Steph Pickerill editor Tal Davies london Tom Stevenson and Anna Matheson features Amelia Jefferies and Lauryn Murdoch arts Keeren Flora and Bethia Stone photography Angel Lambo and Ryan Ramgobin music Amy Bowles and Lucinda Turner fashion Mark Birrell and Kamilla Baiden film Colette Yapp-Davis qupid Maria D’Amico cartoon Cover image ‘Destroy Something and Photograph it’ by Keeran Flora
@cubmagazine.co.uk 1 London
“What interested him further was the emphasis of the film’s portrayal of what a country does when an epidemic does happen. ” p. 12
Since when did it become ok to describe someone as “so Camden”?
2-3 Demolition and Destruction: Bedouin in Israel CUB investigates the JNF’s reforestation work in the Israeli Negev.
4 The Play’s the Thing
CUB reviews the Young Vic’s production of Hamlet.
5 Ai Weiwei’s Appeal
What is behind the Chinesese artist Ai Weiwei’s enduring success?
6-7 CUB’s EYE: The PhotoInterview Queen Mary photographers answer questions the only way they know how.
The women awake to the sound of Special Forces arriving; this is no ordinary wake up call. p. 4
The victim of the Spanish Flu returned from WW1 as a nurse, only to face the infection she had fought with abroad. p. 13
The two small rooms draw you into his world in a somewhat chilling way p. 11
8-9 Industry Expose: The Label
CUB Music looks at the changing music industry, and how it’s affecting start-up labels.
10-11 Dazed & Confused CUB looks at the history of Iconic style magazine Dazed & Confused.
12-13 A Contagious Conversation
CUB interviews the reknowned professor John Oxford, who says the film ‘Contagion’ might not be far off the mark.
14 Qupid You should be working for us! To get involved with writing, photography, interviews or cartoons email email@example.com
The latest lovebirds to be struck by Qupid’s arrow...
You’re SO Brick Lane “Isn’t that your mate over there?” “Where?” “Just there at the bus stop, behind that really Shoreditch girl” Has anyone else noticed that locations have become adjectives these days? At what point did the borough you choose to – or are financially forced to – live in become your second race? I suppose they do say that your friends are the urban family you can choose; can the same be said for your urban nationality? Conversations like the above are commonplace, and I’d wager that most, if not all, of you would instantly know who I meant if such a conversation happened between us. The only problem you might face would be determining the one Shoreditch girl in question amongst the blur of topknots and Rough Trade book bags at this fictional bus stop. Similarly, imagine if I was to tell you I really like this… for argument’s sake let’s say hat, but I was concerned that it’s a bit too Camden for me to get away with. You’d know exactly what I meant. Calling someone “very Brick Lane” is my favourite. So they’re cobbled, curry-flavoured and completely dead past midnight, then? Or are you referring to their subtle but ever-present waft of corn-on-the-cob and beer? It has become an institution to use and understand these newfound adjectives. I anticipate that in the future there’ll be teenagemagazine-esque quizzes used as property search criteria for estate agencies. The results would be something along the lines of: Mostly As- You’re a Dalston Diva! Find properties to let in this area… Mostly Bs- You’re a Brixton Babe! Discover house prices in SW2… And so on and so forth. Where did it start? How did it begin? Has it always been this way and I’ve never noticed? Centuries ago, would you be able to hear the dulcet tones of someone remarking, “Prithee, thou art looking very Pudding
only problem “ The you might face would be determining the one Shoreditch girl in question amongst the blur of topknots and Rough Trade book bags
Lane today”? Even further back, could Native American tribes be heard saying such things as “I hate him, he’s been thinking he’s SO Cherokee lately”? I don’t know for sure, but I reckon it’s a pretty newfangled trend. Obviously I’m not denying the usefulness of these labels when quickly describing someone’s entire appearance, demeanour, musical taste… etc in one fell swoop. I just don’t understand how one region became so distinguishable in style from another, just from a few of its inhabitants’ opinions on “minimal folk-infused hiphop”, or whatever this week’s cool genre is. This is only the case for a few places, of course. Like all cheery, socially acceptable cousins of xenophobia, it only works when there are just some choice areas to pick on. I doubt anyone has ever said “Christ, look at him. How Paddington is his shirt?!” It just wouldn’t happen. Often, it only occurs with places of ambiguous coolness. Places that everyone readily insults, but wouldn’t necessarily be insulted if they were labelled as said place themselves. You know the type. In the usual paradox so popular with hipsters of every variety, it is not cool at all to be caught in the act of being cool. We’ve all witnessed this; you tell someone you know that they’re looking very Hoxton today, and they go “oh shit, really? No I don’t, you bastard!” in an unconvinc-
ing attempt at offense. But you can see behind their eyes a little person is doing cartwheels and screaming, “YES! Those hours spent perusing the thrift stores for this jacket, the countless injuries from riding a bike with no brakes on, all the wallets I’ve had stolen from wearing a loosely fastened backpack in pickpocket central, it has all paid off! I BELONG.” Maybe that’s what it’s all about. Having a community to identify with. But if that was the case, then why bite the hand that feeds and continue to act like you hate the community that you’ve chosen to represent? The whole thing just baffles me. And it’s not just hipsters, in all their varying breeds. I’ve focused on them because I witness them every day and, well, they always say you should write from experience. The same questions could easily be applied to Chelsea or Kensington. You can spot them a mile off, and they’re probably pleased about that, but god knows they’d deny it furiously if questioned. Heaven forbid any of us should just admit that we like to be associated with certain tastes. Perhaps it’s because all clichés have such negative connotations. After all, it’s all relative: one person’s posh totty is another person’s insufferable toff. I imagine that being told you look really Liverpool Street would make some people half proud of looking rather slick and executive, but also a bit embarrassed about being that tit with a briefcase and a Starbucks. If I ran the world, or at least had Boris’s job, I’d cash in on this whole labelling thing. It could be a hobby that sweeps the nation, a type of bird watching for the modern day tourist. Guide books could be made on how to tell a Sloane Ranger from a Mile End Rudeboi, complete with photos of them in the wild and tips on how to lure them into your garden. They could be sold for double the usual price during the Olympics, with a limited edition sporty cover. David Attenborough might do a documentary set in Cargo or Dalston Superstore. Or we could take the branding further. Maybe make colour charts. Cars could become available in ‘Shoreditch Rouge’, a colour that reflects the shade of mandatory lipstick in all East End clubs. Walls throughout the country would now be labelled as ‘Hackney Beige’, based on the copious amounts of chinos around, obviously. It could be used on Crimewatch: “Police everywhere are searching for a burglar in the Whitechapel area. Witnesses have described him as tall, red hair, very Brick Lane with a hint of Camden about him, sometimes sporting Brixton footwear. If you have any information, please call.” Or maybe I’ve just gotten far too carried away with my unrealistic plans and need to calm down a bit. That’s SO Stratford of me. Natalia Davies is a third year English Literature student and editor of CUB’s LQMDON section. If you want to be the next LQMDONer then email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
FEATURES As Israel announces the construction of more illegal settlements in the occupied territories, the Bedouin community continue to go largely unreported. Nataša Cordeaux investigates Israel’s forgotten people.
ulldozers came in like a line of infantry, armed vehicles of destruction seeking to uproot the homes and lives of the villagers of Al’Araqib in the Israeli Negev. Men stand still, their hands cover their childrens’ eyes while wives turn to them in despair – passive and incapable, they are condemned to watch as their homes are destroyed for the twentieth time. They watch the roof fall in on itself; they watch the demise of their community, all approved by a government which calls them ‘nomads’. The house destructions were organized by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), an Israeli environmental charity which, it claims, focuses on “reservoirs, irrigation systems, desalination plants, forest planting, recycling schemes, roads, housing and healthcare centres.” The Bedouin in this case were living on land deemed to be reserved for reforestation. Unrecognised by the state, the Bedouins have been treated harshly in some Israeli media: ‘Invaders!’, ‘Bedouin take over the Niger’, ‘Taking back the land for the State’; propaganda has made them, ‘others’ in their own land. On October 17th, Amnesty International held a conference dedicated to revealing the “State-inflicted injustices” facing the Arab community of the Bedouins in Southern Israel; ‘Demolition & Discrimination against Palestinian Citizens of Israel: The Case of Al’Araqib.’ Dr. Mansour Nsasra, who revealed his research on Bedouin land rights dating back to the colonial British era, challenged the Israeli government’s “self-licence to enforce laws” which it claims to have inherited from previous British and Ottoman rule. Through his research, Nsasra has found testimonies of colonial Britain’s recognition of Bedouin rights in the 1940s, as well as documented evidence of Bedouins paying land tax to the Ottoman Empire as early as 1907. In a 1948 Israeli report it was stressed that all the land cultivated by the Bedouin was owned by them. As the situation stands, under the advisement of the ‘Prawer Committee’, the Israeli government has denied both historical recognition of
land ownership ,and the status of indigenous people. Nsasra describes the towns designated for bedouin relocation as ‘modern day refugee camps’. This policy seens to be highly discriminatory, and has affected two hundred thousand Arabs whose human rights have been stripped from them. Not only is documented proof of ownership ignored, but the community’s graveyard, which holds its ancestral heritage, has been disrespected. Armed forces have even attempted to bulldoze the sacred ground. Dr. Awad Abu Freih, spokesman for Al’Araqib Popular Committee & Negev Co- existence Forum, and a member of the Bedouin community spoke at the Amnesty conference. His words moved the audience and, where they failed, the footage of Al’Araqib brought to life the reality of the suffering and trauma facing their livelihoods.
But this is one triumph amongst a hundred defeats; rounded up like sheep, forced into fenced areas and guarded by armed officials the villagers can do nothing but shout in vain.
The footage documents children running bare foot amongst the rubble of their homes, treading and climbing on collapsed wooden structures. In the distance, the imposing presence of the JNF’s heavy machinery is seen and heard; following close behind are the ‘Green Patrol’, the ‘New Authority’ and the ‘Advancement’, all supported by the Israeli State. Their role: to act as military enforcement to ensure the smooth demolition of these ‘unrecognised villages’ and the success of the JNF’s deforestation project. Images of villagers protesting, of being attacked and arrested by the authorities earlier this year flash across the screen; the bulldozers head for Al’Araqib’s burial ground. Dr. Freih and fellow villagers hold their own, and manage to save the cemetery. But this is one triumph among a hundred defeats. Rounded up like sheep, forced into fenced areas, and guarded by armed officials, the villagers can do nothing but shout in vain. Those who have acted out are dealt with violently; police hounded them for two kilometres, shooting tear gas at both adults and children alike. Days later, the women awake to the sound of Special Forces arriving; this
A destroyed Bedouin house in the Negev. is no ordinary wake up call. The village residents are shot at with rubber coated bullets and, again, watch the JNF demolition of the homes they slept in minutes before. For each home torn down, a make-shift memorial of cluttered rocks lies in its place. The JNF’s official website states that it is “historically committed to strengthening the ties between man and land”. But its drive to “protect forest areas” awnd create “new water resources” seems to come with discrimination. Dr. Freih must pay for access to water, whilst the neighbouring Jewish
farmers reap prosperity from the land, financially supported by authorities. The residents of Al’Araqib are denied their source of agriculture as the JNF continue to uproot their oil palm trees. “If you are planting a forest, then why are you uprooting our trees?”, they ask. The answer is telling: “You are invaders, illegal and criminals, so you’re trees are also invaders, illegal and criminals.” The Bedouin’s aim is recognition. Currently restricted to three percent of Israeli land, known as “the area of containment”, they ask for a right to five percent. At the moment, this is
Demolition and Discrimination: Palestinian Bedouin in Israel
refused. The forced relocation has legally banned the Bedouin from their western deserts where the land is more fertile and hospitable. In the early 20th century, around one-hundred thousand Bedouin lived unrestrictedly in the Negev, but in 1948 eighty-nine thousand were relocated. Those remaining in the desert are being pushed into townships where life is overcrowded and harsh. It is estimated that around two-hundred thousand are currently living in this area. At the moment, thirty percent of men and seventy per cent of women are unem-
ployed; luxuries are not an option and education for children is limited.
However, there are voices from both sides calling for a movement of co-existence.
Through the media, internal antagonism and racism are being bred: “The Bedouin take over the Negev”, “take
Image by Silvia Boarini
back the land for the State”. Alienat- Justice For Palestinians’ (JFJFP) and ing them from society and reinstating their ‘Stop the JNF Campaign – Two racial stereotypes of the Arabic com- Peoples, One Future’. They say that munity is effectively encouraging seg- awareness of the Bedouin situation and regation amongst Israeli people. Op- acknowledgment of the harmful psyportunities for Bedouin support in the chological effects it inflicts on the commedia are practically non-existent as munity, and crucially, its children, will the Negev is represented as unclaimed aid the Bedouin’s cause. They make it and uninhabited: “For a people with- clear that this is not about choosing out land.” between Jews and Muslims, it is about There are clear tensions between the the violation of individual communiJewish and Arabic communities of Isra- ties. As Miri Weingarten (EU Advocacy el. However, there are voices from both Coordinator for Israel/OPT) concludsides calling for a movement of co-ex- ed fittingly at the Amnesty conference: istence. A strong example is ‘Jews For “we’re on the side of Human Rights”.
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The Play’s the Thing ...
lease excuse me for recycling the headline that has accompanied every review of Hamlet since time began, but there aren’t many people who can come up with someMillie Jefferies thing original about Shakespeare anymore. It’s even got to the point where they (whoever ‘they’ are) have considered removing the Bard from the school curriculum due to its stagnation - although I maintain teachers are just bored of having to repeat themselves year after year. The same thing applies to the millions of Shakespearean renditions that grace our theatres every year, desperately trying to squeeze something new out of the old sponge. Okay, so I’m being sensational; I love Shakespeare and that’s that, but it seems the words just aren’t enough anymore. Especially when it comes to Hamlet, a play that, thanks to WJEC, I had to learn off by heart at ALevel (damn you closed-text exams), I find increasingly that each performance needs to do something really different to hold my attention for the three and a half hours it takes to work through the play in its entirety. Some of the greatest actors of all time have played Hamlet – Laurence Olivier, Peter O’Toole, John Gielgud – and each has been eagerly anticipated. Obviously I wasn’t around to watch their performances, but I can imagine it was similar to what I felt in the run up to the opening of the Young Vic’s production starring the incredible Michael Sheen (The Queen, The Damned United, Frost/Nixon). And I wasn’t disappointed. Sheen’s Hamlet is completely different to those I have seen before: timid, soft-spoken and obviously a little bit loopy from the off, the production sacrifices some of his earliest wit (“too much in the sun” etc.) to build up a character trapped within his own family, as well as the asylum in which the play is set. Madness is definitely the theme played upon most in this interpretation. A pre-show walkthrough introduces the audience to the setting of the play, but little else is explained. As the show progresses it becomes unclear who is a patient and who is staff and, vicariously, who is insane and who isn’t. The implication through-
out is that the Ghost is merely a figment of this distraught son’s imagination, with Sheen playing both parts in the confrontation of Act 1 Scene 2 so seamlessly it was almost like watching two different actors. Throughout, as Hamlet becomes more and more caught up in his madness we see him take control of it, becoming the forceful character more often performed, but still he maintaining the underlying vulnerability that keeps you with him until the last scene. Another highlight was Michael Gould’s hopelessly interfering Polonius, who not only plays his part perfectly, but combines it with spot-on comic timing that left me doubting if Old Will himself could have directed it better. Unfortunately, due to its promise (and deliverance) of an incredible show, Hamlet is completly sold out. But, never fear, this is not merely an oppurtunity for me to brag, but also a way of me sharing my number one golden rule for seeing theatre in London: JUST ASK. We got our tickets by ringing up the Box Office at lunchtime who (luckily) had just had two tickets returned for that evening’s performance. Admittedly yes, they were on backless stools at the back of the theatre BUT they only cost us £10 a head AND due to another stroke of fantastic luck we got moved to the very front just two minutes before the play started (we had better seats than radio 2 DJ Chris Evans!). Obviously, we got incredibly lucky but if you are not willing to continously pester the box office until they find you tickets, you can turn up at 9.30am on the morning of a performance and purchase one of the few day seats for £10 (max. two per person). Even at the back of the theatre, you can still see everything perfectly and it’s definately worth all manner of compromises in order to see this play. So it seems that despite the constant repetition of the works of Shakespeare throughout our lives, familiarity does not always have to breed contempt. Obviously there are those who do not get on with Willy’s words, and even some who fear their inadequacy to be original when faced with almost 400 years of literary criticism; but it doesn’t mean that every once in a while we can’t be surprised. Hamlet is at the Young Vic in Waterloo until 21st January 2012. Tickets priced between £10 and £29.50.
Michael Sheen as Hamlet courtesy of The Young Vic
“Liberty is about our rights to question everything”
his year ArtReview named Ai Weiwei the most powerful person in the art world, placing him even higher than influential household names like Larry Gagosian or Damien Hirst. Ai Weiwei doesn’t have the power to jump-start the career of artists, nor has he had a large influence on the art market itself. While Ai Weiwei’s art stands on its own, it is the political controversy surrounding him that has attracted the most attention. His political confrontations with the Chinese Government have caught the media’s attention, especially earlier
this year when he was imprisoned. The Chinese Government claims that naming Ai Weiwei the most powerful person in the art world is an attack against China. According to them, it is a choice that clearly illustrates the West’s opinion on the Chinese Government’s politics. But in my opinion ArtReview’s decision represents more than just a political attack. It is a gesture that applauds him for causing much debate with his art, rather than being commercial. It shows that free speech and freedom of expression is still an important value we need to actively and
Image by Duncan C. via Flickr (CC)
Image by triplefivechina via Flickr (CC)
Carla Steinberg explores the worldwide phenomenon of Chinese artist and inspirationalist Ai Weiwei maintain. One of Ai Weiwei’s most famous art works is a field of one hundred million porcelain sunflower seeds, each one individually hand painted. The work which Ai Weiwei created with the help of 1,600 Chinese artisans can be interpreted in many ways. It can be seen as symbolic of how an idea can spread like a seed, and then blossom. Similarly, an online campaign earlier this year, calling for a ‘jasmine revolution’ spread quickly over the internet. The ‘jasmine revolution’ was initiated with the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa as a model. Ai Weiwei, who posted positive comments on Twitter about the uprising, was the most high-profile person to be arrested by the Chinese Government shortly afterwards in April. Ai Weiwei was imprisoned on the 3rd April and stayed in prison for nearly three months under accusations of financial fraud. The circumstances around Ai Weiwei’s release three months later still remain unclear. It seems that the Chinese government wanted to arrest Ai Weiwei to prove their power and send out a warning to other activists, artists and bloggers. However, instead of silencing the opposition, the arrest of Ai Weiwei led to an international debate. Ai Weiwei only planted a seed, but his art, as well as his arrest, helped to spread the idea in other countries, causing demonstrations, campaigns for his release and debates about the justice system in China.
Unfortunately, there are many more people imprisoned under false accusations for voicing their opinion in an oppressive society. Like the sunflower seeds, Ai Weiwei is only one of a million of his kind; but they can’t develop freely, because uniformity is forced on them, and anybody who dares to become individual will be punished. Choosing Ai Weiwei is not an attack against China, it is an attack against the Chinese Government. China has a rich cultural tradition, and he is symbolic for the creativity that could exist. Ai Weiwei is a choice that is pro-China: a China that is free. I believe that Ai Weiwei is the most powerful person in the art world because he shows us that art is not an exclusive thing, it is something that concerns everybody. The art world can be overly commercial and exclusive, shunning anybody with little knowledge of art or wealthy enough to afford it. But Ai Weiwei shows us that art doesn’t just belong to museums and galleries; it involves everyone. Art, at its best, addresses critical topics and makes us think. Every job has an importance to society: a lawyer will defend your rights and a politician will try to represent your opinions. But Ai Weiwei is proof that we need artists who communicate with people on a different level, in order to make them aware of important issues and get them involved. Ai Weiwei does not gain his power from commercial success, but rather from the intellectual debate he stimulates.
Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year George Knight visits the Natural History Museum’s new exhibition featuring the best entries and winner’s from this year’s awards
osted at the Natural History Museum, the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards the most dedicated and inspiring photographers from around the world. The decision to set the exhibition within this famous museum, as opposed to a gallery, subtly encourages the visitor’s mind to treat it as a learning experience, not just a visual appreciation of art. The structure of the exhibition leads you through the younger participants’ entries and then to the main submissions. The wide variety of categories means there is something to appeal to everyone’s tastes. From the praise of plants and fungi to the behaviour of birds, the exhibition encompasses locations and species from all over the world. The photographs themselves, backlit and set into the wall, stand out in the dark, atmospheric room. They are presented with information about the animals or setting depicted, quotes from the photographers themselves about how the photographs were
taken. For visitors interested in the technical aspects of the photography there is information detailing the type of camera used, shutter speed and aperture. Several touch screen computers separate the main awards from the smaller categories, with which visitors can vote for their top photograph and compile a personal portfolio of their favourites from the exhibit, which is accessible later online using a barcode on the entry ticket. The overall winner of the coveted Wildlife Photographer of the Year went to David Beltrá for his Still Life in Oil. The photograph depicts eight pelicans huddled together and at first glance it could almost be mistaken for a family conserving warmth, until you realise that the brown that permeates the photograph is crude oil from the spill of April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The genius of the photograph is in the beauty of its complimentary colours, which is in dramatic conflict with the horror of its situation, the white sheet below the pelicans stained with the refuse
of man’s exploits. The winners of the other categories however are not always the photographs that you would immediately expect; although the judges’ reasoning is displayed with the winner, I sometimes found it difficult to understand their decisions. With such a varied and awe-inspiring collection on show, the exhibition is well worth the £4.50 student price of admission; especially when considering you are free to explore the rest of the Natural History Museum. My personal favourite of the exhibition is Apollo at Rest, captured by Valter Binotto. The white butterfly, set against a white background, while it delicately rests on its thin perch could easily be overlooked as an animal that needs protecting; which is what its category, the Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife, is all about. It was not an obvious choice since there were bigger and more awesome creatures on show but something about it really spoke to me. Which is perhaps the beauty of this exhibition - it opens our eyes to the world around us. The exhibition is running from now until 11th March 2012, open 10.00 until 17.50 daily.
Tiny Warm-Up by Cyril Ruoso courtesy of NHM
CUB’S EYE: “The Photointerview”
. . . Industry ExposĂŠ:
Images by Angel Lambo
Tape Club Records is an independent label based in London. Their artists range from electronic to indie-alternative. In spite of only being around six years, this startup label has already encountered mainstream success having their music was featured on the American hit TV show, Grey’s Anatomy. As I chat with Will Evans, the label founder, I am struck by how easily I am able to converse with him. Evans gives off a calm stable energy that is so easy to trust, something which has been crucial to his success. As the music industry changes and adapts to new technology, companies and jobs alike have had to merge. One employer today wears many hats. Will is a perfect example; he is the A&R guy, engineer and producer, the manager, the booking agent, and the label manager all in one. His work ethic is admirable to say the least. I was alarmed by the fact that he for a couple artists he is their manager and their label exec; the manager usually has to fight the label for more advance money, record royalties, etc, so you can see how there can be a conflict of interest. However, as our meeting continued I could see why bands sign on with Will as management and label. Simply put: Will is an honest guy working in the music business, which is about as rare as a Rhianna song without auto tune. Will’s founding of Tape Club Records is as humble as his demeanor. While in his 2nd year at Uni he recorded and produced his own record and instead of kissing ass and shopping it to other labels he decided to start a label of his own and release it through that. Will, “I did it piece by piece. Set one goal for myself each day and completed it. Eventually it all came together.”
Words by Vivian Wang
Who Killed the Business?
You have to look no further than the mirror… well not exactly. We are what our parents make us, parents meaning Capital records, Sony, Warner Bros, EMI, etc. The Big 4, and the majority of the record labels, treated the mp3 like a bad cold sore that would disappear in a few days. Well I got news for you that bad ‘cold sore’ has turned into a permanent witch’s wart. Capital Records once said, they would never allow their music to be distributed on the Internet. Well if we can’t buy it the only alternative is to steal. The major labels shot themselves in the foot while we, the consumer, were just the bullet.
The Record Experience
As technology undermines profits in the music business, record labels have to find new ways to make money. Nowadays its not just about the CD its about the whole experience of the band. Indeed when I asked Will what he thought the future held for CDs he responded, “I believe CDs will become obsolete. They will disappear as soon as they are no longer necessary to the music listening experience.” This is already happening with car companies no longer installing CD players in new cars. Of the 447,411 albums that Coldplay has sold of their new album, Mylo Xyloto, 67.5% of those were digital (Digital Music News, 2011). Before the 2000s it used to be bands touring to promote the record whereas today it is the record promoting the tour; the money has really switched from CDs to live performances. Another factor leading to the downfall of CDs is that the CD does not have the vintage collector appeal as Vinyl does. It is even cooler today to have a record player and a sweet Vinyl collection than it was when Vinyl was the only listening
medium. I addition you can make CDs in your dorm room whereas you cannot make your own Vinyl. With piracy rampant and the economy in the state that it is, Indie and Major labels alike have created the Band Brand. Its no longer just selling the music its selling the band as a lifestyle in the form of a t shirt, underwear, tote bag etc. When you wear a band t shirt its not just “Oh I like that band’s sound” its “I like that band’s music and what they stand for.” Sponsor by sponsor also, the lifestyle aspect of the Band Brand business model is saving the record industry. Will underlines the benefits to both the brands and the band, “The brand gets a bonus because a hip cool band is wearing their t shirt, while the band not only gets money but also promotional value. It’s not just about cutting through the noise and getting the listener’s attention for a second, it’s about building a mountain that gets noticed for a long period of time.”
The transformation of a traditional music company is already under way, my biggest concern is that not everyone is Will Evans. So where does that leave the thousands of bands that aren’t so fortunate? In addition with one person doing three people’s jobs the amount of jobs available in the music industry is vastly shrinking. What will be left is an elite force of multi faceted employees all around the ages of 25-35. The music industry right now is like Darwin’s evolutionary theory on crack. It has become Survival of the fittest in the business of talent, money, technology, life style and, oh yeah, music. Lastly, when asked to defend labels against the Evil Money Hungry image labels are often associated with, Will simply responds, “Don’t sign to one.”
Kate Moss, 1998. Photography by Rankin. Styling by Katie Grand. Image courtesy of Somerset House.
STILL DAZED AND CONFUSED?
Lucinda Turner looks back at the history of the iconic magazine, inspired by the new winter exhibiton at Somerset House, ‘20 years of Dazed and Confused’. Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, Nick Knight, Vivienne Westwood; the list goes on and on. Over the past 20 years Dazed and Confused magazine has attracted some of the most well respected names in fashion. It is well known for its daring editorial photo shoots and unique take on underground style. But is it still the cultural powerhouse that it was in the mid 90s? 20 years on, are we still Confused? The magazine was first founded in 1991. Jefferson Hack was a recent graduate of the London College of Printing and Rankin, a fellow student, has just emerged with a photography degree. They were two unknown men with a combined love of fashion, art, music, film and photography. They decided to launch a magazine. Their first issue came in the form of a black and white folded poster that was published as and when they could. It focussed of the London club scene of the early 90s. Dazed and Confused then launched its first full colour magazine in early 1992 with the help of the clubs it had originally promoted. With Rankin’s growing reputation as a celebrity photographer, the magazine found its niche by placing the biggest stars of the moment on its cover every single month. Its early cover stars included PJ Harvey, Damien Hirst, Richard Ashcroft, Chloe Sevigny, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, Robert Carlyle, Kate Moss and Milla Jovovich; quite a collection for a couple of students from London. With a back catalogue of famous faces Dazed and Confused has gone on to support many rising stars across different industries and managed to secure the first ever magazine covers by stars such as Alicia Keys, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hilary Swank, Eminem and Pharrell Williams, just before all of their careers really took off. Despite propelling itself with its celebrity associations, the culture was definitely not what came to define it. The fashion section of Dazed and Confused magazine is one of the most influential, controversial and well respected of any magazine published today. They have worked with some of the greatest stylists, photographers and designers of the last two decades. Hack and Rankin discovered Katie Grand, respected stylist and now editor-in-chief of Love magazine. She began styling fashion shoots for the magazine when she was still finishing
her degree at Central St Martins, and is responsible for the styling of the iconic Kate Moss image (pictured opposite). As well as using some of the best stylists in the industry, Dazed and Confused found an occasional art director in the form of the late Alexander McQueen. His unique, somewhat chaotic, take on the world fitted in perfectly with the individual aesthetic of Dazed and Confused. He came up with the concept of the famous photo shoot ‘Fashion-Able’ in 1998, which depicted people with disabilities looking utterly beautiful with styling by Katie England. Dazed and Confused has always been at the forefront of fashion trends and never afraid to push the boundaries. They have also used their success to promote charitable causes throughout the world. As well as ‘FashionAble’, they also support causes such as world AIDS day. Maybe there is more to this magazine than just cutting edge creative and forward thinking fashion? Dazed and Confused’s mission statement is all about independence. They are in fact one of the last magazines in Britain still independently owned. This sense of independence resonates throughout the magazine, and has continued to do so while original rivals The Face and Sleazenation have long since shut down. With only i-D competiting for the top spot, it seems that Dazed and Confused won’t be going away anytime soon. From 4th November 2011 until 29th January 2012 Somerset House are holding an exhibition spread over five rooms dedicated to the last 20 years of Dazed and Confused. Sticking with the theme of independence, the exhibition is curated by Jefferson Hack himself with the help of Emma Reeves, a photographic director who works within the entire Dazed group. The first three rooms show a collection of the work the magazine past and present. Starting in the early 90s with photographs by Rankin, a huge portrait of Yves Saint Laurent and a rare interview with Kate Moss, who has always been associated with the magazine (not just because of her relationship with Jefferson Hack). Just as with the magazine itself, nothing in the exhibition is conventional. As well as images on the walls, past issues are displayed in huge mirrored L-shaped sculptures around the room.
Moving onto the second room, we are treated to the most famous works from the 2000s. Mostly focusing on celebrites with Rankin’s portraits of Beth Ditto, Blondie and Michael Jackson. Alongside this, more L-shaped sculptures showcase some of the phenomenal editorial photo shoots that the magazine is known for with fashion from the incredible Gareth Pugh, another designer whose aesthetic fits with the Dazed and Confused brand. The third room focuses on Dazed and Confused today. It examines shoots that bring the magazine back to its roots, such as ‘London’s Youth’ and ‘Tie-Dye Hair’, and are still bringing innovative fashion and London culture together. Rooms four and five provide example of McQueen’s art direction. The two small rooms draw you into his world in a somewhat chilling way, particularly in ‘Salo’, where McQueen seems to give an insight into his troubled state of mind. The whole exhibition is a marvel, and demonstrates Dazed and Confused as being still at the forefront of underground culture in 2011. Confused we are not, but in Dazed awe we certainaly are. It is amazing to see what a couple of students with a big dream can accomplish, isn’t it? ‘Dazed and Confused: 20 years of making it up as we go along’ runs until January 29th in the Terrace Rooms at Somerset House. Free Admission.
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DazedDigital.com, launched in 2010, ushered in a new era for the magazine. Already an internationally distributed publication, the website saw Dazed and Confused create the world’s first Ideas Sharing Network. Live coverage of events and a global network of writers ensures Dazed stays as a leader in innovating underground youth culture. Projects such as ‘Wanted’, a digitial ‘outsider’ exhibition formed of independant artists, demonstrates Dazed’s contiual pushing of editorial boundaries, and leaves us questioning: what comes next?
Image by Flora Bartlett
The Life and Times of the Fashion Cupboard Our writer Eleanor Doughty gives us her musings on the home of the fashion intern.
The fashion cupboard is a curious place, filled to the brim with colourful fabrics and new garments waiting, like convicts, to be taken away and shot. Each piece sits patiently in line and ponders its fate. Will it ever be worn? Will it be carelessly forgotten and misplaced, only to be found by some minion of the assistants months later? The clear hierarchy of hangers can be seen across the racks; there are the puny black and white thin plastic workers, the ones that are mercilessly thrown away, shoved from item to item and rarely trusted with anything important or delicate. Next, perhaps the most annoying of all hangers, is the wire one- in this cupboard, a rarity. No one knows how or why the wire hanger got here, but we all hate it- the hook always tangles and brushes up against the better hooks. The small wooden hangers arrogantly sit back and wait for their inevitable selection. The top dogs in the room, undoubtedly, are the padded hangers. They come in a variety of colours and fabrics, from velvet Stella McCartney specimens to silken padded lingerie types with ribbons. The cupboard holds many secrets. As a quiet, separate space from the noisy outer office, it provides seclusion and peace. A place to make personal phone calls and covert conversations, it presents a variety of cubbyholes in which to conduct these affairs. The clothes, like trees in an enchanted wood, whisper as you walk through the middle and every so often, a piece of jewellery slips through a gap in the drawer, cutting the still air like a twig snapping in a silent glade. The closet is a place of calm until the inevitable editorial selection of clothes. Garments, shoes and accessories are strewn through the air like confetti at a wedding. These short moments are an intern’s nightmare; the perfectly organised and tidied closet has become a war zone of decision-making, outcast couture and hideous shoes that ‘just will not do’. When the editors leave, the room of beauty returns to its magical status, empty hangers rattle and clatter as the interns repair the untidy damage done to their home.
Image by Ben Rider
Everyone has two responsibilities, the first is not to get infected, and the second is if you do get infected, not to pass it on.
A CONTAGIOUS CONVERSATION
Ben Rider interviews Professor John Oxford on how Contagion may have got it just about right...
Andy Warhol once said that if you constantly produce new work, by the time a critic has a chance to pass their opinion on it it’s already old news to you. And that is exactly what Steven Soderbergh’s career has felt like in recent years. He has changed his genre, style, technology and level of involvement with nearly every film he has made since ‘Erin Brockovich ’ in 2000. Now, eleven years later, as his rumoured hiatus from filmmaking remains pending upon the number of films he has lined up (although some have been dropped, such as the remake of ‘Cleopatra’ which he was supposed to make with Angelina Jolie), one must beg the question: can his work still be worthy of a cinema visit? I beg to say yes. And I am not alone, Professor John Oxford, an expert in virology, made a trip to see Contagion, the latest offering from the auteur; and I was lucky enough to meet with him on Tuesday. After taking a few portraits next to various alienating diagrams of infections and viruses, he began to explain why the film was not only accurate, but why it attracted him in the first place. “I wouldn’t go and see a film about viruses” he tells me, “I want to see more than that. The whole point of a film is dramatisation.” The beauty of the film in his eyes, and the beauty in most films of its nature, is the presentation of ‘who’ we are as people, and how we might change in the face of an epidemic. Oxford compares the film’s vision with the painting Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? by Paul Gauguin. “The film brings this out” in its characters he explains. It’s about survival. He goes on to explain that the film successfully delivers this moral conflict which he has faced in his research; it “confronts that decision time of if we want to risk getting infected,” and what one might do once infected. He tells me of a case which he has examined close-
ly, “a young woman from West London in 1918 faced this situation”. The victim of the Spanish flu returned from World War I after serving as a nurse, only to face the infection she had fought with abroad. Upon arriving at Charing Cross, she decided not to return home as to avoid infecting her family, she acquired an apartment and attempted to fight it off alone. She didn’t even contact her parents as to prevent them from visiting her. She died four days later, surrounded by strangers. Oxford does feel though that the film could have put in more developed characterisation, and perhaps “played the science down” as it felt “too technical” at times. He goes on to jokingly tell me that he is “not attracted to big names”, and that their presence in films can be distracting, as you’re too busy thinking about what they have been in. Having said that, he does understand that “without the stars they wouldn’t attract the audiences”. However, when Oxford considers the duo 28 Days Later (2002, Dir. Danny Boyle) and 28 Weeks Later (2007, Dir. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo) he insists that the lack of any big names helped. Although these films are “less scientific” they are probably “more enjoyable” as they are simply “more dramatic”. But then when considering Participant Media’s urge to make “educational entertainment”, Oxford feels they have achieved their goal. Insisting that, if a viewer leaves the cinema without having come to realise that contamination is all about hygiene, and that spreading infections is all down to our hands, and what we touch then “they must have being asleep” and that the film “is hugely beneficial to a society.” Although Oxford went in thinking that he wouldn’t learn anything, he does admit that he might have. He was unaware that people touch their faces 2,000 times a day, yet is wary of how accurate
that might be. What interested him further was the emphasis of the film’s portrayal of what a country does when an epidemic does happen. “Every country has its plans”, but “half of the battle is settling people” to avoid bringing down the economy; something which nearly happened during the SARS outbreak. Oxford feels though that the film manages to communicate perfectly the risks of an epidemic. “Television is a great way of communicating”, so is radio he tells me. He does feel though that film is the best, as it delivers a message through a story; even though at times it can get lost in the drama, with films such as 28 Days Later but not with Contagion, which stays on track. At points during the showing, I began to feel that the film was deeper scientifically than most of its genre. Perhaps I’m a tad closed minded when it comes to the science community, but I always imagine them to be something along the lines of Walter White in Breaking Bad. Having met with Professor Oxford I felt that perhaps film had become what Andre Bazin had once predicted it would, the greatest form of communication. Lastly, Oxford tells me that everyone has two responsibilities, the first is not to get infected, and the second is if you do get infected, not to pass it on. He tells me that Japan has managed to practice this ideology with mouth masks, which are not used by people who are not infected but rather people who are. And much to my comical questioning, Oxford did agree with me that the film industry, for all its warnings about contaminations with films such as Contagion, could be a catalyst with the spreading of an epidemic if one would ever occur; as the film industry moves around in a constant flux internationally; so next time you have a cold, please don’t sit next to be in the cinema.
FILM When LIFE imitates ART Everyone knows the story of Shawshank Redemption, with Tim Robins tunneling his way to a sewer drenched freedom. Well, on December 15, 2007, Otis Blunt and Jose Espinosa escaped New Jersey’s Union County Jail through tunnels hidden behind posters of bikini clad women. The two inmates had spent weeks hacking away at the wall with a piece of wire. After scaling the wall one escape to Mexico City, the other to a nearby basement. Both were caught within a month and put before a judge on a charge on third-degree escape. They both decided to plead not guilty...
Office Space took petty theft to a new level. The protagonist rips off his corporate employers by stealing fractions of pennies from financial transactions (like a particularly selfish Tobin Tax). In 2007, 22-year old Michael Largent decided this wasn’t a bad idea and used an automated script to open up 58,000 accounts with online brokerage firms. Once the opened, the firm sent a micro deposit to the account to verify that it had opened. Soon enough, Largent gained $50,000 and the attention of the FBI. Americathon was seemingly made 30 years too early. The 1979 film stars John Ritter as president of a future (1998) America when oil and cash have run dry. The film predicted that China would embrace capitalism and become a global economic superpower. Nike, then a fledgling little shoe company in Oregon, would become a multinational conglomerate. The USSR would collapse. People would buy expensive, specialty coffee drinks. And America would be deep in debt to foreign investors. It was directed by Mystic Meg.
LLM Law “Bubbly. Sarcastic. Indecisive.”
I was totally up for this blind date! I love meeting new people and want to completely make the most of my semester in London so I thought, why not? I definitely didn’t have anything to lose. I was worried that Qupid would set me up with someone really boyish looking but she got it just right! I can be quite loud so hoped I wouldn’t scare him off, I figured that on a blind date, confidence is the key so I was determined for there not to be any shyness
LLM Law “Competitve. Social. Open Minded.”
Apart from the obvious first date nerves, I was quite looking forward to this date. The prospect of a free lunch and the opportunity to meet someone new in London drew me to taking part in Qupid. As soon as I met Chelsea she made me feel completely at ease, she was so confident, had a nice warm smile and when I discovered she was American, I was quite excited to find a fellow associate student. From the very start we had lots to talk about, I cannot believe how well the conversation flowed! Even before the wine
or awkward moments. I discovered that I had nothing to worry about, conversation was nonstop and I could tell that he felt comfortable around me as well. I think it helped that we are both older than undergrad students; we weren’t shy and there wasn’t the same awkwardness as going on a first date at 18. We both agreed on the wine choice and Andy decided to “professionally” taste it, which was funny. We then agreed to share a starter and a dessert, that way we both got three courses instead of the two allowed. Usually food sharing on the first date would be weird, but it came quite naturally and was the logical solution! We shared a lot of things; an umbrella as we left the meal and our ideas of where we would go on holiday together. I know that this seems forward for a first date, but it came with the progression of the conversation. I will definitely see Andy again. It turns out we have mutual friends and we also exchanged numbers. What’s bad is that I’m going back to Miami in December and he’s here all year, I hope he’s not too devastated when I leave! came to the table Chelsea cracked a joke about me going back to hers (Americans!) and called me a show off for offering to taste the wine. Conversation never seems to flow that well on a first date with someone you’ve chosen let alone on a blind date. One of my passions is travelling and I was pleased to discover that Chelsea was also a fan of exploring the world, hopefully I didn’t waffle on too much about all the places I had been. We even discussed where we would go together for our first holiday, we decided Paris or Prague, certainly not standard first date talk! We also realised that we were on the same course, and because of that had lots of mutual friends. I’m happy about this as it means I will get to see Chelsea more often. She seems like the type of girl who likes to have fun and go out (she is social secretary of her group of Americans over here) and I’m looking forward to seeing her again with our friends and hopefully another date. The only disappointment is that she is only here for a semester and I’m here for a year; let’s hope we can make the most of the rest of this semester.
Do you want to be the next student struck by Qupid’s wandering arrow? You won’t only meet your potential soulmate, but you’ll get a free meal and bottle of wine at the rather lovely Fat Cat Cafe. If you’re interested email Collette Yapp-Davis at email@example.com
Image by Bethia Stone
Qupid’s verdict I had a wonderful feeling from the start that this date was going to be a triumph! The primary reason why I put these two together was essentially the reason for this date’s success. They are both associate students, so from the very start they had lots to talk about. Having lived with American associate students in halls before, I knew that this date wouldn’t be awkward! They are well practised in the art of making new friends in new places very quickly and are always up for anything to make the most of their London experience. Maybe this is why they didn’t display the usual Qupid date nerves. They became comfortable around each other extremely quickly, Chelsea was fantastically flirtatious but that could have just been what Americans call friendly! When I asked where I could meet up with each of them after the date, Chelsea replied, “let’s see how the date goes first, he may come back to mine”. Well I never! It was only one in the afternoon and before the wine had been opened there was already post date fun on the cards! Qupid does not openly encourage this, but I would be quietly smug to know that I was respon-
sible. Just before I left them to it, the wine came and Chelsea began to mock Andy for his somewhat arrogant wine sniffing and swirling. I walked out of Fat Cat beaming at the wonder that I had created, I only hoped it would last throughout two courses and a bottle of wine. On hearing that they had shared a starter and dessert, I was initially quite worried (is that a bit much?). Worry then turned into delight when I realised what this meant, they must have really liked each other! Another worry turned joy was hearing that they had also discussed where they would go on holiday TOGETHER!! They defiantly threw the first date rulebook into the canal! For me, the icing on the cake was that they have mutual friends; it means that they are so much more likely to see each other and hopefully said friends can continue my project of getting these two together. This is also my first number exchange of the semester which I was beginning to worry would never happen. I hope that taking part in Qupid is an experience they remember from their time in London for all the right reasons and I can’t wait to see the holi14 day snaps!