aAh! Magazine Issue #6

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the change issue

Featured Artist - Merike van de Vijver

Merike van de Vijver, p2

Lily Hodgkinson, p45

Merike van de Vijver is a dutch animator and designer living and working in England. Merike delivers unique designs and strives to create pieces that break with tradition. Over ten years ago, Merike set up her own company Olmoost, selling felt designs, soft toys and birth announcements. She recently expanded her knowledge of bookbinding techniques… and then turned the process on its head. Whether that be working in a workshop, a tiny studio at home or a larger animation production studio in Manchester, Merike always finds joy in creating warmth and life from still puppets, paper or felt. Follow Merike’s work @olmoost.

Change is something that tends to scare Lily Hodgkinson. A self-titled ‘sentimental person’, Lily saddens at the reflection of memories gone by and how she may ever feel them again. To combat this, Lily finds peace in her practice, constantly documenting the people and environment around her. She is especially influenced by the change of location, from her hometown of rural Kent to moving to Manchester, where she now studies. She works with fabric prints and images taken by her photographer friends, which she believes captures the energy and life of those precious moments she wishes to remember. Follow Lily’s work @lilyhodgkinsonart.onart



































Alice Stevens Alka Tiwari Camilla Whitfield Eddie Toomer-Mcalpine Ellie Croston Georgina Hurdsfield Imogen Campion James Ogden Jenny Li Kayla Monteiro Kerry Power Nathan Eckersley Samuel Rye


Abigail Leatherbarrow Cara Brogden Emily Tarlton James Toon Hannah Fielding Hannah Terry Izzie ‘Denmark’ Flynn Lily Hodgkinson Lee Ashworth Merike van de Vijver Niamh Melody Tyrese King Yunjung Im

GRAPHIC DESIGN COLLECTIVE Ali Ward Aoife Dobson Cait Earnshaw Emily Williams Faye Byrne Hannah Quine Jacob Charlton Jake Jones Laura Sheridan Laufey Gudnadottir Lisa Da Silva Phoebe Bonser Teodora Bracau


Bryn Rogers

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS We are always looking for student writers, editors, social media marketers, illustrators, designers, filmmakers and photographers on an ongoing basis to help make aAh! an informed, inspiring, witty and opinionated collection of student voices and talent that make our city brilliant. Get in touch @aAh_mag. Cover Artist Lisa Da Silva @lisa_cs8

Email: aAh.editor@gmail.com Socials @aAh_mag Telephone: 0161 247 1951 Address: aAh! Magazine, Manchester Metropolitan University, Geoffrey Manton Building, M15 6LL aAh! is distributing copies on Manchester Metropolitan University campus and across Manchester. A wide range of advertising packages and affordable ways to promote your business are available. Get in touch to find out more. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit permission of the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within this publication do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Manchester Metropolitan University.

4 | The CHANGE Issue

Design Laura Sheridan

THE CHANGE ISSUE One word can inspire so much greatness, giving writers and artists the chance to interrogate, deconstruct and rebuild a single idea. aAh! welcomes diversity and celebrates unique perspectives as we divulge one notion through features, opinions, spotlights, interviews, reviews, art, fiction, poetry, photography and more. Welcome to The CHANGE Issue. Change is inevitable... So why not explore it? It can be minor like a new haircut, a fringe on someone’s head. Or something major and all-consuming, a new law that infringes on someone’s civil rights. Change can be individual; a person finally transitioning to become their true self, or universal: like climate change that affects everyone. Change is a regular occurrence like heavy rain on a freezing day in Manchester or a rare occasion like diamond rain on the frozen surface of Neptune. Change is both beautiful and terrifying, it can be the worst thing imaginable or a dream for the future. The concept of change is boundless. Picture this: someone today changed their clothes to sit on a bus, paying £2 in exchange for a ticket and picked up a newspaper that had been changed over this morning. They read something that “changes everything” and wait for the lights to change so they can get off and quickly change directions. But as the bus changes gear, they have a change of heart. They sit back down and dig in their old coat pocket they found in a changing room years ago, and what do they find? Some loose change. Even the definition of change is ever-changing. Are you sick of the word “change” yet? The subject has permeated itself within this issue until the very last second, as we reckon with the special addition of features focussing on the conflict in Ukraine. From personal stories of growth and strength to exposės on the evolving social and technological era we live in, aAh! highlights every aspect of our titular theme and creates a dialogue surrounding many important topics. As my debut at aAh!, I hope you love The CHANGE Issue as much as I do. I hope you find interest and intrigue in the work of our amazing contributors. I hope you are in awe of the art by our immensely talented team of graphic designers and featured artists. I hope you have a life-changing experience… I just had to slip the word in one more time.

Sincerely, Robbie Drepaul, On behalf of the aAh! Editorial Team 5 | The CHANGE Issue


Manchester has always been a pioneer of change and it is the people who call it home that are making this city thrive. From world-class footballers fighting food poverty to ordinary citizens finding their voice; local clubs and communities helping one another, to iconic city landmarks evolving over time; protests to protect the people, or students setting out to make a statement; aAh! looks at the progress being made in our city, by our city. We wouldn’t change Manchester for the world.


By Robbie Drepaul

Sam Thompson

A story of true power and admiration. After being the victim of rape, Sam Thompson found himself overwhelmed with suicidal thoughts and unable to leave his parent’s home; he thought his life was over. Thompson went on to bravely waive his right to anonymity and find the strength to transform his narrative and become a survivors’ ambassador. The local DJ and Law student continues to generate vital fundraising for Survivors Manchester, an organisation for male rape and sexual abuse victims, and provide counselling and peer-topeer support. Thompson hopes to break the stigma surrounding the crime and stand in solidarity with other victims.

Marcus Rashford

Christine Burns

Christine Burns came to Manchester as a student but made her mark as a leading activist for transgender rights. Learning to never hide her gender identity, she has inspired others to live as their true selves by fighting for her community to achieve social-political equality and rights. An MBE and LGBT+ champion, the city and Burns have mutual respect and love for each other. She says: “I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly what it is about Manchester’s state of mind as a city, as a group of people, but it is a place where people can do innovative things.”

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Simon Goldstein

We cannot talk about iconic Mancunians without mentioning Marcus Rashford MBE. The beloved Manchester United footballer uses his platform to fight child hunger by working with food waste charity FareShare. Raising an estimated £20 million and providing over four million meals to school children, the goal scorer has continued campaigning to make food more eco-friendly and accessible. Bestowed with the Pride of Britain Special Recognition Award and a mural, which can be admired in Withington, South Manchester, this Red Devils player shows he is truly an angel of the city.


Nomad Clan

Street art should be powerful, proud, and unapologetic, and Nomad Clan makes no exception. Joy Gilleard and Hayley Garner make up this female muralist duo, praised for their creativity and uniqueness. Equal parts prominent and poignant, they utilise spaces throughout the city to ignite conversations about social and political issues. By transforming a plain wall into a plethora of colour, they also transform the mindsets of people living in our city. Their work may be appreciated around the world, but some of their best pieces can be found in the heart of our city. Follow their work @nomad.clan.

Akinyemi Oludele

You can’t go 20 years in the Manchester art scene without becoming a prominent figure. Take Akinyemi Oludele for example. The live-sketch artist uses watercolours, pastels, acrylic and digital art to depict a case of poets, protests, patrons, and performances. Using several different mediums to showcase several different lives, he captures the liveliness and vibrancy of the city in a colourful love letter. Found wherever culture is thriving, look out for future exhibitions from Oludele and follow @AOludele.

Wake up Boris Blanket Sometimes great change can happen closer to home than we expect, which is the case for Manchester’s School of Art’s ‘Wake Up Boris Blanket’. This installation, constructed by four final year students Amy Ferrier, George Hood, Joe Taylor, and Zoe Ward, achieved national coverage for highlighting textile wastage and lack of eco-preservation laws at Manchester Art Fair 2021. Controversial and evocative, Hood said “It felt good to have the opportunity to create such a political piece that was straight to the point” and made it apparent what we must do to “secure a better future for all”.

Joe Taylor

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Kill the Bill

Kill the Bill fights against legislation that compromises the privacy and safety of citizens and laws that endorse an intrusive police force and hinder our right to protest. Their slogan, “Together, We Win”, was displayed with great pride during the Manchester Kill the Bill demonstrations. Hundreds met to march and stand up against forces to make a difference and use their soapbox to educate. Times were scary and things were getting out of hand, but protesters of Manchester made their voices heard to support #KilltheBill.

Kyle Bushnell

Big Night In

Kyle Bushnell

Behind the flashing lights and enticing music, there is a lot of fear and risk within clubs. We saw a rise in spiking incidents plague university cities across the UK, Manchester included. Students had had enough and The Big Night In (originally Girls Night In) was born. In late 2021, clubgoers and activists joined forces, boycotting nightclubs and bars. The protest group challenged Andy Burnham to tackle the problem at large and raised calls to implement anti-spiking measures and training in our venues. Staple nightclubs lost revenue and the message was received loud and clear: protect the people.


Ehimetalor Akhere


Paul Stafford

A lighthouse for individuality and self-expression, this Northern Quarter icon needs no introduction. Currently celebrating its 40th year, the four-story emporium of independent traders has evolved with trends and provided something for everyone throughout their years. Afflecks is, and will always be, relevant and resilient, having even survived a fire and many rebuilds throughout the years. It has adapted with the times and their customers have always been catered for, a prime example of the forever fluidity and progress of our city. 8 | The CHANGE Issue


Emmeline’s Pantry

Named after the historical trailblazer and suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst, this charity continues her legacy by helping women and their families. Described as “a foodbank with a difference”, this female-run organisation offers food, baby equipment, clothing and more. Based in Chorlton and reliant on public donations, Emmeline’s Pantry showcases the goodness that the people of our city harbour for those less fortunate and how generosity can truly make a difference.


Established in 1984, Lifeshare is Manchester’s oldest charity that aids homeless and other vulnerable people. Considering the tumultuous past year, Aaron Doucett life on the streets is full of hardships and Lifeshare offers a helping hand to anyone who needs it. Providing accommodation, Their comforting orange logo can be seen at their offices in Stretford as opportunities and healthcare, their most recent campaign ‘Eat Good for Good’, Talk Listen Change has the minds of Manchester in… well, mind. For partnered with independent vendors to give over 40 years TLC has been a beacon of positivity, offering a range of back during the winter months. Charities like counselling services and launching partnership projects within Greater Manchester and the North West. They’ve provided over 13,500 sessions Lifeshare are a shining light in the city and of support, which included supporting the survivors and families of victims can be a place where people are supported to turn their life around. of the 2017 Manchester arena bombing, and help approximately 3,500 people every year. From family counselling to domestic abuse services, mediation to sex therapy, TLC is here to make a difference.

Talk Listen Change

Village Manchester FC

Everyone deserves to be on a winning team, and Village Manchester Football Club allows all sexualities, genders, and identities to play with them; all you need is a love of the game. Since it was established in 1996, VMFC has been a safe space for LGBT+ athletes, and in doing so, has contributed to the ongoing destigmatization of queer people participating in sport. What started as a small group amongst friends has grown into a fully developed team with a powerful message and an even more powerful right kick. The team says it best themselves: “Everyone is welcome, discrimination is not.”



This unicorn is a rare find; an ecoconscious co-operative supermarket that keeps the workers, customers, and suppliers in good care. Sustainability and solidarity are key principles for the Chorlton grocery store which has become a hub of grub for their community. Whether it be teaching tips on gardening, paying fair wages, or providing dinner, Unicorn has always given back. This beloved store will open your eyes to a wholesome group of people and unlock your tastebuds to a whole bunch of tasty produce.

Design Aoife Dobson 9 | The CHANGE Issue


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The year 2022 is an exciting time for arts and culture in Manchester. We welcome new additions and celebrate the return of much-loved, revived icons revitalising our ever-changing city. These are the cultural venues and businesses breathing new life into Manchester’s already rich and diverse arts and culture community.

Manchester Poetry Library mmu.ac.uk/poetrylibrary

Located in the heart of Manchester, a city renowned for literature and poetry, Manchester Poetry Library opened to the public in late 2021. Based in Manchester Metropolitan University’s state-of-the-art Grosvenor Building, the North West’s first poetry library holds an extensive range of over 10,000 multilingual books and recordings. The Poetry Library hosts inperson events and learning programmes to encourage all kinds of people across the region to tap into their poetic side.

Band on the Wall bandonthewall.org Band on the Wall has been integral to Manchester’s cultural identity since it first opened over 200 years ago. In this time, the legendary site has gone through some major changes. Located in the Northern Quarter, the music venue has been closed for the last two years due to redevelopment worth £3.5m and is scheduled to reopen in spring. Look out for performances from multi-instrumentalist artist Emma-Jean Thackray, Ibibio Sound Machine and Maverick Sabre.

Margot & Lux Vintage margotandlux.com Northern Quarter addition Margot & Lux Vintage, sells a wide range of vintage and sustainable clothing. Including garments from designers like Moschino, Cavalli, and Levi’s, Margot & Lux puts a stylish edit on vintage fashion. With its name originating from outstandingly stylish characters Margot Tenenbaum and Lux Lisbon, the female boutique inspires originality and eclecticism. The brand encourages shoppers to find their own sense of style over fast fashion trends, and prides itself on being ethically sourced.

Ramona MCR takemetoramona.com

A repurposed old MOT station from back in the day, Ramona MCR is now arguably one of the city’s newest spots, lying just outside the city centre next to the Northern Quarter. The Ancoats venue is quickly gaining a glowing reputation for quality live music and Detroit-style pizza. It has a spacious beer garden that boasts a campfire to keep you warm during the cold days and a margarita bar to enjoy during the lovely summer nights. This place has turned into a major hotspot for students and young professionals to relax after a strenuous day of university or work, to enjoy cocktails and bottomless brunches.

Science and Industry Museum Special Exhibition Gallery scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum celebrates the opening of a spectacular Special Exhibitions Gallery this year, providing a 725 square metre space for future exhibitions. Designed by award-winning architectural practice Carmody Groarke, working alongside Manchester building contractor HH Smith & Sons, the New Warehouse was originally built for storage of the Great Western Railway. The £5m investment will combine an industrial building with a modern design that was not previously available to the public, to create an educational environment to deliver some of the world’s best science exhibitions. Design Aoife Dobson & Ali Ward 11 | The CHANGE Issue

A LETTER FROM UKRAINE As part of aAh!’s #StudentsSupportUkraine campaign, we’re sharing the experiences of students caught up in the conflict. We’re starting with best friends Aleksandra, a refugee from Ukraine, and Kristina, an exchange student from Russia living in Manchester, as they navigate the violence permeating their homelands.

It was a Thursday morning, and dawn was barely breaking. Aleksandra, 21, abruptly awoke to the news that her home, the country she dearly loved, was under attack from Russian forces. Tensions over boundaries had been building over a number of years, and now Putin had officially declared war on Ukraine. Violence justified by false claims of purging the country of its ‘fascism’. After packing her life into a suitcase, Aleksandra fled war-torn Kyiv with her family, taking refuge in a small city on the fringes. Speaking from the frontline, we communicated with Aleksandra over encrypted Telegram chats, to alleviate fears of surveillance from Russian authorities. This is her letter from Ukraine.



Design Lisa Silva Illustration based on photography by @manc_wanderer

Aleksandra, 21, speaks to aAh! via Telegram from Ukraine


e are hiding in a small town, under Poland. I can’t name this city because, honestly, I’m afraid that the phone will be listened to by Russian militaries or governments. As well as my mother and siblings, we also moved my grandparents and cousins to this city, and we’re now in a safe place. We have water, gas, and food. It’s pretty warm here, so we have all the things to live normally, not like the rest of the people in Ukraine, unfortunately. I want to share a little background with you: the war did not start on the 24th of February. It has been going on for eight years, and only now has this topic been shown to other countries. About what is really happening in Ukraine. It all started from 2014, when Yanukovych wanted to sign a treaty but the whole country was against it. We didn’t want to have anything to do with Russia. People went out into the streets to peaceful rallies, and then Berkut began shelling people. That was when the whole country pulled itself up. Yanukovych, on the same night of shelling, collected all the paintings, took his mistress under his arm and fled to Russia. During the revolution on the Maidan in Kyiv, Putin illegally occupied the Crimea where a dishonest and paid referendum was held. Then, he occupied the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where for years these territories were under fire from Russian invaders. For the past eight years, propaganda flourished in Russia. Russian people were told that Ukraine was shooting at its own people, that we were a country of Nazis. That this recent operation was the salvation and liberation of Ukrainian people from this, which is not true. We lived in love and respect for each other. The fact we elected a former comedian as a president probably frightened Putin, since the Ukrainian people have the right to choose. Ukrainians are strong and freedom-loving people, which is a threat to totalitarian Russia. My fears, accompanied by panic attacks, began in the middle of Autumn, due to the accumulation of Russian troops near the borders of Ukraine. Deep down, I couldn’t believe that this could actually happen. But after Putin’s speech on the 21st of February, where he talked about the referendum on the independence of the Luhansk and Donetsk territories, and claimed that Ukraine was created by Lenin, I took out a suitcase. On the 24th of February, at 5 o’clock in the morning, my mother ran into my room and said: ‘Wake up daughter, the war began.’ I will never forget these

words. I didn’t know what to do, I was lost to be honest. I had a panic attack. I just couldn’t believe it. My parents are in the military, so they immediately went to work to destroy all the important documents. I started packing my suitcase, taking only warm clothes, a toothbrush and paperwork. I didn’t know where we were going, or what would happen to us in a day or two. The journey took two days instead of eight hours. We couldn’t sleep or eat, we just sat silently in the car without saying anything, constantly checking the news. We were worried about friends and family in the ‘hotspots’. I left Kyiv with my brother, sister, and grandmother, who is 86-years-old. After sitting in the car for such a long time, her legs were paralysed. It was terrible. There was almost no gasoline or gas stations. When we were driving, we saw a rocket flying into a nearby region, and would hear the constant sound of sirens. We were afraid that we might die. Then my mother called, and said that she would be with us soon. In the first few days, we couldn’t eat at all because of the shock. We just read the news and slept a lot, while my dad worked to try and keep the economy going and my mum worked remotely. Due to Russian aggression and the outbreak of war in my country, my university has suspended my educational activities. I study graphic design and it’s the last semester of my bachelors degree. I was supposed to finish my degree and go on to a masters, but I know I can’t [do that] this year. I have a classmate from Mariupol who I haven’t talked to since the 2nd of March. I know that Mariupol is really on fire, and that people don’t have any water or gas. They’re warming snow to drink. It’s a horrible place, I’m just praying she’s still alive. If all my international friends don’t know how to help Ukraine, start by sharing true information. About what is really happening in Ukraine, because it’s hell. If you can, donate to our army, even if it’s one euro. Volunteer where they gather clothes and medicine, or donate something you don’t use to the Ukrainian military, to our people. It’s going to be really helpful at this time. I have a lot of plans for the future. I want to paint, be a graphic designer, and open my own gallery. I also want to share Ukrainian culture with others because it’s beautiful. I’m so proud to be Ukrainian, and this situation has shown how we can gather together among other countries, and become a big family.

“I just appreciate and truly respect Kristina. Even though she’s from St Petersburg and I’m from Kyiv, this does not interfere with our friendship because I know her civic position. I really admire her support for me and for Ukraine.”


Kristina, 21, speaks to aAh! face-to-face in Manchester


t’s been an emotionally taxing week for Kristina. Early March brings reading week, and alongside her fellow classmates, she’s been busy with an array of looming university assessments. Essays, exams and deadlines seem trivial, however, compared to the tribulations clouding Kristina’s thoughts. She’s having to process a war between her birth country and one rich in familial roots, all while being overseas, away from loved ones. “I’m not feeling so good about the future,” Kristina explains, sitting in Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery. “A Russian friend of mine says: ‘Just imagine, one day we will have a free Russia where we can choose a president [...] A country where the real criminals who have caused destruction in Ukraine face punishment for their actions, not the journalists and activists’” She speaks solemnly, the weight of the war visibly resting on her mind. Sitting reservedly, her eyes gaze down at the floor.

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“I don’t know what to do so that the war will end, or so that Russia will be the way we want to see it. Not as a country that attacks other countries,” she says. An exchange student from St Petersburg, Kristina arrived in Manchester one month ago, a matter of weeks before Russian troops invaded Kyiv on the 24th of February. She fears her brother, Russian like herself, may soon be mobilised to fight in the army against her mother’s birth country. The recent invasion comes after President Putin claimed Russia was threatened by ‘fascism’ existing in Ukraine, and could not “feel safe, develop and exist” as a nation, according to the BBC. These allegations are widely recognised as untrue. The relationship between Russia and Ukraine has been precarious for almost a decade, increasingly encroaching on Kristina’s life since childhood. She recalls early memories of Ukraine.

Notably, when she was told that a missile had landed in a yard close to her grandmother’s yard, shattering the surrounding windows and balconies.

Instead, Kristina’s institution reached out offering psychological support: “It was apparent that they supported the values of cooperation and friendship.”

Our conversation evokes mixed feelings for her. She expresses semi-relief that her grandmother died in 2015, because it means she’s not subject to the violence which has killed at least 549 Ukrainians at the time of our interview, and seen millions more displaced.

Kristina describes how she was also contacted by her university in Manchester with counselling and helpful study tips. However, it was a “personal” letter from a university support staff member offering support which was particularly “touching”.

Ukrainian friends of Kristina’s have relayed distressing accounts of being woken up by air raid sirens, or how they became refugees overnight. Meanwhile, members of her family have witnessed people being beaten and detained at anti-war protests in St Petersburg. “I do not support any attacks, or any violence towards Ukraine. I know that they’re a sovereign nation, I know that it is its own country,” she says. On social media, Kristina’s Russian followers share her opposition to the war. However, Russian society is polarised and new laws are making it increasingly difficult and unsafe for those condemning the war to unite and express their opposition. Often referred to as ‘zombified’, Russian citizens are inundated with fake news from state-controlled media on a daily basis. ‘Deviant’ news outlets are battling constant threats of censorship, with Russian journalists threatened with fines or prison for using the words “war” or “invasion” to describe recent events, according to Amnesty International. Disinformation has facilitated Kristina’s anxiety as an exchange student during the ongoing conflict. For a short period, she feared she may be expelled from her home university in Europe, as did several of her Russian friends who are also studying abroad at this time. This unfounded narrative was being promoted back in Russia by politicians keen to “portray Europe as a villain” she says.

“One of the points of Russian propaganda is that ‘We have enemies everywhere’ and ‘We are going to fight against them,’” explains Kristina. This is why she felt compelled to share information on university support for those at home, to counter false narratives which intend to incite fear. “I think it is very important to unite people in Russia, and say: ‘These are the facts.’” NPR recently reported that social media platforms Facebook and Instagram have since been banned in Russia, after authorities condemned parent company Meta for its “extremist activities”. TikTok and Twitter have had restrictions imposed. Kristina’s demeanour changes when noting how quickly humanitarian aid launched in Manchester. In knowing that everyday people were the driving forces behind these initiatives, Kristina felt temporary respite from the unrelenting stream of bad news: “I wasn’t sure how I felt about those who weren’t interested, because sometimes the war and new laws in Russia seem like the end of the world to me. From my bubble it might be difficult to understand why others are not as involved.” She adds, “That’s why I am deeply touched every time I see people helping and reaching out, especially if they have no relation to Ukraine or Russia.” Manchester Central Library stood illuminated in blue and yellow during a vigil, held immediately after Ukraine’s

WAYS YOU CAN HELP Join our campaign #StudentsSupportUkraine We aim to support people affected by the conflict in Ukraine by raising awareness and promoting positive action, contributing to humanitarian aid fundraising efforts, and challenging misinformation and disinformation about the war. Visit aah-magazine.co.uk/ studentssupportukraine

invasion. More recently, protests have attracted thousands of Mancunians to unite in the city centre, where they were heard singing Ukraine’s national anthem as a sign of solidarity. Other local efforts have been springing up across the city. Nightclubs have become storage centres for clothes, toys, nappies, and other donations for refugees, while Manchester Fire and Rescue stations are raising money by hosting car washes. “The war is a scar for the people of Ukraine and abroad,” Kristina explains, pensively. “I know that it will take huge amounts of money to rebuild Ukraine, and it’s also in the hands of Europe to help. Since lots of people are going to protests and donating, I feel like it may be possible.” “The people in Ukraine are heroes, and this gives a lot of power to others,” she continues. “I know that Ukraine will never surrender. They’ve shown that they are a nation that will not give up their land. It’s incredible, they inspire me every day.” 15 | The CHANGE Issue






LOOKING By Tyrese King

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Playwright and Greater Manchester arts ambassador, Bronte Appleby, shares why we need to take an active role in breaking down the cultural barriers in the Arts. Our worlds turned upside down during lockdown. Covid-19 taught us many valuable lessons; one of the most prominent being the value of arts and culture in our lives. Lockdowns meant we could no longer go to the cinema, visit museums and art galleries, or experience live theatre performances. The pandemic saw us instead tune in in our thousands to watch our favourite artists perform live gigs from home studios. We toured virtual exhibitions. We discovered a wealth of new cinema from the comfort of our sofas, plugged into streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. However, nothing could feel the void of physically going into venues to experience the real thing. With our venues under threat of permanent closure, much-need financial intervention came in the form of the Culture Recovery Fund. This £1.9 billion investment, championed by the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden with the support of Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, is the single biggest public investment in the cultural life of our nation since the Second World War, according to Arts Council England. It recognised the tireless ingenuity of those who work in, and with, cultural and creative organisations. Many venues in our city were saved by this fund and are now in a position to welcome back the city with open arms.

Arts ambassador and playwright, Bronte Appleby, is working with the city’s Culture for Our Communities programme, set up by key Greater Manchester cultural organisations to spread the word about arts and culture reopening across the North West. “I’ve been very lucky because I’ve worked with some really cool companies over the years,” says Bronte. “This opportunity is the best source to reach as many people as possible by using my skills to connect people.” The Culture for Our Communities programme has employed a number of ambassadors like Bronte from across the region to promote the latest arts and culture events in their communities. It is supported by Contact Theatre, HOME, Royal Exchange Theatre, MIF Festival, Whitworth Art Gallery, Sim Manchester, Manchester City Council, The Lowry, National Football Museum, Stoller Hall, Manchester Museum and more. The project aims to not only get people back in our venues but to build a more inclusive environment for everyone, platforming stories that matter and ensuring our community is fully represented in the Arts. “I think culture is so important, it naturally happens when no one is looking,” says Bronte. “And that’s why the [Culture for Our Communities] programme is so important because if we don’t reflect those cultures, why would people want to come out and see stuff?”

Bronte’s work involves establishing ways to achieve greater inclusion in the Arts by hosting pop up events and open meetings for local members of the community, allowing people to express their views and discuss any barriers to engagement. She uses a range of creative techniques to bring people together and open conversation, including her ‘Cultural Cuppa’ series, designed to act as an informal forum where people can share their views. “We have a conversation about what people are missing about culture or the barriers of going to cultural events and then feed back to see what we can do about it,” says Bronte. “The only way that we are going to get interesting stories is if the people we grew up with are represented, but it doesn't matter who you are and who those people are.” Bronte is passionate about delivering solutions which meet the needs of the unique communities she engages and “tailors culture” to her events to ensure conversation happens naturally. She explains: “This week I’m working for the youth group and then on Thursday, I’m going to go work with an older adults community group. I’ll be using two completely different sides of me, because their culture is so different. They use their own patterns and routines and the things they share; their experience is so important.”

In order to fully represent the community Bronte recognises we need diversity behind the scenes too. The impact that Covid had on the industry was crippling in this area, according to Bronte: “We lost people from different backgrounds, different socioeconomic backgrounds, different ethnicities. And it makes the stories that we’re telling obvious events we make far less diverse.” Bronte also acknowledges finances and the affordability of activities can also be a key barrier of taking part in activities such as theatre but the issue runs deeper for others: “There are adults who are over 70 plus and who don’t want to leave the house alone. They don’t want to come back [from events] when it’s dark at night. Some people don’t really want to get the train because they feel unsafe, and they feel vulnerable.” Recognising the importance of finding the root of the problems that restrict people’s access to the Arts, is a key focus for Bronte and the Culture for Our Communities programme: “There is a massive benefit that you can get from going into these working class areas or these underrepresented areas, having a conversation and feeding back.” By having this dialogue with the public, Bronte believes the venues in Manchester can act on the feedback. She says: “[Venues] can tailor some of their approaches and open up these spaces and make them more accessible.” Design Emily Williams

The playwright feels strongly about reaching all members of our diverse community and believes representation is key: “The only way that we are going to get interesting stories is if the people we grew up with are represented, but it doesn’t matter who you are and who those people are.”

17 | The CHANGE Issue


MANCHESTER IS GROWING, BUT ARE PEOPLE BEING LEFT BEHIND? The skyline of Manchester has been a hive of activity in recent years. As cranes continue to whirl overhead, they hastily convert the face of the city through glass skyscrapers and endless high-rise flats. However, with change comes tension and as the old and familiar are relegated to the past in favour of the new, many feel like their voices and opinions have been left in the rubble of the old warehouses that made Manchester the powerhouse it is today. There are a myriad of examples of residents grudgingly accepting the fate of their neighbourhoods. In true Mancunian spirit, there have been countless numbers of residents not simply bending to the will of developers, but fighting back.

The fact that such legal proceedings are taking place only serves to highlight the severe gap between residents, the council, and property developers. Jonathan Schofield, a regular contributor to Manchester Confidential and well-renowned tour guide of the city, believes that the legal action is a sign of the improvement of Manchester and its newfound population. “Developers could have done anything in the 90s as [central Manchester] was a small population” he says. “Everybody thought it would only ever be a transient population… What’s building up and should get stronger is this idea where citizens will say enough’s enough.” A place where citizens may not have the means or drive to fight the council is Ordsall. Nestled in a prime location between Castlefield and MediaCityUK, the area is lined up for development, particularly along the Manchester Ship Canal waterfront. Ordsall’s residents are some of the most economically deprived in Salford. According to the Oasis Trust, 45% of children growing up in the area do so in poverty, which is the second highest rate for any area in Salford. Even with these bleak statistics as the backdrop, cranes still toil above as new flats continue to rise.


The Student Castle, a controversial 55-storey proposal nicknamed The Tombstone by local residents in nearby Macintosh Village, is one such case. The residents of the low-rise residential area adjacent to the proposed tower’s location have put up dogged resistance ever since the scheme was announced. Chairman of the Macintosh Village Management Company, Mike Halley, was approached for comment but, due to the scheme being taken to High Court following controversial approval in 2021, was unable to do so.

Macintosh Village is still an affluent area. A two-bedroom apartment in The Foundry Building located on the edge of the enclave will set you back £1,295 per month. The people living in such flats may well be able to afford the legal fight, and even if they lose, their income bracket may give them far more options should they choose to leave.

By James Ogden


The residents certainly feel uneasy about the recent changes. Lynda, a 55-year-old mother of two has lived in the area all her life and now reminisces about the Ordsall of old. “It would be nice to see some houses with gardens and that,” says Lynda. “Years ago everyone knew each other; you used to be able to sit in your neighbour’s garden with a cup of tea, but you don’t see that anymore.” This viewpoint is echoed throughout the neighbourhood, where many feel left behind as the city changes before their eyes. Kendall, a woman in her 20s who has also lived in Ordsall all her life, believes that there has been a reduction in overall crime in the area, which she puts down to a more engaged youth population. “There has been an improvement to life for the kids in recent years and crime has gone down,” she says. However, she still insists more can be done to help the younger children in the community, not just the teenagers. The Ordsall native is also worried about the rising cost of living, something she suspects stems from the almost exclusively private residential buildings that have sprung up in the area. “I struggle to get by working 50 hours a week,” she shares. To offset this, Kendall believes more should be done to help the existing residents get on the property ladder.

When pressed on what this means for the existing and often impoverished residents of places like Ordsall, the employee conceded that connecting existing residents with the opportunities afforded by such growth is a challenge. Agreements with building contractors, apprenticeships and education are of particular importance in an expanding and developing area. It is also of immense importance, they believe, that existing residents are fully engaged in the process of any development scheme. Jonathan Schofield has his own beliefs on how best to help such regions outside of the economic sentiment of the council. “Every few years, get the kids on a coach and show them how the city has changed,” he says. “Every school child should know something about where they live. Try and build some pride in it that is beyond a football affiliation or the five streets they live on… Introduce them to what the city has to offer.” It is certainly the case that the city has a myriad of opportunities, both economic and cultural. Only across the Irwell from Ordsall do we see the almost completed The Factory, which came in at a cost of £186 million and will be the centrepiece for the Manchester International Festival. As Schofield puts it: “It is a better city.”

Years ago everyone knew each other; you used to be able to sit in your neighbour’s garden with a cup of tea

There has been an attempt to improve the affordable housing situation in the area, with Salford City Council committing to building 129 affordable new homes in late 2021. Yet, it is clear that new houses aren’t the only issue on the local’s agenda - they still believe the community of Ordsall needs more help to be improved.

The council, however, seems to take the stance that through the redevelopment of the city centre and its outskirts, improvement will be felt by all. An employee of Manchester City Council involved in the major growth and development programmes believes that the retention of talent from Manchester’s universities is positive, and such talent requires a certain residential supply. Large employers in turn see the residential supply-line and commit to the future of the city. The long-term empty property rate in the city centre is less than 2%. They essentially think there aren’t enough homes.

Any city worth its salt must adapt to an ever-evolving world, that is clear. However, what makes a city is not just the bricks and mortar of the buildings, it’s the people that inhabit them. Many residents, from city centre apartments to the estates of Ordsall, are at loggerheads with the council and its developers over Manchester’s recent rush to the skies. Manchester is a city in flux, and that flux is being felt by all, but as history proves, it is those with less that will feel the transition more. Kendall sums up how hard the situation may be for the people of her community in the coming years: “I’d like to see additional council housing for local residents, so people can afford to actually live where they’ve grown up.”

Design Faye Byrne 19 | The CHANGE Issue


With streaming apps making it easier than ever to remain in our comfort bubbles and listen to the nostalgic sounds of the noughties, it’s forgivable to allow our ears to binge the same old songs on repeat. But as the festival season draws near, it’s important to value the new artists that keep the live music scene buzzing. We’ve picked our top five artists to celebrate and watch out for in 2022.



Despite receiving a Brit Award for Best New Artist this year, the Londoner has been quietly sending waves through the world of British rap since releasing her debut album A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons way back in 2015. Now the mainstream has caught up, Little Simz is finally receiving the recognition she deserves. Her latest album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert appears near the top of many of the best of 2021 lists and was picked as the second best album of the year by Manchester’s finest record shop, Piccadilly Records.

IF YOU LIKE: Lauryn Hill BEST SONG: Introvert WHERE TO WATCH: Glastonbury 2022



Currently in the midst of a world tour spanning as far as Japan, Turkey and the US, Irish rockers Inhaler are quickly proving they’re ready for life on the world’s biggest stages. After releasing their debut album, It Won’t Always Be Like This, the Irish band visited Manchester back in late 2021 and will be returning to the UK for this year's festival season at Tramlines and Victorious. IF YOU LIKE: Bruce Springsteen BEST SONG: Totally WHERE TO WATCH: Tramlines Festival 2022




The 19-year-old Canadian pop artist opened for Yungblud at Victoria Warehouse in 2021. After releasing new single ‘moshpit’ earlier this year, renforshort is looking to build on the momentum gained during her early career. Inspired by iconic lyricists such as Bob Dylan and Amy Whinehouse, renforshort bares her soul, writing personal songs about anxiety, selfimage and the love she has for her closest friends. IF YOU LIKE: Billie Eilish BEST SONG: wannabe WHERE TO WATCH: Frequency Festival 2022



The pop duo originally from Washington DC are making a splash in their newly adopted home of Liverpool. Since moving to the UK, The Let Go have released a plethora of consistently top quality pop singles, showing off their songwriting skills to a whole new audience. There’s a playful innocence to the production of their sound. Influences of the American pop punk the duo performed during their early days blends with a more contemporary maturity, elevating The Let Go into one of the most exciting new pop acts around. IF YOU LIKE: The Night Cafe BEST SONG: Vegas WHERE TO WATCH: Dot to Dot Festival 2022


Alternative rock band Sports Team’s exhilarating live shows and raucous punk sound make them one of the most exciting young bands in the country. Frontman Alex Rice’s full throttle performances can whip up any crowd into a frenzy of cathartic joy and when backed by the madcap squad of Middle England misfits, Sports Team offer up one hell of a good time. Currently touring mainland Europe, the band will be returning to the UK for the festival season lighting up stages at Truck, Kendal Calling and Victorious. IF YOU LIKE: Parquet Courts BEST SONG: Going Soft WHERE TO WATCH: Truck Festival 2022

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Design Cait Earnshaw

Photography Georgina Hurdsfield

21 | The CHANGE Issue





lot can change in a decade except the truth. It has the power to steadily bubble to the surface for Thom Sonny Green. With Joe Newman and Gus Unger-Hamilton, the trio form potentially the least pretentious group on the circuit, alt-J. Their authenticity is a credit to the band and as admirable as their Mercury award-winning prize music. They have overcome obstacles during this ride, larger than their substantial social media following. Covid-19 prompted surreal setbacks, but they’ve always had a knack for delicately weaving the boundaries between fantasy and reality - as proved by their latest album, The Dream. Despite their name meaning ‘uncertainty’ in quantum mechanics, alt-J’s natural chemistry is clear. They still have their differences though, with Green in particular, more open to experimenting in his work. This was proven by his desire to work with a new producer on their latest hit. This didn’t go forward, with the band favouring their original format: “I completely understand why nobody else felt like we needed to change that. Risks can be extremely rewarding and that’s how you learn and progress. It’s a creative decision you sometimes have to make.”

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Green reveals how the dynamic as a three-piece can make decision-making tricky but they value listening to each other and doing the best with what they’ve got. This is perhaps best demonstrated by their process of creating The Dream. Green had to shield due to having a kidney transplant brought on by Alport Syndrome. This was before shielding was legally re-introduced and caused a divide: “I didn’t want to go in and risk anything but the others didn’t want to stop working so it became quite a headache. But we figured it out.” As the advice changed, so did their working environment as Green could no longer work with them in the studio. He decisively remarks: “I think we’ve made the right decisions.” Ranking within the top three of the UK album charts, we’d have to agree. Spreading awareness on his condition with an interview series on YouTube garnered positive reactions from fans. But it became a double-edged sword for Green: “I find it hard because it’s showing vulnerability.” He adds, “If it was up to me, I would not need a [kidney] transplant. I don’t want people to know me for just that.” Being vulnerable is difficult but Green found comfort in understanding that he’s not alone. He says, “One of the most important things about being a human being is being able to empathise and connect to other people.” Hesitant to put too much of himself out there, he still believes that it is a good thing.

“One of the most important things about being a human is being able to empathise and connect to other people.” Being a connector between the band and the fans is a role Green’s bandmates have long associated him with. He didn’t realise this at first but it was obvious to those around him. It was Green who ran the band’s Discord channel and interacted with fans, considering them more like friends. Green has become more open over the years but has learned to be wary of others. “What can happen is you connect with somebody, and then they see it as an opportunity to kind of use you for something,” says Green. “I have to be slightly cautious of how much of myself I give away.” Both of his bandmates have recently become fathers, which has naturally changed the dynamic of the band. He’s seen them mature in a way he didn’t expect. “I didn’t think I ever wanted to have kids myself but seeing Joe [Newman] with his daughter, in particular, it’s definitely sparked something in me which I’m surprised about.” Don’t be expecting any news from Green yet though. For now, he has his dog, which he adores. There’s also a lot he wants to do before entering that life stage. It’s been ten years since their incredible debut, An Awesome Wave, which bagged them their Mercury Prize Award and is the root of many incredible memories for the band. The win was unexpected for Green, as a busy touring schedule left them little time to think about it. The main thing he might have changed about touring back then would be the hangovers from overpartying, but he feels that these experiences have shaped him into who he is today.

“Looking back, I think my life would have been easier if I was aware of certain things,” says Green, referring to anxiety and depression. However, he adds, “If I changed anything, I wouldn’t be who I am.” Prone to rumination, therapy has taught him to recognise behaviours and learn how to adapt them. It’s all about living in the moment. During the longevity of the band, there have been unexpected fans along the way, including British actress, Tilda Swinton. Right before they were set to play a gig once, Swinton let them know David Bowie may attend. As it happens, he didn’t. What surprises Green isn’t that she liked their music but the sheer range of their fans. He shares the story of meeting American DJ Skrillex at Coachella in 2013, who noticed that Green’s drumming style is heavily inspired by The Deftones. “I was pretty obsessed with it just because I couldn’t believe how smart he was, so talented,” says Green. No one had ever picked up on his drumming influence before. Green’s drumming style is far from conventional. In the beginning, he was known to use a saucepan instead of a cymbal. “Sometimes it gets kind of silly because I can’t do anything normally,” he jokes. “I isolate myself sometimes.” However, after wanting to capture the sound of actual cymbals on The Dream, he used them for the first time: “I think it would be silly for me to just deny something sounding better because I wanted to stick to this kind of image that I had. I really don’t actually have anything against cymbals [...] when they’re used correctly.” Over the years the band has earned themselves a ‘nerdy’ stereotype. Green pins it down to them meeting at Leeds University, or possibly an association with Radiohead. Quick to dispel any connotations of being elitist, he’s keen to make it clear that he likes “all kinds of music and [has] respect for all kinds of artists”. Recounting early photoshoots where he tried to look like he didn’t care, it’s clear that consciously or unconsciously, we all think about our image. As for the stereotype, Green shakes this off: “I don’t mind that, I think people associate being nerdy with maybe being smart or thoughtful.” ‘Drummer’ or ‘fan liaison’? To loosely quote The Ting Tings, that’s not his main role. Most importantly, Thom Sonny Green is an artist. Musician may be his job title but he also enjoys drawing, making videos while walking his dog in the woods, creating soundtracks, art, and acting. Joking about “first world problems”, he says: “I think I’m learning to be less kind of triggered because sometimes, I will be like, ‘I’m not just the drummer’. It’s important to me that people know that I’m an artist.” It’s not surprising, given that Green graduated with a degree in Fine Art. Changing the labels others give you may be frustrating but maintaining the one which feels most authentic is worth fighting for.

By Camilla Whitfield Design Laufey Guðnadóttir

23 | The CHANGE Issue

‘Rock ‘n’ roll’ has always showcased the trope of the ‘Bad Boy Rockstar’, where sex, drugs, and shredding guitars were all part of the working day for men. Yet this same behaviour for women often sparks controversy, leaving female musicians working twice as hard for less money and even less respect. Manchester all-female punk grunge band, Witch Fever, have felt the brunt of this toxic culture. Writing hit ‘Bully Boy’ after experiencing sexual harrassment during a live show, they laid bare the reality for female artists. The punchy track is ladened with grungy riffs and raw emotion, featuring the lyrics: ‘I crave to be that lucky with no one leering over you. But you’re right, I’m so dumb, I don’t know my own truth.’ Lead singer, Amy Walpole, describes the song as a collective response to the misogynistic treatment of women and non-binary people across the industry, and hopes to challenge this behaviour. Walpole recently spoke about this incident on stage at a gig in Brixton, and Julie Weir, head of British independent record label Music For Nations, recalls the powerful speech the frontwoman gave to the crowd. “Amy told the Idles crowd the whole story behind ‘Bully Boy’ and the crowd were applauding,” says Weir. 24 | The CHANGE Issue

The support from the Brixton crowd was short lived, as Weir explains: “When she got into the pit later, this great, big, lumbering bloke just ran at her to hug her. It’s a complete lack of respect.” She continues, “Later [Walpole] said, ‘If you lot just out there sitting thinking: ‘Shut up and play a song’, maybe you should be listening harder.’” Rock ‘n’ roll cultural historian and author, Professor Jennifer Otter Bickerdike, recalls a tour that she worked across America which featured several well-known names in the music industry. Throughout the tour she bonded with one artist, and describes having some “pretty open and intense conversations” with him. Towards the end of the tour, Otter Bickerdike asked him to sign a magazine cover that he featured on – something she would not typically do to remain professional. On the cover, the artist wrote: ‘Dear Jennifer, ya [sic] beautiful and your green eyes and big boobs prove that God’s a man.’ “I loved it at the time, I thought it was fucking hilarious. But if we think about that in the same conversation we’re having [about sexism], even though I tried so hard to differentiate myself […] maybe I wasn’t any different to him at all,” says Otter Bickerdike.



The progression of the #MeToo Movement and the increase in organisations highlighting misogyny in the workplace, is shedding light on the rotten core of the rock genre. “People that are doing these things have been raised in this culture where if you’re a famous rock star you can do anything,” says Otter Bickerdike. Sadly, many women can recall at least one incident in their personal or professional life where they are not treated with the respect they deserve, simply because they are not male. Sexism is pervasive in the workplace. A survey by the Young Women’s Trust, found that 39% of women have experienced sexism in their place of employment. This disrespect seeps into the boardroom, too. Weir describes being subjected to sexism by one of “the dinosaurs” at a large music institution, after being invited to a board meeting. At this time, Weir was a Merchandise Manager pitching to a team of distributors. “They said I was lying right in the middle of this board meeting. I was so offended,” she explains. “Then someone else thought I was the secretary and gave me a notepad. That’s the worst experience I’ve had.”

Weir has worked with several labels, including Cacophonous Records, and founded her own label, Visible Noise, in 1998. With her career spanning three decades, Weir has worked with many legendary rock and metal acts such as Bring Me the Horizon, Lostprophets, and Bullet for My Valentine. “Working in rock and metal then, there was me and one other woman that [were] working in extreme music and rock at the time,” Weir adds. Rachel Bolland, the Director of Operations and Head of Diversity for UK Music, explains how diversity in the music industry changed in 2020. She says, “At entry-level, 64.7% of respondents were women. By the time you get to senior level, it’s 40.4%. Every time we looked, [the numbers] just dropped, both for women and people from diverse backgrounds.” To encourage inclusion for all people across the music industry, industryfunding organisation, UK Music, conducts a biennial diversity survey. Data collected from this survey is published as the Diversity Report to highlight areas in the industry that lack representation. “In terms of actual industry people, it was always a total boys’ industry, at least when I was working there. You don’t see very many women high up in the music industry...

There will be a lot of admin type things and people working for people, but someone who is head of a label is very rare,” says Otter Bickerdike. A study by Women in CTRL found that 73% of CEOs across 11 music industry trade bodies were male, compared to 27% of women, all of which are white. Otter Bickerdike believes that change is coming: “It’s a relentless job and it’s still very much a boys’ club. It’s getting better but not by much.” Hackney-based charity, Girls Rock London, provides youth and adult programmes in music-making for beginners and experienced musicians. This space allows for these creatives to amplify their voices, figuratively and literally, and to unlock their full potential in a safe community. Weir says, “Now that I’m at a major label, you see a lot of women at higher levels. Sony is pretty good on that. It’s definitely changed from when I first came through.” The days of women only being seen as secretaries in the boardroom ‘boys club’ are numbered. With new initiatives in place to champion female and non-binary talent, and support networks to help them kickstart their careers, there is finally a seat at the table for them.

Design Laura Sheridan Photography Georgina Hurdsfield 25 | The CHANGE Issue


Can you tell us about your fashion research background and some of the areas you are working on currently? I am working specifically on the digitalisation of supply chain transparency using blockchain, AI and all its associated technologies. My work covers things like QR codes, beacon technologies, tracking and tracing technologies - it’s a really exciting area. I have been researching digital supply chain transparency for the last two years and more recently I have been working on a Textiles Transparency Toolbox with the UNECE. This project has brought together over 250 consultants across the industry from 52 countries to create a blockchain which the UNECE hopes to be accessible for small scale businesses. Accessibility is important here because while large scale businesses have the resources to create and implement digitisation, especially supply chain transparency, small-scale businesses often do not. I believe we are in the middle of the transformation from analogue through to digital fashion - and this is what our digital research group at Manchester Fashion Institute wants to focus on so we can help smaller scale sectors of the industry digitise as well.

What are your thoughts on this shift into a digital realm? If we consider exactly what we’re doing now - having a Zoom call - it shows our move to a digitalised world. It’s now perfectly ‘normal’ to meet online and, over the last 12 months, we’ve all become quite used to it and appreciate the convenience of it. Admittedly, it would be nice to meet in person in a café, but using these online platforms allows us to compress our time, giving us the ability to do other things. Therefore, it has accelerated the hybrid possibility of living partially in a real-world as well as living in a digital world. We are living in this digital world already almost subconsciously, where at times we’re not even aware of it and that’s the trick of getting this right. This is just one example of an incremental change as our real life moves into a digital world.

What do you think about the future of the fashion industry digitalisation?

Has the pandemic accelerated the digitalisation of the fashion industry?

Digitalisation is definitely here to stay. I think that in the next ten, 20, or 30 years there will be a lot more digitised fashion than any other kind of fashion. People are still going to wear clothes. They need clothes for their utility – for warmth, modesty and so on. But as for the cultural aspect, I think that’s probably going to go more and more into the digital realm. We will dress ourselves up for other people (online) and those clothes will be purchased online and will be ‘made’ online, only ever existing in a digital world.

Yes, definitely. There has always been a sense of digital hesitancy around a lot of things. Many people don’t want to let go of the tangible and the things that they can touch and feel. Fashion is a very tactile thing and clothing has a very strong relationship to the human body and the senses. You want to touch clothes, feel the fabrics and check how they feel on the body. Digitalisation, in a sense, takes away that sensory experience. There is of course a lot of work being undertaken to get to the point where we are able to ‘feel’ digital fabrics but there is still a long way to go on this.


What do you think about the growth of live-streaming in the fashion industry?

crFas e @M stitut ion In Fash ester anch and M esign

hildeh eim @ Hilde H Follow

Live-streaming is a positive move for sure but it’ll be interesting to see how it changes so it doesn’t look like a video or TV. There’s currently little difference between live-streaming and live TV shows which have been happening for the past 30 years or so. The combination of livestreaming and the Metaverse might be an interesting space to watch. As such, there is still plenty of room for innovation.


In the fashion world, we had a lot of fashion shows and trade shows which happened behind closed doors, where nobody is allowed to go in apart from select industry people such as magazine editors, the press, influencers, celebrities and buyers, so in that regard it’s nice for the general public to be able to watch. Live-streaming plays a part here because the whole hierarchy in the fashion system such as designers, wholesalers, retailers and customers, completely crumbles as we see this new type of access forming. And I think it’s perfectly OK to see this disruption because it is important that designers (especially smaller brands) have a platform where they can sell directly. They have to sell, sell, sell. And if they have a bigger opportunity to do so, why not?

hionIn st

The thing with live-streaming is that it isn’t actually very convenient unlike asynchronous content. For example, with YouTube, it’s there and we can watch it when we are ready whereas with live-streaming, if you have to be present, it might not suit you at that particular time. On the other hand, the argument is ‘I couldn’t be in Paris or New York right now,’ so in this case it’s hugely convenient. I guess you could argue that waking up at five in the morning or staying up until midnight is much more convenient than flying to New York! It’s swings and roundabouts in terms of what’s convenient and what’s not.

By Yunjung Im Design Jake Jones 27 | The CHANGE Issue


“My mum insists I have blood tests every six months,” shares Teodora Bracau, a 20-year-old Manchester Metropolitan University student. “She was so worried about me becoming vegan.” Teodora has faced opposition since becoming vegan at 20. From friends making fun of her choices and her brother calling it ‘weird’, to serious health concerns from her mum, it would be fair to say that her change in diet has not been met with positivity. “I told my parents after a couple of weeks and my mum especially was in shock. She just didn’t agree with it,” says Teodora. “After explaining to her that I take care of what I eat and make sure my diet is complete, she still wanted me to take tests in six months to check I was healthy. After six months, she took me to a medical clinic for blood tests and they came out perfect. She now wants me to do this regularly.” Teodora’s mum isn’t alone in her health concerns about the vegan diet. Despite a rise in popularity and a wealth of new vegan options hitting our shelves, many vegans still find people challenge their choices. With headlines ranging from ‘Why vegan meat substitutes are the worst junk food of all,’ (The Telegraph), ‘Women’s health at risk due to rise in meat-free diets’ (The Independent) and ‘Why the vegan diet is not always green’ (BBC), this negativity is more common than you may think. Laurence Morgan, a 38-year-old athlete from Hampshire, became vegan in 2017 after 12 years of vegetarianism. After suffering a traumatic brain injury aged 12, Laurence explains that he can “all too easily form absolute opinions,” but that once he learnt more about the dairy industry, he found it “difficult to separate the killing and harvesting of animals for flesh from the incarceration and slavery of the milk and dairy industry”. Laurence knew he wanted to minimise the harm he saw his habits “directly funding” by purchasing dairy products.

By Kerry Power A study by SAGE found vegans face the same level of stigma as drug addicts in terms of negative prejudice, with the least popular vegans being those who cite ‘cruelty to animals’ as the reason for their plant-based diet. However, it seems that the stigma hails predominantly from the attitudes of the older generations. A study by the Food Ethics Council states that 54% of UK millennials believe that the current UK food system is unfair to animals, and 56% of 18-29 year olds have tried a plant-based diet in the past 12 months. Laurence says, “There was an insurmountable level of negative discourse when I became vegan. Jibes or teasing from those close; a barrage of bullying from others,” he says. “In every social occasion you’re on edge.” 14% of adults in the UK now follow a meat-free diet, with a further 8.8 million planning to go meat-free in 2022. But only 2% of those who planned to give up meat in 2021 actually did. So what’s stopping us? A 2020 BBC article suggests that ‘anti-vegan hatred’ is driven by our own hidden biases.’

“IN EVERY SOCIAL OCCASION YOU’RE ON EDGE.” Talking to the BBC, Hank Rothgerber, a social psychologist at Bellarmine University, Kentucky, explains as the evidence of reasons why we shouldn’t eat meat mount, our brains become very good at protecting us ‘from realities that we don’t want to face.’ This concept of cognitive dissonance allows us to feed newborn lambs at a farm and then enjoy a minted lamb roast dinner with little thought. Psychologists refer to this as the ‘meat paradox,’ for which humans have developed up to 15 strategies to avoid facing up to. As a nation, we claim to be ‘animal lovers’ but we seem able to separate this from our love of bacon and steak. Society is becoming more informed about climate change and how most infectious diseases in humans originate in animals such as Ebola, Covid-19, Swine flu, MERS, SARS, VCJD. Therefore a plant-based diet that positively affects human health and the environment seems like a logical next step for some.

KERRY POWER LOOKS BEHIND THE HEADLINES TO EXAMINE WHY VEGAN CULTURE IS STILL DEMONISED BY SOCIETY But while most people know little about their own daily intake of calcium and protein, some are immediately ‘concerned’ that vegans lack these vital nutrients. Our limited education about nutrition in school teaches us that protein comes from meat and fish, and calcium mostly from dairy, or at least that’s how it is perceived looking at the government’s ‘Eat Well Guide.’ Laurence believes that questions about protein and calcium are common trends on social media that stem from misunderstanding. He says, “Animal meat is protein rich because their bodies store it there from eating plants and grains. Cow’s milk is really important for baby cows. With a balanced diet including leafy greens, fruits, nuts, beans, pulses, bread, potatoes and herbs, our bodies can get more than enough protein and calcium.” “WHOLE FOOD, PLANT-BASED DIET IS THE ONLY DIET THAT CAN HELP PREVENT AND REVERSE MANY OF CHRONIC DISEASES OUR SOCIETY IS FACING.” As a professional athlete, having competed for Team GB as a para-climber, health is a paramount consideration for Laurence. “I compete and medal on a world stage and I have no concerns. I am assuredly more healthy, strong and can attain better on a vegan diet,” he says Dr Dehghan-Zaklaki, an MD turned nutritionist, supports people transitioning to a plant-based diet. While headlines continue to draw in readers with claims veganism is an unhealthy choice, Dr Dehghan-Zaklaki explains why this isn’t necessarily the case: “Whole food, plant-based diet is the only diet that can help prevent and reverse many of the chronic diseases our society is facing.” A major belief by those who condemn veganism is that vitamin deficiencies are inevitable in a vegan diet. However, a vegan diet can be as healthy or unhealthy as an omnivorous diet, it depends on what your food choices are. Dr Dehghan-Zaklaki explains that vitamin deficiencies are common worldwide among people who consume all diets if attention is not given to the quality of diet one is consuming: “A recent systematic review identified nutrient inadequacies across all dietary patterns, including vegan, vegetarian and meat-based diets.”

Ains Eilender, lead Scientist at Unilever and author of this review concludes that ‘as plantbased diets are generally better for health and the environment, public health strategies should facilitate the transition to a balanced diet with more diverse nutrient-dense plant foods through consumer education, food fortification and possibly supplementation.’ Dr Dehghan-Zaklaki adds, “I believe the message is clear, we need to consume less animal products while increasing our intake of plant foods.” Another misconception veganism faces is that all meat substitutes are “bad for you”. While it is true that some modern faux meats are ultra-processed, when compared to actual animal products, many still contain less saturated fat and calories. Some options, such as tofu, tempeh and seitan are considered healthy food choices and offer health benefits. Dr Dehghan-Zaklaki says while most people believe we need fish for Omega 3, many don’t realise that fish obtain their Omega 3 from algae, which can be taken as a supplement, or gained from walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds. “I BELIEVE THE MESSAGE IS CLEAR, WE NEED TO CONSUME LESS ANIMAL PRODUCTS WHILE INCREASING OUR INTAKE OF PLANT FOODS.” Both Laurence and Dr Dehghan-Zaklaki believe that veganism is a way of life that is not only better for animals and the environment, but also beneficial for the human body and mind: “Personally, I regained my health on a vegan whole food plant-based diet and I know many people who say the same.” Thankfully, most people in Laurence’s life have also been supportive once he’s explained the basics of veganism. He says that it’s all about “resetting the catastrophising, spinning mind, and allowing reframing and greater understanding”. The response Teodora’s had from her family hasn’t put her off veganism and she isn’t judgemental of those who make other choices either. “I respect everyone’s choices, I’m still the same person I was before,” she explains. “I do feel healthier now though as I enjoy a more diverse range of foods and include lots more fruit and vegetables in my diet. I also feel better knowing that I don’t contribute to the suffering of animals.” Design Teodora Bracau 29 | The CHANGE Issue

By Cara Brogden

“Learning on Zoom has really stolen a part of my self-confidence. It’s led me to having my camera off for my lessons whenever I can,” says Manchester student Emily Kilner. She explains the effects that Zoom is having not only on her university studies, but on her body image and confidence. “I’ve found that when I do have my camera on, I just look at myself and worry about the angle or how I look to everyone else.” This phenomenon is called ‘Zoom dysmorphia’, a term coined by dermatologist Shadi Kourosh. It describes a new type of facial dysmorphia which has come to light following the rise of Zoom calls in lieu of face-to-face meetings over the course of the pandemic. With Zoom usage increasing by 67% since March 2020, according to the Zoom Revenue and Usage Statistics 2021, some people are calling it an unconscious effect of Covid-19. When the pandemic began, many university classes moved online, resulting in video calls becoming part of everyday life for students. ‘Increased time spent video-conferencing, using social media, and using filters on these platforms during the pandemic has led to worsening self-perception and mental health, especially in younger aged females,’ according to a study published by the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology. The symptoms of Zoom dysmorphia can include increased anxiety about a video meeting where your camera must be on, attempting to look perfect before a call, focusing on your onscreen appearance, or believing that others are fixated on perceived flaws that you have noticed. Overall, the effect is leading to a negative self-perception. Manchester Metropolitan University student, Katie Gibbons, says that since starting online learning, she’s had her camera on about six times in two years. She explains, “The idea of turning my camera on for a lecture makes me feel uncomfortable, as I don’t want to sit there and worry about what I look like to other people. If I know I have to turn my camera on in a lecture, my motivation for the whole day goes down the drain.” Phillip Bonwarth, Volunteering Officer at Healthwatch, has seen how online working and social isolation has impacted people’s overall health. He says, “Over the course of the last year, there has been significant evidence to support the negative impact of isolation on mental health issues, relating to body image.” He adds, “For many, the issues have arisen from a shift to onscreen work, which has left individuals self-conscious, as they are forced to view themselves through the lens of a computer for large portions of the day. Younger demographics have experienced a similar decline.” It shares similarities to ‘Snapchat dysmorphia,’ which occurred in 2018, according to Everyday Health. This saw a rise in cosmetic procedures including lip and cheek filler. People affected by Snapchat dysmorphia aimed to reach a new desired look inspired by augmented-reality facial and beauty filters featured on the app. Researchers believe Zoom dysmorphia to be the cause of a 70% spike in consultations across Britain in April 2021, according to the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology. However, unlike Snapchat dysmorphia, Zoom dysmorphia is influenced by what is described as ‘an unknowing effect on your face’. This is not always as obvious as a traditional facial filter and instead refers to involuntary factors such as camera angles, focal distance and lighting, which can all give the effect of altering a person’s appearance during a Zoom video call. A study conducted by Stanford revealed that video calls make users’ faces a two-dimensional image, which leaves a graded shadow along curved surfaces such as the nose. This illusion could also highlight the appearance of dark spots on your face. Other factors that can affect this are the lighting and angle of the camera. It acts almost like “a funhouse mirror effect”, explains Kourosh. The main triggers of Zoom dysmorphia include staring at yourself for long periods of time and a prolonged period of self-reflection on the distorted image that is presented. Jenna Holt, owner of Cici’s Aesthetics, has witnessed a rise in student requests for facial fillers

because of this reason. She elaborates, “When asking why they want it, they tell me: ‘I noticed in an online lecture that I didn’t like how my lips looked, because I was staring at them for so long.’” “I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of the reasons attendance in my class hasn’t been the best since Zoom lectures started,” says Emily. “There are meant to be way over 70 people in my online class, however, anytime I attend a lecture there are never more than 40.” She adds, “A lot of my friends have been complaining when lecturers ask them to turn their cameras on, as they can’t help but think about what they look like to everyone else for the rest of the time.” The pandemic had a physical and mental effect for many, and the move to online working for adults and students has been a hard transition to adjust to for some. Shanks TK Sankar, Chief Medical Officer at The Harley Medical Group, says: “2020 has accelerated negative trends pertaining to self-esteem and body confidence in the UK, with 53% of adults responding that the lockdown made them feel ‘worse’ or ‘much worse’ about their appearance.” This research has sparked increased awareness of Zoom dysmorphia, and mainstream publications are starting to share support and useful advice for those impacted. Vogue published six tips, including avoidance of negative talk about what you look like on camera, engaging with the work that you are doing instead of focusing on what you look like, and setting boundaries and communicating your problems. Katie says, “I’m glad we’re starting to see some recognition towards Zoom dysmorphia and how it can affect everyone, not just students. I hope there will be help supplied to those who’ve struggled or still are struggling to get past this barrier.”

Design Jacob Charlton 31 | The CHANGE Issue


By Imogen Campion

My helmet is too tight. My head feels like it’s being compressed, as if the air isn’t already thin enough. I take it off and fumble about twisting the little cog as the icy wind raises its voice and the sensation of pins and needles pulsates through my fingers. Small challenges become accentuated in these environments, so I try to channel my thoughts to focus on my breathing, it’s already faster and disjointed; all signs that I didn’t do enough altitude training, or that I’m terrified. What if we die? I’m doing my best to suppress this notion, but it has resurfaced a couple times, something I never wanted to ask myself. I can’t help but feel a little selfish when considering my friends and family. The potentially fatal factors are the weather, falling seracs, crevasses, other climbers and avalanches. All things out of our control. Why am I doing this? “You’ve just got to hope your number isn’t called,” says Dad. We are at the mercy of this Swiss mountain, and God, if there is one. Although climbs like these often do, temporarily, make a believer out of me. My dad tightens the straps of his crampons while perched on a rock from avalanche debris. The Weissmies often sends reminders to those brave enough to attempt it that it cannot be conquered, but if you’re lucky, you may be permitted to pass. He glances over at me to check I’m kitting myself up correctly as I tug at the waist belt on my harness. I imply with a look that I’m scared; I am completely out of my depth. My anxieties run wild with the blood pounding in my ears. The thought of the seracs collapsing above us terrifies me, they fortify the mountain, the ultimate defence against the attack of the mountaineer, huge blocks of impenetrable ice that tower over the glacier we’ll shortly be crossing. They wait patiently for the sun to come up, like keepers of the mountain and that’s when they begin to come alive. Time being of the essence has never had such a literal meaning.

I think of the five deceased German climbers who fell to their death in July, 2012 on the Lagginhorn, neighbour to the Weissmies. The victims included a 14-year-old girl and her 20-yearold brother. It was said they were roped together, slipped on ice near the summit concealed by snow and fell off a cliff. The mountains are unforgiving places. We stop dead, like deer in headlights as a mighty roar consumes the space around us. A cascade of white detaches itself and thunders down the mountain face. We exchange no words, take no actions, I just close my eyes while the sickening sense of dread engulfs me. The fear is almost crippling, all I can do I pray for safe deliverance. Nevertheless we continue preparing for the climb. This goes against every primal instinct in the human body, we are actively choosing danger over preservation of life. Yesterday, my dad told me morbid stories about a snow cave he was once forced to take refuge in for days while waiting for a storm to pass in The Himalayas, his only companions were two dead climbers. And the time his friend fell into a crevasse, broke his neck, and he “had to hold his own head up with both hands to prevent it from flailing side to side,” until they reached help hours later. I have spent almost my whole life trying to understand why he has always felt the need to go on such dangerous expeditions, particularly after he made the choice to have a family. I remember being angry when he took my older brother to climb The Matterhorn in 2019 which has claimed the lives of over 500 climbers since its first ascent in 1865, and Mont Blanc two days after, which is notorious for being the deadliest mountain in Europe. And yet, I know subconsciously, the Weissmies is merely the beginning of my climbing career. Only recently have I come to understand my dad’s passion for the mountains, and following many years of anger and frustration,

have come admiration, and respect. Because this mountain to me is one of the building blocks for the life I want to lead. Labelling mountaineering and climbing as ‘extreme sports’ carries negative connotations. And the irony with these particular stereotypes is that they’re held by people who have become so accustomed to the risk averse and safety conscious society that we currently live in that they are simply following suit. Mountaineers and climbers are perceived as being ‘reckless’ and ‘adrenaline junkies’, when in reality, it is those who cast these judgements who are the ones who should be worried about their health. A study in Phenomenology and the Extreme Sport Experience found that you are eight times more likely to die riding a motorbike than in climbing, and a rugby player is 50 times more likely to injure themselves than a rock climber. It is our perception of these sports that causes the real damage and creates division. If a mountaineer dies trying to reach their goal, they are irresponsible, but if they succeed, they’re hailed as a hero. The only thing certain in life is that we have a 100% fatality rate. So, the clichés ‘you only live once’ and ‘life is for living’ genuinely are philosophies to live by. Fear and the perception of liberation from uncertainty by removing risks we think we’re unable to control are ironically barriers to what it means to be human. The only reason we know the earth isn’t flat and that the weather isn’t controlled by omnipotent divine beings is due to the human instinct of curiosity. So here I stand with an ice axe in hand, rope attached with virtually no experience in alpine climbing, merely hoping the Weissmies will permit me to pass. As Greg Child once said: “Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.” I know all the fears and realities I face in this very moment are worth it. This is what it means to be truly living.

Design Phoebe Bonser 33 | The CHANGE Issue




This really is the biggest way you can make a difference. The meat and dairy industries are the greatest contributors to the climate emergency according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation. If you don’t feel ready, going vegetarian, dairy-free or simply reducing your meat and dairy consumption are all great ways to start. Visit the Veganuary website for ideas about how to make the switch and dig into our city’s vast vegan eateries for more inspiration. Manchester is home to amazing restaurants and takeaways serving up vegan options including: The Allotment Vegan Eatery (casual fine-dining); Vertigo (lunch, dinner, coffees and cakes); Ice Shack (dessert parlour); Wholesome Junkies (fast food); Lotus Plant Based Kitchen (Chinese and BYOB); Little Aladdin (Indian fast food); V Rev (vegan diner) and Purezza (Italian). It’s worth noting that many other venues offer vegan/plantbased options, including Wagamama, which is now 50% plant-based.

Switching to energy generated by sources that have low - or even better - no routine emissions of carbon dioxide. Even just remembering to turn off lights and electronics when not in use and switching to low energy light bulbs can help you on your path to reducing your energy usage, in addition to saving money at a time when energy prices are skyrocketing!

WALK OR CYCLE Walking and cycling are not only good for the environment, but also for your mental and physical health. Where this isn’t an option, public transport such as buses, trams or trains are still much more environmentally friendly than driving or catching a taxi. Planning and combining trips where you car share with others will also make a difference. Cutting back on flying by choosing nearby holiday destinations and flying economy where flights are necessary can also help. In and around Manchester you’ll find lots of beautiful outdoor spaces (such as Heaton Park, Whitworth Park, Quarry Bank Mill and Dunham Massey), as well as cycle paths (plus traffic-free roads), walking routes and more environmentally friendly travel options. Manchester Green Trail is a walking circuit made up of 14 routes which circumnavigate the city of Manchester.

Design Hannah Quine

REDUCE CONSUMPTION AND WASTE Less is more. Avoid single use items, recycle where possible and minimise your food waste. While fast fashion labels are often cheap and can seem like the best choice for our student budgets, they are often damaging to the environment as they quickly end up in landfill. It can be less expensive, and much better for the planet, to buy a small amount of better quality clothing each year - these pieces will last longer and therefore save money in the end. Charity shops are also a great way to enjoy clothes without adding to landfill, where globally 80% of our discarded items end up, according to Worn Again Technologies. Donate your unwanted clothes and other items, whilst raising money for your favourite charity at the same time. Manchester is filled with charity shops, eco-friendly fashion and ethical shopping alternatives.

WRITE TO YOUR LOCAL MP Ask your MP, local councillors and city mayor to pledge their support for green initiatives and legislation that aims to tackle climate change now. Using Writetothem.com is a quick and efficient way to do this. Let people in power know that you care about these issues and that they should too. Organisations such as Youth Strike 4 Climate and Extinction Rebellion are social movements taking action on climate change. If you want to get involved or find out more follow @ExtinctionR or @Strike4youth to stay in the loop.


Pam & Tommy depicts ‘the untold story of the world’s most infamous sex tape’, which was stolen from Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee in an act of revenge. Released in February, the Hulu series follows the Motley Crue drummer and Baywatch icon as they became unwitting subjects of the first internetdistributed celebrity sex tape back in 1995.

There’s also something cruel in the series’ distribution, using the very means which cemented the tape as an accessible commodity to the masses. Streaming contributed massively to ‘Pamela’s Hardcore Sex Video’ estimated $77 million gross profit, and this new dramatisation continues to reach people who may never have known about the tape otherwise. It’s apparent just how little has changed in the public’s sense of entitlement to even the most private parts of Anderson’s life.

The script is captivating. The set design of 1990s California is all-encompassing. The casting, and subsequent transformation, of Lily James and Sebastian Stan is flawlessly executed and their performances are outstanding.

What continues to make this utterly mystifying is the supposedly nuanced, victim-championing narrative Pam & Tommy outwardly emanates. The show openly condemns how women are often perceived as the orchestrators of their trauma, a problem only encouraged by the exponential rise in social media use.

Spanning eight episodes, the epidemic evolution of genderbased online violence is acknowledged throughout, from how instantaneously it can now be inflicted, to how victim-blaming remains a systemic issue all these years later. It was also released post-pandemic, a time which saw reports doubled to non-profit charity Revenge Porn Helpline.

Following Anderson’s public humiliation, the world continued to witness this non-consensual voyeurism on a high-profile scale. Whether this was the unauthorised release of Kim Kardashian’s sex tape in 2007, or the leaking of nudes hacked from celebrity iCloud accounts in ‘Celebgate’ (2014), wellknown women have always been the primary target.

However, it’s only after you’ve finished Pam & Tommy when you rush to Google to discover any shocking details that the show might’ve missed, that you find a quick search undermines the core message of the entire series. Anderson not only refused to grant permission for the project but actively opposed it. Worse still, the rights were bought from a 2014 Rolling Stone article detailing the story instead, according to Entertainment Weekly. Following this stark revelation, it becomes difficult, unethical even, to ignore the exploitation of Anderson’s trauma as a revenge porn victim. In Siegal’s efforts to expose the historic injustice committed against Anderson, he’s actually exacerbating a noconsent culture that is intrinsically part of the problem. The irony is almost palpable. Similar to revenge porn, consent is what’s so sorely lacking in the very foundations of Pam & Tommy. Only criminalised in 2015, revenge porn is shrouded in malicious attempts to “sextort” women. It thrives off a pre-existing social stigma surrounding women and sexual expression. A 2021 study by British law firm Slater and Gordon found that 15% of participants had been subject to revenge porn, 75% being women. It also found that it’s commonly used as ‘retaliation to a break-up or divorce proceedings’, with 42% claiming it was used to coerce them back into a relationship with the offender. Meanwhile, 10% stated they have threatened to or have shared sexual images without consent, either for ‘a laugh’ or purposely wanting to inflict fear and anxiety.

Design Faye Byrne 36 || The The CHANGE Freedom Issue 36 Issue

Nowadays, a more evasive mutation of revenge porn has arisen from advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), known as ‘deep fake porn’. This involves photos and videos being created or manipulated into entirely different, sexual contexts. AI firm Deep Trace found that of the 15,000 discovered in September 2019, 96% were pornographic, while 99% involved female celebrities’ faces on porn star’s bodies. Alarmingly, this software is now available through smartphone applications, with this accessibility allowing for deep fakes to emerge in abundance, of celebrities and everyday women alike. It’s baffling that a woman’s choice to be viewed sexually continues to be a right that evades many men. Similarly, a ‘friend’ of Anderson expressed their distaste at Pam & Tommy, telling Entertainment Weekly: “Imagine if a celebrity today had their nudes leaked and then Hollywood recreated not just the crime but the actual nudes - that would never happen. Pamela is somehow still the exception to the rule. She’s still up for grabs. […] To me the most damning aspect is that [they] didn’t just tell the story, they recreated moments from the [tape]”. While Pam & Tommy exudes a narrative the industry so desperately needs to repent for its tainted history of longstanding abuse, you just can’t promote feminism while disregarding another woman’s trauma; it doesn’t work. Despite its merits, Anderson’s lack of consent is deafening, leaving the show’s tagline of ‘the greatest love story ever sold’ to take on a whole new meaning.


t the 2015 World Government Summit, Dubai’s Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, told delegates that, “the future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it. It isn’t something you await, but rather create”, and he was absolutely right. 2021 marked the UAE’s Golden Jubilee and the opening of Expo 2020, which was delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To celebrate, the UAE announced Vision 2071, a master plan outlining where the country wants to be in 50 years. I visited Expo 2020 to see some of the innovations on display and viewed the creative ideas different countries were exhibiting. Walking around the 438 hectare site, it was striking how the UK is decades behind its competitors. Each pavilion showcased what countries were investing in and what nations were doing in the fields of sustainability, mobility and opportunity; the three themes of Expo. Almost every country presented plans for the future yet, in the UK, there seems to be almost no forward thinking from our leaders. Pledges by our governing class are largely short-term or ready by the next election cycle. Visitors can travel to the Expo site each day by the metro, a 56 mile fully automated network, the same distance as the London Underground’s Northern Line. All trains are driverless and arrive every 3-5 minutes. I was amazed by the speed and efficiency of this system but, I couldn’t help but wonder why this isn’t done in the UK. When Boris Johnson was Mayor of London, he looked into automating the tube during his final year in office when the network stalled with staff strikes. Civil servants told Johnson it would be too big a job and expensive. Therein lies the problem. Government and the Civil Service has a sense of inertia when it comes to bold, new ideas. Rather than seeing limitless possibilities, they focus on identifying barriers and obstacles which then kibosh plans. Rail transport is a perfect example of Government lacking the vision of ‘innovating for a shared future’ – the UK’s Expo pavilion’s slogan. Constructing the fully automated Dubai Metro cost £96 million per mile, yet, London’s delayed new driver-operated Crossrail Elizabeth Line is costing a staggering £267 million per mile. Similarly, the transformative Hyperloop technology, pioneered by Elon Musk and presented at the DP World pavilion, will revolutionise transport with pods in sealed tubes capable of travelling on Maglev tracks, like on Japan’s bullet train, at 670mph. Hyperloop costs approximately £89 million per mile, yet the already outdated and environmentally destructive behemoth that is HS2, due to be fully completed by 2040, is costing £307 million per mile. For context, based on Government data, travelling from Manchester to London on Hyperloop would take 14 minutes whereas with HS2, that same journey would take 63 minutes.

There is no finer example in recent years of free market innovation in the UK than the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. With red tape slashed and the frontiers of the State rolled back, whilst maintaining essential protocols, a game-changing and necessary new medicine was quickly brought to market. However, the most important aspect in changing our outlook on innovation, which was something that stood out at most Expo pavilions, was understanding your own nation’s history and learning from our predecessors. The UAE pavilion did this particularly well by taking visitors on a journey, showing where the country started, as Bedouin communities adapting to the natural environment, through to the discovery of oil and where the country is now as the main destination for international trade and investment. The UAE which describes itself at its pavilion as, ‘the land of dreamers who do’, reflects an attitude of boundless potential and understanding of their ancestors’ struggles; using the lessons they learned to become leaders in the global economy. Moreover, we shouldn’t be afraid to return to older, more established methods either. The Morocco pavilion showcased how its medical industry has started to go back to using natural remedies and plant-based medicines, to treat the growing number of antibiotic resistant patients, displaying quicker recovery rates and recording better outcomes. Bureaucracy hinders so many fantastic and groundbreaking innovations, which is why we must change our approach. Embracing the free market is essential as private enterprise holds the key to innovation and prosperity. The historic vote to leave the European Union was the starting gun for the UK to go out and into the world anew. Now we have a new Brexit Opportunities Minister in Jacob Rees-Mogg, perhaps the Government is realising where Britain’s destiny lies. This article shouldn’t be read as a doom and gloom piece bashing the UK. On the contrary, it is a rallying cry to galvanise our great British sense of industry and return to the era of discovery and ingenuity. An era in which competition thrives and market forces rule. As we leave the pandemic behind and enter a changed world, a radical new approach needs to be adopted by a Government which looks forward to the UK’s future in 50 to 100 years, not five to ten. We must have the gumption to seize the opportunities presented to us with both hands.

Design Hannah Quine

What do you think? Have your say and write for aAh! Contact the team aAh.Editor@gmail.com

37 | The CHANGE Issue

Design Lisa Silva



THE LAST HOPE? By James Toon

38 | The CHANGE Issue

Among these ambitious young players, the most talented usually seek out the academy route. But by 15 years old, time is already of the essence. One such young man is aspiring footballer Michael Dionisiou. Despite being accepted into QPR’s youth academy at a young age, he quickly learnt that this route did not guarantee professional success when he was released by the club back in 2018. Defeated, distraught and fatigued, Michael thought his time was up. “If I’m honest, the day I was released I told myself I was quitting football. I felt like I didn’t deserve it. It came as a shock – I was so close, but I guess sometimes there are just better players than you in that position… All it takes is for one coach not to like you, and that’s it.” After numerous spells at various academies, Michael was disenfranchised by a system that sees more than 4,000 players slip through its net each year. “Quite a few came through the system during my time,” says Gareth Smith, former scout for Port Vale F.C., reflecting on his experience working at an academy. “Key names for me are James Gibbons, Dan Turner and Harry Bens who all made it to the first team. Obviously, it’s 0.01% that make it as a professional from the academy system, so to even have a couple who have made it is quite an achievement for me.” Clearly, even for those who do make it to an academy, reaching the dizzy heights of professional football is still largely unattainable. So, what are the other options available to young aspiring players? For years, the UK has trailed behind its US counterparts when it comes to offering a collegiate route into professional sport. Yet slowly, we have seen signs of this changing, with most UK Universities now offering a sports scholarship scheme. Callum Jones, Chief Performance Officer and Head of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Sports Scholarship Scheme, touched on the stark rise in the programme’s popularity during his six years in the role. “We’ve gone from having 13 athletes on the programme to now supporting close to 60 each year. University sport is really starting to be appreciated by national governing bodies, by coaches, by clubs – to a much greater degree than it has been in the past.” Unsurprisingly, the most competitive area is university football. After his last setback, Michael sat down with his parents who convinced him not to give up on his dream just yet. He started to look at other routes into the professional game, one being university football – something the coaches at QPR had previously recommended to him. “I still wanted to pursue my football, so I looked into it. Even from that young age they recommended it, it helped just to give me future direction. That’s where I got the idea to be honest… When I was at Spurs and QPR, eventually you get the feeling that you’re just there to make up the numbers. When I was at QPR there was a space at centre back. I’m not a centre back but I wanted to sign for the club, so I played there.”

After deciding to persevere, Michael accepted a place at Loughborough University, whose coveted football system gives its players the chance to play against the likes of Liverpool Under 23s as part of its pre-season. But it’s not just the opportunity to feature against the best that Michael is relishing. The level of personalised coaching has given him a new lease of life, and he has specifically connected with one of the coaches at Loughborough, former Huddersfield coach Jack Murray. “I thought my ideal position was centre defensive midfielder, but since coming to Loughborough Jack has told me he sees me as more of a box-to-box [player]. I’m happy in this new position. I have my trust in him and I can see where he’s going with it.” On how university football differs from its academy equivalent, Michael added: “The tactical side has become much more apparent. In the academy, you felt like although you’re in a team, it’s like: “Let me work as an individual, because I’m here to make it!”. You need to think of the team a bit more at this level.” Of course, the university route is far from easy. Unlike with academies, where young hopefuls’ sole focus is on the sporting side, university students must balance their athletic endeavours with academic life – something which places a lot of pressure on the individual and can even result in mental health issues. Michael told me what a typical day looked like for him, and how the scheme has affected his social life:

Michael was disenfranchised by a system that sees more than 4,000 players slip through its net each year.


he clock strikes 11pm. Kids everywhere struggle to sleep, tossing and turning as their heart rates pick up; envisioning, plotting, dreaming of lacing up those new Nike Mercurials for their favourite club. For most young men growing up in England, there is truly no greater aspiration than becoming a professional footballer

“On Monday I have training from 7am until 9am. Then I have a lecture at 9.15am, then lectures all the way up until 6pm. It’s intense. I see this as an opportunity, but you get a lot of kids from academies less focused, living, enjoying their uni life. During Freshers’ Week, I made it apparent that that was what I was like – that I wouldn’t be able to go out drinking. My football trials were near Freshers so I was like: ‘I’m not drinking near that’.” Like many, Michael remains focused on his goal to make it as a professional footballer. And while, until recently, people may have questioned why a promising young player would choose the university route over the opportunity to play in an academy, the stigma is now disappearing. In fact, for many young hopefuls, the new university football schemes might just be the last route into the beautiful game.

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s the pandemic took hold, we found comfort in our screens and discovered surprising new favourites and unexpected success stories. We saw a 180° shift as foreign language films and TV trended non-stop in our feeds. These global successes continue to take over the world with vivid, unique and diverse stories at unprecedented rates not seen before. Money Heist, Alice in Borderland and Minari, as well as countless others, shot to the top of the ratings across the world. Korean hit Squid Game raked in 142 million household views in the first month of its release, becoming Netflix’s most watched show at that point in time. This shift has coincided with an increase in people learning a language. Duolingo, the language learning website and app, reported double its usual number of sign ups at the beginning of the pandemic, an unsurprising fact given all the extra time on our hands. Coupled with the many Korean, Spanish and Japanese films and TV hitting the headlines, this could explain why Western audiences are no longer so rigid in their view of subtitles and watching non-English cinema. In fact, a survey by Stagetext found that four out of five viewers aged 18-25 now use subtitles all or part of the time.

For filmmaking student Sean Brazenall, 20, subtitles were a completely foreign concept until recently: “I used to think that reading subtitles would distract me from the films but when Squid Game came out I gave it a go and it’s been life changing for my cinema habits. I’ve watched a bunch of foreign films now and really admire Korean and foreign cinema.” For Monica Nguyen, a 21-year-old university student and longtime anime fan, subtitles have been a big part of her viewer experience for years: “I was 11 when I started watching anime so I’ve used subtitles since then, I never used dubbed versions. At around 14 I started watching Korean dramas as well so I was using subtitles even more.” Monica now uses subtitles when watching English-speaking films too, as she has become so used to them: “It’s quite convenient to keep them on now. Being bilingual does help because hearing different languages wasn’t totally new in that sense. I watched Vietnamese shows when I was younger and spoke two languages from a young age.” Experts often recommend starting to learn a language as a child as the younger brain absorbs information in a different way. But in the age of technology, watching films, TV shows and listening to music in a different language is also proving to be a great way to increase understanding of languages. The European Commission found that those who watch foreign language TV with subtitles tend to become better at reading, listening and vocabulary as a result. Dr Young-hae Chi, a lecturer in Korean Studies at the University of Oxford who has been teaching the language for 27 years, says he has been able to use the popularity of Korean dramas and music in particular to teach his classes and get his students more interested in the culture.

How subtitles are bro Design Lisa Silva Photography @timegrocery 40 | The CHANGE Issue

“Around 60% of my students come to my class to study Korean because they have prior exposure to K-pop or K-drama, so clearly they have already been motivated,” says Dr Chi. “For the 40% who just came to study Korean without that exposure, I use K-pop lyrics and Korean drama as material for teaching to get them more interested.” Placement student Georgina Gill is learning Korean as a hobby and has also found an appreciation for Korean cinema. She doubts she would feel as motivated to learn if she hadn’t started watching so many Korean TV shows: “I’ve watched so many K-dramas and Korean films. It makes the learning part a lot more fun and it’s surprising how easily you can pick up on different words and their meanings when you continually hear them.”

As subtitle use rises in popularity, with Netflix reporting in 2019 that 80% of their members use subtitles or closed captions at least once a month, some are rejecting the common usage. Legendary director Stephen Spielberg took a different view in his modern take of West Side Story (2021), where the Spanish dialogue was not subtitled, causing a lot of confusion for nonSpanish speakers. He stated that this was done ‘out of respect’ so that the language existed in ‘equal proportions alongside the English with no help’. In this changing time, subtitles are becoming more widely normalised but they could start being too heavily relied upon. Language Mentoring states that our brain automatically focuses on what it considers to be easier and so reading subtitles in a language we already know will be the easier option. For genuine language learners, they advise watching foreign series/episodes once with subtitles and then without, to truly absorb the language as much as possible. Dr Chi says, “Habits which are detrimental to learning [languages] are trying to learn through the framework of English. Initially you try to learn a foreign language through the lens of a known language, which is English usually. It’s a natural instinct but that needs to be given up as early as possible.” Dr Chi agrees that watching foreign language cinema can help: “It’s fun. You can pick up [the language] very naturally.” Sean has now seen how important it is to watch foreign language cinema as it exposes people to new cultures: “It’s almost another asset of decision making for a consumer because they can have the story, the actors but it’s then steeped in culture depending on where the film is based.”

oadening our horizons By Niamh Melody

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WINTER RECIPES FROM THE COLLECTIVE By Louise Glück Louise Glück’s thirteenth collection of poetry concerns itself with the harsh reality of growing older, the names that increasingly elude you, and the sudden sharp frailty of the body. Alarming stages of life are brought under the warming light of Glück’s careful eye, rendered in a tender form of magical realism that never abandons the living bodies the poems take for their subjects. In ‘Winter Journey’, the death of a sister is viewed not as an ending but rather a sustaining presence, a world where Glück affirms in the aftermath that yes, ‘the moon / was that bright.’ Throughout the collection, the nature of change is evoked in the consistent allusion to the cycle of seasons, a process underlined by the currents of ancient Taoist philosophy that flows through the poems. Glück herself seems to wish to open her lyrical self up, pleasurably, to the nature of change and the many voices we inherent through life as much as through a dream. Taoism teaches that instead of doing an act, one should rather become it. In Winter Recipes from the Collective, Glück does not grow old, but rather becomes time herself, watching as ‘the world goes by, / all the worlds, each more beautiful than the last.’ [Sam Rye]

EAT OR WE BOTH STARVE By Victoria Kennefick Shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2021, Victoria Kennefick’s Eat Or We Both Starve opens with a quote from Ovid’s Metamorphoses: ‘You cannot appease the hungry cravings of your wicked, gluttonous stomachs except by destroying some other life.’ Kennefick understands this ‘other life’ as a result of the often tenuous and conflicted relationship to our bodies. Through the mythical reimagining of the lives of female saints or via the careful excavation of historical tragedies, Kennefick’s poems grapple nimbly with the female body’s complex relationship to hunger and desire through the broader dimensions of grief and suffering. In ‘Researching the Irish Famine’, the speaker observes how the past functions to consume us: ‘What was left buried in memorial gardens, / alongside statues to honour hunger: / children with milky fat, / teeth in braces. / All we do now is eat.’ Yet the poems also resist the overbearing past, pointing towards a sense of futurity and well-being. ‘Hunger Strikes Victoria Kennefick’, a sort of self-elegy to Kennefick’s old body, invites this new version of herself to ‘take a seat, eat our fill’, promising a new relation to the world - one in which she may treat herself, more than anyone else, as a guest. In this sense, Eat Or We Both Starve is a sympathetic testament to the [female] body in its constant and necessary mutability. [Sam Rye]

FOREST OF ENCHANTMENTS By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Books have inspired and incited change in society from times immemorial. The retelling of epics and mythology is shifting our attitudes to present contexts. Divakaruni’s retelling of the Indian epic Ramayan is an avant-garde take that re-examines a widely read epic tale which addresses uncomfortable questions such as women’s place in this patriarchal society, female autonomy and their participation in life. In the present era of retelling our mythology, it’s the perfect time to know this tale from a new perspective. Instead of the traditional style, Sita takes the place of Rama as the centre of the story, which Divakaruni calls the Sitayan. Not only does Sita narrate her own story, but that of other female characters too: Sunaina (wise mother of Sita), Urmila (Laxman’s long-suffering wife), Kaikeyi (Rama’s stepmother, a great Charioteer), Mandodri and Shoorpankha (Ravana’s wife and sister respectively, both brushed away as demons in the standard narratives). Divakaruni has propelled unstoppable change by reincarnating these women as multidimensional, solid characters. Sita is a fierce warrior, wilful wife, learned counsellor, skilled healer, nurturer, bold and protective mother, adventurer, and a modern feminist. We know our heroes well, but now is the time for a change; we need to know our heroines better. [Alka Tiwari]

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Featured Artist - Lily Hodgkinson

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Design Cait Earnshaw


Izzie 'Denmark' Flynn

Five lights guttered on in the vast blackness somewhere between the northern Texline and New Mexico. 18 wheelers came screaming by, drivers shaking their junk and shaking their fists looking for a difference in the tug-tug of lonesome hauling. The truck’s mpg levels sat low, driving green to please. What use would it do? The common man plundered. “For we have polluted the air, the earth - everything! What does the level decide?” And so our world continues to whine and the common man has never learned. I crossed a creek called Rita Blanca. I wondered how it got her name. Did the poor old woman drown washing clothes or sell it for a buck and a basket? Perhaps a beautiful girl who crossed the stream without her drawers, long in love or tooth, gave the water an idea of the unreachable dream. It sits there still, you know. Thick with bright red clay when the drought bullies the panhandle, a dried-out snake parched and pended to the mouth of the Canadian river. She sits between the industrial cog and an old farm hands fence, lolling between two epochs, fighting for revolution, fighting for the goddamn space. Sometimes she teases a desert dog with a promise of a drink though no water sits in her belly. Other times her barriers are bursting as floods come down in hives. It depends on your definition, how the world appears, whether this story sits amongst the rest. But know this -- there sits on the edge of a panhandle a starving stream called Rita Blanca, and I expect she looks much the same as some change in a coin laundry.

Izzie ‘Denmark’ Flynn is a British writer, sailor, comedian and filmmaker from Bristol. Her lyrical prose, self-deprecating humour and dark voicedriven narratives are heavily influenced by her life as a vagabond; living outside of the rat race. A selfproclaimed laconic fabricator of harrowing fiction, Flynn’s work, in writing and film, addresses the solitary grit of human existence. She is the Hollowbone Storyteller; living by her exhausted typewriter. Explore more of her work on Instagram @itsizzieflynn

HAIRCUT Emily Tarlton

to them, it’s just a fringe a downpour of hair onto rainy manchester streets: it’s always raining in manchester they warn, as if that matters, as if the tsunami won’t cleanse the old me, a girl whose friends blocked her, walked away, said: you’re just too sad to hang out with as if that was a worthy excuse. so, cut my hair and let me change into intellectual cannon fodder, into a person with a diary, a schedule, places to be, chasin streets that are yet to know my name.

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Emily Tarlton is a second-year student at Manchester Metropolitan University, studying English and Creative Writing. Originally from Brighton, she moved to Manchester to pursue a degree and future career in writing. She is primarily a prose fiction writer, however enjoys working on poetry and short stories when she is not focusing on larger projects. When she is not writing, Emily is an avid reader and concertgoer and enjoys exploring her new city to find inspiration for her creative works. Explore more of her work on Instagram @deadlyfurniture

BUTTERFLY Hannah Fielding

She travels light, The wings on her back her only carry-on, She flutters on through the rain Calling everywhere home, The past tucked away in her mind, A delicate memory now, Heartache decayed into heartbreak, Much too sudden pain, All at once rain, Heavy loud drowning, She forgot to breathe, Fell into an empty grey sleep…

Hannah Fielding is an English student in her second year at Manchester Metropolitan University. Next to a stack of (some finished, mostly unfinished) poems in her bedroom, she writes from experience with undertones of a spiritual mind and often an unconventional style stemming from the optimistic candour of her soul. Hannah has been a lifelong writer, creating stories since she could write and scattering her feelings into stanzas since she was sixteen. Explore more of her works on Instagram @hannahfieldingx

Her metamorphosis changed everything. Lavender eased her pain, lilies soothed her grief, Creativity came flushing back in winsome colours: Yellow flooded her mind like sunlight streaming through open windows, Inside her body the olive tree grew and stretched like a hatching chrysalis, And serene sea blues perfused her soul, Suffering, that once blurred her vision into Nightmares, faded… She sees only daydreams now, No rain storms drown her wings, Her home blossoms with paper doves, She surrounds herself with violets, Wonders of the blue lilac dreams, her mind will bring As the butterflies begin to bloom in spring.


Based in Manchester, Lee Ashworth is currently studying for an MA Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. His short fiction has appeared in Storgy, Idle Ink and Degenerate Art (forthcoming). He is the co-creator of The Manchester Art Authority, exhibiting original work at the Manchester Open, HOME and Head to the Hills Festival. He has written on art, film and music for The Double Negative, Louder Than War and Film Inquiry. Explore more of his work on Twitter @Lee_Ashworth_

You were sunken into the corner of the sofa, in the perpetual dusk of those short but interminable January days. Seated next to you, I raised your outstretched legs and rested them on my lap, rubbing your feet as I tuned into the programme. ‘I’m tired,’ you said. ‘Can you put the blanket over me?’ I wrapped the blanket around you like a cocoon. I knew you’d soon be asleep, your head upon the cushion, the different shades of light from the TV flickering across your face, episodes from a distant storm. Eventually, I switched off the TV and picked up my book, straining to read in the lamplight, not wanting to wake you. You shuffled, then turned, eyes closed, submerging yourself beneath the blanket until only your hair was visible. It was late. I closed my book, ready for bed. Beneath the blanket I felt you twitch, then a sound like the leaves of a plant ripping into existence. You arose, your face placid, the blanket fallen. Your soft, dusky wings propelled you towards the top window as you diminished in size and darted around the pane. What could I do except open it and let you out into the night? I went to bed, leaving our bedroom window open, just a crack. I wrapped the duvet around me and waited in the darkness. No sleep came and no wings grew. In the blue light of morning, I opened the wardrobe doors and tried to work out - to remember - which clothes to wear, wondering if it mattered at all. You flew inside and came to rest on the polo neck of your hanging jumper dress, stretching into the sleeves and running your legs into your boots below.

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By Robbie Drepaul

Up! Heads 01 02 03 JAGUAR PRESENTS UTOPIA: INTO THE LIGHT TOUR YES yes-manchester.com 06/05/22 Acclaimed DJ and BBC Radio Dance host Jaguar takes her Utopia tour into the iconic music venue YES for an allnight electronic adventure. Showcasing the best in up-and-coming talent and on a mission to build a colourful community, be prepared to dance and discover as you go ‘Into the Light’.


COMIC-CON MANCHESTER BEC Arena comicconvention manchester.co.uk 30/07/22 - 31/07/22 One of the biggest conventions in the world is coming to the BEC Arena in Manchester, for a weekend of pop culture appreciation. A place where nerds, cosplayers, film-lovers, readers, and fans can geek out. Set to have special guests and panels, shops and traders, and displays, Comic-Con Manchester will be fun for all.

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Castlefield Gallery, HOME, Manchester Art Gallery, The Whitworth britishartshow9.co.uk 13/05/22 - 09/09/22 Embarking on their ninth edition of the exhibition, Hayward Gallery Touring are bringing the very best of British contemporary art to four places in Manchester. Discussing themes of politics, identity, environmental concerns, the social-economic climate and much more, it is sure to be poignant and picturesque.


THE HUNDRED Emirates Old Trafford thehundred.com 05/08/22 - 31/08/22 Eight teams, seven cities, a hundred balls. This countrywide cricket tournament will bowl you over this summer. The Manchester Originals will represent our city at Emirates Old Trafford, with both a women’s and a men’s team. The Hundred is a sporting event made for thousands to get involved in.

BONGO’S BINGO Albert Hall bongosbingo.co.uk 24/05/22 The infamous Bongo’s Bingo returns to the stunning Albert Hall this May, for a not-sonormal gaming experience. With prizes, dance-offs, raves and karaoke, plus a few expected moments, Bongo’s is a staple night out that everyone needs to play at least once. With a plethora of drinks from Southern Comfort to Hooch, there is something for everyone at this bonkers night.


MANCHESTER PRIDE manchesterpride.com 27/08/22 - 30/08/22 Manchester is a city of freedom for all and Manchester Pride Festival is one of the world’s biggest celebrations of LGBTQ+ culture and liberation out there. Over the three days, a number of events will take place around the city to showcase everything queer, each with a focus of one of six strands; equality, art and culture, community, party, activism, and youth and family. Some events are free, some ticketed, all important and joyful.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WEEKENDER 2022 Victoria Park nbhdweekender.com 28/05/22 - 29/05/22

A weekend of sun and sounds, Neighbourhood is a Northern favourite. Spanning three stages, with plenty on the side, it’s only 19 miles away from Manchester in Victoria Park, Warrington. Headlining acts include acclaimed alt-indie band Courtneers, Kasabian and Blossoms, alongside Becky Hill, DMA’s and many, many more. Kick-off your summer at Neighbourhood Weekender 2022.


DREAMGIRLS Palace Theatre dreamgirlsthemusical.co.uk 13/09/22 - 24/09/2


Heaton Park parklife.uk.com 11/06/22 - 12/06/22

O2 Apollo 03/07/22


Tyler the Creator, Megan thee Stallion and the legendary 50 Cent, just to name a few, are set to perform at the UK’s largest metropolitan festival. Co-founded by Sacha Lord, Heaton Park will be home to two days of rap, electronic, pop, indie and hip-hop. Tickets are available for the entire weekend or a single day. There’s also the option to treat yourself to the full VIP experience.


JOE LYCETT: MORE, MORE, MORE! HOW DO YOU LYCETT? AO Arena joelycett.com 20/09/22

Comedian, presenter and all-round favourite Joe Lycett, formerly Hugo Boss, will perform his newest stand-out set at the AO Arena for his UK and Ireland 2022 Tour. More, More, More! How Do You Lycett? How Do You Lycett will be a night of laughs, satire, queerness and even painting. Seen on QI and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, this will be Lycett’s first tour back in years and it’s sure to be his best.

OLIVIA RODRIGO Breakout musician Olivia Rodrigo brings her break-up album SOUR to the O2 Apollo. With chart-topping tracks such as ‘good 4 u’, ‘traitor’ and the multi-award winning ‘drivers license’, expect to sing your heart out. The Grammy nominated artist will be joined by London-based pop singer Baby Queen as they belt out their viral hits to 3,500 fans.


MANCHESTER WHISKEY FESTIVAL 2022 Manchester Cathedral 21/10/22 - 22/10/22 Scotch, bourbon, rye, irish and more, and have a tipple at Manchester Cathedral this October. Explore different flavours, vintages and distillery, and find your new favourite. Learn about the process with special masterclasses and showcases from exhibitors and the chance to purchase any whiskey featured at the shop. Day ticket includes access to the event, samples and a Glencarin tasting glass, Manchester Whiskey Festival will get you in the spirit.

Design Aoife Dobson

One of the most successful musicals of all times, Dreamgirls is a dazzling powerful story accompanied with even more powerful songs and vocals. Featuring iconic music such as ‘Listen’, ‘One Night Only’ and the show-stopping ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’, the Palace Theatre will host the show’s tour. Disco, soul, choreography, costumes, tears and cheers… What more could you ask for?


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issue 06

spring/summer 2022