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In News, now that the Exec are leaving, you finally get to find out exactly what they did this year- including jumping in lakes, getting pissed and hacking into one another’s computers -good to know that was money well spent.
No 300+ cutive utors: hree conse t ontrib er of c to ever get Numb nd ish ba ly Dan
And on that note we take our leave of university journalism and give you the final supermassiveawesomebumperjumper issue of the year. We’ll miss Nottingham- especially since we won’t be able to get any more of our boyfriends from the bargain boy bin in the New Theatre.
I would have thought that any sensible discussion of gang culture might acknowledge that it is the breakdown of traditional family life that is a major cause of violence and misery in our cities. The literature proving this basic common sense contention is volumous [sic], as are the studies proving another conservative prejudice: that subsidising singlemothers and other deviants from the traditional norm is liable to produce mal-adjusted male offspring, who—lacking the guidance of a responsible father—are prone to irresponsibility, violence and crime.
Joel Hickman repeats the inaccurate canard about Margaret Thatcher hating and denying the existence of “society” and thus sending the country to rack and ruin. A closer examination of what she actually said in that famous interview to Woman’s Own magazine vis-à-vis society might lead fair minded folk to a different conclusion: “who is society? There is no such thing. There are individual men and women and there are families…life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations.”
The day we wrote this Boris Johnson was elected as mayor of London, so basically the apocalypse is nigh. Nottingham students can no longer mock the American exchanges for electing a man with an IQ below 90.
We want to say a huge thank you to this year’s team who have consistently gone above and beyond our expectations and the call of duty. Their drive, talent and commitment has been limitless, you have not just been our colleagues but also our friends. Sorry about your degrees, it was a toss up but you made the right choice. Unlike Dan.
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Aren’t we nice to you all? We’ve put our legal necks on the line in order to provide you with a pull out, lasting reminder of three years at Nottingham University in the form of Nottopoly. It’s Not(t) monopoly, because we’re that funny. And that afraid of being sued.
Only in student journalism would any be brave/ stupid enough to take chip fat and try and convert it into free fuel as seen in this month’s Science section: WE DID NOT ASK THEM TO DO THIS.
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Similarly, for all Joel’s blather about crime and prison stats (two of the most easily fiddled and misleading indicators of crime in a society) I’ll stick with the basic idea that in a nation where—as was reported last week by a senior prison warden—criminals are smuggling drugs and prostitutes into gaols with care-free abandon, and prefer imprisonment to life out of the clink, a certain incentive is at work—one unlikely to reduce criminality and gang culture. Still think it’s all Maggie’s fault?
Hit by the shocking news that next year’s freshers were born in 1990 and are essentially zygotes, Impact has investigated the end of a decade of ‘80s babies by delving into student life at Nottingham during the Thatcher era.
Is this the end? Well Barbie, we’re just getting started, Love, Alice and Jess
On Campus AU at Isis
The tagline claims that ‘Gatecrasher Loves Nottingham,’ but following recent events the question seems to be, ‘Does Nottingham love Gatecrasher?’ The AU have recently announced their decision to abandon the ‘official’ Wednesday night due to a lack of interest in Gatecrasher, with many teams preferring to celebrate their successes in Isis. Throughout the Autumn Term the AU named Gatecrasher Wednesdays as the official night out for the university sports teams, however with a lack of interest, a change of plans has been called for. Despite the incredible architecture and interior of the Grade two* listed building, and the huge variety of music and DJs,
by Hattie Hamilton
it seems that Gatecrasher Nottingham just couldn’t seem to tempt the sports clubs on Wednesdays. The AU Officer, Phil Richards explains that “whilst Gatecrasher promised to be an excellent night, the reality did not quite match up to expectations. With interest increasingly waning throughout the Autumn term continuing with the endorsement became no longer viable for the AU.” Although there is no longer an official night, the AU have emphasised that they would still like to see every team ‘socialising en masse each week’ as it aids their performance and they welcome the support they have received from Isis. In an attempt to replace the official night the AU have introduced a KPMG sponsored Wednesday afternoon in The Venue,
leaving the teams open to decide where to socialise in the evening. A spokesperson from Isis clarified some of the health and safety improvements that have been made recently to accommodate for such large numbers of students, including the sports teams. The bar staff no longer pre-pour any Vodka Redbull drinks and the club has launched an internal drink spiking awareness campaign, with the help of the Isis Reps. They have also almost doubled the number of bar staff and now employ paramedics. Isis have responded to this change in policy stating that they are “delighted to be working with the SU and welcome all the sports teams and wish them success for the rest of the year.”
Hunger strike at Hallward by Emily Grosvenor-Taylor
Two students from the university recently completed a three day hunger strike in order to protest against the ‘siege in Gaza’ as well as disputing the university’s investment in companies allegedly involved in the arms trade. The protesters set up two tents outside the Hallward library spray painted with their protest slogans whilst displaying posters and placards outlining their cause on the surrounding trees. There was the opportunity for students to sign a letter to the Vice Chancellor Sir Colin Campbell urging him to review the university’s current investments in certain companies. The protest comes after a recent demonstration calling for the freedom of speech on campus and the right for students to protest against political issues.
“It was a PR disaster” Sophia Mason, Student Activist
Recently, the university and SU has been scrutinised for its actions after a student was arrested during an apparently ‘peaceful’ protest became a matter for Campus security and the police with footage of the arrest gaining 9,000 hits on YouTube. This time,
however, the protesters avoided reprimand for their actions despite deciding not to ask for permission to camp outside the library 24 hours a day. Student activist and advocate for the campaign, Sophia Mason, explained why she thought this was: “the vast majority of people think it’s absolutely despicable that the university allowed the arrest to take place. It was a PR disaster, all up and down the country all the other students were like ‘oh my god at Nottingham a student got arrested over a peaceful protest.’ So they HAD to back down and they had to let us do this.” Although the surrounding area was adorned with slogans related more specifically to the protest in Gaza, campaigners such as Ms Mason asserted that they were also concerned with other issues of global conflict “I’m not in Palestinian society but I sympathise with them in the same way I sympathise with Tibetans in the same way I sympathise with Zimbabwaens and Kenyans. The arrest of one student won’t scare us out of protesting. The reverse is true and we will assert our right and will organize around it.”
Loss of Revision Week Criticised in Student Poll
by Sophie Stammers
Nottingham students voiced their opinions in the latest student poll on a range of topics from smoking in halls of residence to the controversial move of the January revision week into the summer semester. Over 1,250 students took part in the online poll which took place just before the Easter break.
“Identifying a sole body of people responsible for the decision is not likely to result in a determinate answer” 47% of students supported a campaign to reinstate the January revision week which has been moved to the second semester exams instead. Whilst 21% of students reported no problem with this change, the move remains a contentious issue. “Students felt under an increased amount of pressure,” Sarah D’arcy, Faculty Co-ordinator for Arts, told Impact, “and suggested that the combination of coursework deadlines on the first day back and earlier exams meant that the quality of work
has suffered.” “[Moving the revision week] was officially discussed at academic boards, the Teaching and Learning Committee, the University Senate – all over the place”, Matt Gayle, Education Officer, told Impact. Identifying a sole body of people responsible for the decision is not likely to result in a determinate answer; however, Gayle dispelled any rumours that it was an ‘administrative mistake’. Discussion of the revision week move has been ongoing since 2005, and ‘student representatives’ are documented to have had a say, although Gayle was doubtful such students would have felt confident to voice their opinions in front of principal academics who had very much made up their minds. Gayle does not think it is a good idea to campaign to reinstate the January revision week, and whilst he acknowledges the inconvenience for many students, he suggests “a much more progressive course of action would be to investigate the problems that
Dem-Comms by-election WenJie Lee has been elected Democracy and Communications Officer, beating current Exec Officer Will Cooling by just five votes. Candidates unlucky at the recent Students’ Union elections were granted another chance to run for office after the position was reopened. Abi Hope-Urwin, the original winner at the polls, found herself unable to fulfil the year-long post after being offered a job and the resulting by-election saw potential candidates rise from just two to seven.
Guy Unsworth, who won the Director’s guild award for best director, explained the function of the NSDF “‘it is a unique
The poll also questioned exam feedback, where 30% of students reported to be unhappy with exam feedback, (compared with the 19% satisfied) and 26% of students suggested more feedback during courses. Matt Gayle found the request unrealistic: “Marking exams involves a lot of people doing a lot of different things, plus research and teaching resume shortly after the exam period: and staff have lives too.” Funding appropriately qualified staff to feedback on each exam students undertake would clock up a huge administrative cost, and it is not clear how much more helpful exam feedback could feasibly be than simply making exam scripts available (which some schools have started to do).
by Susannah Sconce
Abi told Impact she wished WenJie the best of luck: “Obviously I am extremely disappointed at having to stand down, especially after the support I received from students during the elections and it was not an easy decision for me to make.” The coveted ‘Dem-Comms’ role was sought after by at least three hopefuls who stood for other positions in the March elections but did not win, including presidential candidate, Ducan Bradshaw. Many of the
New Theatre at NSDF The New Theatre recently swept the board at the annual National Student Drama Festival. Two productions, Disco Pigs and Proof were selected for the festival in Scarborough. Alongside the Judge’s Award for Promoting Student Theatre, Guy Unsworth’s take on David Auburn’s play Proof was triumphant in bringing home an commendable five awards for sound, set design and acting to name but a few. These successes raise the question of the future of the theatre after the university discussed plans to demolish the Theatre along with the adjoining Archaeology and Classics building.
occurred; for instance to make halls available for international students earlier, and to ensure students are informed well in advance of such changes.”
other candidates had not stood in the original round of elections. Although some students expressed surprise at the sudden increase in candidates, others welcomed the competition as a sign of healthy democracy at work. Gavin Todd-James, current Democracy and Communications Officer, expressed hope that his successor will “strive to support the existing networks”, and continue to implement reforms made this year.
by Francesca De Feo
environment where we can work in an honest and constructive forum with established professionals and appreciate what they have to offer.” He described the success of the two plays as “a massive tribute to the New Theatre, especially in terms of what it offers to students especially as there is no Drama department at the university and it has taken on that role.” But surely such nationally acclaimed success proves the plight of the New Theatre in cementing the fact that it is a viable contribution to university life? President of the New Theatre, Ali Blackwell, speaks passionately about the subject: “The New Theatre is such a huge part of the uni experience and the success with the NSDF
simply proves what we at the theatre have believed about student theatre all along. The University actually sponsored us to go to the NSDF to help with students’ travel expenses which was a great support. Yet the University’s pledge to replace the New Theatre hasn’t been acted upon and no one knows where we stand with the whole thing. All we know is that having a student theatre on campus is so beneficial to the University and its students, especially when national recognition proves the high standard of the productions.” Maybe the continued success of the New Theatre plays on the national stage will convince the University that it is a worthwhile establishment. But for now, only time will tell...
Impact interviews Gerald Bates With the University year coming to an end, The Impact newsteam speaks to Students’ Union President Gerald Bates on how he thinks his year in the top job has been… If you could sum up the year in 3 words, what would they be? (Pause)…………Challenging………Ermmmm… …….Rewarding…………And…………… Enjoyable. What do you think that your main success is? The thing which I’m most excited about is the JCR system and the system of student representation in halls. I think anyone who has lived in halls knows that the system just doesn’t quite work… it’s loaded for failure. There has always been a bit of conflict between JCRs and the Students’ Union. It’s been great this year, because we’ve been able to go out and speak to all the JCR presidents and find out what their concerns are. They are not overly happy with the system. So we’ve changed it, we’ve brought elections further back in the year to November time so therefore the majority of the JCR will be based in the hall they are representing. Its making sure that they are all on one constitution and that they are all doing the same thing. It also means they have the must-haves and the regulations listed in one place. We need a fixed spine in place all the way across so that the Union know how to work with JCRs and that they actually become part of the Union. Why do you think that none of these changes have been made before? I think that part of the problem has been the fact that, for example, this hasn’t been a ‘sexy’ thing for an Exec to do. We will never get any kind of credit for it because the benefits won’t show for some time. I also think we’ve reached a point this year where it just can’t go on. We’ve had three cases of financial misdemeanours in the last three years with JCRs and the University have said to us that they won’t stand for it anymore, either we sort the system out or it goes. So that has obviously put the pressure on for me to sort it out. I think a lot of these things have happened through necessity and we’ve just been lucky this year as an exec which works well together that we’ve been able to make these changes. The central communication system has got to be sorted out because there are a lot of things that the exec does which students never get to hear about, and therefore we are leaving ourselves open for criticism which I entirely appreciate. So things like the return of the Student Poll and the upgrade of the website, which was shit at the beginning of the year, are all steps towards this improving so that students can better identify with the Union. What are your hopes for next year’s Exec?
I hope they enjoy it, from a personal point of view because I know I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve known Execs which haven’t, where there has been a lot of fighting and back biting against each other and the people that really lose out are the students. It’s not fun for Exec members to work around and it’s no good for the students. It also means that the University loses respect for you. I’m sure Nsikan and his team won’t. I hope that they build on the momentum which we’ve started. I’m not naïve enough to think that we’ve managed to change everything which needs to be changed, we haven’t, but we’ve taken a step in the right direction. I wish them success with some big campaigns coming up next year like the tuition fee review, where many universities including Nottingham want to remove the cap on fees. I don’t think they should because I don’t think they can live up to a fee increase. I think they struggle to live up to many of the expectations they create here. Do you think Nsikan’s interest in campaigns such as ‘Bring home the bacon’ and others will focus his attention more on those? With issues such as the Tuition fee review and the HMO lobby coming up, we need strong leadership that is willing to go out there and fight. Anyone can come into this job and say there’s a problem, it happens during campaigning: candidates say “This is rubbish, this is rubbish and this is rubbish”, voters think “Ah yes this candidate had pointed out several things which I also think are rubbish and therefore I shall vote for them.” But when you come into the job, the challenge is then to think of the solutions to these problems and start to deliver these with good reason and argument behind what you are doing.
And to do that you need to have good relations with the people you are hoping to influence, i.e. the University, and they will respect you for your opinions. I have every faith that Nsikan can do that. I also think that when you are unable to affect change in that way, you have to go out and inject a bit of injustice into people. (Not in a Shipman way). I believe that Nsikan is someone who can deliver that. Were you disappointed that none of the NUS changes went through? I think it’s a really big shame, I can see why, because the consultation was not as good as it could have been. NUS is so factional, it’s very disappointing. I’m glad that Nottingham isn’t political in a party way at all. It’s wrong that you go as a delegate, and rather than voting for the mandate from the people who elected you which says you have to vote one way, you vote in line with what your party faction is doing. That’s really bent and that’s why it didn’t go through. But hey, that’s what happens in student politics, you get a lot of jumped up adolescents, jumping around trying to be adults. Do you think that you handled the Pal Soc wall demonstration well? One comment left under a YouTube video said: “Gerald bates has been a wanker too. (What is it about these boys who studied in Harrow?).” Unnecessary! As much as I can laugh at that, I do sometimes think that I work 10 or 11 hours, 5 days a week and I also work at weekends to get stuff done and then I just get people slagging me
off. But it’s the nature of the job, you have to be thick skinned. The whole freedom of speech issue was disappointing. I’ve got a lot of pride in the fact that we as an Exec stood together on it. We did what we believe is right and we had a consistent argument. No one was stopping them from making their point, they promised that they would not put the wall up and they went against their word. When they were asked politely to remove it, they refused, security were given little option then to act as they did. At the same time I had a number of students in my office who were genuinely upset about the wall. As a Student Union, we represent students from all sides of this argument and therefore we couldn’t take sides. The situation was a lesson for anyone doing this job: you have to pick your battles, and make sure you always have conviction in what you do. Would you have done anything differently? No.
News in Brief
President? I had a live satellite link up with BBC News 24 about ID cards. That was really cool. Has your time as President helped you with the ladies? (Laughs) No, because I don’t have a life anymore! My entire social life happens on a Friday night at Ocean, and I always end up discharging myself early because I’m so exhausted! (A pig flies past the window) What other benefits do you get as President? Lots of free food. Do you think you will want to go into politics?
What are you doing next year?
No. I’ve become more interested in politics definitely, but life looks prettier in the city earning lots of money, to take the non-ethical route.
I don’t know yet.
Quick fire round:
What do you think is your biggest mistake?
Tea or coffee?
I think we could have been a bit more open and transparent about the proposed visit of the Israeli Ambassador, and let people know earlier than we actually did. That was probably the thing which I ‘mishandled’. But I don’t make mistakes.
How deluded were you to the powers you thought you’d have as President?
Cider or beer?
Mars or Snickers? Mars.
Beer. The job is very different to what I thought it was going to be. When you run for it, you don’t think about all the stuff you are going to be doing. I don’t think the Exec is very powerful at the moment because we don’t necessarily have that much of a connection with students on the ground. You can only really have power when you know that you have 36,000 students on your side and behind you and I don’t think we are there yet. But having said that I do have influence in areas I never imagined like with stakeholders other than the university, for example, community stakeholders. It’s a different kind of power to what I thought it would be. If you had the chance to be one other position on the Exec, what would you be? Personally, probably the Education Officer, because you deal with really cool stuff like government policy and things like that. But if I was running now and I couldn’t be President, I’d go for the Democracy and Communications officer.
Ocean or Isis? Ocean. Blondes or brunettes? Blondes. Boobs or bums? Whammers. Matt Lev or Phil? Matt Lev – he’s more cuddly. Starbucks or Fair Trade? Definitely Fair Trade. The Sanctuary or Impact? Impact. (Obviously)c
What is the coolest thing you’ve done as
University behaviour contracts University students are facing “legalistic” contracts when they begin their studies - which can include requirements on dress and behaviour. Despite concerns that students might not understand the implications of the often lengthy documents, the Vice-chancellors’ ‘body Universities UK’ said such “charters” helped to clarify the increasingly complex relationships between students and universities. Graduate Employment New research has suggested that employers value graduates who display effective communication skills and work better in a team than those with good degrees. After surveying 735 firms the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) discovered that employers are struggling to find enough people with ‘soft’ skills such as problem-solving ability. More than 60% of bosses said that relevant work experience was ‘vitally important’, and while 56% of employers said degree subject was an important factor, only 32% thought the same about degree result. Victory in overdraft charges Customers could be refunded billions of pounds worth of overdraft charges, after the UK’s biggest banks lost a landmark case. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is now allowed to decide whether the charges implemented by some of the largest banks including HSBC, Halifax, Abbey and are fair or not. The banks have the option of appealing the decision by May 22nd. NUS Survey plans The NUS have recently announced a ground breaking three-year research project into students’ experiences before, during and after their studies. The in-depth study will examine all areas of the student learning experience, including the number of contact hours that students receive with tutors, the quality of student accommodation and the so-called ‘hidden’ costs of studying.
The exec, a year on What has been your biggest achievement of the year?
What has been the least fun about being on the exec?
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
What has been the most amusing moment of the year?
Refreshers Fayre was much bigger than before and I have also strived to achieve space for our groups, which is now almost successful.
I would start my big projects earlier, and have run my own campaign.
Phil getting with one of the Impact News Team…
The student solidarity and awareness of Fairtrade created by the ‘Campaign for Good Coffee’.
More efficient prioritising. I got lost in a sea of endless possibilities of things to change and campaign on, and failed to meet all the promises I made in my manifesto.
A short meeting with a housing company on how green they were, at the end of which I was informed that the two company representatives had flown from Edinburgh to Nottingham just for this meeting.
Handing out 5,000 condoms, 21,000 yellow Easy Tiger stickers, and 3,000 info flyers and information about STIs, safe sex and the dangers of binge drinking in WeekOne!
Hearing students complain about issues you are trying to actively resolve or improve and when you put on a forum to get their feedback no-one turns up… sometimes you just can’t win!
Spend more time trying to make strategic long-term changes rather then running awareness welfare campaigns, and so use a different system for campaigning; getting students to lead them rather then me!
When Phil (AU officer) wiped out a fresher at the freshers’ address whilst dressed as Easy Tiger!
Securing £10,000 funding for the AU Wednesday afternoon for next year from KPMG along with Gemma Chance has got to be up there…
Sitting opposite the Mattrix (Matt Lev) and his disgraceful chat.
I would have won varsity. Not falling over at ice hockey varsity…
Tricky. Probably seeing Gerald on the morning after his birthday. I’m not going to elaborate… you have to ask him…
The elections are always the biggest achievement for the DemComms officer as they take so much work!
Week One was very draining for me. I struggled to have fun working fifteen hour days!
I would have liked to have done a small referendum on the priorities for the Students’ Union in Week One.
Working as a binman during the Lenton Clean up day was pretty funny. We got to crush radiators and beds, which was a great laugh!
The Student Volunteer Centre! This will open in September and be a one stop shop for ALL opportunities to get involved.
Never seeing my housemates. And Matt Lev’s jokes.
I’ve tried really hard, but I can’t think of anything!
The stories of Jenny Smith… they’re pretty special.
There’s still further to go with JCR finances and accountability, but this year it has been great getting the ball rolling.
Criticism from students, when you’re only trying your hardest to do the right thing.
I would possibly be more on the ball with a few of my committees.
Shabba jumping in a pond on our training course in Barlythorpe
Getting grief at council and now having to resurrect my degree.
Take Gerald’s ‘David Brent’ speak a lot less seriously a lot sooner.
Probably “I’m assuming that because you are engaging in banter you have finished”, Shabba in the pond and general November fest.
Working alongside the Karnival Executive 07/08 in initiating female Karni reps for Rutland hall. I also feel that working with such a great team has been a great achievement in itself.
There hasn’t been a single thing that isn’t fun about being on the Exec.
I would probably try and free up my summer leading into the job. This would give myself time to prepare for the coming year, as the time seems to fly by!
There have been so many good times over the past year! Special mention goes out to our great staff Christmas party, where some officers had too much to drink...
Setting up the new Healthcare Associations and raising the profile of healthcare students within the Union so that they are no longer the silent majority. Writing a letter to the NMC and getting some of the nicest feedback from student nurses and midwives.
How it rules your life for a year, not to say that it’s a negative. Having a near death experience in the easy tiger costume during week one. (I secretly loved being the easy tiger!) Leaving it all behind.
The inter-office tomfoolery, like changing the settings on Phil’s computer so it was in Zulu, the background had a picture of a camel, all of the visual impairment settings were on, and the mouse didn’t work. Two words… Drunk Gav.
Environment and Social Justice Officer
Democracy and Communications Officer
Equal Opportunities Officer
Intersite and Residential Officer
The Debate The University view The President of the Students’ Union is the voice for students at Council, Senate and at a host of other meetings around the University. This voice has to be distinctive and independent. We welcome the idea that students of this University exert influence on its policies. This sometimes leads to arguments and we try to negotiate from different positions, but these debates are healthy and often result in different, amended policies being pursued. “Sometimes we di!er; often we agree because we all want to advance students’ interests, their aspirations and their enjoyment of their time at the University” Students are best able to articulate their own interests; and best able to do this face-to-face. Sometimes we differ; often we agree because we all want to advance students’ interests, their aspirations and their enjoyment of their time at the University. The President and other Union Officers have direct access to all the relevant people, including the most senior people in the University. Their job is often very difficult since there is such an enormous diversity of views (sincerely held) in a large University with students with different interests and background and from different cultures. My experience is that they do it very well.” Professor Sir Colin Campbell Vice-Chancellor University of Nottingham
The role of the SU President [The Students’ Union President] shall be responsible for representing the Students’ Union and students’ Interests to the University of Nottingham. [The President] Shall ensure that all students are represented appropriately to the University” (Ch 10 Article 13 Students’ Union Constitution) These are some of the constitutional requirements set out by the Union regarding the SU president’s official role. With the election of Nsikan Edung as next year’s President, the nature of “I intend to the Students’ Union may be changing: the precedent encourage active set by the Director of involvement in the Karni usually going on to Union” - Nsikan win the title of President of the SU has been broken. Unlike many other years in which voters are often mobilised along Karni lines, the President next year prides himself on being an activist, whose credentials are rooted in high publicity stand-offs against the University itself. As opposed to the Karni block vote, which often determines the outcome in SU elections, voters were mobilised quite differently in terms of Mr Edung’s campaign, with much support being gathered from his past activist exploits. Despite this arguable break with the past Nsikan Edung insists he will continue student/university discourse along all the correct official channels. In an interview with Impact, he emphasised representation and how important it is for him to stand up for those who require Union support saying “I intend to encourage active involvement in the union.” Consolidating his image, Nsikan Edung emphasises the need for grass roots activism and involvement in important issues to be encouraged with Freshers next year. But what should a Students’ Union President actually do? Who should he or she be and in what way should they take action? Forty years since the student uprisings of May 1968, many peoples perceptions of what it is to be a student have changed. However, the new President seems to demonstrate a marked shift in the level of vocal and activist involvement students want to see as their ultimate representative. Both Gerald Bates and Nsikan Edung have been employed by the same constitutional requirements and will operate within the same field of professionalism. Nevertheless many expect their methods of work to be quite different. We asked both students and the Vice Chancellor, to comment on what it means to be a Students’ Union President today. By Camille Herreman
The student view A President should be someone trustworthy, someone open, and someone who instead of doing it to further their career does it for the benefit of the students. Sometimes it can be a selfish and self motivated type of role. Laura, French and History 4th Year They should be in control. Don’t really know really… confident, being able to say no…. be able to manage the Exec properly. James, English Studies, 2nd Year Well… I’m in the linguist bubble so we go away for a year and come back and have no idea what’s going on…they should represent the student body. I think that the university stands up for itself the student representative is the moderating force and you need someone to balance it out. Nicola, Modern languages, 4th Year They should do it for the students rather than for the university there needs to be some moderation of force between the students and the university. Emily, French, 4th Year I don’t know anything about it. I don’t know what the Students’ Union President does, I just see posters up saying vote for so and so but I don’t really know what they do. Alice, Chinese, 1st Year
Sailing to Success Robert Godwin is one of the most talented sportsmen this university has been credited with. At only 19 years old, his achievements are phenomenal. He boasts a ranking of 3rd overall in the UK including youth and senior levels, and occupies the top position for under 21s. His best world ranking has been 55th, with a 48th at this year’s senior laser world championship in Terri gal Australia in February. Robert was forced to miss two months of university and his January exams to train and compete in Australia, and in his words, he has “a hell of a lot of work to catch up on.” As soon as Robert can get his weight down into a more race competitive range (under 84 kg from 90kg), he will be offered a place and fully integrated into the Scandia RYA Team GBR Olympic Development Squad to sail the Laser with the ambition of competing in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He told Impact: “My weight, and my weight loss has always been a significant part of my programme as I am taller than most of my competitors who sail this class, and so have to commit harder to keeping the weight down. At the moment I am on 2-3 hour fat burners before breakfast, 5-6 times a week in order
by Gemma Casey
to shed the weight ready for the summer European season.” Asked whether competing in the 2012 Olympics was a realistic goal for him, he commented: “ I am targeting 2012 more and more as it gets closer, but with moving into the second year next year at uni, the work load will only increase and make the London 2012 dream tougher. And at the end of the day, unfortunately 2012 is not very far away. In sailing, four years is a very short timescale to try to get to the games, when experience is one of the largest components of success. With Great Britain being the top sailing nation in the world and Britain’s top Olympic sport from both Athens and Sydney, it is great to be a part of it.” Robert’s summer season this year involves a warm up regatta in Denmark in June, before an Olympic regatta at the end of June. He goes on to compete in a senior European championship in Belgium and then youth Europeans in France in July. Before he heads back to Nottingham University in September, Robert is back in August for the UK nationals.
However, Robert is not the only one dreaming of competing in the 2012 Olympics. Katherine Wyld, a swimmer, was part of both the 2003 GB Senior Team, and the 2004 GB World Cup Team. In 2005 she finished 5th place in the Commonwealth Trials. At the 2007 World University Games, she finished 8th in the 200m freestyle. With successes like this, she too could become a Nottingham face to look out for in 2012. Likewise, Abigail Harper, a key player in the English U21 hockey side, is a real possibility for 2012. Impact wishes Robert and the other talented athletes the best of luck in their dream of competing in the most fantastic sporting competition in the world.
“With Great Britain being the top sailing nation in the world and Britain’s top Olympic sport from both Athens and Sydney, it is great to be a part of it” Robert Godwin
Men’s Rugby Varsity Match The anticipation was palpable. The crowd were deafening. The Nottingham Trent fans, led by a megaphone, let their abuse swirl around the Meadow Lane Pitch in the blustery wind. But this time there was no mistake, as the conversion sailed effortlessly through the posts to give Nottingham Uni their unassailable 10-3 lead. It had been a scrappy match, with the superior BUSA Premiership class of Uni conspicuous by its absence. The indifference of a frustrating season was embodied in this performance, with the lineouts and subsequent rolling mauls lacking their usual success. But Trent rarely threatened to penetrate the Uni defence and were punished by a more potent second half Nottingham side; awarded a controversial penalty try with only seven minutes remaining. The decision was a brave one from an otherwise pedantic referee, who produced a plethora of yellow cards, three in all throughout the match. In the past two years, the Nottingham Uni first XV have not reached the dizzy heights of the 05/06 season, when they won the BUSA Premiership and were cruelly beaten in the
By Mark Lomas
semi-final of the BUSA Championships. A veteran of the Uni rugby team, full back Tim McEwen has an optimistic outlook for the future. Following an impressive 49 Uni appearances, and after picking up his second consecutive Varsity winner’s medal, Tim spoke to Impact: “I believe next season could be really successful for the team. The backbone of the side is freshers, who will have benefited from the experiences of this season. It is always a tough challenge to compete against Universities like Loughborough, Hartbury and Leeds Met, who receive far superior financial support; but I really believe in the potential of the squad for 08/09.” There is certainly light at the end of the tunnel for this Nottingham team, and a confident start to the new season will be crucial in a league where momentum plays such an important role in assuring victories. Until then, they can savour the sweet taste of another Varsity triumph and bragging rights in our fair city, for another year at least.
“It is always a tough challenge to compete against Universities like Loughborough, Hartbury and Leeds Met, who receive far superior financial support; but I really believe in the potential of the squad for 08/09” Tim McEwan, Varsity winner
Soccer Sight The pulsating atmosphere generated by football crowds mesmerises thousands of fanatics week after week, flooding to stadiums across the country to watch their favourite players guide their beloved team to what could be the next famous win. Sharing their passion for football with one another, fans feel part of an extended family made up of people from all walks of life. At the heart of our city lies the home of one of the legendary teams of old, Nottingham Forest F.C. The City Ground has been home to the side since 1898 and has seen successes and failures a plenty, the heights of which saw Brian Clough’s side of the seventies and eighties pick up one League Title, two European Cups and four League Cups. But since the glory days, Nottingham Forest F.C. have fallen acrimoniously from grace, now languishing in the third tier of the English football league and chasing promotion to avoid a fourth straight season in League One. I went to the famous City Ground to interview Safety Officer, Alan Bexon, and find out the ways in which the club accommodates supporters that, without a little help, might not be able to enjoy their club’s roller coaster
by Steve Dew-Jones
ride. Despite fluctuating fortunes, Forest has always maintained a large fan base, which includes over three hundred season ticket holders registered with disabilities and in excess of thirty blind or partially sighted fans. The club proudly boasts two flourishing Disabled Supporters’ Clubs and are one of only a few teams across the nation to be involved in RNIB’s Soccer Sight scheme. Soccer Sight offers blind or partially sighted fans the chance to experience the pulsating atmosphere from within the stadium and not have to miss out on one moment’s entertainment. Special commentary is sent through headsets from the press box by nationally acclaimed commentator, Alan March, detailing every single piece of action to enable the supporter to get a feel for the whole game. Unlike regular commentary no detail is spared, whether this be the specific whereabouts of the ball on the pitch, or even what colour a player’s boots are. In a recent appraisal by Soccer Sight, Nott’m Forest was heralded by a glowing report, highlighting the great lengths the club has 13
gone to in order to ensure an enjoyable experience for all. Alan Bexon praised the club’s rigorous determination to offer caring commitment to every single fan, saying that: “The many thank you letters we receive for the ways in which we look after our supporters with disabilities must show we’re doing something right”. Speaking as a football fanatic myself I know just how exhilarating attending a football match can be. Congratulations Nottingham Forest for enabling every fan to be able to come along and join in the fun.
“Unlike regular commentary no detail is spared, whether this be the specific whereabouts of the ball on the pitch, or even what colour a player’s boots are”
British University Championships Women’s Trophy Final Birmingham 2nd XI 1- 2 Nottingham 1st XI
by Andy Straiton
flowing team performance, they did not fail to disappoint. An energetic start from the Nottingham attack was rewarded by an early goal from a short corner, left wing AnnLouise Breaden deflecting in Charlotte Rose Anderson’s well-timed shot. Yet as the first half moved on, Nottingham’s control gave way to good work on the counter-attack from Birmingham. Only some great saves from Lizzie Padley, including an acrobatic stop diving to her right, kept the Birmingham forwards from scoring. Despite her efforts, some defensive complacency cost Nottingham their lead and the scores were levelled not long before half time.
Hockey is unfortunately attached with one rather traumatic memory from my school days, the lesson when Mr Naismith flicked a cross high into the air towards me across the astro. Being naïve to formal hockey etiquette, I jumped towards the flight of the ball, and swinging my stick above my head. I proceeded to miss completely, the ball making contact squarely above my right eye. Lying in the doctor’s surgery waiting for the concussion and embarrassment to wear off, I decided that I didn’t really like hockey very much. In one match last term, however, Nottingham University Ladies Hockey Club did much to exorcise the ghosts of my sporting
past, as I travelled to watch the 1st XI put in an epic display at the British University Championships in Sheffield. Two emphatic wins against Liverpool (10-2) and Sheffield Hallam (5-2) in earlier rounds, and a tightly contested 1-0 victory over Brighton in the semis, set up a finals day clash against Birmingham 2nd XI. Having beaten them twice in the league as part of a very successful season this year already (they finished on equal points to Cambridge, only losing out on their head-to-head record), Nottingham were understandably confident going into the match, and producing a strong,
Bring it on The Nottingham Knights are our official university cheerleading squad. During the healthy competition of the Varsity season, recognition must go to the fantastic job that the team do in raising the spirits of our players and entertaining the crowd during the breaks. The electric atmosphere amongst the thousands of student fans in attendance is facilitated by the competition between the cheerleaders of both Uni and Trent, who put on a real half time spectacle for the supporters. Impact was lucky enough to spend some time with three year squad veteran Charlotte Brosnan, to discuss all things cheery… Impact: Tell us about what attracted you to Cheerleading? CB: I saw it advertised at the Freshers Fayre,
Returning from the break with a renewed sense of urgency, Nottingham’s movement between defence and midfield vastly improved; on the flanks, full back Emma Pardo overlapped with pace. Meanwhile in the centre, Sarah-Jo Coakley was outstanding; in a superb individual performance she built attacking pressure throughout, often passing three or four players in a single run. Thus the opposition could not hold out forever, and after string of short corners, the Birmingham player’s temperament began to unravel with cheap fouls, and as the Birmingham fans resorted to even cheaper chants (with references to ‘fake-tan’ being directed at Coakley, one could sense the end was near), Breaden took the game away from them, providing the clinical edge the team so desperately needed with a near-identical goal that sealed off a professional 2-1 win.
By Gemma Casey and Mark Lomas
decided to give it a go, and 3 years of fun and good times later, here I am! You don’t have to be a certain type of person. It helps to be outgoing and you should be able to dance I think, but it’s not restricted to that. There are always some people who adhere to the stereotypes, but that rings true of any sports team. I think there’s an unnecessary stigma attached to being a cheerleader. I mean, we’re all here together at Nottingham Uni so we’re clearly not stupid! Impact: What do you say to those who claim cheerleading isn’t a real sport? CB: I would say come to any of our practices and you will think otherwise. Cheerleading is physically demanding and a great way of keeping fit. We practice just as much; if not more than some of the other teams in the AU, 12 hours of rehearsals just last week went into
perfecting the routine for the Varsity football. Varsity is our main focus at the moment. The squad is only 4 years old and we’ve already grown from 10-15 to over 50 members so competition is more likely in the future now. We’re going on tour to Spain this year to compete which everyone’s really excited about, and we’ve been invited to cheer permanently for Nottingham RUFC. Impact: So, why should Impact readers join the cheerleading squad? CB: Cheerleading provides you with a rewarding, fun, physical activity and a fantastic social life. I have met many of my close friends through the Knights and it is great to be a real part of the AU and represent the University of Nottingham.
TALKING ‘BOUT OUR GENERATION Alas, the sun has set on the children of the ‘80s. Next year’s freshers will be born in 1990: a symbolic landmark and the end of an era. Pat Sharp made way for Andy Peters, the Cold War came to its finale and thankfully so did the mullet. Next year’s freshers will become part of a new generation - their arrival marks the end of student life for those brought into the world to criminal perms and three Thatcher terms. For us it’s time to move into postgraduate adulthood and step aboard the university of life. Impact uses this cultural landmark to have a nostalgic rummage into ‘80s campus life and culture, sifting through the archives discovering SU scandal, amphetamine driven execs and 10p pints.
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The Nottingham student bubble of the 1980s consisted of 10,000 students, with no Internet access or mobile phones, all predominantly housed on University Park in both mixed and single sex halls. Sue Whiteing, the personal assistant to the SU Exec and previous Rutland student (1979-82), described how “the all female halls were awful but generally things were a lot more laid back, none of this political correctness… We got up to everything and anything.” Oh to be a fly on the wall. As far as campus aesthetics, Sue claims she was “glad they haven’t built extensively on University Park, the campus has managed to retain its character.” One place they did build was Lenton Hall, according to Sue, it was previously “just a series of decrepit huts occupied solely by men, they loved it!” One 20 yr old prospectus’ outline of Lenton Hall illustrates its ramshackle nature and occupants: “The décor of our rooms would, admittedly, have sent Spartan warriors running home to Mummy, but it’s not all bad…Lenton’s discos have a campus wide reputation and, anyway, the walk back from the girls’ hall is a pleasant stroll, especially when accompanied by the dawn chorus.” As well as these grubby lotharios, the campus included an open air swimming pool where there is now the Lakeside Arts centre. “It was great in the summer, a lot of people would hop over the wall at night for pool parties.” (Apologies, we’re fresh out of distasteful Barrymore jokes.) The Students’ Union, known then as ‘The Buttery’, was by all means exactly the same as The Ark apart from the crucial fact it was just 10p a pint. Yes, that’s just ten pence: getting trollied on a pound was not just the preserve of a rural Bulgarian bistro.
Inter-hall rivalry and certain references to poor beleaguered Rutland hall were as prevalent then as they are now, the Hu-Stu section in the 1985-86 prospectus states, “We may not be the Kings of Karnival, but then again, who wants to live in Rutland?” A rousing consolation indeed. Although Karni remained an integral part of campus life back then, according to Sue, “it was a lot less regulated affair, people would generally just go off in their cars, it was a lot less organised.” With Karni not the well–oiled machine it has now become, it appears that the Students’ Union focused its collective powers on protests. Most notable was the organisation of mass protests and demonstrations both on campus and in London against the proposed introduction of student loans in the late ‘80s, something which is now one of the defining features of being a student. A 1989 Impact article ran a lead headline stating ‘Grants not Loans’ (it would seem tuition fees, despite the initial furor, are following a similar path). Huggy Bettesworth, the SU president in 1989, took an admirably resolute stance on the issue. The minutes from various meetings make good reading, especially the recounting of a national protest against loans in London: “The demo was good humoured and the students well behaved. The only Nottingham student charged with an offence, as far as I know, was myself – I was stopped by police while driving our minibus across Westminster Bridge, and was told that I would be asked to answer charges of driving a vehicle displaying offensive material, someone had put a sign in the window saying “Fuck Off Baker.” Kenneth Baker was the government’s mastermind behind the loans and thereby the source of all evil for students, until Chris de Burgh took up the mantle with his release of Lady in Red in 1986. Buses were often put on by the SU for demos and the early student newspapers of the ‘80s (before Impact it was called ‘Bias’) shows a student population more than willing to engage in the political events of the time. In a 1987 edition of Bias the front cover rallied for readers to “remember that we are at University financed by the tax payers, and that includes the miners who are striking today.” A miners’ support group was quickly set up soon after. Note: apparently back then it was possible to set up groups without the requirement of a Facebook application. The most eventful protests occurred on campus in response to allegations that halls were under-spending on the catering and pocketing the rest. Library sit / sleep ins were used as a means of protest, our old friend Huggy laid out some guidelines for one such sit in: Short Loan Collection Area is out of bounds; no radios, cassettes or sleeping bags; the Students’ Union has undertaken to pay for any damage done; please keep your activities within the bounds of decency. We can all relate to the Short Loan being out of bounds, especially in the first year when such a visit seems as tempting as bringing Rick Astley home to the parents. One of the more farcical events of the time was a shortage of rooms on campus in September 1989. The short–term solution from the University was to house newly arrived freshers in caravans. A 1989 edition of Impact described the scale of the situation: “130 freshers were forced into temporary housing; 63 students were put in cramped caravans; 37 in off campus bed and breakfasts and 26 lodged with staff as the accommodation office struggled to find them places in halls.” It’s difficult enough for most on the first day of university without having to explain that you are part of the campus gypsy community. Living with a staff member would also bring an entirely new meaning to ‘personal tutor.’ Travellers aside, university life seemed to be much the same, i.e. rugby players indulged in their endlessly endearing capacity for drink and destruction. One Impact issue reports: “A barman was sent to hospital requiring stitches after rugby players from Nottingham and Manchester ran amok on Wednesday 12th March. The drunken ‘rugger buggers’ making merry after the game also caused £500 of damage to Hugh Stewart bar in broken windows and furnishings. Damage included a broken cigarette machine, pulled-down curtains, smashed windows and torn mail. Toilets were vandalised and one was entirely torn from its fastenings. The barman was injured by a glass thrown by one rugger bugger, while others stood on tables naked shouting, singing and throwing beer. “ 17
Aside from airborne glasses, it seems health and safety measures were not the force they are now, and, as a result the campus lake played a more integral role with its annual hall raft race. The SU seemingly also took a more liberal position on drugs as the profile of the Sutton Bonnington exec member shows in the 1987 prospectus: As social commentator Calvin Harris helpfully explains, such behaviour was ‘acceptable in the eighties’. Nottingham University life in the ‘80s was one of committed protests, cheap pints, concussed prop-forwards and unconventional accommodation; essentially old school Grange Hill with rebellious stubble. The chances of being economically inebriated whilst rafting your way back to a caravan to make a political statement were statistically much higher back then; this much we know for sure. But, bar the holy tenants of student life how else can we distinguish a child of the ‘80s from next year’s ‘90s offspring? Culture tends to define a generation and so for better and more likely for worse we have compiled some of the cultural highlights of the late ‘80s to early ‘90s to stir some nostalgia… enjoy:
The Toys, Toons And Tunes Of 1980s Childhood Rubix Cube Since its mass production in 1980, the addictive craze has become the world’s best-selling toy, with over 300,000,000 sold worldwide. The completion of the cube in just 9.18 seconds is the current record. Notably, for the best times, competitors began to lubricate their cubes with petroleum jelly. Presumably there was an awkward silence when that was initially suggested. Addictive and compulsive, the toy was essentially plastic cocaine. Space Invaders Space Invaders was one of the forerunners of modern video gaming that surely increased the NHS budget for crippling arthritis treatments. In the game, the player controls a movable laser to relinquish rows of video aliens. Space Invaders was the first arcade game to work its way out of seedy arcades and into ice cream parlours and eventually the living room. The game was an instant hit for those with a penchant for saving the world whilst consuming a chocolate sundae; a sweettoothed Jack Bauer take note.
Top Ten Headlines of the 1980s: 1980: John Lennon shot 1981: AIDS officially hits the headlines 1982: Falklands War begins
My Little Pony
1983: Second term of first female Prime Minister starts: age of Thatcherism
Snuzzel, Peachy and friends became immensely popular during the ‘80s, at one point even outselling Barbie. Akin to an LSD trip, adverts evoked a magical world inhabited by pastel coloured horses with flowing polyester manes. The mere sight of a sister brushing Minty or Blossom’s mane was like kryptonite for a little brother… multiple abductions naturally followed.
1984: Marvin Gaye shot dead on April Fool’s Day by his father 1985: South Africa ends its ban on interracial marriages/End of the Miners’ Strike
1986: Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Disaster
The most popular board game of the 1980s, which is now most likely to be nestling in the family loft. The goal was to gradually build up the Mouse Trap contraption and then land on a particular square in order to be allowed to launch the mousetrap on competitors. The only minor drawback is that constructing the trap required the skill and patience of a narcoleptic Nasa physicist. Unfortunately, vital pieces would often end up in a younger sibling’s stomach.
1987: Britain hit by the worst storm since 1703 1988: The promotion of homosexuality in schools is outlawed by Parliament in the UK 1989: Tiananmen Square debacle/Fall of the Berlin Wall 18
Tunes - Top 10 Best Selling Singles Of The ‘80s:
1: Band Aid – “Do They Know It’s Christmas” Best lyric: ‘And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas-time’... a certain Al Gore would probably agree. Also the line that put a spanner in the works of Ethiopia’s 1986 Winter Olympics bid.
Essentially He-Man and his friends defend the planet Eternia and the secrets of Castle Grayskull from the evil forces of Skeletor (something to which we we can all relate). Heman rapidly became a huge franchise with a spin-off movie in 1987 and endless supply of action-figure merchandise. The big fella set the trend for Jerry Springer and Scrubs’ J.D by providing a moral for every episode. Notably, He-man proclaims himself ‘The Most powerful man in the Universe’, which is a touch arrogant, isn’t it? He-man is currently under investigation for steroid use and has refused to comment any further as a result.
2: Frankie Goes To Hollywood – “Relax” Best lyric: ‘Get it up, The scene of love, Oh feel it’… a line that has been the foundation of sexeducation at schools up and down the breadth of the country ever since. 3: Stevie Wonder – “I Just Called to Say I Love You” Best lyric: ‘I just called to say I love you, I just called to say how much I care’... hmmm, Stephen sounds a little OTT here for a phone call… a cynical and libelous tenner says he’s been sleeping behind her back.
SuperTed Other than winning a 1987 BAFTA for best animation, SuperTed wins the award for the most mental eighties cartoon. Ted began life as unwanted cuddly toy until a spotty alien bought him back to life with cosmic dust. As customary in such a scenario, he was then taken to a magic cloud where mother nature gave him special powers to fight off his enemies, cowboy Texas Pete and an incredibly camp skeleton with pink slippers. Despite seemingly being the most ill-conceived concept to hit our screens since putting Rick Waller on Fat camp, the show remains an absolute classic. Happily, Ted retired on a healthy sum gained from vitamin endorsements.
4: Frankie Goes To Hollywood - “Two Tribes” Best lyric: ‘We got the bomb, We got the bomb, Sock it to me biscuits’… unfortunately the impact of this anti-nuclear tune was blunted once the song inexplicably introduced hobnob-based imagery… schoolboy error of course. 5: Human League – “Don’t You Want Me” Best lyric: ‘You’d better change it back or we will both be sorry’… ahh yes, the immortal words of the girlfriend when an ill-judged sex-change fails to spice the relationship up. 6: Wham – “Last Christmas” Best lyric: ‘Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day, you gave it away’... ungrateful cow, no wonder Britain’s transplant industry is in the shitter. Maybe she didn’t like the wrapping paper.
Bananaman When geeky schoolboy Eric eats a banana he amazingly transforms into a muscular superhero. Unfortunately he loses all his brain cells in the process. Thankfully, a crow (artistically named ‘Crow’) stars as his brainy sidekick, often the key to solving the crisis. Bananaman bumbled his way to capturing vile villains with equally intimidating names, such as Bubblegum Bert. He even manages to resolve long held differences with Appleman and Skunk Woman. With a CV like that, surely a future role as intermediary in the IsraseliPalestine conflict is in the offing.
7: Culture Club – “Karma Chameleon” Best lyric: ‘Loving you would be easy if your colors were like my dream: Red, gold and green’… a water-tight alternative provided by Boy George to the archetypal breakup line, ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’ 8: George Michael – “Careless Whispers” Best lyric: ‘I feel so unsure as I take your hand and lead you to the dance floor’… surely a quote written before the invention of Beer Goggles; famously, the one genius creation never to grace the floors of the Dragons’ Den.
Thundercats I’d like to see Attenborough have a go at narrating on these cats: “And here we see the leader Lion-o…and yes there he is charging up his all powerful Sword of Omens as he attempts to slay the mutant Mumm-ra…it’s incredibly rare to catch such behaviour on film.. quite remarkable indeed.” Thundercats provides a traditional fight between good and evil and arguably the best cartoon theme of the bunch. The voluptuous Cheetara provides the eye candy and would certainly leave Rolf Harris purring.
9: Jennifer Rush – “The Power of Love” Best lyric: ‘Sometimes I am frightened but I’m ready to learn about the power of love!’…Don’t worry Jen, chances are there’s a Mickey Mouse degree on it somewhere 10: Dexy’s Midnight Runners – “Come on Eileen” Best lyric: ‘Go Toora Loora Toora Loo-Rye-Aye and we can sing just like our fathers,’ presumably were talking obscenely drunken, tourette-ridden Glaswegian fathers, right? 19
Columbia University. Even in sensible old England revolution was in the air, and in March 1968 80,000 people, mostly students, turned out to protest against Vietnam, a war that had already been going on for five years and that Britain wasn’t even involved in.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of 1968, a year that saw students everywhere at the forefront of groundbreaking revolutionary movements that changed society for good. Tristan Kennedy asks why that would be so hard to imagine now.
Forty years on, student activism on this scale, capable of causing the radical changes in society that followed the events of 1968, seems inconceivable. Even French students, who are fond of public protests and, generally speaking, are more politically involved than their English counterparts, are no longer the revolutionary force they once were. Their biggest show of force in recent years, the anti-CPE riots of 2006, were actually a mass protest against change - the proposals of a conservative government met with an even more conservative reaction. In the UK in March of this year, a demonstration to mark the fifth year of the occupation of Iraq attracted a paltry 5,000 marchers. Unlike Vietnam, this is a war that the British government is deeply involved in. Are we then the generation of students that stopped caring? Surely no-one is arguing that the world is so perfect that it doesn’t need changing, and while revolution may not be everyone’s cup of tea, who’s going to be radically idealistic if not ‘the youth’?
Exactly forty years ago this month, the government of a Western European country, an established nuclear power with a permanent seat on the UN security council, was brought to its knees and very nearly toppled in a revolution - a revolution inspired and lead by students. Outraged by the obsolete, schoolmasterly manner in which they were taught and by the outdated set of rules which governed their social lives, the students of Paris rebelled, taking control of their universities for themselves and fought physical battles with the riot police sent in to subjugate them. France wasn’t the only country to experience huge changes in 1968, nor was it the only country where students led the charge for these changes, pushing themselves to the top of the political agenda. Mass protests led by students and workers erupted in Italy and Argentina, German students clashed with authorities, as did students protesting the military dictatorship in Brazil. In Mexico City a peaceful demonstration against the authoritarian regime of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, again led by students, ended tragically in the deaths of three hundred people when the army fired into an unarmed crowd. On the other side of the Iron Curtain, students in Poland and Yugoslavia stood up for freedom of speech and students were heavily involved in the events of the Prague Spring, the move to replace the Czechoslovak regime with a more compassionate form of communism. In the United States, the Civil Rights movement, in which students played a key part, was beginning to bear fruit, and 1968 saw the largest anti-Vietnam War demonstration yet, as well as the student take-over of
It’s easy to see how the charge of apathy can be leveled at students, with most of us more bothered by Isis than by Israel, and more concerned about our library charges than leading the charge for change. For this generation of students, revolution, it seems, is something we read about, not take part in. As one student put it, ‘we’re no longer a political force; we’ve been bought off with cheap alco-pops and the promise of easy sex’. Various explanations have been put forward for the apparent lack of interest in student politics shown by most students, and the almost complete lack of radicalism demonstrated by those who do get involved. Previously (see Impact 187, The Money Issue) this publication has conducted interviews with students who have come to university purely to heighten their future earning potential. While most of us (I’d hope) would like to believe that money is not our primary motivation, the
introduction of loans rather than grants, and the necessity of repaying them means that financial considerations weigh heavily on the minds of the present generation of students. For many of us these days a 2.1 leading to a nice job in the city is what university is all about. The fact that many students also have to work part-time to help repay their loans also means that there is less time left to us to organize politically. It is also undoubtedly true that in an affluent society (which Britain, with its steadily growing economy has been for the last ten years) radical politics holds less of an attraction for the majority of people. Dr. MacDonald Daly vice-president of the University and College Union and a lecturer here at Nottingham points out that this university in particular has always been a ‘laughably apolitical institution’ and one that attracts a large number of students and staff from richer middle-class backgrounds. The lack of interest in student politics also reflects the growing political apathy of society as a whole in Britain over the past 20-30 years. When the Labour party moves to the right of the Conservatives, what’s left? As Dr. Daly points out, ‘Young people become engaged in politics if they see a point and if they see their role models (parents, teachers, other admired elders) engaging in it’. It seems no wonder then that only 16 percent of us could be bothered to vote in the last SU elections. This could all seem rather depressing, from the point of view of students, who these days can’t even be bothered to protest the issues that affect them, like top up fees; and from the point of view of society as a whole, which benefits from engaged and educated political debate. Investigating this problem however I discovered that there are still some students who are keeping the embers of our revolutionary heritage burning. As I write a Nottingham student has begun a hunger strike outside the Hallward library, protesting against the University’s links to the arms trade. Nottingham students protested the arrest of Rizwaan Sabir, one of our own, for speaking out about the occupation of Palestine as discussed in Florence Anderson’s excellent article in Impact 189. And while it might seem like a trivial issue, the campaign to kick Starbucks
off campus for violating the SU’s fairtrade principles attracted some (if limited) attention. To quote the mantra of another corporation ‘every little helps’ Some students are prepared to go further and demand more. Benjamin Klein, a recent graduate of Sheffield University points out that currently the NUS is viewed largely as a vehicle for the launching of political careers. When Jack Straw and Charles Clarke are former NUS presidents, it is easy to see why. Obviously those entering into national student politics are going to be unlikely to argue against the political elders who could later make or break their careers. So how can we rely on them to have our best interests at heart? This accusation seems justified if you consider that Gemma Tumelty, current president of the NUS and a member of the Labour party, accepted the ‘inevitability’ of the cap on top-up fees being lifted (a Labour government policy) without putting up a serious fight. While some including Impact’s columist Andrew Gibson, in this issue, might choose to call this talking ‘on the government’s terms’, it smacks more of toeing the government line. The anti-democratic governance review proposed at this year’s conference would just make taking such decisions easier for these self-interested careerists in future. Ben Klein is one of the founders of Communist Students, a multi-party group who campaign for more political awareness among students, and a politically active, fully democratic Student’s Union on national and local levels. This organisation’s campaigns in Sheffield University elections have created quite a stir. As Jamie Tedford, one of their candidates reports ‘lots of students who we talk to are glad to see someone taking student politics seriously’. With student politics being the career ladder that it is, it is easy to see why people have lost interest. And yet, as history shows students can play a progressive role. Radical or ridiculous as it might sound, we are capable, as the events of forty years ago prove, of changing the world. All that’s needed is more engagement and better organisation not less interest. It may seem that 1968 could never happen again, and that students have been neutered as a political force; but this vasectomy is self inflicted, and potentially reversible.
Impact’s columnist Andrew Gibson says farewell by having a dig at the NUS.
During the Easter holidays, delegates from institutions around the country sauntered to Blackpool for the NUS Annual Conference. The NUS voted in favour of campaigning to help sort out the crisis in Sudan, to work with the Stop the War Coalition on the ‘situation’ in Iran and to create a thinktank on climate change for the Further and Higher Education sector. However, the delegates failed to ratify reforms which would make it difficult for the organisation to get into debt, to attempt irrelevant, unachievable objectives and to stop policy being decided in a three day shouting match. As such, the NUS will remain a farce.
“The £46,568 we have budgeted to give the organisation this year has so far been spent on facilitating silly arguments” At the previous annual conference delegates voted overwhelmingly for change, which resulted in the creation of the Governance Review. The review proposed policy would be debated at five separate, topic-specific conferences and several non-student experts would be appointed to help manage the woeful state of NUS accounts. Each gathering would compile reports prior to the annual conference so core, consensual motions would not be squeezed off the voting agenda by a few days of grandstanding around the hot topic of the day. Despite the Governance Review being supported by the National Executive Committee and approved by a majority in an ‘Extraordinary Conference’ convened in December, it failed to reach the twothirds majority necessary for ratification by just 25 of the 1,050 votes cast. Some people are complaining that the motions would have passed if certain Far Left delegates had not broken ranks and improperly voted against their own Student Union mandates. Others argue they were right to fail as changes of 21
this scale necessitate consensus. Either way, the NUS is more divided than ever and some of the most embittered are the most powerful. The newly elected President, Wes Streeting, has vowed to keep pushing for the reforms, meaning more factional fighting for years to come. Conference did adopt the correct policy on a few matters. NUS has dropped its idealistic campaign to abolish tuition fees, planning instead to lobby the government on keeping a cap on top-up fees when the issue is reviewed next year. However, this policy is only correct because it recognises that the NUS has to argue on the government’s terms to be considered at all. Similarly, the NUS debate on plans to raise the leaving age for mandatory education comes long after the decision has been made. These examples indicate more fundamental problems with the current manifestation of the NUS. A union whose members are not necessarily employed has little bargaining power. Also, a union that does not know the political beliefs of its 7.2 million members may be campaigning against the wishes of those it supposedly represents. The latter problem is exacerbated by the well-organised but insane delegates from Student Respect, who will fight against anything on the grounds of solidarity. Nottingham has a large delegation to the NUS and provides it with a considerable amount of money. Unfortunately, the £46,568 we have budgeted to give the organisation this year has so far been spent on facilitating silly arguments. The SU of the next academic year needs to consider whether we should be part of this dysfunctional organisation and whether disaffiliating, for now, would be the appropriate response to what happened in Blackpool. NUS conference is political theatre. However, it is the theatre of the absurd and tickets are expensive.
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By Josh Oldham
LAURIE PYCROFT PROFILE: At the age of 16, Laurie Pycroft founded Pro-Test, a group which supports and promotes animal testing in medical research. It began as an Oxfordbased counter protest to SPEAK, an animal rights group who oppose the building of a research facility there. Since its creation Pro-Test has held marches, had representatives appear before a House of Lords Select Committee and have accumulated hundreds of members throughout the world. In 2006 Laurie won a Great Briton Award for his campaigning. AG: The biomedical research centre in Oxford is soon to be opened and generally the number of violent attacks by antivivisectionists has diminished. Is there still a need for your organisation?
“We’re here to explain to the public that these nutters have their right to free speech but they are liars and they are wrong”
LP: I think there definitely is still a need for Pro-Test. I think it’s fair to say we have won in Oxford. Animals are coming into the lab in a couple of months, the building is completely done and I think the public really accepts that it is a vital medical tool. But there are still a lot of other labs either under construction or planned around the country that could be targeted by the anti-vivisectionists. So, we’re going to stick around to react to any pressure there. Also we have moved into doing more lower scale interaction with the public, such as talks in schools, having debates at universities and that sort of thing. Whilst it doesn’t reach the same scale audience as marching, you get to put the arguments across in a much more reasoned manner. AG: In the past
some animal rights campaigners have shown not only a disdain for democratic procedure but have been prepared to resort to terrorist tactics. How, as a society, do you think we should deal with people like that? LP: I think when it comes to those who threaten to engage in these kinds of attacks, we need as individuals to face them in the arena of debate. We need to go out, march publicly, try to speak with them publicly and tell them why they are absolutely wrong and why it’s never acceptable to use violence or intimidation as part of a political campaign. At the moment if any of them perpetrate any kind of violence against private property or individuals, they need to be locked up. They need to have the full force of the law brought against them. But until that point we need to engage with them and explain why they are wrong, rather than try to stop their right to free speech. In some cases the government has been a bit too eager to silence their demonstrations and to some degree that’s why Pro-Test is here. We’re here to explain to the public that these nutters have their right to free speech but they are liars and they are wrong. AG: Do you think there is any weight to the claims that animal testing is an outmoded way of doing research? LP: In some instances absolutely. That’s why we now have computer models, micro-testing, in vitro tests and so forth. But the thing is, the animal rights lobby are constantly arguing, especially the Europeans for Medical Progress and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, that we can replace all animal tests with these new treatments, these magic bullets, overnight. This simply isn’t true. 26
“We’re nowhere near the stage that we can replicate a whole human body using a computer model. Test tubes, for example, don’t get pregnant” They keep on saying that we need to research these things more, that scientists aren’t pushing enough, which is absolute rubbish. Animal testing is an extremely expensive process. I went around a lab that was using Marmosets, which are very small primates, which cost £2,000 to £4,000 each. For Macaques, not that primates are used very much, it costs about £15,000 per monkey. To pay all the staff, to get licensing, get the building, keep it clean and so on is an incredibly expensive process. If they could do this research with a Petri dish or a computer, they would. The problem is a Petri dish can replicate a few cells or maybe an area of tissue at once. Our best computer models can model the folding of a few proteins together. Of course, each one of your cells has millions of proteins and you have a few trillion cells in your body. We’re nowhere near the stage that we can replicate a whole human body using a computer model. Test tubes, for example, don’t get pregnant. So, how are we going research the likelihood of birth defects when testing a drug using a test tube? They don’t have a circularity system and so on. So, these are techniques that are used as much as possible and they keep on being improved. Every year the companies doing research and the government spend hundreds of millions of pounds replacing animal testing. When you can reduce, replace and refine animal testing it saves money and brings even better results. However we are at least a couple of decades off being able to replace animal testing; probably thirty or forty years. However when that day comes, I will be overjoyed because research will be able to advance quicker and it will be cheaper. We are far off that day and to reach it we need animal testing.
The Battle Over Vivisection KEITH MANN Andrew Gibson interviews two activists, one in favour of vivisection and the other against, about protesting, science and their latest battleground, Oxford University.
PROFILE: Keith Mann is a veteran animal rights campaigner. In the 1990s he spent 7 years in jail for 21 offences, including possession of explosives, incitement, criminal damage and escape from custody. He is involved with Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, SPEAK and many believe he is also a leading member of the Animal Liberation Front. He has recently released a book, From Dusk ‘til Dawn, which deals with the history of the animal rights movement.
“If people think they are going to be sent to prison for a lawful campaign, they will think to break the law and do something that will probably be more effective. So this is what’s happening now”
human beings. This applies to Oxford University, where the government has poured in nearly £100 million just to ensure that lab gets built. Now, that money has run out and any protests that continue from today are going to cost Oxford University, themselves rather than the taxpayer, money to protect that lab. It’s more important now than ever that those protests continue and escalate. Oxford are aware of this which is why they are pouring more and more money into injunctions to keep protesters away from their property. In my view, it’s time for more protests outside the Oxford lab. AG: Some animal rights protesters use illegal, direct action and you have spent time in jail for such practices. Are animal rights activists obliged to follow the law?
AG: The building site of the biomedical research centre in Oxford has been protested consistently for the last couple of years. It is soon to be opened. Should the protesters just give up? KM: Absolutely not. There is so much money being spent on protecting people who torture animals in laboratories and the building of new laboratories; money being diverted from healthcare to
KM: Unfortunately, the law doesn’t work. We’ve seen now, more and more with the use of injunctions, that we are not allowed to protest anymore. The right to protest has been taken away in many instances. For example, I can’t go to Oxford University tomorrow with a placard because I will be arrested and sent to prison. That is what’s happening in this country, so clearly that’s going to make a lot of people who want to engage in lawful protest think that they can’t. If people think they are going to be sent to prison for a lawful campaign, they will think to break the law and do something that will probably be more effective. So this is what’s happening now. The
“There’s a lot of evidence tens of thousands of people have died very recently because they have been given products tested on animals” government is making more people think about acting outside the law because you can no longer change things within the law in this country. AG: Do you think there is any weight to the claims that animal testing is an outmoded way of doing research? KM: The only people who are calling for a full, independent enquiry into the whole area of animal research and testing are animal activists, people who oppose vivisection. We want an enquiry to establish whether there is any benefit to all these things we’re doing to other animals, and I suggest there isn’t at all and there never has been. The only people that are challenging that and opposing such an enquiry, which there has never been anywhere in the world ever, are people who are engaged in animal experimentation. That for me is a telling enough state of affairs, that shows that those people who are engaged in animal research don’t think it would stand up to scrutiny. There’s a lot of evidence tens of thousands of people have died very recently because they have been given products tested on animals. There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that we’re not benefiting from animal research and this whole theory needs testing once and for all. This is a primary demand of the animal rights movement, that we have an inquiry and establish what we are learning from this kind of research.
5.)6%23)49 5 452.
A certain amount of insatiableness permeates through the walls of University, as the out dated equation of graduates amounting to an elite still lingers on. Despite this linkage becoming increasingly unstable, in light of the government’s aim to have 50% of under thirties in higher education by 2010, this presumption of having a career offered to us on a silver platter remains resolute. Perhaps in this sense, the traditional antipathy towards students, that we see the world as owing us something, is slightly justified. The underlying rationale for this perception comes down to the air of arrogance that some students appear to exude. This slur originates from the conceit of comfort that University aims to trade off against our unhindered ability to rack and stack our debts. But comfort is the fool’s gold of complacency, which is at once naive and deceiving. The prospect of having the graduate label slathered onto us once we finish our stint as a student, allows us to construct a reality where we will be somewhat exalted above the rest. University sets us up as an ‘other’ within society. This distinctiveness flatters our egos with the sense of deservedness that unleashes our minds to grasp at fleeting thoughts of the high life because, after all, that is what we have destined for us. It is this self assured forecast of success that bothers people, because it contradicts the very nature of the future being an uncertain terrain. It is this ingrained set of presumptions that predisposes us to the modern age depression of affluenza, as they have a built-in treachery of setting us up for a fall. The general diagnosis put forth by noted clinical psychologist, Oliver James, is that we strive to live according to our merits, as opposed to our means. The obvious pitfall of which is where the perception of your merits becomes inflated and askew; a distortion that University bestows upon us. In this respect, unlikely though it is, 28
Madonna could be deemed to be somewhat of a prophet in terms of her all encompassing message that ‘we live in a material world and I am a material girl.’ Perhaps prophet may be an overly generous term to peg on her, but it does seem to grab modern culture by the balls and summarise the ethics by which we lead our lives. Certainly there are those Marxist sympathisers out there who detest capitalism, but it’s amazing how many eventually waltz around suited and booted, slurping down a Frappacino like nobody’s business. So maybe old muscly Madge has a point, social status can be seen to lie in an inextricable spoon with the demands of the environment in which we live. We must conform and embrace the materialistic ethos or we simply don’t belong.
h#OMFORT¬IS¬THE¬ FOOLS¬GOLD¬OF¬ COMPLACENCYv The hushed words of Paul Simon echo this point when he observed that ‘all the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made.’ We have made a false idol of celebrities who epitomise the ultimate emblem of capitalist magnificence as we leach from their lives in tat mags, flicking the pages with twinges of jealousy. This benchmark of materialism has become parasitic on our lives, with an ever escalating hunger to chase the dragon of affluence so as to manifest our worth. In his book, ‘Affluenza’ James asserts that everybody is now endowed with a cyclopic vision, where the green eye of envy filters and manipulates our world vision. Reflecting the ‘Animal Farm’ warning that power corrupts, James anchors it down to the lower rungs of the social hierarchy to say that as money represents power, we are all susceptible to its corrosive nature. Money secures power and power breeds greed.
"Y¬!LEXANDER¬$OLPHIN Exacerbated by the permutations of Americanised free market capitalism, success is measured in terms of wealth, which in turn is consolidated by the desired outward impression of affluence. We have become preoccupied with aligning ourselves to this construct of opulence so as to secure respect from one’s peers. Hence consumerism is the Mecca to which we cast our prayers. So surely University can only aid us in this worship as it nestles our foot nicely in the door of capitalism? Whilst graduates remain the most highly sought after applicants for top salaried jobs, there is on average 28 applications for each graduate job. Competition is rife amongst the ‘elite’ nowadays, which renders the clean sailing path towards prosperity jumbled and exceedingly demanding. Consequently, it can be seen that students are the most susceptible to succumbing to affluenza and, in the eyes of Oliver James, also mental illness. The student eye is too big for its belly and indeed its wallet. This epidemic of overconsumption is perpetuated by the University environment as the root cause is living by way of comparison. ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ as it is termed, refers to the way in which our self worth is measured via affluenza values of social and material envy. So when surrounded by those who have achieved the graduate dream, our ego takes a pummelling and slinks our sprits into a mire of depression and anxiety. This is a material world and image is everything! But with everybody pelting it after the cash cow, the distance from the goal never narrows and we find ourselves imprisoned within our own lust and the accompanying dissatisfaction. The Harry Enfield parody of the ‘90s ‘loadsa money’ philosophy never died; it just assimilated itself into the wider population and effortlessly became the norm. This epidemic is only too prominent as the national average debt continues
to escalate with people consuming in excess of their needs. This scramble to the top is self destructive in the sense that people are compelled to clamber towards this elusive image whilst having to grapple with the correlative monetary shortfall. Now that graduation symbolises the ripening of our ephemeral debts into a compulsive responsibility, are we not deluding ourselves to assume that the jet setting can kick start straight away? It is an underlying confusion between our wants and needs that James emphasises, as the values of appearances, earnings and possessions conflate ‘having’ with ‘being.’ To muddle our needs with what we want establishes materialism as an imperative and, where cravings lie unfulfilled, we will become further disaffected.
h4HERE¬IS ¬ON¬ AVERAGE ¬¬ APPLICATIONS¬FOR¬ EACH¬GRADUATE¬JOBv Perhaps it’s too far generalised to proclaim that all students are lackadaisical and are blissfully content with resting on their laurels, rather than trying to warrant a top notch career. However, even those who dunk their fingers in every bucket going on campus can also be said to be feeding into the affluenza virus and, in some ways, they are the starkest examples. There is a plethora of societies and organisations with which one can get involved in relatively unhampered at University, whether it is with something that particularly enthrals you or just because it’s there. The obvious allure is that it will make a glittering addition to your CV. Not to sound overly cynical but many who partake in extracurricular life do so with a preponderantly selfish attitude of careerism. Furthermore, this approach isn’t very covert, being advocated by 29
both the University and the Student’s Union as a means of bolstering the résumé. We’re all guilty of this and it’s a trend that will never dwindle away because this is the reality in which we live, but to what extent do these pursuits actually benefit us? Whilst there are examples of those who are stimulated by their commitments, there exists an ample proportion that simply go through the motions. There is an abundance of CVs dredging up past commitments in an exercise of padding out as half of whom who lunge into projects eventually ebb away. Once they feel they’ve served their time to flag it up as a position of responsibility, the purpose is fulfilled and off they pop to salvage their normal life. This revolving door of attendance can present a flurry of activity in one’s academic career, whilst in fact it seems to twang at a sense of distrust. These endeavours fail to be entirely convincing as on the face of it they are their passionate interests, yet, if so, then why not pick one as a career? Are we simply gluttons for cosmetic achievements with which we can adorn our CVs? Unfortunately it would appear so, as despite all these sparkling commitments we still only pursue them as collateral to avoid slipping the net on the big bucks jobs. Indeed, I don’t think any of us are entirely immune, but that’s the crux of James’ argument, that affluenza is a virus camouflaging itself beneath self deceit. We all believe it’s what we need without realising that it is, in fact, what we want. In light of the capitalist ethos prioritising belongings and wealth, this desire has been amplified to such a degree that to not attain it, we are, in effect, socially redundant. This connection is nurtured within students as we are blinkered by the reassurance that a degree is our ticket to ride, the problem being of course that graduates don’t, as a right, rule the roost anymore.
Clim a t e C on han Tria ge l by Be
On April 10th 2007, a bus-load of activists concerned about climate change headed towards the single worst source of air pollution in the East Midlands, a power plant at Ratcliffe-on-Soar, located across the M1 from Sutton-Bonnington. Eleven people peacefully walked in, climbed up and locked themselves to the machinery. Impact Science reporter, Ben Samuel looks at this drastic solution to pollution.
The Head of Security was on holiday when the eleven activists entered the site. Using ordinary household equipment, they locked on to a range of railings, fire protection pipes, and “trash screens” which are designed to filter large stones out of the coal. One then ran up the coal chute and stayed a while in the rafters, covered in coal dust. The law states clearly that the owners are responsible for the safety of those on site, meaning the conveyor belts had to be stopped. The police were called and arrived to cut the protesters from their positions, but not before they had prevented an estimated 5,000 tonnes of coal from getting to the bunkers. The activists were arrested, questioned, and released on bail.
In court, they did not deny their actions, but pleaded innocence on the defence of “duress of circumstances”, or the necessity that they had to act because human lives were threatened by climate change. “I realised I was living in denial,” testified Sam Brown, an ecology graduate who has chosen not to raise children in such an uncertain future. “Drastic action needs to be taken...yesterday! Otherwise it will be too late.” In a landmark case of climate action on trial, the judge found the climate activists guilty, and imposed fines on them that totalled £2,670. The decision to convict the activists will have far-reaching implications for others contemplating similar actions. The case for action was based on scientific fact, which was not disputed by the crown prosecutor. The activists called an expert witness, Dr Simon Lewis, Royal Society Research Fellow at the Earth & Biosphere Institute of the University of Leeds. He is a member of the Royal Society’s Climate Change Advisory Network and was an advisor to the government during preparations for the G8 and UN meetings discussing climate change. In giving his evidence, Dr Lewis used the term ‘nonlinearities’: points at which global warming feeds back to generate more global warming, creating a spiral effect. Previously regarded as a stable atmosphere, scientists now think the biosphere is fragile, and could be thrown into a state of catastrophic climate change. Every climate scientist with an academic position agreed that the government’s 2-degree target is already 50% likely to tip the system over the edge. Climate chaos is not like gradually polluting a lake as it gets gradually muddier and muddier; it is more like blowing the lake up; the situation is no longer reversible.
“Drastic action needs to be taken...yesterday! Otherwise it will be too late” Sam Brown. Ecology Graduate
What about the victims of climate change? The court heard Dr Lewis state in a low tones that in Mumbai in 2005, a record-breaking 1 metre of rain fell in a single day. 1,000 people died. There are extensive studies on every continent, which can be compared with climate models. And in the UK? We can be threatened by floods, and reduced crop yields. But even if we were safe, this is an increasingly globalized and interdependent world, In court, the activists asked and troubles in one place can be felt elsewhere. These problems affect us all. In court, the activists asked how much carbon dioxide his plant produces but Plant Manager Ray ‘forgot’ to bring any data how much carbon dioxide to his evidence session.
his plant produces but Plant Manager Ray ‘forgot’ to bring any data to his evidence session
District Judge Morris Cooper decided that in these unclear legal waters, catastrophic climate change should be tackled by democratic government, not autonomous individuals who might use the cause to mask criminality. Perhaps it was a generation gap, older generations of campaigners have disarmed military jets and got away with it by arguing they were stopping an unlawful activity. A spokesperson from the power-plant said the activists “...had acted irresponsibly by breaking the law.” However, Nottingham MP, Alan Simpson, himself an environmental champion, has admitted that you have to get a lot of people to break a bad law to get the law changed. The power station’s cooling towers are a symbol of our wasteful and careless society. It’s possible that the wasted steam released from Ratcliffe could be piped to provide free hot water for the entire borough of Rushcliffe. The people convicted for their ‘unlawful protest’ were simply using a creative strategy designed to raise the public’s attention to the government’s wasteful policies, which are only green on the surface. The government is continuing to press ahead with coal power stations, and even granting planning permission for a new station to be built in Kent. Storming the plant at Ratcliffe was worth a try to bring these issues to attention of the public and the media.
Nottingham MP, Alan Simpson, himself an environmental champion, has admitted that you have to get a lot of people to break a bad law to get the law changed
Image: Ratcliffe-on-Soar by Charles Walker 28 30
grapevine Wednesday 4th June, 7.30pm A Perfect Ganesh Written by Terrence McNally. Directed by Pallavi Dhody Unlike anything produced by New Theatre before, this Pulitzer nominee written by Terrence McNally (of The Full Monty fame) turns the pilgrimage tradition on its head as it follows two friends on their trip to India. Plagued by their pasts, American housewives Katherine Brynne and Margaret Civil travel the length and breadth of the country looking to ‘heal’ their souls. In their adventures, they are accompanied by none other than the elephant-headed God, Ganesh, who, fluid in his guises, appears before them in different forms - from a Japanese tourist to a 7-year old child. Until 7th June www.newtheatre.org.uk
Saturday June 7th, 10pm – 6am Firefly 8th Birthday Party Alter Ego Live, Fergie, Ben Sims, Jeet, Max Cooper, Ross Eden Marcus Garvey Ballroom Tickets - £8.50 Online Earlybirds / £10 Earlybird from Reps / £13 Tickets Info 07811 391010 www.ilovefirefly.net
Monday 9th June, 7.30pm
Music New Theatre
Tuesday 10th June, 7.30pm
Saturday June 28th, 11pm-5am
University Wind Orchestra & Musicality Concert BlowSoc & Musicality
Steppin’ Out - Hear a variety of dances from the University Wind Orchestra and a selection of songs and choruses from the musical stage by Musicality. Great Hall, Trent Building Tickets: £8 (£5 Concessions / £4 UON Students) www.lakesidearts.org.uk
Room 1: Guest TBC Parker & Pasquale, Collo, Room 2, Robochop, Steve Gibson @ Rapture, Joclar House, Swan Street, Loughborough, LE11 5BL £4 before 11, £5 after 11 and NUS all night, £6 after 1am 07738517270 www.myspace.com/shivooclub
Monday 4th-Friday 8th August, 10am-4pm
Tuesday 10th June, 7.30pm New Theatre presents… Stars in Their Eyes A fundraiser for the New Theatre Edinburgh Production. Until 13th June www.newtheatre.org.uk
Wednesday 11th June, 6pm University Philharmonia Join the orchestra for a concert of colour and contrast including works from Bach, Haydn and Martinu. Djanogly Recital Hall Tickets: £6 (£5 Concessions / £3 UON Students) www.lakesidearts.org.uk
Contemporary World Music Summer School Lakeside Arts Centre Children from 12+ will be introduced to a selection of instruments and musical techniques from around the world including steel pans, beat-boxing and samba. D H Lawrence Pavilion £60 for the week www.lakesidearts.org.uk
MusSoc Concert with Viva Voce The concert will include a performance by chamber choir Viva Voce of Will Todd’s Latin jazz Mass in Blue. Great Hall, Trent Building Tickets: £8 (£5 Concessions / £4 UON Students) www.lakesidearts.org.uk”
Wednesday 25th June, 8pm Blazin’ Fiddles Concert Lakeside Arts Centre Scotland’s award winning group draws the distinct flavour of fiddle music from various regions of the highlands and islands. Djanogly Theatre Tickets: £15 (£12 Concessions) www.lakesidearts.org.uk
Monday 2nd June - Sunday 21st June
Wednesday 5th June, 1-9pm
September 2008 Volunteering over the Summer and beyond! SCA
Sounds on the Downs University Park Campus Downs Students’ Union
Would you like to do some volunteering this summer? We’ve got 100s of volunteering opportunities for you to get involved with. These include environmental work, sports & activity days, health / care work, and events (music/arts festivals, fun runs, fundraising for charities). We’ve got all kinds of things for you to do to make the most of your summer. You’ll meet new people, gain some amazing experience and have fun. See our website or pop into the SCA Office in Portland Building for more information. www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/volunteering 31
University of Nottingham’s annual free green festival, this year bigger and greener than ever before! With: local bands, djs, acoustic tent, dance tent, ecocinema, workshops, juggling, fire poi, dressing up box, facepainting, body art, dancing, local food, society and community stalls, local and ethical traders, sculpture, group graffiti, and much much more -all powered 100% renewably by V3 power!!
We donâ€™t usually have the space to dedicate whole pages to images, so the bumper issue is the perfect opportunity to showcase the work of some the best student photographers at the university. We hope you enjoy it.
Fishing boat at twilight in Ghana
A child doing homework during a scheduled blackout in Ghana
Aliens go the fairground
A meerkat, taken at the Cotswold Wildlife Park
Dan Gillespie Sells from The Feeling, taken at Rock City
The Escuelas Nacionales de Arte/National Art Schools in Cubanacan, Havana by the Cuban Architect Ricardo Porro
Obispo Arts Feria/Obispa street Arts market, Old Havana, Cuba
Grand Central Station, New York
Female leopard, South Africa
A nice, although somewhat strange, man who was obsessed with the pigeons at Trafalgar Square
Seagulls in the sky, taken in San Francisco on the boat to Alcatraz.
My friend Saija in a studio in Stockholm on a photography course
A protestor at the NUSâ€™ Admission Impossible march, London.
Sydney Opera House, as seen from the cruise liner terminal, Australia.
A skiier, captured with a high shutter speed.
Times Square, New York.
SCRUFFY’S BONNINGTON £200 £260
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D EA D LI N E
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EX TE N D ED
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SAVOY CINEMA £200
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SU SHOP £180
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C H ES T
C O M M U N IT Y
THE OLD PEACOCK £160
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CROCUS CAFE £140
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JUBILEE CAMPUS £200
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CHANCE THE HAPPY RETURN £100
EL PASSO PIZZA £100
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IN RY RA B LI
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N O TT O PO LY
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THE CASTLE £400
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SHORT LOAN FINE PAY £200 SHORT LOAN FINE PAY £200 CHANCE
? KING’S MEADOW £200 YE OLD TRIP £300
LAKESIDE CENTRE £300
WOLLATON PARK £320
G O LAKESIDE CENTRE £300
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OCEAN £60 YE OLD TRIP £300
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m to olu les m do tis or ro er yL re m gu iu m feu nt eu it re ve y ip ip it nd m m eu ip lla cu ud sl eu m nc rti fac str ni feu t y nu m Lo p na , su n he feu ua m m di ut ag tie lp co m et am co lor eseq isi cte m nu d am se core si ra feu cte co tru tem em d do ve eu ion lla , se es n am od nu lobor od i q ip o od e tat ustru r am sa iam o sc se sto t len utat. du od lor ps olo m su au do di ui nim re ole de lp s nit mm pat di od nt nu ip nis m is se m nd sit od ve ptatu ti cil ion n ve ve lorti od si. riure y nu ni cu ut or lism du o m m m fac et lob ve ro er nt lu lor ad sa n do ilis et, zz m r rp ve do do lis lum is no sc ing lum co et nu rilla niam e vo gait lorpe bo am ad m ve do feu ipism num lao t iam n zz ve ut au do r su olo , qu rit feu m ud du no ul o co hent uipi ad prati m am at il lor re od am zz lute uatu str nulla od em min e di m r ua qu nt am con scid olor Ut lao m ro ni su do eq no os o tat e lput ni olo qu se ul ni iliq re iu et ip m ns em guer o di d dolor y nu mag mod to ag m iu od tat. sl num ali r n es m ua s el ea olo er tru ali s e m bh l ni co ni t ni n ve ag bla dolor eu n es m m ur ud tat ut ud m re eq ui sto re t ni o od i bla Lo n es ncid cipsu cillao t utpa he bh er sm eliqu i. he ali co m faci et is ex , co dr ra gia com iri str ute enit rostr nu in ni u p re lis m ilis sl in nt ea ud feu m, m no lp ns iure sis ad co rti pe tin ua eq Lo lor ero eq at am my ns m di isis el t ni aesse Dui nostr agna molo t, ve augia dolen feu bla tet nu cum ti nu t, co um lor Ut ut do rp veles pt m co cte en ee pr at. uis m d di it ero g ea isi pu ac lor cte ps o do at. min im Lo re llu feu et, sse ns dr at lupt eq nsed estru ndre cip etu in si eu ul lor do sse di od di re in . , dion do m ae tem m tie nd e m ns co ra ve psus iu s nu it la lam ip re co velen t pr nt tat um er ui ad ci ele tu at m no lam re ut am nd au du wi ga lp ro m ui ul ps t os er ra etu to s nd t au e olu feu nu si bla he orem em n et reet ue nulla it eu t. D n Dui t ali er gu iure llaor cid ni liscin nse vel les en ns m do tis or no t, min lla or no mco i tat co ga ua co at. len s etu feu m vu liqui erat ve t, co m m , co is t re m ign iri ro er yL ate re et nu nt lob my lla fac ero feu nseq iam at ut e ve Dui ecte re nim ve n dunt cte ipsu re nd gia nd at m gu iu iu re du m nu ea d ulla co ea ad qu etu at. ns e co at in co m se eu m ve au bla t pr feu nt eu it Lo m t lu rem em lesse isl odo g t, re qu co ut llupt d m am isi lor el m ssi ni re ve y ip ip eu t illa ali ve eu t ali nd lor do du m t in gia riu sse s do min nu tru erilis aliqu do quisl . it nd m m eu ip lla ni ve mm dio nc e sl di au m zz erae no ed my n es ero at tem at, aessi nibh rera hent uam cu ud sl eu m nc tin nu re ati ut etu s ali lobor llu ing m i es m co ex lupt od pt t pr olo n eq rti fac sustr ni feu t y nu qu n ni cu rc cu i te l t sm it lu ee lam ism sa les he feu ua m l Lo , p tio nd nu na m de ul do n tie m m di ut ag bla nim msa m do ssit n ve fac lorpe fac iusc m at. U t ni ip lor n eq etu e de lp co m et am co lor eseq isi cte m ele cu m ni d Dui msa feu do feu or illa pt ate e du is do co les ero gu nu d am se core si ra feu cte co fac lla aese at. etu ip ea m lla lob et ac llu orer lor in io ea d do gu it au tru tem em d do ve eu ion lla , se il es n sc am nu l er t ud m feu s nu do re od t nu lobor od i q bla t do isc t ad estru ex eu l il er iam at. ip o od e tat ustru r am msa riu un pi lu io o ea se ve sc sto olo zz ci au du pa g id str len ut du od lor ps olo nu su au do di ui m re ole ac ole t do cing eet di mod s od um in m lit ut r in ui te ve de lp nit m t di od ip nis m cilis se veni nd ti m od g eli tin or e ui ps dolor nu de vulp , co liq essim re nu nis cum utpa sit m dunt ve atu ti ion n ve lor od pt o od in re lob t lor iliq equi l wisis tum ese ilit it ve m si. riu my m fac et or velis ro t. er nt lu lor ad sa n do lob riu do U m ns nt ve nt ee s iusc ip cincip pa ilis et, zz m r rp ve do do lis lum is no sc ing lum co et nu rilla niam e vo gait lorpe bo am ad m ve do feu ipism num lao od tpat. illa e co du he lor at wi t nc tin lput t iam n zz ve ut au do r su olo , qu rit feu tum ud lla du no in ul dio lu lum or it acin nt do ut equa nosti re vu co hent uipi ad prati m am at il lor re zz te od e r str do lob euga s du lan ns it , co em ua qu am n id r t ro niam m dolu equa no os nu o od tatem e m lput nim olo qu sent ullao do on atissi vel tat d tio euga am or ni co sc olo U iliq su re iu et ip m ns em guer o di d dolor y nu mag mod to ag m iu od tat. sl num ali r n ni lob di qu n lu se in es m ua s el ea olo er tru ali s e m bh l ni co ali msa m do on e el hent l do ni t ni n ve ag bla dolor eu n es m m ur ud tat ut ud m re eq ui sto re t ni o od i bla ve eu re ptati or in Lo n es ncid cipsu cillao t utpa he bh er sm eliqu i. he ali co m faci et is ex , co dr ra gia com iri str ute enit rostr nu in ni u re lis m ilis sl in nt ea ud Lo t lu lob er lam feu m, m no lp ns iure sis ad co rti pe tin ua eq p U t vo lor alit Lo lor ero eq at am my ns m di isis el t ni aesse Dui nostr agna molo t, ve augia dolen feu bla tet nu cum ti nu t, co um lor Ut ut di o do do rp veles pt m co cte en ee pr at. uis m d di it ero g ea isi pu ac lor cte ps o do at. min im er tatem Lo re llu feu et, sse ns dr at lupt eq nsed estru ndre cip etu in si eu ul lor do sse di od di re in . on do m ae tem m tie nd e m lu ns co ra ve psus iu s nu it la lam ip re co velen t pr nt tat um , di wi ga lput nd nd em au du et no ro re m Dui ullam ps t am os erat ratu or er ui s ad cinci e ele l etu t au nse feu nu si bla he or em n et re ue nulla it eu t. n Dui t ali er gu iure lla cid ni lis ns ve en is co tat co t no t, min lla or no mco i co ga ua m , at. len s etu feu m vu ui erat ve co m re m ign iri ate re et nu nt lob my lla fac ero feu nseq iam at ut e ve Dui ecte re nim veliq n dunt ctet, ipsu nd gia nd at iu re du m nu ea d ulla co ea ad qu etu at. ns e co at in co m se eu ve au bla t pr Lo m t lu rem em lesse isl odo g t, re qu co ut llupt d m am isi lor el m ssi ni eu t illa ali ve eu t ali nd lor do du m t in gia riu sse s do min nu tru erilis aliqu do quisl . ni ve mm dio nc e sl di au m zz erae no ed my n es ero at tem at, aessi nibh rera hent uam tin nu re ati ut etu s ali lobor llu ing m i es m co ex lupt od pt t pr olo n eq cu rc cu i te l t sm it lu ee lam ism sa les tio nd m qu n ni do t nu l m de ul bla ni msa m do ssi n ve fac lorpe fac iusc m at. U t ni ip lor n eq etu e de ele cu m ni d Dui msa feu do feu or illa pt ate e du is do co les ero gu fac lla aese at. etu ip ea m lla lob et ac llu orer lor in io ea d do gu it au il ad tru eu er sc nu l er t ud m feu s nu do re bla t do ve idun str lu g ea dipi io olo zzriu ci au duisc pat g es ex vel il ac ole t do cin eet mod s od um in m lit ut r in ui te od g eli tin or e ui ps dolor nu de vulp , co liq essim in re lob t lor iliq equi l wisis tum ese ilit it ve t. riu do U m ns nt ve nt ee s iusc ip cincip pa od tpat. illa e co du he lor at wi t nc tin lput lu lum or it acin nt do ut equa nosti re vu do lob euga s du lan ns it , co em do on atissi vel tat d tio euga am or ni lob di qu n lu se in ali msa m do on e el hent l do ve eu re ptati or in Lo t lu lob er lam U t vo lor alit di o do er tatem lu
N R A TE LL IGH PU -N LL A
LENTON BOULEVARD £280
This is Nott Monopoly You’ve been over indulging yourself in the post exam after party frenzy and you need a night in- gather your housemates around you, crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy this very special and exclusively customised (not at all plagiarised) board game.
• • • •
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• 34 Bus is late - miss your lecture - go back two spaces Donate £5 to Demo Get trapped at CU talk whilst stealing food - miss a go Buy Fair Trade coffee outside Hallward- advance to Deadline Extended Lose your library card- pay £15 Volunteer at Crocus Café - advance to Deadline Extended Go on a Karni Rag raid- pay £5 Leave your window open - lap top gets stolen - pay £700 for a new one Compete in Miss Nottingham - receive £10 Set off the fire alarm in halls- fined £50 Park on campus- fined £60 Complete the university survey- win £100 Get out of Hallward free card It’s your birthday- receive £10 from each player You have unprotected sex - if you own the QMC get the morning after pill for free- otherwise pay £25 You direct a New Theatre play- collect £5 from each player Your land lord is non existent - perform street repairs £20 per house and £100 per hotel Launch a new student club night- collect £100
Super fun disclaimer: Monopoly is a trademark of Hasbro. This is not an official Monopoly product and is not endorsed by Hasbro. If you enjoy playing this, check out the real paid-for version. Please don’t sue us.
DARKER THAN NOIR photography richard round turner styling simone konu and maryanne veit fashion assistant laura sedgwick models tara and james
tara. black dress with white lace detail SAN TELMO MARKET, BUENOS AIRES james. vintage burberry trench coat CELIAâ€™S VINTAGE, cashmere polo neck jumper
above. coat CELIA’S VINTAGE right. black dress with white lace detail SAN TELMO MARKET, BUENOS AIRESSAN TELMO MARKET, BUENOS AIRES SAN TELMO MARKET, BUENOS AIRES
tara. coat CELIAâ€™S Vintage james. as before
above. tara: sequin dress BAKLASH VINTAGE, tights PRIMARK, shoes OXFAM ORIGINALS james. vintage burberry trench coat and hat CELIA’S VINTAGE trousers OXFAM ORIGINALS right. sequin dress CELIA”S VINTAGE oposite. tara: lace top and full length skirt BAKLASH VINTAGE james. as above
Sequin Dress CELIA’S VINTAGE
Do Gooder Chic or Fashion Trend Victim? Mary-Anne Veit investigates the new trend of Awareness Fashion This season’s key piece is jumpsuits. They came around in the eighties, when we were all too young to care, and unfortunately have been recycled amongst designers only a few decades later. Last year it was leggings and slogan t-shirts. Does it not seem that the fashion world is having a severe case of nostalgia or deja-vous? In fact, does it not seem that every key item this decade is just a product of some previous decade, and we should just hoard everything our mothers and grandmothers have had for years? Fashion is merely being rehashed, questioning what will really mark the noughties decade? The seventies was marked by flares and disco, the eighties was shoulder pads and power dressing.
“If money from the garment doesn’t go to the cause, how much change is really happening?” There has been no key look to define the last two decades, with them both really being a showcase of fashion history, with trends coming and going in single seasons, rather than pieces of innovation. It brings to mind Oscar Wilde’s description, “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” And we’ve altered it so much that now we’re repeating. However, there is a solution, which we can all proudly tell our grandchildren when they ask why our designers were so boring
and unoriginal when it came to fashion, and this will be ‘Awareness fashion took place instead!’ Awareness fashion is seen everywhere, whether it be the Anya Hindmarch ‘I’m not just a plastic bag’ bag, the numerous Breast Cancer supporting t-shirts, or the new H&M ‘Inspiration’ Line which has celebrities such as Rihanna and Jade Jagger designing t-shirts for the H&M Fashion Against AIDS range. However, although fashion is using itself to make people more aware of causes, how much do we really care? Cynical as this may sound, but is it more likely that the Anya Hindmarch £5 slogan bag sold out straight away due to us all wanting to solve the plastic bag problem which it was designed for, or was it more because a top designer for celebrities was designing a bag us ordinary people could afford? The fact that it sold out within hours of hitting the shop floor and then went on sale at eBay for £200, doesn’t necessarily indicate that its popularity was because we all decided that the itbag of the season needed to correspond with our eco-consciousness desire. Likewise slogan t-shirts famously saying ‘Drop Beats Not Bombs’ or ‘Make Love Not War’, could be worn due to their political messages but are most likely to be worn by those trying to replicate some sort of ‘nu-rave’ look, after all they are
just over-sized t-shirts at the end of the day. Whilst companies such as Marks & Spencer, which give 30% of its retail price on Breast Cancer products, to a Breast Cancer Organisation, and H&M which gives 25% of its Fashion Against AIDS Range to YouthAids to raise awareness, cannot be faulted on their financial help and indeed on making important issues fashionable, how much actually changes in the persona of the shopper – particularly one who is concerned with key trends? Would the breast cancer symbol be so popular if it wasn’t in pink?
“We all decided that the it-bag of the season needed to correspond with our eco-consciousness desire” It’s great that such an expensive industry which is surrounded by celebrities is trying to promote causes and make the young in particular aware of important issues. Yet, if money from the garment doesn’t go to the cause, how much change is really happening? That’s the problem with fashion. There are those who don’t care enough about fashion to care about making sure their next t-shirt will promote a cause - who buy a t-shirt because they need a t-shirt - and then there are those who care too much about fashion, who see a cause as a must-have and a mere trend, without caring too much about the cause itself.
Scouting For Style by Sophie Ronald People-watching has reached new heights following the growing popularity of a string of websites that do just that, scout out everyday people dressed well. Perhaps the biggest website of this kind is facehunter.blogspot.com where young street ‘photographer’ and French dandy, who describes himself on his website as, ‘a man out and about in london and beyond: eye candy for the style hungry’. Yvan goes round his native Paris as well as countless other world-wide trendy cities with his camera and eye for style. Off the back of his website Yvan has been printed in magazines from Elle to GQ to
Vice. The idea of street style is not new but this presentation of a daily updated picture blog featuring the bold and the beautiful in some of the most glamorous and the trendy and sometimes surprising destinations in Europe and beyond has a certain upgraded feel compared with the usual format of ‘where did you get that outfit?’ feature in magazines. The nice thing about Facehunter is it that bypasses obsessing about the latest and newest catwalk trends and top to toe ‘conceptual looks’ in favour of street trends or rather how various styles and 66
fashions have assimilated into everyday wear and how these trends are translated into workable outfits for the wearers normal day. Obviously some of the outfits are still completely un-wearable, this is usually in the weeks that he is covering high profile fashion events, but there is always something exciting to look at and they remind you that getting dressed in the morning whatever you’re doing that day can be a joy.
We Heart Summmer Style by Mary-Anne Veit It’s that time of year again, exams and dissertation hell will soon be over, thick ribbed tights and fur coats are so Autumn/Winter, the clocks have moved forward, so summer must be here! But once Uni ends, where will you go to spend what’s left of your loan? And most importantly, what will you wear? Fear not, Impact’s style team are here, to give you exclusive tips on how to make Summer 2008 your best yet…
Trend 1. Florals Summer would not be complete without a fresh take on the timeless ditsy-floral print seen in Luella’s spring /summer flirtation. Top Tip - Individualise your High Street floral finds, with structured accessories. Think Gladiator Sandals, Doctor Martins, Flat Brogues, and for that added rock-a- billy look, teem a ditsy floral print miniskirt with a vintage tee.
Trend 2. Jumpsuits, Playsuits And Dungarees Oh yes ladies, the ‘70s inspired all-in-one is back, and it’s a summer must have for fashion’s most daring. From American Apparel’s cotton playsuits seen in a myriad of shapes and shades to H&M’s nautically inspired dungaree. There’s an affordable jumpsuit in every conceivable style to flatter the contours of your body. Top Tip - The jumpsuit is this summer’s ubiquitous trend and most certainly not for the faint hearted. The key to looking good in it is to wear it with a fierce, sexy attitude. Teemed with killer heels or worn tom-boy loose, make sure it’s right for you.
Trend 3. Geek Chic Having ditched my grey plastic NHS frames at the tender age of 11, I have happily squinted my way through the years, quietly praying for their one time come back. And Hurrah Hurrah! This day has finally arrived! All you Hallward nerds and boffins are officially allowed to take your preppy library attire to the outside world. And all the poor sighted folk who have struggled with dry eye contact lenses, can finally wear your frames with pride. Top Tip - The bigger the better, frames are best kept big and bold- make a style statement. Add a leather satchel, a man’s cardigan and work a bow in your hair (2008’s favourite micro-trend) to complete your look
Make Up Trend. Bright Bold Colour The quickest and cheapest way to update your look this summer is to add lashings of colour - which never fails to lift the dullest of outfits! Top Tip - Don’t go too mad on the Picasso pallet, less is more. Wear a pink, red or orange hue on your lips (matte works best for the day, but add a touch of gloss for the evening) Check Out Barry M’s exclusive inexpensive range! 67
Despite boasting an array of the world’s most famous natural wonders, Venezuela is very much a dark horse in a continent rich with extremes, and so at times you can feel you’re the only tourist in the country.
some of the things we travel to escape from. Behind this affluence, however, the real wealth of Venezuela lies in its stunning natural beauty, and the adventurous opportunities on offer. It has been identified as one of 17 ‘megadiverse’ countries in the world and Los Llanos - Venezuela’s vast Southern plains - is home to a vast number of animal species, including caiman and anacondas. And you have the opportunity to spend a night with them all in the raw setting of a ranch in the middle of nowhere, where fireflies and distant lightning illuminate the black night sky without a sound.
Venezuela is an intriguing and fascinating paradox of a country whose cities lack charm and tend to be populated by a very wealthy, superficial crowd with an unrivalled passion for cosmetic surgery:
For the ultimate feeling of breathlessness and achievement, hike to the top of Mount Roraima. From the surface of one of the most truly unbelievable places on Earth, you will look out in awe over miles of stunning countryside.
including frogs that crawl, and something which could only be described as fox-monkey. The five-day walk there and back is tough but exciting, and when camped under the natural hotel of a hanging rock at sunset, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.
It is a hub of strange wildlife and animals
The Republic of Uzupis and Vilnius, Lithuania “Everyone has the right to die but this is not an obligation, everyone has the right to have no rights, everyone has the right to be misunderstood, DO NOT DEFEAT, DO NOT FIGHT BACK, DO NOT SURRENDER” I beg your pardon? I did a double take. These were not words one is accustomed to see proudly mounted alongside a very innocent looking street. Bemused by this bizarre constitution, I was determined to discover its meaning and disprove my
suspicion that all Lithuanians are completely and utterly bonkers.
After some strenuous digging around (in my bag for the guide book) I discovered that this was the official constitution of the quirky Republic of Uzupis which is in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The Republic was established in 1997 by local residents and despite consisting of only a few roads, it has its own flag, currency and Independence Dayunsuprisingly celebrated on April 1st. Continuing through the surreal streets of Uzupis, I discovered other eccentricities that earn it a definite place on my ‘most bizarre places in the world’ list. These attributes range from a road sign depicting the Mona Lisa and a car driving into a river, to a statue of an angel blowing a trumpet, which apparently symbolises ‘artistic freedom’. The icing on the cake came in the form of 68
a bridge at the entrance to the Republic; according to an ancient Lithuanian legend, it is lucky and therefore customary for a newlywed groom to carry his bride across. Personally I prefer to be only metaphorically swept off my feet! Although it obviously can’t compare to the very special Uzupis, the city of Vilnius itself is not devoid of charm. Camouflaged among the expected shops and various churches, the city whispers of the thriving Jewish community, lost in WWII. The summer months bring the annual marching band festival to the main city square. Granted, it was not quite the serious, educational trip I was expecting from a sensible sounding Baltic capital, but I can’t deny that it was a surprising breath of fresh air and truly unique. After all, who wouldn’t want to visit a place where one specifically has the right to have no rights? Nicole Samuels
Alternative City Breaks: Paris I was really hoping for a ‘Paris moment’, as described by Hemingway or Orwell or Pound: stepping off the train at the Gare du Nord to be struck by the beauty and elegance of the most inspiring city in Europe. In reality, I stepped off the train feeling not quite human having been up since 5am, to fight my way
through crowds of smokers outside the station and get lost on the way to the hotel. Don’t get me wrong, Paris is beautiful and has an amazing history, but somehow those ‘Paris moments’ kept passing me by. The riverside booksellers in the Latin Quarter aren’t so romantic in the rain, the infamous Shakespeare and Company bookshop lost its shine. after knowing that Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ was created there, which I have wasted so many hours of my life on. My sister got lost up the Eiffel Tower, sparking a delightful family argument, and the radiance of the Mona Lisa is somewhat dimmed by the incessant flashing of Japanese cameras. I had a wonderful time exploring Paris, but I just didn’t feel the magic I had hoped to find. On the last afternoon before catching the Eurostar back to Saint Pancras, we caught the Metro to Montmartre. And there it was, my ‘Paris is amazing I want to live here and be an artist even though I can’t draw’ moment. It came as I walked down a winding street lined with tiny but delectable cheese, bread, fruit and chocolate shops, and as I turned the corner into the Place du Tertre
filled with artists wanting to draw my portrait. This square bustling with art, good food and life, with the domes of the Sacre Coeur reaching into the sky, made me ready to abandon my degree, sell my ticket home and earn my living working in a bar and writing poetry in an attic somewhere in the rooftops of Paris.
Age ain’t nothing but a number. Or is it? This line of music, from Aaliyah’s 1994 song, became one of the most frequently sung on my gap year. My friend and I were both 18 when we waved goodbye to our families for 6 months, and our adolescence forever. We had assumed that most of the people travelling the same routes as us would be the same age but we were proven very wrong within the first week.
that, it became very clear that he had no interest in even being friends or having a chat. Later that night in the bar he approached me to apologise for his behaviour and
then proceeded to tell me that I should not be travelling or meeting random people, especially men. His reason for this was that I had not gained enough so-called ‘world experience’ to benefit fully from the adventures awaiting me. He truly believed that you should not explore different cultures until you had cemented your understanding of your own. He eventually conceded that perhaps I was mature enough to gain some benefit from travelling but unfortunately that was the end of any potential friendship.
It became a novelty to meet other gap-year travellers; most backpackers were at least over 21. Having been treated as adults by our parents from a young age, this age difference was not a problem for us. Yet we encountered some very different attitudes to age during our travels
Episodes like that tainted some parts of my travels. Whether you get on with someone should depend on how compatible your personalities are, not your ages. Attitudes such as Pete’s create unfriendly cliques, leaving people out. Take a tip from Aaliyah - age really ain’t nothing but a number!
Pete was a teacher. A good-looking teacher. A good-looking English teacher. It was a good day. After exchanging niceties, he discovered I was 18. Looking horrified, he said he was 25. I carried on talking, slightly perturbed by his reaction. His body-language completely closed off and he became monosyllabic. When asked what his problem was, he replied, “you’re younger than my baby sister”. After hearing
20 08 Can I get A rewind?
Another academic year, another collection of unforgettable memories gathered; or perhaps not. With three terms invariably spent concussed with all-nighter syndrome or significantly inebriated by liquor, such memories are understandably hazy for all of us. Impact’s round up of the year kick starts your synapses back into action, rewinding all the highlights and delights of the academic year 2007/2008.
Campus Capers: 5,895 people voted in the SU elections this year – the best turnout out of all UK universities. Nottingham University was placed 23rd best University in Europe. Coincidentally, Nottingham tops the league for purchasing essays online by buying 363. Mooch, The Venue and the new Library Café provides University Park with a facelift that Dolly Parton would be proud of. ‘Pee in the pot day’ introduced on campus to aid the diagnosis of Chlamydia; the STD harder to find than a free computer in exam-time Hallward. Vice Chancellor of Nottingham University, Colin Campbell, throws in the towel after two decades and is succeeded by Professor David Greenaway. £800,000 spent on statue on Jubilee Campus ‘Aspire’, yet gym fees remain suspiciously high. Mystery Jets do a secret free gig at The New Theatre. Ex Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg speaks to a crowd of thousands. Nottingham beat Lancaster University then tragically lost to Oxford on University Challenge. January exams were brought forward a week earlier, as a special thank you for working so hard.
Laura Garratt won Miss Nottingham 2007 and Stuart Onslow won Mr Nottingham 2007. The Sanctuary proved its journalistic worth by printing KKK cartoons- twice.
Protest Unrest: Starbucks arrived on campus – rows ensued, coffee beans flew – Starbucks remains. Bring home the bacon and Library cards campaigns prove student power remains alive and well and slightly reduces the life expectancy of local pigs. ‘Wall protest’ outside Hallward against Israeli actions against Palestine. One arrest. One love. Despite being on a parallel of concern with world peace and global warning, students have yet to speak out about two more price increases of the 34 bus. And still no change! Bob Geldof, are you listening? Die in Protest in association with CAAT shows everyone how much fun sleeping lions with blood is.
Impact News: Impact interviews: Tessa Jowell, Jeremy Paxman, Levi Roots, Tony Benn, MP Norman Baker, Tony Parsons, Toad Fish (Jarrod Rebechi) and a few Hezbollah activists for good measure. 70
BBC contacts Impact about the Cash on the Quiet article featuring an interview with a student prostitute.
Society Success: New Theatre make it two out of two: Disco Pigs and Proof are selected for National Student Drama Festival, the second time in two years that two Nottingham shows are selected. Proof clean up at the awards ceremony, winning five awards. Impact wins runner-up Best Magazine 2007 at The Guardian Media Awards, beating Oxford, UCL and Cardiff. But not Tower Hamlets. Go figure. Karni raise over £668, 000 for charity and leave Mugabe in their wake by introducing compulsory equal opportunities.
Political Pantomine: Gordon Brown takes up the reigns from Blair. Terrorists attacks, mass floods provide the major issues of his early Premiership. The return of foot and mouth was as welcomed as that of Bianca’s to Albert Square. Northern Rock collapsed amidst a nation on the verge of economic collapse. Housing market plummets – first time buyers have no chance of affording a house anywhere outside of inner-city Hull.
Smoking ban in bars, pubs and clubs brought in. Non-smoking area outside Mooch is as useless as the archetypal inflatable dartboard.
Beadle is no longer about.
Shannon Matthews found. Madeline McCann not found.
Die young, stay pretty: Heath Ledger bites the dust
The stage has been set for the first black or female President of the United States. Despite their inability to decide on Obama or Hilary, the Democrats have refused to put forward Whoopie Goldberg as a compromise candidate.
Nature fights back: no more Steve Irwin.
That,s Entertainment: Baby Shambles perform first gig at Nottingham Arena. Even Pete Docherty turned up. Throughout the last year, he managed to escape lock and key quicker than Harry Houdini. After injecting heroin in-between her toes, Amy Winehouse decides its time to admit she has a slight issue with narcotics. And goes to rehab, finally.
Radiohead released the first downloadable album where fans can pay what they like. Arctic Monkeys sweep NME and Brit awards. Leona Lewis becomes the first British female artist to top the US charts in 20 years. Yay for manufactured pop rubbish.
12th March: Lenton Post office is one victim in a 2,500 nationwide closure7,000 students are without a local postal service.
Another One Bites the Dust: England lose to South Africa in Rugby World Cup Final. Hundreds of Nottingham students cross the channel – no England players cross the try line. England football team perform with the coordination of Vanessa Feltz on a lubricated po-go stick and thereby fail to qualify for Euro 2008. All in all, the inherent craving of the English for disappointment was sufficiently quenched for another year.
Earthquakes: Just the one in Nottingham this year on 27th February. The biggest in the UK for 25 years apparently. Rumours that the quake had been set off when Simon Cowell dropped his wallet have yet to be substantiated.
By Ben Davies, Alice Hutton, Jessica Elgot
Britney Spears shaves her head, attacks photographer with an umbrella, is forcibly institutionalised and deprived of custody of her sons. Younger sister Jamie-Lynn Spears gets preggers at the tender age of sixteen. Mother Lynne Spears puts her plans to publish a ‘Parenting Manual’ on hold.
El Gordo’s shuts down- hundreds in mourning
Spare Parts OUR WOMAN IN... BERKLEY, SAN FRANCISCO UC Berkeley is famous for being liberal, outspoken and in some respects a little “hippie.” My classes have taught me to speak differently or perhaps just more. They have ranged from Pre-colonial literature, Pilates-Yoga fusion, Identities across Difference (feminist writing), Chicano/a art, Photography of Native Americans and Female Sexuality. The latter is perhaps the most unusual; it’s taught by student facilitators and seeks to give a better understanding of health, gender and political issues. Assignments were examining our cervixes (privately), transgender/body image/Porn panels, short stories eroticising safer sex, excursions to high-end sex shops where we were actually held up at gunpoint… but no, really, it’s amazing. And naturally, building this whole new life makes it hard to imagine returning to Nottingham. The campus is beautiful; vibrant with a creek trickling through Eucalyptus and Redwood groves. The little nooks carved into the log benches are perfect for whiling away the hours
reading in the sun. I live in a student cooperative of 29 people. We do 5 hours work shift a week or manager roles which means cheap rent; I’m kitchen manager for my house so I order locally grown and organic food. The house is a quirky higgledypiggeldy place that also happens to have a hot tub, roof garden and trippy parties… The tuition fees are higher than English universities’ and if you study out of state it is the equivalent of international fees. BUT for high fees they are given more than an English university could ever provide: roughly 38 libraries which are impressive beautiful spaces with unique and rare collections and for just £10 yearly, use of high quality sports facilities, outdoor sports trips/events and swimming pools. In brief EAP is one of the cheapest ways to get an expensive
education, vast opportunities and sample somewhere new. I envy myself everyday; I can see the Golden Gate Bridge from my street, I’m taught by prestigious professors that scare me shitless, the climate is perfect and I have amazing friends that it will break my heart to leave but I am so grateful to Nottingham for getting me here and everything Berkeley has given me…p.s. San Francisco, a mere tube ride away, is equally INCREDIBLE.
By Fay Richards
OVERHEARD IN HALLWARD
can’t do that I need more time I should be being this is just sick right now I need to revise though that’s crazy and gross she says she’s only ginger because she dyed her hair red once it’s pretty drinking
okay I’ve got three minutes you
he from as long as you don’t know what it is Because I’ve never had a headac nUBOLTFWFSZXIFSF This before he went to Poland and pretended to be Germa scared you know that lly is funny but it really shouldn’t be I’m not actua ZPVEPOULOPXUIFO* that song why do you have to go before every film? shuuuuduuup!XFMMJG EFBS stop your EPOULOPX it’s not portableXFJSEPXFJSEPFMFNFOUBSZNZ watching annoyingness to be fair though a session for three TP*KVTUTUBSFEBUUIFN we were appropriate message I’m TV ENJOYING¬CVU*EJEOUHFUBMPPLBUUIFPUIFSHVZ I don’t know if that’s an really surprised they’re going way too far By Bianca Leggett 72
OUR WOMAN IN... RIO DE JANEIRO io de eiro It is relatively easy to forget the severe poverty and crime in Rio de Janeiro whilst driving past the pastel painted slums on the mountains containing the favelas. And even easier to get involved in the laid back spirit of the city that I can only describe as part jungle, with a few dotted buildings reminding you that parts of the area are actually inhabited. The view from Sugar Loaf mountain is predictably
spectacular, and was well worth the two creaky cable car rides up there. Luckily I didn’t read the part about the original construction being in 1912 until I got back to the bottom. Christ the Redeemer equally had to be seen, and didn’t disappoint, having what every historical landmark needsan escalator on the last leg to the top. I even got treated to a demonstration of the intelligence of Brazil’s northern neighbours, when an American tourist had to be rescued by the ankles after climbing over the barriers/ mountain edge to retrieve his fallen sunglasses. Luckily the guards took it all in their stride and laughed with him about the price of sunglasses today… Why worry? You’re
, IMPACT S GUIDE TO... How to prepare Get ready to a pumping soundtrack in a manner conducive to a montage sequence: this always ends in success. Convince a friend to act as a coach and shout at you a little and make frantic gestures at a flip-chart. Ideally an older person you have always looked up to will squeeze your shoulder and say, ‘I know you can do it, kid. Now go get ‘em champ!’ What to wear As Roxette once sung, ‘You’ve gotta be dressed for success’, unless presumably you are applying for a job in a naturist resort in which case it may count against you. Try to avoid clothes which may later embarrass you- white shirts which gravitate towards coffee, those trousers which look great when you stand up but threaten to bisect you on
in Brazil! Everyone in Rio wears a thong or near thong bikini on the beach. Everyone. My regular Topshop piece was comparitively a tent. So after summoning much Dutch courage, I decided when in Rome. And I learnt the image conscious Cariocas are certainly not afraid of touch either, as I squirmed as the shop assistant readjusted my minimal bikini bottoms. What has this student learnt from Rio? Well, there is certainly no better way to start the day than a fresh passionfruit caipirinha, bikini shops can charge very large amounts for very small pieces of material, Christ the Redeemer looks its best when struck by lightning (note to self, learn to use camera for next once in a lifetime sight) and the people from Rio are the most welcoming around! What a tough way to spend a year.
By Rachel Whitehouse
ACING THAT INTERVIEW
sitting down and anything which could be described as ‘wacky’. In the waiting room Read something very intimidating. Perhaps the other candidates will run away. The interview itself There’s always the risk they’ll ask you one of those oddly specific questions, like ‘Tell us how you once resolved a resources crisis by using both your leadership and team-player skills in inclement weather’. Perhaps you haven’t any experience nor been Mr/Miss Societies during university- but fear not! We all face such situations every day. How about the time your household fell out when you ran out of loo paper and you both soothed the household tensions and bravely hiked
out to Jacksons to buy new stocks? With a bit of careful re-phrasing and jargon this can sound like the tale of a highflying executive. Alternatively, speak to someone really successful about their experiences, then steal their stories. On leaving So much can go wrong here. If it’s gone badly, try to resist dropping to your knees and pleading/ offering sexual favours. This may be construed as creepy. On the other hand, don’t let the elated feeling of a successful interview go to your head. At least try to postpone any punching of the air or chorus of ‘We Are The Champions’ until leaving the interview room. No one likes a smuggy. Smile nicely, and leave before anything bad can happen.
By Bianca Leggett
Impact needs writers over the summer! Be part of the first issue of next year as seen by over 6,000 people. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Have an amazing summer, looking forward to seeing you all in September!
Noughts and Crosses @ Nottingham Playhouse In Malorie Blackman’s modern Romeo and Juliet-esque tale two groups exist; the white Nought underclass, and ruling black Crosses. We follow the relationship of starcrossed lovers; downtrodden Nought, Callum, and naïve Cross, Sephy, as the characters make their heart-wrenching transition to maturity. This sophisticated story can be interpreted from many angles: political, racial, familial, cultural, that of falling in love and coming of age.
DV8’s To Be Straight With You @ Nottingham Playhouse Race, religion and sexuality: three highly volatile elements in today’s society which, when they meet, seem to explode into violence with depressing regularity. DV8’s To Be Straight With You is a bold and frequently eye-opening production that brings stories of intolerance and survival to life with humour, pathos and a thumping soundtrack. Part verbatim theatre, part dance show, To Be Straight With You is a genre-defying delight well-worthy of DV8’s reputation for unconventionality, which makes use of everything from sophisticated laser effects to chalk-board drawings to keep its audience hooked. Every word spoken on stage is taken directly from interviews from a startling array of subjects: a Jamaican gay basher, a defiantly perky gay Muslim from Hull, a brutalised South African lesbian and a married Pakistani man who dances to Shakira in secret make up, are just some of the hubbub, while commentary from well-known figures like Peter Tatchell also contribute to the debate. The elegant depictions of violence through dance were as impressive as they were haunting, although I could not help but regret that dance made such a slender appearance in the production overall. The pace is ideal- sometimes as punchy and compulsive as a dance track and at other moments slowing to allow a moment of pathos to wash over us- and the superb chameleon-like cast doesn’t miss a beat.
Noughts and Crosses dramatically subverts racial politics to highlight inconsistencies in our own cultural norms, such as Nought girl wearing an obvious brown plaster on her face because there are no pink plasters. As Callum starts at Sephy’s privileged Cross school he becomes the victim of prejudice and their friendship is thrust into the context of Nought/Cross politics. Our protagonists’ budding relationship is put under strain as they are forced apart by circumstance, both personal and political: Sephy of an absent, career-driven father and alcoholic mother and Callum of a traumatised family, militant elder brother and the self-fulfilling prophesy that he is a failure and a thug, thwarting his academic promise. The mounting tension of the first half of the play is punctuated by dramatic scene changes which work to break the tension and illustrate the underlying aggression present between the characters, keeping the audience continually on edge. Props use is minimal but effective as different seating is successfully used to denote social setting in the lawyers office and classroom, and social status; particularly in the contrast of wealth in the two family dining scenes. Notably at couple’s special place on the beach there is no prop use, indicating there being no social hierarchy and interference between Callum and Sephy.
Emerging from these discordant voices is a plea that the fight against homophobia not be sacrificed to avoid offending obstructive racial or religious communities: judging by the explosion of whistles and applause on its conclusion, it was a message well-received.
Blackman’s engrossing 2001 novel has made a seamless switch to the stage care of the RSC drawing you in to the tale with gripping performances by the two leads and an incredibly moving supporting role by Michelle Butterly as Callum’s mother.
out and about Twofold
@ The Hand on Heart Gallery The Hand in Heart gallery is a brand new contemporary space on Derby Road, run by gallerist Richard Install who at only 22, is interested in using the gallery to provide a platform for other emerging artists, curators and writers. Now on its second show “Twofold”, the gallery brings together the work of emerging artists (both graduates of Nottingham Trent University) Lucinda Chua, recently featured on Channel 4’s photography competition Picture This and Marianna Simnett nominated for the 2008 Jerwood moving image award. Simnett’s dual-screen animation catches and then implicates its audience in the doomed and repetitive cycle of its parrot protagonist. The vocal and visual mimicry and multiple layering of the characters’ monotonous task leaves the viewer with a sense of endless struggle, and an acute awareness of the painstaking intricacy of Simnett’s own undertaking. Chua is a storyteller who suggests complicated and lengthy narratives shown in a split-second scene, whilst pointedly stressing the ephemeral nature of what the single image is capable of portraying. In her Double Portraits series Chua constructs new shared contexts for photographs that have been taken independently: usually combining two formal portraits into single images in which a series of fictitious exchanges and gestures are suggested. Following this theme of duality, The Woodgates, from her Woman and Child series, uses a similar device to imply a particular moment in a story which is suggested but never revealed. Chua’s and Simnett’s works make an interesting oppositional pairing. Their concern with reflecting the substance of their respective mediums provides an additional aspect (adds another layer) of duality to the Twofold show. The painstaking nature of handillustrated animation is clearly reflected in Simnett’s cyclical work, whilst Chua’s notion of the transient nature of the snapshot is an ideal antithesis to this. Running from the 29th of April until May 17th, Twofold shows a refined selection of contemporary work from two of the brightest young artists currently working in the United Kingdom: Simnett and Chua are names we will certainly hear more about in the future, and it is certainly be worth dropping in on the Hand and Heart gallery to catch some stars in the making! Amy Houmoller www.handandheartgallery.com The hand and heart gallery, 65 Derby Road, Nottingham. NG1 5BA
Wollaton Hall Next door to central campus, unbeknown to many in the centre of the beautiful Wollaton Park, lies a rather unusual museum. The spectacular Elizabethan mansion of Wollaton Hall, following a £9 million restoration programme, is complete with Tudor kitchens, a ‘Regency’ dining room and a salon- and it’s all there for you to see free of charge. Some of the rooms are even interactive with Elizabethan costumes available to put on to really get the feel of the place. Upstairs I stumbled upon what seemed like a taxidermist’s lair. There are several rooms containing a multitude of stuffed animals and birds, from a rather frightening bison head to a Macaw parrot from Guatemala. There is even a jungle room, with an intimidating looking stuffed giraffe towering over the visitors as they enter. It is quite unclear exactly who the exhibition is aimed at as many rooms have small children’s tables and toys, yet the actual exhibition has been curated in fine detail, you really can learn quite a bit about taxidermy! Yet despite being rather bemused by the unexpected animal exhibition in the upstairs of a stately home, it was a strangely enjoyable experience. Even if animals isn’t really your thing, the surrounding grounds of the hall are truly spectacular and worth a visit. Bianca Leggett 77
bored games 1 3
ACROSS 2 Writer of Musicality’s production this year ‘Into the Woods’ (8) 5 Author of novel ‘War and Peace’, recently adapted for the stage at Nottingham Playhouse (7) 6 Nottingham theatre that received the ‘Most Welcoming Theatre’ award 2007 (9) 11 In the Disney film, Robin Hood appears as this animal (3) 13 Our current poet laureate (6,6) 15 Only University offering a degree in ‘Robin Hood Studies’ (10) 16 Title of the last Man Booker Prize winner (3,8)
DOWN 1 New Theatre play and winner of 5 awards at NSDF (5) 3 Patron whose name is given to one of the campus’s centres of art (8) 4 Played the Sheriff of Nottingham in ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves’ (4,7) 5 The UK’s smallest cinema (3,6,4) 7 Ian McEwan novel recently adapted for the big screen (9) 8 The forest that was home to Robin and his Merry Men (8) 9 Rival county who claim Robin Hood as their own (9) 10 Nottingham author who turned 80 this year (4,8) 12 Producer of ‘Robin Hood Men in Tights’ (3,6) 14 ‘Bad King __’ on the throne in the time of Robin Hood (4)
Johannes Vermeer Crossword:
Beckett Trollope Lawrence Fielding Christie Steinbeck Hemingway Conan Doyle Word Search: Lucien Freud
Canvas Collage Combined in one canvas for the first time, are a mish-mash of artists from throughout the ages... But which ones?
ANSWERS - Playwrights: Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, William Shakespeare, Harold Pinter Novelists: Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Angela Carter, Ernest Hemingway Painting: The Mona Lisa Painter: Leonardo da Vinci.
Vindaloo and rice.
AND ITS PAINTER...
2. Sondheim 5. Tolstoy 6. Playhouse 11. Fox 13. Andrew Motion 15. Nottingham 16. The Gathering
A male? Shit no!
Down: 1. Proof 3. Djanogly 4. Alan Rickman 5. The Screen Room 7. Atonement 8. Sherwood 9. Yorkshire 10. Alan Sillitoe 12. Mel Brooks 14. John
Smashed urinal. New maniac. Lacerant Rage Sneer, weighty man!
Vincent Van Gogh
I lace words Went senile as slime Wise male- ah I sparkle! Pardon, Hitler.
Is there something you should really be doing right now? Then youâ€™re probably looking to do something quite absorbing but essentially pointless instead, in which case youâ€™re in the right place. Puzzling puzzles and quizzical quizzes for the arty fellow follow...
To some degree, there is a level of confusion over the label of ‘cult film’. By its nature the term is quite ambiguous, and can be hotly debated, but also quite often it is misunderstood by those who have not encountered ‘cult film’ because of the word ‘cult’. Instantly, associations are made with dodgy religions and obsessive or dangerous fanatics, but cult film is used to define the films outside of the mainstream, which build up a small but loyal following based on their kitsch or bizarre appeal. Certainly, I don’t assume you’ve never heard of cult film or don’t know what it is, but as a fan of many cult films I think it’s important that their merits be highlighted, so that more people can sample their ludicrous but extraordinary delights. Originally emerging as a concept in the 1970s to define the low budget and exploitational films which, despite their limitations, secured a small, dedicated number of fans, cult as a model soon mutated to include any number of similarly popular ‘underground’ film sub-genres. Typically, for any film to be considered cult it must have performed badly on initial release, succeeding only afterwards through word of mouth between fans and in the 1980s with the onset of VHS. Here long lost ‘classics’ could re-enter popular sub-culture, being shared and discussed
for the myriad of smaller pleasures such as gloriously gory violence or particularly deranged dialogue. These films usually offer the viewer a highly original film experience, quite apart from the more regimented and overly simplistic Hollywood fare. Though originally used to describe quite poor cinema, cult is now used in a wider sense that includes any films which receive little to no attention, but are still loved by many people, the attitude seems to be along the lines of: Simply because nobody saw it, doesn’t mean it was bad. Getting a second shot on the home film market, cult now has a larger range. From the better known, Evil Deads and Re-Animators, across the Lynches and the Cronenbergs, through to old classics like The Rocky Horror Picture Show or Brazil, and into cool oddities like Pink Flamingos or Cat People. Clearly, cult is an elusive and interesting label, defining a film-viewing practice united by an unhealthy passion in the viewers for the strange, the hilarious and the different. Too complex and multifaceted to cover fully here, cult film will always have a value for investigation, its many amusements offering something for everyone. Alex King
Bow to the man Woody Allen’s fans are among the most fortunate moviegoers in the world, as their prolific idol has kept on making films at the rate of one per year for the past four decades. His fortieth feature as a director, Cassandra’s Dream, is about to be released in the UK in May. A modern day crime drama composed in the style of a Greek tragedy starring Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell, is Allen’s third film set in London. The director has always been defined by his love for New York City, but many agree that the transatlantic change of scenery revitalised him creatively and resulted in his best work in years, 2005’s gloomy Match Point. Allen’s face must be one of the most recognisable in film history, and most people have come to equate him with the character he plays throughout his body of work, the small neurotic writer with
black-rimmed eyeglasses, thinning hair, vivid eyebrows and a pronounced libido. When people think of a classic Woody Allen film they usually remember the early comedies such as the slapstick Bananas and Sleeper or the romantic Annie Hall and Manhattan, but his filmography is vast and varied. Allen is in fact an experimental and often unpredictable film-maker, incorporating elements of magical realism into his work and trying out very different approaches from the Fellini-like dreamscapes of Stardust Memories to the mockumentary Zelig to the musical Everyone Says I Love You. Often unfairly overlooked are his dramas, such as Interiors and Crimes and Misdemeanours which not only deal with upper middle-class neurosis but meditate on questions of morality. Throughout his filmography, Allen explores philosophical questions of existence, social class and 80
status and the problems of maintaining relationships. Allen deserves to be, and is counted among the greatest film-makers of his generation, writing, directing and often acting in his films - a true auteur. Allen may be turning 73 this year, but he has entered a new and interesting phase in his career. At the moment, he is filming an as yet untitled project with Evan Rachel Wood and Larry David in New York to be released next year, but before that he is rumoured to premiere at Cannes, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, a romantic comedy he filmed in the city with Spanish stars Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem and his new muse Scarlett Johansson. Mikko Makela
Indiana Jones 4
There’s no better way to arouse a feeling of nostalgia than to release a new installment of an epic cinematic adventure. After 19 years away, Dr. Henry “Indiana” Walton Jones Junior is back on the big screen for another crack of the whip. As the fourth chapter to the Indiana Jones franchise, director Steven Spielberg wanted to recognise the actual passing of years between the previous film and now. Harrison Ford, 64, and his character may be older, but action and excitement has remained paramount to the story. While the film was only shot in America, the story thrusts Indiana away from his teaching and pits him against the Soviet Union in locations as far and wide as New Mexico and the jungles of Peru, in search of the crystal skull. The fashion of 2008 in Hollywood is maintaining a guessing game of the story until its release. With this film being no different the excitement comes from knowing all its secrets are nearly out.
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, although being released in yet another Superhero heavy summer, stands a good chance of being the most interesting. Sequel to 2004’s sleeper comicadaptation, Hellboy 2 is expected to succeed more than its predecessor at the box-office, with a larger budget and broader appeal. Sticking close to the winning format of the original, Guillermo del Toro’s directorial follow-up to 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth will focus on the prodigious red giant’s continued attempts to live in the human world and fight the demonic forces from which he originated. This time however, he’ll be up against larger foes wishing him to join them, and a huge force (it’s in the title) which could destroy the whole world. It looks pretty exciting, and it’ll be a welcome change to see a film with a good sense of humour that’s proud of its supernatural focus, rather than the usual mainstream comicadapts.
The Dark Knight
That the title of the new Batman film is a reference to the original comic book shows the level of geekiness that is attached to the anticipation of this film. Superheroes generally have laws of their own, and this title also suggests the questionable morality our hero must use as he faces his true nemesis. “Some men just want to watch the world burn” introduces the mafia-hired psychopath in the teaser trailer, and clearly the Joker is stepping away from the shadow of Jack Nicholson’s camp clown. Christopher Nolan (director – Memento, The Prestige) is yet to make a bad film and any continuation of the ingenuity of Batman Begins, including the late Heath Ledger’s edgy take on the dangerous figure of the Joker, should lead to him creating a film equally as iconic as the original. It looks dark and brutal, but fun.
In what is the first real summer blockbuster of 2008, John Favreau’s adaptation of the comic book series Iron Man hits the screens in early May. What really marks this away from most “superhero” movies is the sheer depth of its stars, with 6 of its featured cast with Oscar nominations to their names, including all of the four main actors. Like Batman, Iron Man is a flawed human who wants to set wrongs right, which means no more superpowers acting as shallow plot devices. With spectacular graphics and what appears to be a promising plot, this looks a superhero film you won’t regret seeing. Tom Brookes
The irreverent Seth Rogan continues his journey towards world domination this summer with the stoner-comedy, Pineapple Express. The film follows Rogan and his inept drug dealer (James Franco, Spiderman) on the run from a corrupt police officer after witnessing the brutal shooting of an innocent man. Think Cheech and Chong for a new generation, Bill and Ted with an 18 certificate, True Romance without Tarantino’s unnecessary ‘witty’ banter. Rogan once again assumes writing duties and if Superbad is anything to go by, we may be sitting in our seats with a sense of déjà vu as the dialogue quickly becomes reminiscent of conversations we have all had. If Rogan manages to carry on his success from Knocked Up and Superbad we may just be treated to a comedy that could banish the likes of Will Ferrell to the corner in order to reflect on what could have been.
Earth has been deserted by humanity leaving behind one small bug eyed robot, who over 700 years has developed a personality. Wall E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth Class) is curious, he plays with fire extinguishers and bras, befriends an insect and watches old movies. His loneliness is finally relieved when he meets a search robot who has been sent to earth called EVE. He falls in love with her, and when she is called back to space, Wall E follows her chasing her across the galaxy, meeting a bunch of misfit robots and leaving chaos in his wake. Pixar has created a stunning universe, and once again have taken a totally inhuman being and imbued it with real human emotion and feeling. Wall E comes out on 18th July, and if you want to be as excited about it as I am, the trailers are online.
Planet of the Apes, Barbarella, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and even Harry Potter bear the title science fiction. Harry Potter is probably more fantasy (wands aren’t science) but the genre’s grown to encompass so many disparate film types that if you’re looking for the most varied genre, sci-fi’s without rival. Early examples of the emerging genre emphasised more the fi than the sci with films such as Frankenstein and It Came from Outer Space. By fictionalising the unknown cinema was discovering an unlimited source of material. New developments in science portrayed in film lent credibility to the plots hanging loosely around them, some of which have proven to be more fact than fiction: the teleporter in Star Trek being one example. 2001: A Space Odyssey marked a new sophistication in the genre. Star Wars is perhaps the most famous example of the genre and arguably the best (Star Trek simply refuses to sit comfortably as film) with A New Hope a runaway success prompting the filming of the sequels. So great was its success that the recent prequels suggest the ongoing popularity not simply of the Star Wars franchise but of the genre as a whole.
The magnificence and underlying credibility behind the Western film lies primarily in the fact that no other genre is quite so revealing about the culture from which it stems. They say that great films are those which hold a mirror up to their audience and say, “Look, this film is all about you”, which the Western film does to great effect. In fact, as far as demonstrating the good, the bad, and the ugly (apologies) sides of Western life and culture as we know it, no other genre does it quite so capably as the Western. Think of the great names and films associated with the Western: Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, the films of John Ford and Sergio Leone and the music of Ennio Morricone. In addition to this, the genre is near limitless, with comedies (Blazing Saddles), musicals (Paint Your Wagon), revisionist films (The Assassination of Jesse James) along with conventional action and drama, all occurring with the backdrop of the Old West. The Western’s flexibility and its ability to cross into other film territories make it, in my opinion, not only the most pertinent to our society, but also one of the best as far as film goes. Tom Brookes
Battle of Comedy
Students have an unhappy lot that includes ever-present deadlines, skydiving into debt and the horror of exams, not to mention the constant pressure to party. That’s why out of all the movie genres comedy is a student’s best friend. It gives us a chance to escape, but more importantly it teaches us how to be students. For example, in National Lampoon’s brilliant Animal House, John Belushi on hearing a freshman’s car has just been smashed up says “My advice to you is to drink heavily,” something all students should live by, and in Withnail and I Richard E. Grant’s gave us the line which is used by students up and down the country to order their booze in, “We want the finest wines available to humanity. And we want them here, and we want them now!” Comedies give us more than quotes, including characters we aspire to like The Dude in The Big Lebowski. Comedies make us laugh and make us cry, we differ over all other genres, but comedies just let us come together, forget the big wide unfriendly world outside, and allow us to just laugh.
Though the beginning of cartoon film is hard to pinpoint, it was in 1928 that Disney released its first animated feature with sound – Steamboat Willy. Since, we have seen a category of film, once targeting only the kids, grow to become one of the most entertaining, emotional and thoughtprovoking genres known. Where this genre’s strengths is the breadth of audience it attracts – everyone loves cartoons. Whether it’s crying when Mufasa dies is the Lion King or knowing every word to ‘Bare Necessities’, Cartoon film will have impacted every student reading this article. Now as we move into a new age of animation let us consider the effort, time and art that go into creating these pictures. More importantly, let’s not forget the money they gross- Shrek 2, Finding Nemo and The Lion King all sit in the Top 20 Highest Grossing Films of All time. Animated film relates to everyone, ensuring that everyone can enjoy them. In short it’s an insult, a travesty and more or less plain ignorance if anyone does not consider ‘Animated Film’ to be hottest genre there is.
Harry Kerr 82
Without action one has to question what state the world would be in if we did not have a way of releasing pure testosterone over a course of two hours (yes, women too!). Many criticise the genre for unnecessary gratuitous violence, over-the-top explosions, as well as cheesy one-liners. But I say no! If it were not for Michael Bay’s favouring of pyrotechnics over plot we would be left with robots that transform respectfully without disturbing suburbia, asteroids that would fall politely unnoticed, and Will Smith as a policeman without a means to irritate the establishment. Those who feel as if the action genre is let down by a select few who endlessly release films direct to DVD, they too are wrong. If it were not for Norris, Van Damme and Seagal (The holy trinity of action), where would we get our guilty fix of pure unadulterated fun? In action films men are men and women are… helpful? Yes, the medium may probably be misogynistic, but women are well represented too. I deny anyone who did not respect the empowered females in Kill Bill, Charlie’s Angels or Lara Croft! As for the killer oneliners, Bruce Willis spits out “yippee-ki-yay” faster and better than an embarrassingly hesitant Hugh Grant ever could.
Set with the task of arguing ‘RomComs’ as the greatest genre of film ever, the horrid face of L’Oreal-skin-care-that-is-actually-harshamounts-of-Botox model Andie McDowell comes to mind. Firstly, Andie McDowell’s plastic face is not a great example of the face of RomanticComedy, ruining Four Weddings and a Funeral and Groundhog Day. However, around her sins are some great films. Accept the fact that Groundhog Day is, at the base dictionary-definition of the genre, romantic and a comedy. From this has come some great films such as Annie Hall, Garden State, High Fidelity, Shakespeare in Love, (trying to include a Richard Curtis) Four Weddings and even Knocked Up. Every genre has an extensive list of terrible films, but the abundance of romcoms, most created just to make money by following all the expected conventions means that the public view regarding the quality of the genre is negative. Romantic Comedy uniquely combines a study of one of the greatest preoccupations of humanity, love, with the opportunity to laugh, and who doesn’t love comedy? And all this is easy-viewing pleasure. Nothing too troubling like existential angst or mass deaths (although someone can kill Hugh Grant in every separate role he’s played, and I won’t count it as “mass”). The worse that happens is it rains, and then all hell breaks loose. Rom-com is the greatest genre in film for these and many more reasons.
the genres Drama
Drama is obviously the finest film genre. Although we may have a lot of other favourite films which aren’t drama, or which we can enjoy more or watch repeatedly, drama is superior to all others at sticking in our memory and reaching us emotionally. It comes as no surprise that over 50% of the IMDB top 100 films are drama, audiences become so attached to drama films because they engage with them in ways in which other genres simply can’t. Of course, endless debates can be entered into about which films reside in which genres, meaning that some would argue The Godfather for example is best described as a mob film, of Lawrence of Arabia as war. But what is for certain is that the best films of other genres owe their superiority to their use of drama. Drama is the greatest because it is so fundamental to our engagement with film and the understanding we derive from it, that no other genre could exist without it. Which is why more often than not so many of our favourites are dramas, it is the core element of film, and all storytelling, and it speaks to everyone.
Horror is too often overlooked as a less worthy genre by so-called serious film-makers and scholars. Scary movies are habitually criticised for relying on visceral shock tactics instead of stimulating the viewer’s intellect, but the truth is that horror films are emotionally the most powerful, as they crawl under your skin and wrench your guts. For many the most memorable childhood film memories are of bloody knives, monsters and psychopaths, featured in films they were not allowed to see but watched anyway. Viewers want to re-live these moments of shock, terror and disgust in the safety of the cinema and be shaken up by something beyond the sphere of their everyday existence. No-one wants to experience chainsaw massacres in real life, but delivered as entertainment it feeds our curiosity and can be cathartic, probing one’s subconscious fears and relieving tension. From monstrous Frankenstein to the teen slasher Halloween and the gory Saw, fascinating horror films continue to be popular. Several of the masters of cinema have also made their contribution to the genre - Hitchcock’s Psycho, Kubrick’s The Shining and Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby are not only extremely good horror films but among the best films ever made.
Alex King 83
dancefloor fillers Midnight Juggernauts Dystopia (Siberia/Charisma, May 2008) After reading the blurb about Midnight Juggernauts and connecting excited twittering at certain Nottingham watering holes with this three piece from Melbourne you would be forgiven for thinking Jesus Christ had made his triumphant return to this world as 2008’s next big electro-indie outfit. The press release tells me “it’s like watching new stars burn into existence.” Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. The trio attempt to fuse dreamy indie with footstomping Ed Banger-esque electro and occasionally succeed. The standout track, ‘Shadows,’ has a soaring synth and an infectiously sexy baseline that inspires movement. Unfortunately, this high-point leaves the rest of the album wanting. A fairly consistent tempo across the album has foot-stomping indie kids very much in mind but becomes monotonous. When Midnight Juggernauts do attempt slower numbers they sound like a badly written Bowie musical in which Bowie had no creative input. Dystopia will please some in its simplicity and does have a couple of good floor-fillers but I cross my fingers that it will annoy many others as much as it annoyed me.
The B-52’s Funplex (EMI, April 14)
Various Fabric 40: Mark Farina (Fabric Records, May 5)
Despite this being their first album in 16 years, there is no denying the enduring popularity and influence of The B-52’s (apostrophe now optional). The title-track has already been remixed by CSS, Peaches and the Scissor Sisters. But can a quartet of fifty somethings still legitimately claim to be the world’s premier party band? The formula is classic B-52’s: splicing sci-fi kitsch, surf, garage rock and dance into a sound that is both retro and now. Though, the slick, dance-oriented production (apparently inspired by New Order’s Get Ready) is no match for the loose funk-based production of their earlier material, and the input of guitarist Ricky Wilson is still sorely missed over 20 years after his AIDS-related death. However, while the girls may not be quite as shrill as they used to be, their harmonies are still sweet (particularly on the Fellini-inspired ‘Juliet of the Spirits’) and Fred Schneider is as gloriously camp as ever. Even without producing classics on a par with ‘Rock Lobster,’ ‘Private Idaho’ or, yes, ‘Love Shack,’ on the evidence of Funplex there is no denying that even a second-rate B-52’s are pretty, well, fun.
Whilst differing wildly in style, Fabric 40: Mark Farina continues in the same vain as its predecessor mixed by Detroit DJ, Robert Hood. Both eschew the more fashionable and abrasive electronic sounds that have invaded the dance world in recent years in favour of an unashamedly traditional style that wears its heart on its sleeve. Mark Farina grew up in Chicago before moving to San Francisco and both influences are abundantly clear. He serves up 21 tracks of jackin’ deep house featuring some of the biggest names in the scene: Inland Knights, DJ Sneak and Derrick Carter, to name but a few. Expect chunky beats, groovy licks, jazzy keys and lots of chopped-up vocals. Towards the end of its 74 odd minutes the mix ventures into slightly more techy territory but overall it’s a laid back affair, ideal for those lazy sunny afternoons should they ever decide to bless us with their presence. The mixing is smooth and tight, there are no weak tracks, but none of them standout either. I can’t quite escape the feeling that Farina is playing it safe here. One for the purists then.
Ed Knock Dave Bawden
Here’s another Warp signing that sees the UK label challenging its electronica reputation and delving into pastures new – this time taking on the perennial critical darling that is the Canadian indie-rock scene. While the involvement of Animal Collective’s producer Rusty Santos is clearly important, the band are loathed to admit how many elements they borrow from the aforementioned group. Yelped vocals, boundless enthusiasm and unconventional drumming make up the composite elements of this Torontobased three-piece’s sound. It’s not all a bad thing – the band’s taut, skeletal songs bear comparison with the work of Tapes ‘n Tapes in their ability to construct infectious indie from the
most minimal of elements. Recent single ‘Hummingbird’ highlights the band’s strength – the sound of Violent Femme’s ‘Blister in the Sun,’ run at double speed and with twice as many skewed angles. ‘I Need a Life’ echoes the jaunty-skiffle of Jack Peñate without being burdened by his sense of enforced jollity. A recent cameo on Skins and the overnight success of Vampire Weekend bodes well for this similarly well-scrubbed bunch of youngsters. Yet it may well be a few years down the line before they expand upon the promises of this enjoyable, yet essentially derivative work.
following in the footsteps of…
Born Ruffians Red, Yellow and Blue (Warp, May 26)
El Guincho Alegranza!
(Discoteca Océano, April)
By now, the thoughts of the idle, stircrazy undergrad should have turned to Serious Questions; like, “Which new releases can most effectively soundtrack my sun-drenched, celebratory post-exam BBQ?” Well, Barcelona’s El Guincho have the answer. It’s called Alegranza! Opener ‘Palmitos Park’ hits like The Avalanches’ classic album Since I Left You and the playful samples in ‘Fata Morgana’ establish that the album is in similar territory to Lemon Jelly, too. Unlike either of those acts though, Alegranza! keeps up the tempo – and temperature – with an inspired fusion of live drums, tribal Afrobeat, and tropicalia. The fact that most of its lyrics are composed (to these ears) of unintelligible Spanish chants only serves to emphasise the gorgeous warmth and musical effect that the layers of vocals add to their
exotic backgrounds. In its addiction to blissed-out melodic highs, Alegranza! shares something with Animal Collective side-project, Panda Bear, although it takes a much more direct and sustained route that’s bereft – perhaps too bereft – of the ambient and instrumental stretches that marked Person Pitch. There’s also a great stylistic variety – ‘Cuando Maravilla Fui’ owes a debt to bhangra – but the album nonetheless fits together neatly. Then, just as the party’s in full swing, it’s all over. Thankfully, Alegranza! is a sufficiently joyful and sonically detailed record that few will complain if you just hit repeat – all season if you like.
erring on the side of quiet
freak-folk, krautrock, shoegaze & ambient Ben Nash The Seventh Goodbye (Aurora Borealis)
Cloudland Canyon Lie In Light (Kranky)
Christopher Bissonnette In Between Words (Kranky)
The Owl Service A Garland of Song (Southern Records, May 26)
Swirling drones, ghostly voices, raga workouts, fuzzy electronics and eastern percussion: this album piles on the freak-folk signifiers by the bucket-load. That’s no criticism, mind – done well they’re a heady mix and can make for a deeply unsettling listen. And that’s exactly what you get here – Nash is a master of nuanced composition and nothing feels hamfisted. ‘KUAD 9873’ and ‘Night Call’ are little more than tuneless collages of the elements listed above, but sounds are employed with devastating precision and they genuinely disturb. The Seventh Goodbye has something of post-rock’s build and release structure to it; it features some guitar shredding that genremaestro Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) would be proud of, whilst the album highlight ‘Smoke & Flattery’ builds from a collection of bumps, claps and taps to a frenzied climax of guitar slashing – an organic realisation of krautrock’s aims. Like many of his peers (Alistair Tucker, Voice of the Seven Woods), Ben Nash can be seen using predominantly acoustic instruments to conjure up an aesthetic more oft associated with metal – ghostly figures in woods, haunted rectories, a lone crow. It’s no surprise then that the CD issue is on Aurora Borealis – a label best known for releasing bleak metal from the likes of Moss, Dead Raven Choir and Wolfmangler.
Anglophone bands never could make decent music out of the hippy ideal. Just five seconds of ‘San Francisco’ is enough to make me yearn for GG Allin’s Expose Yourself to Kids; but over in Germany the likes of Popol Vuh, Harmonia and Ash Ra Tempel had the right idea – distilling free love and peace into something genuinely mind-altering and providing a distinctly new age flavour to the experimental krautrock scene. It is in this tradition that most of Lie In Light lies – layer after layer of gurgling, whirling synths levitating psych-pop melodies high into the stratosphere. The work of Ash Ra Tempel is the most obvious reference point, but Cloudland Canyon’s use of more modern synths and recording techniques firmly locates this album in the present. It’s not all loved up bliss though, opener ‘Krautwerk’ displays krautrock’s more modernist tendencies and is powered by a relentless motorik thrust – Neu!’s drummer Klaus Dinger may be dead, but the beat goes on. ‘White Woman,’ meanwhile, abandons the beds of synths and bobs on a tumultuous whorl of viola straight out of John Cale and Tony Conrad’s Theater of Eternal Music. There are a number of bands trying to bring krautrock into the twenty-first century – Feu Therese and Holy Fuck both spring to mind – and Cloudland Canyon are certainly among the best. Make sure you’ve got good speakers though – playing Lie In Light on my little kitchen stereo was a little like giving an acid tab to John Major – there was quite simply no way the subject could cope with the mind expanding contents it had just been delivered.
There is a lot of joy to be found in between words. Away from the bustling humdrum, ambient music offers listeners a space to reflect, to explore their own consciousness, to come to terms with themselves. I can attribute some of the most aesthetically profound experiences of my life to the music of Stars of the Lid, William Basinski and Fennesz. Unfortunately, ambient music can also be incredibly mundane: drippy rather than trippy, womb-regressive rather than mind-exploratory. And that’s pretty much the case with In Between Words. Unremarkable synth sounds are dissolved in swathes of reverb and yawned into the distance with little purpose. Sometimes they’re dissolved in layers of crackle and sometimes other unremarkable synth sounds are added to the mix. Closing track ‘Jour et Nuit’ has a modicum of compositional interest – its uneasy chords punctuate the innocuousness – but ultimately even that track billows into nothing in particular. Bissonnette doesn’t seem to possess the tactility of sound that marks truly great ambient music. Fennesz’s guitars can sound like Velcro feels, Stars of the Lid’s humming guitars uplift like a caress across the back from a feather, but In Between Words is like one of those birthstones you get from new age shops: cold and unrewarding.
The parenthetical adjunct to the title of the first track on A Garland of Song, (Folk Revival), is a pretty explicit statement of intent from Essex resident Steven Paul Collins’ The Owl Service. Whilst plenty continue to make music in the folk-rock tradition (Eliza Carthy perhaps the most notable), such music has all but fallen off the leftfield rock music radar. With the release of A Garland of Song, and Cathy & Phil Tyler’s wonderfully humble Dump Supper, that seems to be changing. Unfortunately, the purity of voice required to make these songs really resonate is not quite present on this album. The opener and ‘Child Ballad No.49 (Rolling of the Stones)’ strike the perfect balance between clarity and otherworldliness but when the subject matter gets darker, the balance is tipped too heavily in favour of the latter. Folk tunes are simple beasts and require simple tellings to convey their purity of meaning. Lavish on too many extras and you obscure their beauty. It’s a trap Collins falls into too often – murder ballad ‘Oxford City (The Jealous Lover)’ is sung a capella, but its violent power is drowned in a great wash of reverb. Elsewhere it’s the playing itself that lets the album down. There is no virtuosity required to make good folk music, but the interaction between various instrumentalists is key. Because Collins plays all the instruments on A Garland of Song himself, the level of spontaneity that can make folk such a toe-tappingly satisfying experience is lacking. This isn’t a bad album, though. It’s extremely successful at creating a mood – a gently psychedelic and very English one – and if it helps spark an interest in Britain’s rich folk tradition then it’s served a noble purpose indeed.
Eric Chenaux Sloppy Ground (Constellation, May 19) Being able to write effective reviews is often about having a decent bank of adjectives stored away, or at least owning a decent thesaurus. But every so often an album comes along for which there seems to be no appropriate descriptors; and they’re fucking brilliant, because they encapsulate what’s so great about music – it cannot always be translated into words. Those albums conjure up the states of mind that exist between the adjectives. Sloppy Ground from Toronto’s Eric Chenaux is one such album. Woozy, off-kilter and hazy all go some way to describing it, but neither I nor Roget possess a sufficient vocabulary to convey the state of mind this puts the listener in. Chenaux’s gentle combination of acid-fried funk, Scottish folk and psych-rock completely escapes classification. It is too gentle to be ecstatic, too pleasant to be disconcerting. Chenaux is a considerably talented songwriter too: lyrics are simple but devastating and the songs are beautifully played by his cast of improvisers. Despite the title, there’s no sloppiness to the playing and there is a lovely lightness of touch to these songs. I don’t believe I’ll ever find an adjective to describe how they make me feel – and that’s fine by me because this music has a magic all of its own. David Bell
What does Nottingham’s Gringo Records have on offer?
Lords- Everyone Is People (Gringo, June 9)
So’eza – 7 Obstacles (Gringo, May 12)
Lords once complained that all reviewers do is regurgitate their press releases, but when their press release contains truths as startlingly self-evident as “your booty will not go unshaken,” you have little sympathy for their complaints. Hell, my booty remained shaking even during the string section breakdown in ‘Good Dog Bad Dog.’ Such is the incessant bootyshaking reality of Lords’ music. It’s music for brain as well as ass, though – this is a far more mature album than the 2006 debut, This Aint a Hate Thing, It’s a Love Thing. Phil Welding’s vocals have moved from rasping to growling and acquired a whole new menace in the process, whilst the songs are now extra-jam packed with the kind of blues inflected riffery that Tony Iommi would churn out if only he knew how to crack a smile – though Captain Beefheart and Mule remain the most obvious reference points. Then there are the blasts of free-jazz ecstasy and those ass-shaking string sections. Drummer Elvin Beetham-Wallace puts his looselimbs to great use too. It is his rhythmic contortions that allow Lords’ music to appeal to all body parts – from right butt cheek to left butt cheek.
So’eza have been going for well over a decade now and this is their third album (their second for Nottingham’s delightful Gringo label) but their sound remains blessed with a sprightly vigour. Dan Cornfield’s French horn has a fair bit to do with that. Anyone who’s heard Mozart’s Horn Concerto will know it’s an instrument bursting with ruddy cheeked joie de vivre and 7 Obstacles’ best moments come when its jolly tones are fleshing out the itching, angular funkisms of guitarists Ben Owen and Nick Earle. Though eccentric, 7 Obstacles is unfailingly polite; there is no outlandish Deerhoofesque song derailment but there is plenty of deference to the uncanny – an unexpected chord lobbed into the mix here, an unusual harmony there. The quirky sensibilities are retained in the vocal department (where so many bands like this are let down), with the fidgety enunciations of Ben Owen and the soulful, moving tones of Jenny Robinson. Though wildly different vocalists, their voices combine to great effect on album highlight ‘Silver Runners.’ It’s not an unqualified success – ‘The Roast’ and ‘Novak’ are a little less than the sum of their parts, but for the most part 7 Obstacles is a refreshing, rewarding work.
David Bell In Between Words
David Bell 87
erring on the side of loud
doom, noise, avant-metal, art-rock & riffs A Storm of Light And We Wept The Black Ocean Within (Neurot, May 12)
Asva What You Don’t Know Is Frontier (Southern Records, June 16)
And We Wept The Black Ocean Within is an odd beast – a concept album without a concept. Or at least, not a concept main man Josh Graham (Neurosis, Made out of Babies, Red Sparowes) is going to let us in on – these songs could be sung by “something inanimate, something animal or the words of someone long since deceased,” says the press release. A mildly interesting idea, but the lyrics (when audible) are so vague that it’s difficult to care that much who (or what) is supposed to be singing them. There’s an “I am sinking” here and an “I’m falling” there – and plenty of other generic, “hey, this is serious stuff, yeah?” signifiers – but there’s no real originality of thought on display. Its ambiguity stems from its vagueness, not from fascinating lyrical riddles. The music follows equally generic means to generate a sense of dread – all eerie synth drones, crushing riffs, ginormous drums and slightly constipated sounding vocals. It’s an effective mix, but we’ve heard it a hundred times before and there’s not a lot of room for manoeuvre. Still, it’s mightily effective when done right- and on ‘Mass’ and album closer, ‘Iron Heart,’ A Storm of Light manage to craft tunes so skull-crushingly immense it seems futile to stick your hand up and say, “excuse me sir, but doesn’t this sound a bit like Neurosis/Cult of Luna/ Isis?”
Bereavement can be the most difficult aspect of life to comprehend and endure; the Greek playwright Aeschylus said that there’s no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief. Stuart Dahlquist (from Sunn O))), Goatsnake, and Burning Witch) understands this conception, unfortunately, all too well, having lost his close confidante and brother in 2005. What You Don’t Know Is Frontier is the natural culmination of a three-year wilderness for Asva and the band’s founder. The music has a ‘punishing sort of beauty’; Asva’s second album is an unbalancing journey of life, death, love and truth. An internal landscape is mapped, wild, forlorn, and uncompromising, handing the listener no choice but to participate. It plays with your emotions; the undertones of existentialism, sentimentality and catharsis are intoxicating. Time stands still, the subconscious drifts away into darkness, compounded by moments of sheer ferocity. Yet when the pipe organ arrives at the end and the rattling subsides, everything makes sense. The sun ascends upon the rolling terrain of WYDKIF, offering hope and resolution. Schopenhauer would have enjoyed this doom masterpiece; he, like Dahlquist, saw salvation and escape from suffering in aesthetic contemplation. Let the imagery of WYDKIF subsume you, as you will never hear anything quite like this again.
Mothlite The Flax of Reverie (Southern Records, June 16)
Guapo Elixirs (Neurot, May 26)
Mothlite is a new musical project comprised of Daniel O’Sullivan (of many bands including Guapo and Miasma & the Carousel of Headless Horses) and Antti Uusimaki (of industrial band, Panic DHH). Influenced by Charles Laughton’s classic thriller, The Night of the Hunter and a name inspired by avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage’s short, Mothlight – made by gluing moth wings and foliage onto 35mm film – it’s no surprise their music is experimental and cinematic, organic yet synthesised. The duo have concocted an Alice-like trip through strange wilderness and Lynchian nightmares. The album’s highlight is ‘The Untouched Dew’; Opening with Badalementi-esque drones, elemental noise signals the introduction of a simple, repeated piano line and choral incantations, which give way to cascading strings akin to those of Arvo Pärt’s ‘Cantus In Memoriam Benjamin Britten,’ before drums and free-jazz clarinet squalls crash in. It is an astonishing soundscape, moving through different rooms yet following a logical path.
Elixirs completes, alongside Five Suns and Black Oni, an esoteric triptych of albums by London art-rockers Guapo. Here they eschew some of the bombast of their familiar style (broadly a modern update of cult prog bands like Magma and Univers Zero) in favour of the ethno-spirit of krautrockers Popol Vuh and eastern exoticism. The inclusion of the jazz-inflected ‘Twisted Stems’ suite (released as an EP in 2006) as the centrepiece of the album at first seems like a cheat, though this time round both tracks are augmented by guest vocals. Alexander Tucker’s looped vocals on ‘The Heliotrope’ recall muchoverlooked post-punks This Heat, while the singular Jarboe offers a typically haunting performance on ‘The Selenotrope,’ solidifying her position as guest vocalist of choice in avant-metal circles. Usually favouring a funereal pacing, the band manage to veer towards catchy territory on the album’s shortest piece ‘The Planks,’ as eastern guitar drones play over a steady uptempo drumbeat. Alongside its predecessors, Elixirs confirms further that Guapo are one of Prog’s leading modern lights; steeped in the genre’s rich avant-garde history, yet possessing an expert level of craft that ensures their results are fresh not retrogressive.
Boris Smile (Southern Lord, April 21) Another year – another Boris album. After 2007’s demure shoe-gaze influenced Rainbow, the band return to their chugga-chugga-chugga rock and roll template, this time extending the cast of players and using more vocals. Not that these add much; guitars are still the band’s most effective weapon, reducing all other sonic intrusions to background scrawl. This trick works best on opener ‘Flower Sun Rain,’ with Takeshi’s plaintive howls drifting in from the bottom of a deserted mineshaft before being ripped apart by the riffing prowess of collaborator Michio Kurihara. Unfortunately, after such a strong opener, much of the album is dedicated to Boris’ trademark Motorhead-esque rock clatter – and these heavier tracks never hit the heights of earlier ragers featured on Boris Heavy Rocks or Pink. The lead single, ‘Statement’, steers dangerously close to Electric Eel Shock wacky-rock n’ roll-good-timesyeah territory! Luckily it picks up. The untitled track with Stephen O’Malley is the album’s highlight – a fifteen minute epic where, together, the guys forge riffs that sound like glaciers collapsing into the ocean depths. Not their finest work but Smile still offers a few fine pointers in the art of rocking out. Chris Mapleston
The Flax of Reverie
festival preview: supersonic
While the debacle of this year’s Glastonbury tickets seems to be a bit overblown, the failure of the much-hyped event to sell out immediately highlights the extent to which the UK is being submerged by a torrent of mediocre festivals. A wash of new promoters have swamped the market in samey, badly organized and overpriced events – touting the same mediocre bands that everyone will have forgotten about in six months. Stories of 45 min toilet queues, busted sound systems and £4 beers now seem like an obligation for any new event - little wonder so many now head abroad for their festival fix. Yet do not despair – amongst all this there are still heroes out there making sure that festivals are things to be enjoyed - not endured. Now entering its sixth year, Capsule’s Supersonic has emerged as one of the UK’s best festivals. Held in the tasteful environs of Birmingham’s Custard Factory, an arts haven in an otherwise bleak industrial area, the festival showcases some of the biggest and brightest (or should that be darkest?) names in doom, drone, folk and rock n’ roll. Having similar tastes to those behind the ATP festivals (without such a raging hard-on for the early 90s) Supersonic’s organisers manage to strike a successful balance between big riffers and more cerebral acts, with established cult bands rubbing shoulders with exciting emerging artists. Add to this a score of record stalls, films and art installations and it’s easy to see why
Supersonic offers one of the best music weekends available. 2006’s festival saw Zombi, High on Fire, Isis reaping sonic vengeance, while last year’s event upped the drone – with Mogwai, Om and Sunn 0))) rocking the main stage. This year’s event looks to be the best yet with the festival extended to three days – a testament to both Supersonic’s past success and of the burgeoning popularity of the previously fringe genres on show. Here are just a few of the must see acts: Battles: The release of last year’s epic ‘Mirrored’ record saw this US math-rock band blast into the popular consciousness. This year’s headlining slot should mark a victory lap – expect ‘Atlas’ to be this year’s festival anthem. Harmonia: A rare UK show for the recently reformed ambient Kraut-rock masters – if they perform just as the sun starts to set expect minds to melt. Harvey Milk: These US cult dirge-doomers had to pull out of the festival last year - luckily they’re back to make amends. Expect big noise and bad vibes Wooden Shjips: Ignore the questionable spelling and mong out to this San Francisco band’s blend of Doors-style stoner mysticism and woozy drone. Oxbow: Though they performed acoustically last year, a full band performance of Oxbow and their frontman
– street fightin’, blue moviestarring and small-pants wearing Eugene Robinson – is not to be missed. Just don’t look him in the eyes. Guapo: What’s that? UK’s cult-neo-prog-lords to play tracks off their new magnum opus? Potential collaboration with drone-folk-crooner Alexander Tucker? Sorry ladies, beards a necessity for this one. ZX Spectrum Orchestra: Further continuing the testosterone-fuelled theme – a group making noise using only the hardware of the antiquated 80s game console. Beestung Lips: One of Birmingham’s best new bands and firm favourites of the organizers – Beestung Lips look set to offer a dose of home-grown punk carnage. The Owl Service – This new UK band’s pastoral folk should offer a welcome break from the onslaught of heavy noise. Justice Yeldham: A man who makes music by smashing glass on his face – what’s not to love? Supersonic runs from July 11th-13th – all details can be found at: www.capsule.org.uk/Supersonic/
loudness wars “Just like static” So says Bob Dylan. “You listen to these modern records, they’re atrocious; they have sound all over them. There’s no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing.” He’s talking about what’s been dubbed the ‘Loudness Wars’, a modern blight on music production caused by competition between record labels for radio play. It’s a sad matter of fact that, when comparing two songs, the louder one will come away being more memorable. Record executives, noticing that louder songs on the radio sold more singles, demanded that their records be mastered louder than their rivals. It’s not actually possible to make one CD ‘louder’ than another, but what you can do is limit the dynamic range of a song – that is, the difference between the quietest and loudest parts. Tweak this, compress that, and you can get a song where a whisper is as loud as a drumbeat. The end result of two decades of this practice has meant a world where ‘Hopes and Fears’ by Keane sounds louder than ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana when played on the same hi-fi, and aural purists have to seek out original vinyl pressings of Beatles LPs because the stereo remasters sound like sludge. For many pop songs, this isn’t a problem. They are designed to be slick, commercial enterprises and often don’t have much dynamic range to be clipped down. But it’s a problem that’s come to infect the vast majority of music production – not so much for stuff released by independents, but the majors often care far more about getting the songs noticed than preserving audio fidelity. There are small movements against it, mostly led by studio engineers and producers fed up of mutating what they help to make, but in an age where the MP3’s tinny characteristics tend to go unquestioned it’s debatable whether enough people care about the issue to demand an end to it. Until then, anyone seriously interested in hearing music how it was actually meant to be heard will be faced with shelling out more for vinyl LPs and demo tapes. Ian Steadman
What does Nottingham’s DIY label have to offer? So’eza – 7 Obstacles (Gringo, May 12) So’eza have been going for well over a decade now and this is their third album (their second for Nottingham’s delightful Gringo label) but their sound remains blessed with a sprightly vigour. Dan Cornfield’s French horn has a fair bit to do with that. Anyone who’s heard Mozart’s Horn Concerto will know it’s an instrument bursting with ruddy cheeked joie de vivre and 7 Obstacles’ best moments come when its jolly tones are fleshing out the itching, angular funkisms of guitarists Ben Owen and Nick Earle. Though eccentric, 7 Obstacles is unfailingly polite; there is no outlandish Deerhoof-esque song derailment but there is plenty of deference to the uncanny – an unexpected chord lobbed into the mix here, an unusual harmony there. The quirky sensibilities are retained in the vocal department (where so many bands like this are let down), with the fidgety enunciations of Ben Owen and the soulful, moving tones of Jenny Robinson. Though wildly different vocalists, their voices combine to great effect on album highlight ‘Silver Runners.’ It’s not an unqualified success – ‘The Roast’ and ‘Novak’ are a little less than the sum of their parts, but for the most part 7 Obstacles is a refreshing, rewarding work. David Bell
Lords- Everyone Is People (Gringo, June 9) Lords once complained that all reviewers do is regurgitate their press releases, but when their press release contains truths as startlingly selfevident as “your booty will not go unshaken,” you have little sympathy for their complaints. Hell, my booty remained shaking even during the string section breakdown in ‘Good Dog Bad Dog.’ Such is the incessant booty-shaking reality of Lords’ music. It’s music for brain as well as ass, though – this is a far more mature album than the 2006 debut, This Aint a Hate Thing, It’s a Love Thing. Phil Welding’s vocals have moved from rasping to growling and acquired a whole new menace in the process, whilst the songs are now extra-jam packed with the kind of blues inflected riffery that Tony Iommi would churn out if only he knew how to crack a smile – though Captain Beefheart and Mule remain the most obvious reference points. Then there are the blasts of free-jazz ecstasy and those ass-shaking string sections. Drummer Elvin Beetham-Wallace puts his loose-limbs to great use too. It is his rhythmic contortions that allow Lords’ music to appeal to all body parts – from right butt cheek to left butt cheek.
want to learn or brush up on an instrument? Although I am a female drummer who has been playing for nearly 10 years – kind of credible on paper? – I have a confession to make. My inspiration was the mmm-bopping long haired pre-pubescent don’t-really-have-a clue-what-they’resinging-about (even though I know all the words) Hanson brothers – not so cool. Unfortunately, as I got older, what with GCSEs, A levels, (boys), I had little time to practice or dedicate to lessons. This all changed when I came to uni and had six hours of lectures a week and a student loan… Finding Music Learning Curve (MLC) was a stroke of luck. It is a new academy situated in Hockley. There are nine experienced teaching staff at the academy who offer lessons in drums, guitar, bass, piano, music theory and even song-writing if requested. Whether you like a bit of jazz or prefer to rock out to metal (or if you ask nicely a bit of Hanson?), the staff will be happy to tailor your lessons to suit your interests and help you expand your general musical knowledge. After 6 months of weekly lessons at MLC, I would recommend it to anyone – from experienced musicians to people learning an instrument from scratch. It has certainly rekindled my love for the drums. Laura Madeleine Darby
MLC, Top Floor, 2 Brightmoor Street, Hockley, Nottingham, NG1 1FD. Tel: 01159417493; or visit: www.mic-academy.com www.musiclearningcurve.com
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the interview Correne Spero from female New York hip-hip group Northern State chats to Impact ‘s Sophie Pearce and Ian Steadman about their latest album, the decline of the record industry, and the joys of “man candy.” I: So, what would you characterise your music as, because it’s a lot more than just hip-hop, isn’t it? Definitely, our music blends in a lot of styles and genres. We grew up in New York listening to every kind of music - I loved Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, and a lot of old rock, new rock, even punk, reggae, dub... I think when we started we were a little bit more focused on making hip-hop music, although now I think we’re more interested in questioning what hip-hop can sound like. It’s such a cool genre because it’s so malleable, and I feel that we’re definitely pushing the envelope. S: Have you felt like a band that’s almost sort of a fish out of water, or a bit of an anathema in a male-dominated rap world? I think any girl band can feel that way; that any girls playing music professionally will always feel like a fish out of water. We kind of dabble in this genre that is not only male but historically black, and it’s definitely been an interesting experience in terms of feeling out of place. I think that we’ve really grown into it, and now it’s not even that weird to hear girls rapping. When we started there were very few girls rapping, but now even Gwen Stefani’s rapping. We always really respected all the women who did it before us - because as hard as it was for us, I imagine for people like Queen Latifah or Roxanne Shanté, the first women to really get up there with a microphone and say “I’m going to rap now,” I can’t even imagine how that felt. I: Why do you think there are so few female rappers, and bands? Well, it’s very intimidating. Like anything else that women do nowadays, we had a bit of a
late start. When I was growing up it didn’t really dawn on me until I was about 15 because there weren’t that many women doing it. Hopefully if I ever had a daughter it would be like second nature to her. It’s also intimidating and scary because there’s so many men. With hip-hop, I think part of it is that you have to have a lot of confidence. You cannot step up to the mic as a girl who wants to rap with any kind of doubt in your mind, otherwise you’re going to get laughed off stage. S: After the last album you left SonyColumbia and joined Ipecac, Mike Patton’s label. Why did you leave? It just really wasn’t a good match. They didn’t really support our last album, All City. They did a worse job than an indie like Ipecac is doing – or even the self-released EP demo that we put out ourselves, that almost got more attention. They just completely slept on it. At the end of the day the major label system in the US is fucked, it’s just falling apart. They haemorrhaged money for so many years and now they have no money, and they don’t know why, and they want to blame it on the internet but there’s more of a reason than just that. You can’t just spend with no accountability. You’ve just dropped $600,000 on the recording, why wouldn’t you spend that extra $50,000 to actually promote it? They act in such an irrational way. S: With Ipecac, how does it feel sitting alongside the other bands on the roster? We were really surprised, it turns out Mike Patton is a big fan of ours and he really wanted to do our last album, which in hindsight I wish we had done. We were very taken aback knowing how left of centre the bands on the label are - they have a very weird, eclectic
roster. In the end it kind of made sense because we’re left of centre in our own sort of way, even if we have more of a pop appeal. It’s awesome, they kick ass. We work as a team together, which is exactly what we wanted, where we wanted to be equals with the label. S: Do you think your sound has changed or developed at all because of this? Not because of Ipecac. We left Columbia, we teamed up with Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys, and a new producer, Chuck Brody. He’s done production for Wu-Tang Clan, and worked with Jennifer Lopez and Yoko Ono. We made it independently, then we got in touch with the Ipecac people, they said they loved it and wanted to put it out. The change in sound had a lot more to do with us growing as a band, and us wanting to try something new. We just felt so free having left Columbia. We didn’t know that this album would even come out, we didn’t have a label for it, we didn’t know what was going to happen, so it was easier to be experimental. I: You’ve had a couple of songs on Grey’s Anatomy, haven’t you? Grey’s Anatomy is awesome because it’s the trashiest show ever, a trashy show full of man candy. Every scene there’s like a man whipping his shirt off and making out with someone. We love it on a very campy level. We’ve even got the Grey’s Anatomy board game. Two of our songs were on it, “Iluvitwhenya” and “Better Already”, and I think it’s been really good for us - it’s helped us finance part of our tour.
Make chips. Eat chips. Use oil to power a car. What if we could convert a dirty, messy waste product that’s an environmental liability into something that’s currently worth about £1.20 a litre? That we could run our cars off, saving our limited reserves of oil? That’s exactly what thousands of people are doing, and one of those people is my friend Chris. He recently got together a collection of dirty waste oil from local chippies and restaurants and has plans to convert it into biodiesel. This stuff would otherwise get ditched in a landfill site and decompose to methane – which is 21 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. And the bonus? It’s (almost) free fuel. He asked me to lend a hand making a small practice batch (about a litre) in his kitchen. Armed with internet instructions, a few beers and a chemistry and an engineering degree under our collective belt, we wondered “how hard could it be?”. If fact, most online sources stress the simplicity of the process, so feeling confident we assembled the ingredients – waste oil, lye (available from Wilko’s as a drain unblocker) and methanol. This is harder to get hold of, but can be bought off eBay and from industrial suppliers. The first stage was doing a titration to work out how much lye we would need for the reaction. This involved taking a solution of the lye and dripping it into a solution of the oil plus an indicator until it changed colour. We used cumin as our indicator as it can be found on spice racks nationwide, and works amazingly well. When it changes from greeny-yellow to bright pinky-orange, then you’ve added enough lye. A quick sum tells you how much lye you will need per litre of waste oil.
some semblance of scientific accuracy. The next step was the most dangerous – dissolving the lye in the methanol. This makes methoxide, a very strong chemical capable of eating through plastic. We used a coffee jar as the reaction vessel, and tried to be careful. We were then ready to make the oil into diesel. First we warmed the oil on the hob. This makes the reaction faster. We were told to heat it to 60oC, but since we didn’t have a thermometer we just warmed it until it was almost too hot to touch. We poured a litre of the warm waste vegetable oil into a much bigger plastic bottle, with the aid of a funnel crafted from half a coke bottle. Then we poured in our methoxide, put the lid on quickly and gave it all a good shake. No need to be scared about the methoxide eating through the bottle, as it would get used up by the vegetable oil first. Letting the stuff sit made it separate into two layers – a darker smaller one on the bottom and a big clear brown one on top. The top layer is the biodiesel, and on the bottom is glycerol, soaps, water and other by-products. Luckily for us, the one on the bottom went solid, so it was quite easy to pour off the biodiesel layer. We then heated it in a tray to get rid of any water, and it was ready to use. We declared it a success when the car ran fine on it. So is it as easy as everyone claims? Yes, as long as you make sure you know what you are doing, and are aware of the risks associated with the chemicals you are using. Is it the solution to all our oil shortage and environmental worries? Well, put it this way - we would all have to eat a LOT of chips. DISCLAIMER:
This is where it went a bit wrong for us. We found that we had no accurate way of weighing the lye out, so we had to approximate by using teaspoons. Luckily, our instructions were able to tell us how many spoonfuls were about the same as a gram. Also we had a proper set of measuring spoons, so we could keep
Methanol is toxic – avoid contact and inhalation. Lye (aka: sodium hydroxide) burns the skin – avoid contact. Corrosive chemicals in the eye are a very bad thing. Wear eye-protection! Running your car off alternative fuels without paying duty on them can get you into loads of trouble with the law if they catch you. Like 92
Chris, make sure that you get in contact with the customs and excise people and declare what you are doing if you don’t want to risk getting caught.
By Maria Cormack
Book Review: Human Instinct by Robert Winston Ever wondered why your younger brother’s tantrums always seemed to get your parents’ attention? Why winning the pub quiz feels so great - even if the prize is only twenty quid split twelve ways? Or why crisps and chocolates taste so good even though you know that they’re bad for you? For the naturally curious amongst us, Professor Robert Winston’s thought-provoking book is an intriguing and satisfying read, answering a multitude of questions you didn’t even realise you wanted to ask.
From here he begins to unravel the essence of human nature. Looking at survival, competition, altruism, aggression, communication and sexual drive to explain why we do some of the things that we do. It may seem as though human instincts are becoming less significant in today’s modern cultures and structured societies. But our instincts, desires and impulsive reactions often prevail, because after millions of years ingrained in our ancestors’ make-up they are still very strong.
In Human Instinct, Professor Winston – a respected scientist, television presenter and household name – takes us right back to the time when human beings emerged from the African Savannah. Back to when our ancestors took their first upright steps, to when our brains started growing larger and when our evolutionary path began to move away from that of our monkey cousins.
Professor Winston’s writing style is engaging and accessible to those with little prior scientific knowledge. His explanations are clear but he does not oversimplify or dumb-down any of the theories he describes. The book is rich with examples of how science can explain the decisions and actions in our dayto-day lives. It is filled with fascinating insights into the experiments which have
helped us to understand human behaviour and its roots in our primate past. Along with several humbling and amusing comparisons to other species in the animal kingdom, a number of humorous personal anecdotes prevent scientific overload, making Human Instinct an entertaining and pleasurable book. The only let down comes right at the end, where in the last chapter Winston strives to marry science and religion. That’s not to say that the two are mutually exclusive, but the way that hopes and faith are alluded to, without anything substantial to back them up, does not seem in keeping with the rest of the book. Unfortunately Professor Winston’s own beliefs and feelings are perhaps an unnecessary addition to an otherwise fantastic read. by Laura McGuinness
Clash of the Titans: Sony Vaio vs Apple MacBook It’s dissertation/endless coursework season, the time of the year is when we geeks come out in force. Armed with our multimedia- and microchip-based weaponry in our backpacks, the battle is on to get the best quality work done with the help of the trusty student budget laptop. But which is the best? Obviously, we all want the best things from a laptop without paying pooploads of cash. Style is an obvious factor, along with a good make of computer that won’t die all the time and can take a few knocks. It needs to work with our favourite pieces of software, support our mp3 players and cameras, enable some sort of game play and of course, take like a duck to water on the Internet. Not much then? As an eighties child, I personally have grown up with Sony products, and recognise anything produced by Sony as good quality and very hardwearing. My very first cassette Walkman is still in mint condition. Apple products have made a great name for themselves amongst the technologically artistic, and as a consequence Apple has arguably become the most famous electronic brand in the world. These days even grannies have iPods. I am extremely biased when it comes to comparing the Sony Vaio against the Apple MacBook, especially as someone who abhors following the crowd and vomits a little bit when walking up ‘Ugg Boot’ Road. Sorry, I mean Derby Road. But I will try to be impartial.
MacBook Cost: £699-£949 depending on the specification. Looks: There’s no doubt this baby looks good: smooth lines and the everfashionable apple ingrained on the top. A little bit bling for me though. Dimensions and screen: A very tidy 13’’ means this slimline widescreen laptop fits easily into your bag. Anti-glare screen is only available with the new MacBook Pro, retailing at £1299. Ouch. Software: All the usual Mac specific software, which is brilliant for designing, music and all things aesthetic. Gaming spec: With a standard 2.1GHz processor (needed for any decent gameplay), you’d think this laptop would do well, but it disappoints at the budget price and is quite slow. Hard drive: The space depends on the price you pay, and with at least 160GB there’s plenty of it. Coolness: Follow the white earphone crowd? You’ll be top of the list of awesomeness with this laptop. Vaio VGN NR11 range Cost: £499 Looks: The Vaio logo definitely rivals a picture of an Apple. As smooth looking and cool as the MacBook but more sturdy looking, much more spartan looking than the MacBook. Dimensions and screen: A big let down 93
at 15’’, the Vaio simply won’t fit into the laptop section of the average Eastpak. The screen is great for watching films, the Vaio has the superb x-black widescreen, making the screen viewable from all angles and anti-glare. Software: Windows Vista...boo! Seems to work well though, despite Vista’s initial teething problems when it first came out. My Sony music software worked brilliantly on it too – bonus! Gaming spec: Not meant for tearing through games either, but decent enough for the casual gamer. Hard drive: The price comes with a massive 200GB Coolness: Sony has become the underrated choice of the underdog. Both laptops have Intel Core Duo technology, which means they are super fast, and this is what you would expect even from lesser brand new laptops. There’s no denying that the MacBook has much more range for the consumer, but we’re students! If you’ve only got a half a grand if that to spend on a sexy laptop that works and does all the things the average Nottingham student needs it to do, then the Sony Vaio more than fits the bill. If you want to invest in more luxury, or are planning on a career in graphic design, buy the MacBook. I’m very happy to say the Vaio clinches it, primarily on value for money. By Tash Beecher
Starward Bound One day all our futures will rest upon a single question; are we willing to boldly go? Right now we live in a glorious time of human history where recent technological progress has enabled us to discover new and exciting worlds - earth -like planets orbiting distant stars. But even if you are the most unadventurous, mean-spirited soul alive and care little about seeking out exciting new worlds and the possibility of new civilisations, there does exist a very important reason for exploring space. The reality which no politician seems willing to admit is simply this; our current way of life has absolutely no sustainable future whatsoever. The planet is creaking under the insatiable weight of human consumption. A recent UN report predicts that over 40% of the world’s population will suffer severe shortages in water and food with land degradation reaching a pinnacle by the year 2050 - once the global population has reached over 9 billion people. This comes alongside the very real threat of global warming, of decreasing natural resources, the subsequent threat of resource wars as well as the constant and seemingly impossible problem of planetary overpopulation. Then there’s the external and very real threats of asteroid collisions, deadly gamma ray bursts and an ever expanding sun consuming the inner planets which should convince even the most sceptical Earthling of the dangers he regularly faces. Escape from this inevitable global meltdown lies in our venturing to the stars. But to truly explore space we must revolutionise the way we think about traversing this vast cosmic tapestry. Conventional rocket fuel is unable to achieve the near light-speed acceleration and sustainable energy-fuel required for travelling interstellar distances. But what we do perhaps have on our side is time. As Einstein allowed in his famous theory of General Relativity, time dilation occurs once you reach speeds close to the speed of light. In short, the theory states that if we were able to travel at 90% the speed of light, we would age only minutes onboard the spacecraft as we
travelled through space whilst observers on the earth would age many centuries. If we are able to achieve near light-speed capabilities then we do have a chance of exploring our entire galaxy and perhaps even beyond. It would mean, of course, leaving behind the earth and everything on it that we had come to know and love. It seems there is little room for sentimentality in a vast and ever-expanding cosmos. One feasible idea currently within our grasp for achieving near light-speed is the concept of a ‘Solar Sail’. In 2004, Japan successfully launched two prototype solar sails in low Earth using the force of the sun’s photons as propulsion. When photons are reflected off a surface, rather than absorbed to produce heat, they impart velocity that is all but unnoticeable in the highly pressurised conditions on earth. In space however, such velocity becomes incremental with the build-up of billions of photons producing incredible speeds. The next step would be to produce hugely powerful lasers able to concentrate billions of photons onto the Sail enabling it to reach extraordinary interstellar speeds. Other ideas for interstellar space travel include the development of sustainable energy sources such as ‘fusion engines’ and ‘anti-matter drives’ that are able to release huge amounts of convertible energy into fuel. In 1960, an American physicist proposed the idea of a ‘Bussard Ramjet’ - featuring gigantic electromagnetic force fields able to ‘scoop’ up the hydrogen atoms that exist in the ‘vacuum’ of space whilst then accelerating them into an engine at phenomenal speeds. By using a laser to strip electrons of the atoms and thus making the atoms electrically charged, a hugely powerful magnetic force field would then deflect the charged atoms into the engine compressing the hydrogen
until thermo nuclear fusion occurs. The conversion of enough hydrogen atoms into a sustainable energy fuel would then propel the ship to relativistic light-speeds able to cross the galaxy in just decades. Perhaps in the far future our technologically advanced descendents will have the power to puncture a hole in space-time itself. Right now acquiring the awesome powers to first create and then sustain a traversable wormhole is far beyond our current space travel projections, and sits somewhat awkwardly on the cusp of our wildest imagination. It is however a genuine possibility made so by Einstein’s General Relativity and would be a means of bringing distant galaxies to our doorstep by taking an instant ‘shortcut’ through space - thus negating the shackles of light-speed altogether. Of course, such talk of wormholes and super-advanced spaceships remain a speculative dot on the distant horizon. It is however imperative that we start building a serious interstellar space programme now amid the global fluctuations and resulting dangers that lurk just around the corner, and within our very own lifetimes. The expense will be huge and will require a multi-national collaboration. If ever the earth needed a compelling reason for working together then it is for such a venture. An interstellar space program will, after all, provide the means for our entire species’ long term survival. Right now all our eggs are in one very capricious basket. The Earth is not the protective sphere that we all like to think. In its dangerous voyage through space, its vulnerability is ruthlessly unmasked and with it, our future long term survival placed under severe threat. By Joel Hickman
Religion vs Science: The arms race to truth At ten past nine on April 10th, 1901, esteemed physician Duncan MacDougall weighed the human soul. He accomplished this by placing a terminally ill tuberculosis patient on an extremely sensitive merchant’s scale once used to weigh silk, and waited for the man to die. If the soul has weight, reasoned MacDougall, then when a person dies and his soul leaves his body, the body ought to suddenly drop in weight equivalent to that of the soul itself. At the very moment the patient’s heart stopped, MacDougall’s scales registered a drop of 21 grams. That’s about as heavy as a Cheestring. Now, I am a cynic about MacDougal’s experiment, but a fascinated cynic nonetheless. MacDougall had, if you like, all the exits covered: any substance evacuated from the patient at the moment of death as the muscles relaxed stayed on the scale, and air exhaled from collapsed lungs did not register on the scale at all. Of course, most of you will probably be demanding repeated experiments with much tighter conditions and superior equipment before you accept the weight of your soul is equivalent to a frankly revolting excuse for a snack. And whilst it remains doubtful that MacDougal was right, perhaps the most intriguing thing about the whole affair is that he attempted in the first place to bring the ‘soul’, a complicated metaphysical notion, to the realm of science and measurement. The relationship between religion and science, (far from non-existent, as Richard Dawkins tried to have us believe – nay – prove to us), is incestuous and complicated. Historically, both religion
and science share a genealogy in human enquiry. Both attempt, at least in part, to explain similar subject matter, both are powerful and politically charged. Whilst physicists at CERN get busy on the search for the ‘God-particle’, a debate entitled: Religion is the greatest threat to scientific progress and rationality that we face today takes place much closer to home at the British Council. Arguing ‘for’ is philosopher and cognitive scientist Professor Daniel Dennett who told The Guardian “religion can overwhelm our best judgement and cloud our critical faculties. But religion doesn’t just disable, it honours this disability.” Religious belief cannot coexist with a successful scientific attitude, and as such religion threatens not only practical progression in science and culture, but stifles human enquiry. Professor of fertility studies and practicing Jew, Sir Robert Winston (moustachioed fellow from Child of Our Time), whose own credentials contradict Dennett’s assertion, disagrees. “Dennett seems to believe science is ‘the truth’. He conveys the notion that science is a kind of certainty. But science cannot answer the mysteries of life; the more we use science to explore nature, the more we find things we cannot explain.” Dennett finds this absurd. “It is not as if where science stops religion takes over: Where knowledge stops, knowledge stops.” It is difficult to see how religion can be usefully explanatory where cosmology or genetics become hazy. Surely an appeal to divine explanation in a scientific context is the end of the discussion, not an explanation of the 55 95
mystery. Of course there are things we cannot answer yet. There is no ‘moves in mysterious ways’ clause in science, and so every present moment we are on the edge. Yet there is no progression in religion in quite the same way. All we know about God and life, we know now, we will learn nothing new in the future. And according to Dennett, this sort of attitude is damaging to the development of scientific ideas and education. Winston isn’t so sure. Dennett’s grand, majestic criticisms of religion as repressing human endeavour, in the majority of cases, misrepresent the situation. Winston, who is highly accomplished in the science of fertility, making so called ‘irrational’ choices about not eating meat on Fridays affect no-one but him. Winston has a very sobering point when he questions the almost blinkered certainty of Dennett’s account. “The paradox is that certainty, whether it be in science or religion, is dangerous. And Dennett’s certainty increases polarisation in our society. With inflexible positions on both sides, certainty surely is the biggest threat to rationality, and to science.” Is there a place on the scientific scales for the human soul? Or is faith the outright disability to acquiring knowledge that Dennett would have every scientist steer clear of? You can watch a podcast of Dennett and Winston in the arms race to certainty at www.agora-education.org and decide for yourself, as Ryan North so aptly put it, who “has the monopoly on truth.” By Sophie Stammers
Summer Fun on Campus
Summer Party 2008 - What to Expect
Exams are finished, the summer’s coming and what better way to celebrate than with a full day of great music on Nottingham’s beautiful downs? This year we have Fun Loving Criminals headlining, as well as The Maccabees, The Courteeners, Lethal Bizzle and Goldie Lookin’ Chain on the main stage. In the R&B tent you’ll hear Radio 1’s Nihal, Fever, Windows 78 and DJ Robby. When the night gets started, head over to the Detonate tent to find out who the mystery guest is, in addition to London Elektricity, SP MC and more. Finally, don’t miss Hot Chip in the Firefly tent, Breakfasterz, Trash Jelly and Celtic Twinz. Drinks tokens can be bought online this year which saves queuing time and there’s plenty of greasy food to relieve your hunger. Going for a straight 12 hours, 12am to 12pm, the Summer Party is potentially the best day of the year and certainly not one to be missed. Just cross your fingers it doesn’t pour with rain. For those going to Newquay Spring Break the next day, prepare to be hung over. Oh, and keep your ears open for news of the after party in the Firefly tent… the night doesn’t have to end at midnight if you don’t want it to. Emily Conway
The Detonate Indoor Festival @ Rock City, Stealth and Rescue Rooms
So, what is the Detonate Indoor Festival I hear you cry? The Detonate Indoor Festival is spread over the 8 arenas of Rock City, Stealth and Rescue Rooms. With over 50 acts in one night and a capacity of 4,000 people, it is safe to say this is the biggest event in Nottingham (sorry Cocksoc). It’s like a night at Exit except without the sun or the angry Serbian men. The good vibrations will have you dancing all night long. You can ‘get down’ to a selection of Break Beats and Hip Hop and if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can shuffle your feet to the sounds of Highness in the reggae room. This year was a euphoric night filled with a marathon of music and for anyone looking to party hard, this night did not disappoint. This is the type of experience you will be telling your grand-kids about, especially if your grand-kids happen to love Drum ‘n’ Bass and Dubstep. With our ears still ringing from last year, 2008 had a hard act to follow, yet it rose to the challenge and proved to be bigger and better than ever. The most memorable acts this year were Skream, Roots Manuva and Shy FX but the line up is always incredible and for only £26 you’re laughing, ho ho. Steve McMinn and Tariq Desai
‘Sounds on the Downs’ FREE Greenfields Festival on Thursday 5th June, 2008
If you are looking for a day of post exam escapism in a pseudo-hippie time warp, go and explore the Sounds on the Downs this summer. This is the university’s only green festival which ‘marries the yin and yang of student activism, environmental awareness and social justice with a party atmosphere!’ It provides an eclectic mix of bands, DJ’s, drum jams, acoustic music, performing arts (ranging from acrobatics and tai-chi to theatre), arts and electronic workshops. There is a colourful blend of activities and performances for a groovy summer day with new additions for 2008, including an eco cinema, local food fair, an owl sanctuary, live graffiti art, a wish tree and more inspirational fun and games courtesy of Hide n’ Soc. If your shopping bug has been growing through the exam period, go and splash out on the unique homemade clothes and jewellery designs without any guilt as a lot of the profits go to charity! And if you are looking to further your charitable side even more, there are several Campaign Stalls, Community Groups, Social Justice and Environmental groups to sign up and get involved with. To top it all off, as one of the most environmentally and socially friendly festivities, it is all powered renewably and off-grid by V3 power. All in all, the day is very reminiscent of WoMAD and Latitude festivals, so if you are unable to make it to those, this is a perfect, FREE alternative to bring out the tree-hugger in you. Anisha Jogani
Nottingham’s Grimiest Nights Out Flares, Reflex, SFC… and why stop there when there’s Bar Schnapps? Now I’m sure I should be beginning by saying that I ‘know of someone’ who’s experienced this night but to hell with any dignity I might have left, it was me. And not only was it me who ‘endured’ it, I thoroughly and whole-heartedly enjoyed it. I can’t even make excuses for it by claiming that I was dragged there, I sprinted through the double doors with fervent enthusiasm. Nor can I blame the fact that Ocean tickets had sold out or that Market bar was full, Flares was my first choice. There’s something about the décor, the flashing coloured dance floor, the gimmicks you can buy from behind the bar, the hoards of middle aged men and women on hen/stag nights getting down and dirty, or in flares’ words, ‘boogying on down and grooving on up’ reliving their youth and then of course, the music. How can Disco Inferno, Jackson 5’s ABC and Carwash not stir a passion in you? Having asked the DJ to play Flash Dance, which is of course an 80’s classic and having been told that Reflex over the road would play that sort of music, I transferred. Just to give you an idea of the sort of establishment it is, I pushed to the front of the queue in my inebriated state, pushed my stomach out and told the doorman that I was 5 months pregnant so standing in the cold rather than amongst the sweat getting pissed inside would be absurd – I
was granted immediate entry. To my delight there in the middle of the tiny room was… wait for it… a revolving dance floor. Can you get more passé than that? Equipped with a double vodka in each hand having had 3 sambucas at the bar, I mounted the beast and danced, facing outwards towards the crowd of jeering middle-aged men of course, to my favourite cheese classics, What A Feeling, Let’s Hear It For The Boy, Eye Of The Tiger and Dolly Parton’s 95… classy. Oh and then I got a bee in my bonnet that I was going to manage the dirty dancing lift, so forced my poor mate to stand at the bottom of the stairs while I threw myself at him yelling at him to lift me above his head ‘for at least 5 seconds.’ Then to SFC, not worth the risk of waiting till the end of the night just in case it was closed. Being carried in by my friend’s brother calling out for a ‘battered sav’ and a ‘bucket of pieces’ and then scoffing my feast covered in watered down mayo under the brutal stark bright strip-lights… what a vision. And finally, for when you just need that last drink or two to push you over the edge, there’s Bar Schnapps, open till 3 or 4 officially but I’m sure I’ve been there later. The basement loos tend to have severe drainage problems but why end such a sophisticated refined evening any other way but with poo on your shoes? Lucianne Lyne
Chambers Pub It’s all too easy to get stuck in the Oceana / Isis / Ocean routine, and brilliant though this is, plucking up the courage to break out of it can actually be worth it – especially when there’s karaoke involved. Chambers is a small karaoke bar on Maid Marian Way. Don’t be put off by first impressions, because these ones ain’t good – once the thick smoke-machine clouds part, you will come face to face with a crowd of angry looking locals and the question “are you……students?” First things first, make a quick trip to the very reasonably priced bar, and then throw yourself onto the tiny dance floor to enjoy the cheesy tunes. Suddenly the locals will become a lot more friendly. They may even proposition you with a duet. Although wrestling the mic off the DJ, a karaoke veteran, can prove tricky, the list of tunes to choose from is impressive, with all the old classics required for a good night there to tempt you. I belted out Dolly Parton’s “Nine to Five” with Janice, a middle aged lady who had chosen Chambers as the perfect venue for a first date. Ocean is within easy staggering distance of Chambers, but why bore yourself with all those familiar faces when there are friends like Janice to be made? Sallie May
Nottingham Restaurants : Four of the Finest The Hemsley Restaurant
The Nottingham University Club SatHemsley BainsRestaurant Lenton Lane, Nottingham, NG7 2SA.
Nottingham University Club
The Hemsley tucked theissmall white Set up by the Restaurant, renowned chef, Sataway Bain,inthis Nottingham’s building next to the Hallward and Library, is one of thegastronomic lesseronly Michelin star restaurant offers absolute known featuresIt’s of acampus. sophisticated restaurant extravagance. struggleThis to even understand the menuis bedecked with elaborate chandeliers, rich velvet since the dishes are so obscure and unique but iffurnishings you’re an and dark wooden which combine an air adventurous food tables, lover, this is surely half to thecreate fun. The weird of grandeur.Throughout the meal service was and wonderful dishes range from the starters such aspolite, wild hare, informed and accommodating. Such is thetoeffi ciency of the cauliflower, lemon confit and braised nuts main courses waiting teamas that my partner managed to complete as intriguing Anjou pigeon and withIcrosnes pigeon parfait our three-course meal in under an really hour. The is creative and chocolate. Alternatively, if you wantmenu to give your taste adventurous, steering clear of offering traditional, ordinary buds a work out, a varied tasting menu (described as ‘a cuisine. restaurant’s sophisticated touchand extends to balancedThe eating experience of taste, texture differing its dishes, with offers many dishes including expensive andpigs sumptuous temperatures’) such as braised head ingredients, such as fois-gras served with the fiand llet of beef. and cumin fudge. The dining room has a lively relaxed The presentation theluxurious food is also worthy of note, with each atmosphere whilstofthe surroundings and live pianist dish innovatively designed, giving the impression that the remind you that this is Nottingham dining at its finest. chef puts a lot of thought into each one of the meals on his menu. I was impressed with my meal which comprised Tel: 0115 986very 6566 of seared Scottish scallops, followed by fillet of beef and completed by a combination of white chocolate and mango sorbet. The prices are outside a student budget, although I do believe that the food is worthy of its cost. I would recommend The Hemsley for special occasions, preferably with parents! Susan Wareham Pippa Irvine
Petit Paris 2 Kings Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE
World Service Newdigate House, Castle Gate,
The Hemsley Restaurant, tucked away in the small white building next to the Hallward Library, is one of the lesser-known features of campus. This sophisticated restaurant is bedecked with elaborate chandeliers, rich velvet furnishings and dark wooden tables, which combine to create an air of grandeur. Throughout the meal the service was polite, informed and accommodating. Such is the efficiency of the waiting team that my partner and I managed to complete our three-course meal in under an hour. The menu is creative and adventurous, steering clear of offering traditional, ordinary cuisine. The restaurant’s sophisticated touch extends to its dishes, with many including expensive and sumptuous ingredients such as fois-gras served with the fillet of beef. The presentation of the food is also worthy of note, with each dish innovatively designed, giving the impression that the chef puts a lot of thought into each one of the meals on his menu. I was very impressed with my meal which consisted of seared Scottish scallops, followed by fillet of beef and completed by a combination of white chocolate and mango sorbet. The prices are outside a student budget but the food is worthy of its cost. I would recommend The Hemsley for special occasions, preferably with parents! Tel: 0115 846 6336
Situated right in the heart of the city centre, Petit Paris is a charming French restaurant offering outstanding food in a relaxing and warm environment. This is a great one to go to with the parents as the service is excellent and the prices are just about reasonable, so you should avoid any embarrassing moments of complaint. Food includes all the French classics ranging from coq au vin to moules marinieres, even frogs legs have been know to grace the frequently varying menu. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, the hand crafted deserts such as tart tatin and crème brûlée are a must. This cozy and intimate restaurant is much admired and definitely worth a try.
World Service is an elegant establishment hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Nottingham city centre. Situated in a picturesque oriental garden bathed in tranquility, where one can enjoy a chilled glass of Chardonnay on the close of a summer’s day to the trickling sound of water features bathed in light from twinkling fairy lights. The restaurant is also decorated in a luxurious oriental style and is divided into a bar and a spacious, yet intimate dining area. As for the food, the reputation of this prestigious Nottingham restaurant speaks for itself. The menu is creative and varied, capable of satisfying all palettes from the adventurous to the traditional. The dishes are exquisitely presented and delicious. Dining at the World Service in the evening can be rather expensive on a student budget, however well worth the price. The lunch service set menu is incredibly good value for money starting from two courses for £12. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a memorable way to celebrate their graduation.
Tel: 0115 947 3767
Tel: 0115 847 5587
Wino Guide : Nottingham As the days get longer and warmer, and winter begins at last to loose its icy grip, the inviting scent of sizzling charcoal drifts across the evening airs of Lenton. The lawns of campus start to become packed with student bodies and the smell of summer is in the air. It is at this time most of all that thoughts of work get pushed to the back of the mind. It is time to relax with a glass or two of wine. Over recent years the wine production and consumption of this country has increased dramatically. We now boast some of the best bubbly available and our supermarkets offer a fantastic choice of wines for all budgets. Indeed, wine can even be a cheaper option. The shelves are full of fabulous wine at student prices if you know where to look. Household names, such as Majestic, often have great bargains and we have some fantastic independent wine merchants in the city centre. Weavers is a fifth generation family owned wine merchant. They are part of a merchant vintners group that is able to source wine from interesting young producers. Every wall is lined with wines but the staff are very knowledgeable and can point you in the direction of some fantastic and affordable wines. Better value wines often come from smaller producers and less well-known regions. Also in town is Gauntley’s, which specialises in Alsatian wine and has a large cellar underneath market square. Alternatively, there is Delilah, a deli recommended by Ed Fitzgerald of the wine society. They have a good range of wine, especially the English North Star dessert wine, and also serve great food at a bar style café. Wine options by the glass change daily, meaning you’ll always find something new. It’s a perfect place to start a date before moving on to somewhere in the Lacemarket.Though wine is often seen as pompous, the stereotype seems to be diminishing, and an afternoon drink can shatter these expectations. “Drinking with friends is what summer is all about” (student in the library). Why not find a few bottles, some friends and a patch of grass? The most important thing to discover is that everyone has a different palate. Be indiscriminate in your choices and pair your wine with whatever you like to eat. Here are a few suggestions…
Orvieto Classico 2006
Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Chardonnay 2006
2006. 11.5% (£4.15 from Sainsbury’s) If you don’t like your wines too dry, this one’s for you. Less than a fiver, this wine’s something slightly different and is testament to the improving quality and structure of Italian whites. It has a sweet fruitiness with a bit of honeysuckle if you look for it. It would go wonderfully with spicy and Asian food. Plus, it’s light enough not to leave you with a stonking hangover if you get through a bottle on your own
2006. 13.5% (£6.99 from Sainsbury’s) At £6.99, this wine is great value for money. It’s from one of California’s oldest and most famous houses and is full of the unctuous oakiness that you might expect from such a venerated maker. Watch out for the wonderful toffee finish, full of vanilla and Worther’s Originals. This wine will go perfectly with shellfish or even fish fingers. Alternatively, it’s a great wine to drink on its own when absolutely cold.
(The above are recommended by James Torrance, Events Coordinator of the Nottingham University Wine Society)
Cuvee Jean-Paul 2006
Mchenry Honnen Vintners Margaret River Shiraz
Chapel Down Century NV
2006 12.5% (£4.75 from Weavers) This wine is light and tastes of passion fruit and mango. From the seldom mentioned Cotes de Gascgone region, at £4.75 it’s a bargain and feels like a far more expensive wine. It’s perfect just on its own.
14.5 % (£10.45 from Weavers) For those who want to spend a little more this big red from a young winery in western Australia this wine is big structured and powerful. You’ll be hit in the face by ripe black fruit and a plank of oak. It would be great with all barbecued meats.
12% (£14.99 from Sainsbury’s) Chapel Down are one of a growing number of small English wineries that are starting to gain recognition on an international scale. This wine is a perfect English sparkler that’s as good as any champagne only half the price and with lots more fruit. From one of England’s leading producers it’s fantastic for any celebration and perfect for a hangover cure. Try also Camel Valley Cornwall brut or Neytimber.
Crikey! Free Accomodation and Travel Down Under
Youth Hostel Association in Australia offering two lucky Impact jetsetters 10days accommodation and a bus pass to anywhere in Australia. The hostel stay and bus pass is good for a full year from now, so is suitable for students just taking a trip this summer or any graduating students taking a gap year and planning to travel down under. If you’ve booked your flights already, it’s a fantastic way for students/budget travellers to get a taste of Oz staying at a choice of hundreds of YHA hostels across the country, and travel up to 2,000km between the major cities with Greyhound Bus network. YHA’s Aussie Explorer pass lasts from 10 to 50 days, and there are 800 destinations on the Greyhound bus network and over 140 YHA hostels to choose from. The passes are also flexible, letting you decide how often you stop, where you stop and how quickly you cover the route. This prize does not include flights. For more information visit www.yha.com.au.
a) b) c)
Karl Kennedy Toadfish Rebecchi Harold Bishop
Send your answers to email@example.com with all your contact details by July 1st 2008. The winner will be drawn on July 2nd.
Win Pizza and a Chance to put Your Life at Risk
Win Massive Mash-up Times
at Firefly’s Eight Birthday Marcus Garvey Ballroom 7th June Firefly turns one year older this June, and they do it in staggering style with a phenomenal line up including Alter Ego, Fergie and Ben Sims. Performing a live show for the first time in the history of Nottingham, Alter Ego will be showcasing the bleep heavy sound which has won them admiration from everyone from Erol Alkan to Carl Craig. tracks, Pushing Techno to the masses long before it became the sound-track of Ibizan shores, long before ‘minimal’ became the buzz word, Fergie’s DJ sets and productions have always showed a resilience beyond flash in the pan fashion statements, he remains one of British techno’s epochal figures. He’s followed on by Ben Sims, an equally ebullient figure in the British techno spheres. Through his fierce productions and hi-octane DJ sets which test the sound to its limit and
To enter answer this very simple question... Which Neighbours star managed to evade Impact’s interviewer earlier this year?
core, his sound remains perfect for the sweat drenched halls that Firefly create. Support for these heavyweights on the night comes from Firefly’s three residents, men who have soundtracked the club since its inception and the one’s most able to deliver to its crowd; Jeet, Max Cooper and Ross Eden.
Impact has joined forces with Virgin Experience Days and PHQ (the new restaurant from Pizza Hut) to offer an opportunity to try Harness Sphereing, the latest craze to sweep the nation. Defy gravity while tearing down hills up to 30 mph strapped inside a 12ft inflatable sphere. Then, we’ll provide you and your mate with a delicious pizza at PHQ.
All you have to do for a chance of winning this amazing experience for you and a friend is answer this very simple question: The good people of America eat approximately how many slices of pizza per second? a) 350 b) 35 c) 3.5
As always, send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop a postcard into the Impact Office. And a fond farewell from your faithful competition mistress, who is graduating without having once got a postcard.
Impact has two pairs of tickets to give away to four lucky ravers wanting celebrate Firefly’s eighth birthday Garvey-style. To enter, answer this question: Who has NOT played Firefly this year? a) b) c)
Hot Chip The Glimmers Leona Lewis
Impact staff issue 190 Editor: Alice Hutton Deputy Editor: Jessica Elgot Managing Editor: Philip Morton Associate Managing Editor: James Sanderson Design Editor: Amy Bell Associate Editors: Ben Davies, Jen McDerra, Rob Barham Images Editor: Dee Durham Associate Design Editor: Philip Morton News Editors: Pippa Vaux, Heather Saxton, Emily Grosvenor-Taylor Sports Editors: Mark Lomas, Gemma Casey Associate Sports Editor: Steve Dew-Jones Travel Editors: Jennifer Lipman, Jessica Baron Fashion Editors: Mary-Anne Veit, Simone Konu Associate Fashion Editor: Rachel Banks Arts Editors: Bianca Leggett, Sarah Braybrooke Film Editors: Warren Tarling, Harry Kerr Music Editors: Sophie Pearce, Ian Steadman Science Editor: Natasher Beecher Nights Editors: Catriona Nunn, Philipa Irvine, Susan Wareham Publicity and Finance Manager: Priya Majeethia
quotability “Wine is for puffs” “I had a barmitzvah, it was odd because I’m not Jewish” “I’m going to Bosnia to sell phones, then to work in McDonalds in Iraq” “I’ve got Trisha’s survival guide, so if she doesn’t bounce back… EBAY” “I want a fiefdom” “Am I really comparing myself to a Brazilian banana farmer? Yes I am.” “I tripped over my own face” “Her whole face is a chin, chinny Mcchinchin, chin chin cherooo.” “I’ve always wanted a bitch” “I’m as serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer!” “Girls don’t enjoy the first anything do they?” “It’s not all about zooming in. Zooming out’s cool too” “Is there such thing as binge designing?”
contributors photos, artwork Andrew Gibson, Sam Hunt, Tristan Kennedy, Alex Dolphin, Josh Oldham, Ed Knock, Dave Bawden, Greg Dowell, Chris Mapleston, Chris Regan, David Bell, Andy Parkinson, Edd Gent, James Ballard, Laura Madeline Darby, Emily Conway, Steve McMinn, Tariq Desai, Anisha Jogani, Louise Fordham, Emily Eaves, Lucianne Lyne, Sallie May, Daniel Rae-Scott, Maria Cormack, Laura McGuinness, Sophie Stammers, Joel Hickman, Tom Cripps, Nicole Samuels, Emma Bowen, Sophie Kay, Andy Straiton, Rachel Whitehouse. Francesca De Feo, Hattie Hamilton, Susannah Sconce, Camile Herreman, Gemma Wilson, Amy Houmøller, Alex King, Mikko Makela, James Warren, Miles Angell, Tom Brookes, Daniel Sonabend, James Watson
Dee Durham, James Sanderson, Phil Morton, Amy Bell, Nicole Samuels, Emi Day, Charles Walker, Winston Luk, Nicole Samuels, KatieRose Matthews, Anna Vickery, Richard RoundTurner et al.
Hasbro The Fashion Team, for their horrible surprise.
Rutland Hall Sue Whiteing Elle Hosie Rob Barham, for his perseverance Toa the wonderful team of Impact 2006/08, thank you for such drive and commitment, we love you xxx And also, thanks for reading guys.
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contact us Impact Magazine, Portland Building, University Park, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD Tel: 0115 846 8716 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in Impact are those of individual contributors and are not representative of the magazine, Students’ Union or University.
Famous Last Words Sweet Charity In keeping with the theme of past and present, Impact’s Jessica Elgot interviews one of Nottingham University’s most distinguished alumni, Dame Mary Marsh, the Chief Executive of the NSPCC. Mary, who graduated with a degree in Geography in 1968, was given her first taste of fundraising as secretary of RAg…now known as Karni. After thirty years of teaching, she is now at the forefront of the NSPCC’s relentless campaigning to promote child welfare and protection to both the government and the public. At NSPCC, Mary has been an inspirational leader of the FULL STOP campaign. She is renowed for her personal championing of the rights of children and young people, demanding that their voices be heard. In recognition of her work, she was awarded a DBE by the Queen in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List.
“Of course I get angry about the harm adults do to children - but I have learnt how to be more measured to ensure I am heard” JE: What have been your biggest successes working for NSPCC? MM: One of my biggest successes working for the NSPCC was the completion of the FULL STOP appeal. Last year we announced that we had met our target of raising £250 million but there is still work to be done which is why the campaign to end cruelty to children goes on. Bringing ChildLine safely and successfully on board as part of the NSPCC was also an important task and the service continues to thrive under the support of the NSPCC. Securing Government funding for the development of our Helplines will also help us to continue delivering these vital services. My biggest personal success was ensuring the NSPCC got organised to deliver against its ambitious objectives. We have become a thoroughly integrated organisation where we are all focussed and committed on our purpose to end cruelty to children.
JE: How have you managed to combine working in sensitive area you feel passionate about whilst at the same time being a practical and effective leader? Do you have to maintain some distance? And has there ever been a particular case where this has been especially difficult? MM: You need emotional and physical resilience to be a leader of an organisation like NSPCC. It is important to act courageously and with determination to make the most difference for children. This can be risky but it is necessary to get on with tackling the appalling levels of child abuse in the UK (as in so many other countries). Of course I get angry about the harm adults do to children and the injustice they can suffer - but I have learnt how to be more measured to ensure I am heard and action is taken by others. The Victoria Climbie Inquiry and what had happened to Victoria was difficult in part because of the nature of NSPCC’s sadly limited involvement in her case - it was important to be publicly accountable personally and address the inquiry in person. JE: How did you enjoy life at Nottingham University? MM:I was very happy at Nottingham. I enjoyed studying Geography - especially John Cole’s huge creativity and his challenge to look at things differently by applying many new methods of analysis. I learnt a lot which has helped my approach in many other settings. JE: What was it like being involved in Karnival during your time at Nottingham? MM: When I was the RAg Secretary we invented a special ‘Karnival’ - King Kong was a widely talked about newly released film in the late 60’s and we decided to make him mascot of our ‘Karnival’. And I was amused to discover through my recent contacts with the students that the ‘K’ remains but no-one knew why until I explained the history! JE: How do you feel the feel about the growing apathy amongst students to-
wards volunteering and charitable works? MM: If there is any apathy it must be very recent - I have been hugely impressed with the engagement I have seen to do a range of things, not least to raise funds. And there is no doubt any fundraising experience of work as a volunteer particularly in direct serivice delivery, can be a very strong element of your CV, as long as your motivation is not just getting calls from headhunters as you graduate. In my view the recent generations of students put my era to shame - keep it up! We only did Karnival for a week - not all through the year.
“The recent generations of students put my era to shame - keep it up!” JE. How do you get a good quality work/ life balance with such a demanding and successful career? MM: It is important to know yourself and your strenghts and weaknesses. I think you need to act as yourself (authentic in the leadership managment jargon) while learning to adjust your style to the context you find yourself in. It is essential to look after yourself too - so I do try and swim regularly and to walk as much as I can especially by the sea when I escape to my house on Portland in Dorset. Are you worried about a child? Call the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000
Nearly 300 students worked for Impact this year
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a million miles from lenton With the summer holiday fast approaching, the Impact Nights team thought we’d provide you with the inside info on a couple of party towns a little further a field than the Isis industrial estate. Having both spent their third years abroad, Louise Fordham and Emily Eaves have had plenty of time to get properly immersed in a whole new nightlife that must seem a million miles from Lenton.
Santa Barbara, California
Granada, Spain First there came rioja… A glass of wine for 2€. Plus a plate of delicious free food. This is just one of the many reasons to love Granada, the last city in Spain to keep up the tradition of serving free tapas with each glass of wine or beer you order. By 11pm you will find yourself on your third glass – that´s a plate of chorizo, following another of smoked cod, and one of fried aubergines and honey (trust me, this last one tastes far better than it sounds). You should definitely wait for the fourth and fifth round, the more drinks you order the tastier the food they serve you.
For the last seven months, I’ve lived in the college town voted by Playboy as the best for partying in the United States. Red cups, frat parties and sorority girls are typical components of a night out and although I still haven’t been able to force myself to like beer, there’s always a keg. Nightlife here in Southern California is completely different to England, and the bright lights of Lenton. Firstly, it is divided between those who can drink legally and those who can’t. This makes a huge difference- there’s no way round it, the police are outside every bar and they’re strict. A fake ID results in a $250 fine and a trip to court with the lightest punishment being an hour’s compulsory Alcoholic’s Anonymous Class and a 4 hour correction course. No one risks it. Instead, the underage make their own fun with houseparties- and yes, they really are like the ones you see in the movies.
Then there came the drag queens... The one thing that takes some getting used to in Spain (especially for those of us who are accustomed to arriving at a club before midnight and the English closing hours of 3am) is the difference in times to go out. Unless you are going for tapas, there is no point in getting to a bar before midnight as you will find yourself alone, or perhaps accompanied by some American tourists who haven´t quite grasped the nightly hours yet. As for the clubs, wait until 3am if you want to miss the queue and 4am if you prefer the place to be buzzing when you arrive. Granada10 is the centre for Erasmus student nights; imagine Ocean but with cheesy Spanish remixes. There you will find locals, international students (identified by the fact that they tend to wear far less clothes than their Spanish counterparts), a few creepy old men attracted by this lack of clothing, the occasional fabulous drag queen, and an electric violin playing musician.
Santa Barbara, an hour North of the OC is always hot. As a result, the girls at these house parties wear bikinisand sometimes hot pants if it’s a bit cold. They dance on balconies waving to the frat boys below who gaze up at them, jaws dropped. Everyone is drunk by 9pm. The majority of American college kids drink to get drunk and it’s rare to find alcohol available after 10pm. Not surprisingly, house parties are usually over by 12am… unless the standing survivors decide to take it down the beach with some more beers- something that is again illegal, and can result in a charge of having an open container in a public place. So, it’s a huge advantage to be 21 and have an escape from these bizarre cultural experiences, in the form of “downtown”. As older college students, we can hit the bars and clubs of State Street- all of which offer cheap drinks, outdoor patios and cabanas and tropical cocktails. Students rarely go out during the week so the big nights are from Thursday to Saturday and still everywhere closes by 2am, but it’s a nice alternative to college parties.
And then there was light... Stumbling home through the cobbled streets overshadowed by the Alhambra Palace in the early morning light, you can go for a breakfast of churros and chocolate sauce. Or perhaps more wisely, head home to bed.
I can’t say that I miss the AU mess of Isis or the drunken antics of Ocean all that much, but it’ll be nice next year to return to a more relaxed party environment and maybe even stay up past 3am. Emily Eaves
Louise Fordham 97