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CONTENTS Features 4 – Helping the homeless this winter 5 – Tracy’s Street Kitchen – The people that give back all year 6 – Housing affects everyone 8 – Sexual assault in Nottingham clubs 10 – Why period poverty is still a bloody issue 28 – What does society owe us? Fashion and beauty 13 – Luxury brands that are making sustainability their top priority 14 – How not to destroy the planet while shopping Culture and entertainment 16 – The big screen having a big impact Travel and lifestyle 17 – ‘The secret network’ of support 18 – Don’t let the environment be palmed off 20 – All aboard the sustainability ride… Music 21 – A brief history of political music 22 - Justice in art forms – An interview with Motormouf 24 – Gigging for goodwill Sport 26 – How safe is Thai Boxing?

MEET THE TEAM Editor-in-Chief: Eve Smallman Deputy Editor: Harvey Clitheroe Social Secretary/Treasurer/Head of Cheese: Jack Austin Head of Marketing: Rachel Boulter News Editor: Katie Ansell Fashion and Beauty Editor: Emily Mitton Travel and Lifestyle Editor: Chris Croot Culture and Entertainment Editors: Adam Ridgley and Chloe Underwood Music Editor: Becky Lumbard Sport Editor: Izzy Barker Head of Design: Jordan Wright Deputy Head of Design: Andreea Tocilescu

Welcome to another issue of Platform! This time we are looking a bit edgier, aren’t we? That’s because this magazine is our social justice edition. When I started out as Editor-in-Chief nearly two years ago now, I wanted to make sure that we provided everything students wanted to know and needed to know. I feel like this edition is very much both of these things. You want to be aware of the world around you. You need to be aware of the world around you. We’ve covered topics that affect you directly and that also affect the city you live in. We found out about how your experiences with housing (page 6) and sexual assault (page 8) have affected you. Not only that, but we’ve delved into two hard-hitting topics that affect Nottingham: homelessness (page 4) and period poverty (page 10). All that, as well as a range of issues being covered in our usual categories. If you buy clothes as fast as you eat a kebab after a night out, read Zara’s article on page 14. If you give a monkey’s about palm oil, check out Robbie’s article in Travel and Lifestyle on page 18. This edition has been my favourite to produce so far. I hope you all can see how much we have grown. The writing is slicker, the design is beautiful. We really wanted to showcase these important topics in a respectful and enlightening way. I believe we’ve achieved that. In my opinion, anyway. But I guess I’m biased, so I’ll let you make up your mind. I’ll leave you with a quote from James’ article on page 28: “Social justice can create a sense of collective happiness in our society. As opposed to institutionalised forms like the criminal justice system, social justice is grassroots action.” Enjoy,



KEELAN LEEDER JOSH HUGHES Homelessness is a massive problem not only around Nottingham but the whole of the United Kingdom. A 2016 report from St Mungos found 40% of rough sleepers had a mental health problem because of stress caused by the physical hardship and lack of sleep. The onset of winter makes sleeping rough even more challenging due to the harsh cold. Homeless people may carry the stigma of being in this position because of drug abuse or other negative reasons. However, when speaking to various homeless people around Nottingham this really is not the case. For example, this is Kevin. He has been homeless in Nottingham for a year now. Prior to Kevin living on Nottingham’s streets he was employed full time. However, due to family complications and his son tragically passing away, Kevin found himself sleeping rough. This just goes to show how quickly life can change for any one of us and how quickly people can find themselves in these situations.

Nottingham City Council has put aside an extra £420,000 in aid to tackle the influx of homelessness in Nottingham. But we believe more needs to be done to help those less fortunate living on the streets, as Kevin story showed, it could happen to anyone. All it takes is a string of bad events in a row and you can lose control of your life. To help spread awareness we have promoted our cause consistently on social media and set up social media pages with the stories homeless citizens shared with us around Nottingham, with photos that bring the words to life. We then got in touch with as many friends and family as we could to gain donations and get closer to our goal of £500. Next, we decided to host a charity club night where all money made goes towards our goal. To do this we managed to hire a club venue, the manager, John Costello, gave us the night free of charge saying that “my brother tragically ended up homeless, this is very good thing you are doing, and I am keen to support it” (pull out). We managed to get a few of our mates to play for free so all that was left was to boost the events popularity, so, we created flyers to put in halls and local businesses.

Kevin’s nights are “often spent sleeping in doorways surrounded by litter, used needles and human faeces”. When winter comes around it is just “another obstacle” for people like Kevin to stay alive.

Another student and I are aiming to keep those sleeping rough around Nottingham warm this winter through our non-profit project, called Outreach Nottingham. We aim to do this by raising £500 to put towards sleeping bags, socks, flasks and other winter essentials. This will make the harsh British winter more bearable and hopefully make a real difference. The national charity Shelter have recently stated that 1 in every 200 UK citizens are now homeless. We realise solving national problems may seem out of reach, though helping the local homeless community is a step in the right direction.

If you want to make a difference this winter, then please support not only our charity but any charity that helps homeless people. If you want to get involved yourself then you could help out with the soup runners society who hand out soup outside Broadmarsh twice weekly, as well as organising fundraisers. As well as this, Nottingham City Council urges that if you see someone on the street this winter, contact the charity Framework on 08000665356 so that they can offer support.

CHLOE UNDERWOOD In Nottingham alone, there are hundreds of people sleeping rough, and with it being the coldest months of the year, people feel more inclined to help. Yet many fail to realise that homelessness is 365 days a year. Chloe Underwood found out what people in Nottingham are doing to help. Every Friday, without fail, Tracy feeds the homeless in Trinity Square.Tracy Dickinson, the owner of Tracy’s Street Kitchen is just one of the people helping to fight homelessness. At a young age, Tracy was homeless on the streets of Nottingham, until a kind stranger, Andrew Ellis, helped her get back on her feet. It wasn’t until decades later when walking through the city centre with Andrew one night, that Tracy realised she needed to do something to help the homeless.

“I was on the streets for four years in Nottingham which wasn’t very good. It was quite horrific to be fair for a 14-year-old to be out on the streets,” said Tracy. With Andrew, who was now a friend of over 30 years, they put themselves to work. Thinking back to how they started, Andrew said: “It’s two years later and there’s all this. I mean it’s amazing.” “We started off with two carrier bags of sandwiches and a backpack with two flasks of coffee and now you can see we’re doing food, we’re doing clothing, we’re doing haircuts.

“It’s just possible with the help of some very generous and kind people.” It’s Friday night, 7pm, and Trinity Square is filled with people running around in high vis jackets, making the last few adjustments. Amongst the sea of people, a woman not in yellow, but a pink high vis vest, is Tracy. Greeted by the biggest hug from her she goes on to explain how busy and manic it is and then darted off to continue getting everything ready. Now with around 20 volunteers and over 150 mouths to feed every Friday, Tracy’s Street Kitchen has become an incredible operation. Andrew added: “Anybody can be in that queue wanting some food. “We try to treat them with dignity and respect - give them a couple hours where they can come, and they know they’re going to be safe.” Despite working a full-time job as a support worker, Tracy, who is also a fully qualified teacher and chef still has to do a lot of the work behind the scenes and as the kitchen is non-profit, money can be tight. “People don’t think about the flasks the cups, the plastic cutlery, the trays, all the weekly consumables that we have. “Also, they don’t see the hidden costs like my gas and electric when I’m cooking for 12 hours plus because all the food is homemade.”

Sarah Camilleri is one of the many people who gives their time to volunteer every Friday and has been doing so for a year now. She said: “I am very proud to assist Tracy in any way with the kitchen, I think that she’s an incredible human being. “She’s compassionate; she has empathy, and this is the tip of the iceberg of what you see here.” “ During the week we spend so much time collecting donations, preparing food, washing pots, you name it.” It’s safe to say that Tracy is doing everything she can to help the homeless in Nottingham. It’s astonishing to think that Tracy’s Street Kitchen started with just two people who wanted to help make someone’s night a little more bearable. But it’s hard not to wonder what will be next for the Kitchen. Tracy said: “What I’m hoping for the future is I would like to do this full time, I would like to be out+ every night of the week. “The guys come to us because they know they’ve got a lot of love, warmth, compassion and basically they just love us, and I want to be able to do this as my full time job and make sure that I can signpost people, get them into some housing and get them into some jobs. “I just love them, these are my family and my Friday nights; I wouldn’t give it up for the world.”

For more information on Tracy’s Street Kitchen visit


JAMES EVANS Housing involves everyone. This is a significant given.Housing can be a complex and difficult process to understand. Simply, we all need somewhere to live, especially so at University.

Students are a massive part of Nottingham’s economy; most of the businesses you see reflect this fact. Housing is a facet of that market, in which demand will only fluctuate with the volume of us coming into Nottingham. Having a roof over your head is not a trend that comes in and out of fashion, it is a business that will always remain profitable, because it is a necessity for us. This article could have quite easily been a pressing of my own opinion surrounding student housing. This is not the case. Experience is a type of knowledge that is extremely vital, for hindsight is everything. From this point, we have compiled a list of young people and students, providing you with their stories:

Me and my housemates moved into our new house this year in early September. It had been really hot this summer and the sun stayed around, which was lucky for us, as we did not have heating or hot water till early November! We all e-mailed the letting agency constantly for the period but with no response or acknowledgement. We had to go into the actual office and demand to get a date to fix it. After that, it took them two weeks, with two different visits to fix the boiler. They obviously had not checked the house before we moved in. For about two days before it was fixed, the temperature did drop. I could see my breath when I woke up in the morning. All that money I pay, to feel cold in my own home!

I reported a considerable amount of mould to my landlord, to which they responded with a leaflet in how to treat it. The mould continued to spread in every room and when the surveyor visited he asked did not know about it, as the landlord and letting agent had denied all knowledge of my notification. The flat was insufficiently insulated. The landlord’s response was to hang a curtain as a way of replacing the front door, which was extremely low regarding security and laughable! We were also charged £40 when we left the property for two old plant pots to be replaced. £40! The letting agent also took £90 from our deposit just to check the property’s state. The system is a mess!

We went to the housing fair a bit confused and not ready to commit to anything, but came across our landlord’s stand and we were drawn to it. He wasn’t part of a big agency, and the houses were all around £80/week, so it seemed like a good choice. We ended up viewing 2 houses straight after the fair and signed for one of them that evening. We all just really love that the company is so small and personal, our landlord comes around once a month to do odd jobs and check if we are all okay, and knows that affordable genuine housing is just best to keep everyone happy. We love our landlord!

I paid rent to my landlord, only to be told they had sold the property. So, I had paid the wrong person because of lack of notification! The landlord kept the money for a month and I was getting emails telling me I have urgent rent to be paid. I panicked. They had failed to inform us who our new landlords even were! It took us 3 whole months to get our deposits back and after all that they took £90 off it when we had caused no damage at all. I wish we had contested it. These experiences are just a drop in the water. There are many more stories to be told, some good and some bad. With housing decisions, the best way is to take your time. Be careful, take your options in, do not just go to the nearest letting agency, and especially utilise the Student Union’s House advice (upstairs in the SU on City Campus). Seek some advice and guidance to help you in the turbulent market that is Student Housing.

The Information and Advice Service at the Student Union is able to provide free, confidential information and advice on a range of housing issues including disrepair, contract checks and getting your deposit back. To see an advisor please call 0115 8486260 or fill in their booking form on

Have you been affected by a dodgy landlord? Email us your story at and we’ll investigate!


SARAH HANNAH If you’re brave enough to google ‘Sexual Assault in Nottingham’, you will find a myriad of police reports and articles upon articles showing the rise of these incidents. Taking a step back from the overwhelming statistics, I asked students in Nottingham a simple question; What is sexual assault?

A shocking 80% of the people I spoke to didn’t know what sexual assault was. Sexual assault can be from a catcall, to being groped all the way through to rape. When specifically asking each person if they believed having their arse grabbed was sexual assault, 90% said no. To many readers these statistics will not be shocking as being groped and verbally assaulted has sadly become a part of a club night out for students. Society today is going through a time of transition. We have become more sexually liberated, speaking openly about contraceptives and STIs, but sexual assault is still a taboo subject as these so called “grey areas” exist. Areas that people like President Donald Trump like to exploit by publicly making comments such as: “you have to treat em like shit,” in an interview he gave to New York Magazine. With bigots like this leading the free world, these attitudes are arguably bound to trickle down into the daily lives of young adults across the world. NTSU Feminist Society member Molly, said that on a club night out she wouldn’t report a sexual assault until she felt threatened by the assailant, claiming: “I would be reluctant to do so as I might not be taken seriously.” This fear of being ridiculed leads to the offender not being held accountable for their actions. The Crime Survey for England and Wales reported that in 2017, 83% of sexual assault victims did not file a report with the police.

Childhood and Youth Studies student Shay vividly recounted a sexual assault in Propaganda. He recalled “an older man approached [him] with cheesy chat up lines” and after numerous advances, this elevated to the man grabbing his groin and squeezing, saying “interested yet?”.

Shay went to security and was shocked when they replied: “You’re gay right? Isn’t that what you’ve come for?”. This response to a sexual assault highlights how although statistically victims of sexual assault are more likely to be female, men still experience it and are more likely to stay quiet due to the outdated culture of masculinity. Looking at the club scene from the other side of the bar offered another perspective on sexual assaults in clubs. After speaking to multiple bar associates working in clubs across the city, very few people had received training or advice from their manager on how to identify a man or woman in danger and what they should do if they do see anything. This training is given in Bodega and Wetherspoons in the form of E-Learning, but this should be something that every single club or pub worker must complete.

It seems that the consensus amongst club workers is simply that if any violence is seen then tell a bouncer. However, since many of us have had undeniably had a bad experience with a bouncer, it’s hard to feel safe with them being our only barrier from violence. Bar associate Tia claimed that the level of security and safety of the customers depends on the door staff on shift, saying that some bouncers will choose to overlook certain things whereas other bouncers will act. A person’s safety on a night out should not derive from this gamble. NTSU Student voice coordinator Kelly Waldorf spoke about the sexual consent workshops being offered to societies and sports teams, which covers what sexual consent is, ways to give and receive consent, scenarios of consent and lack of, myth busting and how to support friends. Kelly has been at the forefront of multiple campaigns and efforts to help educate students.

She said: “A student from NTSU’s Feminist Society approached me and asked if the University/SU could train students up to facilitate sexual consent workshops with students.”

This initiative is what is needed to help tackle this rising problem. Respect and consent training were also given to 450 freshers team members in September before they started their job roles, helping keep freshers safe while they explore Nottingham’s nightlife. No one should ever be made to feel unsafe or uncomfortable on a night out. Dancing isn’t asking for it. Wearing a short skirt isn’t asking for it. What we are asking for is clubs to do their part in protecting their customers.

If you or anyone you know has been affected by this issue there are people at the university you can contact and speak to in private. They can be found under Respect and Consent in Your Support on the NTSU website.


WHY PERIOD POVERTY IS STILL A BLOODY ISSUE EVE SMALLMAN The embarrassment of wadding up tissue in your pants. The fear of leaking, the fear of classmates laughing. The dread of talking about it. Eve Smallman explores the issue of period poverty in Nottingham… Last month it was announced that Nottingham City Council would provide free sanitary products in schools. The city is well-known for tackling women’s issues, with it being the first city in the UK to make misogyny a hate crime. But Nottingham is also well-known for being underprivileged. Earlier on this year it was announced that Nottingham has the lowest incomes in the country. Elizabeth* is 40. She’s a mother-of-two and lives in Sherwood. 27 years ago, Elizabeth experienced period poverty throughout her teenagerhood. “My father wasn’t around and my mother was a drug addict - she wasn’t using illegal drugs, she was on a programme to cure her methadone addiction - but she was still a methadone addict. “As an unemployed single parent family on income, there wasn’t much money around,” said Elizabeth. When she was thirteen she started her period, however sanitary products weren’t something she had access to. “My mum used tissue paper as well, or a wadded-up sock - you’d have a wadded up sock wrapped up with tissue paper in your pants. “There wasn’t enough money for food, so sanitary products weren’t even a consideration.” At the time her school did provide free sanitary products – starter packs were handed and there was a box in the nurse’s office where pupils could help themselves. “I remember getting tampons from the PE teacher, and thinking: ‘These precious things, I’ve got to be careful with them.’” “In the nurse’s office, they were placed in an area where everyone could see, so kids queueing up for lunch could see you go and getting them.

“It was really humiliating, and it was better to go for the tissue option.” Women and girls who don’t have access to products can be left at risk to health problems - and if they leave products in too long when they do have access to them, they can be at risk of deadly diseases such as Toxic Shock Syndrome. Elizabeth said: “Not being able to keep yourself clean and not smelly… That was a problem. “PE classes had a communal changing area, so if I was able to get my hands on some tampons it was fine, but if you’ve got pants full of wadded up tissue, you don’t want anyone to see that.’’ “They weren’t particularly absorbent so they’d leak onto your clothes, and I was being bullied at school anyway, because people knew I was a junkie’s daughter.” The lack of access to sanitary products often means that girls skip school in order to avoid embarrassment. This can have a long-term effect on their education. “If I didn’t have access to the products, I wouldn’t go - I had no guarantee the tissue wouldn’t leak, and if we couldn’t afford food, being able to afford cleaning products was a problem as well.’’ “I left without any formal qualifications – I had to go back and do those later - but I wanted to get a job so I could afford to live normally.” The stigma and embarrassment around periods in society in general is one of the key factors in period poverty. Helen Voce, CEO of Nottingham’s Women Centre said: “Women have been bleeding since humanity began, so why is it such an issue?”. Claire Henson, founder of The Free Period Nottingham, said: “Women have this embarrassment about asking for [sanitary products], and not knowing if they can, and not wanting people to know that they’re in this position.

“It’s taboo, it’s seen as this terrible thing - it’s not a luxury, it’s a bodily function, and it baffles me.’’ Elizabeth said: “As grown women we need to get over internalized misogyny and talk about it really openly.”

The impact period poverty can have on women lasts their whole lives. 27 years later, it still affects Elizabeth even today. She now has two daughters aged four and nine, and she has made sure that they have a good understanding of how periods work. “My four-year-old once got out all my towels and stuck them all over the bathroom!” Elizabeth laughed.

Along with Nottingham City Council, organisations like Nottingham Women’s Centre and The Free Period Nottingham are also helping reduce the problem. Helen said: “We did a campaign talking to shops about the VAT on sanitary products, and I think we could still do lobbying of local She continued: “I look at my friends who went to college in their early twenties and shops on that.” think: ‘I wish I could have done that.’ The Free Period Nottingham collect sanitary “Period poverty is huge, even though it’s a really tiny factor, and we really need to product donations on a monthly basis at change that.” Broadway Cinema and Homemade Café, and have donation points across the city. “It’s sad we have to have these donations, Claire said: “We need organisations to but it’s also immensely pleasing how happy stand up - whether that’s doing workshops or events, we can open up that dialogue people are to donate,” said Claire. and have a bigger chance of reducing And what options are there for people in the period poverty. area to help fight the problem? “And Nottingham… we’re the best place “If you are able to afford sanitary products, in the UK to do it.” take them to food banks or us at the Women’s Centre,” said Helen. Claire said: “If we’re talking about embarrassment as a reason not to help people, then I don’t buy that at all. “I want people to talk about it, I want people to donate products, and I want people to feel good about themselves.”

The Nottingham Women’s Centre is open for donations, and is located on Chaucer Street. You can also access the online page at: The Free Period Nottingham collect donations for Nottingham Women’s Centre, POW Nottingham, The Arches and Mansfield Food Bank. freeperiodnottm



You know the feeling. The awful pang of guilt as you purchase that cheap top you know you’ll only wear once. With new trends being churned out what now feels like every week in the quick-fire system that is the fashion industry, we’re constantly buying new and more just to keep up with it. Unfortunately, the planet is having a pretty hard time keeping up with this extreme level of mass production too. The more exclusive side of the fashion sphere has always taken heavy criticism for its notoriously unethical production methods, with things like the use of fur being hugely controversial and a major contributing factor to this opinion.

Despite being a pioneer in ethical luxury, Stella says that it ‘fascinates’ her that “everyone doesn’t look at the world this way – people are still so uncomfortable with people who look at things differently” – but she understands all too well that the industry is a fragile one and can be a bit of a stickler when it comes to change.

to pursue a career in sustainable fashion to ‘never compromise on your principles’.

She has seen incredible success with her label, which is worn by the likes of Meghan Markle, Karlie Kloss and Rihanna. Long may her reign continue!

But, not all luxury brands reflect this ‘high fashion’ stereotype (thankfully). Take a look at the environmental crusaders championing sustainable fashion:

Cult Instagrammable brand Reformation, created by CEO Yael Aflalo, say that they put sustainability ‘at the heart’ of everything they do, thinking about ‘the costs in creating fashion – not just the price tag’. They invest in green building infrastructure to minimise waste as much as possible and provide on the job training for their employees, pay higher than standard minimum wage and provide health benefits – all as well as being one of the most popular brands on the gram. Win win!

Queen of ethical fashion, Stella started up her label in 2001 with the vision that sustainability would be at its very core, and has since broken new ground in her creation of the first vegetarian luxury fashion brand.

Established in 2011, Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin’s label ‘Tome’ is committed to complete transparency and the use of 100% ethical supply chains in their brand.

Their ‘White Shirt Project’, launched in 2014, supports Katie Ford’s foundation ‘Freedom for All’ which fights fiercely Raised by two animal rights activists on a against human trafficking, with farm in East Sussex, Stella says she has ‘always understood nature’. Instead of using the white shirt serving as a representation of a ‘clean slate’. materials that are strenuous on the planet like the majority of brands of her calibre, Lobo and Martin understand the need to she utilises recycled nylon and polyester, regenerated cashmere and recycled plastic safeguard those working in their factories and have prioritised reducing waste as to create her garment - and has strictly much as possible through the use of never used fur or leather. Her work doesn’t renewable sources. They argue that suffer in the name of sustainability either, sustainability in fashion ‘should not be a as she continuously showcases flawless luxury, but a given’. They urge those looking design and talent.

They also send out quarterly sustainability reports to those signed up to their mailing list. This is particularly interesting as this information was obviously in demand from consumers; and it’s a step in the right direction to know that individuals are keen to become fully accountable for their fashion choices. What could be more rewarding than knowing that the clothes on your back have been created in a process that has done the least amount of damage possible to our precious planet? The future of fashion heavily depends on much more extensive use of sustainable materials and ethics. I can only hope that other big brands follow suit and are inspired by the trailblazers paving the way for a brighter, greener and more responsible industry.


over quantity while making purchases is an important step in being a For most of my life, more sustainable shopper. Impulse I viewed clothing as something purchases that feel good in the moment disposable and never took into but end up in the back of your closet is not account the time and effort it takes multitude of lives. Social media, especially only a waste of your money but one of the to make a single garment. Something Instagram, is constantly promoting the need most wasteful ways to shop, take the time as simple as a white T-shirt has a long for something new, that we as consumers to consider if you will actually wear and use production cycle and impacts the planet are puppets to big conglomerates that the garment for a long time. in a big way. Fast Fashion is the unethical and unsustainable production of trendy, low create these trends and then avertedly sell cheaply made, disposable pieces back cost throwaway clothes and feeds on the to us. The only party that benefits from modern day mentality that more is more. this cycle in the long run is the big brands It is a direct result of the rise of consumer culture that started in the 90s and has only that promote consumer culture, not us as consumers and definitely not the poorly grown stronger since. We as a society paid workers in Bangladesh or the planet as need to change the way we talk a whole. Thinking about where everything about and view clothing. comes from, puts into perspective the worth of the clothing we buy. The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry after oil and a major Sustainable and ethical brands however proponent of climate change, most come with a price tag that isn’t student traditional fashion retailers sell cheap, slave-labour made clothing. But rather than friendly in the least, with garments costing upwards of £100. Shopping second focusing on the statistics and deep diving into the reality of fashion, as documentaries hand and vintage is the easiest way to shop sustainably. Luckily we can even such as the True Cost can do a better job shop for pre loved garments online with at shedding light on that than I can, this is websites such as eBay, Depop and ASOS a look into how we as consumers can be marketplace amongst others. The golden more conscious of what we buy. rule while shopping, sustainably or not, is to consider how many uses you would get Firstly, it is important to view clothing from that garment. If you buy a pair of jeans as something that is valuable and costs from Topshop but know that you will wear something. It does not grow from a tree it religiously and see it as a closet staple or arrive at H&M out of thin air, it is a long that is a more conscious way to shop . process that involves several steps and a Considering need versus trends and quality

Lowering our consumption of clothing and choosing more eco-friendly clothing is one of the greatest ways we can reduce our carbon footprint and ultimately save the planet. Since each item we buy has a lifecycle and its own footprint, it’s important to consider how much energy and resources it takes to make every single item. Materials have to be planted, grown, harvested, go through a series of treatments such as dying and chemical processes, sewn, and shipped. When looking at every product, even if it’s “eco” friendly, they all still have some kind of energy and waste connected to it which is why consuming more consciously is the best thing we can do for our planet. Take care of your clothes and shift the focus of fashion away from trends and back to something that defines you personally.


What documentaries had the greatest impact on modern culture? The 21st century is brimming with feature length documentaries that have challenged the cultural consensus. Filmmakers have examined and exposed aspects of our society through the scope of a camera lens, giving us a deeper, alternative view of the modern world. I thought to look at which of these films have had the most positive impact.

Super-Size Me (2004) It comes as no shock that Fast food is bad for you. Independent filmmaker Morgan Spurlock famously ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days. The impact on Spurlock’s psychological and physical wellbeing shows us the detrimental impact poor nutrition can cause and the role that fast food corporations play in promoting it. Six weeks after the release of the film, McDonalds conveniently removed supersize portions and added the option of salad.

Blackfish (2013) Far harder hitting than simply “Free Willy” in real life, Blackfish brought awareness to the injustice of SeaWorld’s Killer whale exhibits. The fact that these creatures are corralled for the entertainment of humans sparked outrage against amusement park chains. The direct impact of the film led to SeaWorld discontinuing their Orca exhibits and breeding programme. This documentary hits hard and SeaWorld are stilly trying to salvage their public image.

Earthlings (2005) An ever-controversial film, Earthlings is designed to shock anyone with even a passing compassion for animals. Using concealed cameras, we see the darker side of industries that rely on animals. While its disturbing imagery may be best described as a war of attrition, its exploration of speciesism in modern industry opens a worthwhile debate. Although it is not a positive film, it has had an undeniable impact in educating the public on animal rights.

Citizen Four (2014) Is Edward Snowed a hero, criminal or some combination of the two? Regardless of your opinion, Laura Poitras’ following of the NSA surveillance scandal has opened up a discussion to the public to decide the lengths they feel that the arm of government should reach. It is an important showing of the complicated relationship between public and government in post 9/11 America and the extent to which liberty goes.

An Inconvenient truth (2006) The global warning that becomes more relevant as the years go by. Former VicePresident of the United States, Al Gore’s campaign to educate us on global warming has been instrumental in shaping public opinion on the environmental movement. It is a staple of climate activism and teaching in schools, with its message being one of the most important in film. The Cove (2009) Perhaps the most unsettling watch on this list, this academy award winning feature presents a cruel, harsh, brutal expose of the Japanese whale and dolphin hunting season. Whilst it did not halt the practice, the unsettling scenes captured have been vital in rallying support for ocean conservation and opposition to the Japanese whaling industry.

A Plastic Ocean (2016) A year before blue planet II brought the message to the small screen, A Plastic Ocean was the ripple to start a wave of change. The Leonardo DiCaprio produced film explores the impact of mankind’s overabundance of plastic waste and the impact on the ocean’s ecosystem. The film has been screened from UN conferences to schools across the globe. Public opinion has largely shifted in recent years to deal with this issue, and A Plastic Ocean is largely to thank for that.



they will repost my Instagram posts and tell other people about me. There is a secret network of all the local independents supporting each other.”

The local Instagram based business, Nottingham Indie, have launched a loyalty card to celebrate the work of local independents in and around the city centre to establish a support network.

The next steps for Nottingham Indie’s business is to expand with an app next May. This to show where to find independent businesses, supported by Nottingham Indie, all in one place.

Nottingham Indie was founded by, Nottingham born and bred, Harry Fildes and Ant Johnson. Ant, 33, from Beeston and Harry, 32, from Wollaton co-founded the concept using Instagram as the main social media platform three months ago. This taking inspiration from similar outlets such as Independent Liverpool.

FACT BOX: The independents available on the card: Cafe’s – Pelham Street Kitchen, Squeky Beaver Poutine, Pudding Pantry, Kaffee Haus House and Café Sobar, 200 degrees.

The card will cost £10 for a year’s subscription, of which 10% will be donated to With Lee We Fight - a cancer charity for the co-owner of Elementz Studio.Nottingham Indie were introduced to Lee by singer and Nottingham Indie advocate Nina Smith. When Harry and Ant learnt about Lee’s struggle with cancer they wanted to help in any way they could.

Clothing – Wild Clothing and Relic Vintage Shops– MJ Wax Melts, Botanical Bricolage, 0115 Records,The Watered Garden, 2Magpies Design

co-owner of Elementz Studio. The company have already brought around 15 businesses on board in Nottinghamshire, with discounts and offers differing with the variety of independents. This including Botanical Bricolage in Sneinton Market, who will be offering a 10% discount with the card. On meeting Nottingham Indie in one of their supported independents, the Berliner Bar, it was clear their desire was to drive people who share their love and energy to support what makes Nottingham unique. Ant said: “Seeing all the independents in Nottingham doing their own individual thing from artists, street artists, cafes and bars; these people are going out and taking huge risks because they love it, and for me that’s our inspiration for Nottingham Indie to support these businesses”. When opening the door to Maggie’s studio in Sneinton Market you feel a different vibe than to your ordinary high street stores. The

Bars and restaurants – Juni, Brew Cavern, La Storia, Irie and co and The Berliner Bar.

bright white studio is filled with dyeing equipment, jars of roots fermenting and the soft colours of eco-dyed fabrics. It’s a vision in the making for this quiet rebel in working. Maggie Smith, 56, from Mapperley Park is an artist and the owner of Botanical Bricolage. Her business, that creates small affordable luxuries that are naturally coloured, is a part of Nottingham Indie’s loyalty scheme.



get your ow n www.nottin from ghamindie.!

She said: “What I like about Nottingham Indie is that they are going to support me,


ROBBIE NICHOLS Recently, it appears palm oil is everywhere – all over social media and the news. This is partly thanks to the banned Iceland advert at Christmas, starring an orangutan forced to flee his home and hide in a little girl’s bedroom due to the palm oil industry. The truth is palm oil has always been everywhere. It is certain that you will have bought products containing palm oil in your lifetime as it is used in nearly everything, including bread and many snack foods. The use of palm oil isn’t limited to food, however. Many shampoos and soaps contain palm oil due to its ability to remove oil and moisturise. We even use palm oil to make biodiesel for our cars.

Superficially, palm oil sounds great. It’s versatile, cheap, and an extremely efficient oil. Many would argue that its use as an alternative to fossil fuels is a step towards a greener approach to travel. Unfortunately, not all is as it seems. Palm oil isn’t created out of thin air. As the name suggests, it comes from palm trees found in rainforests and our unquenchable thirst for it has devastating consequences on our environment. The WWF state that an area of rainforest the size of 300 football fields is cleared every hour to make space to produce palm oil. This deforestation is happening at the expense of our planet’s biodiversity. Due to unsustainable palm oil production destroying their natural habitat, a third of mammal species in Indonesia are currently considered critically endangered. Orangutan’s are particularly affected.

Over 90% of their habitat has been destroyed in the last 20 years and an estimated 5000 orangutans are killed each year when preparing land for palm oil production. Findings have shown that orangutans could be extinct in five years at the current rate of deforestation and the situation has been considered a ‘conservation emergency’ by the United Nations. Orangutans are vital in the ecosystem of the Indonesia rainforest. Some seeds only germinate after passing through the gut of orangutans. They are vital in the existence of the forest. Orangutans aren’t the only animal affected. Other animals at risk include; the Sumatran Tiger, the Pygmy Elephant, and many others.

Deforestation for palm oil also contributes significantly to climate change. The removal of forest to make way for oil palms involves burning thousands upon thousands of native trees, releasing immense quantities of pollutants into the atmosphere. Indonesia is the third highest greenhouse emitter because of this. This doesn’t mean we should stop producing palm oil – it’s a useful resource. Sustainability is key. The RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) works towards developing sustainable production of palm oil and many brands have started to use sustainable palm oil in their products. This will help reduce deforestation and the habitat loss for many animals. Many products that use sustainable palm oil will include the RSPO label, which looks like a palm leaf, on their packaging. The WWF have a website that shows which brands and manufacturers comply with RSPO guidelines.

Here are some ways you can help to reduce your use of palm oil until its sustainability is increased: 1. Home cooking: Meals made from fresh ingredients will reduce your consumption of palm oil. It is mostly processed foods that contain palm oil. 2. Read labels: This is one of the easiest ways to see if the things you love contain any palm oil, and whether the palm oil is sustainable. 3. Signing petitions and writing to elected representatives: This puts pressure on companies and policymakers to make change. 4. Using public transport or walking: When possible, this is an effective way to use less palm oil. Over 60% of the 7.7 million tons of palm oil consumed by the EU last year was used on energy and biodiesel.


KATHRYN SHIPMAN Climate change is one of the biggest threats to the future of our planet, with 97% of scientists agreeing that human induced changes to our climate pose a real risk to human health, wildlife and the environment. In recent years there has been a drive towards clean energy and sustainable living, including transport. So where does Nottingham stand?

Nottingham City Transport has recently introduced the world’s largest fleet of double decker buses fuelled by naturally produced Bio-gas after receiving a £4.4 million grant from the government. These buses will contribute to an improvement in Nottingham’s air quality, with less CO2, oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter emitted each year that the buses are in use.

According to Nottingham City Council, our city is leading the way in sustainable transport. It has the lowest CO2 emissions of all of England’s largest cities and has made the most reductions outside of London, with a further target to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions by 5% by 2020.

Cyclists can benefit from a network of cycling corridors along Nottingham roads. If you’re into cycling but don’t have your own bike then you can hire one through Nottingham City Council’s City Card Cycle scheme. Prices start from £1 and you can hire a bicycle for 24 hours or even on a weekly or monthly basis.

In their Ultra Low Emissions City Prospectus Jon Collins, leader of Nottingham City Council, says the aim is for Nottingham to become an exemplar low carbon city. The ultimate goal is for Nottingham to be an “electric city”, powered by renewable technologies from Nottingham City Council’s own Robin Hood Energy.

Work on extending Daleside Road was completed in early 2018 to create an Eco Expressway, with dedicated bus lanes and cycling lanes. Drivers of electric cars and other low emissions vehicles can also use the bus lane.

photo credit https://www. pictures/000713

Nottingham’s electric tram network has extended into the Clifton and Beeston areas, giving residents even more choice when it comes to sustainable transport.

The City Centres Train Station was revamped into 2013 and is now a key transport hub with regular trains running to Birmingham, Manchester, London and Liverpool. Nottingham’s move towards green transport however has not been without criticism and controversy. Nottingham City Council’s Workplace Parking Levy commenced in April 2012 amid protests from employers, with some businesses moving from their city centre premises to units outside of the centre in order to avoid the charge. In July this year, plans to introduce a congestion charge to Nottingham city centre have been scrapped, although Nottingham City Council insists that the measures already in place will ensure that Nottingham meets its clean air target by 2020, as specified by the Paris Agreement. It is clear that Nottingham is one of the UK’s leading cities in the move to cleaner, sustainable transport and the city will hopefully serve as an inspiration to other urban areas across the country.

ZACH HARRISON In a political landscape dominated by Brexit, Trump and a new scandal each week, music and musicians tackling heavy political issues is occurring more and more. But political music didn’t suddenly pop up the minute the Brexit referendum results were announced – it has been around basically since music began. Unfortunately, I can’t think of examples going back to when music began, but I can think of Bob Dylan; so let’s start with him. The seminal ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’ is a classic protest song which he wrote as an anthem of change, despite never actually referring to the civil rights movement which Dylan became so commonly associated with. This is arguably the most popular of Dylan’s protest songs, but he also released ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ which was also linked to the civil rights movement. Soul singer Marvin Gaye also released political songs, many of which came on his 1971 album ‘What’s Going On.’ The title track from this album is a soul standard, with lyrics like: “War is not the answer/ For only love can conquer hate” pleading for peace on earth. On the opposite end of the scale to Gaye’s considerate lyrics sits the Sex Pistols and their brash, anarchic punk. Songs such as ‘God Save the Queen’ – no, not that one – show off their political ethos: anarchic and vehemently anti-capitalist (despite the lead singer, Johnny Rotten now appearing in adverts for Country Life butter – very punk!)

As you might be able to tell by their name alone, hip-hop group Public Enemy are very politically involved. With songs like ‘Fight the Power’, their explosive sound and lyricism make them almost a rap equivalent to the Sex Pistols. Manic Street Preachers have been making politically charged rock music for decades, with ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ #being a notable example. The focus on the emptiness of consumerism makes for a very compelling song “Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness.” A particularly testing time politically was around 2005, with conflicts such as the Iraq War, the divisive presidency of George W. Bush and large-scale climate change issues, such as Hurricane Katrina. ‘Feel Good Inc’ by Gorillaz, and the rest of the album it is on, ‘Demon Days’, reflects these issues with a dark tone, with the song focusing particularly on the negative effects of corporations on society.

Donald Glover, AKA Childish Gambino, in “This is America”, released summer 2018.

In the lead up to his 2017 album ‘DAMN’, Kendrick Lamar released a teaser for it, ‘The Heart Part 4’, which went in hard on fellow rappers and called Donald Trump a “chump”. With lyrics like: “The whole world gone mad/ Bodies is addin’ up, market’s about to crash” he paints a bleak picture of a world in crisis. Although they’ve been going since 2011, IDLES fully burst onto the scene in 2017 with their debut album ‘Brutalism’. Their song ‘Mother’ is a perfect example of a brand of punk so snarling they make Sex Pistols look like Sam Smith. “Men are scared women will laugh in their face/ Whereas women are scared it’s their lives men will take.” It’s evident they deeply care about social issues of our time. Childish Gambino has also released some of the more political music of our time - ‘This is America’ is the most notable example. The happy, carefree choruses juxtaposed with the hard hitting, bass-heavy verses represent the gulf between dire and happy news in America. That’s just my list – what political music do you think I missed?


EVE WATSON Beatboxing icon Motormouf is well known for his mixture of genres, thoughtful solo work and playful collaborations. Born and bred in Nottingham, he has been on the music scene for over 10 years. We talked to Motormouf (Alex Young) about social justice, teaching young children and performing in front of the mayor. Our edition for Platform this winter is social justice, what does social justice mean to you as an artist? As an artist I believe it’s our duty speak about social justice and what’s going on in our communities, what’s going on all over the world, or even just next door. I think it’s very important that we bring that through in our art forms as well as people on and off the microphones.

Do you feel like you do that through your music?

Yeah definitely! I mean not necessarily all the time but a lot of the time I do yeah. I like to think about what’s going on in my mind as well as other people’s stories that they’ve told me and I’ve used that as an influence in certain songs of mine.

Where else do you get your inspiration from? It can sprout from anywhere really. A lot of inspiration comes from other musicians who are actually quite conscious in what they talk about, people like Akala are big inspirations to me in terms of awareness and stuff like that. Also just day to day stuff as well, all the drama you see on social media, on the news, what’s going on in my own neighbourhood. Who are some of your favourite performers? People like Mos Def… I’m a huge fan of The Doors like the 60s bands. Jim Morrison is a big inspiration for me, poetically and what he talks about politically. Even though it was back then it’s still very relatable today. Their performances as well are something I want to reflect in my messages too. Credit: Dogknife

Why did you start beatboxing? It was just something I really got into when I was a kid. I used to imitate cartoon characters back then. It was something that I just did on my own and then eventually I used to do it at school and show people and then they encouraged me to keep doing it. Then from that I left school and worked with artists, like acoustic artists, rappers and other bands and guitar players and automatically I was just doing different influences and styles and listening to different kinds of music whether it was hip hop, folk, reggae, punk rock you name it.

You’ve competed in the UK Beatbox Championship. Do you still compete?

I don’t, now, no. It’s not really on my list of things to do at the moment. I give props to all these beatboxers competing in these championships in the city or even the country but it’s not for me at the minute. I don’t label myself as the most technical of beatboxers I have my own style and do it in my own way. But you know I might jump on another competition in the future but for now, it’s a no for me.

Credit: Confetti/NTU

It’s been 10 years of you performing. What was your first ever show like? You were recently at the Hockley Hustle festival and taught kids beat boxing as well as Dot to Dot festival. How was that experience? Dot to Dot was great. I managed to get a last minute slot opening up on the basement stage which was wicked. I was the first act on and I wasn’t sure if there’d be many people but the whole room was packed and I ended up headlining with a good friend of mine named Jonjo. It was a phenomenal set, one of the best I’ve done, also got to play with my brothers Space Dolphin who do psychedelic hip-hop fusion stuff so. Hockley Hustle was magical, I didn’t do it the year before because obviously I took a bit of a break but I love doing it but for me it is a bit of a hustle you know? I’m doing things every hour so I’m running around and it can be a bit tiresome but this year was fantastic teaching kids how to beatbox at the start and then play with Space Dolphin again at Broadway. I ended it off with an improv band called Nottingham Jam Orchestra which were 100% freestyle, we had like brass drums, guitar, bass. So the whole day I was jamming and doing stuff but it wasn’t tiring it was like ‘I want to get to the next thing!’ It was really good hopefully get to do it again next year.

My first ever show was August 2008 and around the time I was going to CRS, Community Recording Studios, and I started beatboxing there and pretty much got a gig straight away. One of them was a community show they were doing in Nottingham and I was the opening act. Funnily enough my second cousin Simone who’s in a group from the late 90s 2000s transferred her influences from music into the community stuff now. First ever gig I did was with her and she’s done stuff with The Streets and some pretty prestigious producers around the UK. To work with her on my first gig was pretty cool. Being the first act on there weren’t that many people there but my friend DB was there who gave me some moral support. The second gig I did was CRS again but it was a showcase for young talent and I was there with a full crowd and the mayor was sitting right there in front of me. Quite a leap! I’ve got the CRS to thank for that. A lot of young talent have a lot to thank Trevor Rose and Courtney Rose, they’ve given us a platform as young musicians to get us where we are now really.

Where do you see yourself in another 10 years’ time? Hopefully still doing my thing. I’m hoping by that time I’ll have loads of albums out and different projects and stuff and hopefully have my own studio, and doing stuff around the world; not just performing but doing workshops as well, teaching kids in areas that may not necessarily have opportunities to do these kinds of things and go out and inspire and express myself as much as I possibly can I guess, that’s the best I can say right now.

You collaborated with Jonjo recently with your single cherry tree, and you’re involved in a lot of projects. Has this helped you to develop your solo sound and style? Totally. It’s come to a point where I’ve been doing the solo stuff for so long, that sometimes I kind of get a bit lost with what I want to do. But working with other people has given me all these different influences and ideas of how I want to shape that into my solo stuff. Especially if I want to get into a collab with other people – working with Jonjo has helped me work on my more trip-up kind of style and be more industrial with it or if I’m with the Jam Orchestra it sharpens my tools for freestyling and just doing stuff on the spot. Working with other producers hones my musical influence.


OLI ASTON Beat the Streets returned to Nottingham on the 27th of January. Oli Aston caught up with organiser, Joe Pattern to tell us all about the festival and why we should take more note of homelessness in the UK. What inspired the launch of Beat the Streets and how did it come about? The homelessness problem in Nottingham has been getting worse year on year, and we decided it was time we should do something about it. By raising money for Framework, we can/have made a real difference. How would you describe Beat the Streets to anyone who has not heard of it before? A multi-venue charity festival, spanning 10+ stages with over 80 amazing acts from across Nottinghamshire or with a strong connection to the area, from wellestablished bands to up and coming talent – there’s a wide mix of genres and styles to make the festival appealing to all. For next year’s addition’s we’ll be looking to include a few different ideas to the mix, from poetry to talks to possibly film screenings… (watch this space). What was the reaction like to last year’s festival and what were your own personal highlights? The reaction from local acts and the public was amazing. Throughout the day there was a real sense of community and people pulling together for a good cause. Speaking with the fundraisers from Framework on the day that was certainly felt. Every venue was busy, with no acts playing to a quiet room so Nottingham really came out for it. Personal highlights were probably VVV opening the mainstage at Rock City, and other local legends like The Invisible Orchestra closing to an amazing crowd. Away from the bigger stage, Kwoli Black and Rob Green at Bodega had the best crowd reaction that I saw across the day.

Beat the Streets is a huge event in terms of the local music scene in Nottingham – how do you go about finding the best Notts acts to put on the bill? DHP promotes hundreds of shows in Nottingham every year - ranging from the smaller venues around 100 capacity (The Chameleon, Rough Trade, Acoustic Rooms) all the way to Nottingham Arena, Rock City and the Royal Concert Hall, as well as programming and organising our award-winning festivals - Splendour, Dot to Dot and Everywhere. There is always space for strong local acts to play on our shows and festivals and we like to keep actively involved in the local music scene, by working with local promoters such as I’m Not From London, Farm Yard and Nusic to make sure we’re at the forefront of finding and developing local talent. We recently had our Acoustic Rooms ‘Play Beat The Streets Festivals’ where we had over 15 entrants – they all played two songs each and the winner, Matthew Moore, will now open the Rescue Rooms. Six of the other best acts all have a slot on the Acoustic Rooms stage on the day. What are your thoughts on the local music scene currently? It’s very strong - we’re seeing acts grow year on year and gather some great press and reviews. Yazmin Lacey, Kagoule and Saint Raymond are all touring and selling out shows nationally now. Obviously, Jake Bugg, Sleaford Mods and Ferocious Dog are doing shows all over the world and charting with their records. Some names to look out for – Don’t Forget Rupert, Abii, Refleckter, The Fine Art Society, Juga Naut, Do Nothing, Nactus Kunan, Remy, and Kwoli Black.

Why do you want to help people? Do you think the issue will ever go away? I think it’s our responsibility as individuals to look after others that need help, whether that be financial help or just showing empathy. Everyone needs help at some point in their life, and unfortunately not everyone has the support network in place to get it - family, friends, colleagues etc. Those that don’t have the networks to help are the most vulnerable and probably hardest to reach. I think homelessness as an issue is so complex in its causes that no two cases are the same, so tackling them can’t be a blanket/one size fits all response. But obviously I do hold out hope that we will see a decrease over the coming years, and again it’s why support for BTS and charities like Framework are so key.


JAMES EVANS It may seem an odd inquiry to make, one that may seem entitled. Why would we be owed anything from society. Is it not our responsibility to take care of ourselves? Why should anyone owe us anything. Happiness has been an elusive life that humans have been trying to catch for thousands of years; whilst also struggling to find meaning in the search. Whole philosophical systems have been built on the pursuit of ways in which happiness can be achieved. Individual misery can manifest itself when we misunderstand how collective happiness operates. There have been many different definitions of justice and understandings of the concept. Social justice is but one. This is explicitly practical for everyday life. Justice is about fairness, what we owe to one another is to be fair. Social justice can create a sense of collective happiness in our society. As opposed to institutionalised forms like the criminal justice system, social justice is grassroots action.

Students play a role; young people are expressing forms of social action steered in the motivation of justice and ethical reasoning. Veganism; a lifestyle that operates as a critique of cruel treatment of animals through the methodology of mass farming for animal products and slaughter. The meat contributes massively against the struggle against climate change due to its contribution of Carbon emissions. We are the generation that were shown Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. The disaster of Now, it’s a strange question to lead and the Anthropocene is a completely ethical its one I would like to attempt to answer. situation. The perspective of social justice Virtuous acts are vital to the testament of and its application are still vital to the our character. Its definitive to be kind. You are in a bar; your friend sits across from you remedy of climate change. with no drink and no money to change that. Is this fair? A table full of mates conversing, When the 2010s came to an end, over the last couple of years movements such as the who each have a drink. Fairness would be #MeToo movement arose, showcasing the buying them a drink. feminist struggle against misogynist sexual harassment by powerful men. Women I once saw a homeless person hold a sign which said, “I may be homeless but I exist.” are equal to men and deserve the same wage and respect. Once upon a time this That has been drilled into my thoughts, would have been a controversial statement. in which I revisit daily. In the vast motion It could have remained so, without the of life, it can be too easy to not recognise collective social action of women who the injustice that remains in society, that questioned the norms of culture and some experience every day. Some social society. Giving women equality is a battle problems completely need attainment that is not over. One which must be fought from our collective understanding. If we with the spirit of equal opportunity, respect owe each other our basic contentment, and compassion. or a version of it, we owe each material happiness. We live in a society where there if happiness is gender equality, a warm bed to sleep at night or just having a pint are homeless people all over our cities. In with your mates; justice is the path to the winter, just before Christmas, a homeless person died sleeping outside the Houses of good life. It is important to discuss the principal nature of this meaning and why Parliament. We need social justice. it needs to be talked about. Once it is understood by all, we can work towards a collective eudaimonia.

“I may be homeless but I exist.” 26

Given the untimely death of 13-year-old Anucha Thasako in a charity Muay Thai fight in Thailand, questions have arisen over the safety of the sport. Our reporter, Adam Ridgley speaks to NTU Thai Boxing President, Momen Moustafa, for his views. In early November, Anucha Thasako was pronounced dead from a brain haemorrhage two days after he fought in the charity fight. Pressure grew in Thailand in the wake of the tragedy to further. regulate underage and amateur fights.

Tragedies like this can understandably negatively shape the perception of the sport internationally, but is it unfair to accept this generalisation and label the sport unsafe. Momen Moustafa tells us: “It’s not easy to see someone die in your sport. On an amateur level in Thailand they fight with full Thai rules, all eight limbs, with elbows and knees to the head with no headgear or protection.” In the UK this tragedy most likely would not have happened, especially at an underage level. Momen says: “Fighters are allowed to wear body protectors and headgear, it is quite safe as no one can get seriously injured.” We questioned how safe the sport is for Thai Boxing. At a university level, the Thai Boxing regulations again differ. Like youth fights, Momen tells us: “We don’t do knees or elbows, just straight kicks or punches. Even at this level we do not do full Muay Thai rules, so at a university level it’s safe.”


However, in terms of protection, fighters do not spar with any form of headgear. Initially this seemed an obvious safety regulation given the nature of recent events. However, after speaking to Momen, he helped explain why the headgear isn’t used. He says: “Headgear takes away from your vision, people do not like it in Thai Boxing as it makes it hard to properly see kicks and punches.” It is clear the Thai Boxing regulation in the UK at a youth and amateur level make the tragedy that is Anucha Thasko’s passing something we are unlikely to ever see in the sport. Despite these regulatory efforts; signing up for a sport that inherently leads to a kick or punch to the head may never be considered completely safe, so some may wonder why someone wish to take the risk. Momen Moustafa opened up about how starting Thai Boxing at university benefited him. “I was usually the shyest kid in school, it boosted my confidence. It made me more respectful. Training made me feel better as a person. Having something, a goal for yourself makes you a better person overall.” He says. Momen described how the sport enhanced his university performance. “When I first came, I didn’t have a goal, and it affected me academically and the more I started to focus on Muay Thai, the better I started to focus. It really helped to have that goal to motivate me.” Stories like the Anucha Thasko death can quite reasonably damage the sports reputation, but as Momen says, it shouldn’t put people off. At a university level in the UK, it is well regulated and largely safe to part in, and Trent students shouldn’t be discouraged from giving it a go.


SPECIAL THANKS TO THE DESIGN TEAM! Layout Design: Aira Suarez, Andreea Tocilescu, Jordan Wright Illustrations And Collages: Emily Mitton, Aira Suarez, Andreea Tocilescu, Jordan Wright Cover Photography: Naomi Pendzialek Cover Design: Andreea Tocilescu Supervised and creative directed by Andreea Tocilescu and Jordan Wright

We are grateful for our amazing Photographer : Naomi Pendzialek If you want to see more of her work, you can find her on Instagram as @npzphotos


Profile for Platform Magazine NTU

Platform - Social Justice Edition  

NTSU's Platform Magazine Social Justice Edition.

Platform - Social Justice Edition  

NTSU's Platform Magazine Social Justice Edition.