special freshersâ€™ edition the tribe
elcome to the first issue of The Tribe 2011-12. As a student publication, itâ€™s only natural that we look back at the summer months to reflect, whether on political events across the globe, cultural highlights or individual milestones such as graduation; but we also look forward to the coming months, to the latest scientific advances or catwalk trends, as well as personal goals for the year ahead. Drop our section editors an email to get involved.
Welcome to our Tribe, Rosie Steer Editor-in-Chief
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Welcome, or welcome back. Freddie Fforde and our student forefathers offer some advice for new and returning students at the
hen asked to contribute a short Fresher‟s introduction to what the author below describes as our “indiscriminate intimacy” here at St Andrews, it occurred to me that I might be at risk of churning unimaginative rhetoric of little meaning and no integrity. And so it is with great pleasure that instead I have below edited a (highly abridged) piece entitled „Student Life‟ from the University‟s 500th anniversary celebratory volume. I was struck by the value the author held for an education in yourself over an education in academia. Yes, there is a bit of work here and there, but that‟s life. To come to St Andrews with only this in mind might just be missing the point...
University of St Andrews
The first and essential charm of student life is its freedom, the absence of those terribly unwritten laws that fetter more conventional society. Within the ordinary limits there is no reason why the student should not do just as he thinks fit. He depends on no one, and no one depends on him. If it occurs to him to set out upon a ten mile walk at three o‟clock on a February morning, he may go without preliminary, he may even find company. If he feels it more expedient to remain in bed than to attend his earlier classes, there is no emphatic reason why he should not do so. the tribe 33 the tribe
One learns a little of the arts and sciences, - a great deal more of the world and of one‟s fellow men. One begins as a bejant, that is to say, a schoolboy with a red gown on his back, and from that, by infinitely small stages, one makes advance.
possible and at the last to make the most of the minimum. We must have both sorts of men in our University, the men whose names go down to the roll of scholarship, and the men whose histories are never written nor ever die.
“If he feels it So the terms drift by and carry one more expedient somehow to that final agonised moto remain in bed ment of graduation; there comes a reat parting than to attend his gwrench, and it is ended. Of the earlier classes, alleducational value an University there is no em- oftraining I have many and grave phatic reason doubts; but I maintain that no why he should man can grow fully in all his parts without some fair not do so.”
I recall one of my earliest experiences at St. Andrews as walking along South Street in the dusk and hearing a tremendous uproar of singing approaching from the Cathedral end. I passed two worthy ladies in conversation, and one of them said “It‟s the Students.” She said it so, - in large capitals; she spoke as though it were a manifestation of the Hosts of Darkness; she was uinely apprehensive.
experience of this
I cannot believe we have too much frivolity; rather I think we have too little, for men do not come to know each other within the four walls of a classroom. The average man, I think, makes it his aim to put off as long as
Student Life.” C. Hilton Brown, Votiva Tabella, 1911. Extract from 'Votiva Tabella', [Glasgow] Printed for the University of St Andrews by R. Maclehose and Company limited, 1911.
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Calling all music lovers!
by Elena Georgalla
If you‟re in search of some great alternative ear-food sources au lieu of your dull iTunes library or classic Youtube, the Internet is an extraordinary and beautiful place full of little music gems.
A personal favourite, this is a genius hustle -free atmosphere creator. Whether you are having “dinner with friends”, it is a “Sunday morning” or you “feel like crying” they have the perfect playlist to suit your mood or activities. You can also create your own mood-playlists. The creators introduce it as the emotional internet radio and their philosophy is rather self-explanatory: behind every song there‟s always an emotion- maybe that‟s why we love music.
Flickr meets SoundCloud in this innovative music gallery, where users from New York to Sydney and all across the globe can post their own songs for others to hear. Music is categorized by cities and with over 4000 tracks London has the most songs up. If you are an aspiring new musician or simply enjoy thinking music outside the box, there‟s your heaven.
rocksbackpages.com Rock‟s Back Pages is an online archive of classic interviews and profiles covering the 60s to the modern day. You can‟t really get more rock „n‟ roll than that. If you are looking for a big name feature RBP is the first place to turn to.
blackcabsessions.com When the amazing Hidden Fruit promoters thought it would be a great idea to have the Flaming Lips, I blame Coco, Noah and the Whale and a bunch of other well-known artists perform at the back of a black London cab, the Black Cab Sessions was born. The concept features a new “gig” each week, which along with all archived performances can be viewed on the site.
Offspring of the American media giant, AOL, this is your online guide to everything new from the world of great music-making. The coolest thing about this portal is the “Full CD Listening Party” feature which allows you to listen to selected new releases. You can also download free MP3s and easily find out when your favourite artists are on tour. Plus you can access their partnersites dedicated to particular genres like “The Boot” - an all-country music website!
The original online music institution that paved the way for an entire generation of music websites. Founded in 1995, before Napster, Google or Facebook, back when the World Wide Web was still an ambitious experiment, Pitchfork was there, providing a voice with integrity. News, reviews, festival info, they were the first to have it all. the tribe 5
ALL YOUR BRANDS
BELONG TO US
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Image courtesy of Seth M on Flikr
Take Alexander McQueen whose graduation collection was bought in its entirety by Isabella Blow. Not a bad start. Neither was his appointment to Givenchy by Bernard Arnault of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy in 1996 (more on both later). But in 2001 Gucci Group acquired a 51% stake in the brand: Gucci is in turn owned by retail behemoth PPR. So then came the inevitable „Guccification‟ of the brand. Not a
technical term, Guccification transforms a brand from a loss making high-fashion house into a moneymaking brand that many levels of consumers can access. McQueen was essentially unheard of outside fashion circles; the brand had no shops, no menswear and until only this year had no press advertising budget. To extend the brand, the iconic skull scarves and accessories became much more prominent, and a menswear collection was added for 2005. Does entering into one of Alexander McQueen’s “iconic” scarves and accessories were based on the human skull.
An art at its purest, fashion is a means to interpret the world we live in through what we wear; designers and artists often share a view of the world entirely alien to the wider public. So the „fashion as art‟ story goes. A business at its purest, fashion uniquely has the ability to take what you bought six months ago and make it irrelevant. It‟s a good business too – the myriad of brands and designers make the marketplace feel very competitive, but producing new collections year after year is not cheap. This part of the artistic struggle rings true. A helping hand therefore appears from companies that you may not have heard of, but who between them control a large portion of the fashion market.
the big holding companies compromise creative freedom? Certainly, McQueen had remained largely independent creatively until his death, but shortly after this, the range of scarves and jewellery available grew enormously. Furthermore, did McQueen sell out to make money, or was it necessary to succumb to the management of PPR and the extension of the brand in order to maintain the high-end money losing shows and dresses that give the brand its exclusiveness
pariah status as a football hooligan uniform by banishing its famous check from the exteriors of garments. Superdry– of Market St – is another stock market wonder that had more than tripled in value at its peak from a flotation in March 2010 before fears about brand overstretch (amongst others) were reported on Bloomberg after a disastrous few months for the share price.
The undoubted masters of brand management (and acquisition) are LVMH whose tentacles cover every area of luxury, from fashion to This is the essenwines. Louis Vuitton tial tension to fash- The universally recognised Louis Vuitton is everywhere, not ion both as a busi- monogram, seen here on a pair of vin- least in St Andrews. ness and a creative Despite the hoard of tage trunks enterprise. Burberfakes, the true origiry, British readers will note, is a nals are still seen as exclusive – brand that has wandered from lux- even with the ubiquitous LV on key ury, to chav, and back again. Con- rings and monogram belts available trol over „the brand‟ is paramount to the masses. LVMH has another to fashion companies – Christopher acquisition in the pipeline that has Bailey revealed to Vogue that he turned ugly, and proves that not all oversees everything (down to when brands are willing partners to the and to what window displays holding company paradigm. It may change) in order to ensure a con- be family owned, but Hermès has sistent image to customers. It was grown beyond the concept of a nohe who dragged Burberry out of its bleman‟s saddle maker; the compathe tribe 7
ny is publicly listed, and closely guarded by three branches of the founding family. The shock, then, of discovering that 20% of the 173 year old business had been acquired on the quiet by L V M H c a u s e d Hermès CEO P a t r i c k Thomas to proclaim „If you want to seduce a beautiful woman, you don‟t start by raping her from behind‟. The takeover attempt is not inexplicable – Hermès places itself beyond luxury in terms of pricing, but has still seen sales growth throughout the financial crisis and LVMH relies heavily on the LV part of the group. The war of luxury words continues, with LVMH insisting their share-
holding is not only legitimate but also friendly. Fashion then is not quite as competitive as it first appears and the leviathans of the industry LVMH and PPR, not forgetting Topshop parent Arcadia, are unlikely to relinquish control. Fashion as art may have been the initial proposition, but the business of fashion is too large to be left to the artistes. For a designer to sell a stake to a holding company is perhaps not selling out, but definitely a prudent, business, decision. The tension arises only when the brand under attack is already powerful enough to support itself; perhaps this is one trophy Bernard will lose.
“If you want to seduce a beautiful woman, you don’t start by raping her from behind” Hermès CEO Patrick Thomas
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by Alistair Irvine
the tribe team
Editor-in-Chief Rosie Steer [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Magazine Editor Kate Kilgour [email@example.com] Marketing & Events Charlotte Piccio [firstname.lastname@example.org] Webmaster Will Kew [email@example.com] Permanent Writersâ€™ Manager Marcelina Hamilton [firstname.lastname@example.org] Art Editor Lucy Tittle [email@example.com] Comment Editor Louise Gundry [firstname.lastname@example.org] Comment Sub Rhona Scullion Current Affairs Editor Bernard Feng [email@example.com] Current Affairs Sub Sarah Story Current Affairs Sub Stuart McMillan Fashion Editor Tara Atkins [firstname.lastname@example.org] Fashion Sub Sarah Burnford Fashion Sub Anna Sampson Fashion Assistant Roxanne Navai Features Editor Alex Rancourt [email@example.com] Features Sub James Heaney Film Editor Callum Haire [firstname.lastname@example.org] Music Editor Micheal Melia [email@example.com] Science Editor Hilary Boden [firstname.lastname@example.org] Science Sub Ian Barnett Theatre Editor Ally Lodge [email@example.com] Theatre Sub Siobhan Cannon-Brownlie Travel Editor Maria-Christina Marchi [firstname.lastname@example.org] Travel Sub Elena Georgalla
Would you like to write for us? The Tribe is always looking for new contributors to join our ranks. As always no experience is necessary, only passion and enthusiasm are required. Drop your preferred section an email for more information. the tribe 9
The Second Death of Osama bin Laden
sama bin Laden, like Michael Jackson, had ceased to be relevant to his craft long before his actual biological death. He died the moment when two large commercial airliners flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre on the 11th of September, 2001.
More accurately perhaps, I should say that he died the moment when George Bush inaugurated the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), identified Al-Qaeda as its main target and Osama bin Laden as the publically identifiable personification of that threat in that memorable speech delivered to the joint ses-
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sion of Congress nine days after the attacks. At that point, Osama bin Laden ceased to be a politically-relevant entity: he became a piece of myth, a legend. Sure, he remained the most prominent face of global Islamic jihad in the imagination of any member of the public who had had ever watched the news after 9/11 in any national context. However, his ability to conceptualise and plan terrorist activities became severely curtailed as USled forces invaded Afghanistan and successfully toppled the Taliban regime thereby depriving Osama of a safe-haven and state infrastructure. M o r e o v e r O s a ma‟s celebrity profile – aided in no small part by the symbiotic relationship he had established with the Western media – bolstered by those infamous video messages on AlJazeera ensured that he was transformed into an icon, a popculture icon even (a development t h a t s i g n a l s t h e West‟s predilection to trivialise everything, perhaps in order to make civilisational threats more palatable). This transformation however, cost Osama his primary role of globally-aggressive revolutionary activist. He became in-
stead, a celebrity. I attach no importance to the death of Osama, seeing as it come close to 10 years after the attack which he was purported to have masterminded. In this case, revenge is certainly not a dish best served cold. „Revenge‟, ten years after the fact was dull and meaningless. It was simply a formality, a formal consummation of the policy that the US would hunt down and kill Osama bin Laden, wherever he may be. I am of the view that Osama‟s death is going to make little appreciable difference to al-Qaeda‟s anti-Western activities. I doubt Osama was of great significance to the structure of the organisation, even as he functioned as its over-arching myth. Osama was 9/11 and 9/11 was Osama. Osama bin Laden‟s biological existence might have been brought to a sticky-end by some Pashtospeaking US commando in Abbottabad in 2011. However, if the reader allows for significant poetic license, his corpse was available for collection in the wreckage of the Twin Towers in Manhattan in 2001. by Vijay Vikram
11 the tribe 11
Over the past summer, hundreds of thousands of students will have received examination results from their Universities, Sixth-Form Colleges and Upper Schools. For the majority, as the government would have us believe, their grades were high-flying and their future bright. For the remaining few, the future is no longer quite as sunny; their mediocre grades result in windows of opportunity slamming shut, locked tight and quickly panelled over. Or perhaps this is only true of the days of old.
students with learning difficulties a second chance and, after all, even the brightest students can have off days. Why should one bad exam affect a person‟s future University, job, earning potential and lifestyle? Because it should.
Does the re-sit teach dangerous life lessons?
Today it seems that examinations are no longer as serious or as scary as perhaps they used to be. The introduction of the “re-sit” has revolutionised testing, and gives second opportunities to those who did not firmly grasp onto them first time around. Some feel that this is all part of a fair process, it allows
Surely exam results are meant to reflect the student‟s understanding of the material being tested, rather than reflecting their understanding on a „good day.‟ The ability to re-sit exams undermines the whole point of examination. It passes all previous attempts as practice, and does so without setting a date
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for “the real thing”. Whilst some advocate the „re-sit‟ its implications must be considered: the “re-sit” sets a dangerous life trend. It suggests that second opportunities will always be available in life. It also relaxes work ethic and potentially lowers an individual‟s drive to learn and succeed. These are not traits found in successful people. Ultimately, our educational system is penalising its students by teaching them that they are allowed second chances. This is not true to life. We must remove the re-sit. We must reward those students who have made the effort the first time. Most importantly, congratulate students who have maintained high effort levels, dedication and application. No matter what their academic results are it is these positive traits that will take them furthest.
give back with
and make a difference to the lives of children all over the world. For more info, join them at their weekly meeting in the Union’s Main Bar at 5pm every Monday.
by Thomas Davies
What do you think about resits? Share your comments with us at www.thetribeonline.com
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Yachts, Raybans and
his time last year my only idea of sailing came from Lonely Island‟s „I‟m On A Boat‟ and the Wind in the Willows (this reference had particular significance for me as apparently I bear more than a passing resemblance to Mole). Sailing to me involved woodland animals having the time of their lives. I live in the heart of England, as far away from the ocean as you can get on our small island, so these very reliable sources were all I had to convince me that being on a boat would be the best thing ever.
You know, posh t**ts, wearing deck shoes, Ralph Lauren shirts, argyle jumpers and Ray-Bans. Actually, sailors have confirmed my faith in the decency of human nature. And for the record, in Scotland drysuits are the fashion of choice, or if not choice, necessity.
“There is nothing - absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
I‟ve since found that my ideas of sailing and sailors were rather different to most. Whilst I saw Lonely Island or Ratty and Mole in my mind‟s eye, others saw yachties.
My very limited experience of sailing so far has been three events over the course of last year. The first of these took place over Reading Week last year, a beginners‟ weekend organised by the University Sailing Club to the beautiful, albeit frosty Loch Tay. Next up in April were the Scottish University Sailing Association (SUSA) Championships, where after never having been dinghy sailing before I was immediately crewing for the St Andrews first team in a series of races. My latest experience of sailing was yachting around the Western Isles in July. Though all these events obviously involved
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Drysuits by Shelley Talbot was rowing back to the boat and literally not moving. He was only just managing not to go backwards! Luckily, a kind man saw Sailing can be dangerous if things what was happening and towed us go wrong, and just to be clear a lot back to the boat, then went back can go wrong. Because of this al- to shore and rescued our friends ways imminent danger sailors are as well. I can only imagine if he h a d n ‟ t considersaved us ate of we would each othhave been er, and alsleeping w a y s onshore in ready to a cardspring inboard box to action overnight. if needed Some sailby their ors may be fellow Image courtesy of University of St Andrews Sailing Club posh t**ts, seamen. When yachting this summer with but even they are willing to give fellow Sailing Club members, I ex- you a jewel-encrusted helping perienced this first hand. Our hand if you really need it. problem was with the dinghy that we had been using to get to shore So, a year on, I can confirm that from the moored yacht. The out- „I‟ve been on a boat motherf*cker‟ board propeller was broken, which and it‟s been awesome. Ratty had meant we had to row to shore, a point when he said to Mole which up until that point hadn‟t “There is nothing- absolutely been a problem. The tide and wind became so powerful that Ed- nothing half so much worth doing die (one of our crew members) as simply messing about in boats.” sailing, drinking, ceilidhing and fancy dress, but then again also human decency.
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Surprsingly healthy Ian Barnett examines some surprisingly healthy foods.
ell alright, the first tem, intensifying the effects of one is more of a Alzheimer‟s. Other studies sugdrink. gest that drinking 3 Tradi-5 cups of coffee tionally, coffee is per day in mid life considered a teethleads to a 65% restaining evil, which duction in the risk gives us palpitaof Alzheimer‟s Distions if we drink too ease in later life. much, stops us Peanut butter is drifting off at night another surprisingand allows a certain ly healthy food. Seattle coffee shop Although high in to make billions fat, these natural from us annually. Could coffee lead to a prevention However, it turns treatment for Alzheimer‟s Disease? fatty acids are good for you, especially out that a caffeine oleic acid which is high is not the only benefit of an espresso. Caffeine counteracts proven to reduce blood pressure. the harmful effects of cholesterol Natural peanut butter contains on the brain, which may reduce no cholesterol and is full of vitathe likelihood of Alzheimer‟s Dis- mins and minerals, especially ease. It helps prevent the break- Vitamin E, with 23% of the recdown of the blood-brain barrier, ommended daily amount coming according to a US study at the from a 30 gram portion. Vitamin University of North Dakota. E is an anti-oxidant, meaning When the blood-brain barrier is that it helps prevent heart disdamaged, harmful chemicals are ease and removes free radicals allowed to enter the nervous sys- from the body, reducing the risk of cancer. Peanut butter is also a the tribe 16
rich source of Vitamin B6, which of us feel after indulging in choche lp s con ce nt ra t ion an d olate. It is also rich in magnesimemory by increasing the oxy- um and iron, metals necessary gen carrying efficiency of hae- for strong bones and preventing moglobin. The brain has one of anaemia; and if you‟re worried the highest oxygen demands of about your teeth, dark chocolate any oralso reduces the gan, usactivity of baci n g teria on the around teeth, slowing 20% of tooth decay. Arthe total guably the most oxygen positive health c o n benefits are yet sumed to come: chocoby the late contains body , catechins, coming a Your fridge need not to contain only stereotypically which can help close seprevent cancer, healthy foods. cond to diabetes, heart the long suffering liver. So pea- disease and strokes. This miracnut butter is actually great for ulous group of chemicals are breakfast, providing plenty of found in the cacao bean, from which chocolate is made, and are energy for the day ahead. present in highest concentraDark chocolate is fantastic in al- t i o n s i n d a r k c h o c o most every sense, not just taste. late. Unfortunately, your health Chocolate stimulates endorphin doesn‟t necessarily improve with production in the brain, giving the amount of chocolate eaten. us a feeling of happiness and eu- Dark chocolate is over 40% fat, phoria. It also contains the es- with the majority being saturatsential amino acid tryptophan ed, so stick to the motto, “one which is necessary in the pro- square a day keeps the doctor duction of the anti-depressant away”! chemical serotonin. The combination of serotonin and endorphins explains the pleasure most the tribe 17
Could Yoghurt Make Us Happy?
c c o r d i n g t o the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, probiotic bacteria may lessen anxiety and depression. Research carried out at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center in University College Cork has unearthed remarkable evidence that these bacteria have the potential to alter brain neurochemistry, simultaneously highlighting the importance of communication between the gut and the brain. The study observed that mice fed with the bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 exhibited a sig-
nificant decrease in behaviours related to stress, anxiety and depression compared to those fed with only broth. Furthermore, lower levels of the stress induced hormone corticosterone were found. Regular feeding with the bacterial strain resulted in changes in the expression of receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA in the mouse brain, indicating the direct effect of probiotics on brain chemistry. John F. Cryan, senior author on the publication said of the research: “These findings [...] open up the intriguing opportunity of developing unique microbial -based strategies for treatment for stress-related psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression” While speculation as to the consequences of this research should be cautious, as the study is limited to the effect of probiotics on mice brain chemistry, it is interesting to consider how common phrases like having “gut feelings” might be more than metaphors.
by Hilary Boden the tribe 18
Have We Taken the First Step to Curbing Malaria?
esearch published in turn off the gene which is rethe Proceedings of the sponsible for normal sperm deNational Academy of velopment. Sciences indicates that an important first step to- Extensive research using this wards reducing the size of mos- approach was carried out by Imquito populations may have perial College Londonâ€&#x;s Dr been made. SciCatteruccia entists have sucand her team. cessfully created They observed spermless that female male Anopheles G a m b i mosquitos ae mosquitos, were equally the species comwilling to mate plex which is the An Anopheles Gambiae mosquito with infertile most efficient vector of malaria. The disease is mosquitos as they were with ferwidespread, killing around one tile ones. Female mosquitos mamillion people in Africa alone te only once in their lives, and so every year, and is responsible for one in five childhood deaths. in principal, by introducing these sterile males to the populaInsect sterilization is not a new tion you can gradually reduce technique; exposing insects to radiation in order to make them the number of hatching mosquisterile has been used successful- tos. Despite this positive result, ly against the tropical screw- Dr Catteruccia warns that this worm and tsetse fly. But in the research only a proof of principast, exposure to radiation left pal. The process of creating and the mosquitos too weak to mate with the females. Now, mosqui- introducing the males into the to embryos can be injected with populations is currently too latiny fragments of RNA which bour intensive to be effective. the tribe 19
by Hilary Boden
Matinee Idols and
...have more in common than London has not been at its most picturesque during a summer of miserable weather and rioting, but two exhibitions have brought some much-needed aestheticism to the capital. Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits at the National Portrait G a l l e r y and Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe at the British Museum, though somewhat different in subject matter, both reflect an infatuation with beauty. Glamour of the Gods features promotional portraits and stills from the vast collection of the John Kobal Foundation. These mostly black and white photographs capture Hollywood at its most glamorous, with subjects ranging from Marlene Dietrich to Marilyn Monroe. The exhibition
allows you to trace each era‟s particular style, as the girlish prettiness of Clara Bow gives way to the iconic images of Elizabeth Taylor, and the suave suits of Cary Grant become the effortless plain white tshirts of James Dean and Marlon Brando. In particular, E.R. Richee‟s minimal portrait of 1920s film star Louise Brooks encapsulates the look of the decade, with only Brooks‟ white pearls, hands and bob haircutframed face visible against the black background. In this portrait, as throughout the exhibition, the graceful poise of the subject is matched by the beautiful composition of the image. Another constant theme in the exhibition is a concern with surfaces and textures; of cloths, jewels, skin and hair, to the extent that Veronica Lake‟s trademark long blonde hair almost becomes
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Medieval Saints meets the eye.
by Sophie Lealan
the subject of George Hurrrell‟s portrait of her. However inherently stylish the subjects were, the exhibition also highlights the expertise that went into creating such enduring images of beauty and glamour. Wrinkles showing on photographs of actors and actresses are circled to be retouched, softfocus lenses are used to create porcelain skin, and pictures of photographers with their sitters show the spotlights, make-up artists and assistants that went into creating these images of perfection. This artifice could make the portraits appear vain and irrelevant; with the exception of Charlie
Chaplin„s Little Tramp character and Stan Laurel‟s ragged suit, most of the images seem entirely removed from contemporary events such as the Great Depression. However, these images reflect the joy of escaping into the glamour and unreality of cinema, especially clear in the still of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing in Swing Time. The reliquaries (beautiful containers designed to hold religious relics) displayed in Treasures of Heaven at the British Museum have a more sombre but also more opulent beauty, featuring objects exquisitely crafted using gold, ivory, pearls and jewels. The fourteenth century French reli-
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quary pendant of the Holy Thorn is a particularly stunning example. Probably made to hold a thorn from Christ‟s crown, it is a tiny pendant of gold and amethystine crystal small enough to be held in the palm of one‟s hand, and which contains richly coloured and detailed enamelled scenes of the life of Christ. Like the film stars in the National Portrait Gallery, the beauty of the reliquaries is enhanced by their lighting, with the gallery darkened and each item spotlit.
torture devices; as well as thorns, blood, bone and hair fragments, there were also reliquaries that had claimed to hold the umbilical cord of the baby Jesus and the breast milk of the Virgin Mary. A little unsettling, but the medieval craftsmen were trying to glorify the saints whose relics they were by creating beautiful objects (not to mention how gruesome some of them would look if they just replicated what they contained!).
As well as the beauty of the materials and craftsmanship, the exhibition also reflects medieval ideals of female beauty, such as one reliquary believed to have held part of the skull of a companion of St Ursula. This is in the shape of the head and shoulders of a woman with pale skin, golden hair and round plucked eyebrows (weirdly similar to those of the 1930s actresses) and a cavity in her head in which to store the skull fragment. It seems strange that these beautiful objects were designed to hold fragments of body parts and
As the beautiful Hollywood film stars‟ portraits were used to promote the actors, their films and their studios, the beauty of the reliquaries was used to promote the saints and their piety, as well as the church and town that held the relic. Regardless of the commercial or ideological values they were made to promote, these images and objects are still as stunning now as they were decades or centuries ago, which is a testimony to the incredible skill that went into creating them.
Fancy writing for our Arts and Culture section? Choose from the Art, Film, Music or Theatre subsections—drop their editors an email to offer your skills. the tribe 22
Talking to Oneself:
One-Man Shows at the Fringe What do Dostoevsky, Kafka and to a captured audience, glorying Chet Baker all have in common? in the attention (if not admiraTortured lives, plagued with ill- tion) that he receives from being ness and depression? Perhaps. the only person on stage. At the But what Fringe, can be where any said for crack-pot certain is with a few that in thousand this year‟s pounds to E d i n burn can b u r g h put on a Fringe show, it they all pays to be had onecareful m a n over what s h o w s you invest dedicated time and to their money in me mory. Photograph by Cylla von Tiedemann showing Alan Nashman caged in v i e w i n g : George beware „Kafka and Son‟. Dillon any show takes on Dostoevsky‟s Dream of a that advertises with handRidiculous Man, Alon Nashman puppets, sex or audience particiinterprets a letter by Kafka and pation. (Although if the show in reworks it for the stage, and Chet question contains all three it Baker‟s life is examined by the tal- might be worth sneaking a look.) ented Mike Maran. George Dillon, an actor who rose The one-man show can be an un- to prominence with director Steruly beast. Only too easily can it ven Berkoff, takes us on a solo slip into self-indulgence; the actor simply reeling off his monologue p e r f o r m a n c e o f D o s t o e v the tribe 23
sky‟s Dream of a Ridiculous Man. At the other end of Edinburgh, Originally a short story by the Richard Jordan Productions Russian writer, it transfers well brings to the Fringe an awardwinning Canadian show: Kafka onto the stage. The ambiguity of and Son. Alon Nashman plays what is and what isn‟t a dream Kafka as he writes a letter to his coupled with the religious allu- father, expressing all his bittersions work well, though when Dil- ness, disappointment and pentup anger at his own and his falon climbs onto a stool and ther‟s emotionspreads his arms al inadequacies. Shows Reviewed as if crucified It is part indictment, part conthe subtlety is A Funny Valenm o m e n t a r i l y tine (Valvona and Crolla, 17 fession, and like Kafka‟s iconic lost. Parts of the book The TriAugust 2011), production were al explores the overacted and Kafka and Son (Assembly sensation of beyou cannot help George Square, 21 August ing entrapped in a prison of but wish that a 2011), one‟s own makdirector, other ing. The set crethan Dillon, had Dostoevsky’s ‘Dream of a ates this atmosbeen there to Ridiculous Man’ (Spotlites phere with cages and wire rein the actor in. @ The Merchants‟ Hall, 24 fences, which This play was Nashman maAugust 2011) one of six which nipulates and Dillon was perutilizes to great forming at the Fringe, all of which effect. The danger of not only dowere one-man shows. For most ing a play about an author, but having that play consist of an auother actors this would be case of thor writing, is offset by the creastretching oneself too thin; but tive use of light and Nashman‟s Dillon, with a combination of fur- schizophrenic impersonations of tive glares and hoarse shouting, Kafka‟s father, whose guttural laughter and sneering tone make manages to just pull it off. it easy to imagine what Kafka the tribe 24
must have gone through. Spectacularly acted and directed, if you can‟t point out a villain in the piece you can easily point out all the elements of the play that make it a sure-fire hit. A less ambitious play, A Funny Valentine still offers the discerning jazz fan a rewarding experience. The story of Chet Baker‟s life has all the ingredients that we‟ve come to expect from a great jazz biopic; proficiency in a instrument from a young age; crippling drug addiction; untimely death. Chet Baker lived much longer than many foresaw, but his fall from a hotel window and the aspersions that it was suicide sum up his troubled life aptly. Mike Maran gives his interpretation of that fateful night when Chet lost his life. As he explains his own memory of the events, he backtracks and the audience get a colourful account of the life that the famed trumpeter led. Maran is accompanied with Colin Steele on trumpet and Dave Milligan on piano, and they intertwine with his monologue with short bursts of music. At times it is more like listening to a lecture with auditory aides than watching a play, but the mystery of who Maran is actually supposed to be keeps the audience on their toes until the very
end. These three productions, on the whole, manage to steer clear of the pitfalls that upset many oneman shows. They are fine examples of the variety of the Edinburgh Fringe and demonstrate that you don‟t need expensive budgets and celebrity casts to put on riveting shows
by Ben Cook
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Harmony of Seasons ...summer trends meets Fall fashion
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Credits: Director and Stylist: Erin Greenglass Models: Montana Kimmel Jillian Katz Photography: Brian Naimer Post-Production: Rose Zevos King
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