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THE CLOCKWORK DOOR
TRINITY COLLEGE 2
CONTENTS 04 07 22 23 25 34
JUMBLE COMMUNITY ACTION CULT CLASSIC HOMEGROWN REVIEWS SEX
EDITORIAL TEAM Head editor RACHEL GRAHAM Deputy Editor SARAH MOREL fashion FIONNUALA EGAN LOUISE HYNES FILM LEE JONES OISIN MCELHINNEY FOOD Roise Ni Mhaonaigh GAMES & TECH CAHAL SWEENEY DERMOT DAVERN LITERATURE MICHAEL MULLOOLY SARAH UPTON music DARRAGH KELLY KEVIN BIRD THEATRE AMELIA MCCONVILLE AMYROSE FORDER tv SORCHA NI CHEALLAIGH DESIGN & layout by una harty, Rachel graham, DERMOT O’RIORDAN & SARAH MOREL copy-edited by AOIFE BRADSHAW cover art by MAHA SULTAN PRINTED BY GREHAN PRINTERS
TELEVISION: DEATH OF ZOMBIES
FOOD: OUR TABLE POP-UP
FILM: FEMINIST FILM FESTIVAL Z
12 PHOTOGRAPHY: GRANDDAD’S GARDEN, NANA’S HOUSE
ART: DUBLIN GALLERY WEEKEND
18 LITERATURE: CHILDREN’S FICTION
WORDS BY SARAH MOREL
ART Art On Campus: Richard Mosse Nestled awkwardly between two noticeboards on the fifth floor of the arts block is a framed photograph of a supposedly peaceful landscape. Rolling hills in unnatural shades of pink and purple deceive the viewer into believing the photograph is of a beautiful haven. In reality, the landscape is a site of major conflict between the Tutsi M23 Rebels and the Congolese Army, at Kimbube in Eastern Congo. Straddling the border between photographic journalism and contemporary photography, “You Are Wherever Your Thoughts Are” forms part of Richard Mosse’s 2013 project The Enclave. Using a militarygrade infrared film, Mosse spent two years depicting every aspect of life in the Congolese warzone via the mediums of video and photography. It is the infrared film itself that suggests a narrative for these images, rendering all the green aspects of the landscape into hues of pink and crimson, subtly invoking the violence ingrained in the hills and fields of the Congo. Mosse’s camera acts as a character in an incredibly complex and violent narrative, a narrative that is often completely alien to the western eye. Throughout the series, the lens stares at soldiers, refugees and civilians with accusation, sympathy or indifference. However, in scenes such as that depicted in “You Are Wherever Your Thoughts Are”, there exists a certain degree of hope - hope for a return to a long lost peace. Unlike the war-ravaged refugee camps, or the hardened appearances of the soldiers, the crimson jungles and purple mountains still retain vestiges of hope for a brighter future, despite the complex and violent past.
The 1940s were a decade of huge social upheaval in the United States. Against the backdrop of WWII, the final echoes of the Great Depression were cast off and the economy boomed at a spectacular rate. However, this newfound prosperity brought with it a greater class divide and a sense of either being part of the elite or not. This hideous distortion of the American Dream served to created a desperately disenfranchised segment of society. No film illustrates this divide better than Mildred Pierce. Directed in 1945 by Michael Curtiz, it stars Joan Crawford, who received the Academy Award for Best Actress for the title role. It is the story of a young woman rising to prominence in the restaurant business in order to create a better life for her children. While the film opens in the present day, with a startling shooting in a boathouse, the story proper unfolds though lengthy flashbacks.
FILM Defining the Decade - 1940s: Mildred Pierce Mildred Pierce is unmistakably a film noir. The black and white photography, the extensive flashbacks, the Dutch Tilted shots, the bleak subject matter, the isolated and misunderstood protagonist – all are indicative of its genre. However, it differs from other film noirs, such as The Big Sleep, in several important ways. The first, and most obvious difference, is that the main character is a woman. Secondly, the femme fatale is a family member, as opposed to a love interest. This adds far more depth to the film and plays strongly into the spirit of the 1940s; that sense that family bonds and hard work cannot stop the draft letters coming in anymore than they can stop the relentless growth of consumerism and desire for extravagance which is steadily dividing society. Bleak and downcast, yet moving and inspiring, Mildred Pierce is a film noir masterpiece.
FOOD Food for Thought: A Successful Slumber
Study or sleep? While many of us look to caffeinated drinks and energy boosting snacks to get us through those late night cramming 4
sessions, it’s proven that for better grades a good night’s sleep is a must. This isn’t an easy option for everyone - many people find it difficult to switch off and fall asleep at a reasonable hour. Here’s the good news for you night owls: adding these foods to your diet can help you achieve a successful slumber. Lettuce contains lactucarium, which has sedative properties and can affect the brain similarly to opium. Opt for some salad with your dinner or try a lettuce brew: simmer lettuce leaves in water for 15 minutes, add some mint and enjoy before heading to bed. Tryptophan is a sleep enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin, two of the main chemicals responsible for dozing off. Some great sources include hummus, turkey meat and walnuts. Cherries, particularly tart cherries, boost levels of melatonin. According
WORDS BY CAHAL SWEENEY
to a study conducted on adults with insomnia, drinking a glass of tart cherry juice helped improve their insomnia symptoms compared to those who drank a placebo beverage. Sipping on herbal teas such as chamomile, passion fruit and lemon balm are sure to lull you to sleep with their snooze-promoting properties. When your magnesium levels are too low, it makes it harder to sleep. Be sure to stock up on almonds and bananas as they are rich in magnesium, working as a muscle and nerve relaxant. Cutting down on caffeine and turning your devices off an hour before bedtime are also great ways to help you get to sleep at night. A good night’s rest does wonders for your health: sleep helps you keep happy, your mind sharp and your immune system strong. WORDS BY ROISE NI MHAONAIGH
GAMES Nerdy News: The Ezio Collection
LIT Books From Around the World
On November 15th, Ubisoft will release the long-awaited Watch Dogs 2. They will also release a remastered edition of Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, and Assassin’s Creed Revelations along with some special features for current generation consoles. Much like the release of Assassin’s Creed Rogue and Unity in 2014, the so-called Ezio Collection has garnered very little pre-release publicity and remarkably little advertising.
WORDS BY CAHAL SWEENEY
However, unlike Watch Dogs 2, The Ezio Collection is not marketed at newcomers to the series or as an alternative to a mainstream Assassin’s Creed release this year. Rather it is aimed directly at those (like me, admittedly) who have grown up alongside Assassin’s Creed and see this as a nostalgic return to the old days. This is a new sort of target audience which has grown steadily larger in the wake of the move from last to current generation. There will always be some (again, like me) who pine for the old days of gaming and the ‘something’ which newer releases simply lack. Despite its comparative lack of publicity up to now, it would not be surprising to see The Ezio Collection creeping towards the top of the best-seller lists this December.
“If the world were ruled by chance not a God.” Jenny Erpenbeck’s The End of Days has been rightly showered with praise and accolades. Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015, this impressionistic, stream-of-conscience story about lost lives, broken lives and the endless cycle of personalities, archetypes and time is as much a scholarly work of metaphysics as it is a fictional tale. There’s little anchoring the book to any conventional chronological timeline, but the novel’s core ultimately revolves around the tragic opening scene in which an infant dies and a grief- stricken mother’s entire existence is rent apart. From there, reality fragments as we’re offered glimpses into several alternate timelines where characters are spared longer and longer, only to realise that behind each curtain lies only more suffering. Across all five possible timelines, the same haunting cries and ever-repeated phrases chase the plagued family. Erpenbeck paints a world bleak and hostile to women, where survival only leads to a bitter path of existence, and down every avenue, the female characters are controlled and forced to adapt around others. “I am not a whore” is the mantra chanted by the women across all the timelines, both whispered and yelled in a dozen different dark vignettes. Erpenbeck’s novel is at times difficult to grasp, with scenes as ephemeral and vague as a rainbow caught in an oil slick, but it is always intensely beautiful. As sharp and multi-faceted as a smashed mirror, this is a novel about the evil of chance, endless possibilities, and the inescapable social constraints that exist in our flawed and unequal world. Beautifully written and carefully translated from German to read completely naturally, this book is for people who aren’t afraid of a novel that will challenge them. WORDS BY MICHAEL MULLOOLY
FASHION Front Square Fashion: Megan Russell We spotted Senior Freshman student Megan Russell bustling through Front Arch en route to purchase Spar’s cheapest naggin. She wears a jumper from Zara, a €2 corset sourced from an undisclosed charity shop, trousers from Siopaella and platform shoes from Enable Ireland. As well as endorsing the thrills of thrifting, her outfit champions that tricky transition between the evening lecture and Workmans with remarkable ease. The secret to her success lies in the sartorial balance of academia and The Sesh. It doesn’t surprise us that Megan is a student of Sociology and Social Policy, as this outfit has clearly been considered through a lens of her learned sociological imagination. Her defaced corset tightening around a quintessentially masculine jumper serves as an unmistakable subversion of Patriarchal values. However, it’s not all second wave feminism for this Senior Freshman. Megan’s deliberate use of red, as seen in her corset and echoed in her geometric eye make-up, reveals her unquenchable thirst for Red Rums. All the while, Megan has created an undulating silhouette that fascinates and delights, whether she’s sitting in the Ed Burke or queuing outside 10 Wellington Quay. WORDS BY LOUISE HYNES PHOTO BY GRACE O’ BOYLE
Name: Lee Jones Studying: English Literature Age: 21 Spotify Username: Lee Jones Best Playlist: My Discover Weekly or I have to say, I do love The Great British Breakfast If you were a song: “Time” by Hans Zimmer If Trinity were a song: “We are the Champions” by Queen Song for Freshers: “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” by Arctic Monkeys or “Youth” by Glass Animals Song that no one has heard: “If Today Was your Last Day” by Nickelback
THEATRE TCD Graduate Spotlight: Alma Kelliher
It is the sound designer’s job to help create the atmosphere of a play - to add to the intrigue and conjuration of ideas in the audience’s head about what is happening on stage. It is integral to how we experience theatre, to how it affects us, and to the overall artistic production. Alma Kelliher, who studied Music in Trinity, has been successfully weaving her way through this industry for years, leaving twinkling soundscapes in her wake. Winner of 2013 Irish Times Theatre Award for sound design for riverrun, a retelling of Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, Alma’s compositions have been heard all over the world via theatre, film and television. As someone with many strings in her bow, Alma recently appeared as composer, sound designer, musical director and performer in RIOT alongside Panti, a thisispopbaby production which took Dublin’s Fringe Festival by storm, winning Best Production. This year Alma was one of eighteen rising stars of the Irish arts scene to receive the ART:2016 Next Generation Bursary Award from the Arts Council; from this, she is creating a live theatre event and an electro album inspired by the stories of Irish mythology. Current film projects include A Report to an Academy by Sarah Browne and I Am Roger Casement directed by Dearbhla Walsh, soon to be broadcast on RTÉ. Alma is also a member of the Evertides, a delightfully delicate folk trio whose celebrated debut EP was released this year.
WORDS BY KEVIN BIRD
TV My Life is Like... Robin from How I Met Your Mother Ellen Orchard Hi Ellen. Has anyone ever said you remind them of Robin from How I Met Your Mother? I’ve heard this once or twice, but only ever in Dublin. Might have something to do with being Canadian? Apart from being tall, Canadian and beautiful, how else would you say your life is like Robin’s? Woah, how do I respond to this loveliness? There are similarities. I’m not a cat person. I don’t really like the dark; it’s all about the sun. I used to say “eh” but it’s somehow left my vocab? I have this mug that I drink out of every morning. It says “I moose wake up”. I laugh everytime. That’s something Robin’s friends would definitely make fun of her for. What episode is most like your life? The ‘Little Minnesota’ episode. Robin is homesick for Canada. To make her feel better, Marshall takes her to a Minnesota-themed bar (Canadians and Minnesotans share a special relationship). I would love to go to a Minnesota-themed bar. One time somebody told me I sound like the woman from Fargo. It was the best compliment ever. I also want an opportunity to bash and profess my love for Canada among Minnesotans. A recent headline in a Canadian newspaper was “Brett Wilson fights 6
against Christmas decorations before Remembrance Day” - I love that Canada continues to fight the good fight. I wish I could blink my eyes sometimes and find myself back in Canada. So if anyone knows a Hoser Hut equivalent in Dublin, let me know- there’s defo donuts in it for ya! WORDS & IMAGE BY SORCHA N í CHEALLAIGH
WORDS BY AMYROSE FORDER
MUSIC Sounds of Front Square
Refugee & Migrant Solidarity Ireland
ublin certainly has a lot to offer, but if you’re looking for something that aims to foster community and which exists outside the usual expensive social scene of the city, there’s a gap. That’s where we come in, with our monthly food event which raises funds for refugees while creating an open, inclusive and educational space for people to come together. Firstly, who are we? Refugee and Migrant Solidarity Ireland (RAMSI) is a small non-hierarchical volunteer group. We believe in an inclusive, intercultural Ireland in which all people are welcome and where everyone is entitled to live a life of dignity. We maintain the communal memory of our own history of migration, standing in solidarity with all migrants and valuing their contribution to the development of a diverse, vibrant and sustainable Irish society. We share a similar viewpoint with the many antiracist and migrant activist groups in Ireland such as MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland), ARN (Anti-Racism Network), ADI (AntiDeportation Ireland). All of these groups believe that our present asylum and immigration legislation (and its implementation) is inhumane, unfair and damaging. This is especially true in regard to people living in Direct Provision, facing the threat of deportation, living undocumented or facing personal and institutional racism. The group came together over a year ago in response to the horrific humanitarian and political crisis unfolding across Europe. The number of our fellow humans - who all had diverse personalities and hopes and dreams and fears and talents and potential - who have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean so far this year is estimated to be 4,200 (according to the International Commision on Missing Persons). Our group is made up of people from all walks of life and focuses on leading actions of solidarity (both practical and political) with those seeking refuge both in Ireland and abroad. In August 2015, a team of 53 volunteers travelled to Calais Refugee Camp laden with supplies which had been collected and donated by the people of Ireland. Since then, groups have returned to help build communal shelters, a vaccination centre, a therapy centre, a library, to do medical and teaching work, and to cement friendships. I spent a month in Calais working with the incredible women and children of the camp in the Unofficial Women and Children’s Centre and in another school teaching English to some of the men there.
In the face of this crisis it is easy to become overwhelmed and disengage. As a group we’re doing what we can, and we have to know our limits. Sadly we’re not able to change the whole world. It’s vital that solidarity with those seeking refuge goes beyond simple expressions of support such as sharing something on Facebook, saying “refugees welcome”, writing a blog, or attending a demo. These things are important, but unfortunately in this capitalist world none of that is enough. Practical solidarity is essential. Political solutions are the only way this can be changed in the long term, but our governments are so fatally slow to do anything real about this situation. Instead they allow people to suffer and die while having no option but to ‘illegally’ cross racist and oppressive borders. While our governments fail we have a duty to step up and support those on the move in a practical way. This means raising money to support all the amazing solidarity structures which have come about to provide services and aid to those seeking refuge, while also fostering community and kindness and enacting our principles of solidarity. For us in RAMSI, this takes the form of organising a monthly fundraising dinner. The first dinner raised funds for Kesha Niya Kitchen which feeds thousands of those living in Dunkirk Refugee Camp. The second raised funds for MASI, who are campaigning for an end to Direct Provision. At each of the dinners someone from the group concerned spoke to the diners about their work, something which will hopefully continue at future events. Our next one will raise funds for the group Phone Credit for Refugees and Displaced People. So far the dinners have been really lovely, relaxed evenings with great vegan and vegetarian food cooked by the group. It’s a great way of raising vital funds, while having fun, meeting new people, chatting about all sorts of things and eating delicious food. The next dinner is on the 30th November at 7pm. It takes place in Jigsaw (previously Seomra Spraoi) at 10 Belvedere Court. Absolutely everyone is welcome, so please come along!
WORDS BY ELLEN O’KEEFFE PHOTO BY Wanderley Massafelli massafelliphotography.com 7
the death of zombies
Zombies have always represented society’s greatest fears. If this is the case, why is The Walking Dead killing them off?
epictions of evil and the supernatural in literature, film and TV can always be interpreted as symbolic. The existential fears of contemporary readers and viewers are often expressed through these creatures and magical forces. Monsters and villains, therefore, tend to possess a much deeper meaning and reveal something significant about their era. One recurring example of this is the figure of the zombie. For decades it has inspired countless books, films and, now, TV shows. The world crumbles when faced with hordes of bloodthirsty, reanimated corpses. Zombies became a popular horror trope during the 20th century, after the success of George A. Romero’s film Night of The Living Dead in 1968. However, the concept of zombification is much older, originating from a Haitian spiritual belief system. The people of Haiti believed that witch doctors could revive those who had died from unnatural causes. They conceptualised a new form of life: the ‘zombi’. When the US invaded Haiti in 1915, Catholic missionaries aimed to convert the people to their faith.
Inspired by these events, White Zombie (1932) was the first film of its kind and spawned a whole subgenre of its own. The film follows a white man and woman as they travel to Haiti to get married before the woman is transformed into a zombie by voodoo magic. The undead figure played upon American fears of the ‘primitive’ and disordered Haitian society. The native people in the film threaten the Western tradition of marriage with their dark magic. Since White Zombie, the zombie has continued to symbolise many other perceived evils and fears. Everything is covered; Nazism, economic collapse, capitalism and mass contagion. One prime example of the continued relevance of the zombie in popular culture is AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead. In the pilot episode, the series’ central protagonist Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is hospitalised after being shot whilst on duty as the county sheriff. As he awakes from a coma in hospital, he finds himself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.
‘Walkers’ plague the streets and survivors exist in small scattered pockets across cities and the countryside. During the first series, the zombie is the overall enemy and Rick gathers his initial band of walker-fighting friends. The gorey action is notably more disturbing as the ‘walkers’ are very much humanised. Their facial features are still recognisable and their clothes are very much intact. Throughout the first few series, the most climactic scenes feature main characters being bitten by the undead and their subsequent gruesome conversions to their flesh-eating forms. From season two onwards, the plot structure tends to be cyclic. Firstly, the group finds a new home that acts as a safe haven from zombies; a farm house, a prison or a walled community. Then the group prospers for a few episodes. Finally the group’s safe haven is brutally torn apart, again and again by intruders: zombies or the breathing human antagonists. A tense atmosphere presents itself. There is no safety in this new world. Despite this recurring plot device, the show surprisingly avoids becoming repetitive or dull. This is the result of show creator, Frank Darabont, and his human focus. Screen time is allocated to continual character development and convincing portrayals of intimate relationships in a tumultuous, post-apocalyptic world. With rich dialogue and touching moments of humanity, the characters and their dynamics have slowly become the central focus of the show. Instead of a constant cat and mouse chase with resurrected dead bodies, the struggles involved with establishing a sustainable life in a new society now dominate the action. Mutinies, disease, food shortages and rival groups have taken the congregation by surprise and accounted for far more conflict than any member of the undead in recent episodes. Perhaps humanity in distress is the only thing that can evoke a real sense of horror in the modern viewer. Last April, fans of The Walking Dead were left with a cliffhanger that kept us guessing for six whole months. Who of the main cast had been killed? The seventh season of the show returned with an eventful first episode. In typical The Walking Dead fashion, two central characters’ skulls were cracked open. A new living antagonist named Negan is seen wielding a baseball bat covered with barbed wire. These horrifying scenes caused major controversies amongst fans and TV watchdogs alike. The US television advocacy group, The Parents Television Council, labelled it as “one of the most graphically violent shows we’ve ever seen on television”. The undead provided atmosphere and background noise while Negan, a survivor himself, hogged the spotlight. His callous demeanour and sadistic nature made him one of the most petrifying villains in recent TV history. The psychological torment he inflicts upon characters is thoroughly uncomfortable viewing - more so than any of the gory human disembowelment by walkers that came before. The walkers that do feature in the first episode of series seven support the fan theory that the central antagonism of the zombies has deteriorated over time. As The Walking Dead has unfolded, the zombies look less like undead humans and more like skeletons covered in mud. When a walker makes a rare appearance in series seven, it’s unusual to spot one that doesn’t have a missing limb or huge chunk out of its face. This seems to
be Greg Nicotero’s intent. The special effects supervisor reportedly tells his team to remember that the walkers are rotting corpses and to “pay special attention to how skin has been affected by heat and dehydration”. Just in case this motif wasn’t clear enough, producers include a hidden message in the opening title sequence of every episode. In series one, ‘The Walking Dead’ would flash on screen in bold, white lettering after the credits have rolled. In the years to come, the font has become increasingly yellow and dilapidated. As the zombies decay, so does the title card of the show. The solid binary between good and evil, human and zombie, has broken down and characters are left with tough moral dilemmas when it comes to killing off the living who, thus far, have survived. This momentous shift from zombie epidemic to rebuilding humanity is incredibly interesting to analyse from a sociological perspective. The Walking Dead illustrates what producers believe fascinatingly frightens their viewership; providing an insight into the greatest anxieties of our generation. The initial fears producers set out to convey were revised somewhere down the line to suit their audience. The fears could no longer be metaphorically portrayed by the undead. The Walking Dead differs from other zombie narratives. Being bitten is not a prerequisite for becoming a zombie and the ambiguous origin of the walkers proves it difficult to pinpoint exactly what they represent. Humans, living and dead, are indiscriminately infected with death being the factor that allows everyone to rise again. Logically, this indicates that vast numbers of people were infected by the ‘walkers’ disease simultaneously. Yet it lies dormant in the living. How this occurred is indicated in Fear the Walking Dead, a spin off show which premiered on AMC in August 2015. The demand for a spin off is testament to the current popularity of the dystopian genre amongst TV audiences. Although Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead follow totally separate groups of survivors, they both highlight the complexity of evil. A zombie lurks deep inside every character awaiting activation. Humanity similarly awaits to recognise their propensity for immoral acts. From conspiracy and cannibalism to killing sprees, humanity’s most devious tendencies are constantly highlighted in the post apocalyptic world. The moral: no one can be trusted.
Perhaps humanity in distress is the only thing that can evoke a real sense of horror in the modern viewer.
The early episodes of the spin-off are full of clues as to the origins of the disaster. A new flu vaccine that has been administered recently is referred to repeatedly in the first series, along with many shots of contaminated water supply as the culprit. Fans have subsequently interpreted two potential theories for the first wave of walkers and what they mean. Firstly, that it was the accidental result of medical advancement. This suggests the walkers are symbolic of modern day anxieties about medicine and mass contagion. Secondly, that the government may have contaminated water sources worldwide, evoking the kind of fear and suspicion that fuel anti-establishment conspiracy theories. Either way, at some point in the main series, producers decided that the cruelty of living people is far more terrifying for audiences than the zombie. Power mad and tyrannical figures like Negan and the Governor are expected to resonate with viewers as a result of the world that we live in. The powerlessness of ordinary viewers against organised guerilla warfare and unpredictable political figures is enough to make the reanimated dead seem harmless, ridiculous and frankly unrealistic. The Walking Dead has realised what we’re really afraid of and it’s much scarier than any corpse can ever be. WORDS BY JACK MAGUIRE ILLUSTRATION BY CHOY-PING CLARKE-NG
Cooking Up A Storm Rachel Graham speaks to Michelle Darmody and Ellie Kisyombe, co-founders of Our Table - a pop-up cafe at the Project Arts Centre that aims to raise awareness of Direct Provision and provide employment and training to refugees. “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be tonight.” These were the words of Colm O’Gorman, Director of Amnesty International in Ireland, as he spoke to the crowd at the launch of the Our Table cafe last Wednesday, 11th November. This was the day when we woke up to the news that America had voted Trump into the White House. There was a solemn but defiant atmosphere amongst the busy crowd during the powerful speeches delivered by O’Gorman, Nick Henderson (Irish Refugee Council) and Neltah Chadamoya (Africa Centre). Our Table is a new pop-up cafe in the Project Arts Centre. It is a non-profit venture founded by political activist and asylum seeker Ellie Kisyombe, and Michelle Darmody of popular Dublin restaurants The Cake Cafe and Slice. It’s mission is to raise awareness of Direct Provision amongst the public, and help asylum seekers through employment and training. Many people at the launch had experienced the difficulty of migration firsthand, and the news of Trump’s election, and what it might mean for refugees worldwide, presented a visceral reminder of the importance of initiatives like Our Table. As Neltah Chadamoya told the crowd, “we experience Donald Trump every day. You are just getting a whiff of it now… allow yourselves to be challenged by him.” Despite the seriousness of the speeches and the gravity of the day’s international events, there was a positive energy. Music, food and a few drinks lifted the mood and turned the cafe into a bustling hub of enthusiasm and conversation. Everyone’s attention turned to the good thing that was happening right here, right now. Earlier that day I met with Michelle and Ellie as they prepared for the launch. The project started about a year ago, when Michelle approached the Irish Refugee Council with the intention of bringing people from different backgrounds together around a table. They introduced her to Ellie, who was doing voluntary work there at the time, and together they organised some workshops. “We got a kitchen and a load of ingredients. Everyone came and cooked and shared recipes and ate lunch and chatted. We got emotional over food,” Michelle recalls. “We started with us, asylum 10
seekers, mainly women asylum seekers, women from direct provision,” Ellie adds. It was while they were organising these workshops, and a number of larger events with their friend Fiona, that they met a lot of people who were looking for something more permanent. The cafe at The Project Arts Centre is a pop-up, somewhere they can gain a customer base and try stuff out before hopefully moving on to their own premises with a kitchen and “our own front door.” For now, they are at The Project and it’s a great space - quiet, airy and bright, with enough room for people to bring buggies and work on laptops as well as eat with groups of friends. The staff are people who have come out of Direct Provision and got their refugee status. Apart from Ellie and Michelle, who work on a volunteer basis, they all have a full salary and an employment contract. “We did some focus groups and found that it can be quite difficult for people, even after they have got their papers,” Michelle explains. “Often it will have been quite a while since they have worked, so there’s a limbo space after the initial excitement.” While the cafe at the Project doesn’t have a kitchen, staff receive barista training, health and safety training, and other skills necessary for working in the Irish service and food industry, like building a CV. The coffee comes from 3fE, while the food - pastries, soup and cakes - is sourced from small businesses who have set up within migrant communities. “We are trying to make sure that the people who are refugees, who are now operating their small businesses, they are at least earning a living,” says Ellie. The role of food in culture is undeniably significant - we build relationships by eating together, we celebrate special days with food, and we pass on history and heritage through recipes. For those in Direct Provision, food is a particularly poignant subject - forbidden to cook for themselves, they must eat the food that is prepared in the canteen. Ellie, who has firsthand experience of Direct Provision, points out that not only does this rob people of the joy of cooking and eating the things they enjoy, it is
Even if we can’t speak the same language, we can always laugh over food... Food can unite us all around the table
are so unwelcoming. It’s a reflection of our policy and our government’s lack of will to provide people seeking refuge with the dignity they are entitled to. “I just think we could do with more empathy in society right now, today particularly” Michelle says. “Maybe this is a place people can show a bit more empathy.” By coming here we can say “I don’t want this in my name.” Our Table is open Monday-Friday from 10am-4pm, serving hot drinks and light lunches.
also bad for their physical and psychological health. “You have to eat what you are given, there is no choice at all,” she says. “This food is not well cooked, this food is not fresh, there’s a lot of fried stuff. Food is therapy. When you eat nice, comforting food, you feel good.” Michelle thinks it is unsurprising, when you consider that this is food which is essentially created not for nourishment but for profit. Private firms are contracted by the state to provide the food at Direct Provision centres, and in some cases this is a highly profitable activity. Apart from the issue of the food itself, the denial of being able to eat together as a family was what really got to Michelle: “The idea of not being able to sit around a table and share a meal and chat, you’ve no private space to do that in. So much of family life can revolve around the kitchen. If all of that is taken away, it can make a massive difference.” At Our Table, food is something to be shared by people from diverse backgrounds, around the same table. Not as asylum seekers and Irish citizens, but just as people sharing a common experience. “Even if we can’t speak the same language, we can always laugh over food, nod our heads over food, and we can always smile and everyone say “good”, you know? [laughs] Food can unite us all around the table,” says Ellie. “We’re a year old now, so we know people who have met asylum seekers through Our Table, and now they’re good friends. They can visit them in the [DP] centres and know them for who they are.” The two women share a very holistic approach to awareness-raising, based on forming mutual understanding through conversation and shared experience. Awareness-raising and aiding integration was the initial inspiration behind the project, before they began to explore the possibility of providing training and employment. As Michelle says, “friendship is the best form of integration.” For people still within the Direct Provision system, having lunch in a cafe is not financially viable - they receive a weekly allowance of only 19.10, an amount which hasn’t increased in more than a decade. They are also not allowed to take up paid work. In order for Our Table not to be an exclusionary space, vouchers are available in DP centres. “We’re very aware that people on 19.10 can’t eat in a cafe,” Michelle says. “We’ve got enough space here for everyone. So we want it to be an absolute open space for people, and if they don’t have the money, we have the facilities to support that.” While Our Table is a non-profit venture, they need paying customers to keep going. “Footfall will make or break us. Our deal is to be selfsustaining, we don’t want to run something that needs to be constantly funded. If we get customers, it should sustain itself,” Michelle says. So far the project has received a lot of support from the public, with a very successful FundIt campaign and a huge turnout at the launch night. On a day that Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, described as a “bad day for human rights”, Ellie emphasises her wish to get together and do something good, something that the community needs, rather than having to talk to others about her struggles all the time. Our Table offers a platform from which to affirm a commitment to welcoming and collaboration rather than distrust and segregation. As Colm O’Gorman points out in his speech that night, it’s not a mistake that systems like DP
WORDS & PHOTOS BY RACHEL GRAHAM 11
The Feminist Film Festival is set to take place this year from November 18th-20th at The New Theatre in Dublin. Over the course of the weekend, there will be screenings of films that promote the representation of women both in front of and behind the camera, and panel discussions that will examine key issues in feminism and how they emerge in cinema. Tickets are priced at 10 euro per screening and all profits go towards Sasane, a charity that supports victims of human trafficking in Nepal. I spoke to Karla Healion, the festival’s director: How many are expected to attend the festival this year? We’re still a small event, it is all a fund raiser for a brilliant charity in Nepal called Sasane. All profits go to Sasane, so we really appreciate every ticket that is sold. We hope to see about 500 people over the course of the weekend. The intimate setting means that the atmosphere is always great and we can all go for a pint afterwards!
How did you choose the selection of films? We wanted to direct the programme and facilitate discussion, or provoke ideas around female agency, or feminist cultural production, so first of all 12
we decided on the theme of ‘Othered Voices: The Female Voice on Screen’. Something in the film had to deal with the female voice, from a literal or figurative perspective, and the films have to foster voices that are not usually heard, such as women in the case of The Piano, or minority groups, such as Amaka’s Kin about women filmmakers in Nigeria, or LGBTQ perspectives, like in the case of Margarita with a Straw, etc. It is crucial that feminist events provide a platform for all who have experienced oppression, or the stifling effect of white patriarchy. In addition to that, all the films must be directed by women. Of course, once you have a long list that fit those criteria, the most difficult part is making sure the films gel as a programme, and also trying to find a short film to go with each of the features. It takes a lot of reviewing, talking, consideration, reading, more viewing, more talking. You just have to chip away until it sits together.
On Friday, Mother Ireland, a fascinating documentary on women in Ireland, will be shown. Was it important to include an Irish film as part of the festival? It is important for us to support Irish female filmmakers. Last year we screened Bernadette, a documentary about Bernadette Devlin, and we had director Lelia Doolan join us for a discussion. This year Mother Ireland represents the voice of Irish women, the consideration of republicanism and historical feminism. Irish voices are, of course, vital to the feminist movement here. The film we’re pairing with Mother Ireland is The Sea Between Us, another Irish film dealing with situations of migration and belonging, a topical and important issue to screen right now, we think.
Laura Mulvey used the term ‘the male gaze’ in 1975 to describe how the depiction of women in visual arts is constructed entirely from a masculine perspective. Do you think that this problem is still a contentious one, or is contemporary cinema overcoming it? The male gaze will continue to be a relevant notion as long as gender equality is not a reality. In a very real sense, women are still unequal in this country. For example, women still don’t have control over their own bodies or have access to a full range of healthcare, which is awful and will hopefully change soon. And this kind of very real inequality seeps into cultural practice, and visual culture. The vast majority of filmmakers (directors/producers/writers etc) are men, so the assumption of a male audience will prevail until we put more women in positions of cultural production and in high-level roles.
“The male gaze will continue to be a relevant notion as long as gender equality is not a reality.” Only 8.8% of films released in 2015 were directed by women and less than 30% featured a lead female actor. How do we overcome this? Well, the statistics and underrepresentation of women in the film industry are the reason we run the festival, there is a long way to go! It is definitely the same reason why women are underrepresented in many other areas such as politics, sports, business management etc. It’s because women are socialised to not do things that men are socialised to do. If you can see someone as a role model, that you can aspire to, you can imagine yourself doing it too. This is why it is vital to support women’s voices, women onscreen and women as producers of media. I think the industry is changing slowly but surely, just like the rest of the world.
And are there any women in the film industry that you particularly admire? There are amazing women working behind the scenes, or behind the camera, and it is important to recognise that. Just in Ireland, I’m thinking of Alice Butler, Grainne Humphreys, Nicky Gogan, Jesse Jones, Dearbhla Glynn, Cara Holmes, Aoife Kelleher... it’s so cool, there are loads! And I think there are great efforts to include and promote feminist film within loads of festival strands, which is just brilliant. But it will never be enough until equality has been achieved, so we need to keep pushing and creating spaces where women are celebrated and supported.
Are there any films/events taking place during the festival that you are particularly excited for ticket holders to see? On Friday we are showing The Piano (1993), Jane Campion’s depiction of a mute woman’s arranged marriage in mid-19th century New Zealand. On Sunday visitors can see Turkish-French director Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s multi-award winning ‘feminist escape movie’ Mustang (2015). I think the panel discussions we have hosted in previous years have been fantastic. Participants in the past have included iconic filmmakers like Vivienne Dick, so they are really inspiring and interesting events. This year, we close on the evening of Sunday 20th with a discussion about women in the industry. I also love our free talks, so for me and the rest of the FFF team these are the best parts of the weekend, just because we’ve all usually seen the films a million times by the time the Festival comes around! We have a brilliant free talk on Saturday Nov 19th at 5.30pm on the female voice in cinema by Dr. Jennifer O’Meara. Check out our programme on social media for more info! Visit www.feministfilmfestivaldublin.com for a full programme and ticket information.
WORDS BY LEE JONES
‘the piano’ (1993)
Granddadâ€™s Garden 14
Nana’s House photographs & text by Dermot O’Riordan 15
Everyone who knew my grandfather Dan always said how alike we looked. I was in my first year in college when he died suddenly in April 2008. He had been admitted to the Blackrock Clinic for a routine surgical procedure from which he never awoke. I missed him. I still miss him. Born to a farming family in Co. Leitrim, he was a mostly self-educated man who taught himself all the skills he needed to become a Garda. He met my grandmother Eilish while he was stationed in Killarney. She was working as a nurse, a job she was forced by the state to leave when they married, and which she would later return to following Ireland’s admittance to the EU and 16
the repeal of the law barring women from working in the public sector. In the summer of 2010 I stayed with my grandmother while my family was on holiday in America. During that time I photographed the house and the garden, looking to catch little glimpses of my grandfather’s presence that could still be seen there. The wheelbarrow he used in the garden. The flowers he planted and adored. The seat he sat in - “Granddad’s chair” - which in the years since has become “Nana’s chair”.
I had an infatuation with Polaroid at the time – with the format and its peculiarities; its honesty and immutability; its permanence and fragility. Granddad was one of a kind, in so many ways As was Nana, who was a strong and caring woman beyond measure. She passed away in January 2016. I never showed her these photos. I never showed anyone until now. I wasn’t ready. For years they were too painful to even look at. I initially wanted to call this series of images “Granddad’s Garden”. However after my grandmother died I realised that only tells half
the story. They were the perfect couple, they lived for each other and had a deep love I’ve rarely seen in anyone else. Nana never fully moved on from my grandfather’s death. When he came up in conversation (which was often) she would smile, and she would cry. I might not believe in an afterlife, but they did. If there is anything beyond this fragile earth I know that they are together there now. And they are happy. 17
This November, a number of galleries across Dublin will host an array of events over the weekend 25-27th. The weekend will consist of a number of openings, talks, walking tours and workshops. In just three days, 36 galleries will open their doors to present the public with 55 events. Galleries such as IMMA, Douglas Hyde, RHA, Project Arts Centre, Hugh Lane, NCAD and more will be participating, featuring a variety of Irish and International artists. Following on from the success of last year’s Gallery Weekend, the organisers hope to see similar numbers flocking into galleries across Dublin City and taking part in the events. The weekend hopes to build on the success of Culture Night. Most events are free, and more information about the Gallery Weekend can be found at www.dublingallerymap.ie. This is a weekend not to be missed! WORDS BY LOUISE CONWAY, RACHEL GRAHAM & SARAH MOREL
IMMA Symposium | Saturday | All Day Event How do artists reflect upon and relate to contemporary society and the state? This is the primary question posed by the 2016 IMMA symposium which will take place on the 26th of November in the cavernous halls of IMMA’s chapel. As yet another attempt by an art institution to commemorate the 1916 rising, and also as a reflection upon how Irish society has changed in the past 100 years, IMMA presents ‘The Artist and The State’ for the 2016 Dublin Gallery Weekend. Presented by a number of leading international artists, curators and scholars, the symposium will consist of a number of discussions and performances, all of which will address the ways in which art collides with global social phenomena. Globalization, and its countless consequences - mass migration, digital communication and global trade to name a few - have concerned artists since the 1980s, and in recent years has become an almost unavoidable topic for creators across the globe. Therefore, it is no surprise that this theme was selected for this year’s symposiumperhaps it is even long overdue for formal discussion in the grand scheme of contemporary art scholarship. If even just for how relevant the 2016 symposium is, I would certainly recommend making the journey to the beautiful settings of IMMA, and perhaps make a detour into the Lucian Freud exhibition while you’re there. SM
Hostile Architecture Scavenger Hunt | Science Gallery Dublin | Saturday | 2 - 5pm As part of the Science Gallery’s current exhibition, DESIGN AND VIOLENCE, they are hosting a scavenger hunt. Meet at the Science Gallery and view the exhibition before exploring the city in search of acts of hostile architecture, both unintended and intentional. The exhibition aims to look at the intersection of design and violence through a number of interdisciplinary exhibits. Here design refers not only to the products of professional and intentional work, but also to the ubiquitous and “ordinary” objects we are surrounded by, things we often take for granted. Violence is understood not only in the context of intentional harmful actions, but also as the byproduct or unseen consequences of our behaviour. In the contemporary context, a major example of this intersection may be seen in the effects of climate change. The devastating effects of climate change already evident in some parts of the world were arguably precipitated by public policy and industrial programmes pursued in the last two centuries. Hostile architecture refers to the ways in which the design of public spaces impedes people from using them for functions they weren’t intended for, and can consist in the addition of structures or the omission of them. For example, metal spikes to discourage homeless people from sleeping in the doorways of office buildings, or a lack of seating on a city plaza to prevent people from eating there. This scavenger hunt should offer participants an interesting, and potentially unnerving, lens through which to learn more about their city and the overlooked aspects of its architecture. This is a free event but booking is required, at dublin.sciencegallery.com/events. RG
ERY WEEKEND Live Performance with Suzanne Walsh | The Lab Gallery | Saturday 3 - 5pm On Saturday, venture into The Lab Gallery in the city centre to experience a performance by artist Suzanne Walsh. The Lab Gallery supports emerging art practices and also delivers a year round programme of free events for all ages. Suzanne Walsh is an artist, writer and musician currently based in Dublin. Her work is multidisciplinary, and sees her combine a number of different practices such as writing, spoken-word performances, music/sound, drawing and occasionally installation. Her current work explores language, the outer limits of what is the ‘self ’ and notions of poetic/fictional truth. One of her recent performances took place in IMMA, along with Hissen sound group, as a response to the work of Carol Rama. Walsh also created a spoken word/written piece as a response to The Diviner, a drawing by Alice Maher. Her work is exciting and the combination of many different practices adds another dimension to her work. Definitely a performance worth seeing over the weekend. LC
Trinity Area Tour | Sunday | 1 - 3pm It’s very easy to miss the wealth of visual art on display at Dublin’s many small galleries, even for people who spend a lot of their time in the city. The Gallery Weekend tours aim to reveal the artistic spaces hidden in all of the city’s neighbourhoods, from the Coombe to Parnell Square. For the Trinity Area tour, meet at the Douglas Hyde Gallery (downstairs in Trinity College’s Arts Building). From The Douglas Hyde Gallery, the tour will move on to SO Fine Art Editions (Anne St South), the Kerlin Gallery (Anne’s Lane), Solomon Fine Art (Balfe St) and Gallery X (William St South). Two recently installed shows will be on display at the Douglas Hyde on the day of the tour. Czech photographer Josef Sudek (1896-1976) is in Gallery 1. This year marks the 120th anniversary of Sudek’s death, and in the summer a large exhibition of his work was displayed at Jeu de Paume, Paris. Originally a bookbinder by trade, he worked mostly in Prague, during times when the city saw major political unrest and upheaval. Kathy Prendergast’s “Black Maps” will occupy the smaller space of Gallery 2. For those captivated by Prendergast’s maps, the tour will offer another opportunity to experience her work. Her solo exhibition “Atlas”, an installation comprising 100 road atlases of Europe which have been altered by the artist with black ink, is currently on display at the Kerlin. Solomon Fine Art specialise in contemporary sculpture. SO Fine Art will be launching their group show “Collector” on the Friday of this weekend so the tour will offer an early opportunity to catch the show. Gallery X is a relatively new gallery that focuses on surrealist art. “El Corazon y la Muerta”, an exhibition with a focus on Mexican “dark surrealist” artists will be on display at the time. This tour is one to catch if you are interested to see the immense variety of art this busy, historic area has to offer. For those particularly interested in Kathy Prendergast’s exhibitions there will also be a separate tour of her work on Saturday at 12pm, beginning at the Kerlin and continuing to the Douglas Hyde. RG
Sacred Traditions & Arts of the Book Exhibitions | Chester Beatty Library | Sunday 3 - 4pm As a winner of the ‘European Museum of the year’ award, this event is one to watch. The library, which finds its home in the beautiful grounds of Dublin Castle, is renowned for its rare manuscripts and biblical papyri, as well as its large collection of rare printed books, prints and drawings. The library contains some amazing pieces of the great cultures and religions of the world. Manuscripts, paintings and calligraphies make up the Islamic Collections. The East Asian Collections consist of a number of scrolls, jade books and an extensive collection of decorative objects and textiles. The library also has a number of works from the Middle East, Africa and Europe, ranging in date from the third millennium BC to the twentieth century. The role of the library is to protect, preserve and make available these pieces to the public through exhibitions, publications, lectures and other events, such as this one in conjunction with Dublin Gallery Weekend. If you haven’t been to the library before, now is your chance to venture into the beautiful grounds of Dublin Castle and into the historically renowned Chester Beatty Library, a tour not to be missed. LC
WORDS BY MICHAEL MULLOOLY
child friendly piracy. an interview with Carina Ginty
This month I was fortunate enough to get a chance to speak with Carina Ginty, the author of the Captain Cillian novels. Aimed at young children, the books help kids to â€œexplore Ireland, discover some ocean facts, learn fun words in the Irish language, create pictures and solve puzzles.â€? Marketed as a superior learning tool in the classroom, Ginty and I spoke about the intricacies of teaching and writing for such a young audience.
On the topic of Marine Tourism, PHDs & Childhood Education It all started really when I began my PHD back in 2005. It was a really unique study at the time, really applied research. The idea was: there hadn’t been any research done in Ireland looking at marine tourism and marine leisure and the economic impact and value of it. Failte Ireland and the Marine Institute in Ireland were behind the study and wanted to support it in any way they could. I won a national scholarship from Failte Ireland to do it and that really kick-started it back in 2007. Obviously being an island nation surrounded by water, it’s a very important topic, yet we weren’t doing a lot to demonstrate the economic value or appeal, particularly from a marine leisure perspective. Other countries such as New Zealand and Australia are very good at promoting marine leisure, and we’ve gotten really good in the last few years, much better, with things like the Wild Atlantic Way and all that, and I was fascinated about the area of early participation of young people with the sea. If you get them engaged at an early age, that can lead to a lifelong relationship with the sea and marine life. On the topic of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race & the origin of Captain Cillian In 2011-12, the 11th annual Volvo Ocean around-the-world race ended with an in-port race in Galway, Ireland on 7 July 2012. The organisers were setting up schools programmes so that secondary and primary schools could tap into it, creating awareness of the seas and oceans in the classroom. So because I was doing my PHD at the time, they asked would I develop some lessons for the classroom so that all kids around the country could engage and follow the crew around the world. The Irish Independent wanted to cover the lessons, so it was a great opportunity for me. Every week I’d have a lesson prepared along with some fun activities and facts about where the crew were and the challenges they were going to encounter. Following that experience, I thought God, wouldn’t it be great to have an Irish explorer, a character, to help young kids engage with marine life? When you look overseas, we have Thomas the Tank Engine and Mr Men books in the U.K, or we’ve got Dora the Explorer - plenty of international characters. But we’ve nothing that’s really identifiable as an authentic Irish fictional explorer, so I thought wouldn’t it be great to develop this character, Captain Cillian, that kids could relate to, to learn about the ocean. This character could explore Ireland – and in time, hopefully, the world – and learn some key words in the Irish language along the way too! In the books, there are three themes that pop up throughout: Explore Ireland, which comes with fact boxes, Ocean facts, and Irish words. At the back of every book, every Irish word is spelt out phonetically for parents overseas who might want to teach their children a few words of our native language. On the topic of writing, designing and distributing the books Together with my husband, the aim was to create this fun and educational product, that had a very Irish character: Captain Cillian. Johnny my husband, who’s a graphic designer and has been in the industry for about twenty years, bravely took up the task of designing the books. A lot of late nights and weekends were spent crafting and looking at scenes, with him taking my words and looking to translate them into pictures to create an informative piece. He had to take elements of fiction and nonfiction and blend them together while also clearly presenting all the facts and all of that, so it was a huge challenge for him. Another big challenge was how we were going to make sure everyone heard about Captain Cillian, thinking how are we going to get the product into people’s hands, both in Ireland and overseas? We very quickly decided we had to develop a website and a shopfront. This enabled the product to get anywhere in the world, because we knew in the early days that in
the publishing industry it can take a while to get established and get the product out there and into bookshops. We had some great success in the early days when we first launched, getting it into about twenty outlets. Around the same time, I was speaking to O’Brien Press, and they just loved Captain Cillian. Now they’re obviously very established in the publishing space, so more recently we have a collaboration/ agreement with them, where they represent Captain Cillian now and they’re actively selling it into shops across Ireland, which is a huge endorsement. At the same time, we still have the online shop. We’ve noticed people overseas in America, Australia, Dubai, that are all part of this huge international diaspora, are looking for something special and unique and very Irish that they can give to their young kids. We were very lucky in that Turas na Gaeilge supported the production of a bi-lingual giftbox this year, containing all four adventures so far, a wall chart, and some stickers.
“So much of our curriculum is U.Kbased and very influenced by British culture and heritage” On the challenges of writing for such a young audience I’m very lucky to have two young boys, Cillian and Breen. I also sought a lot of advice from primary school teachers, particularly about their feedback on the Irish language elements and how we were presenting the images. I work in higher education, in GMIT in Galway, and a lot of the work I’ve done over the years in education and development has been for that audience, for people who’ve just finished their leaving cert and are coming into higher education, so it’s two very different types of audiences who require different types of materials and different ways of being approached. However, the principals remain the same, because when you produce learning resources, they need to be engaging – particularly for young learners. For them as well, visuals are key: colour, the use of primary colours is crucial. In the Captain Cillian books, the use of colour is so strong and that helps keep young learners excited. Another challenge I noticed when you’re dealing with young learners is you have to create a character to hook them in. They need a guide that’ll hold their hand throughout the book, because the learning then is really disguised. Then before they realise it they’ve learned about Donegal and Galway and all these places! So with colour and character you play to that market. You also have to carefully choose each word you use to keep the language as clear as possible. Of course, on top of these things it helps to have a big, off-the-wall imagination! On the books’ suitability as learning tools in the classroom They’re absolutely usable in the classroom, that’s the feedback we’ve been getting from teacher. I’d personally love to see them in every classroom in the country. So much of our curriculum is U.K-based and very influenced by British culture and heritage, so it’d be lovely to have Captain Cillian on the curriculum in all Irish schools. If you take them on an adventure through Captain Cillian, you’re actually achieving a lot over a storytime. By engaging in the learning activities with Captain Cillian you’re doing a bit of Irish, a bit of geography. There are also creative elements - colouring and storytelling - all while learning about the island of Ireland. It’s multi- purpose, and that makes it unique because you don’t see that a lot in the learning resources being used in our schools; they tend to separate things out. There’s a growing feeling that we need to integrate these things more in the classroom so kids can make sense of what they’re being taught in relation to the world around them. The Captain Cillian Adventure Giftbox is now available worldwide for €25.00 including free shipping. It contains all four books in the series, as well as a map of Ireland and all sorts of pirate goodies. More information can be found at captaincillian.com. 21
Cult Classic Quarterly:
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Donnie Darko, a film that quickly gained cult status for its unusual themes and intricate plot. In our second part of the Cult Classic Quarterly series, Kevin Bird takes a closer look at what continues to fascinate audiences about this movie. A crashing jet engine, time travel and a giant ominous rabbit - Donnie Darko is an absurd film. It defies any sort of conventional filmic structure and contains a fragmented collage of various tropes. It combines sci-fi, horror, and psychological mystery with a coming-of-age story. Like most cult classics, it initially flopped at the box office, grossing only $110,000 in its opening weekend. It was only afterwards, through word of mouth, that the film rapidly gained attention and attracted a devout following and a reputation as an endearing, ‘must watch’ indie project. A quick Google search reveals countless theories and explanations for the convoluted plot and disjointed narrative. It is a film that offers endless possibilities for the viewer to fester over. But beyond the complications of the plot, there is plenty more that appeals to audiences. This is a film obsessed with the passage of time. During their first encounter, Frank (the man dressed in the horrifying rabbit costume) tells Donnie (played by a baby-faced Jake Gyllenhaal) that the world will end in precisely 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. Likewise, the film has 28 scenes and notably, was also shot over a period of 28 days. Furthermore, the time period of the story is particularly significant in terms of understanding its popularity. Set in 1988 in a cosy Reagan-era suburban America, it appealed to those who faced the unknown turn of the millennium when it was released, and offers a nostalgic look back at a decade that everyone has fallen for. For the majority of cult films, there is a tendency to drift away from the traditional structure and content of mainstream film, resisting the formulaic constraints of Hollywood and experimenting with the medium on the whole. Donnie Darko is no different; it is the ultimate gross inversion of the familiar suburban American Dream ideal. The protagonist represents the angst and uncertainty around growing up and navigating the cliques of 22
Donnie Darko depicts isolation at its most grotesque and extreme and takes a bold step forward by showing the
nightmarish side of youth American cinema.”
high school. This is personified by Donnie’s perception of reality. He sees things that no one else can (wormholes and Frank included) and he is truly isolated from his peers as his inner and outer worlds collide. Much has been said about the significance of the tangent universe and the Philosophy of Time Travel book and how they might bring a coherent meaning to the storyline. Donnie’s fervent interest in the mysterious book, given to him by a unhinged neighbour, accelerates the chain of events that leads to his quest to save the world from destruction. However, such a focalised view is missing the point. There is no conventional ‘meaning’ to the film, it is open to all sorts of outlandish speculation (which has added to its cult status). What the motif of time travel does add is the sense of fragmentation that comes from the attempt to form an identity, particularly for young people. Like many cult films before it, Donnie Darko’s main following consists of young people. In line with this, the director decides to unleash the inner fears of youth and forces them to collide with reality itself. What is created from this is perhaps the most honest depiction of alienated youth in Hollywood yet. It is a world devoid of meaning and overflowing with ambiguity and complications. Donnie Darko depicts isolation at its most grotesque and extreme and takes a bold step forward by showing the nightmarish side of youth in American cinema. Donnie Darko is a film that will undoubtedly withstand the test of time and retain its place as a cult classic for many more years to come.
WORDS BY KEVIN BIRD
H O M E
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Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh is a viola player based in Dublin who aims to explore the versatility of the instrument primarily through experimental and improvised music. She plays across Europe and Ireland with various groups, including Cian Nugent & the Cosmos, and has performed with Circuit des Yeux and Josephine Foster. What is your musical background? I grew up playing classical music. I’m lucky in that I grew up in an environment that was very encouraging and enriching- musical ability and activity was always respected. Although I enjoyed playing classical music, I became bewildered and fascinated with improvisation as a teenager, so I studied jazz when I finished school. Coming from a background that relied solely on written music I viewed improvisers sort of as magicians, so it was pretty exciting to learn a whole new approach to music and to the viola. I don’t really play jazz these days; I think a lot of it is down to the instrument. The viola’s tonal variety becomes quite limited when it`s amplified and it’s a pity to lose that spectrum of sound, so at the moment the improvised music I play is mostly acoustic. As well as that, I don’t think I have the discipline required to be a jazz musician! The good thing about being a musician in a small city is that you’ve a small network and will invariably get roped into playing with lots of different people if you’re open to it. I’ve been playing as a member of Cian Nugent and the Cosmos for quite a few years now and more recently I’ve been playing with Woven Skull. I love playing with bands, it’s just a lot of fun.
What are you currently working on? At the moment I’m working on putting some sounds together for a solo release. I’m planning to keep it simple enough in the hope that it will happen a bit faster as I’ve a tendency to procrastinate and to prioritise group projects over solo stuff. There is also a duo release in the works of
an improvised set I did with violist Jorge Behringer at Monk and the Nun festival in Leitrim this summer. It’s going to be released on Sofia Records. I’ll be doing a couple of gigs with Cian Nugent and the Cosmos and Woven Skull before Christmas and a couple of solo ones too. I don’t have many plans for next year just yet but I’m really excited about a residency that I’ll be doing in summer at the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh.
Do you have any thoughts on the music scene in Ireland? There are so many good musicians here and there is a lot of activity and energy which is great, but I think sometimes it’s hard to feel connected internationally, especially with experimental music and improvised music. There are stronger scenes with much larger audiences in other parts of Europe and elsewhere, and it’s difficult to establish a similar scene here because it’s expensive to bring international artists over. And even if you succeed in bringing them here, there may not be good attendance. I think having an established venue for experimental music is a big part of it. The Joinery in Stoneybatter was great for that and it had its own audience- people who would go to hear an artist or musician who they were unfamiliar with because the venue had great programming and it had a reputation. There are more things springing up around the place these days though, particularly in Jigsaw off Mountjoy Square and in Lutherhaus on Adelaide Road.
WORDS BY DARRAGH KELLY 23
Sponsored Article Tea & Chats at Temple Bar’s Time H o u s e Two months ago Ciaran and Olga Hogan opened their door to passers by - not just any old door: The Clockwork Door. Since then their “time-house” has seen all kinds of visitors, from students in need of a place to study on a Sunday to board game enthusiasts looking for somewhere to get together for an afternoon. Nestled above a Japanese restaurant on Merchant’s Quay, their business concept is a new one for Dublin: visitors purchase time, and the space and facilities the building has to offer are theirs to use for that time. The facilities include high-speed WiFi, a coffee machine, microwave, and a pantry stocked with biscuits and over 100 types of tea. We visited them to see how things had changed since September and what they are looking forward to working on now that the business has established itself. Ciaran said that the thing that surprised them the most about how the space was being used was the amount of groups looking to have events there. Since its inception, there has been everything from film screenings to an Edgar Allan Poe night. Ciaran and Olga are currently organising three regular events themselves as well. Collaborative bomb-defusal game, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, is held on Wednesdays. Friday is Foreign Film Night, and on Sundays between 1-7pm it’s Boardgame Day, with a discounted admission rate of 3 euro per hour. All of these events are drop-ins, and open to everybody. They’re planning on adding loads of other stuff, like Artemis, to their line-up, so to keep up with any new activities check out their Facebook page! Despite the success of these events, the primary purpose of the Clockwork Door has not changed - it is to cater for passers-by who are coming in to hang out, eat or study. The study room is something that he didn’t expect to be so popular - especially on the weekends. Public and college libraries often have very limited opening hours on weekends and holidays, so to students like ourselves it’s not surprising that people are relieved to find somewhere that’s open late 24
almost every day of the year, with the quiet of a library and the facilities of a café! One of the inspirations behind The Clockwork Door was Ciaran and Olga’s desire to see Dublin’s social scene expand to include events that were not fuelled by alcohol. The Clockwork Door is an alcohol-free space, and offering a complementary alternative to Dublin’s pub scene is one of the things the owners hope to achieve with it. The group ALT Events, who organise a variety of non-alcoholic social events around Dublin, recently held their “Catch Me If You Can” event at The Clockwork Door, and Ciaran cites that as one of his favourite moments of the last few months. At the event participants were split into runners and chasers, and given a map of locations to get to at various points around the city. To win the game, you had to reach the final destination, The Clockwork Door, without being caught. “We’re interested in providing a space for people who are doing creative things, things which you’re going to talk about for a whole lot longer than that night
you went to the pub for a few pints”, he says. The Clockwork Door stays open a lot later than most coffee shops, til about 10pm, so it’s a good option for people who want to meet friends in the evening but don’t feel like a drink. As I was leaving, Ciaran showed me some drawings, origami and a handwritten card that some of their customers had left behind after their visits, proudly pinned on the noticeboard. If you’re looking for a place to display your art, be it poetry, paintings or crafts, don’t be shy about dropping into them. They will offer discounts for donated artwork of any kind, and unusual or rare maps, which they collect and display on the walls of the front room. As Ciaran said, “we would rather get art than money from customers at this stage. We want to be able to look at someone’s novel in years to come, and say, they worked on the first draft of this at The Clockwork Door.” With the view over the Ha’Penny Bridge, the quiet, and the coffee, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if his prophecy comes true!
REVIEWS THE GLASS SHORE New House ●●●●●
“Where is our book?” This question posed by Northern Irish writer Lucy Caldwell prompted the creation of The Glass Shore, a collection of short stories by women writers from Northern Ireland. Edited by Sinead Gleeson, it follows in the footsteps of The Long Gaze Back, the anthology of Irish women writers Gleeson edited in 2015. It is a marvellous collection, bringing together stories by women from many eras and backgrounds. Writers from Northern Ireland occupy a unique space. The competing claims on their identity – Irish or British, nationalist or unionist, neither or both – has left many beyond clean classification. It is perhaps this complexity which has led so often to their neglect within the literary canon. Falling between two traditions, it has proved easier to ignore that which cannot be categorised. Overwhelmingly, work by male writers from Northern Ireland has garnered the lion’s share of recognition. The Glass Shore seeks to remedy this double neglect, serving as an essential contribution to the ongoing reevaluation of the art we choose to privilege. Its existence serves as the perfect rebuke to those
who have sought to exclude the women featured between its covers. There is a breathtaking range of stories in the collection. From the eerie, high gothic “The Mystery of Ora” by Rosa Mulholland to the gloriously earthy “The Speaking and the Dead” by Tara West, each story is utterly its own. The brutal experience of a novice nun in “The Devil’s Gift” is exceptionally disturbing, the pathos of which is magnified by the quiet dignity of the prose. The impact of the Troubles and the meaning of borders is thematically evident in many of the stories in this collection. Evelyn Conlon’s “Disturbing Words” is a magnificent exploration of the disorientation that a border produces. The narrator tells us, “yes, I had gone away. First to Dublin, where they couldn’t stop hearing the headlines in my accent and then to further away, where it didn’t matter.” Can the splintering of self that the imposition of a border causes ever be escaped by running away, or are there other means by which your identity can be reclaimed? Rosemary Jenkinson’s “The Mural Painter” also focuses on division, examining the unique relationship between conflict, identity and art. “The Negotiators” by Annemarie Nevin explores unrest in a land far from Northern Ireland. It takes more than a change of clothes to understand the complexity of another nation’s strife. The stories in the collection are more than a meditation on the Troubles or the North’s
particular past. Ordinary human emotion lies at the heart of “The Countess & Icarus” by Polly Devlin. The undoing of a man by his love for a woman is one of the oldest stories there is. Devlin’s story is a marvellous examination of passion and bitterness. The detached narration grounds this theatrical tale in the tragedy of the everyday. Lucy Caldwell’s “Mayday” is a compelling story of a young woman who takes abortion pills. Its pragmatic, sympathetic portrayal of a young woman pondering the many facets of her decision is incredibly resonant within the current discussion regarding the bodily autonomy of women north and south of the border. “The Seventh Man” by Róisín O’Donnell ends the collection. This sinister modern myth mirrors the first short story in the collection, “The Mystery of Ora”, in its portrayal of love, mystery and the supernatural. It is a powerful imagining of the Hag of Beara, who is rejuvenated by passion and weakened by love. The grand themes present in this story are balanced with fantastic humour - the image of the Hag of Beara swiping left and right on Tinder will stay with me for a long time. Sinead Gleeson has put together a magnificent collection of stories by an extraordinary group of women. The 25 writers featured in the collection are each a marvellous testament to writing in Northern Ireland.
WORDS BY HANNAH BERESFORD
rather a gritty and realistic interpretation of ‘The Great War’.
Another welcome change is the addition of a sneak mechanic to the game. During several moments you find yourself outnumbered behind enemy lines, requiring the use of stealth to survive. When Battlefield has attempted this in the past, the mechanic often seemed rather clunky and arbitrary, but it’s fair to say that isn’t the case with this latest iteration. Through the use of low light and lures you can safely navigate unseen amongst the enemy, though the thrill seekers amongst you will be happy to know the game doesn’t force this upon you too harshly. Another staple of DICE gaming, destructible terrain, makes its return as well. Although, due to the fact that vehicles are a lot harder to counter, you should expect to see plenty of once safe redoubts reduced to rubble.
In a world dominated by ‘next gen’ shooters, science fiction, and concept driven games, it’s nice to see a polished, well made throwback like Battlefield 1 succeed.
For a long time, the Battlefield franchise was in danger of becoming stale, another clone to the popular Call of Duty franchise. Indeed, many of us could see the slow descent into banality. We could see that transition starting with the introduction of a progression based ‘unlock’ system and DLC multipacks. While DICE’s newest game doesn’t eliminate all of these problems, it certainly bucks the trend of modern gaming. Moving on to the multiplayer, the one criticism I do have with Battlefield 1 is the slight gameplay To begin with, Battlefield 1 is a wonderfully imbalance vehicles poses. Naturally when fresh release from EA. It combines the simple, striving for realism, one must realize that the tried and tested gaming experience derived average soldier in World War I is practically from early 20th century wars, with the polished useless in the face of a tank, but that’s seldom a sophistication and the smoothness of 21st consolation in multiplayer. When you combine century gaming. For the first time in awhile, the that with the rather open maps with long sight Battlefield single player campaign manages to lines, it’s easy to see why vehicles rule the day hold the attention, mixing personal stories with during online play. This is only somewhat jaw dropping backdrops and solid gameplay, counteracted by the in-game balancing measure which remains surprisingly fresh even after that supplies a ‘super unit’ (either a zeppelin repeat playthroughs. Neither do the main stories or an armoured train) to the losing side, a well tone down the bleak, abject horror of World War meant but poorly implemented idea as this tips I’s battlefields. There’s none of the nostalgic glory the scales too far in the opposite direction most we’ve come to expect from last gen shooters, but times and hands a victory to the losing team.
The snipers among you will be happy to hear you’re still the kings of multiplayer. Indeed with automatic weapons restricted to close range due to their inaccuracy and the trend towards bolt action weapons during that period, a good sniper has more relative power than ever before. A rather interesting feature of the new game is its ‘Conquest’ mode. This mode is essentially a rolling battle across a huge sprawling map that allows the attackers three attempts to push the defenders out. If successful, the losing team is pushed back to another map and the game continues, following the story of a World War I campaign faithfully. I get the impression this is a game mode that’s going to stand up very well and that DICE intend to flesh out. In short, Battlefield 1 is a smooth and tight game play experience, relying on robust core game play which has been polished to a shine. Despite the minor imbalance issues present in nearly all online games at launch, it’s quite easy to see this game having a long run of online play helped along by the updates DICE has in store.
WORDS BY DERMOT DAVERN
WORDS BY RACHEL GRAHAM
THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN STX Entertainment ●●●○○
The Edge of Seventeen is the latest big-budget high school movie to hit our screens. The conceit is familiar - a voiceover proclaiming “there are two types of people in this world” may well elicit a groan from anyone who isn’t still stuck in a high school world where these platitudes are comforting. While undoubtedly formulaic, the opening scenes - from the shot of scuffed trainers stepping out of a car in front of the school to the childhood memories montage - do what they’re supposed to: clearly and confidently let us know what we’re in for. What follows is a largely predictable, occasionally funny and altogether perfectly entertaining story about a young girl’s distress when her best (and only) friend starts dating her older brother. The relationships between Nadine and those around her are portrayed with real understanding, adding depth and interest to the grumpy-teen-against-the-world dynamic. The central performance, from Hailee Steinfeld,
is competent and polished, but fails to bring significant charm or humour to the character of Nadine. By far the best performance comes from Woody Harrelson, who plays Nadine’s sardonic but ultimately caring teacher, Mr. Bruner. His character provides moments of real hilarity, making comments like “your grandparents can’t last forever, can they?” when assuring Nadine that she will soon have the excuses she covets for neglected homework. The team behind The Edge of Seventeen have crafted a first class character in Harrelson’s
Warner Bros. ●●●○○
Mr. Bruner, which adds adds a genuine note of bold and unexpected humour to the film. Unfortunately, this aspect of the film is like a good tangy icing - commendable, but not sufficient to turn a plain cake into a delicious gateaux. Not moving enough to be an effective drama, not quite funny enough to succeed as a straight up comedy, it doesn’t compare to recent classics of teen cinema (Mean Girls, Pitch Perfect, Rushmore). However, it is stylish and well made, with decent writing, clever plot construction, a solid cast and a very on-trend soundtrack. A fine film.
My first impression of The Accountant was that Ben Affleck now looks remarkably like Robert McNamara. It is difficult to tell whether or not this is deliberate as the plot unfolds. In brief, the film is a fairly standard damsel-in-distress story. However, Affleck’s intriguing character thankfully manages to bring a degree of nuance to a familiar plot. Christian Wolff (Affleck) is an accountant with severe Asperger’s Syndrome who likes to adopt somewhat unorthodox clients. Behind the innocuous windows of the aptly named ‘ZZZ Accounting’, Wolff takes care of books containing accounts on dangerous criminal organisations, (it seems) for his own amusement.. The director of financial crimes in the US Treasury, Ray King, (a hilariously miscast JK Simmons) recruits a young dame (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), who he inexplicably has dirt on, to investigate the suspicious activity. Meanwhile, Wolff gets a call to check out dodgy dealings in a robotics firm and is introduced to their in-house accountant (Anna Kendrick). The two accountants share a few furtive glances and suddenly a hitman is pursuing them both. Aaaaaand we’re off… The story works best when it focuses on Wolff. Through various flashbacks, we learn of his difficult childhood with a father who firmly
believed that exposure to “the real world” is a necessity for survival. However, the film attempts to tie this excellent piece of humanisation into the modern day story in the third act, which doesn’t hold up very well at all. Think a messier version of Slumdog Millionaire crossed with The Raid. Simmons’ character is entirely extraneous until a lengthy scene two-thirds through which attempts to integrate him. Unfortunately, Simmons’ signature gruffness isn’t utilised nearly enough. In a similar case of poor writing, Kendrick’s role as love interest is frankly boring
and devoid of any action. The conclusion’s dramatic revelation is nonsensical enough to prompt a roar of laughter from the audience. The Accountant could have been an excellent in-depth analysis of Asperger’s Syndrome and its effects on the social psyche. By dressing it up as a thriller and adding some cliché characters, the potential glimpsed at the beginning was sadly lost. WORDS BY CAHAL SWEENEY 27
FREUD PROJECT IMMA
On the 21st of October IMMA opened its doors to the Freud Project, a five-year initiative. The collection showcases fifty Freud works, including paintings, etchings and one early drawing. This is the first time that IMMA has entrusted a series of galleries to a particular project for an extended period of time.Throughout the five-year period there will be a programme consisting of related exhibitions, commissions, research partnerships, and learning programmes. The aim of the project is to create a new space for reflecting on Freud’s work and what it means in the contemporary context. In this first year, all fifty works are on display in the Freud Centre in IMMAs Garden Galleries. In the following four years, the exhibition will include new commissions by contemporary artists in response to Freud. Lucian Freud, grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, was born in Berlin in 1922. In 1933, Freud and his family fled to London with the spread of the Nazi regime. He studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts London and Cedric Morris’s East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing in Dedham. Freud is considered one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century. His works have been shown in Tate Britain (2002), IMMA (2007) MOMA (2008), Centre Pompidou (2010) and the National Portrait Gallery (2010). Freud explores many themes in his works, which include still-lifes, landscapes, as well as portraiture and self-portraiture. He is renowned for his focus on the human form. Famously, Freud only worked from life, his studio being a very intimate setting. Often he asked his subjects to sit for hundreds of hours in order to capture more than just appearances. This intense process was central to Freud’s work as he was committed to capturing the psychological states and personalities of his subjects. He had close relationships with most of the people he included in his work, his subject matter often comprising of his family, lovers, friends, and himself. One sitter of Freud’s, Donegal business man, Pat Doherty, stated that “I realised that what he was trying to do was get inside your head… what Freud does is paint you from the inside out, tries to get into your character.” Doherty is seen in Freud’s works “Donegal Man” (2006) and “Profile Donegal Man” (2007), both part of the IMMA collection. He sat for around 100 hours for each of those portraits. 28Stepping into the Freud Centre, one is presented with portraits of Freud’s mother, Lucie Brasch (whom he was named after). Complicated ideas 28
about family can be traced through the works on display. Freud began painting his mother in 1972, after his father’s death, when she had fallen into a depression. One of my favourite paintings in the exhibition, for its honesty and intimacy, is “Painter’s Mother Resting” (1976). It depicts a broken woman lying on her bed with her hands up, the thickly applied brush strokes showing the wrinkles and crevices in her face. His daughters Bella and Esther were two of his most frequent sitters. “Bella and Esther” (1988) pictures the two women lying on a sofa, their poses somewhat awkward. Esther spoke in Jake Auberbach’s TV film, Lucian Freud: Portraits (2004) and stated “the painting I love most and feel is more me, is the picture of me and my sister Bella. There’s something humorous about it and I feel he captured both our characters in the way that we’re positioned… I feel really affectionate towards that painting.” Perhaps some of Freud’s most famous works include his self-portraits. The collection includes an early work, “Self Portrait” (1949), as well as “Reflection” (1985). Reflection and mirroring can be seen in both these paintings. Again, the thickly applied brush strokes give a distinct presence and emotional output to these self-portraits. Freud was also renowned for his ‘naked portraits’ of those closest to him. Subjects are usually depicted in a meditative mood, looking down or to one side, away from the viewer. A muted and earthy palette is used in most of these works. Freud said “as far as I’m concerned the paint is the person. I want it to work for me just as flesh does”. His thick strokes translate into flesh, skin, and hair. The exhibition is well worth seeing, and because it will last for five years it will be interesting to see where the project will take us. It gives us time to consider the stories it tells, and it will be interesting to see other artists’ responses to Freud, and exactly what the realist artist and work means to us in the contemporary world we find ourselves in. Wednesday-Sunday €8/5 | Tuesday Free | Students, under 18, IMMA Members: Free WORDS BY LOUISE CONWAY
ASKING FOR IT? REALITY BITES RTE
●●●●○ Confronting consent and sexual assault head on, Asking For It?: Reality Bites forces Irish society to question how we view these issues while simultaneously educating and keeping audiences entertained. Having already written a number one bestseller on the topic, the seminal Asking For It, author and Trinity graduate O’Neill tackles sexual violence head on in this televised special. Unlike in lecture theatres or cinemas, viewers are confronted with the harsh reality of this subject matter from the corner of their sitting room. O’Neill’s no nonsense approach is both refreshing and necessary. The Stanford Rape Case and even the introduction of Trinity Hall consent workshops are covered, illustrating changing and increasing media coverage. This is a documentary that highlights Ireland’s skewed view of sexual assault and what is being done to bring about change.
the opinion, as am I, that the negative backlash to the workshops highlighted that few people understand the broader concept of consent. In response to her article, Ruane was bullied, shamed and insulted by members of society, many of whom were women themselves.
The documentary was truly brought to life by O’Neill’s presence and honest discussion of her own experiences as a student in Trinity. These experiences are ones current students could easily identify with. O’Neill discussed the liberation she felt upon coming to college and discovering her sexuality. It was shocking to learn that someone so well informed as O’Neill was in her mid-twenties before hearing about ‘consent’. I am heartened to see that the profile of consent has been heightened further in this documentary. O’Neill also addressed the negative backlash she receives on social media when posting about feminist issues.
You must give this documentary a look. If I could make every student in the country watch it, I would. Louise O’Neill’s frank and thoughtprovoking documentary demonstrates just how much we need to educate ourselves on the issues raised. O’Neil poses a demand; Irish society must give serious consideration to what can be done to bring about a new culture free from slut shaming, blame laying and rape culture. This documentary is an example of just how powerful a TV programme can be.
Lynn Ruane, TCDSU president at the time of filming, is interviewed and her article in the Irish Times about ‘why she thought we needed to talk about consent’ is discussed. My mind was drawn back to last year when the news of the Trinity Hall consent workshops hit the media. As a co-facilitator for these workshops I was pleased to see that O’Neill covers the introduction of these workshops to Halls by the TCDSU, while also touching on the criticism received as a result. Comments such as ‘not all young men are rapists’ were made. Ruane was of
Asking For It: Reality Bites is available on RTE player before December 1st.
WORDS BY MARY HARTNETT
The documentary is largely comprised of interviews with a wide variety of individuals. Victims and support workers are approached, as well as legal staff and media. We saw the topic of consent from many different angles in a completely Irish light. Everyday examples of society’s entrenched culture of rape and sexual assault are given, from slut shaming to prison rape and ultimately doubting victims. The most painful example of this culture is without doubt the titular notion of ‘asking for it’. When interviewing American activist Kate Harding, audiences discover how communities worldwide react to sexual assault. When faced with a crime as horrific as sexual assault, it is easier to make excuses and lay the blame on the victim. The perpetrator, often an individual who is known in the community and well liked, is difficult to see as a rapist and a monster. Hearing these words spoken out loud by a prominent women’s rights activist drove the point home. We cannot afford to sit back and be complacent. We cannot wait for others to make the changes. We must do everything we can to change the cultural biases evident in Irish society. Harding defined our current society as ‘a culture that supports the needs of rapists more than the needs of victims’. It is a hard truth.
even the most uncaring viewer. At this point in the documentary, O’Neill reinforced the belief that we must stop looking to the victim for questioning. Instead, we must turn to the perpetrator and they must be the ones to face society’s disbelief and interrogation.
Niamh Ni Dhomhnail, a victim of sexual assault who waived her right to anonymity, told her story of sexual assault from a very personal perspective. She spoke courageously on camera. As a young woman who was raped multiple times by her long term partner, Niamh spoke openly of the shame and guilt she felt due to society’s incessant questioning. ‘How did this happen? How did you let this happen?’ Questions that, when re-lived by Ní Dhomhnail, would disturb 29
THE HEAVY ENTERTAINMENT SHOW Robbie Williams ●○○○○
A large portion of this publication’s readership probably aren’t old enough to remember the zenith of Robbie Williams’ career, which existed from around 1997-2000. Coming a long way from wearing leather chaps and slapping his arse while singing covers of disco hits for the amusement of teenage girls and middle-aged gay men in the early ‘90s, this period crystallised Williams’ mainstream success, resulting in him being one of the most successful British artists of all time. His output during that period veered wildly between earnestly saccharine (“Angels”, “She’s the One”) and cheekily ‘entertaining’ (“Millennium”, “Rock DJ”), each pole arguably laying the foundations for a karaoke pop culture that manifested itself in 2001’s Pop Idol, and subsequent X Factor. The Heavy Entertainment Show sees the return of Williams’ co-writer from that era, Guy Chambers: a man so middle of the road he managed to reign in Williams’ self-obsessed doggerel tripe, which he went on to happily wallow in for years after Chamber’s departure (“Okay then back to baseheads, dance like you
Project Arts Centre ●●●●○
Billed as Ireland’s first electronic opera, Heresy is an episodic account of the life of Giordano Bruno, sixteenth-century philosopher and theologian. Burned at the stake by the Roman Inquisition in 1600, the Dominican friar courted controversy and intrigue across sixteenth-century Europe as he repeatedly fled persecution for unpopular theories concerning Catholic doctrine. It is the first opera by Irish composer Roger Doyle, something akin to a founding father within this country’s history of experimental/electronic music. Choosing to largely depict Bruno’s interactions with European royalty and his protracted demise, interspersed with diversions into his ridiculously complex, absurdly comic play Il candelaio (a box of dildos breaking open is a diversion to say the least), the predominant soundscape is a glacial one, with the only live music element being two percussionists in a handful of scenes. Eerie, monotonous, dronelike vocal lines glide atop ambient synth pads, with occasional interjections of single piano key stabs and distortion/noise electronica. 30
just won at the Special Olympics/The R, U, D, E, B, O, X up yer jacksy, split yer kecks, sing a song of Semtex” from 2006’s ‘Rudebox’ being one lowlight in a panoply of utter crap). This album’s woeful lead single, “Party Like a Russian”, belies Chambers’ soporific influence, overstuffed as it is in a million uniquely terrible lyrical and vocal ideas, bearing all the hallmarks of Williams’ crayon. While the album has its fair share of ill-advised moments (“Bruce Lee” and its refrain of “Don’t you go throwing shade”, surely putting another nail in the coffin for drag’s counter-cultural credentials, while the title track’s “I’m about to strip and you’re my pole/ It’s just the tip but no one will know” provokes both pity and disgust), the overall effect is one
The direction leaves a little to be desired, with lots of slow, portentous walking and moments of slightly awkward blocking and choreography. Equally, the libretto is scarcely heard, an issue borne of the entire ensemble’s high register blending with the tape. What is heard is patchy, ranging from the declamatory/expositional to the overly weighty. A truly stellar cast, however, brush most of these faults to the back of one’s mind. Led by tenor Morgan Crowley as the adult Bruno, with the captivating 14-year-old Aimee Banks as young Bruno, they are unanimously outstanding. Structural issues in the first act give way to a far more developed, successful second act, with much greater synthesis of the disparate
of kaleidoscopic boredom. The Killers turn in an AOR Killers number, leaving one puzzled at their erstwhile popularity. Equally, some lad from Snow Patrol, Ed Sheeran, Rufus Wainwright, and Benny Blanco are all recruited in an attempt to save Williams from himself, to varying results. Nothing actually works, however. A karaoke popstar with a passable voice in an age of superhuman pop cyborgs, Williams is a relic, a ghost in the machine. One balks at the line “I am me” from “I Love My Life” for if there’s one thing Williams has never been able to be and seems palpably uncomfortable about in every song, it is himself. We’re all born naked and the rest is drag, eh? In some cases, it’s just really bad drag. WORDS BY DARRAGH KELLY elements at hand, narrative flow, and stage direction. Equally, a busier score demands more interest, with moments like Queen Elizabeth I’s wordless aria (recalling the wordless bed aria from Glass’s Einstein on the Beach) and Bruno’s imprisonment yielding fantastic set pieces and extended numbers. With pieces in the last 30 years like Luigi Nono’s Prometeo on the one hand and The Knife’s Tomorrow, In a Year on the other beating a new path through opera, Heresy could be regarded as both timeless and dated all at once by comparison. This may, in fact, work in its favour. Nevertheless, the production is moving and curious overall. One hopes that Doyle will continue to produce staged work and build upon the solid ideas on show in Heresy. WORDS BY DARRAGH KELLY
Powerscourt Townhouse ●●●●○
On Wednesday October 26th, the fashion film EPOCH was screened at the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre. The short film was created by Kilig, a Dublin-based duo, who aim to engage their audience through the creation of unique and powerful compositions. This aim is certainly realised in their production of EPOCH which captures Táine King’s fashion shoot showcasing the designs of Polina Yokobson. King, an Irish photographer, was commissioned by Marion Cuddy. Speaking to Tn2 Magazine at the film’s launch, King said that she was given complete creative freedom. She recalls falling in love with the power and strength of Yokobson’s Charles Yokob collection with its imposing, tailored outfits all in black. The artistry is undeniable and guests definitely admired the designs displayed during the night. A wide, black, triangleshaped hat that fell low over the face, paired with a textured black coat proved particularly noteworthy. When these designs are worn they are truly brought to life. The clothes would suit
Black America Again ●●●●●
The release of Common’s 11th studio album comes at a heated time in the American political and social sphere. In the midst of the election and continuation of the Black Lives Matter movement, Common’s new effort falls in line with the resurgence of political rap from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper and J. Cole. Black America Again springs forward as a much needed protest album with the title of the album proving a subtle kick to Trump’s presidential election slogan “Make America Great Again”. The title track “Black America Again” is an obvious standout with powerful lines such as: “I know that Black Lives Matter, and they matter to us” and “the new plantation, mass incarceration.” Stevie Wonder ends the song by repeating the line, “we are rewriting the black American story.” Clocking in at just under an hour, the album is a grand collage of jazz, R’n’B, soul and old school rap. There is an over-arching cinematic feel, most likely thanks to Common’s contribution to the soundtrack of Selma. At times the album drags with some songs like “Rain” and “Love Star” being lyrically weaker compared to the more politically charged tracks. Certain songs on the album add a personal touch to the theme of protest, acting as a nice counterbalance to the more
The film is only about ninety seconds long but its forcefulness is undeniable. The crowd was visibly captivated during the screening. In a speech to the audience, King refuted the idea that Irish creatives have to leave the country to thrive. This film, and the positive reaction it received on the night, is a testament to the exciting work being done right here at home. WORDS BY FIONNUALA EGAN
glamorous and indomitable women of any age. King’s beautifully dark and striking vision makes EPOCH a visually arresting production. It is composed of a series of shots that juxtapose beautifully crafted couture against the grime of an underground car park. The shoot was styled by Dean Nguyen. The androgyny of this shoot shows Nguyen’s interest in gender fluidity in the fashion industry. He has previously collaborated with King for I-D Magazine. The ethereal beauty of Not Another Agency model Rachel Quinn is made all the more intriguing with her modern look. Her statuesque figure and menacing movements pay homage to the subversive strength of Yokobson’s clothing. She sports close-cropped lime green hair and deep purple lips, courtesy of Malaysian-born, Dublin-based makeup artist Tee Elliott.
raw and aggressive numbers. “Little Chicago Boy” proves an intimate portrayal of his late father growing up, with a spoken word passage written by his father himself. Nonetheless, the closing songs of Black America Again make it not only a protest album, but one of celebration. “The Day Women Took Over” praises the likes of Oprah and Beyoncé for paving the way for women of colour to take up positions of power.
Black America Again is by no means a perfect album and it can be perceived that its message surpasses the music itself in terms of merit. However, this is what makes it such a vital album at such a crucial time. In an age where protest music is needed more than ever, this album comes with an authenticity that is hard to match. WORDS BY KEVIN BIRD 31
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? The Gate Theatre 7th November 2016 ●●●●●
Four characters, two calamitous marriages, one drunken night. This is the simple premise for Edward Albee’s superb Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, returning to the Gate Theatre after a stellar run in April. It is the story of two couples: George and Martha, a university professor and his colourful wife, and Nick and Honey, a younger colleague and his twee newly-wed, and the wicked night they spend together. The play is a visceral experience, with humour so dark one questions the morality in laughing along with it. Each of the four actors give performances of the year, raking the audience into their evening of drinking games as if we received the invites ourselves. It is a lewd, brash and fantastic piece of American theatre – something the Gate always does fantastically. The play attacks its own setting: America of the 1960s. The two couples battle societal expectations, and questions of infertility, unhappy marriages and consumerism abound. The idea of Betty Friedan’s ‘problem with no name’ continuously popped into my head, as both the male and female characters settled into their roles and jumped straight back out again as they became drunker. The authenticity of the setting is achieved by Jonathan Fensom’s spectacular set design – a homely, autumnal living room full of books and lamps. Mirroring the intense psychology of the play, the set seems more chaotic as the night goes on, with broken glass and strewn flowers failing to be cleaned up. The bright red walls and even ceiling echoes this chaos; the cosy autumnal atmosphere turning to anger. The lighting too is clever, brightening in parallel to the rising sun. Fiona Bell shines as erratic Martha, a striking character with a Medea-like fury surrounding her. Throughout the evening she goes from bullying her younger husband George to being firmly under his thumb. She uses words as weapons in her battle with George, conquering him in the first two acts before her ill-fated demise in the third. She is colourful, loud, desperate – and the perfect counterpart to George’s confined earnestness. Bell plays the drunkard with dignity, and is a truly class act. However, Martha’s strength as a female character does not override the misogynistic tendencies of the play. Two preponderant, off-stage male personalities dominate the tone of the play: Martha’s father, who is George and Nick’s boss, and Martha and George’s unnamed son, introduced in the first act. George becomes increasingly violent towards Martha, with explicit domestic violence 32
and suggestions of rape making for extremely uncomfortable viewing – he refers to this caper as ‘merely exercising’. The razor-sharp dialogue of playwright Edward Albee is the true star of the show. Even in 21st century Dublin, the script is bitterly brave, exposing the darkest sides of our psyches. Despite the insane amount of alcohol consumed throughout the three-act show, there is an edge of truth in each of the characters’ cutting remarks. A number of monologues interlude the action, which prevents the three hours from feeling too long. Each of the actors are fantastic storytellers, with much of the pre-history of the play being revealed in pockets of oration. Mark Huberman’s Nick was another stand-out performance. He embodied the great, widemouthed American actors of the time, with an impressively accurate Mid-western accent. Him and his wife, Honey, played by Sophie Robinson, had worthy chemistry. Robinson adds a raw comic effect to the play, a gentle reminder to the audience that laughter is play is allowed. The play has an intense physicality to it: the four characters jump from partner to partner, and while the actors portray this awkward tension quite well, an obscenity prevails due to the lack of consent. George pretends to read while Nick and Martha plan their trip to bed; he also calls Honey ‘angel-tits’. This sexual tension shows a childish,
jealous side to the characters, a reminder to the audience of how potent engaging in drinking games can be, especially when they are of such an intense psychological nature. Above all, the play is a reminder of the power of great acting – that sometimes theatre does not need anything bar talented actors and an ingenious script to viscerally affect. The four actors are a credit to their industry; to the emotionally exhausting work it must be performing such a script. The play does not condescend the audience in the slightest, asking us deep questions about love and fate and the imagination, of potential and happiness, and allowing us to come up with our own answers. The play ends with a commanding silence, a stark contrast to the literal screaming throughout. The audience leaves with a ringing in their ears, the beginning of a perpetual impact. WORDS BY AMYROSE FORDER
Anthony Carey ●●●●●
The Paleo diet makes sense. In a nutshell, it involves eating like our cavemen ancestors by only consuming what would have been available at hand. Nothing processed. It avoids grains, cereals, refined foods and sugar; and includes lean meat, fruit and nuts, vegetables, seeds and eggs. Research indicates it is our modern diet, full of processed foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, infertility, Parkinson’s and even depression. When you lead a busy lifestyle the Paleo diet might seem idealistic and as students we all know that processed foods are a lot cheaper and more convenient. However, I recently came across Paleo Ireland, a company that delivers a week’s worth of healthy ready made meals at a very reasonable price. I opted for The Brain Box set which is perfect for hard-working students. Each meal provides a high amount of Omega 3 and a high amino acid profile which is essential for maintaining peak performance in the classroom or boardroom. It comprises of five lunches: chicken caesar salad, chicken pesto salad, chicken supergreen soup, chicken & sweet potato soup, roast pepper soup and five dinners: moroccan chicken and chickpea stew, chilli con carne, red thai curry, pork stir fry & cauliflower rice and chilli lime chicken & cauliflower rice. Each perfectly
packaged, ready to be thrown in your bag in the morning and then heated up later when in college or at work. I found it very hard to find fault with these meals. The red thai curry, chicken pesto salad and the chilli con carne were definitely my favorites. I didn’t even crave my friday night chinese as the chilli lime chicken & cauliflower was like a “fakeaway”. If I had to criticize anything out of all ten meals, I would say that the caesar salad could have featured some more leafy greens personally, I wouldn’t call it a salad. Other than that everything was delicious, hearty and filling. The range of soups were wholesome and the cauliflower ‘rice’, that featured in a few of the dishes, made for a perfect replacement for the ‘carby’ element of meals which we crave so often. It made a fabulous alternative to regular rice, so much so that I probably wouldn’t buy rice again. Courgetti (spaghetti made with courgettes) accompanied the chicken pesto salad. It was my first time trying it and it made the perfect pasta substitute. The fresh pesto with the salad was also superb.
with its endless health benefits, is prescribed for strengthening our immune systems. It’s rare to find companies in this industry making stock from scratch as it’s significantly more expensive to manufacture. Paleo Ireland caters for every kind of customer. The Warrior Box and The High Protein box combined with their online macro tracker suits the health conscious gym goers perfectly. Starting at 55 euro I think it really is value for money. Even after a good food shop I still find myself eating out every day but having the paleo meals ready to go meant that I didn’t need to buy lunch and my food budget stayed well intact for the week. I couldn’t recommend The Brain Box enough, which I believe would be especially helpful during exams in order to ensure you’re eating properly when you don’t have time to cook.
WORDS BY ROISE NI MHAONAIGH
The amazing thing is is that they don’t taste like your usual ready made meals, they taste like real home cooking and that’s what sets Paleo Ireland apart from the rest. Anthony Carey, the founder of the company, ensures that all of the soups and stews are made with homemade traditional chicken stock. This magical broth, 33
In light of recent discussions around sex education in the media, notably with regard to RTE’s documentary Asking for It: Reality Bites and the introduction of sexual consent classes in some Irish universities, we asked three writers tell us about their personal experience of sex education. “What happens to boys?” Those are the words that haunt me whenever I cast my mind back to the handful of sex-ed lessons I received. The woefully inadequate animation that I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with explained with a chirrupy cheerfulness the physical changes a boy’s body went through during puberty. We were shown it twice, first in Primary school and then again, a year later, in secondary. It was only the second time that us ‘lads’ were also shown the accompanying video “what happens to girls?” an admittedly more detailed and scarring video that featured the same delighted narrator. The videos offered no guidance on sex, or mental maturation, or what happens to boys who think they’re girls, or girls who like girls, or boys who like nobody, or even why puberty happened. Our primary school teacher told us about sex and condoms and the pill. Our secondary school teacher spoke only about abstinence. It seemed to me a step backwards, but I was too busy freaking out over what happens to girls to speak up. - Michael Mullooly I spent the first four years of secondary school in a loreto abbey. It was the type of school that boasted life-size statues of Jesus in the corridors, morning prayers and monthly mandatory mass. My formal sexual education was part of a larger HSPCE module - maybe a chapter in the textbook, or a two week long topic, and the occasional speaker came in to show us disgusting pictures of STDs. It wasn’t so much about the act as opposed to the consequences, and believe me when I say the consequences were dire. Apart from graphic imagery, much of the topic dealt with the many, already-experienced changes to our bodies (as if most of us hadn’t already dealt with pubes and boobs), as well as the basics of being horny teenagers. In a nutshell, much of what was “learnt” was simply common teenage knowledge, passed between groups of friends in the corridors (with Jesus watching from overhead). For me personally, sexual education came via word-of-mouth, while the class was simply a chance to pass notes and doodle aimlessly. Not an education, but a dull reaffirmation. - Sarah Morel We had a brief foray in primary school. We covered the basics of menstruation and reproduction, and discussed sexual abuse and inappropriate touching. In secondary school; SPHE classes were a few times a year. Plenty of very red faces and howling laughter. We were asked to anonymously submit questions to be answered aloud; this was quickly scrapped when a boy at the back of class bellowed out “WHAT DOES CUM TASTE LIKE?” I can’t remember anything except: no sex until you’re ‘ready’, condoms=good, and STIs/STDs=bad. My best s e x ed experience was when a local GP held a Q & A session for the entire year group. It was the most honest and open discussion about sex a n d sexual health that I had in school. Most of my friends actually felt like they had learned something. Never trust anyone who says they’ll pull out, and boys properly need to wash… down there. Although this was the most informative class I can remember, it was probably too late by 4th year. Many people had already had some form of sexual contact. I would say for quite a liberal and open school, we experienced an above average sex education. Yet we only covered reproduction and protection, with no discussion of healthy relationships, pleasure or consent. Biology and Home economics had to help fill in the gaps. - Emma Byrne