Salient Issue 17
VUWSA Report Cards Part 1
Where Are you From
My House, My Castle
The revolution will not be posterized
Bargain town dresses no more
The cost of sanitary products is a bloody pain
Clubs admin out of touch with students
Regular Content 12
The Queer Agenda
Mates in the States
Stressed, Depressed, and Well Dressed
Editors: Emma Hurley Jayne Mulligan
*Interview* with Will Smith
MAALA’s new album—10/10, would recommend.
Buying a Little Dough Co. doughnut every Friday from Vic Books.
The Boy With Tape on His Face.
Hype for the new Frank Ocean album.
Tfw you clean your Stans. So fresh.
How does it feel to be on a career comeback? Before, my life got flipped-turned upside down. But now, I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you, I became the prince. Can you describe the plot of your new movie? A couple of guys, who were up to no good, started makin’ trouble in some neighbourhoods. I get in one little fight… but I wasn’t scared. And Jared Leto was there. What was it like working with Jared Leto as the Joker? It was great. He had a cool car to drive in the film and we would take joyrides in it. The license plate said “Fresh” and it had dice in the mirror. If anything, I would say that his car was rare. What do you have to say to people who are giving Suicide Squad bad reviews? Yo home, smell you later. Kanye or Kendrick? Justin Bieber feat. Jaden Smith—“Never Say Never”. Greatest rap verse of all time.
Going Down •
The reviews for Suicide Squad.
Receiving scary phone calls.
David Bain’s sweater budget—now only $925,000.
Snapchat taking away the bread filter again.
Seeing your cheating ex every day at uni.
Humdingers It was revealed this week that a seemingly “fake” Tinder profile using Zac Efron’s pictures was in fact the real deal. Because people thought it was fake, Efron said he had hardly any matches. Women of Los Angeles responded to this news with a flood of tears and exploding ovaries.
Donald Trump has given us another reason to hate him this week, kicking a mother and her baby out of a rally in Virginia for crying while he was speaking. Trump first joked that he loved babies and told the mother she could stay, then one minute later told her to get out because the baby wouldn’t settle. 04
News University of Otago job cuts imminent It is confirmed, mandatory redundancies in the Humanities Division of the University of Otago are imminent. Emails from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Humanities Division, Professor Tony Ballantyne, stated the cuts will primarily affect the history and music departments. The anthropology, english and linguistics, and languages and cultures departments will also be subject to “management of change” processes in the weeks to come. Professor Ballantyne, in a recent email, confirmed that the heads of a “small number of departments” had been contacted about programmes where formal “management of change” processes are planned in the coming weeks. Department heads are to gain more information on the long term plans of all 450 staff to assist the division in planning their “likely” staffing profile for the next “five to seven years.” Despite these changes, Ballantyne said that students currently enrolled in majors subject to changes will be able to complete their degrees. Ballantyne also said most departments would not see reduced staff numbers, with changes mainly designed to minimise the gap between income and cost in the departments. “There is no doubt that our [humanities] division is facing some significant challenges and that the coming months will be very difficult,” he said. 2016 enrolments fell 4.6%—equivalent to 237 full-time students—from the 4944 full-time students enrolled in the Humanities Division last year. Enrollments have been declining since 2011. 2017 will likely see a reassessment of other divisions and departments, with the College of Education as well as the Department of Philosophy next up. When speaking on the process ahead, Ballantyne encouraged staff to “communicate responsibly and thoughtfully, particularly in public settings.” One staff member, who chose to remain anonymous, refuted Ballantyne’s claims, saying management of change “is just redundancy.” “They should call it what it is. They don’t want to use the ‘r’ word, but it is,” they said. Some concerned staff have already approached Tertiary Education Union (TEU). Organiser for the TEU in Dunedin, Shaun Scott, said “it is a stressful time [for staff] as they await the next steps.” The union will support affected members throughout this process. The release of further information was to occur after further “communication” with staff, a university spokesperson said.
Reclaim Vic members are upset that VUW staff have been removing their posters from various locations around Kelburn Campus. The posters featured a photograph of Vice-Chancellor Grant Guilford alongside the text, “Grant Guilford, ViceChancellor, earns $520,000~ a year. Some staff at Victoria are on minimum wage $15.25 or $29,000 a year. Grand Guilford makes minimum wage every four and a half minutes. Are these Victoria’s Values?” The major drop of posters, which saw 200 pinned to public notice boards around campus, were removed within hours. According to a university spokesperson, the posters should only have been removed if they were “not posted in the correct places—i.e. poster boards.” Despite Reclaim Vic’s posters abiding by this rule the posters were still removed by VUW staff. When asked what it would take for the university to increase wages of those currently earning minimum wage, the aforementioned spokesperson chose to not directly answer the questions, instead telling Salient, “Victoria sets staff wage and salary rates based on a number of factors, including the nature and type of work undertaken, prevailing labour market wage and salary movement, the need to retain staff and reward good performance and affordability.” Reclaim Vic member and Masters student Joshua James said the posters were put up to “show university management that students need to know of the inequalities that exist in the university.” “I don’t care if he gets paid that much, as long as the people at the bottom have enough to live,” he added. Reclaim Vic are a group of students who are “concerned with the state of tertiary education in New Zealand.” They believe “tertiary education should be free, and that staff who support, teach, and clean up after us, should be paid fair and decent wages.” James said the group would be “back at it” this week, distributing leaflets, postering, and making their voices heard. The removal of posters comes just two weeks after the Living Wage Movement’s quiz night at The Hunter Lounge, which saw a number of university staff members from Campus Care, cleaning services, and the library speak on the hardships they face being on minimum wage. Reclaim Vic will be hosting a public meeting at 4.15pm Thursday in Murphy’s Level Six annex (just outside MY632). 05
The revolution will not be posterized
Foundation studies staff still fighting VUW Foundation Studies staff are still trying to keep their jobs, despite the university finding a new provider to teach the course. According to statements published on the Tertiary Education Union’s (TEU) website, the department’s staff members cannot foresee success in this strategy, and instead urge the university to “expand the department instead of extraditing duties.” Despite this, a university spokesperson told Salient “Victoria’s foundation studies programme will close in February 2017.” Adding that “the university has no plans to review this decision.” The contract will go to Academic Colleges Group (ACG) in the first trimester of 2017, resulting in the redundancy of staff who have driven the development of this programme over the last 14 years. The President of the TEU, Sandra Grey, has suggested there is no evidence the change in management of the programme will bring in 150 additional students, as VUW says it will. ACG works in partnership with the University of Auckland (since 1999), AUT, and other educational institutions and boasts a wide range of cooperating universities worldwide. Students enrolled in this programme will have access to all of VUW’s services and facilities, and will study near Pipitea campus.
Anyone got a spare five mil?
Bargain town dresses no more The sudden closing down of Valley Girl and Temt stores across the country has left 160 employees jobless. The business was put into voluntary administration on July 22, and on August 1 receivers were sent to stores to close doors immediately. Valley Girl Northlands store manager Angelique van Zuylen said she knew something was wrong when the store stopped receiving stock. “Head office told staff members stock was stuck at customs and would be arriving soon, but it never did,” she says. On top of the redundancies, most staff members have also not been paid for over a month. van Zuylen hasn’t been paid in more than four weeks now, and says she’s feeling “very stressed about the situation.” “I feel for the staff that have children to feed and will be even worse off,” she adds. One of two receivers, Conor McElhinney, says he “felt for the employees who are owed considerable sums of money.” It is still unknown how much money the business owes its creditors, but it is believed the downfall may have emerged from failures in the Australian branches of the company—Paper Scissors and Chicabooti. 06
The University of Canterbury (UC) is still feeling the effects of the earthquakes, with the University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) being forced to crowdfund the rebuild of their building. The current building—which stood for 50 years—is set to be demolished next month following damage sustained during the 2011 earthquake. Despite receiving an insurance payout for the building to be demolished, as well as further funding from the university, the UCSA are looking to fundraise $5 million to construct the new building. The fundraiser is to be officially launched at a reunion of former UCSA executive members in August. The $25 million building will also house the Ngaio Marsh performance theatre and have spaces for meetings, clubs, and offices. The outdoor amphitheatre overlooking the Avon River will also be retained. UCSA president James Addington says donations have already started to come in. “We know a lot of people have memories associated with the existing UCSA building and are keen to see future generations of UC students have those same opportunities and experiences.” Addington added that the wider community will also benefit from the new building. “They might go to the theatre or a music concert, or even use one of the event spaces for a meeting or function between semesters when students are away.” He goes on to say, “now is the time for every former, current student, and staff member to donate to this worthy cause, to own a piece of the building which is so vital to the UC campus and our student experience.” The new 3490m2 building—which has been designed by Architectus—has been described as “exciting, costeffective, durable.” Progress of the demolition of the damaged UCSA building, and the construction of the new one, can be followed on the University of Canterbury website. The new building is expected to be ready for orientation week 2019. According to a recent report published by Massolutions, 2016 is set to see the crowdfunding industry fund more businesses than venture capital, with property crowdfunding seeing an especially sharp spike.
The cost of sanitary products is a bloody pain
An incident where a profoundly deaf University of Auckland student was left alone in a building on campus during a routine fire drill is calling into question the university’s emergency evacuation procedures. Last Monday, Dean Buckley had been studying on campus when the alarm sounded and, unaware of the situation due to his disability, remained inside the building until a fire warden approached him and told him to get out. Buckley took to the university’s official Facebook page to share his distress after the incident. He told of the hurt he felt when learning he had been left behind, saying “I wouldn’t have expected [the people around him] to be aware of my profound deafness, but I just wish they could’ve at least alerted each other around them.” He feared for what would have happened to him had the evacuation been due to a legitimate fire, and strongly urged the university to install strobe lights to act as indications of an emergency. Buckley’s mother, Genevieve Treherne, echoed her son’s fears, saying he could have been seriously injured or dead had it been a real fire, “people die from smoke inhalation so if he didn’t know until it had got to that point, he’d have no chance in hell of getting out of there.” Treherne criticised the lack of lights attached to the fire alarms to alter the hearing impaired, saying the university could have alerted him to the fire drill before hand. “He shouldn’t have to surround himself with people to make sure that he’s safe.” With regard to procedures Victoria has in place, Disability Services have worked with Campus Services to “develop evacuation procedures that include people with disabilities.” This includes “strobe lights in some key open spaces to alert people who cannot hear the fire alarm” and “evacuation chairs designed to assist with evacuating people who cannot descend stairs are located at key locations in the university.”
Universities have been asked if they would consider introducing free tampons and pads for students, after Radio New Zealand reported that students were skipping school and university due to the struggle to meet costs of sanitary products. A month’s supply of sanitary products can cost between $5 and $15, depending on the brand, type, and amount used. A Victoria University spokesperson said that although the matter had not previously been raised by students, the university was “willing to work with students to fully understand the issues and implications of the concerns that have been raised.” Linsey Higgins, New Zealand Union of Students’ Association’s President, said that universities should be proactive and commented that “condoms are free and sanitary products are more essential than condoms.” Labour MP Louisa Wall said that “some girls stay home when it’s their period because they cannot afford sanitary products. Others resort to makeshift and unhygienic measures such as recycling used pads or improvising pads from old clothes, rags, newspapers, and other materials— putting them at risk of infection and sickness.” This the case for high school students as well as university students, who “can’t afford to take public transport or have to skip meals when it’s their period so they have money to buy pads and tampons.” New York City Council recently voted to introduce free sanitary products in all of its public schools, prisons, and homeless shelters. Mooncups, a silicone menstrual cup, are an environmentally friendly alternative to sanitary products which can save money in the long term, however they have a high initial cost of approximately $50. Wall has encouraged people to donate sanitary products through The Foodbank Project (www.foodbank. org.nz). An initiative set up by The Salvation Army, Countdown supermarkets, and web developer Lucid. There is now an option for a $15 “Women’s Hygiene Bundle” which provides both super and regular tampons and pads.
Have you thought about a career in
We are currently accepting applications for our 2017 Bachelor of Midwifery programme. Study in Wellington or from our other satellite locations in Palmerston North, Whanganui, Dunedin or Central Otago.
UoA needs some strobe lighting asap
Clubs admin out of touch with students Additionally, an $85.00 hire charge for a technician to operate equipment has been added to the Memorial Theatre in the Student Union building. Clubs have been finding that this price is out of their budget and deem the technical support unnecessary to most events held there. Peacock believes the club’s system would work better if administration and regulatory powers were under the guise of VUWSA. Political Students Society (PolSoc) President, Lars Thompson, spoke of similar experiences with clubs administration. Thompson believes there is a need for a discussion between the clubs on campus and the university to reevaluate who administers the clubs—the university or VUWSA. Thompson said the most important thing for clubs administration is to be “approachable and accessible” for all students, and he added the current system can be “a bit confusing for clubs to know who is the best person to talk to when an issue arises.” While PolSoc had not experienced having a room double booked, Thompson mentioned that their initial “application for a regular meeting room was forgotten about,” by clubs administration. Thompson stressed that PolSoc “appreciates the hard work Victoria staff put into administering the clubs,” and had mostly “positive experiences” with administration. When asked about the processes involved with clubs administration, a university spokesperson said, “as part of the university’s regular processes, a scheduled review of all club support has started that will include VUWSA, the university, students, the Clubs Council, and other interested parties. We urge everyone to participate.” “Under the agreement between VUWSA, the university, and the VUWSA Trust, the university provides advice and support to clubs. The clubs remain student-led and the university supports them but is not responsible for them. An exception would be if students involved breach the Statute of Student Conduct.” VUWSA’s Clubs and Activities Officer Tori Sellwood told Salient that issues like double booking of spaces and registration are acknowledged problems with the club’s system, adding that there “needs to be a more proactive attitude towards resolving them.” Sellwood says it is “up to the students to decide how club affairs are managed,” so whilst the clubs are still managed by the university and not VUWSA, they are “working hard to get the best deal for clubs in providing a strong student perspective to the university.” One path to this is through the Clubs Council, which aims “to have a more meaningful role in influencing the strategic direction,” of the clubs on campus. According to a university spokesperson, those seeking advice around clubs should know that “the same advice and support is available for clubs and club members as is available to all students through the university’s student services.”
Salient has received a number of tip offs from various clubs who’ve struck roadblocks when dealing with clubs and societies management. Problems have ranged from not being able to book spaces in the Student Union building and misinformation, through to more serious complaints not being dealt with in a timely or structured manner. VUWSA do not control clubs, yet many students are under the assumption that they do. Though VUWSA has had clubs and societies under their umbrella in the past, the university has run them through the Recreation Centre since 2012. The Women’s Group at Victoria recently held a collection drive for the Wellington Women’s Refuge as part of their annual women’s week of activities and fundraisers. While the drive ran smoothly on the day, it was only been approved by clubs administration two days earlier, with the VUW clubs administration staff initially denying the group the use of a table in the Hub. They did not want them to collect donations for the Women’s Refuge because the organisation did not “directly benefit students on campus,” as quoted in a leaked email. Women’s Group President Naomi Peacock and other group members did not think the collection drive would be a problem as the Women’s Group have held similar drives for the Wellington Rape Crisis on campus, including one earlier this year. The Women’s Group at Victoria are a representative group under VUWSA, and are not technically a club. However to book events like the collection drive, meetings, and special events that require the use of a lecture theatre as a venue they have to go through clubs administration. Peacock said she was “furious” about the response from clubs administration because the Women’s Refuge are an “invaluable” service in our city. Peacock said clubs administration did not seem to understand the importance of the organisation which “campaigns for the protection and welfare of women,” and provides important education “on issues such as intimate partner violence and sexual assault.” Work that she believes is beneficial to students and should be supported and promoted on campus. The fundraiser for Women’s Refuge went ahead eventually—after Student Health members were called on to support the collection. VUWSA President Jonathan Gee said that “there are improvements to be made around clubs.” “There’s a club support review coming up this trimester and I’m looking forward to seeing how VUWSA might enhance its role in supporting clubs… VUWSA’s focus is on ensuring clubs get the best support possible to do what they do best—it’s therefore up to students to decide who manages clubs.” Salient has also heard reports of multiple instances where rooms in the university have been double booked, disrupting scheduled meetings. 08
What well known American reality competition show is making a New Zealand version that will be screening on TV2?
2. Famous Olympian Tom Daley will be competing in what sport at the Rio Olympics?
1) Survivor. 2) Diving. 3) Margot Robbie. 4) Gymnastics. 5) Chris Harrison. 6) 1896. 7) Balloons. 8) 199, 99 men and 100 women. 9) Alan Carr. 10) Rowing, 36.
6. The first modern Olympics, held in Athens, started in what year? 7. If I have globophobia, what am I scared of? 8. How many athletes will be competing at the Rio Olympics for New Zealand?
3. What famous actress, who recently starred in Suicide Squad, was a main character on the Australian soap opera Neighbours?
9. What famous British comedian will be coming to New Zealand in August?
4. Courtney McGregor, the youngest member of the New Zealand Olympic team, is competing in what event?
10. Which event, at the Rio Olympics, has the highest number of New Zealand's athletes competing in it?
5. Who is the host of the upcoming television show Bachelor in Paradise?
FILL THIS SLOT
14:00 - 16:00 Laura
GRIME with Toby
FILL THIS SLOT
21:00 - 23:00 Sam
FILL THIS SLOT
19:00 - 21:00 Moody Brew
21:00 - 23:00
16:00 - 19:00 Nic Roser Oh One Eight
FILL THIS SLOT
FILL THIS SLOT
17:00 - 19:00
FILL THIS SLOT
12:00 - 14:00 ALEXA
10:00 - 12:00 Matilda
8:00 - 10:00
FILL THIS SLOT
FILL THIS SLOT
Salient FM Schedule 2016
FILL THIS SLOT
FILL THIS SLOT
FILL THIS SLOT
FILL THIS SLOT
Oven fresh Cookies just like Grandma used to bake! Mrs Higgins creates softer, chewier, American style Cookies loaded with flavour! Baked fresh on our premises and with over 14 flavours to choose from daily, it’s hard not to visit one of our stores; Mrs Higgins Lambton Quay 184 Lambton Quay (opposite Midland Park)
Mrs Higgins Queensgate Mall
Ground Floor, Queens Drive Entrance (opposite St Pierre’s Sushi) NEW STO RE OPE N
HAVE YOU HAD YOUR MRS HIGGINS COOKIE TODAY?
Purchase three Cookies and get one extra Cookie free!
Mrs Higgins Primary Retail Logo - CMYK
Mrs Higgins Lambton Quay 184 Lambton Quay (opposite Midland Park)
Mrs Higgins Queensgate Mall
Ground Floor, Queens Drive Entrance (opposite St Pierre’s Sushi) CONDITIONS: ONE FREE COOKIE OFFER PER COUPON. EXPIRES 31/10/16
* FREE COOKIE OFFER *
Ka mate kāinga tahi, kei hea a kāinga rua? Na Raimona Tapiata
I knew I couldn’t go through university on my own—or, rather, I didn’t see want to do it on my own. As a Pasifika first year needing friends I joined the Samoan Students’ Associations. The solidarity of that group really helped to make the shy, quiet, first-year-me more confident with meeting new people in new and unfamiliar spaces. In a city where the best coffee could be found, I felt like I belonged somewhere. Rowling wrote “there are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.” The group faced many a mountain troll and each time we overcame it, it brought us closer together. I owe a lot of my growth to that group and even though I’m not an active member, I take everything I learned with me. I wanted to form more connections with other Pasifika and Māori students, and I found that in Te Pūtahi Atawhai. I found a community in which tagata o le moana and tangata whenua come together. Through mentoring, study spaces, free food, and just being able to korero and vent, I found another space to belong to. I made great friends from people who just always came on their lonesome to study and we connected through our common ethnic and cultural struggle at university. More recently though, I’ve started feeling a sense of community with my non-Pasifika peers. As a young and timid girl fresh out of South Auckland, I needed to find other Pasifika people to feel more at home. However the security I found in my communities of Pasifika has enabled me to find meaningful connections with nonPasifika. VUW is becoming more and more a home away from home.
Ko te kāinga he kaupapa whakamahana i te whatu manawa, whakakoakoa i ngā mahara e kōrorirori nei i te hinengaro. He maha anō hoki ngā momo kāinga, heoi ko te mātāpono ka kitea i ngā momo kāinga katoa nei ko tōna iho, arā, ko te tūrangawaewae. Ko te tūrangawaewae te tūāpapa e āhei ai te tangata ki te hanga ake i tōnā katoa, i tōna tuakiritanga, i tōnā ao. Heoi, he tokomaha ngā tangata e noho kāinga kore ana i ngā tōpitopito o Aotearoa, Māori mai, Pākeha mai. Ko ētahi e moe mararā nei i ngā tiriti matua ki ngā tāone nui. Ko ētahi whānau, whai tamariki kōhungahunga, e moe ana i roto i o rātou waka, ahakoa te tio o te hōtoke. Kāore kau he kāinga, he tūāpapa, he tūrangawaewae. Kāore he hua o taku ruku hohonu ki te take i pēnei ai te noho pōhara o te tangata, kāore i au aua tatauranga, aua mōhiotanga. Heoi, mārakerake ana te kite, he raruraru e koropupū ana. Inā anō te nui o ngā rautaki kua kōkirihia e te Kāwanatanga mō te hunga kainga kore, ā, he rerekē ngā hua, ngā painga ka puta. Heoi, kua roa nei au e tautoko ana i te whakaaro kei a Māori anō hoki te kawenga ki te whakaara ake i a tātou anō i ngā aupiki, auheke o te ao. Ka tika kia mihia te hunga pērā i ngā marae o Te Puea rāua ko Manurewa kei Tamaki Makaurau, kua tūwhera i a rātou tatau ki te hunga kāinga kore. He nui anō ngā hua kua heke i ēnei o ngā whakatauiratanga o te aroha. I tua atu i ngā kai wera, ngā moenga mahana, kua āwhinatia hoki te hunga nei ki te whai kāinga, whai mahi, whai oranga mō rātou. He nui ngā hua kua puta i te aroha o te tokoiti. Whaia te tauira nei! Tautokohia te kaupapa nei! Kia ora te tangata, kia ita tōna tū i te ao hurihuri.
Jonathan Gee VUWSA President
Rory Lenihan-Ikin Welfare Vice President
“VUWSA is a hangover from the days of unionism in New Zealand. Its existence is unnecessary, and only increases the fees students have to pay.” Throughout the past year VUWSA has done some serious soul-searching. The executive have been out-and-about asking students and student groups what their student-life pains are. We’ve heard a range of responses: not getting that assignment extension, waiting weeks to see a counsellor, living in a cold, damp, and mouldy flat, the looming thought of a massive student loan… etc. The quote above is a response to a question in our recent Strategic Plan survey: “Why do you think VUWSA exists?” Comments like this remind me that our history, while colourful and beautiful, has also alienated some students into thinking we’re a faction of the Labour Party, and we’re here to serve our own interests. But I know intrinsically, within VUWSA, we are not that. Our purpose is not for ourselves, but to get the best deal for students. The above comment indicates we need to tell our story—the student story—better. We need to better define the student experience. Our university experience is important and we need to take it seriously. Victoria’s Strategic Plan sets a goal to deliver a “holistic learning, teaching and student experience second to none.” For that to happen, students (i.e. you) need to be vocal in defining and shaping what that experience might look like. I believe VUWSA has a role, as the voice of students, to empower you to do this. This Wednesday, I will be announcing the results of that soul-searching. I’ll be announcing our big plan for the next five years, which seeks to define the student experience and reassert VUWSA’s place within the university community. So come along to our Annual General Meeting, in The Hub, on Wednesday at 1.00pm. Free pizza!
If I began this by asking if you’re enrolled to vote in the local body elections that would be very boring and you’d probably stop reading. So I’m not going to. Instead, I’ll start it with some riveting numbers like: students contribute TWO BILLION DOLLARS to the Wellington economy each year, and that it’s time for our local councils to make this city student friendly. I’m also going to make this column a list, because if this was in paragraphs I probably wouldn’t read it, so I shouldn’t expect you to. Here’s why you should vote in the local body elections: 1.They actually make decisions about things that we care about. Councils make decisions about every aspect of this city. Their scope includes obvious things like buses and recycling, but extends to a myriad of issues affecting us every day, like lighting in that dark walkway, or job opportunities after we finish our degrees. 2. We have MASSIVE potential power as a voting block. Our voting power is quite staggering. There are 40,000 students in Wellington and at the last election only 7,500 votes were needed to win a seat on Regional Council in Wellington City. Even more ridiculous, less than 2,500 votes were needed to win a seat in the central city. 3. Councils and candidates don’t expect us to vote. There is a commonly-held belief among many candidates that students don’t vote, and therefore don’t matter. Let’s prove them wrong. 4. We are really close to getting some major wins In May when a student discount on public transport was proposed at the Regional Council, it lost by ONE vote. If we elect the right candidates, we can make this happen. Get all you need to know about the elections: studentfriendlywellington.nz.
Celebrating arts and culture
Monday 15th August
Tuesday 16th August
Wednesday 17th August
Misfits Club 6pm The Bubble FREE!
Gallery exhibition Nibbles and drinks 5pm provided Adam Art Gallery FREE!
Arts Showcase Victoria Clubs’ showcase 1pm their stuff! Tim Beaglehole Courtyard FREE!
Hip Hop Dance Class Local hip hop crew Boys 3pm Squad teach you some Dance Studio, Rec Centre smooth moves FREE!
Classical Guitar 12.15pm Adam Art Gallery FREE!
Composer workshop PhD students, Diana Siwiak, 3.10pm Ryan Brake, Ewan Clark, Adam Concert Room discuss their work. FREE!
Latin Jazz 5pm The Hunter Lounge FREE!
Thursday 18th August
Film scoring workshop with Grayson Gilmour (solo) 7pm Adam Art Gallery FREE! Thursday 18th August Stand-Up Comedy Workshop 12pm, SU218 FREE!
Friday 19th August
NZSM students play soothing classical guitar.
Transport your mind to a warmer climate as you listen to a rich mix of rhythm and percussion instruments by The Latin Jazz Ensemble.
Award winning NZ composer, Grayson Gilmour, shares processes on film scoring: small performance included. Learn some tricks of the trade withthe “best comedian you’ve never heard of”, Vaughan King.
Well 7pm Bats Theatre $14 pp with Student ID tickets; bats.co.nz
Well theatre performance challenges the stigma associated with mental health and provokes a long-overdue conversation.
Music Forum 3.10pm Adam Concert Room FREE!
Hear about historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory and analysis, jazz studies, and more! Hosted by NZSM Music Studies.
Richard II 6pm Bat Theatre $14 pp with Student ID tickets; bats.co.nz
Play follows King Richard who believed he was appointed by God and made bad decisions which resulted in massive social unrest.
Stephanie Jones 7.30pm Adam Concert Room $15 pp with Student ID
Soothe your soul. Listen to live, classical guitar.
REOPENING SOON! The Cable Car will reopen on Monday 15 August at 7:00am.
In the meantime, replacement buses to Kelburn Campus and the top of the Cable Car will leave outside on Lambton Quay every 20 minutes. See our website for more information.
AU PE GU N ST
Check out the next Salient issue for a FREE ticket.
The VUWSA Executive Report Cards 2016 Part 1
President Jonathan Gee
Academic Vice President Jacinta Gulasekharam
Jonathan is a very diplomatic, sleek politician with an immaculate appearance to match. Gee at first appeared to be a covert Young Nat, but we think we jumped to conclusions and what we are seeing is simply a stylistic departure from the cardigan-wearing, hippy-casual attire of presidents past. If he aligned with a party (which he emphatically avoids, probably to his credit) it’d likely be Labour. Gee is diplomatic to the point of verging on subservience to the university’s party line, and as he points out himself he could do with some work on calling things out when it is needed and not being afraid to be antagonistic when the situation demands it. Salient thrives on controversy, though obviously VUWSA has to strike a balance between not taking too much shit from the university and government, and continuing to be funded and (occasionally) listened to. That said, Gee’s leadership is very approachable, modest, and collaborative, making the executive seem like a nice cohesive team, and likely leading to the favour of the various knights, dames, and big deals on the University Council and senior leadership team. He also noted that his high expectations of himself lead to self-criticism, we think he should give himself credit that he is doing a great job and just like chill and celebrate and get loose. 420.
After reading (read: skimming) 15 pages about Jacinta’s last six months as Academic Vice President, we are confident to admit that she has the privilege of possessing the driest, most heavily bureaucratic, and most “behind the scenes” position on the VUWSA executive. What committee isn’t she a part of? What meetings doesn’t she attend? Probably none. Jacinta, a young Hillary Clinton who wouldn’t stand for Bill cheating, is responsible for the class rep handbook that all class reps receive, developing an online student guide that will be launched this trimester, representing students on the University Council, Academic Board, and Academic Committee, and making submissions to various institutions on academic matters. And through all this she seemingly retains an optimistic mindset and is forever commending others on their hard work. Jacinta is one of the most-boss exec members, she scrutinises detail, pores over budgets, and is ready to take on a fight with the university when their proposals threaten to make student’s lives harder—such as the recent proposal to remove three hour exams and shorten the exam periods of trimester one and two. How she’s managed to achieve so much in only 67 surplus hours (a standard working week at Salient) we will never know! Text us your secrets, xx.
Most student-politician-y statement: “I have worked with the General Manager and Treasurer-Secretary (as Chair of Policy Committee) to streamline policies such as the delegated authority and finance policies. This sort of streamlining allows the executive to focus its work less on internal operations and more on external / representation of students.”
Most student-politician-y statement: “It was an honour to see our student representative, PGSA rep, NT rep, PSC rep, myself, and the President sit at the table among academics and senior leadership team to illustrate the partnership we have with VUW.” Overtime worked: 67 hours
Overtime worked: 219 hours
The VUWSA Executive are a bunch of underpaid and overworked people who represent and serve students through their various roles. We have read the work reports written by the executive members and have endured many executive meetings. It’s our pleasure to examine the performance of your representatives thus far in the year of the monkey, 2k16.
Welfare Vice President Rory Lenihan-Ikin
Engagement Vice President Nathaniel Manning
We tried, but it is difficult to be critical of Rory (a young James Shaw mixed with Nándor Tánczos). It is to Rory’s credit that he maintains a high level of exuberant chill while in this demanding role. The Welfare Vice President has arguably the most activist-y role of VUWSA, they advocate on behalf of students for financial support and welfare. This is well suited to Rory, who is probably the most outspoken and critical member of the executive. He has been organizing Stress Free Study Weeks, campaigning and lobbying for Fairer Fares and warmer homes, helping to compile a ‘Know your Rights’ student guide for flatting, working on sexual assault prevention policies with Equity Officer Chrissy, and recently working on the Student Friendly Local Body Election campaign, and heaps of other stuff including welfare strategy, student gardening, a bike repair workshop, and getting a late night dinner trial from Louis cafe. He has worked 331 hours of overtime and needs to chill, and identified his overworking as a weakness due to experiencing burn out (*cigarette emjoi* *leaf emoji*). As well as this, Rory gets so caught up in what he is working on that he neglects to include and update other exec members, which he needs to work on and maybe take a leaf out of Jonathan’s book.
Nathaniel is the executive member who had the most to do with O-Week and re-O-Week events. Aside from organising each event, he is also responsible for orchestrating it and making sure all the volunteers they rope in to do their dirty work are still smiling. He also organized VUWSA’s participation in the Pride Parade, the University Challenge pub quiz team, and seems to just be helping out all over the show. He is definitely one of the more humble executive members, a real team player who does a lot of organisational work behind the scenes, and his successes play out during the events. He’s like Chris Traeger from Parks and Recreation, he’s mostly just cheerful and stoked to be there. Nathaniel was interesting in getting Gaz involved in the O-Week line up, but ultimately they decided it didn’t quite fit the VUWSA brand. Nathaniel admits, in his report, that he is not the most efficient guy on the team, often not getting his documents for the meetings in on time. It’s obvious that he makes up with this in his enthusiasm. He definitely also organised the pizza for the executive meetings at the start of the year. Most student-politician-y statement: He mostly speaks like a normal person.
Most student-politician-y statement: “In SFSW, we were able to serve approximately 3000 breakfasts and 4500 across three campuses. In addition, we served 500 curries for dinner at Kelburn thanks to partnership with an external company MTR. We built a more meaningful relationship with People’s Coffee which this year which will mean an increased commitment from them moving forward.”
Overtime worked: 68.25 hours
Overtime worked: 331.25 hours
dream It begins with a soft rattling sound, like tree branches hitting the window or wind shaking the glass against the frame. I am inside the room looking out. It’s dusk, or maybe dawn, because the sky is blue but the stars are just showing above the hills. The fact that there are stars and hills means I must not be in the city anymore. I must be somewhere near home. In the distance I hear a sound like small waves crashing and suddenly the floor tilts up and the whole room is moving and the hills are moving with it. My legs give out beneath me. The carpet smells like rice and dried flowers. Someone I used to know is pulling me towards the door. The last thing I see is the lights that hang from the ceiling swinging in circles. When I wake up my ears are ringing with someone’s voice and I can still smell something sweet. At first I don’t know where I am, then I begin to remember. I am alone and everything is still.
distance I’ve spent a lot of time in my life feeling homesick for another place. My parents’ jobs meant that I lived in several different countries growing up. At the schools I went to I met lots of kids who moved every one or two years, barely long enough to settle down. Some had boxes in their bedrooms that they never bothered to unpack. But what if you stayed long enough to give yourself over to a place? When I was fifteen we moved back to Wellington after three years in Shanghai, a city full of coloured light and skyscrapers and, for me, a city of firsts. First time hearing a song and feeling so alive I might explode. First time sneaking out to the soccer field in the middle of the night to make snow angels. First terrible, allconsuming crush. First best friend I would do anything for. After this, Wellington didn’t seem real. The Wellington I knew then was just a haze of childhood pictures and stories my parents told me, distant and remote. This new place was full of strained silences, empty space, thick woollen school uniforms, freezing wind, and so much sky. “I’m from Wellington,” is what I had always said when people asked, because wasn’t that true? Even when they studied my face and guessed correctly that I’m half Chinese, I would explain again: “—yes, but I’m from Wellington.” Sometimes we tell ourselves stories about ourselves and hold onto them long after they’ve stopped feeling true.
forget One way to stop feeling homesick is to erase old pieces of yourself. Unlearn the language you were starting to get to know, the one your mother speaks. Relearn the correct names for things (‘rubbish bin’, ‘ice block’). Lose track of the people you left behind. Forget you have a Chinese middle name. For a while, don’t speak.
glow I was nineteen. I hadn’t thought about the other place in a long time. We were near the front row at the Wellington Town Hall, everything bathed in bright blue light. The band started playing a song I once listened to for an entire summer, five years ago, in another place. I glanced at the people standing around me, their cheeks and eyelashes illuminated by flickers of orange light. I shut my eyes and I am fourteen again. I am lying on the grass, our shoulders just touching. We have been swimming all day and the skin of our fingers has gone wrinkly. You 19
smell like chlorine and lemonade. My lips are covered in cinnamon sugar. We are connected by the thin wire of your earphones, your shitty iPod lying between us on the grass. One of the earphones only works if I hold it to my ear at a certain angle. A song playing on low volume slowly fades out. There’s a dark peach sun in the sky above the city, our city. The pollution causes it to glow red. I am conscious of bodies moving around me but I can’t really feel them. Everyone is dancing with their eyes closed, pretending to be somewhere else.
waves Seven years is long enough to fall deeply in love with Wellington again. The kind of love that’s not about wonder and excitement, but about feeling safe. I began to picture myself staying here forever. I imagined a house in the hills nestled among kōwhai trees and ferns, with cats and dogs, a view of the sea and birds everywhere. I started planning realistically, not dreamily. I applied for office jobs that meant a salary and sick leave and work-appropriate pants. I bought kitchen appliances and a vacuum cleaner. But there’s so much about Wellington that isn’t exactly safe. Windows shatter in the wind, hillsides crumble after rain, waves flood the coastal roads, earthquakes make us leap under doorways, tsunami evacuation lines are painted on the footpath. People often talk about Wellington like it’s on the brink of a disaster, like we’ve been preparing ourselves for decades for some catastrophe that has been replaying over and over in our imaginations. We aren’t afraid of it, exactly, but we’re conscious of it. But this never made me want to leave; in fact I think it made me want to stay, as if soon something might change and if I left and came back I might not recognise the place. Or it might not recognise me.
tremble How real are the homes we build for ourselves? I have never been a brave person; I don’t think I ever wanted to leave this home. But I knew that if I didn’t leave now, I never would. One night last summer, not long before I did leave, I stood at the lookout at the top of the Botanic Gardens. The city was a web of shivering points of light: car headlights winding up the narrow cliff-edge roads, Mt Vic flat-warming parties lit up with fairy lights, blazed teenagers lighting fireworks in empty lots, a TV being switched on for the late night news, a star-shaped night-light in the corner of a child’s room. I imagined all I couldn’t see. I leaned over the railing and the wind seemed to shake the platform I was standing on. The way the hills could move at any moment.
alone Things people say to you about moving overseas alone: that will be wonderful, that will be amazing, wow, that’s brave. Things people don’t say, either because they don’t know or they do know but don’t want to scare you: it will take a little while to get over the shock. When you get sick, everything will feel ten times worse than it is. Some days you will be good at being alone, and some days you will be terrible at it. I’ve been in Shanghai for six months now. I’m learning that the only way to unmake an old home is to make yourself a new one. I turned my tiny dorm room into a place where I can always feel calm. I make time to write, I go outside, I prioritise self-care. I don’t stop myself from buying ice cream. I ride my bike through campus at night when the frogs and cicadas are the loudest and the sky is purple and burnt orange. I lie on my bed on summer afternoons when 20
everything is slow and warm, my curtains billowing in the wind, making grey shapes in the soft light.
island I still dream about the island. It is small and flat and evenly shaped, right in the centre of our view of the harbour. On hot days, which we had often just before I left, the little island appears to rise and fall in the shimmering heat. At low tide it looks close enough to touch. When I lived right next to it, I always used to worry what might happen to the island with the predicted sea-level rise, or if a tsunami flooded the harbour after an offshore quake. Maybe I’d come back one day and it will have disappeared completely. In the dream, I’m looking at the island and someone calls my name and when I look back, it’s gone. In the place where it was, just a stretch of calm sea, like it had never been there at all.
rush The strangeness of feeling homesick for two places at once, one that doesn’t exist anymore. It’s different now, we are all grown-ups with grown-up worries. We are supposed to be able to visit old places without getting stuck there. We should be able to view them from a safe distance, not let old ghosts near. But there is that feeling. The thing that happens inside your body when you hear a song you love, or read a good poem, or accidentally touch someone you like. The tingly split-second lurch that sends shockwaves from somewhere near the base of your stomach to your fingers. One night I was walking to the subway when I came across a band playing Radiohead in the middle of a dark highway underpass. They were playing a song I used to love but hadn’t heard in years. My body remembered it. I felt it on my skin. There were three girls near the front of the stage mouthing the words and swishing their hair, arms linked around each other. It had started to rain but they didn’t notice, no one noticed, no one noticed anything at all except this sudden magic. This rush. I had forgotten what it felt like.
ashes I think we’re always making and unmaking homes for ourselves in order to survive, using pieces of old ones to create something new. I learned a long time ago that I can’t keep living in the shell of an old home. But I also can’t pretend these places never existed. Part of me is always somewhere else.
dust At a temple in the outskirts of Shanghai, rows of tall red candles burn. Thick smoke lingers in the still air. When I get too close it stings my eyes. Threads of red wax drip down and hang suspended in the shape of their own gradual collapse. Behind the candles, people bundle strips of bright yellow paper into bags and burn them in furnaces beneath the small pagoda. The papers have Chinese characters inked on them in vertical rows. I am too shy to ask if they are prayers, wishes, or things that need to be forgotten. Maybe they are all three. The air is thick with dust and burnt shreds of yellow paper, moving even though there is no wind. The ashes land in my hair and all over my clothes. That night my skin smells like smoke and there are still bits of paper in my hair, the tiny remnants of lost wishes. I carry them with me for days. I carry them home. 21
Where are you from? It was where important family meetings happened, but mainly it was where we hung our laundry. Home housed Mum, Dad, Ma (Mum’s mum), and us kids. Home was where rice and tuna was a luxury that only Ma could have. John Grisham, Roald Dahl, and Encyclopaedia Britannica lived with us too. Outside, the leaves of the mango, breadfruit, and frangipani trees fell to the ground, we’d then have to pick them up. Breadfruit leaves were the best because they were ginormous and very few. Mango leaves were the opposite. If, heaven forbid, we lost the salu tū (outdoor broom, made of a long wooden handle tied to a bundle of midribs of coconut leaves) we’d have to painstakingly pick up each and every leaf only to wait for more leaves to take their place. Inside, we’d choreograph dances to Shania Twain and Madonna. I have very faint memories of my home in Samoa. There’s a photo of me in a dress at our plantation, but I didn’t feel like Samoa was home. In all of Samoa, there was only a specific plot of land on top of a little hill that was home. It wasn’t until I moved to Aotearoa that I began to long for a whole country. I hardly reflected on the country I came from, there weren’t national narratives I was aware of or identified with, I never felt like I had to assert my belonging to Samoa. Everyone was Samoan. Just as a fish doesn’t think about the water, I never consciously thought about my home country as a country I belonged to. I belonged to my village, I belonged to my family. However, when I moved to New Zealand, I became totally aware of my being Samoan. I became immersed in a world in which Samoans declared their being Samoan and I learnt that it would become something I would do too. It became so important to explicitly talk about the importance of our language and our culture. There was a need to find and hold onto our histories, our narratives. The homeland that was the surrounding I never noticed became the home I wanted to return to and I developed a belated national identity. When we arrived in New Zealand we moved to Manurewa, South Auckland, to my Aunty’s house. There were ten of us living in a three bedroom house, including the converted-garage. I had never heard of F.O.B. (fresh off the boat) before. I wasn’t aware that the way I spoke English had an accent, which was attached to negative stereotypes of unintelligence and poverty. I didn’t know there was a history of violence and injustice that
Laura Toailoa But where are you from from? The answer people look for varies, depending on whether they want to know where my accent is from, or where I lived before moving to Wellington, or if they’re a Samoan asking what villages my parents are from. Geographically, here’s a quick overview: I was born in Samoa and lived my childhood in Saoluafata. I moved to New Zealand when I was eight years old. I lived in South Auckland for the rest of my childhood and my whole adolescence. I then moved to Wellington when I was 18 for university. Now here I am. In Samoa, home was a fale-palagi—we had walls and a tin roof, doors and locks. We also had a more traditional fale-samoa in its open style and poles in the perimeter. 22
the freedom to raid their cupboards and watch all the television I desire. For those very few weekends, I’m back to being their child and not this mostly independent budding adult with more responsibilities than she can sometimes handle. Before entering a new space and meeting new people, I wait for an invitation from someone who belongs there. I wait for the assurance that I can just help myself, that I don’t need to knock, that I can say what I mean, that I can laugh my loud ugly laugh and feel no shame. I don’t know how to process the phrase “make yourself at home.” I was taught when visiting someone’s home to sit on the floor, legs crossed, and be as quiet as possible, to answer questions directed at you, to be concise and to not blabber on about yourself. I still follow these rules. At university there are several spaces dedicated to Pasifika students for study and socialising and even though there’s an explicit sign saying I have a right to it, I needed a friend to physically take me there and to invite me to return whenever I feel like it. I find that this is a common trait in many young Pasifika people I know. I return the favour too, to make people feel explicitly welcome, because I know what it feels like to be a stranger. I’ve lived in New Zealand for 13 years and I still feel like I haven’t been welcomed yet. After learning about New Zealand’s administration of Samoa in the past, I thought actually I do have a right to be here. New Zealand forced themselves into our country and our mass migration here is an aftermath of that. But then I learned about New Zealand’s colonisation and then I thought, shit, do Māori want us here? They didn’t colonise us and now we’re just flocking to their whenua. Am I welcome here? Who’s allowed to make this call? It’s a hard question to discuss. I don’t know how to address this question without offending the people whose country I now claim to belong to. So while I continue to struggle with national identity and belonging I’m going to create my temporary pockets of home as I go, because I cannot stay in one fixed place (financially mostly, but also emotionally). I doubt I’ll own property and thus I need to find other ways to belong. For now, I have a sense of home at the university when I’m surrounded by my friends, there’s a sense of home at the café my friends and I visit for late night coffee, home is found on our blue couch watching movies on a laptop with my flatmates, I feel at home when I visit my sister’s house and she deflates my big head and brings me back to earth. I feel at home when people I love message me from their side of the world. I feel at home when I feel comfortable in my own skin. I feel at home writing for Salient. Thank you to everyone who has ever made me welcome in their homes, their spaces, their lives. Thank you to all those who let me put my feet up and express my genuine self. Thank you for extending your generous arm to my timid one. Home isn’t the one special house, it isn’t one city, or one country. It’s many places all at once. It’s people. It’s temporary, it’s long lasting. It’s virtual and geographical. It’s safe. It’s mine. Where I came from doesn’t feel like home anymore. Likewise, what is currently home for me may not always be. So when people ask, “where are you from?” I should just answer, “I come from my parents.”
contributed to the present-day experience and perception of Pacific Islanders. I didn’t know I was a Pacific Islander. I didn’t know that overcrowding was common in low socioeconomic households because housing was so expensive and most households lived on low wages. I didn’t realise that we didn’t have enough space. I didn’t care about space, I was just excited about a never-ending sleepover with my cousins. My new home had Ricies and Milo—my mind was blown. We moved around Manurewa; wherever my family went, that’s where home was for me. I didn’t care about any household items, ornaments, or trinkets. Sometimes I mourn the loss of our massive bookshelf, but at the time it didn’t matter what we left behind. I didn’t need One Ear (my bunny plushie with one ear), my special Sunday white dress, or my box collection. I didn’t feel attached to my room or any physical space that I spent the first eight years of my life in. I had mum’s sternness and dad’s wit with me, and my siblings, who were my first and closest friends. We still had our jokes and conversations about Harry Potter with us. We still sang along to The Sound of Music. We had no more leaves to sweep or pick up and acquired a vacuum. Nowadays I sit in my mouldy non-insulated student flat, on a heavily student-populated street, and think, is this home? I live here, but I don’t belong here. This is a transient stage. And if you look at it like that all phases of my life are transient; my roots are not dug here. I have put photographs, posters, and my previous Salient columns on my bedroom wall to establish some sort of claim to the space that my share of the rent grants me. But when the moisture that saturates the air in my room lessens the adhesion of the Blu-Tack holding up my poster (“Keep Calm I’m The Doctor”), I have no desire to try stick it back up. It seems futile to try to make this space mine when I’m counting down the months until our lease is up. I can’t wait to move into a new place that doesn’t have mould growing on the bedroom walls and a noisy downstairs neighbour. Maybe if I don’t absolutely hate the new flat I might find that it can also be a home, somewhere I belong. The one sense of belonging that has never disappeared is belonging to my family. I used to belong to a church, to a high school, to certain houses, to a different country. I’ve lost some friends over the years and gained new ones. I’ve formed social circles built on shared values, experience, and solidarity forged through mutual suffering. But my family, they’re my home that I have no doubts in claiming. I am utterly grateful to be born into a family that I feel homesick for. Home is where I want to be, where I feel secure, where I feel like I belong. Sometimes home is at university, surrounded by people who can empathise with the student struggles. Sometimes home is lying in the arms of someone whose body fits perfectly with mine. Always, home is with Mum and Dad. Homes are spaces and places that I can, even if only for a day, feel completely at ease. Most of the time it’s with others, but it’s also when I’m alone. I can feel a temporary sense of home in a new and public place, sitting with my notebook, somewhere I can write down any and every thought swimming through my head. I feel at home when I go back to Mum and Dad’s house and everyone has gone to work and I have 23
Send your art submission to firstname.lastname@example.org and be in to win a $100 Gordon Harris voucher.
Donna Patterson | facebook.com/Donna-Marie-Patterson
My House, My Castle
EDEN TERRACE, AUCKLAND
321 BEDROOM, 24 BATHROOM, ? FLATMATES.
4 BEDROOM, 1 BATHROOM, 4 FLATMATES (+1 PERSON WHO WAS ONLY "VISITING A FLATMATE, BUT ACTUALLY APPEARED TO BE LIVING THERE FULL TIME AND JUST NOT PAYING RENT.
Choosing between the University of Auckland’s four student halls was easy. I left it too late, and by the time I got around to enrolling this hostel was the only one that had any space left. There was, I discovered, a reason for this. In fact, I don’t know that Huia ever actually reached full capacity that year. Or any year in its entire existence. Each room features four sides of joyless painted cinder block walls, furniture made of fake wood, a flat, singlesized bed with motel-style bedding, an ethernet port you have to buy your own cable for if you want internet, and a mini-fridge. Living is organised into floors and I was on the fifth floor. We had our own washing machine and dryer, both cost two dollars per cycle. A communal bathroom allowed you the rare experience of taking a shower while a guy next to you squeezes out a big, farty shit. The windows in the room are engineered to only open a few inches and there is no alcohol allowed on site. A really crappy kitchen services the thirty people who live on floor five. It has a bench with five flat elements built into it and a single upright freezer. I kept a bulk pack of precooked sausages in the freezer, which I cooked two at a time in a can of sweet & sour sauce and supplemented with some greens from someone’s bag of frozen vegetables. I had a kettle in my room and I drank a lot of miso soup. I tried really hard to assimilate into the natural grouping of fifth floor first years, but it just didn’t feel right. One of the girls on floor five took a group of us to a secret event that she promised would have free food and entertainment, but it turned out to be a recruiting seminar for her urban church. (They did have food though). Church girl lived in the room next to me, and when she got a boyfriend later that year, they would get together a few times a week and prove that cinder blocks aren’t actually as soundproof as you might think. The only friend I make is a girl who works in the boutique fashion store next to my favourite cafe. We pash at a bar one night.
Second floor of a two-storey former funeral home. Bottom floor contains (in order of importance): kebab shop, bulk t-shirt shop, Italian restaurant. Basement contains hundreds of unclaimed boxes of human remains and probably the respective ghosts. Small courtyard out back, ideal for smoker, or aspiring smoker recently liberated from student hostel’s ‘smoke-free’ environment. Courtyard doubles as a staff room for the mainly Brazilian kitchen staff of the Italian restaurant, so the whole block is occasionally filled with passionate Portuguese shouting. Not sure what the shouting was about. Could be good, could be bad. Hard to say. Bedroom window has a view of the restaurant kitchen roof, the creepy junk shop next door run by suspected nonce, and the carpark of the local Dalmatian society. Notable landmarks include: permanently parked car of flatmate’s “visiting” friend who has now lost her licence; reddish stain on restaurant kitchen roof that is all that remains of an urgent late night vomit out of bedroom window after unwise mixing of alcohol and marijuana of former flatmate (me, nervous about hanging out with girl I liked. Update: girl not as turned on by vomit as I hoped); occasional glimpses of other flatmate’s possibly deranged former boyfriend (tip: remember, if you can see him, he can probably see you. Try to avoid eye contact while flatmate concerned is in your bed naked and he is screaming her name up at your room. While I’m at it, also remember that if your flatmate decides to sleep in your bed with you for the entire first week of your residence, you are not obliged to sleep with them. Doing so in hopes that it will get them to leave you alone is not a shortcut to self-respect).
HUIA RESIDENCE, AUCKLAND
In the area: bus stops, public bathrooms, bench where flatmate’s definitely deranged former boyfriend informed me how he recently “sent [a man who was involved with my flatmate in a sexual way] to the A&E [because of his involvement with my flatmate],” and how if he was to find out that I was involved with her in a similar way, I might also find myself in A&E, possibly with one or both of my legs broken.
In the area: universities, K Road, other places that aren’t this hostel, a bakery that sells big biscuits iced with smiley faces that I take to the girl in the boutique fashion store every week so we can hang out. 27
ARCH HILL, AUCKLAND
4 BEDROOM, 1 BATHROOM, 4 FLATMATES (BARRY, THE LANDLORD, ONLY KNOWS ABOUT 3).
6 BEDROOM, 2 BATHROOM, 6 BEAUTIFUL, FLAWLESS FLATMATES.
Small, cosy bungalow in a family-friendly neighbourhood, on the permanently shady side of a hill overlooking Auckland’s famous North-Western motorway. If you close your eyes and take some deep breaths, the inescapable, never-resting roar of traffic kind of sounds like gentle waves rolling onto a sandy beach. Carpet is charmingly threadbare along well-trodden routes through the house. Real, original mould on bathroom ceiling, most windowsills, and also the cake my flatmate baked a while ago that I stole a piece of when he went away for the weekend (I thought it was some kind of fancy icing). (To be fair, I did not get as sick as I thought I would). In a weird turn of events, I started dating the ex-girlfriend of the boy who had the room before me. Made a lot of jokes about moving into his flat and his girlfriend coming with it, until I discovered he actually left the flat because he was caught sniffing his flatmates’ undies and they kicked him out. New girlfriend dodged a bullet. Also he cheated on her, so fuck him. During a visit from Barry, when I am home alone, I discover his name is actually John. Flat vibe took a sudden nosedive with the departure of current flatmates to Melbourne, and the introduction of a whole new flatmate cohort from a snooty local art school. New cohort keen on Wednesday 3am karaoke parties in living room. One new “arty” flatmate ate my entire pack of thirty freezer dumplings in one sitting while I was at school. Thirty. And these are not small dumplings or anything, these are normal sized dumplings. That was my dinner for three days. New flatmates take over in every way and are terrible. I find out dumpling-eater is the one who undie-sniffer cheated on my new girlfriend with. God knows why. Or how. I am overcome by a newfound dread when I turn onto my street on my way home from work. At university one day I read a breaking news story about an unspecified house on my street that was sliding down the hill towards the motorway, due to heavy rain. I close my eyes and pray it’s the flat, with the snooty art students going down with it. Take my dumplings with you, I don’t care. I’m heartbroken though to find the flat still there on my return. I consider starting work on digging out the foundations as soon as night falls.
Good lord, what did I do to deserve this place? Dreamy, huge, friendly, cheap. In Ponsonby for Christ’s sake. Ponsonby. The flat sported its own YMCA indoor soccer team (‘Get Rowdy’), as well as a local pub quiz team (‘Miley Cyclops’). There is also a flat cat, called Bean, and a flatmate who has the same birthday as me. We spent our combined birthday at the local laser tag joint, and everyone has an amazing time. The flat has a ‘classic’, self-deprecating nickname—The Fuck Pad. It overlooks a small park and the ratty couches on the verandah boast a first-rate view of the passing bowl-latte-type mums on their morning ath-leisurely strolls. The neighbourhood boozery is a brisk one minute walk away and across the road from that is the Busy Oven Bakery, famous for its steak, cheese, and bacon pies. An occasional sound from behind the fridge, like someone crunching on corn chips in a comical way, turns out to be an enormous rat who sneaks underneath the back door and sets up camp there when it rains. Once in the kitchen I saw it make the dash from fridge to backyard, practically brushing my heels as it ran past. It stopped though, as soon as it had squeezed itself under the back door, leaving twenty centimetres of thick, brown rat tail poking inside. I briefly thought about chopping it off with a big knife, but decided against the idea of cleaning rat blood off the lino. Also what would I have done with a rat tail? Even this was not enough to shake my love of this flat. The threat of political unrest rears its ugly head with the implementation of a flat “chore wheel,” but luckily it quickly goes the way of all flat chore wheels and is forgotten within two weeks. My long-held plans about returning to Wellington to do a writing degree become open to questioning. Is this place just too good to leave? Old flatmates depart. New ones arrive. Among them are more students from snooty local art school and a guy dabbling in small scale LSD dealing. Remarkable thinness of walls becomes apparent, occasionally problematic. No new flatmates share my birthday. Flat becomes more like reality, less like a dream. Decision to move back to Wellington becomes easier.
In the area: a swap-a-book community library that is now probably thriving (without me taking the best books and placing, in return, only titles like Tim Allen’s 1994 autobiography Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man), a lot of wealthy white people, and the best damn bowl lattes money can buy.
In the area: over a hundred new / used car lots, a Video Ezy that is inexplicably still in business, and a fish and chip shop that—I shit you not—will sell you a passable packet of fish and chips for $3 and is open until 2am. 28
JACKSON HEIGHTS, NYC
5 BEDROOM, 2 BATHROOM, 4 FLATMATES (ALL RELATED).
3 BEDROOM, 1 BATHROOM, 3 FLATMATES (PREFERRED TERM IS APPARENTLY "ROOMMATES").
Big, central city house with great sun, fireplace, pizza oven, gas stove, fridge and pantry that are never less than overflowing, bath, awesome shower pressure, free internet, free everything. Even free beer and wine most of the time. Two of my flatmates have literally dedicated their lives to my continued survival and comfort and are quick to shower me with praise and gifts, etc., and also to say mean things about people who are nasty to me (they even look kind of like me which is cool). They drive me to the airport and make me dinner pretty much every night. They observe with great enthusiasm all the major giftgiving occasions including, but not limited to, birthdays, graduations, Easter, Christmas. They make me do the dishes and vacuum but it’s a small price to pay. Not much more I can say. It’s perfect, I really feel like I have finally found my dream home. I will never leave. Never. Why would I?
Mum and Dad kicked me out and I had to go to America. I only arrived yesterday and today I slept until 2.30pm. As I’ve not yet had twenty-four hours in this city (much less conscious hours), I can’t do much but offer a list of first impressions. They are as follows: life here without air conditioning appears to simply not be possible; it is both a wonder and an undeniable fact that over eight million people live in this city; the subway has a comforting, warmgrime smell that I already feel I will miss when I leave; every restaurant around will deliver food to your house (and on that note, possibly every ethnicity in the world is represented by at least one national restaurant, in my area: Himalayan, Peruvian); a good piece of advice is Don’t Go In The Empty Subway Car (There’s A Reason It’s Empty) (for some reason, my first thought was because there’s a poo in there, but I guess there are other reasons); you can call pizza a “slice” or a whole a “pie,” but you must never, ever, call it pizza; in retrospect, I think the armed customs official at the border didn’t ask me “do you know anyone in New York” because he was screening me for terrorism, but because he was trying to warn me “if you don’t know anyone here, you will get lost and then maybe you will die;” man, Wellington is so white; it’s hard to know whether my general air of awkwardness is due to moving into a new flat, or just having no idea how this country works; I feel like I’m about to get mugged and / or pickpocketed at any moment (I need to relax about this); Netflix here is awesome; if I don’t make myself go outside soon, there is a strong possibility I won’t leave the building for a month; when I got off the plane in LA I was smiling like a goofy idiot, thinking “fuck yeah! America! At last!” Whereas thoughts now are more “well… shit.”
"...remember that if your flatmate decides to sleep in your bed with you for the entire first week of your residence, you are not obliged to sleep with them. Doing so in hopes that it will get them to leave you alone is not a shortcut to selfrespect)." 29
Mates in the States
Renee Petero and Tessa Cullen And we’re off… nearly.
For most of us, the word ‘home’ evokes warm feelings of love, encouragement, acceptance, and safety. For others, home means fear, shame, oppression, or aggression. For some there is no home. I strongly believe in the concept of ‘chosen family’— that is, cultivating people around you to make a family. If that includes your parents / siblings / grandparents / aunts / uncles / cousins etc., then great! If not, that’s great too. I also believe strongly in building the home you want for yourself, whether that resembles the home you grew up with, or is the exact opposite. For those in the queer community, chosen family is often all there is. Even today, even in New Zealand, families disown or exclude their children for being queer. It is something I will never understand and something that fills me with a melancholic mix of rage and sorrow— how someone could bring a child into this world and then discard them so callously over something so trivial. Luckily, the queer community (like most marginalised groups) has a long history of finding love from within and building support for each other to provide that which should be found at home. When you’re with your queers, you are home—there’s a reason we call each other ‘family’. My partner and I—both cis women—sometimes get asked if we plan on having children, especially now we’re both getting a bit older. My mum has sweetly-butkind-of-normatively enquired whether we have a “lovely gay friend” who might like to give us some sperm. We’ve talked at length about our plans for our future family, and we both envisage that including kids. I’m clucky as all hell and we both want to experience being pregnant. We’ve talked about values, education, home life, even what sports they’ll play (we’re a soccer family). We’ll love them no matter what—even if they’re straight. I can’t wait to build our home. I think we’ll make great mums.
Yes hello, Renee and Tessa signing in. Although we haven’t actually left the country yet, the two of us are off to the US of A to study abroad in Washington D.C. this coming semester. The university we are attending is literally called American University, and seems to be the most patriotic institution ever. Not kidding, the school colours are red, white, and blue, the mascot is an eagle, and the motto is “pro deo et patria” which directly translates to “God and Country.” Y I K E S. You’d think that organising to go on an exchange would be easy. Well, fricken guess again pals. The depressing exchange rate, the timezone awkwardness, and the insane student visa application are all parts of the lengthy exchange process. Fun questions in the visa interviews such as “have you ever trafficked organs” and “do you have tuberculosis or infectious leprosy” feature as the weirdest things we’ve ever been asked. Our personal favourite was the foolproof, sure-fire, terrorist-stopping question of “do you plan to engage in terrorist activities while in the United States,” because members of ISIS are obviously going to get to this part of the process and think, “frick guys, they’ve bloody got us. Better pack it up and head home.” But never fear friends, it’s not all bad. We get to study at an amazing university (where domestic students pay upwards of $62,000 a year) for the price of a yearly Victoria tuition—shout out to Victoria Abroad for hooking us up. Not only that, we will be in the country’s capitol for the wild world of the 2016 US presidential election, LIVE AS IT HAPPENS (Hill yes!). We will also get to experience cliched american holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Years, plus we finally get to experience our first white Christmas (unless climate change strikes). We both depart the land of the long white cloud this week, so wish us luck, and stay tuned for our fortnightly masterpiece on the ups and downs of living in the land of the “free.”
Stressed, Depressed, Well-dressed
Sharpay Yuheng Xu Tell Me if You Wanna Go Home
After braving (read: near developing frostbite, regularly crying, and enduring approx. seven colds per year) 2.5 Wellington winters I have developed a vague sense of how NOT to go about dressing oneself. More so after a recent spontaneous galavant to Dunedin in fucking July (Do I have a death wish?? Perhaps?), where upon exiting the aircraft in a mini skirt and ultra sheer stockings I could quite literally feel my internal organs beginning to shrivel up and cease functioning in response to the the Antarcticesque chill.
At the beginning of last July, I went back to Auckland for a week to celebrate spending two years in NZ with my previous host family and friends from high school. My ex-landlady Tracey gave me a ride home and asked me, “do you feel Auckland is more like a home to you? Because you left all you dear friends and moved to another city so bravely.” The word ‘home’ kept flashing through my mind, I couldn’t answer with a simple yes or no. As international students, we move a lot. The notion of ‘home’ becomes more obscure over time. Home, for me, is a place that gives me a sense of safety and belonging, a place I urgently want to go back to when I get drunk at a party. Here are a few tips for those of you who are experiencing loneliness and homesickness, I hope you will find something useful in here. A bite of home. Always complain about in-authentic food in Wellington? Why don’t you cook for yourselves? I missed my grandma’s handmade noodle soup, I asked her for her ‘secret recipe’ and now I cook it myself. Food is such a simple way to feel connected to your home because, wherever you go, the taste of home will never be changed. Cuéntenme sus historias, amigos! This Spanish roughly translates to: “I would like to hear every detail of your stories, my friend.” At the beginning of my university life I felt very lost because of the language barrier, I put in much more effort after classes to keep up, and I felt exhausted. When I started to make friends, with people from all over the world, I felt less alone. I shared how I felt with these friends and listened their stories. You are beloved by this world. One of the most amazing things at Victoria University is you can get heaps of help. Student Counselling, Student Learning, VUWSA International Students’ Association (V-ISA), Student Wellbeing Awareness Team (SWAT) are all there for you. University life can be very stressful, you need to know that there are people who care about your well being and want you to be happy. I wish for you all to feel warm, comfortable, and at home here during this cold winter.
Rule #1 Invest in a fucking raincoat. (Also waterproof mascara, eyeliner, and industrial-strength setting spray…). Rule #2 Consider growing out all facial and bodily hair for extra insulation. Your ponytail could double as an fair trade, cruelty-free scarf. (Bonus points if your leg hair gets so long and prickly that it sticks through your tights). Rule #3 Wearing a floppy wool hat like those bougie-ass ‘boho’ Instagrammers, whose job consist entirely of arranging flatlays and consuming acai bowls, will blow straight off your head before you are out of the door, and you will be the maniac high speed-tottering down Cuba Street after it. Unless you wish to relive your childhood with a chin strap, or fasten your headgear with double-sided tape (disclaimer—may cause hair loss), in which case you do you, boo. Rule #4 Platforms are actually phenomenal at keeping your feet dry, warm, and elevated off of the (not-so warm or dry) ground. Rule #5 Remain perpetually mildly intoxicated until spring. Sling a few shots of rum or Tia Maria into your morning soy latte, maybe even a nip of gin in your muesli (?), to start every day living your best life. Carry a thermos of mulled wine to sip on in lectures, perhaps you’ll finally start seeing cute people in your classes… 31
What We Talk About When We Talk About Science
"Sports" Joe Morris
You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more? —Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea.
Nasa recently announced that last June was the 14th consecutive month of record breaking heat. Congrats team. Many scientists are saying that they have been caught off guard by the rapid and consistent rise in temperature that we have experienced in the last couple of years. Of course, politicians are still failing to act. The cost-benefit asymmetry created by climate change, where the costs are immediate and calculable and the benefits are distant and abstract, is strongly at odds with our three-year election cycle. The Paris Agreement is starting to look weaker and weaker and it probably won’t survive if Donald Trump is elected this November (he was recently asked about human induced climate change and while his response wasn’t one of total denial, he did emphasise that abating emissions was an expense that US businesses should not suffer). From where I’m standing it seems likely that humanity will totally fail to address climate change. So what then? One radical solution has been floating around a lot lately. Geo-engineering. About 75,000 years ago there was a massive volcanic eruption at Mt. Toba. So much soot and ash was released into the atmosphere that global temperatures declined over the next thousand years. Soot effectively reduces the amount of sunlight that falls on the surface of the earth. Humanity could recreate this by pumping soot or aerosols into the atmosphere. By doing this we could potentially obviate the increase in temperature caused by climate change. Naturally, this is pretty controversial. Our atmosphere is an incredibly chaotic system. Accurately predicting the consequences of geoengineering on this scale is effectively impossible. Some geneticists link the eruption of Mt. Toba to a population bottleneck, that may have reduced the number of humans on earth to as few as 10,000.Personally, I think it’d be great if we could avoid the situation where geo-engineering becomes necessary. Apart from the risks, there’s something viscerally repulsive about humanity fucking with our atmosphere in order to fix problems created by too much fucking with our atmosphere. But if are going to fix climate change without resorting to such measures things are going to have to change and we are going to have to start acting very soon.
Fishing, as with other forms of hunting, exists in a weird space between survival and sport. Conservation, recreation, protein, and pescetarianism all exist somewhere in between. While I’m reading Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, these thoughts seem worth entertaining. Humans have, or at least had, ingenious ways of sourcing food—of surviving, like the inuit of northern Greenland who must hunt Narwhale for their Vitamin C rich skin, and ferment seabirds in seal skins. On the other hand Humans frequently abuse animals in the name of sport: cockfights, dogfights, bull running / fighting, or in the name of commercial interests, i.e. overfishing. Big game hunting is often justified with the byline “for the sport of it.” You might expect me to continue ranting on about the cruelty of killing Marlin, Whales, Lions etc., meat is murder etc. This was the vague position I set out writing this column. Funny how you can change your mind in 400 words. Sports hunting cannot be the bane of conservation, as it has been historically. It must be its front line. “For the sport of it” need not be a terrible justification for killing animals. In short, the Hemingway Fishing Competition implemented a tag and release system, saving hundreds of fish in this year’s event alone. It is a policy the International Game Fishing Association is implementing the world over. The point is that hunting for sport can further conservation efforts to support endangered species, not to mention the control of pest species. Both my Granddad and Hemingway lived in a time when ‘overfishing’ wasn’t a word. It is hard to blame them for filling their boots when all they had to do was dip them over the side to do so. Now with a little foresight we can use the same sporting spirit to correct their mistakes.
Digitales Matt Plummer much-touted disruptive technologies. For a number of years now, a research team based at the University of Southern California (USC) has investigated the feasibility of 3D printing an entire house from scratch, developing a robotic construction system, Contour Crafting, to do so. Led by Dr Behrokh Khoshnevis, the project has prototyped a new layered fabrication technology that promises a number of future applications, including the automated manufacturing of modular apartments—pre-built with all the right nooks and crannies for electrical and plumbing components—suitable for everything from low income housing to extraterrestrial colony construction. A few hours up the road from USC, at the University of California, Berkeley, College of Environmental Design, an “experimental pavilion” known as Bloom was unveiled last month. Consisting of 840 customised blocks 3d-printed using powdered cement, it’s purported to represent a “new paradigm in building construction methods,” and its novel interplay of texture, light, and form make it worth a visit to emergingobjects.com to judge for yourself. So there’s plenty to suggest this is indeed a new age in manufacturing and construction (and one in which the traditional distinctions between these two fields seem increasingly blurred). As Ross Steven from Victoria’s own School of Design points out in his “Ask a Researcher” YouTube clip: “Fundamentally, 3D printing is quite a different technology to anything that’s been used before for manufacturing. In the past, if we wanted to make something we might start with a big piece of aluminium and subtract the parts we didn’t want—that’s called subtractive manufacturing. But with additive manufacturing we can put down exactly the piece we want.” A decade or so ago, the idea that a house could be printed would’ve been laughable to most. And yet here we are, not just in the age of viable 3D-printed dwellings but also one-click mortgages (check out US-Based Quicken Loans and their 66,000 square foot data center) and a multitude of automated, internet-connected household devices (aka the domestic branch of the Internet of Things). In the light of these developments, both evolutionary and revolutionary, it’s worth taking a step back to contemplate all the designs we take for granted in this digital world we call home, and the hours of innovation, inspiration, and no doubt frustration that lie behind them. Perhaps set aside some time on your next camping trip.
Oh, a storm is threat’ning / My very life today If I don't get some shelter / Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away — “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones. How long have tents been around? They get a mention in the Old Testament, where “forefather of all shepherds” Jabal is a noted tent-dweller. Portable lodgings found in Russia date to 40,000 BC, but apparently the earliest purported tent ruins—uncovered in France—are thought to be ten times older than that. Consisting of animal hides draped over wooden frames and pinned down by stones, these prehistoric pads have been estimated to go back a cool half-million years. Should this come as any surprise? We probably all learned in primary school that the three human necessities are food, clothing, and shelter (and if the shelter’s good enough, do you even need the clothing?), so it makes sense that portable sanctuaries trace back to the beginnings of human history. In many ways the basic form and function of tents hasn’t changed much in the interim. Sure we’ve got UV-resistant polyurethane instead of mammoth hide, lightweight aluminium pegs instead of stones, but it’s not hard to draw a direct line between the description of those French ruins and something you’d find at an outdoor sports shop. Even so, I’d argue the humble tent is a good example of a particular type of technological development: the iterative kind, comprised of many incremental advancements. The compact and comparatively lightweight tents of today are the cumulative result of countless hours of human effort and invention, with engineers, designers, hobbyists, campers, focus groups, and researchers all contributing. Take the frame—the bones of the tent, if you will. From the wooden frameworks of those archeological remnants, to the heavy, rigid steel poles I remember battling to assemble as a kid, to the flexible, interlocking components common now—there’s a slow-but-steady stream of enhancements to be traced. These days tent frames are often comprised of articulated joints made of light, durable alloys linked by a central elastic cord, making for quick and easy assembly while preventing the always-annoying loss of crucial parts. In other words, the tent is an exemplar of evolutionary development. At the other end of the scale, though, there’s revolutionary design, radical innovation, and the 33
Salient FM Recently one of our volunteers shared some content on their Facebook page and Vic Deals that was offensive and inappropriate. This kind of content has no place at our station as we strive to create a safe, inclusive and nonjudgmental space for all to be involved in, whether it be as a presenter or listener. These volunteers have been dealt with, and I would like to personally apologise to anyone who felt victimised or targeted. If anyone has any further complaints, or suggestions as to how to better rectify this, please feel free to email me at email@example.com, or visit us at the Salient offices, SU355. We are disappointed that this action had to be taken, and it does not reflect the majority of Salient staff who aim to be respectful and inclusive, and to create a positive environment.
Notices Notice of VUWSA AGM Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association Te Rōpū Tauira o te Kura Wānanga o te Upoko ō te Ika a Maui Inc will hold its 2016 Annual General Meeting at 1pm on Wednesday 10 August in the Hub.
The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Careers and Employment present Careers in Focus. Wednesday 10 August KK 303 & Foyer 5.30 – 7.30pm Victoria graduates share their experiences working in the private and public sector. Meet and talk with a wide range of employers. - What makes Humanities and Social Sciences graduates so employable? - What are employers looking for? - How can I prepare for work? Refreshments provided. Don’t miss out on this great chance to network. Book now on CareerHub careerhub.vuw.ac.nz .
Station Manager Rob
Delicious, organic herbal tea tasting Sample the range of Libertine Blends at Vic Books Pipitea: 2.00pm - 3.30pm Monday 8th August
Academic 360° Mentoring for Undergrad Powered by academics and professionals, our AM87 Team offers Academic 360° Mentoring via telecommunication in expansive areas such as Applied Statistics, Calculus, Economics, Mandarin (Putonghua) at Work, Physics plus Guidance on Field Application Project/Research Design/ Thesis Writing and Refinement of Article Review/ Data Commentary Writing/Executive Summary/ Journalistic Interview/Lab Meeting Preso/ Literature Review/Reflective Journal.
Hi Salient, I wanted to commend your feature writers this issue for such informative and engaging content. BROS101 was a fun, easy read in list format that nonetheless made me rethink the behaviour of some of my "brogressive" friends and acquaintances. One in a hundred and Therapeutic Justice were both well researched and convincing articles covering issues prevalent in NZ and so relevant to us all (regardless of whether we are law students, 'justice warriors', both, or neither!). So thank you, and I hope to see more funny, informative and serious work published in Salient for the rest of this tri. Cheers, Lisa
… Wish to make the most out of your university life? Phone : +852 2771 2181 (7am-7pm, HK time) WhatsApp : +852 6627 4870 WeChat : +852 6627 4870 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org FB : http://www.facebook.com/mentor.guru.zhang
The Arts Section 36 Poetry 37
39 Music 40 Film 41 Film 42
43 TV 44
The Arts Section is sponsored by:
canary fish i noticed you were dead last night when i came home from a party. you were there floating on the surface, caught mid-accession from the tank. your little yellow belly was already beginning to bloat. full-stop mouth paused open, astonished at its end. you had met your fish-sized demise, my friend? i grabbed a spoon dug a grave in grass outside the door. dry footed, i said a few words â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;good fish.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and that was that. you were left with a pat landlocked beneath the bright, bubble moon. you were only a shadow. did you notice or even bother to check ? to mourn death ? just fish just blip have you seen your reflection in the glass? for you, little fish a graves just a tank. Danica Soich
A partial interview
Dilohana Lekamge is a performance-based artist living in Wellington. Her practice explores notions of diaspora and the emotional distance from female issues in Sri Lanka where she was born. Louise Rutledge chatted briefly with Dilohana about her work ahead of her solo show at Enjoy, which opens 5.30pm Wednesday, August 24.
Louise: Within your latest work you have been revisiting the sites of your childhood in Newlands, filming near the homes your family occupied in the years following their migration to New Zealand from Sri Lanka. Why is it important for you to now revisit these sites and engage with them through your work?
independently. In contrast, without verbal language those houses cannot be specifically identified unless someone may know those houses themselves. By trying to be more ambiguous with my approach to that imagery I felt like it was genuine to my less concrete knowledge of those places. My Dad took me around Newlands to each place and told me about what it was like when we first moved here. Seeing and presenting those places is an exercise of revisiting through nostalgia and hazy memory. Louise: There seems to be a current trend in photography where ideas of vulnerability are brought to the home through the infantilization of the subject, relying on a fetishised, dewy skinned, youth that romanticises bedrooms in particular as sites of innocence. It’s imagery that, for all its nostalgia, can further isolate women whose experiences don’t align with such limited representations. Your work, in contrast, revisits vulnerability as a consequence of social and political conditions, in relation to both individual and collective memories. Dilohana: Images like those are so rife in the current postinternet era and it is something that I have tried to stay away from. The themes that are associated with that kind of content do not have any relevance to the way in which I examine and attempt to present domestic space. My approach is largely rooted in the desire to present an example of a New Zealand multicultural home, however abstracted I may show that. I am interested in how the families who inhabit these spaces adapt to the eurocentricity of this country and whether or not it is at the expense of losing their cultural origin, especially as generations continue. Visiting these places was as close as I could get to revisiting my place of origin. This is where I was taught the values that I thought were Sri Lankan, where we kept the things we brought over from there, where we made and ate Sri Lankan food, where we spoke to our extended family that were still there, and where we were able to speak our language and be understood. Though it was not an ideal safe space, it was a space where I felt less alien because everyone who inhabited it not only sounded and looked like me, but shared the same experience of not feeling entirely welcome when we left that space—even if that was a discussion that was only had in the years that followed.
Louise: The moments you have filmed render the homes both incredibly specific and entirely ambiguous, through closely cropped frames and fleeting imagery— approaching them from a distance that is both physical and temporal. You frame your body in a similar way, focusing on specific actions and singular body parts, complicating assumed notions of the home—ideas of stability, singularity, and return—and your place within it. Can you touch on the relationship between representations of your body within the site? Dilohana: I always introduce my practice as performancebased, as performance as a medium strongly suggests that it is the artist’s own body that is performing. The audience knows that this body is the artist’s, however abstracted their body may be in the work. The performance elements show the ways I attempt to revisit my origin
Read on at www.enjoy.org.nz/upcoming. 37
Dilohana: I have always felt disconnected from my heritage since all of my memories have been of New Zealand, as when my family moved here I was only three. Neither the issues in Sri Lanka nor the reasons why we moved here were ever discussed. I have recently been looking at the work of Zarina Bhimji, an artist who creates video works made up of documentary-style footage filmed in Uganda, where she was born, and India, where her family is from. Bhimji spent most of her life in England and currently practices there. I found the visual exploration of her personal experience of diaspora intriguing as she gave it specificity by geographically locating it. Since it is currently logistically impossible for me to visit Sri Lanka, I thought I would go as far back as I could to revisit my heritage. In Newlands we stayed in four houses / flats in the two years that we lived there and these were the places where I had my first memories—many of which weren’t physically suitable for our family of five. I remember feeling uncomfortable there. All of my family members had mixed emotions about our new home in New Zealand and by revisiting our first physical homes here I am aiming to gain a better understanding of our first experience of diaspora and multiculturalism.
Lawrence Arabia—Interview Mathew Watkins Fourth release (Absolute Truth) and four years since The Sparrow (2012). What have you been up to? Living in New York and touring Europe. During that time my girlfriend was pregnant so I was bringing up a newborn for a while. I started recording the new album in the aftermath of that, had it mastered by 2015. I’ve been waiting for it to come out.
studio. Which is quite different to The Sparrow, which is essentially a live album. I think your music speaks to the 20-something melancholic middle-class kiwi dude, especially so on the last song on the album “What Became Of That Angry Young Man.” Is that an echo of your younger days? Yeah. Not that I was ever angry, just sloppy—I still am. It’s nostalgic in some regards, but casting a less idealized view on youth. When I was writing The Sparrow I was 29 and questioning what I had done with my 20s, and it is a lament of what I was about to lose. I’m more comfortable about getting older now and I’m not so romantic of youthfulness. They say life doesn’t start till your 30s right? Yeah I dunno, just more grumpy.
You recorded in the Hutt Valley with Mike Fabulous with whom you released Unlimited Buffet (2011). How was it pairing up with him again? When I was writing the record, I wasn’t struggling to write it but normally I would have a clear idea around the arrangements. I had such little time and no studio space so I was ducking away while my daughter was having a nap to record on Garageband. Everything about the conditions for demoing was really uninspiring. I liked the songs but they didn’t feel particularly exciting so I was happy to hand over some responsibility to Mike ‘cause I really trust his aesthetic. He’s obsessed with groove and the shapes of rhythm so his fingerprints are all over it.
You did a show with Connan Mockasin and Liam Finn at the Crystal Palace. Mick Fleetwood played a couple songs too, how did that come about? Connan was in NZ making a soundtrack for The Rehearsal, the film based on an Eleanor Catton novel, and we ran into the people taking over the re-launch of the venue so we pitched an idea and the timing worked out. Neil Finn asked him (Mick Fleetwood) to play on a record that he and Liam were making so he was in NZ for a month recording. Liam pitched the idea of playing “I Need Your Love So Bad” on the day of the gig. We’d been rehearsing anyway in the eventuality that he might accept but he was really keen.
Absolute Truth (2016) feels like revisiting the same song writing style used in your first album—self-contained and easily played by a single person. Was this intentional or did it kind of come around naturally? The album was just Mike and I, kind of like a solo album. He was engineering and I was playing most of the parts but essentially it was a bedroom recording but in a 38
Were you a fan of Fleetwood Mac? I love them now. I thought they were a lame band that my parents liked but as I’ve gotten older I think they’re great. It was pretty surreal, he’s a lovely guy so it wasn’t so daunting. Who were some of your musical influences when you were starting off? Outsider ‘mentally damaged’ artists for want of a better description. People like Daniel Johnston or Syd Barrett. People who had odd views of the world that skewed things for me and made me digest it in a different way. Also The Kinks were a big thing that helped me find my point of difference that took me into a new world of songwriting. I’ve read a couple reviews of your work and they seem to start off with stating that you’re a “classic songwriter.” What do you think they mean by that? Anachronistic. Someone who doesn’t listen to a lot of modern music, but that’s just my diet of what I listen to. The new music I gravitate to just sounds like old music, it’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s who I am.
Absolute Truth Lawrence Arabia 3/5
It’s been a great year for both music and death, what with Bowie’s Blackstar, Radiohead, and The Avalanches. What new music have you been excited about? Let me check Spotify… Michael Nau’s Mowing. I don’t know much about him but everything I’ve heard of his has been you know… my ears have enjoyed it. I really like the Julia Holter record Have You My Wilderness, it’s really fantastic. People denounce Spotify but I find it a useful way of finding new bands that are ‘good’.
Review by Mathew Watkins Music New Zealand’s James Milne, aka Lawrence Arabia, released his fourth album last week. I was pretty excited for this album as a follow up from 2012’s The Sparrow and it’s hard not to be, given his résumé of a Silver Scroll, a Taite music prize, and a VNZMA. In fact I’d consider him one of the most consistent musicians we’ve got here. The thing that’s so great about Lawrence’s music is that his albums are a real mixed bag of playful pop songs scattered with ballads that swell and change and beg you to hum along. Catchy and cheerful melodies, yet wistful lyrics. However upon listening to his newest album, it felt like something was missing. There’s a definite lack of playfulness and fun that made his last two albums so charming. This isn’t to say it’s not an enjoyable record, because there are a handful of great songs on here. Earworm tracks like “Sweet Dissatisfaction” will still get you tapping your foot and the nostalgia of “O Heathcote” will have you thinking of your formative years, but perhaps it’s that disconnect of styles that dampens their impact. In fact it feels like more of a collection of songs from across his music career, taking elements of each release with them, rather than a well-honed album with a consistent mood or theme from start to finish. If you like his last two albums, give it a listen. If this is your first taste of Lawrence Arabia, you might find it hard to get fully involved.
Bands like Radiohead and Taylor Swift swore off it… I can see why once you have millions of fans. I don’t have that luxury, so the chance to expand my audience is important. If you’re big you don’t need people to discover you, you’ve just got people you want to sell to. I love Bandcamp, it’s easy to use as an artist and it’s certainly part of the proliferation of easy distribution, and also the devaluation of music just by the abundance of supply. It’s so easy to release music now cause there’s no barrier any more, however because of that it’s harder for people to push through the noise. People who might not have been able to gain traction by being unsigned are now able to. Yeah, simultaneously easier and harder for people to break through into a level of success nowadays. When I was starting the formula was essentially “get signed” and there was this separation between “signed” and “unsigned.” Essentially that doesn’t exist anymore which means it’s not reliant on multi-nationals to decide whether or not you’re good enough to have a music career. We’re on the same level now and it’s a struggle for everyone with only a few being super-rich.
NZIFF Wellington 2016
Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words
Beware: The Slenderman Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky 4/5
Director: Thorsten Schütte 4/5
Review by Dana Williams
Review by Mathew Watkins
The documentary Beware: The Slenderman is an evocative entry to this year’s ‘incredibly strange’ section of the New Zealand International Film Festival, it offers a telling journey of the danger of the web, mental illness, and murder. Using a style similar to that of The Blair Witch Project, director Irene Taylor Brodsky introduces us to the coveted internet meme the Slenderman in a chilling and chaotic chase through the woods. There is a pervading sense that we are being watched. Cutting to news footage from May 31, 2014, we learn that that two pre-teen girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, are found guilty of stabbing their ‘best friend’ in these woods in an attempt to “please the Slenderman.” If you’re not already familiar with the Slenderman meme, it depicts a tall, faceless, and scary as sh*t figure who is believed to hide in shadows and prey on young children. Originating from the horror story sharing webpage Creepypasta Wiki, the Slenderman meme emerged as a result of a photoshopping competition in which competitors had to make the unimaginable look ‘real’. Add this to the instantaneous information sharing capabilities of the web and you’ve got yourself one epic internet generated version of Chinese Whispers. The foundation for a series of distorted, creepy, and sometimes-dangerous stories that sadly led to the stabbing of a 12-year-old girl. The documentary follows the Geyser and Weier families in the aftermath of this horrifying event, whilst tastefully weaving in the Slenderman’s origins (interestingly from the folklore tale of the Pied Piper), the families’ histories with mental illnesses, and the ubiquitousness and power of the internet. Although I didn’t find this a gripping watch, I thought it addressed some of the negative aspects of the digital age in an unsettling and thoughtful way. I expect the Creepypasta Wiki page will gain a few more hits from this.
Frank Zappa was a prolific musician and composer from the early 1960s until he died of prostate cancer in 1993. Unlike the more “traditional” music documentary style where the filmmaker interviews distant friends and family who often barely knew them (see every Kurt Cobain, Elliot Smith, and Nick Drake documentary ever), this film contains no direct narrative or structure other than the chronological layout of the archival footage of Zappa being interviewed by various broadcast journalists throughout his career. This style works well as the viewer feels as if they’re watching the history of a man’s life through a journalistic lens, successfully illuminating the culture and society that shaped Zappa as an artist at that time. The threat of government censorship was a constant risk for musicians of his era and Zappa was one of the stronger opposing voices, putting capitalism, the excess of power, and American values at the true heart of discussion. His dry-witted responses to broadcaster’s depthless questions had the entire cinema chuckling. The story on the crass song “Bobby Brown” (even by today’s standards; it is a satirical view of jock culture which features the line “got a cute cheerleader gonna help me with my paper, I’ll make her do all the work and maybe later I’ll rape her”) becoming a slow-dance hit in Norwegian school socials due to a language barrier had the audience heaving with laughter. The idea of this feature is to place emphasis on Zappa as a pop culture personality and show his portrayal in the media during his time in the lime-light. For a Zappa connoisseur, this film doesn’t scratch the surface of a career spanning over 60 albums and two feature-length films, however it’s still heartily enjoyable—even to those unfamiliar with his music.
Green Room Director: Jeremy Saulnier 4.5/5 Review by Benjamin Lister
cold emptiness while maintaining a claustrophobic atmosphere. Where Saulnier truly rises above the terrible horror films is in the attention he pays to his characters. Unlike popular horror movie slaughter, the band members actually have lives and personalities, even if they don’t get much screen time. You are interested in the characters and Saulnier’s skilled use of practical effects not only makes the movie all the more gruesome but gives the various deaths emotional weight. As with many films, Green Room is elevated by the work of its cast. While they all deliver top notch performances, Poots and Stewart stand out among the rest. Poots is amazing as the silent but deadly Amber, bringing restraint to her character but never at the expense of emotion, as well as delivering on one of the most striking images in the film as she emerges from under couch cushions with a box cutter and violent intent. Stewart, seemingly relishing his out of character villainous role, brings a quiet and calculated presence. It’s a shame that the film’s isolated and claustrophobic feeling limited what could be done with Stewart’s character, resulting in little screen time (we can never have too much Patrick Stewart). In the end, Jeremy Saulnier proves that the atmosphere and slowbuilding intensity of Blue Ruin were no accident as he takes the direct to DVD horror concept of Punks vs Nazis and turns it into an exercise in violent intensity, crafting one of the best and bloodiest films of the year.
It’s hard to tell if the horror genre is finally setting into its renaissance period. Sure, there are still dozens of terrible horror films pumped out every year on what seems like an assembly line of recycled ideas and terrible clichés, but the resurgence of critically acclaimed horror films is hard to ignore. Skillfully crafted films like Cabin in The Woods, The Babadook, and It Follows are evidence of this, and even the latest Child’s Play sequel gave Chucky fans reason to rejoice. The point is that this new era of horror doesn’t show signs of stopping and from what I can tell Jeremy Saulnier, director of Blue Ruin, has carved out a nice little place in the new era of horror with his latest film Green Room. The film’s setup is terrifying in its own right; a desperate and down on their luck punk band (featuring the likes of Alia Shawkat and the late Anton Yelchin, in one of his final roles) agree to take a gig at a white supremacist bar in the middle of the woods. While the neo-Nazi clubgoers may not enjoy their first cover “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”, the rest of the set goes off without a hitch and all seems well. It’s not until one of the band members witnesses the aftermath of a girl’s murder that all hell breaks loose. As the band barricade themselves in the titular green room with the dead girl’s friend Amber (Imogen Poots), the gang goes off to retrieve their leader Darcy (played to perfection by Patrick Stewart), who quickly devises a plan to kill the band members and make it seem like an accident. Throughout Green Room, Saulnier proves himself to be a master of atmosphere. He uses tight spaces, angular shots, and a cool color pallet to give the setting a distinct
E-sports Are Here to Stay, Whether You Like It or Not
Review by Cameron Gray the buttons and in the right combinations takes a lot of dexterity and mental skill, something which can only be gained through practice. If we apply this same logic to ‘proper’ sports, then rugby is “just running and throwing a ball around,” but, instead of being shunned, the guys who throw a ball around the best become national heroes! What sense does that make? I watch e-sports for the same reasons I watch rugby: to see people that are skilled at something compete against each other. When I think of places to go to watch people compete against each other, I think ESPN. The ‘E’ stands for ‘entertainment’ by the way, and e-sports are entertaining to me and to millions of people worldwide. The people running ESPN aren’t idiots, they recognise that this is a market still largely untapped and is something that could potentially bring young people back to the network after years of dwindling subscriptions. To say that ESPN shouldn’t show e-sports because they are supposedly “not real sport” is just plain wrong. This is a network that, once upon a time, showed Magic: The Gathering tournaments and continues to air live poker and competitive eating to this day. Are those also not real sports? The kinds of idiot jocks that mock e-sports in this way are likely one of two things: ignorant about what it actually is, or jealous that something they don’t like is encroaching on their domain. Having e-sports on ESPN allows for greater exposure than streaming on Twitch, and is a great introduction to the games being played and the scenes surrounding them. Who knows, maybe some kid will see the Evo finals and decide he wants to play Street Fighter V competitively too? If it gets more people playing games, then it’s all good.
Just a few weeks ago, the finals of the Street Fighter V tournament at the Evolution Championship Series (Evo) were broadcast live on ESPN2. I cannot possibly describe how big of a deal this is. Evo is the world’s largest e-sports event for fighting games and those who make it to the finals are, without a doubt, some of the most skilled players in the world. There’s no button mashing at the elite level, every action is carefully calculated and mistakes are punished heavily. The top players have huge sponsorships and there is a ton of prize money at stake. Having the finals shown around the world on a major television network is just the icing on the cake. And yet, not everyone is happy. “Why the fuck is ESPN showing video games?” / “It’s not a sport!” / “These guys are just pressing buttons, there’s no athleticism involved!” / “What a bunch of dorks, they need to get outside and play a REAL sport, like FOOTBALL!” / “These dickweeds need girlfriends.” These kinds of comments seem to come out of the woodwork when e-sports is shown on television, and I’m quite frankly sick of them. The question of whether e-sports should be considered a sport at all, and thus apparently deserving of TV coverage, is one that does not necessarily have an easy answer. Competition has been a part of video games essentially since the beginning of the medium, with high scores being a near-universal concept in the arcades: The King of Kong is an excellent documentary about the attempts to set a world record in Donkey Kong. Going head-to-head to decide a winner is not only fun for the player, but entertaining to watch. Sure, maybe they are just pressing buttons, but knowing when to press 42
Are You The One? 4/5
Review by Katie Meadows
drunk the whole time. Unlike most reality shows where contestants are eliminated weekly, no-one is allowed to leave the AYTO house unless they have their perfect match confirmed in the Truth Booth, upon which they are moved to “The Honeymoon Suite” because their lives are now over / have meaning or whatever. This means that every drunken fight and one-night stand has inescapable consequences that continue to escalate until everyone is screaming and some dude always ends up punching a wall. Because the matches are a little harder to figure out than “I know I want to have sex with that person,” everyone is encouraged to pursue multiple people (this is referred to as “following your heart”), usually resulting in the women crying hysterically by the pool while the men run at each other, beating their chests like gorillas to display ownership. Everything is orchestrated to hinder the teamwork that could make this show easier for everyone involved; even when complex strategies are conceived of to procure more information from the match-up ceremonies, these almost always go out the window as soon as someone fucks someone else before the ceremony even begins. It is truly magical to watch. Despite all the frustration, alcohol, crying, yelling, and night-vision footage from the “Boom Boom Room,” each season’s group of idiots has somehow won the money. Last season I genuinely could not believe it and found myself screaming at the television at these assholes. But hey, those are my assholes. At the end of each series we’ve all seen some things, most of them unforgivable. But this is romance in the year 2016. Who are we to scoff at this unique blend of binge-drinking, cabin fever, and statistical analysis? Isn’t that kind of what Tinder is?
MTV’s Are You The One? (AYTO) is the perfect combination of psychological experiment and drunken messy fuckfest. In the briefest possible summary I can manage, a bunch of greasy heterosexuals are thrown into a mansion in Hawaii and not allowed to leave, unless they find true love and then they are trapped in a house next door. Using a combination of extensive pre-show interviews and matchmaking ‘science’, twenty men and women are paired off into ten perfect matches based on their compatibility as couples, but these matches are unknown to them and the only way for everyone to win the million dollar prize is if they are ten for ten by the end of the show. However the only clues they get towards these matches are a once per episode opportunity to enter one potential couple into a shack full of lasers, called the “Truth Booth,” where they can find out definitively if said couple is a perfect match or not, followed by a “Match-Up Ceremony” at the end of each episode where beams of light denote the number of matches they have come up with but not who those specific matches are. Sounds confusing? It is. I’ve been watching this show for four seasons and I still have no idea how to adequately explain it. Sometimes I just say, “it’s cooked.” Where AYTO’s brilliance lies is that as a viewer you can deduce who the matches are from home, based on the statistics from each Truth Booth and Match-Up Ceremony. If you draw up a chart with squares for each possible couple and cross-check it as the show progresses, you can often figure out exactly who goes with who before the final episode airs—something the contestants would be capable of too if a) all writing tools weren’t banned from the house and b) they weren’t so fucking
What Belongs to You
Author: Garth Greenwell Publisher: Picador 4/5
Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth
Review by Cassie Richards
Author: Warsan Shire Publisher: Flipped Eye 5/5
On paper, this novel isn’t one that I usually would have picked up of my own volition. It centres on a gay American man residing in Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, who seeks sex and connection in a public bathroom and gets a whole lot more than he bargained for. But this debut novel from Garth Greenwell succeeded in hooking me in, and left me impressed by the author’s skill and style. The protagonist (who remains nameless throughout the story) meets a young, beguiling man by the name of Mitko in the bathrooms of the National Palace of Culture, a common meeting place for gay men in Sofia. Although their encounters are purely physical and transactional, the protagonist is drawn to Mitko in a way that he cannot explain to himself. As their relationship develops Mitko’s character is slowly revealed to us, and a sinister undertone creeps to the surface. Told in three parts, the middle portion deals with the protagonist’s sexual awakening as a teenager and the fraught past he has left behind in Kentucky. All of the threads common to stories like this are here—shame, secrecy, desire—and we find out why he has ended up on another continent, estranged from everything familiar. The story slides along at a slow pace, building tension and unease, and it examines the ways in which we all try to connect to others. This is definitely ‘literary fiction’ but I found it to be captivating and readable in a way that other examples of this type of novel aren’t. One particular segment, in which the protagonist watches a housefly trapped in the bus he is riding on, is unexpectedly beautiful and moving. With his clean and compelling prose, Greenwell seems poised for literary fame.
Review by Sarah Batkin
Some of you may know Warsan Shire as the young woman who wrote the words that accompanied Beyonce’s Lemonade. What some of you may not know is that Shire was the first Young Poet Laureate for London, and she is also a voice for the marginalized. In Shire’s debut collection, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, she writes of rape, trauma, diaspora, immigration—some narratives that are hardly heard of in the West. Her writing is hauntingly beautiful and painful and may leave you feeling raw, but the coarseness of the subject matter is perfectly offset by the delicacy of Shire’s words. The collection is short, but the poems are dense and should be savoured. The poem “Conversations About Home (at the Deportation Centre)” is an excellent retort to anti-immigrant xenophobia, and could not be more relevant: “When I meet others like me I recognise the longing, the missing, the memory of ash on their faces. No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” The stories explored in her poems are not only intriguing, they are necessary.
Poetry in Motion Review by Ruby Hansen
of clicks may grow around you. It’s well fitted considering the rhythmic, tactile feel of slam poetry and the clicking never detracts from the poet’s performance. Part of the attraction is the interactive and intimate relationship that grows between poets and spectators around the room. At the beginning of each slam poetry event, the hosts hand around placards with numbers on them to several different tables. These people are chosen at random and asked if they’d like to score each poem. The scoring system and delegation of judges are a relatively new addition to the culture of slam. Here are a few of my favourite lines from the evening: “Brexit” by Kate “Politicians thinking resigning is the key, / or not resigning / and outright refusing / to diffuse the ticking time bomb of party political implosion.” “A love poem to Melbourne” by Duncan “If Wellington played never have I ever with other cities, she would lose—I need to move.” “A funny massage job interview” by April “The world is just a sleazy stranger.” These slam poetry events are a great hub for creativity, meeting friendly faces, getting issues or ideas off your chest, or simply listening to some beautifully insightful and vivid perceptions of the world. Plus, anyone can sign up to read their work! Whether you’ve been storing some kick-ass lines and are keen to give them a dust-off in front of a crowd, or you’re relatively new to the game, you’re welcome to join. There’s a whole crowd of willing clickers there for moral support! Poetry in Motion events take place at Meow on the first Wednesday of every month. If you want to get in on slam poetry, check out the Poetry in Motion Facebook page. Or get along to How We Survive: A Feminist Poetry Show at The Cavern Club on Saturday August 13 and Sunday August 14 at 7pm. Go to Eventfinda for more details.
I think I’ve found my new favourite hobby in Wellington. I attended a slam poetry event in the low-key, dusky vibes of San Francisco Bathhouse. Having a keen interest in poetry, I decided to take a break from religiously attending theatre, and instead I shook it up with a night of hearty, local poetry. I actually found theatre and slam poetry weren’t too dissimilar. Both involve skilled and generous performers, a stage, interactive audiences, beer, friends, and a gathering of artistic sorts! The night of passionate conversations, unleashed inspiration, and diverse talent left me with a lasting impression. This kinaesthetic buzz that bounced around the room stayed with me, and I couldn’t help wonder how many didn’t know that this gig exists, right in the heart of Wellington? Originating in 1984, Chi-town (Chicago), slam poetry gained heat when a construction worker, Marc Kelly Smith aka Slampapi, kick-started an open-mic poetry reading at the Get Me High Lounge, in which budding poets took to the stage to build an audience. Slampapi once said, “the very word 'poetry' repels people. Why is that? Because of what schools have done to it. The slam gives it back to the people… we need people to talk poetry to each other. That’s how we communicate our values, our hearts, the things that we’ve learned that make us who we are.” Marc Smith considers himself a socialist, and founded the first-ever National Poetry Slam in 1990. That annual competition still runs today. Poetry in Motion Wellington is hosted and organised by Travis and Liv, and it celebrates a diverse range of talents, intellects, and subjects. From a fiery fuck-you slam about Brexit by a woman called Kate who wore red fingerless gloves and kindly gave me a poem about the sexual politics of pubic hair, to the humble words of a lanky shy boy’s self-proclaimed soppy love poetry (which actually tugged on multiple heart strings around the room), to the classic British, grey-haired, cynic who took the piss out of rhyme and stood audaciously with his arms behind his back. This daring, enrapturing, poetry evoked all kinds of feels. The culture of clicking is something that really hooked me. This is the way it works. If you appreciate or respect a certain line in the poem and want to give them praise for it you click your fingers repetitively, and a whole chorus
Crossword: 'Solo Mission'
Made by Puck ACROSS 1. Fictional character who namedrops Tom Sawyer in the opening line of his book (11,4) * 9. Common cold and Stuxnet, for two (7) 10. Getting drowsy (7) 11. Character played by Nicolas Cage in 'Con Air' (7,3) * 17. Blacken (4) 19. Name for an operatic star that translates to 'goddess' (4) 20. Scapegoat for a crime (5) 21. Get one's teeth into (4) 22. Tony's gang in 'West Side Story' (4) 24. Singer of the 2011 hit 'Video Games' (4,3,3) * 31. Most local (7) 32. Aching (7) 33. Subtitle of a 2015 film that features the characters at the end of the starred entries (3,5,7)
Hard Crossword answers from issue 16
Target goals Good: 21 words Great: 26 words Impressive: 30 words
DOWN 1. Chaos (5) 2. Bounce, like a pool ball (5) 3. It can be followed by tag, disc or pointer (5) 4. Creature often referred to as a buffalo, although apparently we're all wrong about that (5) 5. Drummer father of Zak Starkey (5) 6. Film character who dies at the age of 900 (4) 7. Like Oscar Wilde or Bram Stoker (5) 8. Country whose internet suffix is .ne (5) 12. Speaker of the line "You're nothing but a pack of cards!" (5) 13. They might be worth half your grade (5) 14. Animal organs (5) 15. Seafood that might be jumbo (5) 16. Correct a text (5) 17. High-profile lion killed in 2015 (5) 18. Musician whose next album will probably be called '28', if the previous ones are anything to go by (5) 22. Singer Jackson who was vilified after a Superbowl performance (5) 23. Remnant (5) 25. Worshipper of Xipe Totec (5) 26. First Greek letter (5) 27. Musical role for Madonna (5) 28. Weapon that may have a bayonet fixed (5) 29. Hollers (5) 30. Champion of the people (4)
About Us Salient is published by, but remains editorially independent from, the Victoria University of Wellington Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association (VUWSA). Salient is a member of the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA). Salient is funded in part by Victoria University of Wellington students through the Student Services Levy. The views expressed in Salient do not necessarily reflect those of the Editor, VUWSA, or the University. Salient is printed on environmentally sustainable paper, and with vegetable ink, and is completely FSC approved. Complaints People with a complaint against the magazine should complain in writing to the Editor at email@example.com and then, if not satisfied with the response, to VUWSA.
Editors Emma Hurley and Jayne Mulligan firstname.lastname@example.org Design and Illustration Ella Bates-Hermans email@example.com News Editor Kate Robertson firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Sub Editor Tim Manktelow Sub Editors Ali Kaye Distributor Joe Morris News Reporters Charlie Prout Alex Feinson Jennie Kendrick Thomas Croskery Billy Dancer Matt Collier
Read Salient online at salient.org.nz
Feature Writers Laura Toailoa Finnius Teppett Nina Powles Section Editors Cassie Richards (Books) Dana Williams and Isaac Brodie (Film) Harri Robinson (Music) Ophelia Wass (Theatre) Ruby Joy Eade, Lucy Wardle, Louise Rutledge, Robbie Whyte (Visual Arts) Cameron Gray (Games) Katie Meadows (TV) Contributors Rory Lenihan-Ikin, Jonathan Gee, Matt Plummer, Danica Soich, Ruby Hansen, Sarah Batkin, Mathew Watkins, Benjamin Lister, Sharpay Yuheng Xu, Renee Petero, Tessa Cullen, Alex Mark, Joe Morris, James Churchill, Raimona Tapiata, Puck Cover illustration by Lily Paris West lilypariswest.tumblr.com @lilypariswest
Contact Level 2 Student Union Building Victoria University PO Box 600, Wellington 04 463 6766 Printed by SMP, Wellington. Advertising Jason Sutton email@example.com 04 463 6982 Social Media fb.com/salientmagazine T: @salientmagazine I: @salientgram S: salientmag
VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
Annual General Meeting & Fairer Fares Forum Wednesday 10 August at 1pm The Hub, Kelburn
Annual General Meeting Hear about our next big chaper, our 2017-2021 Strategic Plan – and get the lowdown on our progress. Free Pizza!
Fairer Fares Forum Public transport in Wellington is more expensive than in any other major city in New Zealand. We’re pushing for a 50% discount in the upcoming elections. Come have your say. studentfriendlywellington.nz
Authorised by VUWSA, Rory Lenihan-Ikin, Level 4, Student Union Building, Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn