TO MUSE AND QUEEN'S FOR HELPING MAKE KCFF'16 AMAZING!
KCFF IS THE GLOBE'S LARGEST ALL-CANADIAN FILM FESTIVAL. FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED BY VISITING
Choi’s Roll Chef Kevin Choi makes all sushi fresh. This is the basic operating philosophy behind Choi’s Roll, a new dining location on Princess Street. “We make a fusion-style sushi that is more for North American tastes,” Choi explains. After completing his sushi training with a Japanese chef in Toronto, he was able to master the traditional Japanese style of preparation. “It is important to be happy to be making this food for people,” Choi says. “It shows in the taste of the sushi.” Choi’s Roll serves takeout and delivery only. It takes less than five minutes for Choi to prepare an order, as customers watch him cut, slice, and assemble the ingredients for their dish. Canadaian fusion menus appeal to North American tastes by including ingredients such as avocado and cucumber, whereas traditional Japanese sushi consists of rice and raw fish. For sushi novices, the vast selection at Choi’s Roll may seem overwhelming, but guaranteed there is something for everyone at this delicious restaurant.
326 Princess Street 613-546-8800 www.choisroll.ca Monday - Wednesday 11AM to 10:30PM Thursday- Saturday 11AM to Midnight
In this issue... LIFESTYLE 05 The H’OMble Beginnings of Energyxchange 07 My Quarter-Life Crisis 08 Lost in Translation 09 Confessions of a Girl Who Can’t Keep Still 11 Fighter
FASHION 15 Westwood 18 Summer Style: The Long & Short of It 19 Barbie Girl in a 21st Century World 21 The Untold Story of Your T-Shirt 24 The Saddle Club
ENTERTAINMENT 28 Take a Trip to the Blue Neighbourhood 29 The Kim Kardashians of the World 31 Sponsored: Our Time with the Kingston Canadian Film Festival 32 Chiaroscuro 35 The Unconventional, Embraced: The Critically Adored Genre Film 37 The 5 Cs to Creativity: Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HITRECORD 39 Clean Up in Aisle 2
ARTS 41 Metamorphosis 43 Discovering Lost Bodies: An Interview with Artist Brendan Fernandes 45 The Unspoken Art 47 Botanica
MUSE’INGS 51 Coming Out and Speaking Out 52 It’s All Relative in First Year 53 Use Your Words: Why “Creepy” and “Crazy” Just Don’t Cut It 54 Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Finding Yourself in University... or Ever 55 How Will You Remember Yourself? 56 The F Word 57 By the Hour 59 Coloured Me 61 The Day I Played Poor
Dear Readers, Writing this letter feels like a metaphor for my graduating year at Queen’s. With the “real world” getting this much closer to actually becoming “real,” I feel an unspoken pressure to say, do, and be everything I possibly can before my time as a responsibly irresponsible young adult is up— and this time, for good. I’m caught somewhere between wanting to move on to something new (what’s this “real world” business all about, anyways?) and wanting to stay exactly where I am, in this comfortable little place that we cheekily call the “Queen’s bubble.” And so the same goes for this letter. It’s my second and last letter as the Editor-in-Chief of MUSE, and my last issue of MUSE magazine altogether. I don’t want to leave anything unsaid— I want it to be memorable and just right. My intentions were to offer something semi-uplifting— beginning with the phrase “but the truth is…” and ending with an assertion that resembled inspiration in some way or another. But I started writing, and realized that I had nothing. So I put this letter on hold, and read MUSE Issue XII: Impulse. I tore through all of the articles, obsessed over every single word, got lost in the spectacular beauty of the editorials, and found exactly what I was hoping I would find. I don’t have to say anything now because this issue says it all for me. The voices in Issue XII are thoughtful, introspective, and raw— key to the inner workings of a millennial mind. At the expense of sounding melodramatic, this issue is my “truth,” and I say this simply because it’s honest, and it’s real. I’m attached to this issue, perhaps a bit selfishly, because it resonates with the crossroads I’m currently at in my life. But if Issue XII has taught me anything, it’s that I’m never alone in how I feel or think. And if this issue is special to me, I have a feeling that it will be special to a lot of our readers, too. Whether you’re a bright young thing heading into second year, or graduating in a month and scared sh*tless (like me!), this is the best that MUSE has to offer. Unity. Camaraderie. Clarity. Whatever you want to call it, it’s here in these pages, and it’s here for you. Yours creatively, Abigail Conners, Editor-in-Chief & The MUSE Team
H’OMBLE Beginnings of
ENERGYXCHANGE an article by Jessica Young photography by Kerenza Yuen At the beginning of every yoga class I set an intention. It’s usually the same intention: for myself. For ninety minutes, this is my time, where school, stress, and fourth year freak-outs are exhaled in one long breath. Whether or not I’m feeling particularly flexible doesn’t matter, because all of my energy is focused on myself and what my body needs on this particular day. The teachers always end by saying, “Take this peace off of your mat, and into the rest of your day.” It’s a piece of advice that is much easier said than done. In my case, I decided to take my yoga off the mat and into my daily life through Instagram. A friend from high school introduced me to the practice of yoga the summer after my first year of university. She was a part of a program called Energy Exchange at Ann Green Bliss Yoga in Barrie, my hometown. She helped around the studio for three hours a week and in exchange received a free yoga membership— a great arrangement for a university student struggling to pay for textbooks and tuition. Three years later, I found myself drawn back to yoga through the same program. My hours from my summer job had been cut and I suddenly had extra time on my hands. I decided to put my energy into yoga, and all I had to do was scrub some toilets for three hours every Tuesday morning. Being a part of this program was good incentive to attend classes on a regular basis since I was already at the studio and I wanted to make the three hours of being yogi-Cinderella worthwhile. By the end of June, I had the idea to track my progress on a separate Instagram account, aptly titled @energyxchange. I had no idea that I was about to embark on an ongoing journey with the virtual yoga community.
5 | LIFESTYLE
Prior to the creation of what I like to call my “yogagram,” I hadn’t fully realized the power of a picture sharing platform like Instagram. I viewed it as an offshoot of Facebook, still bound by the same unwritten rules of social media when it came to filtered posts and witty captions. I didn’t realize how liberating it would be to have a space that was entirely my own. I was free to use as many hashtags as I liked, post as many times a day as I felt, and not hold back with my likes and comments. It’s always a little strange when I switch from my personal Instagram account to my yogagram— suddenly my newsfeed is flooded with incredibly flexible people and inspirational quotes. It’s as if I had accidently stumbled upon this vibrant, active, and positive community full of love and support for one another. I have yet to come across any negative comments or feedback on anyone’s practice, and I really admire the level of respect people have for one another in this virtual space.
Yoga encompasses all forms of self: self-love, self-expression, and self-care. Many say yoga is an individual process, but I would argue that the shared experience is equally as important. Although I have less than 400 followers and am not by any means “Instagram famous,” I have received nothing but positive support from the yoga community on Instagram. That extra confidence boost— even from people I’ve never met— has had a huge impact on my self-esteem. Social media receives a lot of criticism for spreading hate, but there is a lot more love out there if you’re willing to find it and accept it— for others, but most importantly for yourself. Connect with Jessica on Instagram: @energyxchange
In many ways, Instagram mirrors the process of yoga itself. Instagram captures the physical or artistic aspect of movement through photos, while the virtual community behind it captures the spiritual aspect. It’s an intersection of self-expression and creative expression. It might be difficult to believe that a practice that emphasizes mindfulness and living in the present can be translated through a medium that receives criticism for distracting people from reality. With that said, Instagram is not just a one-way platform. There are real people behind these accounts, whether they are halfway across the country or halfway across the world. Through comments, #stopdropandyoga tags, direct messaging, and yoga challenges, there are numerous ways that yogis connect with one another and find meaningful interactions. Yoga challenges in particular are a great way to stay connected to a daily practice. Through the daily poses and hashtags assigned for the challenge, yogis are able to find one another and see who else is participating. For me, the #GreatWhiteNorthYogis challenge allowed me to find so many wonderful Canadian yogis while motivating me to keep up with my practice.
MUSE | 6
My Quarter-Life Crisis an article by Kiran Waterhouse photography by Will Cross-Bermingham On September 8th, 2015, I arrived back in Kingston for my fourth year at Queen’s University. The entire drive up, I had that wonderful feeling of excitement and anticipation that makes your stomach squirmy. I’m sure you know the one; it’s usually the precursor to some fun shenanigans. But as I set foot in my house, something felt strange. No, not just strange. It felt wrong. Instead of feeling like I was home again, I had the impression that things were not as they had once been. I was confused. It was the same location, the same girls, even the same décor. What was going on? Oh, right. It was me… I had changed. Uh-oh. My feelings of unease didn’t go away during frosh week, nor did they fade during the first few weeks of classes like I had hoped they would. For the first time in my four years, I wasn’t happy at Queen’s. I love this university so much, so this was an upsetting realization to have. I had always felt comfortable on campus because I was able to define myself by all of the things that I did at school. I was who I was because of what I studied, what clubs I joined, and where I went on Thursday night (I’m a Stages girl at heart). But suddenly I wasn’t enjoying some of those things like before, especially as I came to realize that they wouldn’t be around for much longer. I had to start asking myself what I wanted beyond my life at school— and that turned out to be a difficult question. Trying to find answers made me realize that I wasn’t as sure of myself as I had once believed. I knew that I wasn’t as enthusiastic about being involved in every extracurricular, or going out every Thursday, but I also didn’t know exactly how to fill in the gaps left behind. It was frustrating, but I found some comfort in discovering that fourth year is about everyone having their own existential crisis, whether it be about work, travel or relationships. It’s almost like a package deal: you get one degree and 1000 questions about what to do next. As it turns out, I didn’t figure out who the new, definitive “Kiran” was. But something amazing did happen. I realized that I didn’t need to define all of my interests to know myself. In fact, I came to see that doing so makes it really hard to deal with the changes that are an inevitable part of everyone’s life. I am happy at Queen’s again, maybe even more than before. I’m grateful that this year has taught me to embrace growth and change. Feeling that you will be okay and that you can remain true to yourself even as the things around you become different is important. For me, it made the future— which once seemed bleak— very bright indeed.
7 | LIFESTYLE
an article by Michael Kirreh
Lost in Translation
photography by Kerenza Yuen
Whenever I tell people that I’m from Jordan, they’re either shocked, or ask me if it’s close to St. Catharines. I usually tell them that it is, but it’s actually in the Middle East. I spent most of my childhood in Canada and moved to Jordan when I was 11 years old. After finally getting used to calling Jordan my home, I moved to Toronto after graduation, and later to Kingston to start university. I was immediately warned by a friend about how different Canadians were, but of course I chose to ignore her. However, as much as it pains me to say it, she was right. Living here in Canada meant that I had to re-learn all social norms, one way or another. Appearances are everything— or so I spent my teen years believing. There was always such an emphasis on looking put together in Jordan— otherwise you’d risk ruining your reputation. It sounds a little bit extreme, but to this day my friends still make fun of my Iron Maiden shirt (which is understandable because I still don’t know who they are). Going out in Amman meant you had to find a way to be as fashionable as possible and subliminally let people know that you were wearing designer.
I had unconsciously adopted this formula, and later found out how grossly inappropriate it was in Kingston. Frosh parties are not society affairs and most people wear caps and Queen’s clothes, not obnoxiously trendy jackets. I felt insecure at first but eventually got over it. I’ve grown to enjoy the occasional glare from the girl who wears Birkenstocks with mismatched neon socks, or from the guy who is clearly thinking, “What the hell is that?” Social events in Amman are centred around food. There’s an unwritten rule: you must eat with a large group of friends; being alone is off limits. Assuming the same rules applied here, I remember asking one of my friends to go out to eat during my first week of school. Upon arrival, he told me that he wasn’t going to eat out because he had a meal plan. Shocked and confused, I decided I would rather not sit and have someone watch me put food in my mouth for 20 minutes. On another occasion, my invitation to lunch was mistaken for a date, which I didn’t realize until she made a move on me (because I clearly wasn’t making any). Caught off guard, I started to cough vigorously in the hopes of putting her off. I’m pretty sure it worked because she unfollowed me on Instagram. It took me a while to accept that I was never going to have the same dining or social experiences I had back in Amman, and to be quite honest, it broke me a little. Adjusting to new situations is now a part of my life, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop experiencing culture shock. I’m in my second year now and I still don’t understand 90% of the things people do— like going to The Spot or wearing flip-flops as shoes— but I like to think that I’ve come full circle. Maybe one day I’ll voluntarily go to Tim Hortons like a real Canadian.
MUSE | 8
Confessions of a Girl Who Can’t Keep Still
The consequences of being overwhelmingly passionate, incredibly impatient, and constantly looking for more out of life. an article by Jordana Goldman Night comes but sleep is farther away than ever. You lie awake in the dark, eyes wide open trying to see all that you want but can’t seem to reach. It’s that curious time of the night when all of those brief thoughts that flit in and out of your mind throughout the day come together in a moment of thought-provoking intensity. A mixture of anxiety, determination, fear, and excitement take form. You begin to assess the plausibility of everything you need and want to accomplish now, over the course of the week, throughout the month, and in your entire lifetime. I am going to safely assume that everyone has had at least one night where they lie awake as their mind runs marathons through the places they want to go, the careers they want to attain, the hobbies they want to excel in, and the person they want to become. Not being able to keep still— mentally or physically— is both a blessing and a curse. Passion is sleep- depriving and time consuming. Most importantly, it’s the force that drives me to be the person I need to be, and to do the things I must do. I am fighting an eternal battle between romanticism and realism. What happens to a person who works to live, in a society that lives to work? What happens to a person who wants their only responsibility to be bettering themselves as human beings? What happens to a person who wants to do so many things, but catches their breath when they realize that there is not enough time or resources in the near future? 9 | LIFESTYLE
It’s the age-old issue of wanting it all, but lacking the means to attain it. How many times have you heard someone begin a sentence with, “If I had all the money in the world, I would…” or “I wish I was…” It becomes frustrating wanting so much and not being able to do anything about it in that moment. There is nothing more debilitating than being excited about your goals and then being slapped across the face with reality— like lacking money in a world of economy, needing an education in a world of credentials, or requiring time when a schedule is all that you have. This is reality, and it’s what seems to matter at the end of the day. As Nietzsche philosophized, “Everything matters. Nothing’s important.” All of these factors matter, as they are obstacles that life throws at us. After all, man plans and god laughs. However, we must remember that achieving the unrealistic is what’s important. Realism and romanticism, though they may appear to be mutually exclusive, can also be interchangeable. What once was a seemingly romantic idea may one day become a reality with time. Nothing is unattainable or unachievable. It is much easier to sit back and dream, and feel self-pity when you tell yourself that what you want is too out of reach. There is a distinct and important difference between a “talker” and a “doer.” The nice part is that you can alter your mindset to become whichever one you want to be. Here’s the thing: if we got everything we wanted in the blink of an eye, then what would be the purpose of living a long life? I have come to appreciate the time necessary to become skilled at a hobby, or travel from one place to another over the course of months, or years. I’ve even accepted not knowing where I will be in the next ten years. Life is short looking back, but looking forward there is nothing but time. We need to take a step back and realize that the desperation to be greater than just a body on Earth is what makes us human and unique. We are all human because we have desires, aspirations, and dreams. We are unique because we are different from one another. When you begin to feel anxious in that limbo between not being able to sit still, and feeling the weight of the world holding you back, it is important to remember that the weight will lessen in time. Not being able to sit still will be the reason you move so far.
photography and illustration by Karim El Gohary MUSE | 10
Fighter 18-year-old fitness enthusiast Trystenne Burey isn’t messing around an article by Abigail Conners photography by Sophie Barkham
Trystenne Burey has a five-year plan. Coming from any other eighteen-year-old, the five-year plan shtick might come off as slightly insincere— or dare I say, unbelievable. Burey, however, isn’t exactly comparable to the average eighteen-year-old. Here’s why: for the past year, Burey has been branding herself as Fit With Trys, a fitness guru with the simple goal of inspiring a generation. Burey has transformed her social media platforms into an outlet for her fitness enthusiasm, posting pictures of snazzy workout gear, healthy meals, motivational fitness videos, and the occasional outfit of the day. In just over a year, Burey’s Instagram account has amassed 2974 followers— by millennial standards, she’s pretty much Instagram famous. But it doesn’t end there: Burey is currently in the process of obtaining her personal training certificate, teaches strength and conditioning classes to the dance majors at her alma mater high school, and has a partnership with Nike Women— all while studying media production at Ryerson University. Burey’s drive and determination have come at a cost. When I ask Burey what sets her apart from the plethora of fitspiration accounts on Instagram, she answers without skipping a beat. “My story,” she says, “It’s relatable. I want people to know me as a girl who overcame a challenge, and became successful through that.” The challenge Burey is referring to is an eating disorder that she battled with early on in high school, after she stopped training intensely in dance. “Any aspect of my body, I was unhappy with,” Burey recalls. “Once I entered grade ten, I wasn’t training as intensely as I used to, and I started to gain weight. That’s when my disorder started.” Burey tells me that she would sneak out of ballet class to throw up, or not attend dance class altogether. “People just assumed I wasn’t feeling well,” says Burey. “But that’s when my mom noticed that I’d lost a lot of weight, and took me to the doctor. We acknowledged my disorder, and took the steps that needed to be taken.” Soon after overcoming her eating disorder, Burey was hospitalized for depression for two weeks— another challenge that she would fearlessly push through. “My mom strongly believes that there is a reason God put me through what I went through,” Burey says. “Even though it was hellish, there is a reason why I was put through those trials to end up where I am today.” 11 | LIFESTYLE
Now, just a year later, those reasons are becoming more clear to Burey, whose experiences have influenced her career goals and the way she approaches health and fitness. Burey credits track and field for transforming her body and mind, sparking her interest in personal fitness. Her physical transformation is what inspired the origins of Fit With Trys, a before school fitness program that she started in grade twelve. “If I had myself as a mentor in grade nine, I wouldn’t have ended up where I was,” she says. “With my own clients, I want to help them the way that I wish I had been helped. I want to help them achieve their own goals, rather than setting the goals for them.” And speaking of goals: let’s get back to that five-year plan. When Burey talks about her future, she starts most of her sentences with “I will.” There’s no hint of hesitation in her voice. There’s no “I hope” or “I want” or “I wish.” She also has this tendency to define her goals by very specific time frames. Burey is so sure of herself that it would be unreasonable for anyone else to doubt her. So when she tells me that she wants to merge her media production degree with her love of fitness to produce and star in her own fitness reality T.V. show, it sounds like a completely plausible idea. “Think Jillian Michaels meets Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” Burey says with a laugh, specifying that the plan is to start the show in her final year of university, and maybe even film in Los Angeles. “I don’t get nervous on camera, so I just want to nail down the technical aspects of production.” I ask Burey if she has a working title for the show. “Getting Fit with Trys,” she answers. Duh. When I finally meet Burey on the set of our photo shoot a week later, I decide that the fitness reality show isn’t just a plausible idea—it’s an inevitable one. Rihanna is playing in the background, and Burey is excitedly taking videos and pictures, sharing them on Snapchat and Instagram. She has the energy and enthusiasm of a fitness fanatic, the social media chops of an up-and-coming star, and (somehow) the modesty of someone not yet aware of their influence. For Burey, 2021 is her projected year to make it big— five years from now. At this rate, I give her three. Connect
MUSE | 12
13 | EDITORIAL
photography by Sophie Barkham creative direction by Anisha Sandhu, Amy Yu and Sophie Barkham modeling by Trystenne Burey special thank you to the Kingston Youth Boxing Club MUSE | 14
15 | EDITORIAL
photography by Sophie Barkham creative direction by Amy Yu, Michael Kirreh and Anisha Sandhu styling by Amy Yu, Michael Kirreh, Annie Robinson and Hannah Davis modeling by Melanie Nelson hair and makeup up by Kendall Shedden and Amy Yang
MUSE | 16
Finally, you can’t go wrong with a pair of light-weight pants in the summer. From linen to silk, any length of thin and breezy pants look great with a blousy top and sandals. Trust me when I say that you’ll feel like you’re in pyjamas (an almost impossible sensation to replicate). I pretty much lived in my black silk pants this summer.
The Long & Short of It an article by Hannah Davis photography by Sophie Barkham Unpopular opinion: I don’t like summer. Okay, that isn’t completely true. There is just one part of summer that I dislike, and I can tell you right now that it’s the one part of summer that the majority of people love the most. The sun. Okay, I know we need the sun to heat the earth and stuff but what I hate is dressing for the sun. I dread having to throw together an outfit for the days when it’s too hot to toss on a pair of jeans, booties, and a leather jacket. Fall is the season I live to dress for, because you can look cute while still being relatively covered up and cozy. Summer clothing is just too revealing. There. I said it. I don’t like showing a lot of skin, which I know is another unpopular opinion (at least for people our age).
My main issue with summer clothing is shorts. I get self-conscious, uncomfortable, and am constantly worried that I just flashed the person behind me going up the stairs. I used to spend an embarrassing amount of time trying to find the perfect pair of denim cut-offs that I could look cute and be reasonably comfortable in, but would eventually give up, and settle for the pair that showed the least amount of butt cheek. After I came to the realization that it is impossible to find a pair of shorts that aren’t essentially the same length as my underwear, I decided it was time to revolutionize my summer wardrobe.
There is nothing wrong with experimenting with your clothing. Don’t be afraid to shy away from conventional options to find something that is a little more intriguing, yet actually within your exposed skin comfort zone. This might be hard to believe, but it is possible to hate the sun while still learning to love dressing for the heat.
I present to you: clothing tips for girls who hate the sun. First off, ripped boyfriend jeans are your best friend. All you need is one pair, and you can wear them forever and with anything. You can sport them with heels and a cute lightweight jacket for something a little fancier. Dress them down for a casual day with sneakers and a t-shirt. Don’t be afraid of long skirts. Long doesn’t have to mean down to your ankles, I just mean long in the sense that it actually covers a moderate amount of skin. I am a huge fan of everything from denim pencil skirts to long, flowy skirts. Both look super chic when paired with any t-shirt and sandals, and you are guaranteed to feel less naked than you would in an average pair of short shorts. MUSE | 18
Girl in a 21st Century World an article by Annie Robinson
I’m tall, blonde, skinny and have a body so freakishly perfect that I’m not even a humanly possible representation of a girl. Who am I? If you guessed Barbie, now you’re incorrect! It’s time to kiss goodbye the old, negative connotations you might associate with Barbie’s stereotypical, unrealistic image, and welcome Mattel’s three new dolls: petite, tall, and curvy. Since 1959, Barbie has been an international fashion symbol for American beauty, setting the standard for what young girls should aspire to as they grow into adulthood. The Mattel brand does $1 billion in sales across over 150 countries. Barbie is easily one of the most popular toys for females, with 92% of American girls between ages 3 to 12 having owned at least one Barbie during childhood. While Barbie may be one of the most recognizable brands in the world, the company’s success was nothing compared to what it used to be, with sales plummeting 20% in recent years. The solution? Give Barbie a 21st century makeover! In a top-secret project that has been in process for the past two years, Mattel HQ experts have meticulously worked on creating three new dolls. These dolls have been designed with diversity in mind and aim to represent today’s cultural cross-section of consumers. Barbie’s petite, tall, and curvy dolls are designed to authentically represent what is happening in the world today. Along with three new body types, Mattel is also introducing dolls with new hair colours, textures, skin types, and ethnicities to reflect the world’s multicultural spectrum. These changes are exciting and definitely have a positive spirit to them, but it is still yet to be seen whether or not the new age of Barbie will be here to stay. Young girls in Mattel’s test rooms who played with the new dolls for the first time were reported as being cautious to label the curvy dolls. Children were nervous to indicate that they believed the dolls were larger than the silhouette they were used to playing with. One little girl gleefully impersonated the doll, calling her “fat,” while another was too ashamed to say the word, choosing to spell “f-a-t” instead when asked how to describe the full figured doll (TIME Magazine). The ways in which young Barbie consumers reacted to the new dolls in the test rooms show that there might be a disconnect between the positive intentions of the new dolls, and the way they are received by young consumers. 21st century Barbie dolls may help to eliminate some of the stigma that girls grow up with about the importance of being slim. These new dolls have the power to inspire body positivity across the fashion and entertainment industries by promoting the message that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. However, the new dolls don’t free girls from growing up with the message that image is everything; in fact they almost reinforce these values.
19 | FASHION
There is a double standard present in children’s toys as it relates to body image. The concept almost seems laughable in the world of boy’s toys. Superheroes, sports figurines, and G.I. Joe dolls have the potential to impact young males’ concepts of masculinity. But is there any consideration given to creating “petite”, “tall”, and “curvy” boy’s toys? If toys such as Barbie— primarily designed for a female market— are going to show different body types, the same diversity should be promoted with toys marketed to young boys. Unfortunately, the drawback to the new Barbie body types is that they encourage society to view women not through their passions, personality traits, or accomplishments, but through the one element of their life that they are powerless to control: the genetic makeup of their body. Historically, Barbie has been criticized for promoting an unrealistic ideal body image—but is creating dolls that are so strongly defined by their body type helping the problem, or just changing it? These new dolls place women into fixed binaries based on the way they look; the marketing value that these dolls offer is rooted deeply in the significance of the female body.
When I was growing up, I loved my Barbies because they inspired me to dream up a world where anything seemed possible, not because I wanted to become a carbon copy of their plastic perfection. Whether a Barbie is petite, tall, or curvy shouldn’t matter. Maybe we need to stop putting such an intense emphasis on what Barbie looks like and start remembering what she stands for: creativity, empowerment, imagination, and the magic of make-believe in the lives of children who grow up loving her.
Dockterman, Eliana. “Barbie’s Got a New Body.” TIME Magazine. Web. 22 Feb. 2016. MUSE | 20
The Untold Story of Your T-Shirt an article by Bethany Greer Spring cleaning: the perfect time to get rid of unwanted clothing. From dresses that were trendy a few months ago but are now passé, to shoes bought on sale for $20 that were never worn because they’re super uncomfortable, we all collect items we eventually tire of. After stuffing unwanted clothing in a garbage bag and lugging it to the nearest donation centre, it’s off to the mall, where we reward ourselves for giving to charity by replacing everything we just discarded. While donating unwanted clothing feels good, it actually takes a toll on today’s throwaway economy, as well as our already deteriorating environment. Fast fashion retailers— who sell stylish garments at impossibly low prices— have created a material obsessed culture where North Americans buy excessively and addictively. The more people buy, the more chemicals are used to grow cottonseeds, dye textiles, construct clothing, and ship garments to the local mall. However, when you can purchase a shirt for the same price as a burger, it becomes obvious that there’s a part of the equation that doesn’t add up— and the consequences are dire.
The fast fashion industry is the second highest polluter in the world, after oil (The True Cost). As consumers, we will continue to enable this destruction as long as we buy into the notion that cheap material goods make us happy. Let’s set the scene for the life of a t-shirt: you head to Zara, and a super cute black top (always black) catches your eye. The $12.99 price tag makes the purchase a no-brainer; you wear it out and get a great Instagram selfie. Now you can never wear that shirt again because you’ve already been seen in it once (sad, but true), so it ends up in your donation bag. This t-shirt— which you wore once and discarded— requires a staggering 2,700 liters of water to be produced (World Wildlife Fund), and was most likely created from genetically modified cotton in India. 95% of cotton farms in India are forced to use a new batch of GM seeds every season (The True Cost). These seeds are not only expensive, but require large amounts of dangerous pesticides. Bottom line: farmers must come up with massive amounts of money every year in order to produce cotton.
The global corporation that has patented this GM seed, as well as all the necessary pesticides and fertilizers, is Monsanto. With few competitors, Monsanto enjoys a monopoly in developing countries and is able to charge high prices, causing most farmers to go into debt (The Guardian). If these farmers can’t repay what they owe, Monsanto takes their land. In the past 16 years, there have been over 250,000 recorded farmer suicides in India due to unpaid debts—the largest number in history (The True Cost). Unfortunately, the injustices that exist in the cotton industry affect more than just farmers. In Punjab, pesticides from cotton farms have entered waterways, paving the way for illness, birth defects, and mental disabilities. Monsanto, ironically, has a patent on the medicine needed, which means more money in the company’s pocket. The average American throws away more than 82 pounds of clothing every year, but just 20% of donated clothing is actually sold in second hand stores (Planet Aid). The United States exports about one billion pounds of used clothing a year, which they ship to developing countries such as Haiti. While some of these clothes are re-sold to locals or recycled, most end up in landfills. As the majority of textiles are not biodegradable, they sit in landfills for hundreds of years releasing harmful chemicals into the earth. That $12.99 shirt looks a lot more expensive when you realize that it’s costing you your planet, doesn’t it? It’s difficult to pass up bargains at the mall and easy to ignore the negative impacts of our consumption patterns. However, there is no point in blaming pesticide companies or fast fashion labels when we, as consumers, aren’t giving them a reason to change. We have already surpassed our world’s environmental capacity; we need to stop the rate at which we consume. Instead of thinking of clothing as a disposable commodity, we need to begin buying mindfully, which means wearing that shirt more than once, Instagram or not. “India’s Farmer Suicides: Are Deaths Linked to GM Cotton?” The Guardian, 5 May 2014. Web. <http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/gallery/2014/may/05/india-cotton-suicides-farmer-deaths-gm-seeds>. “What We Do.” A World Hungry for Used Clothing. Planet Aid, n.d. Web. <http://www.planetaid.org/our-work/recycling/global-trade>. “Environmental Impact | The True Cost | Learn More.” The True Cost. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://truecostmovie.com/learn-more/environmental-impact/>.
About the Author Bethany Greer is a third year French Major and aspiring fashion designer. Sustainability has been a focus for Bethany ever since she began designing at the age of eight. She has been determined to create garments that are stylish without negatively impacting the environment. For her collection featured in this spread, Bethany sourced materials from recycled fabrics, giving them a new life outside of the landfill. For this collection, Bethany took inspiration from Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. Bethany considers art history and nature to be her two muses when working in the design studio. Bethany plans on continuing to design sustainable clothing after graduating this year. Her hope is to develop her own textiles that are created naturally without harming the environment. Bethany’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness about the impact that clothing has on our world and inspire a change in the way our society consumes. Slow, ethical fashion is the future.
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photography by Karim El Gohary creative direction and styling by Anisha Sandhu and Larissa Young make up by Anisha Sandhu clothing designs by Bethany Greer modeling by Ariana Romano
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The Saddle Club photography by Sophie Barkham creative direction by Amy Yu, Sophie Barkham and Zoe Zimmerman styling by Amy Yu and Sophie Barkham modeling by Emily Lowe and Avery Johnstone a special thank you to DreamCatcher Farm
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Astronaut. Doctor. Fireman. Princess? These are some conventional ( and not so conventional) answers to the age-old question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I never liked that question much. It made me feel as though I had to be able to define who I was at a young age, when quite frankly, I don’t even know who I am now. I felt like the answers I could give were so limited. Ultimately, the question of “what do you want to be when you grow up” demands that you make a choice, and define yourself with a realistic and reasonable answer. But there is no one choice and there is no one thing that defines a person. Creativity thrives in individuals who are open to possibility and it can be expressed in so many different forms. Troye Sivan and his pop culture fame are an example of how breaking the mould of convention can lead to realizing your ultimate purpose. Troye Sivan is a 20-year-old Australian actor-turned-YouTuber-turned-singer, who recently released his debut album Blue Neighbourhood. Since finding his start playing young Wolverine in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Sivan has acted in multiple movies in addition to creating and expanding his extremely successful YouTube channel. With nearly 4 million YouTube subscribers, as well as 3.3 million Instagram and Twitter followers, Sivan is a multi-media persona with an Instagram aesthetic that could make anyone and their mother jealous. His success as a YouTuber catapulted him to the global stage and earned him the title of one of TIME magazine’s “25 Most Influential Teens In 2014.” Sivan’s YouTube videos are endearingly awkward, quirky, and slightly embarrassing in a way that so many young adults can relate to. He brings that same honesty and relatable nature to his music. His electropop album Blue Neighbourhood is riddled with genuine poetic sentiment that echoes the emotional turmoil of generation Y. With his soulful, melodic voice, coupled with introspective lyrics reminiscent of a John Green novel, Sivan has managed to produce an album that has attracted praise from some of the world’s biggest stars (example: Taylor Swift). With recent appearances on Ellen and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, performing his single “Youth,” Sivan has been able to reach a widespread audience, expanding his brand and giving his album cultural relevance.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” While I realize that I will most likely never become a princess, at least I have the opportunity to dream it. Perhaps the point of this question isn’t just to define who you are, but also to dare you to dream, to provoke you into breaking free of conventions and, for lack of a better phrase, letting your freak flag fly. Blue Neighbourhood is a testament to what an individual can achieve when they are open to experiences and emotions. Troye Sivan is like so many other young adults, and this album is a representation of what you can accomplish when you find what you love, and immerse yourself in it completely.
an article by Carly Dominique
Take a Trip to the
The Kim Kardashians of the World an article by Annie Robinson
Selfies, designer duds, contouring, plastic surgery… the Kardashian family is reality television royalty. Every time an episode of Keeping Up airs, it seems the Kardashians have a new bout of family drama, but one element of this A-list family’s life that remains constant is their ability to keep their luxury lifestyle on lock. From Instagram to Twitter, the Kardashians are the masters of the gluttonously glamorous. In North America it feels like the Kardashian empire is the only one of its kind, but take a closer look at celebrity culture from Asia to Australia and you’ll find the world has many more elite beauty queens than the Kardashian clan. Who are these social media darlings? Keep reading for your guide to the top “Kim Kardashians” hailing from other cultures… In the Eastern hemisphere, Kim K doesn’t have anything on Hong-Kong’s fair skinned, doe-eyed Angelababy. The 26-year-old Angelababy has worked as a model, actress, singer, and entrepreneur with her most notable celebrity claim to date being her $31 million wedding held at the grand Shanghai Exhibition Center in 2015. Angelababy got her start in the entertainment industry after being scouted by Style International Management at age 14. Her modeling career began in the pseudo-modeling scene where she posed in bikinis at Hong Kong fairs. Although she participated in a few editorials, her look was not considered high fashion enough. In 2010, Angelababy’s star power was recognized by the Japanese web drama Tweet Love Story, a series where audience members tweet in missing lines for characters to speak. Angelababy’s social media web series paved the way for her future as an Internet influencer.
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Today, Angelababy has a cult-like following of fans all over Asia who can’t get enough of her, with over 60 million followers on China’s biggest social site Weibo, and nearly 4 million fans on Instagram. The social media guru even has her own Japanese fusion café located in Hong Kong (caution: you won’t find a dish priced under $75). When Angelababy isn’t coming up with new dishes for her café’s menu, she can be found working her magic in the fashion industry. Angelababy is a front row fixture at Dior during fashion week and also collaborates regularly with high-end jewellery Chaumet, who was responsible for creating her whimsical six carat diamond engagement ring. Angelababy is also taking her talents to Tinseltown, staring alongside Liam Hemsworth in the action film Independence Day: Resurgence. While Angelababy’s online presence is cutesy and has a childlike innocence to it, other countries around the world idolize women whose images are totally NSFW in comparison. In India, Kavita Radheshyam dominates as Bollywood’s Kim Kardashian counterpart. The film actress initially sparked attention in the media after posing semi-nude for a campaign protesting animal cruelty in India. Radheshyam only appears in Hindi language films and does not boast the same social media following as Kim or Angelababy (she has no Instagram or Twitter account). Most of Radheshyam’s work in the entertainment industry revolves around racey videos and sexualized photo shoots where she flaunts her curvy physique. In Russia, Anastasiya Kvitko follows a similar body of work, gaining a social media following through revealing Kim K inspired booty posts. Little is known about this
bombshell social media model oth- While the Straight Outta Compton acer than what she shares through tress only has 10,400 Instagram followher Instagram and Twitter page. ers, her selfies ooze Kardashian vibes. Sultry stares and perfectly penciled-in Australia and Europe also have their eyebrows aside, Barry’s Irish followers fair share of Kim Kardashian spin-off love her and support her in her varcelebrities, however the focus of their ious fashion and beauty endeavours. image is on makeup and selfies. The raven-haired, tan-skinned Lina Ayoubi The Kardashian empire dominates the from Melbourne is known around the world, and try as they might, none of world for naming herself “Australia’s these starlets are anywhere close to Kim Kardashian.” The beauty guru reg- knocking Kim off of her throne. Each ularly posts photos comparing herself of these women have very different, to Kim K on her Facebook and Insta- Kim-esque looks, but all have one gram page, but often comes under fire thing in common: the desire to capfrom followers who are quick to insult tivate the world through, well, themher heavy makeup looks. Ayoubi is also selves. As narcissistic and shallow as a makeup artist who has been known their aspirations may seem, you have to earn up to $600 per day transform- to give credit where it’s due: these ing brides into bronzed, contoured Kim women are finding success. As Kim Kardashian look-a-likes on their big day. puts it, “I’m an entrepreneur. Ambitious is my middle name.” With an Model, blogger, and YouTuber Sha- attitude like that, I think a little Kim hira Barry was named the Kim Kar- Kardashian is a good thing in all of us. dashian of Ireland by Daily Mirror in 2015 for her glamorous look.
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Our Time with the Kingston Canadian Film Festival (And Why You Should Have Some, Too) an article by Alison Lacey and Victoria Pike “You study film? That’s great. But what’s your plan B?” This is a question we are all too familiar with hearing throughout our undergrad as film majors. A “plan B” is the last thing on our minds. We will work successfully in the film industry — this steadfast belief keeps us going. In fact, we already are. In tandem with our studies, we also help run the biggest all-Canadian film festival in the country. Interning with the Kingston Canadian Film Festival can seem like a glamorous position through a certain lens: VIP access to after parties, rubbing elbows with some of the biggest names in Canadian cinema, and a chance to add a prestigious title to our resumes. What others don’t see are the countless hours spent leading up to the festival, which involve sending emails, watching short films, and raising funds among numerous other tasks. Certainly, this is all worth it for the final payoff: a star-studded, fast-paced festival weekend at the end of February. The Kingston Canadian Film Festival has been a vital part of our time at Queen’s. In first year we both volunteered and then became interns. Now we’re sitting pretty on staff as Venue Manager and Administrative Assistant (Alison) and Local Shorts Coordinator (Victoria). The amount we have learned and the work experience we have gained is invaluable. Alison credits her work with KCFF as a significant reason the Toronto International Film Festival hired her as the Film Circuit Intern last summer. For Victoria, it certainly contributed to her acceptance into Centennial College’s competitive Television & Film Business program. While KCFF is a relatively small operation in the grand scheme of world-renowned festivals like TIFF and Cannes, it is a great place to start out and can open doors later on— we’re walking proof of that. Whether you are studying film, interested in festival administration, sponsorship facilitation, event planning, or even film production, we would highly recommend the Kingston Canadian Film Festival’s internships. You get to work with a great group of people and have a hand in bringing local and national Canadian cinema to the Kingston community— something we believe is one of the most important and commendable aspects of KCFF. However, the festival brings Kingston more than just films. It brings in musical talent and comedians from across the country, as well as an abundance of workshops (which are free, by the way) to enhance the festival experience. If it wasn’t clear enough already, we think this organization is pretty nifty. To those of you who do have aspirations of working in the film industry one day, we will leave you with this: just because you’re still in school doesn’t mean that you can’t kickstart your career. Sure, it will be on a lesser scale, but working for a small but mighty film festival like KCFF is where it could all begin.
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Chiaroscuro photography by Will Cross-Bermingham and Nodebe Agbapu styling and creative direction by Michael Kirreh and Sanam Yar modeling by Troy Aharonian
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The Unconventional, Embraced: The Critically Adored Genre Film an article by Michael Baker Recent advances in technology, distribution, and production, mean that cinema (ranging from small independent features to dramatic blockbusters) has never been more thematically varied. In reaction to the rapidly growing area of cinema, an influx of talent and invigorating ideas has flooded genres that were once portrayed as merely popcorn entertainment. Imbued with new life, perspectives, and techniques, many genre films are now garnering critical acclaim, earning a place in cinematic conversation and often put on par with more traditional styles of serious filmmaking, such as prestige dramas. The following films are part of this evolution, each carving a new facet into popular film culture, and balancing their difficult role as both entertainment and thought-provoking media. The World’s End (2013) Very few directors are capable of pulling raucous humour, deep reflection, and hope from the end of humankind, but Edgar Wright is no average director. His film The World’s End, follows a reunited group of friends who travel back to their small, British hometown to complete a legendary pub crawl they failed in high school, with the added twist of an alien/robot invasion to slightly complicate the quest. The comedy and action are fresh, energetic, and lively thanks to brilliant coordination by Brad Allan and the superb effort behind and in front of the camera. However, this film has a deeper agenda— lurking beneath the jovial surface are intriguing currents. One character struggles with reconciling the dreams he was once filled with to the husk that these promises turned out to be. A profound nostalgia imbues the characters in a world that seems impossible to recapture, and the modern society of corporate mentality and “Starbucking” is exposed for all of its emptiness. Through this grief, the audience is humorously, but poignantly reminded of life’s sometimes tragic confusion, contrasted with the hope for a future brighter than today. 35 | ENTERTAINMENT
Upstream Color (2013) Experimental, bold, and visually astounding, Shane Carruth’s second feature Upstream Color, is an awe-inspiring, hallucinatory, and mind-bending voyage through abstract science-fiction and the intricate cycle of life. To attempt to summarize the plot would do the film injustice, as its unconventional narrative structure casts a spell upon the viewer, and enraptures their attention until the closing credits. Taking risks most filmmakers would never consider, it is truly a cinematic experience, and provides a sense of wonder and mystery lacking in all but a few daring enterprises. Dense, and occasionally indecipherable, this film challenges the viewer to abandon easy assumptions and predictions, and to submerge themselves in a world where dialogue drifts as if through a dream, and the earth seems young and unknown again. Gone Girl (2014) From the twisted mind of David Fincher comes the film that prompted many couples to glance at each other with fear. A complex, winding thriller, the film features the director’s characteristic attention to detail, from a throbbing, menacing score to an unsettling sense of darkness and paranoia lingering in every frame.
No one in this world can be trusted, from the media personalities who strive to settle the disappearance of Amy Dunne in the court of public opinion, to the husband who grins smugly for the cameras. But at the heart of Gone Girl, the viewer recognizes and shamefully knows the secret: all relationships are built by fallible humans, oftentimes on a foundation that may be closer to grey than wedding white. Though this example may be an exaggeration, compromises, secrets and lies must sometimes be accepted. It Follows (2015) With a score echoing classic John Carpenter synth, camera movements reminiscent of a predator-prey relationship, and a mysterious, shape-shifting monster, David Robert Mitchell’s independent horror film could have succeeded as a simple jump-scare creature feature. However, greater things were in store, and with a script, cast, and location (Detroit) perfectly fitted to the task, It Follows establishes itself as a source of a far more insidious terror. Its greatest haunting is not supernatural— rather the knowledge that it imparts about the fear of sexual shame. The inevitable advance of maturity, the end of innocence, and the eventual coming of death linger for the viewer, frightening far more deeply than any stereotypical demon. These films only represent a handful of examples from a rapidly growing phenomenon, and are a part of a trend that continues today. In 2015, films such as Ex Machina, The Babadook, and Sicario excited both audiences and critics, while inspiring serious discussions regarding the nature of humanity, the emotional trauma of grief, and the dark heart of society. Eagerly anticipated genre releases for 2016 include Midnight Special, The Witch, and High-Rise – each transcend their labels to garner attention from film fans of all styles. In today’s cinema, weird is wanted.
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The 5 Cs to Creativity: Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HITRECORD an article by Emslie Attisha Who hasn’t been through those nights where you stay up until 2AM studying for an exam? You wake up late, run to class, and waste the rest of your day until 9PM comes around, and you’re rushing to the library once again. Those days are very common in university and trust me: you are not alone. You, like the rest of us, are stuck in auto-pilot, going through the motions in order to get by in school. You are also missing one thing in your life: you are craving those quiet moments where you can pull out a notebook, a sketch pad, a camera, or a guitar, and just create something for yourself.
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If this sounds painfully familiar, then you’re probably a lot like me. I wish that I was also able to work on my filmmaking and editing style while at school, but I have had to push back personal projects in order to get schoolwork completed on time. This is university, and I knew what I was getting myself into. But I believe that in order to have a great four years at university, you need to make it your own. You should create your own genuine experience. You should allow yourself to take risks, and make mistakes without worrying about the grade you will receive. A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a website that changed everything for me. HITRECORD is an online production company founded by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his brother Daniel. Established in 2004, they have invited screenwriters, poets, authors, musicians, cinematographers, illustrators, and many more to share their work. Basically, this is a place for people to come together and create together.
HITRECORD’s premise in based on what they call the 5 C’s:
Through the HITRECORD website, individuals from all around the world connect and share their work with each other. HITRECORD has decided that instead of people going out of their way to bring their innovative and creative ideas to the company, the company is going to bring themselves to the creators.
HITRECORD leverages creative crowdsourcing, understanding that two brains are stronger than one. Each video, short film, book, or album submitted has anywhere from 20-1000 contributors who each put their unique twist on the project.
Anyone on the HITRECORD website can post a challenge for their fellow creatives to respond to. These challenges welcome untraditional perspectives. The first episode of Joseph and Daniel’s T.V. show “HitRecord” was based on the number one. In this challenge, Joseph asked contributors to post videos, stories, animations and music relating to this topic. With all of the submissions, he created a ten minute short film, centered around a woman’s experience the first time she saw the stars.
HITRECORD provides an incubator for the latest song that contributor’s are working on, opening it up to other vocalists and musicians to add tracks to the background. There is an entire orchestra of creators waiting for work so that they can help fellow musicians improve their songs. Working with other people’s material, getting inspiration from other people’s stories, and borrowing soundtracks allows contributors to create high-quality material, and steer their original idea in unexpected directions.
The best part about HITRECORD is that if a contributor’s work gets featured in one of their shows or short videos, they get paid! Why would anyone give up an opportunity to get paid for doing something they love?
Of course, there are many production companies out there, but HITRECORD nails it. They’ve built a highly versatile creative hub that encourages people to ignite, submit, share, and extend their ideas. They understand that everyone has something to offer, whether they are defined as “creative” or not.
Most importantly, outlets like HITRECORD let you push yourself. While at university, why not take advantage of the challenges that are put before you, and create new challenges for yourself? Who knows— maybe one day you could be featured in one of HITRECORD’s short films, or develop your artistic form into something you never imagined was possible. At the end of the day, people are most proud and excited while working on their passions, and discovering new ones. For students, academic challenges are important to overcome, but creative challenges might just be the only ones that matter after all.
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Clean Up in Aisle 2 photography by Sophie Barkham creative direction and styling by Amy Yu, Michael Kirreh and Sophie Barkham modeling by Anisha Sandhu makeup by Kendall Shedden clothing provided by American Apparel special thank you to Johnâ€™s Deli
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Metamorphosis an article and artwork by Kennedy Cassidy In this piece of art I use tarot cards to tell a story. Some people see tarot cards as magic or as a superstitious way to connect with another world: the third realm that hosts the spirits. Aside from their mystic powers, people also use tarot cards for insight into problems. With tarot, each card possesses powerful meanings. The individual meanings of each card bring clarity to this story, which reflects the changes that I have seen in myself since coming to Queenâ€™s University. My story begins with the Sun card, a card that represents success, fun, and positivityâ€” consider lying under the sun, and the warmth and happiness you may feel. However, this card can also mean that everything is temporary. Next is the Fool card, which symbolizes new beginnings and freedom. It also means spontaneity and innocence, which can suggest recklessness or naivety. The Hermit card is next, and I have never felt more connected to this card than I do right now. This card means pure isolation, withdrawal, and loneliness. In a more positive sense, this sense of loneliness provides an opportunity for inner guidance.
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Next is the Devil card, which is one that people might not want to be associated with. Along with the symbolisms of addiction, sexuality, materialism, and holding oneself back, the Devil card can also mean breaking free of addiction, and reclaiming power. Perfectly paired with the Devil, the Moon is the next card. The Moon means fear and anxiety, with a sense of insecurity. The next card is the Lovers card, which isnâ€™t as obvious as it sounds. With this card comes love and forging relationships, but it also means choices. These are the choices that people have to make to achieve the harmony they want, but they must also accept the imbalance that may come with those choices. The Star is the card filled with hope, renewal, and serenity; it sparks inspiration. The card I chose to end with is Death. People become tense seeing this card, expecting it to literally relate to dying. It is true that this card represents endings, but endings are always followed by new beginnings. Death is like the phoenix: after it draws its last breath, it rises from the ashes and is reborn. A beautiful transformation, Death is about accepting change.
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Discovering Lost Bodies: An Interview with Artist Brendan Fernandes an article by Austin Henderson photography by Jaclyn McConnell Like all art forms, visual art has a special power in allowing us to think about ourselves, and to learn something new. Visiting an art museum or gallery lets viewers uncover volumes about their cumulative past, present, and future. On the Queen’s campus, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre allows students to experience the wonderful power of visual art. One of the Agnes’ current exhibitions, Lost Bodies, is by Canadian artist Brendan Fernandes. The exhibition explores ideas of cultural identity through a display of print, textile, costume, performance, and video. With special attention to the traditions of ballet and African tribal dance, Fernandes’ work questions the visual customs that shape the representation of African art in Western museums. Fernandes graduated from York University with an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art. He later went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts at Western University, and subsequently partook in the Whitney Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. His work has been shown in many galleries, including The National Gallery of Canada, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum. This past December, Fernandes was named one of the “17 Visual Artists You Should Know in 2016” by the Huffington Post.
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I had the opportunity to speak with Fernandes about his work and experiences thus far. Like many students at Queen’s, I have found myself struggling with the question of what to do after my undergraduate degree is complete. Luckily, Fernandes was able to tell me his unique story. “I’ve always been involved in the arts,” said Fernandes. “My family has been supportive of my career, but they wanted me to be stable, so I thought I’d be a teacher.” A common route for an artist, teaching is still something that Fernandes does periodically. He taught in the Visual Arts department at Western University, but it wasn’t until his time in the Whitney Independent Study Program that he realized he wanted to focus on being a professional artist. “I was inspired to be an artist because I was in the company of so many others,” Fernandes told me. Having learned so much from the Whitney program, Fernandes decided to stay in New York City, where his studio is currently based. I am quite familiar with Toronto, and wanted to ask him what he believes are the biggest differences between the two cities. “New York is way bigger, with many diverse communities. Because people come from all around to see artwork, the city always provides me with new and exciting challenges,” he said. “Toronto has a unique and rich artistic community that is singular, and more intimate than the vast one in New York.” Fernandes mentioned that Toronto’s art landscape is changing. With events like Nuit Blanche bringing art to a bigger population in Toronto, he’s happy to be a part of both communities.
Fernandes has a diverse cultural and experiential background, making his work in Lost Bodies relatable to a vast audience. Being of Kenyan and Indian heritage, Fernandes’ distinct cultural identity is blended with the themes of his exhibition. His experience as a former ballet dancer motivated him to experiment with contrasting traditions of performance. “Ballet started during Louis XIV’s reign in France, and to this day, ballet holds that idea of hierarchal power,” he explained. Fernandes worked with ballerinas in creating some of the pieces included in Lost Bodies. “Later, colonialists traveled to Africa and brought back their ideas and artifacts for Western consumption, taking them far out of their context. In the show, you don’t see the bodies behind these masks and outfits.” Fernandes worked directly with the Agnes’ own Lang Collection of African Art to build and research his exhibition’s concept, and he created some of the exhibition’s prints in the Fine Art studios located in Ontario Hall, alongside Professor Otis Tamasauskas. In developing such a multifaceted show, I was interested to know what Fernandes’ aim was for his viewers. “Lost Bodies can provoke someone’s thinking in regards to their own identity,” he said. “But the show is focused on these lost actions of movement, through the differing customs of ballet and African tribal dancing.” The viewer should be asking themselves where these performers’ bodies are, and why they became lost in the first place. Currently back in New York, Fernandes is busy and working away on upcoming projects, which I predict will be nothing short of astounding. As Fernandes so eloquently said himself: “With more success comes more work, and that to me is incredibly exciting.” Fernandes’ exhibition is on display until April 10th at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. To explore more of his work, visit his website at www.brendanfernandes.ca.
quick questions 1. Favourite artist? Contemporary: David Hammons. Historical: Robert Rauschenberg.
2. Toronto or NYC? Both! 3. Favourite artistic medium? Dance.
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The Unspoken Art T
here was no definite beginning, no sudden moment of revelationâ€” I had been interested in art since I was a wee little thing. Naturally, growing up meant that my artistic interests changed as I did, but there were two themes that seemed to incessantly recur in my work: people and nature.
t was the former that particularly challenged me. Initially, I had always steered away from realistically drawing people due to the difficulty in capturing the essence of their personality or emotion. However, portrait projects in high school art class forced me to overcome this adversity. Over time I saw human portrayal in a different light, and I have since realized that my work on people truly captures my progress as an artist.
y portraits started out simple; they were drawn in pencil, and copied from photographs. Now, I prefer to use acrylic paint (my medium of choice) in combination with pens. The contrast of the hard black pen lines and fine details, compared to the smooth strokes and vivid colour of the acrylic paint is something that I love to experiment with.
draw nature and science even more than I draw people. In recent years I have found myself particularly drawn to the cardiovascular system and neuroscience. More so, I find it intriguing how these images can be juxtaposed with patterns found in nature, such as veins becoming the roots of trees, or a neural network overlaid on a birdâ€™s-eye-view of a city layout.
y t n .
. e t s r .
do not think that the natural world can be made any more beautiful than it already is; I seek to compose my paintings with abstract and surrealist elements, instead of using realism. By using bold colours and exaggerating features, I try to enhance the subjects I paint. By incorporating unreal elements and fine details, I aim to capture the intricacy and mystery of nature. Most importantly, I want to stimulate the minds of my audience and have them to try to interpret what is being portrayed. With this being said, I do not limit my art by telling my audience the meaning behind it. My art is unspoken; most of its beauty is found in individual and unique interpretations.
illustrations by Avesta Rastan
There were two themes that seemed to incessantly recur in my work: people and nature.
an article by Avesta Rastan
n s .
Botanica photography by Sophie Barkham creative direction and styling by Amy Yu, Michael Kirreh, Anisha Sandhu, Sophie Barkham and Sanam Yar make up by Amy Yang and Olivia Grant modeling by Jenny Zhao and Karina Rebellato
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Coming Out and Speaking Out an article by Emily Duncan Even though we have come a long way in terms of LGBT acceptance, there are still deeply engrained stereotypes associated with individuals in the LGBT community. Unfortunately, because of mainstream stereotypes, some people would classify me as your “typical Queen’s girl.” What I mean by this is that I admittedly tend not to veer too much away from conventional trends on campus. Despite this, one thing about me that isn’t necessarily part of the conventional culture is that I’m gay. It took me some time to fully realize and accept that I was gay because a lot of what I like to do fits into the dominant culture at Queen’s, and I struggled with the idea of fitting this big part of my identity into my life here. When I first came out, I assumed that it was unlikely for me to find a girlfriend here, but now I’m beginning to question why that may be. Is it really the case that there are not as many gay women as there are gay men on campus? Or does it have to do more with the fact that seriously questioning your sexuality seems to be less talked about for women at Queen’s? Maybe the issue is that not enough women are coming forward with their stories about questioning their sexuality because of the pressure to fit into the “Queen’s girl” mould. There was a time, not long ago, when I wanted to be straight— to take cute pictures with my boyfriend and share them on social media. I wanted to fit in and feel normal, but looking back, comparing myself to others and wanting what other people wanted only made me unhappy. I quickly found out, however, that even though you and your friend may be interested in different sexes, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to talk about your disaster date stories together, or discuss what cutie to hit on at Ale House. Now that I am out at Queen’s, I have realized that I had my own preconceived ideas about the gay and lesbian community, which turned out to be pretty inaccurate. Looking back, comparing my identity to others was nothing but harmful to my own happiness because we all have our own unique stories and traits that make us who we are. In my case, I love to dance at Stages, wear dresses, listen to Beyoncé, and I also happen to like girls. Before coming out, I often found myself wondering if the fact that I was gay could fit into my lifestyle here at Queen’s, and if it would even be worth it to be honest with my friends about it. Hopefully by sharing our stories it becomes clear that we all defy commonly held stereotypes in our own ways, and that this is part of what makes us beautiful. I encourage you to live honestly and to inspire others with your beauty.
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It’s All Relative in First Year an article by Kate Farrell
You get a lot of advice going into first year, which usually turns into reminiscing about the “glory days” of life as a frosh. The glory days always seem to have one common theme: the fact that your floor will become your family. The randomly picked individuals that live five metres in each direction from you in residence are supposed to replace the people you’ve known your whole life. Fresh off the 401, I anxiously awaited my promised package of a new “family.” Now, half way through the year, I’ve come to define the people on my floor not as my immediate family, but as my distant relatives. You may think that I’m some cynical b*tch, alone in her room (though b*tch is right, you’d just have to put bada** in front of it) ranting about how much she hates her floor. But you’d be wrong. Like you would real relatives, I do love the people I live with. I celebrate their successes with them, give them an extra like on their Instagram (even if I don’t actually think that they’re a #sixgod), and always go through the inevitably awkward post-pee conversation in the communal bathroom. Do I have friends? Absolutely. These are the people I dance with at The Underground, mimicking a Z-list celebrity straight off of Broadway. This is my sassy, heel-wearing group that I call my family; they’re just not all on my floor. Some of these people are though, like my future housemates who make Leonard Cafeteria feel like Central Perk. They’ve found their families too, and like most modern families, it’s not a nuclear model. You can have different groups of friends (apologies in advance to Janice Ian’s map in Mean Girls, but the cliques can mix *gasps*). My future housemates would defi-
photography by Nodebe Agbapu
nitely consider the rest of our floor their family, and while I’ve found parts of mine elsewhere, I’m so happy with it because I’ve finally realized there’s no one way to “do” university. Coming into first year, I had this idea that if I wasn’t best friends with everyone on my floor, I was failing. The day I moved in, I flung my door open and blasted the EDM crowd-pleasing tune “Beautiful Now,” waiting for my best friends to appear. But it doesn’t work like that. We have these preconceived notions of the things we need to be doing in university to have a great time. Realistically, the odds of you becoming best friends with complete strangers that a computer picked are slim to none (sorry eHarmony hopefuls). My family is here at Queen’s, and for some, they’ll find all of those people right beside them, meaning less cardio and more neighbors to steal snacks from. Just because that didn’t happen with me, doesn’t mean I’m doing university wrong; and neither are you. Embrace the relatives. Find the wacky aunt with the free candy, welcome those awkward bathroom run-ins sans bra, and you’ll be just fine. Cha Gheill, my friends.
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Use Your Words: Why “Creepy” and “Crazy” Just Don’t Cut It
Men and women call each other all sorts of ugly names, so why are the words “creepy” and “crazy” so damning? Considered in social and historical contexts, these words carry explicit, negative connotations in regards to gender— once you’re labelled as the “crazy girl” or the “creepy guy,” it’s actually pretty hard to prove that you’re not. The word “crazy,” and other words describing ill mental health, has a long and welldocumented history of being used to dismiss women’s thoughts and feelings. Before the rise in popularity of the word, women who got upset or were deemed overly emotional were said to be suffering from “female hysteria.” Hysteria was a medical term that implied that a woman’s actions and emotions were governed by her reproductive organs. Hysterical behaviour included all sorts of conduct that was deemed inappropriate for women, including anxiety, irritability, increased libido, decreased libido, and insomnia. Though hysteria began as a medical term, it made its way into everyday language, and took on a much broader meaning. The word hysterical itself was replaced with “crazy,” which brings us to now, where a girl can be called crazy for pretty much anything. Is a girl texting you more than you’d like? She’s crazy. Is she a girl that likes to have a lot of sex? Crazy. Or maybe she’s a girl that gets upset when you do something to hurt her. Super crazy. Guys have it just as rough, with people throwing the word “creepy” around a little too liberally. Guys can be labelled as jerks, assholes, douchebags, and all sorts of other colourful descriptors. But as soon as a guy is branded as a “creep,” alarm bells start going off in girls’ heads. Though “creepy” doesn’t have the same historical significance that “crazy” does, it’s still probably the quickest way to damage a guy’s reputation. This is because the word “creepy” plays off of women’s fears for their personal safety. The word implies predatory behaviour, and as such, can be an instant red flag about a potential threat. It is almost impossible for a guy to prove that he’s undeserving of the label, since most attempts to prove that someone isn’t creepy inevitably end up with them seeming even creepier. The word “creepy” can actually serve a pretty useful purpose in terms of tipping off girls about guys who don’t respect physical or psychological boundaries. But that meaning gets muddled when the word is also used to describe non-creepy situations, or interactions with a guy that someone just isn’t into. A huge problem with the way that we apply these terms is that we’ve started to use them when describing things we simply don’t like. Both the girl who likes to get drunk every weekend and the girl that keyed your car for breaking up with her get the crazy label projected onto them. The quiet guy who struck up a conversation with you after class is a “creep,” as is the guy who follows you around the bar all night even after you’ve rejected him. There are so many weird and wonderful words in the English language that we can use to insult each other. Let’s try to phase these two out.
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an article by Paige Guscott photography by Karim El Gohary
Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Finding Yourself in University…or Ever an article by Adrian Caldarola
photography by Zoe Zimmerman
For as long as I can remember, my parents and closest mentors have told me that university is an excellent time to find myself— an opportunity to figure out the rest of my life, and know exactly what I want to get out of it. So for the past two and a half years, I’ve focused the majority of my energy on figuring out what makes up the 90% of me that no one truly knows. Though I learned a lot about what interests me and what makes me tick, I never really found myself— and I don’t think that I ever will. The notion of finding yourself is quite daunting for anyone, especially a self-conscious 20-year-old who still can’t believe it’s not butter. The way we interact with society and how we’re treated shapes us as individuals. However, we seem to forget that those things are not fixed variables. For me, and probably countless other students, the idea of finding yourself has been presented to us as figuring out not only what we like, but also who we want to be. Though I do agree with both of those points, I strongly believe that we place too much of an emphasis on the latter. Becoming fixated on who we should be does not foster a positive environment for change, and whether we like it or not, we change on a day-to-day basis. As our surroundings change, we change. As our relationships change, we change. As the weather changes, we change. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t go out and find the things that make our hearts beat and our mouths smile. However, when we go out in search of those things, we need to be aware of our actions and the results that stem from them. If we’re constantly wishing to be something we aren’t, we won’t appreciate the things that got us to where we want to be. This is partially why I think that the notion of finding yourself is a little crooked. What’s more important than finding ourselves is developing an appreciation for what we have experienced. Our lives are to be lived in the present, not the future. I’m not saying that you should go out and get a face tattoo, or wear plaid shorts with a plaid shirt; instead, focus your energy on who you are today and not so much on who you want to be tomorrow. We lose ourselves by creating an unknown happiness in the future at the expense of our peace in the present. Nine times out of ten you’ll be content with the person you are tomorrow if you’re happy with the person you are today.
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Yourself? How Will You Remember Yourself? an article by Shauna McGinn photography by Zoe Zimmerman Earlier this year, I almost lost everything on my laptop. My ignorant past self didn’t think much of regular backups. While waiting anxiously at the Apple store, I took stock. What did my hard drive hold that I couldn’t reconcile losing? Ultimately, everything was recovered just fine. I decided, though, that my most prized digital possessions were my pieces of writing. I couldn’t stand to lose my half-written stories, potential future articles, and reflections on human existence. As the Apple Genius emerged, I had a dramatic, and perhaps silly thought: if those words never got out there, how would I leave my mark? What if my chance to be remembered existed somewhere within those files? I didn’t even know where I pictured those writings going. I suppose it was the very possibility that they could go somewhere that made them irreconcilable to lose. It wasn’t always this way. People used to create things and achieve successes that were known by few, if any. Now, we can all be famous, or at least noticed for something. It’s easier than ever, and almost puzzling if you don’t have a platform to be regarded for your achievements, milestones, or personal thoughts. Feminists say that the personal is political. Now, the personal is broadcastable, receivable, and a mark of our participation in the world.
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To young people, this is a tired argument. We know that we share a lot, stop bothering us— and I agree. Who wouldn’t want the widespread validation that we can have so easily if we choose? But I wonder what this does to our long-term happiness. I wonder how we discern greatness, genuineness, and intelligence. The late student and author of The Opposite of Loneliness, Marina Keegan wrote: “Success is transparent and accessible, hanging down where it can tease but not touch us.” We have exported not just success, but good ideas, love, and character, into a medium that, though colossal, is often distant and unfulfilling. We know this. We know how tiny we are. Yet somehow, in the future, having great kids, a great spouse, and an exciting job will not be enough. Not because of the endless comparisons, but simply because you could be bigger than that, known for something more, with seemingly minimal effort. Bigger, yes, more widely known, yes— but happier, more in love, more content with the depth of your smallness? I don’t think so. People say comparison is the thief of happiness, but for us, the ignorance towards our own insignificance is the true culprit. We are terrified of not leaving a mark, of not being remembered on a somewhat large scale. But if my writings had been lost into cyberspace, it wouldn’t mean they were worthless. I guess accepting that I wrote them, that I even had those thoughts, would have to be enough. Within all of these far-flung connections we have created, we worry about our impact. In the end, though, the circle of people in which you show the depth of your heart and mind will be small. Save your best for them.
an article by Charlotte Sanders
photography by Kerenza Yuen Today, there are few words in the English language that can cause more discomfort than the word “feminism.” Publicly align yourself with the term and prepare to see eyes shift, nervous coughing, and a hasty topic change to the latest product that a Kardashian has endorsed. In today’s society, the understanding of the term “feminism” has strayed incredibly far from its original purpose. In case a refresher is needed, the official definition of feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” Is that really so off-putting? Apparently so. Countless public figures, from actress Meryl Streep to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, are quick to distance themselves from the term. So why is this one word so unnerving? Maybe because it is so often equated with bra-burning, man-hating radicalism, rather than the simple (and significantly more accurate) belief that the sexes should be equal. Or maybe because, as many people try to tell me, feminism is “no longer needed.” However, the popularity of events such as one hosted in Kingston by Instagram personality the “Slut Whisperer” (girls take their tops off and are drenched in champagne) indicates that feminism still demands attention.
Ultimately, I think that the fear of the term stems from confusion about what the word actually encompasses. Many people agree that they believe in equal rights for the sexes, but (cue nervous muttering) “wouldn’t really call themselves a feminist.” The image of feminism has become so radicalized that people don’t want to scare away others by adopting such a label. Contrary to popular belief, all that feminism embraces is the belief in basic equality between men and women. That’s all there is to it. Instead of shying away from the movement that brought women the right to vote and work, it is important to remember the reasons why such movements exist, and why they are still relevant today. Luckily, it’s not all bad news. For all the celebrities who publicly turn their backs on feminism, there are those who proudly celebrate it. Emma Watson’s United Nations speech turned feminism into a relatable and viral message. Lena Dunham founded a feminist newsletter. Ariana Grande took to Twitter to express her anger at a world where women are referred to as a man’s “past, present, or future property/possession.” Even Justin Trudeau emphasized that men should feel free to label themselves as feminists, noting that they also hold an important role in demanding gender equality. With cues from influencers like these, we can hope that society will follow their lead, and begin to detach the term from its negative connotations. It’s time for women and men alike to use the word freely, without fear of coming across as too aggressive or being deemed “uncool.” Labelling yourself as a feminist should be neither admirable nor controversial, but instead just a social norm.
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By the Hour photography by Zoe Zimmerman and Kerenza Yuen creative direction and styling by Amy Yu, Zoe Zimmerman and Kerenza Yuen modeling by Everett Mingie special thank you to Vivian Xu 57 | EDITORIAL
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Coloured Me an article by Sanam Yar photography by Zoe Zimmerman
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For a long time, I wore my culture like a coat. It was something I thought I could take on and off at my convenience. When I wanted to blend in, to not scream Other, I was “white-washed,” my oriental jacket gathering dust at the back of my closet. Then at family gatherings, or when my background became a topic of interest, the coat was back on. Looking back, it isn’t difficult to trace where this divide began. Growing up in a predominantly white small-town, my earliest memory of trying to blend in was as a 9-year-old girl. I remember wanting my skin to be white like the other girls in my class. I wondered why I couldn’t look more like all those pale-faced blonde girls, asking my mom for lightening creams. Of course, my mother never relented, but as a kid, I didn’t realize the cultural significance behind such a request. My wish for lighter skin didn’t stem from a deep-rooted desire to be a different ethnicity. Like most kids growing up, I just wanted to stand out as little as possible. In my 9-year-old mind, the simplest way to call less attention to myself was to change my most obvious difference: my skin colour. Melanin was an obstacle I needed to overcome. The darkness of my skin and all of the underlying differences it brought with it were apparent to me even at an early age. I eventually outgrew this fixation on my skin colour, but its effects lingered. That underlying feeling that I had to make up for my ethnicity manifested itself in other ways throughout the years. As I grew older, the teenage years offered their stereotypical tango of awkwardness and insecurity. The high school I attended was another predominantly white environment, and it presented its own unique problems. I noticed how while my friends were called pretty, or beautiful, or cute, I was perennially saddled with “exotic.” This certainly isn’t the worst injustice in the world, and people generally mean it as a compliment, but consider what the term exotic implies. Exotic is something different from the norm; something that is Other and should therefore be compared on a different scale than the majority. Exotic meant any reference to me was rooted in my skin colour, and the fact that I could not exist beyond that bothered me. I was constantly defined by my obvious physical differences. At the same time, I was also learning more about my heritage and starting to appreciate the rich tapestry of my culture. Here, I began to face a crossroads. While I was developing a sense of pride for my background, I still wanted so desperately to fit in and not be seen by my ethnicity first. I don’t believe I am alone in facing this internal struggle of wanting to fit in, but also not wanting to deny my cultural heritage. In any place where you are not in the majority, it is too easy to get lost in trying to blend in. Looking back, I spent my entire life constantly surrounded by and trying to fit in to a very specific kind of culture— from food, to music, to even the way that I pronounced my name. It made me realize how different I was from my roots. I wasn’t my mother flipping through dog-eared pages of her Persian poetry books, or my father listening to Afghan music in the car. I couldn’t cook any of the fragrant dishes my grandmother lovingly crafted, even though my memory was so rich with their tastes and scents. Even my Farsi-speaking abilities weren’t at the level of fluency that they could have been had I tried a little harder growing up. All of my life, I have felt this compulsion to conform to a very specific standard of being. I needed to prove that I wasn’t just identified by being Middle Eastern; I wanted to be identified for being me. I tried to navigate this duality between existing and wanting to be the “same” as everyone else, yet still being “coloured” and inherently different. It took me a long time to realize that these self-imposed different versions of myself didn’t need to exist, despite how much my surroundings seemed to demand it. The skin I live in is Canadian. It is fluid and bending and it is me. But it is equal parts my mother’s Rumi poems, the rubab in my father’s music, and the saffron rice of my grandmother. I thought that I could wear my culture like a coat, but what I didn’t realize was how impossible it is to take off something so deeply threaded through me.
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The Day I Played Poor I woke to the sun sneaking through my thick, beige curtains Today was the day I would play poor. On my way to the bathroom, I felt the warmth of the hardwood floor beneath the soles of my feet, a comfortable grounding. As I looked in the mirror, I examined all the things I had, Clear skin, Well styled hair, Perfectly manicured fingernails… I began to question the cost associated with my general upkeep. As my eyes surveyed the mass amount of products on my bathroom counter, I was forced to challenge the true notion of poverty. I do not come from wealth, yet the abundance of goods before my eyes said otherwise. I had surely never gone without, but today was the day I would play poor.
As I re-entered my bedroom, I began to look through my closet. Uneasiness washed over me; my wardrobe was overflowing. I often speak of the financial hardships associated with being a student, My OSAP loan pending, My fridge uninhabited, Yet my unnecessary goods in plenty. I was going to be late, But as they say, time is money, and today was the day I would play poor.
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I pulled on my designer ripped jeans and a grey wool sweater that draped graciously over my well-fed curves. I pulled on my knee-high leather boots, grabbed by black petticoat, and was out the door. As I made my way down Union Street I couldn’t help but think, who among us is truly poor? I have always had close family and friends, which in its own right has supplied me with a wealth of stability. Physically, I’ve always had what I’ve needed, and after the morning’s reflection, what I’ve wanted. But today was the day I would go without, today was the day I would play poor.
As I got closer to campus, my stomach tied in knots as if my body was attempting to tie me down, to hold me back from what I was about to experience. Would my peers realize that I do not come from affluence? Feelings of inadequacy came rushing back to me. And in this moment I realized poverty is not a game. One cannot simply “play” poor. There are rights of passage that accompany poverty, some stories so deprived that the average citizen could ne’er understand. Poverty is more than the absence of goods and services. In many ways it is the absence of love, support, friendship, and ability. Just like the knots in my stomach, the poor are tied down to these titles that say they are less than, that suggest they are unworthy. To be poor is to be in isolation and in presence at one time. These individuals are surrounded by criticisms, advice, and apparent support systems, yet in reality can rely on no one but themselves. For a system cannot tuck you in at night, or make you soup when you are sick. All of a sudden the notion of poverty became a lot more serious, and I feared that today was the day I would play poor.
As I packed my bag and headed out the door I was frustrated, confused, and angry. I was told that today “I would make a difference,” That today “I would be the change.” But when I thought back to the last few hours of this poverty workshop, the only change I had made was tying the knots of anxiety in my stomach so tight that it completely flipped. I felt ill at the idea that this was activism, That this was solidarity. I spent the last three hours running through a school building collecting tickets to help better my chances at winning… Winning a game of poverty. “A bus ticket helps you skip a line.” “A money order can be traded for more tickets.” But the truth is, poverty is not a game. There is no GO, there is no $200 waiting for you at the end of a game board.
I took the long way home, with each step reflecting more on the past few hours. Each breath exhaling the resentment that had built up. I returned back to the notion of solidarity. In what way does trivializing the life of the impoverished engage me in activism? In what world does making poverty into a “challenge” help those who suffer? Surely these means must have an end, but this end is tied up somewhere in the convolution we often call Western Activism. I am tired of doing things in the name of a cause, instead of doing things for a cause. Today, 600 students gave three hours of their lives to a cause that helped none of the sufferers. Today we played the most elitist game ever played. Today was the day we played poor.
a poem by Aleesha Meyler photography by Karim El Gohary
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MUSE MAGAZINE AT QUEEN’S Here are all of the incredible people who make MUSE happen. Editorial Team
Catrina Mavrigianakis (Arts Editor) Shanelle Furtado (Entertainment Editor) Annie Robinson (Fashion Editor) Endrita Isaj (Lifestyle Editor) Hannah Pearlman (MUSE’ings Editor)
Sophie Barkham (Head) Will Cross-Bermingham Zoe Zimmerman Nodebe Agbapu Karim El Gohary Kerenza Yuen
Avesta Rastan Calista Kim James Hubay Jessica Chen Samantha Huynh Shannon McCabe
Events Team Ellen Laura Megan Rylee
Jessica Landolfi (Head) Kathryn Woodward Agnes Wong Emily Robinson Maddy Griffith
Creative Assistants Anisha Sandhu Michael Kirreh
Aiello (Co-Head) Martelo (Co-Head) McGinn Elfert
Lauren Towle (Chief Tech Officer) Alexandra Kopij Matt Newediuk Shauna McGinn Alexander Tran Raquel Simpson Rawan Abdelaatty Diahanna Ramadhar Paige Guscott Erez Zobary David Milliken Jaclyn McConnell Leandra Guillet Alex Johnson Dingee Nicole Langfield
Charlotte Sanders (Head) Hayley Square Hannah Davis Ashlyn Garcia
Hair and Makeup Team Kendall Shedden Amy Yang Olivia Grant
First Year Representatives Katie Pittini Colby Cohen Julian Fraser April Ye Katie Glover
Abigail Conners, Editor-in-Chief Amy Yu, Creative Director Lexi Hill, Business Director Anna Pakenham, Business Director Sanam Yar, Online Director
IMAGE CREDITS Crown. Digital Image. Agnes Queensu.ca. <http://agnes.queensu.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/CROWN1220x1220.jpg> Laughing Squid. “ Barbie Introduces a More Diverse Line of Dolls in a Range of Body Types, Styles, and Ethnicities.” Digital Image. N.p. 29 Jan 2016. Web. 5 March 2016. Schambess. Gone Girl-Trailer 2-Stills. Digital Image. Imgur. 2014. <http://m.imgur.com/gallery/8xApR> Troye Sivan. Digital Image. N.p. N.d. Web. 5 March 2016. Upstream Colour. Digital Image. Upstream Colour Film. 23 January. 2013 <https://abbiewatchesstuff.wordpress. com/2014/01/23/upstream-color-2013/> Untitled. Digital Image. <http://pngimg.com/img/nature/tree> Untitled. Digital Image. Fabian Baumgartner <http://fabianbaumgartner.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ cropped-music-studio-monochrome-greyscale-_50630-601.jpg> Untitled. Digital Image. Center For Creative Media. <http://centerforcreativemedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/212sryc.png>
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