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REGENT The student newspaper for all schools in Regent’s College

Ash strands students & staff More than a few desks were left empty at Regent’s College last week when students and staff were stranded around the globe by the ash fallout from Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. But that didn’t necessarily mean a break from classes for some of those displaced. At the time of printing The Regent had tracked stranded students and faculty from Egypt to San Diego. “Still stranded in Cairo,” e-mailed EBS student Nadim StubJensen Shawarby on Wednesday. On Friday night, after the skies had opened to flights again, he again texted, “I have just landed in Vienna and bound for Copenhagen. From there I will travel to London on

Monday morning. “ Eric Chan, program director for the RBS Management Program was with five graduate students in the middle of the annual International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition in San Diego when they got news that the European and UK airspace were shut. Originally due to return on 19 April, Chan was told that it might be take months to get back. “The first 48 hours where I could not book any flight were the most challenging. I took the time to think and re-strategise on our options, which included the possibilities of cruise ship, train and coach travel plus travelling via Spain as suggested by the media. Additionally, I had

Issue 5 Summer 2010

Olé! It’s International Week

to monitor the news constantly on the internet as there was not much coverage from the American TV channels in San Diego. “The students were anxious but my first priority was the safety and well being of all. I made sure that the students stayed in contact and updated their families,” Chan said. While he stayed in close contact with his line manager, the Dean of RBS and the CEO of the college, Chan also arranged with the University of San Diego to allow Regent’s students access to their premises and libraries. Chan says that the students coped very well under

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Torches in the snow blaze for Martine photo: Andy Ives

Folklore de México Mestizo kicked off this year’s International Week with a flamoyant display of Mestizo dance in the college quad.

Five new Arts degrees to launch in September by Max Kaplan

photo Jason Pittock

Family and friends of murder victim Martine Vik Magnussen gathered outside Herringham Hall on 10 February for a torch-lit walk to remember the RBS student and to demand justice. At a short memorial service, Martine’s father Odd Petter Magnussen, the family’s priest and Regent’s College CEO Aldwyn Cooper announced that the college will plant a tree in her memory. Martine’s father responded to this announcement by saying: “That is the second reason I would come back to London. The first one is, of course, if I can ever see a trial case.” Suspect Farouk Abdulhak remains in Yemen, which does not have an extradition treaty with the United Kingdom.

This autumn marks the first semester of Regent’s College’s London School of Film, Media & Performance (LSFMP), and Head of School David Hanson isn’t breaking a sweat. After all, since joining Regent’s College in October 2008 to assist in the creation of LSFMP, Hanson has seen four degrees he

created approved, with the final two to be approved by May. “It takes quite a long time to get a degree approved - normally about 18 months to two years for one degree,” he said, meaning that by industry standards LSFMP is far ahead of schedule. LSFMP is the sixth school under the

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Inside

Regent’s first ArtSpace festival; young entrepreneurs and volunteers: going for gold and Gdànsk

ArtSpace

Fashion

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Volunteers

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College News

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College News Regent’s hosts ‘Women in Business and Politics’

Bo Lerenius, Director of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, introduced the seminar’s discussion panel chaired by Cherie Blair by Max Kaplan

At its current rate of progress, Parliament won’t see an equal number of women to men for 200 years, or for another 40 elections. Statistics like this one raise the question: what can be done about gender inequalities in politics and the workplace? In a search for answers, the Swedish Chamber of

photo: Hannah Moström

Commerce for the UK (SCC) hosted “Women in Business & Politics,” a panel discussion in February at Regent’s College, chaired by human rights lawer Cherie Blair. Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, moderated discussion between 11 experts on the topic. Among them were Confessions of a Sexist author Lars Einar Engstrom, British MP Hon

Patricia Hewitt and Saab Executive Vice President Lena Olving, with an introduction by Bo Lerenius, Director of SCC. “I don’t think you have to be anti-men to be pro-woman,” Lerenius said in his welcome to the enthused audience in Tuke Hall. Panelists discussed the struggle by women to compete in a male corporate model, by reflecting on

their personal and professional experiences. After six years in Parliament, Labour MP for Leicester Hewitt cites its male dominancy as inhibiting women from joining. “As women look at our parliament, they don’t see themselves properly reflected or represented in it,” she said. “However, as the number of women in politics has grown, we’ve seen issues like childcare, which

Tarek Seif El Nasr (RBS) They should keep the Quad as it is since all students got used to it and it’s a symbol of the college now.

Mahmoud Bassiouny (Webster Graduate) Put more seats, comfortable seats, maybe a tropical bar, café with hookah and make cultural events at night to make students come at night instead of the sports bar. I would prefer to make it something active.

Armen Alevardyan (RACL) I do not like the quad at all. I think this area could be beautiful since it is the centre of Regent’s College they should do a lot in it. Like a swimming pool maybe, bar, hookah place, parties and much more.

were previously regarded as having nothing to do with politics or government becoming a frontline political issue.” “Double-burden syndrome,” or a balancing of career ambitions with a family, was named among top contributors to the problem. Panelist Helena Morrissey, Chief Executive Officer of Newton Capital Management, has raised nine children while becoming one of the Financial Times’ 100 most influential women in Europe. “My husband stayed at home after our fourth child, allowing me to progress in the workplace,” she said. With its culture of gender equality, few associate Sweden with discrimination against women; after all, in Swedish Chamber of Commerce Managing Director Annika Wahlberg’s presentation, she claimed that compared with men, women in Swedish households only work in the house 73 minutes longer than men each week. However, both Sweden and the UK fare poorly in gender equality compared to neighbour Norway, where company boards must be filled with at least 40 per cent women. In contrast, Spain and the Netherlands may not impose this law for at least five more years. According to Lerenius, “Sweden has for a long time focused on gender equality and gender issues, but Sweden is still faced with inequality and discrimination.”

What would you do with the quad? The Regent asked a cross-section of students what they would do with the quad if the decision was theirs. Interviews and photographs by Dina el Kilany

Jemma Aleverdyan (RACL) I think that the statue in the quad makes no sense at all. They should take advantage of this area and allow students to use it and put in more umbrellas and chairs.


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The trouble is there seems to be a public-private split in the borders agency so everything in the public sector can be trusted while private schools cannot, despite our size and reputation.” Futuristic building on blueprint to meet space push, p5

BaM bags luxury brands

Management, a program entering its third year, the LTSM degree will be of a different nature: “It’s going to cover leisure, tourism, entertainment and corporate sports,” said Head of School Martin Timbrell. “We are looking for people who are going to manage superstars, pop stars and football stars.” Unlike many of its competitors, LTSM’s offerings do not include hospitality management - a conscious decision “because we don’t have the facilities to do hotel management,” explained Timbrell. “We’re not going to teach people how to cook. Our market is up-

market; we’re looking for someone who is going to book the O2, not the Village Hall.” Although LTSM is not a hospitality management program, “tourism management” remains one of the degree’s founding skill sets. Timbrell explains: “It’s not about how to run a travel agency. It’s about putting on cruises or developing tourist offerings in other countries. You will know about their local environment and the opportunities.” As course development continues for LTSM (with its first crop of students enrolling in 2011), the department’s MA in Luxury Brand Management will launch this fall. The program will be available not only to students with degrees from Regent’s undergraduate programs, but also to students who have studied business and management elsewhere. Core modules will include Luxury by Design, Contemporary Issues in Luxury Brands Management, Marketing of Luxury Brands, and more. In conjunction with the launch of the program, Regent’s College has joined the international Luxury Brand Council, a move Timbrell considers imperative for the program’s validity. “What’s important is that we see Regent’s College as a luxury brand in itself,” he said. Tentative endorsers of the program include fellow Council members Harrods, Chanel and Harvey Nichols.

Edward Scharborough ( RACL) I would keep it the same because it is nice to have a green space in the middle of the campus. However I would change the middle statue to a water fountain and make it more of a park field and let students go hang out on the grass.

Naira Al Harty (RACL) I would change it because everyone wants to go outside and there isn’t enough space. Open the middle garden and make the area more free so that people would be able to walk around since this is the social area of the college.

by Max Kaplan

The Regent’s College business department, which encompasses the European Business School and the Regent’s Business School, will offer a variety of new programs this fall, including Leisure, Tourism and Sports Management (LTSM) and Luxury Brand Management. While the department already offers a BA in International Events

“We are looking for people who are going to manage superstars, pop stars and football stars.”

I realised that sign language is a very beautiful language” Signing up to Olympic Gold, p6

editorial

Letters to the editor and contributions: vineyl@regents.ac.uk or greyp@regents.ac.uk Printed through www.quotemeprint.com 0845 230 1590

Every college that I’ve ever known of, in England and America, publishes a newspaper. It’s run by the student with staff advisors, and covers college events and news from near and afar that is of interest to college readership. Some colleges publish online; some also have magazines, even literary magazines. Then there are college radio stations, pod casts, and goodness knows what else that could make Regent’s newspaper advisors weep with envy. Having a college newspaper, like having a student council, is a sign that all is healthy on campus. The two bodies are engaged in guaranteeing free speech, generating community involvement and engaging in politics at a relevant level. But here’s the problem: while the opportunity exists at Regent’s for much of these, sometimes getting contributions for The Regent newspaper can seem harder than getting out of Guantanamo Bay. The latest issue of the Regent was written by just six current students, two former students

who still like to contribute, six staff members and one Max Kaplan, our excellent, but single, student reporter, who had the unenviable task of writing the remaining stories as part of his newspaper production course. Even in Max’s college of less than 1000 students in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania - fewer than half our numbers at Regent’s - a student-run newspaper is still published twice a term. The Regent’s newspaper course was set up to get the paper off the ground, with the hope that writing and production would pass to interested students. At the moment, it is mainly staff that make sure it gets to press. We know, from stories about the students featured in The Regent, that there is a huge reservoir of initiative, social awareness and self-expression within the student body. People are engaged in important arguments and exciting activities. We encourage and welcome you to use the newspaper as your forum to express them and to make it into your newspaper.

Flipping pancakes in the rain On February 16th, Shrove Tuesday, Regent’s sponsored its third annual Pancake Race. Despite the rain a few sporting students showed up. The winner Huang Zi (right) won a meal for two in the Regent’s Brasserie The prize was presented by head of catering Rafael Azzopardi.

Trenton Pande (RACL) I think that they should keep the quad as it is since it is beautiful and the statue can be considered the symbol of the college.

Michael Buzuayehu (RACL) I think they should remove the middle garden and put maybe a pond and Starbucks because all students here would definitely enjoy it. In addition, put more tables and chairs.

Charles Ladbroke (RACL) I would have more seating, more umbrellas. For the winter, I would have outdoor heating.


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Students are a model of united nations by Tom Metcalfe & Marisa Fultz

A team of 12 students represented Regent’s College at the Model United Nations (MUN) in New York in April. Led by Professor Sabrina White, the students - Tom Metcalfe, Marisa Fultz, Cody Wooden, Becky Kuykendall, Aaron Choo, Farooq Khan, Maryke Webb, Elene Melikishvili, Max Kuhnke, Natasha Lipman, Jetsun Pema and Derrick Dabur joined 2,500 students from around the world in New York City in a simulation of the actual United Nations proceedings. In November the team was selected to represent Latvia, located in the Baltic region of Europe, and since then had been busy researching its role in the six different committees our members were assigned. In the six months leading up to the conference, the team studied and discussed topics ranging from safe nuclear energy to the eradication of poverty. We also held extra-curricular informal discussions where we would question each other and provide alternative thoughts on topics and further simulation practice and public speaking work. A major part of our work involved fundraising, led by the fundraising director Marisa Fultz. Our ambitious target was to cover the outstanding

costs of accommodation, visas, and flights beyond that allocated by the college. Through several events including fundraising tables, a Christmas party and masquerade ball, we managed to surpass this, raising a total of £2,750. During our preparations, the Head Delegate of the MUN team, Tom Metcalfe, organised the visit to Regent’s of the Latvian Ambassador, whose presence was extremely useful in giving us some excellent insights into Latvian culture and political decision making agenda. We also managed to spend time with Latvian students, specifically Jana Greitane, who provided in-depth cultural and educational perspectives. After months of hard work in and out of the classroom, the team finally arrived in New York. Rain greeted us on our arrival, so little had changed in that respect from London. After a day familiarising ourselves with the city and our meeting rooms, the fiveday conference began. Registration completed, we were starting to feel the exhilaration of what was ahead. Every ounce of knowledge and public speaking preparation was about to be challenged and we felt as prepared as we could be. From then until the conference’s completion on April 3, we worked with other schools to construct working papers and tackle world issues that we hoped would be

faculty, and staff, we have the confidence that we represented both Latvia and Regent’s College with pride. With our team being made up of people who had not done the conference before, the learning curve was steep. Many other delegates were surprised when they found out it was our first year at the conference, as we were professional and confident. We want the Model United Nations project at Regent’s College to push on next year and draw on our experience to make an even greater impact!

Back row - Becky Kuykendall, Jetsun Pema, Sabrina White (Professor), Derrick Dabur, Elene Melikishvili, Professor Aldwyn Cooper (CEO), Max Kuhnke, Cody Wooden, Farooq Khan, Aaron Choo Seated - Maryke Webb, Tom Metcalfe (Head Delegate), Marisa Fultz (Fundraising Director), Natasha Lipman voted into resolutions. Every team managed to get on the speaker’s list in their committee, delivering speeches to nearly 400 students, expressing Latvia’s position and gathering support for the working papers they were sponsoring. We were proud that every committee passed a resolution that Latvia co-sponsored. All student participants then gathered for the closing ceremony held in the United Nations General Assembly Hall where we heard this

Futuristic building on blueprint to meet space push at college by Max Kaplan

At the recent Town Hall meeting, which attracted a record number of attendees, Regent’s College CEO Aldwyn Cooper announced plans for space management improvements; forthcoming developments in TDAPS; the status of Border Agency changes affecting the College, and more. In a follow-up interview, Cooper offered The Regent further insight into his Town Hall meeting updates, as well as a glimpse into the College’s future. Cooper stressed that the College’s status with the UK Border Agency is of great importance to students, primarily those in foundation programs. Unfortunately, a divide has formed between public and private-sector institutions, with public-sector universities receiving a greater number of visa grants than private-sector institutions. “There is no doubt that there are educational institutions in the UK who have been recruiting students

who never had any intention of studying, and just wanted a visa to get into the country,” said Cooper. “The trouble is there seems to be a public-private split in the borders agency so everything in the public sector can be trusted while private schools cannot, despite our size and reputation.” To its benefit, Regent’s College has earned a spot on the Border Agency’s highly trusted status list. In fact, Cooper notes, “those students who come in and out on student visas who are found to have terrorist aspirations have been coming to the state-sponsored institutions, not places like here.” As the College prepares for the first crop of London School of Film, Media & Performance students this fall, and with over 3,000 students on campus during peak hours, it is imperative that space is maximized in classrooms, dining, and leisure areas. One of the easiest fixes is to cut back on conferences hosted at the College. “The delivery of higher

education programmes is our core business, so if it’s not getting served but we’re taking conferencing we shouldn’t be doing that,” Cooper stressed. “We need to make sure we’re releasing space. At the same time, conferencing does help to subsidise costs of the institution.” To keep up with a growing student body, plans for a new building on campus are in the works. “We have wonderful plans,” says Cooper. “A famous architect is producing them; a world leader in environmentally friendly architecture. It will be an iconic environmental building, built for 2050.” The green-faced building will be entirely carbonneutral, with natural-air cooling and heating. A “green” building is a logical next step for the College, says Cooper, who is proud of the astounding 97% recycling rate. “We are one of the most highly respected environmentally friendly organisations in London.”

year’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speak, along with the announcement of next year’s Secretary-General. The opportunity for our team to visit the Grand Hall of the United Nations was inspiring. World leaders and representatives have discussed critical issues there concerning the fate of the human race for more than 60 years. As a result of the effort by the team and the tremendous support we have received from students,

“It is my hope that the MUN programme will serve as a model for excellence in understanding and studying international relations on a broader and more involved scale for the students of Regent’s College. We are hoping to recruit more people to the programme, attend more conferences and even hold a MUN conference here on campus. We should all be very proud of this year’s team as they have served as fantastic, mature and well-informed role models and ambassadors, not only for future groups of MUN students, but also for future Regent’s College students.” Sabrina White Regent’s MUN delegation leader

New school to offer five new degrees >>1

Regent’s College umbrella. “It was conceived before I came here, as a decision taken to create a new school in the area of media,” said Hanson. “With that in mind, a head of school was appointed, that was me.” In its first year, available degrees will include a Creative Industries BA, a Screenwriting and Producing BA, a Writing for Screen and Stage MA, an Acting and Global Theatre BA and an Acting Foundation course. Fall 2011 will bring a Film, Television and Digital Media Production BA. Each BA program lasts three years, while the part-time MA program will last two. Hanson stresses that LSFMP is not a school solely for seasoned performers. The Acting Foundation course will satisfy a mere curiosity for theatre, while also serving as a stepping stone for further education. “It would train people in voice and movement skills; teach the essentials of working in

that area; increase their confidence in terms of communication and movement; and prepare them to go on either to a BA in theatre here, or to go onto drama school,” he said of the programme, which can last either one or two semesters. Students will be guided through the process of applying for drama school or university auditions and receive feedback from industry professionals, an invaluable bonus the course offers. LSFMP may have several degrees and a team of highly qualified professors, but one wildcard is still missing: students. Recruitment may be Hanson’s biggest challenge so far. “They don’t know of you. If you don’t have that [reputation], you’re starting from scratch. You’re in first gear,” he said. “You have no alumni, you’ve got no people who have done your degree and are going to talk about it, you’ve got no existing students to talk to other people about it, so you’re really starting right from scratch.”


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The tax man cameth Signing up to Olympic glory The Institute of Contemporary European Studies (ICES) at Regent’s College hosted a presentation by David Hillman, head of the NGO ‘Stamp out Poverty’, on the possibility of ‘Robin Hood Tax’ being introduced on financial market transactions. The Robin Hood Tax would be levied on banks, hedge funds and other finance institutions such as foreign exchange, derivatives and share deals, at an average of 0.05 percent, to potentially raise hundreds of billions of pounds every year. The EBS event, organised and chaired by Alan Sitkin, Pathway Leader for the EBS MA in International Business, was very timely, since the European Parliament had that very afternoon

voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution supporting such a levy. At the same time that Hillman was presenting his ideas to an audience of around 80 EBS students and staff members - including a short film he recently put together with actor Bill Nighy and screenwriter Richard Curtis of Love Actually fame - the House of Commons was holding a similar discussion on the issue. The evening was interesting and polemic, according to Sitkin, given that the Robin Hood Tax embodies criticisms of the status quo in global banking system, a stance that met with both approval and disapproval of the audience. A follow up event on the issue featuring David Hillman is planned in 2011.

Spring research What can you do to make your academic research rigorous and relevant and get it published? These topics were central to the two days of intensive training in the Spring Research Series 2010 at Regent’s College. Professor Dan Remenyi from Trinity College, Dublin led the training on the first day, leading participants to think about the importance of rigour in academic research and speaking about relevance of academic research in social sciences. Professor Remenyi explained the shifting trend in the nature of research from a

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the circumstances. They will return home as champions on 27 April, having won awards for best performance and best annual report at the championship. For 30 visiting John Carroll students and their professor Scott Moore, what should have been a two-and-a-half day break to Berlin as part of their semester abroad at Regent’s , turned into a week of improvised classes and tours. The group left campus on Thursday and when they heard that their Saturday flights were cancelled, professors and staff from their home campus in Ohio jumped into action, rebooking travel and planning new activities. “Air travel booked for Monday was cancelled, rebooked for Tuesday and then cancelled again,” says Moore. Fortunately our hotel happened to have enough room for us for two additional days. The third extra night -Tuesday - required some shifting and sharing of rooms,

traditional theoretical approach to a more practice oriented approach. Dr Peter Sharp, a BaM senior lecturer in research methods led training on the second day, providing insights from his experience of publishing and editing journal papers. Dr Sharp considered the value of publishing, types of papers, and how to start, plan and write academic papers. He also encouraged participants to consider their own research strategy. If you are interested in getting involved in such events please contact Dr Peter Sharp sharpp@regents.ac.uk

but we managed to stay in the same hotel,” added Moore. “The extra days were remarkably productive; since my entire accounting 2025 class was on trip, we held class in the breakfast room on Monday and Tuesday Morning. After class the International Studies team kept us programmed. We managed to work in the Allied Museum and Berlin Zoo as well as half-day trips to the Sachsenhousen concentration camp and Potsdam.” Not everyone at Regent’s got marooned outside the UK. As part of International Week, James Brasfiled, Professor of Management and Health Services Management, was invited to chair a panel for International Week. He managed to make it over, but then got stuck in London. At the same time, Grant Chapman Director for International Programmes at Webster St Louis, who was due to be part of the opening panel of international week, skyped his contribution instead.

Winning gold. Allison Galoob (back row second from left) with her victorious team mates by Molly Quinn

Regent’s College students can boast that they have an OIympic Gold medallist in their midst. Allison Galoob, currently on study abroad from St. Louis University in the United States won gold as part of the US woman’s soccer team, at the twenty-first Summer Deaflympics held in Taipai, where she played midfield. Galoob, a communications major from Colorado, was diagnosed with profound hearing loss when she was born. “My whole family is deaf; it is genetic for me and my siblings. We carry the gene.” She attended mainstream schools, where she spent part of the time in regular classes and part with other deaf students for English lessons. Galoob’s teamates in the Deaflympics, aged between 15 and 35, all have some sort of hearing loss and cannot wear hearing aids or cochlear implants to assist their hearing so that no individual has an advantage during the game. Communication on the field, Galoob explained, is like a game of charades that involves a lot of waving. “You just have to keep your eyes open. You have to be very aware of everything.” She recounted her vital role as the team interpreter during the game, using her skill of reading lips in order to sign what the coach said to the rest of the team. “Even during half time, you are not allowed to wear cochlear implants or hearing aids and so I was really lip reading. My coach is British, so not only was I trying to

lip read, but to lip read a pair of lips with a British accent. It was a huge challenge. I’m just amazed by the fact that I was able to do it. “It was my first time to see 4,000 deaf athletes in one place and it made me realise that even though we’re all speaking a different language, we have two things in common: we have a hearing loss and we play sports.” Galoob said that her time in Taipei made her realize how much she loves being deaf, and how being

to trade stories just by using our body language. I have a greater appreciation for myself as a deaf person and signing in general.” It was her experience in Taiwan that indirectly brought her to the UK. “It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had. So the next chance I got, I wanted to go abroad again.” This is the second time women’s soccer has appeared at the Deaflympics and the USA has won gold in both tournaments. Galoob,

Allison signing the coach’s instructions deaf has given her new ways to relate with others. “When I was interpreting, I realised that sign language is a very beautiful language. It’s given me the ability to use my facial expression to connect with people.” Deafness and playing sports provided the athletes in the Deaflympics with an automatic connection. “Because of that connection we were able

who has been training with the U.S. women’s team since 2007, hopes to compete in the next Deaflympics, which will take place in 2013. “Eventually I would like to work for the Olympic Committee or the government,” she says. “I call myself the Triple Threat, because I can lip read, I can sign and I can hear, thanks to my cochlear implant.”


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Features A hand-painted business

photos: Konstantin von Bayern

Regent’s student Alexia Bergstrom models the latest Angelika design by Leslie Viney

The exotic hand-painted garments of Angelika, a company launched by EBS International Business student Max Rice and his designer girlfriend Olivia Totman in June 2009, are so popular that the pair are finding it hard to keep up with orders. The company came about after Olivia, 21, designed a range of hand painted t-shirt dresses, tops and leggings for her final project at The Fashion Retail Academy, a training institute set up by Sir Philip Green, the man behind Topshop, BHS, and Miss Selfridge. When Olivia, who always wanted to be a fashion designer, wore the sample shirts on the beach in Ibiza, where Max lives most of the time, people kept asking her where they could buy the designs. “Because so may people loved them, I decided to make them a brand,” she says. Olivia found a talented painter who could transpose her designs of snarling tigers, delicate butterflies, grinning skulls and giant bows onto

tops and leggings. “All my designs are fun and colourful but then I have some pieces that are very edgy. I wanted to create pieces that people could wear over bikinis on the beach, or walking around London with an edgy skull top on, or with biker boots, or simple things like a big bow or a peace sign.” She called the company Angelika to reflect “both the dark and the finer things in life: dark, like skulls and finer like butterflies and fairies.”

Each garment is painted to order, but to retain their exclusivity only a limited number of each design are produced. Tops sell for around £150, dresses for £175, and they are stocked in boutiques in Glasgow, Wales, Berkshire and Ibiza, with talks in progress with Kitson and Catch boutique in Los Angeles to carry the line. Online they are available at angelikalondon.com or www. spoiledbrat.co.uk. Contributing to the staggering growth in popularity are high profile clients including TV presenter Alexa Chung and singer Alesha Dixon, who have been snapped wearing them at celebrity events. Katie Price (Jordan) has worn the ‘Sneaky Snaky Leggings’ and ‘Lucy Lou Bow Dress’ on television and for the April issue of OK Magazine, outfitted her three children in the new Angelika children’s line for a six-page spread. “Since Katie Price was seen on television two months ago wearing our designs, sales have shot up,” says Rice. “Olivia and I are working around the clock, but it is paying off. We are enjoying this endeavour and hope we can sustain it for many years to come.” Max, 21, who is half German and half Australian but attended boarding school in England, plans to keep control over the business side of Angelika and the Ibiza shops. But his career plans also include going into sports management, preferably as a football agent. “Through my business modules at EBS I have developed organisational skills, people skills and most importantly financial skills that have helped me run the business side of Angelika. In the future I want to do both.”

I see your personality so it gives me an idea of what would suit you,”

Regent’s entrepreneurs four talented students are managing to combine studying with getting their first businesses off the ground Password key for Regent’s duo by Max Kaplan

When it comes to the Web, the most useful tools are often the simplest. Take Twitter, for instance. To engage the site, simply answer the question “What’s happening?” in 140 characters or less. In two short years it has become a go-to search engine

in information for all your favorite sites, making them all accessible by logging into one site. Then, when you want to visit one, simply click its thumbnail and hit a button in your toolbar and you’ll be logged in securely without having to remember a single password. A £350,000 investment, myhomepage has been in the works for quite some time. Agostinelli and Aengevelt were in the Regent’s College student council one evening discussing post-graduation plans. Agostinelli explained to Aengevelt that he and his brother had come up with an idea a few years back called myhomepage. After discussing the concept, they spent the next few

Max Aengevelt (left) and Massimo Agostinelli for bits and pieces of many global conversations. EBS students Massimo Agostinelli and Max Aengevelt hope their creation, www.MyHomepage. com, finds a similar place in users’ e-hearts. The site’s mission is to “become the world’s leading online password and bookmark management system as your homepage,” which is no small feat. The premise is simple: myhomepage will securely store log-

The myhomepage logo weeks doing extensive research on existing one-click log-in sites. Now, their 10-person team, operating out of Buckingham Palace Road, is working diligently to make myhomepage a widely used web tool. The service is free, and it will soon be released in German, Russian and Japanese.


Summer 2010 7

Since Katie Price was seen on television two months ago wearing our designs, sales have shot up,”

The site’s mission is to “become the world’s leading online password and bookmark management system as your homepage,”

Jewels in the crown

involved with, which include event organising. He is also an Indonesian national athlete in equestrian. Accessories may be Stephanus’s pastime, but they are not his real passion. This is zoology, and reptiles in particular, which he plans to return to after finishing at university. “I can see myself doing something in that field when I am older, but with accessories, I can leave it in a blink of an eye if I get a project in the zoology field.”

“The people in my team are all about the same age as me, so we are more like friends. Each of them comes with me when I have to present my accessories to the clients.”

by Haya Asif and Max Kaplan

In just five years, Alston Stephanus has established a highly successful accessories brand with global clientele and a team of designers, Alston Stephanus Accessories. The 23-year-old native of Jakarta, Indonesia combines his degree in international business management at Regent’s College with a passion for creating exotic accessories made from Swarovski crystals, precious gems, precious metals, pearls, feathers, French

lace and more. In fact, Stephanus never formally studied his craft. “No one ever taught me, but my mom got me beads and so I started with that and I thought to myself, ‘Oh, this is pretty...cool and weird!’” His natural talent has taken the brand into its fifth year. Stephanus designs each piece himself, personalising the design for his clients: “If you’re my client, I’ll ask you what you want, what you’re interested in and what your budget is, and mainly I see your personality so it gives me an idea of

what would suit you,” he said. Stephanus creates a sample of his design, which then goes to a team of several craftsmen from his native Indonesia. “The people in my team are all about the same age as me, so we are more like friends. Each of them comes with me when I have to present my accessories to the clients.” While studying business might seem the logical choice for the accessories design company, Stephanus chose his major to help with the other four companies he’s


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8

REGENT

Travel

Apparently exclaiming ‘dogs’ blood and thunder!’ when you slam your fingers in a drawer isn’t quite as shocking as it used to be”

Gdańsk: Baltic city with proud history and citizens house burn down and then someone rebuild it for you as an igloo. You’d feel confused, distressed and misunderstood. You’d start pining for your old house, where you could throw open the windows to let the sea air come in, and possibly come to resent these incongruous icy blocks. With Gdańsk having changed hands almost as often as there has been turmoil in Europe, you could argue that the Dutch architectural style says something about the ‘confused’ nature of the place, But talking to Andrzej, it was plain to see that despite adverse historical

Unfortunately my Polish roots didn’t help me when it came to words like ‘pszczółki’ (yes, that’s five consonants before a vowel) circumstances, those living in the area have managed to retain a strong sense of local identity. The city is quite small – you can see almost everything in a day – but there are plenty of historically inaccurate buildings to gaze up at, as well as (luckily) structures that actually survived the war. The imposing Bazylika Mariacka (St Mary’s Church) is the largest brick church in the world, and some of Gdańsk town hall Ratusz Glównego Miasta (left) and the ‘crooked house’ Krzywy Domek (below)

Words and pictures by Sarah Więcek

Although I was born and raised in Australia, my surname gives me away straight off the bat: I am of Polish descent. My Grandfather was born in Poland, and like seemingly every European, he spoke about sixteen languages fluently. He did teach my siblings and me a few Polish ‘swear’ words, but on a recent trip to Gdańsk I learned that the words he taught us were woefully ‘old school’. Apparently exclaiming ‘dogs’ blood and thunder!’ when you slam your fingers in a drawer isn’t

quite as shocking as it used to be. Gdańsk is a small city bordering the Baltic Sea in Northern Poland. I travelled there with my boyfriend in early March, and we couchsurfed with a local man called Andrzej. Luckily for us, Andrzej was an historian with an in-depth and passionate explanation for everything we were seeing. We already knew that Gdańsk was under the Nazis between 19391945, that it was the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, and that it was mostly reconstructed after WWII bombings devastated the

region. As we were strolling down the pastel-coloured main street in Gdańsk (‘Długi Targ’, or ‘Long Market’), Andrzej explained that after the war the buildings were not reconstructed in their original style. The architectural style and the motifs used on the buildings were also not typical of Northern Poland. To a tourist and the not-sohistorically inclined, it might not matter so much, as the city has been very beautifully reconstructed and definitely lures the crowds. To a local, on the other hand, I guess this would be akin to having your beach

its towers date back to 1452. If you’re into your metaphysics, the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer was born in Gdańsk, and his birthplace still stands. There is also a stunning waterfront area on the banks of the Motława River, with cafés, bars and shops selling amber (a speciality of the Baltic region). A short trainjourney away is Sopot, a spa town that has the longest wooden pier in Europe (511 metres), stretching out into the Baltic Sea. The main street in Sopot also hosts a bizarre building that wouldn’t be out of place in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland: the ‘Krzywy Domek’ or ‘Crooked House’. Apart from sightseeing, we came across a fair few words that would put my surname to shame in the ‘pronunciation challenge’ stakes. I’ve spent a lifetime teaching native English speakers how to curl their tongues around ‘Więcek’, but unfortunately my Polish roots didn’t help me when it came to words like ‘pszczółki’ (yes, that’s five consonants before a vowel), ‘Wrzeszcz’ (a town we passed on the train), and ‘sześćdziesiąt’ (the Polish word for ‘sixty’). If you’re not already convinced that it’s worth visiting Gdańsk for the sights and the tongue-twisters, you might like to bear in mind that it’s also exceptionally cheap. Poland has not yet converted to the Euro, so at present one British pound is equivalent to 4.34 złotych. We got by on £40 for an entire weekend. This covered meals, transportation, gifts which were later confiscated by Australian Customs, and an undisclosed amount of vodka shots. Go on, give Gdańsk a go


Summer 2010 9

ArtSpace The second annual ArtSpace held in March featured performances, talks, walks and exhibitions throughout the college. The week started off with The Jiving Lindy Hoppers who posed the question: “What do we mean by street dance?” to the

audience at ‘Street Dance in Context’, ArtSpace’s keynote event. “We mean dance that isn’t commercialized. Commercialized dance loses street credibility, and dancers move onto something new.” At Street Dance in Context, one presenter and two Cake artistes

A walk in the park

Dueling it out photos: Kati Casoli

dancers gave audience members a hands-on lesson in the cakewalk, the shimmy, the Charleston, and more. After an introduction from Bill Lynch, resident director of HASS and the Webster Graduate School, a multimedia presentation of aweinspiring dancing was followed by authentic moves from members of the Jiving Lindy Hoppers. After the presentation, attendees enjoyed drinks and post-show discussion in the Knapp gallery. On Wednesday the rich and royal history of Regent’s Park was the topic for ‘The Regent and His Park’, a talk about the rich and royal history of Regent’s Park. Two of the College’s faculty who are the most qualified to share it, Professors David Brady and Sophie Laws, offered the audience of students, faculty and staff insights into the architectural and cultural history of Regent’s Park. Following this, Brady led a guided walk through the areas of interest in the Park. On Thursday, Professor Peter Verdon and Yong Choi gave it their all during A Duel of Honour: Fighting in the Renaissance Period in the Regent’s College dance studio. Dressed in clothing from the time period, Verdon, a qualified fencing master and stage fight choreographer and Yong Choi. demonstrated the techniques used when fighting with the rapier and dagger. Many students and faculty members were able to hold the weapons and try on the clothing. Also on Wednesday, the Refectory hosted the week’s sweetest event: a cupcake-decorating competition. For £2, students faced off for the title of “Best Cupcake Decorator,” with RACL student Ellen Ennes taking the crown with her icing and sweetie encrusted cake.

photo: Philip Grey

Doin’ the jive!

Good Fortune

A matter of opinion in Kenya by Marisa Mae Fultz

Human Rights Watch, in association with Regent’s College, hosted a screening of the film Good Fortune during Artspace week in March. The film followed two events taking place in two areas of Kenya to improve the lives of Kenyans and the effect these had on the people living there. In the slums of Kiberia, the United Nations was implementing a housing project and in the Yala Swamp, Dominion Farms was attempting to convert land into rice fields. The portion of the film taking place in Kiberia began with the planning process, including research done by the United Nations, and ended with the forced eviction by bulldozers - of thousands of residents from their homes without temporary accommodation provided. During the process, an election occurred in which the Kiberian people attempted to vote out the current president in an effort to stop the housing project. When their efforts failed, the dismay felt by the population was poignantly displayed, as were the challenges they faced to find new homes as a result of construction they didn’t want to happen in the first place.

In Yala, views from Dominion Farms and the Kenyan farmers were included. Dominion Farms believed they were trying to better the lives of the native people and the native people believed Dominion Farms was destroying their way of life. The actions by the American company included the spraying of diesel fuel and subsequent burning of land and the unintentional flooding of property not under their ownership. In the end, Dominion left when the dam broke and the farmers regained their ability to provide for themselves and their families. After the showing, two speakers, Dr. Lorena Arocha and Ben Rawlence, participated in a Q&A session, facilitated by Dr. Yossi Mekelberg, Programme Director of International Relations and Social Sciences at Webster Graduate School, London. Two themes recurred during this Q&A- the lack of emphasis on the political process, which enabled these two projects to occur and the lack of accountability, particularly at the government level in Kenya, which allowed its people to be taken advantage of . The film did an excellent job of raising awareness about these issues and the speakers did an excellent job of facilitating their deeper understanding.


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10 REGENT

Alumni

Learning how to fly by Francesca Barrow

Continuing our regular column where we focus on a graduate from one of our schools and see what they have been up to since they left the college. This issue we look at Brandon Bakshi, a graduate of the British American College (the former incarnation of Regent American College London) and Webster Gradute School Why did you choose to study at Webster Graduate School? It was close by my office and I was familiar with the campus after studying at the British American College for my undergraduate degree during my freshman year in 1991. Also, I was working full time at British Music Industry (BMI) and Webster graduate school gave me the flexibility to study part-time. What are your fondest memories of that time? Advanced corporate finance tutorial sessions with David Parrish and field trips to places such as the Bank of England. At Regent’s College, who inspired you most? David Parrish and James Knight What ambitions did you have for your career during your time as a student? To learn how to manage a small

office as a music business executive at BMI. Since taking your MBA at Webster Graduate School your career has had a strong international flavour, how did your time at Regent’s College prepare you for this? By having interaction with classmates and professors from all over the world. How did you start your career within the music industry? As an intern at BMI in 1993. What are you working on right now? I am focusing on the membership acquisition of songwriters and music publishers from Europe and Asia, as well as Jamaica. What does success mean to you? Doing a job that one loves to do and being paid for it at the same time. What are the most important things you have learnt during your career? Patience and it is all about timing. At BMI you are at the cutting edge of music trends across the world, who/what should we be looking out for this year? Marina and the Diamonds and Ding Dong. Embracing new technology has frequently been at the heart of popular music, what are your

thoughts on the current debate around file-sharing? The creators of music should be financially compensated and their works should be protected. Otherwise you will not have professional songwriters creating wonderful music. Time will tell if this is achieved through an ad sharing revenue model, all you can eat subscription, or pay per download. What is your advice to students just embarking on their study with us? Take advantage of the small classes to know your professors and the students. The connections and knowledge that you attain now may help you further down the line. What does networking mean to you and how do you use it? Networking means creating and maintaining connections with people that you can help and hopefully they can help you as well. However, if they do not reciprocate then that is ok as well. What is the value of a strong alumni network to you? The value is extremely important as I met my wife, Aigerim, at Webster Graduate School. How does NYC compare with London? NYC is a fabulous city although my heart is in London.

Throughout my whole academic career I have only ever been sure of one thing: that ‘the more I learn, the less I know’ Possessing a multitude of and a diverse range of skills doesn’t exactly endow one with clarity or focus when it comes to choosing a first job. However, it is equally true that ‘knowledge brings power’. And while you’re young, talented and vivacious, that power rests entirely in your hands. At a much simpler time in high school, my interests were anything to do with art, while I hated anything to do with maths. In art class I was interested to the extent that I could daydream while simultaneously lending enough ear to what my teacher was saying, that if asked (which I often was on account of the distant expression on my face), I could repeat what he said word for word. In maths however, my daydreams seemed to completely numb out anything that my teacher would attempt to get through to me. I knew that my degree should encompass all aspects of my creativity and it was also important that it should open the door to good career prospects. I thought that English Literature would allow me to enhance my communicative and analytical skills and would also look impressive on my then nonexistent CV. I worked hard to get good A levels, went through the headache of the UCAS ‘thang’ and hurrah; I was accepted into one of the most prestigious British colleges in London. Looking back, it still baffles me how anyone who enjoys learning would choose an institution known as ‘the pay and go school’ over the academic standards of a credited British university. Though often when a goal is reached, one is in a better position to actually imagine its reality. I realised that I would

have to study something other than literature to satisfy my other passions. At that time Regent’s seemed to be the perfect solution. It offered the opportunity to study Media Communications with a minor in English. I could broaden my knowledge of all aspects of the media, still keep up my English savvy and not destroy my social life. Regent’s provides one with two options right off the bat. The first is to waste all the money your parents invested into your education by spending the whole day smoking in the courtyard and matching your Lamborghini to your outfit (you know who you are). The second, is to actually use the resources available to you, work hard and learn something. Never having been one to settle for either black or white, I went for the grey. I spent my days in the library researching Rousseau and my nights hitting up Movida (which believe it or not was ‘hot’ at that time), expanding my knowledge and social life. I knew I needed to build a foundation which I could stand on after I graduated. I sought out internships based on where I saw my future going. In summer 2008, that prospect was at Vogue House. I felt that with my knowledge of so many subjects, my ability to write and my social skills, Tatler Magazine could be a likely route. No one can describe the amount you learn at the right internship, but like anything, it is up to you to make the best of the situation. While at Tatler, I showed my clips to the editor, asked millions of questions and used their fashion monitor to find out about events I could attend to network. What began as a two-week stint at Tatler, turned into two months, and made me confident in liaising with fashion buyers, researching articles, attending press events, graphic designing and

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Where on Earth are you? The global community of Regent’s College alumni stretches across 140 different countries. With alumni developing their careers in the most diverse fields, the alumni network is a great social and professional connection for you. When you graduate you can ensure that you continue to stay connected and informed of events and initiatives, by letting us know where you are and regularly updating your details via the alumni web pages at www. regents.ac.uk/alumni or by emailing us directly at alumni@regents.ac.uk Facebook: become a fan of the Regent’s College London Alumni page


Summer 2010 11

Education

Recession means boom time for personal tutors by Connie Alfrey

Last year I started tutoring to supplement the paltry income I was making as a freelance writer and part-time student at Regent’s college. In doing so I joined the estimated 1500 tutors currently beetling around London. Several of my friends have tutored for years and I’ve always envied them their flexible hours and the chance to break textbook spines again on dormant subjects. It’s also an excellent way to make some additional money while you’re studying. Being fluent in a foreign language or having a high level of mathematics will ensure you are in demand. Then all you need to do is check out some companies with clients in your area, pester them until something comes up that fits your timetable and soon you could be bringing in £45 an hour. With a huge demand for tutors at the moment, young college students or recent graduates for whom taking exams is not too distant a memory are the ideal candidates for the job. A recent Sutton Trust report indicates that 43% of young people in London today have received private tuition in some form during their

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database work. The following year, I decided to consolidate those skills by seeking a PR position. With my CV now boasting strong communication experience, I was offered a PR internship at a private client stockbroker in London. It was here that I really used my initiative. The more I became involved and shared my ideas, the more my employer would give me freedom. After six months of working there alongside attending my classes at Regent’s, I was in charge of a whole project for the company. I learnt that I enjoyed PR and had a knack for marketing, despite my interest in finance still stretching only so far as handing over a credit card in Prada. The combination of my internships and my degree courses made me feel that I was ready to enter ‘the real world’. Like a caterpillar, I had eaten every opportunity around me and it was time to enter phase two. At this point, I was over the drama of everyday life at Regent’s.

school years, up from 36% in 2005. Clearly this is going to increase even more if the plan by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Secretary of State for Children Ed Balls, to provide a personal tutor for every pupil at secondary school and catch-up tuition, including one-to-one for those falling behind is implemented. This would cost a staggering £468m and require a further hundred thousand tutors, making tutors as prevalent as Starbucks. Time to get in there ahead of the curve. Woody Webster, founder of tutoring agency Bright Young Things, receives dozens of applications a day from prospective tutors, but is particular about who he accepts on his books, focusing on Oxbridge graduates with niche skills. (Unsurprisingly half of Oxbridge applicants have been tutored beyond their school level). Webster admits there’s been a real surge of interest lately, due to increased redundancies: ‘Our tutors include ex-fund managers and post PhD mathematicians who should technically have jobs but don’t in the current climate. Our age bracket is still about 23-30 though, as we like tutors to be young, vibrant, enthusiastic and able to recall taking

exams themselves.’ The increased demand for tutors at the moment, according to Webster, is because “school doesn’t fit the requirements desired to excel at exams and in the system.”

Indeed, my hunger to achieve what I was capable at overrode the pleasure derived from partying. I worked doubly hard to ensure that I would be able to do this as quickly as possible. I graduated a year-and-a-half early. With diploma in hand and an updated CV, all that was left to be done was to jump in to the job search head first. Even searching on various websites and in newspapers is a learning process. One learns to match skills with job outlines extraordinarily well. I tried a job agency, but found that I could find a career just as well without letting go of a ten percent commission. To intertwine everything that I loved and had learnt thus far, I chose to seek a marketing role within a publishing house. I wanted to be able to learn more about the publishing process, to keep writing about everything I found exciting and also to be able to directly communicate and network. I am now happily employed at a magazine company in London and am involved in the development of

a relatively young magazine. I sell advertisements, I get to talk to a variety of different people, develop marketing skills and learn how to form alliances with businesses. Most importantly, I am in the midst of the publication process. I am also currently finishing off my debut album (no, I could never let my love of music go), continuing my artwork and taking French classes to finally become fluent after fifteen years of secondary school tutoring. In the future, I hope to grow in a PR position and write freelance about whatever my heart desires. If my music takes off that would also be wonderful. Eventually, I would like to begin my own company, of which the ideas are already in the pipeline. The biggest lesson I have learnt is that it’s ok not to be completely sure of your ‘niche’; as long as you are doing something that involves the use of all your skills so that when the day comes that you are sure, you have the world at your feet. And most importantly, the ability to fly.

“Our tutors include ex-fund managers and post PhD mathematicians who should technically have jobs but don’t in the current climate.” Bright Young Things now has more than 100 tutors on its books, of which I am one, having found the enthusiasm of others for tutoring contagious. I was asked to provide a wad of documentation including references, CV and a statement from the Criminal Records Bureau declaring I was neither a nutter, nor paedophile. Through another agency, Enjoy Education, I was soon in command of a few students

hovering around the 11-plus, senior school entry level. I predominantly tutor English, but also science and maths, which involve substantially more preparatory work, as there’s been a bit of an interim since I donned a white coat. With the exams being harder for science and maths, the majority of tutors focus in these areas. Time to spark up the dim recollections of Bunsen burner flames and burning peanut experiments from years gone by. Tutoring is emotionally taxing as it’s a big responsibility. My French friend Louis found himself tutoring French literature to undergraduates in a lull between City jobs, and despite finding it extremely rewarding and commanding £45 an hour, he claims that having to do at least five hours preparation made it not quite the hourly windfall that it sounds. Even more strenuous is going ‘on holiday’ with a family as a live-in tutor. Ettie, 30, was made redundant from her job in financial PR last year and has since set up her own PR company, while also pursuing a part-time Psychotherapy course. As a supplement, she tutors 12 yearold Sam twice a week and regularly

travels with his family to France, where she’s paid on the basis of working four hours a day, with an extra £30 for the inconvenience. “I always end up doing about six hours though,” she says, “as I’m so keen for Sam to get ahead, and I then end up having to talk about his progress with the parents over dinner. The fine wine and food is a perk but I’m definitely constrained by the family’s boundaries.” I don’t think I’ll be swapping madness and mojitos for tutoring ‘breaks’ just yet, but for the moment I’m very much enjoying tutoring and I highly recommend it to students grappling within the constraints of their student loans. I find tutoring complements my other pursuits of freelance journalism and studying Psychotherapy at the college. Plus one of my pupils Sophia is a very able gymnast as she demonstrated by jumping up and spinning a one handed cartwheel followed by the splits the other day, proving to me we can all learn something from one another. I was about to attempt the splits myself when I remembered that as I am supposed to be the omniscient tutor, it would be foolish to attempt something the student could do better.

Puzzle corner A prize will be given to the first correct set of answers to the questions below to reach Dr. I.C. Brown (Regent’s American College London) 1. Here is a diagram showing an array of 8 by 8 small squares. How many squares OF ANY SIZE are there in the diagram?

2. By being methodical in your approach to question 1, find what the answer would be if we had (i) an array of 100 by 100 small squares, (ii) an array of n by n small squares. email your solutions to browni.ac.uk


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12 REGENT

Theatre

Lightning fails to strike twice for Lloyd-Weber by Olaf Jubin

It was always a risible idea – to present a sequel to the stage musical that had become the most successful event in entertainment history. Hollywood thrives on further instalments, musical theatre doesn’t: even George and Ira Gershwin flopped with Let ‘Em Eat Cake, their 1933 follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Of Thee I Sing (1931). And only masochists recall the train-wrecks that were “Annie Warbucks” (the 1993 sequel to “Annie”) or “Bring Back Birdie” (the 1981 sequel to “Bye Bye Birdie”). But, 24 years after The Phantom of the Opera first haunted London’s Her Majesty’s Theatre; here it is, seemingly undeterred by any lessons offered by theatre history: Love Never Dies, the most eagerly awaited musical of the 2009/2010 theatre season. The Phantom of the Opera, an adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1911 novel, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart has earned more than $3.3 billion worldwide. It has been seen by more than 100 million people. With more than 25 million copies sold, the original cast album is among the most successful recordings ever released. All of this clearly must have been an incentive to finally finish a musical that was started more than 10 years ago and then abandoned by the composer for other projects. Lloyd Webber has always avoided calling Love Never Dies a ‘sequel’ or Phantom 2. Instead, he insists, it is a ‘continuation’ of the story, bringing back all the beloved characters of the original. Which leads us directly to the major problem of Love Never Dies: none of the people on stage have much in common with the protagonists of Phantom. At the end of the 1986 show, budding opera star Christine chooses her childhood sweetheart Raoul over the disfigured artist living underneath the Paris opera house. Love Never Dies is set 10 years later in New York. With the help of former ballet mistress Mme Giry and her daughter Meg, the Phantom has fled to America where he has acquired a fortune by creating one of the main attractions on Coney Island, ���Phantasma’, a sort of vaudeville theatre plus freakshow ride. Never having got over his love for Christine, he invites the

Love Never Dies...but it did The Phantom (Ramin Karimloo) and Christine (Sierra Boggess) now-famous diva to sing at his new Coney Island venue. This is the basic set up for a story that grows more and more bewildering as it unfolds. Bewildering, because none of the characters concocted by the plethora of librettists – the official credit reads: Book by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton, with Glenn Slater and Frederick Forsyth – is recognizable. The Phantom, the former avantgarde opera composer and aesthete, now presents vaudeville ditties such

as “Bathing Beauty”. Even worse, instead of driving the plot with his elaborate schemes, he now mostly re-acts. Furthermore, when choosing Coney Island as their setting, did none of the authors realize that if the Phantom can just walk around in public wearing his mask and nobody bats an eyelid, they killed off the drama? Instead of the archetypal young ingénue who was enthralled and frightened by the masked creature, we get a Christine who is reduced

now to doting mother and devoted wife. Raoul has become an alcoholic and a gambler who has squandered the family fortune. He clearly is no longer suitable for Christine, meaning that the love triangle falls flat. Mme. Giry has turned into Mrs. Danvers out of Hitchcock’s Rebecca. And her daughter Meg not only is a fully-fledged neurotic, but also inexplicably has fallen for the Phantom’s charm. None of this is explained in any of the lengthy songs that fill

us in about what happened in the intervening years. Long after we have figured it out for ourselves, Raoul confesses in his second act solo “Why Does She Love Me?” that he is a failure as husband and father. But the far more pressing question why he has become such a jerk is left unanswered. Then there is Gustave, Christine’s 10 year-old son. Gustave is a musical prodigy and a mere plot contrivance who – spoiler alert! – turns out to be the Phantom’s son. But wasn’t the original Phantom revealed to be impotent, in what came across as a rather puzzling negation of all the sexual tension that had driven the plot up to that point? The revelation of Gustave’s real father is set up so clumsily that it is utterly anti-climactic when it finally arrives. In all fairness, though, it has to be said that the song explaining how the child was conceived (“Beneath a Moonless Sky”) is so bizarre that is constitutes one of the more interesting moments of an evening severely lacking in narrative tension. And so what was originally a mythic retelling of the Beauty and the Beast tale, that cleverly combined thrills and romance, turns into a custody battle set to music: “He’s my son!” – “No, mine!” (Since Gustave, by the way, recognizes his real father, by “looking with his heart”, one wonders why the “Jeremy Kyle Show” is so obsessed with DNA tests.) The irritation reaches its peak with a real dud of an ending. The original was written by Lloyd Webber to showcase his then-wife Sarah Brightman, in the role of Christine. Now no longer married to Brightman, the composer obviously has decided that Christine has become expendable. Audiences will beg to differ. This plot resolution is of the “You gotta be kidding!” variety. Not only will it upset fans of the 1986 show, it also leaves the rather frightening prospect that there might be another ‘continuation’ in the year 2034, Son of Phantom. The music is the only really successful element here – all throughout the evening we are presented with lush and intriguing melodies that hark back to the European operetta tradition. The orchestrations are less successful. The hard rock instrumentation of “The Beauty

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Summer 2010 13

The revelation of Gustave’s real father is set up so clumsily that it is utterly anti-climactic when it finally arrives.

Ideas are expressed through subtle and uncomplicated staging techniques...11 and 12 is a show about limitations and the necessity of tolerance

11 and 12: Dividing communities and audiences by Rainey Latislaw

Peter Brook

Peter Brook’s innovative style of direction explores the process of integrating audience and concept until the two mesh together within a single moment in time. Such is the case with his latest production, ‘11 and 12’, at the Barbican Theatre. Upon entering the theatre, one’s focus is drawn immediately to a barren stage with trunk-like sticks on wheels, sand, and an array of unidentifiable musical instruments assembled downstage left. Before any action takes place on the stage, however, the audience is increasingly aware of a deeper meaning. Adapted from the work of Amadou Hampâté Bâ, 11 and 12 tells the story of a religious dispute among the Sufi community in Frenchoccupied West Africa over whether a certain prayer should be said 11 or 12 times. The dispute is made worse by the intervention of the French, eventually leading to tribal disputes. Initially the viewer believes the play’s narrator, Hampate Ba, to be the focus of the piece; however, it soon becomes clear it is Tierno Bokar, a Sufi spiritual leader, whose attempt to resolve the prayer issue seems like a small thing from the outside. Although the play is set 80 years ago, the connections to contemporary issues are easy to spot. ‘It shows what happens when religion fails to accommodate dissent in the pursuit

Peter Brook, born in 1925, remains one of the world’s most influential and frequently controversial theatre innovators and directors. His first production was in 1945 and within two years he had started work as an assistant director of the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford upon Avon. Disheartened by what he perceived as the narrowness of much of the Western theatre tradition, he continued his work outside Britain, forming the International Centre for Theatre Research with a crack company of actors, dancers and musicians, and working extensively in Africa and the Middle East, often touring large scale and ambitious productions to enormous international acclaim. Subsequently, he transferred his company to a permanent home at the Bouffes du Nord Theatre in Paris, where he continued to develop his theatrical language and style, only resigning in 2008. Despite being in his eighties, he continues to direct and devise, and remains one of the most significant forces in theatrical innovation, frequently honoured, and winning prizes and awards around the world.

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Underneath”, the finale to Act I, for instance, seems totally out of place. But as so often in his career, the composer has undermined his best interests by choosing the wrong collaborators. After seeing We Will Rock You and working with Ben Elton on The Beautiful Game, shouldn’t Lloyd Webber know better than to use Elton again? Lyricist Glenn Slater fares slightly better, even though he has the unenviable task of coming up with words to Lloyd Webber’s insistently used recitative. Slater is much better suited to musical comedy, as evidenced by his lyrics for Sister Act, which show a wit and originality sorely missing here. The show is directed by Jack O’Brien, who was hired by Lloyd

Religious tensions. (left to right) Jared McNeill, Makram J. Khoury, Toshi Tsuchitori

photo: Pascal Victor ArtComArt

of sectional truths,’ reviewer Michael Billington wrote in The Guardian newspaper. The play also spotlights the devastation caused by European powers that impose their values upon others they don’t understand. Sound familiar? These ideas are expressed through subtle and uncomplicated staging techniques that allow the viewer to be a fly on the wall. There is a lovely moment where a folded cloth becomes a gently rocking boat as the narrator crosses a river. Brook

uses a calm, meditative approach to the action of the drama. Even the moments of intense action are effectively spiritual, as seen when a group member is captured and has his feet burned by members of the other group. This elegant symbolic staging is typical of a Peter Brook work. 11 and 12 is a show about limitations and the necessity of tolerance. Even as Tierno decides to take the higher road and change his opinion on the so-called correct number of prayers, resulting in

his banishment, the loss of all his followers, friends, and family, and eventual death, we are left not with anger, but with resolution. Some viewers did not enjoy the minimalist approach to the piece, finding it irritating after a while. The mellow pace can take viewers out of the action, while the philosophical dialogue becomes dizzyingly hard to follow at times. Overall, it proves to be a piece that makes one think, by one of the most provoking directors of our time.

Webber on the strength of his staging of the hit musical Hairspray. Nothing in that fun show suggested that O’Brien could pull this off, and he can’t. He proves himself out of his depth with staging that is mostly inept. In painfully slowmoving scenes with songs that don’t drive the plot forward, he resorts to visual compositions that are as uninteresting as they are without meaning. Instead of any steamy love scenes we get lots of dry ice, always the last resort for any director running out of tricks. It wasn’t a good omen that several of the people who were major contributors to the success of the 1986 musical are not connected with Love Never Dies, especially producer Cameron Mackintosh and director Harold Prince. Love Never Dies proves (if

proof were needed) how much The Phantom of the Opera depended

was Prince who turned what could have been a story plagued by plotholes into a coherent drama full of scenic delights and suggestive moments of sensual mystery. Just as sorely missed is set and costume designer Maria Björnson whose untimely death prevented her involvement with the new show. Her replacement, Bob Crowley, has created amazing décor in the past (for instance for Mary Poppins), but here the mixture of projections (by Jon Driscoll) with Crowley’s flat backdrops and art deco-inspired sets and props never comes together as a coherent design concept or help to advance the plot. The cast is not to blame: Ramin Karimloo (Phantom), Sierra Boggess (Christine), Joseph Millson (Raoul), Liz Robertson (Mme Giry), and Summer Strallen (Meg) are all

Raoul (Joseph Millson). on Prince’s marvellously fluid and psychologically astute staging. It

supremely accomplished actors and singers, struggling valiantly but in vain with roles that have fewer dimensions than paper cut-outs. Love Never Dies is a show that is unlikely to find an audience. Fans of the original Phantom will hate it, and people who haven’t seen the first part won’t care. Word of mouth is destined to be toxic – there already is a Facebook site called “Love Must Die” created by enraged Phantom admirers – so it is far from certain that the planned transfers to Broadway and Australia will happen. It clearly is time for Andrew Lloyd Webber to bid a final goodbye to the Phantom. The most haunting aspect of Love Never Dies is its implication that the most successful theatre composer alive seems unable to put the ghost of his biggest commercial smash behind him and move on.


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14 REGENT

Comment

Will Universal Healthcare cure the U.S.A? by David Bolton

I have a confession to make. I don’t have health insurance. I have never had health insurance. In fact, I have never needed coverage to ensure that my having surgery or needing to purchase prescription drugs to ward off an extreme case of swine flu would not leave my bank balance looking like it had been mugged by Bernie Madoff. I have been lucky by having lived most of my life in a country which has Universal Healthcare in the shape of the National Health Service, a system that has provided the essential services required in the event of individual sickness or elective surgery. For over 6o years, residents in the UK have been able to see their local doctor, go to a hospital or be able to purchase prescribed medicine over the counter without the fear of being presented with an enormous bill. Last year, I moved to America. Unlike the NHS, everyone needs to have insurance which you can either purchase privately or have access to through your employer. If you are over 65 you can sign up for the government run Medicare scheme or if you are a military veteran coverage is also provided by the government. I am currently unemployed (or at the very most earning a minimum

wage through freelance work), not over 65, not a military veteran and live in a State where health insurance is required by law. If I were to take out health insurance it would cost me $350 per month, which I don’t have. Happily though, I live in Massachusetts which does provide some universal healthcare under the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, which was part of sweeping reforms enacted in The Bay State in 2006.

Prominent politicians claimed that reform would lead to “governmentendorsed death panels deciding who lives or dies” But this still doesn’t solve the inherent problems with healthcare that Barack Obama had identified during his successful Presidential campaign and which he vowed to solve when he took office on 20 January, 2009. In 2008, the US census bureau estimated that 47 million people in America out of a total population of

300 million were either uninsured or did not have access to adequate healthcare facilities. For a country that prides itself on delivery of The American Dream that is a damning statistic not to be proud of. Matt Taibi in Rolling Stone magazine (September 3, 2009) summed it up by stating that “America has not only the worst but the dumbest healthcare system in the developed world. It’s become a black leprosy eating away at the American experiment – a bureaucracy so insipid and mean and illogical that even our darkest criminal minds wouldn’t be equal to dreaming it up on purpose. The system doesn’t work for anyone.” Strong words, but as healthcare costs have continued to soar in the economically challenged USA, affordable coverage has become harder to find. From what I have observed in my short time here, even those with coverage aren’t guaranteed access to affordable healthcare and for those who live on or below the Federal Poverty Line, the options are severely limited. According to the BBC, over half of all personal bankruptcies in the US are partially due to medical expenses and even people with insurance have discovered that the policies are severally limited when it comes to actual treatment.

The media has highlighted cases where coverage has been denied to thousands of Americans due to “preexisting conditions”, all of which has merely increased the pressure on the healthcare industry to agree to some sort of reform. For someone arriving from a country that does provide healthcare for its citizens, the debate that has raged for over a year is nothing short of astonishing. Right-wing media commentators have claimed it is an assault on freedom and have whipped up associations such as The Tea Party into a frenzy of protest against Obamacare. Prominent politicians claimed that reform would lead to “governmentendorsed death panels deciding who lives or dies” (for those interested her initials are SP) and there have been demonstrations the length of the country by those for and against healthcare reform. In Congress, one Republican declared that the proposed bill would “lay a socialist utopia on the backs of the American people” whilst another accused the Democrats of being “baby killers”. So it came as a huge surprise when in November 2009, both Congress and the Senate agreed to draft a bill that would enable healthcare reform within the USA. On 21 March 2010, after some fierce and compelling televised debate, the bill was passed by 219 votes to

212 with no Republican backing. On 23 March 2010, President Barack Obama finally signed his landmark legislation. From 2014, the system of healthcare in the USA will be set for the largest overhaul since the Second World War and extend coverage to 32 million Americans. That is not a typo. The majority of the key reforms will come into full effect in 2014. For the uninsured with a pre-existing condition, immediate access to an emergency pool of cash will be available and children up to the age of 26 can remain on their parents’ policy. Neither of these helps me out. I still can’t afford $350 a month and, as a resident alien, I am exactly the sort of drain on the system that Glenn Beck and his followers fear will drag the country down into a quasi-socialist; welfare-dependent state from which it will never recover. So I will just have to make sure that I don’t get ill before 2014. If I do, I shall be rushing back to the comforting arms of the NHS. Real, if flawed, Universal Healthcare. David Bolton graduated from RACL in December 2008 and moved to the USA. He blogs under the name Limeyview (Ramblings of A Resident Alien) which can be found at: http:// davidjbolton.wordpress.com”

Golden Apple shoots itself in the head by Max Kaplan

In a few short years, Apple has grown from a near-bankrupt company selling quality computers for fanboys and graphic designers, to a global force-to-be-reckonedwith, dominating the mobile phone, music and (slowly) computer industries. Apple is a brand respected by its long-time users for exceptional customer service and long-lasting products. So, what’s the problem? Call me crazy, but I believe that somewhere in its transition from industry underdog to computer du jour, a bit of Apple’s customer service mentality, and some of its charm, has gone by the wayside.

While I won’t bore you with nostalgia, I remember the days when the local Apple store was a comfortable place to mingle with holy Geniuses and scope out the technological wonders of tomorrow - and occasionally get a computer fixed. Now, with the massive crowds; hour-long lines for testing computers; bitter, overworked “Geniuses” (whose titles are often debatable); and questionable service at the Genius Bar, I consider stopping by a happy hour session before I enter. My service trauma recently peaked at Apple’s London flagship store on Regent Street. I was off a plane from the States fewer than 12 hours before my black

MacBook crashed and wouldn’t get past a “do not enter” symbol, a problem I’d encountered before. I knew immediately that I was

“I don’t have time to answer your questions. Please move so I can help the next customer.” experiencing my third (yes, third) fatal hard drive failure, which always means total data loss. I rushed to Regent Street. After

my “Genius” fumbled with my computer for a few minutes, I told him my diagnosis. He agreed and told me it would be several hundred pounds, and require a trip to a third-party service centre to recover my data. Side note: when I experienced this problem in the States, my Genius backed up all my data for $70 in-store. Draw your own conclusions. Much to my chagrin, said Genius told me to come back for my computer in three weeks. Two hours after leaving it, I received a call from the Apple store asking me to pick my MacBook up. While I’d experienced a hard drive crash before, it was most upsetting to be handed back an entirely erased

computer with a three- year-old operating system. I started to ask the Genius if he could give me pointers on restoring data. He replied, “I don’t have time to answer your questions. Please move so I can help the next customer.” And that was that! My first and only Apple London experience was indeed traumatic, but I’m not one to hold grudges. I have never been a PC person and will always be a Mac user, but as the rest of the world jumps on the bandwagon, will the brand come back to earth? Steve Jobs’ recent move to start issuing personal responses from his iPad to customer emails is certainly a start in the right direction.


Summer 2010 15

Around Town Tired of always going to the same old boring places? Let The Regent show you the way to find some hidden gems

My Hidden London - Anna Sullivan (HASS Senior Lecturer, theatre) “Sir, if you wish to have a just notion of the magnitude of this city, you must not be satisfied with seeing its great streets and squares, but must survey the innumerable little lanes and courts. It is not in the showy evolutions of buildings, but in the multiplicity of human habitations which are crowded together, that the wonderful immensity of London consists.” So wrote Dr Johnson, one of this city’s greatest advocates, whose home is one of my suggestions for an escape into the lesser known treasures of the city. Welcome to my London. When you’ve ticked off Big Ben and the British Museum and you’re getting bored with Sports Bar, try something the natives do for fun at the weekend: Dr Samuel Johnson’s House, 17 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE (Temple, Holborn or Chancery Lane Tube) ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life,’ declared the author of the English language’s first dictionary. This is rare treat in London; an intimate domestic dwelling built in 1700, hidden in a small square, that reveals something of fashionable 18th century London life, and something of the character of the brilliant man of letters. Also a museum dedicated to Dr Johnson‘s life and works, you get a real sense of his personality. The house often hosts exhibitions, lectures, twilight tours and small-scale theatre productions relevant to Dr Johnson and his literary friends. Look out for the really clever movable wooden wall on the first floor. Follow it up with a glass of English ale at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub round the corner, rebuilt in 1667 after the fire of London, and patronised by the great man himself. Sunday Morning at Columbia Road Flower Market (Old Street and Bethnal Green Tubes, then walk or Buses 26, 48, 55) This is quite the jolliest, edgily fashionable and unique set of shops and cafes, threaded through with a riot of fabulous flower and plant stalls. The shops date from the 1860’s and many were originally wood turning and milling factories. Each Sunday, stalls selling everything from exotic bird of paradise blooms to humble anemones line the street, with vendors offering cut price blossoms in huge armfuls. Just the place to buy an orchid for £5 to brighten up your Reid Hall bedroom. Breakfast at cafes selling miniature cup cakes, cappuccino, smoked salmon bagels and fresh oysters(!), and buy desirable, idiosyncratic gifts to take home to family and friends from the shops in the surrounding area. An Afternoon on Hampstead Heath (see a map for entry points and routes across the Heath: Hampstead Heath Tube, 24, 46 or 168 buses) As soon as the weather is warm (yes, it will happen) head up to London’s ‘Beach’. The Heath is a glorious sprawling mix of ancient woodland, meadows and hills that is crowned by a lovely mansion, Kenwood House. Entrance is free, and a succession of elegant rooms contain a terrific set of paintings, including a Rembrandt self portrait, a Vermeer and several other gems of European art. After Earl Grey tea and lemon drizzle cake in the walled garden café, cross the Heath to the bathing ponds (Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Bathing), for an al fresco swim among the frogs and dragon flies. Supper and a Show in Dalston, 27 Arcola St, London, E8 2DJ (30 bus from Marylebone Road, or Tube from Baker Street to Highbury and Islington, then London Overground to Dalston Kingsland) Arcola Street in Dalston, in London’s East End, offers two of the city’s lesser known treats. The small but highly regarded Arcola Theatre, housed in a converted textile factory, produces eclectic seasons of plays, and Tuesday is ‘pay what you can’ night. It has a shabby-chic foyer full of elderly squashy sofas, a café/ bar, and the guarantee of a stimulating night of cutting edge performance. After the show, cross the road to the tiny Mangal Restaurant which serves fabulous and very cheap Turkish food cooked before your eyes on an ocakbasi grill; try the barbecued lamb with yogurt. St John’s Lodge Gardens: The Hidden Gem on Your Doorstep Just around the corner from the college, off the Inner Circle just past Chester Road, in a small turning through a tiny gate, lies a gorgeous hidden garden, elegantly designed, beautifully planted, full of benches and lawns where you can sit and picnic and enjoy the spring sunshine. It is attached to an 1812 Nash Villa, one of only two remaining from the original plan for the park. A great place to spend the afternoon reading a Jane Austen novel, eating ice cream and pretending you live in the grand house with Mr. Darcy (or Elizabeth Bennett?).

SEND US YOUR SUGGESTIONS AND PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THE NEXT EDITION OF THE REGENT: Submissions to vineyl@regents.ac.uk or greyp@regents.ac.uk

Get off the campus, on the bus, explore and enjoy.


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16 REGENT

Finding fulfillment working with those with less Two Regent’s students tell of their experiences volunteering to teach children in India and Kenya by Becky Kuykendall

by Haya Asif

Leading a life as a mentally challenged person in India is more difficult than people might think. India’s ability to treat, care for and rehabilitate mentally ill patients leaves much to be desired. On the whole, mentally ill people are treated with little or no dignity and often just locked away. Society doesn’t accept them and if they are born in certain villages they are often considered as a curse. Believe it or not, many of them are often sold away for land or money. Luckily organisations such as S.P.J. Sadhana are determined to change that. S.P.J. Sadhana School, based in Mumbai, uses love and discipline to transform the lives of children who would normally be shunned by society. “Education is an endless journey through knowledge and enlightenment. Real education enhances the dignity of a human being and increases his self- respect. It transforms our world into a better place to live in peace and communal harmony,” explains Sister Gaitonde, Principal of S.P.J. Sadhana. These words have been a guiding light for the special students at the school founded in 1973, and challenge them to reach their potential intellectually, physically and morally. As a volunteer at Sadhana, my day began with assembly, seen as particularly important because it includes laughter therapy and prayers and enables all students to interact with other children

and teachers. Activites include music and games, trips to theatre and exhibitions. The students also receive training in grooming, manual work and following instructions, and are encouraged to show a cheerful attitude to others and pride in their work. This became apparent every morning when the students came running up to me with loud cries of “Namaste Aunty.” During my placement at Sadhana I was asked to teach a lesson. Having never taught students before, I felt completely lost. Lesson plans needed to be tailor-made for each individual in a way that takes each disability and limitation into account. Therefore, I contemplated that the best way to teach in this manner would be to first unlearn what I “knew”. I visualised that I was the student awaiting the lesson from my teacher. What guidance would I seek from my teacher to begin performing the task? These thoughts helped me plan how to format the lesson plan. Instead of teaching the students ‘what’ to think, I taught them ‘how’ to think and how to learn. Empathising with the needs of the students brought me closer to them and created a bond which remained long after I ended my placement. After a few weeks at the school I moved on to Om Creations, a registered non-profit organization in Mumbai that provides professional training and support for women

with Down’s Syndrome and other mental disabilities. Om Creations aims to ensure that these women live as normal a life as is possible. Their production centre buzzes with activity and their special workers fit into a routine, manufacturing craft and ceramic items, designing and making handmade silk scarves, as well as cooking and baking, for sale. Exhibitions are held to promote the products at the private and corporate level. Bollywood celebrities such as Karishma Kapoor attend the ‘Om Bazaar day’ to participate as well as to buy their beautiful products. I looked up to these women because they taught me the way to overcome the difficulties in life is to “treat people as you would like to be treated”. After working for these inspiring women, I began to realize that not only do the women at Om Creations instantly make visitors like me feel at home. They are also excellent at their work. If they get the support they deserve, these organizations will continue to grow and transform the lives of people with special needs who pass through their doors. They will hopefully inspire people to try and treat mentally challenged people with the respect they truly deserve. My voluntary work experience as a teacher had, within a short time span, helped to make these places become an integral part of my life and they will remain in my heart always.

When asked to describe my recent visit to Mombasa, Kenya, I am unavoidably at a loss for words. Mombasa is a town of paradox; its extreme poverty contrasts steeply with a booming tourist industry; its shortcomings are underpinned and perpetuated by years of government corruption. And yet, for some reason, I find that worn-out descriptions such as “devastating” or “heartbreaking” fail to depict what I experienced in Kenya. I taught English and Maths in a slum of Bombolulu: six classes per day in what we would recognize as a shack. I spent the entire week, breathing in chalk dust, sweating and keeping students entertained. I observed the children, ate lunch with them and didn’t let them return to their seats until they had got the answer correct on their own. Fouryears-old, or sixteen-years-old, they

demolish

us completely. And although the children have very little to aspire to, they push through it. For this reason, when I describe Kenya, I don’t think of it as devastating or heartbreaking. It is a place filled with fascinating individuals just like you and me, who were never given a fair chance to reach their potential. Forget about the mud huts, tattered clothing, and long faces. Kenyans have a resilience that most of us find difficult to grasp. They don’t gripe about what could be. They are satisfied. Forget about the heaps of burning rubbish, HIV infection rates, and sullen expressions. Instead, think of the amount of strength required to sustain oneself in these conditions, the amount of courage needed. Spare your pity for Kenya, it does nothing to bring about positive change. Instead, be inspired and learn from these people. And in return, give them what they need the

Little Mary scans with interest a pocket-size book of Swahili phrases. were all starving for knowledge. The average Kenyan doesn’t have excessive luxuries to entertain their fleeting interests. They can do perfectly fine without. The concept of improvement is almost incomprehensible because there is so little proof of it. Many Kenyans have survived events that would

most: Hope. Volunteers are always needed. If you let it, your experience can result in a commodity so rich that words or value cease to apply – this is something I know to be true. To find out how you can contribute in a long-term, sustainable way, please visit: http://www.actionthisday.org.au.

photos: Becky Kuykendall


The Regent - Issue 7 Summer 2011