X Heather Allen
A collation of all things in life for young creatives
In This Issue The Collective X Heather Allen
Welcome to the spring 2018 issue of The Collective.In this issue we look at the beauty of the city as summer begins to approach. There is a focus on travel from the East to the West, exploring Asia and Canada thanks to our wandering collectives. The Collective X Heather Allen is a photostory throughout the entire issue reflecting urban jungles in the spring time, taking simple everyday objects and showing their beauty. We hope, as with all of our content, it inspires young creatives to take advantage of the things around them. We hope itâ€™s one for the coffee table.
Sophie Stephen Editor
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CREATIVE CULTURE 8 Creatives 22 Urban Spring 34 Savour the Flavour
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WANDERING East // Asia West // Canada PROFILES Tattoo Artist The Particulars Fashion Student
FEATURES 108 Youtube 110 Life in South Korea 114 Black Panther 118 #PlantLife 120 50 Shades of Abuse 122 Swipe Right for Love #MeToo The Collective X Heather Allen
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Creativ Writing // Sarah Siddle
Photographer // Sophie Stephen
Fourth year art and design students at Gray’s School of Art showcased a sneak peak at their final collections and projects at their Interim show this February. The showcase featured work from every student in their final year of both Fashion and Textile Design and Communication Design. The pre-degree exhibition provides a short but privileged viewing of the work created by this years new wave of soon-to-be graduate artists. The students display their art pieces using various media tools such as computer and tv screens, posters, books, hanging toiles and interactive tools enabling visitors the opportunity to leave their own feedback on the pieces and get involved with the artist’s vision. The exhibition was displayed in the halls of Gray’s School of Art from Thursday 8th February until Thursday 15th February 2018. We visited on the opening night to speak to the artists and take photographs of their work, and get a real feel for the talent that the emerging generation of new artists have to offer.
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Kelsey MacDonald Fourth year Communication Design student @_kelseeymacdonald / cargocollective.com/kelseymacdonalddesign
â€œRecently, it has become apparent to me how often the everyday is romanticised within art and design.â€?
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â€œFocusing on the everyday, throw away culture of Scotland and day-to-day experiences, my work consists of 35mm film photography which documents these often-overlooked fragments of life.â€?
â€œI am influenced by various photographers and designers, who also like to capture what is here today and may be gone tomorrow.â€?
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â€œI am always searching for ways of thinking outside of the box and mostly inspired by imagination, creative thinking, elaborating imagination through art and designâ€?
Jinnie Yoonjin Kim Fourth year Communication Design student https://yjinniekim.weebly.com / @y.jinnie.kim
“Visual collaboration in mixed media and illustrating objects from different perspectives is what interests me the most. Recently I have been interested in the concepts of ‘beauty’, and how society and the media is pressuring people into following restrictive or unrealistic expectations.”
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Pieternel Baak Fourth year Fashion and Textiles Design student
â€œMy work this year explores the way I choose to dress myself. A starting point for my research was looking at one of my favourite items of clothing I own, a pair of 90s workwear dungarees.
From here I further analysed my choices in my everyday dress; the primary influences being western workwear, skate wear, street wear and japanese forms. In addition to this I regard functionality ,layering and comfort highly in my everyday choices on what to wear.â€?
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Kitty Lambton Fourth year Fashion and Textiles Design student
â€œFrom marshmallows and cotton wool to kitchen scourers and bubble wrap, my initial research stemmed from my love of tactility and all things squishy.
I used photography as my main tool for the exploration into these sensory objects, paying particular attention to colour, texture and composition.â€? The Collective / 19
The Collective X Heather Allen
Urban Spring Clean lines and fresh colours with comfort in mind. Springtime in concrete jungles brings a mix of classy silhouettes and sportswear brands to create the ultimate laid back yet put-together feel.
Model / Lisa Barnes Styling / Sophie Stephen
Photographer / Sophie Stephen
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Kiana Lede / Fairp
Jorja Smith X Pred
Khalid X Normani /
Kehlani / Personal Amine / Squeeze
Justine Skye / Don
Kendrick Lamar X S
Troye Sivan / Wild
Calvin Harris X Sz
Madison Beer / Dea
ditah / On My Mind
/ Love Lies
nâ€™t Think About It
Sza / All The Stars
za / The Weekend
ad // Holly Davis
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S A V O U R T H E // Paolina Mancheva
F L A V O U R
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As spring is getting closer, Aberdeen’s beloved “Dusketeers” decided to bloom with a new cocktail menu. It is to be launched very soon for everyone to appreciate. Until that happens, meet them halfway – two of the team, their new creations and their drive.
Dusketeer n. – a word coined by Kris Lovie, one of the owners and previous general managers of Dusk Bar, Aberdeen
1. an awesome bartender 2. a past, present or future member of the Dusk family see also: “Once a Dusketeer, always a Dusketeer.”
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Ite Kleefsman • • • •
37.5 Woodford Reserve Bourbon 12.5 Cherry brandy Dash Angostura bitters Dash dandelion and burdock bitters Stir over ice. Serve in a martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.
Describe your cocktail in 3 words. Classy, strong, sophisticated. What does bartending mean to you? It’s being humble. It’s keeping me down to earth. It’s enjoying and serving people, however bad that sounds. It’s a physically active job which keeps me sharp and on my feet. It’s life. What’s the perfect ingredient? The way the cocktail is presented towards a customer. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It has to be personal so that the customer can feel a connection with the bartender or the cocktail itself. It can be any cocktail whatsoever. It can even be a Long Island, a Woo Woo, or a Sex on the Beach. If you present it in a way the customer relates to it, whatever way, it’s perfect.
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• • • • • •
35 Martell VSOP Medaillon Cognac 12.5 Grand Marnier 5 Licor 43 12.5 Agave syrup Dash Orinoco bitters Orange spritz Stir over ice. Serve in a shetland glass. Add cubed ice. Garnish with a honeycomb.
Describe your cocktail in 3 words. Short, rich, funky. What does bartending mean to you? Let’s say to me bartending is very much craft. It’s not about how many drinks you can make, it’s about how you make them. It’s social, it’s fun. No one does it because it’s good money, people do it because they enjoy it and they like being around people and make people happy. What’s the perfect ingredient? The perfect ingredient for a cocktail is your personal aura. Basically, when people go to a bar they aren’t just going for the drink. It’s a lot about the atmosphere. If you are bouncy, you feel a little bit funky, you’re enjoying yourself, it goes in the cocktail and you can tell it’s gonna taste better, it’s gonna look better, because you’ve put effort into it. It’s personal aura, it’s how you give off yourself.
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The Collective X Heather Allen
Asia // Sarah Siddle
Travelling to and around Asia in 2017 felt quite literally like I was living in a dream the entire time. I had never been to any country in Asia before, so successfully applying to spend a semester studying abroad at a university in South Korea served as the perfect opportunity to see as much of Asia as my bank balance would allow. I had very little knowledge beforehand on Asia as a whole and was fairly nervous for how I would cope living in such a different culture for five months. Whilst studying in Korea, I was fortunate enough to take advantage of being in Asia and take trips to Thailand beforehand and then Japan and Vietnam during the semester with my boyfriend. I have written some words on my experiences in each country and an overview of my thoughts and opinions on each. Asia really is an incredible part of the world and I know I could easily spend years travelling to the various fascinating countries that it has to offer, but the few trips I did manage to take gave me the perfect taste of what Asia has to offer and left me desperate to return.
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As soon as I had been accepted to study in Korea, I knew instantly that I would not want to return home after the semester having not visited Japan. A quick and reasonably cheap two hour flight from Seoul Gimpo Airport and you land in Kyoto - it was too good an opportunity to miss. Over the course of five days, we jam packed our days full of key tourist activities and a whole lot of travelling in order to see what we could of Kyoto, Osaka and of course, Tokyo.
Kyoto was formerly the Imperial capital city of Japan for more than one thousand years. The name ‘kyoto’ literally translates as ‘capital city’. Though busy Tokyo is now seen as the key mega-metropolis, Kyoto is still thought of as the heart of Japan. Kyoto, aside from being Japan’s old capital city, is home to the
famous Fushimi Inari Taira – an incredible shrine of thousands of red torii gates that visitors can follow as they weave through the four kilometre stretch to the sacred Mt. Inari. Due to a delay in transport, we arrived here in the evening which at first felt like a failed visit but we soon realised the shrine was quite enchanting in the dark, with lanterns lit to guide the way. My favourite area to explore in Osaka was Dotonbori. Dotonbori is the main tourist thoroughfare in Osaka which is also home to the best street food in Osaka (and some of the best in Japan), allowing plenty of opportunities to get a taste of the Japanese cuisine.
â€œThere are a plethora of bars and restaurants to choose from as well as eye-catching signage on every street that leaves your eyes eagerly trying to take it all in.â€?
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“Tokyo is just as expected - completely whacky - and that is exactly what makes this city as appealing as it is.”
There are a plethora of bars and restaurants to choose from as well as eye-catching signage on every street that leaves your eyes eagerly trying to take it all in.
Shinjuku is often visited by tourists for its free observation decks which provide stunning panoramic views of the city and the mountainous area that surrounds it. The Japanese people that we encountered and interacted with during our trip were all extremely friendly. The Tokyo is just as expected - completely whacky - and politeness and obvious respect values that the people that is exactly what makes this city as appealing as of this country displayed were so admirable. The locals it is. The key areas to experience the truly dizzying were all so enthusiastic and desperate to help with any hustle and bustle of Tokyo are the chaotic districts of queries, going out of their way to assist their foreign Shibuya and Shinjuku. The streets are jam packed with visitors. My only regret with my visit to Japan was gaming arcades, shops, restaurants, cafes and the sides only being able to be there for five days. I will most of the buildings plastered with bright neon colours, definitely be returning to this intriguing country when tv screens and weird quirky posters. Another favourite the opportunity arises. sight in Tokyo was Sensō-ji temple which was so rich with culture despite being a heavily visited tourist attraction and therefore very busy. Also, instead of paying to go up the popular Tokyo Tower, we discovered that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in
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Vietnam Once sat in the shadows of its nearby neighbours of Cambodia and Thailand, Vietnam has significantly grown in popularity amongst travellers in recent years. The country boasts exotic landscapes of natural beauty, bustling cities and idyllic beaches that stretch along the coast of Vietnam that faces the South China Sea. Our trip to Vietnam was a very spontaneous idea, deciding we wanted to squeeze just one more trip into our semester before it was time to head home and leave Asia. So, after a great deal of stress to be on top of our coursework and studying for classes, we flew out to Vietnam and spent a whole week there, just before our final exams began. Despite the less than ideal timing of the trip, I am so beyond happy that we decided to go for it because I adored what I saw of Vietnam.
After the hectic trip to Japan, we agreed we’d rather a more chilled approach to Vietnam in order to help us relax and really appreciate our time. We flew into Ho Chih Minh City and spent only a day here before taking a short domestic flight to Vietnam’s largest island, Phu Quoc. Despite only being in Ho Chih Minh for one full day, we still managed to see a lot of the city. It was clear that history and culture is very much engraved into the city that played such a pivotal role during the Vietnam War. The uncountable number of mopeds endlessly flying through the streets really reflected upon the busy nature of the people who live there and the city. Key places to visit here are Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, Bến Thành Market, Phạm Ngũ Lão Street and the War Remnants Museum.
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“The white sand beaches, unbelievably cheap prices and warm and welcoming locals made for an unforgettable stay here”
Phu Quoc Island is a gorgeous Vietnamese island off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. The white sand beaches, unbelievably cheap prices and warm and welcoming locals made for an unforgettable stay here. During one day of our stay on the island we rented a motorbike from our hotel, which cost a mere £20 for the whole day. We set off and drove right up the coast of the island and back, appreciating the gorgeous green tropical forest landscape of the island. We also booked onto a snorkelling day trip that let us cruise around the south of the island and stop off at various small, inhabited islands that are scattered in the sea nearby.
Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised with how much I adored Vietnam and everything about it. I can easily say I’ll be sure to return and would choose to go back here before say Thailand, as I found the general vibe of the country and its people to be that little bit more welcoming and less contorted by an overhaul of western tourists, like what has inevitably happened in popular Thai destinations.
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I actually visited Thailand before my semester abroad began, using the long distance travel as the perfect excuse to make a ten day stop off in dreamy Thailand en route to my new home in Korea. My trip began in Bangkok, where I met up with two of my friends who had already been travelling Asia for 4 months and were ending their trip in Thailand. My few days in Bangkok were actually a lot better than I expected them to be, having heard very mixed review of the city. The main trick here is to not go to the main tourist â€˜stripsâ€™ that are polluted day and night by western travellers. When
you take the time to actually explore various parts of the city, it really has so much diversity and a lot to offer. If you happen to be in Bangkok over a weekend, it is essential that you make time to visit Chatuchak Weekend Market. It is one of the biggest weekend markets in the WORLD and has thousands of stalls selling everything from clothes and accessories to food and refreshments. All at incredibly cheap prices, this is a vibrant market that gets very sweaty due to the sheer number of visitors that are crammed between the stalls every day.
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After a few days in Bangkok, we travelled down the coast to a beach side resort called Hua Hin and stayed there for a few days before travelling further down the coast to Phuket, where we then took a boat to the first of our two island visits. Ko Pha-ngan did not disappoint. Dangerously cheap bucket of mojito, bars and clubs dotted along the beachfront and an electricity to it’s vibe in the evening due to the party-seeking foreigners who flock there - it is clear why the
islands Full Moon Party is famous wordwide. Ko Samui was the second island we visited, just a short one hour boat journey from Ko Pha-ngan. A lot more remote and quieter than its party island neighbour, Ko Samui provided a peaceful retreat after the sleepless nights before.
“Dangerously cheap buckets of mojito, bars and clubs dotted along the beachfront and an electricity to it’s vibe in the evening due to the party-loving foreigners who flock there” Thailand lived up to my expectations of it being a dirt-cheap country full of amazing places to explore. I met many other travellers who had visited areas such as Chaing Mai, which is inland in the north of the country, and they highly recommended there as well. It really is such a big country that 10 days really wasn’t enough, but I can definitely see now
why Thailand is such a popular destination for young adults embarking on their post-education gap year type freedom trip.
“Thailand lived up to my expectations of it being a dirt-cheap country full of exotic places to explore”
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South Korea Whilst living in Korea, I managed to visit three different parts of the country - the capital city of Seoul, seaside city Busan and Jeju Island. With a total population of approximately 9.86 million, Seoul is a huge and thriving metropolis where 21st Century skyscrapers, high-tech subways and K-Pop meet Buddhist temples, palaces and traditional street markets. It is honestly the most amazing city I have had the pleasure to not only visit, but call my home for four whole months.
I spent a whole lot of time during my four months wandering around many of the main districts of Seoul and yet I still feel like I barely scraped the surface of what there is to see and do. I truly believe that there are endless opportunities of things to do and see that will interest anyone and everyone here. If it’s the world renowned Korean beauty and skincare that you’re after, Myeongdong is undoubtedly
the place to go. Situated right in the heart of the city, it is home to an obscene amount of beauty and skincare retailers, all competing for your custom by waving free face masks at shoppers passing by. In terms of nightlife, Hongdae and Itaewon are where you need to be. Thursday Party is the bar I chose to visit most weeks, both in Hongdae and Itaewon, where both international and Korean young people mix and mingle. Mike’s Cabin in Hongdae is a Latin American inspired club that plays everything from reggaetón to the current pop charts. Contra in Itaewon is the gritty underground basement venue for techno or house DJ sets, hosting DJ’s such as Korea’s own Peggy Gou, Ireland’s famous duo Bicep and Denis Sulta all the way from Scotland.
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Despite being a very technologically savvy and futuristic city, Seoul remains true to its roots and the city proudly reserves many of its historic and cultural characteristics. There are the ‘Five Grand Palaces of Seoul’ in which you can buy a ticket to visit all five of twhem and it is valid for three months. These palaces are reminders of the Korean traditional culture that is so fascinating and still an important part of Korea. Quirky parts of the city include Ihwa Mural Village and Insadong Art Street, both of which pays homage to the artistic elements that the Korean people have to offer.
A city home to just under 10 million people, yet not once did I feel overwhelmed by the size or scale of where I was living. Each district of Seoul holds its very own attractions and qualities, leaving the city evenly spread of areas to visit and things to do. The technology lived up to expectations, with the easy to use subway system proving why it is ranked among the most efficient in the entire world. WiFi is available across the whole city, really allowing everyone to be connected with the world.
Seoul is absolutely bursting with personality and is a hub of opportunities in so many sectors. The city constantly has endless options of things to do such as festivals, cultural events, concerts, literally everything you could imagine. Cafe’s are often open very late, if not 24 hours, allowing the nightowls among us places to go when the day ends. There are even shopping centres that open specifically in the evening and don’t close again until morning, again showing that this is honestly a city that does not sleep.
Jeju is an incredibly beautiful island off the south-west of mainland Korea that is a popular holiday destination for many Koreans. It is known for its beach resorts and volcanic landscape of craters and cave-like lava tubes. There are amazing natural waterfalls scattered all over the island, as well as Hallasan Mountain, a dormant volcano, that features hiking trails, a crater lake and nearby Gwaneumsa Temple.
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South Koreaâ€™s second largest city, Busan is situated at the very bottom of the country and lies as the Southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula. During the visit to Busan, the most intriguing sight that stood out to me the most was by far our visit to Gamcheon Culture Village. This is a picturesque historic and cultural quarter that was originally the home of refugees during the Korean War, the tiny hillside homes overlooking the port. For decades, the community remained isolated, almost forgotten. In 2009, however, art students composed and installed a collection of eye-catching murals and sculptures that are dotted around the village and displayed along narrow alleys and on the walls of the old houses. This has since made the village a very popular attraction to visit. Visitors to
the area can now explore throughout the village, a lot of climbing is required as the paths remain in the same condition as they did all those years ago. The village has even earned its nickname of â€œMachu Picchu of Busan.â€? There really is no end to the activities and discoveries that can be made whilst exploring all that this country has to offer. South Korea will forever hold a special place in my heart and I cannot wait until I can return again in the near future.
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Living and studying in Toronto, Canada for one semester was a truly unforgettable experience. I had never travelled away from home for an extended period of time, so thoroughly embraced the opportunity.
I met an incredibly diverse range of people from all over the world; and made some lifelong friends. Canada is a welcoming nation and I was made to feel right at home. From Niagara Falls, the CN tower and Algonquin park, to Montreal and Ottawa, I was able to visit some fantastic places. While canoeing in the Canadian wilderness I saw a wild moose, raccoons and beavers, then camped underneath the beautifully clear night sky. I experienced the Canadian winter - where temperatures dipped as low as minus 30 degrees Celcius. The city of Toronto was home for five months and I studied at Humber College. They are a fantastic institution of wonderful people who I cannot thank enough for this experience. I hope to be back one day!
// Ailidh Brown
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Ontario // Ailidh Brown
CANADA is a vast nation. When exploring this beautiful country it is helpful to do it in chunks â€“ province by province. As a study abroad student I spent five months living in Toronto, Ontario, and was lucky enough to explore the wider Ontario region during this time. Here I will describe some of my favourite places in Ontario.
The Distillery District | Toronto Downtown
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â€œThere is a comfortable sense of belonging in Toronto, no matter where you come fromâ€?
Toronto Toronto its self, Canada’s largest city with a population of 2.7 million people, is full of excitement. Something which stood out to me is the cultural diversity of this city; people from all over the world rub shoulders with each other every day. There is a comfortable sense of belonging in Toronto, no matter where you come from. People, generally, are very kind, not hesitating to stop and chat or help you if you’re having trouble. Over Christmas I was welcomed into the home of a Filipino family in Toronto as if I were their relative. For New Year, I lived with a Canadian family, who were equally accommodating.
With varying culture comes a huge selection of different restaurants and eateries; whether you want to try Canadian, Japanese, Caribbean, Italian or Venezuelan food, you can. A quick online search will present you with thousands of different options - you will never be short of food in this city. My personal favourites included Mezcal, a fantastic taco place and The Loose Moose, a casual sports bar serving hearty portions of food and great beer. For local Canadian produce be sure to check out the St Lawrence Market on Front Street. Make a day of it by sampling their famous peameal bacon roll and coffee for breakfast.
“You will never be short of food in this city”
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The CN Tower | Toronto Downtown
Toronto has an impressive skyline, dominated, of course, by the CN Tower. At night the tower lights up the sky, which glows beautiful colours. The tower is also home to North Americaâ€™s highest revolving restaurant: the 360 Restaurant. Although scared of heights I visited this restaurant and was mesmerised by the views from the top. Not until visiting the tower did I have a true sense of the size of Toronto.
Dining in the 360 Restaurant | CN Tower
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A trip to the Toronto Islands provides another stunning view â€“ this time of the skyline. A ferry carries passengers from the mainland out to the islands, where you can spend the day.
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Toronto is home to the Toronto Maple Leafs ice hockey team and the Toronto Raptors basketball team. I felt very lucky to experience a Maple Leafs game in the immense Air Canada Arena. Never have I been part of such a thrilling sports environment. It was the ultimate Canadian sports experience - ice hockey is very Canadian. If you’re a sports fan this is definitely something to try in Toronto.
The nightlife in Toronto is also excellent. Whether you’re a pub, bar or nightclub fan, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes. Personally, I am more a bar person, and particularly enjoyed visiting Jack Astor’s, a notorious North American bar chain, serving fishbowl cocktails the size of your head. Toronto’s famous gay village in the Church-Wellesley district promises an eventful night out.
“The nightlife in Toronto is excellent. Whether you’re a pub, bar or nightclub fan, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes” The gay village is also a place of historical and political importance – LGBTQ rights activism in Toronto was born in this district. In a once deeply conservative city, diversity and difference is now celebrated. To learn about the history of the district visit the Glad Day Bookstore on Church Street, now a bar and bookstore, celebrating the activism and journalism which fought for equality.
The Church-Wellesley District | Torontoâ€™s LGBTQ+ Village
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Niagara Falls Niagara Falls, in Ontario, is absolutely breathtaking. Words cannot do it justice. I experienced the falls both by day and by night â€“ via the Maid of the Mist boat cruise. The tumbling water is very impressive from the Canadian side. We could see America across the water!
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen, Niagara falls is a very popular tourist destination in Ontario. I travelled behind the falls to experience the immense power of the water first-hand, then browsed the numerous shops to pick up a Niagara Falls souveneir. After the night-time boat cruise I headed to the notorious Clifton Hill - a bar and entertainment district next to Niagara Falls. After enjoying some cocktails in the Hard Rock Cafe I took a ride on the ferris wheel then went up the Skylon Tower to view the falls again, this time from above. Seeing the falls lit up at night was an exerience I’ll never forget.
“One of the Most Beautiful sights I have ever seen”
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Canadaâ€™s Capital City
Ottawa is Canadaâ€™s capital city, situated within the province of Ontario. Despite its small size, it is a great place to spend the weekend and explore. I spent a rather chilly December weekend here, when temperatures were as low as minus 15 degrees Celcius.
The Peace Tower | Ottawa
It is home to Parliament Hill, Canadaâ€™s government headquarters. I took a guided tour of parmiament hill, which included a tour of the Peace Tower. Views from the top of the Peace Tower were lovely.
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FOR ALL THE MAKEUP JUNKIES OUT THERE, IT IS NOW TIME FOR A SPRING CLEAN OF YOUR MAKEUP BAG. LET LOOSE ON BEAUTYBAY WITH A WHOLE NEW COLLECTION OF PRODUCTS TO BEAT YOUR FACE WITH. // KATE BIGGAR
NARS N TARTE
BARE M BECCA
BEAUTY PRIMER / £24
IT PRECISELY MY BROW, BROW PENCIL / £20
NATURAL RADIENT LONGWEAR FOUNDATION / £35 SHAPE TAPE CONCEALER / £22
IT HOOLA BRONZER STICK / £23.50
MINERALS GEN NUDE POWDER BLUSH / £21 SHIMMERING SKIN PERFECTOR HIGHLIGHT / £32
LTIMATE SHADOW PALETTE / £16
IT BAD GAL BANG MASCARA / £21.50
EE STAR COSMETICS LIQUID LIPSTICK CELEBRITY SKIN / £16
IP LINER BOLDLY BARE / £14
E LASHES ROMANCING / £10
REP N PRIME FIX + COCONUT / £18
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I am a female tattoo artist A former contemporary art student at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Devin Evans became a successful and very talented tattoo artist at only 22 years of age. Despite initial self-doubt she has risen to become one of a small handful of accomplished female tattooists in North-East Scotland She began working part-time as a receptionist at Inkdividual tattoo parlour on George Street, Aberdeen. Her big break came when one of the experienced staff invited her to learn to tattoo professionally in the studio.
“She has risen to become one of a small handful of accomplished female tattoo artists in North-East Scotland” “WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A TATTOO ARTIST?” “I came in to work one day and there was a purple tattoo kit, just sitting there for me. That was when I really started to get in to it. I didn’t really know if I was good enough, but they must have liked my work”
“DO YOU FEEL THESE IS MORE PRESSURE ON YOU AS A FEMALE IN THIS INDUSTRY?” “As a woman, you feel you need to look and act a certain way. I feel like I have to wear makeup to work, for example.” “Some male tattoo artists, and even customers, may assume women are less capable at doing the job well. I hope I have proven them wrong”
“WHAT WAS IT LIKE, THE FIRST TIME YOU DID A TATTOO?” “I was too nervous to tattoo somebody else at first, so I tattooed my own thigh... It wasn’t my best tattoo”.
Having graduated from university, Devin now has her own studio at Inkdividual, where she works full time. Her Facebook page, Devin Evans Art illustrates her unquestionable talents.
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The Particulars Trying to enter the music industry in a social media obsessed digital world
Band / The Particulars
Interviewer / Sophie Stephen
Photographer / Sophie Stephen
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It’s 2018, where the world is connected 24/7 and the Internet is saturated with content. The music industry is packed full of hopefuls who have a dream of becoming the next big thing. For many it can seem as if their dream is impossible. There are so many people obsessed with chasing nothing more than likes on social media, drowning out the musicians with a raw passion for their art. Enter, The Particulars, a band from a small village on the outskirts of Aberdeen. The three have been friends since they were at school and like many others are trying to make a career out of what they love, music. Their name came about when the singer, Harry was signing the final contracts for his current job as a trainee estimator. “I started a job in the last few months and they were talking when I got hired and was going through all the final contracts and they described them as “Going through the Particulars” and I thought that was a cool name for a band.” After that, their name just stuck. “We went through a lot of names, none of which had any meaning and to be honest the particulars is still a bit of a random one.” Harry is not the only one working full time, with the Drummer Tom working in construction and Mikey, the guitarist, working in care until he starts university in Edinburgh in September. The trio didn’t have the easiest time forming a band, so many people coming and going throughout their years at school “Tom and me were actually in a band with another person and Mikey was in a different band.” Explains harry. They came together because they were friends and that’s just the way the band evolved. “Everyone’s dwindled away and it ended up just being us left.” Says Mikey, with Tom adding “You have to learn to adapt, We are essentially all pushing ourselves because when we cut down to just us three we were losing a better bassist, better technical guitarist and also a better drummer.” Harry explains to me that there is more to a band than just the musical talent “It’s about being a unit. You could be really talented but if you don’t gel together you can’t do much. You get some people who are mega talented at something like the guitar but they don’t work because they are obscure and can’t fit in with anything.” I get the feeling that these guys are like brothers, they are all working so hard to be able to do what they love, but not just that, do it as a team.
“It’s about being a unit. You could be really talented but if you don’t gel together you can’t do much. Releasing their first EP ‘Groovy Sauce’ this year was a big step for them in getting the ball rolling; the first part of taking the plunge is the hardest. “The music we’ve released has taken two years.” says Tom. With Mikey living in Edinburgh and the other two in Aberdeen, getting together every day isn’t possible. When they finally got round to recording their songs at the beginning of this year, they did in a studio in Aberdeen, spending two “Gruelling” days getting the songs done. Harry expresses “When you hear actual big bands talk about being in the studio and it being really gruelling because they’ve been in there for months and months just recording this one album. I guess we can kind of understand now even though we’ve only had a tiny slice of it.” Tom hops in saying “Brutal. Good fun though.”
“Brutal. Good fun though.” Their EP features five songs which they describe as “meaty”. “We wanted it to sound quite full” says Tom. The EP has helped them discover what they enjoy and what works best for them as a band. “Each song brings something different and I think that’s a good point to bringing out an EP is to help work out what things work and what mabye doesn’t work as well.” Tom adds. “Suppose it’s like a showcase for what we can do.” explains harry. Mikey explains that when they strayed from their loud and busy sound it just never ended up working “One time we tried to write a slow song that was slightly more forced but we couldn’t figure it out in the studio.” Harry adds “Would be very nice to write a lower tempo sing, one that’s a bit more chilled out. Right now it’s quite in your face.”
“Each song brings something different and I think that’s a good point to bringing out an EP” The way these guys speak about music just flows off the tongue, they aren’t trying too hard to create a facade or “image’ for the public eye. They seem to just be simply doing what they love and letting it flow, hoping to get noticed for who they are. With social media becoming so saturated with content this is only going to get harder. The group has utilised platforms like Twitter and Facebook to generate some recognition for their EP and it seems to be working as they’ve already seen some success in getting noticed, having had their songs played on “Amazing Radio” and retweets from Original 106. Mikey wants to strip it back, saying “I want to just print out a heap of copies of the album cover and like put available now on Soundcloud and just go around Edinburgh and stick them on lampposts, on shop windows, bus stops, wherever I can find.”
They just want to try anything to be seen and get noticed and if that means getting out on the street and doing it in person, they’ll do it. “Just good old fashioned plugging shit.” Their carefree attitude about their social media appearance is rare today when everyone seems to feel the pressure to appear perfect online, and somehow despite this attitude you can still sense a sheer determination and passion for success. This natural balance between ease and drive makes them enjoyable to be around, they have such a humble nature.These guys just want people to hear what they’ve created “To be honest our attitude when we wrote all that stuff was like that’s good, if someone else out there enjoys it too then that’s great.” harry explains. Tom backs it up with “I’m just proud it’s something that we’ve done and it’s our thing that we’ve produced.”
“Just good old fashioned plugging shit.”
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It’s refreshing to see young guys just so in love with music and nothing else that’s usually associated with ‘successful’ and ‘famous’ musicians. They seem to just want people to enjoy it enough to allow them to be able to make music for a living. “If we could have an income at least similar to what we make now and do music then we wouldn’t question it.” Harry explains. They don’t seem to be chasing fame, wanting to make money and flash their goods on Instagram for likes. They don’t want high end cars or the most expensive trainers; they simply want to be able to have a sustainable life through doing music. Mikey sees success differently to what others may, saying “Not even success in the sense of fame or anything, we just want to be able to book a few gigs a week. Even if its some shitty dive bar way down south it would be a case of hop in the van lads and we’d just go do it and it would be the best.” With plans to start playing as many live performances as possible and continuing to make more music,
I don’t see this humble trio stopping anytime soon. They seem to have a game plan “I feel like we need to have some sort of setlist” says Harry, adding “there’s only certain places we could go and strictly play our own stuff, we need to hook people in by playing something they know.” They seem to have an good idea of how to be getting out there. They don’t seem to have an ounce of diva in their blood, just three guys with a love for music and a drive to keep improving in the hope of make a living doing it.
It doesn’t seem impossible, as at the end of the day they do it because they love it, and that’s the what makes them so great.
“Even if its some shitty dive bar way down south it would be a case of hop in the van lads and we’d just go do it and it would be the best.”
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// Paolina Mancheva
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Where are you from and how did you end up in Aberdeen? I’m from Barcelona but not Barcelona city. When I go places I say Barcelona because that’s the first place people will think about. I’m from a really small village in the mountains. We only had one school, didn’t have a high school, it was that small. My parents separated when I was two years old and I was living with my mother for years. And then when I was nine, after all my siblings moved away, my mom had a boyfriend by then. He was from Valencia so we decided to move there. We stayed there for four years. We didn’t know anyone. Me and my mom are Catalan. We were in a place where they speak Spanish so everyone noticed we were from outside. Those people are quite xenophobic when it comes to Catalan people and I had some issues with bullying about that stuff in primary and even in high school at some point. It was a really Hispanic town in a way. Back in Catalonia my mom had three different jobs just to feed us. When we moved, my stepdad is a writer – he wrote and translated books. He studied Psychology, he had a degree. He did his masters on his own in Valencia. My mom never studied because she married young. She was working as a receptionist in Valencia but lost her job during the crisis. To be fair, nowadays not many people read books. So my stepdad stopped getting as many jobs from the translation place. When I was in third year of high school my mom came and said we’re moving to Edinburgh. And I was like “Okay? Why?” My mom was never happy where we lived. I was never happy up until that year when I became popular, -ish.
Why Edinburgh? My stepdad was in a hippie community between Aberdeen and Inverness. That’s where he met his English friend and while visiting Scotland fell in love with Edinburgh, Edinburgh University, loved the nature of the place. I was like “Let’s go to London” but my mom and he really liked going on hikes. My stepdad was trying to get a job in the university. They put everything in the car and drove up all the way to the UK. They were camping for three months over the summer. I was with my dad in Barcelona. They never spoke much English so it took them a lot of time to find a flat. When they eventually found it I moved here and started high school in Edinburgh. Later I applied to universities and got to Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.
Do you miss home? I don’t have a home. I have lived in so many different places, I made friends everywhere. I don’t miss the village. I lived there when I was nine years old. If I go back now, everyone will be completely different, my grandparents have died, my parents are not there. I miss it in a way but I don’t want to go back because there’s nothing left for me there. I do miss the friends I made along the way.
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Do you like it hwwere or do you want to go somewhere else? I don’t like being in a place for more than two weeks, really. Because I’ve travelled so much, I get bored of places. I have no real attachment to a place. If I go to my dad’s house, it’s his house, it’s not really my house. My mom got a new house, so there’s not really a place that I remember from back in the years, because nothing has been conserved. I would like to be somewhere warmer in a way because it’s really cold up here. But maybe somewhere with more future for fashion. And at the same time somewhere from where I can travel constantly. I want to go to London. My second choice would be New York. And they are not even warmer. I guess I’m just not happy being in such a small place and not having access to anything. London is where you can find photographers, artists, contacts. Which is actually what makes you be known. And also it’s cheaper to fly to anywhere else.
When did you decide you wanted to do fashion? The year I moved out. I must have been 14-15. But it wasn’t like “Oh, I’m gonna be a fashion designer”. Back then thinking about university was quite far away for me. I started doing computing and I realized I was shit at it. I’m also horrible at Maths. Then I started drawing clothes. Because since I was a kid I was always self-conscious about what I wore. It’s kind of a reflection of me. I mean, I really care about what I wear. I really care how people see me. So in a way, I regard clothes as a way of expression. It’s more than just clothes. So I decided I have an interest in clothing fashion. I wanted to draw my own clothes, I wanted to make them. I never had the items to make them but I would try to modify my clothes, have my own style. There wasn’t really a click to it, I feel like it developed. Feeling more confident with saying it, being a boy, it’s difficult. A lot of people think I’m homosexual when they see me, which is okay, but I’m not. I had friends who were quite rough or hanging with drug dealers, it was not the best thing to introduce yourself as. Now I’m fully comfortable with it. That’s who I am, I’m a fashion designer. It was that realization that I cared about what I wore so much that I wanted to make it myself. So it fits what I want to show.
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What would you do if it wasn’t fashion design? Modelling is my second choice. It doesn’t seem to be working as much now because I live in Aberdeen. For modelling you need to be in a city where there are castings, agencies to tell you about those castings. I’ve never been to the stage where I make a lot of money out of it because I don’t have the access to those castings. I know a lot about this industry. My sister is a professional model. She was the one who couched me how to deal with the comments they make on castings and stuff like that. She was against me being a model before I was 18 because it’s quite a rough environment. You’re just a product so people don’t really care about you. Unless you’re a celebrity, they don’t care, they just want someone to wear their clothes. They can get anyone to do it, so they can misuse you a lot if they see that you’re weak.
You want to be the voice instead of the person behind someone else’s voice? Yeah, instead of being the person who wears the clothes, who no one cares about, I prefer people to look at the clothes for what I made. I also like being on both sides. In that way, when I ask someone to work for me, I know what I feel comfortable with, how to offer a better treatment to them. I also know what to look for, I know what’s there.
Is there a person in your life you can call an inspiration?
I would definitely say my sister is an inspiration. I think I’ve always looked up to her since I was really small because she was always the responsible one out of my siblings. I had her as a mother figure in a way. And then she went to university, got an honours and my parents really liked that. She’s worker for so many big companies and artists. I admire her. I think it’s crazy. She never started modelling until she was 26. And I feel rushed to do it now. She did her full career in the past three years and she’s now moving to London to become an actress. I don’t have the ability to be so patient with stuff, so concentrated. I feel like I’m growing so fast. And I see so many people doing stuff and I want to do it as well and I want to do it now. But I forget it takes time and work to get somewhere. In a way, her example tells me it’s cool, you still have time to work hard for yourself, to get your career, to get somewhere. That’s why I look up to her, she’s built herself up to a point where she can do whatever she wants. Back then she would never speak any languages, she had a really strong village accent. She was quite shy in a way. And now she’s so confident, she can make you feel passionate about what she’s talking about. She’s learned how to be more individual, more true to herself, and I like that.
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“You don’t even get someone to tell you – ‘Oh, you’re becoming an adult. You need to learn all this.’ It comes straight to you. You go from 17, living at home and getting fed by your mom to 18 living by yourself having to pay bills, having to get a job. All at once. And it’s like – ‘I’m not ready for this.’ And you can’t go back. There’s never going back. You’re never going back to being a child that’s regarded as someone who needs help. Everyone thinks you should know your shit. And you don’t. Hope is the only thing that keeps you going.”
Is there one thing that has made you feel really proud about what you are doing? I was quite pushed down last year. Because I felt like my work was shit, that it was worthless. But this year my work has progressed, I feel like I was more interested in what I was doing, more free to do what I wanted. I got a good grade for my work last semester and so many people liked it and gave me good feedback. And I was so proud because I made it and it looked so cool. So it’s like, I’m on a good path. And I look forward to doing bigger and better things. I know I will never be fully happy with my work because there’s always further and fashion changes so fast and you’ll get something like “okay, cool” but you can never stop there. You can’t say “I’ve done that really well, I’m gonna retire now.” No, do the next thing really well too. As for modelling, I did a photo shoot for a guy I met in the Edinburgh fashion show. He’s a graduate designer now. We shot for him to be in the newspaper and I wore his garments. It was 6 different national papers like The Guardian and The Times that I was on. I did a step back because I’m in Aberdeen and I don’t get to do it as much. But it was cool. It shows me that one day if I want to pick it up properly, I can do it. And I’ve got material and I’ve got people contacting me for those photo shoots constantly. I’m doing photo shoots 3 to ten times a month, I don’t get a lot of money from it but I’m still doing it. I recently did a photo shoot for L’Oreal and if that works I get to go to Paris and do a photo shoot with the L’Oreal team. And that would definitely be a break through point for me if I get to do it.
What do you want to achieve in the next few years? Get a degree. I was a bad student but I wasn’t a bad person, I’d never get into trouble. But because my teachers saw who I was hanging with, drug dealers, people who got into fights and stuff, they didn’t have much expectations for me. Or even my friends. And then here I am now, I can speak three languages, I go to university. If I look at it objectively, I’ve kind of made it in a way. I’ve made it for the 13-year-old me. So now the 19-year-old me has to make it to the next stage of life. I’d have definitely moved to one of the main fashion cities as an intern or master. I would definitely love to open a small shop, online or physical to start making money.
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The Collective X Heather Allen
THE RISE OF THE YOUTUBER Brand deals, free holidays, makeup sent to your front door...do you have what it takes to live this life? Youtube for a lot of us, is used on a daily basis. Is this mascara good? Let’s watch a youtube review. What can I do to redecorate my bedroom? Let’s watch a youtube room tour. Even with uni work, Youtube is a massive platform for accessing SO much information on literally every topic imaginable and has turned into a huge industry meaning creators can make an empire from creating content for us. The most obvious example, Zoella. A normal girl who made beauty videos on youtube as a hobby and ended up turning it into a business in a matter of years. With multiple book deals, beauty ranges and paid work online, Zoe is now one of thousands of entrepreneurs who have created a business just from making videos in their bedroom. Despite the rise of the youtuber, and already having the band of successful creators already formed what does this mean for smaller, up and coming youtubers wanting to become the next Zoella? Speaking to Megan Ellaby, a beauty and lifestyle youtuber, she told me how difficult it is trying to compete with the big names in 2018. “I absolutely love Youtube, I get paid to talk about the things I love and that I’m passionate about. I get sent a lot of freebies and get invited to special events which I am so grateful for. It can get difficult though, I started making videos in 2016 meaning that youtube culture was already a MASSIVE thing and viewers already watched their favourite youtubers. I felt almost as though there wasn’t any point in trying
to compete ise though interested prefer the lives.
with them. What I didn’t realwas that some viewers aren’t as in the big names and sometimes smaller ones who live normal
“It really is the dream job” It’s all about trying to bring something new to Youtube aswell as enjoying what content I’m creating”. To those wanting to persue a career online, don’t be put off by the big names with the 8 figure subscribers. Success is not going to happen overnight and if you are passionate content creating - it won’t matter about the numbers.
If your only attraction to the industry is the income and brand deals, then perhaps it’s not for you. If you’re passionate about making content then find your niche and make content that you would enjoy watching, that makes you different from the rest. // Kate Biggar
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South Korea // Sarah Siddle
I have now experienced first hand what it is like to live in a city that is a mere 35 miles from the infamous DMZ border that separates North and South Korea. Where soldiers from both sides as well as American troops point their guns at each other, a constant reminder of the Korean Civil War that was paused by an armistice in 1953, not a peace treaty. So, technically, the two Korea’s remain at war. During my second week of living in South Korea, I received an email from the head of my degree course back in Scotland. This was a formal email acknowledging the growing tensions regarding the North Korean regime and essentially offering me the chance to leave Korea and relocate to a ‘safer’ country to undertake my semester studying abroad. As touched as I was to receive the email and to be reassured of my home university’s care for my safety and wellbeing, the thought of leaving this country so soon had never crossed my mind and simply was not an option for me. Arriving in South Korea for the first time was one of the most daunting moments of my life so far. I was completely alone, had just flown across the whole of Europe and Asia and was now thousands of miles from my home, my friends and my everyday life. On top of this, Korean is a language I had never studied before and I found myself immediately intimidated by the foreign symbols that were plastered all over the airport and city as signs.
I felt completely out of my comfort zone, but I thrived off of this new feeling and I felt beyond ready for the challenges that faced me. Living in Korea was the most amazing experience, far more unbelievable than I ever could have imagined. I knew very few people who had ever visited there, most of my friends and family even more clueless about the country than I was. I can’t even count the amount of times people questioned me on “why on earth would you want to go to Korea?” The truthful answer was that I initially simply wanted to pick the most obscure destination possible, somewhere I’d never thought of going before and may never get to experience in this way again. So, seeing South Korea as the only option in Asia naturally appealed to me over closer to home institutions such as Denmark and Belgium. Upon hearing of my decision to apply to Korea, my family were skeptic. It’s not surprising due to the fact that in the UK, a big proportion of people think of mainly negative connotations when they hear ‘Korea’. We are no stranger to the ongoing troubles regarding North Korea, thanks to extensive western media coverage on the situation. While it is undoubtedly true that this is posing a constant threat to national security and a very concerning dictatorship, due to media propaganda, people have consequently formed a warped view of South Korea as well. Concerns for my safety during my time abroad would be voiced to me numerous times in the lead up to my departure date, resulting in doubts entering my mind on whether I was making the right decision to go.
Over 2 months since arriving home from my time abroad and I can’t stress enough how safe I felt during my whole semester in Korea. Despite being only 35 miles away from the very border that is the most militarised separation between two countries in the whole world, I never felt this tension or sense of ‘fear’ in my everyday life in Seoul.
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During my first week in Seoul, the South Korean and American military troops were undertaking their annual bomb drills in subway stations around the city. These are practice test runs for in case their neighbours in the North ever did decide to follow through with their threats and attack. Hearing sirens ring out through the streets and witness traffic come to a halt was initially fairly scary, as I had no idea what was going on. This, along with regular military presence on the subway as officers made their way to work, was the only sign I saw during my whole time in Korea to suggest any sort of worry or tension. Despite the chilled way of life in Seoul, the topic of North Korea and Kim Jong-un inevitably often came up in conversation, be that in class or in general social settings. The overall consensus from the Korean people I spoke to was the same - they absolutely condone the actions of Kim Jong-un and it upsets them that so many western people are afraid to visit South Korea due to the situation in the North.
Unfortunately, the people who live here are now used to the ongoing situation and the latest tough talk and warning threats fail to disrupt the general patterns of life in South Korea. Since returning home to the UK, I havenâ€™t been able to tell people enough how much I adore Korea and urge everyone to add it to their travel bucket lists. I hear so often of people dreaming of visiting Tokyo and Shanghai, but never Seoul. It saddens me that this absolute gem of a city often goes unnoticed by westerners, or worse again, is purposely avoided by them. The Korean people made me feel immediately welcome in their country and for that I am incredibly grateful. This country and their people should not be defined by the political situation that is ongoing in the North. Amid all of the latest missile launches and backand-forth rhetoric between North Korea and the United States of America, life in Seoul bustles on.
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BLACK PANTHER MATTERS 114
I am not someone who is entirely up to date with Marvel films or has any sort of knowledge surrounding comic books or the original stories of the films.
Black Lives Matter has contributed greatly to help fuel this movie. The film hit screens in the wake of the international activist movement, where political stakes are extremely high.
Embarrassingly, I had no idea what Black Panther was until I seen the hype surrounding the latest film online and from friends, encouraging me to see the film. The soundtrack featuring the likes of Kendrick Lemar, Khalid and The Weeknd unavoidable and encouraged me to find out more about this new phenomenon.
This has resulted in so many rightwing groups online boycotting the movie. For some, black life and the celebration of it as a direct contradiction to typical American values. Instead there is a belief that Black people are to be feared and therefore harmed and discriminated next to the rest of us.
I have grown up watching the classic American style films which clearlylacked representation of anyone other than white and any characters of colour usually werenâ€™t usually represented in a positive way.
The film is much more than just African-American struggle. It brings for the first time an African superhero and nearly a fully black cast to the screens - achieveing something amazing.
From my foggy knowledge of superhero films, the main character always has one thing in common: their skin colour, they were able bodied and usually always attractive; men. Therefore, once I heard about Black Panther I knew this was going to be something completely different. Featuring just 2 white actors alongside a black cast this superhero movie is like nothing we have seen before. The film tells the story of the Black Panther, superhero King and protector of the fictional African nation, Wakanda. Based on a comic book character from the 1960s, the film puts centre stage the American civil rights movement.
Black Panther is a celebration of black life and it centres on a world where black people are in charge of their own destinies. Wakanda is a representation of whatâ€™s possible in both the fictional world of Marvel and in the nonfiction world of the United States. It is a universe where black people are the most technologically advanced, have developed cures for all illnesses and honor the brilliance of all of its people. In this universe black people are seen, loved, respected and cared for which shouldnâ€™t be something to marvel at, but for most of us, it is.
// Kate Biggar
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The Collective X Heather Allen
#PLANTLIFE How Social Media has Influenced the Boom in Veganism
Veganism has grown rapidly over the past few years. It seems long gone of the days where they were seen as tree hugging, sandal wearing, hippies. It’s now perceived by many as a trendy lifestyle, full of good looking people and photogenic opportunities round every corner. With social media having become an essential part of many people’s daily lives, it could be said to have had a role in this new desire for a vegan life. If you’re unaware of what veganism is, it’s essentially a dietary practice which involves totally cutting out any animal product, or byproduct from your diet and lifestyle. This obviously includes meat, but extends further to dairy products, eggs, honey and leather goods. It’s a lifestyle that for many seems impossible. Apparently not as many as we thought though. When we say the popularity of this lifestyle has grown, we mean it. The food revolution network reported a 600% increase in people identifying as vegans in the US in the past three years alone. They also reported that the number of people in the UK identifying as vegans has increased by 350% since a decade ago. Sites like instagram has allowed people to see the lives of so many of their favorite celebrities through images and has been a big player for the whole new world of bloggers and online ‘influencers’. This increased access to see into the lives of celebrities has allowed for more exposure for the countless numbers of social media stars and instagram celebrities that have changed their lifestyle and gone vegan. The likes of reality TV show ‘Made in Chelsea’ star Lucy Watson, who has now released a highly successful cookbook. Other youtubers like Jenna Marbles, who boasts over 11 million followers, is also part of the vegan community.
For many people, social media has exposed them to these good looking, in shape people living this vegan lifestyle. It almost seems like for many it would appeal to them because they might think ‘if I went vegan, I could be like them.’ It’s not only the image of these people that have changed perceptions of veganism. There are so many more options available in supermarkets and so many recipes online now that it no longer seems like a boring diet of lettuce and lentils. Social media has shown the endless possibilities of vegan meals recreating comfort foods like mac and cheese and indulgent chocolate brownies. It seems all you have to do is type ‘Vegan’ into pinterest to return thousands of tips, tricks and recipes at your fingertips. Social media has also brought to light the environmental impact that consuming animal products has, with documentaries like ‘Cowspiracy’ and ‘Forks Over Knives’ going viral on sites like twitter. The discussions about veganism has just boomed online, reflecting in that of the rise in the number of people adopting a vegan lifestyle. With social media not looking like it’s going to slow down anytime soon, we can expect to see more from the vegan community. If the number has increased so much in a few years, we can only wonder what the next few years will hold. // Sophie Stephen
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50 Shades of Abuse?
he release of 50 Shades Freed was without a doubt one of the most highly anticipated film events of the past year. There were masses of people queuing up in UK cinemas, eagerly waiting to watch the third instalment of the erotic film trilogy, based on the books by EL James. For many people these films are just a bit of fun, and after watching all three films myself I can see why people enjoy them. The idea of meeting an extremely rich, ridiculously handsome businessman and being swept off your feet is something all women dream of. However, the series also has a much darker side as it explores the deep emotional issues of the titular character, Christian Grey, and his sexual desires. In the films Anastasia Steele is introduced to the idea of taking part in a BDSM relationship with Christian, where the focus is his control
over her and the ‘punishments’ she endures if she doesn’t do as she is instructed. Although some may view the film as just a bit of fun, there is a clear underlying concern that the relationship between the two main characters is just romanticizing an abusive relationship. Christian is portrayed as extremely jealous and possessive character, who in the first book has Ana sign a contract which allows him to have control over her life, from what she can and can’t eat to making sure she is available to fulfil his sexual desires at any time. When the first book was released an analysis of it showed there were apparent themes of emotional and sexual abuse throughout the whole storyline. The films seem to aim to show a toxic relationship in a positive light, using Christian Greys past trauma as an excuse for his need for control in his relationship and making the audience sympathize with him rather than question his actions. The series attempts to cover up this toxicity by portraying it as a ‘love story’, with the characters eventually going on to get married and have children together but the manipulation and control Christian has over his partner’s life is a constant occurrence throughout all three books and films. In the past women’s groups have even called for people to boycott the films in protest, as they claim these films aim to sexualize violence. It does seem that throughout the plot Christian repeatedly uses sex as a form of punishment whenever Ana seems to disobey him. Despite this many woman still claim that they ‘want a man like Christian Grey in their life’, overlooking his controlling nature and ‘ownership’ of his girlfriend. I can see why on the surface this relationship has such an appeal, what woman wouldn’t want to be taken off in a private helicopter on lavish dates and have a financially stable, generous boyfriend constantly splashing the cash?
However, if this comes with a side of manipulation and stalker-like tendencies from man who is quite clearly very emotionally challenged then the idea of a 50 Shades-esque relationship quite quickly loses its appeal. Of course, there are mixed opinions on whether the film really is problematic. Despite strong themes of control, the film also shows that women can explore their sexual desires and gives them a sense of empowerment. In todays society women are still shamed for exploring their sexuality, labelled as sluts for sleeping with multiple people or posting pictures online. Some claim that films like the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy give women a chance to see that they are allowed to be confident in and out of the bedroom. However, at a time where the MeToo movement is prevalent and Hollywood is rife with abuse scandals, films like 50 Shades of Grey could be seen as just an unpleasant reminder of the kind of control powerful men feel they can have over women. // Holly Davis
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Swipe Right for L
A recent episode of Black Mirror gave us a glimpse into an all too real dystopian future, where couples signed up to a tinder-esque dating service where they were matched up solely based on data collected through trial relationships and forced to stay together for as long as the clock gave them. It made me realise that dating apps have revolutionised the way we meet and interact with new people. The days of meeting someone out and about and hitting it off are gone, and realistically why would we want to go out and try to meet new people when you have a catalogue of people within an app to swipe through and match with from the comfort of your own home? In 2017 Tinder had 57 million monthly users and last year the worldwide spend on dating apps grew to ÂŁ448 million. According to research, 59% of adults believe that using a dating app is the best way to meet new people. But are apps like Tinder turning us into a society that judges our future partners solely on looks? With only a handful of pictures and a small bio, are we really equipped with enough information on whether a person could be the future love of our lives or just another series of meaningless conversations with someone we swiped right on based entirely on how physically attractive we find them. The thing that draws most of us these kind of dating apps is that it provides us with instant, easy access to hundreds of singles within our area, but this could be pushing us to embrace a lazy approach to dating with minimal effort involved. One of the problems with dating apps is that many see it as just a way to find meaningless sexual encounters. It seems that the presence of sites like Tinder means that modern day romance has been eradicated. Tinder has become like an online shopping site, mindlessly trawling through hundreds of pictures until you see something that catches your eye. It does seem that using a dating app removes any of the embarrassment that dating usually brings, as you only match with someone who has liked you back, meaning that the fear of rejection is removed from the equation. // Holly Davis
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Amidst the Harvey Weinstein scandal of 2017 the world media was taken by storm – a storm, many feel, was long overdue. For the first time the mass media addressed sexual harassment and assault for what they are – prevailing but largely ignored societal issues.
“For the first time the mass media addressed sexual harassment and assault for what they are” The #MeToo campaign took off after activist Tarana Burke Posted a tweet encouraging women to write about their own experiences of sexual harassment and assault, followed by the ‘MeToo’ hashtag. This truly exposed the scale of the problem, to the shock of many people.
Marches and protests for women’s rights and gender equality ensued worldwide. One such march was the ‘#MeToo’ March in Toronto, Canada. I was present at this march and feel lucky to have been part of it. It followed an unpleasant and completely unjustified experience I had while living in Toronto: a strange man subjected me to inappropriate, sexual comments in the street. When I told him to stop the comments he told me “go fuck yourself”. This really spurred me to get involved with the campaign.
“When I told him to stop the comments he told me “Go fuck yourself” Experiences of this nature are not new to me, or any woman – and indeed to some men, too. It happens across the world, every day. It happens on the street, in bars, in shops, on public transport. It happens when drinking, sober, amongst strangers and in the workplace. The #metoo campaign and the march in Toronto represent a need to affect social change - this cannot go ignored any longer. The march along the streets of Toronto began with speeches by victims of sexual assault and harassment, to a large crowd of both men and women. The turn out was impressive – and I was very pleased to see men getting involved with supporting the #metoo movement, as well as their female counterparts. There was chanting. Messages like: “Whose body? My body!” and “I refuse to be abused” were chanted out loud. Powerful signs and banners were carried through the streets as we marched. One that particularly stood out to me read: “If it’s not inclusive, who is it for?”. Another read “I know this may seem radical, but women are equal”. Another: ‘It’s about basic human decency”. All of these messages represented my own beliefs, too. I could relate to the tones of frustration and downright anger on some of these signs. As we marched, members of the public would stop what they were doing and join in. Again, many of them were men. Some of the men, as well as the women, shouted very loudly in support of the movement. It was fantastic to see. “Some of the men, as well as the women, shouted very loudly in support of the movement” The march culminated in Nathan Phillips Square, where one final speech was made, thanking everybody for their involvement. A huge applause erupted. This was a truly wonderful and very important experience.
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The Collective X Heather Allen
The zodiac signs as the seven deadly sins // Paolina Mancheva
Aries - Wrath
Visibly calm on the outside, they can be ruthless when hurt, irritated, provoked or threatened. Their anger issues steam from their passionate nature. They can be opinionated, confrontational and individualistic to a fault. Arians have sudden outbursts which tend to pass quickly but can really hurt the others, usually by making them feel bad about themselves.
Taurus â€“ Gluttony
They are considered very materialistic and self-indulgent in all aspects of life. They possess an excessive desire for and value greatly food, drinks and wealth. They tend to be unhappy and put themselves down if they are not overly satisfied with what they get from life.
Gemini – Pride/ Envy
Their exaggerated self-esteem leads them to believe they are all-knowing and superior, makes them unable to admit their wrongs and appreciate others’ good work or qualities. Psychologists often associate pride with underlying self-contempt and hidden undervalued self. They can often be selfish, dishonest and put themselves and their desired happiness before the welfare of anyone else.
Cancer – Sloth
Sloth as a sin is characterized by indifference, lack of motivation and even self-pity. There can be many factors which can lead a Cancer to this psychological state of mind. It usually happens if they are not content with or do not have a clear goal in their life.
People from this sign can be very self-absorbent, confident and ego-driven to the point of arrogance. They tend to like being the center of attention. Leos need to feel admired, praised and appreciated by everyone. They strive for a sense of gratification from their own achievements and status and find it difficult to handle the idea of loss or failure.
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Virgo – Greed
Greed is the uncontrollable desire to be better than anyone else - socially, morally and/or materialistically. Obsessive, judgmental, critical, perfectionists, a Virgo will have high expectations about how their own and other people’s lives need to look like. And they cannot hide it.
Libra – Sloth
Similar to Cancers, it is difficult for a Libra to find anything in life that would keep them on track. It is usually related to the fact they are unsure what they want in the first place and have difficulties in making any decision, or following it up. They would often leave a situation instead which makes them appear lazy and unreliable.
Scorpio – Lust
Their craving for intimacy and selfish desires can easily make this sign lustful. Obsessive, manipulative or vengeful, they will do anything to get what they want even if that means taking advantage of other people.
Sagittarius – Lust
They possess a strong desire to see, feel and touch everything different and interesting. It can be anything from a place, an experience, even to people. Sagittarians tend to be in a constant search of new thrills, territories to explore and life changes.
Capricorn â€“ Greed
Capricorns are considered to be materialists and power-seekers. They will do anything possible to climb to the top, which often makes them obsessed with work. Their personal fulfillment is dependent on financial security, high status, great ambitions and achievements. Lack of any of these can leave a Cap feeling dissatisfied with their own efforts, the efforts of the others and generally unhappy.
Aquarius â€“ Envy
Struggling between being independent and fitting in society, this sign can often be misunderstood. They crave to be loved for their weird personality and get support for their ideals or they will shut themselves in or become very judgmental. This can make an Aquarius compare their life situation with that of other people and perceive with displeasure the good in theirs.
Pisces â€“ Sloth
Extremely emotional and dreamy people, Pisceans are likely to have all sorts of dreams, desires and plans about both the present and future. At the same time, they tend to hide their sensitivity by living in their own world. That prevents them from actually acting on their wishes in reality.
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Spring 2018 issue of The Collective. A magazine by young creatives for young creatives.