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18th May 2012.
kent strong in league tables
Matt Gilley Newspaper News Editor ON 24th April the Complete University Guide published its league table for 2013, ranking the University of Kent 33rd out of 116 Universities across the UK. The CUG uses data on nine categories including entry standards, student satisfaction, research assessment and graduate prospects to calculate an overall score for universities. High scores in student satisfaction and graduate prospects, particularly welcome in the current uncertain jobs market, led to the university’s strong performance, one place higher than last year. UKC’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Julia M. Goodfellow
said of the result: “Kent’s positioning within the 2013 table is welcome news, particularly during such a challenging period for the higher education sector. I am pleased that our strengths in research, and student experience and employability have been acknowledged.” As well as the good overall score, a number of specific subjects were ranked even higher. Five subjects were placed in the top ten: American Studies; Art & Design; Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism (which ranked fourth); Social Policy and Social Work. Ten others were in the top twenty, including Anthropology, Mathematics and Economics, which saw a big improvement from 24th last year to 15th.
Although league tables are not the last word on the quality of universities, they are used by many prospective students in making their applications. There is some criticism of the system as universities will deliberately take only higher achieving students in order to move up the tables. Admissions are also set to be shaken up by government proposals, to be implemented in 2013, allowing English universities to take unlimited numbers of students who achieve ABB in their Alevels, down from AAB in 2012. In an effort to encourage universities with lower fees, this year 20,000 places for students below the AAB threshold were stripped from those institutions charging more
than £7,500 and auctioned off amongst the rest. That will be extended in 2013 with an additional 5,000 places for universities charging less than £8,250. How these changes will affect university admissions and league tables remains to be seen. Elsewhere in the CUG league table the top four universities remained the same, with Cambridge first, the London School of Economics rising to second, Oxford third and Imperial College London fourth. Bolton, East London and London Metropolitan were the three lowest ranked universities. Canterbury Christ Church also had a good performance, rising from 100th to 87th with good graduate prospects.
News Editor’s Note Hello! Welcome to the first issue of InQuire with a completely new team. I’d just like to start off by saying a big thank you to the old team for all your help in putting this together. It probably wouldn’t look this good without you. Though this issue may look familiar to you, we’ve got a lot of exciting changes in store for the new academic year, so make sure you grab a copy of the paper and check online regularly to keep up to date on student news and see the developments in UKC student media. Enjoy the issue! Pamela.
9/11 plotters on trial
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Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other defendants pictured in prayer during trials at Guantanamo Bay. Amelia Cox JUST a few days after the one year anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death, the trial of five Guantanamo Bay detainees suspected of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks got off to a chaotic start. The opening of the military tribunal was marked by one of the men, Walid bin Attash, entering the court restrained to a chair after originally refusing to attend the hearing. Later on the proceedings would be interrupted by a second defendant claiming the Americans would kill him before the end of the trial. All five of the men refused to answer questions. Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ali Abd al-
Aziz Ali, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, Walid bin Attash and the ‘mastermind’ behind the operation, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, are charged with 2,976 counts of murder as well as hijacking and terrorism. All charges may carry the death sentence. Barack Obama’s attempt to hand the case over to a civilian court in New York was quickly reversed after both fierce political and public opposition in 2009. However, there is still controversy with regards to the way prisoners are treated and how the trial system is run in Guantanamo, a US naval detainment camp located in Cuba. It is due to this question of legitimacy that the five men’s law-
yers repeatedly challenged the court on Saturday, 5th May. Mohammed’s lawyer emphasised issues of torture attached to Guantanamo’s reputation after the CIA admitted to waterboarding his defendant 183 times. Another member of the defence, James Connell, referred to the court as a "blight on America's international reputation and her commitment to the rule of law." In 2008, at an earlier arraignment hearing, Mohammed had tried to plead guilty, hoping to be sentenced to death and made a martyr. This trial was thrown out of the court by the US Supreme Court as the suspect’s rights became cause for concern, but this weekend all five accused chose
not to plea. If the men continue to obstruct the trial, a plea of not guilty will be entered for them. The chief military prosecutor, Brigadier General Mark Martins, is keen to prove Guantanamo is capable of a fair and just trial, claiming that "this is a system worthy of the nation's confidence." However, as an Arabic translator was introduced to the court after the defendants refused to wear earphones which would allow them to follow proceedings, James Connell believed the tribunal would take years to conclude. “I can't imagine any scenario where this thing gets wrapped up in six months” he announced.
ukip in shock kent victory Laurie MacDonald CONSERVATIVE council leader Bob Atwood has lost his Tunbridge Wells seat to the UKIP challenger Piers Wauchope, himself a former Tory councillor. Mr Atwood lost his seat by only 46 votes, 487 to the Conservatives with UKIP gaining 533 in the Rusthall ward. Labour gained one seat from the Conservatives and independent Mike Tomsett also beat his incumbent Tory opposite. Finally, the Lib Dem’s gained a seat as Tory Councillor Brian Ramsley lost his seat in Capel. This comes as a major shock for the Conservatives as Royal Tunbridge Wells is part of the Tory heartland of the southeast, and is traditionally seen as a Tory stronghold. The poor performance of the Conservatives in such a normally strong areas may indicate a lack of confidence in both local and national government, the Tories and Lib Dems both suffered at the polls nationally two weeks ago, with the Lib Dem’s falling below 3,000 councillors for the first time since the party was formed in the 1980’s. After the results came in, Labour ex-Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott tweeted “The Lib-Dems have less than 3000 councillors for the first The full results were as follows: Conservatives: 37 seats Liberal Democrats: 5 seats Independent: 2 seats Turnout was 32%
time ever. Welcome to #ArmaCleggon”. Turnout was low nationally, with an average of 29% of voters turning out, down significantly from the 2010 election. House of Commons speaker John Bercow attributed the low turn out to a loss of faith in political parties, saying people “feel suspicious and even despairing” about the political system. The Conservatives have also come under fire from within their own party, with Tory back-bencher Nadine Dorries saying a combination of arrogance, privilege and bad manners mean that the Prime Minister and Chancellor could face a vote of no-confidence in the future if the situation does not improve. Those on the right of the party, as well as some Conservative backing newspapers have suggested the Tories need to move back towards traditional conservative policies and abandon proposals to legalise gay marriage and reform the House of Lords. Chancellor George Osborne has said that ministers should focus “100% on the economy and not get distracted by other issues.” He also insisted that the coalition would continue to push “socially progressive polices,” a key part of the Coalition agreement. Labour: 2 seats UKIP: 2 seats Green Party: 0 seats Source: http://democracy.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/mgElectionResults. aspx?ID=1&RPID=500517805
UKIP also has 12 MEPs including leader Nigel Farage (above).
tyler court evacuated after bomb threat email Joel Tennant AT 9:30am on Tuesday the 24th April, Tyler Court was evacuated following a bomb threat received via email. Despite early speculations linking the evacuation to an alarm originating in Tyler Court B, staff and students were soon made aware of the situation and were escorted into Rutherford College dining hall to wait for emergency services. Several police vehicles were seen in the grounds of the evacuated buildings dispersing police search teams and blocking all access to the areas while the threat was investigated. After two hours, emergency services left the premises having found no dangerous or suspicious devices. Staff and students were soon allowed back into the
buildings. Although the hoax was called during half-term and affected a comparatively small number of people, the consequences were felt by students that rely heavily on services that campus accommodation provides. Jonjo Brady, a First Year Law student who is dependent on a wheelchair for mobility, had to leave his room without time to pack necessities. “Luckily I had my carer Lizzy with me at the time, otherwise I would have been stranded and not had any way to deal with the situation.” With bomb threats also made last November in Canterbury, it is hoped that the event does not become regular once again.
boris johnson re-elected Mayor
Rex Ejimonyeabala Chairman
ON a night when the Conservative party suffered heavy losses across England, Scotland and Wales in council elections, the London mayoral elections proved that the Tories were able to maintain a feeble stronghold on a key seat in City Hall. Boris Johnson solidified his position as a prominent conservative politician by bucking the trend which saw the party lose council seats to Labour. Tory cabinet member Brian Ransley even lost his seat in Tunbridge Wells to Lib Dem candidate Hugh Patterson. In a closely fought campaign, Johnson needed the second preference vote to win by only a margin of 3% as he was unable to gain an outright 51% majority of voters. He was the only major success story for the Tories whose position was dealt a blow with public confidence low due to austerity cuts and a double dip recession. The Liberal Democrats also had a dis-
proportionately dismal two days, not only losing council seats around the country, but with the evident public distrust manifested in Brian Paddick’s slip to fourth in the Mayoral race behind The Green party’s Jenny Jones. It was a collectively miserable night for the coalition government which only complimented Labour leader, Ed Miliband’s directorship of the shadow party. Speaking on his loss, Labour candidate Ken Livingstone said, ‘I am truly sorry that I couldn’t pull this victory off’. His campaign, which focused on reducing transport fares and building affordable council homes, was predominantly eclipsed by revelations of his alleged income tax evasion. Johnson, on the other hand, plans to reduce council tax, increase police presence on the streets and create 200,000 jobs with transport and housing regeneration projects. The most pressing question rising from Johnson’s narrow victory lies in whether he can now deliver a successful Olympics and create the post-games legacy that has always been promised.
government consults on web filters Daniela Prataviera DAVID Cameron has given his support to the debate on the accessibility of online materials by publicly backing plans to have automatic filters installed by internet providers. This means that customers would be automatically provided with familyfriendly internet. They would be required to contact their service provider directly if they wanted to remove the filter to access any illicit materials. The PM is set to consult with industry insiders to gauge the possibility of such filters, after campaigns called for their widespread usage last year. This comes just a month after the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced that it would not pursue the idea, saying it went against civil liberty. Downing Street insiders have been quick to defend, stating that the PMs involvement shows that no ideas are off the table, but that the Coalition is keen to implement legislation that is both ethically justifiable and technically possible. Claire Perry MP - one of the principle Conservative politicians campaigning for these new blocks - told The Daily Mail Online: “I’m really pleased. Cautiously pleased. It shows that Number Ten and particularly David Cameron is taking this issue really seriously.” The biggest area of concern for the campaign is the ease of access to pornography by children. For several years, Internet Service Providers have offered
customers the option of family- friendly filters, but have been reluctant to introduce a mandatory block. It is regarded as an infringement of privacy, and many argue that it is the individuals responsibility to regulate their, and their family's, internet usage. The ISPA (Internet Service Provider Association), along with other industry insiders, have debated the technical practicalities of such measures. The blocks would be regulated by software and could potentially limit access to a host of everyday websites. One industry expert pointed out that, “without clear rules of what is illegal and what is not, even a manned system would have trouble knowing what to allow, let alone a computer programme.” The talks come after the High Court ruled that UK ISPs must block the Swedish file- sharing website, The Pirate Bay. The site was found guilty of gross breaches of copyright and its four founders sentenced in April 2009. Despite this, the block has been dismissed as “pointless”, as it can easily be circumvented using proxy servers by determined users. “The essential problem lies in the culture surrounding online porn and illegal downloads; we don't think of it as bad, so we'll just keep trying to do it.” More worryingly, some have judged the move as a potential step towards the strict censorship seen in Burma or China. One Twitter comment read, "UK ISP blocking of #piratebay is the beginning of the end - equivalent to China's censorship policy. What's next?"
double-dip recession announced
Mike Hunt BRITAIN is back in crisis. The economy contracted by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2012, following on from a 0.3% shrink at the end of 2011. Due to the length of time since the last downturn, the country has officially entered the first double-dip recession since 1975. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth; a double-dip means that Britain has not had enough time to recover economically from the recession of 2009 before ‘dip-
ping’ back into negative growth once again. This news follows a prediction by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in November 2011 claiming that we would see a reduction in the economy of 0.4%, putting us firmly back into recession. It has been blamed on a fall in construction output and lower than expected profits in manufacturing production. Chancellor George Osbourne said: "The one thing that would make the situation even worse would be to abandon our
credible plan and deliberately add more borrowing and even more debt." This comes in the wake of news that unemployment is set to continue rising for the next five years in most regions of the UK. The Centre for Economics and Business Research declared that the worst hit areas would be those heavily dependent on the public sector for jobs. The exceptions to this are the South East of England, the East, and London, where labour markets are expected to remain resilient. This recession is now the longest that
Britain has faced in recorded history. According to accounts from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, the progress made by the economy is actually slightly worse than the years following the Great Depression of 1929. While technically the recession might end almost immediately if there is growth through the next two quarters, rising unemployment and increased interest rates look set to stay, meaning that Britain will be facing the effects for a long time to come.
view from westminster hollande victorious
This month’s London mayoral race was much tighter than the last one in 2008, when Ken Livingstone was sitting mayor before Boris beat him on waves of anti-Labour public sentiment. Gordon Brown was PM then, so Ken didn’t really stand a chance. This time, the public mood was quite the opposite, with voters angry with the Tories and well, the less said about the Lib Dems the better - they tragically polled fewer votes than the Greens. They were even fortunate to beat independently standing Siobhan Benita, whoever she is. Labour, meanwhile, recorded huge gains in the council elections around the country, and were hopeful of claiming a win in London. Londoners it turns out though, while preferring Labour in general, still prefer Boris Johnson’s dynamic charisma to Ken Livingstone’s lack thereof. While Boris is known for his charm and silly hair, Ken is known for anti-Semitic comments and a rather unflattering topless photo. How the result of this election will affect national politics is yet to be seen, but it will give some comfort to the
Conservatives who had disastrous results in the council elections. It may also fuel the rumour that, following a Conservative defeat at the next election, Boris Johnson might run for leader of the party. While Boris was thought of by the political establishment as something of a joke for some time, his incredible likability has seen him become, quite possibly, the nation’s favourite politician. A loss in the mayoral contest would have no doubt provoked considerable controversy for David Cameron, with his leadership coming under fire recently and the press salivating at the thought of a Boris-led coup, but his victory will silence such suggestions for the time being.
in french election
James Rowen ON 6th May François Hollande was elected French president, winning a close victory to become the first socialist to take charge of the country since François Mitterand. With this role comes an enormous responsibility, not only because of the demands of the position. There are millions of people - internationally as well as in France - wanting change, after what they describe as the aggravations of the Sarkozy presidential reign. Some accuse Hollande of lacking charisma, but he still seems optimistic about the future, a quality lacking in Europe. Hollande faces many challenges, the main one being how to revive the Eurozone. He has already said that he’ll work to save Europe as well as France. He also needs to gain the trust of voters who may be slipping towards indifference. Two million reportedly cast blank ballots and Hollande won with one million less votes than Sarkozy had in 2007. This all comes at a critical time for the
EU. Austerity strategies have angered voters across Europe. Hollande faces a difficult decision: he can either follow German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s austerity model or make his own plans for the French economy. Hollande’s focus on investment in services and promoting growth may well clash with Merkel’s demands for cuts and deficit reduction. However, going against Merkel could cause him serious problems in European politics.
“no time for diversity” in sudan Ellen Kavanagh KONY 2012 has become one of the most prominent international aid campaigns of all time, however George Clooney’s message in the film was taken out of context. As with his protest and arrest in March, it was related to something quite different… “I’d like indicted war criminals to enjoy the same level of celebrity as me. That seems fair. That’s our objective, to just, shine a light on it,” says Clooney in the Kony video. This quotation was taken out of context though - he was actually talking about President Omar al-Bashir and the satellite sentinel project, which is shining a light on the atrocities taking place in Sudan. So far, there is no sleekly edited viral fronted by a cool dad to watch on YouTube, so the problem hasn’t gained much attention. Sudan has suffered decades of conflict, with civil wars claiming an estimate of 1.5 million lives. Equally destructive is the feud between the official religion, Islam, and minorities such as Animism and Christianity. Attempts have been made by the Government to impose Sharia law on the non-Arab, non-Muslim minorities despite its unpopularity. In mid-2011 the country split, creating an independent South Sudan. President al-Bashir initially came to power in 1989 and is now on the International Criminal Court’s list of ‘the world’s worst’. He faces two international arrest warrants for charges of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Despite this, he continues to travel around Africa, avoiding arrest. Also raging since the 80s is Sudan’s
“There will be no time to speak of diversity of culture and ethnicity,” President al-Bashir tells a crowd in 2009. continuing civil war, which has devastated the Nuba Mountains region. The people settled there are mostly Christians and black Africans; a minority fighting against the enforcement of an Arab Islamic regime. Completely intolerant of the minorities living within the Sudan, al-Bashir has declared that “There will be no time to speak of diversity of culture and ethnicity... Islam [will be] the official religion and Arabic the official language... we will force them back into the mountains and starve them.” Constant aerial attacks, initiated by the Sudanese government, have forced civilians from their homes and livelihoods to seek shelter from the bombing in the
Nuba Mountains. Vast numbers of men, women and children have fled to this area but have no way of sustaining themselves – they have no crops or cattle and international aid has been banned from entering the country. Starvation is not the only threat; disease is a real concern too. There is only one makeshift hospital to serve the thousands that have been displaced and there is a desperate lack of medical supplies. Under President Omar al-Bashir a manmade famine is being intentionally created in the Nuba Mountains. Clooney’s quotation, used in the Kony 2012 video refers to the satellite sentinel project; an idea that turns the world into paparazzi and the warlords into celebrities. A sat-
ellite, 300 miles in the sky, documents the bombing, looting and other crimes to bring them into the international consciousness. It will require more than YouTube views and Twitter comments to help the people in the Nuba Mountains. Nevertheless, Clooney’s sentinel project is a step in the right direction to creating international pressure on Sudan and President Bashir. Hopefully with this project, the gathering evidence and popular discussion, vital relief will reach the Nuba Mountains before it is too late. To see the project’s reports and satellite imagery, or to get involved, visit www.satsentinel.org.
armchair activism - the disposable nature of viral Pamela Head Newspaper Editor YOU’D have to be living under a rock to have missed Kony 2012. The 30 minute video sought to bring attention to Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, and the plight of the children he twisted into soldiers turned even the most politically unaware into staunch activists. Viewed 90 million times, it’s the very definition of a viral campaign for change. It looked promising. Yet the attempt on 20th April 2012,
to translate these tweets into flooded streets, failed abysmally. So, what went wrong? Well firstly, Kony and his forces have allegedly been absent from Uganda since 2006 and the country is in fact rebuilding, not suffering. Secondly, the main man behind the campaign, Jason Russell, was arrested for masturbating in public while drunk. It turned what was a serious issue into pure forum fodder. In the 21st century, the Internet is chiefly a source of amusement or distraction. Kony did tick the boxes for being
interesting in a “Have you seen this? I found it while avoiding an essay” kind of way, but the thing that ultimately drives anything into the viral stratosphere is whether it’s entertaining. A prime example of this would be the Rage Against the Machine for Christmas No. 1 crusade. Anything that annoys Simon Cowell is bound to get people interested. Just look at the love surrounding David Walliams. A campaign to knock his beloved show, the X Factor, off the number one spot would obviously have people racing to
the shops. Another driving force behind it is whether it affects us. The ‘We are the 99 per cent’ movement is something we can relate to. Originating from a Tumblr post in August 2011, we got up off the sofa and camped outside St. Paul’s because we ARE the 99 per cent! Essentially, a viral campaign translates to real action as a result of two things: whether it amuses us, and whether it involves us. If it doesn’t, it’s less ‘Cover the Night’ and more ‘Cover your Eyes’.
cheap imitations of past generations Beth Withers THE Coachella festival recently featured Tupac Shakur, who was tragically killed in a drive-by shooting in 1996. How is this possible? How is such a legendary rapper transcending death to perform with Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre? Through the advancement of technology and the production of so-called ‘holograms’ that imitate a physical appearance. According to MTV News, Tupac’s imitation was anything but cheap, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce. Luckily, The hologram was well received. Tupac’s mother, reportedly, was ‘absolutely thrilled’ with the performance and has no objections to her son’s return from the dead. There are even considerations for ‘him’ to join Snoop and Dre on tour, and talks have been sparked about ‘bringing back’ other dead artists for live shows. The hologram’s creators, AV Concepts, mentioned Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston as possible future projects. Something which is attracting the most positive feedback is the notion that fans can experience shows they may have missed, or see an artist from a past life perform live. In addition, management no longer needs to schedule transportation or deal with the petty demands of artists. They will merely appear for the performance and then disappear again; no more tantrums or drunken mishaps that cost thousands of pounds when tours and dates are cancelled. Mistakes will be minimised and, as a result, profits increased. However, does this mean that the humanity of live shows is lost? Taking the artist from the act makes it far more
about the money than it does the passion of live shows. Technology has advanced in such a way that we’re able to create a person from nothing, but should such advancements be celebrated? The following lyrics are from Numb/ Encore, a collaboration between Jay-Z and Linkin Park, detailing the irreplaceability of rappers. ‘Soon you gon' see you can't replace him, with cheap imitations for these generations! After me, there will be no more’ It would be interesting to see their take on this new threat to the music world. Rapper Wiz Khalifa has said that he is a bit uneasy about the idea. Based on my experience of festivals, I know for a fact that if they were using holograms then
I would not have dished out my money for tickets. The whole experience of live shows is based on the fact that your idol is standing on the stage before you, breathing in the very same air. Holograms are barely different to watching tributes to dead artists on television, so why should I pay more to stand in a crowded room and watch what is essentially the very same thing? In addition, it could be easily exploited. Relatives of the dead and gone could potentially cash in from a new source, and living artists could effectively be in two places at once. There is something disturbing, hollow and cold about using holograms to help successful artists defy death and it will be interesting to see how the issue further develops. For now, I suppose we shall just have to make do with reality.
Image by Jamie Ovens, Newspaper Comment Editor
osama bin gone-a-while Joel Tennant A little over a year ago, one of the world’s most hated Vloggers was permanently disconnected by Navy Seals in the middle of the night. With no cute cats or essence of humour in his videos, Osama bin Laden’s cave backdrop had grown tiresome over the last decade and the public began to look elsewhere for their threats. Instead of an Internet celebrity that could influence minds, this bearded extremist became a symbol of deluded evil. Like dodgy holiday souvenirs, some of bin Laden’s personal letters have recently been declassified by the US government to mark the anniversary of his death. In one letter from April 2011, he stresses the importance of “media outreach” in combatting the bad reputation the groups had developed over the years – something to do with him being the most wanted man on the planet. Presumably then, the entire thing would have been done with flashy title sequences, catchphrases and hilarious outtakes. So, what is the legacy that bin Laden left behind after his death? Well, apart from defaming modern Islam and fuelling sensationalist media, any message bin Laden tried to communicate to the world beyond “Death to the West” simply became satire. After al-Qaeda was blamed for the 9/11 atrocities in 2001, Osama allegedly spent most of his time playing literal hide and seek with his friends. When his uploads and ramblings finally ceased in May 2011, we could only assume that his location had been tagged on Facebook. - Barack Obama likes this.
left-out christians have been playing the victim Nic Macdonald A trend in the media in recent years has been the supposed sidelining and persecution of Christianity in the UK. You've probably read about it. The aspect of this issue that has received the most coverage lately is the alleged discrimination suffered by Christians in the workplace. A number of cases have been brought to employment tribunals in the last half-decade, the most famous of which made headlines in the Mail and the Telegraph and prompted public statements from Tony Blair and Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. It seems like serious business, until you look at some of the complaints raised, which include being required to officiate at civil partnership ceremonies and being rostered to work on Christmas Day or the Sabbath. Far from being responses to discrimination, these are demands
for religious privileges that would not be offered to non-believers or people of many other faiths. Marginally less ridiculous are the cases in which plaintiffs have complained that they are being prevented from wearing the cross openly, due to uniform regulations on visible jewellery. Surely this is a breach of their religious freedom? Well, no. These policies are represented in the employment contracts the plaintiffs voluntarily entered into. Legally, the employers in these cases are in the right, and this is shown by the cases' success rate: they have all been thrown out. It might not surprise you to learn that the funding for these cases is coming from faith-based organisations. Their interest is obvious: to gain political capital by strengthening the false narrative of Christian persecution in the UK. One area where Christianity is truly being sidelined is politics, which, despite be-
ing absolutely appropriate in a secular country, is a process the Church would like to slow or reverse. Harder to discern is the incentive for the plaintiffs raising the cases. This new interest in religious exhibition isn't the result of changes in uniform policies. The only thing that has changed is the rise in Christians demanding that they be allowed to wear their faith at work. Where has this come from? A theory: they feel compelled to 'outworship' those whose faith is more visible than their own, for fear of being seen as less devout. Most Christians practice a refined form of the religion in the UK, one that does not require them to go to church or to observe some of the more controversial passages in the Bible. Practitioners of some of the other faiths that have risen in profile in Britain often take a less compromising approach. Many of the
complaints raised in tribunals regarding uniform regulations stem from the leeway granted to people of other faiths to wear articles of clothing seen as requirements of their religions, such as the dastar or the hijab. If Sikhs and Muslims get special rights, why shouldn't Christians? It's not fair! The government's position on this matter is correct: as it is not a requirement of Christianity to wear the cross, it is not discriminatory to prevent Christians from doing so in the workplace. We can take this further still. Not only is such a display not required by their faith, it is discouraged. The plaintiffs in these cases would benefit from reading Matthew 6, verses 1-18, which address all manner of public acts of devotion. "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."
a conversation with stephen collis Judge for this year’s T. S. Eliot poetry competition and speaker at the Sounds New Festival, Stephen Collis talks to Jamie Ovens, Newspaper Comment Editor, about the importance of expression and the “wonderful things” produced by Kent students. I loved it, I thought it was really brilliant. I was quite drawn by the fact that there were 15 poets that were this good. I realized that there were 107 applicants so once you reduce that to 15, there are some pretty interesting pieces of work already, and a number there that I thought were really wonderful things. The five or six that rose to the top for me were all very different so I found myself thinking how do I choose? How do I pick, especially from those few that really stood out?
Stephen Collis, poet and critic.
YOU are known for being a successful poet in your own right, but today you are with us to judge the university’s annual T. S. Eliot poetry competition. What do you think of Eliot and how has he influenced your work? I wouldn’t place him in this prominent place in my sense of the poetry that’s really important to me but, at the same time, he’s kind of like background radiation. You can’t avoid him, he’s everywhere. I can say he’s not a poet I put in an important position, and yet that’s a lie at some level. Still, he’s fascinating, pragmatic and frustrating. His work becomes a cultural object you kind of want to hate but at the same time you are a bit obsessed with and drawn to, like a massive train wreck but in an incredibly fascinating way. Eliot also died in 1965, which is the year I was born, so maybe I’m his bastard offspring in some way and I’m just rebelling against my father. I think my attitude towards Eliot is very similar to that of American poet Robert Duncan, who is a very important poet for me. Duncan liked to write about poets and poetry; he’d name them and have conversations with them in some ways. At one point he’s making his list of important poets, and he said “but I have to admit, Eliot was there too”. He had to distance himself from Eliot; he was too official, too institutionalised. He wanted to be rebellious, as poets often do. What do you think of the poetry that Kent students have been producing, particularly that of Charlotte Geater, who you have named as the winner of this year’s competition?
I read them through a number of times, and the thing with Charlotte’s was that every time I read it I was always surprised. A title, a passage but also the overall texture and feel of it were surprising and fresh and made me start rethinking poetry again, which is always good! Like ahh that thing, how do you do that, why do you that? It seems to be going all over the damn place and yet it held together somehow. How’d she manage to rush all over the room and still get you somewhere? It has something to do with the attitude and tone that comes across in the poems that kept the reader on their toes and I enjoyed that. You have been described as a poet who is a “welcome philosophical divergence in popular culture.” What do you make of this?
Romanticism and confessional poetry has always been the paragon of that ‘what I’m going to do is open up and show you who I am’ personal expression. But in reality we are as much giving expression to the personal as we are to the collective, because that’s the world we live in. We are social animals and are constantly thinking in terms of some group, but in our western capitalist culture there is an emphasis on the individual. This is how the system works, where there is a downplay and suppression of collective expression. Except maybe at football matches it is okay for collectivity, or nationalism is ok for collectivity at some level, but maybe what’s not okay is ‘we as a group feel repressed by a situation and we want it changed’. I love using poetry as a way of channeling the collective voice. I love the pronoun ‘we’. People would see it as arrogant right, who are you, speaking on behalf of us? But if you tune your ears and think, it’s easy to give a sense of what a group of some kind is thinking and feeling at a certain moment. It’s important to do that, and poetry’s actually very good at it. It’s not so good at economic analysis, but it’s great at showing what it feels like to be economically repressed as a class, or to be marginalised as an ethnic group. There
are all sorts of collective effects that poetry’s great for dealing with. Have you achieved much collective expression through collaborative writing? Would you recommend it as something for Kent students to engage with? Yeah, I have. About a year ago I wrote a poem with about eight other writers and we would perform it. But as a younger writer starting out I wanted to avoid other writers at some level, and especially mentors or older men. I hated that. I didn’t wanna talk to them. There was some sort of real anxiety about them telling me I’m no good. You know, I want to do this, I’m going to do this, and I don’t want someone to say ‘you really suck’. You just gotta keep going, there are a million things to dissuade you from doing anything and a million reasons to stop. I don’t know what the trick is but you have to find a way to chuck it aside and ignore it, and do whatever it is you feel you need to do regardless of whatever people might say.
To read a review of the Sounds New Poetry Festival, check out www.InQuirelive.co.uk.
I think it’s surprising in some ways that I don’t think of my work as involving a lot of pop culture. It does, its there, but its not something that I’m focused on; it’s part of the atmosphere. I actually love that disjunction or disconnect of doing this very scholarly thing like quoting some ancient author or thinking through this idea that someone was obsessed with 2000 years ago, and having the noise and the atmosphere around you, which might involve Twitter or The Simpsons or whatever. I think that’s important. Pop culture stuff that winds up in my work is always just in the atmosphere I think, rather than trying to make a comment. But I’m very interested in what’s going on at this moment; what’s going on right now. As a part of the Sounds New festival, you discuss ‘collective expression’. What is the importance of this as opposed to personal expression?
T. S. Eliot, influential Modernist poet.
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Meet your new IQ 2012/13 team!...
Hi! As the new IQ Editor, I would like to say thank you to everyone that voted for me, and introduce you to your new team: Nat (Features) Chad (Entertainment) and Harriet (Culture). We look forward to giving you your fortnightly dose of IQ over the coming academic year. Thank you to the old team for everything they have done this year - yours will be hard shoes to fill! Chandni xx
Goodbye Jayna, IQ Editor 2011/12...
...Hello Chandni, IQ Editor 2012/13 Thank you to everyone that read and enjoyed IQ this year - it has been a great experience and your feedback has helped us to make it even better. I would also like to thank my amazing team for all their hard work and efforts. Olivia, Alyson and Anusha - you are all stars! Good Luck to the new team; you will be great! Jayna x
was the pottermore wait worth it? After over a year of waiting, JK Rowling’s online Harry Potter experience, Pottermore, has finally been released to the masses. Two writers - one a Hufflepuff and one a Ravenclaw - discuss whether the wait was worth it....
Lizzie Cosson Ever since the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997, every child, and pretty much every adult, has dreamt of going to Hogwarts; and now this is possible. With the public release of Pottermore, every user can experience the Harry Potter series like never before, yet many have been disappointed. Many fans have found that, to their dismay, once they have raced through The Philosopher’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets is locked and will not be released for several months. Pottermore is still full of exciting things to sink your teeth into however. From personalised wands, to being sorted into a Hogwarts house, users are placed right in the heart of the school; yet they are not made to do this alone. There are many opportunities to interact with fellow users, whom you can add as friends and exchange comments, opinions and even gifts with. This reveals that whilst initially disheartening, the decision to release the books separately slows down hurrying Potter fanatics and allows the social elements, as well as potion brewing and spell casting skills, to be further developed and interacted with. In addition to the social elements of Pottermore, JK Rowling provides something even more exciting; exclusive content. This ranges from background information on Professor McGonagall’s life, to the “Original Fourty” students that Rowling created, allowing you to delve deeper
into Harry’s world than ever before. For this reason, Pottermore feels almost like a new book in the series rather than merely an online experience. So, whilst many have been disappointed by Pottermore, it is clear that the choice to limit the accessibility of the books was made so that users had the opportunity to fully explore and indulge in aspects that would be otherwise stunted. It is clear that JK Rowling and Sony have worked extremely hard to produce this site, and it is by no means a disappointment. So if you wish to give potion brewing or spell casting a try, have a wander around Diagon Alley, or find out previously unknown facts about the Harry Potter series, sign up to Pottermore, and at last feel like you have received your welcome letter from Hogwarts. Just one word of warning; choose your username carefully, as you may well (like me) be stuck with a somewhat embarrassing one.
Jenny Laishley Disastrous disappointment awaits any Harry Potter fan who is yet to visit the Pottermore website. Even the ‘mudbloods’ who had early entry onto the beta testing site cannot progress beyond the first book. This is a website which is supposed to offer muggles experiencing post-Potter depression their ultimate childhood fantasy; to finally go to Hogwarts. The website however is incomplete, clearly reflecting the lack of effort placed into site’s development. The interactive experience does not fill its full potential and too many pages have nothing to do on them. One of the biggest disappointments is the Wizard’s Chess board; the pieces are supposed to be ‘totally barbaric’ but they only shudder a little bit. Any pages which do contain interactive elements are also either hard to navigate around or contain poor graphics. The potions game is the worst offender here, as no matter how many horned slugs you add to your mixture, if the website doesn’t acknowledge it, you are left with a ruined potion and a melted cauldron. One of the supposed benefits of the site is that it gives fans a forum to be creative and use their imaginations to add their own artwork to the site. Surely however, the artwork prevents the reader from imagining what each place looks like? On the surface it would appear that Pottermore is all about giving fans a new way to engage with each
other and with Hogwarts. Conveniently however, the launch of the site to the public also coincided with the launch of Harry Potter E-books. Clearly Pottermore is another JK Rowling publicity stunt, in an attempt to make more money through launching the books to the internet generation. The site however, contains many elements which children would struggle with, and for the older generation who will race through the books, the disappointment of the first instalment will make many fans unlikely to ever approach Pottermore again. Harry Potter should be left in the imaginations of generations; thus the interactive site is entirely unnecessary. A rather large patronus, Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter will not be enough to defeat this dementor-ridden website, so, fellow muggles, after having read all seven books and watched all eight films, is it about time we left the wizarding world behind us?
the hutch: restaurant review
Hanisha Sethi talks to the manager of the first licensed vegetarian restaurant in Canterbury, The Hutch, about the ideas behind the restaurant, dietary advice, and the opinions of meat-eaters... Hanisha Sethi If you are familiar with the City Centre, you will probably have seen a human-sized carrot wandering around the streets of Canterbury. Blink twice, and I can guarantee it will still be there! This is the symbol representing Canterbury’s first vegetarian restaurant, managed by Andrew Hutchinson.
Natalie Tipping Newspaper Features Editor Ingredients •6 carrots, grated •3-4 spring onions, both green and white parts, sliced •a handful of fresh coriander, chopped •2 large eggs, beaten •1 tbsp of plain flour •1 handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese (or alternative vegetarian cheese) •a few glugs of double cream •salt and freshly ground black pepper •a few good glugs of fruity olive oil
Walking along Palace Street, past Canterbury Cathedral and along the cobbled pavements, The Hutch has a charming location on one of the most iconic streets in the city. It’s a place I feel you stumble upon by chance, with the homely hanging baskets, and pale blue panels creating a sense of intrigue, inviting you into the restaurant. This is no ordinary eatery however. This restaurant primarily caters for the herbivores of our society. The vegetarians. According to the Food Standards Agency, their survey ‘Public attitudes to food issues in the UK’ (2009), show that 3% of the population are vegetarian, and 5% are partly vegetarian. I decided to find out why Andrew Hutchinson, the manager of The Hutch, chose to take on the challenge of catering to this niche target market, and how successful it has become since it opened in October 2011. As I open the door, Andrew greets me instantly, showing me to a table and offering me a drink. The interior is cosily arranged, giving off a sense of familiarity to its guests. As I arrived slightly early, Andrew is still serving and chatting to a couple of customers who came in for lunch, first-time diners, who appear just as comfortable and relaxed as regulars. After seeing the last of his guests leave, Andrew joins me at the table. “Mind if I eat my lunch?” He asks, smiling. “I’m passionate about The Hutch and making it work,” he confesses, ‘The idea at first was purely commercial, but after looking at the demographics of the area I thought I’d tackle a niche market.” As we are talking, I smell the nutmeg
carrot and coriander fritters
Preparation method and truffle oil from the spinach soup he is eating. “As well as catering for vegans and straight forward vegetarians, our dishes are also for people with strict dietary requirements, such as glutenfree diets”. Does the restaurant also encourage the inclusion of meat-eaters? “We are also looking to appeal to people’s partners who may not be vegetarian. We don’t want people to come to The Hutch feeling like they’ve given up something, or feeling reluctant to try the food” he explains. “We appreciate meat-eaters will be meat-eaters and we’re not trying to convert anybody! I want people to come back to The Hutch out of preference, after trying the food”. Starting a business can be a challenge for any entrepreneur. But starting a niche business for a vegetarian community has its own unique difficulties, with suppliers, marketing and business practices having to be carefully considered. “We source our food locally, and support local businesses where we can, and our food is freshly prepared every day”. Looking at the menu, the choices
are impressive with main dishes ranging from the manager’s favourite, the famous Macsween’s Haggis Wellington, to a Butternut squash, celeriac and stilton tart. “We wanted to aim at a more sophisticated market” Hutchinson explains. “Our head chef cooks a lasagna to die for, but we won’t put it on the menu because we want to step away from clichéd vegetarian food. It’s a real shame, because it’s a knock out dish!” he laughs. Being a student myself, I confess to Andrew, that this involves being on a tight budget, occasionally cutting back on pricey food items, and sometimes avoiding meat altogether. He nods in agreement and suggests an idea for dietary advice. “I’d recommend the magazine Vegetarian Living for good recipes and nutritional values of different food groups”. Does the restaurant also offer any student discount? I can’t resist asking. “Students don’t realise it’s 10% off. I normally have to force discount upon them!” He jokes. “Also if any diners grab a flier from one of our promotional carrots, it’s 10% off the standard price.” Whilst chatting to Andrew, he consistently conveys his passion for healthy eating, and his motives for his guests to have an enjoyable dining experience. “This year will be about establishing ourselves” he explains, “and at The Hutch, we’re all about the food’’. Visit: http://thehutchcanterbury.co.uk/ for opening times, menus and special promotions.
1.Grate the carrots in a food processor, then place into a large bowl with the spring onions and coriander (amount of coriander is to your preference) 2.Add in the eggs and the flour, which binds everything together, followed by the parmesan cheese (it will melt and again will help to hold the fritters together) and, finally some cream. 3.Stir well, seasoning to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 4.Before frying, you should squeeze some of the mixture together in your hands. This is to ensure that the mixture won’t fall apart when cooking. If from doing this test you think it will, add either a bit more flour, or a bit more beaten egg – but only enough to make the mixture stick! 5.Heat a large frying pan, add in the oil and form the mixture into thin fritters, so they will cook quickly. 6.Fry for 4-6 minutes until goldenbrown on both sides. Don’t mess with the fritters too much whilst they are frying, as this may make them break up. Inspired by Nigel Slater’s Recipe
reflections upon reading... After a year or more of having to read books prescribed by your course, it’s easy to feel a little deflated. Three literary InQuirers tell us about the books that brought them back from the brink this academic year. Review by James Rowen
Review by Lizzie Cosson
Review by Sam Reynolds
Alistair Cooke – Letters from America
Catharine Arnold - City of Sin
Carol Anshaw - Carry the One
My choice of holiday reading was quite accidental. I was pondering in the local library, as you do, and stumbled across the name of a man I had heard Stephen Fry discussing at the ‘Hay Sessions.’ Surely, I reasoned, something that Stephen Fry discussed would be an excellent distraction from revision. It was. I know what you’re thinking. “He’s over 60 words in and he hasn’t even told us the title!” But I always think a good background is key to a good story. And boy, could Alistair Cooke tell a story. In his anthology, Letters from America, he talks about a whole range of subjects from just after the war, when he became BBC America correspondent, through half a century to the Presidency of Bush Jr. and beyond. One article in particular struck me down. The subject? 9/11. The day the world changed. Cooke’s writing brought it to life in such a vivid way. No-one else could ever have reported it in the same way. I would suggest it as recommended reading for everyone. Cooke always seemed to be around, despite being in New York rather than buzzing round the White House. You get a sense of that, too. Like when he was in a hotel, waiting for Bobby Kennedy to walk through and greet him. And then, Bang bang. Shot down. Gone. That’s how he felt, and that feeling transcends through his pen and typewriter, through to the printed page in your hands. It’s magical. A man of consummate skill, Cooke’s work makes you see things in a different way. Even if you were there, even if you saw events unfolding on TV, he still makes you think differently. After all, that is what great writing is all about.
Usually, when we are told to read a historical book, we think of trudging through hundreds of dreary and dull facts, yet City of Sin: London and its Vices couldn’t be further from this. Historian Catharine Arnold, rather than boring us all to death, instead provides the history to London’s naughty, sexy underworld that is usually left out of the text books. London’s history has always been filled with intrigue, mystery and depravity, and it is upon this that Catharine Arnold focuses her attention. Ranging from raunchy Roman Londinium to the scandalous trials of Oscar Wilde, Arnold provides a deeply engaging review of London’s sexual history. However, this is not a book filled with unfounded tales or guess-work. Each chapter is littered with references to historical documents, such as Samuel Pepys’ Diary, and contemporary critical debate. Whilst historical accounts such as Peter Ackroyd’s London can be daunting and incomprehensible, City of Sin remains both compelling and accessible to readers. Arnold does not assume prior knowledge or a first-class degree in history; she merely asks for an interest. That is an interest to discover London’s naughty, and sometimes nasty, underworld of sex and sin. The chapters flow through the centuries of London’s past, like the murky waters of the Thames, illuminating dark and previously unearthed facts. Whilst full of information however, Arnold is by no means a neutral narrator; she very much provides opinions as she guides you through London’s various tainted passageways. England is generally regarded as a reserved and tight-lipped nation, yet Arnold opens the doors to the capital’s eccentric and rather depraved private life. From the hard-nosed Mother Needham and her whores to the wild Earl of Rochester, this book uncovers the lives of rich and poor alike, and reminds us just how base human desires can truly be. Arnold states, ‘If Paris is the city of love, then London is the city of lust’, and if you wish to discover just how London gained this infamous title, then you need only pick up this enticing, exhilarating and somewhat shocking book.
Last month, I was literally stranded in Honolulu. I can assure you it wasn’t as glamorous or exciting as it sounds, so much so, that I got to the point where I wondered why I’d forgotten to bring the books I need to read for my final English literature exams this term - or any book for that matter. So when I found this novel, I rejoiced, but more so because it sounded like a very interesting read. A receipt I found inside, dated the day before, confirmed my suspicion that it was a women’s novel, as the unlucky person who lost it (or perhaps left it) had just been on a shopping spree in Barnes & Noble completing it with copies of US Elle and Vogue. As it was a woman’s book, I wouldn’t have bought it myself (as no lad can do that), although admittedly, I do love a bit of girly literature and I’m sure I represent many a man when I say that. I’m glad I came across it, because male or female, gay or straight - this book has an enormous universal appeal. The novel follows Carmen, her sister Alice and their brother Nick, as they, over the years and in their own ways, deal with the aftermath of a car accident they were all involved in – which resulted in the death of a ten-year-old girl. Immediately enthralling, Carol Anshaw not only manages to display life and humanity in its entirety among the pages, but engulf the reader with her relatable, engaging characters. They’re so distinct and well-developed it’s easy to have favourites, but nonetheless they’re all worth caring about. Carry the One has a similar culturally adept time-span as Bret Easton Ellis’ cult classic Less Than Zero and its substandard sequel Imperial Bedrooms, but differs with consistent wit, warmth, and wonder.
raf simons new head of dior Following the firing of John Galliano, Dior have been without a permanent head for many months. Over the Easter Break, Galliano’s replacement was finally announced...
Rebecca Snowden As of the 9th April, 44 year old Belgian designer Raf Simons has been appointed the new artistic director of Dior, replacing the ostracised/disgraced John Galliano, who stood down last year following controversy. Some see Simons as taking over the ‘poisoned chalice’ left following Galliano’s departure. Galliano was fired from Dior in March of last year following antiSemitic remarks he made in a Parisian café, although he already had a history of anti-Semitism. There was over a year of speculation regarding who would take the role, as many designers feared taking over from Galliano due to the nature of his departure and, since February, there had been a buzz in the fashion world around whether Simons would take the role. Simons began his career in fashion in 1995, focusing on Menswear – his men’s fashion has been a consistent hit at Fashion Weeks and still features prominently on his website, www.rafsimons. com - before making a name for himself at the fashion-house, Jil Sander (he was fired in February to allow Sander herself to return). He had originally studied industrial design, which is reflected in his cleancut, minimalistic, asymmetrical designs. Simons has been a recent trendsetter
and his odd designs, – such as striped, plastic bag style handbags – use of garish colours and Arran printed knits have become cult and high street hits. Simons has been brought in to modernise Dior and his distinctive style will undoubtedly be reflected in the company’s next show at Paris Couture Week in July, in which he aims to utilise modern fashions whilst interpreting aspects of Dior’s original 1940s and 50s styles. Dior is one of the most prestigious fashion houses around. Dating back to the mid-20th Century, Christian Dior made a name for himself with his elegant couture design that was revolutionary at the time. Dior died suddenly in 1957, yet despite heading the label for only ten years, the House of Dior’s designs have stood the test of time and it remains one of the most iconic labels around.
Vogue Festival Natalie Tipping Newspaper Features Editor
Simons’ appointment at Dior will undoubtedly be popular, as he has already The first annual Vogue Festival proved to be so on social networking sites took place on the 20th and 21st such as Twitter, which went crazy followof April 2012 at the Royal Geoing his appointment.
graphical Society, near Kensington Gardens, London. Fashion The fashion world has gone wild with fans from around the world anticipation of Simons’ minimalistic designs, which will work well with Dior’s, flocked to the festival – the first making him the perfect candidate for of its kind in the UK – hoping to artistic control of the label, thus allowing catch a glimpse of some of their the growth of an already iconic brand. favourite fashion stars.
According to an official statement on the Dior website, Simons’ “style is precise, incisive, rigorous, architectural. In this sense, he connects with the tailored spirit of Christian Dior’s original collections.” It is evident that everyone at Dior is happy to have Simons on board.
The fans were not disappointed. The first day of the festival kicked off with Vogue UK Editor Alexandra Shulman being joined on stage by designer and creative director of Burberry, Christopher Kane. This was not the only superstar designer who joined Shulman over the course of the two-day event however – with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana making an appearance on the Friday afternoon, and designer and film-maker Tom Ford joining her on the Saturday.
Comparing him positively to Christian Dior himself, the brand states that Dior collected and was inspired by art and Simons does the same, which suggests a similarity needed in order to reflect the style of the label whilst making designs unique and new.
Other stars to appear included New York based designer Diane Von Furstenburg, and legendary photographer and subject of the recent BBC docu-film We’ll Take Manhattan, David Bailey. The festival was not entirely about the big-name stars however, with talks such as ‘Making it Happen’, in which three women who have built businesses from their home offices spoke about their experiences, and ‘Too Young, Too Old? Does Fashion Have an Age Limit?’, a discussion piece featuring the likes of the fashion editor for The Daily Telegraph, Lisa Armstrong, and Vogue Blogger and model Laura Bailey taking place as well. All in all, the event sounds like it was an extremely interesting two days of fashion heaven. Maybe if they organise the festival again next year I could blag a ticket....
Theatre & Film macbeth plays at the gulbenkian theatre Fed up with with the modern Shakespeare production? Alice Bryant, Website Entertainment Editor has the answer...
After the success of
barks at every given “...they choke out hair- opportunity. Sophie their last production, Brooke plays the part of Hamlet, Icarus raising screeches and Lady Macbeth as well as Theatre Collective guttural barks at every one of the wyrd sisters, presents a refreshingly and elements of both given opportunity” traditional production of characters can be seen Shakespeare’s ultimate as being inextricably and transforms into a tragedy - Macbeth. There entwined in her portrayal Scottish thane. The comic are no spectacular special of the blood thirsty queen. figure of the porter, babbling effects or striking costumes, Her large eyes stare fixed drunk, later becomes the and props are limited and in the audience, her fingers ghost of Banquo, caked in basic. A full, white moon curl into fists and her voice blood, with a fixed, demonic gazes ominously over the occasionally leaps into stare. The difference between darkness of the stage. hysteria. Lady Macbeth is the characters is both Something wicked this way just as sinister and unstable striking and disorientating. comes... as her ghoulish counterpart. The wyrd sisters present With a cast of only seven In turn, the audience’s the greatest performance in actors, swift character eyes occasionally become the play. Their movements transformations were drawn to the moon as it are alien and animalistic; necessary in order to keep is symbolically covered in unpredictable and macabre: the plot running. A cackling, blood. The wooden set of the they choke out hair-raising demented figure of a witch stage is ignited by streaks screeches and guttural throws off her russet cloak of blood that light up at key
“welcome to the hunger games” Kelyn Luther gives the Battle Royale-esque novel adaptation a much needed warning... does a good job of portraying a character that goes against the damsel-indistress stereotype of Bella Swan, the heroine of the Twilight series. Katniss is more concerned with survival than with yearning for the heart of a boy, and she’s pretty nifty with a bow-and-arrow, too. In fact, it is Peeta, the male contestant from her district, who is love-struck. Josh Hutchinson plays this part as the ordinary guy with the right balance of insecurity and goodheartedness.
The premise of the film, an adapta-
tion of the first book in Suzanne Collins’ bestselling Young Adult trilogy, is this: In a dystopia divided into twelve districts and run by the ‘Capitol’, each year a teenage boy and girl from each district is sent to fight to the death in a televised competition called The Hunger Games as punishment for a past rebellion. Critics have praised the film as being a comment on reality TV, or a potent warning of its effects, neither of which is really true. The film is more like a futuristic version of the gladiators of ancient Rome, and perhaps comments mon blood-lust rather than voting for
our least favourite house-guest. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen (pat on the back if you knew this was
“Katniss Everdeen goes against the damsel in distress stereotype of Bella Swan... she’s pretty nifty with a bowand-arrow, too.” an allusion to a Thomas Hardy character, Bathsheba Everdene) is the film’s heroine. As expected, Jennifer Lawrence
The problem with this film is that a lot of the world-building has been lost in translation. Instead of establishing the poverty of the districts, the film focuses on showing us the Capitol, where everyone is inexplicably dressed in gaudy, camp clothing. However, the portrayal of the rich is not particularly effective or interesting- the appeal of the novels lies in the poor. The film is very much a teenage filmit is suitably bloodless and looks like something you might do on a Scouts’ field trip- but once you have accepted the dilution, it’s a good adventure story. However, unless they can do a better job of portraying Panem in the sequels, the mileage is likely to run out.
intervals, and the thunderous boom of the sound effects adds to the most chilling scenes. However, on occasion the effects are either lacking or have a tendency to be slightly too loud and shrill; at one point the sound of a baby being murdered led me to wince a little, and not just for the obvious reasons. If you’re fed up with endless modern productions of Shakespeare that bear no resemblance to the original, then the Icarus Theatre Collective are certain to provide some relief. At 80 minutes, the play isn’t ruined by leg thrombosis (of the audience, that is), and provides a well-staged, fast paced theatre experience.
events spot May Highlights
Headhunters Fri 18th - Sun 20th Jeff Who Lives at Home Fri 18th - Mon 21st Marley - Fri 28th - Mon 28th Crave/Illusions - Sat 19th
Philharmonia Orchestra - Sat 26th Bugsy Malone - Tue 29th - Sat 2nd June
Live & Unsigned - 23rd, 30th, 6th June
EcoLoco - 19th, 10am - 12am
For more events please go to: http://www.inquirelive.co.uk/ entertainment
Games what to play this summer holiday
For most people the summer means barbeques and trips to the beach but, for me, it is just another chance to play video games for hours on end. With the long summer break ahead, Euan Anckorn has compiled a list of games, each of which should keep you going for quite some time. Dragon’s Dogma - Another new action-RPG for 2012. Capcom’s newest title will be a bit lighter on the roleplaying game elements than Reckoning, coming from the makers of Devil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil 4, the action will definitely be something to look forward to. The main focus of the game seems to be fighting a wide array of mythical creatures, including dragons, griffins and basilisks.
Diablo 3 - The anticipated dungeon crawler Diablo III will finally be released this May. After a twelve year gap since Diablo II, the game’s fans will soon be able to experience developer Blizzard’s latest offering. There will be an auction system where players will be able to trade items using real money. Those who play on consoles may want to hold off on getting the PC versions just yet, as Blizzard has confirmed that a console version is in the works.
Kingdom’s of Amaleur - The game, which was released back in February, combines the great role-playing of Bethesda and Bioware games with the action and combat of games like God of War. For those of you that enjoyed Skyrim and Mass Effect 3, this should sustain you whilst you wait for the release of their downloadable content. The game’s development was headed up by the Lead Designer of Morrowind and Oblivion from the Elder Scrolls series, and has received generally very good reviews from the video gaming press.
Far Cry 3 - The open world first person shooter returns to its traditional tropical island for the third game of the series, due for release at the beginning of September. Far Cry 3 looks set to grapple with the concept of madness, after a very political expedition in Far Cry 2. Once again, you will play as an unlucky fellow who is seemingly stranded in an area overrun with people who want to kill you. Check out www.InQuirelive.co.uk for more game reviews.
the rise of indie genius: what does it mean? Matt Jarvis believes in a better tomorrow, where you’re the ‘next big thing’...
‘Indie’ often conjures images of thickrim spectacled teenagers with unheard of haircuts jerking to Foals and chatting about Fearne Cotton.
but larger publishers have also released games after seeing the explosion of popularity.
It is one of those lexical constructions that, after its creation in the mid1980s, has become so diversified in the modern music scene under the oxymoronic ‘indie-pop’ that the original meaning is often lost in an overwhelming flood of Topman advertisements and snobby music fans who proclaim that indie is dead. While the term ‘indie’ may have become diluted in the music industry, that is not the only medium that is booming with indie-popularity. Videogames, movies and even card games are increasingly moving over to smaller development teams, and appealing to a smaller, more dedicated audience. One example of this is the Xbox Live Arcade, which has been around since 2004. As the years have progressed, the quality of independently-produced games has risen, spawning titles such as Geometry Wars, Castle Crashers and Limbo. The store existed to allow smaller studios to release on a budget
tendo’s WiiWare and iOS apps to gain enough success to release on multiple platforms and become commercially successful. This focus on games that are creatively risky due to a low investment cost has become increasingly popular as people turn away from copy-and-paste sequels in favour of cheap, innovative games. This popularity has spawned events such as the Independent Games Festival and the MolyJam, a 48-hour development worldwide to create games based on the tweets of @petermolydeux, a parody of Peter Molyneux, known for fathering Fable and Theme Park. Just as the social and economic changes of the 1980s catalysed a generation of innovators, the technological evolution of the 2000s is allowing anyone and everyone to show what they can do.
It has reached the point where many games are now download-only - a method previously only profitable enough to justify on the PC platform. The opportunity to produce games at a minimum cost has allowed titles such as the viral Minecraft, Sony’s Minis, Nin-
Sites such as YouTube, Tumblr and SoundCloud are nourishing the bedroom talent around the world and, as the recession ploughs on, anyone who can afford a laptop and an internet connection can afford to perform and create. The internet is full of new media to adore and be inspired by and, who knows, perhaps your creation will be the next big thing.
entertainment news Film
Anchorman 2 announced, filming begins in September(!) Ridley’s Scott’s Prometheus will be classified as a 15 in the UK Andre 3000 will play Jimi Hendrix in new biopic, Hendrix estate will have no affiliation with the project
Music Vampire Weekend working on new album Co-founder of the Beastie Boys Adam Yach (MCA) dies.
Assassins Creed 3 releases new trailers and videos GTA 5 set to be released in October 2012
Music the sounds new Music festival... sounds new Matt Gilley, Newspaper News Editor, reviews Powerplant at Sounds New, the contemporary arts festival...
The Augustine Hall, a space in the
‘death’?) until the final resounding ‘aggression’ rang out through the hall.
Christ Church University campus more suited to exams than live music, is not the ideal venue. All credit then must go to the Sounds New organisers and to Powerplant for putting on such an immersive performance within it. The main driving force of Powerplant, Joby Burgess, is a virtuosic contemporary percussionist, accompanied by filmmaker Kathy Hindes and electronic musician Matthew Fairclough. Fairclough’s drones, often sampled and manipulated from the live percussion, filled out spaces left by the room’s poor acoustics. Hindes’ visuals ranged from a poignant sequence of grainy stock industrial footage to a playful series of black-and-white horses, each one seemingly corresponding to a different drum. The evening was a little slow
After a haunting trio of pieces by Max de Wardener and Burgess coaxing unheard-of sounds out of maracas, the group finished on the concert’s highlight, “Import/Export” by Gabriel Prokofiev (the grandson of Sergei Prokofiev).
to start with. The first couple of pieces the group performed may have been technically impressive, but they were a little too cacophonous and cried out for a steady groove amongst all the chaos. Thankfully, the group soon took off with Graham Fitkin’s “Chain of Command”, comprised entirely of tiny samples cut
nneka: soul is heavy a first listen, ‘Soul is Heavy’ disguises itself as an un-politicised collection of songs about love. It is not until the love she expresses is identified as love for the people of her country, Nigeria, that the politicised nature of the album is realised. It is for this reason that ‘Soul is Heavy’ is so engaging.
hroughout time music has been used not only as a form of entertainment, but also as a means to bridge the gap between the sometimes distant nature of politics and everyday life. From the Vietnam protest songs of the sixties, to the emergence of punk alongside Thatcherism and the emotional response of artists worldwide to the atrocities of 9/11, history has shown us that music and politics will always have a turbulent relationship. In an age where political apathy is rife among the current, and possibly future, generation of voters, it becomes even more vital that music continues to convey ideas that encourage the apathetic to feel a greater sense of a connection with politics and current affairs. This is what Nneka achieves with her most recent album, ‘Soul is Heavy’. At
Like many musicians before her, Nneka is able to use her talent to communicate the pain and tribulation of a nation. Throughout the album, Nneka expresses the effect that capitalism, poverty and war has had on the people of Nigeria. With songs such as ‘V.I.P’ (Vagabonds in Power), ‘God knows why’ and ‘Lucifer (No doubt)’, there is little reason to believe that Nneka is shying away from expressing her message with the controversy and emotion that is needed to make an impact. At risk of endeavouring down the path of musical snobbery, this is a refreshing change from some of the manufactured music around today. The album I have so far described might seem akin to a political manifesto, but don’t let that put you off. Nneka’s passion for making a change in Nigeria is channelled into creating a collection of great songs that are not only thought-provoking, but - perhaps most importantly - great to listen to, making ‘Soul is Heavy’ a well recommended album.
from two George Bush speeches - one about Abu Ghraib and the other about the use of music as torture - played with a xylosynth and some looping layered into beats and snatches of melody. As the piece unfolded you were gradually able to work out more of the actual words (did he say ‘doubt’? Or ‘debt’? Or
Played on an oil drum, blue plastic bags, a wooden pallet and three bottles of Fanta, the piece was compelling just for its exploration of the tones that the instruments made. This was also when Powerplant achieved the best balance between solid rhythms and experimentation. Complete with Fairclough’s atmospheric electronics and Hindes’ narrative film, pieced together from stock footage, it was the perfect end to a fascinating evening.
ye albums of yesteryear: gil scott-heron & jamie xx we’re new here Kuba Shand-Baptiste
When I first caught wind of the upcoming release of Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX’s remix album We’re New Here last year, I was slightly apprehensive. Gil Scott-Heron, who is revered for his understated demeanour, powerful and resonant words and his jazz, folk and funk infused accompaniments was not someone I would readily pair with Indie Pop band member and, of recent years, solo electronic/dubstep producer Jamie XX. Fans of the XX and/or Jamie would feel the same way but, somehow, this album manages to defy the stylistic constraints of Gil and Jamie’s separate worlds, and stands on its own as a project which puts the best elements of both artists into play. The album opens with the track “I’m New Here” which begins with a stripped sample of Gil’s raspy voice uttering the lyrics (from the original song of the same title) “But I’m new here, will you show me around?” It is at this point that the listener recognises that this song is not simply the first on a list of songs with no direction or cohesive theme, but a gentle initiation into a musical realm that successfully incorpo-
rates the poetic techniques of Gil ScottHeron and the atmospheric production efforts of Jamie XX. The thrilling finale to the album, Take Care is arguably the most recognisable song on the album both as a single in its own right, and as featured on Drakes album of the same title. My Cloud, a mellow track with an experimental edge, is a perpetually swelling accompaniment with the welcoming grace of Gil’s gravelly vocals, was by far my favourite song on the album. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed We’re New Here and would recommend anyone, fans of Gil Scott-Heron or The XX. to give it a go.
fight for your right: adam yauch Patrick Verona
Darryl McDaniels of RUN-DMC even thought Yauch was an actor from stitch-up show Candid Camera when they first met, so unlikely a rapper was the young New Yorker, but he later conceded that the crowd loved them because they weren’t trying to be black rappers. They never pretended to be anything but the punk rock white boys they were.
If you’ve made it to university and have never climbed onto the furniture at a house party to yell “YOU GOTTA FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTAYYY!”, I’m pretty sure you’re doing something wrong. You don’t have to be a Beastie Boys fan to know that particular catchy refrain, and the sad death of founder Adam Yauch (better known as MCA) will no doubt spark a renewed interest in their music and its contribution to hip hop, punk and popular culture in general.
While the Beastie Boys had their fair share of macho party anthems, Yauch was also unusually politically enlightened. Some of his lyrics (cowritten with Adam ‘AdRock’ Horovitz and Mike ‘Mike D’ Diamond) seem radical even from a distance of almost twenty years; imagine a rapper in today’s often misogynostic, sexist hip hop world announcing “I wanna say a little something that’s long overdue / This disrespect to women has gotta be through”. Preach.
Being the first significant white rap group earned them their share of critical derision, proving hindsight to be a wonderful thing, but Yauch’s influence extended far beyond hit singles and sell-out shows. There are plenty of (usually dumb) jokes to be made about white rappers, but write off the importance of this unconventional pioneer at your peril.
Having converted to Buddhism in the early 1990s, Yauch was actively involved in the Free Tibet movement, and after 9/11 the band organised the
the modern art of protest Anusha Tabari
Oscar Wilde may have been a zealous advocate for aestheticism when declaring “Art for Art’s sake”, but the canon of activist artwork that is constantly used to inspire and pioneer a strong political message or to brand a cause is timeless. Buy a t-shirt, wear a wristband, purchase badges to show people you pledge to bring Kony to justice. Having the right image to promote your cause can be just as important as the cause itself. The impact Uncle Sam made when his direct gaze and pointing finger told American citizens, “I want YOU for US army”, appealed to their deep-rooted patriotism and was supremely popular based on the efficiency of the original British poster with Lord Kitchener. Alternatively the unpopularity of battles such as the Korean war created a counter-culture which bred art for a much different purpose and inspired bold, brave, often controversial artwork that instantly had connotations with its purpose. The non-profit website Art Cries Out aims to highlight international injustice by allowing artists to showcase their work. The homepage is accompanied by the fitting Pablo Picasso quote, “Painting is a means of war against the enemy”. Their online exhibition boasts some powerful pieces making a strong
commentary on modern world affairs. The Women, by Eleanor Gilpatrick, shows five women in the foreground and several figures in the background, all in burqas in the vast desert. Some are brandishing guns, some seem to be the target of them. One woman in the front is throwing her hands up in the air with a look of despair. One may speculate that Gilptrick is shining a light on the plight of the oppressed women of Iraq and Afghanistan. Oppressed by the regime of their country and also the turmoil and uncertainty of their lives with the presence of foreign soldiers.
has taken the Marxist revolutionary’s image, printed it on clothing and mass produced it for the Western world’s consumerist pleasure. Whether it’s a redundant parody or an ignorant trend, the communist has become a face of capitalism. Yes, that is the sound of Guevera spinning in his grave.
His film company Oscilloscope Laboratories was behind some of the most challenging and engaging independent cinema of recent years, including graffiti artist Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop and documentary Tell Them Anything You Want, about children’s author Maurice Sendak. Not your runof-the-mill celebrity activist, for sure. Most of all though, Yauch was part of a trio; only the third rap group to be inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and a band who were constantly ahead of the curve of 1990s pop music. They may be remembered primarily for one song, but their whole output is significant. Between redefining what was possible in the notoriously insular hip-hop arena, experimenting with remixing, and growing up while still retaining their sense of fun, Yauch and the Beastie Boys had a genuine impact, an influence on pop culture that cannot be underestimated.
this week in... 1967 18th May: The Beatles go global The Beatles featured in the first ever worldwide satellite broadcast, representing the UK. The broadcast showed the band recording a new song in the studio, for which John Lennon wrote future hit All You Need Is Love. 1969 22nd May: Bird’s eye view of the Moon from Apollo 10 A lunar module from Apollo 10 came within eight nautical miles of the Earth’s surface. The module, nicknamed ‘Snoopy’, made two sweeps over the landing site for Apollo 11 before returning to the main module, known as ‘Charlie Brown’. The mission succeeded in bringing back the best ever images of the Moon and Earth from space.
Around the world on the first of this month, people took to the streets for the annual May Day protests. From the V for Vendetta masks of Occupy London demonstrators, to Philippine labour union members who burned an effigy of President Benigno Aquino in protest at working conditions, people from all countries and walks of life are using their creativity to make their voices heard. Violence is always part of the equation, but from people’s passion for change come some of the most inspiring accidental artworks. Let’s not forget that the power of an emblem can detract from the cause. Even now I can’t help but smile at the comic irony every time I pass Che Guevera’s indomitable face emblazoned on a t-shirt. Popular culture
benefit concert New Yorkers Against Violence, to promote peaceful solutions to conflict in the Middle East.
1978 17nd May: Charlie Chaplin’s stolen body recovered
A May Day protester in Caracas, Venezuela
Charlie Chaplin died on Christmas Day 1977, and was interred in Vevey, Switzerland. In March 1978, in a turn worthy of one of his films, his grave was robbed by a group of Swiss mechanics attempting to extort money from his family. The robbers were eventually apprehended and the coffin returned on 17th May.
record store day: why vinyl? wax on Matthew Jarvis
On April 21st 2012, I travelled for over
an hour to a shop I had never heard of. Why? It was the only place within spitting distance that was participating in Record Store Day.
Record Store Day is annual celebration of vinyl that for five years has allowed participating stores to hold a sale of limited edition records for one day only. The selection of records is massive, including over 400 exclusives from modern bands such as Arctic Monkeys and Metronomy, as well as classic artists such as Bob
Marley and The Cure (for the full list see www.recordstoreday.co.uk). The availability of records is dependent on the store itself, as they cannot be purchased online. As I found returning empty-handed, nothing is guaranteed. However, the growing popularity of the celebration underlines a resurrection of interest in vinyl. In fact, the impossibility of purchasing the records apart from through in-store searching seems to embody the appeal of the format. One collector I spoke to stated: “I feel a physical sense of ownership that obviously I can’t even begin to feel with digital music.” This ritualistic sense of dedication to the music is something many others that I spoke to expressed about their interest in records. The feeling of “listening to records exactly as they were intended to be heard” was also suggested as one of the main draws of needle on wax as opposed to lines of code on a screen, with many audiophiles criticising the loss of quality in modern technology as opposed to combined vinyl and high-end equipment. This is a reason too why several homegrown DJs and artists have even replaced their digital mixing equipment with traditional decks and stacks of artwork, in order to produce the best sound they can.
My own interest in vinyl was sparked by the donation of a record player from a family friend, and a selection of old 7” and 10” discs (everything from Fleetwood Mac to Tijuana covers of The Beatles) from my grandfather caused me to begin exploring the format, intrigued by the rise of young adults who were chasing after budget players and forgotten classics in charity shops and pawnbrokers. This has led many to see vinyl as a ‘hipster trend’, a pretentious group of teens displaying affection for a dead format only in order to receive attention.
If Record Store Day has whet your appetite for records, here are some useful tips from vinyl junkie Tarquin Smythe. DO: • Look after your plastic. Get an anti-static brush or cloth, and keep your records away from damp and bright sunlight.
However, as I discovered through my experiences of gently wiping away dust with anti-static brushes, ensuring even my worthless discs are in pristine condition and lowering the needle, that with every crackle creates a unique experience.
• Learn the art of skimming through stacks of vinyl with your middle and forefinger. Once mastered you can skip past the inevitable charity shop hoard of Chris Rea LPs and get to the good stuff.
The revival of vinyl isn’t due to people wanting to turn away from what they think everyone else likes. It is a search to connect with similar people who really do care about music – and to keep alive what they see as the dying art of personalisation, increasingly threatened by a culture of one-hit wonders and manufactured predictability.
• Get to love second hand vinyl. Charity shops, eBay and second hand book stores are your new best friends. • Find your local independent record shop and make friends with the proprietor. These folks really know what they’re talking about.
my first gig: busted (2004) Laura Hunter
It’s March 2004 and I am 11 years old, filled with anticipation, standing outside Wembley Arena waiting to see Busted. Enjoying the thought that I am the envy of all my friends, I look around and everything seems big and exciting; the queue is full of people just like me, bouncing around and eager to go inside. Finally, after what seems like forever, the doors open and ticket held firmly in my hand, we edge forward. As we make our way into the arena we pass the merchandise stand, full of branded goodies just waiting to be snapped up. After some careful deliberation I walk away with a tie and badge, both of which I immediately put on, and I find myself becoming even more excited. Once we make it to our seats, which are on the arena floor and pretty close to the stage, the atmosphere is buzzing; huge screens on either side of the stage present a slideshow of adverts – one of which is for Busted’s latest single, and every time it flashes up the arena erupts with screams. The mood is a cocktail of anticipation, excitement and impatience, and as each minute passes you can feel everyone in the arena willing the house lights to go
out and the show to begin. When, at last, the moment comes and the lights go out, the whole place explodes with noise and flashing cameras. First on are boy band V, who entertain the crowd, but there is a definite sense of longing for the main act. Following V are a relatively new fourpiece band that go by the name of McFly. A few weeks before the release of their
“Live music can show talent and passion that an album cannot always capture” debut single they bounce around the stage with an infectious attitude. The pause between McFly and Busted is filled with suspense as everyone waits for the headliners to appear. They explode onto the stage, kicking off a hit-filled set list with ‘Air Hostess’, and I spend the entire gig standing on my chair, singing along to every song, completely caught up in the magic of the gig and the talent it took to create it.
Busted was the first of many gigs for me, and even though now it is more likely to be Blood Red Shoes or Two Door Cinema Club, the feelings are always the same: anticipation, excitement and awe. Live concerts can show talent and passion that an album cannot always capture, and ever since that first gig I have been a huge fan of live music.
DON’T: • Touch a vinyl record anywhere except the edge and the label in the middle • Be afraid of the unknown. Some of the best discoveries are to be found on obscure Bsides and foreign imports. • Try and become John Peel overnight! It takes years to build a record collection of that size (26,000 albums to be precise); take it slowly. • Get too fixated on rare records. Exclusivity is fun but the main thing is the music.
sundance lands in london Harriet Cash Newspaper Culture Editor
Gone were the obligatory snow boots
and puffa jackets, to be replaced by umbrellas and looks of mild confusion at the miserable English springtime. Not that it mattered, since the massed filmmakers and cinephiles would be spending the weekend in darkened cinemas, experiencing the best new indie fare. Over the last weekend of April, a pintsized version of Robert Redford’s legendary Sundance Festival upped sticks from its icy home of Park City, Utah and moved into the O2 in London. Since its inception in 1978, Sundance has been at the forefront of championing independent cinema, bringing films as diverse as Reservoir Dogs, Little Miss Sunshine and Saw to widespread attention. While Hollywood glitz has started to creep in over recent years, the focus is still on independent and low-budget cinema, with a new category for micro-budget films introduced in 2010. Although a peculiarly American institution, Redford said organisers were excited to “bring a particular slice of American culture to life in the inspired setting of the O2, and in this city of such
rich cultural history”. (Maybe he was just being nice, but I struggle to see how said venue is an inspired, or even mildly interesting - inside it’s more corporate homogeneity than indie cool). But, as Sundance’s Focus on Film campaign of the last few years has tried to reiterate, it’s all about the cinema.
“The focus is still on independent and low-budget cinema” This year’s London festival was a micro-sized offshoot of the Utah giant, and isn’t going to be competing with the BFI London festival any time soon. Still, it’s encouraging to see interest and excitement around indie cinema, and the desire to internationalise a cultural institution like Sundance.
with her and her American boyfriend. Top of my list for fiction film is Korean-American director So Yong Kim’s drama For Ellen, starring Paul Dano, about protagonist Joby’s journey to meet his estranged wife and complete their divorce. In the world of non-fiction, Finding North looks at the one in six Americans who regularly don’t have enough to eat, a shocking statistic about one of the world’s richest nations. Another documentary, Laura Greenfield’s anticipated The Queen of Versailles, follows billionaire David Siegel as his family attempts to build the largest home in America, while facing the effects of the financial crash. Siegel himself wasn’t keen on the portrayal, suing the Utah festival for $75,000 in damages.
So, what did the festival’s first British outing have to offer? Here’s my pick of the films I’ll be looking out for:
the art roundup Zelda Katz rounds up what’s been happening in the art world.
The Damien Hirst retrospective is under way at the Tate Modern, including iconic pieces from the last 20 years such as The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (that’s the formaldehyde shark to you and me). Helsinki’s City Board has voted against proposals to build a Guggenheim museum in the city. The Guggenheim Foundation noted the city’s lack of a significant contemporary art collection, but the project was rejected due to concerns about projected costs of €140million. This year’s Turner Prize shortlist has been announced, with a focus on video and performance art. The four nominees are Spartacus Chetwynd, Luke Fowler, Paul Noble and Elizabeth Price.
French actor-director Julie Delpy follows up 2 Days in Paris with 2 Days in New York (you’d never guess, I know), in which photographer Marion feels the cultural differences when her French family come to stay
marching to their own beat Jack Bridgewater
‘There is no Beat Generation, just a bunch of guys trying to get published.’ This is Allen Ginsberg’s response, in the film Howl, to suggestions that he was part of this cultural movement. Whether he really said this is beside the point, the sentiment remains true. The Beat Generation is one of the most famous literary movements of the twentieth century, but what is it exactly? The most famous works of the Beat Generation are Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl, William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. There are similarities in the themes of these books, but they are minimal and exaggerated for the sake of categorisation. Though they were writers, the Beat Generation were advocates of the many things that rock musicians are now associated with – drugs, promiscuity and self-indulgent lifestyles. Though this is a simplification of the personalities of the various writers associated with Beat, it serves as an explanation for why their unique literature remains so widely read. The ‘bunch of guys trying to get published’ have inspired a number of
films, but the last few years have seen a renewed interested in their lives and works. Howl was released two years ago, and another film based on Ginsberg’s life, Kill Your Darlings, starring Daniel Radcliffe, is set for 2013. This year sees
the release of two Kerouac adaptations, On The Road and Big Sur. Perhaps it is the wide-eyed enthusiasm and rebellious nature of the Beat move-
ment that is appealing to people in this modern world of big brands and mundane convenience. In reality, it’s probably a coincidence or an attempt to cash in. It is notable that Burroughs’ work has been excluded from the renewed interest in the Beat movement. Admittedly, Naked Lunch has already been adapted, but Burroughs, who was a heroin addict, wrote novels that were highly surreal, cynical and have a decidedly defeatist take on life. His musings would spoil the Beat revival party somewhat. Nevertheless, it is a positive and interesting phenomenon that these films are being made. The Beat Generation is a lazy term because there wasn’t really an overall statement or manifesto. It’s more their curiosity and willingness to deal with modern issues that sets them apart. They were cool in the fifties, and as long as being free-spirited is still cool, will remain so. Even without the lifestyle and jazz music that is synonymous with them and their work, the writing that came out of this group of writers was bold, brave, funny and will continue to be popular for a long time to come.
One of four versions of Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ has sold for $120million (about £74mil) at Sotheby’s in New York. The pastel on board from 1895 achieved the highest price ever paid at auction for an artwork. Arts Council England have launched The Space, an online platform for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, which accompanies the Olympic Games. Check out www.thespace.org for more info.
KENT FC END SEASON WITH LEAGUE AND CUP DOUBLE Danny Smith 1st Team Football Captain The 2011/12 season has been one to remember for Kent FC. All three teams have performed admirably, securing silverware which has meant that this is what we believe to be the most successful season in the history of the club. The second team finished a respectable 3rd in their British University and College Sport (BUCS) league and also managed to reach the semi-final of their Saturday cup. The third team replicated the second as they also managed a third place BUCS finish and a Saturday cup semifinal, but their best result was a thrilling penalty shootout win over bitter rivals Christchurch in their Varsity game. The first team also defeated our uncouth neighbours 2-1 in their Varsity fixture, a significant result not only as this was the first time that Kent 1st XI had won varsity in five years, but also as this was the result which secured an overall Kent Varsity victory. The first team made history by achieving the BUCS double, finishing top of division 2B (thus securing promotion to 1A) and also winning the South Eastern Conference Cup, brushing aside Sussex 1st XI 3-1 in the final. In BUCS competitions the first team were unbeaten, having played a total of 16 games, winning 13 and drawing 3. In their Saturday division the 1st XI reached two further cup finals, the Kent Air Ambulance In-
Photography courtesy of Sam Allard.
termediate Challenge Shield and the Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Challenge Cup. In the former Kent were harshly defeated in a penalty shoot-out by an opposition two leagues their senior, and the second cup final would also end in defeat, Kent succumbing to Metrogas 2-1. Despite the disappointment of the Saturday cup final defeats, the first team can look back with pride on a remarkable season, and with college elect still to come there is still one last chance for further success. These achievements did not go unno-
ticed. As first team captain, I was thrilled to win the Kent County Football League manager of the month for both April and December, an accomplishment never before realised by a Kent FC captain. As a club we were awarded the prestigious Club of the Year award at Colours Ball, despite facing stiff competition from Netball. Considering the perilous position of the club only a few years ago (the University considered cutting our funding) and the negative light in which football was viewed by both the University and oth-
er sports clubs, this is a commendable achievement and credit must go to chairman Matt Harris for his excellent stewardship of the club this year. Matt’s work was also rewarded this year when he was elected to be Kent Union’s Sports VP for next year, so congratulations to him. 2011/12 has been a long and difficult season for the club both on and off the field, but in both areas the players and committee have performed over and above expectation to witness the most successful season in the history of the club.
INTERVIEW WITH VP SPORTS ELECT MATT HARRIS Chris Wallis New Vice President of Sports, Matt Harris is a Law Post Graduate who’s been at Kent since he first arrived as a fresher. Matt played 1st team Football for a year before becoming Chairman of the University Football Club this season. As a member of the football team, what would you say to people suggesting that there may be potentia favouritism towards Kent FC? “I can see the logic in people’s thinking, given my position, but it is the football club that I will be looking to scrutinise the most. So I can definitely say that I am not about to agree to build a new football stadium, a 40 seater coach and hire Pep Guardiola just for the exclusivity of Kent FC!” With all of the issues surrounding initiations among University sports teams, what is your personal stance regarding the practice?
“I have been a part of initiations from both sides of the event and it is not something that I would look to banish; only to set limits so that the celebrations do not become as exuberant to warrant a danger to others. Initiations have been a well-known practice for centuries and are even dubbed a tradition. We are ultimately looking to protect the students and avoid initiations becoming a deterrent for new members joining.” Do you have any new ideas regarding the advertising of the various different sports at the University, specifically for the new class of freshers arriving in September? “I want to create a sports welcome pack that will be given to each flat or student house with information on EVERY sport club at the university.” Do you have any development plans regarding space for the University teams to practice on? “Unfortunately, the gym extension
will not be finalised until the summer of 2013. The most effective development in the short term is the tennis court coverings that can house the netball courts, badminton courts, basketball courts and an indoor pitch for the inter-college sides, giving more training time for more than just one club and freeing up the sports hall.” With the Netball 1st team becoming the first Kent team to reach the British University and College Sport Premiership, how will you be looking to maintain their top level status? “I would like to see those athletes competing at the top of BUCS having the opportunity to have similar access to Strength and Conditioning programmes that the scholars partake in as part of their scholarship. Logistically, I am fully aware that Kent Sport cannot fully support every player of a 1A team, nor can everyone become a scholar. Alas, there could be a compromise, even in the form of nutrition programmes and
gym programmes for athletes to follow.”
For Chris’ full interview with Matt, as well as more sporting news from around the University, visit: www.inquirelive.co.uk.
roy hodgson appointed new england manager George Hopkin Website Sport Editor Say this about Roy Hodgson: he has the experience and tactical knowledge to renovate the England team. It doesn’t sound unreasonable, does it? Hodgson was appointed, on the 1st of May, to take over control of the England national football team after weeks and weeks of media speculation. Following the Italian manager Fabio Capello’s resignation from his duties to the FA and English football on the 8th of February , the English media made the unusual move of uniting to put forward Spurs boss Harry Redknapp’s name for the job. It was all but unanimous; there was only one man that could do the job and his name wasn’t Roy. The FA, refusing to satisfy the proHarry majority, and neglecting preamble, made the unexpected move to put West Brom maestro Hodgson in the driving seat – almost three whole months after Capello resigned. Although there was the expected uproar and surprise that emerged throughout the country, it remains to be seen if Hodgson really is a bad choice for the job. He has experience in international football, having led Switzerland to the 1994 World Cup in the USA and the English-hosted European Championships in 1996, and oversaw the Finnish national side from 2006-07.
Redknapp? He has never managed at international level and his only major trophy came through a Portsmouth FA Cup win in 2008. Sure, Hodgson has never won a major club trophy in England either – his only league and cup wins have come in the Swedish and Danish leagues – while his Liverpool days are far from memorable. Yet he is probably the most knowledgeable English manager when it comes to world football, his two spells at Italian giants Inter Milan partly account for this. The ex-Fulham coach, and 2010 LMA Manager of the Year, outranks Redknapp when it comes to foreign experience. But that may not be the only reason why he was chosen. After all, he is a manager that will most likely work closely with the plans for the new St George’s Park English football centre in Staffordshire – a site that the FA have been working on for years. Hodgson will also be hands-on when it comes to the technical side of raising a new national style – something that the FA is keen to encourage after noticing similar strategies paying dividends in footballing powerhouse countries Spain, Brazil, and Holland. But Roy is not a ‘yes-man’. Certain tabloid papers shouldn’t mock him for his speech impediment either (he has trouble pronouncing his ‘r’s). Hodgson may simply be the most rational choice for England manager.
London east-ender Redknapp could have made a great manager for England, sure. He could have galvanized the players and led them into Euro 2012 (in Poland and Ukraine) on a high. But could he really have masterminded the next generation of English talent? The resounding message now is that we should get behind the England squad and its new manager; it’s no use complaining about what could have been when what we have now is good enough. Time, though, will be the deciding factor; if England perform well in Poland and Ukraine, and they have a
good World Cup campaign in 2014, then – as always seems to be the case in the so-called ‘results business’ of football – his critics will rally behind him. And, looking to the future, it isn’t so crazy for a fan to believe that the closed board of the FA may have made the right choice this time – instead of going simply with what the majority of people and the media demanded.
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the best of ukc sport celebrated at annual colours ball Jack Bishop A marquee is spread out over the Parkwood Pitches, the drinks are flowing and guys and girls are dressed to impress, it can only mean that it’s Colours Ball time. The Colours Ball is an annual event that celebrates the cream of the University of Kent sporting crop. This year has been a fantastic year for Kent Sport, with Men’s Football getting promoted to Division 1, other teams gaining promotion and perhaps the biggest success story of all, the women’s 1st team netball reaching the British University and Colleges Sport premiership south, the first time a Kent University team has reached the upper echelons of university sport. Both these teams won awards on the night, with the widely celebrated Men’s Football winning Club of the Year, after their first team won the league and cup double. They also increased their membership, resulting in another successful year for the UKC Mens Football Club. Women’s Netball 1st Team won Team of the Year after reaching the play off finals for the second successive year, this time going one better
and reaching the BUCS Premiership South. Next year UKC Netball will be playing in the highest level of netball, meaning the University will carry on attracting the top level of players. Another Netball winner on the night was Chairwoman Fran Plom, last year’s Sportswoman of the Year. As Goal Attack for the Netball 1st’s this was not a difficult decision and she took the top female prize again. A highly accomplished sportswoman, UKC can be proud to call her its alumni. A special mention should go to Clare Davenport, who as President, and Uni-
versity Number One for Women’s Tennis, orchestrated the team almost getting promoted for the second year running. Ross Hammond took away the Sportsman of the Year Award. Ross is a highly talented member of the SnowSports society and won for representing his country in this field. Special mentions should also go to Azim Griffiths, who as captain of the Men’s Table Tennis Team helped put together another fantastic year. Mike Salmon won the Outstanding Administrator award for his selfless volunteering hours that he puts in to helping
both the Men’s and Women’s rugby. As secretary for the Rugby Club, Mike sits on the committee, and was instrumental in helping the club pull together after the coach resigned midway through their season. Mike’s hard work was rewarded when the UKC 1st XV retained Division 1A status for another year. He also coaches the Women’s rugby 1st XV and his position has seen the girls make a massive step up from last year, almost topping their division. The Award for Outstanding Individual is highly coveted, and was possibly the most hotly contested on the night. Big mention should go to Susannah Townsend, who has taken a year out to train with the GB Olympic hockey team. UKC wish her well in London 2012. However, the winner of the award was Adam Ball, England Under 19 Cricket Captain, a worthy winner. The keynote speaker on the night was Jamie Salmon, a former Harlequins and England rugby player, and father of Outstanding Administrator Mike Salmon. It is with his words of advice that UKC should go forth next year to both replicate and bring as much success as possible next year.
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Photography courtesy of Sam Allard
netball 1sts gain promotion to premiership Alex Cassidy Newspaper Sports Editor The Netball 1st team capped off an incredible season on the 2nd of May by securing a place in the Premiership South, becoming the first ever UKC Sports Club to obtain promotion to the British University and Colleges Sport Premiership level . Primarily led by 2011 Kent Sportswoman of the year Francesca Plom, the 1st team has been on dominant form the past few years. 2012 marked the third consecutive league title, and the second consecutive winning of the South East division, gifting them another chance at Premiership promotion, an opportunity that they grasped with both hands. The victory helped erase memories of last year’s playoffs, where a narrow de-
feat to Exeter cost the team Premiership promotion, a loss that would prove to motivate Kent towards their goal of the BUCS Premier throughout the season. The Premiership playoff final was played over two legs against the University of West England. Kent held the home fixture that kicked off the series, played, due to organisational difficulties, on the field of varsity rivals Christ Church. Despite this minor setback, they soared to a 40-19 victory, giving them a 21 goal lead going into the second leg. Regardless of the lead, the squad were determined not to go into the game with the wrong state of mind, as Club President Fran Plom, wrote on InQuire Live: “We were determined not to have a repeat of last year, the feeling the girls had the year before was still very strong in their minds and they were
not prepared to experience it again”. In order for UWE to gain promotion, they had to post a total winning margin of 22 goals, a near insurmountable task that swung the advantage directly in Kent’s favour. The away fixture in Bristol proved to be a much more closely contested affair. Captain/Goal Shoot Charlotte Jordan held the team together, leaving a final score of UWE 31, Kent 30, which, although a loss, had no bearing on the overall outcome of the final. The result gave the 1st team a 20 goal win on aggregate and finally completed their season long goal of ensuring a place in the highest tier of University Netball. It was a promotion thoroughly well-deserved by the squad, who have consistently been one of the best Sports Clubs at the University the past few years.
The dedication show this season has been immense, the squad returned early to Canterbury after both Christmas and Summer, and even stayed throughout Easter to focus on the playoff final. This, coupled with bi-weekly 7.30am trainings, has helped lay the foundation for the phenomenal success of this year’s squad, who’s achievements were recognised at this year’s Colour’s Ball, after they were named Team of the Year at the awards. With next year’s team Premiership bound, Netball have set a standard for the rest of Kent Sport to follow. With the barrier finally broken for Kent, the Union will be looking to help replicate the success that has been enjoyed by the team in the past few seasons, and help the squad maintain their elite status in the BUCS Premier South division in 2013.