The Noise Issue

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The Noise Issue The Problem with Mass Incarceration Racism Unveils a Polarizing Rebrand Automatic Admission’s Role in Class Composition Giving the Mic to Women in Music Durags: a Celebration of Black Culture

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The Noise Issue

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a note from the editors. After starting as ATX staff writers together just two falls ago, we were honored to find ourselves continuing the legacy of previous ORANGE editors-in-chief. Over time, we have recognized the immense role this publication has played in allowing us the space we needed to learn and grow while unapologetically being ourselves. We wanted ORANGE to maintain that creative platform. ORANGE has become a home for us, one in which we can challenge our peers and they can challenge us. As black and brown women running a magazine, it has been a joy each week to be surrounded by editors and staff members who understand the importance of amplifying the voices of those society neglects. Issue 08 delves into the history of the durag, profiles UT’s exchange student population, interviews a women-hosted podcast and discusses the issue of mass incarceration in Texas, among other stories. The editing process is simultaneously a learning process. We are privileged to have a staff hailing from such diverse backgrounds, so much so that we come away from the magazine as more informed people. Thank you for supporting the work of ORANGE Magazine. We’ll see you this time again next semester.

Best,

Hannah McMorris

Zoya Zia


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more content at orangemag.co All rights reserved. Please ask us before reproducing any parts of this magazine. Views expressed are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by ORANGE.


table of contents

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30

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Tampons as a Luxury

38

41

Lonely, but Not Alone

Green Burials

48

51

Transformation & Consistency

The Kids are Alt-Right

68

74

Taking a Chance on Artistry

She’s the Boss

78

82

Detangling

Anti-Surveillance Fashion

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92

The Problem with Mass Incarceration

Fighting Feelings of Isolation

Automatic Admission’s Role in Class Composition

Bedroom Producers on Moonlighting

Embracing Natural Hair & Evoking Black Girl Magic

Trend or Transformation? The Debate of Sustainability in Fashion

Answered and Unanswered Questions

Working with the Dead

America’s New Brand of Racism

Giving the Mic to Women in Music

Using Clothing as Resistance

Durags

The Silky Cloth that Changed Black Culture


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YOLANDA MUÑOZ As a mother, Yolanda Muñoz, Mexican American Studies senior, faced criticism from her family for returning to school, but can’t wait until her and her sons’ degrees are hung on the living room wall.

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First generation students are characterized not simply by the absence of degrees in their families, but by their struggles and triumphs in paving the way for themselves and future generations. The stakes are high as parents, siblings and cousins look up intently with hopeful eyes and expectations soar. From learning how to fill out FAFSA to realizing a failed exam is not the end of the world, these first generation students come from diverse backgrounds but are united under the pursuit of higher education.

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BERENICE HUIJON For Berenice Huijon, a speech-language pathology sophomore, education was always highly valued by her parents.

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JOHN NEWTON As program coordinator for the University Leadership Network, John Newton uses his past experience as a first generation student to guide low-income students with similar backgrounds.

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TONY HERNANDEZ Government and rhetoric & writing senior Tony Hernandez, will be participating in the Archer Fellowship Program in Spring of 2018.

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JOSH ANDERSON Josh Anderson, a biology senior, hopes to attend graduate school and receive a PhD in Science Communication.

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Austin Through the Eyes of Others

Fernanda Cantarim enjoys the tranquility of eastern side of campus away from the Speedway ruckus. 14


Story by Eva Forslund Photos by Ashley Nava

Over 6,400 international students attended the University of Texas at Austin during the 2016-2017 academic year and they will continue to enroll in the future. By interacting with exchange students, American students have the chance to gain insight into different lives and experiences. Exchange students bring parts of their culture with them, and those never truly leave Texas. Yet, they also internalize a part of Texas that will remain with them forever. As they explored the city, exchange students connected their favorite parts of the Austin landscape with their native homes. 15


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Marie Navarre Marie Navarre is a fourth-year architecture student from Toulon, France, a city by the Mediterranean Sea. She is in Austin for one semester and chose Lady Bird Lake as the place she feels most at home.

France

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“Where are we right now?” NAVARRE

“Well, we are next to the lake, or the river, I don’t know how they call it.”

O: How is this representative of Austin? N: I think Austin has a different lifestyle than the rest of the United States, and I think it is because of the nature, but mostly because of the people. Everyone is running and doing outdoor activities. I think Austin is quite special for that and the river is part of it. O: What’s Austin’s biggest difference from home? N: Well, this is the river and not the sea. [laughs] So there is a salty difference. But it’s also still the same. Every time you have water going through a city, it makes it beautiful. Water always brings people close to nature, and that’s beautiful. You don’t feel like you’re in a city. O: As an architecture student, why didn’t you choose a building? N: I think it is because the buildings here are so different from buildings in France. I don’t feel home walking around in the city here, the buildings aren’t even beautiful to me. I also think architecture is about nature and the links between the city and the nature, like the river here. You can go here whenever you want to feel less stressed and closer to nature. O: Why do you feel at home here? N: I am from the south of France and I have always lived near by water. Every time I’m elsewhere, I miss it.

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Sahil Hassan Sahil Hassan is an exchange student from Kashmir, India. He studies at Dell Medical School and he often frequents a West Campus favorite, Pluckers Wing Bar.

India

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“Why do you feel at home here?” HASSAN

“It’s the spiciest food in America in West Campus, and I’ve actually tried many places to eat. There’s also a Middle Eastern restaurant that I tried. But the food was not that good and it was not spicy. That’s why I like this place: they have good quality spicy food, plus the ambience and the environment. You watch a game with friends, you’re talking. It has a young vibe and it kind of reminds me of home. My town is also a university town so we have a lot of these places as well.”

O: Is there any particular place it reminds you of? H: Yes, there’s a place where I go quite often with my friends. It reminds me of that place, and it’s affordable as well. It’s called The Grand Grills. It’s exactly the same kind of food: wings, chicken, all that. O: Are there any other similarities between Austin and India, maybe some cultural similarities? H: Oh no, it’s completely opposite. The complete opposite. People are way friendlier here. Back home, it’s not like that. If you don’t know someone, it’s not expected to say hi or start a conversation with them. It would look rude if you started a conversation with a stranger, or if you complimented them. O: I guess you want to come back to Austin? H: Definitely, yes. I would love to come back for studies or for work. Definitely.

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Richie Wu Richie Wu is a third-year business student from Australia, but when he is here, he studies mostly electives, like Interpersonal Communication Theory, Human Sexuality and Jazz Appreciation. He feels the most at home on Sixth Street.

Australia

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“What do you like about Sixth Street?” WU

“I just like the buzzing, and how everyone is super friendly. There’s different ages, cultures and so many students. So I feel most at home because everyone is there for an exhilarating time. It’s rowdy and chaotic and that’s what I’m here for.”

O: Do you think your studies and the fact that you like Sixth Street are somehow connected? W: Well, the business mentality is to commit hard to everything. So when you’re studying, you go hard, and when you’re partying, you go hard. I reckon the best popular reference would be “The Wolf of Wall Street.” I’m not saying we party like those wolves, because we’re on a student budget. I guess we party more like domestic dogs: we’re the labradors of Sixth Street! O: When I asked where you felt most at home, you wanted to bring friends. Why is that? W: They’re just two standout American students, Ryan Khuc and David Mei. Ryan was one of the first people I met on Speedway my first week here, and I met David shortly after. Superficially, they are both in business, we enjoy the same music and Ryan has the same hairstyle [as me]. The exact same hairstyle. Trust me, it’s on point! And then when I got to talking to them, we have similar life experiences as well. They’re pretty involved in an Asian fraternity, and back home, I was president of something called the Asian Students in Australia, a similar social club. It’s like we’ve walked and are walking the same path. They feel like brothers, my kindred spirits. My exchange [experience] wouldn’t be the same without them. O: Any final words? W: I’d say one big reason why I enjoy Sixth Street is because it represents my personality. For instance, I love seeing EDM DJs perform on 6th. I feel like it captures my persona—I might not always be of many words, but I always like to party! 18


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Fernanda Cantarim Fernanda Cantarim is a PhD student in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. She is from Curitiba, a southern city in the state of Paraná, Brazil. Cantarim studies outside of the LBJ School, where she also feels the most at home.

Brazil

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“Why do you come here?” CANTARIM

“I like being outside, and I also like studying here. Sometimes I go to the Benson Library, which is in the same building as LBJ, but a little further away. It’s really nice and quiet and you can see the water fountain if you’re on the second floor.”

O: What do you like about the water fountain? C: It’s refreshing when it’s really hot and when I want a break from my studies, I can go outside and feel the mist of the water. O: Why do you feel at home here? C: It’s peaceful and most of the time, it’s pretty silent. It’s not that it reminds me of a particular place in Curitiba, but Curitiba has a lot of parks. Maybe that’s why this place feel like home. O: As opposed to the rest of Austin? C: Well, this is really peaceful if you compare it to walking on campus. Like Speedway inside campus is always crowded. I feel like I’m a sheep whenever I’m there. Here, I feel like there is no rush. O: What do you think about Austin? C: I really like Austin and I’m sure I’ll miss it. I’d like to come back here to Austin someday.

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The Problem of Mass Incarceration 20


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What would you eat for your last meal? To many, the question is little more than a thought-intriguing ice breaker, something to lighten the mood when the conversation is about to die off, or a topic to consider when deciding what to have for dinner. It is never an actual choice. Story by Eva Forslund Illustration by Ryan Hicks

H

owever, Doyle Skillern, Stephen P. Morin and

serious disciplinary infractions tend to be placed in

Charles Rumbaugh were all executed in 1985,

a condition called administrative segregation,” Deitch

and to them, and many others, the question was just

says. “They are locked up 23 plus hours a day in sol-

that: a choice. Skillern chose T-bone steak, a baked

itary confinement. They get out up to an hour a day

potato with butter, sweet green peas, rolls, banana

for a shower and recreation in a slightly larger cage.”

pudding and coffee. Morin chose bread without yeast and Rumbaugh chose a flour tortilla and a glass of

Raegan Bass offers a similar view of the conditions

water. They consumed their last meals just before

in Texas prisons. She is a volunteer coordinator for

they were executed by the state of Texas.

Inside Books Project, a community service organization in Austin that sends books and educational

The United States is one of few democracies that

materials to prisoners in Texas. “Gosh, people are

still practices the death penalty. In 2016, it was

kept in conditions that most people wouldn’t keep

ranked tenth, compared to the rest of the world, for

their animals. And we’re keeping people that way,”

its number of executions. The U.S. comes in second

Bass says.

when it comes to the number of people incarcerated per capita -- only Seychelles is ahead. While the U.S.

In fact, 75 percent of Texas prisons lack air condition-

holds only five percent of the world’s population, 25

ing. As a consequence, 23 inmates have died from the

percent of the world’s prison population lives here,

heat since 1998. There is currently a lawsuit pending

numbering at about two million people. Addition-

against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

ally, Texas ranks first in the country for its amount

concerning these conditions. The goal is to make sure

of prisoners, and it ranks sixth when considering its

the temperature does not exceed 88 degrees. Prisons

population size. Though some may be aware that

are also riddled with health issues due to overcrowd-

mass incarceration is an issue, it is vital to understand

ing, sexual abuse and violence.

why. Deitch acknowledges that much of the general The large prison population in the U.S. means the

public overlooks this mistreatment, most likely due

prisons themselves are quite expansive, according

to apathy. However, she points out that inmates are

to Michele Deitch, senior lecturer at the Lyndon B.

supposed to be sent to prison as punishment and not

Johnson School of Public Affairs and an expert in

for punishment. “We have a system in which the pun-

prison-related issues. A single facility can house up

ishment for a crime is to be sent to prison. It is not

to 4,000 inmates. The complexes are usually located

to be subjected to additional punishment when you

in rural areas, far from urban centers, which makes it

go to prison,” Deitch says. “It’s having your freedom

hard for families to visit.

taken away from you, not being abused while you’re there, having your medical needs neglected or being

Prison conditions in Texas vary depending on the

subjected to rape.”

facility and the inmate’s behavior. Those in the general population usually work most of the day

It is hard for anyone on the outside to change this.

and are allowed freedom of movement. However,

This is one of the reasons why organizations such as

those that have committed serious crimes face the

Inside Books exists. Since many prisons’ libraries are

most inhumane living conditions. “Inmates who are

substandard or closed, Inside Books provides prison-

identified as gang members or have long histories of

ers with books for leisure, to study for a GED or to 21


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“We have had historical period after historical period of efforts to control racial minorities, whether it’s through slavery, the Jim Crow era or mass incarceration. It is impossible to ignore the direct links among these different periods in history.”

Deitch and Bass both seem to agree on what should

secure a career once released. Volunteers read over

understand the impact that prison has, not only on

different book requests from prisoners, answer the

the people on the inside, but on their family members

letter and compile a book package.

be done. They both encourage the masses to bring attention to the problem of mass incarceration. It is imperative that the voices of inmates are amplified. “More attention should be given to what happens to people in prison, whether it’s through media, books or writings. We need to lift up the voices of people who are incarcerated,” Deitch says. “We need to

on the outside. I think that that will increase awareness of what happens.”

Bass has volunteered with Inside Books for over a year and still remembers some of the letters she read.

Others who work with these issues say similar things.

One man in particular addressed the public percep-

“I have come to understand and to believe that each

tion of prisoners in a paragraph and thanked Bass

of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.

for her support. “I know that we are kind of seen as

I believe that for every person on the planet... And

monsters, and don’t get me wrong, I’ve met a lot of

because of that there’s this basic human dignity that

bad people here in prison but for the majority of us:

must be respected by law,” civil rights lawyer Bryan

that’s just not us and the people who are bad, they

Stevenson said in his 2012 TED talk. “We need to talk

can totally be cool,” Bass quotes. “I know the prison

about an injustice.”

system is built to be out of sight, out of mind, but I appreciate you doing all that you can do to continue

Consider the last meal request again. Do you know

to write us.”

what you would choose? No need, because it no longer matters. Texas abolished the “last meal” in

It is clear that the people on the inside know how

2011. “It is extremely inappropriate to give a person

they are perceived by the public. How does that affect

sentenced to death such a privilege,” Texas senator

them? “It’s really a vicious prison cycle,” Bass says.

James Whitmire said. Since then, no Texas death row prisoner has been offered the infamous choice of a

Even after prisoners get out, they cannot shake off

last meal.

their label as a felon. “There’s a box to fill at almost every form that says ‘Have you ever been convicted

People who are incarcerated are more than their

of a felony?’ for scholarships, college applications,

incarceration. They have favorite meals and families.

apartment housing, jobs. Pretty much everywhere,

They have individual personalities, likes, dislikes and

there is that little box. And if you check ‘yes,’ it can be

interests. They are all human. However, getting the

very damaging for your entire life,” Bass says.

general public to care about them is difficult. “Americans are a punitive people,” Deitch says. Even small

There is also a racial divide within the U.S. prison

freedoms, such as choosing a last meal, are seen as

system. African Americans and Hispanics combined

excessive privileges.

only make up about 25 percent of the population. Together, they are 58 percent of the country’s prison

Deitch hopes that if people become aware of the

population. Deitch, who teaches a class at the Uni-

prison system and its effects post-incarceration,

versity of Texas at Austin about mass incarceration,

there will be more progress. “I think that most people,

doubts racism is the sole explanation for the rise in

if they knew what was really happening and how

incarceration rates. However, she says history cannot

we’re treating people, and if they understood that

be ignored. “We have had historical period after his-

what happens in prison will affect someone’s likeli-

torical period of efforts to control racial minorities,

hood of recidivism when they get out--then most of

whether it’s through slavery, the Jim Crow era or

the public would care about that,” she says.

mass incarceration,” Deitch says. “It is impossible to

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ignore the direct links among these different periods

Prisons may be out of sight, but prisoners should no

in history.”

longer be out of mind.


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You Are What You Eat

Story by Rochelle Friedewald Illustration by Ryan Hicks 23


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“You’re making this completely wrong,” a friend says as she peers over my shoulder with a furrowed brow.

W

hat are you talking about?” I dice toma-

than my dad though. A mother’s cooking is the great-

toes and garlic as a pan of scrambled eggs

est thing ever, hands down.”

simmers on the stovetop. “That’s impossible.” Coming to university, Yeluru admits he misses the “You’re supposed to pan fry the tomatoes and then

food he was raised with. One of his favorite meals is

add the eggs,” she replies. “It’s the only way for the

tiffin, a rice-based breakfast snack usually eaten with

taste to be right.”

a peanut or coconut sauce. “They’re a uniquely South Indian food, and I had them almost every morning

“What? No, that doesn’t seem right,” I say, incredu-

growing up,” Yeluru says. “You’d think they’d get old,

lous. “You’re supposed to lightly scramble the eggs,

but after coming to college, I miss them immensely. I

add vegetable oil and then add the tomatoes.” I had

look forward to eating them every time I get home.”

watched my mother cook this dish for as long as I could remember. She moved through the process so

This taste of family and nostalgia from his childhood

ritualistically; every step was like a moving cog in a

foods is a feeling many students try to recreate within

machine, perfectly-timed and never derivative. To me,

the confines of a majority white American campus.

the thought of preparing Chinese stir-fried tomato

During a Diversity Mini-Week panel held on campus,

and eggs any other way was akin to putting your legs

one student asked why minorities tend to stick

through the sleeves of your shirt.

together at the University of Texas at Austin. “It’s nice to be around other students that look like you, that

There was no Google search that would solve the

grew up eating the same foods you did, who remind

disagreement and no cookbook that would give the

you of the community that you miss from home,” says

correct answer. It was something ingrained inside,

Student Government chief of staff Santiago Rosales.

an element of life Chinese mothers had passed onto their children in their own unique ways.

Familiar food seems to be an anchor for many student communities. It is the tool that brings

No recipe could compress into words the way my

together those different interests but similar ethnic

mother moved in the kitchen, the way her fingers

backgrounds. “As college students, it’s really hard to

creased the dough wrapper around a pork dumpling

find the time to make food,” Bui says. “But last year,

so perfectly. “You’re physically creating something

I lived in an apartment with all Asian American girls.

that you’re tied to historically and ethnically,” says

And sometimes, if a couple of us were really stressed

Thanh Bui, a Vietnamese student associate for the

out, someone would make a family-size meal. I was

Center of Asian American Studies. “It’s intergener-

always super grateful for that. We were taking care

ational, it’s passed along. It’s the way grandchildren

of each other through this very small but big thing.”

relate to their grandparents, it’s the way we relate to each other.” For many immigrants and children of

Bui points out that this kinship through food exists

immigrants, food is a reminder of the culture that

within minority organizations on campus as well.

runs through their veins and the family that imprints

“Through cultural events within the Asian American

it upon them.

community, you can always expect to talk about food, if not share it,” Bui says. “I guess it’s something that’s

No one knows this better than Sai Yeluru, a business

really close to our hearts.”

honors and management information systems senior

24

who immigrated from India with his family when he

Other students see their food not only as a piece of

was five. “We have always held fast to the ethnic food

identity to hold fast to, but also as a way of spread-

that we ate back in India,” Yeluru says. “My dad was

ing culture beyond their individual communities.

something of a wizard, always coming up with new

Hayoung Choi, a Korean corporate communications

fried rice recipes. My mom is a much better cook

senior who moved to the United States on exchange


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when she was 16, sees her country’s food as a symbol of cultural pride meant to be shared with others. “I feel proud when my friends try Korean food,” Choi says. “Whenever I introduce different foods to them, I want them to like it because it’s a part of my culture,

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Familiar food seems to be an anchor for many student communities. It is the tool that brings together those different interests but similar ethnic backgrounds.

a part of where I come from.” family are always the first things to come to mind. Choi regularly invites friends over to cook for them.

“When we lived in Michigan, during the winters, it

She scrolled through food pictures on her phone,

would get quite cold outside and snow, but that

carefully gauging my reaction to images of the

would never stop us kids from playing outside,”

Korean dishes she made. She pulled up a picture of

Yeluru says. “My parents once cooked especially

a gloriously cheesy plate and beamed as I exclaimed

warm rice and sambar after a day of playing outside

how good it looked. “Okay, I will make that for you

and paired it with hot cocoa. It was the most wonder-

then,” she said.

ful feeling in the world.”

However, when it comes to cultural exchange through

While the memories come easy to everyone, the

food, Bui says there is a fine line between appreci-

recipes do not. “I try to make the Vietnamese food my

ating and appropriating. Eating international food

mom made me,” Bui says. “I didn’t realize how hard it

without acknowledging the people of that culture is

was, how many ingredients there are. It fascinates me

something Bui often sees in Austin. “People enter a

because I realize how deeply intricate my culture is,

restaurant thinking it’s new and exotic,” Bui says. “I

but it makes me wish I had paid more attention when

think that’s something that weighs heavily on me,

I was younger.”

especially when it comes to remaking Asian foods. That’s the flipside to the community and the culture.”

I realized I had the same problem—most dishes my

In her opinion, the richness in culture built around

mother made me were lost somewhere in my mind,

food is lost when Western restaurateurs don’t under-

too intricate to recall. I wondered what would become

stand and appreciate where the food comes from.

of this disconnect we all seemed to have. How would we, the strange hybrids of American culture and the

There is a growing prominence of Asian fusion places

culture of our parents and grandparents, go forward?

in Austin, and with the growing popularity of food

Would we retain the knowledge of our culture’s

trends like the “pho burrito” or the “sushi taco,” it’s

food, or just the memory of it? Something about this

not hard to see the westernization of Asian cuisine.

thought made me hold tighter to the innate knowl-

“It’s weird when you walk into an Asian fusion restau-

edge of my mother’s stir-fried eggs and tomato, and

rant and you don’t see a single Asian person in the

of the cultural instinct she unknowingly passed onto

kitchen,” Bui says. She believes, in cases of ethnic

me.

food trends and restaurants, it should be more about the people behind the food than anything. “There’s a

To a refined foodie, stir-fried tomato and eggs is

question of consent,” Bui says. “If the customer has

nothing more than a layman’s dish, much like the

interactions with the people of that culture, respects

American culinary equivalent of chicken noodle soup.

the culture and has knowledge of it, then I think it’s

But to me, it is so much more. It is a relic of the beau-

okay.”

tiful culture I come from, the warmth of my family and the comforting flavor that greeted me after every

At the end of the day, that is what it all seems to boil

particularly rough day of middle school. It is a dish

down to: the people behind the food they were raised

of my mother, my mother’s mother and one day, my

on. When talking about the food of an individual’s

daughter.

culture, stories of nostalgia and little moments with

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Story by Brittany Wagner Illustration by Ryan Hicks 26


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Two students with visual impairments shed light on what it means to live with a disability and prove that their impairments only make up a small part of their identities.

K

assy Cardenas, a women and gender studies

my chair, and I was like, ‘What are you doing? What

junior, grew up in Flint, a town south of

are you doing?’ I literally just stopped and said, ‘I’m

Tyler, Texas. From a young age, her parents taught

good, thank you so much.’ And they just would not

her to be self-sufficient and independent, not only

let go. I was thinking, ‘Don’t touch me! What are you

because these are essential skills, but also because

doing? Don’t touch me!’”

Cardenas was born completely blind. Her eyes never fully developed, and at a young age she underwent

Telling her friends about these uncomfortable expe-

prosthetic eye surgery.

riences can be bittersweet. “When I talk about how people try and push me by helping me, people say,

“Whenever I was little, it wasn’t something that I was

‘Oh my god, that’s so weird. That’s so horrible. Why is

bullied for, but I remember at one point, I was called

that the case?’ It’s funny because it’s like, this is my

‘plastic eyes’ and that really bothered me,” Cardenas

life,” Cardenas says. “It’s a mix between hilarious and

says.

heartening when people get offended on my behalf because they don’t understand – this is normal.”

Cardenas navigates campus with a cane and Google Maps while using an assistive app called VoiceOver,

Although she no longer has a problem asking for help

which comes installed on every iPhone. VoiceOver

when she needs it, Cardenas is used to being indepen-

reads the text on a screen out loud and allows the

dent and still finds this to be one of the most difficult

user to utilize apps, send text messages and check

parts of navigating her disability. For example, in high

emails, among other functions. Cardenas says the

school she found it “abominable” to ask people for

most difficult part of working with VoiceOver was

rides. “It was one more thing to be resentful for and

adjusting the speed of the voice feature so she could

one more reason to shut myself away,” Cardenas

read documents faster. “I have the speech [set to read

says. “I was pushed [from a young age] to be indepen-

things] pretty quick, and especially on my computer

dent and do things on my own. I love that I was given

it’s a lot quicker,” Cardenas says. “You probably

that experience and raised that way, but sometimes it

wouldn’t be able to understand it.”

made things very hard with regards to asking for help because I felt like I shouldn’t have to.”

Cardenas does not mind people offering her help as long as they do not persist when she declines assis-

For this reason and others, Cardenas has experienced

tance. She described an instance of someone crossing

depression and unhappiness, but she is learning to be

this boundary when she accidentally bumped into

comfortable when talking about it. She uses self-dep-

them on the bus. “They turned around, grabbed me

recating humor as a tool to make the topic of her

by the shoulders and started manhandling me toward

disability more acceptable rather than hiding 27


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“I was pushed [from a young age] to be independent and do things on my own. I love that I was given that experience and raised that way, but sometimes it made things very hard with regards to asking for help because I felt like I shouldn’t have to.”

it. “Not only is this a push for me to get this informa-

blind people are treated in his home country in com-

tion to other people and a form of activism, but it’s

parison to the United States, except Americans expect

also important to me personally to do this,” Cardenas

him to be more independent.

says. “I still have moments where I’m like, ‘I hate being blind.’ Straight up, I hate it sometimes, but I’m hoping in

“In India, people try to be very accommodating, so

talking about this it becomes less and less prevalent.”

they tend to go out of their way to help you, and here in the U.S. they’re equally helpful, but more reserved,”

It is important that people do not use the experience

Sunkavalli says. “In an environment like this one, I

of one disabled person to categorize all disabilities.

do appreciate being independent, because any day

Differently-abled people are like everyone else and

I would want to build skills rather than take help

have individual personalities, desires and goals. “I try

from people. But the thing is, for that to happen, you

to emphasize that I am not a perfect person, because

need to have an enabling environment. So you need

I feel that there is this stigma of someone with a

to have braille on the elevator button so I know what

disability being fragile, asexual or angelic, who just

number I’m pressing. When that is in place, then yes I

exists in this space of innocence and purity, and I

would love to be independent. But when that’s not in

think it’s ridiculous,” Cardenas says. “I think that most

place, I’d love some help.”

assuredly is not me. I am not a nice person.” Sunkavalli uses assistive software on his iPhone and According to a January 2015 report released by

laptop to help him read documents, formulas and

the American Foundation for the Blind, there were

class PowerPoints. “I’m not an Apple fanboy but I use

669,870 people living in Texas with visual impair-

all Apple devices because of the software,” Sunkavalli

ments. The prevalence rate of visual loss has steadily

says. Siri is a useful tool because he can dictate a text

increased each year including individuals who report

to a friend, but he can also use a Microsoft app called

difficulty seeing even when wearing corrective glasses

“Seeing AI” to scan barcodes and quickly read any

or those who are fully blind.

text he points his phone at. He can even take a photo of a person and the system will describe their attri-

Another student facing similar difficulties is Pree-

butes. This description is often faulty, though, and

tham Sunkavalli, a master of business administration

Sunkavalli does not like to use it because he thinks it

exchange student from the Indian Institute of Man-

creeps people out.

agement Ahmedabad. He grew up in Vizag, a small city by Indian standards, with a population hovering

He also uses Uber to get around town and calls the

around two million. Like Cardenas, Sunkavalli has

driver to tell them exactly where to pick him up. He

been blind since birth, though he has some sight and

often identifies himself as the man with the long

can differentiate light from dark.

white cane. “Some Uber drivers cancel on me immediately,” Sunkavalli says. “Most pick me up and help

Since Sunkavalli grew up in a cosmopolitan part of India, he does not notice much difference in the way 28

me out a lot.”


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“There are three kinds of people. There are the inclusive, the indifferent and the ignorant. The inclusive are folks who will help you, who will be very nice. The indifferent will definitely help you if they have to. And the ignorant will consciously make an effort to keep a distance.”

Sunkavalli’s visual impairment was not as much of a

“In whichever position you are in, ultimately it doesn’t

hindrance to his academic or professional pursuits until

really matter whether you have a degree,” Sunkavalli

he began applying to internships and graduate schools.

says. “You cannot assume that just because you’ve

He described experiencing discrimination against his

got the right skill set, you will not be discriminated

visual impairment from Indian and American compa-

against.” Sunkavalli eventually found a position at

nies as well as the McCombs School of Business.

an inclusive company and hopes to work with more people like them in the future. He plans on developing

“There are three kinds of people,” Sunkavalli says.

his own high quality, highly recognizable brand that

“There are the inclusive, the indifferent and the igno-

people will want to buy from, like Starbucks or Apple.

rant. The inclusive are folks who will help you, who will be very nice. The indifferent will definitely help

In the meantime, when he is home in India and has

you if they have to. And the ignorant will consciously

the workspace and time, Sunkavalli enjoys construct-

make an effort to keep a distance.” Sunkavalli says

ing complex cardboard art in the shapes of aircraft

the ignorant only become a problem when they are in

carriers, excavators and Minion rayguns, which his

positions of power.

mother paints when they are completed. He uses his sense of sight to craft the basic shapes and uses his

Sunkavalli says he experienced discrimination from

sense of touch to create the smaller, intricate mecha-

the McCombs School of Business when he applied to

nisms of the artwork.

its exchange program. His Indian school has a policy of full disclosure, meaning they disclosed his dis-

For other projects that require visual attention,

ability to McCombs during the application process.

Sunkavalli trusts the judgment of those closest to

Initially, the school was hesitant to accept Sunkavalli

him. “Something as visual as buying clothes or stuff

because of his impairment, but eventually accepted

like that, I just completely let go. I just leave it up to

him after Services for Students with Disabilities

[friends and family]. I’m just a walking, talking man-

became involved.

nequin. You can dress me however you like. I do that because I have total confidence that their fashion

Since arriving at the University of Texas at Austin, he

sense works for me,” Sunkavalli says. “And about

has interacted closely with and felt accepted by both

dating and women, I have to find a really great wing

faculty members and McCombs students.

man whose sense in women works for me. And that has not happened yet, by the way. Fingers crossed.”

When two companies refused to hire Sunkavalli, the human resources representatives all said the same thing -- their company computers could not install the assistive software he needed to operate them. Therefore, they could not offer him the job.

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Tampons as a Luxury Answered and Unanswered Questions

Story by Kaiti Neuman Illustration by Ryan Hicks 30


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Three women. White pants. No tampons. Free bleeding while standing outside of the British Parliament building in London.

The Numbers

This made for quite an image.

spent around $3.1 billion on feminine hygiene prod-

According to BBC, American people who menstruate ucts in 2015. Most people use tampons for one week

The Huffington Post reported in November 2015 that

every month for around 48 years of their lives, paying

Charlie Edge, then 22, and two friends, led a protest

roughly seven dollars per box in the United States.

“to show how ‘luxury’ tampons really are.”

New York officials estimated that if feminine hygiene products were exempt from the state’s sales tax, con-

Periods happen. It is a fact of life. While many around the world do not understand why feminine hygiene products are often taxed as luxury items and not regarded as necessities, feminine

sumers would save about 10 million dollars a year in purchasing items of that nature. In Texas, the state comptroller’s office estimates that “if feminine hygiene products were tax exempt... the

hygiene products are considered inarguably vital by more than half of the population. Most states in the U.S. implement a sales tax on products that are not food or medical items. There are 12 states that do not tax feminine hygiene products. Seven states -- Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania -specifically leave out feminine hygiene products from their sales tax. The remaining five -- Alaska, Delaware, New Hampshire, Montana, and Oregon -- do not have sales tax at all, according to the free-market oriented Tax Foundation.

general revenue fund would lose $19.3 million in fiscal year 2018 and $20.4 million in 2019,” according to the Houston Chronicle. Now that is a lot of dollars. According to The Independent, the British Parliament created an amendment due in April 2018 to end the “tampon tax.” This past March, however, it used £12 million raised from the tax on feminine hygiene products to support women’s charities, including domestic violence victims. While some view this decision as controversial, it goes to show that America is not the only country that struggles with taxes on feminine hygiene.

The Argument A grievance among those opposed to the so-called

The Future of the Tampon Tax

“tampon-tax” is that Viagra, a prescription drug used

One thing that many people who menstruate do not

for erectile dysfunction, is not taxed in any state

find debatable is that they need feminine hygiene

except Illinois, according to a January 2017 Politi-

products. The office of California assemblywoman

fact article. However, it is worth noting that no male

Cristina Garcia, an advocate for abolishing the tax,

product is specifically exempt. Yet, Viagra happens

said “these products are ‘a basic necessity’ that should

to fall under the broad category of prescription

not be taxed.” The office added that the tax is partic-

drugs. “You could easily pick a drug that only applies

ularly unfair as it impacts a specific group of people

to females, say birth control pills, and those would

“who are already suffering on the wrong end of the

fall under the same sales tax exemption as Viagra

gender wage gap,” according to a 2016 Washington

or Rogaine,” says Nicole Kaeding, a state tax policy

Post article.

analyst at the Tax Foundation. The “tampon tax” is still up in the air in the United Sales tax consultant Diane Yetter explains that since

States. Time will tell if the U.S. will change its mind

menstruation isn’t considered a disease or illness,

about the importance of feminine hygiene. Until then,

tampons and pads are often categorized as grooming

shoppers will have to buy according to their state’s

and hygiene products instead of necessary medical items.

perspective. 31


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Madie and Humphery After rescuing Humphrey from death row, anthropology junior Madie Troutz cannot imagine herself with another dog who loves to love to sleep and watch television as much as her. Humphrey is an 11-month-old wheaten terrier. 32


Photos by Ashley Nava

Twins with Tails Pets are as much a part of us as we are of them. As they are adopted into new human families and become siblings and best friends, it is no coincidence that similarities between owner and pet begin to surface. Due to the psychological phenomenon called the “mere-exposure effect,� people tend to lean toward things they are familiar with. Whether it be shared mannerisms, mirrored personalities or simply resembling one another, these students and their pets are one and the same. 33


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Emily and Oliver Rhetoric and writing junior Emily Benson, creates new worlds in her writing by using Oliver’s fresh outlook on life as a puppy. Oliver is a 4-month-old Australian shepherd and catahoula mix.

34


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Bianca and Marie Mexican American studies and English senior, Bianca Lopez, and her 16-pound-cat Marie, have bonded over rough times and their need to snuggle. Marie is a six-year-old regular American shorthair.

35


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Christina and Boo Christina Horton, Mexican American Studies junior, and Boo both love attention and being adored. Boo is a 4-year-old tabby cat.

36

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Niki and Darcy Biology junior Niki Nallapati and her 2-year-old mutt Darcy both share the same enthusiasm when in the company of others.

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Lonely, but Not Alone Fighting feelings of loneliness as Longhorns. Story by Gabrielle Ponds Illustration by Jacob Sepulveda

W

hile preparing for college move-in day, stu-

the Counseling and Mental Health Center does offer

dents may come across articles with tips

drop-in discussion groups and classes, they are

like, “Help someone move in!” and “Keep your door

mainly for students who are struggling with feelings

open and make new friends!” However, on the day

of loneliness as a symptom of a mental illness. This

of, it is easier said than done to follow through with

is not designed for students who simply desire to

these suggestions. A few nights after settling into

connect with fellow Longhorns.

their dorms, students often find themselves feeling uneasy. The mind races with thoughts such as, “Do I belong here? Have I made the right decision? Are people back home thinking about me?” All students can attest to feeling lonely at some

“People set up this stigma that college is where you meet your lifelong friends and everyone is super social, but that is not the case.”

point in their college career. At a school as big as the University of Texas at Austin, it seems nearly impos-

Despite this, the wonderful thing about UT is that

sible to even think about feeling this way. However,

there are plenty of opportunities to create meaning-

the diverse population housed on campus can make

ful relationships. It is easy to advise new students to

the notion of connecting with other students seem

put down their phone and make friends, but truth-

daunting. “People set up this stigma that college is

fully, that can be nerve-wracking. It is often easier to

where you meet your lifelong friends and everyone

meet new people by getting a new job, joining a study

is super social, but that is not the case,” studio art

group for a difficult class or by attending one of the

freshman Brittany Canales says.

many events that UT hosts for students. Becoming a member of an organization is also a way to find

Alternatively, students who have been on the 40 acres

people with similar interests.

for a while might notice that their passions differ from those they are surrounded by.

After joining Texas Women of Excellence, a service organization, English sophomore Caitlin Smith was

Youth and community studies junior Isabel Alvarado

able to find a group of people she genuinely wanted

arrived at UT as a physical therapy major. During her

to spend her time with. “[Joining] actually helped so

freshman year, she attended an organization meeting

much because I had weekly meetings, had to go to

where a guest speaker illustrated the difficulties of

social events and was forced to make friends and get

becoming a physical therapist. She then realized that

to know new people,” Smith says.

this was not the path for her and after consulting with mentors and family members, she changed her major.

Many students struggle with loneliness while in

“Once I switched in, I felt pretty lonely because I didn’t

college and self-isolation only exacerbates these

know anybody else, but slowly over time, I started to

feelings. Once students identify their passions, it

meet a few people in my classes,” Alvarado says.

becomes easier to find the confidence needed to go out and connect with like-minded students. Eventu-

Unfortunately, there are not many resources designed

ally, UT can begin to feel more like a second home.

to combat loneliness specifically on campus. While 39


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On-Campus Resources

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by Alexis Green

For college students, busy semesters are filled with midterms, the epic battle of registration and an endless period of time before anything that remotely resembles a break. As things start piling up, it is difficult to figure out where to go for help.

In times of stress, it is easy to feel isolated and face struggles alone. However, these resources can help students navigate the difficulties of college life. Students are never truly alone in their issues as these spaces create safe environments to facilitate camaraderie and inclusion.

Counseling and Mental Health Center Sometimes it feels as though a choice has to be made between self-care or schoolwork. The CMHC, however, has resources for finding ways to balance both personal and academic lives. Professional counselors can be seen by appointment for any issue.

fact of the matter is, college is harder. A GPA is not a reflection of self-worth and one bad grade will not hinder a successful future. Grades can change and if you do not know where to start, the Sanger Learning Center may be the place to visit. Located in the Jester Center, the space offers one-on-one tutoring and workshops as well as a website with studying tips.

It can be scary to seek professional help, especially when it is face to face. However, there is also a hotline where you can talk to a professional counselor as well. The center’s website offers a variety of tips and groups to sign up for. Mental health should not be put on the back burner, so make sure that before you take care of an assignment, you take care of yourself.

Services for Students with Disabilities According to their webpage, the SSD works to “eliminate physical, instructional and attitudinal barriers.” Navigating UT without knowing what spaces are accessible can add to the already stressful lives of students. The organization works with disabled students to ensure they have the same opportunities

Multicultural Engagement Center Adjusting to life at the University of Texas at Austin can prove challenging, especially when coming from a diverse background. When there are few other students who share the same background, it can create

and are aware of resources such as transportation, note-taking options and registration assistance. The service also caters to a wide range of disabilities from physical to psychological, so that no individual need goes unmet.

feelings of isolation and loneliness. The MEC allows diverse groups of students to build the much-needed community that often feels lost. Whether you need advising or a new study spot away from the crowded Perry-Castañeda Library, the center provides an open space for all types of people.

Gender and Sexuality Center Building a sense of community within the 40 Acres can be difficult but the GSC makes it a little easier. The center offers a space free of judgment and full of resources for all students. Weekly events and discussion groups such as Feminist Fridays, Queer Voices

Sanger Learning Center There comes a moment in a student's life when they receive their first bad grade and it feels like a major setback. For people who thrived in high school academically, adjusting to college can be difficult, but the

40

and Finding Our Voice open the floor for conversations regarding sexuality, race and gender issues with a diverse group of individuals who share similar identities or backgrounds.


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Working with the Dead Story by Tinu Thomas Photos by Andres Garcia 41


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To the average passerby, Freeman Ranch looks like any other farm, a lush field scattered with cattle and two rustic houses overlooking their respective land. Just a few miles from this scenic view, however, is an open field of decomposing human bodies.

T

he Forensic Anthropology Research Facility

In addition to studying decomposition, the FARF

(FARF) is located on Freeman Ranch, 30 miles

program also trains local law enforcement for tasks

south of Austin. FARF hosts what is commonly known

such as finding and excavating bodies without losing

as a “body farm,” a research project that aims to

or compromising evidence on the body that may

study decomposition and what happens to the human

be useful during an investigation. “We do training

body after death. Freeman Ranch in San Marcos is

courses on a couple different things,” Wescott says.

one of only ten other FARFs worldwide and sits at 26

“How to find bodies, and once you find it, how do you

acres, the largest known FARF in the world in terms

recover it? Especially with a buried body, how do you

of land size.

properly excavate a body to retrieve as much information as possible?”

Dr. Daniel Wescott, FARF director, said that learning about what happens to a dead body is one way

Captain Carol L. Twiss, who serves as Chief Crim-

to alleviate the fear and mystery surrounding death.

inal Chief Investigator in Kerr County, says the law

“One of the most frightening things about death for

enforcement training at FARF has helped solve several

people is the unknown,” Wescott says, sitting in front

murders using forensics, including the high-profile

of a collection of large, brown boxes labeled with

murder case of millionaire Allan Kowalski in 2008. “I

names. “These are boxes that contain the skeletal

think anybody who doesn’t work with these folks is

remains of donated individuals.”

stupid,” Twiss says. “We actually solved the murder and arrested 10 or 15 people associated with the theft

The stretch of farmland on which the bodies are

of his property. We brought out a cadaver dog to do

observed is scattered with a plethora of stray vege-

a search, it was buried under black-stone rock and

tation. Amidst the brush, dry weeds and patches of

when we lifted the rock, you could see the remains.

grass, each body is methodically positioned for a spe-

We left it alone and had the Texas State University

cific research purpose.

folks come out and they helped us excavate it.”

Some bodies are covered, others uncovered, some

FARF accepts two kinds of donations: living and next-

clothed, others undressed. The bodies, in their

of-kin. Living donors are pre-registered to donate

varying stages of decomposition are also uniquely

their bodies to the research center prior to death

positioned, sitting up, laying down, some with wire

while next-of-kin donors are donated by family

cages encapsulating their remains and others, that

members who make the decision to donate their

are completely out in the open are referred to as

loved ones after they have died.

“vulture research projects,” because they are subject to all-natural decomposition including animals like

The term “body farm” is widely used to describe

vultures feeding on the remains. “We’re interested in

anthropological research facilities, but Courtney

a whole variety of things,” Wescott says. “The most

Siegert, a doctoral student at Texas State University

common thing here is looking at methods associated

and FARF researcher, says that the term is disrespect-

with estimating how long a person has been dead.”

ful to those who donate their bodies to research. “I think that the term body farm is not appropriate,”

The researchers also conduct case studies in which

Siegert says. “It makes light of what it is. We don’t

certain bodies are subject to specific decomposition

farm people. We don’t grow people here.”

factors. In one case, a body was placed underneath

42

a mattress to study the decomposition of a body if it

Student researchers from Texas State University are

were hidden under heavy, synthetic elements. These

involved in every aspect of the FARF. The students

specific studies allow forensic scientists to understand

retrieve and transport the bodies to the center,

how bodies decompose in various real-life scenarios.

placing them in the field for research until they are


completely skeletal and ready to be scrubbed down and studied further, leaving little room for the faint of heart. Siegert quickly learned that there was no room to be hesitant on her first day at the FARF. During an initial facility tour, she was thrown into a “sink or swim” situation. “There were a bunch of bodies that had been placed in tarps and there wasn’t a cage on top. The person that was teaching us said, ‘Oh no! We have to gather them up so the vultures don’t keep scavenging

field cameras captured never before seen footage.

and taking everything,’” Siegert says. “So we had to

“We captured the first-ever footage of a deer eating

gather up bodies on my first day.”

human remains,” Westcott says.

Like Siegert, many students who come to work at the

Deer, which are well-known to be herbivores, had

FARF have never encountered a dead body before

never displayed carnivorous tendencies prior to the

joining the facility. Kari Helgeson, a veteran student

footage at the FARF in January 2015. The footage was

researcher at the FARF, says that despite her five

subject to scientific marvel and inquiry, featured in

years of experience, aspects of the job remain dif-

National Geographic and other renowned scientific

ficult. “Picking up a foot that’s decomposing while

journals.

maggots are crawling under your hand, that is an experience,” Helgeson says.

The footage was explained later by a paper published by FARF researchers, Lauren Meckel, Chloe

Helgeson and Siegert pointed out that there are

McDaneld and Wescott. The paper proved that deer

certain tasks that may never get easier, but must

may gnaw on human bones “possibly to obtain min-

be done as part of the daily procedures conducted

erals absent in their diet.”

in their research. An example is a technique called maceration, which is used to break down tissue on

According to FARF researchers, the popularity of the

smaller body parts. “The thing that freaks me out is

paper paired with peaked public interest in unique

when I have to take them apart and put them in the

burials, has caused more people to choose to donate

Crock-Pot,” Helgeson says. “I mean physical Crock-

their bodies to FARF. This increased amount of

Pots, like what you use in everyday life. That breaks

donors is also partly due to the facility’s proximity to

apart the tissue and we have to pull them apart

Austin, where “green living” is prominent. “Austin is

farther to get the bones out.

obsessed with eco-friendly, green burials,” Wescott says. “Also, it’s just a nice peaceful place.”

Siegert notes that intake, when the researchers first pick up and analyze the body at the lab, is

Despite the emotional aspects of identification

always more difficult than the actual decomposition

research and the unease that follows physically sep-

research. “People often think that it’s the decompo-

arating human skeletons from the flesh they once

sition aspect that freaks us out more,” Siegert says.

inhabited, the students and researchers who work at

“But honestly it’s doing the initial intake that bothers

the FARF are resilient in the work they do.

me more because they look like a person still. It looks like somebody you knew.”

As Wescott paced gingerly around the field of bodies to avoid stepping on displaced bones, he spoke about

Like Helgeson, Siegert says despite her years of expe-

his personal burial plans. “Actually, I plan on donating

rience, she still feels uncomfortable doing certain

my body to the University of Tennessee and every-

necessary tasks, in specific, taking nail samples from

body always asks why,” Wescott says. “I’d rather be

newly donated bodies. “It’s like holding hands with

buried here than Tennessee, but right now, if I were to

somebody that you love or care about,” she says.

die on the way home, it’s my students that would have to pick up my body, my students that would have to

When the researchers are off the field, the bodies

place me. While that doesn’t bother me, I know it

are observed through field cameras which are placed

would bother my students.”

over each body. In one particular situation, the FARF 43


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Destructing Dobie Story by Tinu Thomas Photos by Mary Pistorius

Troy Arn was a 21-year-old new father when he quit school and opened a small video game store out of his garage. After years of saving, Arn opened the first brick and mortar location of Resurrected Games at Dobie Mall. Arn’s video game store was located at Dobie Mall for 16 years until he was evicted to make room for Target.

F

or years, the Dobie Center, located on the

Alongside enforcing new advertising rules that were

corner of 21st and Guadalupe Streets, was a

slowing traffic coming into Dobie, the new manage-

hub for small businesses, family-owned restaurants,

ment was effectively evicting small business owners

beauty salons and a single video game store.

from the first floor and creating difficult building conditions so the owners would leave without forced

With the anticipation of the new Target opening at

expulsion.

Dobie Center on Nov. 12, tenants at Dobie say that property management has been forcing these smaller

For Arn, the tipping point was in August, when Res-

stores out of the mall to make room for the com-

urrected Games was charged a fee of $6,500 for

mercial superstore. “The new Target is coming in,”

“missing property payments” for the previous year

Arn says. “They evicted a lot of the stores and they

without proper explanation or a sufficient amount of

wouldn’t renew anybody’s contracts.”

time to pay. “We tried going through the contract to see how legal this was, and we saw that this was a

Arn notes that when Red Tail management put Trinity

loophole for them, but there was also a loophole for

in charge of Dobie and its tenants, the worst that the

us because it was an agreement we had made before-

small business owners expected was increased rent,

hand,” Arn says. “But they weren’t budging on the

but the result was far more destructive. Ironically, one

matter, so we said, ‘Okay, we’ll get the money for you,’

of the first signs of trouble was that the new manage-

and then they said, ‘Well, you have until Monday to

ment removed all signs of the small businesses from

do that’ and they told us that on a Friday afternoon.”

the building’s exterior. “For almost an entire year people did not know we were in there at all,” Arn says.

In order to make the $6,500, Resurrected Games had a blowout sale over the weekend, and when

Arn claims that the new management company also

they finally made the money, Arn said it still wasn’t

charged him to remove decals on their storefront.

enough to save the store. “I went up there to pay, and

“They charged us $250 to scrape off a decal, which

she said, “Y’all can pay us, it’s not a problem, but you

takes like 30 seconds, and to throw up their own

know you’re probably just buying yourself until the

decals,” Arn says.

end of the month, and then we’re gonna evict you,’” 45


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Arn says. “So we used the money for moving instead.”

buzz

find a maintenance guy to come fix it. $800 worth of Blue Bell melted.”

Resurrected Games is not the only small business affected by the accommodations Dobie made

for

Engle, like Arn, says that the new management came

Target. Since summer, all but one store at the bottom

to the store with obscure bills and without solid rea-

floor of the center closed down. The one remaining store

soning, except for the risk of eviction if they did not

is Austin Market, formerly known as Dobie Market.

comply with their terms and pay the fees.

Todd Engle, cashier and store employee at Austin

Engle contends that management came into the store

Market, states that despite intimidation and attempts

in early October and handed him a bill for $5,000. At

to drive their store out of the mall, Austin Market

the time, the store owner was working with lawyers to

intends to stay at Dobie indefinitely. “We still have

relieve the fee. “I don’t know what it [the fee] was for,

three years left on the lease,” Engle says. “I’m sur-

but out of the blue, they handed it to me,” Engle says.

prised they’ve let us stay this long.” When later asked about the bill, Engle notes that the Whether intentionally or not, the new management

fee doubled to $10,000 and they were forced to pay.

has made several attempts to make operating condi-

“We weren’t the only ones,” Engle says. “I talked to

tions difficult for the small market. From the removal

Burrito Factory upstairs and they had to pay $10,000

of their store sign outside for “remodeling purposes,”

too.”

to forcing the market to change their name to “Austin Market” after over a decade of being known as Dobie

Less than a month before the completion of the

Market, Engle says these are only a few examples of

Target, remaining small business owners at Dobie

everyday hassles at the hand of new building man-

waited to see what the fate of their stores would be.

agement. “They cut our electricity off and our ice

According to Arn, all were hanging on by a thread.

cream melted,” Engle says. “They said they couldn’t 46


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PART 2 Niki Rios of Niki’s Pizza, located on the second floor

restaurants operate, some days, the property man-

of Dobie, says that new management has not shown

agement entirely neglects the owners. “On weekends

any signs of getting rid of his store but amidst the

sometimes we’ll come here to conduct our businesses

reconstruction of the mall, it has not been profes-

and we’ll find the entrance door is locked,” Rios says.

sional either.

“We don’t have a key for the entrance door. We complain. That’s all we can do, and we sound like an old

Initially hesitant to voice his concerns, Rios looked

record. They still don’t listen.”

around for officials before agreeing to speak out about the management. “Now it’s been 27 months, we

While Resurrected Games and several other small

are here waiting for them to get everything demol-

businesses have relocated, many like Rios’ business

ished and remodeled,” Rios says. “There’s been more

are still holding on to the hope of staying at Dobie.

destruction than construction.”

“For me, it’s very hard to move from this place because Niki’s Pizza has been here since 1983,” Rios

Rios argues that the new management is actively

says. “This is a good location. I’m used to it. I love it.

destroying business at Dobie and refusing to address

I’m just waiting for better times.”

the concerns of the small business owners downstairs. “Basically, they are never here, they spend their

Editor’s Note: Since this story was written and published, the

time upstairs without caring about what’s going on

bottom floor of the former Dobie Mall has been renovated and

down here,” Rios says. “I email them, I make sugges-

now operates as a Target superstore. Austin Market is the only

tions and they just tell me my suggestion has been

store remaining on the floor and the owners said they hope

submitted but they have their own way to run a busi-

to keep operating after their lease ends despite the difficulty

ness.”

in operating in the shadow of a major superstore chain. Niki Rios from Niki’s Pizza remains hopeful that the new Target will

Beyond ignoring the small business owners at the

attract customers to his local business rather than divert their

food court, where Rios and three other at-risk family

attention to big-name chain restaurants. 47


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Transformation and Consistency Automatic Admission’s Role in UT Class Composition

After 20 years of automatic admission at the University of Texas at Austin, students speak up about whether or not they think the system is producing a student body that is both academically competitive and diverse in backgrounds.

Story by Taylor Newman Illustrations by Ryan Hicks 48


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buzz

n a report submitted to the governor last Decem-

a new group of friends with Asian backgrounds, she

ber, UT said that its goals were diversity and

found a new community that was “different because

excellence. With each incoming class, UT aimed to

there was a mutual understanding of what it was like

increase not only academic competitiveness, but also

to be Asian.”

diversity in racial, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds. Since 2000, UT has reported that its freshman

Going from an area that is predominately white to a

class increased its minority representation each year.

school that reports about a fifth of its students as Asian

But after twenty years of the automatic admissions ini-

was a huge bonus for Tang, who no longer “sticks out

tiative, it is time to evaluate whether the school is more

like a sore thumb.”

diverse than it was nearly 20 years ago and what can be done to make sure it reaches its goals.

At an academic level, having diversity in the classroom can improve class discussions. For medical lab

By comparing the freshman class of 2016 to that

science freshman Isai Espinoza, diversity is especially

of 2000s, it is easy to see a significant change in the

significant in particular classes. “It’s kind of important

student body at UT. For starters, more people than ever

for classes like philosophy or sociology, where we have

are applying to UT at a whopping 47,511 applicants per

people from different cultures. We have a whole bunch

year, but the available spots for students have not risen

of unique discussions and it makes for a more inter-

much. The number was only 13 percent higher in 2016

esting class,” he says. Being able to talk to people who

than it was for the freshman class of 2000.

are not all going to say the same thing is one of the reasons Espinoza enjoys his First-Year Interest Group.

This means that the coveted spots at UT are getting

These groups facilitate friendship and collaboration, as

more and more difficult to come by and this is visible in

a group of students are placed in the same classes for

the average scores of the enrolled students. SAT scores

their first college semester.

have gone up by an average 12.5 percent overall, and ACT scores have gone up 39.1 percent. Although more students are submitting ACT scores now than they did in 2000, an increase of that magnitude is significant when it comes to measuring the academic excellence

“At UT, you can meet so many different people that you wouldn’t ordinarily get the opportunity to meet, from all around the world and different

of incoming freshmen.

places around the country.”

The answer to whether or not UT has succeeded in

For students at UT, these stories are common because

raising the bar for its incoming students seems to be

they recognize the diversity all around them. In 2016’s

a positive one. The next question concerns its second

fall freshman class, almost 60 percent of students

pillar: diversity.

reported a race other than white. This marks a sharp change since the class of 2000, which had a white

“At UT, you can meet so many different people that you

freshman population of 64 percent. The increase in

wouldn’t ordinarily get the opportunity to meet, from

the Hispanic population on campus has made up the

all around the world and different places around the

majority of the change in class composition. However,

country,” says Alexis Allen, a government and Plan II

looking more closely, there are still problems that the

junior from Houston. She values the diversity that UT

university has yet to tackle for underrepresented stu-

has because it seems to have an “authentically” diverse

dents.

background. This allows her to interact with people in her major that she probably would not interact or nor-

For example, this year’s African American freshman

mally cross paths with on campus.

population reached five percent for the first time ever. UT’s overall African American population has never

To Sarah Tang, a sociology sophomore from Waco,

reached beyond four percent. In reference to this

diversity is especially important. “I think that growing

statistic, Allen feels that it has led to different group

up in Waco played a huge role in how I viewed myself

dynamics. “You’re going to have those [students] nav-

and what being an Asian American meant,” she says.

igating towards each other because, well, there’s only

“Growing up without that kind of representation

four percent of you on this campus,” Allen says. “That

around me in my community was kind of difficult.”

might be the only community you feel accepted in.”

However, after coming to UT and being surrounded by 49


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As a member of the Black Honors Student Association and co-director of Student Government’s Diversity and Inclusion Agency, Allen says it can be tough to penetrate organizations that are primarily white. She often feels out of place in these majority white spaces. “White people are not going to be thinking about the things that someone who is of color is going to have to think about, [like] ‘Am I being true to myself?’” Jessica Vieira, a geology senior and international

out.’” Having their problems heard but not solved can

student from Brazil, says that she struggled with a

make it difficult for new students to adapt to the rig-

similar problem. “I think coming to UT, I didn’t see a

orous academic environment. With problem-solving

lot of people who looked like me,” Vieira says. “There

channels being as confusing as they are, even the most

wasn’t a whole lot of people that I could relate to.” It

straightforward issues can become lost in a big school

can be an isolating experience for students to see so

system.

few people who look like them. “Going to such a big school, if you don’t find a group early on, that can be especially discouraging,” Vieira says.

“We can’t have diversity for diversity’s sake,” Allen says. When recognizing that every year, over 50,000 students or more apply for a spot in the freshman class at

Vieira grew up in the U.S. but went to Brazil for high

UT, and only around 18 percent of those students are

school. She says that when she came back, it was a

admitted, there has to be a better system for finding

bit of a culture shock. “I expected people to be more

the right student to become the next Longhorn.

friendly and more open, which is what I remember, and that definitely wasn’t the case,” Vieira says. Even

With the current automatic admissions system, nearly

after trying to connect with others, Vieira notes that as

45 percent of enrolled students come from major

an international student, she did not feel like students

suburban areas, despite the fact that those areas only

made much effort to welcome or include her.

account for 21 percent of Texas high schools. With the current admissions system, the population of African

Being an international student can lead to academic

American students has only increased a little more than

issues as well. Kyunghoon Cha, a mathematics senior

half a percent in over a decade. The current admissions

from South Korea, says that he had a hard time with

system may be working for now, but there is no reason

the language barrier when he first came to UT. “When

to settle when there are significant holes in the quest

I took physics or computer science, the language was

for a representative student body.

really unfamiliar to me,” Cha says. “That time, I had to translate into Korean first, and after I understood

Considering the ways that UT has worked to achieve its

it in Korean, I had to try and relearn it one more time

goals of excellence and diversity, it all goes to waste if

in English. It takes a lot of time, twice as much as an

diversity simply becomes a buzzword that is not repre-

American student [would have to spend].”

sentative of reality. While there have been significant improvements over the past two decades, there are

While Cha says he was lucky that he had a very under-

still ways to create a space for any student looking to

standing professor, these are issues that students face

continue their higher education studies in Texas. There

every day. They can often create a multitude of chal-

is no denying the academic side of UT has readily

lenges beyond those of the average student.

improved, but relaxing on the diversity front simply because the numbers look good can not be an option.

Allen also believes the administration leaves more to be desired when it comes to aiding students of color. “I

Going into the third decade of automatic admissions,

think they do a lot of things to save face, which makes

the goal for each incoming freshman class should be

students not excel,” she says. “I think that they could

not only who gets in, but how they will be heard once

definitely work on creating policies that actually take

they get here. If we are going to give each person a

action to help students feel like this is their school too

voice, we might as well plug in the microphone, too.

and not like, ‘I’m just here to get my degree and get 50


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THE KIDS ARE

ALT-RIGHT

A dive into the movement vying to take over conservative politics and the internet. Find out what the alt-right stands for, who the key players are and how much influence it wields in the nation’s capital.

Story by Chad Lyle Illustration by Ryan Hicks

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AMERICA’S NEW BRAND OF RACISM

P

erhaps no crusade in recent memory has

“populism” of the alt-right has previously manifested

gained notoriety and influence as quickly as

itself as anti-immigrant rhetoric.

that of the “alternative right.” The movement is a new brand of conservatism, tailored for the internet age,

“A significant element of the alt-right ethos involves

and therefore not without its share of controversy. The

identity politics for white people,” says Guy Benson,

country was widely introduced to key alt-right players

a Fox News contributor and the Political Editor of

when Stephen Bannon took over as CEO of Donald

Townhall. Indeed, a closer look at prominent alt-right

Trump’s presidential campaign in August of 2016.

figures and publications demonstrates links to nefarious actors that embrace prejudiced ideas.

Bannon had previously served as executive chairman of Breitbart News, a popular right-wing outlet accused of having white nationalist ties. Bannon once described Breitbart as “the platform for the alt-right.” Given that Bannon went on to serve as a Chief Strat-

“A significant element of the alt-right ethos involves identity politics for white people.”

egist in the White House, and the President himself

Take Breitbart, the website that Steve Bannon has

seems to be a patron of InfoWars (a conspiracy pub-

since regained control of after exiting his post at the

lication under the alt-right banner), it is critically

White House. Allegedly, it is nothing more than a

important that the American people understand what

fiery right-wing publication. As the term alt-right has

exactly the alt-right is and just how influential it has

increasingly become associated with racism, Breitbart

become in the modern political landscape.

has attempted to distance itself from the label once proudly applied by Bannon himself. Despite that, it is

Though the alt-right stands accused of stoking

pretty clear that not too long ago, the site was gearing

racial tensions, most members of the movement do

up to be a leading voice in the movement.

not identify as racist and instead claim to champion more simple values. Standard members may describe

An article published in spring 2016 by tech editor Milo

themselves as socially conservative and populist.

Yiannopoulos titled “An Establishment Conservative’s

Social conservatives place a high value on traditional

Guide to the Alt-Right” is a perfect encapsulation

ideas of family and morality. Populists claim to prior-

of Breitbart’s desire to embrace the alt-right and its

itize the needs of the working class — they stand up

willingness to jump down the rabbit hole of fringe

for American jobs and oppose trade deals like NAFTA

ideologies in order to do so.

or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, fearing they could move jobs overseas.

According to a recent exposé by reporter Joe Bernstein, Yianopoulos reached out to white nationalists

52

While there is nothing inherently wrong with being a

to gather information and later allowed the same

social conservative or a populist, these are only the

individuals to preview and critique the piece. Among

surface claims made by alt-right standard bearers

those contacted by Yiannopoulos were Curtis Yarvin

about what they represent. Often times, the “social

— who once wrote that while he does not consider

conservatism” of the alt-right has given way to prej-

himself a white nationalist, he was “not exactly aller-

udiced statements about women and minorities. The

gic to the stuff” — and Devin Saucier, who wrote an


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The phrase “alt-right” is a fallacy. It is not an alternative to modern-day conservatism — as advertised — but instead a discriminatory movement that looks to blame diversity for every American failing.

article under the alias Henry Wolff titled “Why I Am

in a sea of increasingly disturbing voices. The primary

(Among Other Things) A White Nationalist.” Accord-

home of the alt-right is the internet, and its primary

ing to Bernstein, “Yiannopoulos passed the article

constituency are millennials. The Daily Stormer is a

back to Yarvin and the white nationalist Saucier, the

popular Neo-Nazi website that exclusively caters to

latter of whom gave line-by-line annotations.”

millennials (whose system administrator pitched in on Yiannopoulos’s alt-right piece) and has reportedly

Other controversial Breitbart articles, penned by

received $200,000 in bitcoin donations since 2014.

Mr. Yiannopoulos and others, include “Bill Kristol: Republican spoiler, renegade Jew,” “Birth control

In the aftermath of a deadly stabbing last year at the

makes women unattractive and crazy,” and “Hoist it

University of Texas at Austin, fliers appeared around

high and proud: The Confederate flag proclaims a

campus that bore the Daily Stormer’s logo and the

glorious heritage.”

slogan “around blacks, never relax.” A host of other, larger, alt-right groups exist online, including a Reddit

On the other hand, InfoWars is a site that has not

page promoting male superiority called “The Red Pill”

made any effort to downplay its alt-right foundations.

which has more than 200,000 subscribers. Popular

Alex Jones — the conspiracy-prone host of The Alex

Reddit forums specifically devoted to the alt-right

Jones Show (based in Austin, Texas) and mastermind

were recently shuttered for “doxxing” (disseminating

of InfoWars — has promoted several racially charged,

compromising personal information) about enemies

unfounded stories. Jones once said of former Presi-

of the movement.

dent Obama, “Obama is a hardcore Wahhabist; he is al-Qaeda” (Wahhabism is a strain of radical Islam).

The phrase “alt-right” is a fallacy. It is not an alternative to modern-day conservatism — as advertised

InfoWars also ran a story calling the 44th president

— but instead a discriminatory movement that looks

the “global head of Al-Qaeda.” Other false and incen-

to blame diversity for every American failing.

diary claims made by Jones and company include the theory that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary

The reach of alt-right leaders and publications, from

was a hoax that utilized child actors. Jones produced

the fringe Daily Stormer to the relatively mainstream

a movie in 2005 called Martial Law 9-11: The Rise of

Breitbart, is evidence that the general population is

the Police State in which he alleged that the attacks

more vulnerable to the alt-right’s influence than one

on 9/11 were an inside job. To traffic in conspiracy

might think. These key players will continue to reach

theories is a hallmark of the alt-right, a deliberate

out to members of society that feel alienated and ask

effort to erode trust in long-standing institutions and

them to turn to prejudice to solve their problems.

authority figures.

Americans should be wary of this plan and recognize that the alt-right is not committed to truth — it

In December of 2015, then-candidate Donald Trump

is only committed to sowing division and anger on a

appeared on The Alex Jones Show and complimented

national scale.

Jones on his “amazing” reputation. At the time, Jones’ positions on 9/11 and Sandy Hook were widely known. InfoWars and Breitbart are only the most prominent 53


QUIZ

Which Celebrity Personality Best Defines Your Year?

How would you rate your productivity this year? A I handled business and it really paid off. B I was kind of productive; I’ll do better in 2018. C Work ethic: shambles. Life: shambles.

Did you do fun things this year? A Absolutely! 2017 was a blast! B I didn’t do all the things I wanted to, but I had a good time. C Sadly, no.

Did you take any big hits (setbacks)? A Nope - 2017 was a breeze. B A few, but I bounced back! C The whole year was a setback.

Did you help others or make an impact somehow? A Yes, I donated (time, money, etc) to a cause I thought was deserving! B Not as much as I wanted to. C No, I didn’t. But I will next year!

How were relationships for you this year? A From friends to significant others, I made great connections. B They were okay, I hope for stronger bonds in 2018. C What’s a relationship?

Did you make money moves (and good decisions) in 2017? A Duh! Cardi B inspired me. B I struggled, but overall I came out on top. C Uh… new year, new me, right?

Did the year move slow or fast for you? A It went by too fast! 2017 was a great year. B It went at a decent pace. C 2017 was a DRAG. I’m glad it’s over.

Are you optimistic for 2018? A I guess. 2017 will be hard to top! B Sure, I’m ready for a new start. C I need to redeem myself. 2018 is MY year. 54

Quiz by Alexis Tatum Illustrations by Esther Shin


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MOSTLY A

Rihanna This pop star totally owned 2017 despite the fact that she didn’t tour, release an album or drop a single. She defied Eurocentric beauty standards with Fenty Beauty, was named Humanitarian of the Year by the Harvard Foundation and graced the covers of several magazines. Much like Rih, you have proven to be cool, productive and an overall badass in 2017. Keep it up in 2018!

MOSTLY B

Kevin Durant He got traded to the Golden State Warriors, breaking the hearts of Thunder fans everywhere, and was caught defending himself through a fake Twitter account. However, he still won an NBA championship and another MVP award. Call him what you want, but you can’t call him broke. A KD year isn’t all bad; you’ve just got room for improvement.

MOSTLY C

Tomi Lahren One of the most hated people on the internet due to her incredulous political stunts and harsh condemnations, Lahren is the pretty figure head for conservative America. Well, she was. She got fired from her TV show, “Tomi” for saying she believes in limited government in regards to abortion rights. A Tomi year means that you’re grazing rock bottom. You probably have a better chance of redeeming yourself in 2018 than Tomi, though.

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A New West Campus Development Recalls the Area’s History of Gentrification Story by Alyssa Arnold Photos by Malayna Ellis

Chances are, you’ve passed Freedmen’s many times without knowing. Tucked away in West Campus on the corner of 25th

local Austin developer Johnson Trube & Associates,

and San Gabriel Streets, an unassuming barbecue

is set to be 150 units and eight stories high. Johnson

joint resides in one of Austin’s oldest buildings. Built

Trube & Associates is no stranger to building student

in 1869 by freed slave George Franklin as a publish-

housing on or around historical Austin sites.

ing house for one of Texas’ first black newspapers,

56

the building housed a church and a grocery store

In 2016, Johnson Trube & Associates broke ground

before being turned into Freedmen’s in 2012. The city

on student apartments located at the site of the

of Austin recently approved the plans for a student

former Dabney-Horne house, home to one of the

housing complex to be built surrounding the his-

first professors at the University of Texas at Austin.

toric Franzetti Store building that Freedmen’s now

After Austin City Council approved an amendment to

inhabits, on three sides. This complex, planned by

the property’s restrictive covenant, Johnson Trube &


orange magazine

Associates paid for the house to be relocated. They

food + drink

development is constructed around the property.

have developed The Corner, Skyloft and now the

While the development being built around Freed-

unnamed project to surround Freedmen’s.

men’s is not quite a holdout house since the land is a historic landmark and cannot be moved, it certainly

The Franzetti’s, an Italian immigrant family who oper-

feels like one.

ated a grocery store from 1916 to 1960, currently owns the building Freedmen’s occupies. In 1977, Austin City Council declared the building a historic landmark and the building is commonly referred to as the “Franzetti Store building.” Although this name has its own implications of gentrification, the Historic Land Commission refers to the building as such because of building ownership. According to Freedmen’s, the restaurant was named “in honor of those that molded a tradition of community and commerce in this very spot years ago.” The new complex is a haunting reminder of the genAccording to The Historic Landmark Commission pro-

trification that took place in this freedmen’s town

posal, the new apartment complex will surround the

in the early 1900s. Wheatville was a post-Civil War

restaurant, but will not touch it. There will also be a

African American community built on the edge of

buffer of five feet on the south side and 12 feet on

former plantation land, corresponding to present-day

the rear side to make it obvious that Freedmen’s is

West Campus. At its peak, Wheatville was home

a separate building. The existing northern Freedmen’s

to 300 African American residents, most of whom

courtyard will be preserved and the building will con-

worked as merchants, semi-skilled construction

tinue to have street presence from San Gabriel Street.

workers and domestic laborers in white households.

Both Freedmen’s and Johnson Trube & Associates declined to comment on the new housing development.

In 1876, the Franzetti Store building housed the Austin Gold Dollar, Austin’s first black newspaper

Freedmen’s is the perfect place to savor smoked

and later, Pilgrim Hope Baptist Church. In the 1920s,

brisket, escape the bustle of West Campus and

the city government cut off resources to Wheatville,

appreciate a small part of Austin history. Several

forcing the African American community to relocate

UT students and Freedmen’s customers expressed

to east Austin so that the white population could

concern that the historic building will soon be sur-

move in. It was during this time that the Franzetti

rounded by new student apartments. “It is extremely

Grocery store was built. By 1940, almost all of the

sad that generic student apartments are taking over

African Americans living in Wheatville were relocated

the last historic remnant in West Campus,” says Minji

to the east side.

Chae, a frequent customer of Freedmen’s. Soon after, due to the proximity to UT, the former Currently, Freedmen’s customers can eat barbeque

Wheatville community became a site for student

and drink craft cocktails while enjoying the historic

housing. Freedmen’s is the only remaining Wheatville

feel of the building from the inside or the open air

building still intact. Building the complex surrounding

courtyard. When the student apartment complex is

Freedmen’s seems to be the city’s way of preserv-

built, the courtyard will have a more enclosed feel.

ing historical buildings and meeting the demands

“[The apartment complex] feels like a holdout house,

for more student housing. However, preserving the

and will absolutely affect the neighborhood as well

building while building the complex doesn’t fully

as the experience of eating at the restaurant,” says

acknowledge that this building is the last remnant

Angela Ott, a senior psychology major who eats at

of the Wheatville neighborhood. While leaving the

Freedmen’s weekly.

building intact is a step toward preserving Austin’s history, it is important to recognize gentrification and

A holdout house refers to a piece of property that did

remember the Franzetti Store building as a symbol of

not become part of a larger development because

the previously thriving African American community

the homeowner refused to sell the property, so the

that once occupied West Campus. 57


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food + drink


Build-A-Meal

Words by Sarah Hollis Illustration by Sonia Margolin

Meal prepping may be a term you’re tired of hearing from the mouths of people who seem to have their life just a little more together than you, but meal prepping can be an easy and affordable way for those of all skill levels to keep themselves fed for a week.

For the Beginner 3 oz. salmon fillet Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook in a 400°F oven for 10-12 minutes. 1/2 cup cooked brown rice 1/2 cup roasted broccoli Cook florets, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, in a 450°F oven for 25-35 minutes. Top with a lemon wedge.

For the Plant-Based Eater 1/2 cup cubed baked extra firm tofu Press cubed tofu for 30 minutes. Marinate tofu in 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoons dark sesame oil, 2 cloves of garlic minced and 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger for at least 30 minutes to overnight. Bake in a 350°F oven for 50-60 minutes. 1/2 cup cooked quinoa 1/2 cup roasted broccoli + 1/4 cup cooked edamame, shelled Top with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and drizzle of sauce (2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sriracha, 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil whisked together).

For the Culinary Whiz Kid 3 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes on each side or until cooked all of the way through. 1/2 cup cooked farro Toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil and the juice of 1/4 of a lemon. 3/4 cup roasted carrots, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, purple onion, baby bella mushrooms Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in a 425°F oven for 20-25 minutes. Top with a drizzle of tahini sauce.

Did You Know?

According to the US Department of Agriculture, each meal should be composed of 30 percent vegetables, 20 percent fruit, 30 percent grains and 20 percent protein. 3 oz. of meat, the recommended amount per serving, is about the size of a deck of cards.

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What Was Your Least Favorite Food Trend of 2017? Collab by Food + Drink Staff Illustration by Esther Shin

We’ve all seen the trends on social media this year – overflowing freakshakes, rainbow bagels, that mysterious black ice cream that seems to pop up on our Instagram timeline at least once a week. 2016 may have been the year of the rise of the crazy food trends, but in 2017, it got out of hand. Here are our least favorite trends of the year.

London Gibson - Galaxy Foods

Kim Hsun - Soylent

As a self-proclaimed astronomy nerd, I’m not afraid

Soylent has been hitting the shelves of boring, taste-

to admit that when I saw a cake decorated to look

less individuals across the nation. Everyone from

like a galaxy for the first time, I thought it was

travelers to college kids who proclaim they’re too

groundbreaking. It was so glossy and magical that I

busy to eat have used Soylent as a meal replace-

immediately began Pinterest-ing with big dreams of

ment, and I loathe it. What is Soylent, you ask? Is

making my own someday. But, the magic of a space-

it food? Is it a drink? Is it people? These are diffi-

themed pastry spiraled out of control faster than the

cult questions. Soylent’s own website advertises the

Andromeda galaxy. Before I knew it, there were galaxy

mysterious product with the bold claim, “Twist...lift...

cupcakes, galaxy bagels, even - yes - galaxy popcorn.

and eating is solved.” One wonders what exactly this

And just like that, the dream was over. I deleted my

concoction is. But, one thing is clear: no one should

Pinterest saves and returned to the boring, classic

have to go through the rather awful experience of

cakes that lacked the wonder of the universe. It was

drinking Soylent. After all, the best part of eating is,

probably for the best. I’m pretty sure that black and

well, eating.

blue icing would not have done wonders for my teeth.

Ali Garza - Unicorn Themed Treats

Elise Horsak - Avocado Toast

As much as my five-year-old inner self wishes to believe

The hype surrounding avocado toast has reigned

that there are really pearl white, rainbow-horned and

supreme for far too long. It’s time to tone it down.

tailed creatures out there, this theme got a bit out of

Ultimately, it’s just bread and avocado. Avocado toast

control. First it was unicorn-themed bagels, which

is a great meal that is not only easy to make and

looked like a huge cupcake on first glimpse! Then

filling, but it can be adapted and dressed up. Restau-

there was unicorn-themed grilled cheese, with rainbow

rants have capitalized on this, and now customers

pull-apart cheese. But, the last straw was the Unicorn

can find avocado toast on almost any brunch menu.

Frappuccino from Starbucks. Before I knew the trend

But again, it’s just bread and avocado. Two simple

existed, I saw a long line of college students stretch-

ingredients that when paired with an egg or another

ing around the establishment. Then I saw them taking

decorative topping becomes a $12+ priced meal.

pictures with their colorful drinks, which to me, tasted

Looking past the sprouts or chia seeds, I know that

like sweet tarts. I applaud the creativity of Starbucks

this meal is not equivalent to a short rib hash or eggs

sticking to the trends, but enough is enough. Unicorns

benedict that are the same price. Those extra dollars

should just stick to stuffed animals, cartoon characters

are for how well-dressed the plate is.

and being “SOOO FLUFFY!” 61


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Alyssa Arnold - Sushi Burritos

Vivie Behrens - Yoga + Wine

Currently, the biggest crime against fish is the sushi

Doing yoga and drinking wine are arguably two of the

burrito. I know as much about sushi as a white Jewish

best ways to wind down and let the burdens of daily

girl possibly can and I firmly believe that sushi should

life drift to the wayside. But, does that mean they

never be eaten in burrito form. A sushi burrito is

should be done together? Austin’s new, trendy yoga

essentially a giant maki roll that wasn’t cut into slices,

studios seem to think so. However, I’ve never thought

which, to me, seems incredibly hard to eat. Imagine

that after pouring a nice glass of wine, I’d like to drink

trying to bite into a giant roll of rice, fish and seaweed

it while doing a downward-facing dog. Conversely, I’ve

the way you would bite into a burrito. Unlike burritos,

never desired Chardonnay after enduring an hour of

sushi is supposed to be enjoyed in small bites, usually

sweat-inducing stretches and feeling the satisfaction of

dipped in soy sauce or served with wasabi. Making

finally exercising. I’ll take my yoga class with a bottle of

it into a burrito seems like a targeted insult to both

water, thanks. Can I just get the wine to-go?

sushi and burritos. Are we going to start calling hand rolls sushi flautas or sushi taquitos?

Sarah Hollis - Activated Charcoal

Nowadays, there is bacon in everything. Although I am

I get the appeal of black foods. It brings an edge to

vegan, I loved bacon during my meat-eating days. But

the culinary experience and speaks to the darkness

now, all I want is to order sides of fresh vegetables with

of your soul. When I first saw activated charcoal soft

my meal when I go out to eat. In one instance, I ordered

serve on Instagram, I was mesmerized. But looking

three sides of vegetables, but to my disappointment

into it further raised some questions. Aside from the

there was bacon in every single dish. Food trends like

color, activated charcoal doesn’t contribute to the

this are part of the reason why the Western diet is often

flavor in foods. In addition, the safety of consuming

viewed as unhealthy. Rich nutrient-packed vegetables

activated charcoal is questionable. Charcoal is great

are sometimes accompanied by the high amounts of

at absorption, as it’s often used in drug overdoses

fat, sodium and cholesterol that bacon contains. Not

to treat patients, but it does not discriminate. This

only is bacon mixed in with veggies, but there’s bacon

means that if you are on medication like hormonal

in ice cream, pastries and all other sorts of foods. I’m

birth control, it may absorb it and render the medica-

sure some foods with bacon taste great, but the whole

tion ineffective. Consume with caution!

idea is very unhealthy to me.

Andrea Ocanas - Vegetables as Pasta

Regina Sampayo - Pizza with Strawberries

I love carbs, so I just don’t see the point of vegeta-

I have never been a fan of mixing fruity flavors with

bles as a substitute. Why spend the time turning a

salty, but this trend has hit a new low. I get it, pineapple

zucchini or butternut squash into noodles when you

pizza is a thing, but is strawberry really necessary? Even

can eat the vegetable itself? Grandma’s famous spa-

the thought of cheesy strawberries makes me shiver. All

ghetti and meatballs or mom’s gooey mac and cheese

I have to say is 2017 has been full of surprises, but this

is comfort food at its finest. It’s time we all face the

trend brings a terrifying outlook on what the future has

facts. No matter how trendy we make our vegetables

in store for us. All I’ve got to say is, #STOPPIZZAWITH-

appear, they are still vegetables. Let’s stick with our

STAWBERRY2017.

vegetables on the side or in our marinara sauce and leave the pasta itself alone. 62

Miranda Barrera- Bacon in Everything


orange magazine

food + drink

Alexis Fischer - LaCroix

Annie Lyons - Deconstructed Food

You’re paying for water with bubbles in it. LaCroix

At first glance, a plate of deconstructed food simply

is capitalism at its finest. A 12-pack is priced a little

looks like a food blogger’s “before” picture of ingre-

over three dollars, which isn’t breaking the bank, but

dients soon to be whipped into a delicious meal. Alas,

still costs more than filling up at the water fountain.

what you see is never what you get. Deconstructed

We need to consume three liters of water a day to

food consists of taking a beloved, classic recipe and

sustain our bodies. Does this precious LaCroix factor

serving its components separately. The trend has

into a daily water intake? I’m not sure, but if it does,

frankly horrified me ever since I laid eyes on a picture

I feel like that’s cheating. Once the drink of choice for

of deconstructed spaghetti. Depicted was a seemingly

consumers opting for a “healthier” carbonated drink, it

romantic dinner, complete with candles and glasses

has now become popularized by hipsters. If I have to

of rosé, but appetites were bound to be ruined by

see another picture of a sad girl posing with LaCroix on

the plated atrocity. One glass jar contained sad, limp

my dashboard, I’m going to have to pull a Boston Tea

noodles. One had sauce. Another had a few crumbles

Party. Also, it just makes me burpy and water should

of meat. And the worst part of it all? Restaurants capi-

not make anyone burpy.

talize on the trend and upcharge the food, despite the

Sunny Kim – Poop Cafes

underwhelming results. The only time I’ll deem deconstructed food acceptable is when there’s 10 seconds

Asian cafes make everything cute and adorable, but

left on the clock during a “Chopped” challenge and

this time they may have gone overboard with Seoul’s

haphazard plating is a contestant’s only option. Oth-

famous poop cafes. These are cafes where everything

erwise, I prefer my food like I prefer my furniture: no

is shaped like poop. Want a caramel macchiato? Poop

assembly required.

cafe will deliver it in a toilet-shaped mug. Would you like a pastry on the side? Try a poop-shaped scone. As a native South Korean, I’m a little startled and confused by this strange cafe from my hometown. I will admit, some of the merchandise is indeed adorable, even with the strange shapes. But it is creepy to consume drinks and food resembling the shape of poop, something we would normally discard.

63


Food with Heart:

64


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In a small food truck park on East 11th Street, there is a humble green trailer labeled “Wasota African Cuisine - Formerly World Beat Cafe.” Story by Annie Lyons Photos by Ravin Rene and Brianna Casselman

U

nlike the flashier food trucks that can be found

friends and coworkers, he decided to turn his passion

populating Austin, Wasota’s sparse exterior

into a career. Eguakun renovated an old fast food

does not represent much of the magic inside.

joint on the edges of the University of Texas at Austin campus and opened World Beat Cafe in 1998.

Trendy theatrics have never been a part of the game for food truck owner Lawrence Eguakun, who first

For seven years, the restaurant — and Eguakun —

arrived to Austin’s culinary scene at the turn of the

thrived. World Beat Cafe gave Eguakun a chance to

millennium. He has since persisted for two decades,

share his food and culture with a larger crowd and

and with two different restaurants, in his dream to

soon became a platform for others to do the same,

bring people together through good food, good music

with the restaurant hosting a multitude of cultural

and a good heart.

acts such as poetry readings, drum cycles and music. Plate by plate, Eguakun saw his vision of a community

Eguakun immigrated to the United States from Benin

bonded through art and food slowly come to fruition.

City, Nigeria in 1983 to study business administration at Huston-Tillotson University. Moving from Benin

Things came to a swift halt in 2006 when Eguakun

City to Austin was a drastic change, but Eguakun

developed a rare and deadly form of cancer, T-Cell

stayed connected to his birth home through cooking

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. The outlook was not favor-

the food he had grown up with — food one would be

able. At Texas Oncology, he was told there was little

hard-pressed to find in Austin. Always a picky eater,

they could do and was given a 15 percent chance to

he decided to learn how to cook the way he likes

live. It felt like he was being told to simply give up.

rather than rely on others. It wasn’t long before he

Eguakun went to MD Anderson in Houston next,

discovered his love for the craft and perhaps more

where the rarity of his cancer attracted a dedicated

importantly, the joy he got from sharing it.

doctor, Dr. Dabaja, to his case. “She said, ‘Nobody knows when you’re going to die, so I’m going to do

For Eguakun, food and community go hand-in-hand.

my best for you,’” Eguakun says. He experienced a

Always a fan of the music scene, he started working

miraculous recovery and has now been in remission

as a promoter at Liberty Lounge, which he remembers

for over 12 years. However, his illness had put a strain

as a diverse venue keen on promoting African bands.

on business. High medical costs and long periods of

Because of the lack of African restaurants in Austin,

time spent away soon forced him to shut the doors of

Eguakun quickly developed a habit of bringing home-

his beloved World Beat Cafe.

cooked food to touring musicians, cooking the food they knew, in the way they liked. Even the groupies

Things seemed bleak, but a revival was just on the

who visited backstage joined in on the cherished

horizon. It was a true testament to Eguakun’s char-

meals. Every bite they took was another compliment

acter that he received calls from former customers

for Eguakun.

who heard of his recovery and sincerely hoped for his return. “I got so many calls!” Eguakun laughs. “[They

A similar cycle of praise began once he started

told me], ‘You introduced me to this food and now

working at IBM where office potlucks provided an

you’re closed. We can’t find it anywhere and we miss

excuse to share his food. “For some reason, they

it.’” He credits them for his motivation to come back,

always finished my plates first,” Eguakun says with

saying, “That’s why I’m doing this: for those customers

a smile. “My food became something that people

and the new ones who have come to love the food too.”

requested.” Encouraged by the rave reviews of his 65


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food + drink

The Wasota food truck is located in East Austin, on 11th and Lydia Street. Wasota serves African cuisine. On November 4th the owners hosted the 5th annual World African Music and Art Festival, inviting local artists to perform all night. So, he hopped on the food truck trend. “I didn’t

made spicy or mild but be warned: the spicy is not

want to go through the hassle of a brick restau-

for the faint of taste buds. No matter your choice,

rant,” Wasota says. He reopened his doors as Wasota

Eguakun’s humble pride shines through with every

African Cuisine. In many ways, Wasota is a continua-

bite. “I don’t claim to cook the best food, but I like to

tion of World Beat Cafe, rather than a new concept.

think I’m among the best in the Austin community,”

The restaurant may have changed names and trekked

he says.

across I-35 into East Austin, but Eguakun does not see much of a difference. “Well, I love my customers,”

Even beyond the food, Wasota embraces the multi-

Eguakun says. “I love them. So, it feels the same to

cultural atmosphere that first popularized World Beat

serve people who respect what I do.” He is still the

Cafe. The diverse performances that Eguakun used

beating heart, striving to pair his food with art to

to promote are now implemented on a larger scale

bring people together.

thanks to a close partnership with Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, the music venue conjoined with the food truck park Wasota resides in. It’s the perfect venue for the culturally-minded Eguakun to work with since it is operated by DiverseArts, a nonprofit that facilitates a variety of cultural events. There are frequent musical performances, ranging from Latin jazz to reggae, and bigger events too, such as the annual World African Music and Art Festival (WAMA). On a balmy November evening, Wasota took center

Eguakun’s vision for the restaurant has always, above

stage for the fifth annual WAMA. Other food trucks in

all else, been grounded in the food. Wasota serves up

the park were open, but fittingly, the crowd never dis-

simple, West African inspired dishes made with only

sipated from the green truck, drawn in by the savory

a handful of ingredients. For those unfamiliar with

smells drifting out through the window.

West African cooking, come ready for comfort food with an unexpected twist. Each menu item boasts

A full musical lineup, featuring simmering Afro-pop

plenty of vibrant flavor, whether it be the smoki-

and soul-aching jazz, soundtracked the night as

ness of the goat meat or the rich creaminess of the

people casually milled about, conversing over their

highly doted-upon spinach. Above all, it tastes like

plates and swaying to the beats.

food made by family. He says that his “principle of

Taking a break from spinning his toddler around in

cooking is not just [to] cook for money, but [to] cook

a joyful dance, Faizal Jogee, an information technol-

with love.” Sure enough, it is easy to imagine Eguakun

ogy professional and immigrant from Malawi, says

stirring up the same dishes at home for family and

he always keeps an eye out for events representing

friends, so apparent is the love behind his labor.

Africa. “There’s not a lot of opportunities for Africa here, but this, this is wonderful,” Jogee says. Those

Eguakun ensures Wasota is accessible too, thanks

sentiments would make Eguakun smile.

to the menu’s inexpensiveness and large selection

66

of vegan choices. Multiple customers mention how

Smiles have been on the menu a lot these past few

Wasota has been on their radar for a while, citing its

years. Eguakun’s illness and transition period between

appearance on different Austin vegan bucket lists. A

his restaurants were struggles, but his renaissance

“vegan friendly” message is proudly inscribed next to

is clearly here to stay. With the quiet assurance of

the menu on the side of the trailer. Most of the vegan

someone with true love for what they do, Eguakun

platters consist of a choice from an assortment of

reflects on his time cooking as a way of reaching out

vegetables and fruits — spinach, plantains, cabbage,

to more people: through food and through music.

black-eyed peas — and a heaping serving of jollof

People come to eat, to listen, to respect what he does

rice, a delicious tomato-stewed base. The dish can be

— and that’s all he could ever ask for.



Zane Freeman uses his desk space below his bed to work on his music in an effort to best make use of the limited space in his dorm room.

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Taking a Chance on Artistry

Bedroom Producers on Moonlighting Story by Henry Youtt Photos by Megan Mayer

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music

Art has always been about making space to express yourself. Sometimes that space is a dorm.

T

he time I feel most inspired to set up, write music and get really, really emotional is the

nighttime,” Josh Gray says, pausing momentarily to look out the window, as if searching through a catalogue of nights spent wide awake for an answer he can’t seem to find. He pauses for just a moment, and then, “I don’t know why. For me, the night is just where I get the most inspiration.” It’s late. Silver light slips through the slight openings in between half-closed blinds. Moonlight pours into the room and onto the paper patchwork of an over-occupied writing desk. Hurriedly written notesto-self dress the messy space, slid between envelopes

“As long as you set your mind to what you want to do, you can do it.”

of unopened junk mail. A still-cooling cup of coffee slowly pools runaway drips of caffeine onto an unfin-

has been moonlighting for years, chasing his sound

ished homework assignment, collecting dust like the

between schoolwork and Sonic The Hedgehog games.

rest of tomorrow’s problems. It’s silent.

“I am not here to make anything where people can say, ‘Oh, this reminds me of this or that,’” Ruiz says.

In reality, it’s only silent thanks to a pair of

“Because then I don’t think I’m doing my job as an

noise-cancelling headphones. Underneath them, a

artist. You’re supposed to make something new.

torrential stream of industrial beats and dazzling

That’s what I want to do.”

melodies-in-the-making melt into each other, a silky-smooth sound that this night owl has been

Finding a balance between these two realities has

orchestrating since sundown.

been years in the making, stemming from San Antonio grade school where Ruiz grew up with Daft

It’s ritual now. Gray is a journalism sophomore by

Punk and The Beatles. “In middle school, I started off

day and a music producer by night. He splits the

writing this really weird EDM stuff. I look back at it

24-hour day into two completely separate lives, a

and I really don’t know what I was thinking,” Ruiz says.

habit recently adopted by many emerging artists. This

“College started and I had to get my priorities right,

nocturnal routine has been termed moonlighting.

but I’m getting the hang of everything. As long as you set your mind to what you want to do, you can do it.”

When the sun sets, bedrooms become studio spaces. To these late-night songbirds, giving up on art isn’t an

Humility seems to be a virtue commonly held by pro-

option. “With school and work, I have less time to focus

ducers who have built their artistry from the ground

on music,” Gray says. “But I guess that can be a good

up, a familiar journey to electrical engineering fresh-

distraction. I have been working all night before and I’ll

man Zane Freeman. “When I started producing at 16,

go home and be super inspired because, as I am doing

I was terrible,” Freeman says. “I would write a track

other stuff, I will come up with all these ideas that I

late at night and then wake up and be like, ‘This is

have to wait until the end of the day to get to.”

garbage.’ But, over time, I was gradually getting better and began stocking up on a lot of really cool tracks.”

Moonlighting has become more common among

70

millennials than previous generations. Abdiel Ruiz,

Freeman playfully calls his sound an “experience,”

an arts and entertainment technologies freshman,

citing Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar as artists who


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music

have inspired him to focus on being both technically

SoundCloud when I was 14. Just stuff that I played

savvy and socially purposeful. Making it on the radio

from my phone. It’s really shaped me artistically.”

doesn’t seem to be his endgame. With new technologies, artists from across both Rather, Freeman talks fondly of more underground

literal and figurative borders can connect, collab-

rappers like Isaiah Rashad and Tory Lanez, noting the

orate and construct communities of like-minded

freedom and individuality that producing your own

creators. Boykins stresses the apprehension of bring-

music provides. Still, growing up seeing festival artists

ing your work to the public after five or six years of

had a huge impact. “I saw people performing on stage

only showing his music to his grandmother. “Once

and I knew I wanted to be that someday,” Freeman

you start showing stuff to other people, you receive

says. “I went to JMBLYA and saw Future, Migos and

almost instant criticism. After my first year here, I had

Chance [the Rapper]. That definitely fueled me to

to figure out how much I could let in and how much

believe I could be on that stage.”

I shouldn’t,” Boykins says. “It’s about learning how to accept other ideas, especially when working with

Chance the Rapper — or more appropriately, Chance

other artists in real life. I still have much to learn, but

the Rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and

I can appreciate where I was and appreciate where I

Grammy-award winner — has had a defining impact

am now.”

on not only individual artists such as Freeman but also the age-old composition of the recording industry

Moonlighting is a story of the underdog coming to

itself. Born and raised in Chicago, Chance has paved

terms with their artistry alone while a burgeoning

the way for artists trying to make it big outside of the

music industry floods pop culture. “I used to hear

traditional conventions they are often confined to.

songs on the radio and think they were so elaborate and think I would never be able to do that, but over time I figured it out and learned how to produce all the different sounds,” Freeman says. “And sometimes I think mine sound better than the ones on the radio. I’m sure I’ll get there one day.” Until then, these four student artists are committed to their craft, quite incessantly so. “Right now, I have 192 unfinished songs that I’m still working on but they’re not there yet,” Ruiz says. “That’s the thing that sucks about being an artist. You’re never satisfied with anything and you always want to make it better.”

“[Producing music is] about learning how to accept other ideas, especially when working with other artists in real life. I still have much to learn, but I can appreciate where I was and appreciate where I am now.”

Perhaps that is what is in store for these creators, a life of dissatisfaction with form and uncertainty of identity. “I mean it’s still something I have to get used to—the idea of being an artist or whatever,” Gray says. “I wouldn’t say it [happens in] just one moment.”

Online publishing sites like Soundcloud, Bandcamp

Music has always been about making moments,

and Mixcloud have given younger artists greater

reimagining memories and creating a world for your-

accessibility to networking and publishing resources.

self. “It’s an everyday thing you have to tell yourself

Psychology sophomore Romelle Boykins remembers

and actually believe it,” Gray says. “At the end of the

this well, uploading songs online before being dis-

day, at the end of everything, it starts with you.”

covered and signed to a label during his sophomore year of high school. “SoundCloud really just gave birth to millions of people’s careers. It’s crazy like that,” Boykins says. “I remember uploading stuff to 71


The Art of Being a Fan Story by Hayli Rudolph Photo by Ravin Rene

T

hroughout music history, what it means to be

The term “fan” continues to transform, from “group-

a fan has evolved along with the constantly

ies” in the ‘60s, to the “Band-aids” in the popular

changing landscape of the art form itself. Many

film “Almost Famous,” to the more recent “fangirls.”

people hear the word “fan” and immediately think of

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “fan” is

screaming, crying girls, but it is much more than that.

a noun used to describe an enthusiastic devotee

It’s a feeling. It’s the memories and experiences that

of a sport or performing art, usually as a spectator.

are created in the moments released in the music. It’s

Although this definition is simple, the emotional

waiting in lines, anticipating the night, swaying in the

aspect of being a fan is far more complicated.

crowd of strangers, singing along with the band and

72

escaping into a different world. Being a fan makes

To Julie Nicolson, University of Texas at Austin

one feel alive. Being a fan brings people together in

alumna and self-proclaimed fangirl, being a fan is

movement and voice.

simply loving the music and being thankful for the


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music

“When you get to see [your favorite artist] live, it’s like you forget about everything and anything that matters and you’re just in that moment.”

emotions and feelings it elicits. In 1984, Nicolson’s

connect to the lyrics just like you do is what got Men-

fandom journey started in middle school when she

diola addicted to the energy of being a fan. “I can’t

waited patiently for her favorite artists to come on

imagine a single day that I don’t listen to my favorite

the radio. As she got older, she fell in love with the

artist,” Mendiola says. “And then when you get to see

collective openness of the lyrics and unity bands had

them live, it’s like you forget about everything and

to offer. “There is something magical about the way

anything that matters and you’re just in that moment.”

music unites diverse groups of people -- all from different walks of life, religions and ethnicities,” Nic-

Over the years Mendiola has waited several hours

olson says.

both before and after concerts for her favorite bands and artists, like Coldplay and Lana Del Rey. Being a

As she fell into her rebellious teen years, Nicolson

fan allows one to block out the world for a moment

wanted to be anywhere else than where she was,

and connect with a group of people in bliss. “I’ve

inevitably turning to music as her escape. “Music

never felt that kind of vulnerability,” Mendiola says.

allows you to transcend whatever is going on in your

“You don’t care who’s looking at you or what you have

mind or life and simply escape,” Nicolson says.

to do the next day. The great release of letting go in the moment and experiencing the vulnerability of a

The energy that was transmitted between the artist and the crowd every time she attended a concert kept

collective group of strangers intoxicates the crowd.”

her coming back for more. Being consumed in the

“Music allows you to transcend whatever is going

music and the voice of the crowd blending as one was

on in your mind or life and simply escape.”

the spark that created Nicolson’s great adventure into becoming a fangirl.

In 2016, Mendiola traveled to Mexico to see Coldplay. “I saw Chris Martin’s face and I could feel the

Nicolson found herself at countless live music events,

passion and liveliness in him. I felt alive,” she says.

and on occasion, granted backstage access to her

As she looked around at fellow fans, she saw people

favorite bands, like the Rolling Stones. Over the

embracing the moment in dance, singing and scream-

years, she has collected tons of concert memorabilia,

ing without a single concern about how they looked.

including items like autographs, tickets, after-show

To memorialize the great feeling of passion and

passes and iron-on patches. What may seem like

ecstasy she experienced at the show, Mendiola got a

cheap merchandise to some holds deep seated nos-

tattoo dedicated to the concert.

talgia for Nicolson. They are like pieces of her own personal time capsule. Although she cannot pick a

The film “Almost Famous” encapsulated the ups

favorite concert, Nicolson confirms that her treasured

and downs of being a fan in a perfectly mesmerizing

nights in the ‘80s were spent in Aqua Net hairspray,

adventure. As Sapphire, a member of the Band-aids

black eyeliner and leather.

says, “They don’t even know what it is to be a fan, y’know? To truly love some silly little piece of music

Sofia Mendiola, fervent fan and journalism senior,

or some band so much that it hurts.”

says being part of a fandom is all about connections. The ability to be at a concert, surrounded by strangers who share the same love for an artist and greatly

Though Mendiola was associated with ORANGE, her views are her own and do not reflect the views of the magazine. 73


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She’s The Boss Giving the Mic to Women in Music

74


Story by Jennifer Hernandez Photos by Jordan Steyer

The days leading up to the premiere of “She’s the Boss” were full of nerves and excitement. The next few months would be riddled with life-changing experiences.

“LONGHORN HIP-HOP” WAS A Texas Student Television show dedicated to talking about news in the hip-hop and rap genres. Many of the hosts on the show interviewed guests like Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper years before their mainstream success. In the spring of 2016, Antonette Masando and Dasia Warner, now seniors at the University of Texas at Austin, met through working on the show. Later, while working on an episode of Austin Underground, UT alumna Khortlyn Cole reached out to Masando about a potential creative project, in hopes to contribute. “Antonette is the brains behind the whole thing! It’s really her brainchild and she did such an amazing

rappers. She began to focus on her favorite inspiring women in pop culture and decided these influential women were going to be the central theme for “She’s the Boss,” highlighting the work, ideas and experiences that are not always talked about. However, running a podcast is much more than content creation. The girls later found that there were surprising responsibilities that came with running a podcast. For example, they received messages from Soundcloud accusing them of using a copyrighted melody from Kanye West. Editing is another not-so-glamorous duty, but can be very fulfilling. Before “She’s the Boss” was announced

thing with it,” Cole says.

to close friends and family, it took several rounds of

In the summer of 2017, that brainchild was born.

the flow of the episode. “Being an editor is the most

The podcast known as “She’s the Boss” highlights young female creatives who independently produce, publish and promote their work. There are currently six episodes out and they have already interviewed guests such as Austin-based artist Wande and music producer Upper Reality. Before then, Masando discovered podcasts during the fall of 2013. Shows like “Brilliant Idiots” and “The Read” were big inspirations for “She’s the Boss.” “Over time, I started to add more and more and it became kind of like my television that I would go to every day for entertainment and

editing in order for Masando to feel satisfied with challenging, but when you put music and transitions together to get the story to sound the way you want, it’s the most rewarding part,” Masando says. As discussed in episode four of “She’s The Boss,” settling for mediocrity was not an option for the team. “Antonette and I had this idea that it really is an art, like how artists can’t finish their work and it’s always unfinished, it’s really the same thing with the podcasting world,” Warner says.

information,” she says.

The idea was that music was going to be the key

Through internships at KUTX and Human Influence,

think it’s amazing to see the power that music holds.

a creative media agency, Masando learned how to create a podcast from her peers. Elizabeth McQueen, host of the podcast “This Song,” helped Masando reach her goal of successfully launching a podcast. “For the most part, I knew I wanted to talk about music, pop culture and ‘The Culture’ since I grew up on hip-hop,” she says. “‘She’s the Boss’ came from a common thread in the kind of content I seek out.” Masando is a huge fan of powerful artists like Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, as well as other female

element that would bond the creators with the host. “I It brings people together physically and spiritually,” Masando says. “With art, it’s one of the spaces where people have the freedom to truly express the human experience in a way that people can understand, even if you don’t understand the language. Music has been one of my greatest teachers, comforters and ways to connect with people.” Music certainly connects artists to their fans and representation alone is another way to create those meaningful connections. From Billboard charts to 75


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Grammy nominations, women are represented in many genres. While there is representation of women in musical talent, that is not reflected in the managerial or technical aspects of the music industry and even music festival lineups. According to Women’s Audio Mission, less than five percent of women work

music

“I want to see this podcast open up more conversations and gain more listeners who are interested in being part of the conversation and build a community for women and especially women of color.”

in the production of music, television and movies. In 2016, an article by The Huffington Post titled “Music

rock musicians and white men. However, the team

Festivals’ Glaring Woman Problem” reported that only

at “She’s the Boss” thinks the future of the Austin

12 percent of acts for all music festivals were women.

music scene is starting to look a lot more intersec-

These numbers show a dark side of the music indus-

tional. With musicians like Mélat and The Bishops

try and prove that the music business must change

becoming more popular, Austin’s representation is

to become more inclusive. “Music to me is like a

becoming more diverse in its growth. “As a fan of

microscopic look at society,” Warner says. “All the

hip-hop, I would love to see more women who look

ways that women are marginalized in real life are

like me doing shows every weekend,” Masando says.

also found within the music industry but then I think

“But I do think R&B and hip-hop is going to grow and

about hip-hop and that’s another story.”

become more representative of what hip-hop is to pop culture right now. It’s a matter of seeing more

Although female rappers are undeniably winning

conversations about this and seeing them put out

2017, hip-hop was very much a male-dominated

more work and bringing more attention to the work.”

field since its inception. In the ‘90s, artists like Queen Latifah and Lil’ Kim were heard by everyone. Years

Masando continues to be inspired by her favorite

later, Nicki Minaj brought a revolutionary force that

podcasts and says she would love to see her own

would change rap.

podcast grow. Overall, “She’s The Boss” will remain a platform for conversation and action. “I want to see

76

With artists like Noname and Princess Nokia making

this podcast open up more conversations and gain

a name for themselves, the future of rap is indeed

more listeners who are interested in being part of the

female. “It’s exciting because it means we are taking

conversation and build a community for women and

steps toward equality, but we still have a lot of work

especially women of color,” Masando says. “One of

to do, not just in terms of artists, but the music indus-

my main goals for the show is to give people what

try in general,” Masando says. From promotion to

podcasts have given to me and I’m excited to con-

media, women are still under-represented.

tinue doing that.”

When people think of the Austin music scene, it is

You can listen to “She’s The Boss” on iTunes and

often perceived as a space typically dominated by

Soundcloud.


orange magazine

Issue 08 Playlist

by Zoe Judilla

Ready to read? We have the sounds that are the perfect blend for the material yet to come — so press play. But here’s a little warning when it comes to listening to the music and reading the mag: once you start, you won’t be able to stop.

music

I Dare You - The xx There’s something absolutely magical about seeing an artist live--the camaraderie present in the audience and the emotional outpour can be overwhelming, but in the best way. Fans of indie electronic band, The xx, saw this in 2017 following a five-year hiatus, in which they played Austin City Limits to a teary-eyed crowd. While the focus is often on the artist, we shift our perspectives to the power of an audience, and what makes the concert experience incomparable to any other.

Love Ya - Blood Orange BOOGIE - BROCKHAMPTON

At the end of “Love Ya,” an audio clip of author Ta-Nehisi Coates bluntly points out the difficulties minorities face

Big things are happening for hip-hop group BROCKHAMPTON,

in choosing what to wear without being stereotyped. With

who proudly proclaim themselves to be “the Internet’s first

questions such as, “How was I gonna cock my baseball hat?”

boyband.” Formed in San Marcos, Texas, the group currently

or “How was I gonna wear my pants?”, the reality of certain

consists of 14 official members whose contributions range

fashion pieces once considered “hood” now becoming high

from vocals to graphic design. After initially meeting through

fashion has become increasingly apparent in pop culture. We

a Kanye West fan forum in 2015, the boys moved into a house

take a critical look into the effects of fashion exploitation and

together for the sole purpose of creating entirely self-produced

what it means to reclaim style.

music and success relocated them from Texas to California. Their quickly growing fanbase is not just a result of their

Werewolf - Fiona Apple

dynamic sound -- leader Kevin Abstract says that the band’s

Fiona Apple’s heartbreaking ode to her demons and vices

diverse lineup, consisting of various races and sexual orien-

demands holistic change in the individual. One of our many

tations, reflects “what America actually is.” In them, fans see

photo series takes a closer look at students who have made

an opportunity to be represented. We dive into what diversity

positive lifestyle adjustments over time, reflecting the impor-

means at UT Austin, and why representation is so important on

tance of self-appreciation and self-care.

a college campus, especially regarding class composition.

BTSTU (Edit) - Jai Paul

Coconut Oil - Lizzo Lizzo praises coconut oil as a necessity for black women not

Bedroom producer Jai Paul came to prominence during the

only in their hair rituals, but also as a symbol of internal and

glory days of the MySpace era, bringing sudden popular-

external healing. With a focus on the revival of natural hair, we

ity to a unique genre that didn’t require a single instrument.

take a look into the celebration of black girl magic, along with

Since then, his legacy has inspired many to create within the

other styles and associated movements that hold cultural value.

comforts of their own home using computer software and electronic instruments. We have included an inside look at the local

Kerry - Youth Lagoon

moonlighting scene and the many forms of bedroom producing

Trevor Powers, also known as Youth Lagoon, wrote this pow-

around the Austin area.

erful song as an ode to a broken man who had a habit of

Quiet Corners and Empty Spaces - The Jayhawks Sometimes, all it takes is a happy place. We are turning the focus to exchange students at the University of Texas at Austin

running from the law. With unjust prison conditions increasingly rampant in the state of Texas, we take a much-needed look into what these practices mean to the portrayal of inmates and what locals have done in an effort to improve the system.

and where they consider themselves most at home in a differ-

20 Something - SZA

ent city. Some may find their chosen location surprising, or, for

College can get pretty lonely sometimes, especially with an

all we know, it may be the same quiet corner or empty space.

abundance of change. Something Grammy-nominated R&B

Seashore - The Regrettes

artist SZA, who dominated 2017 with her raw music, articulates so well are the feelings of uncertainty present throughout

She really is the boss. Reminding us of a piece about self-iden-

young adulthood. We have a piece examining isolation on

tified women in the music industry, unapologetic 16-year-old

this campus, what UT Austin is lacking in assisting with these

Lydia Night of The Regrettes declares the compelling and

concerns and the recent attention brought upon the school’s

unwavering power of women in this feisty anthem.

mental health services. 77


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Detangling Embracing Natural Hair and Evoking Black Girl Magic

78


Story by Kennedy Williams Photos by Maya Coplin

From box braids and faux locs to twist-outs and sew-ins, black women’s hair is innately versatile. Black women have the ability to style their hair in a myriad of ways. What connects most black women, however, is that their hair reflects both aesthetic choices and political statements. 79


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hether intentionally or not, one’s hair can be

like the white girls you went to school with so you

eye-catching, attracting gazes and attention.

wouldn’t be a distraction.” The idea of black hair

“We are seen without saying a word,” says Dayjah

being inherently disruptive is deeply rooted in racism. It immediately shuns black people and their hair.

Harris, a marketing and pre-dental junior at the University of Texas at Austin. For black women, hair

The effects of growing up in a society that does not

is more than the strands atop their head. It silently

praise black beauty are generational. “It’s sad to say,

communicates a history and announces a presence.

but I didn’t like my hair growing up,” nursing junior Courtney Parker says. For many black girls, child-

Black women’s experiences with their hair are not

hood is a tumultuous mix of carefree moments and

singular, nor is blackness determined by the styling

being concerned about your hair. “When you see

of one’s hair. At times, hair can be a source of pain

other people’s hair and it’s straight, you ask yourself,

and struggle. As black girls and women navigate life,

‘What’s wrong with my hair?’ I hated wearing my hair

their hair may be informed by personal and cultural

in its natural state,” Parker says. “My grandmother is

histories, societal beauty standards and changing

Creole, so she and her siblings all have loose hair. I

trends. Detangling one’s hair from these standards

always wondered why I couldn’t have hair like them.”

and embracing its natural state leads to a manifestation of black girl magic and a claiming of previously

Beyond the varied societal standards of beauty that

inaccessible freedoms of childhood.

black women face, there are also in-group biases that favor lighter skin and looser curl patterns. “That’s

The definition of black girl magic varies from person

where you get the fetish of people wanting to have

to person. “Black girl magic is being proud of your

mixed race kids. They want the ‘good’ hair.’ At the end

blackness and expressing it in any form or fashion

of the day there is no such thing as good hair, there

you choose to. You don’t let anyone determine how

are just different textures,” Preston says.

you express yourself,” says political communications junior Regan Preston. Similarly, for athletic training and African and African diaspora studies junior Erin Brackus, black girl magic is best defined as “being black and a woman and being proud of your heri-

“Hair is the most obvious, outward expression of black girl magic. It is an extension of how we express ourselves.”

tage.” The amorphous qualities of black girl magic is what makes it potent. Black girl magic can describe

Some black girls and women straighten their hair

any moment of beauty, resilience or simplicity. To tap

temporarily or permanently, experiencing pain in the

into black girl magic, you just have to be.

process. “I didn’t have a choice. My mom put a perm in my hair when I was four because she didn’t know

Unfortunately, the pressure to conform to Eurocen-

how to do it,” Brackus says, referring to a chemical

tric beauty standards may, at times, prevent black

relaxer that breaks the protein structure in hair to

girls and women from feeling beautiful in their own

straighten it. In order to achieve straight hair, the

skin. Both slavery and colorism, an act of same-race

perm must remain in the hair for a certain amount of

prejudice that ascribes preference to those with

time to allow the chemicals to permeate it.

lighter skin, inform beauty standards in the United States. The physical features of white women are

“I hated getting chemical burns. You don’t get them

often glorified, promoting beauty standards that can

just in your scalp but wherever the chemicals touch,”

be unattainable for black women. Mainstream rep-

Brackus says. This pain is not only physical, but can

resentations of beauty usually involve white bodies,

lead to psychological distress. Having to perform an

further distancing black women from what is consid-

identity can be destructive. Simultaneously navigating

ered beautiful.

one’s hair journey and childhood may result in adopting imposed identities rather than developing and

“When my mom was growing up, it was frowned

embracing one’s own.

upon to wear your natural hair,” Preston says. “They

80

hot combed their hair on the stove and got burned

In contrast to the traumatic experiences black

because they had to fit into what was normal. What

women face when trying to alter their natural hair,

was seen as normal was having your hair straight

“going natural,” the act of growing out or cutting


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style

any processed hair, is embracing a freedom that was

PWI gave me more empowerment,” Smith says. “So

often unattainable during childhood. Embracing one’s

many people lose their identity just to fit into the

natural hair as an adult allows black women to invoke

majority. That’s not me. I can’t keep trying to meet

a carefree aspect of their identity. “It hit me when I

certain standards, because I’m only hurting myself.”

was in middle school and then high school that I wanted my hair to be big,” Parker says. “I wanted it to

Occasionally, non-black people, even those in posi-

be healthy and flourishing.”

tions of power, direct their attention to black girls’ hair and make insensitive remarks. “At the end of the

Achieving healthy hair for black women often takes

semester I had a sew-in [weave] that was long and

practice and investing time and energy into one’s

honey blonde. I took my sew-in out and had this

hair. It is an act of self-love and self-care. “It’s

little ‘fro,” Harris says. “In class, my professor was like

empowering. This is me. This is how I was naturally

‘Something is different!’ He was staring right at me

made,” Preston says.

and I was like, ‘You know what’s different!’ I’m one of two black girls in the class. That’s hard sometimes.”

Black girl magic does not only depend on how you wear your hair. Rather, black girl magic is about

However, sometimes navigating a gaze provides an

unapologetic self-acceptance and claiming parts of

opportunity to subvert power. “I hate that [black

yourself that have been hidden. “As we get older and

women’s] agency is policed,” Smith says. “Everything

our parents aren’t in control of what we’re doing and

that we do with our hair or body is political. I’m all for

we let go of some beauty standards, we start going

wearing my natural hair, even if it’s a big interview. I

natural,” journalism junior Taylor Smith says. “We

used to be afraid. Now I’m at the point where I know

look at ourselves like, ‘Wow, this is me.’ We go back

that this is me and I’m not going to diminish myself

to a time when we were carefree.”

just because someone feels uncomfortable.”

One carefree aspect of black girlhood was having a

While having natural hair is not always easy, it is

box of hair accessories. This bin tethers many black

worth the journey. Literally reclaiming one’s “roots”

girls together and emerges as a continuity between

allows the authentic self to manifest. “Our hair is

childhoods. “I had the colorful barrettes that I’d put

so versatile and diverse. For me, having natural hair

on the end of my braids or twists,” Parker says. “If you

shows that I’m comfortable with the skin I’m in,”

moved your head too fast, they would stab you in the

Smith says.

eye. There was also the little rubber bands with the colored balls on the end!” In that same vein, Preston

Black women embracing their natural hair reflects an

says, “I can still smell my [hair accessories] box. It

acceptance of one’s personal and genetic histories,

always smelled like Blue Magic grease.”

allowing them to flourish in the present. “Hair is the most obvious, outward expression of black girl magic.

Embracing natural hair has even greater significance

It is an extension of how we express ourselves,”

at a predominantly white institution, otherwise known

Brackus says. Black girls conjure magic with their

as a PWI. As of 2017, black students at UT comprise

hair, transmuting what once was condemned into a

just four percent of the student body. “Coming to a

source of power. 81


Anti-Surveillance Fashion Using Clothing as Resistance

Story by Sarah Ogunmuyiwa Photos by Peter McCain 82


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ith facial recognition technology becoming

feelings, political thought and ways of seeing and

an increasingly normalized part of daily

being seen. By participating in practices such as

life, artists, designers, coders and more are

creating sustainable clothing, fashion not only influ-

finding ways to avoid such methods of surveillance.

ences the way people navigate and view the world,

With new and innovative thinking, culture is changing

but it has also placed a handprint in the realm of

and shifting to reclaim lost privacy.

surveillance.

Artist Adam Harvey developed a technique called

Often when discussing street harassment, women,

CV Dazzle, which renders faces undetectable and

femmes and generally non-men are told to dress

functions as a form of resistance to state-sanctioned

appropriately in order to avoid harassment. The male

surveillance. But surveillance is not only performed

gaze and voyeurism contribute to the patriarchal

at high government levels. It can be as impersonal as

system that allows street harassment to go uncon-

store cameras watching your every move. Conversely,

tested. Artists and designers are critiquing the male

it can be as intimate as voyeurism or being body

gaze and voyeurism by weaponizing fashion. The idea

scanned by airport TSA and biometric technology.

is that the clothing worn by the subject will be so unappealing and dangerous that a potential perpetra-

Through CV Dazzle, Harvey bridges art and fashion

tor will be less likely to grope the them.

using hair and makeup, a method adapted from a World War I tactic used to hide warships from enemy

Hyphen-Labs, a group of engineers, programmers

targets. Just as warships painted stripes on their exte-

and designers who are all women of color, play

rior to hide from the opposing side, CV Dazzle acts as

with the concept of do-it-yourself anti-surveillance

a cache for faces against algorithms.

fashion. They have created different technologies to promote citizen undersight, ranging from door

The purpose of this technique is to break up the face

knocker earrings that have a built-in camera and

by using hair and makeup to cover parts recognized

recording device, to incandescent sun visors that hide

by algorithms, such as underneath the eyes, the fore-

the face while reflecting an onlooker’s face. With the

head, the bridge of the nose and the chin. There are

help of HyperFace technology, Hyphen-Labs uses a

numerous YouTube tutorials where people try Har-

camouflage pattern on a neck scarf to disrupt facial

vey’s method. Users can know they’ve mastered the

recognition algorithms.

technique when face recognition technology, like Snapchat filters, can no longer identify them.

In collaboration with Harvey, this young group creates technologies that weaponize fashion, some of

In UT professor Simone Browne’s “Dark Matters,”

which were showcased at South by Southwest’s 2017

she describes surveillance as oversight and uses

Art Program.

Steve Mann’s “Veillance Plane” to explain different types of “watching.” This includes “sousveillance”

Although these projects spark necessary conversa-

which is “observing and recording by an entity not in

tion about surveillance practices, there are critiques

a position of power or authority over the subject of

to these approaches. In Vanderbilt professor Torin

veillance.”An example of sousveillance, also known

Monahan’s piece, “The Right to Hide? Anti-Sur-

as “citizen undersight,” would be a citizen recording

veillance Camouflage and the Aestheticization of

instances of police misconduct.

Resistance,” he contests that these practices hold the target accountable rather than the perpetrator.

Browne also adds another dimension to Steve Mann’s

Instead of acknowledging the patriarchal system that

Veillance Plane by coining the term “dark sousveil-

normalizes such toxic behavior, he argues it individ-

lance,” which analyzes and critiques surveillance in

ualizes a deeply-rooted and systemic issue. Monahan

race and gender-based contexts.

calls this “aestheticizing resistance.”

These various surveillance practices come in many

There are also concerns that this protective clothing

forms, including apparel. Many do not think of

is not accessible to the populations that are most in

fashion in the context of surveillance or anti-surveil-

need. Harvey developed a burqa with woven metal

lance practices. Fashion invokes different themes,

fabric to disrupt thermal sensors in drone technology. 83


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According to “The World Post,” this anti-drone burqa is priced at over $2,000, making it inaccessible to many of those targeted by Islamophobic violence. Such expensive prices can make something helpful turn into something extraneous. If CV Dazzle makeup is only useful to the wealthy, it could cause marginalized groups to become even more exposed to violence, while privileged groups become undetectable. In “Dark Matters,” Browne emphasizes the importance of racializing surveillance and that we should engage in the practice of “intersecting surveillances.” This is critical to keep in mind because people of color are often deemed suspicious and thus may seem more threatening when wearing dangerous fashion. Because of stereotypes and racial bias, a white man and a black man dressed in weaponized clothing will usually be perceived differently. Similarly, in the past three to four years, despite the mass citizen recordings of police brutality, the number of people killed by police has increased. Door knocker earrings may promote sousveillance, but if structures such as racism, transphobia, misogynoir (misogyny directed toward black women) and countless other power structures continue to exist, marginalized bodies will never have the right to look back. University of Washington-Bothell assistant professor Micha Cardenas directed a performance piece titled, “Find Each Other: Local Autonomy Networks and Autonets.” In the piece, participants wear clothing with built-in lights, where trans women can press a button for help as a way to alert allies. This form of networking and crowdsourcing solidarity is a way of building algorithms that not only preserve trans life, but also uses the visibility of trans people positively. What makes all of these works worth noting are that they are tools of empowerment and resistance while being worthy of editorial fashion. Cardenas’ methods of thinking, combined with the innovation of Hyphen-Labs and Harvey could result in tangible and accessible clothing that not only equips individuals with anti-surveillance practices, but ones that protect the most vulnerable and challenge entire systems of oppression.

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Trend or Transformation? Sustainability in Fashion Story by Kennedy Williams Illustration by Alex Guillen

F

ur has been a hot topic for decades. “Go

These shifts are revealed when looking into the

without jewels, pocket money or every-day

heritage of brands. More and more companies like

clothes...but never try to scrimp on fur. For the fur

Patagonia value transparency. For Blum, Stella

you wear will reveal to everyone the kind of woman

McCartney consistently gets it right by combining

you are and the kind of life you lead,” says a Vogue

luxury, sustainable and fashionable clothes. With her

article titled “The Fur Story of 1929.” Once used solely

eponymous label that uses vegetarian fabrics, Stella

for warmth, fur has become a status symbol and a

McCartney’s clothes reflect the history of fashion

form of conspicuous consumption that communi-

brands choosing to distance themselves from real fur.

cates wealth and access. It has an aura of elegance The 1990s served as a turning point for many brands.

and exclusivity.

Protests by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Almost a century has passed since Vogue spoke of

Animals, otherwise known as PETA, were on the rise.

the allure of fur and declared it to be a wardrobe

In 1993, model Christy Turlington posed for her now-

essential. Although fur is still talked about today,

iconic PETA campaign that birthed the statement “I’d

the conversation now includes fur’s connection to

rather go naked than wear fur.” In 1994, in the midst

sustainability. Climate change and environmental

of a booming fur industry, Calvin Klein announced that

awareness are at the center of the zeitgeist, so a

he would no longer produce designs with animal fur.

push towards a more responsible and conscientious Fur became the center of polarizing and engendering

fashion industry and consumer is in effect.

discussions about the intersection of animal rights, While sustainable fashion and ethical fashion inter-

sustainability and fashion.

sect at various points, they are also distinct topics. “Sustainable fashion has to do with the impact we

Following in this pattern, Marco Bizzarri, president

make on the environment when we’re making the

and chief officer at Gucci, revealed that the Ker-

clothes, while ethical fashion has to do with the

ing-owned luxury brand would abandon the use of

impact on the people creating clothes,” says Peggy

fur beginning with its spring-summer 2018 collections.

Blum, a textiles and apparel professor at the Univer-

This decision is a part of Gucci’s broad sustainability

sity of Texas at Austin.

plan that involves a partnership with the Fur Free Alliance, an organization that seeks to end the harmful

Fashion is a $2.4 trillion business, according to

exploitation and killing of animals for fur.

McKinsey and Company. As the buying power of many

The Business of Fashion reports that fur accounts for

brands are choosing not to use fur. Does this decision

$11.8 million in annual revenue for Gucci, and one of

signal a change in ethos or is it solely an appeal to

its most popular accessories, the ever-trendy Prince-

concerned, anti-fur consumers? There is no simple

town slippers, features fur. Moving forward, products

answer. “There are companies that ‘greenwash’ and

with fur will feature faux fur, wool or innovative

their interests are superficial,” Blum says. “But there

fabrics. Although rethinking some of Gucci’s classics

are also real shifts taking place in the shift toward

is promising, the shift to being fur free is motivated

sustainability.”

by cultural changes. “I don’t think [fur is] still modern

socially-conscious

millennials

increases,

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“Sustainable fashion has to do with the impact we make on the environment when we’re making the clothes, while ethical fashion has to do with the impact on the people creating clothes.”

and that’s the reason why we decided not to do that.

hand, synthetic fur provides options and versatility.

It’s a little bit out-dated,” Bizzarri says in an interview

It allows consumers to engage in trends without the

with the Business of Fashion.

commitment or the price tag of real fur.

While modernity can be defined by a milieu of terms,

While faux fur is great for versatility, it is not nec-

the ability to have options is key. Real fur still has

essarily more sustainable, contrary to popular belief.

the ability to reveal one’s socioeconomic status and

Many faux furs are synthetic and made of nonrenew-

access to luxury but synthetic fur is disrupting the

able petroleum. It will not quickly degrade at the end

industry. “We’ve developed textiles that can compete

of its’ life cycle, but rather, take hundreds of years to

with real fur,” Blum says. “Sometimes you can’t tell the

break down. This is why the debate around fur is so

difference if someone is wearing fur or not.” Perhaps,

circuitous. There really is not a right answer.

then, fur is obsolete. It’s a nostalgic relic of the past. Responsible production and disposal of clothes proNot everyone has this perspective. Al Freidin, owner

vides some clarity in the murky debate. The fashion

of Almar Furs, has been in the fur industry for 45

industry is the second most industrial polluter, pro-

years. He says he has seen changes in the market.

ducing more than 15 million tons of waste every year.

“We used to sell a lot of mink coats. Maybe 150 a

The act of using readily available textiles would cut

year. In the last year I’ve sold about a dozen mink

down on waste. “I applaud Gucci for that because

coats,” Freidin says. Despite that, he operates a fur

it means that they aren’t making new things,” Blum

business in Austin, where summer is almost perpet-

says. “That to me is more important than whether a

ual. He sells various garments with fur, such as vests,

garment is made of fur or not.”

cashmere capes with fur collars and fur-trimmed leather coats. He views fur as a “timeless investment

Even more significant is the problem of disposing

piece” that people buy when they reach a certain

garments. “A lot of people take the easy way out

stage or status in life.

and donate their clothes and accessories,” Blum says. “But the donation bins are spilling over. The

However, a look at Almar’s customer base, men and

clothes are deposited in developing countries that

women aged 45 and older, discloses a necessary

don’t need them.”

shift in the audience for real fur. Millennials don’t have the access or desire to commit to an investment

Ultimately, the conversation should not be about

piece such as fur. “I think millennials want something

whether fur is sustainable or not. Instead, there must

basic,” Freidin says. “They don’t want a lot of fuss.”

be some more nuanced conversations about how to consciously produce and dispose of clothing. Sus-

Fur requires a fair amount of maintenance; it must be

tainability is just as much about consciousness as it

conditioned regularly and stored between 45 and 55

is about practices.

degrees in order to preserve its quality. On the other 90



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Durags The brief history of a $3 piece of silky cloth that transformed black culture.

Story by Brandon Pegram Photo by Peter McCain

T

he durag. A symbol of black culture. Black excel-

Week. From haircare to unholy appropriation, here is

lence. A crown. Found inside your local beauty

the history of the durag as it is known today.

supply or hair store (not Sally’s), the durag is a silk head wrap first used by black women to protect

Beginning in the 1930s, black women used silk hair

their hairdos. Multifunctional, the durag also creates

wraps to preserve chemically-processed hairdos while

“waves” in black men’s hair, which are small radial

they slept. At this time, durags were not called durags

ripples beginning at the crown of one’s head, the

but rather, stocking caps, as women’s stockings were

pinnacle of achievement for many men with a wave-

cut to create the wraps. Many durag-wearers have

length haircut.

memories of their mother creating the head wrap for them out of their own stockings. Nevertheless, the

However, the durag has a storied history outside of

stocking cap of the ‘30s remained a staple in haircare

hair care. Durags have found themselves on the heads

and evolved into the durag 60 years later. It was used

of rap legends, pro athletes, rap groupies and sadly,

specifically for short hair lengths or cornrows, no

as accessories on the runway at New York Fashion

longer just for protecting chemically-processed hair. 93


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The reclamation of the durag by today’s generation will hopefully end the negative stereotypes cast upon it by past generations. In the late ‘90s as hip-hop rose to new levels of pop-

a liking to durags even though it does next to nothing

ularity, so did the durag. Popularized by black artists

for their hair. Not to mention, it has no relevance

such as Nelly, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Ja Rule and 50 Cent,

within their cultural history. Recently public figure

durags were at the epicenter of the rap game. What

Kylie Jenner donned one at New York Fashion Week.

used to be a bedtime routine was now being worn

The appropriation of black culture has been and con-

outdoors and flaunted before the masses. Silky and

tinues to be a problem in America, and the co-opting

flowy in the wind, durags became a staple of early

of durags is just another item in a long list of things

2000s rap videos and photos, with artists rocking

adopted by non-black people for selfish benefit.

them under fitted caps or opting for designs and two toned ‘rags.

Recently, there has been a resurgence of the durag due to social media. Thanks to Vann R. Newkirk II, a

Durags even permeated the realm of professional

social media figure and writer for The Atlantic, there

sports, notably in the National Basketball Associa-

is now a #DuragHistoryWeek. During a week in the

tion, which in 2005, banned them in their dress code

fall, “Black Twitter,” a sub-community of Twitter

policy. Although it lacks any concrete evidence, the

compiled of mostly black users, comes together to

legend of prominent durag-wearer Allen Iverson,

celebrate all that the durag means to the community.

leaving the court after a 40 point, 10 assist game to

Full of memes, videos and full flash shots of some of

tie up his durag and keep his braids fresh has been

the best waves on Twitter, the week aims to regain

upheld. This anecdote solidified his status as one of

a positive connotation for the durag among today’s

the most iconic basketball players of the past decade.

youth. This can especially be seen with #DuragDay spreading across American college campuses.

The durag held the essence of what it meant to be “fly,” and contrastingly, what white America deemed

Beginning at Morehouse College, students took to the

“street culture.” The rise of durags in pop culture was

lawn to showcase their favorite durags, bonnets and

not met without the criminalization of its wearers,

silk wraps to reclaim their hair care tools and look as

as it became just another indicator of black people

cool as ever doing it. The University of Texas at Austin

as stereotypical “thugs” and “vagrants,” a sentiment

even had its own #UTDuragDay, where black students

held by many white and older black Americans. For

congregated on the East Mall in front of the Martin

instance, in a 2005 column from The Washington

Luther King Jr. statue to celebrate melanin and silky

Post titled “The Case Against Do-Rags,” author Jabari

magic.

Asim says, “I’ve resented those ugly things for years, and I know I’m not alone. It’s time we all came out

The reclamation of the durag by today’s generation

and aired our feelings in the light of day.” While Asim

will hopefully end the negative stereotypes cast upon

may hold his own opinions, his distaste of durags is

it by past generations. With students openly rocking

similar among many older black adults. His column

their ‘rags, there is hope that the trend will become

is layered in respectability politics and elitism toward

normalized and accepted. Not only is the durag a tool

his own community.

for healthy hair care, it is a symbol of black pride and culture.

While durags rose to prominence in black culture

94

during the 2000s, there was also a faction of white

Whether you rock a basic durag, one with multiple

celebrities who loved them as well, which some

colors or one with a designer pattern, be proud of

members of the black community found appropri-

your durag and the symbolism it holds. The durag

ative. From Justin Timberlake, then a member of

displays the “waviest” of people and the most liber-

NSYNC, sporting a Tommy Gear durag, to superstar

ated as well. Whether you let your flap blow in the

soccer player David Beckham rocking one while

wind or tuck it nicely underneath, rock your durag

meeting Prince Charles, white celebrities have taken

freely and as openly as you please.


orange magazine

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95


orange magazine

style

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orange magazine

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orange magazine

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contributors EDITORS-IN-CHIEF

MANAGEMENT

Hannah McMorris

Garrett Mireles

Zoya Zia

Onaje McDowelle Kristina Nguyen

CREATIVE DIRECTION

Ryan Hicks

WRITERS

Humza Ahmed SECTION EDITORS

Angela Bonilla Maya Coplin Ali Garza London Gibson Natalie Heineman Sarah Holdeman Guneez Ibrahim Onaje McDowelle Kristina Nguyen Itohan Osagie Mary E. Pistorius Jacqueline Ramos Hayli Rudolph Allyson Waller PHOTOGRAPHERS

Liam Alteneder Alyssa Arnold Elise Barbin Marilee Bodden Jacqueline Briddell Katarina Brown Thalia Carillo Andrea Cos Danielle Drews Samantha Favela Rochelle Friedewald Max Friedman Ali Garza London Gibson Alexis Green Caroline Hager Sarah Hollis Rachana Jadala

Humza Ahmed

Sunny Kim

Jac Alford

Sayuri Kolombege

Mario G. Clark

Shelby Light

Maya Coplin

Avery Long

Aaron Brock Dehn

Sabrina Martinez

Kiana Fernandez

Onaje McDowelle

Laura Godinez

Sofia Mendiola

Caleb Guardarrama

Abby Moore

Ravin Lee

Abby Morgan

Brittany Mendez

Kristina Nguyen

Rohan Mirchandani

Katharine Noe

Mary E. Pistorius

Itohan Osagie

Marybeth Schmidt

Brandon Pegram Alex Puente

ILLUSTRATORS

Alex Guillen Jaclyn Alford Ryan Hicks Urub Khawaja Sonia Margolin

Jacqueline Ramos Hayli Rudolph Gabrielle Sanchez Emanuela Schneider Imani Sebri Jordan Steyer Alexis Tatum Jasmine Valencia Allyson Waller


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