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T HE INTERNATIONAL ISSUE THE INTERNATIONAL ISSUE

FASHION MUSIC ART LITERATURE FILM LIFE

RIBBED RIBBEDMAGAZINE MAGAZINE

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w orshi p, p raise & tribute


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T

he perception of the modern day is to be in existence at the highest form of communication - thus connection We are continuously discovering and unveiling new territories, through persons incidents, phenomenons‌ However it is a common conception to feel isolated - uninspired... Are we loosing sight of true connection?

Culture is the essence of internationalism - be it local, remote, global let us not forget that for a real notional link to be connected, it is not to forget the roots of those that may be placed in the same street or the other side of the world but take sight and embrace their whereabouts & influences... As culture is what moulds our characteristics and our ability to evolve to be international is a state of mind:

a pilgrimage of discovery, experience & knowledge.

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EDITORS LETTER

With the administrators of the 'suggested' and 'we thought you might likes' narrowing our initiative to explore, our journey is mapped in accordance to our 'likes' but with this the element of discovery is cut short.


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrowmindedness.” –Mark Twain 5


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KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THE QR CODES THROUGHOUT TO BE REDIRECTED TO RELATING VIDEOS


SCAN THE QR CODE TO BE TAKEN TO THE ONLINE VERSION OF RIBBED MAGAZINE * 7


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THIS IS WHAT WE SEE EVERYDAY. THESE ARE THE DECISIONS THAT WE MAKE.

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- w orld communit y can e x ist only w ith w orld communication , w hich means something more than e x tensi v e short - w a v e facilities scattered ; about the globe . I t means common understanding , a common tradition , common ideas , and common ideals . 11


Off The Road. words by james Mitchell

Discovering the spirit of Dean Moriarty & Sal Paradise.

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He mentioned his involvement in inter-religious dialogue groups, and his ‘spiritual master’ who told him “Jimmy, look up at the stars. That is the vastness of you heart”, “I still haven’t figured that out” he said with sincerity and admiration for his master.

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immy was a picture. He was athletic, classically handsome, and casually, but attentively dressed. A proponent of the modern day quiff that was unshakable by the ocean breeze, and a brow that wouldn’t sweat in a sauna; Jimmy was cool and clean. Born and raised in an Irish Catholic family in Chicago we met Jimmy in Newport Beach, Orange County, California where he now lived with his cat and, occasionally, his girlfriend. Two friends and I were coming to the end of our California road trip when we arrived wide eyed in Orange County for July 4th. We had hastily arranged through couchsurfing to stay with some Californian dudes for the nights of the 3rd and 4th of July in the hope of experiencing Independence Day in all its extravagance and colour. A day spent drinking beer on the balcony of our host’s apartment introduced us to the numerous friends and neighbours who came and went through the ever open door; the novelty of British guests meant that we were offered numerous places to stay, drinks, and ‘if you ever come to...’ proposals. Although we were genuinely welcomed and treated like kings, the underlying social bravado that had become a feature of our trip was at this point at it’s peak, and this was where I truly began to understand what Jack Kerouac’s  ‘On the Road’ encapsulated. Of all the characters we met in those five weeks Jimmy would epitomise the frustrated spirit of Kerouac.

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he man was a seed of the BEAT generation that had simply never took with the American winds as Kerouac and Cassady had done.

Jimmy had offered us an airbed at his place around the corner for the night of the 3rd, and with this guarantee of a good nights sleep we gladly accepted. We bid ‘see you tomorrow’ to our original hosts and followed Jimmy’s lead to a taxi. You were always one step behind with Jimmy, he had that restless energy about him which was at the heart of Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise’s adventures, it was his constantly roving eyes that gave him away. The short taxi ride to his apartment was fraught with tension; his girlfriend who had that day sprained her knee, and who he was in the process of breaking up with, was in attendance to make for an altogether cramped experience. Jimmy’s apartment was, like the man, clean and neat. Like Tyler Durden’s, our new host’s fridge was full of condiments but no food, something which struck me as unsurprising; he gave the impression of a man who didn’t have time to eat or sleep. Whilst his girlfriend saw to the cat’s dinner and our drinks he invited us into his study for ‘duties’, where upon entry he revealed a sizable pile of cocaine and accompanying credit card and twenty dollar bill. An offer, or ‘duty’, politely declined by the three visiting Englishmen didn’t deter him from indulging, whilst amused raised eyebrows circulated the three of us. Who was this character we were staying with? Somewhat of a Casanova it seemed; in the 4 hours after Jimmy’s powder nightcap his phone flashed like a siren as his girlfriend’s tired glances toward it told of one of the reasons their relationship was slowly ending. He offered to show her the texts he’d received, an offer which she declined, and one which conjured

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more furtive glances between his guests who were becoming increasingly amused at the awkwardness of it all. Jimmy had that bit of Dean Moriarty about him; the female attention, and presumably opportunity, that he couldn’t turn down, but which was perhaps unintentionally exuded as the boundlessness of a true romantic. He made no mention of the correspondence received to us, but it was his silence that spoke so loud. He knew we had the measure of him, but his effortless cool thrived on such presumptions about his relationships and their numeration. He was like Dean in another sense too, an intellectual wrestling with the physique and natural talent of an athlete, an archetypal College graduate every American parent wishes they could introduce Mrs Robinson to. He regaled to us his days as the high-school quarter back, which he assured us “was just like the movies, I could cheat exams and all the rest of it...” The exclusion of any more detail created an aura of nonchalance about his life, and it was this mystique that kept us hooked for more. But more was something Jimmy gladly obliged, because like many of the ghosts of Sal and Dean we met, until now it was only skin deep conversation that had been exchanged. Any discussion of jobs, or life outside of the weekend, was brief and reluctantly entertained, as if the people of Orange County had a facade of surf, sun and parties that they feared would be seen through. But there was more to Jimmy. We took our drinks to the balcony, where by now he was sat with wide pupils, and one leg on the other, lit by the apartment lights with an American flag twitching in the wind behind him. He was reclined but finely poised to lean forward sharply to flick his cigarette or enthuse on a topic, and it was


at this juncture that the paradox of him hit me. He was wired, sipping a rum and coke and chain smoking cigarettes that burned up and rolled smoke smoothly over his quiff up into the California night. He exercised his thoughts on religion, metaphysics, neuroscience, politics and the people of California who he informed us duplicitous at best, especially in Los Angeles. He had all the wisdom of a monk or an Eastern sage, with the humility to match his intellect but the deceptive appearance of a ‘jock’. I sensed his days as the quarter back and the luxury of being able to cheat exams was now of regret to him because he was genuinely intelligent and interested in the subjects which seemed to come easy to him. I spent three hours with him on these subjects, and despite my lack of stimulants, I was as wired as him. Perhaps it was frustration which led to such enthusiasm on the subjects, his roving eyes that had earlier given this energy and understanding away was, I was now aware, to grasp opportunities like this. His passion for understanding was infectious. He mentioned his involvement in inter-religious dialogue groups, and his ‘spiritual master’ who told him “Jimmy, look up at the stars. That is the vastness of you heart”, “I still haven’t figured that out” he said with sincerity and admiration for his master. My suspicion was that he had it figured to himself, but he wanted to leave us with something. Well he did, but it was the vastness of his thought in almost juxtaposition to his appearance that stayed with me, and whoever might encounter it next. He was the spirit of Kerouac and Cassady incarnate but strangely inverted. We were on the road, but we found the spirit just off the road, taking root, but still burning.

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THEY TO BE 16


NEED E ONE.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Carlos Cisneros

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AND ONE SHE WILL BECOME.

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THE TRAVELL PURSUIT.

WORDS BY SAMUEL STRATFORD

Bullet trains, one pound coaches and standing flights; travel for people today is no longer the harsh experience it once was. Thousands of travellers leave home every day for work, pleasure, commitments or some kind of indefinite urge to move. To travel is no longer synonymous with hardship or the wealthy; technology has liberated itchy feet. London is by far one of the best cities to meet such people; once the heart of a racist empire, now a multicultural metropolis, London provides a home for the international community. This is not to say however, that adapting to an unfamiliar environment should be easy, the trials of language, culture shock and pining for home must make the unfamiliar shockingly vivid and doubly hard to live. But to live the unfamiliar seems to be the pursuit of many travellers these days. Intentionally separating themselves from all they see as “normal” and “safe”, to upset the identity in search of something new.

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EXC.1 Experience we find is something that he cannot keep himself away from, even if he tried; the landscape, climate and people all having a deep impression upon our “innocent” author.

ER’S .

D

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The traveller’s perspective, frame of mind, “gaze”, will, in a sense, create their reaction to the unfamiliar but what struck me by the two texts compared below is the changing sense of identity the author’s experience. The books are: “The innocent anthropologist: notes from a mud hut” by Nigel Barley (1983) & “Neither here nor there: travels in Europe” by Bill Bryson (1991). They regard an anthropologist’s field study of an indigenous West African tribe and the diary of an Anglo-American tourist respectively. Nigel Barley, an anthropologist, felt he needed to do some fieldwork. An important part of any anthropological career and seen by many as rites of passage into the profession, Barley set off for the Cameroons in search of the Dowayo. Musing early on, the author makes a clear distinction between his ideas of anthropology and the standards set by the institutions of his learning; the “butterfly collecting” style of ethnography practised by some is not for

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Barley who prefers to focus on what many in his field deem “not anthropology” and what he describes as “the bleeding chunks of raw reality”. The conflicting approaches are made clear by the author, who bears no grudge but clearly highlights that differing approaches can wildly affect any final understanding of both the culture in question, what it means to have culture and that there can be no single method of anthropology. In the days of the British Empire, Barley notes, the language, cultures and preoccupations of a new culture were “just sort of picked up... in the line of business”, the unfamiliar was approached without the pressure of academia, culture was absorbed inadvertently. With the emergence of “new anthropology” however, ethnographers were expected to compile monographs detailing the ideologies and minutiae of a culture in order to examine culture through the facts of custom. Reading this book I could not help thinking this author a little eccentric, not to the point of the rambling closeted scholar but more a deeply generous person with a passion for people not lists,

his focus the “cultural symbolism and belief systems” of the Dowayo rather than the “politics and urban socialisation”; experience over a discipline. Experience we find is something that he cannot keep himself away from, even if he tried; the landscape, climate and people all having a deep impression upon our “innocent” author. It is this innocence and lack of presumption that allows for the new culture to start seeping into the folds of his identity, creating a man quite different to the original that planned the trip. Bill Bryson in contrast is a tourist. An American who, having lived in England for over fifteen years before writing the log, provides an excellent portrayal of a split gaze. With a candid, dry humour Bryson breezes through Europe on a whistlestop tour, bouncing from place to place we are only afforded a few glimpses into the authors experience but from these rare instances a picture of a traveller, bleary eyed with wonder stumbling around the chaos of the


when home becomes as alien as the sea and all you really have is the ground under your feet.

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unfamiliar whom truly, is “neither here nor there”. The reason Bryson’s title so accurately conveys the content of the journal is not down to him being constantly lost or always on the move but a reflection of the change the author is compelled to undergo. A long time English citizen Bryson dons his backpack in search of adventure, what becomes apparent very early on is a kind of switch in Bryson, almost as if travelling remands his gaze back to its default, American. An alternate narrative follows the log for the best part of it and tells of Bryson’s first visit to the continent when he was a teenager. Joined on this visit by a friend he explains their disastrous trip through Europe where the American youths were tormented by the strange. Still partly holding on to the prejudice of these memories Bryson writes with a dry wit that sometimes borders on disdain for his unfamiliar surroundings, only a few places stand out in the book and only when the author begins to enjoy himself. Of these Sofia in Bulgaria seems the most moving, provoking a “sense of profound unease” in the author as it was the place that came closest to the image of Europe fostered in his head as a child; this chase for the child’s gaze is central to Bryson’s writing. Both writers intended for the unfamiliar, to once again feel the cool, enlivening wind of himself. Had Nigel Barley, in his six months away, exploration, of the new, to become children literally become less English and learnt to become and re-learn life through the eyes of a different (and rely on being) more Dowayo? Bryson relates culture. Of course to re-learn life is impossible, something similar. Whilst in Hammerfest he was lucky we can only ever build on what we have made enough to catch the northern lights and remarked “it before. The child’s gaze is attainable but is seemed entirely natural to be there and my real life in also subject to experience; Barley arrives in England began to feel oddly distant and dreamlike”. Dowayoland a child in the eyes of the Dowayo but Again, has Bryson’s old, English self really faded, leaves with reciprocated respect and admiration become of less importance and wielding less control and also the notion of split personality. Both over the new, emerging identity? texts are revised travel logs, the authors having returned from their respective trips and formed The differences between the two works cited their notes and reflections into one piece. are massive; Bryson is the flash in the pan tourist This revision of ideas needs attention as this portraying the wide scope of his travel experience, reiteration crystallises the double gaze felt and the general impression. Barley submerses himself noted by both authors. Barley iterates how after in a foreign culture for an extended period to returning from field-work “a strange alien-ness become acquainted with what they deem “life”. Both grips you” not because anything has necessarily show how the alien can desensitise a no longer changed but because the notion of “natural” or experienced “real” and reveal the emergence of an “normal” no longer held authority. On one day alternate identity, a posthumous ego that must learn shortly after his arrival from Africa the milkman the unfamiliar when their nationality, the “natural” that supplied milk to the Barley household “normal” self dies (or more accurately hibernates). inadvertently left too much and was accosted by Both Authors note the fickle nature of world-views; the author in the style of his former hosts, a firm what I will call individualistic relativity arises, when grasp by the collar and a loud remonstrance, the home becomes as alien as the sea and all you really milkman was astounded but not more that Barley have is the ground under your feet.

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Man can learn nothing except by going from the known to the unknown. -- Claude Bernard

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-RUNNING U P T H AT HILL. PHOTOGRAPHY BY Christopher Klettermayer STYLING & MAKE UP BY Ida Skeppar MODEL Catherine Torres (Elite Model NY)

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credits Leather Jacket: Rag & Bone One Piece: Alice in the Eve Belt: Stylists Own T-Shirt: Stylists Own Underwear: Bondi Shoes: Esprit

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With this poem there is an exploration into journey without necessarily taking a trip to a destination. We can still be taken somewhere else as the poem states ‘altering my mind and worldly parameter’. To go somewhere we different we do not necessarily have to go somewhere international.

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UN MAUVAIS VOYAGE. Words by Paddy Hughes


The spirit of Faust is entrenched in my psyche The root of most problems related to sin, When altering my mind and worldly parameters I’ll take as much as I can, however much will fit in. This greed can lead to overindulgence, To a lack of control of my mind and soul, Cognitive paralysis creeps up and grips me, Plunging into warped realities as the imbalance takes its toll. Isolated in the kitchen corner They talk in tongues and I just grin, My lips curl upwards masking my terror As the acid seeps out of every pore of my skin. I’m no longer with them, completely detached, Scrambling at the door and craving night air, A face scans my own then contorts before releasing me, I stagger without direction, where I end up I don’t care.

Apprehended by two shadows I stop in my tracks, Confused and incomprehensible, I’m completely boxed in, My pockets are emptied of all my belongings, A knee to my groin threatens my next of kin. The orange glow of a cab light pierces the haze, A cockney bark from within offers hope and salvation, But my scrambled mind dazzles, then burns out And I try to climb through the window, revealing complete inebriation. After hours of wandering my flat suddenly appears, But the unanswered intercom renders the oasis a mirage, My last resort is to approach the vagrants in the park, And they ably assist my madness, providing a spike free of charge. --

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where the wild roses grow photography by Mili Malinovic styling by Mili Malinovic models Silvia Soldo & Ida Kyllerman (Modelone)

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shades: Giorgio Armani black dress on Silvia: Weekday. all clothes vintage.

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‫תויה ל ‪‎‬‬ ‫המחנ תונ ב ‪‎‬‬ ‫ץרבא הנילורק ‪:‬םילי מ ‪‎‬‬ ‫ינידע הנדו ץרבא הנילורק ‪:‬ןח ל ‪‎‬‬ ‫תע לכב ייח ‪,‬תרייאמו האילפ מ ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪ ‬יתמשנ תא המישנ מ ‪‎‬‬ ‫יגיגה תא העימש מ ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪,‬ייד ילב הבהא יב ש י ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪.‬ייד ילב הבהא יב ש י ‪‎‬‬ ‫תויהל אל הצור קר תולילכ םימ י ‪‎‬‬ ‫הבהאב תינתומה הנתמה ‪,‬הנתמ ל ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪.‬הכושח המש נ ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪ ‬םא קר אלו ךתוא יל ן ת ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪.‬םיאנת ילב םינת ילב הבהא ן ת ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪So far, you see the sky‬‬ ‫‪You cry, you don't know why‬‬ ‫‪It's joy, it's happiness‬‬ ‫‪The rainbow makes you feel high‬‬ ‫‪So far, you see the sky‬‬ ‫המדאה ינפ לע תכלה מ ‪‎‬‬ ‫המצועב הקזח א ל ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪ ‬רקובב הפק דוע לע תזבזבת מ ‪‎‬‬ ‫טרסל תכלל ו א ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪.‬תילרוג תימצע הבהאמ החירב ה ‪‎‬‬ ‫ריוואב רזפתי לבקל שקבאש ל כ ‪‎‬‬ ‫הז המשנל איבמ אל איבמ ה ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪So far, you see the sky‬‬ ‫‪You cry, you don't know why‬‬ ‫‪It's joy, it's happiness‬‬ ‫‪The rainbow makes you feel high‬‬ ‫‪So far, you see the sky‬‬ ‫‪So far... so far‬‬ ‫‪So far, you see the sky‬‬ ‫‪You cry, you don't know why‬‬ ‫‪It's joy, it's happiness‬‬ ‫‪The rainbow makes you feel high‬‬ ‫‪So far, you see the sky‬‬ ‫‪The rainbow makes you feel high‬‬ ‫‪High...‬‬

‫‪so‬‬ ‫‪far‬‬ ‫תרהוז המילג שבלא ילו א ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪,‬יידממ ביחרא ינא ייבקע לידג א ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪.‬יאדו יתוא עימשי אל הז ם ג ‪‎‬‬ ‫קפואל רבעמ ‪-‬הבוגל ץופקא םא ו ‪‎‬‬ ‫קפודה תא םהל זיזי אל הז םג ילו א ‪‎‬‬ ‫?השעא דוע ה מ ‪‎‬‬ ‫ילש ךרדה ‪,‬תולעל יד כ ‪‎‬‬‫‪,‬דוביאל דבאל ‪,‬דובעל ‪,‬דובע ל ‪‎‬‬ ‫דוביאל ךלה תתל יתשקיבש ל כ ‪‎‬‬ ‫תוחנהל רזפתאו קסרתא םא ה ‪‎‬‬ ‫?תויהל ךישממ םוקיב ךכ ו א ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪,‬המוסקו השיתמ הכורא ךרד ו ‪‎‬‬ ‫?ןאל ו ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪.‬התוא תלבקמ ינני א ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪,‬ידמ רתוי תצק יתבשח ילו א ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪.‬יכרד תא תושעל יל ע ‪‎‬‬ ‫‪, ‬העמק יתחכ ש ‪‎‬‬ ‫םתס םתס ינ א ‪‎‬‬

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Wondrous and descriptive, my life at every moment Breathing into my soul Declaring my thoughts.

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FIVE girls illustrations by Alexey Malina

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photography by thenowherfactory on location: barcelona

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flows


flow is a practise involved in the destruction of the static and synthetic whole which we usually call the world. We tried to make images that could give back to us a vital universe, vibrant, alive in all it’s parts. An extemporaneous, enchanting and emptying thought. These cosmic words, as described by Henry Miller, are leading us to the analogous re-discovery between the star, the animal, the ocean, man, the flower, the sky. A singleness collective common life.

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scan the qr code to watch the video.

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Wishful Sun, Scattered Sea Photographer: Jason Lee Parry Model: Barbora Vesela Hair: Colette Silva Make-up artist: Daniele Piersons Stylist: Tara Nichols & Stephanie Mojonnet

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1. vintage herve leger dress, available exclusively at www.chiclittledevil.com 3. jerell scott bolero, availabe at chic little devil style house www.chiclittledevil.com 4. tiered chiffon gown by sheri bodell, available at www.sheribodell.com 5. Romper: Chucks Vintage 6. onsie by current elliott, availabe exclusively at www.chiclittledevil.com 7. Jacket: Chucks Vintage Bottoms; Marysia Swim 8. headpiece by salvatore j salamone, available at www.chiclittledevil.com 9. Dress: Chucks Vintage 10. Top: Chucks Vintage Bottoms: Vintage Levi Jeans

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Balkan House is a type of music that is so popular it can pack out clubs in Berlin, Budapest, Vienna and Paris, yet it’s so overlooked that it doesn’t have an entry in Wikipedia.How isthis even possible?

P

erhaps it’s the comic appeal of Balkan Beats, which has seen it adopted from start to finish in the Borat soundtrack, reduces the chances of it being taken seriously in the UK clubbing context. The English have always favoured strict rhythms and self-conscious dancing over chaotic trombones and flailing limbs. However, recently, as Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP’s ‘We Speak No Americano’ pushed on 17 million Youtube hits, there can be no denying the commercial appeal and genuinely dance-floor friendly nature of what is best described as Balkan Beats. With the staple Balkan trumpets, accordion and piano sounds in check, the electrohouse stomper smashed charts all across the world, reaching number one in the UK, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. The key to its success lies with its re-imagining of traditional Balkan music in a style accessible to the rest of the world. All this would be truly groundbreaking, had it not already been done over a decade ago.

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n the UK we tend to ignore musical phenomena’s that are packing out clubs elsewhere in the world. Often this is a good thing, as we can probably do without Euro-trance and turbo-folk, but sometimes it is wildly ignorant. Why, for example, have the majority of UK club-dwellers never heard of the founder of Afro-beat, Fela Kuti? Or Congolese legends Konono no. 1? Or Bosnian musical ground-breaker Goran Bregović?

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F

urther than this, we dismiss music right under our noses that gets picked up and loved elsewhere as much as goulash. Brighton, for instance, is home to many Balkan Beat musicians who have been touring the world, reaching out to devoted fans for years, yet they can barely get a monthly resident slot in their hometown. The names Max Pashm, Merlin Shepherd Kapelye and The Baghdaddies may not mean that much to you, but on the continent they can charge a grand and plenty of vodka for a one off gig.

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s a musical movement, its beginnings are synonymous with its name. In the countries occupying the Balkan peninsula- especially Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia and, just outside of it in Romania, the style was different to the rest of Europe, characterised by wild complex rhythms and an emphasis on brass instruments. It was introduced in the rest of Europe via Berlin, the trendsetting capital, as Bosnian DJ Robert Soko moved there during the Yugoslavian war and initiated the movement of Balkan Beats in clubs. He put on parties in Kreuzberg for the Yugoslavian immigrants, who enjoyed the nights with a sense of nostalgia mixed with irony. Soko would play traditional records from his home country alongside Romani Gypsy and Jewish Klezmer music (popular in Eastern Europe). Due to his expert ear for frenzied folk mixed with gypsy funk, over the years he created a genre that expanded and evolved for the rest of the world to appreciate.

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alkan made its way into electronic music when Shantel, a former techno producer, infused his records with gypsy flavours and oompah’s, and had a stampede of success. Hybrid Balkan bands were also emerging at this time, coming out of New York Eastern European immigrant bands such as Gogol Bordello and Balkan Beat Box.

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ll these sounds have made their way into Robert Soko’s famous sets alongside traditional classics, and if it weren’t for his experimental manner in mixing Eastern and Western sounds, Balkan inspired house and techno contributions such as used by SIS (‘Trompeta’), Riva Starr and Nôze (‘I Was Drunk’) and Yolanda Be Cool, would probably never have come about.

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f you ask anyone who has tried it, the pleasure one experiences when dancing to Balkan Beats is a combination of being around in 1960 for the first Twist dance craze sped up by a hundred, and being handed a pogo stick for slower interludes. Despite the fun, it’s difficult to see it ever truly catching on as a regular club experience, as it’s a musical niche with limited expansion (Balkan-Dubstep would be a travesty.) With its current climbing popularity, its refreshing to see artists like Max Pashm being added to the Bestival line-up in September, and maybe in time there will be a regular Balkan Beats night somewhere in the UK. It is hands down infinitely more enjoyable than drone metal and that manages to maintain a following!

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From the dingy basements of LA and New York to the loft bedrooms of London, bedroom producers the world over are picking up anything with a 4x4 pad grid and crafting out a new wave of instrumental hip-hop. words jimmy asquith It was an odd coincidence that in the same month I discovered an almost untapped source of underground hiphop, that I should also have longingly envied my own friends’ “cool hiphop” phases. Back in 2001, whilst they were delving into some of the most inspiring beat music in history, I was cutting my musical teeth (if you could even call it that) on DJ Sammy, Zombie Nation and Papa Roach. Not quite the musical revolution that hiphop was, but I got there eventually. In an interview I read last year with Mount Kimbie, they sung the high praises of a curiously familiar producer named J Dilla. At the time, and I’m sure this is true of many people, I’d heard his name mentioned but without any real knowledge of his completely understated contribution to music. I quickly discovered that Dilla, or Jay Dee, is an outright legend, having attained what can only be described as mythical status. His main draw can be realised on seminal works such as The Shining and his deathbedproduced instrumental album, Donuts. This later work is certainly one of the most important albums of the last decade, if not the last century. Combining a keen ear for samples with deep production and a heavy rhythmic swing, Donuts is a template that’s true influence is only really starting to reap mass rewards in the music world. Not that Dilla is the only influence in this much revered beat era - Doom, Madlib and Daedelus among others all had a similarly impressive output, so let’s not forget that when we talk about post-Dilla, these guys are under this umbrella too.

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WEST BY FAR WEST

“I quickly discovered that Dilla, or Jay Dee, is an outright legend, having attained what can only be described as mythical status.” 111


Moving to LA

New York

Around the time of Dilla’s death on 10th February 2006, just three days after his 32nd birthday and the release of Donuts, there was a young artist across town who had developed an experimental sound that drew on the soul of Dilla’s masterworks. This upstart was Flying Lotus, who would, through nurturing from label Warp and a strong relationship with a burgeoning LA scene, become the figurehead and representative for West Coast bass music. Leading up to the late noughties, the growing profile of The Gaslamp Killer, Samiyam, Daddy Kev and the Low End Theory night, meant that the US had a bass contender to the UK’s developing dubstep scene. And yet it is here that we now find ourselves, tapping along the precipice between multiple bass genres and watching as the new blood draw in ever more influence from disco, funk and soul to lead a surprisingly prolific bass revolution.

Disco and deep house you might be thinking, but New York is also home to the Klipmode family, consisting of mndsgn, Knxwledge, Devonwho and Suzi Analogue, who’s almost inexhaustible output via their website is enough to instantly educate anyone on the sensibilities of these later productions. The Funraisers and 3P series’ have already seen many astounding contributions from the four producers. Knxwledge especially has come forward as a front-runner, having released his incredible album ‘Klouds’ on All City earlier this year., which showcased a breathtaking knowledge [sorry – JA] of bass music to produce a truly transatlantic album. Devonwho has also appeared on the pioneering All City, with a four track EP of emotional synth-funk that is reminiscent of earlier tracks found on his Klipmode long players. Mndsgn, who appears to front the Klipmode operation, has an organic, crackling sound harking back to old school MPC experimenters. Suzi makes up the square with her lush R ‘n’B crooning appearing on any number of productions. Her live dates spanning the US coasts pretty much speak for themselves; she is one in demand woman.

Under the covers

It is then hard to imagine, with the rising popularity of such a sound, that a whole scene of artists could have missed the ears of so many music lovers, bloggers, journalist, promoters and DJs alike. The scene I refer to is a fast rising homage to the LA sound, a scene which has crossed states and continents and has entwined artists from different genres to produce a new and accessible musical venture. A new wave of instrumental hip-hop: gritty, soulful, staggered and full of feeling. A genuine Western underground movement. We will now look at the artists, labels and movements that have emerged so that we can knit together this labyrinth of permeable influence.

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LA and others

“Haven’t we already covered LA?” I hear you cry. Well, being the starting point for this whole scene means that the hierarchy here runs deep, and there are any number of artists and projects waiting to be uncovered. One of these that has had a profound influence is Dublab - a web radio collective who have been pushing forward thinking beats since 1999. Alongside the aforementioned Ras G, Daedelus and Gaslamp Killer, artists such as matthewdavid, Take, Kutmah and Teebs can be relied on for providing a daily dose of underground charms. Matthewdavid, with his Leaving Records label proving a successful launchpad for the soulful sounds of Sumsun and Dak, has been one of the


WEST BY FAR WEST

scenes more prominent youngsters, with a likely future nurturing talent from the US and beyond. Outside of this there’s the ghostly tweaking of Shlohmo, the suspiciously Brit-bass jazz-mashup of Snorlax, and - if we look a bit further afield to Baltimore - the lo-fi kitsch producer Run DMT. UK and Europe

Hip-hop may have started out in the States but its influence has had an overbearing effect on the UK music scene. Combined with the versatility of dubstep, the artists dominating these shores are much less tightly entwined, meaning that innovation and experimentation are present in spades. London’s Rekordah is one such fine example. After initial releases on Pollen and Lo-fi he kick-started his own Astro:Dynamics label representing up-and-coming artists in the postDilla and dubstep era. Mike Slott and The Blessings, members of the LuckyMe collective in Glasgow which includes Hudson Mohawke, make an appearance alongside the epic Lower and the saw-toothed Coco Bryce, providing quality highlights on a truly wide-ranging compilation. Although London may have generally housed the highest number of scene champions, especially in recent dance music history, there appears to be plenty of artists getting their hands dirty outside of the capital. Travel as far as England’s waistband and you’ll reach Birmingham’s little brother Coventry, home to the fast-rising Young Montana. Having just penned a deal with Alpha Pup (Daddy Kev’s seminal LA label),

who were wooed by such future classics as ‘Sacre Cool’ and ‘Such Beats’, he is now taking his live project out to the clubs, blending a danceable sensibility with a noise-laden approach to appease the more twisted audiences. Search his MySpace and you’ll find two other gems in the shape of Blank & Kytt and S.Maharba. The combined skill of B&K led to a self-released album 3010, which features Stateside MC’s as well as epic instrumental cuts. Maharba on the other hand has a cutting, sample-heavy sound that floats along sweetly over half-time kicks. The shear number of artists mentioned may have been a challenge on the shortterm memory but if there’s an artist to take away let it be Onra. A Frenchman signed to All City, his sound is shot through with the spirit of disco and house resulting in a dance floor longplayer that eschews the more laidback aesthetic of his contemporaries. Across continents and decades hip-hop has evolved and morphed and stretched and merged with any number of other genres. Stripped of the MC’s and replaced with the sampled joy of past hits, the new wave of instrumental hip-hop is ripe to present itself as a serious modern dance genre, and if the foreseeable success of Jai Paul is anything to go by (watch out 2011) then we won’t be able to escape the two-step stagger for much longer.

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Nations haveA lost TRIPLE (Bo omnipotence; Alphathe Pu tie does not hold getting obsolete live where we will 114


lost ox)their old the Puppatriotic hold. Nations are obsolete, we go and ill. IMAGE BY DUDA LANNA

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use the qr code to watch the video (runtime 1:29 approx)

energie fashion video editorial directed by claire carre of partizan films for ribbed magazine . directed by claire carre model Allaire Heisig @ FORD Cinematographer: Todd Somodevilla Makeup: Karen Lanyi Hair: Yasutaké Kosaka Stylist: Lindsey Hornyak Producer: Charles Spano Production Manager: Jeremy Grossman-Greene Key Grip: Nellie Dumont Music: “When I’m Small” by Phantogram

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clothing credits:

Crystal Mesh Bodysuit by The Blonds Silver Iridescent Dress by The Blonds Spiked Shouldered Dress by The Blonds


londs londs

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EMINENCE photographer cameron grayson. make up julie provis . model Ivana MartynZyznikow. styling kate carnegie.

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STRIVE

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NURTURE

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INFLUENCE

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CONSIDER

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RISE

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CREDITS 1) Shoe body suit by Di$count. Dress used as cape by Aurelio Costarella. Flower brooch by Aurelio Costarella 2) Leather strapped body piece by Di$count. Flower brooch by Aurelio Costarella. Vintage 80’s gathered skirt from ‘Shag’ collection. 3) Silk ball gown by Aurelio Costarella. Thurley dress used draped on model. Necklaces by Julia De Ville. Leopard vintage gloves from vintage store ‘ Shag’ 4) Leather stap bodice by Di$count. 5) Dress worn as skirt by Thurley. Lace blouse by Thurley. Fur by Nevenka. stylist own Leather cape . Stylist own hat 6) as above.

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‫ونكت ةكرش‬ Techno: in the United Arab Emirates. An Anonymous account.

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irstly, to be quite literal and nerdy, if someone were to ask me what the TECHNO scene here was like I could easily laugh and say there isn’t one. No one is playing Techno in the clubs nor is anyone making it, its house that wins over the crowds here. The radio advertises it as “jackin’ house” but it’s more or less akin to British commercial House. So no techno per say, generally everything has the big room feel which isn’t bad but the same tracks are rinsed 10 times over and it’s not like things sound too different from the last track. Secondly I can only speak for the area’s which I’ve lived in or have frequently visited out of the 7 emirates which includes Dubai(the place that put the UAE on the map),Abu Dhabi(the bigger yet less glam neighbouring city) and Sharjah(we cant even play music in public here…). But what I can say about it is that for the 3 or 4 years of me living in this region as a producer, DJ and music fan, the “scene” here in the UAE hasn’t really moved anywhere.

usic was around me for a long time but I never paid attention to it properly until I moved out to an area where music or the idea of a music scene is neither appreciated nor present, especially with electronic music. Seeing as it’s summer and there isn’t much to do I spend a lot of time comparing my life here and back in Detroit where I was born and raised. I never appreciated House or Techno or anything like that there until I moved to the “club desolate” area of the UAE which I think, might have sparked my interest. My obsession with House caught on very early in my number of days as a resident here so it was almost like I started listening to the larger underground names overseas and realizing that they hadn’t caught onto it yet. Later on I began to start experimenting with my own style and making music and it was frustrating sometimes since I didn’t have an audience that really understood what was going on. If you walk into one of the mega extravagantly furnished mega clubs in Dubai you will notice that this audience consists of an odd range of people. I say odd because there is somewhat of a gap. On one hand lies the mid 30’s clubbers who come out to hear the latest Ministry of sound compilation banger and on the other spectrum there are a large amount of underage clubbers who managed to slip in with fake ID’s and a skimpy clad dress. Prices at the door are high but prices for everything inside are even higher but it doesn’t stop most of the club goers from spending their money. More interested in flexing their cash and socialising, the clubbers who occupy the 5 or so major clubs aren’t really too bothered with what’s being played as long as it’s the top 40 something. There isn’t really a place in a DJ’s set to get complex, intimate, or experimental in any way which quickly throws the idea of a thriving scene for underground music out of the picture. As I sat home in my early production stages crafting choppy IDM with oddly pitched Baltimore breaks, Godzilla samples and video game chirps I thought I could compete. There are indeed fairly large clubs which would play last years best indie dance rock anthems and the most

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accessible poppy sounding Simian Mobile Disco tracks but the truth is, to keep that smaller audience there was no way to go deeper than that, only touching the thin surface of the bigger picture.

ORIGIN UNKNOWN

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hat’s possibly even less inspiring aside from a club scene which lacks variety and fresh air, the underground scene which is supposed to feature young expats from all over pushing out all types of music. And there are many. A large handful of band’s who focus on death metal and alternative rock which should have been dead for a few years, but to say that there is a drought of talent in the techno department is an understatement. Even if there was, there simply aren’t any outlets for them to hear their music played out in clubs, let alone have them play in a club environment. To perform commercially you would need a license and to get that you need to be 21(which is the age to do things proper). This blatantly cancels out and disregards a whole section of the community who could have something to bring to the table music wise. So maybe its only right that the same old head DJ’s and even promoters who have been around since the jump off, when the idea of a commercial club was even allowed to bring in tourists, are playing a serious game of catch up. While house music and techno is becoming more experimental and unique then ever everywhere else, were restricted to the same old same old. While Dubstep is breaking into all types of directions in every way, including its drum patterns, the odd Dubstep mash up will get dropped. And with so few major DJs who call the shots who can really tell them otherwise? They are set with their residencies and it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says. Certainly not the house party DJ’s who seek that same status by playing the same tracks as them. Not the metal bands who throw an abysmal of self organised gigs with no interesting in show casing anything close to electronic music. So what is there?

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s a producer first, living in the United Arab Emirates has forced the music making process to become more of a therapeutic exercise than anything. At


the moment it’s deep into the summer. Most expats that lived here have gone to their respective homelands and everyone else stuck here are stuck here. I’m one of those stuck here in Abu Dhabi, so seeing as the dry, humid, and undoubtedly hot city I live in is deserted for another month or so I’ve been staying indoors working on music in order to keep my mind active instead of letting it get sucked into overplayed garbage. Some could say that such a music desolate area helps. I would have to agree partly because there isn’t anyone here to impress or pass on my music to. I can be as creative as I want knowing that no one here is really listening to what I’m doing. Make the weirdest music just for myself. I accepted the fact that it would take this country a bit more time to catch up with some of what’s happening in the countries where the people that influence me come from. With that said, my entire audience is elsewhere, outside the country. It’s a place like this where Internet is really your best friend.

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hat people hopefully don’t do is get the idea that I’m simply bagging on my surroundings with some sort of vendetta against everyone here. What I’m saying comes from someone who is passionate about music and would love to see a renaissance of not just techno but all things electronic music. A scene where people aren’t afraid to branch out and are willing to listen to something else, somewhere that youth can make a statement... I sound like a priest or something at this point but fuck it, who else is saying it.

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LAST DANCE WITH MARYJANE Photographer:  Zoë  Zimmer Styling: Clementine King Hair/Make-up: Lucie Oliver PhotoAssistant: Katy Davies

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hilst visiting Australia recently, I was fortunate to meet with Melbourne artist Julia De Ville and talk about her work and current exhibition ‘’Night’s Plutonian Shore’’. She is an artist that I have had my eye on for quite sometime, being renowned for her ability to morph the lines of fine jewelry practice and taxidermy in her unique creations. The title of the exhibition comes from a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven, and fragments of Poe’s poem title her works through out the gallery. Upon entering her studio and home (an old button factory/ converted warehouse) I was immediately greeted with an eclectic ambience of bear skins, bones, ostrich feathers, skeletons, jewels and silver casts. I immediately loved the space and the atmosphere she had created. There was a beautiful energy in the space, and I as looked around I realised she was still working hard on getting everything finished for the exhibition. I was greeted with a selection of preserved and embellished creatures: a pig, sparrow, kitten, ostrich, duck, rooster, (just to name a few), all serving to remind us of Julia De Ville’s prime concern as an artist; to raise questions of our own mortality, and remind us of the fragility of life. Here I got the chance to ask some questions I was dying to find out. interview by kate carnegie

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Julia De Ville

Could you please tell us what have you been up to recently? Tell us about your current collection? I’ve been working non-stop on my upcoming exhibition, Night’s Plutonian Shore. It is a collection of 16 pieces inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe poem The Raven as well as Greek and Roman Mythology, which is referenced in the title (extracted from the poem) - Night’s Plutonian Shore. Pluto being the roman god of the underworld and the equivalent to the Greek God, Hades. I have several stillborn deer with riding saddles, harnesses and reins - symbolising the ferrymen that carry the souls down the river Styx to Hades. There is also a full ostrich skeleton with riding saddle and reins and a couple of ravens with the same get-up. I have also made a kitten drawn Victorian funerary hearse, and adorned stillborn piglet, a couple of chickens with ruby encrusted finch skulls for hearts and a collaborative doe-faced Cerberus made by Aly Aitken and myself. Could you please talk about the term Memento Mori and its association with your art and jewellery? What does the term mean to you? Memento Mori literally means, Remember You Must Die. It came from a post plague Calvinistic Europe where death was a big part of every day life. Basically the motto was a reminder to prepare for your day of judgement before the lord. I use it in a much more modern sense basically I believe if you can accept your own mortality you can in turn appreciate the significance of life, not just of your own, but every living thing on this planet.

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Where does your label’s name DISCE MORI derive from? DISCE MORI is a motto used in the Memento Mori period of the 16th - 18th centuries. It means “Learn to die”.  Your art has a strong sense of fragility to it. How would you describe the style of your creations? Fragility is definitely an important aesthetic for me. I guess my style is dark, peaceful, fragile, delicate, Victorian and sentimental. What other direct influences throughout your life have shaped you as an artist/ jewellery designer? Are there any direct influences at play? Nature is an obvious one. I’ve always been a big animal lover (and vegetarian since the age of 9) so taxidermy for me is a way to celebrate the lives of the animals and also a way for me to be surrounded by them all the time. The Victorians are also a big influence. I am so drawn to the dark and sentimental beauty the surrounded themselves with. Did you have a fascination with mortality and/or animals at a young age, or did this develop later in life?  Yes, I’ve always been fascinated with death. I used to wear my grandmothers fox stoles as a child. I felt like they were alive because they had little faces and legs.


Julia De Ville

Your work seems to stimulate questions about the value of life. To some, I am sure your work is quite confronting. Have you ever been faced with any negative  preconceptions in regards to your art? How were you able to overcome such instances?  To date I have only had three pieces of hate mail. All sounded like the authors were very young and obviously hadn’t done any research before emailing me. I simply explained to them my position as a vegetarian and animal rights activist and that all animals have died of natural causes. One of them apologised to me.  I think most people are smart enough to read about me before sending abuse and soon realise there is nothing worth abusing me over. If there was PETA would have been involved long ago!! Regarding the value of life - this is an important aspect of my work. By paring diamonds with a mouse I am asking the question - what is precious? Most people would say the diamonds, but I can go to my supplier and purchase any stone I want. The mouse it precious to me because I never know when my next one will be donated, not to mention that it once had life and that is the MOST precious thing of all. Why do you think that we as human beings might  value one animal as being more important than the other? Are there any animals that you would not like to see in your art? Why ? It’s all conditioning. It’s ok to walk around with a cow on your foot. It’s ok to eat a baby sheep. It’s not acceptable or normal to wear a mouse (that died naturally) on your lapel. I find this very funny because McDonald’s is one of the most offensive things I can think of, but it is largely accepted if not embraced by people, yet if you had to watch the way the cattle were treated and slaughtered while you ate, I don’t think many people would eat it. People love to be ignorantly blissful about such topics but give them something familiar yet not normally eaten, say a Dalmatian burger and people are grossed out.

For my work I prefer to use delicate animals to get my point across. That is not to say I value the life of a wild boar any less - it’s just not the feeling I’m going for. It’s easier to convey sadness with a stillborn deer and I guess I am playing to human conditioning in that regard. Where do you source the animals that are used in your creations? Are there limitations?  All the animals I have used have died of natural causes. Most creatures are donated by people that have read about me and know I rely on donations in order to make my work. I don’t work with native or endangered species, as permits are needed. Where does the creative process start for you? Can you please take us through the manual process involved… I don’t have a system. Sometimes I have an idea and I wait till I get a suitable animal, other times I get an animal and it gives me ideas. Really I just play and experiment with my materials and skills until I am happy with a piece. The taxidermy process involves skinning the creature and building a new body for it; I then pull the skin back over, add eyes, sew it up and position it. Are there ever any problems you are faced with through the creative/ manual process? My whole job is just problem solving. I am eternally resolving issues with materials and covering up things that don’t look so good. For example one of the fawns from my show had fur slip - this means it is slightly too old to use and the fur starts coming away - literally slipping off. This means having to position it in a way to cover the missing fur.

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Your work mixes between being classified as craft, jewellery, art and installation. How has the context of the gallery helped or informed your work- art and jewellery?  I think exhibiting, as an artist as opposed to a jeweller has been the most satisfying thing I have done. This will be my third purely sculptural exhibition and I feel like I’m just beginning to master it. I love making objects that don’t need function. They are pure to their aesthetic without compromise. I still love making jewellery but it’s too difficult to exhibit - it requires complicated displays and it’s hard to view all the items details, like brooch backs etc. When exhibiting  art works in a gallery the piece sits on a plinth and can be viewed from all angles.  Does what you explore conceptually through installation become thematically linked to your jewellery collections? 

in the future I would like to transform the gallery into a Victorian style room but that would require a great deal of funding. Is there anything lacking in jewellery design today? I think there are a few people making interesting jewellery at the moment but unfortunately most of it lacks creativity. There is so much jewellery that looks alike at the moment.  What are the difficulties and challenges a jewellery designer might face today?  Making money! There is so much competition and materials are getting more and more expensive. I know a lot of contemporary jewellers are struggling these days. You really need a point of difference to survive.

A lot of my jewellery has come from ideas developed in exhibitions. I’ll often cast things for an artwork and then realise it has a wearable application. Several components from this show will become necklaces and rings such as some pave set sparrow and finch skulls. The reverse also happens where I adorn my artworks with components from my jewellery. 

Favourite designer? 

Are there ever any limitations in conveying the philosophy of your work when placed in the context of the gallery? 

I love  René Lalique - I think he is the most talented jeweller ever to live. I really love the digital artist Ray Caesar at the moment too.

I think there is the ultimate limitation of the look of a gallery - modern, clean and white. These are three words not found in my creative vocabulary. I do think this is a good way to make my work stand out though. Ideally

Is there anyone that you would like to collaborate with, or have in the past who has given your art another dimension? Or you have given to them? 

Who would you love to see your creations on ? Nick Cave & Tim Burton artist?

Jewellery

Aly Aitken and I are in the process of creating this doe faced cerberus for my show. I am a huge fan of her work and own two of her sculptures. I guess it’s helped me to move into a larger scale and given me the confidence to create my ostrich (which will stand nearly 2m tall).

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Julia De Ville

I think a lot of artists and designers today are forced to continually evolve/push forward, (perhaps aesthetically) to accommodate the needs of consumers. Do you think your work has to? Does it, has it, or why doesn’t it?  Although my work evolves (which I think is just a natural thing as an artist), I will always work in the same themes as they are important to me aesthetically and ethically, not to mention my skills work best in these themes.  I have never tried to make things for consumers - I think people would see straight through that. I make things for myself and I’m lucky that others seem to like what I make What are your plans for the future? This year I have a couple more exhibitions after this one, plus a large installation for MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) that opens early next year in Hobart and then I’m getting married in December. Next year we’re (my partner and I) are going to move to New York for 3 months or so to try and break into the art market there. Long term, I want to become a voice for animals and use my work and profile to fight for animal rights.

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CONCRETE

Photographer . Paul Farnham Stylist . Sara Darling Hair . Peter Beckett @ Frank Reps Make Up . James Molloy @ Frank Reps using Mac Model . Leona @ Next Photographers Assistant . David Abrahams Stylist’s Assistant . Claire Wacey

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CREDITS 1 Silver jumpsuit Samantha Cole 2 Turquoise Dress- Harriet’s Muse Gold Chain w/cross- Low Luv 3 Silver Visor- House of Flora 4 Frill leather jacketRachel Freire Gold leather hot pantsPPQ Necklace- House of Harlow 6 Gold sequin dress- Pam Hogg 7 White dress with bowKirsty Doyle Ring- Kenneth J Lane 8 Head piece- Stylist’s own 9 All in one body w/ suspenders (and matching briefs)- Rachel Freire Platform shoes- Gabriella Marina Gonzalez 10 Black zip up top- Julian J Smith

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RUSSIAN CINEMA HISTORY & ITS CONTRIBUTION S WORDS: GUILIANO VIVALDI

igmund Freud once compared Russians to water which could fill any container but never preserved its form. This image, strangely enough, might characterise Russian film symbolising the extreme fluidity and difficulty of describing a Russian style of film-making. The idea sometimes propagated that Russian film was straitjacketed for six decades by Socialist Realism ignores the fact that Russian film-makers often managed to pay simple lip service to (yet in the process to subvert) what was an empty doctrine. The meshing of Russian with Soviet and the ‘imperial trace’ in recent Russian film is one of those aspects which doesn’t permit us to conceive of Russian cinema as simply another national cinema. The situation in which contemporary Russian film finds itself these days should first be looked at in relation to a past which emerges as far more complex than most commentators allow for.

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The Narrative of Russian Cinema History & Its Contribution

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f there has been a dominant narrative to describe Russian cinematic history it goes as follows: Pre-Revolutionary melodrama is replaced by dynamic revolutionary montage which, in turn, is buried by Stalin’s dictate that films should glorify the Soviet system with the advent of the Positive Hero (pictured as tractor driver, collective farm worker or Stakhanovite proletarian or after the war Stalin himself). Life is then breathed back into Soviet film in the Thaw period with attention turned back to a social realism closer in spirit to Italian Neorealism before the Stagnation period sets in with film directors becoming either lifeless servants of the system or martyrs who would forge their poetic vision at considerable personal cost (Tarkovsky often appearing as archetype of this persecuted Soviet artist). Stagnation then gives way to freedom but which disappointingly offered an exploitation dirty realism style in the nineties known in Russian as chernuka. Today, the narrative concludes, there is a return to the Stalinist grande style in which nationalist narratives abound and neo-Stalinist kitsch is once again the order of the day.

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his narrative, however, ignores all but the most dominant of trends and the fact Russian (and Soviet) film-makers were to produce hundreds of unique films which make Russian cinematic history an incredibly richer tale than these accounts give credit. If the twenties was the revolutionary period par excellence in Soviet film it was not merely due to the established Montage directors (Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Vertov and Dovzhenko) but also to another trend in which American styles of film-making would be parodied and subverted (the recent release on DVD of Barnet’s and Otsep’s ‘Miss Mend’ shows us how different cinematic codes – American slapstick and German expressionism – battled it out to produce a Soviet popular cinema that is only now given due recognition) and from which sprang a group of artists no less interesting in terms of the mark they left on world cinema. Boris Barnet kinship to Jean Renoir and French Poetic Realism had a significant impact on the French New Wave & Abram Room with his ‘A Severe Youth’ would have a significant effect on Resnais and Antonioni. Early Soviet cinema set off on many different directions – Room in search of a kind of Neo-Classicism, Barnet into lyricism and some like Eggert experimenting with early horror. Even though these experiments were often nipped in the bud by censorious critics and bureaucrats, it is rare to find a period in Soviet film where innovators in style and form were silent (only in the late forties and early fifties in the period of ‘film famine’ would innovators remain silent rather than succumb to a single style).


Schism in Russian Cinema

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he last few years in Russia have been marked by a deep rift in the film community both in terms of cinematic style but also in terms of a conflict between extremely opposing conceptions of what cinema is for as well as by more political considerations. Just as glasnost in Russian society was anticipated in the late eighties by the explosive scenes in the Fifth Congress of the Filmmakers Union where conservative figures were unceremoniously sacked and radical reformers triumphed, the Putin years were marked by the re-establishment of a power vertical under the autocratic leadership of Nikita Mikhalkov. Long an unpopular figure amongst many of his liberal colleagues, an attempt was made in December 2008 to unseat him. However Mikhalkov went on to stage a dubious ‘showcongress’ which gained legal recognition due to his contacts in the legal and political elite. The sheer bitterness of the dispute (which grabbed the headlines in the national press) made it inevitable that the Filmmakers’ Union would split into two and earlier this year an alternative union was formed.

Russia. Multiplexes in major Russian cities abound with the productions of Mikhalkov, Fyodor Bondarchuk and Vladmir Khotinenko – funded sometimes to the tune of tens of million dollars (Mikhalkov’s recent sequel to ‘Burnt by the Sun’ breaking all previous records) and often supported by the Orthodox Church (especially recently made films promoting religious values like Khotinenko’s ‘Priest’) and state controlled television. This style of film-making echoes many made during the Brezhnev years and in one case the influence has passed from father Sergei Bondarchuk (director of lavish costume dramas and costly adaptations of Russian classics such as War and Peace and Boris Godunov) to his son Fyodor Bondarchuk (who has produced patriotic retellings of the Soviet -Afghan war of the early eighties as well as interpretations of a science fiction novel by the Strugatsky’s. This group may, alongside other more nuanced directors such as Valeri Todorovsky, Karen Shakhnazarov, Pavel Lungin and Proshkin, have dominated Russian mainstream film in the last decade but others have treaded much more adventurous paths.

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ikhalkov represents the group of filmmakers who favour a return to a ‘grand style’ echoing a nationalpatriotic cinema dominant in periods of late Stalinism and during Brezhnev’s reign. Directors in his clique believe that Russia can build its own alternative Hollywood, producing Russian blockbusters that will instil in viewers a patriotic ethos suffused with the values of Orthodoxy. The films produced by this conservative grouping have been the dominant ones in terms of distribution within

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-Khitruk, ”Names such as Fyodor Yuri Norstein and

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ome of the most formidable opponents of the Mikhalkov clique belong to the established Russian Art House generation who developed their film-making in the difficult years of late Soviet times. While they all suffered censorship of some kind they nonetheless managed to produce films of great worth (which even if shelved would become acknowledged masterpieces years later when finally released). The Soviet animated film world was one of the niches where experimentation was prevalent. Names such as Fyodor Khitruk, Yuri Norstein and Andrei Khrzhanovsky are acknowledged as some of the very best practitioners of animated film in the world. Other directors in narrative cinema who have established strong worldwide reputations are Aleksei German Sr and Aleksandr Sokurov as well as Vadim Abdrashitov who has gained less of an international reputation than the other two. While Aleksandr Sokurov has often been referred to as Tarkovsky’s heir (though he has a very different style of film-making and it is, perhaps, Konstantin Lopushansky who has carried forward the rather more apocalyptic tones of the late Tarkovsky), German’s ‘hyper-realism’ looks to other traditions. Abdrashitov’s two-tier realism (blending the fantastic and the social) long detailed the breakdown of Soviet society in both a legal or social as well as a metaphysical sense. While German and Abdrashitov have fallen relatively silent since the end of the Soviet period, Sokurov has come into his own and been granted a world audience in the last decade.

Andrei Khrzhanovsky are acknowledged as some of the very best practitioners of animated film in the world.”

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amily ties link this generation with a younger generation of filmmakers which has come into its own in the past decade. The son of Andrei Khrzhanovsky, Ilya, has produced a critically well-received film ‘Four’ based around the theme of cloning while Aleksei German Jr. has turned his attention to different periods of recent Russian history deconstructing some of the myths that many Russians still hold dear. His recent film on the Soviet space programme provoked severe criticisms from conservative critics unhappy at his debunking of a central Soviet myth. (The parodic mockumentary by Aleksei Fedorchenko ‘First on the Moon’ was to take a different but still heavily ironic approach to space mythology). The early noughties saw the emergence of the founders of Russia’s first post-Soviet generation of Art House films. 2003 saw two new films being released which were especially significant – Andrei Zviagintsev’s ‘The Return’ was an immediate success at the Venice Film Festival and widely acclaimed throughout Europe while an initially less-acclaimed film ‘Koktebel’ marked the emergence of two film directors – Boris Khlebnikov and Aleksei Popogrebskyinitiators of a new style of film-making around the Koktebel production company led by Roman Borisevich. The Koktebel company have produced Khlebnikov and Popogrebsky follow up films no longer working as a team as well as one of 2009’s best films ‘Wolfy’ directed by theatre director, Vasily Sigarev. In fact, a number of New Drama theatre directors have produced some of the most exciting new films of this decade.


Late Soviet Art House

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Films that filled the 2009 Sochi Film Festival portraying a darker side of Russian life, highlighting the drawbacks of life in the Russian provinces seem under the new circumstances unlikely to draw on any state support in future. While Russian films are gradually returning to the major international film festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Montreal as well as more regular haunts such as Rotterdam, it would be a great blow if funding dried up for new projects of some promising debutants.

-”Two powerful outsider voices belong to Russian cinema who have gained a reputation for a body of work that sets them apart from both the mainstream and the art house of the older or newer generations. ”

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wo powerful outsider voices belong to Russian cinema who have gained a reputation for a body of work that sets them apart from both the mainstream and the art house of the older or newer generations. Thankfully, these two radical outsiders are amongst the most prolific members of Russian filmmaking: Aleksei Balabanov and Kira Muratova. Aleksei Balabanov’s reputation abroad is based on the mid-nineties classic ‘Brother’ (and less so on the sequel). It is generally recognised as a powerful vision of the wild 1990s. Yet Balabanov’s oeuvre is extraordinarily varied: ranging from Art House adaptations of Beckett plays and Kafka novels to genre cinema. His more recent Cargo 200 and Morphine point to an uncomfortably radical naturalistic style which have shocked both Russian and foreign reviewers alike. Kira Muratova came from a much older generation but her deeply unconventional films made during the Soviet period (invariably shelved or heavily cut) excluded her more fully from the Soviet film world than nearly any other director of the time. Muratova though working in the Ukraine since the break up of the Soviet Union is a Russian-language director who is one of the most genuinely formalist directors of Russian cinema.

Outsiders: Aleksei Balabanov & Kira Muratova.

hat will become of this new generation of Art House cinema in Russia is difficult to predict. Some directors such as Aleksei German Jr. are very pessimistic about the future. Recent reforms in the way that Russian films are being funded have chanelled the resources to five production companies which have a reputation for producing more mainstream a times more closely linked to the reigning ideology of the political elite.

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She has occasionally offered up devastating portraits of society at large. Her ‘Asthenic Syndrome’ of 1989 pictured the absolute breakdown of late eighties Russian society. Two decades later her most recent film, ‘Melody for a barrel organ’ offers a shocking new portrait of total societal indifference. Her ability, though, to establish a thoroughly radical pessimism by clinging to a vision of humankind and human communication as essentially grotesque and absurd has established her as one of the most fascinating female film directors alive in the world today.

An image of Russian cinema The different strands in Russianlanguage cinema do not help us to provide any single image. Box office hits in the Russian noughties give us a rather despondent picture of a return to the large bombastic style of former times (although Bekmanbetov’s variations on the blockbuster in his ‘Night watch’ and ‘Day Watch’ showed at least that the form had some international resonance) building up a narrative fully in line with resurgent nationalism and religious Orthodoxy. However, a future film historian looking back at the decade will surely be fascinated by lesser-known directors who have

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he history of Russian cinema since its inception has thrown up names and styles which have often led the way in world cinema. Russian cinema’s ‘out of jointness’ has meant that rarely has it marched in step with dominant global cinematic trends but it has often thrown up works that would be rediscovered decades later. Moreover, cinema in Russia has often lurched from one extreme to the other- Bauer’s early pre-revolutionary mise-en-scene style was replaced by the extreme fast-cutting methods of montage cinema, agitprop films of early postrevolutionary times were rediscovered in Europe in the late sixties as were those of Eisenstein. Vertov’s lasting and continuous influence on documentary cinema is indisputable, Medevedkin’s experiments on the cinema train and his satires were to influence the experimental work of Chris Marker. Early sound experiments in Soviet film also helped develop an idea of asynchronicity of fundamental value for avoiding the danger that sound would destroy the aesthetic potential of silent cinema. The poetic cinema of Tarkovsky and Paradjanov (entirely different in their own way- Tarkovsky embodying restraint and Paradjanov one of the most exuberant directors the world has ever seen) is an aesthetics still yet to be fully appropriated.

Russian cinema’s extraordinary contribution

Both Muratova and Balabanov have travelled far from any form of social realism and while neither can be deemed in any way political filmmakers, they do, however, embody two fundamentally different ethoi. Muratova has managed to forge a strange unity between a radical egalitarianism with an ability to deconstruct all collective mythology and exemplifies an almost anarchic communism whereas Balabanov’s assault on Hollywood is based on a kind of revolutionary conservative nationalism extraneous to the conformism of the Mikhalkov clique. What unites, them, though is a thoroughly radical pessimism.

brought to Russian cinema a plethora of film styles and new aesthetics which will surely work their way into consciousness of future film-makers providing inspiration in years to come. There is certainly no sign of a dearth of talent but, unfortunately, also no sign that under a system of oligarchic capitalism that the film environment has become any easier since the fall of the Soviet Union.


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he underground parody of Parallel Cinema and the Necro-Realist style of the late eighties is yet to gain the full recognition that it deserves in standard accounts of Undeground cinema.

That Russian cinema is capable once more of revolutionising approaches to cinema may be detected in the extremely concentrated polystylism of Khrzhanovsky’s work as well as in the hyperrealism of German, in the painterly style and eclecticism of Sokurov and the formalistic mix of the grotesque and the absurd in Muratova as well as the sordid transgression of Balabanov. While contemporary Russian cinema at its best may often seem to highlight the darker and more grotesque aspects of consciousness and everyday reality, this sensibility at times demonic, fantastic and absurd portrays a universal rather than simply Russian aesthetic.

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photos - Matilda Travassos, styling - Rodolfo Ruben (capa mgt) makeup - Walmes Rangel model - Criss Theis (ford models)

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l la vie dans un valise KINYA Stylist Mister Lee Hair & make-up KOUTA Model Anzhela Turenko @ Supreme Photographer

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the inter v ie w

RIBBE D DRIEC MAGAZINE TOR O F COM INTERVIEW S MUNIT Y AND VIMEO’S P BLAKE RODUCT, WHITM AN INTER VIEW CON VON V DUCTED BY ON LA MANA U

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RM: How did you get involved with working at Vimeo? Blake: Well I heard about it and went online to see what it was all about and instantly became enamoured with it. It was very easy to use, very clean and looked very fun….And the very first experience for that I remember was getting my first comment on my video. It’s really interesting when you upload a video to any site because you’re putting your work out there and you don’t know what’s going to happen. It was sort of a freefall and I got this really awesome comment that said “Hey…. great video this is really cool”. I w..\\\,e what is this? Who is this person? It’s turned out to be this girl called Michelle who I have been friends with ever since. That was the first experience I had which solidified my passion for sharing work online. So I just started using Vimeo all the time, almost obsessively. I started making videos specifically for the audience and after about eight months they hired me. RM: Vimeo has a reputation for being a website for film-makers as opposed to being…a place for gimmicky videos, its always people trying to be creative, and so how have you sustained that reputation of being a platform for aspiring filmmakers? Blake: …I think it’s a mixture of two things.. One is it was created by filmmakers for filmmakers…this means the very first people who were using the website were doing to share work with their friends and family. It started for a very personal pure reason to share. Whether it was a filmmaker to share work or a new mother sharing their child’s first steps. But what was really the big catalyst was the quality. With the site we really want to focus on high quality everything, so with the player to the video itself, the experience, the community and…especially with the player being of a higher quality it drew so many filmmakers and creatives to the site because first and foremost they were looking to showcase work in the best way possible. From there they would be like “Look at all this other stuff, with the community and forums”.

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When we launched HD about a couple of years ago October 2007 and that was the big mark. We launched HD about a year before anyone else did, which just brought all these serious passionate creatives. Then I think the other reason is what we promote on the site. The videos that we feature and the type of content that we want to put out to the world, is what we pride Vimeo on representing. That’s the stuff you see featured on home page, there are the initial editorial voice, that just set the tone for the incredible creative spectrum. RM: How have you managed to maintain quality control and make sure there aren’t too many disposable gimmicky videos but then allow freedom of content? Blake: Essentially anyone can upload anything they create. So it doesn’t have to be amazing, it can be a cell phone video. You can do whatever you want….But the stuff that bubble up to the top is the best stuff. And this happens because Vimeo is based around a very cool organic recommendation system. So when we created Vimeo we wanted it to be about sharing, and natural discovery of work. We are not about top ten lists and the most viewed or popular videos and all that stuff. We really want everyone to find the videos they want, in their own kind of organic way. The way that happens is when you make a contact with someone on Vimeo, we automatically subscribe you to their videos they upload and like. So if I made contact with you and you go off and find some amazing film and you like those videos, those videos will show up in my inbox. So its more like “hey I think you have good taste” and because of that I find similar things, so the inbox is where all the work an individual would find videos and content they are interested in. So you only really see the type of stuff that YOU want. Everything just spreads naturally virally.

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“ It started for a very personal, pure reason to

� share.

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“vimeo was founded on community.’’

RM: As Vimeo is a huge creative database or artists and work, being available to millions how do you address advertising, it could be a lucrative source of revenue?

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Blake: Well have two services, premium and basic. Because of that we don’t have to over ……kind of worry about drawing money from advertising. Which is really great because it really gives us a lot of flexibility in how we advertising, so when we advertise, there would not be any adverts during the video. That would never happen. We don’t have overlays…any of that…..because we hold the video content sacred, we don’t want any interruption during anyone’s work. RM: So how do you find or concentrate on so much from around the world, do you have a big team, with different head offices to concentrate on different talent, from different areas? Blake: The amazing thing about an online service is that it is available to everyone everywhere, when ever they please. So that makes things easier regarding a access and finding work, we have one head office in New York. We have events globally everything from screenings to competitions. We are going to Amsterdam in a couple of weeks ….it’s great because everything is done virally through the web…..content over continent. When people bring their work to the site, initially you don’t know whether they are Brazil or the UK. All these incredible people that share the same passions. Coming together in one community and one space. We are always trying to push the international aspect. RM: How important community is, with the forums, groups….we like that you guys find it important to make sure creatives talk to each other and not just be self interested and exhibitionists? Blake: Well the community aspect is just as important if not more important to our site. For a whole bunch of reason, vimeo was founded on community. In the very beginning it was set in the guidelines. “We are all here we want to share but let’s be respectful, lets be true to our selves, no bashing other people’s work”. Today it is still there on the Vimeo guidelines….This is not a place for negative attacks….the community itself knows that. The community looks after one another that way. Its really important you have a good environment for people to share their work, otherwise people just will not do so.


Blake: Well really, we just wanted to go for judges that represent everything and every walk of life that is on the site already. Not just people that have created great work but that also understand the core elements if Vimeo. Its really exciting because you get all these people to view new upcoming work. “Mr Lynch would you like to judge the awards” and he said yeah. They know the quality of the work and the space it’s being platformed on. So they mind giving their time. It’s very exciting we can’t wait actually. RM: So working at Vimeo is it hard to detach yourself from personal opinion and so when seeing stuff, do you find yourself thinking…well that wasn’t shot very well? Blake: Hahahah…… of course sometimes. You know I’ve seen probably 70,000 videos, so many artists, with the homepage featured you have to choose the best. What’s amazing is that sometime I see a pattern, so people uploading work with the same video music. They sometimes can become a little tired and maybe I’ll write a comment or recommend a few things. These people are experimenting so we are just encouraging people. It’s great it’s part of job. RM: Do you ever notice a global pattern,not to be ignorant, but perhaps more skate videos from L.A as opposed to Delhi? Blake: That’s interesting……yeah. Obviously there are cultural and even technological differences…..if your in Japan, you may have more access to new ways of making the work and different ways to edit it through new software. There are no boundaries anymore, you can see a beautiful video from Iceland and be like “awww man that is incredible” and be in Canada and think I’m going to try something similar. So you do see a lot of borrowing and transatlantic inspiration. Its not a question of location or geographic’s but rather content.

‘‘there are no boundaries anymore’’.

RM: With your festivals /competitions there seems to be range of different talents looking for new artists, from David Lynch to world news journalists?

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RM: What would you consider international, especially with the internet revolution blurring the lines of distance regarding content? Blake: The thing about being online is that no one knows where you are regarding creative content it barely even matters just as long as people can see your work. When you look at a video,…..you don’t think to yourself I see this as an international video, if its good that’s what matters. You are just looking at the people as people and good content as good content. We really don’t want to market any work based on geographics. With advertising you kind of have to…. U.S companies maybe want to advertise to a U.S market. We are really trying to break that and want to value the international aspect off the internet. It’s a global community, We would never want to create walls because the whole point of uploading work is to also have a global audience. So we think there is not such focus on the international with online creative content as there doesn’t need to be.

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‘‘don’t think to yourself I see this as an international video, if its good:

that’s what matters ’’.

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WORDS :JAMIE LUKE SCOULAR

el H C I M .YR D N O G

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n Versailles in the late Sixties lived a boy with an overactive imagination and undeniable amount of creative energy. By taking inspiration from his childhood, as well as his family, most notably his Aunt Suzette, he would grow up to become not only a critically acclaimed director, but someone who blurred the lines between art and cinema, both independent and mainstream. His one of a kind vision, and unprecedented work ethos would be the driving force that would ultimately make him an asset, as well as an innovator to international cinema.

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he young boy’s vivid imagination meant that he would spend his days thinking up inventions and creating prototypes of them out of Meccano. He also developed a keen interest in drawing and so he would occupy countless flip books with his carefully sketched sequences. Later in his teenage years he acquired a drum kit through his Father who owned a musical instrument store, which was put to use when he left his hometown and enrolled in Art College in Paris. It was there he went on to join a band filling the role of the drummer, as well directing several of the band’s music videos. This was to become start of Michel Gondry’s unparalleled journey into directing.

MICHEL GONDRY.

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t was one of Michel’s videos that he had directed which caught the attention of Bjork. She contacted him proposing that they work together, and this would rapidly evolve into a long lasting creative partnership that is still active today. His skills became quickly in demand within the realms of music television and then later advertising campaigns, due to Michel pioneering the way in which film was directed. He championed the digital enhancement of speed, as well as establishing morphing techniques, so much so that both innovative methods became widely used by other directors throughout the 90s. Despite making a name for himself commercially, Michel did not shy away from returning to his roots by directing several short films in his native language. It was within those productions he would utilise his abstract thinking and unmatched craftsmanship that had been with him since childhood, as well as paving the way for his debut film ‘Human Nature’.

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t’s Michel’s unique to storytelling that work so predominant

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ichel’s level of artistry has often meant that he has taken specific elements of his film work and elaborated on them further. Several years ago I went to an installation he had put on in conjunction with his film ‘Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind’ which was entitled ‘The All Seeing Eye’. I made my way into a room where a camera projected an image of a typical Parisian apartment and its entire contents on to the walls. The image slowly revolved around the room whilst pieces of the furniture began to disappear. In the background Jim Carey’s voice could be heard repeating ‘I don’t understand what I am looking at. Why am I standing here?’ Which inevitably became a somewhat ironic message, as once all the furniture and foundations of the apartment had completely disappeared I was left starring at four white walls.

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is third film entitled ‘The Science of Sleep’ was significantly less commercial. This is a prime example of Michel completely unrestrained, due to him being the sole writer, which gives the viewer a greater insight into his inspirited imagination. Within the film he frequently references events of his own childhood to depict the story of a man trying to escape a dead end job. The dialogue of the film is spoken in English, French and Spanish, this multilingual usage becomes important in defining the key characters. The film embarks on an astounding visual journey which often acts as a reminder to Michel’s ever present attention to detail.

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n more recent years Michel returned to working with additional script writers to produce work of a more commercial nature. When Michel was asked if it bothered him that some of his work may be perceived to be considerably more commercial than other bodies of his work he responded ‘When people are very original, sometimes they are original as a way to resist the mainstream.’ It’s that sentiment which highlights his ability to work within various fields of film, whilst constantly raising the bar of what can be achieved regardless of the audience. It’s his outstanding directional capabilities that enable him to convey his vision within the work of his films, documentaries, advertisements and music videos.

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t’s Michel’s unique approach to storytelling that makes his work so predominant. He reinforces the manner in which they are told by often referencing his own life, particularly his childhood which adds a lay of honesty to the theme of his work. This also casts a rather childlike outlook on day to day situations, such as trouble at work or unrequited love. It’s this new perspective that adds a whole new dimension to what is happening onscreen. A lot of the characters that Michel creates are often looking for guidance or insight into their purpose in life. He conducts them in such a way that it challenges both the character and the viewer’s perception of reality, which is fundamentally why Michel Gondry always offers the perfect form of escapism.

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ost would agree room to breathe, and

or a German designer, moving to a foreign city provided this room for growth and London College of Fashion graduate Juergen Bertsch has never looked back or felt so inspired as he does now living and working in London.

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rowing up in Heidelberg, a city situated in South-eastern Germany along the Neckar River, Juergen describes his surroundings as calm and green whilst growing up. As a young child he took pleasure in exploring the woods near to where he lived but soon outgrew the need to climb trees and subsequently graze his knees. After undertaking a compulsory social year at a children’s home in Munich, Juergen then went on to experience his first taster of the fashion industry with an internship at German design house Rena Lange, where he was given the opportunity to learn how to sew.

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inishing up his studies in Germany, he was then offered a place on the MA course at the prestigious London College of Fashion and, having already been over to the Capital for a work experience stint at Alexander McQueen, he jumped at the opportunity, immediately snapping it up.

I could not wait to move to a bigger city, it [the McQueen work experience placement] was an amazing experience to work with such a talented and international team. After that it was clear to me – I wanted to come back as soon as . possible

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aving always been interested in the challenge design brings, Juergen also feels that it brings people together, “you get in touch with ideas of others and you develop yourself in the process” he says. “I really enjoy the process from the very beginning, when there’s just a small idea to pursuing it until its finalisation”.

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that creativity needs and space to travel... ’’

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his in-touch experience that Juergen experiences throughout the design process also contributes to the motivation behind his work. This kaleidoscope of emotion is redirected into his garments and, on reflection; he considers his last collection as quite personal. The designer also hopes to reach out to his wearers by stirring feelings within their own minds. “I like to see how people react to the garments and how they feel when wearing them” he tells.  He considers the ‘ideal Juergen Bertsch wearer’ to be someone who understands the aesthetic and concept behind the collection.

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or his Playful graduate collection, with its Linton tweed jackets and ragamuffin-style knitwear; the wearer is completely the centre of focus. Each garment changes slightly with each person that wears the piece, “I like the idea of dressing a personality, and not just to paint over someone” Juergen says, “the collection has one size so a lot of different body shapes fit in the garments” - a modern functionality in an industry obsessed with sample-sized zero’s.

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he designer was inundated with compliments on the deliverance of his child’s play-inspired graduate collection and was awarded with the Ringstrassen-Galerien Designer Award in Vienna, Austria in cooperation with the online platform for young designers; Not Just a Label. The collection was worked on with an anthropologist who with Juergen researched into 3-year-old children and their play, “I wanted the collection as a communication platform between the generations”. Also taking inspiration from German portrait and documentary photographer, August Sander, Juergen was able to collect together elements of both English and German culture (“I wanted the aspect of my parents time to feed into the collection”), to create the overall ambience of the collection; playful – reminding the wearer of their childhood and recalling the experiences that they have lost since leaving their younger years behind.

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he base palette of the collection is black and materials used more traditional. Despite the playful and child-like nature of his inspiration, Juergen still hopes the garments to address the sophistication of an adult and wanted to move away from the wave of new materials currently being introduced by many designers. “For me, I am still moved by the drape of fabric and how to manufacture it to its perfection. For this collection I had the opportunity to work together with a traditional British tweed manufacturer which proved interesting to work with. The process was an intensive learning process that I found important”, he tells. longside his graduate collection, Juergen worked together with ceramic designer Felicity Jones and jewellery designer Martina Prengart, both of whom shared a similar aesthetic to the designer, to create an accessory range to accompany the collection. “A friend introduced me to her. Since I was a child I liked the material a lot, it always seemed so precious to me so I was more than happy to work with Felicity and Martina. Martina is a multi-dimensional designer and one of my oldest friends. We used to live together when we both studied in Germany and she now lives and works in London to.” After such an enriching experience and foray into jewellery design, the threesome are soon to launch an accessories collection under the name ‘The Third’, hoping to translate the mood of the Jeurgen Bertsch garment into another field.

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ith fashion week just around the corner we were also interested to find out Juergen’s viewpoint on the ongoing catwalk vs. presentation debate, wondering if he thought that the catwalk was a fading fashion week tradition, and if the presentation was to take over in coming years.

hen asked how he thinks his internationalism impacts on both his personal life and career, Juergen believes that it’s more about personality than nationality, although the opportunity to travel and interact with people from all walks of life helps and contributes to the development of personality. He credits London for sharpening his perception on the world and his hometown of Heidelberg for reenergising him, and with London being a hub for international life, he’s right in describing the chance to study here as “an amazing opportunity”.

It was hard at the beginning in London not knowing where to buy even fabric or threads, but I think these experiences are vital for creative minds and discovering new things. When you’re always in the same place, you don’t look at things carefully anymore because you think you know everything about them. Going to a new place offers you the moment to discover new things and to see things from a totally original .  point of view

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The way creativity works is quite mystical he describes.

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I really like the idea of all sorts of people working together on one project. I have many friends who are currently working on film projects and I would one day like to work with them. I have seen shows in London and Paris and always a fan. It gives the designer the opportunity to communicate their vision. Although I must say, that this past fashion week in London, the installations and smaller presentations were more successful in my eyes. It offers the chance to get in touch with the viewer on a more personal level, and that’s something I can appreciate.

ith London being one of the most exciting fashion capitals of all, Juergen thinks it also has one of the most supportive communities for young and emerging designers. With organisations such as Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East, Colin McDowells Fashion Fringe, and the British Fashion Council, it has certainly set the benchmark for designer support, drawing designing talent in from all over the globe.


‘‘

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hen you’re always in the same place, you don’t look at things

carefully anymore’’

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The Oldboy: Park Chan-Woo DANNY WADESON

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: Wook.

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dumb and deaf electrical worker, an ordinary man kidnapped for no discernible reason and held captive in a nondescript living room for 15 years, a beautiful woman wrongfully accused and imprisoned for the murder of a young boy, a priest turned into a vampire as a result of a hopeful blood transfusion, what do they all have in common? 

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hey’re all protagonists in the films of Park ChanWook.  The very same South Korean filmmaker who broke onto the international scene with ‘Joint Security Area’ , has recently accidentally shaken up the vampire genre with ‘Thirst’, and who once met Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear Solid fame and found they didn’t have much to talk about.  The same exfilm critic who is easily one of the most ‘international’ of filmmakers going, daring as he does to embrace themes, characters, and scenarios that the west is simply too afraid to take on.  It’s partly for these reason I want to try and condense a potted history of his films, what makes him tick, and why you should check him out if you haven’t already into one modest article. 

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umerous times I li in bed at night and imagine the cruelest torture. I imagine the most miserable ruining of that person’s life. After that, I can fall asleep with a smile on my face.

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lie d est the ng

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han-Wook Park has garnered international acclaim, has penetrated the Western film fan’s consciousness. Yet, can he be said to be uniquely Korean? Apart from Joint Security Area,  which concerns the day-to-day of two North/South Korean border guards, none of his films deal with situations that aren’t universal in scope.  There are Korean-centric elements, such as his casting of charismatic Yeong-Ae Lee who is famous in Asia for her docile, intelligent and innocent image, as the vengeful, scheming, remorseless protagonist in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. On the whole though, probably not, his films can’t be said to be quintessentially Korean.  So what is it that international audiences love about his films? I don’t want to ruin any of the expertly crafted twists if you don’t already know, but it’s the weird mouse mask that Korean R’n’B/filmstar Rain’s character plays in ‘I’m A Cyborg’.  It’s the scene in Oldboy in which a suitcase is seen from an overheard shot on a field, supposedly, before disgorging a besuited and coughing Oh-Dae Su, the camera panning back to reveal the grass is in fact a patch on top of a tenement block. In one way, it could be said that all Park ChanWook’s films are flawed, but we can see real beauty shining through the hairline cracks. 

 

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long with Ji-Woon Kim , Park Chan Wook is easily the most well known South Korean film maker.  The two are friends, and no doubt share many confidences, tricks of the trade, and certainly actors . 

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et there’s a crucial difference, Ji-Woon Kim’s ‘Tale of Two Sisters’ showed the western world, hell, even the Japanese auteurs, how to make a scary as hell modern horror film, whereas Park Chan Wook resolutely refuses to make a genre film.  

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n fact, if you had to try and classify ‘Oldboy’, the part of your brain that deals in nomenclature would probably enact a swift meltdown.  Likewise, are you struggling to fit his latest film ‘Thirst’ into the canon of Vampire films? Good luck.  It’s as much a vampire film as it is an exploration of the existential dilemma, as much a schlock horror film as it is a dark comedy.  The aforementioned ‘I’m A Cyborg’ is the probably the closest Park gets to sticking to a single genre, quirky semisci-fi-romantic comedy in this instance, yet it still encompasses flights of fancy, gore, and the moral dilemmas of insanity and the hopelessness of railing against The Institution.

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t’s because he’s not afraid to show us a darker side.  There are of course, other directors, even actors who can articulate the more sordid impulses that we all know we harbour, and with equal subtlety.  Yet, Park’s films have grace notes of redemption, codas of warmth and compassion amongst the crescendos of violence and depravity.  The desperate attempts of Thirst’s Priest SangHyon to cling to his humanity by, initially at least, only drinking the blood of a coma victim to satiate his new found blood lust, or his tragi-comic attempts to maintain his regular weekend games of Mah-Jong for example. 

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t is because Park Chan-Wook can construct a scene that is so brutal, so straight up gory, that you’re almost forced to look away, and in the same directorial stroke make you bellow with laughter.  Take the scene in Oldboy where Oh-Dae Su scoffs a live Octopus.  For many, this scene is gutwrenching, especially the way the animal starts wrapping tentacles reflexively around the guy’s wrist as he chews, but the relish he feels is evident and so it’s hard not to laugh, darkly, disgustedly, or even in vicarious relief.

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hat then inspires this bleak, sinister seam of humour in Park Chan-Wook’s films? His background certainly doesn’t seem torturous, no basis for his signature style in his University upbringing, meeting his now-wife at a film club, working low-key jobs in video rental stores before half-a-chance-meetings with producers that would eventually go on to fund his big break .  So what compels him to say things like:

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umerous times I lie in bed at night and imagine the cruelest torture. I imagine the most miserable ruining of that person’s life. After that, I can fall asleep with a smile on my face.

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guess we’ll never know what coiled combination of stimuli and memories led to that little gem.  He continues though, as his films do, with a light at the end of the tunnel: s long as it stays in the realm of imagination, the crueler the better that’s healthy. I’d like to recommend it to you all as well. I hope my films can help in any small way to help your imagination become at least a little bit crueler.

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MDB has furnished us with this quote, the provenance unspecified.  Curiously though, I find it sums up his entire style perfectly, perhaps Park sees his filmic role as a demented counsellor to our repressed selves, dredging out our repressed urges in order to help us sleep better at night for acknowledging they’re just fantasies .

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nyway, whichever way you cut the genre cake, the man is a genius.  He inspires in me, and in his ever-growing legion of fans I imagine, a distinct sense of empowerment.  ‘You beautiful, horrible man’ I want to scowl as the credits to any one of his films end, you’ve made me think about matter so dark I feel sullied.  Sullied and liberated.  It was always going to be tough skimming over such an already dense oeuvre, but if i’ve encouraged a few people to go check him out for the first time then I’ve done well by him.   

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s in imagination crueler

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s long as it stays in the realm of imagination, the crueler the better -

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healthy. 257


Bijie Public a city of and the p blind PIECE BY WEI

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Public – newborn partially blind. YING ANG

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Overpopulated and understaffed, Bijie Public Hospital cop with one of China’s highest number of ethnic minorities, w are exempt from the one-child policy and who also suffer fro a disproportionatel large number of cas of cataract blindne 260


pes

who the and from ortionately cases blindness. 261


Procedures are perform with minimal anesthesia if at all, in unsterile environments.

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erformed anesthesia, unsterile 263


Weary are ch the wa like ca restau across

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y, soiled patients chumed through aiting room like cattle,high class restaurants sit empty across the road.

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Many of the rudimentar health testing facilities are conducted outdoors in makeshift tents to accommodate the majority of the poor population, who still take out an existence beneath the povert 266


rudimentary ilities tdoors

he oor till nce ty line. 267


Waking In LA. WORDS BY EVELYN SUBI 268


ing Up S

o before you start reading i have to say the title is a little misleading, i personally have never woken up in LA. Though this summer i would have, if the perils of student life hadn’t kicked into my funds or lack of should i say.

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o when thinking about the glorious beaches, soaking up the sun and hanging out in the boulevards of LA; one fear did pop into my mind. Not your usual holiday worries such as, did i lock the door, will i get robbed, have i taken enough money with me because its gonna cost me money to with draw more money. In fact, though i do worry about these little things, my main concern on going anywhere that isn’t familiar is more about whether or not i will wake up standing upright on a fire escape, in someone else’s bed or even outside wherever I’m staying in the early hours of the morning!

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his is the life and worries of a sleepwalker! I have done all those things i previously listed and in various countries. The only amazing thing is that i have been lucky not to get myself into any sort of danger. As waking up outside in the dust in the middle of the night in East Africa or in a fire escape in the outskirts of Paris in your underwear aren’t exactly safe places to be. 

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uckily i have never experienced the weird and wonderful things i do when sleepwalking in friends or my own home. I almost usually wake perfectly safe and sound in the bed i fell asleep in! So the walks across their front balconies outside their flats at 5 am wearing nothing but a t-shirt and knickers, banging on doors or taking off my t-shirt and folding it on the coffee table then putting my t-shirt back on and repeating this action tenfold, are to me all but hilarious antidotes that still feel unreal and some what untrue.

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ost of this disbelieve i think is caused due to waking up in the spot i went to bed which is altogether quite different then if you come to consciousness ( that’s the only way i can describe it) in the middle of a red sandy lane in East Africa( yes the sand in Uganda is red). I’ll start in Africa since that’s where this holiday sleep walks begun, never before this had i slept walk on holiday. Maybe i breathed in too much of that mysterious red sand.

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he whole African experience wasn’t exactly my thing at first i hate being overly hot(despite my being from a place that lies on the equator), as yes I’m a sweater, i admit it. I hate dust and i found out, especially the red sandy kind. Try get that shit out of your white converse, it doesn’t come out! I hate big bugs and everything in Africa, every single bloody bug was over sized like they had somehow all watched the movie Big found Zoltar speaks and conspired against me. Also there were people with guns freely walking the streets, guns make me nervy!

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o you can only imagine, waking up at the bottom of that road after your momma has told you your not even allowed to walk to the shops in case of danger. That it could only send a shock through the system  as its what you could only gather are the early hours of the morn.

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herefore you start from what you can remember; there you are falling asleep hoping you don’t wake up with an over sized moth or lizard on your face and instead you wake up bare foot in an over sized tee in a road you don’t know with red sand caressing your toes.

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don’t know what the first thing in your mind would have been but mine was ‘Oh fuck I’m gonna get raped by giant bugs and shot by some random African man’.

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‘Oh fuck I’m gonna get raped by giant bugs and shot by some random African man’.

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hank fuck, as some friends may tell you i have a good memory so i recognised a house from a car journey and realised i was only down the road, still not as comforting as you would think (this road was long). So running back in my over sized tee and now red feet all i could think of was don’t get killed you are not supposed to die like this you haven’t become a great hip hop choreographer yet(yes that was my dream job at one point). While running I was getting shouted at by African ladies who were on there way to god knows where at that hour. Now not speaking my home language was actually a bonus here, i know i could have done with that skill in asking for help but I’m sure by their gestures they were most likely calling me a slut for running around in nothing but a t-shirt.

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o there I was running, thinking how everyone was going to be out of their mind with worry and how was I going to explain this to the guards outside our house with guns. All of whom didn’t speak any English! Eventually getting back safe to my gate (minus some old lady throwing a stone at me, again i think she thought i was a slut or as my mum said later maybe she thought I was a witch). I try to relay the story to the guards about what had happened in amplified motions and gestures. As you can guess they couldn’t really understand they just kept say “but whyyyyy, but whyyy-o”! In Ugandan talk this isn’t good!

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get home to find no one has missed me, obviously they are all sound asleep so i slipped back into bed and thought I’d keep my adventure to myself since nothing bad happened. i mean now that i was safe i could say it was pretty funny though it could have gone a very different way. So i thought it safer to not worry any one.

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idn’t stay quiet for long, at breakfast my mum comes in and says the words “ah but whyyy” all i learnt that day is sleep walking in Uganda is a big NO NO as in no one was impressed.

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his “but why” is a constant question with people when they come across my sleepwalking which leads onto another encounter i had with these words. I seriously want to scream sometimes when people ask, especially when  the Parisian hotel security guard is asking you “but why do you have no clothes on” . As explaining why you don’t know or don’t recall is difficult even more so when there is a language barrier; “Well i don’t know do i, I don’t even know why I’m locked in the fire escape of your hotel monsieur”. Just to insert at this point before i go on i wasn’t naked, that would have been more of a never tell anyone that happened moment. Though i might as well have been, i was in my underwear and a see through singlet. I seriously need to rethink my holiday pj attire!

there’s a case to tak friends bed 272


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his was a more trying moment since it wasn’t even my hotel i was sleepwalking in, it was my friends. Which for the life of me when asked “what room were you in” in what could only be described as a pervy french accent. It dawned on me that i had no clue of since we all came back pretty boozy.

Desole je ne sais pas score, i thought, i know some french, then realised i didn’t know what the hell the french was for sleepwalking. So again after several exchanges of broken french and English and finger gestures of walking and motioning with my now black feet(i gather i had been walking up those fire steps many a times) the Parisian perv guard still didn’t get what i was talking about. 

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esperately he said again “but where did you come from” this is it i thought he probably thinks I’m some stranded African immigrant that snuck into their hotel half naked and is now pretending to stay here oh shit! “Rester ici” he said, great he locked me back in fire escape and it was getting pretty damn cold. Finally he came back with some hope and revelation in his eyes “oh sleepwalking” he said in English Thank fuck i thought I can go to bed after waking up on a fire

escape in Paris. So after eventually finding the room i was in and explaining i was now awake and still not sleepwalking, i caught some zzz’s. I woke a few hours later to find that my friends hadn’t even realised i was gone with the only evidence being my black feet.

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or that trip it didn’t end there, there as a case of me trying to take flight off my friends bed but we shan’t go into that.

ll I can truly say is that I’m glad i have avoided danger, although these are funny to retell others it is unnerving waking up in a place you don’t know and trying to find your bearings. I hope these remain the extreme extents of my sleepwalking but if I’m folding and re folding a t-shirt near you soon its not me its the sleepwalking and don’t ask me but why! Don’t ask me how i got, why I’m doing that, why i did that or why am i naked as i wont know minus the latter..... yes i will probably still be in a t-shirt and some pants, it seems to be my trademark.

case of me trying ke flight off my bed but we shan’t go into that. 273


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QUEER KIDS A Project by M. Sharkey: Brooklyn April 2010 275


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Its hard to believe that when I began this project in 2006 the issue of gay youth was just beginning to gain national attention, most notably with a cover story in Time Magazine titled, “The Battle Over Gay Teens” (Oct. 2005). From the article:

“Kids are disclosing their homosexuality with unprecedented regularity--and they are doing so much younger. The average gay person now comes out just before or after graduating high school. In 1997 there were approximately 100 gay-straight alliances (GSAs)--clubs for gay and gay-friendly kids--on U.S. high school campuses. Today there are at least 3,000 GSAs-nearly 1 in 10 high schools has one. In the 200405 academic year, GSAs were established at U.S. schools at the rate of three per day.” Since then, in just four years, the issue has become a kind of fait accompli. Americans may continue to argue about teenage sexual expression, school sanctioned GSAs and gay marriage, but clearly all are here to stay.

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The idea for this project arose from my own desire as a gay teenager to be given a voice. I desperately wanted to be counted and somehow made valid in the eyes of my peers. Sadly, coming out (and of age) in the 80’s, as I did, proved to be quite difficult for me and many others. I’ll never forget being beat-up by a high-school classmate as I’m sure all the other kids who suffered some physical abuse because of their sexuality will not forget.

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It was precisely this kind of willful, painful defiance that I wanted to capture in these portraits. But what you may also see is the delight that is the domain of a new generation: the sheer joy of being able to stand up and be seen:

without shame.

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recently met a friend who had just returned from a business trip to Shanghai.Young, tall & blonde I regularly trigger a ruckus with the sole aim of disfiguring his face before the evenings’ libation. Failing this I become a preconceived obstacle for women to overcome when making advances on my pal. I asked him about his trip. Enthusiastic hand gestures fly; photographs unveiled; anecdotes are rife. It’s similar to your parents showing you their holiday photos, where hours later you’re still pretending to give a shit. “Wow, that’s beautiful... That looks amazing...Can you hand me that cheese knife?” In the end I had to punch him in the face.

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ne point he made stuck with me long after the blood flow ceased. He described the natives staring as he took in the city and even stop him in his tracks to over-excitedly ask him to pose for cameraphone snaps. At the time I suggested he gave his ego a rest, but later it dawned on me that most of these people haven’t been remotely exposed to Western culture. In the digital age one may find such a statement preposterous. But think about it. Heavily censored media; low household incomes; uncompromising economic growth. More people live in China than the entire Western World, making it more plausible that the locals were amazed by my mates’ presence. The prospect of learning Mandarin suddenly becomes less orange.

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hina hasn’t always been rich. When the People’s Republic of China was formed in 1948 the country was gripped by civil war and a disillusioned communist dictatorship. A decade later, millions tragically died following a government-induced famine. Chairman Mao’s vision for reform assumed a two-pronged approach: enormous investment in heavy industry and agricultural development. Proclaimed the Great Leap Forward, Mao introduced quotas to govern economic output and ‘encourage’people to work hard for the State. Mao’s control over the economy caused local officials to fabricate the productivity of the land through fear of torture. Despite crop yields falling, China doubled its exports of grain between 1958 and 1961 and inadvertently lead to the deaths of between 20 and 50 million people.

China: The Economies of a Dark Horse. By: Jules Hallam pinyin: shì shàng wú nán shì, zh’ pà y’u x’n rén (The key to accomplishing seemingly impossible tasks is perseverance) - Chinese proverb

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fter Mao’s death in 1976, Deng Xiaoping took the helm and sought to turn the country’s fortunes by incentivising productivity. With Mao there was little reason to exceed strict quotas, even with productive land, so Deng increased the price paid by the state for surplus produce and relaxed farming laws to promote innovation. Output increased by 10 per cent per year for the first half of the 1980s. Deng then sought desperately needed capital to invest in infrastructure and imaginatively coined the ensuing development as the Plan. Using profits from stateowned corporations, Deng was able to cultivate China’s annual output to the point where 100 yuan invested translated to 72 yuan in economic growth. Each investment paid for itself in 500 days. The next, and more tricky step, was to promote foreign investment. China didn’t lack the funds, more the skills and expertise of foreign corporations. This was achieved by developing export relations with Hong Kong and Taiwan, who then exported the goods to the rest of the world. It was this that made investment opportunities in the Peoples’ Republic far less dubious.

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hina makes for a fascinating economic case study. As recently as 1978 the Chinese economy was smaller than that of Belgium, yet it’s endured the fastest-growing economy worldwide for the past 30 years. Average GDP growth* has been 10.5 per cent per annum with inflation** running at a staggering 8 per cent. Let’s craft a little context. You plant a tree, say a budding young oak, at the bottom of your garden. It’s 2 meters tall or about the height of your front door. Thirty years later it would stand as tall as the Empire State Building. Now that’s clearly a fucking massive tree, but substitute meters into $billions and we’re starting to see the bigger picture. Such unprecedented growth leaves China’s economy predicted to dwarf that of the United States by mid-century. No economy has touched that of the US in the past. Yet alongside its ‘Toyota’ economic growth that doesn’t seem to stop accelerating, appear blinkered ‘Animal Farm’ politics.

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here has long been controversy surrounding Chinaʼs censorship of public media, particularly with the official government press agency Xinhua. A leaked speech by Xia Lin, senior editor at Xinhua, surfaced in May revealed the State’s reliance on ‘internal reference’ or neican. The report outlined how clashes between Han Chinese and Uighurs in western region Xinjiang had been played down by the state, yet it was only after reading an internal reference on potential backlashes that prompted president Hu Jintao to cut his overseas tour. Subsequently censors removed the leak and sought to cease its circulation. A more stark example is the emergence of neican documents reporting on the SARS outbreak of 2003. Memos didn’t surface until 9th Feb, which outlined 300 cases and five deaths caused by the virus dating November 2002. China’s opaque reporting system was widely blamed for the

spread of SARS, yet reporters were not sanctioned to report on the outbreak freely until 20th April.

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here appears to be a tenuous link between China’s neican and their local currency, the yuan or kuài. Their proactive economy lies in two prominent traits; savings and exports. Owing to a culture of prudence it’s estimated that the Chinese save 50 per cent of their income and, although $160 per month for an average factory worker doesn’t seem like much, local banks are transferring $1 billion in savings to the People’s Bank of China every day.

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f one were to saunter down to Wal-mart on a melancholy Autumn afternoon and muse their expansive product range, one would find 70 per cent of the goods stocked were sourced from China. China’s trade with the rest of world has accumulated over $2 trillion foreign reserves, of with $1.3 trillion is held in American assets and treasury bills, tradable government debt. This again is increasing by $1 billion per day. Yet as China lives well within its means their investment in the dollar allows Americans to sap cheap credit. It’s estimated that every American has inadvertently borrowed $4 000 from your typical Chinese factory worker over the last 10 years. Such an enormous stockpile is deeply worrying for America. If China were sell off large reserves of the dollar it could effectively leave the dollar resembling shares in RBS.

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merica and China’s economic relationship, however, is reciprocal. China must keep its exports low for fear that higher prices will urge America to look elsewhere for cheap goods, which conveniently brings me to my point concerning surreptitious currency valuation and keeping the yuan undervalued. China’s unabated stockpiling of the dollar has left the yuan valued at $0.147 since July 2008, which allows China to export goods more cheaply than other net exporters. This gives them a massive competitive advantage over net exporters such as Taiwan or Germany. The same way OPEC control oil supplies to keep demand and therefore price high, China control the export market with a favorable exchange rate.


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here has long been controversy surrounding C hina ’ s censorship of public media, p articularly with the official go v ernment press agency

Xinhua . 289


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his then weakens the dollar and has a domino effect where all currencies with large stakes in the dollar unable to strengthen their currency. The technical term for this scenario is

MONEYGEDDON. 290


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ore unnerving are the potential consequences that China’s currency control could have on world markets. Net importing countries like the UK routinely face a trade deficit, which increases demand for foreign currency. This will raise the exchange rate relative to that currency and make imports more expensive, therefore increasing domestic demand and reducing the deficit. This is a natural constituent of a business cycle; during a recession exports increase jobs and demand and throughout expansion countries import more to meet demand and limit inflation. However, this cycle isn’t possible with a fixed rate because one can’t string then the pegged currency and increase domestic consumption. Here it gets interesting. The dollar has always been considered a worldwide benchmark currency and, as the US exported totaled $1.3 trillion in 2008, many economies buy dollars to support their trade deficit. However, with imports worth $2.1 trillion the same year their trade deficit ran at $800 billion. With China being responsible for 15 per cent of imports it becomes difficult for America to bridge their deficit. This then weakens the dollar and has a domino effect where all currencies with large stakes in the dollar unable to strengthen their currency. The technical term for this scenario is MONEYGEDDON.

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hina’s choice investment of their reserves is seen as a key factor in the financial crisis, with the US stopping short of accusing China of currency manipulation . Food for thought, but let’s not overlook the global economies benefitting from trade in such a vast marketplace. We have access to cheap goods. Nearly 10 per cent of the Chinese population live on less than $1.25 per day, which is down from 64 per cent when Deng stepped in with the Plan.

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here’s no doubt in my mind that China’s economic development holds the key to improved quality of life across the continent, the very improvement that’s enabling the domestic population to appreciate their unique culture of growing employment and cheap technology...

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ladyboy bandits and talented vaginas

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Thailand:

Home of the backpacker, where a thousand baht (twenty pounds) could buy you a decent hotel, a delicious meal, and oh yes, your very own chick with a dick for the night.

HELENA GRANT

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ou don’t have to travel to Thailand to hear stories of the South East Asian country’s infamous sex tourism trade. Word of the ping pong shows, beautiful Thai ladyboys, and child prostitutes hit the streets of England long before the Leo Decaprio film The Beach made Bangkok’s tourist-heavy Khao San Road famous (or infamous) worldwide. Thailand’s sex tourism industry is quite simply unavoidable. It crawls the streets of Bangkok in drag, it sits with whitehaired, dirty old men in bars in Phuket, and it flaunts itself in cabarets in Pattaya. But why has paradoxically conservative Thailand fostered such a culture? For a country which censors pictures of people smoking cigarettes in national newspapers it seems somehow strange that for only a couple of quid you could quite easily go and watch a show where women pull razor blades out of their pussies, or hire a transvestite to spend the night with you.

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One of the great things about Thailand is its acceptance of transsexuals. If a guy in Thailand wants to become a girl, he isn’t looked down on. It’s just accepted, and if a woman wants to make money from sleeping with rich men, then that’s accepted too,” says Jodie Hawthorn, a UCL graduate who now lives and works in the South of Thailand. “It’s not as if Thailand is overrun with sex tourism. I mean, you see it occasionally, but it’s just more out in the open here. I’m sure an equal amount of prostitution happens in England but there it’s all going on behind closed doors, so who knows what’s actually going on?” she adds.

I

t certainly seems to be the case that Thailand has a leniency towards the sex trade that we do not have in England. One explanation of this is that Buddhism (Thailand’s predominant religion) teaches tolerance, something which the Western world is perhaps still struggling with. As for ladyboys, there are more opportunities for transsexuals in Thailand where medical care is excellent, but the prices are low. A quick Google search for a Bangkok boobjob brings up thousands of results for plastic surgery clinics in the country’s capital, and all the procedures come at a fraction of what you might pay in England. But if you ask most ladyboys how they financed their operations, they will often unashamedly tell you that they funded them through prostitution. Perhaps the country’s clandestine acceptance of the sex trade has more to do with a willingness to adapt in any way it possibly can to create an ergonomic holiday destination for the tourists whose money feeds Thailand’s steadily developing economy. There are, of course, problems that come with this. Over the past few years there has been an increase in “ladyboy crime,” where groups of ladyboys, have been reported to have gone back to naïve Westerner’s rooms, beaten them up and run off with all their money. Many tourists also complain that they are harassed by Thai ladyboys, who are often more confident than the female prostitutes in their sexual advances.

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As a foreigner in Thailand it is impossible not to be propositioned by prostitutes. Ladyboys are usually the worst. They’ve come up to me and grabbed my cock more than once, trying to get me into bed with them.” says Paul Grave, 22, who has recently returned from backpacking through South East Asia. “The girls are more subtle, but still unavoidable. You see them in the bars in the South hanging around waiting for men to buy them drinks and then take them home. It’s a nice country and all, but it can be exhausting getting propositioned so often,” he explains. Recently the Thai government have been working to eliminate this problem. Last month the Thai newspaper Pattaya People released an article stating that local police officers had been rounding up individuals accused of pestering tourists, which included several ladyboys, and they were forced to pay a fine and given a warning to behave ‘for the good of the city’.

I don’t think the ladyboys are a problem in Thailand,” says Jo “Even when I’ve traveled with male friends, they don’t get flirted with too much, perhaps a little, but it’s all just a bit of fun. I know that sex tourism can be a bad thing, for example the child sex industry should definitely be stopped, but I don’t see anything wrong with ladyboys,” she concludes.


“Ladyboys are usually the worst. They’ve come up to me and grabbed my cock more than once, trying to get me into bed with them.” 295


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ome travellers disagree with this sentiment however. Increasing numbers of Brits are falling victim to the thieving gangs of ladyboys in Thailand, and the expansion in the sex tourism industry caused by growing numbers of Westerners travelling East to get their kicks, correlates with a rise in STDs and HIV in Thailand. So one might wonder what the appeal is for sex tourists?

The thing about Thai ladyboys is that they are often more beautiful than the Thai women, and much more adventurous in bed than Western women. Over there they have a much slimmer build than Western men, so you often can’t tell, and you get a much better experience because they know exactly how to please a man, seeing as how they used to be one” comments one traveler, who wished (unsurprisingly) to remain anonymous. He went on to say: “Sex tourism isn’t a crime, it’s helpful to the economy. It’s their choice to do what they do and they get a decent wage out of it. It’s all just a bit of harmless fun.”

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uite separate to the issues of prostitution in Thailand are the sex shows that take place in the country’s rapidly industrializing capital. Advertised by most of the tuk-tuk drivers who haunt Bangkok’s traveller’s mecca Khao San Road, the sex shows take place mainly in the upstairs of bars in an area of the capital called Patpong. For just a few quid you can have a drink whilst watching a miserable and often middle-aged Thai woman do tricks with her vagina. Watching ping pongs flying out of someone’s fanny, having your bottle of beer impressively opened between someone’s thighs, and staring in awe (or disgust) whilst a woman pulls a string of real life razor blades out from god knows where inside her are just a few of the things on offer. To top that off, most shows even finish with a live demonstration of some real sex, although some end with a woman blowing out the candles on a cake with her girlie bits. What sex tourist wouldn’t be impressed by that?

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ove it or hate it, sex tourism is an unavoidable fact of life. Aside from the obvious dangers of engaging in sex tourism, Thailand’s sex trade is just one of the many things that make it a unique and interesting place to visit. And if sex tourism isn’t your forte, there’s plenty of beaches and temples you can go check out. Ladyboy’s, hookers, and vaginas that do party tricks are just one small part of a culture which has many things to offer.

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RED SHIRTS WORDS BY JC SCHILDKNECHT

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hailand, a country known officially as a constitutional monarchy (with the world’s longest-serving monarch King Bhumibol Aduyadej) has experienced 18 military coups since 1932, the most recent one being the 2006 coup that ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra for cause of corruption, which had as consequence the military taking control of the country. Thaksin, pursued by the government on corruption charges (accusations he contends are politically motivated) now lives in self-imposed exile moving from one country to another to avoid prison, and is waiting for a way to make his big return.

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uring that time, Thaksin’s supporters, the Red Shirts, gathered to listen to video calls from Thaksin telling them that the government in place is aristocratic, backed up by the military which makes it a false democracy. Red Shirts showed their disagreement towards the government and over the next two years fresh elections and a series of prime ministers succeeded one another: first came Samak who belonged to the People’s Power Party (Thaksin’s allies), and who was sent packing a few months later, (also) due to corruption.

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hen came the Anti-Thaksin yellow-shirted protesters (officially known as The People’s Alliance for Democracy), mostly urban middle classes who first staged demonstrations and occupied Bangkok’s international airport to try to force out Somchai Wongsawat, Thaksin’s brother in law who was briefly elected prime minister after Samak. The airport closed even though the part occupied by the protesters was unimportant. They could have still have provided their services but chose to close it down, making the yellow shirts appear as though they had over run the entire air port, giving them a bad reputation.

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hen appeared Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajvaa in 2008, the third Prime Minister in four months. He never won any national elections but was appointed by a parliamentary vote hence the Red Shirt’s demand for new elections the following year

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n 2009 anti-government protesters (the Red Shirts) manifested their presence by raiding the ASEAN summit that was held in Pattaya before entering Bangkok, and they then blocked all the city’s main roads, which led to the cancelation of the Songkran festivities (the super fun new years water fight which lasts for about a week). A state of emergency was declared. Since the “red shirts” did not leave these main areas the army had to intervene.

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r. Thaksin was the most successful Thai leader of modern times in 2001. From an economic stand point Thaksin brought up Thailand’s Economic Growth Per Capita and took the burden off of the country from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Thaksin led multiple programs that helped pay back the loans that Thailand took out during the Financial Crisis.

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haksinomics designed its policies to appeal to the rural majority, kick off programs like villagemanaged micro-credit, which began to give out small loans to low-income families and mostly women. He also started a big push for low-interest agricultural loans, direct injections of cash into village development .funds and infrastructure development. Additionally Thaksin mirrored Japan’s successful One Village One Product with the creation of One Tambon One Product (OTOP), which enables local entrepreneurs to improve local product quality and marketing in their villages, and to then sell to a wider market. Furthermore he was also successful in wooing the poor in the different provinces who had always been ignored and who are now willing to fight and die on the streets to bring their hero back (while he shops at Louis Vuitton on the Champs-Elysées and travels the world with his different passports)

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n the beginning of this year the court blocked Thaksin’s assets in Thailand and took back 46 out of 76 billion baht (910, 291, 709.77 GBP). Thaksin says he wants democracy for the Thai people but what he seems to mostly want is his money back. The Red Shirts leaders, under Thaksin’s influence, said they would march around the city on March 14th to call for new elections and have the house dissolved. The government did not respond nor did it back down so the protesters did as promised. That event led to the “bloodshed” where Thai protesters took their blood and threw it on the government house and Apisit’s house. A few days later Prime Minister Apisit agreed to meet with the leaders to negotiate but all the Red Shirts wanted were new elections and dissolution of the current party with no apparent reasons; mainly that Apisit wasn’t voted for by the nation

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he reds then continued their protest and the state of emergency was declared in Bangkok on April 7th. Three days later there was a clash with the military at Victory Monument, after which they moved to Siam, the center of Bangkok. This led to more conflict

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pisit then offered to hold new elections in November if the Red Shirts would agree to retreat and leave the Siam area but they disagreed and wanted elections right away. The government then withdrew the offer and forced them to get out by cutting water supplies and electricity

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he fighting became quite intense though CNN believed that Red Shirts did not have any weapons. The protesters had some of their own people dress as soldiers and shoot civilians to show the world that the army was shooting at random on civilians. They used Buddhist temples to store large amounts of weapons including M16 assault rifles. It got so extreme that they even killed a whole Red Cross team that was sent to help the children and women who were forced to stay in the temples, who were told that if they tried to leave the military would shoot them and their children

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ow everywhere Bangkok are signs that sa

“Together We

ตอนนี ้ ท ุ ก แห่ ง ในกรุ ง เทพฯมี ส ั ญ ญาณที ่ พ ู ด ว

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here in are big say:

We Can”

ว่ า "เราสามารถร่ ว มกั น "

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n May 13th one of the main leaders, Sae Daeng, was assassinated. The following day the burning started across Bangkok. Red Shirt leaders surrendered and told protesters to go home but they disagreed and started burning random buildings like the Thai electric center, banks after emptying them and Central World (the biggest shopping mall in south East Asia) after stealing mass amount of phones, jewelry and luxury watches. Unfortunately firemen weren’t able to act due to the presence of snipers. In the morning all protesters went home and said they would come back later in the month. The following weekend “Bangkok cleaning day” was held, for all people to come out into the streets and clean the city

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ow everywhere in Bangkok are big signs that say “Together We Can”, there are songs on the sky train with all of Thailand’s most famous stars singing about unity. You can also buy t-shirts that say “Together We Can” on the streets, which almost makes it seem that this crisis has turned into a business opportunity. With the world cup this summer, most of the population had their mind off this crisis while they betted on game scores (something most Thais have a passion for) in wait for another anti-government protester uprising which will most likely happen on the 12th of August, on her Majesty the Queen’s birthday

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hailand’s economy and international reputation have been gravely affected by this crisis. Most tourists also fled and are harder to find except for the famous Kao Sarn Road, where all the backpackers still go to get wasted

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rtist/photographer Piyatat Hemmatat is organizing a group exhibition on these past events and the burnings. The exhibition entitled “Amazing Thailand” will open in about two months at the Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre, a group exhibition including two other photographers and one video artist.

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when 7/11 closes like this, something is very wrong says the artist about one of his photographs

e was disappointed in Abhisit, who to him did not seem very sorry for the many deaths among the Thai people. He believes there is a deeper issue, that consumerism run amok led to this chaos and poverty.

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* Efiltatish Efiltatish’ is the latest Zine from creative collaborators, Claire Barrow and Eloise Parry. Their debut book, ‘Children’ was released April this year and is sold in various shops in both the UK and Europe, including Machine-A, Soho. Their collaboration initially began at the age of 17, when they were both studying at art college in Middlesbrough. Since then, they’ve relocated to London and are both studying Fashion.  Their work centres around all they know; what it means to be young. Their  latest Zine, ‘Efiltatish’  (an anagram, meaning ‘Shit at Life’) is inspired by those who live on the outskirts of functional society and the way in which they compose their lives.

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RM: So how did you begin working together? E: Claire & I went to college together, I think that’s where the initial process began. I started photographing Claire’s garments and I guess we just went from there. C: I started drawing stuff that I wanted to draw in my spare time. At the time I was studying fashion illustration. RM: Your style doesn’t seem influenced by fashion illustration. C: It never did, that’s the thing. I think I learnt how to draw when I was a child and nothings developed since. When I was really young I was good and then I went to college and drew life drawings, fashion illustrations and shit like that and suddenly it just clicked and I found my niche of what I wanted to draw. RM: like drawing dicks & fanny’s? C: Yeah and portraits of people. Then about 3 years ago Ella and I spoke about doing something together that can mark this time that we found each other creatively. When we started it was just a few pictures… E: They were shit! Really really bad! I’ve looked at them recently and it made me cringe. C: But it was a start. E: It was a start but there’s always been that synchronicity, we’ve always understood what each person wanted from the final creative outcome. We have several mutual friends, similar outlooks & experiences and we just wanted a way of documenting this time together, like a milestone.    

RM: Tell us about the piece you submitted to us?

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E: It’s a fictional piece. It’s inspired by people who live on the fringe of functional society. Obviously there’s a line between exploration and exploitation, we just wanted to embrace and celebrate flaws. The British, as a Nation are generally quite reserved. Stuffy, almost. In contrast, Europeans are usually flamboyant and vivacious, and that’s what, fundamentally, we were inspired by for this submission.  


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RM: Your previous book ‘children’ was in print, why not in print this time round? C: We feel really content with the way it looks and we just want it out there, its just so people can see it. E: Even subconsciously, the endless Flickr accounts, you take inspiration from those. I have a whole massive amount of pictures on my computer of images that I saved that I thought were really beautiful and I guess we just wanted to be a part of that. People should be able to access your work regardless of whether they can afford it or not and to save your images.    

RM: Tell us about the images in Efiltatish.

C: Ok, well the butchers shop shoot was a coat I made and my friend Angela, a babe. It was based on contrast, natural and unnatural, I poured on hot wax so it looked like meat. We went to halal butchers in Lewisham & asked people if we could take photos. They had this live crab crawling around on the counter in one place. R: Each page is like a different chapter in this book. C: That’s true but we just put them together in a way that translates best. The cover is a dog we saw in Mile End, I liked its muzzle & its owner was a babe. Nice looking chap. E: Total babe. C: We took a portrait of our friend Ismaeil because he’s also beautiful and we love him. I styled this also. The skin drawings I did because when I think of eastern Europeans, I think of pale skin and colour, the imagery isn’t as important as the colour. When I think of skin I think of sex. There is some gay boys getting at it, even though its quite a grotesque image you can sympathise with it, its quite pretty and the flowers and quite feminine, it relates back to the image of Ismaeil. R: What about the image of Claire dressed as hooker at the end?

E: We were watching a lot of 90s indie films like doom generation. It was the Doom Generation that inspired the bedroom picture of Claire. We also picked up calling cards from phone boxes around London and thought it would be great to style Claire up like the women on the cards. The provocative dress she wears compliments the kitsch styling of the room and claire is like a little chameleon, you can put her in anything and she looks amazing. 

RM: And I know how much of an influence Lindsey Lohan is upon your lives, How did you feel about her imprisonment? C: That’s your question? I thought it was going to be something like ‘Lindsey Lohan did a piss on someone in prison how do you feel about it?’. But I think drink driving is really bad. E: That’s not what she’s in for… C: She is! E: I thought she was found with a concoction of drugs C: Yeah but she shouldn’t drink drive either, that’s terrible. If you think that’s bad listen to Rollins. E: True! C: How did she get out so quick as well? If she was a scally she’d be…. E: Its because she’s a celebrity…she can afford it C: She’s a babe though. I think she’s well fit E: Do you know what? I really don’t. C: I do, I think she’s a fucking babe. I love her freckles, ginger hair and her massive boobs E: Yeah, she’s pretty but I just think she’s a fucking mess C: It was great when she had coke in her shoe and she stood on it and a big cloud of coke appeared. E: She said that was flour to help her fit in her shoes properly. Bullshit, I think she can afford proper fitting shoes. C: Hot mess!

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CREDITS 001 - H&M pants, father’s vintage cowboy jacket 002 - seventies coat from eBay, sweatpants TEZENIS, boa 003 - vintage pelerine from Prague, pants Cheap Monday, T-shirt PUBLIC BEWARE 004 - collar H&M, T-shirt JAKOBY, button-up T-shirt TOPSHOP 005 - hat BRIXTON, H&M collar, T-shirt JAKOBY, button-up T-shirt TOPSHOP, original sailor pants from L.A. thrift shop 006 - Vintage skirt from Reykjavik, black T-shirt Cheap Monday, vintage Cowboy collar from San Diego, granny’s hat

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한국 영화

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화는 입문서 * A KOREAN MOVIE PRIMER WORDS BY ED KIM

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am a life-long lover of movies. Since my youth, I’ve consumed movies voraciously. Good. Bad. Weird. Crazy. Happy. Sad. Lovely. Ugly. Horrific. Tender. Aggressive. I travelled the entire gamut and loved it. As I watched all the offerings of modern Hollywood, I frequently sought out referenced films of the past: Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Godfather trilogy, It Happened One Night, You’ll Never Get Rich, Only Angels Have Wings, Separate Tables, Sullivan’s Travels and so on and so forth. At some point in my movieviewing habits, I grew bored with much of the typical Hollywood output. The nascent “indie” scene was addressing some of the creative doldrums and did give me some hope, but my attentions started to drift.

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iscovering ‘The Magnificent Seven was a remake of Seven Samurai gave me a reason to seek out Seven Samurai. From there, it was a short leap to going thru the Kurosawa oeuvre. From there it was a short leap to running thru as many Japanese films as I could find. Rumble In the Bronx being released on the big screen reminded me of my love of those “Old School Kung Fu” movies and then led me to the Jackie Chan movies of the early 90s which then introduced me to the Seven Little Fortunes, the Peking Opera troupe which famously produced Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, Yuen Wah, Yuen Kwai, Yuen Woo-ping, among others. A chance viewing of a picture of Gong Li made me seek out her filmography and so I found Raise the Red Lantern, Qiu Ju, and others.

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ut strangely, it was until fairly recent that I went from Japan, Hong Kong, and China to Korea, SOUTH Korea, to be more specific. But once I discovered Korean movies, I became fervently immersed and passionate about it. I could not believe how amazing these films were, how interesting, creative, energetic, vibrant, and exciting they were. Even a typical silly romantic comedy seemed to be infused with such striking elements that elevated it well beyond what I was accustomed to.

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f course, part of this was because the Korean cinema was new to me. During this “Honeymoon” period, just about everything was fresh and different and so seemed brilliant. As time went on and some of the Korean film-making tropes became evident, my eye focused slightly and I grew picky about the films which I embraced.

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hat becomes quickly obvious is that not all Korean movies are good. In fact, there are lots of bad Korean movies; but, what is most important to movie fans is that there are many utterly fantastic films, all of which are likely hidden from view from the typical movie fan.

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ormally for foreign films, we are at the whim of the video companies. They go pick and choose some films from overseas, subtitle them, and then release them locally. If we’re lucky, they also do enough marketing so that we hear about them and possibly watch them. If we are really lucky, the company has enough taste to have selected a good movie. This process allows for only a few movies at a time and often these are films that are a few years old.


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ormally for foreign films, we are at the whim of the video companies. * 외국

영화를 정상적으로, 우리는 변덕에 있는 비디오 기업입니다. 343


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ow, what is fantastic about the Korean movie and video industry is that nearly all of the local DVDs are released with English subtitles! Whether it is because of the large population of United States Armed Forces stationed in Korea (and thus a large English speaking population) or just a desire to promote the films overseas, it means that we Western Audience members directly benefit. So this means that we can actually take more control over what we see from Korea. With sufficient knowledge, a parallel importer, and a region-free DVD player, we can see films as they are released on DVD.

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he Korean film industry is huge. It is surprisingly huge and producing a great deal of movies in many forms and different genres. Choosing a film to watch can be daunting. With a huge list of films, little or no expertise in the area, and just rough plot descriptions, we can get very quickly overwhelmed. In fact, it’s so large that it is still prohibitive to try to give an insightful, comprehensive overview at a single time. What is possible--and hopefully helpful--is to provide a starting point.

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wo of my favorite movie in the past couple of years, regardless of country of origin, regardless of genre, came from Korea. The Chaser was a serial killer film and kidnapping film that had everything. The last time I was this engrossed in a serial killer film was with Se7en. Many other people seem to have felt the same way, including Leonardo DiCaprio, whose production company has picked up the rights for a remake. The other film was Mother, a movie that on the surface feels like yet another murder procedural. A gentle retarded man is incorrectly accused of murder and it is up to his doting mother to try to free him. The flavor of this film comes from the fact that the mother is no super detective in a skirt or with the mental acuity of a courtroom defense attorney; she’s just a normal, rural mother whose only real strength is her determined love for her son.

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hose are just two examples. Korea has a wealth of stories to tell and pass on. Since Korea has been in a state of war for over half a century, there is no shortage of material for military stories. Military and war movies have a naturally high level of conflict and energy and so make for great subject matter. Hollywood knows this and so we’ve had quite a few military films, many of the modern era being of the Middle East. We have had so many of these that I have lost interest in these, regardless of their quality. So the Korean military film may offer a different taste to the palate.

“With a huge list of films, little or no expertise in the area, and just rough plot descriptions, we can get very quickly

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e

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oreans love melodrama and this shows up quite a bit. There’s an intensity to the culture and an intensity to the films with which melodrama feels perfectly at home. One of the most prolific genres of Korean cinema is the romance. At its worst, the melodrama overwhelms the narrative and becomes too much. At its best, the perfect balance of emotional strength and storytelling creates an emotional shearing that gives you that wonderful internal upheaval.

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he most famous of these is Il Mare. Most people may know this only by its Hollywood remake called The Lake House that starred Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. The story remains basically the same, but the original has many differences that serve to engage and highlight the emotions in a way that The Lake House does not manage. The other notable remade Korean romance is the romantic comedy My Sassy Girl. In this case, the remake was an abject failure and the original remains one of the more clever, humorous, and outrageous films that somehow manages to retain a very powerful emotional core that builds towards the end. In this case, the melodramatic moments are nicely balanced by the comedic convolutions. My Little Bride is another film that manages the intricate balance of emotional relevance and outrageous comedy and becomes a

“ 큰 영화들의 목록이 거의 없거나 전혀 없는 영역에 대한 전문지식 거칠고 음모 설명, 우리는 매우 빠르게 얻을 수 있

little

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oint Security Area a movie about an unusual friendship that occurs at the 2.5 mile Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea. With a military backdrop, it is more a drama about two soldiers becoming friends despite their differences. Tae Guk Gi has been called the Korean Saving Private Ryan. It’s a big budget movie about two brothers who are called to serve during the Korean War. Welcome to Dongmakgol is another movie that brings North and South Korean soldiers together, this time in an isolated village which has been untouched by the hostilities between the two sides. Silmido is a Dirty Dozen-like movie based on a true story about a planned attempt to assassinate North Korean President Kim Il-sung.

압도되.

fantastic film. Much of the humor comes from the high concept that a 20ish year old college student is forced to marry a 16year old high school student. Despite the strange set up, the spot-on perfect performances by the two leads and the excellent writing make the humor really work and make this a must-see for anyone seeking out a truly wonderful romantic comedy.

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he Last Present is a a perfect example of the Korean melodrama. Distanced and alienated husband and wife slowly come together when the wife is diagnosed with terminal cancer. The themes of sacrifice in the face of tragedy and the love of another beyond the self are on full display, reminiscent of The Gift of the Magi. The emotional energy that is harnessed here is a rare thing of beauty and stands as one of the great Korean romantic dramas.

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“I

didn’t even know the South Korean President was assassinated, much that he was assassinated by his close friend who was also the director of Korean Intelligence Agency.

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hen I Turned Nine is a coming of age story that should find the fans of My Life as a Dog. Adults exist in this world but sit strongly in the background as these nine year olds navigate the world of elementary school. Love. Friendship. Status. Taken from the viewpoint of a nine year old, it all feels appropriate. The child acting at once feels natural and honest without abnormally calling attention to itself. My Brother is a melodrama about a young boy whose brother contracts terminal cancer. Emotions play out as they would with a child, rarely controlled and exhibiting in sometimes very strange forms. Cracked Egg and Noodles about a irresponsible adult who discovers that he is a father to a boy whose only desire is to walk the length of Korea with his father.

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he Gangster movie is a staple of the Korean industry. While not as universally well-known as Yakuza or Mafia or Triad, Korea has gangsters, but the focus of these stories are not for the largescale bosses, but rather at the street level. Maybe it should translate more to “street thug” rather than “gangster.” A Bittersweet Life is the most polished of these, highlighting a well-to-do gangster who is the right-hand man of a major boss. The plot turns when this

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ramas with child actors in major roles is also quite common, but unlike Hollywoods output, these actors are written as children rather than shrunken-down adults. They are generally not tasked with acting too far out of range and the films are structured more to allow the children to act like children. This makes for movies that are more touching than “interesting.”

man gets involved with the boss’ girlfriend. The story unfolds not in a typical fashion however and takes some really interesting turns. Friend is about the rise of four friends from high school to the streets. Breathless is a relatively new film that pits a street level gangster thug against a high school girl who has as much internal fortitude as he does and nearly as much baggage. It is not a friendship. It is not a romance. It is not a mentorship. It is just remarkable.

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hrough the Korean Film Council, the South Korean government funds films that might not be entirely commercially viable and that might not otherwise secure finances. This means that there are many interesting “Art films” being produced in Korea. With art films in place, commercial viability for them increased and so now they are not solely the province of the KOFIC.

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im ki-duk’s work is likely the most recognizable of the so-called Art Film. Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring and 3-Iron are his most accessible ones. Spring Summer is structured as vignettes representing the seasons and showing a Buddhist monk and his trainee, at one moment harmonizing with nature and at another at discord because of society. 3-Iron about a man who finds homes where the occupants are vacationing, squats there, and in repayment, he does chores around the home. Some of Kim Ki-duk’s older work The Isle, Address Unknown, Bad Guy can be quite challenging with respect to its subject matter and general outlook to the world. They are not good places to start.


Korean less close of the

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ee Chang-dong’s work is probably as fine as you can find in the world. His early trilogy of Green Fish, Peppermint Candy, and Oasis seemed like that was going to be his only contributions as he took a political position. However, he retired that position and eventually took the world by storm with Secret Sunshine, a film that begins as a kidnapping movie but soon turns into something far more interesting and very special.

“나는 알고 있는 한국 대통령 암살이 훨씬 그에 의해 암살되 그의 절친한 친구인 국장은 또 한국의 미 중앙정보국(cia).”

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here are also biopics and docudramas that are based on persons and events in Korean history, many of which were totally unknown to me. I have no way of knowing exactly how true to events these films were, but I found the general stories and personalities to be quite fresh and compelling.

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ay 18 is about the Gwang-ju Massacre that put down a student uprising during the democratic movement in South Korea. I knew of China’s Tianenman Square incident but had no idea about Gwang-ju. Champion is about the life of lightweight boxer Kim Duk-koo who was killed in the ring against Ray “Boom-boom” Mancini. Rikidozan was a Korean man who became famous in the Japanese Pro-Wrestling circuit. The President’s Last Bang is about the assassination of South Korean President Park Chung-hee. I didn’t even know the South Korean President was assassinated, much less that he was assassinated by his close friend who was also the director of the Korean Intelligence Agency.

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his is far from a comprehensive list. Even as a primer, it is impossible to mention so many films that may serve as a wonderful starting point (Old Boy, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Marrying the Mafia 2, 100 Days with Mr Arrogant, The Crying Fist, Too Beautiful to Lie, ..Ing, Ditto, Sad Movie, Lover’s Concerto, Bungee Jumping on Their Own, Shiri, Arahan, Bichunmoo, Crossing, North Korea Boys, My Girlfriend is an Agent are among them). But what is clear is that there is a wide array of movies that are available from South Korea. Each of these has representative strengths and many will strike home with the viewers. Even the ones mentioned here that are not taken to heart should still provide an interesting viewing experience and may extend a person’s viewpoint and desire to engage in more of these films.

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STILLS FROM BE BESIDE ME: CREATED BY Stefan Duscio STYLIST KATE CARNEGIE HAIR & MAKE UP JULIA PROVIS

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4

CORNERS

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America, a land of opportunities. A country where dreams can become reality, but occasionally the dream can turn into a nightmare. Many developing countries look at America as a land where you can build a new life, create opportunities and forget your problems this is why many people migrate from across the world to America, lusting for the American dream and the sense of security to find out that the America dream is a silky fabric that covers the eyes of the naive and security is only affordable to the rich. A wealthy, industrialized nation that does not offer all its citizens health coverage rendering the poor defenseless but is it really this black and white? Everynone documented four stories highlighting four different corners of the health insurance debate.

scan the qr code to watch the videos.

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They Made It Impossible Angela Prugal had to skip a lot of medical care during her last pregnancy - with a brutal outcome.

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Lou Padilla is a locksmith, and pretty good at fixing things, so when he broke his ankle a few years back, he decided to set it himself. He didn’t have health insurance, and he still doesn’t ”

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Rick Bartlett’s son wanted to come home and work on his family’s farm. But a need for health

insurance is forcing Trevor away from his family.

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to w the v

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My Son Needs It

the qr code watch video

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scan the qr code to watch the video

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Thank God I Have It One day, Stan Comora tripped over his own two feet, and was pretty sure his life would be over in minutes. He had fallen on a saw, cutting open an artery in his face. What went through his mind?

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Art must unquestionably have a social value; that is, as a potential means of communication it must be addressed, and in com 388


mprehensible terms, to the understanding of mankind

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TALE OF TWO CITIES

PHOTOGRAPHY BY EDWIN TSE STYLING: Edda Gudmundsdottir for Kate Ryan inc

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LOOK 1: Human hair cape: Shoplifter & EDDA for VPL Dress & boots: VPL LOOK 2+3: Dress DIANE VON FURSTENBERG LOOK 4: Long dress and bodysuit: THREE AS FOUR Bracelet: LARUICCI Shoes: Vintage PUCCI LOOK 5+6: Dress: PLEASURE PRINCIPLE Sweater jacket: YIGAL AZROUEL Necklace + Earrings: DANIKA Socks: H&M Shoes: CHRISTIAN LOUBOTAN LOOK 7: SHirt: ALI TAGHAVI Sweater: DIANE VON FURSTENBERG suede shorts and boots: ALONZO LOOK 8: Top + pants: WAYNE Necklace: BOBAE Ring: LARUICCI Shoes: YSL LOOK 9: Human hair cape: Shoplifter & EDDA for VPL Dress; VPL

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is the name for what people are interested in, their thoughts, their models, the books they read and the speeches they hear, their table-talk, gossip, controversies, historical sense and scientific training,the values they appreciate, the quality of life they admire. All communities have a culture. It is the climate of their civilisation.

Walter Lippmann

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shao-yen words photos

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holl nicole


en chen

holly maria

woodcock winkler

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wenty-eight year old Taiwanese designer Shao-Yen Chen recently graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins with an MA in Womenswear, taking critics head-on with his knitted graduate collection. Having previously interned at both Alexander McQueen and Hussain Chalayan, Shao-Yen’s creations capture the innovation andimagination of his predecessors, using an unlikely mix of cashmere, lycra and nylon string to create an all-white and truly inspiring collection. Enthused by the sea and waves, the knitwear extraordinaire worked on different layers and textures, looking to 1970s fur coats for the silhouette, and paying close attention to the presentation of his work. The London-based designer has clearly taken on board the things he learned from his time at McQueen and Chalayan, as well as influences from his own hometown of Yilan. 411


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the empero & THE CROWN JEWELS


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Photography: Alena Jascanka Styling: Magdalena Bryk Make up: Yuka Hirata Hair: Sarah Jo Palmer Model: Matthew Dyer @ Premier 415


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CREDITS Chains piece by Fannie Schiavoni Jeans by Cheap monday Shoulder pads -stylist’s own  shoulder piece by Gisele Ganne shorts by Jasper Chadprajong mask made by photographer from jewelry by Adrian Eric Morales Jeans -- Cheap Monday all rings by Macha Jewelry chains piece by Fannie Schiavoni mask by Gisele Ganne shorts by Jasper Chadprajong all jewelry by Gisele Ganne Jeans by Cheap Monday       

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year is 1966 and Attiso, an 18 Tto heyear old Senegalese boy, moves his country’s capital Dakar to

study law, he considered many jobs to fund his education, barman, cashier, concierge… but he finally settled upon musician. After much practice, he and a few friends took up residency at a local bar called, Club Baobab, and henceforth became, Orchestra Baobab. As Attisso himself confidently asserted, they were the first band to blend traditional music with modern dance styles.

t was over thirty years later whilst IJools watching a performance on Holland, that my ears were

first coated with this distinctly African mixture of styles. They were touring at the time with their characteristically confidently named album, “specialist in all styles”. After a little research I rushed out and purchased their seminal album, “pirates’ choice”, it’s rawer funkier style had me tapping every available surface in a slow burning rhythm frenzy that hasn’t stopped since. As their singer Rudy Gomis explains, “It’s a salad, a mixture of Cuban songs and influences from Senegalese griots (traditional singers) as well as drawing from the Congo, Nigeria, France and America. This far reaching diversity greatly characterises Orchestra Baobab’s style but let me cast a wider net to consider what is meant by the term, “Afrobeat”. Afrobeat.

Sounds and Stories from the Motherland

Words. Richard Vincent

frobeat is a complex fusion A of Jazz, Funk, psychedelic rock, and traditional West African

chants and rhythms, characterized by a fairly large band with many instruments, vocals, and a musical structure featuring jazzy, funky horn sections. A kind of deep groove is used, in which a base rhythm of drums, muted West African style guitar, and bass guitar melodic riffs are repeated throughout the song. Commonly, interlocking melodic riffs and rhythms are introduced one-by-one, building the groove bit-by-bit, layer-bylayer to an astonishing complexity, melodically and rhythmically (using poly-rhythms). The electric West African style guitars in Afrobeat bands are often paramount, and are used to give basic structure, playing a repeating, hypnotic riff.

o this is Afrobeat, and most Sabsolute definitely not Afro-rock. As giant in African music

and possible coiner of the term Fela Kuti points out in an interview with British Radio in 1970 when faced with the question “So what do you think of the latest trend for Afro-rock in Britain?”

K

uti: What is Afro-rock? What do we know about rock in Africa? We don’t know about rock, we know about rhythm! This isAfrican rhythms, African music, African beats!

give Fela Kuti a singular TbutoWestern equivalent is impossible, try to imagine a mix between James Brown and Malcolm X. Then imagine if James Brown hadn’t just been a good soul singer but had actually reinvented the funk itself, and imagine if Malcolm X had almost become president of the United States. That’s what Kuti was to Nigeria.

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is music didn’t go down too well as nformation on our man now Onyeabor H a popular venture in the west partly Iis pretty scarce to find, although one because of the pidgin-English he used anonymous source suggested that, ‘he to make himself understood, to more West Africans in an area with strong dialectical differences. Also as he never had a song less than eight minutes long, they were less accessible pop and more classical compositions (except usually with an absolute monster of a groove chugging along all the way).

wound up selling-out and becoming a banker somewhere in Nigeria.’ That’s kind of saddening as the message in “better change your mind” is intensely anti-imperialist, guess he wound up changing his own mind. That tune and loads of others appear in the compilation “Love’s A Real Thing: The Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa”.

uti’s politically driven lyrics brought Kregimes he most mystical and secretive of clashes with successive military in Nigeria, including frequent Tour Afrobeat roll-call, and probably beatings and jail. In one raid in 1977 on my favourite, is a band called Orchestre Fela’s walled compound - his self-declared “republic of Kalakuta” - his mother died of her injuries after being thrown from a window by soldiers. Stating in an interview in 1978 “I refuse to live my life in fear”, that year Fela married 27 women, many of whom were his dancers and singers, to mark the anniversary of the attack on the Kalakuta Republic. Later, he was to adopt a rotation system of keeping only twelve simultaneous wives. At the 1978 Berlin Jazz Festival most of Fela’s musicians deserted him, due to rumours that he was planning to use the entirety of the proceeds to fund his presidential campaign. There’s some good recorded work and rare interviews with the “Father of Afrobeat” on a CD entitled,”Afrobeat special: The New Explosive Sound in 1970’s Nigeria”.

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rom one end of the Afrobeat popularity scale to another lies William Onyeabor, although fairly unknown in his own time, his songs appear regularly in compilations these days especially “better change your mind”. Now this is some seriously heavy funk, incorporating a synthesised style popular in American garage rock at the time. Deep, brooding and intensely beat driven it gives the mood of a guerrilla militia closely stalking and about to go ape-shit on some expensive, well equipped invading army.

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Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. This band for me represent the rawest, purest form of the “musical bridge” between Africa and the jazz, samba and Brazilian rhythms of the New World. Mainly because they use traditional drum beats as old as the hills that have been passed down and preserved in the Voodoo religion. So in the verses and bridge of “minsato le, mi dayihome” the drummer isn’t just getting funky, he’s conjuring a spirit, he’s asking for healing or potency and at the simultaneously repeating a tradition going back for unimaginable generations.

I refuse to life in fear


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he drummer isn’t just getting funky, he’s conjuring a spirit, he’s asking for healing or potency and at the simultaneously repeating a tradition going back for unimaginable generations.

live my

let band leader Melome Clement IIt’llexplain; “Sato is a traditional rhythm. is used in Benin during annual rituals

in memory of the dead; you can’t just play a Sato at any given time. The Sato drummers are backed by an orchestra of smaller drums and shakers. We also do some modern versions of Vodoun (Voodoo) rhythms called Sakpata which in Fon means “God of the Earth””. Check a compilation of Poly-Rythmos early recordings on “The Vodoun Effect 1972-1975”.

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n a rare outing out of Benin, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo got a review from the New York Times. Although the same could be said for any of the pre-mentioned artists “The funk turns into hypnosis, and the rest is unstoppable dance music”.

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ITALIANS DO IT BETTER.

WORDS : PAUL PATTERSON

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G li sco p i della v ita sono la migliore difesa contro la morte G li sco p i della v ita sono la migliore difesa contro la morte G li sco p i della v ita sono la migliore difesa contro la morte

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his Italian musical explosion hasn’t just happened over night.... On the contrary, they’ve been at it for years. There’s a whole ten page article alone on the ‘Italo Disco’ movement and I could talk for days about wanting to ride around Milan on a scooter with a robot for a girlfriend. This though, isn’t the time.

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ot so long ago, I wrote a feature about BPitch Control’s founder Ellen Allien - some of you may have read this article others won’t have – and the steps she’s taken to make sure her record label stays at the forefront of new music. One such step was the signing of the Italian duo, We Love. This move not only added a new dimension to the labels sound and aesthetic qualities, it also brought about an international flavour to a label that generally stays close to home when sourcing its talent.

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ith We Love, Allien has sought out the golden needle in the haystack of current club music. Comprising of Giorgia Angiuli and Piero Fragola, We Love, are one of two musical outfits currently on course to blow my mind before this year’s out. The second of these audio temptresses is Genoa’s Port Royal. Hailed by fans and critics alike as the next evolution in postmillennial post-rock, Port Royal had a lot to live up to in their early days. Through their fusion of ambient techno, shoegaze, and melodic IDM the band were able to carve an extremely unique niche for themselves. They were compared to everyone from Aphex Twin to Mogwai even though they were still very much an underground and experimental band.

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W

e Love on the other hand are relative newcomers to the world of music; this though is something you could never guess on listening to their disgustingly well polished productions, or taking in one of their performances; which ooze so much high class sleaze it makes them look like world beaters within their genre. It’s almost impossible to resist the charm of the sweet Angiuli, with her alluring brown eyes, and the wild locks of the contemplative, emotional Fragola. Together, they have made what could easily become the chorus of this autumn with their self titled debut, ‘We Love’. Their enchanting songs fuse the ecstasy of club land with the emotions of pop - a stumbling block of intent on which many others have already fallen.

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ith Port Royal the story is a one of evolution. Since signing to the staggeringly brilliant n5MD label in early 2009 - a label which plays host to some of electronic music’s finest producers, Bitcrush, Funckarma, Proem and SubtractiveLAD to name a but a few – the band have shed their complex skin and plotted out a new course on their map. Deciding that this facelift needed to happen sooner rather than later, the band went into the studio and came out the other side with the album Dying In Time, a record that saw Port Royal bury their contrapuntal guitar work under layers of gauzy synths, pulsing, 4-on-the-floor beats, and more prominent vocals. Sure, they still retain that ethereal, dream-like quality which was a trademark of their earlier work; it’s just that now things are a lot fiercer. Tracks such as ‘Nights in Kiev’ and ‘Anna Ustinova’ hammer home feelings of emptiness as much as they do euphoria. It’s this ability to bundle up such feelings and passion within a single piece of music that makes this band stand head and shoulders above a lot of what we have coming out of the UK.

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ngiu acco insta ‘Ice Lips’ filled voc electronic throughou Giorgia’s beautiful, distant re other han with a to mischievo

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oth thing a ho Port Roya throughou


uli and Fragola are equally well omplished at this game, take for ance the wonderful duet that is a love song which pair’s lustcals with gentle and caressing c sounds that slowly develop ut the track. With ‘Don’t Cross’ enchanting voice delivers a , ethereal melody whilst in everie yet ‘Cruise Control’ on the nd, combines a driving groove ouching cello and an air of the ous.

bands are destined for bigger gs, with We Love about to play ost of European club dates and al embarking on a full UK tour ut October.

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don’t really have much more to say on this apart from this shit is as international as you want to be getting right about now.

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The Taste of Festi Bulgaria

By Maya S

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estival Culture in ulgaria

Stefanova

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hile BBC reporters arrive in Bulgaria to report on chalga culture, there are still many locals who remain ashamed of their heritage. Yet in this modest part of Southeastern Europe you can still find characters who are interested in these modern pursuits that have become engrained in Western music culture. Now I can envisage you asking yourself ‘what the hell is she talking about?’ My answer is quite simple - music festivals.

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f you asked a Bulgarian about a vibrant music festival just five years ago, they would immediately point you to Serbia, Greece, Turkey or Romania and wouldn’t even consider the local amenities. Time passes, things change. Maybe because people got sick of the association between “music festival” and the Communist festivals of old, when music was propaganda and the styles, lyrics and singers were defined only by special party members. Or is this because locals have been exposed to free-spirited festivals abroad over the last 10 years? I suspect the answer sits somewhere in the middle, but it’s hard to say for sure and trust me; explanations vary between local mentality, lack of real record shops and strange conspiracy theories.

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here’s a little nugget of truth to all these speculations. For example, the lack of real record shops is a big factor. While nowadays most of Europe’s record shops are closing due to the domination of the digital era. Imagine the case in a country where record shops never really existed. Those few special spots where you don’t just buy music but explore new styles, new culture etc. are missing here. Ninty nine per cent of physical music is distributed by no more than six international music retailers and the choice is limited. There a solitary place in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, Dyukan Meloman on 6th Septemvri Street, which offers choice past Rihanna, Lady Gaga and their cronies. So how are we supposed to reach new, pioneering music legally? Of course, one option is online. The other? Festivals.

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he era of modern summer festivals kicked off in 2006 with Kaliakra Rock Fest, later renamed to Kavarna Rock Fest after the host city. The city does away with the latter title. The town is now regarded as the “European Capital of Rock”. The mayor of Kavarna is

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f you asked a Bulgarian music festival just would immediately p Greece, Turkey or Romania consider the local amenities

renowned for his rock passion, but tragically the headliners from the last five years have been acts my parents enjoyed when they were teenagers - strictly bands founded before the mid-90s. Current artists aren’t really catered for, but KRF was as good a start as we could hope for where a whole family of rockers could muster. The festival seed was sowed and the apathy of being first was broken. In 2008 another local politician decided to follow the example; the Spirit of Burgas was born. Again held over summer, Burgas is found on the southern coast with stages on the beach and sponsors that include MTV Europe. From its very first weekend the fest appeared to resemble peers such as Glastonbury more closely. Headliners have included Faith No More, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Bonobo, De Phazz, Asian Dub Foundation, Kosheen, Cradle of Filth, Andy Cato, Pharoahe Monch, LTJ Bukem and this year sees The Prodigy, Gorillaz Sound System, DJ Shadow, Unkle & Apollo 440 take steal the limelight. The names speak for themselves. Eighty per cent in favor of acts founded during the 90s and in 2009 the Times hailed Spirit of Burgas among the 20 best festivals in Europe and a precursor to a nomination for “Best Medium Sized Festival” at the 2010 European Festival Awards.

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n 2009, following the two seaside towns, the capital entered the fray; perhaps out of shame for being festival-lazy. This time is wasn’t the mayors’ initiation but a group called Cotton Records. Founder Andrey Peev’s vision was “for more PEACE and LOVE and right now Bulgaria is adapting to a Western model of cafes, shops, bars, office buildings and festivals. It was a high time Sofia had and event like Park Live – a modern music festival where people could share positive vibrations with the artists and get together for more than just one concert.”


ulgarian about a vibrant five years ago, they point you to Serbia, omania and wouldn’t even amenities. peaking about the idea he shares: “Park Live was meant to provide an alternative to people, no matter how threadbare this may sound. Although we’re in 2010 Bulgaria lives like its 1985, which wouldn’t be bad if in a positive and fun way like disco, nu-wave, bands and street art culture. For now Park Live is only for one weekend per annum, but I think it should happen more than once per year and be held elsewhere also. From the title you get the idea – we want to gather people in a park away from the traffic and the dirty streets.” I’m curious to understand how he compiles the line- up. “I’m always interested in what people listen to.

S

T

I

Of course, I’m also trying to keep some uniformity and invite artists who haven’t managed to visit Bulgaria in their best years, but are still beloved by people. There are big time gaps in Bulgaria and you have to keep some succession, otherwise it will turn into chaos. There are maybe 4-5 thousand people who visit concerts and are interested in that kind of music, but there are also people who can’t afford it. There is no music business here, no music shops, no adequate scene which leads to inadequate support for the local musicians and not enough concerts throughout the year. People are aware of the music thanks to Myspace or YouTube.”

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o conclude my local festival critique, I have to mention Mellow Music festival. Having only begun in 2010 this one will have a big future. The organiser is lifestyle magazine Edno (“One”) which have promoted alternative festivals such as Sofia Dance Week, Sofia Design Week and Sofia Architecture Week over the last 3 years. This year they ran Sofia Music Weekend as Mellow Music Festival, an idea also inspired by 80s & 90s Bulgarian lifestyle. They just got sick of concerts with artists who featured in their playlist ten years ago and decided to show people what’s happening with popular music nowadays in so called ‘developed’ countries.

t’s a big risk to form line-ups with names which are known to few in Bulgaria, but it worth it. Artists like Gonzales, Floating Points, King Midas Sound, Who Made Who, The Phenomenal Handclap band, Stefan Goldman, Kode 9, Jahcoozi, Onur Engin, Padded Cell, 1000names and many others finally injected pioneering music into a retrogressive festival culture. If you’re passing by Sofia around the end of May 2011, absorb the tranquil Spring atmosphere of the Mellow Music Festival. ou’ll still meet Bulgarians at big festivals around Europe, but we’re already expecting you here. Maybe we’ll meet you guys on our territory soon. Warm festival memories can already be guaranteed here.

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ndrey also tells me that he love festivals like Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival, Big Chill and would like Park Live to share their spirit. If you’re visiting Bulgaria in June 2011 you can catch its next edition. Until now, Park Live stages have hosted Gilles Peterson, Tricky, LAMB, Roots Manuva, Little Dragon, Groove Armada, Morcheeba and Gotan Project. They also hold warm-up parties in the spring with names like Alice Russel, Mr. Scruff, Thievery Corporation, so fans keep an eye on.

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RIBBED MAGAZINE INTERVIEWS RUCKUS ROBOTICUS : THE GENRE BENDING TURN TABLIST BASED IN OHIO.

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Ruck Roboticus


kus oboticus

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Do you agree your recent material sees you taking a new artistic direction from the Playing With Scratches album?

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hat started affair with odd samples?

your

love

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly.  I’ve just always gotten a kick out of seeing things taken out of context.  Something about it lights up my imagination, and often times it’s funny to me.  I suppose the first time I was exposed to it was listening to Kid Koala, Cold Cut, Steinski, Cut Chemist...   Tell us about how the Playing with Scratches album came together? Where do I begin?  The album is really the culmination of my life’s work from 1998 to 2008.  1998 was the year I bought my first pair of turntables (to pursue scratching & music-making), and 2008 being the year the album was released.  Throughout those years I got wrapped up in DJ’ing, recordcollecting, etc., while learning / practicing music production.  Over time, certain samples would trigger ideas for songs.  And by 2004 I was able to actually sit down and start recording / producing the songs that would become Playing With Scratches.  From there it was hours & hours of sampling, manipulating, decomposing, mixing ... It took about 3 years to complete, and another year of shopping it around, and music business stuff, before it would be released. How many records do you use to make a track? It varies.  Some of the Playing With Scratches tracks have LOTS (20 to 50 per song).  Same with my “Lesson 7” track - it has a ridiculous amount of samples!  (50-100 records used).  Others, have far less.  Like 3 or 4 samples.  I’ve grown to realize the beauty of simplicity and minimalism.  Less is more.  I am trying to only use a few records / samples per song.

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My recent material is definitely taking a different direction. Playing With Scratches was more of “headphones” listening experience, and my recent remix work, and The Chicks EP, I’ve definitely shifted my attention towards a dance-floor listening experience.  My sound is definitely maturing too.  A little less dusty, and little more modern. Furthermore, I’ve recently produced an album for up-and-coming indie rapper Adam Warrock (which will be released this coming October).  That’s my first experience collaborating with a rapper, and that’s something I would like to do more of in the future. What influenced this? I would guess, being a DJ has a lot to with it.  Having the responsibility of making people dance, and keeping them happy, has influenced my productions. As far as making beats for rappers - that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Where do you see your style progressing in the future? I am about to begin work on my new LP.  And it will be a disco-themed concept album.  If you listen to my “Love Locked Down” remix, and “So Fucking Disco” remix; it will be disco in that sense of the word.  I hope to work a few vocalists, and studio musicians, instead of relying 100% on samples.  Beyond that LP, I intend to continue making beats for rappers, and remixes. Is music your fulltime job? Yes and no.  I do a lot of music & DJ work for hire, gigs that I don’t exactly advertise to my people.   My non-music job is working part time at a library.  Luckily I spend much more time in the studio & out DJ’ing, than at the library. Which turntablists would you consider to be your current and all time favourites? Steinski, Cut Chemist, Kid Koala, DJ Shadow... Those are also my recent favorites as well!   I’ve also been impressed by what I’ve seen from DJ Yoda.


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aving the responsibility of making people dance, and keeping them happy, has influenced my productions. 445


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ne of the advantages to living in Ohio, is it’s very cheap & easy to live here.  That frees up a lot of my time, to devote towards production.

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What sort of stuff are you listening to at the moment? Has this changed to what you’ve been listening to in the past and has this affected your production? I listen to tons of music - too much to list here.  But some artists that have really stood out to me lately are Onra, Flying Lotus, Louis La Roche, and Animal Collective (to name a few).  I especially like Onra, and Louis La Roche’s production & use of samples.  In fact, I had already imagined moving in a similar direction with my work, and they beat me to the punch!  I am blown-away by Flying Lotus, and Animal Collective’s “texture” (for lack of a better word).  Certain elements in their music, sound like they’re taking place in another environment (for example, parts sound like they are underwater, or were from an old song taped off the radio).  I hear similar effects in Neon Indian, Panda Bear, Ariel Pink, and Lee “Scratch” Perry.  Ultimately, this has opened my mind to that dimension of sound manipulation... “texture”.    I’m also a sucker, for well-done, catchy indie music.  And I think the latest from LCD Soundsystem and Vampire Weekend, are excellent.  Those artists totally deserve all the success and popularity they’ve received. Can you tell us a little bit about the music scene in Ohio and how it’s affected your production? From what I can tell, the scene here is very similar to the rest of the States and the rest of the world.  There are lots of artists and DJs, in their own niche / genre, doing their thing.  Usually they don’t get much support or recognition outside of the area.  And on the whole, there is not a big audience for most artists / shows.  Often times, the audience doesn’t really care about the music, or art, they’re just out to get drunk and party.  

Can you see yourself living anywhere else to progress or expand your music? Absolutely.  I’ve always wanted to move to a bigger city to help my music making; but just haven’t taken the time to do so.  I think after I complete my next LP, I will finally make the move.  I haven’t quite figured out where yet ... but San Francisco is definitely a contender. One of the advantages to living in Ohio, is it’s very cheap & easy to live here.  That frees up a lot of my time, to devote towards production. How has Solid Steel helped your career? What’s your relationship with them? It’s a pretty casual relationship.  Me and a few other DJs (Moneyshot, Boom Monk Ben, and DJ Cheeba), are regular contributors to the show.  We work with DK & Strictly Kev, to make sure we have enough material / mixes to cover the show every week. I suppose the coolest thing to have happened because of Solid Steel, is that I’ve gotten to play shows with the other Solid Steel DJs in the U.K.  (Most recently, my R.U.C.K. in the U.K. tour).  Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to return the favor to my Solid Steel brothers, and bring them over here to perform.  I’m not much of a show promoter, and I’m not able to line up enough shows to make it worth their while. Which place in the world do you have the strongest musical connection with? I’ve never been asked this ... I have no idea!   If I had to think of an answer, it would probably be here in the “Midwest”.  Not only because I grew up here, but because the area includes Chicago, Detroit, and Cincinnati.  All of which have rich musical histories, and played a role in the development of Blues, House, Motown, Techno, and Funk.

I barely consider myself part of the scene here, because I tend to spend most of my free time in the studio, working on new music.  I rarely get out to shows (unless I’m performing), and I rarely get to session with other artists.  To me, those things are crucial to being part of a scene.

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he world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. St. Augustine

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R I B B E D MAGAZINE T H E OBSESSION I S S U E 0 4 N M 2

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THE DIRECTORY

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