ISSUE 2 SEPTEMBER 2013
OLIVIA WILLIAMS AN INTERVIEW
REMEMBER THE NAME
& A BRITISH SUMMER OF SPORT
FACES OF HOLLOWAY
DOWNTON COMES TO HOLLOWAY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH
MINI PAPER BUNTING &
A WORD OF WARNING
EDITORIAL BOARD Deputy Editor REBECCA HILSDON Executive Editor JAMIE GREEN Design Editor DAN KELLY Administrative Director GILLIAN CRAIG
Editor-in-Chief SIMON RAWLINGS
News Editor CORINNA TAYLOR Deputy Editor VACANT Comment Editor JACK KILKER Deputy Editor ANTONIA KING Features Editor RACHEL IVENS Deputy Editor ALESSANDRO TRIDICO Lifestyle Editor BRYONY BOWIE Deputy Editor VICTORIA TIMMS Arts Editor NICHOLAS HYDER Deputy Editor CHARLOTTE COLE Sports & Socs Editor ALEX REILLY Deputy Editor NATASHA KHALEEQ
Welcome to The Orbital, the official publication of Royal Holloway University of London’s Students’ Union!
You may be wondering why an egg is on the front cover... well, the egg symbolises new life and beginnings. In some cultures, it also represents promise. Therefore, I could think of nothing more apt to grace the front of this Welcome Week issue to greet all of our new students. Get ready for what will be some of the greatest years of your adult life so far, I guarantee it.
We’ve recently undergone a huge face-lift, and a huge bravo is due for our Design Editor, Dan Kelly, who has been tremendous in pulling off this vast operation. I hope you all agree that the results are rather beautiful. Inside you’ll find everything from local and global news to debates and tips for the kitchen, all of it written by students, for students. If reading The Orbital simply isn’t enough, and you want to be a part of the publication, then drop us an email at email@example.com or via the addresses at the bottom of each page for a specific section editor. If you happen to miss us in Welcome Week, we’re also happy to answer any other questions you may have; after all, the magazine would be a collection of blank pages without your articles, photographs and more so please don’t hesitate to get stuck in. Overseeing this issue has been quite nostalgic, as it feels like only last week I was arriving as a fresher. Somehow, I’m already heading into the final year of my music degree! When we final year students tell you that your time here will go in the blink of an eye we’re not lying, so be sure to make the most of everything! Join a sports club or society and give it your best. Who knows, you might have just found yourself a new hobby... In any case, as J.K Rowling wrote: “To our newcomers,” said Dumbledore in a ringing voice, stretching his hands wide and a beaming smile on his lips, “welcome! To our old hands, welcome back! There is a time for speech-making, and this is not it. Tuck in!”
Have the time of your lives,
CLIMATE REVOLUTION Vivienne Westwood has a message for the students of SURHUL ... join the revolution!
Syria Timeline & Interview: p.4-5 ‘Not Suitable for Human Occupation’: p.6
Downton comes to Holloway: p.6 A Selection of News: p.7 College News: p.8
COMMENT Homophobic Russia?: p.9 The Misgendering of Chelsea Manning: p.10
Black History Month: p.11 YES: p.12 Let Them Speak: p.12 Bale: p.13
PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITED TO VIVID-PERCEPTION.CO.UK
Welcome Week: p.14-15 Inspiration: p.16 Satire: p.17
“OUR ECONOMIC SYSTEM, RUN FOR PROFIT, WASTE
LIFESTYLE Stay Fresh, Freshers: p.18
AND BASED PRIMARILY ON THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES, IS THE CAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE. WE
Wild For You: p.18 Faces of Holloway: p.19 Houses & Halls Student Style: p.20 Cooking Basics: p.21 Remembering Rwanda: p.21
ARE WASTING THE EARTH’S TREASURE AND WE CAN NO LONGER EXPLOIT IT CHEAPLY. THIS SHOWS UP
AS A SYMPTOM, WHICH IS THE PROOF OF CLIMATE
Secret Cinema: Laura Marling: p.22
CHANGE IS THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.”
Local: p.22 The Way, Way Back: p.23 Olivia Williams Interview: p.24 The Edinburgh Fringe: A Student Showcase: p.25
A Chorus Line: p.26
www.climaterevolution.org.uk www.savethearctic.org www.activeresistance.co.uk
Four to Watch: p.27 Summer of: p.28-29
Badminton: p.29 Remember the Name: p.30-31 Photography: Below is a list of accreditations for photographic contributions to The Orbital. These were found online under Creative Commons authorisation or available for public access and use. Photos submitted by students will be credited on the image itself. All are listed in order from top to bottom, left to right, with page number indicated. Any queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. News: pg4&5-Bassam Khabieh on Al Jazeera America, pg8-Erin Lawless;NSS-produced wordle, pg6-flickr twicsy;flickr Alan Stanton, pg7- hitched.co.uk; huffingtonpost; Parody YouTube Pscreens; flickr marsmet481; getsurrey.co.uk; guardian Joanna Moorhead;BBC News Report;Family Guy YouTube Pscreen. Comment: pg9-oracletalk;businessinsider, pg10-truthout.org, pg11-nbcnews.com, thepeoplespress, pg12 flickr blouinbeat Features: pg14 foglobe.com, pg15 flickr zennie62;flickr mossparkjun, Lifestyle: pg20 Hill Smith, pg21 flickr sethoscope Arts: pg22 flickr p_a_h, pg23, pg24 Nobby Clarkmetro 25-flickr Rev Stan, pg26 flickr marcusjroberts, thirdcoastdaily.com Sports & Societies: pg28-29 Kai Pfaffenbach, pg30-31 flickr CoolAge.
1916 With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Great Britain and France divide the Middle East into ‘zones of influence’. France takes the ‘Northern Zone’ containing modern Syria. 1920 Independent Syria is established by Faisal bin Ali al-Hashemi (Faisal I of Syria). However, following state conflict, French troops occupy the country and Faisal I flees. 1946 Following an interrupted promise of independance, due to WW2 and Syria becoming a battle ground, it is finally granted its wish as French troops leave on April 17, 1946. 1970 Hafez al-Assad becomes President of Syria, his predecessor having been overthrown by an internal coup. He goes on to rule for 30 years. 1980-1982 The Muslim Brotherhood try to assassinate Assad in 1980. Crushing the group’s rebellion leads to the death of around 10,000 people. 2000 Following Assad’s death, his son becomes President with no opposition and 97% of the vote. He has been accused by Amnesty International of torturing political opponents. 2002 George Bush places Syria upon his ‘Axis of Evil’, a state supposedly intent on obtaining chemical or biological weapons. 2011 Pro-democracy protests break out across the Middle East, including Syria, which comes to be known as the Arab Spring. 2012 Despite UN condemnation, following Syria’s continued force against civilians, violence escalates.
Has the media given an accurate portrayal of what is happening in Syria? Personally, I believe that mainstream media has played a very dirty game in Syria. Each channel broadcasts according to their sponsor’s political agenda. They started off with full support towards the Syrian uprising. One year later, we started hearing more about foreign extremists and Islamic militias when, in reality, these were a minority. Their role was exaggerated hugely which attracted more of them to come and fight in Syria. This escalated as foreign fighters crossed the border into Syria supporting the regime’s claims of fighting foreign Al-Qaeda terrorists - and gave those claims more legitimacy. Therefore, 04 | THE
it was through media that extremists gained more power within the movement, where they hadn’t before. They are not representative of who we are, nor are they representative of our moderate society and the free Syria we revolted for. Do you feel as though the world understands what is truly happening in Syria? After the events of 21st August, and the use of chemical weapons, everyone seems to be better informed about what’s happening in Syria. It distresses me that it needed the use of chemical weapons for the world to be informed. Is this a message to all dictators around the world: that it’s fine to kill your own civilians, slaughter children and destroy your country, but the use of chemical
weapons is unacceptable? It’s so sad to see that the world only cares about Assad’s chemical weapons, but not the millions he has terrorised. Are people trying to leave the country? Are they able to, should they want to? Many Syrians are leaving every day. On the other hand, there are many returning as well due to mistreatment in surrounding countries. I have witnessed this myself, as I am volunteering to work with the UNHCR to help Syrian refugees. Through them, I have visited four different countries where the majority of Syrian refugees are based at the moment: Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey. In terms of services and helping refugees, Turkey is the best news @ theorbital.co.uk
BY CORINNA TAYLOR
Sharif Sada is a Syrian Royal Holloway student, currently based in Egypt. As he works for a UNHCR-funded centre, providing support for Syrians who have been forced from their homes, his unique position sheds light on the current centre for daily discussion in world news.
“To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution. Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community.” Pope Francis in a letter to Putin and all world leaders at the G20 Summit
destination for Syrians and we are incredibly thankful to the Turks for being so welcoming and understanding towards our tough circumstances. How urgent is the need for aid? Is there anything we can do here to help? There is a very urgent need for aid in all fields. I concentrate on the need for educational aid, as tens of thousands of Syrian kids have been out of school for more than two and half years. Those kids are the future of our country which relies heavily on their education. They are the biggest victims of this conflict and I would strongly suggest setting up educational programs for Syrian refugees. There has been so much success with drawing galleries, where ISSUE 2
the money collected from selling the children’s drawings goes back to support their families. This has a huge impact on the kids and really helps them develop their talents. How big do you think the effect on Syrian students in the UK will be? Does Assad have many supporters? I cannot deny the fact that he has accumulated a large number of supporters, but I always try to remind people that Hitler had supporters too; far more than Assad does. But does having supporters verify the crimes Hitler committed? No, it doesn’t, it didn’t, and it mustn’t. Having supporters doesn’t mean anything when you’re committing massacres on a daily basis.
What do you see in the future for Syria? It is too late to save Syria. It would take us at least 10 years from today to have peace again or to start building the country we’ve always dreamt of building. Our duty for the coming years is far bigger than our pain. One day we will return and participate in the rise of the Syrian nation we have always wanted. Do you feel safe or scared? A year ago I felt so scared. I feared losing my family or loved ones at any minute; I was always waiting for the phone call that would change my life forever. Two and half years into this conflict, I have lost many loved ones and seen my country in ruins. I’m not scared anymore, I actually feel numb. I feel being Syrian is a crime itself. THE
ORBITAL | 05
STUDENT HOUSING ‘NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR HUMAN OCCUPATION’ A block of student housing designed for UCL has recently been voted Britain’s worst new building by Building Design Magazine. According to the magazine, many of the rooms face a brick wall and lack adequate daylight. The £18m dollar building was completed recently, despite breaching legal regulations. It was deemed by the planning inspector that sunlight was an unnecessary luxury because, due to student lifestyle, the rooms would only be used for sleeping. “This is a building that the jury struggled to see as remotely fit for human occupation,” the magazine for architects said in a statement. University London College claims to be “pleased with the results,” which has incensed the NUS and the Islington Council committee. NUS vice president Colum McGuire, in statement to The Huffing Post, claimed: “Daylight is not a luxury, it is a necessity. We wouldn’t expect or accept windowless rooms for any other sector of society, and so there is absolutely no reason to think such provision is acceptable to students. “Our research has shown that rents in university accommodation have doubled in 10 years so, with a dire lack of affordability in this market, it is unacceptable that those unable to meet rising costs are expected to put up with accommodation that is unfit for purpose.” The price of accommodation students will be charged reaches up to £730 per month for the small, airless rooms with very little privacy. The building was originally a three-story warehouse dating from the 19th century and, because it is locally listed, the planning officials were unable to tear down the offensive brick façade. It is located near Arsenal F.C.s stadium in Islington, contains 350 rooms and is mainly intended for the use of postgraduate students. In a statement on the UCL website, officials noted: “A challenging aspect of the building design was the need for us to incorporate the façade, which is listed, into an appropriate hall of residence.” They also claim that “the final design complies with all necessary planning regulations in respect of outlook, amenity and natural daylight.” BROOKE DAWSON
06 | THE
DOWNTON COMES TO HOLLOWAY Royal Holloway is known for its beautiful architecture and picturesque landscape. So, it’s no surprise that our very own university was chosen by Julian Fellowes as the location for filming part of the upcoming season of the very successful television show, Downton Abbey. The university will appear in the Christmas special episode and will show the characters socialising in the North Founders quad alongside the statue of Queen Victoria. Photos quickly began to circulate and create a buzz across social networking sites. John East, the director of the triumphant period drama, tweeted: “Massive day on Downton Abbey today; three camera crews, crane, period cars & extras, amazing costumes and vast set…truly stunning.” Well, students: that “truly stunning” set is our university. Around 24 million UK viewers watched the 3rd and most recent series of Downton and it has achieved cult like popularity in the US. All these fans will watch the characters transform the quad where we study, live and socialise into the backdrop of Downton Abbey’s Christmas episode. The series will premiere on the 22nd September 2013 and will focus on Mary grieving her deceased husband, Matthew, while raising their son, George. There are also more guest stars coming into the television show, including Garry Carr who will play a jazz singer, the first African-American character the show has ever had. In addition, for those fans annoyed by Dan Stevens’ decision to leave the show, forcing the writers to kill him off in the Christmas special, creator Julian Fellowes has forced the whole cast to sign contracts that keep them in the show until season five. EMMA STYLES
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RHUL CIVIL PARTNERSHIP MARRIAGES EGHAM’S QUIRKY SPA RunnymedeWe are pleased to announce that RHUL has upon-Thames hotel in Egham has a new recently been approved venue to conduct both spa activity: Hot Tugging. It’s a motorised, civil wedding and partnership ceremonies in its canary-yellow boat with built-in jacuzzi, beautiful historic function rooms. travelling along the River Thames.
92% OF STUDENTS MENTALLY DISTRESSED A survey carried out by the NUS with 1,200 higher education students in the UK found 92% were ‘mentally distressed’ and 13% experience suicidal thoughts. The biggest cause of stress was exams and study, followed closely by financial difficulty.
REDUCED FEES FOR STUDENTS WHO COMMUTE? The government has recently
Thicke’s hit single has been accused by Rape Crisis, a charity dealing with sexual violence, of “reinforcing rape myths.” Check out the University of Auckland and Bart Baker parody responses.
EGHAM ELDERLY ASSAULT Edwin Tolfree of Egham, 79, has been placed under a 12-month supervision order after assaulting his wife, Maureen, 71. He hit her over the head with a bottle because “she went on and on,” but they have now “patched things up.”
PLASTIC MONEY Smaller, wipe-clean plastic banknotes could be introduced by advised a fee cut for students taking vocational the Bank of England from 2016, matching university degrees (£5000), choosing to stay at currency across the world. They’ll survive home. The catch? No government grants. the washing machine, too! ISSUE 2
‘BLURRED LINES’ OF CONSENT Robin
PORN BANNED David Cameron has announced
that Internet Service Providers now require a filter for internet pornography. This only affects new customers and are turned off through internet settings or ringing your internet provider. THE
ORBITAL | 07
OUR SAFE CAMPUS Over the summer, we were pleased to hear that Royal Holloway is among the top 20 safest universities in England and Wales. This is based on police data within a three mile radius of university campuses for the 2012/13 academic year. These results highlight the commitment shared by us, the SU and Surrey Police to work together in creating a safe and secure campus and community for us all. Runnymede Borough Commander, Inspector Roger Nield said: “It is great to see the hard work and dedication of all those people who ensure Royal Holloway is a safe university, being recognised in this
STUDENT EXPERIENCE HIGHLY RATED IN NSS Royal Holloway has been awarded an impressive 89% for overall satisfaction in the 2013 National Student Survey (NSS), with some departments achieving over 95%. This marks an increase for the fifth successive year, placing Royal Holloway in the top 25 of universities in the UK and above the national average. The Department of Physics and the Department of Earth Sciences recorded the highest overall satisfaction this year (with 100% and 99% respectively) and Royal Holloway recorded a higher score in categories including Teaching, Academic Support, Learning Resources and Personal Development. “I am delighted that our students have expressed such high satisfaction with their Royal Holloway experience
way at a national level.” At Royal Holloway, we work closely with the police to support them on all matters of crime prevention. We also provide support for students who have been affected in any way by crime and encourage and provide opportunities for the police to be a visible presence on campus. Our next high profile event will be the annual Safe and Secure Day held in the Students’ Union on Tuesday 22 October when, together with the police, we will be offering safety and security advice. Students will also be able to pick up a free personal safety alarm along with other goodies! If you have any questions or comments about safety issues please contact us at SupportAndAdvisory@rhul. ac.uk. HELEN GROENENDAAL
again this year. Our success in the NSS is testament to our commitment to high quality research-led teaching and determination to provide an outstanding student experience,” said Professor Paul Layzell, Principal of Royal Holloway. “We will be undertaking further analysis of scores to further improve our performance and ensure every student gets the most out of their university education.” The NSS, now entering its ninth year, provides all final year undergraduate students in UK higher education institutions and further education colleges with the opportunity to express their opinions on what they liked during their time at university. Around 304,000 final-year students responded to the NSS survey this year from across the UK. Below is a ‘wordle’, showing the words most used by students when describing this particular method of data collection. PRESS & PR OFFICE
New laws introduced in Russia this year have banned the distribution of ‘propaganda’ to minors which promotes or suggests non-traditional sexual relations. Essentially, homosexuality is not to be discussed. The legislation, Jack Kilker discusses new Russian legislation which implemented by President Putin, undermines gay rights, suggesting that we in the Western does not recognise same-sex marriages or civil partnerships world should not be so quick to throw stones in glass houses. and offers no protection from discrimination on grounds of and ignores the sexual health risks “Gay Pride sexuality. Also, at the highest of heterosexual sex, turning away Judiciary level in Moscow, Gay potential blood donors for nothing parades have Pride parades have been banned more than archaic stereotypes. been banned in Russia for one hundred years. We cannot, then, abuse Russian Contrasting to this, homosexual Conservatives for attempting to in Russia for acts have been decriminalised promote their traditional values to 100 years” since 1993, and homosexuality the next generation of Russians. was removed from the Russian However, we can be aware of the register of mental illnesses in flaws which they may reflect in our waving a rainbow flag with the 1999. Yet according to surveys own culture. We can realise that Kremlin in the background. conducted in 2013, Russia is they cannot do this at the expense Russian News Anchor Anton one of the most intolerant and of a minority within their society. Krasovsky came out live on the homophobic nations within the It is also unfair to homosexuals air to an eruption of applause Western world. Yet, legalised within the Russian youth to from his audience, stating “I’m discrimination can be found prevent them from any education gay and I’m just the same as you, in other countries, even in about themselves and their my dear audience, as President the supposedly comparatively community. The Western world Putin, as Prime Minister liberal West. For instance, the cannot be allowed to use Russia Medvedev, and the deputies of American FDA (Food and Drug as a scapegoat for homophobia. our Duma.” Unfortunately his Administration) website states that Many celebrities have begun to channel fired him several hours any man who has engaged in sex actively respond to Putin’s decree, after the broadcast, despite the with another man after 1977 (the with their actions going viral over positive initial reaction of the beginning of the AIDs crisis in the social media sites, in order to Russian public. USA) is ‘deferred as a blood donor raise awareness of the situation Following this, ‘Prison Break’ at this time’. and offer support to LGBT actor Wentworth Miller posted The same is true of the United Russians. a letter he had written in Kingdom, where the British NHS Firstly, actor and humanitarian, response to an invitation to the website states in its list of who may Tilda Swinton, was photographed St. Petersburg Film Festival on not give blood: “Men who have the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian had anal or oral sex with another Alliance Against Defamation) man (with or without a condom) website. He revealed are deferred from blood his sexuality donation for 12 months.” This shows an ongoing belief that HIV and AIDs are still a ‘gay disease’
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publically for the first time, writing; “as a gay man, I must decline.” Similarly, in the US, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie passed a bill which banned the use of once popular ‘conversion therapy’ within his jurisdiction. It is now illegal to practice any type of supposed psychological sexual orientation alteration on anyone under the age of eighteen, and the Governing body of New York looks to replicate this. What all of these instances of support show is a changing mentality in society; people will no longer remain quiet and fearful of public opinion but use their status to protect minority groups, even those previously friendless, from lawful discrimination. Putin’s laws have provided a target for attacks on homophobia and as these continue it will highlight, and hopefully promote, growing acceptance within societies across the world.
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THE MISGENDERING OF CHELSEA MANNING Private Chelsea Manning, the American soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, announced a few weeks ago that she wanted to be referred to by her new name and in the female pronoun. However, in the subsequent media frenzy, it became clear that she had been ignored. Major news outlets like The BBC, The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal all used exclusively male pronouns when reporting on Chelsea Manning’s desire to be referred to as a woman, as did the largely conservative news channels, CNN, NSBC and Fox News. In Chelsea Manning’s original interview on The Today Show, the interviewer alternated between “he” and “she” and made it clear that she was unsure of which pronoun to use. The sudden rise of a transgender individual in the public eye has revealed a lot about the media’s outdated policies on the matter. CNN defended themselves, stating; “CNN’s policy is to reference Manning with masculine pronouns since he has not yet taken any steps toward gender transition through surgery or hormone replacement therapy.” Not every news outlet’s policy on pronouns are quite as draconian as CNN’s, but is clear that some kind of dramatic reform has to take place in order for transgender individuals to feel that they are taken seriously. This policy is outdated as gender is now seen as a psychological, rather than physical, predisposition, and so is much more complicated than what is in someone’s pants. Therefore, both cisgender (individuals who identify with their gender from birth) and transgender individuals should be referred to by whichever pronoun they desire. GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)’s Media Reference Guide concerning transgender people clearly states; “Always use a transgender person’s chosen name.” There should not be discrimination between someone who is pre-operative or post-operative in terms of the respect they are given. Gender identity is so much more than body parts and birth certificates. Transgender people like Chelsea Manning should be able to receive the same amount of respect as any cisgender female. Calling someone by the right pronoun may seem insignificant to cisgender people, but it is actually a small step towards better understanding of transgender individuals, greater tolerance, and hopefully more legislation protecting the rights of transgender people. BROOKE DAWSON
10 | THE
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BLACK HISTORY MONTH:
IS IT ENOUGH?
It would be appropriate to begin this article with complete honesty: this is an extensively broad question and does not have as straightforward an answer as one may think. It will be very difficult to answer within such a small space, but it can be seen as a first step towards open discussion throughout the coming year. The worthiness of Black History Month (BHM) is unquestionable. It has allowed underrepresented ethnic minority groups within the UK to find pride within their own heritage and historical contributions to the British culture. It has highlighted that the history taught in our primary and secondary schools is not transparent in its inclusivity and does not fully recognise the contributions of ethnic minorities to British society to the level which it should. BHM was established in 1987 in Britain. We have certainly come a long way since refusing individuals of African and Irish descent the ability to rent a property in London. In modern Britain, we have people from ethnic minority groups occupying all levels of the social strata. They are proud to call themselves British citizens and contribute to both British culture and its history still in the making. In light of these facts, some may question the need for a BHM at all; have we not already established the level of equality and integration of all colours and creeds the month-long event set out to promote? Certainly not fast enough. Our institutional history curricula still largely exclude the contributions of ethnic minority figures. In society today, even, the repercussions of some ignorant and outdated mentalities still affect us, creating stereotypical misconceptions and, consequently, discrimination towards ethnic minorities. Nonetheless, we are in a position which enables us to learn from the past and influence the future by teaching ourselves and each other cultural understanding and inclusivity, rather than tolerance. Truthfully, like with every good thing, there comes a time for reassessment and redevelopment in order to maintain a direction towards improvement. The general approach to cultural education during BHM mainly celebrates important historical figures of African descent. Nonetheless, it is far too simplistic to squeeze numerous cultures of one ethnic group under a singular umbrella definition and into one month. As one of the most prominent political Furthermore, people from an array of cultural and ethnic prisoners of all time, Aung San Suu Kyi backgrounds have devoted themselves to British culture and become the first person to be awarded history; BHM should be a time for all peoples to recognise and learn about the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal while this. It should be expanded as a platform for change, building on the work still imprisoned. She has also been awarded acheived by movements who fought early discrimination towards minorities the Nobel Peace Prize, the Rafto Prize, the in Britain. This includes the “Self Help Movement” and every individual International Simón Bolívar Prize and is an who contributed to evolving the British society into the state of inclusion and honorary citizen of Canada. representation of today. So, Black History Month is not enough. Not enough because one single month isn’t fairly representative of the spectrum of ethnicities whose important figures have impacted upon the development of British history and society. Not enough, as these figures should be remembered and celebrated not merely for one month, but throughout the whole academic year in schools across the UK. Not enough as the equality and integration it symbolizes are yet to become ubiquitous uncontested realities in Britain. The question should read ‘Black History Month or simply history?’ because this is ultimately what we should want. However, despite its limitations, BHM is an invaluable platform of opportunity for discussion, inclusion, cultural education and political reform which should aim at the development of a more inclusive and representative society in Britain. An opportunity to challenge and eradicate concepts which reiterate a gross separation such as, for example, the outdated and reductionist definitions of black and white. Instead we should address people by their culture of origin: for example, English, Ghanaian, Malaysian, half-Irish and half-Indian, Bangladeshi, Italian, Mexican, Jamaican, or more generically, Latino American, or of Asian, European or African descent. BHM should be an opportunity to reclaim the value of recognising the individuals beyond their ethnicity. Until British history and, indeed, American and worldwide history are equally representative of all the ethnicities who contributed to its progress, we need Black History Month. This is until history is defined as neither black nor white, but purely history. LUISA VIOLET BORDOLI ISSUE 2
ORBITAL | 11
DAN KELLY and LAURA WEBBER
Fresher’s Fayre: multiple sports teams and societies are fighting to win your approval, your commitment and, most of all, your email address. Flyers are thrust in your direction while eager faces try to persuade you that they have the most to offer, be it stacks of trophies or the best initiations on campus. How can you say ‘no’ to such an excitable bunch? Countless emails later, you wonder why you gave your details to a club or society you have no intention of joining or training for. Term has begun, university work piles up and you’ve missed the first social of the one group you were interested in. Well, there’s not much point in going now! You wouldn’t have had enough time anyway, right? Wrong. University is about your degree. That’s essentially what you’re paying for and only a fool would suggest that studying shouldn’t be a top priority. With this in mind, committing to a society or sport can become daunting when you’re also looking to hit the top marks. We make the initial mistake of seeing extra-curricula activities as ‘time-takers’; this is entertainment which acts as a mere interval to the single most important aspect of university: grades. Yes, they’re incredibly important, but so are your experiences at university as a whole , including clubs and societies: these will shape you as a person for years to come, not your degree. Those who couldn’t speak in front of an audience will suddenly find their voice; new circles of friends are made outside of the lecture room. Most importantly, it will offer you a very particular and unique set of skills. No, not quite like Liam Neeson; we’re pretty sure that kind of society doesn’t exist just yet. However, it’s a known fact that employers also look for transferable skills. These aren’t just empty words, but honest statements about teamwork you have gained and the committee positions you have been elected into. The world of graduates is tough and these extra talents could put you a step above the rest. Humans are built to socialise and challenge themselves. Locking ourselves in a room to study all year round is counter-productive and may result in an ‘all work and no play’ situation similar to The Shining. That doesn’t mean ‘neglect your degree’ but our lives need variation without overload, so mix it up a little. There are numerous media outlets to be heard from, positions in the Students’ Union to run for and a city just down the... okay, it’s ages away. Still, it’s there. Both of us who have contributed to this article have this to say: don’t wait around for a year or two to get involved. Do it now and make sure you savour every second. In the words of Frank Turner: “you’re not designed to be alone, you just got used to saying ‘no’.” Whether you’re reading this as you wander through the stalls at Fresher’s Fayre, or during those busy first weeks of term, take the time to try new things. Say yes to those email requests. Say yes to socials. Say yes to this fantastic university and all the experiences it has to offer.
Imogen Tyreman discusses who should have the privilege to speak and who should be listening.
(TRIGGER WARNING: MENTION OF RAPE) Recently, I read an article about a 15 year old girl who wasn't flogged for being raped in the Maldives. How silly, I thought, that this is something to celebrate in this day and age: someone not getting flogged. But then I felt the rest of my plan for writing about this fell apart. I felt I should write a comment piece on such a realization, but then realised I could not write much more than celebratory overtones for this piece. I can tell you what happened but I can't tell you how it felt. I am not someone who has lived in the Maldives, felt the panic of fearing further punishment for something out of your control. I am not a rape victim. I cannot tell you how that feels or try to imagine how it feels; to pretend to do so would be an insult. I am a white woman living in the UK. My life has been relatively easy-going. I can tell you what's happened in other places, I can write comment articles about them, but to do so I must understand who I am. The UK has led human rights initiatives for many years, so how can someone who has only ever lived in the UK truly speak out for those living in terrible conditions elsewhere? We can raise awareness on behalf of victims and minorities where they are not able to, but ultimately, to truly create change, we must allow these minorities to truly speak for themselves. It is easy to believe that other nations should be like our own, but often this is not what other cultures need or desire. Many people in the UK would argue that we should not attempt to raise the profile of women in Afghanistan as ‘it’s part of their religion’, but anyone who has read about and investigated the matter would know that this is just not the case. I am not saying we should stop fighting for justice. I am saying remember who you are. We need to raise awareness of world issues and human rights abuses. We need to stand up for those who don't have a voice just yet. To do your part is also to make sure people like yourself become better informed so when the time comes for people like Trayvon Martin, Chelsea Manning and the 15 year-old Maldives rape victim to speak out, the world will listen to them and hear what they need. IMOGEN TYREMAN 12 | THE
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SPURS WIN THE EUROMILLIONS Welsh superstar, Gareth Bale, has finally made his long awaited move to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspurs this summer. Revealing what was the worst kept secret in football since the last transfer window, the world record transfer bid was smashed; eventually, Real Madrid paid 100 million Euros (£85.3m)! After winning both the PFA Player and Young Player of the Year Awards this past season, there is no doubt Bale, 24, was one of the best players in the Premier League and probably even the world. The question is, however, does that make him the best? Were Madrid right to break their own world record transfer (again) and pay such an obscene amount of money? Bale scored 30 goals for club and country during the 2012/2013 season. Compare that to the previous most expensive player in the world, Bale’s new team-mate, Cristiano Ronaldo, and you may well start questioning the sale. In 68 appearances for club and country, The Portuguese sensation, sold by Manchester United for £80m, scored 62 goals in 68 appearances for club and country. This gave him 0.91 goals per game ratio; Bale only scored 0.56 goals a game in comparison. While goal-scoring isn’t everything, and play-making is a vital part of the game, why on earth did Madrid Club President, Florentino Perez, agree to pay auch a steep sum on a player who, statistically, doesn’t stand as the best player in the world? If reports are to be believed, Real Madrid are supposed to be £500million in debt and under investigation by the EU for receiving illegal financial aid from the city council.
The answer really is quite simple:
it has nothing to do with football, at all!
Perez has once again managed to show his astuteness in the transfer market by landing Bale. Madrid are, without doubt, one of the biggest clubs in the world. They receive tens, if not hundreds of millions of pounds in sponsorship deals, revenue and TV rights a year. What’s one big outlay when you’ll get it back anyway? Surely they will need to make a profit though? Football is, ultimately, a business after all. That profit will eventually come from Bale himself. No, not because of that Champion’s League final hat-trick he is destined to score. Instead, it’s his image. Bale’s image will be something that Madrid will look to exploit on their billboards and in their adverts around the world. Something that is clearly important to Perez. One parallel example is how he decided to buy Beckham over Ronaldinho: the guy isn’t a looker! “How ugly is Ronaldinho? There was no point buying him; it wasn’t worth it. He’s so ugly that he’d sink you as a brand. Between Beckham and Ronaldinho, I’d go for Beckham a hundred times. The whole of Asia has fallen in love with us because of Beckham.” If there was any indicator that Real Madrid, the moneymaking brand, was more important than Real Madrid’s success on the pitch, it was that. Add to the fact that, when Ronaldo was brought in, Madrid made over £90million in Ronaldo No.9 shirt sales in his first year at the club. This is something Madrid will be hoping to repeat itself. On top of this, a 50% tax rate in Spain will probably reap the benefits throughout the city, as a result of those ridiculously steep wages the new No.11 be raking in every week. In the long run, the fans will also be hoping it makes them the best too. For now, though, they’re happy to sit tight in their new shirt and wait to find out. ALEX REILLY-COOPER ISSUE 2
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Accept that it is a sleepy little town in Surrey. Sure, it’s no big city, but you’ll get to know far more people when you’re all living in closer proximity. Pick up takeaway menus and make use of freshers’ deals. Why? Because free pizza is always a good thing. If you’re planning on getting a job, scout out local businesses as soon as possible and check out the SU soon for vacancies! If all else fails . . . go to London! Though, If you’re planning a night out, you’re going to have to wait till 5am for the first train home.
WELCOME WEEK A WORD OF WARNING
Make an effort with your housemates; you’re going to be stuck with them for the next year. Prop your door open. You’ll look approachable and make it easier to get chatting to people in your flat. If you have a shared bathroom, impeccable hygiene is a must. Becoming a pro with the toilet brush will save a year of awkwardness. Get chatting to as many people as possible. Accept that most of you will forget the majority of the names given to you. Egham is small. If you have a one-night stand with someone in the first week, be prepared to avoid eye-contact with them for the next three years.
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features @ theorbital.co.uk
Sign up to the mailing lists of anything you’re mildly interested in. Sports, societies, media . . . there are just so many! You can pick and choose later.
Take the opportunity to start chatting to people on the stalls. You’ve instantly found people with a similar interest to you and it’s good to make lots of new friends. Pick up as much free stuff as possible. Grow an extra limb if it helps. The safe-sex stall tends to be particularly good (who DOESN’T want glow-inthe-dark condoms?!).
4 Homesickness is completely normal. Keep yourself busy to ward it off, and remember there are lots of people at the SU and on campus to chat to if things get rough. Uni is a great opportunity to embrace yourself as you are. Whether that means coming out, unleashing your inner geek, try to make that next big step in your life. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Putting on a front can get tiring and you’ll miss out on building friendships with people you actually connect with.
1 HOW TO SURVIV E EGHAM
2 HOW TO SURVIVE FAYRES
3 HOW TO SURVIV E EACH OTHER
4 HOW TO SURVIV E YOURSELF!
The infamous Freshers’ Flu is coming . . . stock up on paracetamol just in case. ISSUE 2
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OLIVER CHANDLER When I forgot my password combination in the locker-room of my gym after a shower, and couldn’t get at my clothes, I thought the circumstances suitably expressionistic to consider Schoenberg’s deeply inspiring influence upon the music world. There is no question of his influence in the sphere of 20th century classical music, but given that the audience for this is generally equatable to the chance of spotting a palm tree on Blackpool beach, people often overlook him. The truth, however, is that Schoenberg (1874-1951) became the voice of dissatisfaction in a world that had had its vocal cords severed, centuries ago, by the Pythagorean concept of a world concluding in perfection. Whether it’s political modernism, or marginalist economics, the held view was that everything was just how it was, and that was fine. Schoenberg was one of the first to explore the tropes of imperfection, flux and change. He made tangible those elements of existence that the working classes had been numbed to for so long, through the sheer volume of intense sensation in his music. One might suggest that putting in a few ‘dodgy’ chords and things that ‘don’t sound right’, is not inspiring for class consciousness, but if it weren’t for Schoenberg, we wouldn’t have the black protest music of the 1950s: Ornette Coleman, or Miles. And if it weren’t for Miles Davis’ dissonant hip-hop, we wouldn’t have the hip-hop of today (or Grime, which formed the backdrop to much of the student protest), where the use of sampling often leads to awakening dissonances. Through music, Schoenberg drew people’s attention to what was wrong, which is the foundation of all political awakening.
Born into a family of surfers on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, Bethany began surfing at a young age with notable success in a wide range of competitions.
I N S P I R A T I O N
On October 31, 2003, at the age of 13, she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore. Her left arm was severed and the attack caused her to lose over 60% of her blood. Several surgeries later, with no infection setting in, she made a dramatic recovery and survived to tell the tale. So, what next? Well, she continued to compete. Just one month after the attack, Bethany bravely returned to the water to pursue her goal of becoming a professional surfer. Balance being a key issue, she learnt to adapt to her new circumstances and continued to excel. One year later, she took 1st place in the Explorer Women’s division of the 2005 NSSA National Championships, her first national title. In 2007, she turned pro and has since participated in numerous ASP and World Tour Events, a major highlight being that of a second place finish in the ASP 2009 World Junior Championships. Epitomised in her autobiography, Soul Surfer, Bethany Hamilton shows us what it is to dance in the rain; to not give up when the world seems to be against us and adapt to survive. After all, our strengths don’t come from success. Your struggles develop your strengths and, when you choose to not surrender, that is strength. DAN KELLY 16 | THE
features @ theorbital.co.uk
IN NUMBERS 4 People who know the whereabouts of Kingswood Halls
“B CELEBR UILD-A-BEAR W ITY AMB ORKSHO ASSADO R MISRE P’S ADS BRI EF”
“RHUL NOT ACTUALLY IN LONDON” After years of claiming otherwise, Paul Layzell, Royal Holloway University of London’s Principal, admits that the university is not in fact situated in London. When boarding public transport for the first time in ten years, Layzell realised his Oyster card would not be accepted at Egham station, prompting the following outcry:
“Good grief, we’re in the middle of bloody nowhere! How am I going to explain this to the international students we lied to?!” To make matters worse, Layzell got on the slow train to London Waterloo. His whereabouts are now unknown. However, after five painfully slow hours, The Orbital believes he may have just reached Syon Lane.
25 Naked rugby players running through campus at any given time during Welcome Week
£400,000 Debt accumulated per student in week one
8 billion Times each new first year will be asked their name and subject
CLASSIFIEDS - SU officer with too many ‘man’dates seeks woman for a change. Must not enjoy amending constitutions or partake in student communism. - MISSING: Dignity. Last seen downing 27 shots in Medicine. If seen, please return ASAP. - Student seeks butler and footman to complete her lavish lifestyle after moving into ‘The Pad’. Must provide own top hat.
LONDON EGHAM ISSUE 2
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STAY FRESH, FRESHERS
WILD FOR YOU
SIMON RAWL INGS
So you’re here, you’re at university and there is the most inspiring variation of people from a wealth of countries and cultures surrounding you. Every person you will meet in your time here will in some way come to shape you as a person. Some will inspire you, some will show you what it takes to be a truly kind person and some, unfortunately, will show you the opposite. With all this in mind it can be too easy to begin to lose yourself in this sea of students, so let me give you a few words and examples I wish I had been given in my first few weeks as a fresher. Let me just clear one thing up. I’m not too familiar with slang these days so don’t presume that the use of ‘fresh’ in my chosen title has anything to do with some any definition it might have been ascribed on the street! A quick Google search offers me this description: ‘to retain original properties, to be unimpaired. Not stale or spoiled’. In these next three/four years, absorb as much culture and knowledge as you can from those around but stay true to yourself. Don’t change the way you dress, the way you talk, walk or even the music you listen to just to fit in. Many moons ago during my blissful twelve months as a Fresher I remember being paranoid about my slightly ‘Brummie’ accent. I’m ashamed to admit I even contemplated accent softening lessons to rid me of what I thought was an anchor holding back my future, yet writing this article I feel quite different now. Richard Cunningham, the Editor-in-Chief of The Orbital’s estranged sibling on campus (The Founder) is from Manchester and has a beautifully broad accent to match and I, almost 2 years on, still speak like Lenny Henry. Yet, both Richard and I have landed the internships of our dreams outside of university and are, not forgetting, the Editor-in-Chiefs of two brilliant RHUL publications. Get my point? It’s took me two years to realise this, and I’m hoping these few brief words will save you the time I spent messing around trying to turn myself into somebody I wasn’t. Stay fresh, freshers. Be true to the person you are because remember, your time at university will undoubtedly come to shape who you will be in the future, and who wants to be stale? 18 | THE
For more information, or to purchase, visit www.wildforyou.org
Wild For You is, at its core, a blog dedicated to nature and creativity. Reading it is much like stepping into a fairytale, as you’re greeted by Hili’s beautifully whimsical descriptions of walking through woods and fields, living “for magical happenings”. It is a world many of us aspire to live in. Luckily, Hili makes it easier for us to become a part of it: she sells her own products, including bath soaks and body butters, and locally foraged teas. Everything about this tea is exciting. From the gentle tug on the raffia bow cinching the bag, to the heady, woodland scent as it opens, it’s a tea worth waiting for. You’ll need a teapot and a tea-strainer, but both can be picked up at a charity shop for a pittance and, let’s face it, you’ll feel awesome owning your own teapot. So far, I’ve tried the Wild Nettle Tea and the Wild Faerie Tea. The nettle tea is a little daunting at first – it has a strong smell and is bright green, and as you drink it you suddenly realise that you’re basically drinking nettles which feels weird. I was pleasantly surprised, though: it’s an acquired taste, but the more I sip, the more I want to sip. The recommended addition of honey and lemon is a must – the lemon gives an added zing and brings all the flavours to life, while the honey makes everything smoother, and brings a mellowness to the taste. My favourite is the Wild Faerie tea. It’s refreshing and rejuvenating – a good morning tea to help you face the world and shake off the night before. I actually prefer it without the recommended addition of honey: for me, it subdues the flavours and dampens the tea’s energy, though my sister won’t drink it without. Either way, the fresh, minty flavours will help you feel brighter, and it gives you the ‘ahhh’ feeling that all good tea should. At seven pounds a bag it’s not an everyday tea, but it is well worth treating yourself with once in a while – especially as a little goes a long way. If you love your tea, or are considering a health kick, they’re definitely for you. BRYONY BOWIE lifestyle @ theorbital.co.uk
FACES OF HOLLOWAY
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GYAN GURUNG
I’m a third year English student, and (at the moment) I like cooking Scandinavian food, Mads Mikkelsen, Danish cinema and clogs. I get my fashion inspiration from films, television series, and books. Right now I’m inspired by Björk, the Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris, Lisbeth Salander, ‘Hel-Looks’ (www.hel-looks.com)... the list goes on. Sometimes I dress in colours of the cover of a book I’m reading, sometimes I dress up as Bel Rowley or Marnie Madden or Freddie Lyon. It changes daily. I buy most of my clothes from charity shops. I don’t ever feel pressured to change my style, because I don’t dress for anyone but myself. How do I keep my look unique? I guess I go through pretty radical changes to my style, but I don’t think it’s about being unique, it’s about being comfortable. If you’re not comfortable in something, why wear it? I sometimes get funny looks when I wear odd things but I don’t see myself as any different from anyone else; what I wear feels normal to me.
How to make
Mini Paper Bunting Here’s a sweet and easy way to add a touch of decoration to your new room. You can use coloured paper, as I have here, or even magazine pages or sheets of newspaper for a recycled style. What you’ll need: Paper Cotton thread Scissors Glue 1. Cut coloured paper into diamonds. They should be 5cm long and 2cm across at their widest point. 2. Tie a loop in the end of a piece of thread. This will be the part you use to hang up your bunting. Fold your paper diamond in half so the point tips touch and form a triangle. 3. Apply glue to the inside of the diamond, then carefully fold it over the thread and stick it in place. Repeat with the rest of your diamonds, sticking them next to each until the bunting reaches the desired length. 4. Cut off the bunting from the reel of thread, leaving enough at the end to tie it off into a loop. Hang your bunting where desired - hook it on some pins on your noticeboard, or use white tac to hang it on your wall.
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HOUSES AND HALLS: STUDENT STYLE
ARTICLE & PHOTOGRAPHY
Many of us will be moving into our new accommodation this month, be they in halls of residence or in private houses, and naturally we’ll all be planning to decorate them to our own personal style and taste. We all want to be able to create a space that expresses our character to friends and flat mates, but that is also comfortable, relaxing and thoroughly our own. When I first came to university I had no idea where to start, so I’ve put together a few tips to think about when it comes to decorating your university room. Posters are the simplest way to decorate your room at university, and most students will hang up one or two. If you haven’t brought some from home, there are poster sales at the SU during Welcome Week, and several more throughout the year. If you don’t find anything you like, try Amazon for everything from Game of Thrones to Gilmore Girls. Be original, and pick images that you really love. All rooms in halls come with a noticeboard, and in my first year I covered my boring grey one with wrapping paper. Use dressmaking pins rather than drawing pins for a more subtle look. Pin up cards, photos, to do lists and your timetable for the year ahead – use the space to bring a little of your home world to your university life. Keep adding things you collect as the year goes on, such as society posters or postcards from friends. Plants are also great for adding a bit of three dimensional decoration to your room. You can buy potted herbs to help add a bit of extra oomph to your cooking or cocktails, or try a retro spider plant. Steal one from your mum or grandma. Though only commit to buying plants if you think you can take care of them - there’ nothing more depressing than a bonsai tree bought at a plant sale in September which died by the end of October because you forgot to water it. Carpets in halls and student houses aren’t particularly pleasant, so a small rug will help to make your room a little bit cosier. Cushions can turn your bed into a comfy seat for when friends come over. Find a thick blanket to keep you warm during late night essay writing sessions, and throw it over the end of your bed for an extra decorative touch. Most of all, make sure your room is your space. You’re going to be spending a lot of your time there over the next year, so make sure it’s a space you love!
lifestyle @ theorbital.co.uk
: S C I S A B G COOKIN with BRYONY BOWIE
Some people use being away from home as inspiration to experiment with their cooking; it’s the perfect way to enjoy the freedom and lack of time constraints which student life brings us. Then again, some people just eat because they have to! Whichever you are, though, this recipe will be for you. However you decide to cook from the list below, start by giving the potato a wash before pricking it all over with a fork. Seriously, if you don’t do this there’s a high chance your potato will explode. It may sound cool, but half an hour cleaning up potato debris isn’t a fun task. Before cooking to the instructions below, rub the potato with olive oil and a small amount of salt to give it a crispy and flavoursome skin. When cooked, you can accompany your jacket potato with cheese and baked beans or, for something more fancy, it’s great with chilli con carne. You could even make your own onion and garlic dip if you’re feeling really fancy, or just add a knob of butter if you’re particularly pushed for time (or money!). For a plethora of foodie tips and ideas, check out www.thisisunifood.blogspot.com MICROWAVE It depends on the size of your potato, but this should only take ten minutes (turn it half way through). It won’t give you the crispy skin, but if you’re in Kingswood or Founders and don’t have an oven this is the way forward for you!
OVEN Stick it in at 180°C for about an hour, turning half way through. Prod it with a knife to make sure it’s cooked through, et voilà!
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS! If you have access to both an oven and a microwave, this is my favourite way of doing it. Microwaving your potato before you put it in the oven hugely reduces the cooking time, and you still get the crispy skin from baking it. So: microwave for five minutes at full power, then bung it in the oven at 180°C for around thirty to forty minutes depending on the potato’s size.
Last month I travelled to Kigali, the capital city of a tiny, land-locked East African country still fighting to break free from the shackles of a bloody and divided past. It was at the Kigali Genocide Memorial that I first met Honoré. He is a director at the centre dedicated to documenting a 100-day period in Rwanda’s history, when between 800,000 and a million Tutsi civilians were murdered in cold blood. Rwanda, originally ruled by Belgian colonial forces, gained independence in 1962. The Europeans left behind a country blighted by ethnic tension and violence, as the colonialists introduced an identity card scheme that forced every Rwandan to carry paperwork detailing their ethnic background: Hutu or Tutsi. After the Belgian king gave the goahead for the withdrawal of the European settlers, extremist Hutu politicians filled
the resultant power vacuum and, for the subsequent three decades, Tutsis faced daily persecution. On Wednesday, April 6, 1994, the plane carrying President Habyarimana was shot down. Almost immediately, the butchering of Tutsi civilians began. In schools, churches and hospitals, gangs of thugs attacked Tutsis with machetes, machine guns and grenades. After 100 days of abject horror, the RPF took control of the country and brought the mass murder to an end. Paul Karemera came to Rwanda in September 1994, just months after the killing had ripped the East African nation apart. He now runs a tour company co-ordinating trips for westerners keen to discover the truth about the genocide, and believes that the post-genocide Rwanda has changed beyond recognition. After almost two decades of an RPF
Government intent on promoting reconciliation through development and grassroots justice, Rwanda now ranks as one of the most economically prosperous countries on the African continent. Under the leadership of President Kagame, the country has attracted inward investment from the same international community that had deserted the Rwandan people. Rwanda is a young country, and the mental scars of the genocide are fading. Memorial director Honoré is determined to ensure that the horrors of 1994 are not repeated. “I think the development in the lives of survivors is very hurtful to the perpetrators. They cannot believe how after they have killed an entire family, the one young boy who survived has made something of his life. That is psychologically torturing for the perpetrators. That is a sign of our victory. That is how we win.”
ARTICLE AND PHOTOGRAPH
ORBITAL | 21
To Freshers, welcome to Royal Holloway, and to everyone else welcome back! Royal Holloway is almost certainly one of the best universities in the country for those artistically minded and be sure to know that whatever your artistic thirst is it can be quenched. If you’re a cineaste, then for blockbusters the Vue in Staines is convenient and cosy and London’s Imax is huge. For delving into the classics take a trip to somewhere like the National Film Theatre where they have expertly organised seasons of classics and obscurities and prominent guests such as Danny Boyle, Irrfan Khan and various Doctor Who stars. For music lovers, London offers the BBC Proms, the London Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Rock Concerts and, from the Cadogan Hall to the Roundhouse, some wonderful spaces for music. Most touring bands and most world-class musicians visit London so, whatever your musical tastes, London will most certainly cater for it. From the more prominent buildings like the National Gallery and the British Museum to the more niche like the Foundling Museum and Sherlock Holmes Museum, London has some wonderful museums and galleries. Exhibitions are eccentric – right now the National Gallery The Grand Eagle is far from your hosts Vermeer and the National Portrait Gallery hosts Bob Dylan. average hotel. The manager sings for her With free entry to most, London has some of the most accessible lost lover in the chapel, lovers dance down galleries in the world too. the corridors, guests are serenaded in tiny London also has some of the best theatre in the world, bedrooms littered with love notes and the maid whatever your inclination. Before 2014 we have has buried a broken doorknob. Spend a night, or everything from a new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical to an evening, at the Grand Eagle and you’ll see and a Bolivian four-man Hamlet, theatrical heavyweights hear things you wouldn’t expect. like Vanessa Redgrave and Anthony Sher, and stars It is not a hotel you can stay in though. It is in fact like Jude Law and Tom Hiddleston. London the venue for the first incarnation of Secret Music, an offers the biggest variety and highest quality of offshoot from the popular theatre and film event, Secret shows. Cinema. Here, much like Secret Cinema takes audiences off And if you’re interested in getting into the world of films like The Shawshank Redemption and involved, here you can make movies, Prometheus, we enter the world of Laura Marling and her new play music, act, direct, work backstage album, Once I Was An Eagle in a unique amalgamation of live and much more! If you want to theatre and music. review or comment, contact us and It is ludicrously difficult to describe quite what sort of night this is, contribute! with theatre, music and poetry converging within a fully furnished and So whether this is your grandiose 1920s hotel. Audiences arrive in 20s dress and drop off their first or final year make sure mobiles as they ‘check in’, something which provides a fantastic way to bring to make the most of all audiences into an intimate experience. They are then free to explore the Grand these opportunities Eagle throughout the night from the woodland cinema in the basement to the doveand enjoy the arts on filled room in the upper levels. Here, the guests can find cellists playing Marling’s offer! NICHOLAS music, sip a cocktail from the hotel bar or listen to Marling herself play an unexpected HYDER cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark from a balcony. The night ends with as the employees of the hotel lead audiences to the ballroom and a concert by Marling. Here, the audience stands quietly transfixed by Marling, who after a few songs accompanied by others, plays most of the concert on her own. It is in this moment you can tell the 23-year-old’s incredible talent, holding the attention of the room with just her voice and an acoustic guitar. It truly is heart-stopping, with the lyrics really evoking the whole feel of the night. All of this, and many more surprises, make for an unforgettable and inimitable night. It certainly helps if you’re already a fan of Laura Marling, as her music plays a significant part of the evening, but even a newcomer to her could appreciate not only her talent but also that of the fantastic actors and designers who make the world of the Grand Eagle possible. JACK RIGBY
SECRET CINEMA: LAURA MARLING
22 | THE
arts @ theorbital.co.uk
THE WAY, WAY BACK
Rash and Faxton could be pretty secure in their writing debut, The Descendants, given it was made by the much-loved Alexander Payne and George Clooney. There must have been some worry about whether their second film, The Way, Way Back which they also direct and star in, would live up to their first film. Their follow up, for the most part, succeeds. Duncan is a moody, shy teenager on holiday with his family. With domestic relations straining, he escapes to a summer job at a water park, whose charismatic owner Owen gives him a job, and helps him come out of his shell. It is a coming of age tale which will remind a lot of people of many different films, such as Adventureland with Jesse Eisenberg, as this is a story which has been done to death. And somewhat unsurprisingly, given this is the always-difficult second feature, Rash and Faxton play safe and don’t diverge too far from the formula. Those even reasonably well-versed in these tales will see what will happen within a few minutes. However a strong script and fantastic performances make this an enjoyable experience. The film’s opening scene sets the stage perfectly for what is to come. A slow, subtle opening exchange between stepfather and son, it establishes everything we need to
know. A muddled conversation arises as Duncan struggles to hear his step-father’s cruel words from way, way back in the car. As they arrive at their summer house, he catches eyes with another man in a car, who smiles charismatically at him despite his awkwardness, and steals a rare, sincere smile out of Duncan. It’s a fantastic beginning, showing off Rash and Faxton’s writing talent, using dialogue, acting and visuals to establish the characters perfectly. Duncan is awkward and isolated, his step-dad cruel and clumsy, his sleeping mother oblivious to what is happening and the smiling man, Owen, is kind and charismatic. The scene is also a pre-cursor to one of the main successes of the film, the acting. Liam James plays Duncan well, sympathetically and maintaining a strong sense of awkwardness throughout. He is supported by an extremely talented and experienced cast including Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Toni Collete and Allison Janney. Carell stands out as the step-dad, almost unrecognisable from the clowns he often portrays. His character is never cartoonish in his cruelty; instead it is a believable portrayal of a man who sometimes could even be argued to be trying to do the right thing, but going about it in the wrong way and with such wrong motives we ultimately can’t help but hate him. Carell has shown he can act when given trying roles in the past, and it is great to see him given another meaty role. His villain is countered by Sam Rockwell’s hero, Owen, who helps Duncan come out of his shell, by telling him to embrace himself in all his awkwardness. Like Carell, he isn’t a caricature. He is clearly a flawed mess of a man, but unlike Carell he seems sincere in his efforts to change, and looks to embrace people for who they really are. Rockwell has had more trying roles, such as in Moon, but is once again brilliant and likeable. The acting and writing is great and, for debut directors, Nash and Faxton are impressive, but other aspects let it down. The music is cheesy, and a montage when Duncan and his love interest talk seems lazy when dialogue would have made their relationship more engaging. Ultimately however, it is the clichéd story that lets the film down, and while a few tweaks to the formula here and there keep our attention, there is nothing really to set this apart. It’s also quite light, not holding the same weight as films such as Perks of Being a Wallflower, meaning those looking for a more substantial experience might be best looking elsewhere. Those looking for a funny, well made and heart-warming tale will likely enjoy this. However, those looking for a more original story might want to pass. THOMAS MCDONALD
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star of films as diverse as The Sixth Sense, An Education, Anna Karenina and TV shows such as Case Sensitive and Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, returns to the London stage this month in Scenes from a Marriage, directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, at St James Theatre. Here, she answers our questions about the play and going back to the stage. Before taking on the role of Marianne, had you seen the Bergman film? Have you gone back to it or any of Bergman’s other films since?
I had read the play 20 years ago. I watched what I could of the movie version on YouTube, embarrassingly enough, before taking the job, but it is my understanding that the original Bergman version was a TV show in a few episodes, which I have NOT seen. How much has the film influenced the show overall? Has Liv Ullmann’s performance as Marianne influenced yours?
I wish I could say either: a) I couldn’t possibly watch Liv Ullmann as it would be too distracting. I don’t have the discipline for that. I really wanted to see and study what she did as Marianne is such a contradictory role... or b) I watched it and had the ability to find it myself. The fact is I spent the first couple of weeks trying to do an impersonation of Liv Ullmann. Whenever I thought I had got closest to her essence, Trevor stopped me and demanded to know why I was playing Marianne in this bizarre way. I realise now that I cannot recreate her subtle concoction of insecurity and defiance, and I have put myself entirely into Trevor’s hands. So, if it is rubbish, it’s his fault... Trevor Nunn previously directed this play five years ago with a different cast in a different space. Has this had an impact on how he has directed this time around, or has it felt as if he has been looking at it with fresh eyes?
There has been very little reference to the last production except in the most practical matters of scene shifting and textual changes. I think the casting this time is so different from last time that he has a whole new set of notes to give and balances to find. How does performing in a space as intimate as St James Theatre compare to performing at a larger auditorium like the Olivier at the National Theatre? Would you say that the intimacy adds to this particular piece?
We came into the theatre today so I couldn’t answer honestly from experience on this very occasion, but I definitely took the job on the basis that it is a very intimate piece of theatre being staged on the most intimate stage in the most modern theatre in London in the hope that we could play it as subtly as the text requires without having to shout up to a vast gallery or risk being inaudible. The St James is a very exciting new space. Can’t wait to try it out tonight. Were you aware that, after your run finishes, a very different take on Scenes from a Marriage, from Amsterdam, runs briefly at the Barbican? Why do you think this particular film lends itself so well to the stage?
I wasn’t aware. Can’t wait to see it. Scenes from a Marriage works as a piece of drama because it has the fear and fascination of being recognisable to everyone. We are either married or in a relationship or are the product of a relationship. It has a small cast and is a dream for an actor to act, if not for an audience to watch, and so lends itself to being staged with relative ease while bringing maximum impact to the spectator. Actors want to act, not stand around while special effects do their thing. This play is why we do what we do. 24 | THE
arts @ theorbital.co.uk
THE EDINBURGH FRINGE:
A STUDENT SHOWCASE
PHOTOGRAPHY: LIAM BLAINE
The most vivacious and exciting arts festival on the planet, The Edinburgh Fringe is a place like no other. More than tripling the Scottish capital’s population and bringing performers, directors, journalists and audience members together in one place for twenty-five days of the year, it is a remarkable spectacle to witness. From full blown musicals to small scale poetry readings, the fringe really does have it all. Amongst all the hubbub and excitement an event like this brings, there are a massive number of students who, every year, make their way up to this cultural bubble and begin their journeys as performance makers and theatre connoisseurs. This year was no different with many having travelled hundreds of miles to show off their productions to the paying festival goer…one of them being me. Through third term last year, while most were studiously working through their exam timetables, I and twelve other Royal Holloway students were putting all our efforts into an entirely different ball game. We were busy auditioning, rehearsing and polishing the play Chatroom by Enda Walsh to take up to the Edinburgh Fringe through our theatre company Out of Town Productions. The number of man hours and hard graft that preparing a show for the fringe took up was eye-opening. Yet, once we got there the number of other students from around the world that had undergone the same trials and tribulations, from venue hire to performance rights rental, was even more amazing. It doesn’t matter at what stage in your performance career you are; if you are a student trying to break into the industry or even just wanting to show off your own production to a wider audience, the Edinburgh Fringe really is the place to be. Once our run in Edinburgh had come to an end and the final bows were taken I switched sides and became a theatre reviewer for the British Theatre Guide, giving me a whole new perspective to this massive display of talent (or at times lack of it). It was during this half
of the festival that it suddenly dawned on me just how diverse student theatre and all it encompasses can be, from tiny one act plays written purely for Edinburgh to big budget reprises of well known musicals. Some were good, some were cringe-worthy. The difference between a good production and a terrible production is a very thin, blurred line. Kings College London chose to take Dennis Kelly’s DNA to the festival (a contemporary piece encapsulating the death of a young man by his peers), whereas the Royal Conservatoire created a well thought through rendition of Avenue Q, a puppet musical with choice language but hilarious dialogue. Both performances were to a well above average standard, but it can be asked: does their choice of show and their execution of it act as publicity for the institution that produced it? My answer is undeniably yes. Should potential school leavers head into the festival and witness spectacular theatre from a possible university choice, it will definitely aid them in their decisions of where to study. However, it could of course bring educational establishments into disrepute as one bad review could harm the way people around the world view them. The content is another thing that differs from one student production to another. Where some like Kings College choose to take a hard-hitting classic others like Edinburgh University took their improvisation group The Improverts and (although certainly not polished) they did advertise the university to many people who may not have known about it before. It’s also extremely refreshing to see theatre created at the festival by companies that began as a student endeavour and has grown into fully fledged companies staging jaw-dropping spectacles. Mischief Theatre is a returning company whose cast and creative team all started out at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and after 5 star reviews across the board for their show The Play That Goes Wrong; their performances at the Edinburgh Fringe have become an annual event in many theatre goers calendars. The Edinburgh Fringe is a fabulous arena for student theatre and if anything, this year has proved beyond all reasonable doubt that student theatre is as strong as it ever was. Through both directing a student piece to reviewing many others there are definitely exciting student productions out there. Let’s hope that Royal Holloway can continue to top the list where Student Dramatic Art is concerned. LIAM BLAINE
To read more of my reviews from the Edinburgh Fringe, check out: theblainreaction.wordpress.com
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E N I L S U R CHARLOTTE COLE A CHO ARTS
An explosion of dance, heart wrenching stories and legs… legs everywhere!
You might think that pointing out the image of legs in a musical meant that I missed the main stories, the plot line, the music, that were all interweaved to create a musical that can touch any performers’ heart, but this is not so. The image of legs is what stuck with me after leaving the London Palladium one summer’s evening; legs jumping, legs flicking, legs kicking and legs flying. All of this purely emphasises how important the role of dance is in this musical, as we watch the single audition of a group of wannabe chorus dancers, observing their highs and lows throughout the day and slowly growing to love each of them. After recently being drawn into the glistening and golden poster above the underground at Waterloo station, I purchased a ticket without having any idea as to what the show was about. I was amazed to discover that it explored the trials faced by every performer, and, as a performer myself, I was instantly placed
into a similar position as the characters on stage. Though not a dancer, I can understand what problems they face, the same ones that are explored in A Chorus Line, such as physical damage, age, too much experience, not enough experience etc. Thankfully, through the touching stories of the characters, it is not only the performer that can understand what these dancers face, but the entire audience; an uncertain future. Returning back to the legs on stage, it was wonderful to see a show where dance was the main feature and I was astounded by some of the moves they pulled, the use of a revolving backdrop which changed from a mirror to show lights highlighting the sense that we were watching a show where bigger is indeed better. Jazz hands, hips thrusts and glistening smiles left me pleased that I bought the ticket on a whim and will hopefully leave you with the same effect.
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SPORTS & SOCIETIES
Table Tennis challenges you to beat the robot! Alex Reilly-Cooper RHUL Table Tennis is pleased to announce the arrival of the newest member to its club – ‘Ray’ the BuddyPro ball-feeding robot! Thanks to our sponsor, The Forester’s Arms, we are able to provide something new and exciting for all ping-pong enthusiasts here at Holloway. When positioned on one end of the table, Ray fires ball after ball for you to return. With controls to change the levels of speed, spin and oscillation, Ray caters to every level of player and provides great new ways to hold challenges and tournaments for our many drop in sessions, open events and tournaments. Ray is available to all students and is a great way to hone your skills for BUCs or for when you go on your holidays and play a bit of ping-pong. Do you have what it takes to beat Ray? Find out at the taster and drop-in sessions. Also, make sure to drop by and see us at the Sports Fayre!
Fresh off the college boat, priorities matter. The main one? What to do to procrastinate from your degree? How about surviving a zombie apocalypse? What do we do at HvZ? We play a week-long, campus-wide game of simulated zombie survival three or four times a year, as well as our (un)usual social gatherings. Pre designated ‘Zombies’ make it their mission to convert as many of the ‘Human’ population into their own kind throughout the week. The humans try to survive by stunning the zombies with nerf guns! Simple! However, creeping round every corner to avoid a horde of hundreds of players makes for a really exciting week! Coming hot off the heels of our inaugural year, we’ve grown to a huge society - perhaps the biggest at RHUL with over 200 members. We want you to help us grow! Swing by our stall at the Fayre for details on how to join. Oh, and your survival kit – you’ll need it!
4 TO WATCH
RHUL Fencing wants you!
RHUL Fencing Club is one of the biggest, most active and social clubs on campus. We’re open to all levels of fencers, so if you’re looking for something different to do with your time at university, we’re the club for you! This year we will hold full hall training sessions every Tuesday, 8-10pm in the sports centre. With the end of each session reserved for ‘free-fence,’ everyone has a chance to relax, enjoy themselves and get to know their fellow members through fencing. The club has a strong policy of encouraging effort and commitment. We are dedicated to including all club members in various activities, from sporting events to volunteering and charity fundraising. One of the best things about the club is that you’re not required to buy any of the expensive equipment to join. With the club providing training kit for every member you will have more spare money to enjoy on SU nights - never a bad thing, right? sportsandsocs @ theorbital.co.uk
Humans vs. Zombies Society: How long will you last?
Rock & roll music, an alien ‘Feed me!’ plant and singing dentists; this ...to MTS can only be about the latest Charlotte Cole production by the Musical Theatre Society (MTS). A major highlight of every term is back! MTS return this year to present to you The Little Shop of Horrors. Director Liam Blain will spin you into a musical frenzy of zaniness that you will never have experienced before. Sign up to be a part of MTS now in order to audition for this great musical and all the fantastic ones to come! Audition dates are Tuesday 1st October and Wednesday 2nd October. Search for ‘RHULMTS presents Little Shop of Horrors’ on Facebook for more information on auditions and backstage work through to ticket sales!
SPORTS & SOCIETIES
A BRITISH SUMMER OF
Before we swap Pimms and after sun for hot chocolate and jumpers let’s “talk sport” and reflect on a fantastic summer of sport - especially fantastic if you are British. To kick things off, the British and Irish Lions roared to victory in the deciding test of a gripping test series in Australia. The 4116 scoreline meant that a 16 year wait for a Lion’s series win was ended. I guess leaving O’Driscoll out of the decider wasn’t such a blunder by Warren Gatland after all? Just a day later, the nation’s attention turned to SW19 where our Olympic and US Open Champion, Andy Murray, finally, finally, got the 77 year old monkey off Britain’s back by winning Wimbledon! Working in a bar on the day, I was able to watch the match. The entire bar area epitomised the occasion, as even though packed, not a drink was ordered nor a word whispered during the final game as everyone telepathically – well, verbally at least - willed on the Brit. The eruption when Djokovic hit the net on match point was deafening! You can read more about the man that David Cameron says deserves a Knighthood and recent success in our Sporting History article. From Wimbledon’s green grass to the French mountains; could last year’s Tour de France runner-up, Chris Froome, go one better and make it two British winners in a row after waiting nearly a century for just one winner? Answer: Oui. 28 | THE
The short answer doesn’t do justice to just how impressively he achieved this at all, however. With a whopping lead of nearly 5 minutes, Froome demonstrated his class leading from the 8th stage to the finish. The big question now is who leads Team Sky’s chase for three Tour wins in a row next year - Froome or last year’s winner Sir Bradley Wiggins? Next up, the Ashes! Before the series began, I had the pleasure of meeting Sir Ian Botham at a sporting charity event. Even with the great all-rounder in his ‘pomp’ the England cricket team have never been as dominant over the men in the baggy green cap as they have been in recent Ashes series’! Thankfully, after a thrilling yet nervy first test victory of just 14 runs at Trent Bridge, England were able to continue their recent dominance over the tourists with an emphatic, 347 run win at Lords leaving most people to think a whitewash was not an unrealistic possibility! With a result like this, should the ECB be checking the Kiwi’s availability for the winter series instead? After all they did give us a better game. Then again, after suffering like we did in the 90s; let’s keep the Aussie’s ‘down-under’ for as long as possible! Australia did fight back, however, and if it wasn’t for typical Manchester weather the series may have been 2-1. Instead, the rain came and the Ashes were retained! sportsandsocs @ theorbital.co.uk
THE BADMINTON PRESIDENT SHARES HER EXPERIENCES I remember it well; it was not so long ago that I myself stranded on this isle of isles and –as many a befuddled brain before me- made my way to the very heart of Egham. Though a little cold and unsettling at first and quite frankly nowhere near London - they fooled us all - now Egg and Ham and its stunning Royal Holloway are my home, my playground. Sneakily skulking up and down Egham Hill on your first days is a must, exploring campus generally a good idea and talking to older students terrifyingly helpful. Two words rang out more clearly than the liver health, dodgy taxi and terrible estate agents warnings: Freshers Fayre. Determined and positively beaming with enthusiasm I started ambling through the stalls and the mass of equally daunted peers. I could not quite shake the feeling of having landed in a tropical marketplace being hauled in by smarmy salesmen. Truthfully, however, I felt that everyone was so friendly, welcoming and moreover genuinely happy to meet you! Bizarre. The good kind though. Soon I’d made up my mind: how better to meet people and find your own friend group to ‘hang with’ than to join a society or sports team! On entering the Sports hall the badminton stall immediately caught my eye and I decided I would take the initiative and try out as they told me to. ‘All abilities welcome’ their poster said but trials are, without a flicker of a doubt, scary things. However, I found that team players are friendly and obliging and simply looking for new friends and companions to share their common passion. Once handpicked by the captain, I felt very much at home in this new, shiny team. New people to meet, trips to Thorpe Park to remember, train trips to various other universities, cosy dinners, film nights and weekly socials at our favourite pub, The Forester’s Arms, are but a small selection of the array of activities on the calendar.
In the next test, normal service resumed. Stuart Broad ripped through the Australian middle and lower order in the second innings to make it 3-0 and win the Ashes out-right for England. Bad light saved the Australians further embarrassment in final test, meaning the series stayed 3-0 and making England heavy favourites for the return series in November! Add to all this a successful Athletics World Championships, most notably double Olympic Champion, Mo Farah, winning Gold twice – again – in the five and ten thousand meter events, it has been a great year to be a British Sports fan once again! Maybe the England football team can make it a hat-trick in Rio next year? We can dream can’t we? From professional sport to Holloway sport, there is so much to keep an eye out for. With students an integral part of more than 100 clubs and societies, we here at The Orbital intend to keep you as up to date as possible. To go with the ‘Sporting History’ article each month, we have the ‘Four to Watch’ section which will cover the activities of four sports clubs and societies each issue. Natasha Khaleeq, Deputy Section Editor, and I are always looking for contributors to write extra articles too! If you are interested in writing for our section please send all emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading, have a great year! ISSUE 2
SPORTS & SOCIETIES
LAURA ‘ROGE R’ ROBYN
Even though lecturers happily heaped up our daily workload, there was never an evening void of ‘badminton banter’ and the occasional Saturday night out in Antidote taught us to polish our moves, whet our appetites for and strengthen our bonds as a team. When the Christmas break arrived it felt like moving from one family to the next with the promise of the next term to keep us motivated. Badminton never fails to deliver with events like Birmingham Badminton Championships, Colours Ball and all our socials and buffets to look forward to in the second term. I knew that university, thanks to my newly adopted badminton family would truly turn out to be ‘the best of times’. Even though it pains me so to admit, I can hardly believe or even dare think that this will be my last year at Royal Holloway AND as a member of the badminton team. We have plenty of colourful events and surprises along with our two coaches and training sessions lined up for our new members. With the flame of our fighting spirit burning brightly in our eyes, Lee Chong Wei’s fabulous footwork in mind and the SA’s gentle and spurring footprint in our backsides and we hungrily look forward to challenging the other universities crossing our badminton war path and even more so to welcoming, meeting and cherishing our new badminton adepts joining the team. Come see us; join the family! We look forward to meeting you all!
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SPORTS & SOCIETIES
REMEMBER THE NAME
MURRAY Andy Murray’s supreme Centre Court performance ends a 77 year drought for British tennis, as he emulates the late, great Fred Perry. On Sunday 7th July 2013, Andrew Barron Murray, 26, became the first Briton to be crowned Men’s singles Wimbledon Champion since Fred Perry in 1936. Murray defeated the world champion, Novak Djokovic, longtime friend and court rival, in straight sets. “I don’t know whether you realise what you have done!” Sue Barker exclaimed, moments after Murray was presented with his trophy. Indeed, it may take some time before the magnitude of the young Scot’s achievement really sinks in. It’s certainly been a whirlwind twelve months for Murray; he has gone from complete agony in his previous Wimbeldon final, defeated by Roger Federer, to establishing himself as one of the greatest British athletes of this generation. Swapping his lily-white Wimbledon kit for the red, white and blue colours of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics, Murray would avenge his final defeat of the previous 30 | THE
month in the sweetest of manners. Playing the same opponent, on the same court, could Murray prevent the same result? Yes, yes he could, in an impressive manner, too. A straight sets drubbing administered; the first men’s Olympic Gold Medal in tennis since Josiah Ritchie won Gold at the 1908 London games. Andy Murray, challenger to the top players, was no more. Instead, Andy Murray the elite champion had arrived! Even though he was an Olympic Champion, there was still one seemingly insurmountable hurdle facing Murray: to be a British Grand Slam Winner. August soon came and that meant only one thing on the tennis calendar: the US Open at Flushing Meadows. After a euphoric and fantastic summer for British sport following the Olympics, espectations were extremely high and nothing but victory would suffice. Two weeks of searing heat and dominating tennis later, the young Briton found himself in his fifth Grand Slam Final, his second in a row. His opponent? World
number one, good friend and long-time rival from the junior tour, Novak Djokovic. Murray raced into a two set lead only for the man dubbed ‘The Serbanator’ to pull level at two sets a piece. After the momentary lapse, Murray would dominate the final set, winning 6-2. In that moment, history was made! For the first time in 77 years a British man was a singles Grand Slam champion. Andy Murray was the US Open Champion. A Grand Slam Champion. Finally! Months later, Murray would go on to play in his third straight Grand Slam final facing Djokovic again, this time at the 2013 Australian Open. Despite claiming the first set in a tie-break, Murray would lose in four sets. On to the French Open, played on clay - not Murray’s favourite surface. Injury would prevent Murray competing, an injury that cast doubt over his participation at Wimbledon, doubts that were allayed at the 11th hour. So, from Paris to London, before you knew it, it was time for Wimbledon once again. sportsandsocs @ theorbital.co.uk
SPORTS & SOCIETIES
Wimbledon is the most important tennis tournament in the world, especially for him. As a British player and with that crowd, it couldn’t be a more perfect setting for them. So, you know, he deserved to win and that’s it” Novak Djokovic following his defeat to Murray. ISSUE 2
After falling at the final hurdle in 2012, and his subsequent successes, the expectation for Andy Murray to win at SW19 this year had never been greater. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were shockingly defeated in first and second round games, respectively, leaving an expectant nation to suddenly, and collectively, hold their breath. Assured and assertive, but not in a manner deemed too adventurous, Murray made his through the first week without any trouble. In fact, it wasn’t until he came up against the un-seeded Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco, that anyone held doubt towards Murray’s only competition coming in the familiar form of Djokovic. After losing the first two sets in a close encounter, Murray not only took the match all the way to a fifth set, he won - only the seventh time in his career he had come back to win after going two sets to love down. It seemed that Verdasco had a secret; it was as if Rafael Nadal was donning a
disguise, as he forced Murray to work for every single point he earnt. In what was a tournament full of surprises, Murray’s semi-final opponent was the lesser known, number 24 seed, Jerzy Janowicz of Poland. But don’t be fooled; his serves resembled air to ground missiles. An Olympic and Grand Slam Champion against a young Pole on his Wimbledon semi-final debut ... easy enough right? Wrong. Murray struggled to break his opponents serve and subsequently lost the first set in a tie-breaker. Two-nil down for the eighth time in his career was not something that would have appealed to the Scot. Instead, he rallied as much as possible and, with the crowd strongly behind him, he would go on to win in four sets. Finally, he had booked his place in a Wimbledon Final for the second year in a row. At this point, there are no prizes for guessing who his opponent would be. Novak Djokovic was the personification of consistency, as he negotiated his way to the final and, so, for the third time in four Grand Slam finals it would be Murray vs. Djokovic. With Murray taking the US title and Djokovic taking the Australian, it was definitely going to be a victory where every point would be up for grabs. The 2013 Wimbledon Final was where Andy Murray truly showed he could be a champion for many years to come; he was no one-hit wonder. His skill was second-tonone and the maturity he managed to show on the court was that of a world number one player. The whole world watched on as, in straight sets, Djokovic was defeated. For those who missed it, the final few points followed by the award ceremony are certainly a must-see. Murray’s reaction and the emotion he shared with the crowd was nothing short of magical. All these years of waiting, the frustration of a nation setting in more and more (Henman, you didn’t help out there) and finally, through a single man’s skill, British history was re-written. Next up for Andrew Murray OBE is to defend his US Open title at Flushing Meadows. Let’s hope he can carry on with his recent success and make it three successes in his last four Grand Slam attempts. After the past year, Murray will undoubtedly have inspired a lot of young, budding tennis players to, one day, take over the title of champion. Let’s just hope it isn’t another 77 years after he retires before we have more male successes in the tennis world! ALEX REILLY-COOPER THE
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