VOLUME 4: PANDEMONIUM

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VERTIGO SECTION NAME

PANDEMONIUM

PROMOTING LIBERALISM IN AN AGE OF INCREASING FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISM by Jackson Ross LUST SLUT by Frances Harvey

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WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE by Tom Disalvo

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Photographer: FJ Gaylor

Enquire Now UTS Tower Building, Level 3, Room 22 | (02) 9514 1155 utsstudentsassociation.org.au/peertutoring


Acknowledgement of Country SECTION NAME

The University of Technology Sydney would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the Traditional Custodians and Knowledge Keepers of the land on which UTS now stands, and pays respect to Elders past, present, and emerging. Maree Graham Deputy Director, Students, and Community Engagement Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education & Research Vertigo would like to extend a personal acknowledgement to the Traditional Custodians and Knowledge Keepers of the land on which we lived and worked as editors and designers during the creation of this magazine. We pay respect to Elders past, present, and emerging, and extend this respect to any First Nations’ people reading this volume. As students, we must acknowledge the Indigenous contributions to academia that have enriched our understanding of Australian history and culture. We exist on stolen land, and recognise that sovereignty has never been ceded.

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Brekkie & Dinner On Us! The UTSSA runs Bluebird brekkie and Night Owl noodles, right in the heart of UTS.

Follow us on Facebook for regular updates www.facebook.com/BluebirdBrekkie


Hannah Bailey and Alice Winn would like to acknowledge the Garigal and Dharug people of the Guringai Nation Erin Ewen would like to acknowledge the Garigal and Caregal people of the Eora Nation. Mauli Fernando would like to acknowledge the Dharug people of the Eora Nation Tara Frawley would like to acknowledge the Bidjigal and Gweagal people of the Eora Nation. Angela Jin and Rachel Percival would like to acknowledge the Wallumedegal/Wallumettagal people of the Eora Nation. SECTION NAME

Sevin Pakbaz and Katherine Zhang would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. If it is within your means, please consider donating to an Indigenous organisation such as: Blak Business — “Bringing together information, knowledge and resources to facilitate broader learning and discussion about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander topics.” — blakbusiness.com.au IndigenousX — Indigenous media organisation — Indigenousx. com.au Seed — Fighting for climate justice — Seedmob.org.au Black Rainbow — Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Sistergirl and Brotherboy (LGBQTI+SB) Organisation — blackrainbow.org.au ANTaR — Advocacy organisation dedicated to justice, rights and respect for Australia’s First Peoples — antar.org.au

Get Involved

More organisations can be found here:

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EDITORS’ * LETTER

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Dear Vertigo readers, Here we are, officially past the half-way point of the academic year! For quite a few of us on the editorial team, this will be our final semester as undergrad students at UTS, so what better way to celebrate than with a volume entirely dedicated to chaos, disorder, and dysfunction? Welcome to Pandemonium, we hope you enjoy the ride. This volume was put together in the shadow of Autumn Semester, while the stress of exams and internships were at an all-time high. And yet, UTS students pulled through and delivered creative, inquisitive and deliciously chaotic content. As always, we would like to thank each and every contributor who helped put this volume together. We are immensely proud that Vertigo stands as a testament to the diverse creativity and culture of UTS. The last couple of years taught many of us how to embrace both external chaos, and the chaos within us. Pandemonium showcases the grandiose spectacle that sparks when you fight fire with fire. This sheer display of bizarrity is merely a fraction of it all. As students, we grow accustomed to juggling many things at once, and wearing multiple hats. Layers upon layers. At times, studying can be tumultuous. Life can be messy.

It can be chaotic nights out and even messier morning afters. It can be putting on a deep house playlist because you think it will make you type faster as 11:59 approaches. It can be walk-running behind slow movers in the Central Tunnel, and rushing because you have no sense in time. It can be forgetting your student ID so you have to study in the weird, purgatory-esq level in Building 2. It can be you switching on and off like a broken light. Hot N Cold like Katy Perry. As a generation laced with existential dread and fabulous egos, it just goes on. Sometimes for just a second, other times an eternity. There’s pleasure and pain to be found when you face chaos head on, and we hope this volume reflects that. But wait! This mag isn’t all the Pandemonium you get. We’re holding an exhibition on Level 1 of the Library (Building 2) until the 17th of September, showcasing visual, interactive and performance art submitted to Vertigo. While we always provide content warnings, please be aware that this issue does delve into some darker subjects. We also heavily reference conflicts happening around the world, including the continued struggle in Palestine and the conflict in Myanmar. If any of these subject matters affect you in a negative way, please see our contents page for resources. With loving, chaotic energy, The Editorial Team

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EDITORS: Alice, Angela, Erin, Mauli, and Sevin DESIGNERS: Katherine, Tara, Hannah, and Rachel

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Our most *controversial* beliefs. We will not elaborate. We said what we said.

Blueberry is the inferior berry Pineapple on pizza is actually good Kombucha is literally dirty, cold bin juice Men of colour walked so Harry Styles could run Chris Evans isn’t that hot

People who don’t have their Opal cards ready shouldn’t be allowed on the bus F45 is a cult House plants are needy and should learn how to take care of themselves

Veganism isn’t that hard Star Wars is shit Body positivity is cringe and toxic — body neutrality is where it’s at

Nissan Cubes are so cute

Macbooks are for people who don’t know how to use real computers

Rihanna won’t ever be dropping that album Canva is actually a useful tool that makes graphic design more accessible (stop gatekeeping design!)

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CONTENTS

CONTENT WARNINGS Vertigo readers should be advised that there are content warnings before relevant pieces. Please keep this in mind as you enjoy our magazine; your health and safety are important to us. Some articles and images contain themes or references to ableism, alcohol, anti-LGBTQ+ violence, child abuse, colonisation, death, fascism, genocide, gun violence, mental ill-health, misogyny, racism, r*pe, sexism, sexual assault, sexual reference, sexual violence, suicide, transphobia, Queerphobia, violence. Please keep this in mind as you enjoy our magazine; your health and safety are important to us.

FICTION I’VE BEEN FEELING A LITTLE SLUGGISH LATELY Tania Sutiono

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ATRIUM 33 Tony Phan FADE TO BLACK 42 Stephanie Susanto ‘ONLY PASSING BY’, ‘MONKEY GRIP’, ‘A SINGLE STEMMED SUNFLOWER’ Izzie Conti

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THE FIRST PRIDE WAS A RIOT: FROM CHAOS TO CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP Erin Ewen

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THE QUESTIONS YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK: SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE Alice Winn

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THERE’S NO ROOM FOR DIVERSITY IN MEDIA Anonymous DO I REALLY NEED TO SUCCEED BY 25? Mauli Fernando

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FAST CUTS TO FASS COURSES AT UTS Joseph Chalita

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WEIGHT IN GOLD Alice Winn

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WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE Tom Disalvo

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PROMOTING LIBERALISM IN AN AGE OF INCREASING FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISM Jackson Ross

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Contact the UTS Counselling Services on 9514 1177, or visit the UTS Counselling Services website to find out more and access the extensive online self-help resources. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please consider speaking to your local GP, a healthcare professional, or calling one of the numbers below. Lifeline — 13 11 14 Beyond Blue — 1300 22 4636 If you or someone you know is experiencing or has experienced sexual abuse, you can call or refer to the following confidential hotlines. General — 1800 737 732 Counselling — 1800 211 028 Crisis Centre — 1800 424 017 If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or child abuse, call or refer to the following 24/7 confidential free hotlines.

Domestic Violence Line — 1800 656 463 NSW Child Protection Helpline — 13 21 11 If you are struggling with self-injurious behaviour, such as self-harming or an eating disorder, please reach out to the following: Butterfly Foundation — (02) 9412 4499 If you, or someone you know, is struggling with or has struggled with drug or alcohol abuse, please consider speaking to your local GP, a healthcare professional, or calling the numbers below. Alcohol and Other Drugs Information Service (ADIS) — 1800 250 015 NSW Quitline — 13 7848 (13 QUIT) Available Monday to Friday: 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Available Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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AMPLIFY

MANLAND 12 Zac Cutcliffe

CONFORMITY IN CREATIVITY AND ADHD: A TALK WITH ALUMNA KIM GRIFFIN Sevin Pakbaz

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A CONVERSATION WITH NOUR HAMMOURI: PRESIDENT OF THE UTS PALESTINIAN YOUTH SOCIETY Sevin Pakbaz

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DOODLE WORK VII 18 Christopher Rogers OVERLOAD 20 Tahlia Langfield LUST SLUT 24 Frances Harvey THRILLER/DISTURBANCE 36 Georgie Brogan I AM FANTASIZING ABOUT MY BODY Yuheng Dai

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A LIST OF PEOPLE WHO CARE: 60 PHOTOJOURNALISM FROM THE 2021 CLIMATE STRIKE Jayan Pascoe TECHNICOLOUR DREAMS 76 Ashley Elworthy STATE OF (UN)REST 78 Miela Malyon INTERNAL DETATCHMENT 90 Georgia Hearn

OFFHAND PLAYLIST 15 Sevin Pakbaz PANDEMONIUM WITHIN THE PAGES: BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS WITH UTS LITSOC UTS Literary Society

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WINE PAIRINGS FOR THE SOUL Fiona Ryan

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OF QUARTZ YOU NEED CRYSTALS IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW! Sevin Pakbaz

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HOROSCOPE HAIKUS 102 Erin Ewen


The First Pride Was a Riot: From chaos to corporate sponsorship by Erin Ewen

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CW: Queerphobia, violence, suicide, alcohol On the 28th of June, 1969, New York City police violently raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gathering place for the Queer community in NYC. Resistance led by trans women of colour, including Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Riveria, supported by the surrounding Queer community, resulted in six days of protests. During this time, violent clashes with law enforcement, subsequent arrests and even an attempt to set the Inn on fire, further increased tensions between Queer individuals and their oppressors. These events, now known as the Stonewall Riots or Stonewall Uprisings, acted as one of the catalysts for the Gay Liberation movement and took place in the month many of us now celebrate as Pride. While it can be argued that this movement began decades earlier in Europe, there is little doubt that the events that happened at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 were instrumental in the mainstream understanding of Gay Liberation, and in the development of Queer activism today. It is poignant to recognise the use of the term 'riot' in the context of 1969 as this term was originally used to warrant the excessive force displayed by police during the Stonewall Uprisings. However, LGBTQ+ press covering the events at the time immediately described the events as a riot, and this phrasing has been readapted into the Queer lexicon of today as a way of recognising the anger and sever indignation expressed by the community at the time.

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In Australia, on the 24th of June, 1978 — almost ten years after the events of the Stonewall Riots — the first Mardi Gras parade happened in Sydney. As an act of Gay solidarity, this day-time march turned into a larger parade come nightfall. This celebration was said to be somewhat reminiscent of the Mardi Gras we know today. A flatbed truck blasting ‘Glad to be Gay’, lead a succession of jubliant, chanting Queer people in colourful outfits down Oxford Street. However, when the contingent continued, they were met with extreme violence from police officers when they reached Darlinghurst. Brutal bashings and 53 arrests spurred retaliation from the community. What started as a peaceful and joy-filled demonstration quickly turned into a horrific display of homophobia. The actions of these original protestors, now known as the 78’ers, have become integral to the equality movement in Australia, from the eventual legalisation of homosexuality in NSW in 1984, to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2017. Their activism created built the Queer community we know today. Each year, Mardi Gras rolls around with a wave of glitter and rainbow-coloured products. June follows in similar fashion. The first Mardi Gras I attended was in 2016, well after corporate sponsorship of the parade. Seeing the rainbow ANZ logo and buying pride-themed bottles of vodka seemed par-for-the-course.


While it is important to recognise the collective joy felt at this time and the immense power and freedom found in expressing one's self, it remains equally important to acknowledge the history of Queer resistance. We now wave pride flags with joy becuase Queer — significanlty trans women of colour — resisted violence and homophobia. As young, Queer individuals, remembering the legacy and struggle of those in the community who came before us has become paramount to appreciating the full Queer experience. These legacies are also the reason why so many of us continue to defend the everyday rights and freedoms of LGBTQI+ individuals, which unfortunately still come into question in 2021. Whether it be by discriminatory legislation, lack of cultural acceptance or concerning statistics, regarding homelessnes and suicicde, the oppression of Queer individuals is sadly still felt today across the world. Through activism and Queer allyship, we can continue to fight against discrimination and oppression. This pride, let’s commemmorate those who came before us and acknowledge that there is no Queer liberation without Bla(c)k liberaiton. Let’s continue, until the day we can celebrate truly intersectional equality.

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"We now wave pride flags with joy becuase Queer — significanlty trans women of colour — resisted violence and homophobia."

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the Stonewall Uprisings and the first Mardi Gras in Sydney, please check out these sources: Netflix documentary: The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson

The first Pride was a riot. Let's honour the trans women of colour behind it.

The Stonewall You Know is a Myth:

What happened at the first Mardi Gras:

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The following are a collection of responses from queer UTS students, responding to the prompt, The First Pride Was A Riot. The varied perspectives within these responses highlight some of the challenges faced in the Queer community today, and the ongoing legacy of Queer resistance.

EC, Communications: “After attending a Marriage Equality rally in 2015, I came out publicly. The energy I felt that day emboldened me to fully accept myself, and my community.” Riley Ellis (she/they), Mechatronics Engineering: “I’m over the One Night Annually Allies. All the protests we’ve had this year for trans rights, yet they’d only show up if it’s in the form of a glitter party.

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MC, Environmental Science: They ask me how ‘gay’ they can dress as an ally. Is a rainbow pantsuit too much for an all cis/straight Mardi Gras party? What about rainbow socks from Typo? Would I like to join them — essentially as part of their outfit? They praise themselves for appearing supportive but collectively draw the line at actually helping us.” Emily James (she/her), Media Arts and Production and Creative Writing: “I’m eternally grateful for the generations of Queer people that have come before me and whose relentless activism has made my life that little bit easier. Whether they shared the first gay kiss or the first coming out on Australian TV, or uprooted their ‘heterosexual’ lives in order to live authentically, their strength and perseverance is the reason we can enjoy Queer community and safer celebrations of Queer identity. So many minorities reach out to their elders for guidance and celebrate their selfless contributions to their communities — so why don’t we?"

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“When discussing pride and its origins in the Queer liberation movement, we need to better acknowledge the role of Black & Indigenous Queer activists, especially Bla(c)k trans women who still to this day face disproportionate violence and oppression.1 We see Queer rights being viciously under attack globally from Hungary to Arkansas, but even in NSW, we have Mark Latham's disgusting antitrans rhetoric working its way through parliament.2,3 Pride was never founded as a festival, diluted with neoliberal pinkwashing and for as long as it remains as such, Queer liberation will keep taking steps backwards. To all my Queer friends out there, I see you, I hear you, and I'll be there with you at the protests (or riots) to come."

1. 2021 on pace to be deadliest yet for trans and gender nonconforming Americans

2. Mark Latham's bill seeks to ensure trans and queer children remain in the closet

3. ‘We deserve the dignity of being known’: Teddy Cook’s transgender speech


Passionate about change? Get involved with your UTS Students’ Association.

Photographer: FJ Gaylor

utsstudentsassociation.org.au facebook.com/UTSStudentsAssociation


MANLAND

SHOWCASE

ZAC CUTCLIFFE

OFFICEWORKS

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NAP TIME

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HELMET BOYS

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PLAYLIST

1. OHFR? - RICO NASTY 2. TANTRUM - ASHNIKKO 3. KIM - TKAY MAIDZA 4. KISMET - WHOKILLEDXIX 5. TAKE WRISKS - YAMEII ONLINE, DEKO 6. DON’T LOOK AT ME - POORSTACY 7. DARKO - FREDDIE DREDD 8. SUGARCRASH! - ELYOTTO

9. ASCENSION - GORILLAZ, VINCE STAPLES 10. BAD GIRLS - M.I.A 11. OPUS - BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD 12. BLOODMONEY - POPPY 13. JOHN L - BLACK MIDI 14. DADDY AF - SLAYYYTER 15. IRIS - BLACKWINTERWELLS

SCAN CODE:

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I’VE BEEN FEELING A LITTLE SLUGGISH LATELY by Tania Sutino

I found a bowl full of slugs when I went outside last night. They were eating the food that we set aside for our cats earlier that day, gleaming almost translucent in the darkness. Shiny. Globular. Porous. They put their mouths to the dry masses, their bodies sticking to the plastic, their shapes like bloated fingers, all the while oozing slime and waving their eyes around on flimsy stalks. These days, I sleep a lot. Then, I wake at night to head to the back of the house and stare out the window. Sometimes there are bats in the guava tree, rustling the leaves and chittering. When I step outside, I startle them. They shake off the branches and the pulp they were chewing falls wetly to the ground. Tiny round seeds scatter in the hard dirt. The fruit smells sweet. I often think about what it might feel like under my fingers, how the flesh might squash beneath my nails. How has uni been? Ask my relatives. Are you adjusting well? How are your classes? The concrete at UTS heats up really nicely around midday, I tell them. The stairwells smell cold. I sleep on the train. Don’t worry; I’ve never missed my stop before. I always wake up just in time.

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And that’s the sum of my knowledge: my eyes catch on the corners of buildings and my hands catch on the railings, then my head forgets all their shapes. I could tell you more about the things I’ve picked up. On a Sunday walk, I dug my thumb into the stem of a stray vine and pulled its fruit away. And when I tore it gently apart, its sap sank into my skin. On a Tuesday night, I found a lanyard on the streetside and now it’s where I put my ID cards. This man I met in an empty parking lot one sunny afternoon with the clouds overhead, well, he told me that over near the racecourse, there were shaded benches where it would be pleasant to sit, more so than the dusty ground.

FICTION

I could tell you about the rot laying in the creek bed near my house, the way it smells when it’s dry; the index cards on the floor beside my bed, their empty spaces stacking up; the broken statue on my shelf; my basket of unfinished crochet pieces; the glueclogged paintbrush sitting in a mug right next door. Once, barefoot in the rain, I stepped on a slug. It came apart like wet dough under my heel, smearing into grey pulp on the concrete. Its innards mixed with the water.

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CHRISTOPHER ROGERS

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DOODLE WORK VII

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by Tahlia Longfield


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T he q ’s The q’s y ou’v ’ve e you’ve a lways always w anted wanted t o a sk: to ask: Socialist Alternative by Win n by Alice Alice Winn Winn CW: RACISM, COLONISATION, COLONISATION, TRANSPHOBIA


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When you hear the term ‘radical student revolutionaries’, perhaps one group comes to mind. mind. Socialist Alternative are often at the forefront of various student campaigns and are a fixture of student participation in protests. These activities have gained the group quite the reputation on campus. Whether you have been approached on campus to sign a petition, buy a copy of Red Flag, or marched alongside the collective at rallies, you’ve probably heard of them. The Vertigo team had the opportunity to interview a member of UTS Socialist Alternative to hear about their approach to student activism first-hand. Here are the questions you’ve always wanted to ask a member of SALT:

1.

Could you briefly outline the mission and purpose of your organisation for our Vertigo readers?

Socialist Alternative is the largest revolutionary socialist organisation in Australia. We exist to build resistance against the injustices of capitalism, exploitation and inequality due to war, environmental destruction, racism and other forms of oppression. Ultimately, we believe a workers’ revolution is necessary to demolish the capitalist system and replace it with socialism; a society run by the workers’ democratic organisation of production. Today, that means promoting any resistance to injustice and oppression that helps mobilise students and workers. At UTS, we’ve been key activists in the campaign against job cuts on campus. We’ve promoted the rolling demonstrations against the Israeli apartheid in solidarity with the struggle to free Palestine. We have organised UTS students to join the Black Lives Matter demonstrations and the protests against Mark Latham’s transphobic bills to name just a few of the campaigns our club is involved in.

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“The most significant difference between Socialist Alternative and other political forces at UTS is that we’re for a revolution against capitalism.”

2.

What are the most significant differences between your values and the values of other political bodies existing within UTS?

The most significant difference between Socialist Alternative and other political forces at UTS is that we’re for a revolution against capitalism. A revolution isn’t on the cards in Australia any time soon, but that idea of radical change shapes how we approach activism, here and now. So we’re not for sucking-up to the university administration, lobbying the government, campaigning for the election of the Labor Party, working for NGOs or trying to diversify the ruling class — we’re for mass action, protests, militancy and workers’ strikes. That’s why we’re constantly promoting protests for different progressive causes most days of the week — change doesn’t come through parliament, it’s on the streets and in the workplaces.


3.

Who is the force behind the organisation? How does your leadership system work?

Members of Socialist Alternative are socialist activists who agree with the politics of revolutionary socialism. They are members of their trade union or campus union and are active in building progressive campaigns and attending demonstrations. We’re a democratic organisation that has an elected leadership at a national and campus level who are responsible for coordinating our activist work. We don’t want to simply talk shop with no real activism, or just have a few members off in the corner reading Lenin. We’re all proud of our radical democratic culture that’s about the members of SALT (Socialist Alternative) engaging in both theory and activism.

4.

Activism has arguably become a more ubiquitous part of youth culture over the past few years, especially since the BLM movement. What are some similarities and differences in how you approach activism now, versus when you first started?

5.

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Capitalism in 2021 is a system that has undergone a series of crises which have led to a revival of mass protest and rebellion. Even a few years back in 2019, growing inequality led to uprisings around the world from Hong Kong, to Chile and Lebanon. Last year, the pandemic showed just how twisted the system is with leaders around the world prioritising the economy over public health, and billionaires getting richer while the poor get poorer. Black Lives Matter in particular was the largest uprising in the US since the Civil Rights movements and that mass struggle has spread reverberations everywhere, including in Australia. People can see that the system isn’t broken, it was built this way. Young people are participating in mass protests about the climate, racism and inequality and are more open to radical critiques towards the police, the state and capitalism. We really believe we need to rebuild a left in this country that’s ready for the next big rebellion, because it’s not enough to be against this or that injustice, the whole system needs to go and that is going to take organisation.

“People can see that the system isn’t broken, it was built t h is way. ...the whole system ...”

What are your current main objectives and activities?

The socialist club is currently focused on building solidarity with the struggle for a free Palestine and preparing for the Socialism Conference in Sydney in September. A few of our members will be speaking at the conference on radical union and anti-racist history and all of our members will be heading along to the first national gathering that the radical left has been able to host since the pandemic began.

6.

If you could make 3 major changes within UTS, what would they be? Would these be your long-term goals?

We’re currently facing some of the biggest changes on higher education in a generation, with the government increasing fees for humanities last year, the funding cuts this year and at a campus level, hundreds of staff facing the sack. The UTS socialists will continue to fight the Vice Chancellor’s austerity agenda on campus as ultimately, we want a student movement that can win a free and fully-funded public higher education sector.

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Lust Slut A UTS FASHION HONOURS COLLECTION by Frances Harvey

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Modelled by Stef Roberts-Thompson & Maneesha Gopalan

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FRANCES HARVEY

CW: Sexual references, misogyny The LUST SLUT collection explores notions of female sexuality, with a deep focus on Victorian era pornography. Erotic art has been pivotal to the history and culture of numerous nations and ethnicities, contributing to much of their artistic output. However, with the obscenity laws and restrictions that came about in Britain in the late 19th century, the abhorration of nudity and ‘pornography’ was born. The Western world continues to have a confusing relationship with the female form, maternal health, and anatomical understandings of the reproductive system. Female sexuality and self pleasure have a turbulent history deserving of acknowledgment and appreciation. Why are vanity and selfishness associated with selfgenerated nude photos of women, yet similar work by male artists is revered?

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To this day we continue to shame and discourage female sexual empowerment, using words like ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ to diminish a woman’s sexual worth. This collection seeks to re-appropriate these terms in more meaningful and powerful ways. Using second hand textiles and domestic influences, this collection critiques traditional interpretations of female sexuality and blends the past with the contemporary. Through digitally generated imagery and the exploration of Victorian erotic photography, bodies are explored on and off the textile pieces, which adds dimentionality to the collection. Self-generated poetry was a central driver to the design process and features in many of the prints. These poems evoke the chaos, uncertainty, and messiness of sexual awakening and the journey of self-identity.


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Nevertheless, I felt immense support from UTS which helped me gain confidence in my abilities as a designer. From the financial assistance team helping me out with expensive Adobe subscriptions, to the free Bluebird meals providing students with noodle-y goodness, I felt as though all of my needs were met by UTS over the past couple of years. I lived at Yura Mudang (UTS accommodation), made friends, and pursued a degree which has given me a foundation to build my career upon. My goals sometimes felt impossible, especially this year. The bushfires came up to the village next to my hometown, and then the pandemic hit while I was starting my final year. While being away from home was hard, campus life connected me with Gadigal land and the inspiring people who live here, as well as more opportunities than I could imagine. Living on campus made life easier when I studied the Google Project (I highly recommend that subject for VisCommers) and worked as an intern at Digitas (an opportunity provided to some of us by the Visual Communications faculty). A friend of mine once told me to become clear about what my priorities are and follow through with those, otherwise, one’s

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existence becomes a fractured mess. So I found my holistic priorities — finishing my degree with marks that will get me into further study, meditation, starting my freelance business as well as being active every day — which made it easier for me to see tiny steps of progress. Visualisation is a meditation technique I use, which requires taking some time out of your day to imagine yourself in the life you want and as the person you want to be.

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I started life at UTS by travelling up north from a small town in the Southern Highlands. I was vivacious, eager to begin a new life for myself in the big smoke. Looking back, the notion of travelling to one destination and beginning a hierarchical journey in a Eurocentric system is a path I inadvertently followed.

I advise students to seek out financial support when in need. I know first hand that there is nothing worse than eating twominute noodles every night while working part-time, studying full-time and trying to maintain good grades. Another tip is to ask for help — see your tutor outside of class time, either on a Zoom call or in-person. They are there to help you, not to scare you! Get together with your peers for social hangouts and make friendships that will give you heartwarming memories and funny anecdotes which will be with you for years to come. Consequently, the pandemic became a wise tutor that taught us how connected we really are. As designers, we have the chance to change the way people see and feel about things and how well people are educated on important issues. Aritvism is a way people express activism visually on social media and has played a key role in the BLM protests as well as LGBTIQA+ liberation. Design can be used for the betterment of society or perpetuate more negative influences, such as promoting toxic ideologies through propaganda. Rather than succumbing to our animalistic natures (you’ve seen it — people fighting over toilet paper), we have the privilege to help people

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FRANCES HARVEY


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CW: Racism, sexism, ableism, mental ill-health

by Anonymous PG# 30


My first exposure to Australian media saw a mix of mostly white people and the occasional person of colour. As a child, I would immediately notice the few Asian people in the media at the time. I remember watching Hi-5 and seeing Kathleen, a Filipino-Australian woman straight away. She became my favourite because she looked like me. This is not to say that I only loved Asian people in the media — I looked up to many people who weren’t Asian in the media I consumed — but I did notice how little representation people like me had in Australia, especially now as a student aspiring to be in the media industry.

"If you’re not given any learning opportunities, you’re not in an internship that will benefit you, you’re in an internship where you’re being taken advantage of." PG#

ANONYMOUS

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Media diversity. It’s a term being thrown around a lot since last year’s Australian Media Diversity Report stating that 75.6% of people were of an Anglo-Celtic background; considering an estimated 58% of Australians identify with that background, this is a clear overrepresentation.1 Some people may still be wondering, ‘Yes, there’s an overrepresentation of Anglo-Celtic people... but so what?’ As a South-East Asian person, I care about seeing a familiar face to show me that there is room for diversity in my media. As a person of colour, I want fair representation in an industry that continues to shape society’s worldview. Without representation, there’s a lack of diverse exposure. With mostly white representation, there is a limited lens through which people will see stories. That limited lens is what breeds a lack of understanding of other cultures, disempowers minority communities and their stories. And it shows people of colour that there’s not enough space to accommodate for differences.

As a communications student today, undertaking internships has not always been the smoothest ride for me. One of my first experiences as a journalism intern was terrible. There have been stories of up-and-coming journalists being racially discriminated against, but many people are silenced. 2,3 According to a 2021 survey from Unions NSW, 44% of people surveyed said they experienced some form of racial discrimination at their workplace, and of those people, 78% did not have their racial discrimination experience at work addressed.3 There are many who have not voiced their stories out of fear of repercussions. This is a similar worry for me. I can’t outright shame this company without fearing that they may try to shut me down, but I can try to generally explain what happened to me.

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SECTION NON-FICTION NAME

"My first experience working professionally made me feel that I could not pursue journalism."

In my first year as a journalism student, I was hired by a media company as an intern to write news stories in a local area. I received little to no guidance despite regular interactions between interns and supervisors. We were just expected to pick up the pace. This is the first red flag of a bad internship; if you’re not given any learning opportunities, even after taking initiative, you’re not in an internship that will benefit you. You’re in an internship where you’re being taken advantage of. After trying to leave the internship, they offered me a paid position, but this is where most of the issues started. The first thing I was aware of was that I was the only woman of colour in the office. Nearly every other person was a white man, with the exception of one white woman. I remember experiencing microaggressions, where my manager would intimidate me and blame me for actions that weren't my fault, despite not necessarily being that aggressive to other people on the team. I remember his short temper with me, and though he never said anything to my face, I’d heard him call other women ‘bitches’ or ‘cunts’, and people of colour ‘illiterate’ when they made mistakes. I remember being told by another manager that one of the employees was too ‘special’ to come into work one day, because of certain requirements he had in regards to his disability. After I had a breakdown in the office from the stress from working there, this same manager told me to ‘never do that again’.

This job left me feeling defeated. I knew not all jobs in media were as bad as this, but for a while my first experience working professionally made me feel that I could not pursue journalism. To this day, I still question if I should continue journalism despite a couple years having passed. I know this all sounds a little grim, but there’s a lot of growth within the media industry as well, especially on smaller scales. I now work in a majority female team, with half of them being people of colour. While a lack of minority representation in media means there’s often no spaces for people of colour in media, people of colour are making their own spaces. People of colour are going into spaces that traditionally would not have them and fostering a space for more minorities to join.

1. Who Gets To Tell Australian Stories? Putting the spotlight on cultural and linguistic diversity

PG# 32

2. Young People In NSW Are Experiencing Workplace Racism At Horrifying Levels

3. Young, free and living precariously: findings of unions NSW youth survey


Atrium

CW: Mental ill-health, suicide

by Tony Pham

far from the cavalry clash — the gnash, the naked rage, steel fangs on flesh shredding bloodlines in storms of ecstasy

far from the panicking crowd — their calls to break the hands of Time, to crush Her bones in mortars of moon ash for seeming elixirs

FICTION

SECTION NAME

[eye reside here]

[eye reside here]

far from hauntings past — the ghosts reborn in school halls,

the wraiths

who serenade

on train tracks,

who promise peace

off cliffs

PG#

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Do I really need to succeed by 25? NON-FICTION

mauli fernando CW: Mental ill-health ‘I want to be a pilot, flying a fighter jet or a passenger plane’. That is 11-year-old Me’s response to the question: where do you think you will be in 10 years? Little did I know, when I was writing that in my Year 6 yearbook, flying a plane, especially with passengers, requires years of training, study, and practice. It’s something only a handful of 21-year-olds have accomplished ever. Instead, what I am doing is studying and working full-time hours, with a voluntary internship on the side. Not living out the dream I had as a soon-to-be primary school graduate. But even with big commitments such as these, I still get the feeling that I’m not doing enough to succeed in the future. In fact, I would say the majority of my colleagues and classmates feel the same way, grinding our way through arduous hours, telling ourselves that we just need to get through one more week. So, why do so many people feel like there is a big rush to succeed? Why does there feel to be an invisible barrier stopping us from doing the things we love after the age of 25? Do we need to be doing everything in our power to be perfectly primed to enter the workforce — and stay there — once we graduate uni? The short answer is no. But let’s try and understand why we might feel otherwise, as well as look at some promising statistics that show life doesn’t end at 25.

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In the world of Crypto millionaires and young CEOs, you are bound to compare yourself to the success of your peers. Publications around the world praise those who achieve success at a young age, naming ‘Top 30 Under 30’ lists showing several of the most successful people under a certain age. This, accompanied with the rising cost of living (especially in Sydney), and the fear of missing out on the next big thing, is a pressure cooker of conditions that awaken a sense of urgency in those who are looking to plan their future. You may even be looking at your parents as a measure of success in their respective age. Sure, we didn’t have to climb Mt. Everest and complete the 12 Labours of Hercules just to get to school every morning, as my mum would make it out to be, but did houses cost $1.2 million for a yard-less abode in the far reaches of Greater Western Sydney? There are plenty of reasons to feel like youth is the key to long-term success. Seeing all the success stories might be motivating for some, but can also invoke a sense of hopelessness in our stressed, burned-out, grindobsessed generation. The shift from your 20s being about discovering what you like and experimentation, to achievement and merit as a measure of self-success further adds to the comparison crisis many feel.

Furthermore, there are an equal number of stories about changing trajectory later in life. I’m almost certain that every student has heard the cliched “You will have 5-7 career changes in your life”, but it’s true! (Dimovksi, A, 2021). Success can come at any age and there is no rush to get there as soon as you graduate. Harrison Ford got his breakout role in Star Wars aged 35! Even Mark Wahlberg, the most obnoxiously motivated person around, was a rapper before he decided to give it all up for acting. The point is, even if you do commit to a role that will guarantee you some form of success in the short term, if you don’t like it, there is always time to try something else. The hardest part of starting is taking the first step.

Looking at the facts, there are several reasons which make even the most resilient of us feel uneasy in our seats. As a student, there is a constant battle between choosing what interests us, and what makes us successful. It can feel at times that your interests and passions are worth throwing away in the place of guaranteed stability, and we feel pressured to make those choices at a young age when deciding what we want to pursue in our studies. But many have suggested that taking the time to understand and learn through challenges and experimentation, is far more beneficial to achieving meaningful success. Often those who have taken the time to gain life experience, are able to overcome the obstacle of an impending deadline for success (Masten, A. S., & Wright, M. O’D., 2009).

25

NON-FICTION

So, overall, it’s completely normal to feel like you are not doing the ‘right’ thing in your younger years, and more likely than not, the people around you will feel the same way. This doesn’t mean however that it’s all over. Experimentation is key, try everything once and find out what you like. Even if you find it’s not for you, you can always try again.

35


SECTION NAME

Disturbance

My series entitled ‘Disturbance’ explores an unreal dreamscape of a world that is intended to be jarring and a bit uncomfortable. Here, boundaries are crossed, and there is a distinctive but mysterious threat present. My photography aims to subvert reality and evoke a narrative. Like pandemonium, this series is wild and untamed. Drawing on conventions of the thriller genre, ‘Disturbance’ aims to celebrate and explore uncertainty and suspense.

36

by Georgia Brogan


SHOWCASE

37


38

GEORGIA BROGAN


SHOWCASE

39


FAST CUTS TO FASS COURSES AT UTS BY JOSEPH CHALITA

NON-FICTION

In a financial drought faced by universities, the lack of funds from international students has forced local students to be squeezed of every last drop by cash-strapped tertiary institutes. University of Technology Sydney student, and Education Officer for the Student Council, Ellie Woodward, has said she and fellow students have been feeling “like cash cows” following a $3.2 million cut to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and a doubling of fees for a majority of humanitarian courses. She says her Environmental Action Group (EAG)’s demands are to stop the “cutting down of the quality of our education” and to “let staff — who are the ones that teach us — and students — who are the ones that are learning — decide what we learn, not just what makes the most money.” “And also, let’s stop cutting the very courses that examine colonisation, Indigenous history, women’s history, all of that; those are our demands.” This is in reference to a decision by UTS to cut certain courses such as ‘Sex, Race and Empire’, which explored the historical and ongoing impacts of colonialism. Ellie and the EAG expressed their frustration defiantly at the very (green) heart of the campus, last month. Future students are

40

expected to pay a significant 113% increase in fees for degrees in humanities and communications subjects. With fees rising, more classes moving online, and the mass ‘casualisation’ of teaching staff, to save on salary spending, the EAG’s concern for the quality of education being delivered for its price, is what they are fighting to fix. The protest on the alumni lawn attracted the usual fanfare of campus security, who laughed as the rally went ahead with numerous current staff and students turning up to show that the issue was a valid concern that didn’t fly under the radar on their Facebook feed. With their chants of “No Cuts!”, they reflected the feelings of a lot of students. In a request for comment from the office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education and Students) Professor Shirley Alexander, a spokesperson from UTS stated that there is “a further 100 to 150 full time equivalent job losses” to be expected and that UTS was faced with a “deficit of $43.1 million” at the end of 2020. With an approximate “$70 million and $58 million” deficit in 2021 and 2022, additional cuts are expected to continue towards courses and staff salaries.


Kinsey McGregor, a student at UTS studying Digital Communication and Media, spent her first year studying via online classes. With such a hands-on and practical degree, the transition online “made it really hard to care for my degree”. “I couldn’t tell you what the inside of most of these classrooms look like”, she said. Subject coordinator for Communications, Timothy Laurie spoke on the issues that have been present for online learning.

NON-FICTION

“The way that the subject has been taught, students are loving it, teachers are loving it, but if there is a decision ... made much higher up in the hierarchy that says, ‘We don’t want to continue with this subject,’ then that’s it.” It’s important for people to feel like things are working well in their school or their program, that the things that are working well [be] represented, and that good teaching or the good research is being heard.” The rally dispersed after 40 minutes of talks and speeches from staff and students, who certainly had the University’s attention now.

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FADE TO BLACK SECTION FICTION NAME

CW: Death

PG# 42

by Stephanie Susanto

Fade to Black explores the high moral stakes which pervade difficult ethical decisions and how child naivety and innocence blurs the dichotomy of good and evil. The story follows an eight-year-old boy who watches his drowning body float face-down on the surface of a lake — unaware he is straddling the planes of life and death. The Gatekeeper of Death offers the boy two choices: live or die, then conjures visions of the future to help him decide. The following is an excerpt from the piece…


“Mr Ellis, please come back and stand beside me.” The sound of ripping paper punctures the air in front of me, and a hairline tear appears in the very fabric of reality itself, like a crack on a windshield. I reach to touch it, but Mr Jackal grabs my hand and returns it to my side — the same way my sister Candice did when we came across a dead cat on the road. Mr Jackal pulls me back by my shoulder until we stand hip to hip. The tear grows, splitting the sky into jagged halves, and slices its way down to diverge the ground.

FICTION

SECTION NAME

The crack widens and parts the river, the horizon, and the

clouds, until black consumes all like wildfire.

PG#

43


SECTION FICTION NAME

Faded colours and patterns appear and dance like the northern lights into the darkness. Blurred shapes sharpen until they resemble people and slowly, a movie surrounds us in bodily form.

A school bus eases to a stop and the door opens with an exhale. Two boys jump off the platform together, pushing past slow walking children on the pavement. They sprint to the end of the street as trees, fences and houses fly past them in a brown blur. Jimmy careens to the left, bounding onto the park first like an Olympic sprinter reaching the finish line. The Boys throw their bags on the ground and arm themselves with gnarled sticks. They battle on the yellow platform, across the bridge, underneath the monkey bars and weave between toddlers unfortunate enough to get caught in the melee. The Boys clash their weapons, jab at the air and jab each other. Finally, their sticks snap in half when the force of their sparring proves too much for the slender branches. Their hearty laughs and resounding hiyaaahs punctuate the suburban air throughout dusk.

44 PG#


I point to the fading image. “That's Elliot and me!”' “Yes, in two months from now, you and Mr Wright will be playing…” Mr Jackal checks his book. “The Knights and Sticks Game, a pastime that will expire in the fifth grade.” “What does expire mean?” “End.” “Why does the game end?” “You and Mr Wright will be separated by oceans.” That's impossible. Elliot hates swimming.

FICTION

SECTION NAME

Mr Jackal adjusts his glasses. “Let’s move on. This is ten years into the future.”

I cover my eyes with my hands. I don’t like this movie anymore.

After a while, I dare to peek.

PG#

45


an anthology of poems by Izzie Conti CW: Alcohol

one sunflower each petal, a pittance “They’re weeds,” you were told

FICTION

five lies drift, forming sweet yellow circles around your ankles; wet, from a suburb once known tears once transcended, now falling, in exotic irony you told me to wait a higher iso granulates bruised lips, protruding offensive magenta “Wait,” you said I was always told I was a bratty child... CMYK colouring makes the best images it can, from fragments of four: three colours and one shade black you read cyan lines, while my mind wandered to a scorpion lapping alongside Jeffrey Street Wharf;

46


my body under the bridge, my mind still in Darlinghurst sips of my favourite wine, between bites of fresh raspberries I was intoxicated; inebriated, by sheer apathy

FICTION

on a bench sat the sunflower bruised we ran from the rain and every night following became yellow... my brattishness came from the inability to hear the word ‘no’ but you too had the inability to hear it told to have gratitude; the appreciate your massacre that of waiting; that of pain; that of soothing cyan lines; masked by punishment, in yellow “No pressure,” you said “No pressure,” you lied

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k n e o y g m . rip . .

sweetest nectar, you are symbiotic with your rotted core I am Nora, the non-junkie junkie that fucks oh the sun’s relentlessness, when I avoid it... I am Javo; riding delirium and falling into havoc laughing while I bleed fucking while I cry let’s wander groggily; submit to the heat, fly into the light; blind we’ll starve and play our ribs like sweet wind chimes pick at the sour current, etch off slivers — slivers of tartness...

nk .mo ey gr i p ..

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nk .mo ey gr i p ..

IZZIE CONTI

key g n o m . r . ip .


learn mental satiation, my love and slave; slave for the walls, that consume your heaviness only ever sleeping; only ever half-awake

mystery is a tightrope between allure and stupidity delirium is a rainbow gas streak, in the opal pool of reality watch the skull become flecks; through a stark-stunned mirage through the immortality of nauseating gasoline... an unseen ambulance speeds down Parramatta Road your highway is empty, it’s sirens surrounding you

FICTION

leave the stone fruit in the sun; watch it rid itself of bacteria, or fester

nk .mo ey gr i p ..

k n e o y g m . rip . .

key g n o m . r . ip .

49

nk .mo ey gr i p ..


yet another voyager... they inspect; come to experience the imprint of the night’s sky overboard dappled grey galaxies, of fleeting love

.. y.

IZZIE CONTI

they imagine no attachment, for sailors are immortal

on

l y p y. . a b s g s n i

.

on

50

s

a sailor steps over the hull to see himself, drowning beneath

they wish to touch the sugar of the stars to lie deep in the womb in its refracted imprint with sieved grasps they trail, through the loneliness of night the vessel is inhabited by one, below travelled alone, sunk alone visitor’s peer at her hollow figure, but they are mere passersby the vessel left the dock, solo charming and dynamic though slowly filled with water along with its captain the effect of apathy; the imprint of solitude

ly p a

ss

.. on

.. .o

a vessel discarded at the bottom of the ocean

nly passing b .o

ing by s s a p . y . l n

. y in g b


it still sleeps intact, seemingly unscathed, its tapestries polished; it’s shape in form though the ship’s structures, underneath relentless paint jobs, underneath golden sheen underneath, broken

FICTION

ng b y

l n o pa . . s s i n g b y.

the bow was picked up, spun through the air though fell without embrace and left sailing into a visceral abyss; into quiet, into loneliness, into neglect

by . . . o si n ly pas

ly

the ship used to flirt; it danced and ebbed with rolling swell kissing the lips of each wave, caressing the nape of the tide

y pass i n g onl ..

s s a i n p g y l n b o y . . . .

‘only passing by’, its visitors say, in the morning

ng

the anger of imminent shipwrecks, and men overboard the tragedy of sinking, sinking solo

b y. . . 51


PG# 52

SHOWCASE SHOWCASE


YUHENG DAI I AM FANTASIZING ABOUT MY BODY

SHOWCASE 53


WEIGHT IN GOLD NON-FICTION

THE MYANMAR MILITARY COUP FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF AN AUSTRALIAN-BURMESE STUDENT. BY ALICE WINN

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Photograph by blindsidehein


CW: Death, genocide, r*pe, violence, child abuse, antiLGBTQ+ violence

Earlier this year, on February 1, the Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s military) initiated a coup, arresting and detaining de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other National League for Democracy (NLD) government officials following the NLD’s landslide victory in the 2020 Myanmar Elections. The Tatmadaw claimed NLD’s sweep (with >80% of votes) was due to election fraud and stated it was thus ‘necessary’ to revoke the constitution — which they wrote in 2008. It’s clear that the military generals were growing restless with the facade of civilian rule that they themselves had devised. Suddenly, without a day’s notice, soldiers started to patrol the streets, domestic and international internet and broadcast services were shut down, all banks closed, and all flights were cancelled. After the initial

outbreak of the news, anger flooded the air in my home. It was almost suffocating. Cousins, aunties, family friends, both in Australia and abroad, expressed their outrage, exasperation, and despair. My family’s reactions remain vivid in my memory.

NON-FICTION

As a first-generation Australian-Burmese, my relationship with my culture and identity was rocky and experiential. There was so much I didn’t like, maybe even hated, about being Burmese and Burmese culture growing up. Thankfully, as I grew older, I began taking an educated, decolonised perspective instead of a resentful one. Still, as someone who was born and raised in Sydney, I overwhelmingly identified as Australian and truthfully, my lived experience can hardly compare to the culture and society of native Burmese people. I am kept apart, even from my own relatives despite the love we have for each other, by language barriers and starkly different upbringings. The disconnected tinge is always there. It wasn’t really my problem. My life is here, I thought. Sometimes, I still joke about how adding ‘fluent in Burmese’ on my resume might be useless.

“How much more must we endure?” said my mum. “Those evil, evil bastards. What more do they want? What could they possibly gain that is worth the suffering inflicted?” said my brother’s girlfriend. Her expression was pained with worry for her family back home, who were mainly doctors like herself, a high-value target for the military. “In this day and age?! In 2021?! How could this be happening? We were so close...” These statements were reiterated several times across the dining table and over the phone. At the time, I could tell it was fucked and I was definitely mad, but I couldn’t quite process or understand the pain everyone felt — the hopelessness in the face of injustice. I mean, but surely, I thought, they won’t get away with this. They did. UN did fuck all. They expressed their condemnation against General Min Aung Hlaing2, and the military’s coup and ethnic cleansing. But that’s about it. To be fair, in order for the UN to intervene, all five permanent members of the Security Council (the UK, Russia, the US, France, and China) must agree. However, China and Russia stated that would be overstepping. Even though the Tatmadaw is armed

55


In the daunting realisation that this is a battle they must face mostly themselves, the people of Myanmar rallied together to march in peaceful protest. They left school and work, singing and banging pots and pans, commencing the Civil Disobedience Movement (CBD).3 Initiated by healthcare workers who abstained from non-essential work in opposition to the military’s orders, everyone else gradually recognised the precedent and rejected the notion of working under the military government. Sourced from Listen up Myanmar4, here are some of the things the Tatmadaw has done in response:

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Extreme force: deploying heavy artillery (such as sub-machine guns, tear gas, weld screws, snipers, live ammunition etc.) on innocent civilians; killing healthcare and volunteer workers, and destroying their resources to prevent medical aid. Unwarranted arrests of civilians: the military police began forcibly entering homes and arresting citizens during the night without warrant or explanation, often returning to the homes of the arrested to tell families to collect their bodies. They also started arresting doctors and other healthcare workers who would not compromise, and replacing them with military ones. Photograph by blindsidehein

with heavy artillery and literal tanks, while civilians are armed with kitchen appliances. This blatant excuse is obviously due to the financial benefits their economies gain by exploiting Burmese workers and resources via the Tatmadaw’s handling. There is indisputable evidence that proves this, and yet, the UN did nothing. Efforts such as economic sanctions were made, but the Tatmadaw’s government is most financially active in China, and therefore would largely remain unaffected by such pressures. In history, it will be shown that the world turned a blind eye. “Now is not the time for the kind of diplomatic footdragging that has long characterised engagement with Myanmar’s extraordinarily abusive military regime.” — Tirana Hassan, Deputy Executive Director and Chief Programs Officer, Human Rights Watch.

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Released criminals: in order for the military to justify using weapons against civilians, the military armed and drugged more than 23,000 inmates imprisoned for the most heinous crimes (e.g. rape, murder) and released them to incite anarchy across the country. This gave the military the opportunity to stage a coup against the civilians, under the pretense of containing the ‘anarchy’. Crimes against women: the military has been routinely and systematically exercising rape, gang rape, and other violent forms of sexual crimes against women, girls, boys, men, and the LGBTQ+ community (largely among ethnic minorities). These crimes often happen during raids of peaceful protests, night arrests, and occupation of rural villages.


These war crimes and violations against human rights instigated the Burmese diaspora across the world to march in solidarity, push for action, and give voice to those back home who have been silenced. But it really angered me. The media. Often scratching the surface at best were articles, but never front page headlines. I swear Western media just loves a good-guy-bad- guy narrative. Western voices constantly speak over Burmese people who are frankly tired of explaining the truth. The smear campaign against Aung San Suu Kyi, framing her to be the figurehead of the Rohyingya genocide is a prime example. Despite the fact that the genocide was executed by the military junta, this has led many people to turn away from what’s currently happening to Myanmar. Suu Kyi never had any real power, just hope. Before any privileged person says something like “Aw, she could’ve spoken out against them instead of denying it...” No, she couldn’t have. Westerners have no notion of how brutal and shameless military dictators can be. If she said anything off script or stepped out of line, the coup would’ve come sooner. There would have been no 2020 election and Suu Kyi would’ve been put under house arrest even earlier, despite already serving decades in detention for her country from 1989 to 2010. The Rohingyas would’ve only continued to suffer from ethnic cleansing, and before you know it, so would more ethnic minority groups in Myanmar. Of course, the Tatmadaw are elitists in every aspect.

OWN research to show solidarity with me. I can’t express how monumentally moved I was. I was shocked at how these little things affected me so much. I almost cried. Thank you, Naz and Jess. I really hope to be like you for all my friends in the future.

My morals were conflicted and I had sad realisations about activism trends. I couldn’t help but feel slightly annoying whenever I posted on social media. Sure, the military’s control over the country’s communications and their threats to anyone who openly opposed them did not make things easy, but I still can’t wrap my head around why no one seemed to care. People are always ready to be activists, fight for what’s right, and repost on their Instagram stories if the cause is trendy enough, but I didn’t receive any responses. There were no signs of solidarity or proactive acts of support from anyone unless I directly spoke to them about it. Then, they would say how sorry they felt and how horrible it was. I know that they’re good people and they meant it, but I also felt like it wasn’t much at all. I couldn’t complain though; what if it was the other way round? I would probably be the same. And I hate that. It’s not the oppression Olympics, I know people are trying their best for what they care about. I had one friend tell me in private that she donated to the cause (despite being broke) and reads everything I post; another friend posted about Myanmar after doing her

“They started treating us fine after a couple days,” he replied, but I think he only said that so my mum wouldn’t be upset. They only treated him and his friends ‘fine’ after forcing them — batons in hand — to delete all their social media posts with information about what was going on or regarding protesting.

But these positive moments were quickly overshadowed by horrifying news from my relatives. My nephew was captured and arrested. My heart dropped so heavily. He’s younger than me, only 19. Pulled away from the crowd. Abused. Detained. I couldn’t even wrap my head around it. He is someone precious to me, and before the coup, I often thought about how he deserved a better life and how I could help him. I still saw him as a little brother, yet I don’t know if I’d have the same strength if our roles were reversed. “Your Auntie Saw is hiding high school kids in her house right now,” Mum said. “The soldiers are all over the neighbourhood arresting protestors, even in the middle of the night.”

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I couldn’t sleep. I felt so guilty being safe and warm in my own bed. I knew we were so alike, similar in age and interests. I thought about how smart and funny he was, and couldn’t imagine how he was being treated in a cell. Eventually, he was released. We contacted him as soon as we heard.

My rage peaked. Protest marches became one of my outlets. I would skip work or uni to go to them, along with my whole family, my Burmese friends, and their families. It was so motivating to see all these people from different areas of my life come together for the same cause. In Canberra, we shouted and sang and marched from the Parliament House to the Chinese embassy, chanting at them to “GET OUT!” of our way towards democracy. We demanded that the Aung San Suu Kyi and all political detainees get released, to stop the ethnic cleansing and discrimination, to stop killing our children. The spirit did not dwindle, despite the wind and rain.

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Photograph by Alice Winn

“We cannot let them get away with this again! Our people have suffered for over half a century! First, the 1962 Coup!5 Then, the 1988 Coup!6 And now, the 2021 Coup!” Wow, this has been going on for ages. No wonder the country is finding it so hard to get back up on its feet, I thought with a pang of guilt for having criticised the slow-paced development Myanmar had compared to other Southeast Asian countries. I was also surprised by the moxie of my parents, leading the chants at the front of the march. I had thought of them as indifferent to politics, too busy surviving to care. I told them I was taken aback by their behaviour since they didn’t say much about my activism in 2020. “Your activism? What did you do?” they asked. Without mockery. Genuine confusion. “Oh, you don’t even know, my dear. I was about your age when I fought alongside my friends in the ‘88 Uprising, pregnant with your older sister. Students led the entire movement. But they came down on everyone with tanks. Many students were shot or beaten to death. My friends included.” “I’m afraid for the youth. Kids these days show no fear. They’re naive. Too influenced by Westerners or Americans who riot and swear at police. Those fuckers in Myanmar will kill you. As blatantly as swatting a fly. Without remorse or consequence.”

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It dawned on me. I feel like there’s little that I can do alone, but I’m still willing to do anything. My pride as Burmese is more prominent than ever now. In the back of my mind, I pray. For institutional change. For a political system of equality and self-determination for all ethnic minorities and people of Myanmar. Referred to as ‘The Golden Land’ in travel guides, Myanmar’s decadeslong fight for democracy and freedom has far outshined its commercial value in resort locations these recent months. I live my life regularly, so to my friends and colleagues everything might seem normal, but at home, it’s still not normal. Breaking news and the sounds of shooting guns come from my parents’ phones into my room, the kitchen, the living room. Our calls to our relatives are often urgent and concerning. So, if you have any Burmese peers, please ask how they are. Especially the international students as they are unable to go home and have their families in constant danger. Mental health is also a huge concern as not enough people are aware of this issue and not enough are checking in. Things have not gotten better. Four months in and the body count still rises exponentially every day. Myanmar is called the Golden land, due to the countless golden stupas and pagodas glittered over its countryside and nestled in its cities. In a way, they represent the endless faith and the labour that went into building the country. The fight goes on and my heart remains heavy. We carry this weight in gold.


Ways to donate to the civilians and anti-coup protestors in Myanmar right now: • Donate to the Citizen of Burma Award Organization which aims to support the growing civil disobedience movement in the country and abolish the junta dictatorship: charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/crph • Donate directly to the Civil Disobedience Movement: cdmmyanmar.org/

“ WESTERNERS HAVE NO NOTION OF HOW BRUTAL AND SHAMELESSMILITARY DICTATORS CAN BE.”

• Donate to Myanmar Now’s journalism — an independent journalism outlet reporting on the atrocities being committed from the ground in the country: www.myanmar-now.org/en/donate • Donate to the Myanmar Student’s Association Australia’s support campaign for CDM: gofund.me/06e24d62

• Claiming protection while you are in or outside Australia in the means of Humanitarian and Refugee visas with a subclass (201, 202, 203, 204). • Claiming protection while you are in Australia in the means of a Protection visa (subclass 866). • Travel exemption request if you hold a valid visa (student visa etc.)

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Pathways and options for Myanmar students facing issues such as expiring visas or seeking safety in Australia. Sourced from Myanmar Students Association Australia 7. Please refer to their Facebook page for detailed tips on these.

1. Myanmar State Counsellor and de facto leader precoup. Daughter of General Aung San, who fought for independence from British colonial rule. Won the Nobel Prize in 1991, but her reputation as a human rights champion has been overshadowed in recent years by the Rohingya genocide.

For more information please contact the following experts online:

2. A Burmese army general that has served as Chairman of the State Administration Council of Myanmar since the coup. The current de facto leader.

• Refugee Advice and Casework Service • Legal Aid Refugee Service • Refugee Council Australia • Asylum Seekers Centre • Immigration Advice and Rights Centre

3. A non-violent form of protest in which citizens refuse to adhere to the commands of those in power.

UTS also offers free counselling services to all students. If in need of them, priority appointments are available, along with Burmese translators and/or Burmesespeaking counsellor and mental health support groups. Please contact ethnocultural@utsstudentsassociation. org for more information or visit their Facebook page.

4. listenupmyanmar.com/ 5. The Tatmadaw under General Ne Win overthrew civilian government and implemented an authoritarian regime, a military dictatorship. 6. Better known as the 8888 Uprising, mass protests underwent to depose Ne Win, only for a new military junta to take his place and launch a bloody massacre of thousands of civilians. 7. www.facebook.com/msaa.org/

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A List of People Who Care Photojournalism from the 2021 Climate Strike

SHOWCASE

by Jayan Pascoe

‘part way there’

‘young’ 60


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‘old’

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PWithinANDtheEPages: MONI M Book U

Recommendations with UTS LitSoc by UTS Literary Society 62


Oh look everyone, a visitor! Welcome to the UTS Literary Society, where we explore new lands, make friends with people who live on the page, and work our way through our (extensive) TBR (To Be Read) lists. Each month we pick two or three books relating to a specific theme, and discuss them on our Discord and in our book club. If you’re a book-lover, interested in a theme, or even seeking people to go on an adventure with, we promise LitSoc will be your gateway to bewildering new worlds. You can find us on Instagram @utslitsoc or UTS Literary Society on Facebook. Where does chaos come from? What is the nature of pandemonium, and can it be controlled? LitSoc has attempted to answer these questions with our selection of recent reads; books which made us reconsider our fear of the unknown; books which demonstrate how turmoil allows us to grow as a society, learn from mistakes and turn to the future. Here are some of these stories.

Recommended by Talia Moodley (Publications Director) CW: Violence, r*pe, murder, gore, death, sexism, racism

“What is destiny, Vidya asks silently. For women like her and Ma, it is simply a dagger thrown at you, which you must catch either by the blade or the handle.” A debut anthology, Jenny Bhatt’s Each of Us Killers presents fifteen short stories on the chaos that wreaks havoc within individual worlds (from outright murder to quiet rebellion) all while the one under our feet spins on. Bhatt never lets herself become complacent, and changes the point-of-view, setting, and structure for each story to create a diverse collection of experiences. You might find yourself sharing the page with a god, a ghost, or a girl, but like any good anthology, there is a common thread. For Bhatt, this is the motif of labour, and given that so much of life is lived in and around work, it is a motif that anyone can sympathise with. Bhatt also explores fundamental power dynamics, such as class, caste, race, and gender, in a manner that never feels overly didactic. Instead, we enter the lives of the characters entangled in these imbalances of power and observe the morally grey areas that develop. You might even walk away with the realisation that we might be, each of us, killers.

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OFFHAND

Each of Us Killers by Jenny Bhatt


‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Recommended by Rashane Joseph (Vice President) CW: supernatural horror, gore, violence, sexual imagery, domestic abuse, death, racism

UTS LITERARY SECTION NAME SOCIETY

“And all around them, the bestiality of the night rises on tenebrous wings. The vampire’s time has come.” The all-consuming darkness of the night brings a sense of fear that is inherent to most people — an evolutionary instinct that persists no matter how we attempt to counter it with streetlights and shelter. Through one of his most iconic novels, ‘Salem’s Lot, Stephen King crystalises this subconscious terror, manifesting it in the form of a vampire outbreak; an all-consuming plague that snuffs out humanity as easily as extinguishing a candle. In the face of this horror, we are reminded that no matter what we pride ourselves on, all of it is mean-ingless when left alone, with nothing between us and the demons that stalk the shadows. King does not rely on jump scares, but layers note upon note to build a mounting sense of dread. It was only while in the penultimate act that I realised how powerful this dread was — when the shadows outside my window took on a sinister quality and I had to remind myself that it was just words on a page. ‘Salem’s Lot is an amazing read but be warned, it is home to all manner of demons, many of which are born from our own fear.

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli Recommended by Melissa Lee (Content Creator)

CW: Violence, death, domestic abuse, emotional abuse “Once there was a girl who was drawn to ancient wicked things. Things like forbidden, ancient stories.” Chaos is hardly welcome in a place where the scars of war feel fresh enough to slice open again. Stories, in loud accusations and hushed whispers, are told by the victims and perpetrators alike. Yet, despite what we may initially believe, pandemonium is more than a cacophony of noises — psychological warfare rages in every person who makes eye contact with anyone they deem a threat. Sometimes, it feels like our struggles with the ever-present social and personal turmoil are compounded with unsavoury circumstances just to entertain someone with a cruel sense of humour. The Last Namsara is told through the eyes of the kingdom’s fabled chaos-bringer, who feels the pressure to reconcile her guilt, her truth, her reputation, and her desires. Ciccarelli exploits fantasy conventions to elevate our desperation to prove ourselves. There’s also something rather charming about reading stories that belong to a fictional world, and later realising that all fiction mirrors some aspect of the ‘real world’. This is a good read for anyone who is a fan of or getting into the YA genre.

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A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness “If the butterfly wings its way to the sweet light that attracts it, it’s only because it doesn’t know that the fire can consume it.”

Recommended by Erin Mason (Secretary) CW: Death, gore, torture, violence

We have all heard the tale of witches, vampires, and demons, and the danger and mystery they bring. Despite the somewhat gruesome and unnerving stories that have been spread, we remain spellbound by them. Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches entraps wandering souls and brings them into a passionate and all-consuming story about a forbidden romance between a witch and a vampire. The story is an ode to finding our true self and accepting our desires,though that does not come without consequences. Harkness unveils the inner conflict of achieving our full potential, an inherent desire for everyone, but also unpredictable, chaotic, and dangerous. Through reading this story, I have found that to meet our truest self, we need to accept the unknown. By accepting the unknown, we create our own type of chaotic, unkempt, and overwhelming magic to unleash into the world.

Recommended by Zara Meier (President)

CW: War, death, abuse, racism, r*pe, slavery, PTSD, gore, ableism, nudity

OFFHAND

Saga (Vol 1-14) written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples “When a man carries an instrument of violence, he’ll always find the justification to use it.” Saga is a sprawling adventure comic, following the tales of misfits and maniacs in a space opera that is not afraid to be crude and vulgar. From its first volume, Saga establishes itself as a story that isn’t afraid to tackle sensitive issues, discussing everything from addiction to female autonomy. Following an array of characters whose actions flop between villainous and heroic, Saga embraces the chaotic and contradictory nature of existing in a harsh world. The series centres around a star-crossed couple struggling to navigate the war-torn planet they have regretfully brought their child into. Usually, science fiction relies on a white male protagonist to carry the story. However, Saga subverts the norm, showcasing characters with differing race, class, gender, and sexual orientations, placing minorities at the forefront of the story. The poignant art aids in showcasing this diversity, disrupting stereotypes while providing often wacky visuals. Don’t let the debauchery fool you, this story will expose you to unknown varieties of pain, leaving you emotionally distraught in its wake. Even if you suppose yourself a hater of science fiction, give this story the chance to embed itself in your heart, you won’t regret it.

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A SEMI-SCIENTIFIC ACCOUNT OF MY POST-COVID RE-ENTRY INTO THE MOSH by Tom Disalvo CW: Alcohol

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“While the individual movements of moshers may be random, their collective behavior follows a few simple rules.” — Jesse Silverberg, Human Movement Physicist.

MOSH MOSH NON-FICTION

It’s the first of May, and there’s a renewed sense of freedom in the mosh. Unrestricted by newlylifted COVID-19 measures, concert-goers spill into the event by the technicoloured dozen. Any talk of Sydney’s most recent coronavirus outbreak is smothered by the thud of a distant subwoofer. On a dimly-lit basketball court at the end of a nameless sidestreet, the event we flock to goes by the particularly apt name of Chaos, and as the forthcoming hours would prove, perhaps no better word could describe what was my first live music experience in over six months. Re-entering this rave feels like riding a bike after a long period of abstinence — a little shaky at first, but easy to restore balance once your limbs get used to the right movements. It’s clear in the queue that the attendees haven’t forgotten how to ride the bike. Dotted by bucket hats and lined by the stripes of button-up shirts, the unspoken rituals of the moshpit have remained seemingly intact. The bouncer scans my ticket (an interaction that feels almost ancient) and I approach a crowd in thunderous defiance of the restrictions that had since disallowed this very event: social-distancing. The familiarity of the scene is most apparent in the outfits. Like the days of past festivals, almost all the boys are wearing some variation of the aforementioned striped button-up shirt, the only seeming distinction being whether they opted for a horizontal or vertical stripe.

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TOM DISALVO

The girls are dressed as if ignorant to the setting sun, donning cat-eye sunglasses and an array of animal printed skirts. For all its brazen behaviour, and weather-inappropriateness, the wardrobe of the mosh makes one thing clear; raving is back and the protocols which once separated us are now a distant, decibel-drowned memory.

MOSH MOSH

The moshpit itself seems to have picked up right where it left off too. An interconnected organism of gyrating limbs, the crowd bounces in a heaving mass like a hive-mind, controlled ultimately by a 20-something DJ with one hand on the deck and the other on his headphones. There’s a familiarity to this, as if the same staple characters of bygone concerts had reawakened from their COVID-19 slumber to attend this very event. There are the crowd hoverers, who circulate the peripheries like bees on honey. Closer to the centre lives the more hardcore moshers. These people (usually sporting freshly trimmed mullets) flail their arms and torsos in a frenzy, like those inflatable men at the front of hardware stores. I realise halfway through my trek into the crowd that I operate somewhere in the middle — close enough that I need to raise my voice, but far enough that I won’t be unexpectedly walloped by an unrestrained limb. In this area, any sense of order has evaporated. What was once a self-regulating and entangled blob at a distance is, in the thick of it, bedlam. I scan the crowd for the handful of acceptable dance moves which collectively assemble the mess. Head-bobbing and foot-tapping are popular, but these are outnumbered by armpumpers, phone-checkers, and (worst of all) hipthrusters. Under the dizzying lights, the dancers are performing both for themselves and for the crowd; the flash of the strobe making them both hypervisible and intermittently unseen.


Dizzied by bass-drops and a few-too-many gins, I escape the crowd and take a seat alongside the crowd-hoverers. I’m reminded again of the rebelliousness of the scene, the rowdy exaltation of pent-up movement which only a mere weeks ago was considered criminal.

In 2013, physicist Jesse Silverberg conducted a study which examined the mosh pit as a unique model for human collective motion, and his findings help make the centre-stage antics of the inflatable man more explicable. Silverberg concluded that while it may appear to be in disarray (see above), the movement of the mosh is ultimately instructed by a few simple rules. In the case of Chaos, rules may mean acceptable attire or haircuts, but Silverberg’s more empirical guidelines apply here too. Buzzing to and fro and colliding along the way, Silverberg found that mosh pit phenomena closely resembles the kinetics of gaseous particles, and that to understand this organised chaos, is to understand the basic behaviour of molecules. Now, back inside the pit and beside an armflailer, I take a renewed comfort in the idea of myself as a mere molecule, a bumbling, gaseous particle, moving haphazardly in the confines of this basketball court. And while it’s true that every so often some spaces in the crowd open

up and make the actual floor visible, these are only momentary and quickly mended. There’s a fleetingness to it all that makes me want to dance a little more freely and sing a little more loudly. Because, a key principle of gases is their inevitable dissipation; their scattered dispersal and eventual vanishment into thin air.

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The crowd moves unpredictably in my peripheral vision, bodies swayed by invisible forces like a glass on a Ouija board, in contact with a violent spirit. It’d be easy to be overwhelmed by the inertia of it all, which hits, funnily enough, like the double-decker Vengabus as ‘We Like to Party’ blasts from the speakers. But it’s in the crowd’s fringes that a semblance of form can be outlined, and if we take the perspective of the hoverer, there’s a precise science to all of this.

The strobes shine extra light on this revelation, my movements more aerated than before. I bask in the absence of another, more sinister molecule which had been dwindling since patient zero, but could seemingly reappear and spoil the party yet again. Some weeks later, news of another outbreak in NSW hit the headlines. Over night, restrictions are back. Masks and social distancing are more stringently enforced. I think of that basketball court now, completely empty. I picture its occupants; the mullet-rockers, the striped shirters, the inflatable men — evaporating from the scene like helium from a can. I think of the fleeting joy that came with our unmasked chants, our audible glee not muffled by the barrier of woven cotton, at least just for that moment. With the on-edge measures of lockdowns and restrictions that could be reinstated at a moment’s notice, I’m content with the fact that mosh pits may forever be a fleeting experience. Next time (if there is one), I’ll think of Jesse Silverberg and I’ll mosh alongside that flailing man, conscious of the fact that, at any moment, all of it could dissipate.

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PROMOTING LIBERALISM IN AN AGE OF INCREASING FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISM

BY JACK ROSS

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CW: Facism, racism, death, violence, gun violence

Liberal democracies protect our generation’s core values and history’s hard-won liberties; without them, the identity and power of Australia and western democracies would be lost. The rule of law, freedom of speech and association, a multi-party system, and a robust civil society are the heart of prosperity in Australia. That system is deliberately organised in such a way that defines and limits power, in order to promote legitimate governance within a framework of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play, compassion and in pursuit of the public good. However, as our world becomes ever more interconnected and globalised, the vitality of liberal democratic values face a paradoxical conundrum. The integration of economies, blurring of legal jurisdictions, the reshuffling of global power, the rising tide of inequality, both within and between borders, and the threats of transnational crises have simultaneously unified and fractured our democracies. International institutions that herald liberal democratic values aim to unite and achieve cooperation in solving global economic, social, cultural or humanitarian problems, and coordinate the actions of nations to achieve shared prosperity and work towards the betterment of humanity. Nonetheless, just as it is imperative that liberal democracies deepen their international cooperation, it is also essential that we learn from one another in the ways we seek to protect ourselves and our democracies from threats that are evolving and cultivated domestically. Moreover, it is imperative we look to the heinous and historical moments in modern history, and learn from humanity’s downfalls — the rise of European nationalism and the corresponding political discourses strengthened during the interwar period is of particular relevance. A pervasive threat grows within our borders, aiming to

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radically dislocate the foundations of our institutions and fracture trust in liberal democracy. Tangible threats against our security and safety are not smuggled in by boat, nor are they hidden amongst the plight of refugees who flee war, ethnic violence and brutal persecution. Rather, they spread in the form of domestic offshoots of the growing far-right sentiment within national discourses and political processes. Around the world, far-right voices and forces have managed to blend their prerogatives and ideologies into viable — and often successful — electoral projects. Conspiracies are no longer at the fringe. They are weaponised and deployed to mobilise millions of people.1 Far-right groups and ultra-conservative politicians capitalise on fostering public fear, peddling misinformation, and provoking hysteria. Their antiestablishment and anti-immigration rhetoric is a mere façade, designed to cloak racist ideologies and their far-right extremist personas in the language of concerned citizens, who claim to be the triumphs of truth and rational thinking. However, these groups and their sentiments actively drive a wedge, not only through social cohesion and multicultural prosperity, but through the faith in the success of our liberal democracy. Fuelled by disinformation and pseudo-scientific evidence, extreme rightwing narratives paint the state as oppressive, and globalisation and democracy as flawed and failing. Underpinning the ‘plight’ of white nationalists is the central theme of a white identity under threat from the ‘Great Replacement’. This credo connects right-wing extremist communities in Australia with those in North America and Europe. The interconnectedness of these communities, aided by the internet, seek to widen the range of acceptable social and political discourse in our societies by pushing calculated narratives which


“FAR-RIGHT GROUPS AND ULTRA-CONSERVATIVE POLITICIANS CAPITALISE ON FOSTERING PUBLIC FEAR, PEDDLING MISINFORMATION, AND PROVOKING HYSTERIA.”

The report reaffirmed that antisemitism, racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia continued to be focal points of right-wing extremist activity. However, such ideologies are simultaneously weaponised in the undercurrents of much of the discourse from Germany’s right-wing populist party — the country’s third largest party — Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). The AfD was propelled into national parliament four years ago by staunchly opposing Angela Merkel’s decision to let in 1.3 million undocumented migrants and refugees, mainly from the Middle East. In the 2017 federal election, their explicit anti-Islam policy, anti-establishment rhetoric and slogans such as ‘Lügenpresse’ (lying press), which the Nazis also used, won the party 12.6% of the vote and 94 seats in Federal Parliament. While it may not have started out as a far-right party, the AfD has since embraced far-right policies, with many of its leaders having espoused far-right rhetoric. The worrying rise of the AfD and their role in stoking a climate of resentment toward the government, has come under increasing scrutiny from Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) — who even plan to place the entire AfD under surveillance over potential ties to far-right extremism. However, ongoing legal challenges brought by the AfD are holding up the domestic intelligence agency’s plans to monitor the party. In a true demonstration of the separation of powers, an administrative court in Cologne ruled that the BfV could not initiate its surveillance of the AfD until the party’s legal challenges against the measure had concluded. It was held that spying on the AfD violated the principle of equal opportunities for all political parties guaranteed by the German Constitution and amounted to interference with the democratic process.

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oppose, and at times fracture, liberal democracy. Australia and other Western democracies have seen a sharp increase in the emergence and prominence of far-right extremism. In June this year, Germany’s Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) released the Constitutional Protection Report 2020.2 The report revealed some disconcerting statistics in which the number of crimes, the number of people in the far-right scene, and their preparedness to commit violence continues to grow. The report puts the number of right-wing extremists at 33,300 and, of these, 13,300 people are classified as violence-oriented. Haldenwang underscored that right-wing extremism has the “highest propensity to violence of all extremist groups”. 3 Further, the number of crimes motivated by right-wing extremism rose by 5.1% and the number of violent crimes motivated by right-wing extremism rose by 10.6%, with Germany recording almost 24,000 far-right crimes during 2020 — the highest level since records began in 2001. Crimes ranged from displaying Nazi symbols and anti-Semitic remarks, to physical attacks and murder, predominantly targeting immigrants, refugees, muslims, black Germans, and a rise in anti-Asian violence due to the pandemic. Moreover, an increasing virtual networking of rightwing extremist actors and disinhibited language on the internet functions as an echo chamber for hatred and agitation, in which right-wing extremists reinforce each other and radicalise themselves further. To Seehofer, the dramatic rise in right-wing extremist crime demonstrates a “brutalisation” of society, and poses the “greatest danger to our security as well as to our democracy.”4

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“THE UNBRIDLED FUN AND BUFFOONERY OF THE MOB MADE THE GRAVITY OF THE SITUATION EASY TO DOWNPLAY, DEFLECTING FROM THE DISTURBING ANTI-DEMOCRATIC VIOLENCE AT HAND.”

Over to the ‘land of the free’ and the January 6 insurrection at Capitol Hill. Notwithstanding the 61 court decisions (some of which were decided by judges appointed by former President Donald Trump) siding with a valid and fair election, nor the assertion from Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security of no election fraud, the insurrectionists — supported both explicitly and implicitly by Trump and fellow Republican lawmakers — saw the free and fair 2020 US presidential election as a farce. The march on the Capitol to ‘save’ the election from being ‘stolen’ became arguably the most globally symbolic showcase of democratic government being overrun. While indistinguishable between circus and siege, the unbridled fun and buffoonery of the mob made the gravity of the situation easy to downplay, deflecting from the disturbing anti-democratic violence at hand. However, the insidious normalisation of far-right discourse, and the intersection of white supremacy and Trump should come as no surprise. Trump and his followers, after all, have gotten away with so much violence precisely because it is so difficult to take him seriously.

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Nevertheless, the assault on Congress that left five people dead, scores injured, the Capitol building desecrated, and American democracy deeply shaken was the culmination of what several national security experts claim as a campaign of stochastic terrorism, led by the then-President of the United States. Stochastic terrorism is a process of incitement where the instigator provokes extremist violence under the guise of plausible deniability.5 While the description of Trump as a terrorist leader would seem to be a hyperbolic metaphor, it is the versed opinion of both former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem, and former Deputy Secretary of State to the George W. Bush administration, Richard Armitage.6 To these experts, his goal was to promote violence for political gain. And that, simply, is terrorism. After all, those tiki-torch-wielding white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville in 2017, included — in Trump’s own words — some “very fine people...” Closer to home, we need only look across the ditch for concerning evidence of mass violence at the hands of right-wing extremism; 51 people slain and dozens more wounded in an attack fuelled by the online radicalisation of an avowed white supremacist, born and raised in Australia, who mowed down innocent worshippers at two Christchurch mosques in March 2019. The vile toxicity of white supremacists and farright groups that festered out in the open on social platforms had manifested their calling; a vile splurge of violence revealed these threats were no longer empty. Although the Christchurch terrorist carried out his barbaric attacks alone, he was very much a part of Australia’s far-right ecosystem of hate and saw himself as a member of a global community of fellow white supremacists. New Zealand’s royal commission into the attack found that although the shooter was active in far-right groups in Australia, he escaped the attention of authorities, despite allegedly being reported to Australian police.


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The unacknowledged, or purposefully downplayed, potential for violent far-right extremism had then been realised by the Australian Government. Arguably, public debate and acknowledgement of this growing internal threat, which seeks to harm our society and those within it, has been rather lacklustre. While Australian politicians have taken heed — the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s current inquiry into extremist movements and radicalism in Australia as an example — there remains a substantial desire for (some of) our elected representatives to sidestep or more ominously hoodwink the issue and evidence at hand. Director General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), Mike Burgess, has consistently warned of the increasingly real and growing threat of right-wing extremism in Australia. Triggered by such an ‘impartial’ claim from Australia’s top intelligence chief, Peter Dutton reminded the public that the ‘left-wing lunatics’ pose an equally worrying problem too.7 When Dutton’s Office was queried to give examples of leftwing extremism in Australia, Extinction Rebellion (you know, the non-violent environmental movement, whose members sometimes glue themselves to roads) were such culprits. Like every other form of government both past and present, liberal democracy has fundamental flaws and weaknesses — which are exacerbated during times of difficulty, crisis and change. Wise leadership can mitigate these weaknesses, but it cannot eliminate them. Far-right extremism is the ugly face of a much larger system of toxic synergies and political failures. Although it has no clear, single origin or solution, the cocktail of toxic nationalism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, fascism and hate that embodies far-right sentiment, needs to be stood up against. Our society and the vitality of our democracy urgently requires multifaceted action to address this internal ticking time bomb. Pressingly, we require leadership that unites Australians from all walks of life and leaders that understand the reasons that drive the domestic forces that attempt the upheaval of our democracy. We all need to stand up against hate.

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In February this year, Labor introduced a Senate motion to condemn the far-right. However, the Coalition, One Nation, and crossbenchers revised the motion. The original motion’s line that “there has been a significant increase in far-right extremism in Australia” was deleted and replaced with the following: “Australia is one of the most successful multicultural countries in the world”. The revised motion was said to attempt to white-out the advice of national security agencies. Home Affairs, ASIO, the AFP and even Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have all publicly acknowledged that right-wing extremism is on the rise. But according to Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, the threat is being “over-emphasised” and he strongly rejects the “thesis” that there is a rise in far-right extremism occurring in Australia.8 Similarly, Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, was critical of ASIO’s terminology, claiming ‘far-right’ can offend conservatives. In Victoria early this year, neo-Nazis were free to parade through national parks and public places, burning crosses, yelling “heil Hitler” and praising the Ku Klux Klan, while supporters of the Proud Boys — one of the far-right militia behind the attack on the US Capitol — were simultaneously marching in Melbourne. While extremism in all forms should (and was) denounced, the majority of our elected representatives sided with downplaying the evidence of the worrying threat of farright extremism from numerous executive departments. The domestic fragmentation of our community and democracy through right-wing extremism poses a material, and a largely unaddressed, threat to the relatively homogenous nature of contemporary Australian society. In the wake of COVID-19, rightwing activists have seized the opportunity to further indoctrinate impressionable individuals and believe the pandemic reinforces the narratives and conspiracies that are, at their core, ideologies. Many perceive the pandemic as proof of the failure of democracy, globalisation, multiculturalism, and confirmation of the inevitable collapse of modern society and impending ‘race war’. ASIO Deputy Director General, Heather

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Cook, warned that the pandemic had created both a greater opportunity for far-right extremists to recruit online and send a powerful anti-government message for those that resent lockdowns.9 Further, she revealed the organisation has seen an extraordinary increase in focus on the far-right in Australia since the pandemic. According to ASIO’s latest annual report, investigations related to far-right extremism make up between 30 and 40% of its “priority counter-terrorism” workload.10 That’s up from 10 to 15% in 2016, with ASIO saying that extremists including neo-Nazis represent a “serious, increasing and evolving threat to security” and that the 2019 Christchurch attack is continuing to be drawn on as “inspiration” for right-wing extremists across the world.11 Worldwide, far-right violence flourishes, with the UN Security Council’s Counterterrorism Committee finding a 320% increase of far-right terrorims globally, from 2015 to 2020.12


2. BfV. Constitutional Protection Report 2020.

5. Follman, M. (2020). National security experts warn Trump “is promoting terrorism” against Americans. Mother Jones.

6. Wearring, M. (2021). Donald Trump labelled a ‘domestic terrorist’ by former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage. ABC.

3. BfV. (2020) Constitutional Protection Report 2020: Extremists and terrorists do not go into lockdown.

4. Therau, J. (2021). Horst Seehofer to focus on rightwing extremism in Germany. DW.

7. Murphy, K., & Remeikis, A. (2020). Dutton says ‘leftwing lunatics’ must be dealt with as Asio warns of far-right threat. The Guardian.

8. Galloway, A. (2021). Immigration Minister under fire for claiming extremism not on the rise. Sydney Morning Herald.

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1. Pahnke, A. (2021). How the far right got a stranglehold on the West. Aljazeera.

10. Ibid.

9. Karp, P. (2020). Asio reveals up to 40% of its counter-terrorism cases involve far-right violent extremism. The Guardian.

11. Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. (2021). Australia’s security environment and outlook. ASIO.

12. Spejce, S. (2020). Right-wing extremism: The new wave of global terrorism. The Conversation.

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Technicolour Dreams Artwork and poem by Ashley Elworthy

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Monochromatic voids shift Into neon kaleidoscopes As technicolour dreams Slip through the cracks Invisible walls encase you In hidden worlds And the fabric of reality tears Into loose threads Reality-warping Entropy enveloping Chaos manifests here. Let it consume you.

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State of (un)rest by Miela Malyon Model Elizabeth Ashby

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Conformity in Creativity and ADHD: A Talk with alumna Kim Griffin by Sevin Pakbaz Illustrations by Kim Griffin CW: Mental ill-health

Our 20s are naturally so chaotic and messy. Trying to figure out where you belong on this floating rock, while conforming to the rat race, societal norms and the rigid structure of doing well in uni, saving up, and then graduating with a good job can be draining. Two long-term flatmates, Sevin & Kim, sit down for a cosy chat to ultimately unpack whether this has been the 27-year-old animator’s reality.

AMPLIFY

Sevin: There’s a struggle with creative employment; it’s the hardest sector to be recognised in — not because of the industry itself — but because society has put pressure on it. You can be an average engineer or an average lawyer, and still find employment. But with animation and other creative industries, you almost have to be the best. And if you’re not the best, you’re literally scraping for weekly paychecks or barely surviving on the money you’re making. And I feel that pressure on creatives to make a living takes away from the art sometimes. Or it might restrict them to not take risks because they’re already struggling. If there’s a chance that people might not like it, they’re not stepping outside their comfort zone, which is a big part of what the creative industry should be and is. Kim: Yeah, it’s a bit weird for me as a character designer and animator, because if you want a studio job, I think you’re fairly right when you say that you’ve got to be really, really good if you want to make it in the industry. And more importantly, you’ve got to really love what you do. When something is more artsy or design-based, there are endless possibilities in terms of visuals, but you’ve got to conform a lot of the time if you’re working on a cohesive team project. The challenge becomes to try and stop your weirdness from coming out.

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You have to be a chameleon. You’ve been working all these years to develop your own unique style as an artist — something that’s gonna help you stand out — but when it comes time to work at an actual studio job, you’ve got to adapt. You need the creativity to make characters look unique, appealing, and have their personality shine, while designing within the confines of a pre-existing established style. At least that’s the case in the early stages of your career. It’s still fun though! You’re still drawing for a living which is pretty sweet. Sevin: You’re leaving out your own little creative expressions and stylistic choices.

Sevin: For sure; it’s not guaranteed to be consistent. Kim: Yeah, it’s where you’d really want to stand out and do something really unique and interesting to catch attention. But as I’ve found, that can take a while. Maybe once you have it, you’ve got the freedom to really bring your own energy, eccentricity and flair. Sometimes clients will come to you for your specific style, and other times they’ll already have something in mind. In my experience, that’s usually how it is for an artist in the animation field, especially early on. There’s a lot of conforming until you’ve gained a following or built your own reputation and connections. Then people will begin to see your signature style, and they might start to gravitate towards that. Sort of like what I did with the illustration group I’ve just become involved with. I reached out to them and said, ‘Hey, here’s my stuff. Do you like it?’ And they did! I’m really excited about that.

Sevin: More of a rapport and a reputation? Kim: Yeah. And it would be 100% based on what I want to put out there. Sevin: Basically, you need a little breakthrough. Kim: Yep, I just go for anything I can get my hands on. People choose this field out of passion because they really want to do it. It’s ultra-competitive and people throw their all into it. Sevin: So you came from a somewhat small beach town in Queensland. How did you know you wanted to study animation? Kim: For me it was a pretty natural process. I think the very first seeds of it began to — what’s the word? Sprout?

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Kim: Exactly, at my job last year, they gave me references to the style of the show. So, I would draw something, submit it, and then they would give me notes like, ‘This little toe or this bit of hair is a bit out of style, so if we could just adjust that...’ So ironically, in a way you’ve got to kind of try and stop your uniqueness from showing (laughter). But when it comes to freelancing, what I’ve found is that it’s pretty much the exact opposite. The catch is that it can be much more unreliable, until you’ve gained steady income.

They’re gonna put up one of my artworks on their page. If it draws attention, if any clients are interested, I’d be able to build —

Sevin: Grow? Tickle your fancy? Kim: (laughter) Yes. Animation first began to tickle my fancy way back — back to probably my earliest memories, because we had a ritual growing up. They used to have Cheap Tuesday at the video shop and we’d go rent videotapes. A lot of the time, I’d get animation, like Disney, like Pokemon — which was my introduction to anime. People asked me all the time, ‘Oh, you’re an animator. When did you start drawing?’ and I just always say, ‘I can’t remember not doing it.’ (laughter) It was the main thing that I was, you know, continually — constantly — passionate about. It’s what I did for fun. I started off with creating my own characters, then I’d start to create my own stories. I wrote my own books when I was in Year 3 or 4 (laughter). By Year 11 or 12, I decided I wanted to be a character designer or an animator. My dream was to go to CalArts but that’s not realistic because it’s extremely expensive and in America (laughter). I ended up going to UTS because a random person I didn’t know commented on one of my more obscure art pages.

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No one had ever commented on that page before. We got into a conversation and she told me she went to UTS. I didn’t do the OP test in Queensland, I just got certificates instead and worked on my art. But then I saw that the entryway for UTS — unlike pretty much all the other unis I’d seen — was via portfolio entry rather than OP or ATAR. And UTS offered international studies, which really appealed to me too. Sevin: I’ve known you for five years. I’ve watched you go from the middle of your degree to being a graduate. What do you think was the toughest part of uni life and the main struggles you faced?

In a way, it’s a losing battle, because you’re almost never satisfied. You just want to be one of the best. No matter how hard you’re working, it’s almost like you’re not working hard enough because of the amount of pressure you put on yourself. And being away from my family is a bit crappy as well. Sevin: You got diagnosed with ADHD at uni and you’ve always been so open about it with me. How do you think that diagnosis helped you? Are you okay to expand on it? Kim: I think the diagnosis helped most with my self-esteem (laughter), because I never knew what it was. I would be behind on so many things and no matter how much time I seemed to dedicate to things, I’d always still seem to be trailing behind everyone else. I’d always felt like I was a bit slower or dumber than everyone else. I’d lock myself away and just try to work on my assignments. Now I know what it is and that there are treatments for it.

Kim: Yes! Because with ADHD, it’s like your brain moves too fast for the kind of world we live in. With ADHD, your thoughts come and go really, really quickly. Something would distract me and I’ll go down that rabbit hole and completely forget what I wanted to do in the first place. You have a to-do list, but it just accumulates and you end up playing constant catch-up. That’s probably the worst thing — the constant feeling you’re not reaching your potential. You have a crazy amount of ideas but following through on them is the hard part. For me, it works really well to draw or animate while I’m listening to music because it’s upbeat and keeps me energised. That’s another reason I gravitate towards animation, I can draw while my brain is thinking about other things. I find it really hard to get my brain focused because it just craves excitement and dopamine, and just gets bored super-duper easily. I end up causing inconveniences for people no matter how hard I try not to do that, which is a terrible feeling.

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Kim: I dedicated pretty much all my time to uni; I wanted to be the best I could because I cared so much about it. I ended up staying up ultra-late every night to get as much as I wanted done. It wasn’t hard at the beginning, but it became difficult to lock myself away every single day throughout the semester. I didn’t experience a lot of things because I was always prioritising my work. In hindsight, I should’ve probably gone out and done things. That’s the time when you’re meant to go meet people, have fun, and do crazy things.

Sevin: Did you feel messy?

Sevin: Thanks for opening up about that, I can imagine it’s not easy. And getting diagnosed for ADHD is generally harder for women. On that note though, do you want to talk about Grill’d? Kim: We can open that can of worms for sure! That’s actually a good example. I wanted to take a break from doing animation and nothing else (laughter). I wanted to make time to go out and have fun, meet people, make friends, go see all these new things. I’d also be able to work on my own personal projects which were always getting shoved to the side in favour of work and uni. So I ended up working at Grill’d — for the second time. This time I got put onto a different station, you know, making the burgers and the chips and things, instead of doing the till and meeting people. When I signed up, I wanted to work on the till because I would get to meet new people and make friends. And possibly find a love interest (laughter). Sevin: Oh, Kim. Kim: But no, I just got put behind the dress station and I never got to talk to anyone about anything besides the orders.

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And because my trouble is paying attention to things that I don’t truly care about, I found it really hard to stay focused. And I got rightfully called out many times like, ‘Oh, it seems like you’re not listening to me, I’ve told you this many times.’ Or, ‘We just went over this last night and it seems like it’s going over your head.’ And it creates an awkward situation because it feels like the kind of thing you should probably mention when you’re applying. But at the same time, the advice I always get is, ‘Don’t tell people when you apply — and especially don’t tell people if you’re caught screwing up — because that instantly creates a negative connotation with ADHD.’

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One time I was screwing up particularly badly, no matter how hard I was trying. I ended up having a breakdown. And I explained everything to my manager, who was like, ‘Okay, you should have told me that during the interview.’ But I feel like that wouldn’t be the kind of thing to bring up during an interview?

Sevin: I’ve read that if you want to inspire people or get them to improve, you should try and come at them from an encouraging angle. If you proceed with a negative perspective and attitude, they’re gonna be worse at what they’re doing, and they’re not going to improve at all. It’s counterproductive. So what happened to the Netflix job? Kim: My contract ended — that’s the anticlimactic answer. Sevin: And where are you now?

Sevin: For sure! I mean mental health issues don’t define us: we’re multifaceted. It’s not like ADHD should be an identifying trait that you have to specify to people — especially ones you meet at work or for the first time — so I don’t think that was fair of your manager to say that. Maybe down the track you could have talked about it, but I don’t think that should be the expectation from the get go.

Kim: I’m in a weird situation, where I’ve got two and a half job prospects. But they both require for me to have my computer — which I draw on — and it’s busted.

Kim: I think I did mention it in the paperwork somewhere at the start though, because it was part of a traineeship.

Kim: I do ultimately feel like if kid-Kim looked through a window to the future and she could see where I’m at, she’d be pleased. She’d see that I’ve achieved my dream, I got to work on an animated show that’ll be available, that people will see. I worked on a great show with great people. I’ve created my own body of work, I’ve got my own portfolio. I’ve travelled and I’ve graduated university, which as far as I know, is a first in my family. I’ve been very fortunate.

Sevin: Well I’m glad you’ve left a situation that wasn’t bringing you happiness. Moving on from that, I’ve seen you do so many amazing projects and artworks. Can you talk about the role you had at Netflix last year? What were you working on and what was it like? Kim: It was amazing. I just felt really grateful to get a job practically straight out of uni, working on a show that’s gonna be on Netflix. I graduated in November 2019, and I got this job in March the next year, two days before the lockdown. It was really lucky, and I was going to be doing what I’d always wanted to do! I went in with a super positive attitude and it didn’t disappoint. I know it sounds really cliche, but they honestly were really kind, friendly, lovely people. They encouraged you to ask questions if ever you felt lost, if you wanted anything clarified, even if it was a silly question.

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I felt like I was making friends at this job, despite not even really being in their presence because pretty much all of it was remote. If you’re having a problem, you could tell them about it and they wouldn’t rip you down or make you feel lesser, they would build you up. Encouragement works much better in my experience. Criticism was still a constant part of my job, but it was much needed constructive criticism.

Sevin: It’s the mercury retrograde. But I guess my next question is, when you were younger, what were your expectations of what you’d be doing as a 27-year-old versus reality?

Sevin: So there’s a light at the end of the chaos? Kim: Yes. You just try to focus on the positives. My mistake was that I focused so much on my uni work, I basically forgoed everything else. It’s left me a bit lonely because I didn’t prioritise building relationships enough. This hurt me both personally and professionally. But now I’m really excited to go out and do so! If you don’t have any money, you have fewer opportunities to go and meet people and do things. Thankfully, you can still do some things for free!


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I started life at UTS by travelling up north from a small town in the Southern Highlands. I was vivacious, eager to begin a new life for myself in the big smoke. Looking back, the notion of travelling to one destination and beginning a hierarchical journey in a Eurocentric system is a path I inadvertently followed. Nevertheless, I felt immense support from UTS which helped me gain confidence in my abilities as a designer. From the financial assistance team helping me out with expensive Adobe subscriptions, to the free Bluebird meals providing students with noodle-y goodness, I felt as though all of my needs were met by UTS over the past couple of years. I lived at Yura Mudang (UTS accommodation), made friends, and pursued a degree which has given me a foundation to build my career upon. My goals sometimes felt impossible, especially this year. The bushfires came up to the village next to my hometown, and then the pandemic hit while I was starting my final year. While being away from home was hard, campus life connected me with Gadigal land and the inspiring people who live here, as well as more opportunities than I could imagine. Living on campus made life easier when I studied the Google Project (I highly recommend that subject for VisCommers) and worked as an intern at Digitas (an opportunity provided to some of us by the Visual Communications faculty). A friend of mine once told me to become clear about what my priorities are and follow through with those, otherwise, one’s

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existence becomes a fractured mess. So I found my holistic priorities — finishing my degree with marks that will get me into further study, meditation, starting my freelance business as well as being active every day — which made it easier for me to see tiny steps of progress. Visualisation is a meditation technique I use, which requires taking some time out of your day to imagine yourself in the life you want and as the person you want to be. I advise students to seek out financial support when in need. I know first hand that there is nothing worse than eating twominute noodles every night while working part-time, studying full-time and trying to maintain good grades. Another tip is to ask for help — see your tutor outside of class time, either on a Zoom call or in-person. They are there to help you, not to scare you! Get together with your peers for social hangouts and make friendships that will give you heartwarming memories and funny anecdotes which will be with you for years to come. Consequently, the pandemic became a wise tutor that taught us how connected we really are. As designers, we have the chance to change the way people see and feel about things and how well people are educated on important issues. Aritvism is a way people express activism visually on social media and has played a key role in the BLM protests as well as LGBTIQA+ liberation. Design can be used for the betterment of society or perpetuate more negative influences, such as promoting toxic ideologies through propaganda. Rather than succumbing to our animalistic natures (you’ve seen it — people fighting over toilet paper), we have the privilege to help people

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want * more?

catch up on vertigo at issuu.com/utsvertigo

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INTERNAL DETACHMENT by Georgia Hearn

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CW: Mental ill-health

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This piece is based on a real, vulnerable experience I had when dealing with depersonalisation disorder last year, during the height of the pandemic. Through digital manipulation I aim to encapsulate the all-encompassing panic and anxiety that comes with a dissociative disorder and the terrifying inability to recognise one's own face and actions. By positioning the camera outside of the car window, I aim to replicate the ‘out of body’ experience many sufferers encounter as if one is watching themselves from the third person through a glass screen. Feeling mentally detached from your own being is a frightening experience, let alone having to mask such internal disruption in order to carry out daily tasks. With this work I aim to exhibit that anxious feeling and to personify what it means to question your own sanity and being.


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A Conversation With Nour Hammouri: President of the UTS Palestinian Youth Society

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CW: Violence, discrimination, colonisation

Interview by Sevin Pakbaz Photographs by Nour Hammouri

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"you can't be against colonial forces in Australia and not be against it everywhere else."

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SP: On behalf of the whole Vertigo team, I would like to thank you for your time today and acknowledge the burden BIPOC individuals often face when it comes to sharing and educating others regarding race, ethnicity, oppression, and politics. It's a privilege to access this information and we strongly urge our readers to facilitate their own understanding, and to not expect BIPOC individuals to educate them on these matters. Firstly, could you introduce yourself and the the Palestinian Youth Society at UTS? NH: My name is Nour Al Hammouri and I study Advanced Science here at UTS. The Palestinian Society started off as a cultural place for Palestinians and Arabs to connect and find each other on campus. It was about fostering a sense of belonging and sense of community. It also serves to educate people from a Palestinian background, Arab background, or from a non-Arab background to learn more about Palestine and the history behind its culture and politics. Palestinians are sick of the whole negative portrayal, that it’s just all war and brutality. So we want to try and highlight the more positive aspects of Palestine, whether it be our culture or history, or just the beauty of the land.

NH: I'm the President and the founder. So far we’ve had a Knafeh day, where we served Knafeh and Arabic coffee to anyone who was just passing by. We sort of just struck up discussions with people that were there. The main purpose was to get the members to know each other and have a little place on campus where we can share our food and share our culture among each other. We’ve also had two forums; one with Students for Humanity about the Palestine and Sheikh Jarrah incident, where we explained what was going on, and explored and promoted what Palestine’s role in society is. Then we had another forum with the Ethnocultural Collective about discrimination against BIPOC people in academia and the Australian monoculture. In that forum, we had two First Nations people, Students for Humanity, and myself representing the Arab perspective. We spoke about what sort of things we face, like discrimination, racism on campus and in greater Australia. SP: What kind of things came up at these forums? NH: There was talk about reverse racism and how it doesn't exist — you can't be racist towards someone who has no sort of disadvantages, no matter what they do.

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Recently, the conflict in Palestine has been flooding our news feeds. Their tension with Israel has been an ongoing struggle and is understood as a highly complex and difficult to navigate issue. To get further clarification and amplify the voices of Palestinian people, editor Sevin Pakbaz sat down with the President of the Palestinian Youth Society at UTS, Nour Al Hammouri, and unpacked some of the recent updates around the issue.

SP: What is your role and what events have you put on so far?

Then we spoke about the importance of having a safe space for diverse, ethno people [at UTS]. We discussed that there's no place [on campus] where people can go and just mingle with other students. We also spoke about the importance of continuing to be yourself as a person of color, not to shy away from it, and not to be embarrassed by your identity. SP: What role can students play in social activism and liberation movements? NH: It starts off quite simple. It's just making sure that you’re centering the right voices, and listening to the correct people, and giving them a platform. For Palestinian activism, you should be centering Palestinian voices and listening to them — much like you would for other issues around the world — and sharing the resources that they share. Those are most likely going to be the resources that give an accurate depiction of what is happening back home. That’s what gets people thinking and gets people questioning what exactly is occurring. And I think recently, journalism for liberation movements has been stifled by the ABC and other media outlets with their bans on words like ‘apartheid’ and ‘conflict’. So you have to support people who aren't being censored, because an unfiltered perspective is important.

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The people that I really trust and always go back to are the Palestinians in Palestine, and academics with research pertaining to the issue, because there's no filter or bias when they are saying something. So it's important that you are appreciating what they're saying and actually taking into consideration the risks associated when they are speaking out about what's happening back home.

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SP: How are Australian university students (or Australians in general) connected to the struggle for Palestinian liberation? NH: The Palestinian struggle almost parallels the First Nations Indigenous struggle here in Australia. We’re both victims of colonisation and European colonial forces. Invading forces came into Palestine, similar to the British forces that came into Australia and completely ruined the Indigenous People's culture and land. They both work on erasure; they work on removing everything that is indigenous to that land. That's the similarity between Australia and Palestine. Essentially, you can't be against colonial forces in Australia and not be against it everywhere else. It's the same thing. It's against colonial occupation of a land that doesn't belong to them. SP: Has social media helped spread the Palestinian message? NH: I feel like social media has been the biggest force in promoting change. The two twins Mohammed and Mona El-Kurd have literally taken on Israel, just by posting exactly what is happening back in Palestine. They do not deviate from the literal truth. So social media has been Palestine’s biggest resisting force. This is also quite obvious when you look at the directed attacks on news agencies and media outlets. Israel tries to limit data, the Internet, and electricity which just shows how powerful social media is. There is definitely misinformation floating around too, whether it be from Palestinians themselves, or from people on the opposing side. However, social media has shown a lot of effectiveness in promoting the right picture of Palestine in recent times. There are a lot of people coming out now and correcting other people's wrongs, and showcasing exactly what is happening. Like I said before, with the censorship that has been going on, it just proves that the use of social media was threatening to certain people.

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SP: Can you talk about the events of the recent rallies held in support of Palestinian people? NH: Yeah, the first protest had around 20 to 30 thousand people in attendance. It was really great. The environment was very moving; every single person was there for the same reason. It sort of energised everyone to be expressive of their sadness and anger. This has continued and there's a fifth one happening soon. These protests have highlighted that there is support in Australia for Palestinian liberation, and that the Australian government’s complicity with Israel is not reflective of the Australian population. SP: I guess moving forward, how can we keep the momentum going and continue to support the Palestinian liberation movement? NH: While we do appreciate posts on social media, they aren't going to solve the issues. Instead, it's important to keep updated on what's happening. Keep educating, keep reading, and keep centering the right voices. Just keep sharing, keep being aware. And keep showing up. We love to see support from anyone. Follow @uts.palsoc; we continually put out posts and updates with exactly what's going on in Palestine. We also share events that include charity events, fundraisers, rallies, and any sort of activism where you can get involved.

"Israel tries to limit data, the Internet, and electricity which just shows how powerful social media is."


Vertigo is always on the lookout for pitches and submissions of creative writing, non-fiction, visual art, feature articles, news and reviews in the following sections:

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FICTION

Have something you wrote a while ago? Or maybe an assignment that you’re quite proud of? Send in your completed piece to submissions@utsvertigo.com.au with a brief summary and what section you would like to be featured in!

Short stories, poetry, flash fiction: we want it all!

NON-FICTION

We want non-fiction and creative non-fiction writing from all facets of life: essays, opinion pieces, memoirs and campus issues. Anything you’re interested in, we’re interested in too.

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Home to culture, music, fashion, arts and lifestyle. This section showcases individuals in their creative elements. We’re looking to support and promote the creative scene of UTS and cover events near you.

OFFHAND

This weird and wonderful section features quizzes, games, playlists, satire and comics. Nothing is too quirky or weird!

SHOWCASE

Interested in presenting some visual art you’ve created? We’re always looking for standalone artworks, as well as visuals to feature alongside written pieces. We want to see any of your architecture, fashion, photography, typography, or any other art-related works.

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COLD SUBMISSIONS

PITCHES

Have an idea that you’re not quite sure how to finish? Send it over with the following: • Title • Summary of themes and content • Style and tone • How long you’d like the piece to be If you have any examples of previous work, please attach them to your email too!

CONTACT US

Email your work or ideas at submissions@utsvertigo.com. au and one of our editors will be in touch! Remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for callouts! For other inquiries, please contact us at editorial@ utsvertigo.com.au

SOCIAL MEDIA @utsvertigo @utsvertigo @Vertigo

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WINE PAIRINGS FOR THE SOUL illustrations by charmaine kwok

by fiona ryan

Disclaimer: Vertigo encourages responsible consumption of alcohol.

WHAT’S YOUR SOUL LIKE?

Untamed: OFFHAND

Cipriani White Peach Bellini

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Cipriani’s White Peach Bellini will compliment your intense electrical energy. This sparkling prosecco is delightful as a stand-alone drink but is also ideal for making cocktails. Mess up the kitchen and let your creativity run wild by experimenting to concoct your next signature drink. Allow the flavour of sweet peach to cool down the hot mess of rapid thoughts that have been bouncing around in your head this past week. Bubbles help stimulate emotional momentum, but won’t drag you down into a wormhole of inner thoughts.

RESTLESS: Seppeltsfield No. EC3

This classy drop of South Australian red is crafted from a soul-soothing blend of Portuguese grape varieties. It’s believed red wine possesses antistress properties, making this an ideal pairing for the end of those busy weeks. It’s both organic and vegan friendly so you can wash away all your troubles with greater peace of mind. This red is substantial on the tongue without being overwhelming. Subtle fruity undertones will linger on after each sip. ‘Hints of pomegranate’ apparently... but your common tongue will just recognise that it’s delicious and hits the sweet spot of your restless soul.

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ADVENTUROUS: S.C Pannell Nero Diavola

I know you’ve been itching for international travel, but since we’re still dealing with a pandemic, let your taste buds take a trip overseas instead. Even Dionysus would approve of S.C Pannell’s Pannell Nero Diavola. This red wine is derived from an exemplary blend of Sicilian grape varieties but is grown domestically in South Australia’s famous McLaren Vale. S.C Pannell is an up-and-coming winery that uses innovative winemaking styles and grape blends, so you won’t get bored of the taste after a half a glass. This red packs a punch with exciting flavours of berry, sweet spices, and liquorice that go down smoothly. It pairs well with a variety of foods but especially with anything barbequed. This drop matches your boldness and will appeal to your inner foodie. Take the risk and be quick! This wine sells quickly so keep an eye out for it.

Evans & Tate Expressions Butterball Chardonnay

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It’s time to spice up your weekly ‘me time’ with a bubble bath and a delicate drop of Evans & Tate ‘Expressions Butterball’ Chardonnay. This chardonnay is well balanced, just like yourself. Your sharp and strong mind will allow you to truly taste the gentle combination of stone fruit and pear. These flavours work together in harmony to create a calming drop. It’s best served chilled and will allow you to relax without feeling drowsy. You can comfortably sip and enjoy Expressions Butterball while pondering complex philosophical concepts.

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Light-hearted: Chaffey Bros Wine Rosé

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Compliment your cheerful mood with this uplifting and vibrant rosé. It’s a common misconception that rosé is only a summer drink, but the Chaffey Bros Wine Company have busted this myth with their signature ‘Not Your Grandma’s Rosé’, which is suitable for drinking all year round. Simply remove it from the fridge 20 minutes before serving for the perfect drinking temperature. It’s also a vegan friendly rosé, so no one has to miss out! This Australian drop is grown in the world-renowned Barossa Valley and is derived from two distinct grape varieties. Grenache creates a strawberry sweetness with cherry notes, while Mourvédre refines the taste with a dash of lingering spice. This rosé is hard to resist, just like your magnetic personality. Its crisp and bright flavours will help bring out your passionate and sensitive side, making it a great choice as an aperitif. It’s stimulating and light on the tongue which will help you maintain the flow of conversation as you charm your date.

Tired:

Madfish Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

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This drop is a suitable starting point for newcomers to wine because the Semillon-Sauvignon combination creates a light-bodied wine with reserved delicate flavours that are easy on the palate. It’s grown in Western Australia on a coastal vineyard which provides it with natural purity. Pair it with seafood and summer fruits. As you bring the wine glass to your lips, you’ll catch a refreshing scent of white florals that will lift your spirits. First, the gentle sweetness of passionfruit will greet your palate, followed by soft pear. The crisp aftertaste of zesty lime creates an energised feel with each sip. Chill it prior to drinking to give yourself an extra fresh and cooling drop that will leave you feeling spritely and revitalised.

$ $$ $$$ 98

SUITABLE FOR A $10-$19 TIGHT BUDGET MID-RANGE YET AFFORDABLE

$20-$30

COSTLY BUT HIGH-CLASS

$35-$45


Need a lawyer? The UTSSA Student Legal Service provides free and confidential legal advice for students.

Contact us to make an appointment. (02) 9514 2484 | studentlegalservice@uts.edu.au utsstudentsassociation.org.au/legal


O F QUARTZ YOU NEED C RYSTALS IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW! WITH SEVIN PAKBAZ

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Disclaimer: It’s important to acknowledge that energy work and spirituality originates from authentic religious traditions and cultures including Hinduism and Zen Buddhism. The current spiritual community can be quite watereddown, Westernised, and pro-capitalist (hello, expensive yoga retreats). This article is in no way trying to gatekeep sacred information, but is rather a light-hearted guide into crystal magic.

THE BASICS Before you completely dismiss crystals — which is fair, it can be a little woo-woo — just consider them a tool to guide you, and help you tap into spiritual, emotional, and energetic healing. Maybe it is a placebo effect, but if they can get you through a chaotic week of breakups, breakdowns, and exams, who’s to complain really? Not me, (allow me to be delusional and find comfort in this sorcery in peace, please). Crystals have been around for thousands of years. They harness the vitalising elements of Earth and the universe — essentially becoming a magnet to manifest abundance in different areas of your life: career success, improving concentration, manifesting love, friendships, money, and more. Crystals rely on the vibrational energy of the Sun, the Moon, and the oceans, to connect humans to the omnipresent power around us. These magical stones have different levels of impact on individuals depending on how a person utilises their crystals. Of course, like many spiritual processes, there needs to be a certain level of open-mindedness from an individual (in the heart, mind and soul) to tap into this potential. Whether you’re an old pro witch/fairy/wizard or an excited beginner, here are the crystals you should consider keeping on your altar to bring some stability into the tumultuous parts of your life.

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THE AMAZONITE TO TACKLE YOUR PROCRASTINATION ‘Work hard, play hard’ they said, but all you’ve been doing is playing — playing yourself, that is. Scrolling when you should be catching up on readings or texting back friends you’ve been ‘unintentionally’ ignoring for the past 2-3 days. Does it feel like the whole world is crashing and burning around you because you’re putting things off for too long? No more. Enter Amazonite. Recognisable by its beautiful shade of bluegreen, Amazonite is an eye-catching crystal that’ll pop wherever you place it. This stone is known to positively impact concentration and focus, and has the same soothing properties as its namesake, the Amazon River. It will help relieve emotional stress and refocus your energy on whatever task you’re attempting, plus it’s a popular stone to meditate with. Remember you’re a bad b*tch, get your shit sorted. Get an Amazonite. CLEAR QUARTZ TO WARD OFF BAD VIBES AND HATERS

OFFHAND

Live, love, laugh, but if you feel these perfect moments are being ruined by others (you know, crusty exes crawling back, communication mishaps at work, dealing with Karens, the lot), it’s time to invest in a Clear Quartz! This crystal holds a lot of power and is known as the ‘Master Healer’. It’s all about clarifying, cleansing, and regulating energy. In ancient Japanese mythology, the Clear Quartz is believed to be in the physical form of dragon’s breath, which makes it a symbol of perfection. Pretty cool, huh? If you want to clear the vibrational air and purify your surroundings, all while manifesting positivity, keep this crystal close. Bestie vibes only. A ROSE QUARTZ FOR YOUR TRAGIC LOVE LIFE Just got dumped? Maybe you got ghosted? (Which one is worse nowadays, I don’t know). Or maybe, you’re finally ready for a cutie to come and whisk you away? Don’t worry, Rose Quartz has got your back. It’s commonly called the ‘Love Stone’ AKA the stone of the heart. It’s capable of opening one’s heart to help find love. This doesn’t have to refer to romantic love, it can be self-love too. The Rose Quartz will empower feelings of happiness and sensuality. It is especially valuable in healing from a painful relationship. If you’re still not convinced, Feng Shui uses this precious stone as a love cure. In family matters, it’s believed to soothe tension and ease pregnancy. So, if you’re sick of your topsy-turvy love life, get a Rose Quartz ASAP. Note: it’s relatively cheap, thus, won’t break the bank … making it far cheaper than hours of therapy.

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HOROSCOPE HAIKUS ARIES Stormy summertime a giant purple monkey sleeps below the child

The pebble will crack unfold the cold twist of fate un-fortune cookie

Lucky numbers — 36, 21, 57

Lucky numbers — 99, 70, 3

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GEMINI This whimsical farce locate the bird and swallow fight against the tide Lucky numbers — 45, 97 , 0

leo Beamy aurora flying silly across the sky, without a clue Lucky numbers — 100, 85, 59

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TAURUS

CANCER Inside a freezing forest, a little deer cries crocodile tears Lucky numbers — 88, 40, 77

virgo Badly baked bread will almost never cause a wild commotion with friends Lucky numbers — 83, 38, 300


BY ERIN EWEN

libra Glorious question: Why should a rabbit not walk in spite of the ant?

scorpio Nocturnal, beastly little, old spider feeding enjoying his meal Lucky numbers — 69, 1, 100

Lucky numbers — 11, 7, 43

sagittarius

Lucky numbers — 56, 73, 2

AQUARIUS

One more step upwards such greed attracts gravity brace yourself for it

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Sweaty summertime an evil, freshwater fish sells you one bitcoin

CAPRICORN

Lucky numbers — 743, 89, 32

pisces

In Scomo’s backyard a democratic sheep sneers, betrayed by the pig

Because of the pond, a wise, old cheetah sings to you, while you hammer

Lucky numbers — 5, 7, 4

Lucky numbers — 55, 132, 90

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VERTIGO E X UTS LIBRARY


EXHIBITION LIBRARY ENTRANCE CB02.07 SPRING SESSION


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CAMILLE SMITH ASSISTANT GENERAL SECRETARY

CW: Sexual assault, sexual violence

I’m sure by now we have all seen the posters up around campus for the 2016 Universities Australia campaign, Respect. Now. Always., and will have completed the mandatory ‘Consent Matters’ module prior to beginning your studies. While I’m thrilled that consent is something actively spoken about at UTS, I worry that taking such a serious topic like consent and churning out cutesy catchphrases (‘Wanna spoon? Ask first!’) fails to address the absolute crisis students face on campus with regards to sexual assault and harassment. I applaud any campaign that seeks to educate about and eradicate sexual violence on campus, but personally I’d like to see the same sort of weight applied to the method of consent education as we do with drink-driving ads. In the study Universities Australia commissioned, more than 51% of students that participated reported being sexually harassed in 2016, and 1 in 4 reported being sexually assaulted in the same year. This is fucking outrageous. I can’t solve this crisis on my own, but I’m hoping with the introduction of my next campaign, change can be made at UTS and beyond. In collaboration with other SA Collectives, I am in the process of organizing free and regular self-defense classes

for all UTS students to be held on campus this next semester. I understand that some may view these classes as ‘victim blaming’, putting the onus of responsibility on the victim to be able to defend themselves against an attacker. Victims of assault are NEVER to blame. Responsibility lies solely with the perpetrator. Historically, many self-defense classes, specifically aimed at women, have also focused on increasing safety by restricting their lives. These classes will not be like that. The instructors are educated and experienced with teaching self-defense from a place of empowerment and strength, and want to help you challenge the ideas that society has told you about what your body is capable of and entitled to. Self-defense classes may also help you develop skills that can enable the setting of strong and healthy physical and emotional boundaries. Please look out for information about these classes next semester and I hope to see you there. If you have experienced or are at risk of sexual assault, call 1800 424 017 for the NSW Rape Crisis Centre 24/7 phone counselling service for anyone in NSW and their non-offending supporters.

CLODAGH & CAL QUEER COLLECTIVE

Welcome back to UTS! Our names are Clodagh and Cal, and we run the UTS Queer Collective — a safe, autonomous group for LGBTQIA+ identifying students. We hold social events and workshops for the UTS queer community, and regularly attend protests and rallies for queer rights or other marginalised groups. We also provide a physical safe space on campus. Last semester, our main focus was bringing the community back together through in-person events. We also furnished our new queer space and turned it into a warm, cozy space for members, started a bi-weekly bookclub, and had monthly games nights. We also collaborated with UTS Backstage,

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CRAP, and the Ethnocultural Collective for our successful IDAHOBIT CabaGay event. This semester, we hope to hold activist and educational workshops in collaboration with other societies and collectives. We also aim to continue participating in rallies/protests surrounding queer rights and issues such as Kill the Bill, Free Palestine, and anti-racism, and will continue to advocate for the rights of queer students on campus. Finally, we’ll continue our book club meetings and game night events. If you want to join the collective, you can do so by signing up through the UTSSA website or by emailing queer@ utsstudentsassociation.org


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The Women’s Collective is the activist and social group at UTS for all misogyny-affected people (including TISGD people — trans, intersex and gender diverse). We’ve been actively rebuilding over the last semester after being inactive for a while. Women’s Collective has recently elected our new executive team, including our Convenor, Social Media Manager, Creative Director, and Grievance Officer. With such a dedicated team representing the amazing members of our collective, we are ready to bring some university life back onto campus and engage in activism more fervently than ever! Women’s Collective has been participating in activism by attending protests, flyering, and building awareness. The backbone of our feminism is intersectionality, and our activism has been reflecting this. Our first major protest this year was the Trans Day of Visibility march, where we fought against Mark Latham’s transphobic education bill. We painted a banner: ‘Trans Justice is Feminist Justice’ in solidarity with the community. We have also been regular attendees at the Palestinian liberation and Indigenous sovereignty protests as of late. We recognise that it is impossible to achieve feminist liberation on unceded land, from Gadigal to Gaza. We’ve also been partnering with Youth Against Sexual Violence in their actions to obtain earlier, more comprehensive consent education, justice and support for survivors, and economic safety for women. In June, we flyered for Jenny Leong’s petition regarding consent education in high schools across NSW, which is now being taken to parliament for consideration. As a Collective, we strive to ensure that we are radically leftist and inclusive in every facet of our activism so we will be considering further actions in this semester. Some of our plans are to: • Start a feminist-literature reading group! The first book we will be reading is Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis. Follow us @utswomenscollective for updates! • Have educational forums regarding more nuanced topics such as sex work and feminism • Re-evaluate the Respect.Now.Always campaign at UTS to make it more effective and considerate of survivors

Protest against class and job cuts at UTS, especially those which directly threaten progressive thinking (e.g. the removal of Sex, Race and Empire) • Start self-defence classes on campus • Make a zine highlighting the art of survivors of sexual assault We’ve also been working on making a safe social space on campus for the Women’s Collective and have recently opened the new Women’s Space on campus in Building 3 (CB3.4.32)! It has couches, food, books, and a huge screen for our movie nights. If you are a misogyny-affected student, email us at womens@utsstudentsassociation.org or message us on social media to get student card access. While COVID has been a considerable hurdle with social events, we managed to hold events during the break, and have planned for more this semester! You can keep up with us on Instagram or Facebook. We are looking to host movie nights, an inter-uni picnic with USYD and Macquarie Women’s Collectives, crafting days, and drinks nights very soon! Unfortunately, many of these activities are becoming increasingly difficult due to a lack of cooperation from the UTS Student’s Association. Women’s Collective has refused to divulge the identities of students who choose to remain anonymous for personal safety reasons. We have spoken out against the UTSSA for their by-laws dictating that collectives are not allowed to poster on campus. As a result, all of our funding has been suspended and we are no longer allowed to use most university spaces. Women’s Collective stands in solidarity with all autonomous collectives who have been affected by the unjust actions of the UTSSA, and will continue fighting for a campus where we are free to engage in activism without jeopardising our members’ safety or our Collective’s morals. We will still have all the aforementioned events due to financial support from USyd SRC and USyd Women’s Collective, and backing from university staff. Thank you so much to all of the members who have helped build the Collective back up and we are so excited for all the new projects and members next semester!

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SABRINE YASSINE

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WELFARE OFFICER

As the second semester begins, I want to welcome any new students attending UTS and congratulate continuing students on a semester well done! A new semester means a clean slate for many of us, where we’ve celebrated getting through another exam season, hopefully had a restful holiday, and will now try to maintain the energy that comes with starting a new semester, with a whole new set of tutors, subjects, and sometimes — unfortunately — a lot of new challenges. That is why you can never go wrong by asking for help, and as Welfare Officer and as a UTS student, I endorse and advocate for all of the services that the UTSSA and the Welfare Collective provide for students. There are a range of services available to students, whether it be counselling, financial assistance, or our legal service. As long as students ask, they will receive! The exam season last semester came with challenges for many students which is why the Welfare Collective organised an exam help desk, handing out free lolly bags and water

bottles, giving students the boost of morale I’m sure we all need. We also continue to advocate for better student services with counselling and the e-request process. The Welfare Collective wants you to make sure that you don’t let the hard days win… so not to sound like a broken record, but use the services that are available and don’t be afraid to ask for help, no matter how small you think the issue may be. Remember if you have had any issues with exams, whether it be querying an exam result or discussing a misconduct allegation, the UTSSA Student Advocacy Service provides confidential advice, assistance, and support to all UTS students. So, attend one of their drop-in sessions from 10:00am – 12:00pm Tuesdays or 12:00pm – 2:00pm Thursdays. I strongly encourage anyone who has ideas on how we can improve student welfare at UTS to contact me at welfare@ utsstudentsassociation.org Also, follow our Welfare Collective on Instagram @uts. welfare.collective for more updates on our upcoming projects!

MELODIE GRAFTON ETHNOCULTURAL OFFICER

Hi there! The UTS Ethnocultural Collective is an autonomous social and political group of the UTS Students Association, composed of students identifying as Indigenous, People of Colour, or as marginalised by mainstream Australian monoculture. Since the last Vertigo volume, the Ethnocultural Collective’s been engaging in initiatives relevant to our values of self-determination and anti-racism. Most recently, the Collective mobilised to campaign for our own autonomous safe space on campus — an Ethnocultural room available for use only by and for all Indigenous students and People of Colour in the UTS community. This would be in line with the UTSSA Women’s and Queer Collectives’ safe spaces, for women and nonbinary students, and LGBTQI+ students respectively. On-campus safe spaces provide much-needed support, community, and downtime for marginalised groups. Liaising with the President of the UTSSA, we have

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escalated our demands to the decision-making authorities within the University structure, and will continuously advocate for our rightful safe space. Accompanying our demands were statements of support from Ethnocultural, Queer and Women’s Collective members, leaders of colour in the UTS community, and relevant individuals from UNSW and USyd, and these universities’ own Ethnocultural safe spaces. These statements of support will prove to be both useful and symbolic in the Collective’s campaign for our safe space. Additionally, since the last Vertigo magazine volume, the Collective has had two successful major events. The first was the ‘You Can’t Ask That’ anti-racism education panel, in which panellists discussed anti-racism in the university sphere and answered attendees’ anonymous and good-faithed enquiries regarding racism in Australia and at university. Overall, the event was an insightful look into the subject, and we look forward to planning another panel event for the Spring Semester!


A special thank you goes to Students for Humanity UTS, for majorly aiding with the planning, set-up, and facilitation of the event. Thank you as well to the two student representatives of the UTS Indigenous Collective, and the Presidents of Students for Humanity UTS and the Palestinian Youth Society UTS for panelling at this event and contributing to anti-racism education. The second event was the CabaGay — a collaboration between the UTS Queer Collective, UTS Comedy Revue and Performance Society, Backstage UTS, and others — was a performance cabaret evening celebrating LGBTQI+ pride and the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. In the interim, there have also been a number of

protests and political rallies that members of the Ethnocultural Collective have attended to support causes such as the climate strike, Palestinian solidarity, and Indigenous sovereignty. As always, you are always welcome to support the Ethnocultural Collective on Facebook (facebook.com/ utsethnocultural) and on Instagram (@utsethnocultural). If you are eligible for the autonomy of the Collective, you are also welcome to join us at https://utsstudentsassociation.org.au/ collectives/ethnocultural! In solidarity, Melodie Grafton (she/they)

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Towards the end of last semester, the university announced a further $3.2 million in staff cuts to the FASS faculty — a faculty already heavily targeted in the last round of cuts in 2020. It is absolutely no surprise that subjects targeted within this faculty are ones examining colonisation, (e.g. Sex, Race and Empire), proving UTS’ commitment to social justice to be a complete joke. When the EAG tried to attend the town hall meeting held by UTS management to tell FASS staff about the latest attacks on their work, we were banned and 3 security guards were promptly called on the 5 student activists who had come to show support for staff. Despite this, we remained outside the meeting room and held a banner in support of staff as they left the meeting, for which staff were grateful. Towards the close of Semester 1, we held a rally against the FASS cuts on the Alumni Green. Thanks to the USyd EAG’s assistance with printing and audio, the rally was a success, with NTEU Branch President Sarah Attfield, and rank and file NTEU activists James Goodman and Mark Gawne speaking on their experience as FASS staff. Thanks to everyone who came along to the rally and helped build for it through postering and flyering! Despite security consistently taking down our posters from non-noticeboards, and secret activism haters taking down our posters from the official noticeboards, we had a good turn out of staff and students. We’ve also launched a confessions page for UTS students to tell us about their ever decreasing-in-quality education. As yet no one has... but send a message to ‘U Teach yourself Corporate Confessions’ and let us know how Management is fucking you or your degree over!

Shamefully, in light of Israel’s continued colonisation and genocide of Palestinians, UTS has maintained their relationship with the Israeli Technion university, and two weeks ago attempted to hold a webinar on cyber intelligence with them. Technion has played an active role in Israel’s military project, developing war weapons and technologies used to opress Palestinians. UTS has, once again, proven themselves to be an absolutely mockery of a ‘Social Justice University’ when, in response to a petition for them to BDS (boycott, divest and sanction) Israel by cutting ties with Technion, Vice President of Advancement Celia Hurley said, “The UN Security Council has not, to date, made any sanctions against Israel regarding the conflict and we are not aware of any international law violations. At this point in time, UTS is not aware of any new information that leads us to conclude that Technion is not an appropriate partner and that the event should be cancelled.” Congratulations to the UTS students who made sure UTS were too afraid of embarrassment to carry out the webinar. We stand with Palestinian students in demanding that UTS cut ties with Technion university and Israel entirely, and stand with Palestinians. In Semester 2, the EAG will continue the fight against UTS Management’s ongoing campaign to attack staff and students in their attempt to further corporatise UTS. To get involved, join us in our regular meetings, like us on Facebook @UTSEAG, and come to our events! Thanks to all the journo students who have written assignments on the cuts to FASS, we appreciate your voices!

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Pandemonium Contributors SECTION NAME

Georgia Brogan Georgia is a first-year Media Arts and Production student. She enjoys photography, writing and crunching leaves on the footpath. You can find her on Instagram @_georgiel Izzie Conti Izzie is a third-year Media Arts and Production student. She has a tendency to screenshot books she’d like to read and forget about them for a year, and enjoys anything pickled. You can find them on Instagram @coupconti

Tom Disalvo Tom is a fourth-year Communications and Creative Intelligence & Innovation student.

Joseph Chalita Joseph is a Communication and Law student.

Ashley Elworthy Ashley is a first-year Communications student. She enjoys creating art, writing, gaming, and playing electric guitar badly. You can find her on Instagram @ashley.elizae

Zac Cutcliffe Zac is a third-year photography student. Fun fact - Can bend his pinky fingers backward to touch the back of his hand. Likes experimental music sampling and Hand-cut collages. Dislikes Electro Swing. You can find them on Instagram @zac_blank.

Erin Ewen Erin is in her final year as a Journalism and Creative Writing student. It’s been three years and she still refuses to decide. You can find her on Instagram @erin_ewen

Yuheng Dai Yuheng is a second-year Design in Photography student. They are a boring person who knows nothing except photography, punk, rock & roll, and drinking. You can find them on Instagram @ashashlynisnotmebiubiubiudai

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Mauli Fernando Mauli is a fourth-year Biomedical Engineering student. He can name every flag of every country. Yes, you can test him if you ever meet him. You can find him at on Instagram @bobmauli Frances Harvey Frances is a Fashion and Textiles Honours student. She has a species of spider named after her! You can find her at @ frances__simone


Christopher Rogers Chris is a third-year Animation student. He’s a bad bitch. You can find them on Instagram @chris.rogerrs Georgia Hearn Georgia is a second-year Photography student. She has an unhealthy obsession for K-BBQ and soju. You can find her on Instagram @georgiamadisonphotography

Miela Malyon Miela is a second-year Photography student. She is a tea-fuelled photo-media artist who loves making a scene in front of and behind cameras by using the human body to tell stories through performance. Miela is currently hermiting in Tasmania, sipping lots of tea. You can find them on instagram @mielamalyon

Fiona Ryan Fiona is a third-year Nursing student, making her a third-generation nurse. At age 8, her drawing of Mary Mackillop’s school featured on a bottle of 2006 Barrel Monkey Shiraz. After graduating, Fiona hopes to become either a paediatric or mental-health nurse. You can see her art on Instagram @ fionaaryan

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Tahlia Rose Langfield Tahlia Rose is a 2nd year Vis Com student. When she’s not designing or making art, Tahlia’s other biggest passions are modelling and snowboarding. She is proudly obsessed with Spongebob Squarepants and peeves when others claim they’re a bigger fan. A quirky habit of hers is repurposing old random things and making them into something new and cool. You can find them on Instagram @tahliaroseart

Jack Ross Jack is a final-year Law and International Studies student. He is currently writing his Honours thesis on Australian war crimes in Afghanistan and thinks the Bánh mì is the ultimate uni student bang-for-your buck lunch. You can find them on Instagram @jack__ross

Stephanie Susanto Stephanie is a final year Media Arts & Production student. Tania Sutiono Tania is a Science and Education student. She has confessed her love to countless beetles.

Sevin Pakbaz Sevin is a final-year law and journalism student. If she’s not reading up on astrology or scrolling through the rat side of Instagram, she’s probably watching a horror film. You can find her on @seviiiinnnn

UTS LITERARY SOCIETY UTS LitSoc shines a spotlight on the mayhem and mutiny hidden within literature. For more information, you can enter the fray with them on Instagram @utslitsoc or UTS Literary Society on Facebook.

Jayan Pascoe Jayan Pascoe is a 2nd year Business + Creative Intelligence and Innovation student. He likes photography, nature and rock climbing. And he doesn’t like the idea of a ‘Gas-Led Recovery’. You can find him on Instagram @jaypascoe_

Alice Winn Alice Winn is a fourth-year Civil engineering and Diploma in Languages student. She’s a textbook Libra with a passion for mid-century furniture and abstract decor. You can find her on Instagram @its.eiei

Tony Phan Tony is a pharmacy student. He daydreams about dragons during class. You can find him on instagram @WinterlyHeights

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COVER ARTWORK by Rachel Percival