb anghofio golygfeydd o’r Eifil i’r de a’r de-orllewin. Mae’r ynys hon yn brydferth drwy’r flwyddyn, ond ar ei gorau ar noson braf yn yr haf, a’r machlud yn cuddio tu ôl i’r môr - mae wir yn olygfa allan o ‘Mamma Mia’ ac mae teimlad Groegaidd wrth i’r haul ddisgleirio ar yr ynysoedd bychain o’i chwmpas.
Fy hoff seleb i o Gymru yw neb llai na’r actores ryngwladol, Catherine Zeta-Jones! Yn enedigol o Abertawe, mae Catherine Zeta-Jones yn wyneb cyfarwydd iawn ar lwyfannau y West End, Broadway ac ar y sgrin fawr ers ei bod hi yn ddim o beth! Mae Catherine Zeta- Jones wedi llwyddo yn ysgubol ym myd y celfyddydau yma ym Mhrydain a thu hwnt yn Hollywood, wrth iddi serennu yn rhai o’r ffilmiau mwya’ adnabyddus yn Hollywood, megis ‘The Mask of Zorro’ a ‘Oceans Tweleve’ heb anghofio ei rhannau mewn llawer o sioeau cerdd sydd wedi ymddangos ar y sgrin fawr, megis ‘Chicago’ a ‘Rock of Ages’. Mae Catherine Zeta-Jones yn yr un modd wedi cael cydnabyddiaeth am ei gwaith ym myd y ddrama, gan gipio BAFTA, Oscar a Tony award! Yn 2010, cafodd Zeta-Jones ei phenodi yn ‘Commander of the order of the British Empire’ sef CBE, am ei chyfraniad i ffilm a theledu a hefyd am ei gwaith dyngarol, drwy gefnogi nifer o elusennau a mudiadau. Mae hi bellach yn briod a’r actor Americanaidd Michael Dogulas ac yn fam i ddau o blant!
Fy hoff fwyd Cymraeg i yw cacenni cri, ‘welshcakes’, neu bicen ar y maen! Mae’r cacenni bychain yma mor syml i’w goginio ac mor flasus efo paned yn y prynhawn. Dim ond tua hanner awr mae’r cyfan yn ei gymryd i’w baratoi a choginio, gyda’r amser paratoi yn cymryd mwy na’r amser i’w coginio! Mae rysáit cacen gri yn hawdd i’w ddilyn hefyd, dim ond siwgr, blawd, menyn, un wy a llefrith (neu llaeth i bobl o’r de) sydd angen arnoch i goginio. Gallwch hefyd cynnwys darnau bychain o siocled, neu rhesins yn eich mix - o brofiad personol, mae siocled llawer mwy blasus na rhesins! Cacenni cri gartref ydi’r gora’ heb os, felly er mwyn cefnogi busnesau lleol a Chymraeg, mae siop fach yn y farchnad fwyd yng Nghaerdydd sydd yn gwerthu sawl cacen gri ac yn ei goginio nhw yn ffres drwy’r dydd ar gyfer eu cwsmeriaid. Mae’r siop fach yn cynnig sawl blas gwahanol, o gacen gyffredinol syml gyda rhesins, i lemon curd, fanila a hyd yn oed siocled! Yn ychwanegol i hynny, maent yn gwneud cynigion arbennig! Ewch am dro i gefnogi busnes lleol ac i fwynhau blas ar Gymru!
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words by: KATIE DUFFIN design by: JAMES BARKER
In Cardiff the SU is a prominent staple in the nightlife scene; whether it’s for Juice or YOLO, you’re bound to make your way up those infamous stairs at least once in your uni lifetime. But where do you go if you feel like it just isn’t for you, or if you just fancy a bit of a change? Cardiff is peppered with so many quirky little bars and clubs that you may not have heard about around campus, and there really is a place for everyone. Take your pick out of this lovely bunch — they might just end up being your favourite new haunts.
You might have heard about Blue Honey Local in Roath, but the original bar is hidden away in town just off of St Mary’s Street. Known as Sully’s Cafe in the day, in the night it transforms into the grooviest night cafe. Yes, it’s small, but that’s the beauty of it — go there a few weeks in a row and you’ll quickly strike up a rapport with the super-chill bar staff and devoted regulars dancing away between the tables. The tunes are always on point and can range from jazz, rock and roll, and indie, to disco, soul and everything in between. Wednesday night is always a real treat and the perfect alternative to the SU — karaoke night. Jot your name down with Scotty on the DJ set, have a shot of tequila and sing some Tom Jones at the top of your lungs with the rest of the room. This is a real diamond in the rough and will quickly become your second home.
Say it louder for the boys in the back — Clwb (not Welsh Club). If you’re an indie kid, this is the place for you. Clwb Ifor Bach is one of the best small music venues in the UK, and since its opening in 1983 it has housed world-famous artists like The Killers, Mark Ronson, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Strokes, Foals, and more. There are plenty of gigs on every week, and it’s likely you’ll see some amazing acts that’ll be taking over the world in years to come. It really is venues like this that make names like Arctic Monkeys and Catfish and the Bottlemen. If that kind of stuff isn’t for you though, Clwb also have their weekly Dirty Pop club night every Saturday. This night is made for anyone and everyone; the tunes are always banging and the ‘four cans for a tenner’ offer always stands. How can you go wrong?
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You’ve probably heard of Tiny Rebel, with it’s home-brewed beer served all over the city and beyond. Perched at the bottom of Womanby Street, it’s home to some of the best craft beers and IPA’s around. Not only that, but it’s always bouncing and welcomes you with open arms. With a back room for chatting with mates over some pints and an upstairs venue that frequently hosts jazz nights and live bands, the vibe is always friendly and upbeat. If you’re any good on keys, you might even want to take advantage of the piano they have round back! Come here on a Friday or Saturday and you’re bound to have a good night.
One of the best new editions to the Cardiff bar scene, Chance & Counters can be enjoyed any time of the day as it’s the city’s first ever board game café! With over 500 board games to choose from and four draught beer and cider lines, including two dedicated lines from the fantastic Tiny Rebel, what’s not to love? You can also chow down on an array of seasonal foods while you play, with a menu designed by Bib Gourmand acclaimed chefs. This charming café is open until midnight on weekends, which means you can drink over a game of Monopoly well into the evening — as long as you promise not to flip the board when you have to pay your pal £500 for landing on their hotel.
A little on the pricier side but nevertheless a good time, Bootlegger is the perfect date place or Saturday night dance spot. Tucked away opposite Clwb with nothing more than an open door and some jazzy sounds floating out, you could easily miss this quirky little bar. With two for one offers on some of the best cocktails in Cardiff, and a cool old-school atmosphere, it’s always a great place to impress your friends with. You can relax with a jaffa cake espresso martini in the chilled out front room surrounded by low lighting and candles, or you can party it up on the dance floor round the back. Moreover, if you’re into jazz and soul music, there are often some amazing live bands playing here that’ll get you vibing.
Pulse, where would we be without thou? If you’re getting sick of dancing like sardines in Live Lounge, head a little further down Queen Street to the best LGBTQ bar in Cardiff. With an upstairs bar and basement club, you can chat to the drag queens floating around or show off your best (or worst) moves every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night. The music here is always sing-worthy — expect favourite party classics like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, but don’t be surprised when a bit of EDM or house comes on. On Wednesdays, their student night Pow! means it’s only £2.50 for a double spirit and mixer, and it’s open until 6am so you can dance until dawn. The best thing about Pulse is the amazingly friendly atmosphere and happy vibes — you’ll always find someone to chat to or dance to ABBA with, so don’t be shy.
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Food Apps You Didn’t Know You Needed words by: EVA RODERICKS design by: ELAINE TANG Photography by: BEN CHEN / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 One thing that many students have in common is limited funds and equally limited cooking skills. Often, this results in pretty boring meals. What students also have in common is our love of the internet, so I’ve found a way we can use our best friend, the app store, to spice up our kitchen lives. Here are some apps that will stretch your cooking creativity and your money!
Eaten allows you to see reviews of specific dishes at local cuisines near you. Simply put your location into the app and it will show you a map with local nearby restaurants pinpointed, along with customer ratings and dishes, so you can see what’s on offer and make an informed choice. This is brilliant if you’re in an area you do not know so well as it enables you to find cuisine gems that may have otherwise taken a while to find. There is a search by city filter which is accessible across the globe - so it’s a great tool to use on your travels. It also shows ready meals that people have made at home, which will help you find some easy dinners in your weekly shop. Give it a download and start freshening up your knowledge of the food in your local area.
It is estimated that 7 million tonnes of food are wasted everyday in the U.K. This seriously needs addressing, right? Olio allows people to upload any food items that they are no longer going to eat, often including tins, fruit and staple carbs. You can then request the item, and arrange to pick it up - easy. Not only that, everything on Olio is free, so it’s perfect for the student bank account.
TooGoodToGo TooGoodToGo involves a similar process to Olio, however, only restaurants and shops upload items - at a reduced price. The shops and restaurants create a ‘magic bag’ of leftover food that would have been otherwise wasted, creating an element of surprise as to what you might get. This is great to get you out of your comfort zone and try new foods. You can ‘heart’ your favourite shops, so you can be the first to know when they’re giving away cheap food. There are also brilliant filter tools which allow you to narrow down your search result to the distance you are able to travel from your location, meaning you will only see the most relevant listings. Timing is crucial. Often around 3 o’clock, restaurants and cafes realise that they will have excess food that they will be throwing away, so this is when a lot of listings go up, to be collected at the end of the day. TooGoodToGo handily categorises food by when it needs to be collected, for example “Tomorrow between 3 and 4,” helping you to plan what you would be able to collect. So, what are you waiting for?
Often as students, we are buying a number of things that go off quickly and which we don’t get round to eating in time, so why not add something to OIio that you’re only going to waste? If you’re going to list multiple items, make sure you list them all separately so that distribution is easier, and the path of consumption can be accurately tracked. You could even pick up food to give to the homeless at no cost to yourself!
Kitchen Stories This app is aimed at novice chefs who are looking to branch out in the kitchen. Professional chefs and foodie pros alike share their recipes, top tips and provide dining inspiration. Recipes are labeled with the time they will take to make and are reviewed by other users, so you know what you’re getting yourself into before you begin. You can search for dishes with filters such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, sugar free, so it’s perfect for any diet. The app separates your feed into categories such as ‘five ingredients’, ‘fast week-night favourites’ and ‘most popular’ dishes, so you can easily navigate and see what’s trending. A cool feature is that you can save recipes and add the ingredients in one click to your in-app shopping list. Once you’ve made one of the recipes listed, you can upload a picture to share with the community. Already a cooking pro? Upload your own recipes to share with others! Why not start your kitchen career today?
With these apps, cooking no longer needs to be a chore. Students can eat well at a good price, too. Explore these apps and expand your culinary horizons!
FOOD & DRINK - 35
design by: JOSH ONG
GAZ OAKLEY With the popularisation of veganism over the last several years, there’s been an explosion of vegan YouTubers taking the online cooking world by storm. Described by one commenter as “the Bob Ross of cooking”, chef, author and YouTuber Gaz Oakley, originally from our very own Cardiff, got his first part-time chef job at fifteen years old. At twenty-six, he now creates vegan recipe videos for almost one million subscribers on YouTube and has even had some of his signature dishes featured on the Wagamama menu. Always innovative and unique, he aims to show through his fun recipes that vegan food doesn’t have to be boring or bland; it can be super tasty and exciting: see his famous vegan ‘egg’, which features in one of his Wagamama dishes.
by ANNA HART
With many budget-friendly recipe videos, Oakely helps to make healthy, plant-based meals accessible for all. He’s created vegan alternatives for some of our most-loved comfort meals, including fish and chips and mac and cheese (yum!), and his meal prep videos can keep you stocked up with delicious and nutritious meals all week. Check out his creations at avantgardevegan on YouTube.
Chef and registered dietician, Sadia Badiei, is another advocate of the plant-based lifestyle, producing tasty, uncomplicated vegan dishes on her amazingly named YouTube channel Pick Up Limes, which has over 2.5 million subscribers. The Canadian foodie, now living in the Netherlands, is all about health, wellness and nutritional balance. Her unique aura of tranquillity means watching any of her recipe, meal prep or eating hacks videos instantly transports you to a place of calm. Creating cosy soups, bento box lunch ideas and breakfast smoothies, her vegan dishes are vibrant and colourful; the epitome of healthy eating. As a Dietetics graduate, Badiei provides useful, simple nutritional information on the ingredients she uses: a uniquely helpful element compared to many YouTube recipe videos. Her website contains handy PDFs of all her original recipes, which can be easily downloaded and followed, as well as pantry essentials and shopping lists for those starting out their plant-based journeys. As the queen of printable guides, many of her videos come with free worksheets, including those on keeping motivated to eat healthy and on making peace with food. With more people consuming digital content, including recipe ebooks and YouTube cooking guides, Badiei’s online presence has significant influence in creating more awareness and interest around plant-based eating.
by ANNA HART
Picture this: you’re in your kitchen at uni reminiscing about school lunches, and everyone keeps slagging off Jamie Oliver. It’s a group mentality, and no one is happy about the disappearance of turkey dinosaurs, but what actually happened? How did Jamie Oliver, the TV chef, become the pioneer of healthy school lunches? It all started when good old Jamie made a documentary, which involved him going around schools in England and looking at what went into the food that kids were eating at lunch. He found an abundance of nutritionally empty foods and a LOT of chips. Oliver wanted to change this, and went about creating a school dinner menu that was nutritional, but also attractive enough for eight-year-olds to actually want to eat.
by ANNA HELEDD
So what were the results of the chef ’s mission? After his documentary aired in 2005, he worked with parliament to make sure that fried foods were banned from being served more than once a week, and fizzy drinks were banned completely. Yes, there is still a national obesity issue in children, and there’s still the issue of getting good quality and nutritionally beneficial food to kids from low income households, but we’ll always have Jamie Oliver to thank for less slop, and more broccoli. I know what I’d prefer.
No beverage is as emblematic of British culture as a nice cup of tea. However, as is the case with quite a number of things, tea was not invented in the UK, and perhaps more surprisingly, neither was the teabag. By the early 20th century, tea had been popular in Britain for around 200 years, with vast trade networks stretching from India, where the majority of it was grown. It was in America that a certain Thomas Sullivan accidentally invented the teabag. The New York tea merchant had decided to send samples of his tea to prospective customers, and he did so using small silk bags. As was the custom with the commonly used metal tea containers, the customers promptly put the little silk bags directly into the water. Even though it wasn’t his intention, Thomas Sullivan had just invented the teabag. Whilst the teabag quickly became a sensation in the USA, the UK was a bit more suspicious of this new American invention which posed a radical change to century long tea-drinking habits. WWII further slowed down the production of teabags in the UK, but both the economic boom, as well as the consumerist culture of the 1950s, made the teabag really take off and grow into the staple feature of British culture it is today.
36 - FOOD & DRINK issue 178
Our Very Own Student-Led With veganism, plastic-free campaigns and Extinction Rebellion fighting to change the way we look after our environment globally, imploring us to play our part by buying locally and looking into the origins of our purchases, what better time is there to think about what our university could be doing to provide us students with more fresh, affordable and quality fruit and veg? We are lucky in Cardiff to live in a city that promotes and provides us with a vast array of fresh produce; from the Cardiff Markets in town selling fruit, vegetables, fish and dairy, to the smaller pop-up markets like Roath and Riverside Farmers’ Market also selling a wealth of local produce: jams, pickles and more! However, we are looking at a 20-30minute walk from our uni campus to all these destinations. This is not necessarily a stretch for those of us that believe the distance to be worth it to support our local greengrocer, although it does mean that Lidl is undoubtedly taking the biscuit when it comes to supplying the masses with cheap fresh produce. Co-op, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are also all playing their part to supply us with our ‘Ready to Eat’ avocados. This is not inherently a bad thing, but let’s face it, they are really letting the team down by wrapping up each broccoli in its very own plastic casing. But what can you do? Times are hard, purses are tight, and it’s convenient. So, whose responsibility is it to change this, and what can be done?
Numerous universities across the UK have been setting a precedent for student-led Farmers’ markets, which are radically changing student consumption habits, as well as simultaneously addressing plastic consumption and buying ‘local’ in one fell swoop. Sutton Bonington is a monthly market set up at the University of Nottingham. Originally set up as a short-term temporary trial by students, it now hosts up to 35 different producers. Keele University also holds a weekly market selling fresh fruit and veg, cakes and even crepes! These are just to name a few… could this be replicated here? Would anyone even use it? A questionnaire I recently undertook as part of my dissertation research demonstrated that at present, 90% of surveyed students shop at a supermarket for their main food shop; 14% said they use specialist shops such as Ripple Living (Cardiff ’s new and brilliant plastic free shop on Albany Road) or halal stores, etc. However, only 8% of the respondents used Cardiff ’s local food markets, and of those who shop at food markets in Cardiff, only 6% shop there every week. Perhaps predictably, 100% of respondents stated they would shop at markets more if they were more convenient and more affordable, but 86% also believe fresh produce is available in their community. Interestingly, sourcing isn’t so much of a concern, and there is a strong argument to be made for importing certain goods like chickpeas and lentils.
Should we then just accept that the big brands of supermarkets are just the better option right now for quality fresh fruit and veg, and attempt to boycott them anyway using our purchasing power if we want more local and plastic free produce? Well, 91% of respondents in the questionnaire stated they would like to see Cardiff deliver our own student-led Farmers’ market, so I am keen to see if I can inspire some budding entrepreneurs and creatives to share my vision, and perhaps make this market happen. As an urban planner, I love the idea we could temporarily reimagine some of our congested Cathays streets, such as the already increasingly pedestrianised Senghennydd Road, and create a more exciting space which also provides opportunities for social, economic and cultural exchange. We want affordability but also quality, and a range of goods to make it worthwhile. Perhaps we could not only offer the typical fruit, veg, bakery and cheese stands, but even get local brewers on board to sell us kegs that we exchange fortnightly for full ones, or subscribe to milk deliveries. We could make it a space for young student entrepreneurs to trial their products and business ideas, and even get a few student bands to perform there too. Our university has a fantastic array of food societies, and international students too, who can inspire us with different cuisines and ingredients. Working together, we could create a great space and develop more environmentally friendly consumption habits.
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This isn’t a project that should have to settle for an indoor venue. Despite our unpredictable weather, markets are most successful when pitched outdoors, with 24% of the questionnaire respondents saying they discovered the existing Farmers’ markets by walking past them. This initiative has endless benefits, from improving our streets, to reducing plastic consumption and helping the local economy, not to mention making us all healthier. In the meantime, I would strongly urge students to try out some of the brilliant markets and plastic-free shops that are already set up in Cardiff: Ripple Living has been able to expand due to high demand for all your dry ingredients; Cardiff Central Market is open every day and provides fresh fruit, veg, meat, dairy, fish, spices and so on; and Roath Farmers’ Market and Riverside Farmers’ Markets are amongst the most convenient weekly markets for a wider variety of produce. If you would like to be involved in driving forward this idea with me, or would like more information on my dissertation, or even if you would like to take part in the research, please do get in touch with me at MarcucciIS@cardiff.ac.uk.
38 - FOOD SHOOT issue 178 Spatchcocked Honey & Mustard Chicken
Bored? Wanting to expand your culinary skills? Quench Food has got you covered! Our student chefs, Peter Wolinski and Josh Ong share these exquisite creations so that you can try them at home
Ingredients: 1 whole chicken 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced 2.5 tbsp oil 1 tbsp smoked paprika 1 tbsp honey 1 tsp wholegrain mustard 1 tsp dried thyme 1 tsp chilli flakes Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 220C (200C Fan). - Put the chicken on its breast and cut either side of the spine with a pair of scissors, removing the spine. - Flip the chicken back over and press firmly on the breast to break the ribcage, this will help the chicken stay flat. - Drizzle 1 tbsp of oil over the chicken before sprinkling over salt and pepper. - Put the chicken in the oven and cook for 35 minutes - Meanwhile mix the rest of the oil with the paprika, honey, mustard, thyme and chilli. - After 35 minutes, remove the chicken and turn the oven down to 200C (180 fan). The chicken skin should be crispy. - Using a brush or a spoon, cover the chicken in the honey and mustard mix and return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the skin browns. - Remove from the oven and serve with charred vegtables, some buttery new potatoes and a dollop of soured cream or yoghurt.
recipe and photos by: PETER WOLINSKI @PWOLSKIYO
Onions & Asparragus
Ingredients: 1 bunch of spring onions, halved vertically 1 bunch of asparagus 1 tsp vegetable oil Juice of half a lemon 3 tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper to taste
Method: - Heat up the vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Vegetable oil is better for charring than olive oil as it has a higher smoke point. - When the pan is hot, add the spring onions and asparagus. If you canâ€™t fit them all in then do it in batches. - Fry for 2-3 minutes a side over a high heat, until the vegetables start to darken. Turn them once and repeat on the other side. - Meanwhile mix together the lemon juice, oil and salt and pepper - When the vegetables are nice and darkened, drizzle over the dressing and serve.
FOOD SHOOT - 39
40 - FOOD SHOOT issue 178 Custard Tart
Ingredients: 250ml double cream 50g caster sugar 3 egg yolks Seeds of 1 vanilla pod, or a few drops of vanilla extract
Method: - Pour the double cream into a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. - In the meantime, take the egg yolks and sugar mixture in a bowl and whisk until combined and turned a lighter shade of orange. - After five minutes of simmering, return the saucepan to high heat until its boiling, then remove from the hob. - Pour a very small amount of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks and sugar mixture, and whisk. Keep repeating until all of the cream has been incorporated. Do not add all of the cream at once; doing this will result in the eggs scrambling, ruining the custard. - Pour the custard through a wire-mesh strainer or sieve into a large measuring jug and let any bubbles settle for around 20 minutes. - Pour the custard into the ramekins going to about ⅔ of the way up the side. Scrape off any lighter coloured dense bubbles using a teaspoon and discard. - Place the ramekins in a deep roasting tin, and place hot water to about ½ way up the side of the ramekins. - Place the tin inside the oven for around 40-45 minutes, until the custard has fully set. - Once finished, allow to cool at room temperature, then place in the fridge until you are ready to assemble them. - To release the custard, place the ramekin in a bowl of hot water for a short period to help it slip out.
A note from your food editors:
Life under the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic is a test for us all, including the food industry. We want to support our local eateries as much as possible both during and after the lockdown period, so these are our top three tips on how to do just that: Order takeaway food from the establishments that are still able to offer this service. If your finances allow you to do so, this is one of the best ways of sustaining your beloved local eateries, plus it’s one less trip to the supermarket! Some of our Cardiff establishments still open for delivery include Curado Bar, Society Standard and Dusty Knuckle, so take your pick. Donate to the #helptheheroescardiff campaign to help a collective of independent food businesses feed our NHS staff. Money raised will be spent on ingredients for the independents to continue providing their food parcels without putting them out of pocket. Head to @holy_yolks on Instagram where you’ll find the link to donate in the founder’s bio. Donate food to Cardiff Food Bank via one of their partner supermarkets to provide food aid to those in less fortunate positions than you. Food banks are fighting to stay open after a dramatic decrease in food donations, so however much you can spare, your donations will make a huge difference. Find out more on the Cardiff Food Bank website: https://cardiff.foodbank.org.uk/
FOOD SHOOT - 41
Ginger Honeycomb & Rhubarb
Ingredients: 200g caster sugar 5tbps golden syrup 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Line medium-depth baking tin with parchment. - Combine sugar and golden syrup in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until homogenous. - Once the mixture has started bubbling and darkened slightly, add bicarbonate of soda and immediately start stirring vigorously. - Continue stirring as mixture expands until it has reached an amber colour. - Pour mixture into parchment lined baking tin and let sit until fully set, around 90 minutes. - Once cooled, remove from the tin and smash into chunks with the back of a wooden spoon.
recipe and photos by: JOSH ONG design by: LUISA DE LA CONCHA MONTES
Ingredients: About 2 stalks of rhubarb, cut into 5cm batons 100g of Caster Sugar
Method: - Place 150g of water and 150g of Caster Sugar into the saucepan and bring to the boil. - Once boiling, add the rhubarb batons to the syrup, and immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. - Once slightly cooled, remove the batons with a slotted spoon, setting aside 3 for the tarts. - Take remaining batons and chop finely into a fine paste using some of the poaching syrup.
42 - TRAVEL issue 178 illustrations & design by: ORLAGH TURNER
T h e Romania
words by: FRANCESCA IONESCU
For most of my life I saw my grandparents every weekend. We’d get in the car early, before the traffic got too bad, stop at the same petrol station and look at all the other people buying snacks and coal for their summer barbecues. As a child the journey was so exciting; the half an hour stretching over fields of wheat, sunflower and corn, winding through straw roofs and street facing porches. Getting into the village there was a sign saying ‘Careful! Children!’ which I would always read out to show off to my parents how fast I could read. After the bread factory, dad would turn left and slow the car down as everyone he grew up with would be waving and shouting from their windows and benches. Maria’s shop would always have the elderly men of the street outside, tank tops on and beers in hand. The shop was a small white box, almost like a kid’s room, with a tiny black fence in front that used to get repainted every summer. But my place isn’t the street or the shop or the bread factory (although it smelled lovely) but instead, the little grey house across from the shop.
p L A C E S
The fence has been grey ever since I can remember, with white swirls and spikes at the top. The gate probably locked at some point but as long as I was there it was tied with a bit of metal wire at night, but it was never unsafe. The concrete alleyway wrapped around the little bit of growing garden. My grandma was growing tomatoes and cabbage, alongside two plum trees at opposite ends of the garden. Climbing the trees was one of the most exciting things, almost worth the stinging nettles around the roots. The alleyway goes back around the house and towards the outdoor toilet – because this is an old eastern European village - and to the chicken coop which was frankly very terrifying and loud. Equally as terrifying was the pig hut, but it was also cute as after lunch we’d feed the peels and left over veg to them, and they would oink happily. This was all behind the house, whilst at the front there was the long porch where we would sleep outside in the summer - the heat inside was absolutely unbearable. This sounds weird to anyone else, to sleep in the garden in a busy village where anyone can walk in, but everyone had to do it in the summer, and it often felt like a massive sleepover under the stars so far away from the city’s pollution. Now I’ve lived outside of Romania for 5 years and going back to the village isn’t half as cheerful. My grandparents aren’t there anymore, my uncle who lives on his own is not quite as excited to see us. The sticks the tomatoes would grow around are still there but hardly anything has grown there in years, other than some grass. Over the years we painted the house orange and the fence black; it’s a lot prettier but not quite what I’ve grown up around, and the alleyway doesn’t lead to animals anymore. Things that made me so happy when I was younger I now see for what they really are – a simple way of living caused by poverty. The beer the men drink outside the shop is cheap and warm and their skin tans from work, not holidays. The bread factory has closed, sold over to some western company that isn’t really using it. They’ve paved the otherwise stone road, so there’s more cars passing by, more noise, less clean air. Every summer I go back, and we don’t sleep outside anymore, and every summer I think how change might be a good thing, keeping my childhood secretly locked away, so far removed that at least now no one can touch it.
T h a t
As cliché and ‘gap yah’ as it sounds, if I had to choose one place which completely shifted my outlook on the world it would be India. At 17 years old, spending three weeks somewhere so vastly different from everything I was used to helped me start to realise who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. My eyes were completely opened to the idea that I am by no means obliged to spend the rest of my life living and working a 9 to 5 in an office in the UK, or anywhere in western Europe for that matter. It’s a fairly selfish thing to have taken away from such a trip to be honest, as there are few places where the wealth inequality is so blatantly clear. We took a Tuk-Tuk around Delhi one day, past Gandhi’s house and the Prime Minister’s official residence, and the next day took taxis down motorways lined with shanty towns with children running into the fastflowing traffic to beg for any spare change. At the risk of again sounding like a broken record, to have had the chance to realise how privileged I was with my life back home at a time when all I had to worry about were my up-coming AS Level grades is something for which I will be eternally grateful. I’d spent time in Snowdonia and the Lake District before and seen the French Alps a couple of times, but the journey alone from Delhi into the Himalayas was enough to convince me that I would need to go back at some point and spend more time in the mountains. Although it entailed a 23-hour coach journey (with four hours of standstill thanks to a landslide on the road),
TRAVEL - 43
the transition from one of the world’s busiest cities to lush green hills at about 2,000 metres up felt almost seamless. Driving further up to 4,500 metres saw a shift to an almost Martianlike landscape with mountains taller than anything I’d ever seen before, stretching into the distance further than I thought possible. The people living here were some of the happiest and most welcoming you could imagine. While a majority now made their money through tourism, the Buddhist traditions remained in almost every aspect of life. The fact that none of us brought our phones on this entire trip also meant that we felt fully immersed in everything we were doing and seeing. To be truly disconnected from the rest of the world somewhere so far away from what I was used to helped me to take so much more away from the trip than I otherwise would have. Three weeks is nowhere near enough time to spend in India. They call it a sub-continent for a reason. The tiny corner that I saw in the north has left me itching to go back ever since. Everest Base Camp (though in Nepal, not India) is now number one on my bucket list, cooking Indian food is easily a weekly activity and a nostalgic trip through the thousands of photos I took while writing this has made me ever more determined to book a flight as soon as I can.
“ They call it a subcontinent for a reason.”
India words by: SARAH BELGER
44 - TRAVEL issue 178
words by: TAMMY-LOUISE WILKINS
C H A N G E D
In 2019, I spent just under six months living in Norway as a student. I had a number of concerns when I started the application process to study in Norway: I wondered how I would cope with homesickness as my partner would be the only person who could visit, how I would manage my longterm medical conditions, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia, without the security of my local doctor, and I was worried how lonely the experience would be. Whilst I initially rebuked the typical Erasmus+ student stereotype, I became it. At the start of the semester I felt like a fresher being in my final year and trying to navigate a social network like this was a trial and error process, but I ended my semester with lifelong friends and an entirely new view on life. In the time I spent in Norway, the culture continuously challenged my outlook and although it is utterly impossible to explain each way it infiltrated and altered me, I would like to focus on two places that helped my mental and physical health. Moving to Norway was an enormous step for me in terms of independence but it was a terrifying one to be entirely alone. Whilst I study away from home, it is only a short train ride so I always had the security of my family and doctor should something go wrong. Living in Norway, nevertheless, forced me into the situation of being independent and putting my management of these conditions to the ultimate test. Sognsvann, a lake three minutes from my apartment complex, repeatedly fought and rebuilt my physical health. Having it so close to where I lived encouraged me to take daily walks, swims (until the ice froze), and hikes on the various trails available through the lake. Sognsvann offered me a place of solitude, a place to socialise and a place to exercise and I left with a management level of my Fibromyalgia that I did not think was possible. Exploration as a medicine did not stop at Sognsvann, for travelling alone was another test. I have never travelled completely alone until I moved to Norway but even then, it is not like I had spent the semester alone. One of the symptoms of CFS that I have struggled with greatly is anxiety so when I decided to spend twenty-four hours in Bergen alone, I was obsessive over the details to make sure I would be okay. This experience, however, unwittingly redefined the restrictions this anxiety had set. The original appeal of travelling to Bergen was its seven-hour
train journey, referred to as ‘the most beautiful train ride in Europe’ and whilst it was a fantastical sight to behold, it was having the chance to watch the sunset on top of Mount Fløyen that unearthed a confidence I previously did not have. I arrived just in time for the sunset and took the funicular to the station platform that supplied a panoramic view of the city. As a tourist spot, it became loud with camera clicks and people chattering so I wandered off to stumble upon the Fløyen Boys, mountain goats that help clear vegetation. I sat upon a rock near their shack and watched the sunset from there, where one of them become curious enough to sit with me. It was nothing short of a moment straight out of a Tolkien novel. I became a better person from embracing Norwegian culture by having access to such a vast amount of nature to explore and I left managing my health better and having gained a newfound confidence.
TRAVEL - 45
illustrations & design by: ORLAGH TURNER
I was age six the first time I ever stepped foot on a plane or onto the soil of another country. Before my visit, Australia was always the place that took my auntie away from me in order for her to happily start a new life. To me, it was a strange and unknown place; all I knew was that it was hot, and it was where the Koala Brothers lived. Australia was my first ever holiday, and I find myself thinking, as I write this, how lucky I was to have had this beautiful country as my first experience of travel – even if I didn’t realise how lucky I was at the time. The city of Townsville lies North-East in the state of Queensland and it has a tropical climate which I’ve always envied. The aesthetics of the city itself are stunning. The Strand provides the most wonderful sea and coastal view – a 2.2km promenade parallel to the sea, lined with palm trees, walkways and cycle paths. Australia was the first hint of beauty I had ever seen whilst travelling. I was an overwhelmed and jet-lagged sixyear-old, but I could still recognise its intense beauty and how it differed from anything I had ever seen before in the UK. Townsville is where five members my family live, and I have now been to Australia four times in total, all at different stages in my childhood, and now adulthood, with the most recent being in December. I’m lucky enough to say that it is somewhere I will consistently return to throughout my life, yet it continues to shock me every time. There is nothing that will ever beat the feeling of returning to the arms of your auntie, uncle and cousins after years apart. I think that plays a huge part as to why I love going, because I know I will always be met with a family reunion and overwhelming happiness.
Australia words by: MOLLY GOVUS
There is something dangerous and exciting about Australia housing some of the most dangerous animals in the world, and it wouldn’t be a trip to Townsville without the Billabong Sanctuary which is just a 20-minute drive away from the city. When I first went to Billabong, I was far too small to be able to hold a Koala. I have a brilliant picture somewhere of my 14-year-old self towering over the height-restriction example – I make a point by holding a koala every time I go. At the sanctuary, kangaroos roam free and wallabies and wombats can be found for a cuddle. It’s a bizarre experience, but it is now something that feels homely to me each time I return. There are not many places where you can see a 6ft+ crocodile named Psycho launching out of the water! There are lots of aesthetic and touristy-like things I could say about dear Oz, but it has also been the place of emotional growth for me. I recently came out of a 6-year long-term relationship, and it was the first holiday me and my ex-boyfriend had ever been on together. I look back at our relationship and see our trip to Australia and to Magnetic Island as some of the fondest memories we had, and I’m grateful that we can both look back on an experience that we loved and shared with each other. Additionally, seeing my close family so happy in the life they have built makes me love Townsville even more, and it makes me proud to go and visit there. It is a place where my family has made a home for themselves, where my cousins have been born, taught in schools and grown up, and where my uncle works hard as a mental health nurse. I’m so proud of them, and I guess that brings along an adoration for the place, too.
46 - TRAVEL issue 178 design by: JOSH ONG
What Travel Means to-Us I didn’t live in a well-off area when I was younger. My mum and I lived in Southend on Sea; I was never without and we had the occasional trip to Dorset or Butlins, but that was about it for any major travel or holiday. I had a happy childhood, but travel wasn’t an essential part of it until I was around six. Since then, I would say it has moulded the person I am today. This is very different to my wonderful co-editor’s experience, but we have both ended up with the same love and passion for travel despite how we came about falling in love with it. That’s what I love about travelling. Everybody reaches the same adoration for it, although we may get there in different ways. To be metaphorical and a bit soppy, we all make our own paths and travel towards them in our own ways. Travel burst into my life suddenly. It ripped my heart apart when my auntie left to live in Australia, and distance became something I hated. All I remember is almost vomiting on my own shoes when she left at the gate of Heathrow airport. When I was six, travel stitched my heart back together when I was first able to pay her a visit. I look at distance now as a chance to explore, and a chance to experience. I cannot describe to you the excitement and the anticipation that came along with my first journey abroad. It was a gruelling 24+ hour journey with my Mum – I now realise how resilient she must have been with a hyper six-year-old by her side. This feeling still remains before any journey I take to a different place. This feeling is what I have learned to yearn and live for. It’s the butterflies, the excitement, the anticipation – it is what gives us the need to keep doing it again and again. I think that is exactly why travel is always a current and upkeeping trend; we just can’t help ourselves to chase that feeling. Being a travel editor for Quench this year has taught me a lot. When you think about how many places there are in the world and how many possibilities they hold, it can seem overwhelming and daunting. I often find myself wondering just how I will ever find the time and means to travel to the places I want to, but I have been lucky enough to experience many journeys just through the writings of our contributors alone. The form of writing about travel shouldn’t be disregarded – any good writer can portray the exact emotion and feeling of a specific moment, and that is exactly what our contributors do. I never really saw being part of Quench as a ‘job’ – it was never stressful, time-consuming or hard for me. It was an absolute joy and pleasure to read through so much brilliant work each issue and I count myself lucky for having had the opportunity to do that. The world right now is a scary place. As I write this, we are in the middle of a global pandemic. Travel has been hit hard by the impacts of this virus and, globally, the world is in a bit of conflict. Between people, countries, policies and governments – there is a lack of harmony. Flights have been cancelled, families and friends have been torn apart due to isolation. I know that it all seems a bit up in the air right now, but travel will survive after this. Communication between people and countries will increase and thrive, families will be reunited, and travel will bring the world back together again. We must never take our ability to roam the world freely for granted in this strange time. Whatever you do, keep travelling - the whole world is out there waiting for you.
TRAVEL - 47
Travel is an incredibly important part of my life. I was barely 6 months old when I was first put on a plane, and I’ve since spent virtually my entire life living abroad. When I look at the places I’ve lived and the time I’ve spent in each country, I’d say I never really stopped moving. Even though my time in Cardiff has me feeling settled for a little while, I can’t say it’ll be long before I’m angling for a move abroad again. When the opportunity to be one of Quench’s Travel Editors came up, I jumped at it. Not only did I want to share some of my own experiences of travelling, I was much more interested in hearing from contributors and putting out some original pitches that would provoke exciting untold stories. One of the main things this role has done is show me so much more of the world than I ever really knew about, without me even having to leave home. All the stories told by contributors throughout the issues and in online articles - from budget trips across Southeast Asia to a day out in Cardiff - highlighted the diversity of this community and added so many facets to the often simplified idea of ‘travel’. I’m proud that many of the articles we have put out this year allowed every contributor to show off their personalities and individual tastes, making every piece feel unique and interesting, even if some happened to be written about the same place. The sheer amount of contributors ready to write about their travels was always amazing to see, and getting to learn about everyone’s journeys was always my favourite part of editing. Having seen all the great contributions this year, my view on travel has changed. Originally, it was just a part of my life, something I did every few years as I moved country and occasionally went on holiday abroad. Now, there’s a lot more to it. Travel incorporates so many things; people have written articles about volunteering in another country, studying abroad, or even just what to do when it’s a rainy day and you can’t go outdoors. For me, travel is a way of exploring culture and expanding world knowledge, meeting people with different views and altogether different lives. In many cases I was pushed into these experiences through living abroad, but now that I finally seem to have settled in somewhere, I find myself wanting even more. From my time with Quench, I’ve seen the ways travel has impacted other people’s lives, and many of our more ethics-related articles have explored deeper truths that have changed my views on what ethical and sustainable travel really means. Most of all, the articles we’ve published this year have made me realise just how little of the world I’ve seen, and even what I’ve missed out with cities or countries I’ve been to before. I’ve got an expanded list of places I want to go, and after quite a number of our articles featured journeys through Cambodia and Thailand I’d have to say they’re my first destinations when I finally get to visit Asia. Obviously, being a section editor wasn’t all about travel. I couldn’t sign off on this last issue without talking about my amazing co-editor, Molly, who more often than not pulled some incredible pitches out of the bag when I was suffering mental block and suggesting terrible articles about harvest festivals. We’ve also had numerous contributions from fellow editors across all sections, and the fact that travel is a topic everyone can share is what makes it so special for me. We’ve all had our ups and downs with it, and we can all relate to each others’ stories. My year as travel editor has been cut short a bit, ironically preventing me (or anyone else) from leaving the house and actually experiencing the very thing I’m supposed to write about. But this gives me confidence that when the time comes, we’ll all relish our chance to see the world a little bit more than we used to.
Marcus Yeatman Crouch
48 - TRAVEL issue 178
BEHIND THE SCENES
The Importance of Place in Film & TV Barry Island – Gavin & Stacey By Olly Allen When you think of Gavin & Stacey, a number of things come to mind quickly afterwards. Smithy’s takeaway order, the ‘American Boy’ rap and the iconic location where half of the action takes place: Barry Island (and it is Barry Island, not Barry’s Island as Pam believes). In fact, even the ‘Essex’ scenes are filmed just down the road in Dinas Powys, meaning South Wales has become synonymous with the much-loved sitcom. The idea for the series first came to James Corden when he attended a wedding between a Welsh woman and an English man. Although held in the Cardiff suburb of St Mellons, Corden recalls how all the guests were from Barry: “I sat back, watching it take place, and I thought to myself, ‘I’ve not seen a wedding on TV like this, where, essentially, nothing really happens, it all goes smoothly and unassumingly, and there is no great drama. No one speaks up when they say, “Has anybody got any reason why they shouldn’t...”. There are no announcements, fights or anything.’ And I mentioned this to Ruth.” Ruth Jones was Corden’s co-star in ITV drama Fat Friends, and the pair mirrored the English and Welsh contrast he had seen at the wedding. Gavin & Stacey was born, and Barry was its home.
In the 13 years since, Gavin & Stacey and Barry have become inseparable. You cannot have one without the other. By utilising filming locations such as the Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, Marco’s Café and Trinity Street (where Stacey, Gwen and Uncle Bryn live), the show has transformed Barry into a hub of activity of popularity. Thousands of people visit every year simply because of the programme. In 2008, a report detailed how Gavin & Stacey had boosted Barry’s tourism trade by 25%, with Glamorgan Council tourism and marketing officer Claire Evans stating that the series had put the Welsh town “on the map”. Speak to any resident and they’ll tell you what a positive impact it has had. Glenda Kenyon, who is the real-life owner of Gwen’s house said: “I have people coming from all over the world to see the Gavin & Stacey house. I love it – it has changed my life for the better. [Watching the show] I kept saying, ‘That’s my house, that’s my ornament’.’ I really got into it and absolutely loved it. I started to talk to people, something I’d not done in a long time.” You only need to look at the pictures of the crowds at the filming of last year’s much-anticipated Christmas Special to see how much fondness and affection the people of Barry have for the show. They can watch the TV and proudly say “That’s my town”. Such a homely feel makes the series what it is, adding to its heart-warming, carefree appeal. Simply put, it is now difficult to think of the show being based anywhere else.
TRAVEL - 49
design by: JAMES BARKER
Chicago – The Time Traveller’s Wife
you’ve read the book, but after reading it around five times through, I like to think that where they meet is more significant than one might initially assume.
By Molly Govus
The description of Henry’s apartment is a scene I always find myself returning to. The alternate descriptions of their homes and upbringings emphasises how, upon initial reflection, they are so different from each other, but yet, the world pulls them together for a reason. Henry’s apartment is described as small enough to outstretch his arms and reach both sides, whereas Clare grew up in a suburban stately home with cooks and cleaners and still carries this sense of high-class mentality into her adulthood. Henry’s apartment always made me think of somewhere I’d like to live, admittedly – rows of books and organised chaos. As Clare and Henry become settled within their relationship, you can see their two lives moulding into one, which this is also reflected by the setting. Arguably, Henry’s chaotic and messy life becomes cleaner and clearer once he meets Clare, and his surroundings become more mature as they move into a house together. But, like any relationship, they still have their own spaces. The way in which the characters of Henry and Clare negotiate their own spaces is a common theme throughout – Clare has always had too much space from Henry, but Henry has never had enough in his life. Henry has his room for books and reading, and Clare has her studio for art. It signifies a beautiful equilibrium.
This book was the first book I ever fell in love with. Since I picked it out from my mum’s bookshelf at age thirteen, its tattered and worn cover has always brought comfort to me alongside its pencil-marked pages. It also became a film in 2009, featuring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams. The story itself begins in downtown Chicago, Illinois where the two main characters, Clare and Henry, meet for the first time in Clare’s adulthood. In 2017, I was lucky enough to do an exchange programme where I got to go to Chicago for two weeks; the city itself is a whirlwind. It is a bustle of energy, filled with high-paced egotism and extroverted personality. This starkly constrasts with Newberry Library, which can be found in Washington Square. The city, an unstoppable and beautiful mayhem, is much like the character’s unconventional relationship. The library, a quiet piece of heaven where they both find solace within each other is where their lives, for once, match up perfectly for a budding relationship. The library signifies a lot within their relationship. If you’ve read the book or watched the film, you would be aware of the slightly confusing timejumps that occur throughout due to the fact that Henry is a time traveller. Henry’s description of his existence being like a Mobius Strip seems apt when attempting to describe this. Due to Henry’s genetic disorder, Clare had known Henry since she was six prior to this library meeting, but she knew that Henry would have no recollection of this at all. The library, a place of the arts and literature, echoes the times that they had shared together throughout Clare’s childhood. From Henry teaching Clare French verbs and calligraphy to Clare reciting romantic poetry to Henry as a love-struck teenager, Henry and Clare’s relationship grows through their shared love of the arts, and their initial setting of meeting represents how beautiful a part chance and luck plays in our lives, and gives a commemorative nod to the history that they have previously shared together. I realise this is something only a reader can look back on once
Without spoiling too much of the book or the film, I’ll give you my favourite quote and it is best to be thought about in terms of setting and space. If you want to know its full effect then you’ll have to read the book. I won’t tell you who speaks it because it would give away too much, but there is much to be taken from this seemingly unimportant piece of script. “Why do you think Mr Cornell made these boxes?” “He made the boxes because he was lonely. He didn’t have anyone to love, and he made the boxes so he could love them, and so people would know he existed, and because birds are free and the boxes are hiding places for birds so they will feel safe, and he wanted to be free and safe. The boxes are for him so he can be a bird.”
Image: Muzammil Soorma (Unsplash)
50 - TRAVEL issue 178
Travel Gallery One of my favourite shots of 2019. I decided to show my boyfriend some of my favourite cities in Europe, and one of them is Amsterdam. One evening we were just walking back from dinner, and I saw this shot and started setting up my tripod. I was so focused on setting everything up, I didn’t notice the group of American tourists that had gathered, and then proceeded to all take the same shot I had just taken. Still one of the funniest moments of the trip, simply because of how weird it was! Sai This trip was the first time I’d been alone and away from my friends and family. It is such a contrast from the quarantining and selfisolation now, since in Siem Reap I would spent the whole day outdoors from before sunrise to after sunset. I’d spent the day cycling around the temples (a feat on its own for someone as lazy as me). I got this picture while the temples were closing - my friends and I were some of the last ones to leave. Amira Banaulikar I am of Nigerian heritage, so I loved being able to visit family and explore the busy city. The markets, each packed with hundreds of vendors, are a must-see for any traveller. When I took this picture, we were on our way to buy fabric to make traditional clothing. Ona Ojo This photo was outside the door of my grandparents’ house whilst my family and I were visiting. This photo is significant to me because it highlights the nature of my second home while showing the beauty of Australia. The mountains that can be seen in the background are currently charred by the wildfires that swept over this land. I hope the future will be as bright and peaceful as this photo and that the damage that has been done can be reversed. Luke Griffiths
Seemingly immune to the passing of time, I think Spain’s former capital is one of the most picturesque and underappreciated cities in the world. This photo not only triggers the memory of watching the sun set over the medieval skyline, but also reminds me of how I felt whilst drinking in the view (and the cocktail in my hand): truly grateful and effortlessly happy. Lauren Stenning
: by IP n HIL sig P de ESSIO RAIN
I remember walking along the cobbled streets of Toledo with my boyfriend in the summer of 2019, soaking in the historic beauty of this ancient Spanish city, making the most of every step on that stunning, sunlit day. On one of the last of many trips we made that summer before we started our Masters degrees in separate countries, I was aware our amazing summer was coming to an end and so I made extra effort to cherish each moment: the feeling of the sun warming my skin, his fingers wrapped around mine as we explored museums and churches and little side streets, our laughter at the medieval knight mascot in every shop, and the little, air-conditioned café where we smiled as we replenished our bodies with much-needed water after a long day in the sun. These moments are so special. Sometimes it’s the simple things that you remember and that mean most. Anna Hart
CARDIFF STUDENT MEDIA
3. editorâ€™s letter 4. gair rhydd 5. xpress radio
6. cutv 7. quench 8. 2019/20 best bits 10. where to find us
Hello! Welcome to our special Cardiff Student Media pullout - an added addition to Issue 178 of Quench. Sadly, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Cardiff Student Media has had to shut prematurely in order to prioritise the safety of our students. However, with Quench making the move to online for this issue, we now have no budget restrictions, no set page number to follow, and the freedom to create our best issue yet. With the aim of making the most of the situation we have found ourselves in, we decided to promote a sense of togetherness that we deem necessary in times like these. For that reason, we will dedicate the following 10 pages to showcasing the best that Cardiff Student Media has to offer. With no idea how long the current pandemic will last, there is no telling whether the next Cardiff Student Media executive teams will have the opportunity to hold a freshers fair, interact with contributors, and demonstrate what it is that Cardiff Student Media does. So, in order to combat this, the pages of this pullout will detail the different activities and experiences you can take part in as part of our Cardiff Student Media platforms: Quench, Gair Rhydd, Xpress, and CUTV. We will also be explaining how you can get involved, both instantly and in future years, and will end by rounding up with the 2019/20 cohort’s best bits. Recently, Quench’s social media manager James Barker highlighted how, during unsettling times such as these, the need for thought-provoking, light-hearted content is greater than ever. I believe that this stretches beyond the confinements of the COVID-19 outbreak. Cardiff Student Media provides students with the opportunity to express themselves creatively through whatever medium they choose. We have somewhere to use our voice, and whether we use it to touch upon issues of importance, highlight topics that are close to us, or shine a light on discussions that may otherwise have gone untalked about, all forms of student journalism are important. Whether you’re writing, designing, presenting, reporting, or even just consuming the content that is produced, you all help make Cardiff Student Media host the platforms that it does today.
Katie May Huxtable
Quench Editor-in-Chief 2019/20
This past year has seen Gair Rhydd develop even further with several exciting opportunities for students to get involved in producing the weekly student newspaper. Together, we’ve developed its student focus even further, concentrating more on local news stories in and around Cardiff. We have also continued to include university sport coverage, including the weekly BUCS page. One of the new additions to the paper this year is brand new section @Caerdydd, which focuses on events in Cardiff and the city’s culture. The section has grown throughout the year, featuring a weekly Events roundup as well as several interviews including with Robert Wilfort from Gavin & Stacey. There has been more Welsh-language output than ever before, with an additional page of Taf-od every week, providing the latest local and national news, politics and sport content through the medium of Welsh. The weekly editorial has also been bilingual for the first time. The Digital section has continued to evolve with several videos on local news stories and Instagram lives from events including the Plaid Cymru conference. One particular highlight for Gair Rhydd this year, was the cross-Student Media coverage for the 2019 General Election. Whilst it was a late night, or an early morning, for many, it really showed what is possible when all sections of student media pool their resources together for major events. To have been shortlisted for four awards at this year’s Student Publication Association Awards is testament to the hard work of every one of you who’s contributed to Gair Rhydd throughout the year in any way. It’s been a pleasure to read your articles every week and see the passion that so many of you share for journalism. If you’ve not yet contributed to Gair Rhydd but are keen to get involved, how do you? Well, there’s a Facebook group which all our contributors join and every Monday, each of Gair Rhydd’s eight sections will post their pitches for the week. You can then claim these pitches on a first come, first served basis. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about Gair Rhydd, email email@example.com. Tomos Evans Gair Rhydd Editor-in-Chief 19/20
Cardiff Student Media is home to Xpress Radio - Cardiff Uni’s very own award winning radio station! We’re on the third floor of the Student’s Union with our other CSM friends, where we broadcast from 8AM to Midnight 7 days a week, with our second studio available at these times to record and edit podcasts. Xpress blends the lines between society and radio station, providing a safe space for those who wish to use their show slot or role in the station to express themselves in an environment they feel comfortable in, whilst also providing industry opportunities for those who see radio as a possible career path. Either way, Xpress is focused on community and togetherness.
Our motley crew is one big inclusive unit - we cater to whatever style of radio interests you! Our station ranges from light-hearted entertainment to shrewd political programs right through to off the wall Specialist music hours (fancy a spot of Afro Beats, Dad Dancing or Gospel Music? Cos we got ‘em). We’re also bi-lingual, catering to both English and Welsh Language. If you like the idea of radio, but feel nervous about presenting, don’t worry! It’s a common misconception that radio is just speaking. In reality, there are a myriad of roles throughout the station, from social media, creative production (such as coming up with content and features), hands on tech and more, all being run by our members! With so many skills to learn there is always something for everyone, whether you want to be on the mic, or are more interested in learning about the work that goes on behind the scenes. 99% of members have no prior experience of broadcasting, so it’s a great place to start! You must be a member of the station to use our premises, which costs £15 for the year. If you’re unsure, we run taster sessions at the beginning of every academic year, with general training following for those who sign up. Remember to join our Facebook Group too (currently ‘Xpress Members 2019/20’) for information on how to apply for shows - just a formality, as we find space for everyone - or to become part of our various teams, whom specialise in certain areas (social media, speech, production, music etc). We look forward to seeing lots of budding new faces next year. Until then, stay safe all! Finegas Stockting & Polly Denny Xpress Radio Station Manager & Deputy Station Manager 19/20
It has been an extremely unique end to the CUTV year but, I don’t want Coronavirus to take away from all the great things we have achieved as a platform. Throughout the last couple of months, we have transformed CUTV by making multiple documentaries, weekly news shows, film shows and entertained the students of Cardiff. We may be the smallest section of Cardiff Student Media but don’t let this put you off joining as we still make outstanding TV content. If you are interested in getting involved with CUTV, we have a Facebook group for all of our CUTV members which you can join by searching ‘CUTV members 19/20’. All of our opportunities, new ideas, and general information get posted in here and there is always something going on for people to join in with!
The opportunities for a CUTV contributor can vary, which is what makes CUTV so valuable because one week you could be the presenter for our weekly news show and the next you could be either filming or assisting in the editing room for one of our upcoming documentaries. We are always on the hunt for new content ideas and welcome any suggestions big or small! There are many perks to joining the CUTV team but the main one is that the TV and broadcasting sector is one of the toughest industries to crack and hands-on experience is now viewed as an essential part of your CV. CUTV, is, therefore, a platform that will allow you to learn, experiment and make mistakes all whilst building up a strong reel for your portfolio if TV is your dream career. But, even if you just want to make some great content in your spare time and join a happy and stress-free team then CUTV is the society for you!
CUTV Station Manager 2019/20
Quench Magazine is Cardiff Student Media’s award-winning lifestyle magazine. We produce 5 issues a year and publish articles weekly on our online website. Quench prides itself in giving Cardiff students a platform to express themselves through whichever medium they choose, and we are always looking for contributors to submit content ranging from written articles to page design and photography. This year, we have made numerous changes to the magazine in order to improve it’s accessibility to students and grow our platform. Firstly, we downsized from printing in A3 to the smaller size of A4. This created a magazine that can act as a portable, handy companion for all our student readers. We also developed a sense of consistency between our magazine pages and online social media platforms to help us cement Quench as a brand. We also introduced a new concept titled the ‘Cardiff Story’. This allowed us to connect with our audiences on a deeper level, giving them the opportunity to feature on out front cover and answer a number of interview questions on their life growing up and how that has impacted their time spent at Cardiff University. If you’re interested in getting involved with Quench, we operate through 2 Facebook groups that we use to advertise all of our available opportunities. If you are interested in writing articles for our print issues or online website, join ‘Quench Contributors 19/20’ for all writing opportunities. Our team will post any available pitches here, which you can claim by commenting below. They are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. Our other Facebook group, ‘Quench Design and Creative Team 19/20’ focuses more on the creative aspect of Quench. Here you can apply to design any of the pages in our future issues and we also post calls for illustration, photography, and other creative content at different intervals throughout the year. Quench can not only help you to build a portfolio of your own work, but also provides opportunities to develop industry contacts and make lifelong friends. If you have any questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Katie May Huxtable
Quench Magazine Editor-in-Chief 19/20
This year, Quench’s Head of Design Orlagh Turner developed some brand new branding for the CSM awards that we are hoping to implement as the brand new branding for the whole of Cardiff Student Media in due course. Below she talks about her inspiration behind her creation...
new CSM branding
Our theme for this year’s Cardiff Student Media awards was community. We wanted to incorporate the family feel that CSM so readily encourages and prides itself on. So Pinterest quickly became my best friend and I found designs by Camipepe and Aura Lewis which incorporated illustrations of people with typography. These illustrations became inspirations for the design, with their charming bright colours, as they felt more vibrant and personal, which is what we wanted for this year’s design. However, we wanted our figures to be identifiable with CSM and so, I changed the skin for each character to the CSM section colours. This way the characters associate with the CSM community and each section could be represented. I also wanted to include the media office door as a statement piece for the design, because it provided an additional tie to CSM and gave a base colour for the design: purple. The door, however, represents more than just a base for CSM. For many it is the first hurdle when trying to reach our journalistic potential (those key cards don’t make it easy!). But once entered, the office hums with vitality. From opening the door, we submit ourselves to a journey of discovery and new potential; the door becomes the gatekeeper to memories of laughter, tears and very late nights. The door is also a representation of opportunity because it provides a passageway to new experiences. So many of us have achieved more than we thought possible from our first entrance to the office. From the experiences CSM offer we grow as people, but also as journalists and creative teams. We become prepared for our future ventures into media and have a polished portfolio under our arms to continue doing what we love. Yet the door works both ways. While the CSM door is open to welcome many fresh faces and provides these exciting opportunities, it is also the last thing to say goodbye to. Many of us are graduating this year, and the door has shut for us to move on to our next journey. But don’t be deceived, the door is always open for a nostalgic return!
So, whilst the central theme for this year’s design for CSM is community, I have designed it with a send-off and a thank you in mind, to all those who have dedicated their time and efforts to CSM.
Orlagh Turner Quench Head of Design 2019-2020
2019/20 team highlights
Cardiff Student Media has given me a platform to develop my journalistic skills whilst building a network of close friends at University. If you are passionate, or even remotely interested, in pursuing a career in the media, CSM is the place for you!
Reece Chambers Gair Rhydd Head of Sport 2018-2020
Joining Cardiff Student Media has given me the perfect opportunity to develop my portfolio of journalism, whilst being a part of a lovely team of people who encourage and support you with your work. As well as helping to improve your knowledge of how things work within the media world, you will meet new friends with similar shared interests and ambitions. If you’re looking for a creative outlet alongside your studies, I couldn’t recommend joining CSM enough!
Elly Savva Quench Features Editor 2019-2020
Cardiff Student Media has transformed the last two years of my University experience forever! I’ve made some amazing friends and grown my portfolio. I wouldn’t change the stressful nights in the office for the world! Mae Cyfryngau Myfyrwyr Caerdydd wedi trawsnewid y ddwy flynedd olaf fy mhrofiad Prifysgol am byth! Rydw i wedi gwneud ffrindiau anhygoel ac wedi tyfu fy mhortffolio. Ni fyddwn yn newid y nosweithiau dirdynnol yn y swyddfa ar gyfer y byd!
Indigo Jones Quench Clebar Editor and Gair Rhydd Columnist 2019-2020
Cardiff Student Media has given me invaluable experiences and memories that I will never forgot. Having such a large platform to express my ideas and designs on was so rewarding. To those of you who are keen to join, or perhaps a little doubtful, I urge you to join and by the end of the year you’ll have no regrets!
Jasmine Snow Q3 Editor-in-Chief 2019-2020
where to website
find us website
2020 2020 AWARDS
branding by: ORLAGH TURNER booklet layout by: KATIE MAY HUXTABLE
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words by: ABIGAIL THOMAS design by: ALESSIO PHILIP GRAIN I’m sure we all have a long list of things that we wish we did before lockdown. Watching Memory Camp live is up there for me, right next to my cancelled trip to Paris, and a hefty purchase of hand sanitiser. If you haven’t heard of them yet, Memory Camp are an indie/alternative four-piece hailing from no other than Cardiff and Swansea. As leading contributors to the South Wales indie music scene, they have more than likely been right under your nose without you even realising. Dylan, Dan, Jordan and Hannah have been perfecting their vivacious sound down at the Cathays Community Centre, all whilst headlining a number of prolific clubs in central Cardiff and across the Swansea area. Just a few to mention would be Clwb Ifor Bach and The Moon in Cardiff to Sin City, The Bunkhouse and the delightful Cinema & Co in Swansea town. Although on a surface level, Memory Camp float somewhere within the category of the ‘alternative’, this just doesn’t give sufficient credit to their extensive blending of genres, one that is wonderfully colourful and all round atmospheric. However, what I find most impressive about the band is their ability to achieve all of this whilst still sounding incredibly polished. This is a factor which really sets them apart from other local bands, who although, charmingly draw inspiration from punk ethos, just don’t seem to live up to the refined tone of Memory Camp. Melodic, catchy and all-round explosive, the band’s work is easily comparable to a long list of indie giants that you’re already familiar with. Upon listening, it’s difficult not to be reminded of the amiable and thematic sound of Catfish and the Bottlemen, the roaring and eclectic opening riffs of a Pixies song, or the sway worthy vocals of Ian Brown of the Stone Roses. They’ve even been compared to the likes of Blur and Weezer in past reviews (I wouldn’t complain). Although their online catalogue might not be large, it boasts plenty
of promise and vigour. Champagne on an Aeroplane and their most recently released, Pour Your Heart, are singles which have already been released on Spotify and Apple Music. Each cease to secure their position as a band which is already representative of a continuously flourishing and exciting music scene. Champagne on an Aeroplane is a well refined indie anthem, squeezed into a small two-and-a-half-minute package. This is definitely one to blast over speakers if you’re a gig buff, who is already missing an inherently bustling atmosphere - you’ll barely notice the difference! On another note, Pour Your Heart is a personal favourite of mine. Its’ shimmery, echoing backing vocals and bellowing guitars ooze the confidence of the bands iconic predecessors. Again, this is definitely one to blare en route to the seaside - a distant prospect which looping this song makes me for yearn even more! One thing which I really admire about the band is their female presence, a blessing and a rarity amidst a male dominated industry. This quality has heightened the aptitude of so many bands: Wolf Alice, Blondie and Pixies are a few favourite bands of mine with one, but nonetheless, crucial woman who has contributed to their brilliance. What makes it even better is that Hannah is the drummer, and from listening, she clearly packs a punch! Memory Camp have described themselves as a “Cardiff based band that’ll rock your socks”. I think that this sums them up really. Maybe mentioning this earlier would have saved the exertion, but nonetheless, all this appraisal was not just necessary, but well deserved. I’m more than certain that many, many exciting opportunities lie ahead for this four-piece. Or at least they will when this nightmarish period of isolation is finally over. In the meantime, make sure that you stay safe, like Memory Camp on Facebook, follow @_memory_camp on Twitter and stream their music on Spotify or Apple Music for a lovely little dosage of indie goodness.
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ROBBIE WILLIAMS IS BEST EVER POPSTAR words by: JOSH ONG
design and illustration by: KATIE MAY HUXTABLE
It’s a bold claim, but one I’m willing to stand by. This might be an outrageous thing to claim at first, and to be honest, I don’t blame you for thinking so. Mr Williams certainly doesn’t possess any otherworldly vocal abilities or even hold a particularly forgiving character. But, as the article will argue, when it comes to identifying popstars, there are some generalised criteria that you have to meet that extend far beyond mere vocal ability; strong identifiable character, longevity, and a collection of almost universally known anthems. And, when considering all of the above, I’d argue that there’s only one person that entirely fits the bill. Given the history of pop musicians coming from the UK, this claim really does seem ridiculous. But, when examining the field of all the largest contemporary popstars, there’s a pretty prominent trend;
they’re all American. The archetypal modern popstars, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift et al, certainly fit the criteria, but they’re obviously not British. In terms of their British counterparts, there simply aren’t many to choose from. Going back, you could certainly argue that the likes of Freddie Mercury and Elton John could equally qualify through exuberant lives and multitudes of hits. Mostly, you’d be right; omitting them from this article would be a heinous crime. However, their lives and antics, whilst perhaps not too dissimilar from that of Williams’ drugs and alcohol saturated life, still struggle to qualify within the modern popstar model. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing either, in many ways it actually works in their favour. Anyway, as with any claim this large about anything musical, you first need to examine what he’s actually produced, and whether or not it holds up any credibility. Robbie’s career in Take That was pretty mediocre, to be quite frank. As Mancunian Barlow tended to take the majority of the limelight, Williams accordingly found himself as more of a Stoke-on-Trent-born afterthought. However, once effectively unshackled, his first few albums were particular goldmines of pop excellence. These albums demonstrated a range in creating success from melodies varying from album to album. What’s more is that the first three albums each built upon the last in terms of quality, with Sing When You’re Winning hitting full stride. This is only further reinforced by his dabbles into new genres with Swing When You’re Winning, an album with an unprecedented ability to make Sinatra-nostalgic 50 year old mothers swoon. So, solid musical foundation? Check. The next step to classification comes in regard to their public life. To be quite frank, you aren’t a popstar unless just about everything comes under public scrutiny and, notably, this covers mistakes. Williams has sported a numerous amount of blunders across his career; from accidentally imitating a certain notable Nazi in Nuremberg, to verbally abusing disabled concert goers at his own show for refusing to stand up, he’s made a lot of mistakes. I won’t be defending any of these, but rather suggesting that you can’t be a popstar without some, or a series of, high profile mistakes. This is why someone like Ed Sheeran, whilst fulfilling some of the other aforementioned criteria fairly comfortably, can’t take the title as he continues to manifest the most vanilla persona possible. Williams has always somewhat leaned into the ‘bad boy’ image of being rebellious, like a child trapped in a man’s body. This has undoubtedly aided him in his ability to get away with many of these events relatively unscathed and contributed heavily to the next factor discussed below. The final element considered is that of longevity. Williams’ career across both Take That stints and his solo career has been pretty hefty. But most successfully, he’s managed to stay well within public purview throughout it all. Musically speaking, he peaked around 2002 with his live show at Knebworth and the adjacent albums released. He’s released many records since, but they have all suffered from the same lack of panache, ingenuity and unique tone that set his first EPs apart. This only makes his retention of public interest that much more fascinating and stands as an attestment to his ability to play the popstar cards correctly. Perhaps a culmination of the other factors mentioned above, but I truly believe that Williams is somewhat unmatched in his standing as a British pop star. To conclude, is Robbie Williams the best musician the UK has ever produced? No. Does he have ungodly vocal abilities? Nope. Is he an exemplar role model for aspiring musicians around the world? Definitely not. But that isn’t what makes a popstar. The fact that Williams is not top of the field in these and is still so famous is probably the reason a lot of people don’t like pop music. But I can almost guarantee you that they forget and suppress their discontent as soon as Angels starts playing.
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N O S R A E Y 0
eenpop t t s e b e till th s s i m a e age Dr n e e T s ’ y NG Perr ign by: JOSH O and Katy ll time. words and des fa album o Things were simpler a decade ago; socialisation came in groupings of full fringe-cladden preteen boys in the local McDonalds, One Direction had held their first X Factor auditions, and the infamous Jesus bracelets were soon to make their debut as a must have accessory. To the best of my memory, the year was pretty favourable overall. But musically, it also birthed the pinnacle album of an entire sub-genre, Teenage Dream. Leading up to 2010, the market for teen-pop was incredibly saturated. From Kesha’s Tik Tok to Mr Worldwide’s tales of the splendour of swampy Florida, the prevailing sound of strictly 4/4, clean formulaic ‘radio friendly’ tracks dominated the charts. Looking back, it’s understandable to see why; the formula worked, and still does. The entire era stood as a testament to contemporary pop hooks and effective musical simplicity that could earworm its way into society. Teenage Dream saw this formula perfected to a near tee. In short, this album served as a way of testing the limit of how far you could take this form of unabashedly positive-minded quad-chordial bops, without making them entirely devoid of anything beyond surface level noise. Immediately from the opening titular track you are blessed with an immediate statement of what is to come. The song draws from explicitly teenage lyrics from a not-so-teenage Perry who draws inspiration and nostalgic fondness from her own younger days. This is only further continued straight into Last Friday Night, arguably the platonic ideal of any modern pop song; simple chords, a memorable hook, and even a bridge devoted entirely to a place for listeners to chant along. The following two tracks, California Gurls and Firework, result in a starting quadruple threat that could dethrone any charting artist to date. “But making pop music is easy isn’t it? All the lyrics are always just the same”. Not quite. Diving deeper into the lyricism across the tracks, these aren’t simple soulless and deliberately machined hits. Aside from the fact that so many of these songs exude irrefutable positive energy and promise, they are matched by demonstrations of lyrical excellence by Perry and co. Where perhaps the devastating lyrics might not be encompassed in the slower ballads akin to Taylor Swift’s All Too Well, the merit of this album is in its ability to interweave these into bops. Stripping away the drums and piano hook from The One That Got Away, and you are left with a sombre song of forlorn and faded romanticism. The breadth and depth of this album saw it gain an accolade,
matched only by Michael Jackson, of having five number one singles from the same album. Beyond the instantly recognisable singles comes a swathe of deeper cuts and b-sides, such as Hummingbird Heartbeat and Who am I living for?, all of which hold their own in serving as anything more than filler tracks. In a previous article about genre fluidity, I mentioned how teenpop was subsequently abdicated by the sad girl boppop, spearheaded by Lorde’s Pure Heroine in 2013. So, if Teenage Dream was so great, then why was its genre almost entirely wiped out from mainstream music just a few years after? There were a few reasons for this; society’s taste tends to change every few years anyways. However, in my eyes, the main reason for this decline was simply that this album created the ultimate teenpop album. This album was beyond extravagant and was ridiculous by design. From cotton candy clouds through to oddly daemonic cat mascots, the visuals bled rainbows through every orifice. The accompanying California Dreams tour, visualised in the movie documenting this period, Part of Me, only drove home further this desire to appeal to inner childishness. Perhaps more successfully, this album has stood the test of time, and still provides enjoyment to those who have since escaped their teenage years, or more yet, those who are becoming teenagers in today’s very different musical climate. So, this summer, on the decadal anniversary of its release, I reflect on the profound joy that this album managed to conjure amidst an already densely populated market. Teenage Dream finds its ultimate success in taking the formula of teenpop and whittling it down to its core functions. What resulted was an outrageously over the top masterpiece of pop exuberance, one which has yet to have been matched in energy, and probably never will be. Teen-pop’s mainstream position has long since passed, but this album has stood as the monument to unbridled positivity and joy of pop music of that era. My appreciation for this album has only grown over time, and I don’t think it’ll diminish any time soon.
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THE BEST UNDERRATED FEMALE ARTISTS IN THE UK In light of the recent criticisms levelled at festivals for not representing enough female artists in their line-ups, and even worse, TRNSMT Festival’s Geoff Ellis telling BBC Newsbeat that “we need to get more females picking up guitars, forming bands, playing in bands”, Quench Magazine will prove this perception incorrect. Some of the best artists in the UK are female, an untapped scene waiting to be discovered by fans. Female artists that have picked up guitars, formed bands and played in them exist all throughout the UK, creating music that is just as good, and often better, than their male counterparts.
Any Human Friend- Marika Hackman
Marika Hackman has been releasing music since 2012, ranging between shoegaze to upbeat, riff driven tracks that stick in your mind for weeks. Hackman lets the music speak for itself on the stage, and her fans are eager disciples. In 2019 she released Any Human Friend, a beautifully melancholic album that challenges topics still taboo in British society, including one track ‘hand solo’, about masturbation. The titular track, ‘any human friend’, includes her typical brand of haunting melodies and vocals. Her 2017 album, ‘I’m Not Your Man’, first brought her to my attention, and the entire album encompasses every mood. When it’s an acoustic day, listen to ‘Cigarette’. When the day is full of summer and you’re out with your friends, listen to ‘Time’s Been Reckless’. For shiver inducement, listen to ‘Violet’, my personal favourite.
L Devine is a relatively new artist, upcoming in the indie pop scene. She has been recognised by GAY TIMES, the Guardian, NME, and Vogue as an emerging star. After listening to ‘Naked Alone’ on repeat for weeks, I branched out to listen to her other tracks, with an equally obsessive response. ‘Nervous’ and ‘When The Time’s Right’ are a few of her best earworms, tracks that pull listeners in for endless repeated playing. Devine is young, and her music is only going to get better, as heard by ‘Boring People’, her most recent release, a blend of the 90’s and the pop of today. Recommended listen: ‘Naked Alone’
Sinead O’Brien recently came to my attention after listening to the brilliant track ‘A Thing You Call Joy’, which calls to mind Patti Smith. Her style of music is an Irish blend of music and poetry. O’Brien comes from Limerick, an ironic name for the Irish poet and singer. According to her biography, her influences come from literature, which is reflected in the tracks she writes. As an artist to be signed by one of the few true indie record labels left, O’Brien represents a culture needing revival. Listen to Sinead O’Brien for lilting vocals and quirky riffs. Recommended listen: ‘A Thing You Call Joy’
Naked Alone- L Devine
AT h ing You Call Joy- Sinead O’Brien
Recommended listen: ‘Any Human Friend’
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Coming Up Short- Bloxx
words and design by: KATE WALDOCK
Bloxx would fit in perfectly within the festival scene. Fee Booth leads the indie band from Uxbridge, touring as a support act for bands such as the Wombats, Sundara Karma, and Pale Waves, another brilliant female-lead band. Booth embodies British, having worked in Wetherspoons with her bassist before starting the band that is sure to see success in the coming years. They’re young, but their music has already been recognised across the seas, in Avvustralia and the Netherlands, as well as touring in the US. Listening to their music transports you to a festival, imagining crowds of dancing fans in the sun that only seems to come out for the best line-ups. This band are a must listen if you want a refreshing female voice to brighten up that playlist full of the Catfishes and the Wombats of the British indie scene. Recommended listen: ‘Coming Up Short’
Space Cadet- Beabadoobee
Beabadoobee is receiving a lot of attention in the UK, a London artist who was born in the Philippines. Beabadoobee is an artist best slotted into the new ‘bedroom pop’ genre. Once you wrap your head around the spelling, search her name and delve into some of the best new music the UK has to offer. Whilst she is arguably less an underrated artist and more an upcoming star that is consistently on the rise, another magazine championing her brand of pop can never be a bad thing.
When We Land- Anteros
Recommended listen: ‘Space Cadet’
Anteros take influence from bands such as Blondie, The Cure and The Cardigans. Their genre wistfully looks back to the good old days of music, with an injection of their own style. When talking about this band I find it hard to describe what their music reminds me of, because Anteros has become iconic in its own retro way. If I could recommend one band from this list as a must-see for any concert goers, Anteros is that band. Vocalist Laura Hayden is a mesmerising vision on stage, all eyes drawn to her. ‘Bonnie’ brings Hayden down from the stage into the crowd, encouraging GRL PWR to all her fans. Their most recent album, ‘When We Land’ is a brilliant taste of the band’s unique nostalgic energy. Recommended Listen: ‘Call Your Mother’
These brilliant female artists span all genres, a track for almost every mood and genre. In an ideal world, we would see these bands and artists on the big stages of our favourite festivals, and the front of our favourite magazines. And their music is certainly powerful enough to take them there. So, in answer to Geoff Ellis, there are plenty of women picking up guitars, and playing them, to crowds of fans. Their music inspires young girls and women to pick up their own guitars. Perhaps if we championed more female artists, on the stage and in playlists, those line-ups would be filled much more quickly with the female talent that exists all over the UK.
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Not Waving, But Drowning Loyle Carner (2019)
By Craig Strachan
This album artwork is a stunning, low-key and almost minimalist piece of photography that conceptually encapsulates the album itself. As a record, Loyle Carner’s follow up album to 2017’s Yesterday’s Gone is a continuation of a great style of relaxed and intimate rap that almost whispers and soothes you into serine submission on many of the tracks. You can see this in the art. The body of water that consumes the entire cover is simply and discretely rippling and in a state of unassuming placidity. This is Carner’s musical style, with his lyrics also rippling unassumingly and inoffensively across his songs. But then this central figure, hands aloft, as the only person in frame, represents the musicians actual state of mind within his music and by extension this body of water. The title itself, reveals to the onlooker that the figure (who we can assume is Carner himself) is drowning, sinking and ultimately crying for help. As a phrase and accompanying photograph, I think Not Waving, But Drowning is a great metaphor for what artists who write, record and release music that touches on their own mental health issues are actually trying to do and say in their songs.
Strangers to ourselves modest mouse (2015)
By Luisa De la Concha Montes
The American rock band’s sixth studio album is, in my opinion, their most complex work, both musically and lyrically. Throughout each of the songs, Isaac Brook develops a dark narrative that builds upon his disenchantment towards modern society. The structure of the album flows naturally between pumped up songs, to slow ballads; however, regardless of the speed and rhythm, each song exacerbates one particular feeling: isolation. The album cover, a satellite image of a Resort in Phoenix, Arizona perfectly represents this. The repetitiveness of the houses, contrasted with the maze-like structure of the road are a simple, yet compact metaphor of the eeriness of modernity. The roads in this landscape seem to lead nowhere and the framing suggests that there is no way out. More disturbingly, it’s almost implied that even if there was an exit, it would only lead to another repetitive suburban complex. This geographical predictability –and Brook’s desire to escape from it– permeates the whole album, creating an inescapable anxiousness. This is an album that openly tries to fight the system while acknowledging that the desire to fight the system is… well, part of the system. Listeners are therefore left to wander across this land of preestablished delimitations, wondering where to place their emotions inside this ideological maze.
Golden By Josh Ong
At first glance, this albu delve particularly deep in or illusive imagery. D Musgraves’ face partially its nature is particularly off the entire album pre and passive nature of th art in conjunction with t Burn create an entire pa the music within, but wo it. As the album explore the individual characte world, it finds its succ core ideals throughout too deep. The artwork f reflects this desire to ke colourfully reflecting the
The photograph, like all discography, was shot b her hometown in rura by design, this album w hence the particular glow hometown, which just Golden, too.
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Definitely Maybe By Josh Ong
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design by: LUISA DE LA CONCHA MONTES
This is perhaps more of a mainstream pick than Golden Hour, but its place as a classic within society is certainly well grounded. The excellence of this art is that it tells you just about everything you need to know about the band and the music they were making, before any tracks have even started playing. Like the band itself, it’s clear that the two Gallagher brothers are the key players, as a guitar-cladden Noel sits looking forlorn into nothingness beside his boisterous little brother Liam, lying on the floor surrounded by cigarettes and alcohol. Meanwhile, the three other members in the back, including Bonehead, all seem rather uninterested preferring to instead stare at an old television. The fact that this iconic image can be recreated in just about any living room as long as you have two people, a guitar and a sofa, demonstrates how its simplicity, once again, fell in line with what they were trying to achieve with their music. There was nothing particularly fancy within this shoot, as a matter of fact, the ‘wine’ pictured in the glass is actually diluted Ribena. But that was the point; Oasis wanted to be familiar to millions, with music that the everyday person could relate to. This album cover depicts a very mundane situation that ultimately boils down to two brothers in a house making music, something very achievable by the everyday folk.
Turn on the Bright Lights Interpol (2002)
By Craig Strachan
This album art might appear to be boring, simple and unworthy of this article entirely. However, I implore anyone who’s interested to watch, stare or even leer at this artwork with it’s accompanying music playing loud in the background. This debut album was heralded as a integral pillar of the New York alternative rock scene of the early noughties, alongside such works as The Strokes’ Is This It and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Fever to Tell and is often commended for its’ dark and sinister baselines and almost sociopathic vocals. If you gaze long enough at those six foreboding red lights whilst tracks like Obstacle 1, PDA and the opener, Untitled, wash over you, it’s almost as if you can feel your sanity and innocence being dragged into the blood red art itself leaving only murder behind. Never before or since have I seen an album’s artwork that so perfectly irradiates the same mood and emotion of the music so clearly and in such a simple but beautifully menacing way. For the fact that it can communicate so much of the personality of this album with literally next to nothing in the photo, is all the reason the art of Turn on the Bright Lights needs to be included on this list.
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design by: ELLY SAVVA
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The Revival of the Androgynous Model Before I even begin to talk about androgynous fashion, it’s important to point out what I actually mean when using the term. An androgynous person is someone whose physical appearance is ambiguous in terms of masculine and feminine features. It’s often difficult to tell whether this individual identifies as a man or a woman. Indeed, many androgynous people do not conform to the labels of gender. However, before we begin, I’d like to clarify that since my focus is on androgynous models, I’m not impying that all androgynous models are non-binary or transgender. In recent years, androgynous fashion has catapulted into the mainstream, modelled by celebrities such as Jaden Smith and Tilda Swinton. You could even say that the new trend of men painting their nails has come from the eruption of androgynous culture. But where did it come from? It has long been argued where androgyny was originally derived from. On the one hand, it could have stemmed from the rise of feminism, whether this be in its first or second wave. Indeed, Elizabeth Smith Miller, a suffragette, is reported as the first modern woman to wear trousers. After this, the 1960s brought about the so called sexual freedom of women. With this came Yves Saint Laurent in 1966, pioneering the first tuxedo for women. YSL’s purpose was to “give possession of masculine attire to the woman”, giving women the option to take on male prescribed clothing as their own. Afterwards, the 1980’s saw the rise of the “strong working woman”, with bold trouser suits for female workers, which often had built in shoulder panels. These panels were to make the women look broader and powerful, much like their male counterparts in the workplace. Men have also had their own part to play in this style revolution. The most notable instance of this was expressed in the music industry. Hendrix and Bowie in the 1960s gave us skinny jeans and the ‘peacocking’ trend of paisley and poets’ blouses galore. Where would we even be without David Bowie and his alter ego Ziggy Stardust who was painted in theatrical makeup, dressed in go-go boots. Male androgyny had its own social role to play too. Homosexuality had begun to be decriminalised during this area, and a sexual revolution for all genders was coming into fruition. Male artists were also challenging the hyper-masculinity that rockers before them had endorsed. Indeed, androgyny has always been a movement which has included clothes and people’s self expression through style. However, in the past twenty years, it’s been welcomed into the world of couture fashion. Two years ago, the organisers of New York Fashion Week added ‘unisex/non-binary’ as an option for runways at the event. Paris fashion Week welcomed shows by designers such as Haider Ackermann, whose entire catwalk was based off of the male silhouette, despite creating clothes for a female audience. In 2017, Calvin Klein, with the help of creative director Raf Simons, created a runway that was minimalist and androgynous, with female models in ‘male’ work shirt and tailored trousers. Jeremy Scott has recently dressed his male models in fishnets and bows.
words by: ANNA HELEDD design by: LUISA DE LA CONCHA MONTES
Unisex everything is back with a vengeance, pioneered in the 1900’s and now becoming, arguably, the new norm for fashion everywhere. The runway has always played with the concept of androgyny, but it seems like it’s only now that we are really understanding what it truly is. Instead of shocking the audience with androgyny and using it as a gimmick, high-end brands are catching up with how modern society now presents and discusses gender norms. Due to this, there is now a huge demand androgynous models globally. Tamy Glauser, a Swiss model famous in their country for being an outspoken activist for LGBTQ+ rights, has modelled for big names such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy. Jay Espinosa, modelled for Louis Vuitton’s groundbreaking S/S 2019 collection, where the majority of the models were androgynous and transgender. Rain Dove models for male and female collections; recently breaking the internet by posting a collection of photographs, where she posed for the same picture as a male, then as a woman. These faces have changed the way that runways are now working for the social market. So, fashion, much like society, is no longer opting for hard and fast rules. Fashion is now on an anything-goes zone, where anyone can wear skirts, trousers, makeup and beyond.
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A A 70’s 70’s REVIVAL REVIVAL words by: CYNTHIA VERA illustration & design by: ORLAGH TURNER top right image by: RACHEL CHAPDELAINE VIA FLICKR: https://bit.ly/2yDVFgZ
From flares to frilly bell sleeves, sequin-embellishments, oversized earrings, and patterns, the 1970’s gave birth to a new era of electric styles, colours and experimentation within fashion. Whilst it’s reminiscent of the 60’s hallucinogenic dance with peace, love and women’s rights, the 70’s slipped out of the babydoll dress and flower crowns of acid-loving-hippies to create a new subculture of bohemian sensibility that favoured the dazzling disco ball. Everything was provocative, daring and empowering; think Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, Diana Ross, Abba, and perhaps the most sophisticated item to come out of the 70’s, Diane von Furstenberg’s iconic silk jersey wrap dress. With the 90’s having becoming fashion’s go-to gag, it almost feels as though the 70’s got lost in a rose-tinted memory, forgotten and crushed under the weight of platform chunky trainers and smothered by slip dresses. But, the 70’s rebirth has been happening on the catwalk and high streets alike for a while now, with some of the most influential designers using this decade as the mood board for their collections. Most notably, Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri for Christian Dior’s politically charged Fall 2020 Tuileries show for Paris Fashion Week at the beginning of the year. Inspired by powerful and feisty women of the 1970’s, Chuiri told The Guardian the 70’s were “a time when women wanted to represent and be true to themselves, more than to fashion”, which is undoubtedly very integral to her identity as a female designer in a male dominated industry. Elegance and soft femininity homegrown in a forest of lilies have always been prominent themes in Dior’s work, however the Fall 2020 show opted for a modern industrial feel that prioritised value and empowerment. The show was filled with headscarves, shaggy hair, pixies cuts, ponchos, flares and fringing. Oh, the fringing! Though bright colours and vibrant kaleidoscopic prints were key aspect of the 70’s style and culture, Dior went for the warm earthy green tones that are timeless. The day after Harvey Weinstein’s rape conviction, Dior opened the show with flashing neon signs that read “CONSENT”, “PATRIARCHY = CLIMATE EMERGENCY”, “Women Raise the Uprising”, and my personal favourite “WE ARE ALL CLITORIDIAN WOMEN”; a reference to Italian feminist and art critic Carla Lonzi who came up with the concept after she had freed herself from the shame of being a clitoridian woman – one who is unable to orgasm through penetration, as opposed to a vaginal woman. According to Bridget Read, a writer from The Cut, Lonzi’s concept showcases the dichotomies between sexual and political power, demonstrating that clitoridian women can find their own pleasures without the presence of a man. Embarking on a vivacious revolt that echoed the 70’s own spirit, Chiuri unabashedly presented this feminist message for the world to see, alongside a message that equates the climate emergency with the patriarchy.
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Going for a French bourgeoisie inspired 70’s feel, Celine designer Heidi Slimane created the world of envy in the Celine Fall 2020 Paris Fashion Week show. Models walked down the catwalk drizzled in pleated silk dresses, velvet blazers, bootcut jeans, trench coats, ruffled blouses and silk scarves; and wearing their hair in 70’sinfluenced natural looking curls, waves and mullets. A big shaggy, a bit rock n’ roll, a bit unkempt too. Though the show was lacking in colours and vibrancy, it paid homage to the late 70’s bourgeoisie new bohemian sensibility of what ladylike looks like, with a flare of drama with embroidery, embellishments and a statement piece of jewellery. Fashion is about reinvention, expression and experimentation and whilst the runaway looks are hard to pull off, there are still ways to get the era of bell-bottom trousers and bourgeoisie hippies, of women’s rights and Saturday Night Fever into your wardrobe. While in principle, fashion is an endless chain of recycling styles and ideas, in practice, fashion is destroying the planet with water pollution; toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste that see landfills upon landfills packed with unwanted garments. Swapping fast fashion retailers for local charity and vintage shops to purchase a few items reminiscing of the 70’s will go a long way. Look for bootcut / wide legged jeans, maxi dresses (preferably white, with ruffles for a bohemian touch) and silk scarves for Slimane’s French bourgeoise inspired style. For a dramatic and glamorous disco dazed look, opt for something with sparkles, fringes, patterns and oversized lightly tinted sunglasses with big frames (look at Cher if you need inspiration). The revival of seventies fashion came back when it was needed the most; in a modern era of empowerment, the disco decade represents a certain type of rebellion: outspoken and unashamed like Chiuri’s work.
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I N TY U
Due to the recent circumstances, we couldn’t do the traditional shoots we usually curate for Quench. So instead, I setup a makeshift studio in my kitchen and asked my friends what they miss most during this difficult time. This was the result, a collaborative project that meets the social distancing rules.
photography by: CHARLIE TROULIN design by: ORLAGH TURNER
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photography by: ELLA CUSS design by: ORLAGH TURNER
78 - FILM & TV issue 178
Gazing At The World Through Cinema words by: TABITHA JUKES design by: ELAINE TANG Everything about cinema has always fascinated me. Remembering back to my first cinematic experience, I was watching Space Jam with my single mum, who slept and snored through the entire film after working a long night shift. Even today, she pretends she watched every second and loved it. Not that I minded, I was way too absorbed in the immersive world of outer space, Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. My ten-year-old brain was exploding, it was a new world after all. Later memories come in the form of early teen nostalgia: unsupervised cinema trips where my independence will remain rooted forever. Buying my own overpriced popcorn, ice blasts and sneaking pick n’ mix with friends. Those ‘cinema-date’ days, and that big screen was my first taste of youth and freedom. As an older admirer and my post fifteen-year-old self Woody Allen discovery, I appreciate the more artistic (and pretentious) elements of enjoying film. How cinematography, sound and movement merge to create powerful storytelling, aesthetics and soundtracks. The marriage of well-made films will never fail to amaze me. The psychology of film and how its success arose with the increased human need for escape, sounds familiar, right? But equally important, is how film-watching provides a vehicle to connect us. As a physical space, the role of the cinema has a history in making spaces for communities that lack equal inclusion or representation. The rise of the cinema came from the demand of working-class communities needing affordable activities. Later in the 1970s the post-civil rights era saw the Black Power cinema gain better accreditation for marginalised groups, including Queer Cinema making waves into the mainstream. Paris is Burning is a powerful example of tense American racial structures in the 1980s, revealing how ballroom and club culture enabled the most marginalised individuals (non-normative sexualities, people of colour and low income groups in New York) to not only reclaim their identities, but to celebrate it with vibrancy and noise. On the UK side, Shaun Meadows’ This is England offers a lens into the rich subcultures of Northern working-class communities. It explores the 1980s waves of English nationalism, white skinhead culture and how it came to appropriate the influential multiculturalism of 1960s West Indies culture inspired by ska, soul and reggae movements. Whilst contemporary cinema is slowly improving its spaces for BAME producers, directors and actors with 2020 seeing a significant stamp of talent making the mainstream – think Rafiki, Queen and Slim and Parasite. On a local level film clubs and social activist
groups continue to use the body of cinema to encourage unity. The Cardiff based Refugee NGO’S Oasis and STAR have organised screenings of films depicting the humanitarian migrant crisis of which many are available online, see Channel 4’s For Sama and Ai Weiwei’s incredible Human Flow showing the turbulent journeys migrants travel to fin search for safety. As cinema works to better visualise diversity and culture, we must understand that cinema today often comes with privilege in both time or money, it is not always the most accessible or practical way for people to experience film depending on income, comfortability and time. So, we should ask ourselves – especially in turbulent times of physical and social disconnect – what exactly is cinema in our society today, and what does it mean to us? How has it changed as we have changed? I mainly wonder if film can be a personal telescope to the wider worlds and people around us if it’s used with consciousness and care. Streaming sites like heavyweights Prime Video, Netflix, Channel 4 and iPlayer (check out iPlayer’s wonderful STORYVILLE, a series curated of international documentaries) are all affordable, especially if you’re like me and share a friend or relatives account which are expedient cult forms of film watching from your home. The Netflix Party movement, whereby this new feature provides users with a form of tangible connection and entertainment, has been hailed as a small hero amidst the global Covid-19 outbreak. Here you can link films, share the screening and write comments. Such simple normalities like watching a film with loved ones, who are distant, can be a meaningful experience and remind us of our closeness in a time of necessary separation. Additionally, MUBI, a personal favourite, are offering a 3 month subscription for just £1 in light of the pandemic. Their hand-picked selection of films range from cult classics, indie picks and ethnographic films which showcase various cultures in ways we often dream to imagine. The diverse range of documentary and film provided on these sites give us instant access to cultural and global representations that teach us, moves us, and provide us with growth as individuals and communities. For me, film is my way of travelling, exploring and navigating much of this ever-growing and diverse world. As a storyteller, I think film and the experience of watching films is something I will be eternally grateful for and passionate about. Cinema is our way of gazing at the world, and the many humans I share it with. Used wisely, it’s an immeasurable gift.
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Editor’s Pick: Our Favourite Films Every passion begins somewhere, and for us, the following films were the source of our infatuation with cinema.
design by: ELAINE TANG
The Grand Budapest Hotel
L’Aile ou la Cuisse
“I don’t know what sort of cream they’ve put on you down at the morgue, but I want some”
Picking only one film starring Louis de Funès is a hard job. But I can’t stress how important it is, if you are interested in French cinema, to watch some of his movies. They are the foundations of French comedy, borderline grotesque, something only the charm of an old movie allows with elegance. One of the best for me is L’Aile ou la Cuisse.
Wes Anderson (2014)
I have a confession to make. The first time I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel, it was to impress this boy I admired in film class who was an encyclopaedic cinephile. I knew it was his favourite movie, and I just wanted him to think I was cool. I was sixteen, what can I say? I always loved cinema before this movie – the same way you love a dish without knowing how it’s cooked – but after that, I was provided with the tools to understand cinema’s recipe.
Claude Zidi (1976)
The main character is a famous gastronomy critique faced with the mass industrialisation of processed food he despises, and while he wants to prove the value of fresh-prepared cuisine, he suddenly suffers from ageusia – loss of taste. He has to teach the job in a hurry to his son, played by Coluche – a very famous French comedian – in order to defeat the owner of a processed food company in a TV feud. Ten years after watching it for the first time, and forty years after its release, my family and I still quote this movie every time we pretend to be wine experts – and we’re French, so we do that a lot.
Laura Dazon The Grand Budapest Hotel is a world that seems to be made out of paper mâché: you can almost feel the pastel decors between your fingers. You know that if you push this pink wall, it will probably fall. And while you may think this artificiality is the dead giveaway of a bad movie, it’s actually the very thing that’ll disarm your critiques. This is a world so strange that it robs your ability to anticipate what’s next. Instead, it makes you sit straight in your chair with nothing else to do but admire, analyse, try to comprehend. It’s like a puppet show: you see the puppets clearly, but as much as you focus, you have no idea where the puppeteer’s strings head next. Cinema has never been the same for me after The Grand Budapest Hotel. I’m constantly looking for the strings now.
Last Year at Marienbad
Alan Resnais (1961)
Noah Baumbach (2012)
Alain Resnais’s 1961 Last Year at Marienbad is a surrealist monochrome wet dream soaked in mystery and experimental visuals; in which the truth and fiction become intertwined in a seductive game of truth or false.
We are guided through the maze of a palatial chateau, filled with elite aristocrats in what feels like an eternal house party by one handsome man or rather subject ‘X – The man with the Italian accent’ (Giorgio Albertazzi). He approaches the beautiful ‘A – The brunette woman’ (Delphine Seyrig), alluding to a secret romantic relationship they had the previous year where they shared a mutual attraction in Marienbad. Yet, she claims she has never met him. However as ‘M – The other man with the thin face’ (Sacha Pitoëff), who might or might not be her partner, confronts the enigmatic A to question his story; the truth becomes difficult to distinguish. The dangerous flirtation with the truth leads to a lot of important questions, but most the ones the matter the most: Who is really telling the truth? What really happened last year? What are we to make of this ‘non-story’ story about a man and a woman arguing about a presumed romantic encounter? Why does it matter?
Following the story of an apprentice dancer, twenty-seven-year-old Frances, (Greta Gerwig) Noah Baumhcach’s Frances Ha is a film best described as sincere and heart-warming. Meet Frances: she is co-dependent on her college best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner); becomes homeless for a while as she couldn’t afford rent, is in and out of employment, artistically insecure, and “undatable”, leading to a downwardly mobile regression that sees her having to move back to her old college dorm for a while. In a whimsical and desperate attempt to be more like her welltravelled, more grown-up friends, she takes a weekday break to Paris, which only sets Frances back further, ending in failure, and heart-breaking loneliness. Yet Frances never loses her spark. She wears an infectious smile and carries herself with a certain grace that contrast sharply with the hardship of her life. She is always determined to a difference. Frances is joyous and charming!
Cynthia Vera Last Year at Marienbad is a shimmering, surrealist puzzle-box, presenting the seductive and glamorous lifestyle of people accustomed with high culture and civilisation, yet are empty, superficial and hollow. It’s a film that makes the truth seemingly vanish in the glittering world of misleading perspectives.
An open letter about the relatable loneliness, love and determination, visualised with a monochrome finish like that of the black-and-white style of Woody Allen’s Manhattan. A New York bourgeois-comedy that celebrates the romance of friendship, the spirit of being young in a city that never sleeps, and the sudden downward cascades of life. Albeit through a raw and playful manner, a millennial mindset.
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Sympathy for the DevIL: The Anatomy of the Likable Villain words by: MIKE O’BRIEN illustration & design by: ORLAGH TURNER Villains have a habit of stealing the show. The Joker is in eight scenes of The Dark Knight, whose runtime is a whopping 152 minutes, and none of those take his point of view. Yet, in any discussion concerning this film, the Joker dominates. He is unquestionably the villain, committing a litany of crimes that range from theft to mass murder, and he threatens the viewpoint characters we’re invested in. Why, then, do we like him so much? A short answer would be that Ledger’s performance is captivating, unpredictable, and charismatic. This is a pattern that defines many, many villains; The Walking Dead’s Negan, American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman, Full Metal Jacket’s Sergeant Hartman, the list goes on. Even Inglorious Basterds’ Hans Landa, an SS officer who acknowledges his instinctive disgust of Jews, is somehow perversely lovable. Charisma and great acting, however, are only a smattering of the ingredients in the recipe for compelling villainy. Understanding the anatomy of a well-written villain requires a craftsman’s approach to storytelling. A story is a logistical machine. It’s a series of elements and agents whose collective aim is to convey a moral to the audience. The crucial distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ stories lies in the subtext. In other words, the best stories serve a greater purpose, and each element of the narrative builds towards it. You may have
encountered film criticism such as “this film’s commentary was too on-the-nose”, or, “the characters were two-dimensional”; this is an example of when a film’s moral is too transparent. The audience is here for theatre, for drama, not to be preached unto. In truth, most stories are sermons in disguise. Good writers manoeuvre this by framing a convincing conflict between characters whose clash of principle becomes the basis of the story’s moral argument. ‘Hero’ and ‘villain’ are common parlance when it comes to discussing stories, but they’re dangerous terms. To write an engaging villain, discard the word ‘villain’ and adopt ‘antagonist’ instead. Villainy implies evil and approaching morality in a binary fashion is a quick way to render a story’s moral preachy and obvious. The protagonist is the viewpoint character we follow on their quest to pursue an objective. The difference between a villain and an antagonist is that an antagonist is not intrinsically evil; they’re just in the way. Whence our sympathy for the devil emerges, a story is simply a moral disagreement between the protagonist and the antagonist. The more balanced this disagreement, the more likely we are to sympathise with the ‘villain’. Let’s examine Rocky IV (1985). Rocky Balboa, the protagonist, is a Philadelphian boxer who rises from rags to riches by training hard and refusing defeat. He represents meritocracy and the American way. Ivan Drago, the antagonist, remorselessly manslaughters Rocky’s beloved rival Apollo in the ring. Drago’s dialogue is sparse, and he gains his strength partly from illegal steroids. He represents… Russia. When Rocky predictably triumphs over Drago in the climax, he gives a painful speech about how ‘everybody can change’, to which the politburo stand up one by one and slowly applaud. Drago is nothing more than a Red Scare fever dream with the depth of a paddling pool. If a villain is to be compelling, they must be believable, vulnerable, resonant. Let’s dial back to 1997, when The Simpsons still had something to say. In the episode “Homer’s Enemy”, Mr Burns hires a new employee, Frank Grimes, to work alongside protagonist Homer Simpson. Grimes, who was abandoned by his parents as a child, studied independently to earn a diploma in nuclear physics. When he discovers that Homer, his slothful colleague, lives in a spacious suburban home with an unconditionally loving family, Grimes, who lives alone above a bowling alley, grows hostile towards Simpson. Homer’s incompetence escalates to comical levels, and despite Grimes’ frenetic insistence that others recognise this, Homer is celebrated and rewarded for his behaviour because he is amusing. Frank Grimes is an exemplar of how to explore meritocracy through compelling antagonism. Grimes is unlikable, bitter, unpopular, envious, a pariah, and he craves the downfall of the protagonist fans have watched for eight seasons. Nevertheless, Grimes is sympathetic because he makes a strong argument. Homer has coasted through life, a happily oblivious leech on society whose ineptitude is enabled by privilege. Grimes may be odious, but he illuminates the myth of meritocracy in Springfield by exposing Homer. Homer may be an amusing oaf, but Grimes brings the darker implications of his success into the forefront, highlighting the injustices that propel men like Homer into real positions of power. Such is the hallmark of a great antagonist: he not only challenges the personal failures of our protagonist but sparks a broader ideological dialogue. Oftentimes, the only divider between a well-written antagonist and their counterpart is the perspective through which the conflict is experienced.
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. . . f o 20 years
design by: AMELIA FIELD
to these fi y a A v lms d th r ery i b happy
ALMOST FAMOUS Phoebe Bowers “Something tells me twenty years from now, we’ll remember her…” Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, recipient of Best Original Screenplay in 2001 and Grammy winner for Best Compilation Soundtrack is still the perfect form of escapism – a time reminiscent of when rock was at its peak. In this semi-autobiographical narrative Crowe fuses a mixture of tonalities of the nostalgic, satirical, and dramatic variety without the film becoming corny or incarnating any romanticised rose-tinted envision of the past. Almost Famous is of course iconic for its nostalgic feel and 70s score ranging from Simon & Garfunkel to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin and Bowie. The balance is maintained between the fun, the whimsical and the dark ongoings behind the scenes of these major rock stars lives. One of the reasons Almost Famous is great is because it gives a voice to how young female groupies at the time were manipulated and abused by older and more powerful men. Kate Hudson’s character Penny Lane is not merely a sex object, she is a three-dimensional and fully realised character with her own complexities. Almost Famous is a definite film for the bucket-list, and the perfect feel-good away from these current uncertain times.
AMERICAN PSYCHO Sahina Sherchan American Psycho, well loved and acclaimed is a gut wrenching movie and a book about a banker turned into a killer. But even more disturbing than the murder is the comments the storyline makes about our society. Right off the start, the protagonist, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is showcased as a materialistic consumer whose life consists of fine dining and luxury branding. The movie’s backbone theme is the lack of identity, as everyone is surrounded by a sea of people with the same ambitions and characteristics. While watching the movie, you can’t help but relate it to the central idea of the American Dream and the vision of what success looks like. Following Bateman’s spiral you realise pretty quickly that he has a delusional sense of reality where he holds a contradictory idea of fitting in but also standing out. No one wants to be a carbon copy of anyone but we also fear being outlandish and unaccepted. The movie isn’t about elaborate murder, but it points out the masked truth within the society. In showing the darkness of one person, the movie does a really good job of highlighting some societal issues that are still relevant and will likely always be relevant.
BILLY ELLIOT Bronte Spargo Now is the great time to binge watch some of those movies you’ve been meaning for ages to watch, and with Billy Elliot turning twenty this year, why not check it out? Twenty years down the line, this film is still a perfect movie with a message that remains relevant and important. Billy Elliot follows the eponymous character as he discovers a passion for ballet, and tries to keep this hidden from his father. Growing up in County Durham during the 1984-85 miners’ strike, Billy is surrounded by helplessness as his widowed father is on strike, amidst small-minded and crushing ideas about gender roles which prohibits Billy from pursuing his dream. A distinctly British film, Billy Elliot will make you laugh, cry, (and hate Margaret Thatcher). This movie gives an insight into a part of British history that many of us do not know much about. This story about an average boy from an average town trying to be himself and do what makes him happy is something that will warm anybody’s heart, and remind us that all we need is hope and resistance to just be ourselves.
MISS CONGENIALITY Pui Kuan Cheah “Smilers wear a crown, losers wear a frown.” This is a line from one of the comedy greats of the early 2000s: Miss Congeniality starring Sandra Bullock, which turns the big 2-0 this year. Well recognised for her dramatic work in movies like Gravity and The Blind Side, Bullock’s comedic roles unfortunately tend to be more under the radar in comparison. Pity, as she is undoubtedly an excellent comedy actress. One of these roles include FBI agent Gracie Hart in the movie, who has a less-than-feminine demeanour and is tasked to go undercover at the Miss United States beauty pageant. There are many things that make this movie something you would instantly fall in love with, never getting old on subsequent repeat viewings. It may be turning 20, but the comedy is timeless and still holds its own today – a great late night popcorn movie. Apart from this, the movie also has romance and comedy, coming together to entertain pretty much anyone. Bullock’s likeable personality and incredible screen presence are also a treat to watch. If you have yet to watch this movie, take this time to give this gem a shot!
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The Digital Emancipation of Sex Workers
words and design by: LOTTIE ENNIS
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At first glance, OnlyFans seems to have fixed the problem of digital sex work. Content creators can upload images and videos and can communicate one-on-one with subscribers. These subscribers can pay a monthly fee and tips, normally to access more explicit or personalized content. Compared to other platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, where content can be removed or demonetized if deemed inappropriate, OnlyFans provides a safe outlet where sexual content is normative, allowing creators to make an income. The website puts creators in charge of their content, liberating them from the shackles of porn trends and enabling them to build a community. Former strippers and influencers have spoken positively of their experience with OnlyFans. The positives include working from home, the absence of risk from meeting clients in precarious settings, and the threat of physical abuse altogether. It also provides creators a bigger slice of the pie, solving one of the key pitfalls of porn creation in the information age. In the case of OnlyFans model Matthew Camp, he claims that through traditional means, he would earn $1,000 for one porn video, whereas on OnlyFans he made up to $10,000 a month without having to perform penetrative sex. Similarly, Ms. Harwood, another OnlyFans creator, who was originally a model for magazines and a softcore site, suggests that men no longer want to watch porn but want to fantasize about an online girlfriend and build a connection. Fulfilling this desire through OnlyFans is highly lucrative; Ms. Harwood has earned more than $50,000 in one month. The inspiration for OnlyFans emerged from an outmoded porn industry. From the late 90s to the early 2000s, porn was a profitable living for actors and creators. Some of them could make more than $5,000 a scene, not to mention other revenues like nightclub appearances. Eventually, the rise of the internet facilitated content thieves to spread porn for free on their sites to cash in on ad revenue. Since porn studios lacked the resources to sue the offending parties, rates for scene work plummeted and fewer scenes were shot overall. By 2015, companies like Mindgeek â€“ the conglomerate that owns PornHub, among other major IPs â€“ developed a stranglehold over the industry, pushing performers out of the game and towards prostitution. OnlyFans offers a more performer-friendly approach, taking only a 20% publishing fee, whilst the creators themselves can set pricing models for subscriptions. Ultimately, creators earn more, affording more autonomy over content strategy without the pressure of exploitative handlers. Hopefully this will indicate the dawn of a new era, one with creators behind the wheel, safe from the endless horror stories of coercive directors and abusive co-stars. With any luck, the competitive threat of OnlyFans will steer the porn industry towards the fairer treatment of its workers.
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The Sunken Titans
Few industries witness sporadic success and extinction stories quite like the technology and media industries. From hegemony to history, Download examines two of the once unsinkable pillars of digital culture, their rise to power, and their ultimate demise.
By ALEX DAUD BRIGGS
You wouldn’t believe it today, but there was a time when the term ‘Nokia’ was synonymous with the mobile phone. The Finnish company was founded in 1865 as Pulp Mill, but come the 1970s they moved into the nascent mobile phone business and quickly conquered the industry. By the 2000s, as phones became more accessible to the public, Nokia struck gold with their 3310-model due to how affordable and accessible it was. Their phones popularized the basic design of the early bar cell phone with the screen on top and keypad on the bottom - and they were famously indestructible to boot. As demand grew, Nokia was able to rise with it; at their apex, they had a larger budget than Finland. Everything changed when the iPhone came out. The iPhone was itself kind of like a next-gen Nokia, not only allowing for calls and texts, but music, videos, games and so much more, far outclassing Nokia’s arsenal. Blindsided, they would try to compete with Apple for a few years in the smartphone industry to no avail. Nokia, which at its peak was worth £250 billion, was eventually sold to Microsoft in 2016 for just £350 million. That being said, Nokia is still around today, mostly dealing with mobile networks and licensing rather than phone hardware. It’s important to note that despite Apple’s success, the top two best-selling phone models of all time are still Nokia phones. They were a juggernaut of the millennium when digital technology was just infiltrating daily life. They may not be as big as they once were, but Nokia was one of the most important companies in modern history, and their contributions should not be forgotten.
introduction by: MIKE O’BRIEN design by: ELAINE TANG photography by: GAEL VAROQUAUX/ CC BY 2.0
By SAHINA SHERCHAN Vine gave rise to many social media influencers and pop culture references still talked about today. Founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll, Vine was a video-sharing service with a catch: each video was six seconds long. After Vine launched as a free app on 24th January 2013, Twitter acquired it for for $30m, and the initial reception was promising. During the first few months of its release, it became the most downloaded free app, as viral videos propelled the service to mainstream fame. It was a titan of its time whose bitesized and easily shareable content was peerless. However, the ultimate cause of Vine’s fall was economical. As a six-second video platform, advertisers, who provide the majority of profit for free apps, saw little potential to engage. The incentive moved elsewhere for Vine’s major content creators like King Bach, David Dobrik, Lisa Koshy and Logan Paul, who saw better prospects in competing platforms like YouTube and Instagram. As its crowning talent scurried from the ship, Vine lost much of its user base. In retrospect, many apps were doing everything Vine offered but better. Instagram introduced 15-second videos in 2013, and YouTube allowed Vine compilations, on top of already enabling videos of any length. On 27th October 2016, Twitter announced Vine’s discontinuation. However, the meme culture that was popularised by Vine still lives on: in Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and (in the baby of the group) TikTok.
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The digital era empowers us to buy anything from anywhere at the flick of a wrist. But the company spearheading this convenience, Amazon, has sins to answer for. Is any amount of convenience worth enabling men like CEO Jeff Bezos? One of Amazon’s most topical and recent victims, the high street, is a contentious one. Fundamentally, the capitalist mentality that innovative business will exterminate competitors who fail to adapt may seem agreeable. But the manner through which Amazon achieves this hegemony renders its threat to local business problematic. Human cost is utterly disregarded in Amazon’s conduct. According to The New York Times, Amazon’s prioritisation of logistical expediency over human life has caused over 60 Amazonrelated vehicle accidents since June 15, 2017, claiming 10 deaths. Meanwhile, as COVID-19 rages on and most of the world is working from home, Amazon is unwilling to grant its workers this basic right. Moreover, Amazon’s warehouse working conditions are pitiful and unsanitary, with recent patents suggesting that upper management have considered keeping workers in literal cages. The conditions are so appalling that, when a writer investigated an Amazon warehouse in Staffordshire, he noted that the employees urinated in water bottles to avoid penalties for toilet breaks; similar conditions have been reported in Seattle. In a display of solidarity, France’s labour minister has asked Amazon to better their working environment, as “the protection conditions are insufficient”. Whilst employees worldwide have gone on strike demanding leave, Amazon actively attempts to stifle unionisation.
words by: MIKE O’BRIEN and MUSKAN ARORA design by: ELAINE TANG
As revealed by the Guardian, repair and maintenance technicians filed the first petition at the National Labor Relations Board, but the movement was swiftly crippled by Jeff Bezos’ who directed his wealth towards hiring a law firm to suppress the union. In 2000, when Communication Workers of America organised customer service employees to unionise, Amazon shut down all its call centres and claimed the mass firings were unrelated to the incident. A few months later, The New York Times reported that personalised reports for managers included a section where instructions were given on “detecting and bursting” internal unions. The Times also exposed, that Amazon warehouses in Delaware fabricated an anti-union story to scare off employees from organising any unions against the company. Despite unacceptable conditions and anti-union dictatorship, Amazon employees face low wages and little to no holidays. The working environment is one where, as the Guardian reports, the “fear of missing productivity targets” dominates work culture, and full time workers are pushed beyond their physical limits, rendering any sort of worker’s assembly an exhausting thought. Most of us are busy folks with a moment-to-moment lifestyle, and with so many moral issues plaguing the Earth, fighting a war on so many fronts is overwhelming. In that respect, who can blame us for soliciting services like Amazon who trivialise a timeconsuming and tiring aspect of life? We can’t all be 24/7 humanitarians – but no one is asking you to. All we can do is the best we can from our limited position, and if that means buying stuff from somewhere else to decline slavery, perhaps we should be grateful this battle is distant enough to ignore.
The Human Cost of
86 - DEAR ELLA... issue 178
STAYING IN TOUCH words by: ELLA WOODCOCK design by: KATIE MAY HUXTABLE The end of the term. For many, the end of university life. For some reason leaving university never has the same feeling as leaving school did. It kind of sucks, waving through the window as your last housemate gets kidnapped by their parents. The fridges are empty and there is no milk left to steal… it is time to leave. Goodbye should just mean see you later. It makes everything a lot less sad and will help you to maintain healthy adult relationships. The art of staying in touch is easier said than done, but it is equally as important as the work you put into making the friendships in the first place and the hours you spent getting your degree. Friendships are one of the most important things to earn from going to university; these are the people that you chose to surround yourself with for these years as you grew into an adult and found your feet in the world. Chances are these friends have seen you at your worst and helped drag you up to your best. That is why, through everything, you must try and keep in touch. Social media and smartphones have such a bad reputation. In many cases, rightly so. But in this case, we can use it for good.
Texting, and other forms of social media, can help us to stay in contact with the people we love. If you are in a relationship do not let that get in the way of the time you give to your friends. It is hard to get that balance, and when you are not physically close to them then it can be even harder. But in the same way as you would not stop contacting a romantic partner, you should not stop contacting your friends. Despite this, try not to rely completely on social media. Sometimes it feels like a text conversation is enough to fulfill that void of communication. It can be, but try to organise to see friends. Obviously, there will be some who live far away, which is part of the beauty of going to university. This does not automatically mean you can never see them again. Positive people in your life are worth the effort. You could organise a weekend with them, make visiting them your summer holiday (or part of it). If you are lucky enough to have friends who live a little closer, it is really nice to introduce them to other friends you have, this way you can see them on a more regular basis. Make sure though that if you are doing this, your friends are comfortable and that you still make time for one on one interactions. Failing this, try and utilise the more interactive aspects of your laptop or phone. Video calls or voice calls are a much more personal way of staying in touch and you can actually say a lot more in a shorter period of time than you can over text. Setting aside an hour to speak to a friend in the evenings is a nice way to fill that time between getting home and an acceptable time to eat your dinner, but it will also make you and your friend feel as you are having a proper conversation. Nobody is under any illusion that life is crazy. We have jobs and family and friends from home that live nearby. Everyone does. You need to give your friends some leniency. Do not let the lack of what you deem to be adequate communication be a factor that pushes someone away. If they are important enough for their distance to upset you, then they are important enough to express your feelings too. Respect that time is valuable – organise a weekly phone call and let them know you miss them. Some people are better at communicating long-distance than others, but this is not necessarily a reflection on that person’s feelings towards you and your friendship. They may just need a gentle reminder and some reassurance from you that this is something that you want. The sad reality is that, as you leave university, you will not keep hold of everyone you encountered at that time, and that too is okay. Just as there are only certain people from school you remain in contact with, the same will be with university. So do not feel upset when particular people slip away. Just make sure you know who you want to keep, let them know and have a mutual effort in maintaining these connections. The world works in crazy ways. I have often found that people end up resurfacing later in life. You may both get a job in the same city in ten years or start working with their partner. Goodbye should always be a see you later when it comes to friends.
issue 178 I have always hated my body; I really want to start going to the gym but I am afraid the people in there will look at me and think I am stupid or laugh at me because I do not have a gym body. How do I get the confidence to go? First of all, there is no such thing as a ‘gym body’. It really baffles me that people see the gym as somewhere only people who are perceived as ‘fit’ go. The gym is for everyone and fitness is not always visible, you cannot judge someone’s fitness by how they look. The truth about the gym is that everyone in there is there for themselves. For their own goals, whatever they may be. In the kindest way possible, nobody in that gym cares what anyone else is doing, other than worrying what others are thinking of them. That is it. If you want to go to the gym to feel good and get healthy then that is amazing. Get your music on and go. I promise you that everyone is there for their own reasons, with their own insecurities. If you are worried about not being able to use the machines properly you can ask a member of staff or even watch YouTube tutorials. People all have their own journeys, and everyone starts somewhere. Starting is respectable and everyone is either in the same boat as you or has been there before. Appearance means nothing, try and make yourself happy.
However hard I try I can’t get above a 2:2 on my uni work. I really want to graduate with a 2:1 but I’ve just finished second year and that doesn’t look possible. What do I do?
DEAR ELLA... - 87
Q&A with ella
My ex is in my friendship group. We had a really bad break up, and although we have agreed to be civil he keeps spreading things about me to our mutual friends and twisting things that happened in our relationship.
People often try to make themselves look better after a break up to save face. It is an actual psychological theory as part of a breakup and it does make sense. However, it’s important not to meet his level. Do not start saying nasty things too. This will make your friends feel uncomfortable and also give him reason to slate you more. You have mutual friends so they will have experienced the breakup too - him lying or saying nasty things stands only as testament to him and not to you. Chances are people will see exactly what he is doing. If you honestly believe he his jeopardising friendships just speak to him calmly. Easier said than done with an ex but you need to take the high ground. Do not make friends take sides or get reaction back. Explain to him you are hurt and you understand he is too but just to leave your name out of his mouth, especially when it comes to friends that you share.
Seek help. Just like with anything, asking for help is so important. Your personal tutor or your lecturers will help you. I am not an academic expert, but you can open these channels of communication so easily and they will make the world of difference. I know that ENCAP run essay workshops and so does 51A Park Place. You can find these detailed on the intranet. All departments will have their own ways in which they can help you. I also find that really reading the feedback you get on essays helps. Do not just accept your mark and carry on. Lecturers spend a lot of time giving feedback and it can be golden. If you do not understand it then book a meeting with them and ask them about it. There is no shame in needing help, it is the job of the university to get you the grades you want but they can’t do that if they do not know you need them.
Me and my boyfriend have a really healthy relationship for the most part. We barely ever argue, but, if we do, he gets really personal and says things that are purposely hurtful. I have tried to tell him that he can’t do this, but he just apologises and blames his temper. My friends are disgusted by the things he says. I do not think it’s bad enough to break up, but they say differently, what do I do? Obviously, you know your relationship better than other people do. If you feel like he honestly makes you happy then this may be something you can fix. You say that it you do not argue often, this could suggest that he just does not know how to have a disagreement with you so resorts to these childish and hurtful tactics. This is a hard line to tread because if he is saying abusive things whenever you guys have a disagreement and is unable to reach a resolution in a mature manner, or if he gaslights you and makes you feel as if every argument (however infrequent) then something needs to change. However, if it is just a case of an inability to communicate effectively this can be worked on. He needs to know that you will not tolerate this. That one more outburst will put your relationship in serious danger. Explain to him that falling out is natural and does not need to be combatted with verbal aggression. If you ever feel threatened or in danger from something he’s said or the way he acts there are numerous helplines that you can contact.
Stay Safe, Stand Together