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DRINK SPIKING

CHALLENGING MISCONCEPTIONS

NOTTINGHAM UNZIPPED

RESULTS OF OUR SEX SURVEY

DEMONISING DEMONSTRATING ARE STUDENTS FREE TO PROTEST?


EDITORIAL Everyone knows that journalism thrives on the pitfalls of our betters. Murdoch built an entire industry out of poking fun at self-destructing celebrities and their more-complicated-than-Sudoku love lives. But even more so, if every politician in the world never screwed up, there would be no journalists making a living out of deriding the likes of Blair and Obama for their annoying imperfections. So I must take this opportunity to thank David Cameron, for turning his trip to our University’s Malaysia Campus not just into another PR stunt, but for doing the honourable thing and screwing up. And by screwing up, I mean giving a talk at which UK students were banned in case they started pointing at the elephant in the room, i.e. the rise in tuition fees. Damn those bloody UK students for having nothing else to talk about but the future of their education, at an event held at their University. When we broke the story, we couldn’t help but feel somewhat overwhelmed by the immediacy and size of the response that followed. With 136 Facebook likes and 37 re-tweets, Don’t Mention The Tuition Fees appears to be one of our most talkedabout articles of the year. Fortunately, to stop us from getting

too smug, Dr. Tessa Houghton, Assistant Professor in Media and Communication, offered us with an alternative perspective on the whole debacle. In a post on the University’s blog, Dr. Houghton criticised the blatant #firstworlddemocracyproblems angle of the article, when Malaysia is dealing with a slew of other socio-political issues that should have, and weren’t, mentioned at David Cameron’s talk. Of course, I respectfully disagree with her analysis. The term ‘First World Problems’, while innocent when used in reference to spilling ice cream on your favourite pair of shoes, seems to have morphed into some kind of dismissal of the bigger issues that plague our society. Problems are still problems, regardless of whether they are problems of the ‘First World’ or the ‘Third World’. Given that we are a student magazine, we ostensibly prioritise issues that affect other students, and in this case, our peers being censored was bound to resonate much more with our readership than anything else. That does not mean that Impact is only interested in bemoaning the plight of its cohort; we have talked about issues beyond the realm of the Campus bubble, such as prostitution in our local city. I would dare Dr. Houghton to dismiss the strife of Nottingham’s prostitutes as a

‘First World Problem’. But while journalism depends on the daily cataclysms of our public figures, we also wouldn’t have too much to write about if there weren’t people to disagree with. Thus, this being the last issue of the year, I would like to thank everyone, even those of you who kept filling my e-mail inbox with little turdlets of vitriol, for their contribution. Hopefully, Impact will continue to twist and untwist your conservative knickers. After all, isn’t that what journalism is all about?

E.J.

Troy Edige

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ISSUE 217


CONTENTS 217 SPORT

ATHLETIC UNION AWARDS Following this year’s Athletic Union Awards night, Impact focuses on some of the evening’s winners.

Elliot Ledger

Elise Silsby

TEAM OF THE YEAR- LADIES RUGBY 1ST XV In a spectacular season, the Ladies 1st XV proved that they were a class apart by winning their conference cup at a canter, decimating Bedford in the final 50-0. The consistency that they managed throughout the season was embodied by Sadie Burton, who excelled at both centre and flanker. The strength of the squad allowed the team to win their league with relative ease, doubling the goal difference of 2nd-placed Cambridge Uni. There was also inspiration for those seeking to take up the sport, as prop Emma Lumley proved to be a revelation in her first season of rugby and is a tribute to the training and coaching that goes into this talented squad. Next season, the Premiership awaits, a challenge that these women are more than ready for. SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR- TARYN BELCHER-BROWN (NETBALL) The girls Netball team have had a superb season with their Captain, Taryn BelcherBrown leading from the front. Her contributions as both coach and Goal attack propelled the team to a league and Conference cup win, losing only one game all season. A particularly notable performance came during Varsity when the scores were tied at 30-30 and Taryn immediately injected energy into the team, leading them to win 46-38, which put the finishing touches on a perfect season. She will be sorely missed next season as the team looks to build on this year’s success when they face a challenging season in the premiership, but the tactics and training she has instilled in the squad should put them in good stead.

Troy Edige

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SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR- GEORGE HARDING (ARCHERY) It’s not surprising that a city with Nottingham’s history has a strong Archery team and under George Harding’s stewardship, it has excelled itself. The Experienced squad managed to topple Edinburgh from its decade-long dominance of the Team Championships, shooting a championship record in the process, with a special mention to Andrew Randall who won the Gents Recurve. Whilst the team lost its grip on the BUTTs league, which it had won for the last two years, they had an otherwise successful season, with George receiving Individual Gold in both BUCS Outdoor and Indoor events. George has also continued the Club’s strong tradition of training beginners, which builds a great sense of teamwork within the squad.

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DEMONISING DEMONSTRATING ARE STUDENTS FREE TO PROTEST?

Impact investigates the aftermath of student protests, with exclusive interviews from senior members of the NUS and prominent protesters in Britain.

groups at over twenty universities around the country. I received just an ominous two responses. One was a dud and one was a lead.

I’ve been investigating the plight of the British student protester on and off for nearly two months now and if I’ve learnt one thing, it’s that people are scared to talk. Students who started their university careers with a voice, shouting loud and clear through megaphones on campuses and chanting in city centres, students angry about tuition fees, angry about cuts to university funding, angry about public sector pensions and angry about tax evasion, have been silenced.

From there, I contacted people within the NUS who were willing to speak to me. But the hard truth still stands that many of those who were the most active, many of those who have been the most outspoken over the past couple of years, have been stunned into conscious noiselessness. As Laurie Penny wrote in late March, unless you’re looking for trouble, it’s best to “sit down” and “shut up”. Nottingham seems to have always been a relatively politically apathetic university. Even at the height of public dissent during the Callaghan years in

At the start of this investigation, sixty emails were sent to societies and political

the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes. Victoria Coren, of The Observer, wryly notes that “the idea is that hiding cigarettes in plain boxes, then hiding the boxes under the counter, will stop children wanting them. That is an excellent idea. Unless you’ve ever met any children.” Instead of the relentless tide of increasing tax on cigarettes, the Government should be doing something more proactive to help smokers break the addiction. Increasing tax benefits the Government a lot more than smokers trying to quit. Becky, a student who has been smoking for three years, comments, “raising the prices of cigarettes will eliminate some smokers, but for the

“raising the prices of cigarettes will eliminate some smokers, but for the vast majority of us, we’ll just end up paying more for our still-strong addiction. If the risk of cancer hasn’t put us off, 60p won’t do the trick.” vast majority of us, we’ll just end up paying more for our still-strong addiction. If the risk of cancer hasn’t put us off, 60p won’t do the trick.” Tax burden accounts for 77% of the cost of one packet of cigarettes and in the period of 2010-2011, this taxation accrued £11.1 billion for the Treasury. The pro-smoking group, Forest, argue that cigarettes are almost a fully nationalised product. George Osborne, in another of the Government’s attempts to curtail smoking, increased duty on cigarettes

by 37p as part of Budget 2012. ASH posited that this “tax rise will also put cigarettes out of the price range of many young people, making it less likely that they will take up this lethal habit.” However, research has proved the opposite, with those from poorer backgrounds shown to be more likely than the general population to become smokers. The increasing cost of cigarettes, then, will have the greatest impact on those, likely adults, who can afford it the least. This “sin tax” on cigarettes illustrates the Government’s lackadaisical attitude to determining the factors behind smoking. This financial dissuasion on cigarettes is ongoing, with the average price of a packet of cigarettes in the UK costing an exorbitant £7.46. This is in stark contrast to the prices of other EU countries; the average packet of cigarettes costs approximately £3 in Spain and under £2 in Poland. In the fashion industry, it is common for smoking to be glamorised and associated with the rebellious and chic. Prada have been accused of glamorising smoking with the release of a new pair of ‘smoking’ stilettos, which feature pink patent lips with a cigarette dangling from the mouth. It is currently selling for £560 (or 75 packs of cigarettes). The bold design of the shoe appears to feed into a cultural psyche that regards smoking as sexy and cool. This was reiterated at Paris Fashion Week last year, when Kate Moss sauntered down the catwalk smoking a cigarette, flagrantly

INVESTIGATING STALKING

cigarettes and unlimited alcohol in the price of a ticket. Coco Tang also sell cigarettes behind the bar, illustrating the compulsion for many to smoke whilst drinking. Outdoor smoking bans are now being promoted to quash the rise of the social smoker, a phenomenon that appears to be endemic to the student populace. Clara continues, “whilst I think it is important to help smokers curb the addiction, taxing people won’t affect much change. It is unsettling though that in the past five years there has never been a period longer than six weeks when I haven’t smoked, so things like the outdoor ban could help.”

A recent study conducted by Northumbria University found that students who smoked fared worse on memory-performance tasks in comparison to non-smokers tested. This included university students who are regular smokers and also infrequent or ‘social’ smokers. Outside Hallward, there is always the familiar troop of daily smokers congregating by the doors; but what of the social smokers who make up a large proportion of students?

Regular tax increases on cigarettes, the 2007 smoking ban and the possible outdoor ban show that the smoker is slowly being edged out of polite society, with Lansley asserting that “we want to arrive at a place where we no longer see smoking as a normal part of life.” A study conducted with smokers in Nottingham asserted that some of the smokers “already felt persecuted by both the health professions and the Government”, a feeling that will be compounded by

One student, Clara said “I’ve been social smoking for five years now and it’s the same with a lot of my friends. We all started after GCSEs and now it just feels natural to have a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.” The link between drinking and smoking is reinforced by nights out such as High Spirits, which include packets of

where they are likely to see the victim. For this reason, it is hugely important that a University knows what to do if a student reports stalking to staff or faculty members. Campus security should be aware of protective measures they can assist with and all dormitories should be appropriately secure at all times. Most importantly, the victim should feel like they are being taken seriously and that they should not have to put up with this distressing behaviour.” Whilst face-to-face stalking is arguably more pernicious, a relatively new trend, cyberstalking, is growing at a startling rate, with 1 in 4 victims reporting cyberstalking as a component of their harassment. The Internet is a stalker’s dream; whilst on the one hand providing a veil of anonymity for the aggressor, social networking sites such as Facebook provide a treasure trove of information for would-be stalkers with everything from a list of the stalkee’s ‘friends’ to an itinerary of events that the victim is planning to attend.

It is estimated that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men in the UK will experience stalking at some point in their lives, with the duration of stalking ranging anything from a few weeks to several decades. Whilst figures show that there were over one hundred thousand cases of stalking in the past year alone, it is thought that the crime is heavily underreported; the average victim experiences 100 incidents before contacting the police. There’s no definitive one-size-fits-all approach to profiling stalkers, nor is there a way of identifying a ‘type’ of person who would be more susceptible to becoming a victim of the crime. Stalkers don’t have to share common characteristics, or even motives; they have different occupations, ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, but what links them together is their common behaviours and their love of exercising control over and instilling fear into their victims. Stalking behaviours can range from the simply annoying or inappropriate to full-blown intense harassment or violence

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which can ruin and in some cases, even end, lives. Clare Bernal, Rana Faruqui and Tania Moore are just three high profile cases out of a long list of victims who have been murdered by their stalkers. It is commonly accepted that people aged between 18 and 24 experience the highest rates of stalking, with both university staff and students experiencing above average levels of the crime. It is thought that campus settings, with their relatively lax security and closed-in communities coupled with the facts that lecture timetables are easily acquired and university students have repetitive schedules and socialising habits, make students easy targets. A spokesperson from the National Stalking Helpline expanded on this: “Stalkers look for ways to access their victim. If the stalker knows that the victim is a student at a particular institution, this gives them an additional means of access; it helps them know where they should go and

Demonstrating

Magdalena Steflova ignoring Paris’ smoking ban. However, it is not just the fashion industry that is the perpetrator of this trend; the film, TV and music industry are examples of other sectors that share culpability. Ultimately, this undermines the Government’s strenuous attempts to eradicate smoking, and hence more effective measures need to be taken.

For years, campaigners have claimed that the current legal restraints enforced on stalkers, which some have likened to an ASBO, are inadequate and have long sought tougher legislation to protect victims from unwanted interactions. At present, you won’t find stalking in itself to be a crime in any law books; the 1997 Protection against Harassment Act is meant to cover some stalking behaviours, but makes no reference to stalking itself as a specific offence. On March 8, International Women’s day, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to change the law regarding stalking, a crime which, in his own words, “makes life a living hell for victims”. Whilst initially criticised for not going far enough, the Government’s proposals seem to be gaining approval from growing numbers of lobbyists and charities including the National Stalking Helpline: “We welcome any changes that will strengthen existing legislation and result in more victims of stalking receiving the justice they deserve. We were initially concerned that the new stalking legislation did not go far enough to protect victims; however, victims’ and campaigners’ concerns have been listened to and there will be amendments made to the first draft of the legislation, which will hopefully strengthen it further.” When asked whether they think the new legislation will bring any tangible benefits to the victims, they continued: “In order for any new legislation to be effective it must come alongside training and awareness raising. Whilst the legislation change is a welcome and vital step in the right direction, there is no single overnight answer to dealing with stalking. There must be training across the criminal justice system, appropriate sentencing, treatment and rehabilitation for perpetrators and specialist victim advocacy services for those affected by the crime.”

new legislation and the Government’s war on smoking. It is commendable that the Government wants to curtail the amount of young people taking up smoking, but other than raising the price of cigarettes to eye-watering proportions, more should be done for those who are already addicted. The glamorisation of smoking in the media is offset by the Government’s demonization of smokers, a “group of people who voluntarily choose to consume a perfectly legal product”, says one civil liberties campaign group. The Government has been passing legislation that attempts to force the smoker out of sight; however, it should be ensured that the emphasis is on treatment, not punishment.

Sudan On The Brink The Golden Elite

FEATURES 13 Demonising

Anti-smoking legislation is being rolled out across the country in an attempt to reduce the prevalence of smoking amongst young adults. This prompts us to question whether certain bodies have the right to legislate against the promotion of smoking and ultimately, whether this will really influence young people.

Lansley’s reductive approach to the problem of smoking fails to account for the reasons why smokers fall into the habit and assumes that lower visibility will dissuade the young from starting. One other strategy that may come into place to tackle smoking is

10 Sport

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SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT BUTT OUT OF OUR SMOKING HABITS?

displays is being implemented in large supermarkets and shops around the country. Health secretary Andrew Lansley has made the promotion of cigarettes and tobacco illegal and employees must hide tobacco products or risk imprisonment.

4 News

The events of that day are still casting a shadow over the lives of those involved. On 9th December 2010, Alfie Meadows was at the forefront of a protest which has lived on in the courts and the media for a year and a half now. While thousands of students were

JUNE 2012

In what can only be described as a bid to make cigarette purchasing more furtive and confusing for the juvenile customer (“er...what are the cheapest fags you’ve got?”), new legislation regarding cigarette and tobacco

7 Comment

Occupy Unoccupied

the 70s, Nottingham students remained on the most part meek and timid. Our student demographics, our isolated campus and our small city have all been blamed for our inability to rise up, our unconscious noiselessness. At the anti-tuition fees protest known as ‘Demolition 2010’, our Students’ Union sent a few buses down to London, charging £10.50 a head. Manchester’s SU, meanwhile, paid for hundreds to make the trip free of charge.

ISSUE 217

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) estimates that there are 10 million smokers in the UK, with the highest prevalence among 20-24 year old women, falling into the student bracket. Despite the fact that there are approximately 200,000 children and young adults who take up smoking each year, the Government have been successful in meeting their longterm aim of reducing the national proportion of smokers to their target of 21%.

2 Editorial

CLUB OF THE YEAR – CHEERLEADING A club that at best was considered an entertaining distraction from action on the pitch and at worst, an unwanted American import has finally got the recognition it deserves. Whether it is their support of other clubs during Varsity or their contribution to the University atmosphere through charity calendars and performances at Rock City, the cheerleaders are the Athletic Union’s most visible presence. This all can be combined with enormous success at regional championships. This year, the team finished at an impressive second place at the Future Cheer Championship; however, as testament to the incredibly high standards of the team, this came as a disappointment, since they were looking to win the competition for the third year running. Their successful season reached its peak when they won the Salou Festival for the second year running, earning them an invitation to the Worlds. So when it comes to half-time at your next Varsity fixture, remember that you are watching the club of the year.

IMPACTNOTTINGHAM.COM

Are Students Free To Protest?

26 Investigating Stalking

Is The Law Doing Enough?

Settit Beyene

16 Life Of A Graduate 28 Punishing Escaping From The Bubble

BATTLE RAP Notwithstanding Eminem’s underwhelming cinematic debut in 8 Mile, the art of battle rap still remains one of the least explored domains in the hip-hop universe. Even the most seasoned hiphop vets can only boast a hazy knowledge of a sport which has seen a steady evolution over the past few years. From being predominantly freestyle-based and performed on stage at tournaments such as Scribble Jam (essentially hip-hop’s Woodstock), the sport has evolved into its present-day incarnation as a written, a cappella format, requiring competitors to prepare and memorise entire verses weeks or even months before the battle.

Genocide

Witnessing Karadžić’s Trial

The rationale here is that when MCs are allowed more time to prepare, the content in battles will subsequently improve, thus improving their entertainment value. Moreover, written battle leagues can encourage a greater number of MCs to participate, i.e. MCs who may be good writers but can’t necessarily freestyle well enough to hold their own in an impromptu battling set-up. That said, if executed judiciously, improvised or premeditated rebuttals and freestyles will often score top marks when mixed in seamlessly with written verses.

18 Smoking Laws

The battle rap community is a close-knit network of like-minded individuals who champion the art of sublime, creative lyricism over anything else. Hip-hop heads especially will instantly recognise the merit in how battlers implement key technical aspects of rap, from complex multi-syllabic rhyme-schemes to structured cadences, with the overall intent of degrading their opponent in the cleverest way possible. To the casual spectator, this can just seem like a frenzy of abusive insults being hurled back and forth but scratch away this caustic veneer and you discover battle rap to be a consortium of talented wordsmiths.

Should The Government Butt Out?

The vitriol opponents have for one another is reserved almost entirely for battles, and MCs will rarely ever come to blows over what’s quoted in an opponent’s verse. Indeed, for all the outrageous racist quips and eye-watering character assassinations in battles, the battle rap community is itself inclusive and diverse, with people from all walks of life, of various creeds, colours and social backgrounds. Anyone coming ill-prepared or with woefully generic disses risks being relegated to the lowest tiers of the division. On the flipside, the kudos gained from proving yourself as a worthy opponent is immeasurable.

29 The Big Question Alternative Vs. Mainstream

Tom Clements, Impact Columnist

Ramsha Jamal

ISSUE 217

JUNE 2012

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20 Student Sex Survey 30 Wave Your Rave/ NottinghamUnzipped

22 Surveillance PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION TITLE: ‘PORTRAITS’

PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION TITLE: ‘PORTRAITS’

WINNER: HANNAH PAYNE

WINNER: JOSÉ POPE

TITLE OF PICTURE: THIS IS BRITAIN

ILLUSTRATION: JUSTINE GOLD

DESCRIPTION: HIGH AND MIGHTY BLIGHTY – SHOT FROM A SUMMER FESTIVAL.

TITLE OF PICTURE: THE GIRL WITH THE TREE TATTOO

Was Orwell Right?

Vent Your Spleen

32 Exposure

Urban amd Portrait Competition

DESCRIPTION: IN THIS PORTRAIT I TRY AND SHOW HOW NATURE CAN BE PORTRAYED IN A DIFFERENT ASPECT, AS WELL AS SHOWING HOW A TATTOO IS NOT ALWAYS A ‘FASHION STATEMENT’ OR A SIGN OF REBELLION, BUT A WAY OF EXPRESSING ONE’S SELF.

STYLE SPY: THIS ISSUE IMPACT STYLE CAUGHT UP WITH FOUR OF NOTTINGHAM’S FASHIONABLE STUDENTS TO SNAP THEIR FAVOURITE SUMMER OUTFITS, AND WE JUST LOVE THEM ALL!

PHOTOGRAPHED BY: EMMA CHARALAMBOUS, TROY EDIGE, & HELEN MILLER DIRECTED BY: HANNAH DONALD & EMMA-JANE STEELE

24 Drink Spiking In The UK

Challenging Misconceptions

REGULARS MODEL: ELLY CAMISA BOOTS: NEXT; DRESS: TOPSHOP; JACKET: LITTLE LOST LAND; HAT: H&M; EARRINGS: URBAN OUTFITTERS; BAG: RUSSELL & BROMLEY

MODEL: KATE MANGAN BLOUSE: VINTAGE; SKIRT & SOCKS: TOPSHOP; SHOES: MISS SELFRIDGE

MODEL: DANI WRIGHT WELLIES: HUNTER; SHORTS: TOPSHOP; JACKET: ASOS MARKETPLACE; NECKLACE: ALL SAINTS

MODEL: CATHERINE O’GRADY JACKET: MISS SELFRIDGE; BLOUSE: COW VINTAGE; SHORTS: TOPSHOP; SHOES: PRIMARK

ARTS

DAMIEN HIRST @ THE TATE MODERN

If there was an artist that could perfectly emulate our masturbatory (that is selfindulgent), consumerist and commercial culture, then Damien Hirst is it. As the quarter century approaches since he provocatively and uncompromisingly burst onto the art scene in 1988 with the now infamous exhibition Freeze, Hirst has been responsible for inordinately changing the look, the meaning, but perhaps most saliently, the value, of art. Best known for his iconic diamond encrusted skull, For the Love of God (2007), which reportedly cost an enormous £14 million to produce; his largely assistant-produced spot and butterfly paintings; and his macabre penchant for suspending various pickled animals in formaldehyde, such as The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), Hirst has created some of the most recognisable and expensive works in contemporary art to date. However, his notoriety has invited reverence and revilement in equal measure. He has been criticised for creating works specifically with hedge fund or celebrity clientele in mind, and thus depreciated artistic value in favour of cash appeal. Although his artworks have become highly soughtafter collectables, it is more for their association with Hirst as a celebrity artist, than their desirability as thoughtprovoking pieces of art; as Brian Sewell has written recently: “to own a Hirst is to tell the world that your bathroom taps are gilded and your Rolls Royce is pink.” This association with money and excess came to a climax back in 2008, when Hirst made the unprecedented move to bypass his long-standing galleries, and auction off an entire show, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever at Sotheby’s. In a pivotal moment in the history of

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the global art market, it exceeded all predictions, raising a record-breaking £111 million and has since redefined the commodity value of the art piece. Yet, Hirst’s prioritisation of money has truly come at a price, as his oeuvre has been characterised by financial exchange, both by money spent on production and price reached at sale, rather than artistic merit. This has also been aggravated by contentions to Hirst’s legitimacy as an artist. His career has been weighed down by various accounts of plagiarism throughout the years, and his controversial methods of artistic production have been consistently contested. Hirst employing huge teams of fixed-wage assistants in productionline studios - a sort of ‘Haus of Hirst’ - that are ultimately responsible for the actual creation of his art, yet who enjoy none of the monetary reward, has sparked consistent critical debate, and been at the core of the questionable authenticity of his works. Nevertheless, his shows continue to sell out and his highly collectable and exorbitant artwork sale prices confirm that no matter the creative process, Hirst is unquestionably one of the most renowned and commercially successful British artists working today. So, when the Tate Modern revealed that they would be hosting the first major survey of Damien Hirst’s work, there was no doubt that this would become one of the most hotly anticipated and talked about exhibitions of 2012. So far, it hasn’t disappointed. Critics in their dozens have once again returned to review the artist’s controversial backlog of unprecedented sales and reignited critical debates. However, as interesting as these views might be, nothing is better than forming your own opinion. The show has been four years in

the making; with head curator Ann Gallagher working closely with Hirst to create a show that chronologically traces the artworks created during the artist’s career between 1986- 2008. All works displayed have been constructed onsite, and include, a remake of the shark in formaldehyde (now with mouth open); Mother and Child Divided, (2007) the bisections of a cow and her calf; his spin paintings; a room encapsulating the life and death cycle of butterflies (which has proved popular with children); various cabinets filled with medicinal packages; a room transformed into a pseudo-pharmacy; countless butterfly and spot paintings and more. Naturally, one assumes that a survey of this kind should present an opportunity to trace artistic development and to witness an evolution of ideas; unfortunately, it seems that for Hirst, this collection

Damien Hirst Beautiful, childish, expressive, tasteless, not art, over simplistic, throw away, kid’s stuff, lacking integrity, rotating, nothing but visual candy, celebrating, sensational, inarguably beautiful painting (for over the sofa) 1996 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2011. . Photo: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates

Damien Hirst Sympathy in White Major - Absolution II 2006 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2011. Photo: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates

work which I feel is truly engaging is A Thousand Years (1990), a double vitrine in which maggots develop into flies; these congregate and feed on a rotting cows head, and then when unfortunately enticed, are zapped by the insect-ocutor suspended directly above. It is a kind of nihilistic, microcosmic universe, in which the determined cycle of life, sustenance and death has been apathetically encapsulated. Wafts of decaying flesh provide an unwelcome but powerful sensory dimension to this otherwise visually compelling work; however, it is as Lucien Freud said to Hirst about the piece: “I think you started with the final act, my dear.” This survey provides a collection of works, which are essentially variations of each other. The frustrating repetition of taxidermy, vitrines, medical supplies instruments, and spot paintings, left no real impression other than an exhaustive list of artworks mildly concerned with already overworked and underdeveloped ideas. Each display seems to be bigger and much shiner, yes, but essentially versions of the same product. It is disappointing to realise that over the course of twenty-two years, Hirst’s work essentially stalled from the beginning. It seems that the only progression has been Hirst’s increasingly blatant lucre, his overzealous grandeur and his

prioritisation of commodity value. Still, this is not to say that aesthetically, I did not enjoy the show. If considering a piece individually and independently from its neighbour, then sure enough, it’s highly finished and perfected composition accounts for (an albeit slightly pointless) decorative and visually pleasant artwork. However, as one of our nation’s most renowned artists, his collection of work is a little underwhelming and lacklustre. It seems that when Hirst made his name and the money came rolling in, he sold out; endlessly reproducing production-line artworks such as the mind-numbing spot paintings - putting in little effort for maximum gain. He has certainly cashed in on the public’s eagerness for branding and susceptibility to publicity, and from this perspective his mastery has been his manipulation and careful construction of his art as a business, rather than as a practice. Perhaps after his death, he will get his assistants to diamond encrust his pickled, grinning face, then suspend it in formaldehyde in a gilded, butterfly-decorated vitrine and call it the inevitability of a recordbreaking sale of an artist who is now entirely spent.

Fear of public speaking is ubiquitous, and yet it is not immediately apparent as to why this fear evinces physical and emotional symptoms such as panic, a feeling of paralysis and a shaky voice. Other social anxieties also seem nonsensical when viewed in light of survival; however, there are tenuous links to a different kind of survival in the modern world. Nowadays, we no longer rely on physical prowess and agility to put food on the table; employment and money are the biggest factors in sustaining us. Social standing and positive human interaction are also conducive to a superior quality of life, illustrated in a study compiled at Brigham Young University, which showed a 50% increased likelihood of survival for participants with strong social relationships. They were also deemed to live 3.7 years longer. Lack of success in public speaking and other social interactions can not only have instant ramifications such as humiliation and regret, but also farreaching consequences such as social rejection and exclusion, which would

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ISSUE 217

Conversely, the plethora of fearful thoughts (transmuted through worry) felt by the average human is discordant with the actual number of perceived threats that manifest. For example, many of our worries are things that have not actually happened yet and are unlikely to happen; the prevalence of fear in an everyday ‘safe’ context is thus rendered redundant. Fear is an autonomic response, which means it is unconsciously triggered as a reaction to a stimulus. In the aforementioned social cases, it appears that fear may have evolved to ensure our survival as social creatures in a modern world. Additionally, there are many fears that would have been carried over from previous epochs, such as arachnophobia, of which 30% of women and 20% of men are sufferers. This inveterate fear of spiders is conducive to our survival; we should fear spiders because of their potentially poisonous bite. However, there are those among us who feel no fear, even though the absence of fear would be detrimental

It would seem then that the old adage is true; the only thing we have to fear is fear itself... and spiders.

Settit Beyene

It’s inevitable. In the future, robots will wake-up to a glass of freshly squeezed human juice, before jumping on a tram powered by a sobbing naked man in a hamster wheel. Their only interest will be to enslave renegade humans, and make robo-clogs out of their skulls. The remaining humans will be a bit miffed by this situation. Necessity will breed ingenuity and mankind’s only recourse will be to invent time-travel, return to the past and assassinate the scientists who spawned the machine menace in the first place. This is the approximate plot of James Cameron’s 1991 film Terminator 2. So, which of today’s robotics labs are most likely to be retro-sabotaged by agents from the future? Allow me to round-up three likely candidates… BOSTON DYNAMICS When the insani-bot regime marches into London, it will be on legs designed by Boston Dynamics. The lab develops two and four legged machines using principles of ambulation borrowed from nature, such as maintaining a vertical ‘bounce’ motion in the body. Coupled with the use of hydraulic actuators, these machines really walk, and not with the sort of care-home shuffle we’ve come to expect. Big Dog, the proclaimed ‘alphamale’ of their line, can hike 10km cross-country without refuelling, navigate rubble and ice, and can even recover balance following kicks from the almighty boots of its creators. Meanwhile, the lab’s high-speed robot, Cheetah, has just received fame for breaking the robot land-speed record, at 18mph. You’d better run, Usain Bolt. Funded by the US Army, and DARPA, Big Dog and its brothers are being bred for war. The aim is to create machines, which can autonomously follow foot soldiers or GPS signals anywhere,

while carrying bulky equipment or weapons. The current version of Big Dog can walk at 4mph, climb inclines of up to 35°, and carry a 340lb load.

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With Barrack Obama recently signing legislation to allow the use of airborne police drones, we’ll be meeting quadrotors sooner than we think. CORNELL CREATIVE MACHINES LAB At the CCM lab, the machines themselves are becoming creative. Inheriting ideas from evolution, the lab specialises in providing robots with basic tool-sets, and leaving them to organise and develop themselves.

GRASP LAB The University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab is developing eerie autonomous flying machines called quadrotors. These hovering-menaces are like helicopters; however, they’re equipped with four symmetrically placed rotor blades. The smaller quadrotors demonstrate agility, which make Stretch Armstrong look rheumatic. On-board gyroscopes and accelerometers work in a feedback loop with the four rotor motors, adjusting their individual speeds 600 times per second. Combined with impressive AI, this allows them to autonomously flip, fly through moving hoops, and navigate confined environments. Equally impressive is the cooperative intelligence being developed for these robots. Inspired by ants, the machines can communicate and collaborate on a local level to achieve common goals, with no need for centralised control. This allows them to band-together to carry heavy objects, adopt elaborate formations, and mug hapless humans.

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid

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to survival. A sense of fear should stop us from entering a dark alley in which there may be hidden danger - though that’s not to say that there aren’t some who will override this biological response and weigh up their options between a dark alley and the longer route home. The absence of fear has been noted in a woman in the USA, known only as SM, whose brain lacks amygdala, a region of the brain that has been linked to fear. SM has been threatened with a knife and had a gun held to her head. Instead of being afraid, she has reacted calmly to both situations, simply describing them as strange. She appears to have no other emotional deficiencies. Similarly, studies have shown that monkeys without amygdalae do not recoil from snakes and will approach and touch them, which normal monkeys would not do out of fear.

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Kusama Meets Vuitton

SCIENCE

mar our future quality of life. The fear of failing exams can also be classed under this category.

36 Style

Are Music Critics Too Critical?

Charlotte Hopson JUNE 2012

ARE YOU AFRAID?

49 Music

Damien Hirst The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living 1991 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2011 Photo: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates

of work rather exposes his conceptual stagnation. Although rooms 1-14 present works which explore monumental themes, including life, death and the dualities of beauty and horror, Hirst’s application is gaudy and superficial, leaving nothing to the imagination, and thus negating any potential for further investigation. Hirst has said that his works are “not made with meaning in mind”, that they are “just triggers for people to input meaning”, but I believe this to be a lazy motivation, which has ultimately resulted in shallow artworks that conceptual artistic intention could and should have replenished. The only

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For our cave-dwelling ancestors, fear would have been integral to survival and the propagation of the human race; a predator on the periphery would have spelt danger and elicited a chain of chemical reactions in the brain, prompting a ‘flight-or-fight’ response. In evolution, those who feared the correct things survived and populated the Earth, and thus the trait of fear was deemed fundamental to the longevity of the human race. In the modern world, this biological function manifests in situations that do not warrant a ‘fight-or-flight’ response, for example, when starting university, at parties and in public speaking. In just about any situation, there will be someone who remains in a perpetual state of fear, regardless of whether or not this biological response to putative threats is actually necessary.

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For example, the team ‘evolved’ a slew of weird, waddling walking machines. This was achieved using a computer model, which randomly combined robotparts such as joints and motors, and simulated their ability to ‘walk’ around. The combinations that manoeuvred most successfully were selected and after many iterations, this spawned a menagerie of strange blueprints for walking robots. The best of these were then manufactured in reality. Their machines are also developing self-awareness (of sorts). The team created a spider-like robot with no knowledge of its own physical form. The robot then experimented by sending random signals to its motors, and measured the effects of these on its sensors. From these relationships, it was able to create an accurate model of itself, and to devise its own creepy, slithering gait. When robots are equipped to learn and adapt, there’s no telling where they might end up. Probably looking like 6’2” Austrian bodybuilders...

Hirst @ Tate Modern

Niall Hill

JUNE 2012

Colourful Eating

Music Is The Poetry Of The Air(-Headed)

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3


NEWS

OCCUPY NOTTINGHAM PACKS UP It’s a story that started on October 15th 2011, but 190 days later, Occupy Nottingham is over, and the camping site that had become part of the landscape of the Old Market Square has disappeared. The encampment was set up in response to capitalism, mainly with regards to the inequality caused by the financial system. A three-day trial starting on 30th April had been ordered by a judge, in order to hear the issues at hand. However, the protesters said that they were unable to fund the £20,000-£30,000 legal fees necessary to fight Nottingham City Council, who claimed that the tents in the corner of the square were blocking a public highway and presented safety and hygiene issues. The Nottingham branch of the movement was one of the longest surviving camps in Europe, outlasting the site at St. Paul’s by almost a month. On Sunday 22nd April, members of the

group along with council employees, dismantled the site and transferred the remnants into dustbin-lorries. While it may not have been an easy decision for the camp to make, the end took place calmly. Despite the fact that some of the members feel badly treated, the campers seem to be viewing the end of Occupy Nottingham as a chance to reconsider how to carry on spreading their message, and see the past six months as a success. “I’m very proud of what we have achieved in getting our message across to the people of Nottingham,” said Carl Freeman, one of the Occupy campers. Another member, Ashley Jones, 23, let it be known that while they may have taken apart the camp, they have not put a stop to the protest, “We are leaving the site, but we hope to do other things in the future, and maybe we will be camping out again at some point.” Ideas of making the protest

more mobile, and taking their message into communities, have been suggested. The end of Occupy Nottingham has been met with satisfaction by members of the council, with Alex Norris, a portfolio holder for area working, cleansing and community safety, commenting, “Throughout we’ve been clear that although we respect their right to protest and the causes on which they have made a stand, the city centre should not be used for encampments and they could not remain there indefinitely.”

Ellis Schindler

NOTTINGHAM ESTABLISHES LINKS WITH AFRICA The University of Nottingham has once again extended its global arm by opening an office in Accra, Ghana on April 17th. Opened by the British High Commissioner Peter Jones, the initiative signals further commitment to improving the University’s participation in the growing field of globalised academia. Mr. Jones was enthusiastic about the new venture: “Education is highly valued in West Africa and I’m sure the University of Nottingham will benefit greatly from this endeavour.” The office will help to co-ordinate pooled research and encourage student and staff mobility between

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the University of Nottingham and African universities, notably the University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Mr. Jones said: “I know that Nottingham’s staff and students will be warmly welcomed during study and research periods here.”

The opening will further cultivate Nottingham’s reputation as a truly global university, adding to similar projects in Brazil and Mexico, as well as in China and Malaysia, where Nottingham has university campuses. The opening comes after a visit from His Excellency Berhanu Kebede, Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, who came to the University of Nottingham on March 13th to sign new collaborations in teaching and research.

Rob Moher


IMPACTNOTTINGHAM.COM/NEWS

DR ROD THORNTON LEAVES THE UNIVERSITY AFTER ‘MUTUAL AGREEMENT’ until a point was reached where the Home Office itself farcically came to advertise the case as ‘a major Islamist plot’”. He was later suspended from his position at the University. In a statement, the University claimed that the article contained “baseless accusations” about members of staff. Dr Rod Thornton has chosen to leave his position in the School of Politics and International Relations following a “mutual agreement” with the University. The lecturer was the source of controversy after he published an article criticising the University’s handling of the arrests of two students in May 2008. Masters student, Rizwaan Sabir, and staff member Hicham Yezza were arrested after Sabir downloaded and sent to Yezza ‘The Al Qaeda Training Manual’ for academic research purposes. Both men were held for 6 days before being released without charge. Dr Thornton’s article argued that “untruth [was] piled on untruth

In response to the suspension, a group of supporters formed ‘Support the Whistleblowers at Nottingham’ (SWAN) who notoriously published 200 items on the website Unileaks in what they believed to be evidence of Dr Thornton’s claims, as well as photographs seeming to show student protestors being secretly filmed by security at the University. The situation attracted even more support after an open letter was sent to The Guardian, signed by over 60 academics from all over the world - including Noam Chomsky - expressing their concern over the treatment of a peer. They called for an “immediate reinstatement” as well

as a “full and proper inquiry” into the claims of his paper. In 2011, Sabir was paid £20,000 in compensation, stating that “the lack of university accountability at Nottingham [had] ruined [his] life”. Hicham Yezza, when writing for The Guardian called Dr Thornton’s suspension a “serious attack on academic freedom”. In a joint statement, Dr Thornton and the University said that the article contained a number of inaccuracies and Dr Thornton apologised for any offence and distress he may have caused. The statement noted that Dr Thornton had no part in the “edited and incomplete material on the Scrib’d and Unileaks websites” but that this “had led to a serious misunderstanding of events at the University and of the motives of individuals who work there”.

Caroline Lowman

VICE-CHANCELLOR TO REVIEW POST-GRAD MEDICAL TRAINING IN THE UK The University of Nottingham’s Vice Chancellor Professor David Greenaway will head an independent review of postgraduate medical training in the UK. The review, entitled ‘Independent Review of the Shape of Medical Training’, will explore how medical training should be adapted in the light of changing societal factors and developments in medical technology. Professor Greenaway, ViceChancellor of the University since

2008 and a Professor of Economics, already has an impressive repertoire of roles in the public sphere, including chairmanship of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body and membership of the Senior Salaries Review Body. Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, which is a joint sponsor of the Review, said: ‘We are delighted that Professor Greenaway has agreed to chair this review – he brings experience, objectivity and rigour to this new

and important role.’ The Review is expected to report its findings by June 2013.

Rob Moher

JUNE 2012

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NEWS

THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM AT THE OLYMPICS Cultural Olympiad. The film was made by Salter and her school friend Sara Harrak last year, and explores the Olympic and Paralympic themes of courage, determination, inspiration and respect. The film has over 1700 likes on the competition’s website, and has been openly praised by the London 2012 Chair, Sebastian Coe, who said that he was delighted that the short film had been recognised by the Cultural Olympiad, saying that it “is simple but really impactful”. The University of Nottingham will have a strong presence in this year’s summer Olympics. Several students have been chosen to carry the Olympic flame through the city’s streets, and another student is to have her film played on big screens across the country. The University’s ‘Any-body Month’ sport-for-all initiative has also been awarded with backing by London 2012 for a second year running. Students Taylor Amerman, Chris Hill and research fellow Dannie Carpenter, from the school of Biology, have been chosen to carry the Olympic flame through the streets of Nottingham as

part of the 70-day torch relay across Britain. They were chosen through Samsung’s Torch Relay nomination program for their position as ‘local heroes’ in the Nottingham community. The torch is due to arrive in Nottingham on the 28th June, day 41 of the Olympic Torch Relay. Nottingham’s 3rd year Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience student, Megan Salter, is also to be honoured during the Olympic games. Her film Hath Not a Child Ability? won the London 2012’s Film Nation Shorts competition and will be played at Olympic and Paralympic venues across the country as part of the

The ‘Any-body Month’ sports-for-all initiative has also been recognised by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games body. They were awarded the Inspire 2012 mark in 2011 – an Olympic-related award that promotes inspirational changes in sport, education and volunteering – and this has led to them securing funding for a second successive year. The sports-for-all programme encourages involvement in sport and active lifestyles, and has also been openly praised by Mr. Coe.

Antonia Paget

PLAGIARISM IN NOTTINGHAM A recent article in the Nottingham Post has revealed that plagiarism is on the rise amongst university students in Nottingham – but this trend is being attributed to Nottingham Trent students, rather than students at the University of Nottingham. The number of students found guilty of cheating on coursework at Trent has more than doubled, from 94 students in 2009/10 to 211 students in 2010/11. In comparison, the number of cases at the University of Nottingham has decreased slightly from 158 to 129. The University revealed that so far this academic year a total of 42 students have been caught for plagiarism. A spokesman said: “We have made strenuous efforts to make students aware of what plagiarism is and how seriously it is considered, and the consequences for them personally if they do plagiarise. The decline in offences over the last few years is an indication that these efforts are having some success.”

Fiona Crosby

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IMPACTNOTTINGHAM.COM/NEWS

GOOD NEWS FOR.... OBJECTS LOST AT SEA Many of us have lost footballs after accidentally kicking them over the neighbour’s fence or into a tree, but sixteen-year-old Misaki Murakami’s loss was slightly more dramatic. His home was destroyed in the Japanese tsunami of March 2011, and he had little hope of ever recovering his belongings as most of them were swept out to sea. However, a year (and 4000 miles) later, one of his possessions was found on a remote island in Alaska. The football was discovered by David and Yumi Baxter, who identified the owner by translating the writing on the ball. It was a gift from Misaki’s classmates when he moved schools in 2005 and was covered in good luck messages, which included his name and mentions of his school. After translating the writing, the Baxters managed to trace the ball back to his school and plan to send it back to Misaki as soon as possible. Misaki told the Japanese media that he was sure that the ball was his and would be grateful to have such a sentimental object back.

Suzi Collins

BAD NEWS FOR…SANDCASTLE LOVERS EVERYWHERE A giant 13ft-tall sandcastle built on Weymouth beach in Dorset to mark the countdown to the Olympics has been demolished merely hours after its completion, not by sea waves, but instead by bulldozers because of health and safety fears. Weymouth and Portland Borough Council have knocked down the fortress that took four days for sand sculptor Mark Anderson to build, because of concerns that it could topple onto innocent beach-goers, leaving the council open to a ‘wave’ of potential claims for damages. Although bemused locals asked why barriers could not simply be put up around the sandcastle, the Council argued that round the clock security would be needed to ensure beachgoers did not fall victim to death-by-sandcastle. However, despite the Council’s actions, plenty of photos were taken of the masterpiece before its demise, and there is no doubt that it was effective in promoting the location of the Games sailing events. The £5,000 cost of building the fortress is therefore, in advertising terms, not actually a bad price when it comes to promoting Britain for the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games.

Emily Metcalf

AND IN OTHER NEWS….A BUSKING CAT BECOMES A BESTSELLER An unlikely friendship with a ginger tomcat has led to a book deal and a new way of life for a former homeless north London busker. A Streetcat Named Bob tells the story of the unlikely friendship between tomcat Bob and James Bowen, a homeless, recovering drug addict from Islington, which began five years ago when Bowen took the stray cat to the vets with an injured leg. Bowen is adamant that Bob helped him to turn his life around as his furry friend loyally accompanied him when he busked in Covent Garden. The love story has now been turned into a bestselling novel, which has sold over 37,000 copies and has been translated into 10 languages. There are even plans to make the tale into a Hollywood blockbuster which will undoubtedly please the pair’s growing fan-base. At a recent book signing, hundreds queued to meet the pair and adorn Bob with gifts including knitted scarves and cat treats.

Jessica Roseblade JUNE 2012

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COMMENT

SUDAN FACES ANOTHER HUMANITARIAN CRISIS that of acknowledging the necessity of engagement with the Sudanese Government, while also denouncing them for crimes against humanity.

The video footage that has recently made it out of the Nuba Mountains region in Sudan is, for the most part, gruesome. Targeted attacks on the civilian population by Sudanese military forces have left women raped, children subjected to extreme violence and communities irreparably wounded. With 1.2 million people living in refugee camps, and two thirds of the population on humanitarian aid, the Sudanese people are a population familiar with the feeling of displacement. In July 2011, South Sudan gained independence after a civil war between the North and the South, manifesting in the widespread and bloody massacres of 2003-4. Although the ethnic divide in Sudan is between the non-Muslims, nonArabs and the Arab Islamic majority, the root of the violence is both controversial and complex. The peace agreement itself has caused border disputes, as well as disagreements over oil revenues in the region. According to individuals such as Sir John Holmes, a former British diplomat and UN humanitarian official, the implementation of the peace agreement failed in part because of a suspicion within

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the rebel forces of the African Union (AU). But resistance to the agreement comes from both sides. The Government of North Sudan, many of whom, including the President, have been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), have economic and regional reasons to resist the independence of the South. Government resistance extends to the humanitarian effort in the region - making it increasingly difficult for aid workers to enter - out of fear that the NGOs will reveal the extent of human rights abuses. After visiting the region this year, former UN Humanitarian Coordinator Dr Mukesh Kapila stated that “Darfur was the first genocide of the 21st century and the second genocide of the 21st century might be unfolding right now in the Nuba Mountains.� Currently a special representative for the Nottingham-based AEGIS Trust, Kapila argues that there is a structural problem with the UN effort that does not link the political fragility of Sudan to the humanitarian relief attempts. Subcontracting principal responsibility by the UN is just one example of a lack of investment in the political capital in Sudan. But the international community faces a challenge, leaving it lacking in unity;

But the proposed solutions have moved beyond a need to simply raise awareness of the human rights abuses in the region. These solutions call for official arms transfers to be stopped and action to be taken against companies selling military equipment in the area. But more fundamentally there is a call, by people such as founder of the Sudanese Programme at Oxford University, Dr. Ahmed Al-Shahi, for a united international movement. Yet, one may question what effect the international community can have when much of the cause of the problem lies in internal cultural and systemic conflicts, which are perpetuated by an unstable political structure. Until the international community has the will to, and is seen to have the right to, affect the nature of the states themselves, this political restructure and the enforcement of ICC indictments cannot be carried out. The legitimacy of state intervention is a controversial topic, as events following the Arab Spring have proven. Where the responsibility for crimes against humanity lies is a dividing issue. But continuing to ignore those forced to flee to caves in the Nuba Mountains is surely itself a crime against our own humanity. Regardless of who is responsible, this should not be a conflict that goes unreported and ignored, with the lessons learned forgotten, just as they have been in Rwanda and Srebrenica.

Emily Tripp


IMPACTNOTTINGHAM.COM/NEWS

WASHINGTON, D.C. (DEMOCRACY CURTAILED) For over two centuries now, something has been very wrong in the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’. Around 600,000 residents of Washington D.C. and the surrounding District of Columbia, home of the nation’s capital, have been overlooked in America’s political system. Washington D. C. is not like other capitals. Whereas the title is usually bestowed upon an existing city, Washington and the District of Columbia were purposefully constructed from land granted by the state of Maryland to be the permanent centre for America’s national Government. Under the constitution, this allows the federal Government to provide for its own maintenance and security without having to rely on individual states. At a local level, it is governed by an elected mayor and city council, but unlike America’s 50 states, DC – being only a “District” – has next to no representation in Government, with no Senators, no Congressmen, and only a “Congressional Delegate” who cannot even vote on legislation. Yet, despite being the most disenfranchised citizens in the continental United States, Washingtonians still pay some of the highest taxes in the country. In 2007 alone, residents and businesses paid £20.4 billion in federal taxes, more than that levied from 19 other states collectively the same year. To raise awareness of this reality unknown to most Americans, local advocacy group DC Vote successfully pushed in 2000 for “Taxation Without Representation” to be added to DC license plates, a play on the Revolutionary slogan. This measure was praised by then-President Bill Clinton who even added the slogan to

the Presidential car number plate. Apart from this political display, however, Clinton and subsequent Presidents have done little to decisively resolve the issue – indeed, George W. Bush would later have the slogan removed from the Presidential car. Since Congress holds ultimate control over the city’s budget, the question of DC’s lack of autonomy and representation comes to a head every year as local and national politicians clash over appropriations. Most recently in 2011, Congress prohibited

the District from using its own funds to run a health program to help poor women pay for abortions, one of several moves that later prompted the city’s Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton to tell Congress to “go straight to hell!” But not all members of Congress are deaf to DC’s calls. In 2009, the Senate passed the DC Voting Rights Act, a landmark piece of legislation that could secure the city full voting representation. To the dismay of campaigners, however, the bill has been shelved indefinitely after a lastminute amendment regarding gun ownership was added. Other measures to solve Washington’s predicament

have also been suggested in recent years. Californian Representative Dan Lungren in 2010 proposed returning most of the city to the state of Maryland. Local campaigners have also called for the District to be granted full statehood. The problem with these proposals is that they would violate the Constitution’s ‘District Clause’. As a solution, Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski, whilst not advocating full representation for citizens in DC, has put forward a constitutional amendment (still being reviewed by the Senate), which would at least secure one voting Congressman for them.

With such a fundamental constitutional question at stake, a solution to such a staggering hypocrisy at the heart of American Government will not be easy. And in the face of mounting partisan politics as Americans go to the ballots for the coming presidential election, it is unlikely that it will be resolved anytime soon. Whatever the solution may be, without proper representation in Government, one thing is certain: Washingtonians will have no say in it.

Joshua Cheetham

JUNE 2012

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SPORT

With Team GB’s historic haul at Beijing and this year’s home advantage, here is Impact’s list of British athletes from those all but guaranteed Gold to those seeking to do better than Bronze. ANDY TRIGGS HODGE & PETE REED The pair defended their men’s title with an impressive display in the British trials at Eton Dorney, and with the current British rowing team being hailed as the best in the world, they are one of many shining talents. They were both Gold medallists in the coxless four in 2008 and have now formed a potent partnership as the men’s pair; their experience will be key in coping with the level of expectation that surrounds them. CHRIS HOY Beijing was nothing short of remarkable for Sir Chris Hoy; the first Briton to win three Gold medals in a single Olympic games since Henry Taylor (1908) and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time. Hoy continues to prove that he is a force to be reckoned with, winning Gold in the keirin and Bronze in the team sprint, before winning Gold in the Men’s Sprint, losing just one race in four rounds at the 2012 World Cup event held in the new London Velodrome. At 36, the knight will be difficult to dismount in his last hurrah and where better to do it than on home turf.

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GUNNING REBECCA ADLINGTON The numerous replays of her stunning two Olympics Golds triumph in Beijing frustrated swimming champion Adlington. A true athlete is never satisfied and since then she has stepped up her game. She has had several dips in form due to nerves but has still bounced back to record personal bests at the World Championships (2009) in Rome. She has witnessed a return to form in recent months, regaining the confidence that gave her such momentum in Beijing. At 23 years of age, she is still fresh and ready to defend her titles in London.

SHANAZE READE If any event fulfils the urban, multicultural image that the Olympic Association has courted, it is the BMX, and Shanaze Reade represents Britain’s best chances in the sport. Shanaze, who spectacularly crashed out in Beijing despite being favourite for Gold, now shows a greater maturity and should be poised to banish the nightmare of four years ago. Reade possesses great potential, winning the 2007 sprint track championship with Victoria Pendleton, and is rumoured to be a stand-in should there be injuries in the track squad, though she is primarily focusing on the BMX event. As long as Reade maintains her concentration amongst increased media attention, which she admitted was her downfall in Beijing, she looks certain for Gold.

MO FARAH Our finest ever long distance runner suffered agony at the 2008 Olympics, coming short before the final in the 5,000m event. He has bounced back stronger than ever, claiming five Gold medals at the European Championships, European Indoor Championships and the World Championships. His achievements saw him finish third for British Sport’s Personality of the Year, as he became the first British man to win a global title over 5,000 and 10,000 meters, hitting form at the best possible time. Expect history to be made by Farah if he continues this surge in form.

VICTORIA PENDLETON This is her last hurrah and whether she gets the Gold or not, she will go out with a bang. She still continues to prove that despite being on her last legs, she is a top sprinter, having recently won off the floor (literally) to record a brilliant semi-final victory over Australia’s Anna Meares en route to world sprint Gold. Pendleton won the Gold medal in the Women’s Individual Sprint Event at Beijing, but it may be just beyond her this time despite some fabulously gutsy performances recently.


FOR GOLD ZAC PURCHASE & MARK HUNTER Zac Purchase said “the old saying is that you never perform best at your first Olympics”. However, at Beijing they broke that trend, claiming a Gold medal with a time of 6:13.69. Since then, they have won two Golds at the World Championships in New Zealand (2010) and most recently in Slovenia (2011), which was a close-run thing. Nevertheless, it secured a near clean sweep of medals for not only them but also the rowing team. TOM DALEY One of the more contentious figures in the squad whose confidence could see him produce a shock result by beating the current World Champion Quin Bo. In 2009, the 17-year-old was criticised by former partner Blake Aldridge and more recently, Britain’s performance director Alexei Evangulov. However, good showings in the FINA Diving World Series both in his individual event, the 10m board and in the synchronised 10m event with Pete Waterfield offer encouragement. Whilst Gold seems out of reach given the expertise of Bo, Daley should achieve a medal in the individual event and with his ever-improving relationship with Waterfield, two is not out of the question.

PHILLIPS IDOWU Already a national hero, as much for his eccentric hairstyle and dress sense, as his Silver medal in Beijing, Hackneyborn Phillips Idowu has the chance to become a local hero this summer. Idowu, after landing the second longest jump of the year at last August’s World Championships in Daegu, only to be trumped by the United States’ Christian Taylor, will be hoping for revenge at his home Olympic Games. However, this will not be an easy task for the 33-yearold as Teddy Tamgho of France, who holds the World Indoor Record, and Cuban Alexis Copello, start as favourites. However, with reigning Olympic champion Nelson Evora out injured, a medal should not be out of Idowu’s long reach. DAVID GREENE After his triumph in the Korean Republic last summer, one may be wondering why Greene does not feature higher in our medal prospects. However, if one puts things into context, the 400m hurdles in Daegu was incredibly slow; Greene’s winning time was the seventeenth quickest of the season. Indeed, the Welshman’s fastest time of the whole of 2011 was only thirteenth, with six men clocking times faster than him. One cannot believe that the immediate circumstances will again be so favourable to Greene. If Greene wants to prevail, he will have to outperform favourites van Zyl of South Africa, Bershawn Jackson and Angelo Taylor, of the United States.

IMPACTNOTTINGHAM.C M/SPORT

ANDY MURRAY Ranked #4 in the world, Murray would have to defy the odds to win a medal at this summer’s Olympics. However, Murray has regularly beaten one of the DjokovicNadal-Federer triumvirate above him in the world rankings this season, and spurred on by a roaring Wimbledon home crowd this looks increasingly possible. Furthermore, with the event coming shortly after the Wimbledon championships, Nadal’s injury-prone knee could further Murray’s chances.

THE WOMEN’S FOOTBALL TEAM After England’s ladies finished runners-up at the 2009 European Championships and only lost on penalties in the quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup against France, they will fancy their chances of gleaning a Bronze or maybe a Silver medal, with the Germans likely to dominate. Furthermore, Arsenal’s advance to the semi-finals of this season’s Champions League will further boost British hopes of a first medal in the women’s game.

Matt Williams, Will Cook & Jake Batty

JUNE 2012

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SPORT

ATHLETIC UNION AWARDS Following this year’s Athletic Union Awards night, Impact focuses on some of the evening’s winners.

Elliot Ledger

CLUB OF THE YEAR – CHEERLEADING A club that at best was considered an entertaining distraction from action on the pitch and at worst, an unwanted American import has finally got the recognition it deserves. Whether it is their support of other clubs during Varsity or their contribution to the University atmosphere through charity calendars and performances at Rock City, the cheerleaders are the Athletic Union’s most visible presence. This all can be combined with enormous success at regional championships. This year, the team finished at an impressive second place at the Future Cheer Championship; however, as testament to the incredibly high standards of the team, this came as a disappointment, since they were looking to win the competition for the third year running. Their successful season reached its peak when they won the Salou Festival for the second year running, earning them an invitation to the Worlds. So when it comes to half-time at your next Varsity fixture, remember that you are watching the club of the year.

Elise Silsby

TEAM OF THE YEAR- LADIES RUGBY 1ST XV In a spectacular season, the Ladies 1st XV proved that they were a class apart by winning their conference cup at a canter, decimating Bedford in the final 50-0. The consistency that they managed throughout the season was embodied by Sadie Burton, who excelled at both centre and flanker. The strength of the squad allowed the team to win their league with relative ease, doubling the goal difference of 2nd-placed Cambridge Uni. There was also inspiration for those seeking to take up the sport, as prop Emma Lumley proved to be a revelation in her first season of rugby and is a tribute to the training and coaching that goes into this talented squad. Next season, the Premiership awaits, a challenge that these women are more than ready for. SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR- TARYN BELCHER-BROWN (NETBALL) The girls Netball team have had a superb season with their Captain, Taryn BelcherBrown leading from the front. Her contributions as both coach and Goal attack propelled the team to a league and Conference cup win, losing only one game all season. A particularly notable performance came during Varsity when the scores were tied at 30-30 and Taryn immediately injected energy into the team, leading them to win 46-38, which put the finishing touches on a perfect season. She will be sorely missed next season as the team looks to build on this year’s success when they face a challenging season in the premiership, but the tactics and training she has instilled in the squad should put them in good stead.

Troy Edige

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SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR- GEORGE HARDING (ARCHERY) It’s not surprising that a city with Nottingham’s history has a strong Archery team and under George Harding’s stewardship, it has excelled itself. The Experienced squad managed to topple Edinburgh from its decade-long dominance of the Team Championships, shooting a championship record in the process, with a special mention to Andrew Randall who won the Gents Recurve. Whilst the team lost its grip on the BUTTs league, which it had won for the last two years, they had an otherwise successful season, with George receiving Individual Gold in both BUCS Outdoor and Indoor events. George has also continued the Club’s strong tradition of training beginners, which builds a great sense of teamwork within the squad.


ED STOP UC CU ATION TS

DEMONISING DEMONSTRATING ARE STUDENTS FREE TO PROTEST?

Impact investigates the aftermath of student protests, with exclusive interviews from senior members of the NUS and prominent protesters in Britain.

groups at over twenty universities around the country. I received just an ominous two responses. One was a dud and one was a lead.

I’ve been investigating the plight of the British student protester on and off for nearly two months now and if I’ve learnt one thing, it’s that people are scared to talk. Students who started their university careers with a voice, shouting loud and clear through megaphones on campuses and chanting in city centres, students angry about tuition fees, angry about cuts to university funding, angry about public sector pensions and angry about tax evasion, have been silenced.

From there, I contacted people within the NUS who were willing to speak to me. But the hard truth still stands that many of those who were the most active, many of those who have been the most outspoken over the past couple of years, have been stunned into conscious noiselessness. As Laurie Penny wrote in late March, unless you’re looking for trouble, it’s best to “sit down” and “shut up”.

At the start of this investigation, sixty emails were sent to societies and political

Nottingham seems to have always been a relatively politically apathetic university. Even at the height of public dissent during the Callaghan years in

the 70s, Nottingham students remained on the most part meek and timid. Our student demographics, our isolated campus and our small city have all been blamed for our inability to rise up, our unconscious noiselessness. At the anti-tuition fees protest known as ‘Demolition 2010’, our Students’ Union sent a few buses down to London, charging £10.50 a head. Manchester’s SU, meanwhile, paid for hundreds to make the trip free of charge. The events of that day are still casting a shadow over the lives of those involved. On 9th December 2010, Alfie Meadows was at the forefront of a protest which has lived on in the courts and the media for a year and a half now. While thousands of students were

JUNE 2012

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protesting, mostly unaffected by the police’s presence, Meadows was subject to some of the most extreme police brutality seen over the past ten years. While being kettled in Parliament Square, he was smashed over the head by a police baton. Emergency brain surgery saved his life but for weeks there were fears of long-term brain damage. Speaking to The Independent in a recent interview, Meadows’ mother, Dr Susan Matthews, argued that the prospect of a five-year prison sentence for violent disorder was a comparatively welcome prospect in light of the possibility of brain damage months before. But Meadows’ trial has infuriated protesters, members of the NUS and media personalities alike. Many consider his trial a cant attempt by the courts and the Government to make an example of protesters, shocking them into submission, while the police officer, who nearly killed Meadows, rests assured that he will never be imprisoned.

Speaking exclusively to Impact, Dr Matthews, who is a senior lecturer in Comparative Literature at Roehampton University, reminds us, “Alfie has already paid a very heavy price for protesting against the closure of his philosophy department, the rise in tuition fees and the cuts to higher education but this is a cause about which he feels passionately.” With a nod to those who have supported Meadows throughout his ordeal with the police and now the courts, and perhaps in particular to those protesters who have banded together in a pact of

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solidarity under the title ‘We are all Alfie Meadows’, Dr Matthews says, “I am very proud of the way Alfie has coped over these fifteen months since his injury and wholeheartedly support him and the other student protesters.” Jurors failed to reach a verdict on Meadow’s case in April. It is now likely that he will face a second prosecution in Autumn. His relentless ordeal has caused many to speak out against the growing intolerance of the Government, the courts and the police to protesters, but while his predicament is arguably the most extreme, he is not alone. Ashok Kumar is a prominent American student activist who has studied postgraduate degrees at LSE and Oxford. After studying for an MA in London, Kumar became LSE’s Education Officer and has since been vocal about tuition fees and LSE’s links with the Gaddafi dynasty, appearing on Newsnight, slamming his college for their involvement with the Libyan regime.

Since then, he has been arrested twice. On two different occasions last summer, the police took offence to Kumar’s behaviour. It should be noted that having viewed footage that is readily available on Youtube, it seems Kumar was arrested on one occasion simply for swearing in the presence of the police. Both of Kumar’s cases are still pending and as such it is not possible for me to quote him on these incidents specifically for fear of “contempt”, but he is willing to be quoted on the politics behind the Government’s rising intolerance.

When I press Kumar on whether he thinks the Government, the police or the courts are more to blame for some of the more disproportionate responses to student protesting over the past eighteen months, he draws parallels with the military. When it comes to war he asks, “Is it the soldiers’ fault or...the Government’s fault? Well, the soldiers are actually doing the killing and the raping and the pillaging but at the same time it’s the Government that is pulling the strings. In fact, arguably, it’s a power structure that’s pulling the strings.” Later, he adds that this systematic flaw means that, “everyone’s to blame”, including the courts: “The courts are stacked up against poor people, against people of colour. If you need any testament to that, the summer’s riots are a perfect, lucid example of how the courts are part and parcel of victimising the youngest, most vulnerable people in our society.” As an American, Kumar speculates on the differences in the political and judicial responses to protesters in the US and the UK. He argues that, “the courts in the UK are more brutal than in the US. In the US, there is a constitution. There is due process of law. You have public defenders who aren’t great but they’re definitely better than solicitors who are in the pockets of the police stations.” But Kumar argues that while the British system forgoes many civil liberties, America is generally worse with regards to systemic injustice: “In terms of the sheer brutality and the sheer violence and the totality of violence and the monopoly of violence that the state has and the apparatuses of racism that are instituted by the state, I think nothing can compare to the US.” I ask Kumar how he recommends students should demonstrate in light of the Government crackdown on civil protests. He strongly advocates occupations, particularly on university campuses, “You can do publicfacing, grass roots, rank-and-file-style campaigning that puts pressure on the power structure. At a university,


we have so much more freedom. The director doesn’t want to arrest the people who are funding them. We’re protected by a hegemony that doesn’t want to see rich, white, middle-class, universityeducated students being dragged, kicking and screaming, from university administration buildings.” Occupations on university campuses are far safer than those carried out in private spaces as Nottingham alumnus Matthew Butcher found out last year. Butcher graduated in Geography in 2010 and sat on the SU Executive as Environment and Social Justice Officer between 2008-9. On March 26th 2011, Butcher took part in the occupation of Fortnum and Mason department store in London. He recalls the scene vividly: “Everyone met in Oxford Circus and was told to follow either a blue or a green flag. We followed them to a target, which UK Uncut had decided on. The flag ended up inside Fortnum and Mason as did I and a couple of hundred other people. There was a singing, chanting, ‘pay your tax’ type atmosphere. Then things began to get a bit strange. A few people left. Then the police kind of decided they weren’t going to let anyone leave. A senior policewoman said to me directly, “What we need to do is get you all out at once.” People asked her if she could guarantee we’d be let out [without being arrested] and she said, “that’s my understanding.” “I was one of the people who said we don’t have to trust her but I think they’ll let us go. And anyway, they didn’t. We all went out as a group and they led us into a kettle of riot police who then refused to talk to us at which point they systematically arrested everyone.” Butcher was then held for twenty-four hours in a cell in Romford in Essex, “It was all a massive reaction. There was a sixteen-year-old girl there who suffers from mental health problems who had an awful time as you would as a sixteenyear-old who definitely wasn’t expecting to be arrested.” Butcher, along with the majority, had his case thrown out. Following this, thirty

protesters including Butcher decided to pursue their own cases and take it to the Crown Prosecution Service: “Eventually they buckled and ended up officially finding us not guilty.” One of the incentives to attain this official acquittal was to offer the two groups who were found guilty, and fined, a better chance of successfully appealing

their cases. While Butcher’s criminal record was wiped clean, the protesters who were found guilty of aggravated trespass, having peacefully occupied the department store, will forever retain this blight on their records unless their appeal is successful. Butcher passionately discusses the more disproportionate sentences, which have been handed out to students for their involvement in demonstrations. On the same day Butcher was arrested, Frank Fernie was arrested for throwing two light timber placard sticks towards a line of heavily protected police officers, having been assaulted on a number of occasions by the police earlier in the day. Both placards fell short. He was later imprisoned for violent disorder and has now served his twelve-month sentence. His judge said at the time it was “important to make an example” out of him “to deter others from acting the same way”. Ten people (at the time of going to print), almost all of whom were students when arrested, are in prison for involvement in protests over the past eighteen months. Their lives have been shattered. Many have committed ‘crimes’ of the same sort as Fernie. Some, like Fernie, were

also threatened by police brutality on the day of their arrest. Danielle Grufferty, Vice President of the NUS with a remit for Society and Citizenship, talks to Impact about the political implications of the crackdown on protests: “I think the justice system has been overtly political in its approach: threatening water canons, using rubber

bullets, sending threatening letters to students before the demo last November [something Butchers has experienced] saying, “be on your best behaviour or the police won’t be responsible for their actions.” “Protesting is obviously a sign that the Government is not very popular and the rise in student protests has clearly been something they’ve wanted to crackdown upon. Students have been used as examples, for example being sent down for two years for throwing a bit of plywood [a reference to Fernie].” While Grufferty accepts that it has become more difficult to protest over the past months, she also asserts that the demographics of protesters has shifted from the white, middle-classes to a “more diverse range” following some of the Government’s “austerity measures”. Nevertheless, it really seems that there has never been a more difficult time to be a politically engaged student and whilst this does not excuse the Nottingham student body’s apathy, it does go someway to explain it. Protesting is a human right but a vulnerable one at that and now more than ever it is important to prove not only that we want it but also that we need it.

Oscar Williams JUNE 2012

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A YEAR IN THE LIF With over 7000 students due to graduate from Nottingham this summer, the reality of leaving university behind and embarking on a new adventure is one that excites, daunts and will ultimately consume the soon-to-be alumni of Nottingham University. According to the University’s employability statement, “Nottingham students are amongst the most sought after not only in the UK but in the world” which instils a certain level of optimism in those about to take on the arduous task of seeking out that first step on the ever-elusive career ladder. Some fortunate enough to secure graduate jobs will start over the summer, whilst others continue to spam potential employers with CVs and cover letters. For some, travelling may await; new sights, sounds and situations lie in whatever tropical climes graduands decide to inhabit. Either way, the future may be scary. And it’s difficult to decipher the unemployment figures and numerous travel restrictions to know just what the future may hold. Impact spoke to four people from the Class of 2011 to see where they are one year on...

LIFE AFTER THE DOLE QUEUE: PHIL BOWYER

Having been out of university now for 9 months, I can confidently say that real life isn’t as scary as it appeared to be when I was at Nottingham and enjoying university life. I studied the 4-year undergraduate masters in Maths and came out with a 2.1 and, thanks to Impact, MathSoc and my Kilimanjaro climb for ChildReach, my CV looked good as well. Originally from Essex, I always envisioned that my professional career would be in London, so it surprises me to write that I am currently residing in Birmingham.

After graduating, I contributed to the graduate unemployment statistic and every two weeks picked up my dole payment. This lasted about 3 months before I was offered a role for the firm I currently work for (after many failed interviews for other firms, I may add). It was trainee actuary position, which was exactly what I wanted, so I happily accepted even though it wasn’t in London − it didn’t make sense to turn down an almost perfect opportunity. In a nutshell, post-university life is good, very good and although I am not embarking on a chapter of my life that involves a long trip around Africa, Europe, Australia, and Japan like I had hoped, it appears that this new one is still bloody good, and, if all goes to plan, the travelling chapter will be written soon enough (let’s just not tell my employer that). The best of luck to all final year students reading this. You will be OK. Non-final year students, enjoy the rest of uni and don’t fear life outside of the bubble.

SHANGHAI NOON: STEPHEN LOVEJOY

If you had asked me a year ago where in the world I would be in twelve months time, China would not have been a likely answer. But due to an impulsive application for an architectural internship, and a surprising successful result, this is where I now find myself. After a blissfully uneventful summer, I boarded a plane bound for Shanghai, the thumping economic heart of China; almost 6,000 miles away from home. I was heading very much into the unknown − the only contact I’d had with my host company was a brief email exchange with the head of HR, whose English was a little questionable. One highlight of our correspondence was when she told me that I needed to bring my own “life-wash-gargle” (it turned out she meant “toiletries”). Having grown up in the sleepy rolling hills of Shropshire (think of the Shire from Lord of the Rings), nothing could quite have prepared me for the vast sprawling metropolis that is one of the largest cities in the world. Life moves fast here. The pavements are awash with bustling crowds, and the streets are packed with rushing traffic, often with Porsches and Buicks sharing the same roads as old trucks and cycle-driven carts of scrap metal. The construction industry works fast here too, with buildings being erected in a matter of months rather than years. As an architectural intern, I have to make sure I keep up, which leads to a fair amount of late nights. But I also have a lot more freedom and responsibility. Being a tall white man, I attract a fair share of attention from the curious locals and the language barrier can often cause difficulties. But with the great energy of the city, and the fantastic expat scene, you never feel too alone.

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FE OF A GRADUATE JUMPING SHIP: HANNAH COLEMAN

May 23rd was my last uni house party. It was an early birthday for my housemate James and a leaving party for me. My degree in East European Studies had led me to the Balkans and two days later I was on a plane to Sarajevo where I would be spending the next six months. I didn’t have a particularly clear post-uni career plan; I was just happy that I wouldn’t be twiddling my thumbs and joining the dole queue. At least not anytime soon. I spent three months working at a hostel and three months working for an NGO in Sarajevo. The latter placement was unpaid, but gave me some great experience. By Christmas, it was time to go home, and I was ready. I fell into a job back in Nottingham about two days after I arrived home, through a friend of a friend. It was most definitely going to be a stopgap, two months max. Not where I wanted to be, but better than working in a bar. Now, as I am writing this, it’s mid-April and I’m still there. My attempts to break into the education sector via graduate positions, applying for TA jobs and PGCEs have amounted to nothing. Like most graduates, what’s holding me back is my lack of experience and the fact that I can’t afford to work for free. I know that by the end of the year, I’ll be searching elsewhere for the ever-elusive experience combined with a pay packet, something the UK no longer offers. But for now, I’ll carry on with the stopgap and save as much as I can before I jump ship.

LIFE DOWN UNDER: PRIYAL DADHANIA

R-E-WIND...Hallward Library is my second home. I go to the library, to a lecture, back to the library, off to Ocean and then I allow Hallward to nurse my hangover the next day while I slump over the comfy seats, book in hand. I’m sure many of you reading this can relate; with deadlines and exams looming, Hallward is everyone’s best friend, especially for those soon to depart the bubble of uni life. But, the real world isn’t all bad. I’m currently writing this from down under. Living in Sydney and having a degree has meant that I am able to write for City News and City Hub − free Sydney papers, the equivalent of The Metro in London. So all those coffee-fuelled and Red-Bull-powered days in Hallward were worth it!

I obtained this freelance position after having spent time in Murdoch’s offices over the summer, following graduation − a degree-dependent position. Researching articles became second nature to me and seeing the way The Sunday Times operated solidified my determination to pursue a career in journalism. But it takes time before you’re well paid in the media world. So while I build my portfolio living and working abroad means 9-5 chugging, yes, charity mugging. Rule Number One: Not being afraid to approach people and be rejected; something I witnessed a lot from the boys at Nottingham. Just witnessing these encounters gave me handy tips, like to remember people’s names, even if it is the millionth person you’ve spoken to. In addition to that, club promo work provides easy money, good music, and not so good teens, which all in all means a great night. While there is no Bodega or Ocean at my fingertips, working in Kings Cross, Sydney’s renowned party place, means my Friday nights are always messy after my shift is over. But Nottingham taught me to handle my drinks well − triples for singles anyone? So, as you leave think of all that Nottingham has given you; not only a great degree from a reputable institution but also a superb set of personal skills.

Sam Owen JUNE 2012

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SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT BUTT OUT OF OUR SMOKING HABITS? Anti-smoking legislation is being rolled out across the country in an attempt to reduce the prevalence of smoking amongst young adults. This prompts us to question whether certain bodies have the right to legislate against the promotion of smoking and ultimately, whether this will really influence young people. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) estimates that there are 10 million smokers in the UK, with the highest prevalence among 20-24 year old women, falling into the student bracket. Despite the fact that there are approximately 200,000 children and young adults who take up smoking each year, the Government have been successful in meeting their longterm aim of reducing the national proportion of smokers to their target of 21%. In what can only be described as a bid to make cigarette purchasing more furtive and confusing for the juvenile customer (“er...what are the cheapest fags you’ve got?”), new legislation regarding cigarette and tobacco

the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes. Victoria Coren, of The Observer, wryly notes that “the idea is that hiding cigarettes in plain boxes, then hiding the boxes under the counter, will stop children wanting them. That is an excellent idea. Unless you’ve ever met any children.” Instead of the relentless tide of increasing tax on cigarettes, the Government should be doing something more proactive to help smokers break the addiction. Increasing tax benefits the Government a lot more than smokers trying to quit. Becky, a student who has been smoking for three years, comments, “raising the prices of cigarettes will eliminate some smokers, but for the

“raising the prices of cigarettes will eliminate some smokers, but for the vast majority of us, we’ll just end up paying more for our still-strong addiction. If the risk of cancer hasn’t put us off, 60p won’t do the trick.” displays is being implemented in large supermarkets and shops around the country. Health secretary Andrew Lansley has made the promotion of cigarettes and tobacco illegal and employees must hide tobacco products or risk imprisonment. Lansley’s reductive approach to the problem of smoking fails to account for the reasons why smokers fall into the habit and assumes that lower visibility will dissuade the young from starting. One other strategy that may come into place to tackle smoking is

vast majority of us, we’ll just end up paying more for our still-strong addiction. If the risk of cancer hasn’t put us off, 60p won’t do the trick.” Tax burden accounts for 77% of the cost of one packet of cigarettes and in the period of 2010-2011, this taxation accrued £11.1 billion for the Treasury. The pro-smoking group, Forest, argue that cigarettes are almost a fully nationalised product. George Osborne, in another of the Government’s attempts to curtail smoking, increased duty on cigarettes

by 37p as part of Budget 2012. ASH posited that this “tax rise will also put cigarettes out of the price range of many young people, making it less likely that they will take up this lethal habit.” However, research has proved the opposite, with those from poorer backgrounds shown to be more likely than the general population to become smokers. The increasing cost of cigarettes, then, will have the greatest impact on those, likely adults, who can afford it the least. This “sin tax” on cigarettes illustrates the Government’s lackadaisical attitude to determining the factors behind smoking. This financial dissuasion on cigarettes is ongoing, with the average price of a packet of cigarettes in the UK costing an exorbitant £7.46. This is in stark contrast to the prices of other EU countries; the average packet of cigarettes costs approximately £3 in Spain and under £2 in Poland. In the fashion industry, it is common for smoking to be glamorised and associated with the rebellious and chic. Prada have been accused of glamorising smoking with the release of a new pair of ‘smoking’ stilettos, which feature pink patent lips with a cigarette dangling from the mouth. It is currently selling for £560 (or 75 packs of cigarettes). The bold design of the shoe appears to feed into a cultural psyche that regards smoking as sexy and cool. This was reiterated at Paris Fashion Week last year, when Kate Moss sauntered down the catwalk smoking a cigarette, flagrantly


Magdalena Steflova ignoring Paris’ smoking ban. However, it is not just the fashion industry that is the perpetrator of this trend; the film, TV and music industry are examples of other sectors that share culpability. Ultimately, this undermines the Government’s strenuous attempts to eradicate smoking, and hence more effective measures need to be taken. A recent study conducted by Northumbria University found that students who smoked fared worse on memory-performance tasks in comparison to non-smokers tested. This included university students who are regular smokers and also infrequent or ‘social’ smokers. Outside Hallward, there is always the familiar troop of daily smokers congregating by the doors; but what of the social smokers who make up a large proportion of students? One student, Clara said “I’ve been social smoking for five years now and it’s the same with a lot of my friends. We all started after GCSEs and now it just feels natural to have a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.” The link between drinking and smoking is reinforced by nights out such as High Spirits, which include packets of

cigarettes and unlimited alcohol in the price of a ticket. Coco Tang also sell cigarettes behind the bar, illustrating the compulsion for many to smoke whilst drinking. Outdoor smoking bans are now being promoted to quash the rise of the social smoker, a phenomenon that appears to be endemic to the student populace. Clara continues, “whilst I think it is important to help smokers curb the addiction, taxing people won’t affect much change. It is unsettling though that in the past five years there has never been a period longer than six weeks when I haven’t smoked, so things like the outdoor ban could help.” Regular tax increases on cigarettes, the 2007 smoking ban and the possible outdoor ban show that the smoker is slowly being edged out of polite society, with Lansley asserting that “we want to arrive at a place where we no longer see smoking as a normal part of life.” A study conducted with smokers in Nottingham asserted that some of the smokers “already felt persecuted by both the health professions and the Government”, a feeling that will be compounded by

new legislation and the Government’s war on smoking. It is commendable that the Government wants to curtail the amount of young people taking up smoking, but other than raising the price of cigarettes to eye-watering proportions, more should be done for those who are already addicted. The glamorisation of smoking in the media is offset by the Government’s demonization of smokers, a “group of people who voluntarily choose to consume a perfectly legal product”, says one civil liberties campaign group. The Government has been passing legislation that attempts to force the smoker out of sight; however, it should be ensured that the emphasis is on treatment, not punishment.

Settit Beyene


THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM

SEX SURVEY

THE SURVEY SUMMARY

Last year, studentbeans.com conducted a survey into the sex lives of students. Frankly, we weren’t impressed. The same insipid questions came up: ‘‘How many people have you slept with?’’, ‘‘When did you lose your virginity?’’ Oooh, naughty... It suffices to say, their glaring omissions inspired us to make our own survey. Ladies and Gentlemen, here are the results of The University of Nottingham sex survey. Impact asked a sample of Nottingham students to answer a set of questions about their sex lives and name their sexual fetishes. The results are hardly ground-breaking, but they are good fun to read. (Which we recommend you do. Immediately. Log-on to ImpactNottingham.com for the full and uncensored results!) Here’s a summary of the best bits. The original survey showed that The University of Glamorgan (no, I haven’t heard of it either) was apparently the most promiscuous with respondents alleging to have slept with over 10 people. Nottingham students boasted a creditable 4.9 average on the fuck-leaderboard. But as we found, this was not quite correct. They actually averaged 6 partners.

sexual partners

PLushophilia:

(or ‘‘furries’’ as they’re more commonly known) getting off on stuffed toys or people dressed in animal costumes. we can safely say, if it weren’t for the internet, we’d have never heard of this one. We love the internet.

Virgins

9% of respondents confessed to having no sexual partners and/or minimal sexual experience. Our results went on to show that women are three times more likely to be virgins than men (which is their story and they’re sticking to it.)

33%

33% of students confessed to enjoying sex over the phone.

Apotemnophilia

13% 5%

13% of women and 5% of men admitted to a rise in sexual activity both before and after entering higher education

according to the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, apotemnophilia is a sexual desire to have one’s ‘‘healthy limbs amputated or otherwise removed’’. While we’d never advise hacking off a limb, this turn-on is more common than you’d think...


the ‘college effect’

It’s hardly surprising the campus environment lends itself to sexual pursuits. While both sexes responded that their sex lives had improved since coming to university, a third of men acknowledged their sexual prolificacy had risen “considerably” since the start of their first year. More women registered a parity of sexual activity both before and after entering higher education, with 13% observing no change compared to 5% of men.

crush fetish

these endearing folk like to watch small, adorable animals being crushed by beautiful women in high heels. Do a search and prepare to cry.

Fetishes

The writers at studentbeans didn’t ask about fetishes. Maybe they’re sheltered. Or maybe, as the oracle of wisdom Jeremy Kyle so often says, it’s just points scoring. Either way, we asked our students to reveal to us their deepest, darkest desires and were overwhelmed by the response.

Two-thirds of Nottingham students from our sample registered some form of sexual fetish or paraphilia, with half of them acknowledging to having five or more. To our welcome surprise, women were generally more candid about their sex lives than men, registering a higher instance of sexual fetishism. Interestingly, while men tended to accumulate more sexual partners than women, they were less drawn to “experimenting” in the bedroom. We also discovered students who reported enjoying sexual fetishes tended to have more sexual partners and were marginally more likely to cheat on a partner.

41%

14%

30%

30%

41% of men and 30% of women admitted getting off to porn

30% of women prefer to be submissive in the bedroom compared to 14% of men

Izzy Scrimshire

results

‘‘over play.’’

10% are into food

24% like it ‘the other

‘‘ way’.’’

33%

‘‘ of students confessed to enjoying sex over the phone.’’

13%

‘‘ enjoy having sex in front of mirrors.’’

23%

‘‘ get off on blindfolds and other types of sensory deprivation.’’

20% are into bondage

‘‘ play.’’

15%

‘‘ like to film themselves having sex.’’

4%

enjoyed watching ‘‘ their partner have sex with another person.’’

25% have tried ‘cyber’

‘‘ sex.’’

10%

like to watch others ‘‘ in the act.’’


SURVEILLANC

ARE WE LIVING IN A In his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell predicts a dystopian, totalitarian state where thoughts, actions and speech are under constant scrutiny. Paranoia and selfconsciousness are rife, freedom obsolete. This idea was terrifying but ultimately absurd, an over-exaggerated metaphor to emphasise the suffocating effects that government control could have. However, with the recent governmental plans to monitor web and telephone usage in order to target acts of crime and terrorism soon to be enforced, is Britain stepping ever closer to observing its inhabitants’ every move? And as a result, is this increased surveillance really helping to protect us or is it merely an infringement of the common man’s right to privacy? The Prime Minister insists that increased web and telephone surveillance does not equate to an invasion of privacy; content would not be monitored without an intercept

warrant issued by the Home Secretary, but observing who is spoken to and what websites are being visited is a necessary compromise in order to fill “significant gaps in our defences”, such as those created by communication via online services like Skype: “No one is talking about changing the rules and snooping into

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the content of somebody’s telephone calls or emails…all we’re talking about here is making sure we’re keeping up with technology. We have always been able to see who people are contacting through phone calls.” Nevertheless, the plans have been criticised by others, including Conservative backbenchers, as being “an unnecessary extension of the ability of the State to snoop on ordinary people”. Letter responses from the general public to The Independent have derided the plans as futile, remarking that “terrorists will undoubtedly use coded exchanges” anyway, and that these plans reject the “innocent until proven guilty” ideology in favour of “treating everyone as a guilty suspect”. David Cameron responded to criticisms by stating that it is an important and necessary role of the Government to keep our country safe. Admittedly,

he

makes

a

valid

point. What does it matter if our communication and viewing activity is monitored if it is in aid of protecting us from far greater threats than the invasion of our privacy? Why should we lose sleep over our civil liberties being slightly compromised if it means that our physical safety can be better ensured by reducing the

opportunities for terrorism?   If we have nothing to hide, then surely we shouldn’t be fretting about the consequences of our actions. To delve further into the benefits of surveillance, Impact spoke to Rob Nash, Nottingham University’s Crime Prevention Officer, to investigate the use of CCTV on campus. Rob told us that there are 329 cameras in total covering all the Nottingham University campuses, 11 of which reside in Hallward Library. When asked about the purpose of having so many cameras on campus, he explained: “It is for the benefit of our students and it is all for that. It’s quite important that people realise that the reason that we do it is not because we want to spy on people.” He went on to explain how student privacy is maintained; “Student [bedroom] windows are blocked out, so we’re certainly not intrusive.” It was also made clear that footage is not watched live, but only watched back if a suspicious incident is reported. CCTV on campus is able to limit studenttargeted crimes such as bicycle and laptop theft, and monitors and controls traffic into and out of the University on open days and graduation. Impact also spoke to the University’s Security & Compliance Group Leader for IT services, Paul Kennedy. When questioned on the extent to which students’ online activity is currently being monitored, he told us: “In most cases, the information is just logged so it can be reviewed later if there is an issue. The monitoring we perform is subject to legal controls (the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act).   We also have an obligation to consider the right to privacy within


CE IN SOCIETY

BIG BROTHER STATE? the Human Rights Act when deciding what to monitor or log.   Our policy only allows us to use the information collected to investigate misconduct or criminal activity, so we can’t use it to monitor otherwise legitimate computer activity.” The benefits are also evident: “We’ve dealt with things like bullying and harassment at the lower end of the scale and fraud at the more serious end.” The positives of monitoring campus activity to a reasonable extent are therefore clear; however, if taken too far, it would be seen as a serious infringement of our liberties. Privacy is a cherished and sacred thing to the people of Britain; we see it as our right, as depicted by said Human Rights Act, which guarantees us “the right to a private life”. However, the newly reformed Coroner’s and Justice Act allows ministers to disclose any personal information to a third party; clearly a breach of the aforementioned Human Rights Act. It would be foolish to insist that heightened levels of surveillance are not going to feed an age already fuelled by cyber-paranoia, and that the ‘guilty before charged’ ideology does not exist. An example of this can be taken from our very own university: in 2008, an Al-Quaeda Training Manual was discovered on the computer of Hicham Yezza, a junior administrator in the School of Modern Languages. A concerned colleague stumbled across the manual and then flagged it up to senior managers; the police were then contacted to conduct an investigation. It was later revealed that MA student, Rizwaan Sabir, had asked the administrator to print the manual for him for research purposes. However, both individuals were held under arrest for six days, for fear that they may have been involved in a terrorist plot.

In 2011, lecturer Dr Rod Thornton wrote an article criticising the University’s treatment of the student, and was then himself suspended. His suspension triggered an international outcry for him to be reinstated. A case such as this is representative of this ‘guilty before charged’ ideology; in a panicked frenzy to safeguard their name, the University did not take the time to consider the reasons behind Sabir and Yezza’s actions, nor the opinions of Dr Thornton.

to distinguish whether something is “legitimate computer activity” or not, so it is often safer to fully investigate it. It is the method of investigation itself that determines whether somebody is being discriminated against unjustly; if they are not given the opportunity to defend themselves then surveillance is being used in an intrusive rather than a beneficial way.

Sabir’s intentions were purely educational; yet he was declared guilty before being given a chance to defend his actions. Similarly, with Thornton, his freedom of speech was compromised in an attempt to limit the amount of controversy and trouble created for the University. The possibility of intercept warrants being used to potentially read the content of messages means that paranoia about online and telephone communication is sure to rise and hence verbal freedom will inevitably be inhibited.  Pre-emptive security measures can of course be valuable; it can be hard

CCTV and online monitoring are significant factors in reducing studenttargeted crimes. Yet, despite benefits, heightened and constant paranoia means that we may inevitably start to pay a lot more attention to what we say, lest we spark controversy and trouble, which removes an element of our liberty. Orwell’s ‘thoughtcrime’ might not be as far-fetched as we think.

Ultimately - as depicted by the University’s surveillance facilities -

Sarah Dawood

JUNE 2012

23


THERE’S SOMETHING

IN THE WATER

IMPACT INVESTIGATES

DRINK SPIKING IN NOTTINGHAM

Over the past twelve months, more than 1,000 women in the United Kingdom have reported being raped as the result of drink spiking. A Freedom of Information request carried out by Impact has revealed that last year, there were 42 reported incidents of drink spiking in Nottingham alone. However, due to the problematic nature of proving an event that the victim cannot even remember, there has been limited success in prosecuting perpetrators. Paranoia, confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, nausea, lowered inhibitions and poor vision: these symptoms are common to the four most

drink spiking. Within five minutes, I had a list of drugs, which could be used to spike someone’s drink for the intention of sexual assault, and details about the amount of time they would take to affect the victim and the symptoms they would produce.

professor, a student, doing a research project on its properties or needed the drug for other mysterious medical reasons; and yet for some unknown reason could not get the drug through a prescription or legally through their university science departments.

A medical website I stumbled upon described Rohypnol as “a popular drug of choice for drink spiking and most often comes in pill form. This depressant is similar to the drug Valium, but much more potent. Effects of this drug include slurred speech, inability to concentrate, poor coordination, dizzy feelings, lack of inhibition, nausea and

The Roofie Foundation Statistics showed that the victims of drug rape and sexual abuse through drink spiking are largely female with approximately 11 women falling victim for every one male victim during the past five years. Shockingly, incidents of drink spiking in the UK since the 1960s have increased by over 3,000%. But even more worrying is the fact that these statistics are incomplete since they are formed by the limited proportion of victims brave enough to report attacks.

‘‘Shockingly, incidents of drink spiking in the UK since the 1960s have increased by over 3,000% ’’ prevalent drugs used for drink spiking in the UK. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL), Ketamine and Rohypnol all take effect within half an hour of consumption. Date rape drugs like GHB, Ketamine and Rohypnol are particularly dangerous when mixed with alcohol because they combine to create a very powerful anaesthetic effect. The NHS list the following four most common reasons for drink spiking: for amusement, to be malicious, to carry out a sexual assault or rape, or to carry out a theft. I began my investigation into this strange phenomenon by Googling

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amnesia. It takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes to feel the effects of this drug.” With a bit more digging, I found out that the drugs were readily available online. There were even articles explaining how to spike someone’s drink without getting caught. With only fifteen minutes of my time, I had all the information I needed to spike someone’s drink. Even more worrying was that people had previously Googled the question, “Where can I buy Rohypnol?” The question was generally followed by a badly worded and unconvincing explanation about how they were actually a scientist, a

London consistently has one of the highest rates of drink spiking, followed by the Midlands. Nottingham itself, as proven by the results above, is far from immune to drink spiking. However, Nottingham police told Impact that: “The vast majority of the drink spiking reported to the police do not involve any other crime and therefore are recorded as only an incident, unless a crime has occurred. There is often no intent on the part of the spiker(s) to commit any crime other than to see what the effect on the victim will be.” If the thought of being spiked by strangers isn’t scary enough, the


horrifying fact is that drink spiking amongst students does occur. One Nottingham student, Nicola, had her drink spiked during pre-drinks while visiting her friend at university in Dublin. After only consuming one glass of Strongbow each, both her and her friend passed out and were unable to recall the majority of the night. They could remember nothing of ten hours of their lives after they woke up the next day; the night before was completely blank. Nicola said, “I couldn’t remember anything; it was a complete haze. I’d never felt anything like it before.”

‘‘Incidents of drink spiking in Nottingham rose from 39 to 42 from 2010 to 2011 ’’ Another student, Annabelle, attended a student house party with her boyfriend; she had only had one cider and one Smirnoff Ice from the house when she passed out in a fit. She said, “It was horrifying; they had to take me to hospital in an ambulance.” Nottingham police warned us that: “A person who spikes a drink may be the victim’s friend, acquaintance, friend of a friend, workmate, date, team member, or a stranger.” Drink spiking is illegal under the ‘Noxious Substances’ section of the 1861 ‘Offences Against the Person Acts’. However MP Kenneth Clarke’s suggestion that date rape is not as serious as other kinds of rape exacerbates the frame of mind that those affected by drink spiking and sexual assault should leave the crimes unreported. The idea that ‘date rape‘ spiking is an urban legend has also become prominent in recent years, with cynics arguing that those who have drunken themselves to dangerous levels of intoxication blame their incapacitation on drink spiking. This trivialisation of the issue undermines the efforts to prevent drink spiking and date rape.

So, what has been or is being done to prevent the incidence of drink spiking? For one, the manufacturers have added a blue dye to Rohypnol as a quasi-warning signal; however, this dye cannot be seen in darkly coloured beverages or bottles. There are now also home and professional drug tests, which can be used to test alcoholic drinks and urine for Rohypnol. Furthermore, the Government in conjunction with the NHS have organised an awareness campaign for drink spiking. This increase in awareness has encouraged individuals to take their own measures against it. Common advice include not leaving one’s drink unattended, checking that drinks are sealed and refusing drinks from those you don’t trust. As part of Week One, the University of Nottingham’s Student’s Union run the ‘Why Let Good Times Go Bad?’ campaign, which offers advice on sexual safety and drinking responsibly, including how to avoid drink spiking. In spite of these efforts, incidents of drink spiking in Nottingham rose from 39 to 42 from 2010 to 2011. Only by further increasing awareness of drink spiking can we hope to start bucking this concerning upward trend.

Hannah Pupkewitz

Image by Emma Charalambous


INVESTIGATING STALKING

It is estimated that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men in the UK will experience stalking at some point in their lives, with the duration of stalking ranging anything from a few weeks to several decades. Whilst figures show that there were over one hundred thousand cases of stalking in the past year alone, it is thought that the crime is heavily underreported; the average victim experiences 100 incidents before contacting the police. There’s no definitive one-size-fits-all approach to profiling stalkers, nor is there a way of identifying a ‘type’ of person who would be more susceptible to becoming a victim of the crime. Stalkers don’t have to share common characteristics, or even motives; they have different occupations, ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, but what links them together is their common behaviours and their love of exercising control over and instilling fear into their victims. Stalking behaviours can range from the simply annoying or inappropriate to full-blown intense harassment or violence

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which can ruin and in some cases, even end, lives. Clare Bernal, Rana Faruqui and Tania Moore are just three high profile cases out of a long list of victims who have been murdered by their stalkers. It is commonly accepted that people aged between 18 and 24 experience the highest rates of stalking, with both university staff and students experiencing above average levels of the crime. It is thought that campus settings, with their relatively lax security and closed-in communities coupled with the facts that lecture timetables are easily acquired and university students have repetitive schedules and socialising habits, make students easy targets. A spokesperson from the National Stalking Helpline expanded on this: “Stalkers look for ways to access their victim. If the stalker knows that the victim is a student at a particular institution, this gives them an additional means of access; it helps them know where they should go and


where they are likely to see the victim. For this reason, it is hugely important that a University knows what to do if a student reports stalking to staff or faculty members. Campus security should be aware of protective measures they can assist with and all dormitories should be appropriately secure at all times. Most importantly, the victim should feel like they are being taken seriously and that they should not have to put up with this distressing behaviour.” Whilst face-to-face stalking is arguably more pernicious, a relatively new trend, cyberstalking, is growing at a startling rate, with 1 in 4 victims reporting cyberstalking as a component of their harassment. The Internet is a stalker’s dream; whilst on the one hand providing a veil of anonymity for the aggressor, social networking sites such as Facebook provide a treasure trove of information for would-be stalkers with everything from a list of the stalkee’s ‘friends’ to an itinerary of events that the victim is planning to attend. For years, campaigners have claimed that the current legal restraints enforced on stalkers, which some have likened to an ASBO, are inadequate and have long sought tougher legislation to protect victims from unwanted interactions. At present, you won’t find stalking in itself to be a crime in any law books; the 1997 Protection against Harassment Act is meant to cover some stalking behaviours, but makes no reference to stalking itself as a specific offence. On March 8, International Women’s day, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to change the law regarding stalking, a crime which, in his own words, “makes life a living hell for victims”. Whilst initially criticised for not going far enough, the Government’s proposals seem to be gaining approval from growing numbers of lobbyists and charities including the National Stalking Helpline: “We welcome any changes that will strengthen existing legislation and result in more victims of stalking receiving the justice they deserve. We were initially concerned that the new stalking legislation did not go far enough to protect victims; however, victims’ and campaigners’ concerns have been listened to and there will be amendments made to the first draft of the legislation, which will hopefully strengthen it further.” When asked whether they think the new legislation will bring any tangible benefits to the victims, they continued: “In order for any new legislation to be effective it must come alongside training and awareness raising. Whilst the legislation change is a welcome and vital step in the right direction, there is no single overnight answer to dealing with stalking. There must be training across the criminal justice system, appropriate sentencing, treatment and rehabilitation for perpetrators and specialist victim advocacy services for those affected by the crime.”

BATTLE RAP Notwithstanding Eminem’s underwhelming cinematic debut in 8 Mile, the art of battle rap still remains one of the least explored domains in the hip-hop universe. Even the most seasoned hiphop vets can only boast a hazy knowledge of a sport which has seen a steady evolution over the past few years. From being predominantly freestyle-based and performed on stage at tournaments such as Scribble Jam (essentially hip-hop’s Woodstock), the sport has evolved into its present-day incarnation as a written, a cappella format, requiring competitors to prepare and memorise entire verses weeks or even months before the battle. The rationale here is that when MCs are allowed more time to prepare, the content in battles will subsequently improve, thus improving their entertainment value. Moreover, written battle leagues can encourage a greater number of MCs to participate, i.e. MCs who may be good writers but can’t necessarily freestyle well enough to hold their own in an impromptu battling set-up. That said, if executed judiciously, improvised or premeditated rebuttals and freestyles will often score top marks when mixed in seamlessly with written verses. The battle rap community is a close-knit network of like-minded individuals who champion the art of sublime, creative lyricism over anything else. Hip-hop heads especially will instantly recognise the merit in how battlers implement key technical aspects of rap, from complex multi-syllabic rhyme-schemes to structured cadences, with the overall intent of degrading their opponent in the cleverest way possible. To the casual spectator, this can just seem like a frenzy of abusive insults being hurled back and forth but scratch away this caustic veneer and you discover battle rap to be a consortium of talented wordsmiths. The vitriol opponents have for one another is reserved almost entirely for battles, and MCs will rarely ever come to blows over what’s quoted in an opponent’s verse. Indeed, for all the outrageous racist quips and eye-watering character assassinations in battles, the battle rap community is itself inclusive and diverse, with people from all walks of life, of various creeds, colours and social backgrounds. Anyone coming ill-prepared or with woefully generic disses risks being relegated to the lowest tiers of the division. On the flipside, the kudos gained from proving yourself as a worthy opponent is immeasurable.

Tom Clements, Impact Columnist

Ramsha Jamal JUNE 2012

27


PUNISHING GENOCIDE LAURA CURTIS RECOUNTS WATCHING THE TRIAL OF RADOVAN KARADŽIĆ

Upon seeing Radovan Karad žić for the first time, I was struck by how familiar he seemed to me, like an old geography teacher. There was at least a twenty-second delay between seeing him and the realisation of his identity, a man allegedly responsible for the Srebrenica massacre and the Siege of Sarajevo. Once this realisation sank in, I felt a jolt in my chest, like someone had violently squeezed my heart. I had never expected his appearance to provoke such a visceral physical response.

Serbo-Croat, while reading English documents his diction and fluency were remarkably good. After a while, I began to notice small things beyond the shock of being less than eight feet away from a mass murderer I had been brought up to equate with Hitler or Pol Pot. Whenever he was about to make a controversial point, he would glance quickly over to my father and I. At first I assumed this was coincidental, a minor interest in the only changing

Karad žić was a Serb general during the Bosnian war, under arrest by the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) since 2008. After visiting Sarajevo the previous autumn, and studying the conflict for significantly longer, I decided to attend the Karad žić trial in an attempt to further understand the process and possibly the man responsible for so much misery and death during the conflict. The courtroom gallery was entirely deserted apart from my group and separated from the court by a huge glass wall, which could be glazed over during secret testimony. It had the most up-to-date technology as well as three-way translation. Past the initial jolt of fear and embarrassingly, a kind of awe one often feels upon encountering a celebrity, my primary reaction to Karad žić was that of sympathy. This man faced at least fifteen people in the room who were absolutely convinced of both his guilt and his certain future of further trials and a lifelong prison sentence. His legal assistants (he insisted on representing himself) seemed disinterested and his self-defence rambling and pathetic. However, his speaking style was confident and clear and although he spoke primarily

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scenery in the courtroom. It wasn’t until the fourth of these token glances that I realised that he was playing to the audience, gauging our reaction and trying to glean a response from us. The trial itself was an alarmingly humdrum affair, with constant qualifications, clarifications and pauses for the three-way translation to kick in. The key issues were examined on a microscopic level and every fact haggled over exhaustively. One can only imagine Karad žić’s legal strategy consisted of wasting as much time

as possible based on the probability that the ICTY court would be more interesting than the long prison sentence that definitely awaited him. Philosopher Hannah Arendt’s quotes about the banality of evil sprang to mind, when over an hour was spent arguing over whether a photo showed the doors of a barn as being opened or closed. It appeared to show door handles but no door hinges, and the expert witness and Karad žić spent long periods of time discussing this. Of course, the subtext to this argument, which was easy to forget, was the thirty or so dead bodies inside the building, shot by Serbian paramilitaries. Occasionally, this subject matter came sharply back into focus, as when Karad žić exclaimed loudly, “I want to SEE a photo depicting thousands of bodies in one grave!” I left the trial decidedly disappointed. I’m not sure if I expected an explanation for his actions or at least some manifestation of guilt on Karad žić’s part, but the entire process seemed to be an opportunity for him to act out his innocence to an audience already convinced of his guilt. I was far more affected by seeing Karad žić than the trial itself, which had more of a feeling of tying up loose ends than leading the charge against genocide. The ICTY itself is a court conducted primarily in English, in a western European country and so seemed like an expensive, flashy attempt to purge a Western sense of guilt for a late intervention rather than provide justice and restitution for the real victims of the war.

Laura Curtis


THE BIG

QUESTION

We’re very lucky to have a plethora of clubs and bars in Nottingham that cater to whatever niche or mainstream music tastes any student may have – whether it’s old-school Motown, roots reggae, live Latin American or 90s’ hip hop you’re craving, you’ll find it. Following the onslaught of Fresher nights out which, more often than not, revolved around going to the same three clubs with identical music every week, I enjoyed branching out, going against the grain and tottering off the VK-strewn path to enjoy some of the excellent ‘alternative’ nights Nottingham has to offer. The Swing nights at Spanky Van Dykes amazed me with the calibre of live jazz music;

YES

getting lost in the maze of Stealth and Rescue Rooms to some huge dubstep names left me with enjoyable but unfortunately fleeting memories, and the many nights in The Bodega with its eclectic music and fairy-lit garden provide a contrast to the huge clubs, and a much more enjoyable experience. Nights like Twisted Hearts and Itchy Feet have been a huge success recently on the student scene, although commercially it is arguably very difficult for the alternative nights to compete with the weekly official ones. The popularity of official nights can be hugely detrimental to other venues establishing their own nights, but

fortunately every now and then, an event like Gin And Juice or Highness Sound System, which offer something different, will steal away students from the regular venues. However, mainly due to popularity, reputation and years of ‘everyone going’, nights like Ocean are a firm fixture in the student week – and for someone who has witnessed the most hardened mainstreamnightclub-haters embrace the Ocean dance floor, t-shirts swinging in the air, strawpedo-ing VKs like there’s no tomorrow, it’s unlikely to change any time soon.

Jessica Farrugia Sharples

Can official, mainstream clubs keep up with alternative nights in Nottingham?

Unlike Trent, whose geography allows for city advertising to spread the word of independent nights, the isolated nature of the ‘Uni of’ campus means Freshers experience more instructional methods of herding them towards nights which have struck deals with the Union – the official nights like Ocean and Crisis. This can mean that many miss out on experiencing the full potential of Nottingham. Don’t get me wrong, most people, including myself, have a soft spot for a Rock City all-nighter or the odd Ocean on Friday. However, as everyone knows, University is a serious opportunity to broaden horizons and experience new things, and where better to do that than at Nottingham, a city long famed for staging exciting and vast entertainment.

Having spent underage years drinking shots at Oceana Kingston, and perhaps no longer wishing to swing their shirts around their heads singing ‘I’ll be there…!’, many people come to Nottingham in order to explore its vibrant nightlife variety. Now looking to buzz their dubstep-sweat out in Stealth, go underground for DnB in Dogma, seek redemption at Pop Confessional, bop their locks at Bass Culture, fist-pump at 808 and CMYK, or groove to some disco-house with a cocktail at Phoenix, students often find it hard to break from what is seemingly a predestined attendance to the official nights. Young students are assured by older students - who themselves struggled to break out of this predetermination in their own first year - that these official nights are the hottest ones in Nottingham.

NO

As already stated, a huge amount of students, including myself, are partial to a Jaeger-filled Crisis, but there is so much more to Nottingham than these fairly generic nights, which can be found anywhere in the country from Bognor to Harborough! There is, however, another large and ever-growing group, who, knowing that the official nights will always be there whenever they want, strive to experience what Nottingham herself has to offer. Luckily, through this group’s hunger to see Nottingham’s true colours, teamed with the persistence of keen independent promoters, the city continues to provide its renowned range of nighttime excitement.

Hugo Trace JUNE 2012

29


WAVE YOUR RAVE STATIONERY As the days left in this term dwindle, exams and deadlines have started to permeate our lives like permanent marker on poor quality paper. But when I am struggling to make my nose connect with grindstone, there’s one thing I can trust to shift my poor palpitating heart from terror to excitement. Stationery. The sweet cellophane smell of new post-its, the springy resistance of a new biro on a new pad, the creak and snap of an empty ring binder waiting to be filled. These aren’t just the romanticised phantasms of my coursework-addled brain, these are profound life-affirming moments, the fluorescent yellow highlight of my revision day. Practically speaking of course, stationery can help make sense out of

the chaos of information we absorb day to day. You don’t have to be the kind of person who alphabetises their fridge to know the triumphant clarity of fully filed lecture notes, but if that’s a bit advanced, even proponents of the floor filing cabinet have something to be gained from the humble card document wallet. The critical point is that stationery allows you to feel organised when you’re not, and even the superficial gestures can affect productivity. How much less intimidating is a long forgotten lecture handout when transcribed onto an index card that you can hold in your hand! And how much more manageable is this (soon to be ignored) revision timetable when it’s colour coded by subject? And for the truly Type A personality, developments in stationery present opportunities to organise where there wasn’t any before. Paperchase

now sell a selection of journals for everyday tasks such as ordering takeaways. This genuinely excites me; think of the fraught minutes of deliberation to be avoided: was UK Pizza Delivery better than Lickin’ Chickin’, and which was the one with the questionable pepperoni? “Consult the journal!”, I’ll cry, and be heralded the hungry man’s hero. If, this month, somewhere in the electronic ether there’s a white blank page with your name on it, and the ticking, taunting, terrifying flash of the cursor just won’t move, turn to stationery to break the cycle. Put pen to paper. Or buy new paper. There might be a recession on, but even the smallest semblance of control can make all the difference; what’s a few pounds for some serious spiral-bound self-actualisation?

Victoria Urquhart

VENT YOUR SPLEEN It started well: clean tiles; gleaming hob; smooth surfaces. Now the kitchen is a disarray of toast crumbs and shame. The end of a year in my first student house and the kitchen is where I wear my blinkers to avoid the horrors of the microwave plate and the mystery of the washing up bowl – no one knows what lurks at the bottom.

Nothing makes you retch in the morning like pulling slices of slimy onion from the plughole; nothing brightens your day like that pan of questionable grey matter that has sat unanswered for by the sink for a week. And for the record, a dishwasher is not the answer to all of your problems, unless you’re comfortable with the brown splatters of God knows what on the surrounding kitchen wall and floor.

To set things straight, none of us are dirty. We just think studying is more important than wiping down worktops. We try our best to do our own washing up, but sometimes when running late to a lecture or making a drunken cheese toastie, you just don’t have the time. And when four-dayold tuna juice leaks onto your slippers as you empty the bin, you vow not to bother in future.

We all said we’d be the students who kept a clean house, unlike the tenants of the houses we viewed. We sneered at their crusty underpants flopping out of the washing machine and their veritable towers of crockery teetering over the sink. But here we are, and the bin hasn’t been emptied in days.

Besides to write hilariously witty messages on the fridge with our letter magnets, I avoid spending much time in the kitchen. Many areas are out of bounds; the George Foreman grill for example. Once a luxury commodity, it is now coated with a white sheen of solidified fat.

Now we swear next year will be different; resolutions of hygiene and cleanliness are pledged. We dream of a kitchen without tea bag stains by the sink, with cutlery in the right compartments and a greatly reduced risk of salmonella. Roll on September.

STUDENT KITCHENS

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Stephanie Harris


PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION TITLE: ‘URBAN’ WINNER: MAGDALENA STEFLOVA TITLE OF PICTURE: URBAN PORTRAIT DESCRIPTION: THIS PHOTO HAS BEEN TAKEN AS A PART OF A LARGER SERIES TAKEN IN BRNO, CZECH REPUBLIC. I HAVE INTENDED FOR THIS TO BE A PORTRAIT MADE WITH A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT APPROACH THAN MY USUAL PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHS, WITH MORE EMPHASIS PUT ON THE URBAN SETTING OF THE PHOTO RATHER THAN FOCUSING ONLY ON THE MODEL HERSELF.


PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION TITLE: ‘PORTRAITS’ WINNER: HANNAH PAYNE TITLE OF PICTURE: THIS IS BRITAIN DESCRIPTION: HIGH AND MIGHTY BLIGHTY – SHOT FROM A SUMMER FESTIVAL.


PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION TITLE: ‘PORTRAITS’ WINNER: JOSÉ POPE ILLUSTRATION: JUSTINE GOLD TITLE OF PICTURE: THE GIRL WITH THE TREE TATTOO DESCRIPTION: IN THIS PORTRAIT I TRY AND SHOW HOW NATURE CAN BE PORTRAYED IN A DIFFERENT ASPECT, AS WELL AS SHOWING HOW A TATTOO IS NOT ALWAYS A ‘FASHION STATEMENT’ OR A SIGN OF REBELLION, BUT A WAY OF EXPRESSING ONE’S SELF.


StudentS’ union

www.su.nottingham.ac.uk


Your new exec

pGSa Summer GameS

executive officerS

If you’re a Postgraduate student, we know that the end of the university year doesn’t mean the end of your work. This is why the Postgraduate Students’ Association has organised the PGSA Summer Games, the perfect way to meet up with fellow Postgraduates and take a break from your studies! Taking place on the afternoon of 27th June on Nightingale Field, there will be plenty of sports day type games, nothing too competitive!

President Amos Teshuva

Keep an eye on the Students’ Union website for more information.

From 1st July your new Students’ Union Executive Committee (Exec) will be starting their new roles. They are a group of nine students voted in by you, who work full-time to provide you with representation so your life at Nottingham is the best it can be. Representational Officers and their associated networks are there to represent specific groups of students. 5,610 of you voted in this year’s Elections, the candidates that you chose to Lead Your union are:

wednesday 27th June

accommodation and community officer Sian Green activities officer Michelle McLoughlin athletic union officer Jonny Bell Democracy and communications officer Luke Mitchell Education officer Matt Styles

Environment and social Justice officer Andrea Pilava Equal opportunities and welfare officer Mike Dore Finance and services officer Anil Parmar

reSpreSentational officerS BmE students officer Shabina Raja Disabled students officer Sarah Martin international students officer Iman Gaehwiler

mooch

Listening to students is what we do, and after asking what you thought about our bar, Mooch, we’ve made some great changes! As well as altering the menu, with more light bites and healthy meals, we’ve added more special offers; we know every penny counts! There is now a set of deals for the whole week, including half price pizza all day on Tuesdays and a full breakfast with tea for under £3 on Saturdays. Thank you to all the students who gave honest and constructive feedback, it really has made the difference; keep those comments coming! We look forward to seeing you in Mooch soon and we hope you love the new look.

varSitY win

We are delighted that the University of Nottingham have taken back the Varsity trophy after a 1-0 win at the Women’s Football on Friday 18th May. Congratulations to everyone involved in this amazing victory!

LgBt officer Charlotte Bezant

mature students officer Charlie Cox

Postgraduate students officer Laura Theobald women’s officer Rose Bonner

Keep up to date with us: Follow us on Twitter @uonsu

Find us on YouTube uonstudentsunion

Like us on Facebook university of nottingham students’ union

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FILM&TV

STRANGER THAN FICTION In the run-up to this year’s Oscars, the Academy announced that they would be narrowing down the qualifications for a Documentary Feature to be eligible for the Best Documentary Academy Award. The Academy is enforcing that only a documentary which has received a review in either The New York Times or The Los Angeles Times will be eligible for the award. The impetus for these changes is the rising number of documentaries that are being taken into consideration by the Academy; last year, they considered 124 documentaries, up from 101 the year before. Yet, the changes to be implemented for next year’s Oscars are seen by many documentary filmmakers as a step backwards. Personally, I see this as something of a minor tragedy; over the last ten years, documentaries have evolved beyond

merely informative, non-fiction films to become incredible feats of filmmaking. I suppose the major documentary filmmaker to have brought the format to an unprecedented level of popularity is Michael Moore. Whether or not you agree with the politicised and sensationalist nature of his films, Moore’s presence is undeniable. Bowling for Columbine – a recipient of the Academy Award for Best Documentary – Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko and Capitalism: A

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Love Story have all tackled contemporary American issues to bring them to greater public attention. Parallel to this, we have the work of Morgan Spurlock, whose highly controversial Supersize Me tapped into the zeitgeist of America’s fast-food culture. A new breed of documentaries have re-ignited interest in the genre, ranging from the disturbingly moving – such as Dreams of a Life, the exploration of how a woman died in her home and was not discovered for 3 years – to the mundanely touching – such as Dragonslayer, a look at skate legend, Josh ‘Skreech’ Sandoval, and the responsibility he must embrace as a father. This is particularly applicable to Senna, the recipient of the BAFTA Best Documentary award in 2012. Senna documents Brazilian F1 motorracing champion Ayrton Senna’s life

and ultimately his death. The film, composed entirely of archive footage, is by far one of the most refreshingly original documentaries to emerge in recent years. Two favourite auteurs of mine currently working within the documentary medium are Werner Herzog and Charles Ferguson. Herzog, famed for his eccentricity within the German New Wave, has produced a phenomenal

body of documentary work; from Grizzly Man, the tale of a bear enthusiast who spent 13 summers filming bears, eventually getting eaten by one of them, to Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a 3-D exploration of the ChauvetPont-d’Arc, a cave which contains the earliest known cave paintings. His latest documentary, Into The Abyss, has recently received its commercial release, telling the story of two convicts in Texas, one sentenced to life in prison, the other to death. Herzog’s work explores otherworldly subject matters and stamps his own peculiar vision onto them. Ferguson’s body of work is much smaller than Herzog’s, but is just as entertaining. Ferguson, an MIT educated software entrepreneur, attempts a ruthlessly factual dissection of contemporary American society. His first film No End In Sight explored the vast administrative errors by the Bush government during the occupation of Iraq. This was soon followed up by the Academy-Award-winning Inside Job, which delved into the systematic corruption of the US financial services, resulting in the subprime mortgage crisis. Ferguson’s work acts as a strong counterpoint to Moore’s; rather than simplifying complex subject matters, his films educate the viewer, providing a more rounded view of issues that are easily manipulated by the heavily politicised news channels of America. Given the recent accomplishments of these filmmakers, it feels sorely unjust for the Academy to react to the influx of superb documentaries by narrowing down the requirements for the award, rather than expanding that particular branch. After all, isn’t the Academy supposed to reward the very talent and innovation witnessed within contemporary documentary filmmaking?

Ben James


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OPEN AIR CINEMA Last May, the University of Nottingham’s film-watching society, Silver Screen, set up their own screen on the Downs to show Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two to 250 students. Jack Singleton, the Film Officer of the society commented that, “the atmosphere of a large group of fellow film-watchers and filmlovers laughing, screaming or simply enjoying themselves in the open air was a truly gratifying and rewarding experience.” After such a resounding success, they are planning to show The Adventures of Tintin in the same place this May.

what’s more, you can bring your own picnic, chairs and blankets, which avoids the crippling prices of foyer food and less than comfortable pulldown seats.

Outdoor cinema screenings have brought a taste of the American Drivein to Britain, allowing people to really enjoy the British summer without reneging on their love of film. Some of the many bonuses of the outdoor experience include the fact that you’re not penned in by people rustling sweet bags and crunching popcorn, and

If scary films aren’t your thing, then maybe you’d prefer Project X? As the food and drink policy is generally bring-your-own at outdoor screenings, this setting would be perfect – the Pimms flowing freely amongst the audience would soon result in the action onscreen merging with reality. Who knows, if the party brought the

Imagine settling down on a few picnic blankets with your friends to watch The Blair Witch Project on a warm summer’s evening. A less than cosy scene would soon follow as the terror developing onscreen appears to be happening in the trees behind you. Even your bravest friend would be quaking under the picnic blanket, clinging onto you for comfort.

Freshers out of their halls onto the Downs, it could even climax with a blazing Hallward. Sheer terror and absolute carnage aren’t the only options available though; perhaps a well-loved classic such as Grease, The Lion King or Back to the Future to accompany a picnic or barbecue would suit you best. Whichever you’d prefer, definitely try and get to an outdoor screening this summer for a much more involved cinematic experience.

Cara McGoogan

THE RISE OF TELEVISION C MEDIANS There have been an increasing number of television vehicles for comedians lately, with the BBC’s new The Sarah Millican Show adding to an array of pre-existing TV programmes fronted by comics. To name just a few on television in recent months: John Bishop’s Britain, Kevin Bridges: What’s The Story, as well as Channel 4’s Show and Tell hosted by Chris Addison. One reason for this is that comedians are seemingly guaranteed to pull in the viewers, such as Alexander Armstrong’s game show Pointless, which drew in an impressive five million watchers over the Christmas period and is now being shown in a prime time slot on Saturday nights with celebrity guests. Another, more cynical explanation for the current crop of comedian-led shows is that they are easy to make and produce you can simply reuse the same sets over

and over again; it’s decidedly low risk programming. In these recession-hit times, it’s understandable that people need a good laugh, but TV networks such as the BBC should be taking more risks on new comedy talent, both writers and actors. Well-made programmes fronted by comedians can be fun, light and entertaining; however, as regular viewers of Mock the Week will be well aware, comedians on television tend to recycle their stand up material, such as routines that you have probably already watched on.

In all fairness, Kevin Bridges: What’s the Story takes a refreshingly different angle to the typical comedian-based panel show format, instead cutting between Bridges’ stand up and a series of interviews with him and other comedians. This gives us an insight into the lives of the comedians and shows us where they get their material from. Overall, in my opinion, television should be an ideal form of exposure for fresh talent and not a means of selfpromotion for already successful and well-established comedians. This is not to say that the occasional comedian television programme is a bad thing, but there should be a better balance.

Eddy Haynes

JUNE 2012

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FILM&TV THIS FILM HAS NOT YET BEEN RATED

We’ve all experienced it; the hubbub that occurs in a cinema after a particularly good trailer − that moment when everyone seems to turn to their companions and say, as one, “I want to see that”. I don’t suppose it would be too large an assumption to guess that most of us have been in the cinema after a terrible trailer, one that has the viewing public laughing together. Most recently, after a standard all-action trailer, the atmosphere was ruined when the voice over proclaimed the film’s title: “MAN…ON A LEDGE”. The derision was most definitely audible.   Movie trailers are undoubtedly highly effective marketing tools, and in an era of Youtube, movie blogs and constant Facebook sharing, millions can see a good trailer within the week of its release. However, many leave almost no effect whatsoever; they are well produced, display all of the normal hallmarks of a trailer, but leave no lasting resonance. The fate that befalls most trailers is that they are like every other we have seen, because in every genre, there is a language; there are

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certain tropes that get the message of the film across, but in a safe way that people can easily understand. This is a Hollywood studio not wanting to make any undue risks that could adversely affect box office receipts, and thus the trailers will never be remembered as great, if at all by those who see them.   Action films, chick flicks, comedies and period dramas seem to be the genres that fall most clearly into their particular trailer formula, and often get the, “Well, I’ve seen the whole film now” reaction. Mediocre comedies seem to put all of their best jokes into the trailer, and thus the main selling point is lost before any entrance fee is retained. Comedies are left in a catch-22 situation, as they have to show that their film is funny, but risk using up their best content; at the same time, if they save some of their best lines, the trailer may make the film look unfunny, so people will be less inclined to see it.   In my eyes, most chick flicks are essentially the same film anyway, so

differentiating the trailers is a tricky concept. Even so, the target audience will likely see the movie regardless of how it is advertised (or how it is reviewed – I’m looking at you,  New Years Eve), so their trailers have no pressure to be interesting or good. Period dramas often rely on the selling point of their source material or historical importance, so some lovely shots of landscapes and the cast of beautiful actors, alongside a soaring orchestral soundtrack, do the job very nicely. Action film trailers are more often than not split into two halves, the first explaining the character and situation, the second containing some cool beats and a handful of stunts and explosions.   So, what do movie trailers have to do to be memorable? Franchises (Harry Potter, superhero movies, Prometheus etc.) are often good trailers, but simply because of the excitement of finally seeing footage of a muchanticipated film. The all-time classic movie trailer must set itself outside of the norms and tropes that movie trailer language usually embeds it in. A perfect example would be David Fincher’s  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. No dialogue and no exposition conveys a sense of serene intelligence to the audience, in that they know what the film is about without being told. There is relentlessly quick cutting, a pounding soundtrack, covering a well-known song in a contemporary form, and big name stars; but most importantly, all done in a way that you have never seen before. Trust me, go watch the trailer, and then tell me it doesn’t look exciting.

  David Bruce  


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STAFF SCRAPBOOK: THE ALIEN SAGA ALIEN “In space, no one can hear you scream.” Never has a tagline so perfectly captured the atmosphere of its film. Ridley Scott essentially made a haunted house movie but set it on a decidedly unglamorous spaceship inhabited by a group of largely unknown actors and one relentlessly merciless alien who picks them off one by one. Packed with some of the most memorable moments in film history, John Hurt’s exploding stomach amongst them,  Alien  is a landmark piece of filmmaking that spawned three sequels, two Predator crossovers and of course the long awaited ‘nonprequel’ prequel  Prometheus; which is seemingly an entire film built around  Alien’s very brief ‘Space Jockey’ scene. Released in 1979, two years after Star Wars, Alien was a groundbreaking film that bridged the horror and sci-fi genres; long since imitated but never matched in design or sheer terror.

James McAndrew

ALIENS James Cameron’s Aliens is by far one of the most exciting horror films I’ve ever seen. The film merges the sci-fi action genre with the more traditional monster horror genre. Its predecessor had been a film of moderation; Aliens was a film to a certain extent of excess, and Cameron’s adrenaline-fuelled style utilised the Xenomorphs en masse. Whereas before, they’d been terrifying stalkers in the shadows, they were now a swarm crawling in every crevice. Fraught with great one-liners, a dystopian – yet still very 80s – vision of the future and perhaps Sigourney Weaver’s best performance, Aliens remains probably my favourite within the series. Whereas Alien took a refined approach to the horror genre, Aliens injected an unmatchable energy into it, lifting the series to a new plateau.

Ben James

ALIEN 3 Though often unfairly derided as the worst one, Alien 3 does indeed mark a dip in quality and doesn’t compare to its two predecessors. But in his debut, David Fincher begins to reveal the dark, brooding atmosphere and cinematography that would become his trademark. The script, however, was constantly changing and was the ultimate problem. While ideas had potential, such as a ‘bald’ Ripley having to unite savage prisoners in a colony to tackle the Alien once again, others did not (e.g. the characters played by British actors, who ultimately do not make that interesting a supporting cast). There isn’t much action and whilst the romantic subplot with Charles Dance’s medic con is entertaining, there is overall a lack of fear or general suspense. It fails to up the ante as much as Cameron did and was a step back for the series.

Tuhin Chowdhury

ALIEN RESURRECTION Set 200 years after the events of Alien 3, the fourth instalment of the franchise sees Ellen Ripley having been somehow resurrected through science. ‘Cloning’, ‘HumanAlien hybrids’, and ‘The Newborn’ are tossed around to form some semblance of a plot, albeit an unmemorable one. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s action-oriented feature has some touches of visual flair, but is marred by awful dialogue and a lack of atmosphere and tension. Ron Perlman is his usual over-the-top self, while Sigourney Weaver shows her prowess with the basketball. Meanwhile, the less said about Winona Ryder’s performance, the better. Resurrection signalled the Alien series’ overall fatigue, from which 20th Century Fox moved onto better things like: Alien vs. Predator…

Jack Singleton JUNE 2012

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STYLE SPY: THIS ISSUE, IMPACT STYLE CAUGHT UP WITH FOUR OF NOTTINGHAM’S FASHIONABLE STUDENTS TO SNAP THEIR FAVOURITE SUMMER OUTFITS, AND WE JUST LOVE THEM ALL!

MODEL: ELLY CAMISA BOOTS: NEXT; DRESS: TOPSHOP; JACKET: LITTLE LOST LAND; HAT: H&M; EARRINGS: URBAN OUTFITTERS; BAG: RUSSELL & BROMLEY

MODEL: KATE MANGAN BLOUSE: VINTAGE; SKIRT & SOCKS: TOPSHOP; SHOES: MISS SELFRIDGE


PHOTOGRAPHED BY: EMMA CHARALAMBOUS, TROY EDIGE, & HELEN MILLER DIRECTED BY: HANNAH DONALD & EMMA-JANE STEELE

MODEL: DANI WRIGHT WELLIES: HUNTER; SHORTS: TOPSHOP; JACKET: ASOS MARKETPLACE; NECKLACE: ALL SAINTS

MODEL: CATHERINE O’GRADY JACKET: MISS SELFRIDGE; BLOUSE: COW VINTAGE; SHORTS: TOPSHOP; SHOES: PRIMARK


STYLE

YAYOI KUSAMA AND LOUIS V It has recently been announced by Marc Jacobs, fashion designer and creative director of Louis Vuitton, that Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama has been commissioned to design a brand new line of luxury goods for the fashion house’s summer collection. Yayoi Kusama, most famously known for her colourful polka-dot patterns and extreme, minimalistic abstractions, will create a range of luxury items, including footwear, watches, leather pieces and other accessories. Although mostly famous for her art, Yayoi Kusama also has an interesting

background. Kusama has voluntarily lived in a psychiatric institution, which she calls ‘home’, since 1977. Her constant visions of repetitive dots and intricate layers of circular forms began at the age of 10; it was then that she started seeing a psychiatrist who helped her explore her obsession with these shapes. By living in a psychiatric institution, she receives the routine and structure that she requires in everyday life, allowing her to use psychosomatic art to

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escape from the trauma that could be associated with these hallucinations. Describing her visions, Kusama has said: “I see them. They cover the canvas and grow on to the floor, the ceiling, chairs and tables. Then they move onto the body, clothes. It is an obsession.” Kusama’s large abstracted forms and independence have enabled her to develop and expand her career as an artist. Her artistic style crosses over many different genres and art movements; her 60-year career has been categorised as Avant-Garde, Surrealist, Abstract Expressionist,

as well as having many connotations with the Feminist Art Movement and Pop Art. Through her art, Kusama has been able to venture from rural Japan into the Western world, specifically the New York art scene, and back to the unique and contemporary world of Tokyo. Having produced around 50,000 works during her career, she has been heralded as Japan’s most prominent contemporary artist, making her collaboration with Louis Vuitton significant as a symbol of the

growing demand for far eastern art in the West. Due to her innovative style and complete devotion to her work, it was no surprise that she won Japan’s most prestigious art prize, the ‘Praemium Imperiale’, back in 2006. It will be thrilling to see Louis Vuitton’s stores filled with mannequins covered in Kusama’s vibrant polka-dots in July, and shop windows displaying her animated installations, as well as a vast range of other products decorated with circular patterns. This is a wonderful and exciting collaboration, but it isn’t the first time Louis Vuitton collaborated with a highly influential Japanese designer. In 2008, Rei Kawakubo, a ground-breaking fashion designer famous for her complex avant-garde designs and founder of the 1969 fashion line Comme des Garcons, did the same. Using inspiration from her own memories, Kawakubo fashioned a range of classically styled evening bags adorned with charms and multiple layers of leather embellishments. So, why is it that these highly influential Japanese female artists and designers have been drawn into collaborations with a French fashion house? Louis Vuitton, as one of the world’s leading international brands, has illustrated formally how Japanese culture and style is of continuing and significant importance in the Western fashion world. When collaborating with Kawakubo, Marc Jacobs stated that he admired her company Comme des Garcons very much. Jacobs said, “It is impossible to overstate Rei Kawakubo’s influence on modern fashion…I find it wonderful to think that 30 years ago, this immense talent, someone who has inspired so many others, was inspired by Louis Vuitton.” The following year


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UITTON

STYLE’S TOP SUMMER SWIMWEAR

Kawakubo also worked with H&M, creating a range of garments for men and women. Having experienced the complex designs and inventions of both Kusama and Kawakubo, it is clear that these formidable Japanese women’s creations have caught the attention of the Western fashion world from the high-end to the high street. As a result, their positions as independent successful women as well as Japan’s influence on the fashion industry, has been solidified. Yayoi Kusama once said, “I want to leave my messages to my successors and future generations”, and her forthcoming collaboration is sure

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GO TROPICAL IN ZARA, £15.99 EACH

GO LAID BACK IN ACCESSORIZE, TOP £15, BOTTOMS £16

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...OR DOROTHY PERKINS, £28

GO RETRO IN TOPSHOP, £25

to bring the worldwide recognition she desires and deserves. Yayoi Kusama’s life and career is currently being celebrated in an exhibition at the Tate Modern from 9th February to 5th June 2012.

Claire Tole-Moir

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GO GLAMOROUS IN RIVER ISLAND, £28

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Style Closet

ZARA; SUEDE MESSENGER BAG, £29.99

OFFICE; WEDGES, £55 TOPSHOP; HIGH WAISTED SORBET JEANS, £40 The perfect pair of jeans is of course needed all year round, but for summer it is always fun to add a pop of colour, and this summer we can’t get enough of candy denim.

These wedges are great as they are not too high to walk in all day and that boost in height can really finish off an outfit.

Summer Essentials

SUPERGA; SUMMER TRAINER, £40 Normally I treat myself to a summer converse, however, Superga have got a range of amazing summer plimsolls. Choose a bright colour and sport them with a pair of denim short, for ultimate summer casual.

MISS SELFRIDGES; DENIM SHORTS, £32 I guess we can’t stress enough the importance of key denim items. The pattern on these shorts jazzes them up and they would look great with a simple T or a more delicate detailed top.

URBAN OUTFITTERS; BLACK TORTOISESHELL SUNGLASSES, £16

This bag is ideal for city breaks, festivals, a flight or a day spent in the park. Enough space for everything you will need and sits over your shoulder out of your way.

H&M; TROUSERS, 29.99

These cigarette style trousers are perfect for the transition between your spring and summer wardrobe. Team with a plain cotton top or a clashing floral blouse for a complete summer look.

The circle shape of these sunglasses are very Mary-Kate and Ashley and the tortoise shell finish is perfect for any hair colour.

UNIQLO; NAVY COTTON SWEATER, £19.90 Don’t forget summer in Britain does not guarantee warm weather, ever! Although a sweater seems far too practical to carry around, this navy cotton one is just the thing to have when the sun goes in.

H&M; BLOUSE, £14.99 H&M are great for basics, however, there new selection of pretty blouses are a refreshing change. Our favourite is this floral one, wear with a simple maxi skirt or wide legged trousers.

Credit: PRSHOTS.COM and FASHIONGPS.COM


TRAVEL

GLAMPING With the economic climate of the UK in a precarious position and money in serious shortage, this summer’s most innovative holiday option must surely be Glamping.

environmental impacts of commercial tourism. As a result, Glamping has rapidly become a popular alternative to jetting off abroad, especially with the introduction of eco-friendly domes. One such example

who may rarely stray outside the confines of concrete, it involves the enjoyment of open fields and nature without the monumental task of building fires, urinating in hedges or grappling with

is a site located in the heart of the Forest of Dean, where spacious domes are run purely from natural resources and are fully self-sustaining. Hot water comes from a wood-burning boiler and is stored in recycled whiskey barrels. The domes come complete with furnishing (even carpet!) and can accommodate up to five people. Furthermore, the domes have direct access to 35 square miles of forest leading down to the River Wye, and a whole host of outdoor activities are available such as hiking, canoeing, and Llama trekking, all within the surrounding area.

rogue tent poles. Moreover, the whole experience is non-exclusive and caters for one and all. Glamping is suited to large families on a budget holiday, couples on a romantic break, groups of friends, or even the individual going it alone in the style of The Beats.*

Short weekend breaks away in lavish yurts, tipis, wagons and cabins are an ideal alternative for those who are bored with the hotel experience, and are clamouring for a taste of the Great Outdoors. Whilst retaining all of the comforts of the home, Glamping provides the opportunity to spend precious time in idyllic countryside settings, without the hassle of condensation and insect infiltration. This summer, Glamping will see a multitude of holiday-goers waving goodbye to the mosquito spray, travel stove and camping mats in favour of double beds, hot tubs, Persian rugs and sheepskins. This new trend for camping in style has slowly spread across the UK over the last year, providing a welcome respite for the tourist trade from tough economic hardships. Glamping can be made as expensive or as budget friendly as desirable. By far, one of the most opulent sites in England is Harptree Court, Somerset. Depending on the season, a night’s stay at this location could cost from £105 to £175 per night. Muffle those astonished gasps, however, as this price privileges the Glamper to 17 acres of land, tennis courts, a wood-burning stove and a bathtub. On the other hand, if the thought of handing over such a large wad of cash for a night of what is essentially ‘glamorous camping’ seems a little ostentatious, one of the most budget friendly sites in England is Turkey Creek in Oxfordshire. From £65 per night, Glampers are provided with a choice of accommodations in the form of yurts, cabins or bell tents. Clearly not all Glamping necessitates spending lavish amounts, which makes it an affordable but luxurious holiday option. Eco-tourism is a fast developing industry as travellers have become increasingly conscious of minimising the negative

The perks of upmarket camping are evidently numerous, and appeal to a large number of people who are eager to experience camping without the backpack or sleeping bags. Perhaps one of the attractions of Glamping for urban city dwellers is the promise of an escape from hectic city life to a natural utopia. Ian Peet of Go Camping UK points out that Glamping provides “the appeal of beautiful natural settings with the luxuries of the home.” For the average city-dweller

While Glamping may at first seem a bizarre concept, or could even be deemed by some as a ‘soft’ alternative to ‘proper’ camping, it is a concept that appeals to me. The promise of a tranquil break from the pressures of daily life, log burners with cosy rugs and duvets, stargazing and softly lit lanterns, all call to my romantic sensibilities. *The Beats refers to American writers and poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Keraouc, who hitchhiked across America whist writing about their bohemian experiences.

Helena Murphy JUNE 2012

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TRAVEL

WACKY RACES, EXTREME IRONING AND THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME The beaten track has indeed been thoroughly beaten and the standard backpacker route is well ingrained into everyone’s holiday. We all come back with the same stories of Full Moon Parties, photos of elephant-riding and dozens of temples. Interrailing across Europe, busing it through Australia and New Zealand, and American road trips: it’s all been done before and it sometimes seems that the originality has disappeared from travelling. However, a bit of digging and exploring shows that this is not the case. Depending on your travel preferences, there are still adventurous and original ways to traverse the globe... FOR THE RACING ENTHUSIAST The Mongol Rally sees teams of reckless thrill-seekers kitting out the cheapest, most deliberately inappropriate vehicles they can find, to race across some of the world’s most inhospitable terrain and dangerous roads. Starting in Europe, the finish line is 10,000 miles away in the Mongolian capital of Ulaan Bator, and the journey is no mean feat. The event organisers, ‘The Adventurists’, rigorously enforce the vehicle requirements, stipulating that cars must have an engine capacity no larger than 1.2 litres and motorbikes cannot exceed a power of 125cc. The challenge is to make it, preferably alive and with an intact vehicle, to the finish line, with teams free to choose what the organisers call an ‘un-route’; that is, any route they want to take, be it through Eastern Europe and across the vast expanse of Siberia into Northern Mongolia, or along the wild and unforgiving roads of Central Asia. This is no conventional race, but a daring cross-continent adventure, with

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no support teams or any form of backup once you set out.

The rally, which begins in July and ends in August, is held in the name of charity, with each team needing to raise £1000, which is then donated to the official rally charity. In 2012, the rally was held for The Lotus Children’s Centre Charitable Trust, an organisation that provides help for abused and abandoned children. If a 10,000 mile ride to Mongolia sounds too much for you, then ‘Student Adventures’ run a shorter challenge from Kent to Bratislava, the Slovakian capital. The drive takes teams through seven countries in seven days, with competitors passing through France, Belgium, Lichtenstein, Italy, Slovenia and finishing in Slovakia. This year, the event is being run from 31st July to 7th August. At each city along the way, teams are delivered a daily challenge, which according to Student Adventures, will test each team’s “ingenuity, map reading skills and ability to barter in a foreign

language”. There are prizes for the team that wins the most points on each

day: the most points overall, the best decorated car, and the team ‘least likely to make it’. There is a registration fee of £99 per team and a fundraising target of only £100, which, depending on your choice, is donated to either The Prostate Cancer Charity or the VSO, an independent international development group.

Richard Collett FOR THE INTREPID INVESTIGATOR If you like the sound of travelling with a circus around Mexico or herding cattle along ancient droveways in Madagascar, whilst recording your entire experience for the BBC, then ‘Journey of a Lifetime’ might just offer you the much needed funds and opportunities to realise your dream. Funded by the Royal Geographical Society and the BBC, ‘Journey of a Lifetime’ offers a £4000 grant to anyone with a unique and inspiring journey that they wish


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to undertake. This grant is a great opportunity to think way outside of the proverbial box and offers the perfect excuse to undertake a wild adventure. The only catch (if you can even call it one) is that you’ll be expected to make a BBC Radio 4 programme about your experience, for which you’ll receive professional training beforehand; the perfect combination for any budding journalists out there. With the deadline for applications in September this year,

question, one for which a Land Rover vehicle is crucial for investigation, so starting now for the 2013 grant might just be the trick to planning a route that will go well beyond the usual tourist trail.

there is still plenty of time to wrack your brains to plan the most original and enlightening adventure possible, whilst brushing up on your radio voice.

Imagine yourself standing firm, bracing the icy cold wind that stings your face as you look out over the impossible ascent that you have just haphazardly clambered up. Picture yourself fearlessly teetering on a rope, which hangs ominously between two red sandstone rocks in the middle of the desert. Feel the sensation

For those with a desire for more than just an unusual adventure, the RGS ‘Go Beyond’ bursary, run on behalf of Land Rover, provides one lucky team of applicants with a £15,000 bursary and a Land Rover Defender to undertake a geographical journey. This challenge is not for those who wish to party their way around the globe, but will offer any intrepid and inquisitive travellers the chance to really get their heads stuck into a contemporary geographical phenomenon. Previous winners have spent 12 weeks travelling across the globe learning about the realities faced by those who live along fault lines, and another team traced the coastline that could emerge as a result of sea level rise and discovered the consequences for those whose livelihoods would be engulfed. Although the 2012 deadline has now passed, this challenge requires careful planning and must pose a unique

Claudia Baxter FOR THE DOWNRIGHT WEIRD AND THE INCREDIBLY DETERMINED

of jumping out of a plane, with the force of gravity making it hard to breathe and your body limp as it gives into the hopeless freefall. Now re-imagine all these things and put an iron, an ironing board and your favourite Friday night shirt into the picture. This pretty much sums up extreme ironing, the craziest way to get the best press on your laundry. This is just one of many bizarre ways that people traverse the world and thrive in the unconventional; like Matt, the guy who danced around the world. He got paid by the company Stride Gum to go to 39 countries, over all seven continents in six months, just to enact a bad armflailing dance in front of poignant backdrops. The result is a YouTube video with nearly seventeen and a half million hits and a very happy Matt. While Matt has been gleefully bopping around the world, others have been embracing a mission of blood, sweat and tears across the world’s most testing terrains by traversing the world using only one mode of transport. In 2007, a very determined Mark Beaumont cycled around the world in 194 days, covering 18,296 miles and crossing 20 countries, obliterating the previous record by 81 days. This extraordinary feat took green travel to a whole new level and makes the cycle up Derby Road seem like a walk in the park. So if you are a fan of a creasefree shirt, multi-cultural dancing or like slipping into Lycra for some intense pedal-pushing, then combining this with some of the world’s most breath-taking sights and experiences just seems, well, logical!

Sarah Hughes

JUNE 2012

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FROM BNOC TO BNOI: TOP TIPS TO WORKING THE WHITE ISLE So it’s that time of year again; just what are you going to do this summer? Sure, South America is cultured, and of course that internship is going to look good on your CV, but why not do something a bit more daring? For people with a hedonistic head, there is simply one solution…book a one-way ticket and do the season in IBIZA! It’s time to swap your BNOC for a BNOI (Big Name On Ibiza) and follow my top tips to becoming the next big name of ‘beefa’. Once you’ve booked your one way ticket, you are nearly ready to make your mark on the white isle, but don’t worry about booking accommodation or jobs before you get there; there’s plenty to go round! Upon arrival, make your first port of call The Ship Inn - the centre of your universe for jobs and apartments, located at the top of the notorious West End. Accommodation is essential when establishing your reputation; with hundreds of workers’ apartments all over San Antonio, it’s a tough choice to make. However, by far the best is the new complex Es Pon. Originally intended for luxury

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holiday rentals, with a sunset view to rival Café Mambo, last year the workers took over and this now infamous complex has a party reputation that competes with most of the super clubs! An important point to remember is that you are not simply a tourist and you haven’t just come to party; in order to be a worker, you need a job. From fire-breathing to body painting, Ibiza has it all. When it comes to jobhunting, the only rule is to avoid the West End, Ibiza’s answer to Magaluf, a strip of cheesy bars that share a stench similar to that of the Ocean toilets at the end of a Friday night. Apart from that, I’d say try and go for a part commission, part basic salary job, as this means you’re still earning even if you’re huddled in the shade recovering from hangover and you can also earn a fortune when you want to! Before committing to anything, make sure that you check what you’re expected to wear - especially on the boat parties. Trust me, what may look like an angel outfit when you’re at sea, quickly translates into underwear back on shore. Definitely an awkward situation to explain to the parents when they plan a surprise visit… needless to say, that job didn’t last long! So don’t worry if you don’t find your perfect job straightaway; the best things come to those who wait.

Now that you’ve got your highflying job, you’re well on your way to becoming a BNOI. But on the white isle, it’s all about being seen in the right places, so where are these renowned hangouts? Simple: anywhere cheap or discounted and definitely nowhere touristy! So forget Pacha and Privilege. You’re a worker now; think underground! In fact, Underground is one of the newest clubs of the scene and fast becoming legendary. Located in a certain A-Lister’s former villa on the middle of the island, Underground is definitely your thing if you are into dirty, outrageous house parties. However, if you want something a bit more unique, try DC10, the converted aircraft hanger located right next to the runway at Ibiza airport. For tech heads, it’s the place to be. Mondays are the most popular nights at this location but not for the workers; for you, it’s all about Wednesdays. So now you know all the basics, all that’s left to do is go and find it out for yourself. Buy a new swimsuit, go get a wax (probably more for the girls) and get yourself over there. See you on the white isle!

Hannah Johnson Image by Sophie Martin-Hawkins


MUSIC

LEEFEST - 29TH - 30TH JUNE

With much happening in London this year, it is difficult to decide where to put your summer money. If the big festivals seem costly or you fancy something more intimate, why not come down to Kent for LeeFest? Another reason would also be its connections to the University of Nottingham; the festival’s founder, Lee Denny, who runs the festival with a team of friends, is a Nottingham

graduate. LeeFest had humble and rebellious beginnings as an event Denny threw in his garden in 2006 while his parents were on holiday, showcasing local bands whilst entertaining visits from the council and the police because of complaints about the noise. From there, the festival has had a meteoric rise with acts such as DJ Fresh and British Sea Power performing and won the Best Grassroots Award at the UK Festival Awards in 2009. The non-profit music and arts event is heading for another successful year with Mystery Jets leading a lineup consisting of Summer Camp, Raf Daddy (The 2 Bears), We Were Evergreen, BIGkids, To Kill a King, Tom Williams & the Boat, Broken Hands, Lions, and Public Service Broadcasting.

Others are to be announced in the coming months. Not much has been revealed about the remaining acts apart from that there may be some surprises this year. Denny has said, “We’ve been concentrating on new collaborations with individuals and collectives to make the festival even more diverse and creative. Everything is secret at the moment but it’s going to be raucous onsite!” LeeFest will take place on the 29th and 30th June 2012 at Highams Hill Farm in Surrey, just twenty minutes away from Bromley and Croydon. With weekend camping tickets priced at £60, it sounds like a good call.

Emily Shackleton

IMPACT’S SUMMER PLAYLIST As the epoch of Bulmers, sporadic sunshine and gatherings in the park draws closer once more, we at Impact decided to fill you in with a collection of our favourite summer tunes.

Ben Howard - ‘Old Pine’: “Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags, I’ve come to know that memories were the best things you ever had” – For his lyrics alone, Ben Howard’s ‘Old Pine’ is a perfect beach song. Bombay Bicycle Club - ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’: The bastions of English indie these days, Bombay have somehow already produced a back catalogue of beach tunes. This one is a personal favourite and is essential

listening on any beach trips this summer.

Four Tet – ‘Angel Echoes’: Four Tet are going from strength to strength at the moment and their downbeat minimal sound has summer road-trip soundtrack written all over it. Cyne - ‘Pretty Apollo’: Chilled hip-hop doesn’t get much better than Cyne, and while they haven’t made many waves in the UK as of yet, with tunes like ‘Pretty Apollo’, it won’t be long before they do. Temper Trap – ‘Sweet Disposition’: The most memorable track from the film 500 Days of Summer, a brilliant summer anthem about the ephemeral nature of youth and love.

Radiohead – ‘Karma Police’: Walking through throngs of people shouting “For a minute there I lost myself”, following Radiohead coming off stage at Glastonbury last year, it would be fair to say that ‘Karma Police’ is one of the ultimate festival sing-along anthems. The Chemical Brothers – ‘Swoon’: Few DJs in the world are comparable to the show which The Chemical Brothers put on annually in Britain’s festival circuits, and this song often gets the summer crowd going more than most.

Jack Gilbert & Harry Chapman

JUNE 2012

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MUSIC

MUSIC JOURNALISM: CR JOURNALISM IS A VITAL ASSET TO CULTURE Music journalism. Is there any term more thrilling to the human soul? It’s a branch of the media, which comes under a large amount of criticism. Often characterised as pretentious, elitist and out-of-touch, music journalism is easy to deride and at times it kind of deserves it. Too often, reviewers with an inflated opinion of themselves either laud or attack an artist or album, powered by their own self-righteousness. However, this is one side of the coin, a necessary evil in my opinion in exchange for the benefits offered by music critics. In many ways, music journalism is one of the purest forms of enthusiasm for an album or artist who may otherwise be ignored. One of the firmest arguments for music journalism that I can find is one critic in particular: Anthony Fantano of theneedledrop.com. Fantano has an encyclopaedic knowledge of music and is always eager to embrace new music and provide his learned opinion. Moreover, Fantano acknowledges that he runs the risk of coming across as arrogant or elitist and counteracts this brilliantly by adding light moments of humour and most importantly by professing that his reviews are only opinions. Fantano’s merging of the scholarly and humble adds a great amount of character to his reviews and it is for this quality that Fantano ranks as my favourite music journalist. Music journalism is by far one of the –if not the most– prolific fields of journalism. Magazine and newspaper racks are stacked with publications scrambling to cover as many genres as

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getting lost in the immense volumes produced by talented artists. The benefits of journalism are not merely reserved to music alone; in fact, I often find that the opinions of a critic in a field I am unfamiliar with can provide a guiding voice in other forms of art. Alastair Sooke breathes new life into art criticism, avoids the exclusivity of the art world and eloquently critiques masterpieces in terms that everyone can appreciate, rather than the select few. Stuart Hall‘s football commentary adds a poetic wit to what he describes as the “ugly” northern games, bordering on the absurd, but never the dull. The sagacious and diligent Roger Ebert has been writing film reviews for forty-five years and they show no sign of either stopping or depreciating in quality.

possible. Websites such as the infamous Pitchfork have taken this scramble to a new, electronic plateau. Further down the rabbit hole, you have countless blogs, vlogs and forums overflowing with almost any opinion imaginable. On the one hand, this does mean that you are spoilt for choice and in many ways, it seems almost impossible to decide which voices to trust. But on the other, it means that you can endlessly explore as many crevices as you like and develop a personal set of sources for finding new and interesting music catered to your taste. Journalism is a vital asset to culture. Without it, we would run the risk of

Fundamentally, music journalism is a reciprocal process. The reviewer is only offering their opinion and unfortunately for both the writers and readers, we often forget that we should not treat their opinion as fact and that it’s OK to disagree with it. Music is by far one of the most abstract, yet universal art forms; we can all enjoy and appreciate the sensation of listening to music, but vitally, critics offer the ability to interpret it.

Ben James


IMPACTNOTTINGHAM.COM/MUSIC

RITIQUING THE CRITICS IT IS NOT AN UNBIASED ART In a recent issue of NME, Gavin Haynes wrote in a review of Skrillex’s new EP Bangarang that Skrillex is not a dubstep guy. “He’s just a rampaging barbarian who’ll as happily nick anything floating past in popular culture” and that he is “glass eyed, as nutritional as wood glue, and content to rapidly bash his fists against the buttons”. In fact, the only comments Haynes makes about the EP is that the tracks fail to explain Skrillex’s popularity and that the title track ‘Bangarang’ is “Justice-go-candy rave”, with little explanation as to why. I understand that Skrillex is not for everyone and a lot of people share this destructive and somewhat monstrous image of him tearing up dubstep and stealing from popular culture, but I think that the aforementioned article highlights exactly the problem with music journalism. It is not an unbiased art. It can be highly opinionated, sometimes to the point where a particularly strong opinion such as Haynes’ of Skrillex, overrules perhaps what should have been a thorough, neutral review of the EP. One has to question, though, whether neutrality can exist in music journalism. If the whole point of music is for people’s enjoyment, then whether or not a piece of music is good in a person’s mind will naturally and heavily depend on whether the individual likes it. They will not be thinking of that ‘wub-wub’ bass or the intricacy of the guitar riff, but of the feelings that the music evokes within them and whether it agrees with them. Haynes’ review then perhaps reflects accurately how people interact emotionally with music, but on the other hand shows that there is no right or wrong opinion, and hence no ultimate answer, when reviewing music.

Emily Shackleton

RIP MUSIC JOURNALISM? HELLO BEIGE MUSIC! It seems that the current state of musical journalism isn’t necessarily the problem; rather, the problem lies with the source – the music. There isn’t anything to be overly excited about, there isn’t a scene, there isn’t a change in the way we see society, politics, the law, all those things that drive music, film, television etc. This idea has surfaced recently with both Noel Gallagher and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys commenting on the death of Rock and Roll, and however frustrating it is to think about it, it’s happening. Rock and Roll music, or any kind of music at the moment, is beige, magnolia, soft pebble. It’s hard to get excited about Noah and the Whale when my 50-year-old father, who enjoys golf and falling asleep in front

of the TV, says, “Oh, I like them”. I ‘liked’ The Arctic Monkeys’ most recent album, Suck it and See, and as a slightly obsessed superfan, even I can admit that it was somewhat (reflective of the album cover) ‘beige’. This is the problem; it’s ‘likable’, but not enough to blow the minds of music journalists. As Nick Kent described back in 2010, “right now, all the formulas that drive so-called music/rock journalism have really almost been exhausted.” Interestingly, this sentiment hasn’t changed two years on. The death of music journalism? Well, the heart of it is in dire need of a defibrillator.

Nadia Amico JUNE 2012

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DAMIEN HIRST @ TATE MODERN

If there was an artist that could perfectly emulate our masturbatory (that is selfindulgent), consumerist and commercial culture, then Damien Hirst is it. As the quarter century approaches since he provocatively and uncompromisingly burst onto the art scene in 1988 with the now infamous exhibition Freeze, Hirst has been responsible for inordinately changing the look, the meaning, but perhaps most saliently, the value, of art. Best known for his iconic diamond encrusted skull, For the Love of God (2007), which reportedly cost an enormous £14 million to produce; his largely assistant-produced spot and butterfly paintings; and his macabre penchant for suspending various pickled animals in formaldehyde, such as The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), Hirst has created some of the most recognisable and expensive works in contemporary art to date. However, his notoriety has invited reverence and revilement in equal measure. He has been criticised for creating works specifically with hedge fund or celebrity clientele in mind, and thus depreciated artistic value in favour of cash appeal. Although his artworks have become highly soughtafter collectables, it is more for their association with Hirst as a celebrity artist, than their desirability as thoughtprovoking pieces of art; as Brian Sewell has written recently: “to own a Hirst is to tell the world that your bathroom taps are gilded and your Rolls Royce is pink.” This association with money and excess came to a climax back in 2008, when Hirst made the unprecedented move to bypass his long-standing galleries, and auction off an entire show, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever at Sotheby’s. In a pivotal moment in the history of

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the global art market, it exceeded all predictions, raising a record-breaking £111 million and has since redefined the commodity value of the art piece. Yet, Hirst’s prioritisation of money has truly come at a price, as his oeuvre has been characterised by financial exchange, both by money spent on production and price reached at sale, rather than artistic merit. This has also been aggravated by contentions to Hirst’s legitimacy as an artist. His career has been weighed down by various accounts of plagiarism throughout the years, and his controversial methods of artistic production have been consistently contested. Hirst employing huge teams of fixed-wage assistants in productionline studios - a sort of ‘Haus of Hirst’ - that are ultimately responsible for the actual creation of his art, yet who enjoy none of the monetary reward, has sparked consistent critical debate, and been at the core of the questionable authenticity of his works. Nevertheless, his shows continue to sell out and his highly collectable and exorbitant artwork sale prices confirm that no matter the creative process, Hirst is unquestionably one of the most renowned and commercially successful British artists working today. So, when the Tate Modern revealed that they would be hosting the first major survey of Damien Hirst’s work, there was no doubt that this would become one of the most hotly anticipated and talked about exhibitions of 2012. So far, it hasn’t disappointed. Critics in their dozens have once again returned to review the artist’s controversial backlog of unprecedented sales and reignited critical debates. However, as interesting as these views might be, nothing is better than forming your own opinion. The show has been four years in

the making; with head curator Ann Gallagher working closely with Hirst to create a show that chronologically traces the artworks created during the artist’s career between 1986- 2008. All works displayed have been constructed onsite, and include, a remake of the shark in formaldehyde (now with mouth open); Mother and Child Divided, (2007) the bisections of a cow and her calf; his spin paintings; a room encapsulating the life and death cycle of butterflies (which has proved popular with children); various cabinets filled with medicinal packages; a room transformed into a pseudo-pharmacy; countless butterfly and spot paintings and more. Naturally, one assumes that a survey of this kind should present an opportunity to trace artistic development and to witness an evolution of ideas; unfortunately, it seems that for Hirst, this collection

Damien Hirst Beautiful, childish, expressive, tasteless, not art, over simplistic, throw away, kid’s stuff, lacking integrity, rotating, nothing but visual candy, celebrating, sensational, inarguably beautiful painting (for over the sofa) 1996 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2011. . Photo: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates


IMPACTNOTTINGHAM.COM/ARTS

Damien Hirst The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living 1991 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2011. Photo: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates

of work rather exposes his conceptual stagnation. Although rooms 1-14 present works which explore monumental themes, including life, death and the dualities of beauty and horror, Hirst’s application is gaudy and superficial, leaving nothing to the imagination, and thus negating any potential for further investigation. Hirst has said that his works are “not made with meaning in mind”, that they are “just triggers for people to input meaning”, but I believe this to be a lazy motivation, which has ultimately resulted in shallow artworks that conceptual artistic intention could and should have replenished. The only

Damien Hirst Sympathy in White Major - Absolution II 2006 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2011. Photo: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates

work which I feel is truly engaging is A Thousand Years (1990), a double vitrine in which maggots develop into flies; these congregate and feed on a rotting cows head, and then when unfortunately enticed, are zapped by the insect-ocutor suspended directly above. It is a kind of nihilistic, microcosmic universe, in which the determined cycle of life, sustenance and death has been apathetically encapsulated. Wafts of decaying flesh provide an unwelcome but powerful sensory dimension to this otherwise visually compelling work; however, it is as Lucien Freud said to Hirst about the piece: “I think you started with the final act, my dear.” This survey provides a collection of works, which are essentially variations of each other. The frustrating repetition of taxidermy, vitrines, medical supplies instruments, and spot paintings, left no real impression other than an exhaustive list of artworks mildly concerned with already overworked and underdeveloped ideas. Each display seems to be bigger and much shiner, yes, but essentially versions of the same product. It is disappointing to realise that over the course of twenty-two years, Hirst’s work essentially stalled from the beginning. It seems that the only progression has been Hirst’s increasingly blatant lucre, his overzealous grandeur and his

prioritisation of commodity value. Still, this is not to say that aesthetically, I did not enjoy the show. If considering a piece individually and independently from its neighbour, then sure enough, it’s highly finished and perfected composition accounts for (an albeit slightly pointless) decorative and visually pleasant artwork. However, as one of our nation’s most renowned artists, his collection of work is a little underwhelming and lacklustre. It seems that when Hirst made his name and the money came rolling in, he sold out; endlessly reproducing production-line artworks such as the mind-numbing spot paintings - putting in little effort for maximum gain. He has certainly cashed in on the public’s eagerness for branding and susceptibility to publicity, and from this perspective his mastery has been his manipulation and careful construction of his art as a business, rather than as a practice. Perhaps after his death, he will get his assistants to diamond encrust his pickled, grinning face, then suspend it in formaldehyde in a gilded, butterfly-decorated vitrine and call it the inevitability of a recordbreaking sale of an artist who is now entirely spent.

Charlotte Hopson JUNE 2012

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ARTS

A BLAGGER’S GUIDE TO…

THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY The RSC is the flagship British company for performing Shakespeare. Officially established in 1961, its prestigious fiftieth birthday was marked last year by a celebratory season of shows that included The Homecoming and Marat/ Sade as well as Shakespeare favourites Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Although it officially came into being in the 60s, the RSC evolved from much earlier beginnings dating back to 1875 when the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Ltd. Incorporated was established and undertook its

WORLD SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL 2012 is the year of the Brits: as the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee take centre stage, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) follows suit and will stage the World Shakespeare Festival from April until September this year in a bid to put “art at the heart of the Olympics.” The World Shakespeare Festival forms part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic movements. Since 2008, more than 16 million people participated in or attended performances nationwide, over 160,000 people attended more than 8,300 workshops and an excess of 3.7 million have taken part in almost 3,700 ‘Open Weekend’ events; all inspired by London 2012. The London 2012 Festival, in accordance with the London 2012 Olympics, will reach its peak by providing over 10 million

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opportunities to see free world-class events throughout the UK at various venues. Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, describes the breadth of The World Shakespeare Festival as “a celebration of Shakespeare as the world’s playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in an unprecedented collaboration with leading UK and international arts organisations and with Globe to Globe, a major international programme produced by Shakespeare’s globe, it’s the biggest celebration of Shakespeare ever staged.” Almost 60 partners will come together to bring the World Shakespeare Festival alive and thousands of artists from around the world will take part in almost 70 productions. There will also

be supporting events, exhibitions and educational events right across the UK, including in London, Stratford-uponAvon, Newcastle, Birmingham, as well as online. The festival will run from April 23rd to November 2012, forming part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, and the idea is to bring leading artists from all over the world together in a UK-wide festival this summer. Over one million tickets are on sale, so the emphasis is for all to get involved. Michael Boyd, Artistic Director of the RSC, equally puts emphasis on Shakespeare as a vehicle for multiculturalism: “The World Shakespeare Festival celebrates this most international of artists at a time when the eyes of the world will be on London, that most international of cities, for the Olympic Games.”


IMPACTNOTTINGHAM.COM/ARTS

first tour to the USA in 1913. As well as its iconic home in Stratford-UponAvon, which was literally cemented by the unveiling of a re-modelled Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) last year, the RSC has always had a presence in London too; in its early days this was in the Aldwych Theatre and then the Barbican. Its lack of a fixed base in the capital in more recent years though is the subject of current criticisms and drama critic Michael Billington suggests that the RSC has “lost ground as a national company” because of its reduced presence in London.

Dench, David Tennant and Jude Law, that they have enlisted. Its performances have sometimes provoked negativity and controversy too, most recently as part of the company’s birthday season, in Anthony Neilson’s revival of Peter Weiss’ play Marat/Sade. Themes of insanity, sexuality and abuse of power were exacerbated by violent staging, which included the use of a stun gun and the re-enactment of waterboarding. The audience’s reaction to these scenes last October was to walk out; an average of 30 people per night were said to leave before the end of each performance.

RSC productions have continuously captivated the public’s imagination whether through the diversity of their performatory re-imaginings of Shakespeare’s works or the big names, such as Sir Patrick Stewart, Dame Judi

Since its founding by Peter Hall, the company has benefitted from a number of Artistic Directors at its helm including Trevor Nunn, Terry Hands and Adrian Noble. Current Artistic Director Michael Boyd is often credited

Although “William Shakespeare is our greatest cultural export” as Boris Johnson has put it, the festival’s productions are not limited to Shakespeare’s plays. Other so-called themes include: ‘Arab Theatre Season’,

Friends Is This?’ encompasses Shakespeare’s shipwreck trilogy: The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night, and these are cast from one acting company, looking at migration, exile, and the discovery of brave new worlds.

‘Globe to Globe’, ‘Open Stages’, ‘Shakespeare Re-imagined’, ‘Nations at War’ and ‘What Country Friends is this?’ In spite of this, the themes adopted by the RSC are definitely influenced by the Bard. ‘What Country

King John, Richard III and A Soldier in Every Son – The Rise of the Aztecs are the three plays under the umbrella title ‘Nations at War’, exploring the struggle for absolute power and the right to lead a nation. Further productions include

with steering the company through a period when its future looked uncertain due to its move from the Barbican, the suggested re-building of the RST, financial problems and criticisms about the “wildly uneven” quality of its productions. However, Boyd is due to hand over his role to experienced RSC director and former actor Gregory Doran later this year, who plans “to assemble an exciting new artistic team…to start planning the company’s future with from 2014”.

Roseannagh English

A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Julius Caesar, but also adaptations like Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad or Two Roses for Richard III. In addition, the Globe in London has announced its Globe to Globe Festival as part of the Shakespeare celebrations for the London 2012 Festival and will endeavour to present all of Shakespeare’s plays over 6 short weeks. Whilst it will stage one production itself, the remaining 36 plays will each be performed in different languages by different countries from around the globe, the epitome of global arts coming to London in celebration of this momentous year and as part of the events, which will be the finale to the Cultural Olympiad.

Lisa Neiss


SCIENCE

ARE YOU AFRAID? For our cave-dwelling ancestors, fear would have been integral to survival and the propagation of the human race; a predator on the periphery would have spelt danger and elicited a chain of chemical reactions in the brain, prompting a ‘flight-or-fight’ response. In evolution, those who feared the correct things survived and populated the Earth, and thus the trait of fear was deemed fundamental to the longevity of the human race. In the modern world, this biological function manifests in situations that do not warrant a ‘fight-or-flight’ response, for example, when starting university, at parties and in public speaking. In just about any situation, there will be someone who remains in a perpetual state of fear, regardless of whether or not this biological response to putative threats is actually necessary. Fear of public speaking is ubiquitous, and yet it is not immediately apparent as to why this fear evinces physical and emotional symptoms such as panic, a feeling of paralysis and a shaky voice. Other social anxieties also seem nonsensical when viewed in light of survival; however, there are tenuous links to a different kind of survival in the modern world. Nowadays, we no longer rely on physical prowess and agility to put food on the table; employment and money are the biggest factors in sustaining us. Social standing and positive human interaction are also conducive to a superior quality of life, illustrated in a study compiled at Brigham Young University, which showed a 50% increased likelihood of survival for participants with strong social relationships. They were also deemed to live 3.7 years longer. Lack of success in public speaking and other social interactions can not only have instant ramifications such as humiliation and regret, but also farreaching consequences such as social rejection and exclusion, which would

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mar our future quality of life. The fear of failing exams can also be classed under this category. Conversely, the plethora of fearful thoughts (transmuted through worry) felt by the average human is discordant with the actual number of perceived threats that manifest. For example, many of our worries are things that have not actually happened yet and are unlikely to happen; the prevalence of fear in an everyday ‘safe’ context is thus rendered redundant. Fear is an autonomic response, which means it is unconsciously triggered as a reaction to a stimulus. In the aforementioned social cases, it appears that fear may have evolved to ensure our survival as social creatures in a modern world. Additionally, there are many fears that would have been carried over from previous epochs, such as arachnophobia, of which 30% of women and 20% of men are sufferers. This inveterate fear of spiders is conducive to our survival; we should fear spiders because of their potentially poisonous bite. However, there are those among us who feel no fear, even though the absence of fear would be detrimental

to survival. A sense of fear should stop us from entering a dark alley in which there may be hidden danger - though that’s not to say that there aren’t some who will override this biological response and weigh up their options between a dark alley and the longer route home. The absence of fear has been noted in a woman in the USA, known only as SM, whose brain lacks amygdala, a region of the brain that has been linked to fear. SM has been threatened with a knife and had a gun held to her head. Instead of being afraid, she has reacted calmly to both situations, simply describing them as strange. She appears to have no other emotional deficiencies. Similarly, studies have shown that monkeys without amygdalae do not recoil from snakes and will approach and touch them, which normal monkeys would not do out of fear. It would seem then that the old adage is true; the only thing we have to fear is fear itself... and spiders.

Settit Beyene


THE ROBOTICIST HIT LIST It’s inevitable. In the future, robots will wake-up to a glass of freshly squeezed human juice, before jumping on a tram powered by a sobbing naked man in a hamster wheel. Their only interest will be to enslave renegade humans, and make robo-clogs out of their skulls. The remaining humans will be a bit miffed by this situation. Necessity will breed ingenuity and mankind’s only recourse will be to invent time-travel, return to the past and assassinate the scientists who spawned the machine menace in the first place. This is the approximate plot of James Cameron’s 1991 film Terminator 2. So, which of today’s robotics labs are most likely to be retro-sabotaged by agents from the future? Allow me to round-up three likely candidates… BOSTON DYNAMICS When the insani-bot regime marches into London, it will be on legs designed by Boston Dynamics. The lab develops two and four legged machines using principles of ambulation borrowed from nature, such as maintaining a vertical ‘bounce’ motion in the body. Coupled with the use of hydraulic actuators, these machines really walk, and not with the sort of care-home shuffle we’ve come to expect. Big Dog, the proclaimed ‘alphamale’ of their line, can hike 10km cross-country without refuelling, navigate rubble and ice, and can even recover balance following kicks from the almighty boots of its creators. Meanwhile, the lab’s high-speed robot, Cheetah, has just received fame for breaking the robot land-speed record, at 18mph. You’d better run, Usain Bolt. Funded by the US Army, and DARPA, Big Dog and its brothers are being bred for war. The aim is to create machines, which can autonomously follow foot soldiers or GPS signals anywhere,

while carrying bulky equipment or weapons. The current version of Big Dog can walk at 4mph, climb inclines of up to 35°, and carry a 340lb load.

With Barrack Obama recently signing legislation to allow the use of airborne police drones, we’ll be meeting quadrotors sooner than we think. CORNELL CREATIVE MACHINES LAB At the CCM lab, the machines themselves are becoming creative. Inheriting ideas from evolution, the lab specialises in providing robots with basic tool-sets, and leaving them to organise and develop themselves.

GRASP LAB The University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab is developing eerie autonomous flying machines called quadrotors. These hovering-menaces are like helicopters; however, they’re equipped with four symmetrically placed rotor blades. The smaller quadrotors demonstrate agility, which make Stretch Armstrong look rheumatic. On-board gyroscopes and accelerometers work in a feedback loop with the four rotor motors, adjusting their individual speeds 600 times per second. Combined with impressive AI, this allows them to autonomously flip, fly through moving hoops, and navigate confined environments. Equally impressive is the cooperative intelligence being developed for these robots. Inspired by ants, the machines can communicate and collaborate on a local level to achieve common goals, with no need for centralised control. This allows them to band-together to carry heavy objects, adopt elaborate formations, and mug hapless humans.

For example, the team ‘evolved’ a slew of weird, waddling walking machines. This was achieved using a computer model, which randomly combined robotparts such as joints and motors, and simulated their ability to ‘walk’ around. The combinations that manoeuvred most successfully were selected and after many iterations, this spawned a menagerie of strange blueprints for walking robots. The best of these were then manufactured in reality. Their machines are also developing self-awareness (of sorts). The team created a spider-like robot with no knowledge of its own physical form. The robot then experimented by sending random signals to its motors, and measured the effects of these on its sensors. From these relationships, it was able to create an accurate model of itself, and to devise its own creepy, slithering gait. When robots are equipped to learn and adapt, there’s no telling where they might end up. Probably looking like 6’2” Austrian bodybuilders...

Niall Hill Image courtesy of Boston Dynamics

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SCIENCE TOXOPLASMA GONDII THE SEXY PARASITE

Everybody has a promiscuous friend, but don’t blame them for their polygamous ways – they may just be harbouring a parasite. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite of domestic cats, which is also thought to affect 40% of humans, and is often transmitted by accidental consumption of eggs found in cats’ faeces. It causes the disease toxoplasmosis, which has flu-like symptoms and in severe cases can cause organ damage. These are some of the parasite’s least attractive features, but research indicates that the disease caused by the parasite can have some interesting effects on human behaviour. Researchers in the Czech Republic have found that female sufferers of the disease can have a variety of behavioural changes, including higher intelligence, increased confidence and higher sexual promiscuity. There is also evidence that women carrying the parasite are considered more attractive by the opposite sex. By contrast, male sufferers show increased jealousy, shorter attention spans, lower IQ scores and tend to be more inclined to take risks. They also

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appear to be less attractive to women than non-sufferers. These behavioural traits may seem a little whimsical, but are supported by research in other animals. Mice suffering from toxoplasmosis are also more likely to take risks which could lead to them being eaten by cats; this would be beneficial to the parasite, enabling it to parasitize its main host, the cat. Similarly, a sexually promiscuous woman has an increased chance of pregnancy and therefore transmission of the parasite to the next generation. Toxoplasmosis has also been linked to the increased occurrence of schizophrenia, and the increased risk of traffic accidents. Research concerning the effects on human behaviour is on-going so we can only await news of more bizarre side effects.

Stephanie Harris

CLUB MED – BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT… GYNAECOLOGY I launched into gynaecology, the study of the female reproductive system. The week started off on a somber note as I witnessed the breaking of bad news firsthand; a lady was told that she had cancer affecting the womb lining and would need to have her womb removed in a life-saving operation called a hysterectomy. The ancient Greeks believed this operation to be a cure for hysteria, a phenomenon affecting women and supposedly caused by a disturbed womb. The 19th century brought a more modern and less radical approach to the problem - stimulation of the genitals. Vibrators were dished out like lollipops and in homes before most of today’s household items. An afternoon in the genitourinary medicine clinic proved to be most revealing. I was surprised at how open the traditionally stiff upper-lipped English were in talking about sex. I spoke to a range of people and had wondered whether I might bump into anyone I knew, but was thankfully spared any awkward moment. Just an afternoon was enough to hammer home the message of safe sex, after seeing the less than appetising results of a moment of heated passion or a parting gift from an ex. I sat through one particularly funny consultation about contraception; Where I discovered the delights of the female condom – the Femydom. An effective method of contraception because as well as acting as a barrier method, it also has the ability to utterly decimate a moment of passion before you can say ‘foreplay’. My year in the hospital has taken me across the spectrum from newborn babies to end of life care.With only a year of medical school left, the end is now in sight; I still feel a world away from being a Doctor but definitely a step closer…

Bethany Moos Impact Science Columnist


FOOD

EATING THE RAINBOW Summer is here. For most of us, it means essay deadlines in modules you can’t remember and long spells of imprisoning yourself in Hallward, but also (more positively) Kopperbergs in the sun surrounded by your best pals. But this stress takes its toll, and when you start looking so tired and haggard from said drinking and selfimprisonment that children cry when they see your withered face, it is time to take action. It is easy to neglect taking care of your body at this time of the year, but it is important to protect your skin against the elements as best you can. One of the simplest ways to do so is by looking after your body from the inside out.   It is time to eat yourself beautiful, or you know, eat yourself average-looking-but-withgreat-skin.

BLUE: The king of all super foods, the blueberry is high in antioxidants such as vitamins C and A, and is said to aid digestion and help relieve bowel problems. These little beauties are perfect for eating as snacks on their own or throwing into pancakes, cakes or muesli for delicious bursts of fruity sweetness. You can even cook them as an accompaniment to your barbecue, as they have even been found to fight off the carcinogens that come from grilling meat.

ORANGE: Peppers are not only tasty but rich in health properties as well. They are typically high in vitamin C,

something that is needed to support the renewal of collagen in the skin and fight against the damaging effects of sun exposure. Eat raw or fried with onions and chilli!

RED: Tomatoes are truly amazing (and so mysterious too. Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? Oh, the intrigue!). Scientific study has found that not only do tomatoes boost our skin’s natural defences against harmful UV rays, but they also lower cholesterol and contain antioxidants that are known to fight cancer-causing free radicals.

YELLOW: Omega-3 Fish oils. You might not be rushing to grab your wallet right now, but fish oils are renowned for their anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties, which are essential in maintaining healthy, beautiful skin. Take two to three capsules a day with food for glowing skin, or alternatively, just eat oily fish like sardines and tuna a few times a week.

GREEN: Broccoli. Dark, leafy greens such as broccoli, watercress and pak choi are full of minerals and vitamins that nourish and replenish dehydrated skin cells. They are also a powerful source of iron, a mineral needed to carry oxygen around the body and promote the growth of blood cells. Eat a little portion with everything!

BROWN: In normal circumstances, brown would hardly be a source of joy, but it truly is a wonderful thing in this case, as this colour stands for cocoa! This powder has antioxidant properties that sweep away cancercausing particles and it has even been discovered to play a role in protecting the skin from sun damage.

WHITISH: Even more tenuous than brown, this next group technically doesn’t even have a colour equivalent (you don’t get many ‘monosaturated fat’ paint samples in B&Q) but it still deserves a mention. Healthy fats are still an essential and crucial part of getting radiant skin, with the best sources of this found in olive oil, walnuts, almonds and avocados, all full of the fats that keep your skin elastic and supple. They do this by protecting the fatty layer around your skin cells, which in turn keep the skin moisturized and fresh. So go forth and eat as much seasonal, brightly coloured things as you can and drink at least 10 glasses of water a day. This is a great way of combating an otherwise horrifically hedonistic lifestyle so eat what is fresh, eat what is available and eat what is delicious. Remember, healthy is beautiful!

Phoebe Harkin

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FOOD

THE LAST SUPPER WHAT YOU’LL NEED…

4 Chicken Legs (or one per person if there are more than four of you) A Few Cloves of Garlic 1 Lemon 1kg Baby New Potatoes Selection of Salad Leaves Peppers Cherry Tomatoes Spring Onions Olive Oil Wholegrain Mustard It’s the end of the university year for us all, and for some, the final year where you step out into the world after working incredibly hard (or just managing to drag yourself to lectures and exams) for the past few months. Whether you are returning next year or not, friends will be scattering across the country or the world, and this may be the last time you see these friends for a while. So before saying those teary farewells, why not have one last get-together with some great food and even better company? This dish is great for sharing and is perfect to cook when you don’t want to spend the whole night in the kitchen; the recipe serves four, but can easily be scaled up to serve more. Pre-heat an oven to 180 0, place the chicken legs in a roasting tray skin side up and season with salt and

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Elise Silsby crushed black pepper. Now grate the zest of the lemon over the chicken; this gives it a lovely fresh taste, then cover with tinfoil and place in the oven for around 45 minutes, removing the foil after 30 minutes to allow the skin to crisp up. While the chicken is cooking, boil the potatoes until a knife can be easily pushed through them; it’s best to do this with the larger potatoes as these take the longest to cook. When they are done, drain the water from the pan; add a knob of butter and the sprig of mint to the potatoes and cover until you are ready to serve. Finally, prepare the salad by using a mix of different leaves, chopped peppers, cherry tomatoes, and finely chopped spring onions. For the dressing, squeeze the juice from the lemon, mix the juice and olive oil, one part lemon juice to three parts olive oil, then add a tablespoon of

wholegrain mustard and a pinch of salt. Give the dressing a good mix. I make mine in an old empty jam jar so I can put the lid on and shake it; this way, if there is any leftover, it can be saved. Just before serving, toss the salad in the dressing, and serve the potatoes, salad, and chicken on a big plate for everyone to dig into. Enjoy!

Miles Harrison


IMPACTNOTTINGHAM.COM/FOOD

SALT OF THE EARTH The fundamentals of food are constantly changing from useful to useless. Take oil, which managed to morph from vegetable oil to olive oil, to truffle oil, to rapeseed oil. This is irritating, but pales in significance when compared to the troubles faced by salt. Salt is undeniably important (as in sodium chloride, not the Angelina Jolie film). It has been used as a currency for the Roman army; indeed, the word salary comes from the Latin salarium meaning ‘salt pay’. It has been used to preserve food for thousands of years. More than two hundred million tonnes of it are produced every year. A small amount of it is essential for human life, and too much of the stuff can kill you. On a more prosaic level, it makes chips amazing.

victim. New fashions such as this aren’t usually of great influence, and it is not surprising that gourmet delicatessens and the like will gleefully part you from your cash for an ounce of sea salt in a twee, little hessian bag. There are even dedicated gourmet salt companies such as the Maldon Salt Company, which is the official purveyor of salt to the Queen no less. However, now it seems the salt fetish has gone mainstream. Lindt, as we all know, makes delicious chocolate: it’s just smooth Lindor choccies, and those gold

There is a problem though. The fickle, ever-morphing world of the food fad has claimed salt as its latest

bunnies with the little golden bells, yes? No. They make a bar of chocolate with actual lumps of salt in it. Why would they possibly do that? It’s like buying an exquisite Picasso painting and going to town on it with a biro. It doesn’t stop there either, as Waitrose is stocking Heston Blumenthal branded salt at a

fiver a jar, in oak-smoked and vanilla flavour. I can’t even decide whether vanilla salt is designed to be applied to sweet or savoury food: either you will be bringing essence of seawater to your cupcakes, or adding a touch of vanilla to pork chops. I’m not happy about this at all. I hope that the salt bubble will burst in the same way as truffle oil and liquid nitrogen. However, I worry that salt might become the new olive oil, and the so-called food buffs will snort in derision if anyone tries to season their food with something as lowly as table salt. Also, where does this end? If salt is becoming gentrified, does this mean the next big thing will be single estate pepper? Maybe artisan sugar will be born, or barrelaged ketchup, or triple distilled custard? Possibly I’ve exaggerated, but hopefully you see my point: it’s not that I’m against good quality food, far from it in fact, but I think that culinary basics such as salt should remain, well, basic. Pass the Saxa.

William Robertson

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GRATIS

ARE YOU SUR-REAL?! GOD-AWFUL LYRICS

Have you ever sat down for your morning cereal, tuned in to your transistor radio (that’s what the kids are using these days, right?) for your ears to be graced with a harmonic recital of The Prodig y’s “Smack my bitch up, smack my bitch up”? Ever braved ‘shuffle’ on your iPod whilst on the exercise bike to be fittingly greeted with a rendition of Limp Bizkit’s “Keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…”? Using this as inspiration, here is a rundown of some of our generation’s most godawful, ear-splitting, cringe-worthy, ‘How-did-your-mother-not-disownyou-after-hearing-that’ lyrics for your perusal. Tonight’s going to be a good night. Tonight’s going to be a good, good night. Tonight’s entertainment will be provided for you by The Black Eyed Peas. They guarantee that you’ll paint towns, burn the roof, go out and smash it like, oh my God, and you’ll also be jumping off various sofas. They would also just like to reiterate that it IS going to be a good night. In fact, it’s going to be a good, GOOD night. Just to reinforce. In case you weren’t sure. Not just good. But good, good. Post break-up sex that makes you forget your ex. What did you expect from postbreak up sex? Wise, wise (not quite ‘good, good’, but certainly ‘wise, wise’) words from The Vaccines. It’s almost philosophical; what does one expect from post breakup sex? A sense of enlightenment and self-awakening? Why am I trying to forget my ex? Is it some deep insecurity that stems from the oedipal complex I must possess? STOP THE PRESS! ‘Man deciphers meaning of life after finding link between post break-up sex and theory of relativity’. Thank

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you, The Vaccines! N.B. Does this band think that, in some alternative galaxy, the word ‘sex’ is an acceptable rhyme for the word ‘sex’? Yes, it does rhyme; but that’s because it’s actually the same word. I gave you my jacket for you to hold, told you to wear it ‘cos you felt cold. I think you’ve misunderstood the concept of chivalry somewhat, Craig David. You’re half-way there; you certainly offer a lady a garment when she’s feeling chilly, but making her hold your belongings so that you are carrying a lighter load is pretty much the antithesis of gentlemanliness. Did you not read my column about how to please a woman?! Why do I even bother? Lazy sod. Honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow. Honey got some boobies like, wow, oh, wow. Like ‘pow, pow, pow’? Shit, Usher. That girl really must be packing some booty. I’ve heard of girls having booties like ‘crash, bang, zap’, ‘boom, thud, woosh’ and ‘crack, whack, GRRR’ but NEVER ‘pow, pow, pow’. That’s some serious, mighty fine, comic-bookinspired ass. Wow, oh, wow. At least it rhymes, I guess. Unlike The Vaccines. Though, ‘boobies’? Really? Are you secretly a 14-year-old boy enduring hormonal frenzy having collaged too many glossy cut-outs of Jodie Marsh? Every time that we meet, I skip a heartbeat. Oh dear, Scouting for Girls. With that dire cliché, she’s more likely to skip several heartbeats and die from embarrassment-induced aneurysm on the spot. Similarly, you should probably stop throwing rocks at her window at 2am, weeping “YOU’RE SO LOVELY, YOU’RE SO LOVELY. DID I MENTION THAT YOU’RE LOVELY?!” Bit needy.

Move bitch, get out the way. Get out the way bitch, get out the way. Listen Ludacris, just because you’ve got a 4pm strategies meeting to get to and you’re stuck at the back of the queue in Lidl, it really doesn’t mean you’re entitled to just go around telling the bitch in front of you to get out the way. She’s got Philadelphia light, spaghetti hoops and chicken kievs to buy as well, you know. Really, very rude. Rude, rude, one might say. Did you not read my column on politeness?! I’m clearly not appealing to my target audience of celebrity rappers and song-writers. I could go on for hours analysing Rebecca Black, Justin Bieber and countless others, but I suddenly remembered that I need to go do my degree. This has been my final (slightly extended) sarcastic rant, so I hope that you’ve enjoyed my ramblings and I wish my successor the best of luck in filling my sardonic little shoes. Adieu!

Sarah Dawood


IMPACTNOTTINGHAM.COM

EDITORIAL TEAM THANKS

EDITORIAL

SECTIONS

Editor-in-chief Eric John Editor Sarah Dawood Associate Editor Victoria Urquhart

Managing Editor Daniel Gadher Associate Managing Editor Antonia Paget PR, Distribution & Social Secretaries Deborah Murtha Nicola Murray Advertising Manager Oliver Elia

News Editors Fiona Crosby Daniel Fine Helen Trimm Sports Editors Jake Batty Matt Williams Features Editors Settit Beyene Samantha Owen Oscar Williams Film&TV Editors Tom Grater James McAndrew Style Editors Hannah Donald Emma-Jane Steele

DESIGN & IMAGES

CONTRIBUTORS

Design Editors Elise Silsby Luke Taylor Image Editors Emma Charalambous Troy Edige Helen Miller

Rob Moher, Caroline Lowman, Suzi Collins, Emily Metcalf, Jessica Roseblade, Emily Tripp, Joshua Cheetham, Will Cook, Phil Bowyer, Stephen Lovejoy, Hannah Coleman, Priyal Dadhania, Hannah Pupkewitz, Ramsha Jamal, Laura Curtis, Jessica Farrugia Sharples, Hugo Trace, Stephanie Harris, Ben James, Cara McGoogan, Eddy Haynes, David Bruce, Tuhin Chowdhury, Jack Singleton, Claire Tole-Moir, Helena Murphy, Richard Collett, Sarah Hughes, Hannah Johnson, Emily Shackleton, Harry Chapman, Nadia Amico, Charlotte Hopson, Lisa Neiss, Niall Hill, Phoebe Harkin

MANAGEMENT

WEBSITE Web Editor Ben McCabe Associate Web Editor Divya Bhatia Associate Website Editor Izzy Scrimshire Website Developer Matt Styles

Art Editors Rosie English Melanie Solomon Travel Editors Claudia Baxter Ellis Schindler Music Editors Jack Gilbert Rebecca Hutter Science Editors Daniel Anderson Bonnie Brown Food Editors Miles Harrison William Robertson

COVER DESIGN Eric John, Luke Taylor, Kate Whleeler Published by The University of Nottingham Students’ Union

To Kate Wheeler for her assistance with the front cover artwork.

CONGRATULATIONS To the new Editorial Team, best of luck next year! To all those finishing their degrees this year. Well done and good luck for the future!

CONTACT Please contact us via email, at magazine@impactnottingham.com. Impact Magazine Portland Building University Park University of Nottingham Nottingham, NG7 2RD Tel: 0115 8468716 Email:

chief@impactnottingham.com editor@impactnottingham.com managingeditor@impactnottingham.com website@impactnottingham.com features@impactnottingham.com images@impactnottingham.com design@impactnottingham.com news@impactnottingham.com sports@impactnottingham.com style@impactnottingham.com arts@impactnottingham.com travel@impactnottingham.com food@impactnottingham.com music@impactnottingham.com science@impactnottingham.com film@impactnottingham.com prdistribution@impactnottingham.com

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Long hot summer? Some things are out of your hands. Your future isn’t.

Graduate and Undergraduate programmes are open for applications on July 1st. At Ernst & Young we know your natural strengths can get you further, faster. We’ll help you identify, develop and use them to achieve your full potential. We have graduate and undergraduate opportunities available now in Advisory, Assurance, Corporate Finance and Tax. Find out more and apply at

www.ey.com/uk/careers

© Ernst & Young 2012. Ernst & Young is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. The UK firm Ernst & Young LLP is a limited liability partnership and a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.


Impact Magazine - Issue 217 - June