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—october 2017


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Avid lover of the well written word, dogs and a good coffee. I write, read and will correct your grammar without hesitation. Teaming up with these other legends to provide you with some sweet content throughout 2017. Love it.

As the year recheas the end of its line I find it harder to rhyme. Hammer and Swine, your salmon and mine, mind the gap, drink the sap from the bark from the trees in the park, don’t run in the dark. Hark it back to a sensible line, worry not everyone, I’ll be back in no time.

I am 26 years old and have just begun my PhD in philosophy under the mentorship of the brilliant Arran Gare. I am shocked by people’s indifference both to politics, to education and to life. It is therefore my goal to change that in at least one person.

I am a third year Communication Design student. I have really bad OCD in graphic design, making sure everything is aligned, hence this issue! I am constantly on my phone no matter where I am. I would rather injure myself than to let go of my phone.

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James Willis Emma Lufan Shi Jessi Simpson Elizabeth Damrow Alexander Tran Sam McCarthy Jayden Bleakley Faraz Haider Ali Mazoori Ellen Moloney Blythe Asta Nisarg Shah Jesse Harrison Abbey Thorpe Ella Pace Pasha Nieslen Sarah Sordelli

‘Allo and cya! Imogen Bailey

Well friends, we’re nearly at the end of the semester and DAMN it feels so good! I’m especially excited because ya gurl is graduating at the end of this semester so THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES SWINNY! Seriously though, being the Editor-in-Chief at SWINE this year has been an absolute pleasure! Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the mag this year, because without you, there’d be no SWINE! I loved reading your work, looking at your photos, giving feedback and watching all of it come together through the magic of the most magnificent designers; Felix and Sarah. Everyone at the Union has been fabulous, thank you guys for letting media run wild! Shout-out also goes to you reading this; thank you for picking us up and giving us your time; we’re honoured to have been chosen by you. Right, enough soppy stuff; let’s get to THIS EDITION! LORDY! You guys have come through with the photographs and poetry! Going from edition one, with barely any photographic content, to now having an edition packed full of the stuff is FAN-BLOODY-TASTIC! And the poetry! Y’all making me ~feel things~ and I’m here for it! Enjoy enjoy enjoy! Say hi to your dog for me! Cheers, Imogen Bailey Editor-in-Chief

A Melbourne Culture Going Up In Smoke element // 5

James Willis Roy Smith eases back in the outside chair of his Malvern home in a faded blue cotton jumper. Behind him is the shed where he keeps his tools leftover from his career as a woodwork teacher and carpenter. On the coffee table in front of him is a dirty, discoloured ashtray full of rainwater that he upends absentmindedly. “We really only keep that around for when my daughter stays with us,” he said. 26 years have elapsed since he gave up cigarettes and the new Victorian ban on smoking in outdoor areas where food is served, only further confirms his decision as being the right one. When smoking was banned indoors, at pubs, restaurants, outside schools, hospitals and courts in 2007 it was generally accepted as a good solution to the issue of second-hand smoke, something which the Cancer Council reports increases the risk of developing cancer by up to 30 per cent.

majority don’t want to deal with second-hand smoke then that’s the way it is,” Smith said. Whilst he enjoyed smoking, a habit he took up in his early twenties, Smith admits that if he had not given it up when he did, he would not be alive today. “It got to the stage where I was so busy I’d be on the phone, light a cigarette and go to put it on the ash tray and there would already be a lit one there,” he said. It was only after he retired that he was able to quit, amidst blood circulation issues and prompts from his doctor. During his career, Smith moved to England where the smoking culture was more acceptable. There, smoking was far more common and something to be done in a group. 19 year old university student Melanie Jones* is a smoker who took up the habit at the age of 16 as a coping mechanism to deal with stress, but now smokes socially. Her family and friends don’t know that she smokes.

But the recent Victorian ban on smoking from all outdoor areas has raised issues, bringing into question the livelihood and culture of those affected by it.

“They don’t know I smoke at all. It’s challenging keeping it hidden,” she said. During a trip to Spain, Jones saw the difference in smoking culture.

“I think it should be obvious to people that they are in a minority if they smoke and if the

“You’d see younger kids smoking with adults in public, it was so odd that it stuck out,” she said.

For Jones, the new bans only serve to increase the divide between non-smokers and smokers, who are liable to be fined $777 if caught smoking when the restriction is in effect. “It creates more of a tense environment between the two and gives the non-smokers more of an authority make those who do feel guilty about it. I understand why it’s there but I think for people who already smoke, it’s a big change in culture. It’s a big change in the dynamic of going out,” Jones said. Student, Adam Corrie, is in agreement with the 73% of Melbournians who disapprove of smoking in outdoor areas. “They’ve willingly harmed their body and now expect people to help them. They made that choice,” he said. The bans came in to effect in August. *Not her real name element // 6

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Am I really oppressed? Emma

With all the recent media headlines about the ban of the burqa, I thought it was about time I speak for myself and educate people a about a small minority. The media only ever shows Muslim women avoiding the intimidation and annoyance caused by a camera crew, ingraining the viewer with thoughts based on assumptions. “These women are oppressed, backwards, antisocial, house wives, un-Australian...” Never once has the media had the audacity to ask for the other side of the story. Firstly, as a Muslim woman, the veil (niqab) I wear is part of my religion, it’s not compulsory, it’s simply a choice. In saying that, the niqab is my identity; banning it gets rid of my individuality. Wearing a veil reminds me of who I am; a Muslim woman with a certain level of character to uphold. It makes me humble; it

enhances my spirituality and brings me closer to God. The more honest and humble the more I feel connected with God. What makes someone an Australian? I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to what makes us part of this beautiful country we call home. I believe what makes me an Australian is accepting people of various beliefs and cultures; loving a country made up of people from across the globe whilst also respecting the traditional owners of this land, the Aboriginal people. If it wasn’t for multiculturalism and its contribution to society, Australia wouldn’t be what it is today. I’m a young Australian Swinburne student. It’s my sixth year at Swinburne, I’ve graduated from laboratory technology and in Semester 1 of 2018, I graduate from Bachelor of

Biomedical Science. I’ve joined a few clubs on campus, organised trips, events and free BBQ’s. Swinburne has been supportive and welcoming throughout my tertiary life. I’m not the only veiled Muslim women on campus, some are Australian and others are international. Outside of university life, I have friends and family who are veiled. A lot of them are educated hard working individuals who live their lives just like any other ordinary family. We are not oppressed or backwards. It’s simply freedom of choice and way of life. My husband and family praise me for who I am, they support me, encourage me to study and work. My veil does not place any restrictions on my way of life nor on what I love doing most. I believe people should be treated based on their merits. If you are a doctor you should be treated as doctor.

Banning the veil will not only target a religion, but a small minority that you’ve barely bumped in to. It will get rid of a person’s individuality, freedom of choice and their spirituality as well their rights. I hope that one day we are compassionate and optimistic enough to rise above the paranoia.

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If people can be naked, people can be fully clothed. Where is the fairness in banning the veil? I don’t believe the veil is a security risk. I don’t have any issues with identifying myself when needed, nor do many other veiled women I know. Those who commit crimes use the veil as a tool and make it a risk. But to consider a ban is paranoia, we need to be modest and not take things to extreme. A pencil can be a security risk, if I harm someone with a pencil, should the pencil be banned as well? The damage of banning the veil will bring forth more harm than good. Those who constantly look at veiled women and think we are a risk only goes to show their lack of understanding and media manipulated minds. If everyone were to treat or think of those surrounding them based on assumptions and accusations, it will eventually lead to hatred amongst the society.

Dark Mofo; A Visual Lufan Shi

The Farmer element // 5


It is a universal truth that good and bad are products of an organism’s survival instinct. To a fox, the mauling of a rabbit is good, and to an Eagle, the murder of a fox is good. The farmer benefits from the murder of the wolf, but the wolf does not. When the boundaries of what you believe are pushed to the extreme, it takes either an extraordinarily stubborn ignorance, or a higher form of reasoning. Most people choose to remain ignorant to the flaws in their views, when presented them, and ignore what might be a learning experience. This is entirely understandable, and it could even be that they are ultimately justified in every way, and the person who challenges them is ultimately incorrect. But here, I will hope to share a teaching experience for those who believe that they are right. I was rather impressionable in high school. In fact, I choose to remain that way because of the experiences I’ve had there. Accepting new ideas, and listening to your own mind and body is how one can grow as a person, as far as I have come to learn.

In high school, there was a rather loud and proud neo-Nazi. He was repulsive in crowds of people, but when I talked to him one-on-one he was very charismatic, which encouraged me to continue to understand him. He spoke of the murder of Jews as a way to better the world. In this case, the farmer is the white race, and the wolf is the Jew. I won’t discuss why I think his generalisations are misplaced. I just want to suggest that a lesson can be learned by listening even to the most extreme socio-political points of view. Although one might seem repulsed by such a hatred of another person, one need only have the empathy to understand the hater’s plight to see his reason. This neo-Nazi had his reason to hate Jewish people, believe it or not. It was sound, and it boiled down to a combination of a fervent interest and understanding in the topic of Nazism and History, a sprinkling of conspiracy, and the extension of this person’s love and pride to all of the white race and also perhaps some lack of perspective (but that is my opinion and therefore it carries no weight). Since these conversations I’ve re-evaluated my own socio-political orientation multiple times. I first believed tenderly that neo-Nazism

could be correct and justified, because I hadn’t yet fully understood how to navigate a political environment and I hadn’t any other input challenging my belief. However, it felt wrong to reserve hatred for a people because of the devastation they have the capability to cause. That is to say that Jewish people, being rather a monetary people, have immense control in the capitalistic world, and not that Jewish people are bad-natured. I then thought, “Why would Hitler have assumed that all Jewish people were bad or inconvenient?” And, “Why would Hitler have singled out the source of his issues being the Jewish people as opposed to single offenders,” and, “Why is the white race the race I feel compassion towards, and the body I feel is the one who is the target of threat?”

“Why should anyone pay for their greed?” “Who am I to decide who dies and who does not?” “Why is the white race the farmer?” “Why am I the farmer?” It ultimately comes back to the analogy. The farmer serves his best interest, or, at the very least, becomes elated, when something ‘goes his way’. The farmer is you, or the farmer is you and your family, or, for the case of my neo-Nazi friend; the farmer is the white race. This isn’t anything I have the right to argue. His white family kills the wolf so that their sheep don’t perish. And the wolf’s family is devastated, because the wolves loved the one who is now dead, but the white family doesn’t think of them. When you realise that you are the farmer, I implore you to search out the wolf’s family and talk with them, and understand their plight and despair, and change the way you see the world.

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As you can see my politics began to change as I continued to question myself and keep an open mind to criticism and other opinions.

oozing red

traffic gets wonderfully busy outside our nook brick walls, fairy lights unwashed crinkled sheets

we are holding souls in shaken hands fingertips grasping for words unspoken

we are a mystery undercovers skin on skin hips teasing & those three heart stopping words

hearts swelled & bleeding oozing red over damp green grass bodies shaken, swollen inner worlds screaming out lips in slow-motion carefully spilling words slicing through the thinnest most delicate air stabbing straight through shattered souls & wishing achingly for just one more day …. last time i saw you

outside our nook

i hear sounds of wind, birds, trees in the faintest corner of the setting day

ocean blue eyes piercing through my soul that held breath your gaze on my breast that pure wonder before coming dawn over endless waters we fall on our sides not quite knowing just how long we’ve stretched each other’s body tides within me rise & fall & i just watch

another part of her locked away for someone else – one day for a glimpse, her hard-hearted veneer opens its shutters


pain,they spit old words at each other they wish they instead ate. throwing cushions, cups, pans across darkly-lit kitchen tables making white noise to bury the elephant in the room, right by the old broken lamp, right next to the spot they used to lay together full of a love that they promised to never let slide …somehow slipped through fingertips he closes the space within, lifting his hands up to hold her face. eyes heart-piercingly soft. & he looks at her for the first time again & down tumbles all armor. vessels exposed, knees rubbing on concrete another part of him wide open

wounds inside her chest re-opening to the memory of how much it rained the day she walked away “please step away from me.” a tear apologetically spills down her face, shoulder, chest from the depths of her soul she throws another weapon in disguise of a kitchen appliance across the air-dense apartment howling from the pit of her stomach eyes glazed, tears flowing her soul had already packed up & left but with her mind she clung on grippingly – to projections of everything she wanted them to be & it’s just her again in the same-old empty apartment

not even your love

i am wrapped up in my resistance and i want to know yet I know I should not nothing not even your love is really ever mine to own everything must be returned with a bittersweet ending

i make my way back each thursday afternoon to the apartment we shared spring flowers in full bloom on my walk home over train tracks & nothing’s changed except for the crack now wedged in my heart where you lay you made yourself a stranger why couldn’t you just stay interwoven somewhere within my fabric entangled just a business transaction like the films you wrangle you pressed pause & cut out my featured role & by pressing delete callings in your soul got muted in the process striving always to be a big fucking ‘success’ failing to feel anything real & the dust settles in our old apartment & my hair is caught in tears flooding over an aching indent

car headlights flare as the heavens pour down on us & i take in the sheer sight of you flanno, chiseled jaw eyes, hungry as they search for the meaning in your effortless words floating out of your mouth in cigarette smoke it feels like we could be in an indie film under this doorway looking up at the night crying starless sky you breathe your smoke as we watch it rise, float, drift to be taken by streetlights & as we lower our gaze tight jeans sticking to bodies i feel my heart in my throat my hairs standing all over & we breathe each other in lips uttering not a peep eyes telling love tales told only in the most heart-stopping stories in this moment we have everything

taken by streetlights

aching indent



A Hero element // 5

By Lucy Darrow

Thud. My heart is racing. My breathing is shallow. One foot hits the gravel pathway after the next – this repetitious pattern allows me to escape briefly from my mind which is threatening to swallow me whole. I’m running. It is just me and the music playing loudly in my ears. I wish I could tell you what song was playing but I can’t. Lyrics and knowing names of songs have never mattered to me. Feelings and emotional connections to songs always have mattered though, and right now whether as a result of the music or not, I’m feeling numb. This is not a story about a hero. There is no protagonist or antagonist. There is no man dressed in a cape looking to save the world and no hell-bent villain plotting to destroy mankind. It’s a story about me and as a character, I’m a victim of my own confusion and denial. I hate the stigma surrounding the word ‘victim’. I’m not weak or defenceless. I am nothing like that. I am the captain of the basketball team. I am the guy who hoons up your street late at night with my music pumping obnoxiously out of my car. I am the guy who uses his fists to talk when he can’t get his own way. I am tough on the outside, but on the inside I am actually shaking. When I first recognised it, a part of me died. A part of me refused to see the truth, and there, I stumbled blindly, pushing my true feelings to the far reaches of my mind where they festered until my entire being became so consumed in pain that life didn’t seem worth

living anymore. Suicide had always been a viable ending to my story- however, I never seemed to be able to go through with it. My every waking and sleeping moments became plagued by a hate of who I was. Everyone says that hate is a strong word – you may even think that it is too strong of a word to use right now. The truth is though it’s not; it’s a reality. A reality that I have feared, lived and breathed since I found out the rather significant difference that separated me from other guys my age. They say difference is what makes every one of us beautiful, but sometimes I think that difference is what isolates us from one another. Difference is what can end relationships, it is what can start wars and kill innocent people. So, is difference all that beautiful then? To me, at that point in my life, it was something that was ugly. I guess if you want to go with the whole hero versus villain scenario, difference was my secret identity and it was my job, I believed, as a hero, to make sure my secret identity was never found out. There was not a day when I did not feel lonely. I would sit with my friends, an empty shell that would only respond when needed to and only laugh when it seemed appropriate. Putting up a barrier was, to me, the only solution I could use to disguise my pain. I was like an actor, I wore a changing façade and made sure to carefully detach my emotional pain from it. Of course, the person behind the mask was

grace, its wings and even its antennae. My sexuality like that one colour of a butterfly’s wing was a minute factor in my overall beauty as a person. I was gay. Who really cared? The truth was that I was not going to change and even if I had have been given the option to change who I was, I wouldn’t have. As I made my way back home, relief flooded through my body and for once I felt completely happy and ready to embrace life. I was ready to share with the world who the real me was. I was free and like the butterfly, I was ready to take up flight from the past and soar into the future.

element // 6

screaming out for help, but no one ever heard his cries. Many nights I would stay up, hours on end, questioning why this was happening to me. I didn’t want to be gay, and honestly, who would blame me? Where I was from being gay was anything but good. I remember, I used to stand in front of the bathroom mirror, like an actor rehearsing a script for an upcoming production. I’ve played through my mind the different reactions that they will have when I unmask the true me more than a million times. It always starts the same way with me apologising and always ends with fear and disappointment flooding their faces. They’re not bad people. They’ve only ever wanted the best for me. They’ve stood by me through all the decisions that I have made – even the bad ones. You wouldn’t believe how scared I am. I would rather die than see their disappointment. I love them. They are everything to me. I don’t want them to hate me. You see, I never planned on telling them. I thought I could go through life hiding it from them. Maybe they never needed to know this other me. This different son they didn’t realise they had. The son they probably never wanted to imagine having. That was until I met you. You came into my life and as much as I tried to push you away – you pushed back just as hard. You brought out something in me that I never knew I had. That I never dreamed of having. I didn’t believe in fate until I met you. I didn’t believe that love existed until you held me that night and told me everything was going to be alright. You showed me real love. The kind of love two people wanting to grow old together build. The kind of love that’s not a hot flame threatening to die out at any given moment when one person gets bored. The love you showed me was a constant burn – patient, compassionate and understanding. You fell in love with me – the real me. The me that was emotional, vulnerable and insecure. You became my home and I fell in love with you. So here I am. Running down a path near my home. Alone. A million and one questions running through my mind at the speed of light. What will they say? What will they do? Am I really that ready to do this? Then I saw it. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a butterfly. It made me question what makes a butterfly beautiful to a person and that’s when I realised that it is not just the one colour that makes a butterfly beautiful, it is everything – it is its

Awkward Yearning element // 5

by Alexander Baky Tran What does it smell like To die during the day Would it reek as much As night Devours the ground On the absence of light No one fears death More than the florist No one looks older

Waiting for death Their vase of orchids Strategically set On the counter Flowering Without any fragrance An assertion of elegance Barely enough For the cashier’s Sake Strangled midair Necks falling off Green stems Stiff and stubborn Dying to dance On their own accord Unwind the leash Only a kid can pick A fight with nature

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One should follow not blindly unto death, those who say they have nothing left to learn

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In a Moment Sam McCarthy

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You are honey. You are sweetness. You hint your spice; your subtle discreetness. You are safety. You are home. You are constant. I’ll never be alone. I find myself coming back for seconds, because when it comes to you, I’m never satisfied. And in the mornings, I ask nothing of you but to hold me; let me be the little spoon.

A short anthology by Jayden Bleakley

Longing... Inescapable dread, drilling through this head. Pass by my tongue. It penetrates the lung. Proceed to swirl my stomach acid. It rises, burning all once-placid. Scramble my guts. Reap my heat. Stone-cold toes cling to these feet. Palpitations; unsteady metre. Pain is buffered by the litre. My eyes adopt a darker hue. This is what I feel without you.

The nights are cold. At times, I lie awake for hours, contemplating these hypothetical, elusive fantasies of love and lust. The sadness in it is that we can’t all have what we desire, and, we all chase what we know we cannot obtain.

Nothing but Two Both spun inside this silk cocoon. We sit as one beneath the moon. A link not possibly foreseen, as Mary passes breath between. Vibrations paralyse my frame. Like this, I’ve never felt the same. Breathe deep, another, such isolation from all but you. Immense sensation. Light bounces off your soft, round face. Surround me with your warm embrace.

Sometimes, the very substances that unite two wandering souls can tear them apart with just as much violent passion

Where are you now? Can I ask how you left so promptly. Did our speaking trigger such a vow that would disallow its continuation? Is our connection condemned to probation? Only to stir my inpatient frustration, my heart-felt devastation. I’ve seen the way you look at me. I wonder whether it’s I or she responsible for such a sea of faded chemical mystery. You’re likely just a passing face of which I never will embrace. But how I want to share your space. We only ever shared one drink.

These souls are empty. Nothing lies beneath; hollow eggs to me. So perfectly composed, yet shattered so easily. My heart you’ve disposed. But shall I wait? Will she one-day approach to see the benefits of we? Secrets lost in lovers’ chests. I do not have the key. I continue to search for the hidden secret to everlasting love. Every one of these painful microfibre-tears of the heart help to mend and strengthen, maturing its delicacies and fine tuning its needs.

A Trace of Blue Alas, for now you have succeeded in robbing me of all I’ve needed. This longing that has never shrunk is all-the-more when I have drunk. I see you with another man. I cannot watch. You think I can. Although you muse; I only thrust towards the tree of endless lust, This tree cannot provide the shade to shun the light our memories made.

No matter how much you think you know someone, you can always know them better, more deeply and with more compassion.

I feel like I’m freezing to death. I also realise that there’s much more of this to come. I miss her

element // 6

Another Passing Face


Roses element // 5

Faraz Haider Where exists the earth Where does exist the light Where flows the sea In dark corners where sleeps the night The rose’s fallen petal in the wind soars Conversations quite formal and civil Talking to shadows of human non-existent In insane minds they yell and the scream echoes Blocking all out with trembling memories Speaking torn words For the self, isolating the mind On vanishing flames floating in the crowds Switching off the sun, a confession outright. Letting go of the ropes on which we had swung. Words once uttered, shattered in the fleeting night. Standing raw in the midst of this light. Was it fun? Stepping on petals you had known. A land filled with this blinding beam. The fingers tremble; shivering In anger, self-hate and shame. Greetings and small talk in lands unseen Was it fun? Stepping on stones, Marking the grave Burning bright. Loosing flowers once alive, Now dead as I write. Was it fun?

Together we had walked Getting scolded and distraught Those rants out in the hall In dark storms we would get lost In the car giving room to people new The road unfolds, taking different routes Pacts made to stay in touch We were wandering kids, making promises Humorous how you stand unaware The heart that you had once held dear Indifferent to how it beats The presence of which has now become rare ‘Blessed’ to have witnessed you The heart in anger writhes Few steps down the road I took Yet damp remain the eyes You are seen planting different seeds The flowers that I had picked Why do they bloom in your residence Never had you wished to seek Do you not recall my long talks Had hoped to plant such seeds As the snow fell and the coffee ran I would rant about my far-fetched dreams Here you stand in my way Your hands spilling dirt Holding nothing but Roses dripping blood…

Isle Ali Mazoori

Trying to see the face As I drown again Sick and tired from efforts relentless. With each stroke, I move towards and to seek refuge again Near the shore, almost there From the blue, the gravity swirls Pulling back down, and in thought I almost drowned As I was pushed down the third time The past before my eyes Reminiscing in memories; why had I cried With efforts many, I pushed and pulled, Fought against its gravitational pull Having struck the last blow, a quick look around. A tranquil blue did surround. Now floating in waters calm, closed my eyes Awoken to the chiming winds As I laid on the beach, finally on land. The Isle of mine

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Eyes closed and this illusion Drowning in oceans Nothing seen as the eyes can witness This force pushes down and I am out to breathe

A Love Story

Without the happy ending

element // 5

Faraz Haider Phase One: I like you and you like me

Phase Three: The end

you say I’m beautifully, perfectly imperfect like you’re not the one being turned in to poetry and warming me just by being in my head and keeping me up at night as I picture my hand in yours, and my head on your chest. you say it as if you’ve been searching, but really you’ve just been found.

a burnt out light been on for too long got too hot, too bright and shattered all too quickly

Phase Two: I think I love you together we trudge through the rain the sky crying in storm the wind an elaborate symphony of pounding music and as we recall the languid summer smells of beating water urge us to love achingly like the hot sun never could

his skin got burnt, but didn’t leave a scar but she, oh she was broken, with shards of life littered on the floor, and every now and then she walked over them and bled again her bandaid gone, she left herself on the floor and drowned in the essence of all she truly loved

Phase Four: Memories and realisation I remember when I sat on the stool under the hazy disco lights and I couldn’t tell if I was happy or if I was sad but I could tell I was falling in love: with every second that passed, I found something else to love about you. captivated by every step you took in your offbeat dancing every time you shook your head slightly out of time. now, I’m angry that, blinded by both infatuation and neon lights, I didn’t notice that you weren’t even looking at me.

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There With You element // 5

Blythe Asta

I wish I were there with you right about now You’re probably sitting in the chair right about now They’re probably sterilising your arm right about now Gently dabbing your skin with a cotton ball Telling you that it will be over soon enough Reassuring you that it will be okay I wish it were my voice reassuring you I wish I were there with you right now You’re probably hooked up to the IV right now They’ve probably left you alone to rest right now The chemo cocktail dripping from its bag Seeping into your veins The needle kissing your skin I wish it were my lips kissing you I wish I were there with you You’re probably asleep They’re probably watching over you Checking your charts Gathering up your medicine At least someone is there with you I wish it were me there with you

Ship WReCK

But once the smoke cleared I feared you no longer For I had seen the worst of your storm And while you stubbornly sunk Still gripping to the splinters of the ship I had surfaced And I had survived

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And everything about you reminds me of a shipwreck Your debris washing up along my shore The lashing winds of your tongue whipping across my face Hissing in my ears Your serpents entangling me Stinging my skin Pulling me in, drowning me in your waters

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Les affaires Victoriennes Nisarg Shah

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Anthem for No State, Pt. III element // 9

by Godspeed You! Black Emperor

TRACK revıew

Jesse Harrison

Anthem for No State, Pt. III is the latest track from Canadian post-rock group Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and is to be the closing movement on their forthcoming album Undoing a Luciferian Towers. Releasing the closing track early as a single is a welcome surprise; in doing so the band strategically defers the listening of the meatier, recorddefining tracks to the actual release date, and displays self-confidence in their material.

Now twenty-three years into their career, with five full-length albums under their belt, Godspeed have proven themselves highly proficient in their niche of dystopian, emotional post-rock, with their more recent offerings such as ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! trending towards the more droning, heavier, and distorted aspect to their art. Anthem for No State, Pt III is no different. It is an eight

minute, completely instrumental chaos of buzzing guitars, Game of Thrones-theme style orchestral riffs, and tension-building percussion. The first half of the song hears these elements introduced one-at-a-time, combining into of one their typical epic sound scapes. The guitars and brass are loud and grand, and the drums are tom-heavy and slow, there is so many layers going on that the listener really needs the whole length of the track to focus on each part. At around four minutes ten, the song breaks down and the guitars take back the lead, with some very heavy tones and dramatic head-bang-able drumming. The final stretch takes a turn away from the moody and melancholy, to a satisfying happier coda of harmonizing between guitars and horns. The outro takes …Pt. III, and eventually the album, to an uncharacteristically abrupt ending,

Godspeed have usually taken their time when closing out records, their first full-length F#A#∞ technically never ends when listened to on vinyl. This group have a reputation for being political, often discussing societal collapse, destruction and corruption in their music via audio excerpts of spoken word. While this song lacks this dialogue, they have made up for it through letting the listeners read it themselves. On the official website for the announcement of the upcoming album, they posted a short poem accompanying each new song. The reading for Anthem for No State series of songs, is: Kanada, emptied of its minerals and dirty oil. Emptied of its trees and water. A crippled thing, drowning in a puddle, covered in ants. The ocean doesn’t give a shit because it knows its dying too.

This single, only one week old at time of writing, is another excellent piece of music by a group who has their craft tightly dialled in. This is not anything ground-breaking or new for them however, listeners who were bored by the direction of the last record Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress should search elsewhere for fresh sounds. For those wanting a definitive introduction to Godspeed You! Black Emperor, their most critically-acclaimed work Lift Yr. Skinny Fists like Antennas to Heaven is a less challenging, brilliant set of epics.

element // 10

The song title coupled with this quote turns the song into a strong statement, adds another layer to the many already present, and gives more than enough reason for another listen with those words in mind.

element // 9

Atomic Blonde Review Abbey Thorpe

Charlize Theron and James McAvoy were great in this film. Theron is at her best in the action scenes, doing the majority of her own stunts. During her fight scenes, she genuinely seems like she is someone who is capable of defeating anyone that comes at her. McAvoy seems to blend into his surroundings and a lot of the time he makes the audience forget that he is a spy; which is exactly what a spy is supposed to do. The action scenes in this film are brutal and instead of a series of short, choppy edits, the director David Leitch opted for long takes that really show off the fighting and action, which made it seem as if these people were almost near killing each other. The film is filled with twists and turns, and while some of them are easy to figure out, there a few that come from left of field and take the audience completely by surprise,

such as in the last scene of the film when it is revealed that a certain character is not who they appeared to be. The plot however is where Atomic Blonde is let down. The film takes place during the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, however this part of history only takes place in the background. It wouldn’t be an issue if the film hadn’t established the tensions around the Berlin Wall at the beginning and didn’t keep haphazardly throwing it in, through out of place scenes. The film gets very confusing in the second act and since it does very little to make the audience care about the main character’s mission, there is no desire to try and figure out what is actually going on. The text that often appears on the screen to convey information to the audience is extremely bright and appears as if it is being spray-painted on the screen, often at times

when the scene is dark. This contrast is so evident that the text does not come across as a part of the film. The soundtrack does not gel with the film either. It seems as if a lot of songs were put in purely because they were popular in the 80s however the film does nothing with them; they are not incorporated in an interesting way. Some songs don’t play throughout the duration of the scene and cut off abruptly; making them appear even more out of place. Towards the end of the film the song Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie begins to play after a very brutal action scene; it is so out of place that a few people in the cinema laughed. Atomic Blonde is an enjoyable well-acted film, with stunning action scenes and some surprising twists. But it is brought down by the style that seems to have been shoved into a story that did not suit it. However, if you want to see Charlize Theron beat some people up, then this film is for you.

element // 10

Atomic Blonde is an Action/Thriller spy film, starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy, set in 1980s Berlin.

element // 9


Shorts Review

Pasha Nieslen

Short films are an odd beast. On one hand, they lend a larger platform for emerging artists to showcase their talents, and established artists to bring smaller ideas to audiences. The short film is also the greatest piece of cinema to discuss when wanting to seem more finger on the pulse culturally than you actually are at parties or other social events (aka drunkenly ran into your ex-boyfriend at Howler on a Tuesday night not particularly dressed up). Melbourne International Film Festival (or MIFF, if you will), is arguably the biggest cinematic event in Australia, and thus the biggest platform for the humble short film to exhibit. MIFF’s biggest names in shorts usually come under the Australian, Animation, International, WTF, and Experimental Shorts, which premiere at either Hoyts or ACMI, and you absolutely cannot go for a pee break in

any of them. Australian Shorts was sold out before I got my shit together, so please enjoy my (professional and high taste) scrutiny of the best shorts MIFF has to offer. Animation Shorts: IMHO (in my humble opinion), the animated shorts always deliver. Not matter what. Even when they don’t. But this year made me especially happy. Five out of this year’s eleven shorts were stop frame animation; God’s plasticine gift to the world. Standouts included: Catherine by Britt Raes; a 2D ode to the serial pet killer in all of us (highlight – the emotional roller coaster of laugh out loud humour to soul crushing sadness at the death of (spoiler!) Kitty)

Burden by Niki Lindroth Von Bahr (who brought us Bath House in 2014)- a wacky procession of animals in a night time industrial estate singing about nothing, yet sidesplittingly funny and engrossing (highlight – A fish who cannot find love due to his bad skin). International Shorts: The international shorts were by-and-by incredibly depressing. As an art hoe, I do love depressing cinema, though the 102 minutes of death, heartbreak and mistreatment did seem an odd choice of programming. Nevertheless, standouts included: Fry Day by Laura Moss; telling the story of a teenage girl taking photos outside Florida State Prison before the execution of serial killer Ted Bundy and subsequently being robbed and abandoned in a creepy barn by an all American dreamy teen and his posse (parallels, anyone?).

The Whole Sky Fit in A Dead Cow’s Eye by Francisca Alegría, follows an elderly Chilean mother warned of her son’s coming death by a long-deceased friend. After a dramatic hobble through the village to his paddock, the son promptly shoots himself in the head. Stricken with the type of grief only a parent robbed of their child can feel, she sacrifices herself in his place. Cow’s Eyes deep and billowing soundtrack rumbles this grief into your skull and whiteknuckles your fists. WTF Shorts: Now this is my territory. The favourite of the MIFF Shorts producer Thomas Cadwell, this section is a mash of all things pornographic, absurd, violent and strange. Standouts include: Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw) by Renee Zhan, a 2D animated film about a man and a giant pigeon living together in an abusive

Hot Winter: A Film by Dick Pierre by Jack Henry Robbins (I know) is described as a VHS recording of one of the first American films on climate change, with all the hard-core sex scenes edited out. All the cheesey 80’s adult film acting with all the budget of one make for the most entertaining piece of environmental concern every made. Hot Winter is to film what Kendrick Lamar is to music. 10/10. Experimental Shorts: When I sat down in the cinema, a middleaged man wearing a bike helmet described experimental cinema as, “the type of movies you force naughty kids to watch.” This entire screening made me weirdly angry in that a) I didn’t know what the fuck was going on and b) I was not as much of an art hoe as previously thought? Anyway, the only standout in this section for me was the final viewing – On Generation and Corruption by Makino Takashi. Twenty-six minutes of radically abstracted visions of Tokyo with occasional bells. Highlights included half of the cinema walking out, one man saying in a regular volume, “oh no,” when yet another chapter began, and the remaining audience laughing together when it finally ended twenty-six minutes later. So, there you have it. The cream-of-the-shortfilm crop. Now go forth and prosper, and spew your newly found knowledge of MIFF 2017’s short film circuit in the Asian Beer Café and rise to the surface a new Culturally Sound Melbourne Resident.

element // 10

Small Town by Diogo Costa Amarante (Best Short Berlinale 2017) is a stunningly-shot coming-of-age journey, of the summer when six-year-old Frederico learned about death. I was so blown away by the artistry of this piece of cinema all I wrote in my notes was “every shot is a painting.”

relationship. Zhan walks a very fine line between comedy and tragedy here, and Jesus H. Christ is it engaging. Highlights include graphic sex between a man and a giant bird (art) and a very clever use of watercolour backgrounds.

element // 9

Baby DRiveR REVieW Abbey Thorpe Edgar Wright’s new film, Baby Driver, has his style written all over it. It has incredible action scenes, great editing and a killer soundtrack. I disagree with the accusation that this film is ‘style over substance’. While Baby Driver is a very stylistic film, it does not lack any kind of substance. I cared about the characters and the plot and the style does nothing to take away from these things but instead, elevates them. Nothing annoys me more in a film than when the soundtrack seems to be shoved in. Suicide Squad for example, appeared as if they crammed in as many popular songs as they could, and as a result every song seems to be out of place and takes away from the film rather than adding to it. Baby Driver does not have this problem; every song has a reason to be there and is incorporated into the film in an interesting way.

The songs were very much a part of the film and improved the scenes in which they were used. Ansel Elgort is fantastic in the lead role and Lily James does a great job in the role of his love interest; they had great chemistry and I genuinely believed the romance that they were portraying. The supporting cast did a great job as well, they seemed to all be having a great time with the characters that they were given and committed to them one hundred percent; even Jamie Foxx, who I am typically not a fan of. The car chase scenes in this film are phenomenal, they are a mixture of entertainment and suspense, as you are unsure as to whether the characters are going to make it out or not. Baby Driver also has the best editing of any film that I have seen this year thus far. The

songs are edited into the scenes that they inhabit, especially in the chase scenes, for example whenever a character opens or closes a door in is always edited to match the beat of the song. If you haven’t seen Baby Driver yet, please do, it is an extremely fun ride and is the best film of 2017 so far! I could not give it a high enough recommendation.

element // 10


The city of a thousand planets element // 9

A review

Ella Pace Luc Besson’s much-anticipated return to the sci-fi genre can only be compared to a Lush bath bomb: it’s expensive and incredibly pretty, but it fizzes and fizzles away, with its cost flowing down the drain, leaving me cold. Admittedly, I was excited for this so-called ‘space epic’, mostly due to my fondness for Besson’s earlier works The Professional and The Fifth Element which maintain statuses as cultural touchstones. However, both works are intrinsically linked to the contexts and time periods in which they were produced, enhanced by nostalgia. It is an unequivocal fact that Valerian is a visual spectacle. Not unlike Avatar (which was also lacking in narrative substance), Valerian had a lengthy pre-production which awaited CGI technology advancement. The results are entirely unclockable – the visual effects are

beyond exquisite and perform exceptionally, notably in non-verbal sequences. However, everything falls apart when the characters start talking. For a film which demonstrates such potential for visual storytelling, especially through the opening sequence of the film, Valerian fails miserably through the reliance of dialogue and exposition as narrative components. I must also mention that some of the dialogue in this film is laughably bad. The film’s two protagonists Valerian (Dane Dehaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are introduced on equal footing, but the film steers towards Valerian as the central character, with his motivations driving the main plot. This is divergent from the source material, (Valerian and Laureline) which

element // 10

is named for the two characters and their adventures. Valerian is inherently unlikeable, enhanced by the mismatched casting of Dane Dehaan who appears perpetually anaemic. He seems to be doing a sort of Han Solo impression but instead of rugged charm, he exudes douchiness (*douche chill*). Dane Dehaan is by no means a bad actor, but he is incapable of leading a franchise film such as this one. The way in which the relationship between Valerian and Laureline is portrayed is somewhat troubling. Laureline is smart, funny and level headed – really well portrayed by Delevingne who was clearly having a good time on this project. But Laureline’s brilliance is entirely undercut by the fact that she puts up with Valerian’s disrespect and condescension. Yes, I understand that we meet them during a ‘tough time’ in their relationship, but it seems completely unbelievable that he would get away with such utter bullshit. Valerian mansplains to Laureline all over the galaxy and she is eventually reduced from sharing the title of the story (in the comic) to being a goal/ex-machina in a dress. The failure of this film lies within Besson’s reluctance to embrace Laureline as a central or even equal player in the narrative. If the gender roles had been reversed and it was her mission/story, the film would have felt in keeping with this year’s release of femalecentric films. And judging by her performance as Laureline, Cara Delevingne could have led this franchise whilst having fun. I have heard this film defended as a ‘future cult classic’ (/FlimCast), comparing it to the subsequent popularity of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. To that I say: unlike Rocky Horror, Valerian gives audiences nothing to hold onto; except that in 500 years from now, capable women will still be putting up with men who treat them like shit.

WI NE Swine Issue 4 Published October 2017

Š Swinburne Student Union

Produced by Franklin Direct, Moonah 7009 Printed on FSC accredited paper that has been sourced in an environmentally-friendly, socially responsible and economically viable manner.

SWINE Issue Four 2017  
SWINE Issue Four 2017