pelican. est 1929 Volume 88 Edition 1. Heat
Bryce Newton // Editor Ruth Thomas // Editor
Ben Yaxley // Lifestyle Editor Callista Goh // Fashion Editor Harry Peter Sanderson // Arts Editor Jesse Wood // Modern Media Editor Maddi Howard // Science Editor Mike Anderson // Politics Editor Pema Monaghan // Literature Editor Ryan Suckling // Film Editor Tess Bury // Music Editor
The University of Western Australia acknowledges that its campus is situated on Noongar land, and that Noongar people remain the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land, and continue to practice their values, language, beliefs, and knowledge. The views expressed within are not the opinions of the UWA Student Guild or Pelican Editorial Staff, but of the individual writers and artists.
Jade Newton // Cover Art Harry Peter Sanderson // Inside Cover Art Elise Walker // Design Chelsea Hayes // Advertising firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer can be a hazy time right. Itâ€™s polarising, you either lap up the sunlight like a dog needing water, or spend a majority of your time traipsing from shadow to shadow in an attempt to avoid all sunrelated heat sources. Either way, it is a time to gauge how much you can sweat at any given time, and possibly make compromising fashion choices because of this whether it makes you want to coverup or wear less clothes. If youâ€™re looking to escape the heat or outside in general, find us at the Pelican office above the ref. We have a rattling aircon (providing the perfect summer soundtrack) and open windows hoping either will work out to reduce the seasonal push of heat. Is it bad we start out discussing the weather? Lots of love and hoping to hear from you soon, Ruth Thomas and Bryce Newton Pelican Editors 2017
Letter from the Editors
6 39 Degrees Hannah Cockroft 7
Ode to Shame Aisyah Sumito
Hot This Summer
Sink Aesthetic Ruth Thomas
19 Gloves Clare Moran 38 Person Shading Eyes Jade Newton 41
Crocodile Tears Skye Newton
42 6th of February Gabby Loo 46 Presidentâ€™s Address Nevin Jayawardena
Harry Peter Sanderson
10 Pack Up the Moon Harry Peter Sanderson
Xanthea Oâ€™Connor Tess Bury
18 Strength in Subtlety Sophie Nixon
11 Corrective Retrospective: Ito Junji Skye Newton
16 Review: The Rosemount Tess Bury
20 Successful Creative Anonymous
21 Body Image
12 Monuments and Memory James Brooks
Yegor Letov Eamonn Kelly
13 Artist Studio: Neighbourhood Press Harry Peter Sanderson
22 Meme Obituary Annelise Jansen
26 Green is Good Maddison Howard Art by Danyon Burge
31 Neruda James Brooks
24 Viewfinder Vincent Swarze
27 Climate Change and How Things Heated Up Jade Newton
32 Words with Tom Vincent Ryan Suckling
28 An Ebola of Plants Maddison Howard
34 Hobbies, Reviewed Ben Yaxley
39 Up to the Minute: A Reading Review
35 Waste, Not Clement Sache
40 White Cars Bryce Newton
43 Trump Debate Ian Tan Emily Pankhurst
36 Words with Maddie Godfrey Ben Yaxley
44 Interview with Anne Aly Mike Anderson
39 degrees Hannah Cockroft The sun is a bloodthirsty ball of gas that shoots death rays through your epidermis to turn your cells against you. If you’re a lucky one, you can get these traitor chunks of flesh gauged out of your body before they enter your bloodstream and the real mutiny begins. Still, I lie on the sand, exposed to the sun’s homicidal touch: half naked and covered in a layer of aerosol SPF. I have aloe vera gel waiting in my bag to suck the heat out of my red skin: cure rather than prevention. Mum tells me to check my moles every now and again for any changes in shape, colour, or topography. I look at the water and think of percentages: what percentage is salt, what percentage are blowfish, what percentage are plastic bottles, what percentage are victims of the Titanic, what percentage is wee (quite much), what percentage is wedding rings, what percentage are old ships resting on the bottom. We don’t know what a lot of the sea is, because if you go down too deep then the pressure of all that water above you squishes you like a little bit of bubble wrap under a thumb. Our desire to explore the planet is outweighed by our desire to not implode, which might sound profound, but it’s not. The sun bears down on the outside of my head so that my skull acts like a little oven baking a brain cake. My mouth is dry and my ears are full of salt water (and a bit of wee, probably, considering percentages). The sand is hot against the soles of my feet as I lethargically waddle through the dunes, to the sanctuary of the cool puddles surrounding the shower. I stand beneath it as it covers me with lukewarm water, rinsing the salt from my crinkled hair and the sand from betwixt my toes. Children run across the grass with bare bums and icy poles. My teeth hurt when I eat cold things. My rubber thongs slap against hot bricks as I look for something to fill my empty, reddened belly. I return nursing a hot parcel of fish and chips and a pineapple fritter, freeing a couple of fingers to hold my ginger beer. I find a small patch of shaded grass, free of cigarette butts and ice cream wrappers. The hot oil resting underneath the batter of my fish burns my tongue and fingers. I forgot to ask for lemon in my parcel. The air con turns my car into a fan-forced oven. The steering wheel is too hot to touch. As I drive home I can see the illusion of heat rising from the bitumen, the air above it appears distorted. A bead of sweat falls into my eye and stings me all the way home. I see a man walking by wearing jeans and a jumper and I wonder if there is something wrong with him, and wonder what percentage of his clothes are cotton fibres and what percentage is perspiration. When I get home I wash the final grains of sand from my body. There is sunburn across my ribs and shoulders and on the backs of my knees. The skin is rosy red, and when I press down on it it stays pale yellow for 3 seconds before the blush returns. It stings like I have been slapped hard, even when my clothes brush against it lightly. When I get into bed the sheets feel as though they are pushing into my back hard enough that they will leave light green bruises. The air con is broken and my hair sticks to my neck and forehead. I wake up four times in the night to get water, because humans are meant to be 70% water, and most of it has seeped out of my skin.
An Ode to Shame Aisyah Sumito watercolour and ink on paper. 21 x 29.7 cm. November 2016. facebook.com/aisyahsumito instagram.com/aisyahsumito
hot this summer
Sink aesthetic: Ruth Thomas
my body tolerance company values teamwork visiting old relatives water births Elizabeth Warren tasteful hip hop guild hip hop anti-fascism timely replies microbrews rural town temperatures Kero Kero Bunito Mundaring pipeline Emma Norton pelican screaming in your car new office furniture ferns lumbar support thin walls knowledge throwing frisbees on the quad single origin cold brew Jstor transparent currency green houses socks for your dog fake Birkenstocks being alone effort sportsmanship tenancy personalised stationery hydration empathy quite useful desks Ribena sharing rooms bowl cuts
Photography by Ruth Thomas 8
Pack Up the Moon Harry Peter Sanderson DRAMATIS PERSONAE: DOROTHY WICKOMDEN: An aristocratic Englishwoman of high social standing, with ties to the newspaper industry. MONTY LAWRENCE: Her Husband. HERMANN: Private butler to Dorothy Wickomden.
ONE WEEK BEFORE THEIR TENTH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY, DOROTHY WICKOMDEN AND MONTY LAWRENCE ARE ALONE IN A COUNTRY TEA GARDEN ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF KYOTO. THERE ARE TWO CHAIRS AND A TABLE, BEARING A TEA SET SET OUT ON THE GRASSED AREA. TO THE RIGHT OF THE STAGE IS A GATE WITH A SLIGHT CRACK IN IT. AS THE CURTAIN RISES, MONTY LAWRENCE SITS WITH HIS HEAD IN HIS HANDS, DOROTHY WICKOMDENKENDON STANDS WITH HER BACK TO HIM. THEY ARE CLEARLY INVOLVED IN AN ARGUMENT. DOROTHY WICKOMDEN: I know, Monty. I’ve always known. MONTY LAWRENCE: Dorothy, I’ve no idea— DOROTHY WICKOMDEN: July 8th, 1917, six months before you returned to me in England, at the end of your service. You had been out with the girl from the paper store, dining around town and walking by the sea. You held hands, and spent a fateful night under the stars at the edge of a rice field, barely leaving her arms. It was no coincidence I wanted to come back here, Monty, all these years after you departed. I have loved you fully from the day of our wedding, and even long before— tell me, can you honestly say the same? Please Monty, with that stretch of damp countryside only a few kilometres away, do not lie to me. Dorothy, I will confess. Each day since that summer episode almost eight years ago I have been awash in a sea of penitence and mortal agony. I won’t do you the disservice of invoking mid war lonesomeness. In fact, I succumbed to a weakness that a better husband would not have. Indeed, there was a brief affair with the girl from the paper shop, Tokuko. But please believe that the night we spent together was not sacred, borne out of my longing for you, and has faded into insignificance in my memory, as brilliantly undefined as the line of the seashore.
(Monty puts down his tea glass in sudden realisation) MONTY LAWRENCE: But Dorothy, tell me— how could you have known about this night? Tokuko, tragically, did not see the end of the conflict, and I have never once in eight years spoken a word of my infidelity. The only witnesses were the warm air, the glittering stars, the soft rush of the leaves, and a lone black cow in the neighbouring field with moonlit amethyst eyes, who watched us as we lay together.
Dorothy Wickomden rings a small golden bell on the side of the tea set. Enter, from the side of the stage, that very same cow, led by Hermann who is now dressed in a silk kimono. HERMANN: If it pleases you, Madame. (Turning to the audience): Eight Years Earlier
Junji Ito: horror maestro of manga, and a well known influential mangaka in Japan, is barely acknowledged within the western realm. His affinity for horror began in childhood, where he became a horror comic hobbyist under the influence of his sister’s drawings, and Umezu Kazou comics. Upon reaching middle age, Ito was met with a decision — to continue with the corporeal terrors of dentistry, or to follow his dream of horror fiction. Luckily, he was supported by his already published work (he had submitted his manga to magazines), and had gained widespread recognition and success. To the benefit of world culture, an auspicious career as a dental technician was set aside in favour of his art. Ito’s appeal lies in profound concepts and recurring subject matter. These foundational aspects of his work form a signature style that never fails to sow deep rooted feelings of intrigue and dread. As an artist, he is drawn towards warped, deeply pessimistic alternative universes. Common concepts throughout his work include body horror, societal collapse, the inevitability of death and profound human fixations. These are all concepts which question human behaviour. A prime example of this lies within Uzumaki, Ito’s first and arguably most popular work, a series bound by situations where instinctual behaviours and actions arise as characters become victim to the town’s ‘curse of the spiral.’ In this manga, intrinsic human greed and methods of survival simultaneously drive characters apart and turn them against one another. Focal points of Ito’s subject matter are properties found within the organic and manmade world – marine fauna, flora, the human body, all these elements warped to grotesque levels amidst conventional Japanese prefecture settings. These focal points find themselves building foundations throughout Ito’s work, and are specifically featured within Uzumaki. My first personal encounter with Ito goes back to my stronger (read: regretful) weaboo years when I was an avid reader of manga. Foraging for psychological thrillers through baseless searches, I was somehow lucky enough to chance upon Uzumaki: spiral into horror. I became highly addicted and have not recovered since. I made it my main goal to unearth every piece of his craft, rereading several to try to absorb the life enriching fibre that is Ito’s work. His art has influenced my own; fascinated by panel work and the horror genre I strive to one day form cohesive narrative as he does. During my final year of high school, I was gifted a hardback of Uzumaki, my most prized possession, and now having experienced a tangible piece of work it feels necessary to collect the rest. Possibly, I will form a small shrine to Ito, and strengthen an obsession very close to that experienced by victims of the spiral in Uzumaki. Ito Junji’s work can be considered underrated from a western perspective, as many are reluctant to consider manga a worthy time investment, let alone considering it as art. However, Ito’s manga defies many (conceivable) stereotypes towards this art form. The artwork has a non-traditional style, yet doesn’t exaggerate the human figure or character’s gender roles to unrealistic proportions. The plot lines of his work hold depth and heavy content while retaining an easily readable structure. Moreover, a higher understanding of the aesthetic of horror, regardless of how grotesque, remains to be a significant contribution to his overlooked artfulness. As we make our way unto an unavoidable end, it is safe to say I will personally endeavour to put Ito Junji’s name forward in the realm of art. He has made something within the horror genre that regardless of how many times I have read it, no matter how long my eyes remain fixated in the sticky trap of repulsion, remains fresh and authentic. If anything, (if not everything) that should define Ito as an artist who deserves recognition, it is his concepts and how they come across as new ink on the old, ink blackened paper of horror done time and time again. Read his work, find a tome of Uzimaki on backlit screen or as object in your grasp, and you cannot help but think: I have not seen this before. He takes elements of our own world and warps them until we can’t help but be self aware, for he is only embodying our own interaction, wrapping it in ink, placing it on white paper. Ito crafts fear and asks it to lurk at the back of your retina, press it on the world around you and be something perhaps, better than before.
Corrective Retrospective: Ito Junji Skye Newton
Monuments and Memory James Brooks I will never take a selfie at any place that has the words “Murdered Jews” in its name, at least not in such close succession. As to the fact that other people do? Well, I’m not sure how to feel. On the one hand, can’t a monument be a transformative space, can’t it eventually evolve from its violent history into a place of remembrance and new joy? We are dynamic creatures, and the spaces within our cities reflect this. This is not Auschwitz, where the horror is perfectly preserved, where buttons still litter the floor as signs of the people who lived and suffered and were murdered there. Then, visitors should be allowed, even expected to express themselves - it’s not a sacred place, as Eisenman says. On the other, is it appropriate to indulge the self so totally in a place – The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe - that eulogises the attempted genocide of a group of people based on their appearance, culture, religion and shared memories? When children step through the memorial, playing and screaming, when models lean against the straight stone and when our faces are framed by what seems like hundreds of huge concrete slabs dedicated to the death of 6 million and more, isn’t that the purest form of disrespect to a memory best left untouched? It’s hard to not find beauty and art in the architecture of memory. In Berlin’s memorial, we can see its resemblance to a graveyard, we can see the heads of visitors disappearing slowly as if they are going under water. Despite the evocation of the memories of murder and violence for which words fail, there is beauty in the smooth surfaces, placed perfectly apart and together, in the sharp lines of the concrete blocks. I see the most poignant balance of this beauty and memory in Yad Vashem, the holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem. The main museum is a prism that cuts through the Mount of Remembrance like a scar, consumed by the landscape itself, peaked with a ridge of glass. Visitors enter and are immediately met by a massive concrete slab, the solid start of the prism building. They then journey through an exhibit that begins with the colour of the life of the Jewish diaspora before the war, and ends as the hall peels out in two curved surfaces extending directly from the sides of the prism, framing the hills of Jerusalem. The light from this opening is visible for all 200 meters of the museum – a literal light at the end of the tunnel. The exhibit itself traces a path through trenches cut out to force the visitors to follow the narrative of The Holocaust from beginning to end, resulting in an experience that the designer, Moshe Safdie, compares to music. There is room for all of these spaces, I think. From a dynamic and evolving monument, the architecture of which may one day eclipse the memory of its horrors, to a permanent, static, purely evocative and historical space, that, by its nature as an almost artefact, can never escape its origins. These, as well as all in between, are appropriate and necessary and deserve their place in our cultural memory. Within the spaces themselves there is room for both remembrance and a certain feeling of peace and joy. However paradoxical, they are not exclusive – these spaces are as dichotomous as we are. In them we will find the quiet visitors sinking into the ground as well as the selfie takers and jugglers, the stark slabs of concrete as well as the light from the green hills of Jerusalem, the rusted signs of Arbeit Macht Frei as well as the blue sky above.
Inside the Artistâ€™s Studio Harry Peter Sanderson Neighbourhood Press is an independent Risograph printing press, nestled in a cosy corner of West Perth. Risograph printing is a unique turn of the century medium which is rarely used today. Artists Scott Alexander and Nora Mironov, who run the press, delve into the intricacies of their Risograph printer (Ziggy) as pioneers of the form. In their studio, pictured here, they print almost anything that can be printed, from LP covers to business cards. Whether producing their own compositions or the designs of others, each work is of incredibly high aesthetic value, and possesses a soothing tactility which much art lacks. To see their original works, find out more about their mission, and perhaps even glance further into their space, follow their Instagram @neighbourhoodpress or find them on Facebook as Neighbourhood Press.
Xanthea O’Connor Tess Bury Tess Bury speaks to local Perth musician, band manager, RTR presenter and former UWA student Xanthea O’Connor about her experience as a female in the Perth music scene. Xanthea organises meetings in which people can come together and discuss making Perth venues safer spaces for all. TESS BURY: Being on radio, and organising and performing at gigs, you’re obviously quite involved in music. What is your experience of the Perth music scene, do you think being a female changes your experience at all? XANTHEA O’CONNOR: I started off really wanting to manage band. That was what I knew of the music industry - management. I didn’t go through school or anything, but I was always really interested in music. Not so much interested in genre or style, but more about bringing about social change within music and how artists operate within themselves. I’ve mainly settled into managing artists now, but I always make sure that I have my own self outside of that - I found it to be quite emotionally exhausting for me. So I do radio because I feel like it’s a nice broad sort of thing, similar to management in that it facilitates and promotes artists that you love, but less directly. However, I do feel like I am working within a broken system. There’s a complete disparity between the amount of women and men in this industry. You get to a certain point where you see it and think, that’s just part of the job, and I am one of the more privileged, so I’m just going to work with it. But at this point I feel frustrated and I want to work towards a system that is more equal, and that would require removing a lot of structures in place. Would you say that you even if you reach a certain prominent position, there are still barriers placed upon you because you are a woman? Systematic barriers. Historically, music has always been shown in public houses (bars and pubs) and is always based around the sale of alcohol. Due to that fact, a lot of promoter’s book acts that have audiences that drink more, and that is automatically geared towards a largely male audience. A largely male audience is geared towards a male performer. Socially, women’s music has always been sidelined into something different. I feel like women’s music comes with a performance, most of the attention is on how you look rather than sound. It’s produced for the male gaze still. For the most part, if women want to be mainstream artists, they have to adhere towards the male gaze. That’s why I admire artists like Courtney Barnett, who seems to strip away the idea that female musicians need to look a certain way. Working in the industry I get frustrated because the people who are being booked and played all feed into this system, which I don’t necessarily agree with. It’s a matter of accepting the system or questioning it, and I think it’s always more important to question the system. When did you come up with the idea of women getting together and discussing these issues? For starters, it’s really important for it to not just be a nebulous online thing. Women in music don’t have the same culture of getting together at a young age and forming bands like men do. Women who are getting together now and forming bands like Bell’s Rapids and Boat Show all played in other bands that are mainly guys. Now they’re in 14
their early 20’s, they are realising they can do it by themselves. I think there’s that social consciousness developing. Going along to listening conferences you can see how productive they are when they’re had in person. There is an organisation called Listen (www.listenlistenlisten.org) in Melbourne that was started by Evelyn Morris (also known as Pikelet). It first started out as a blog for female musicians to air their grievances online about the music industry, and it’s now turned into a full not-for-profit organisation where they run a conference every year. They’re doing so much - I went to a conference last year and there was a real pleasure in being around so many women, including women of colour, trans women and non-gender conforming individuals, who are comfortable speaking. Also just being able to listen to them, because they’re not just the token person on stage who has to explain what’s it’s like to be “this” in a place that doesn’t necessarily support “that”. Naturally, after seeing that happen, and being so inspired by those women, I realised we have to start coming together and talking about it.
woman is performing in a place where she has been sexually harassed or made to feel uncomfortable in other ways, it doesn’t make them feel welcome. We’re also working for people to develop the confidence to be able to call something out, and not feeling ashamed about it. It’s not a shameful thing for a woman to be sexually harassed, it’s a shameful thing for someone to harass you, and they need to be educated as to why it isn’t right. We’re developing signs to put up in venues to that say that the space is working on becoming a safer one and that if anyone makes you feel unsafe in the venue to talk to management. But putting up signs isn’t the end of it - it’s also important to make sure the staff are educated and know how to act in case they are approached. If people are genuinely listened to when they approach management, it will develop trust. As soon as something happens that is not dealt with then trust is lost between the patron and the venue. I did a small survey of 120 people (roughly 50 men and 50 women) and a lot of women said that they were deterred from going to a venue if they were harassed and they weren’t comfortable taking to bar staff about it. And men as well can have really bad experiences. The venue safety strategy promotes the idea that venues can be fun, but we can avoid shitty situations.
Did you use this as a model for your own meetings? Well, we’ve really only had one big one so far. We definitely want to be informed by what they’ve done, because they’re in a no way a perfect organisation and are still making mistakes and learning from them. The biggest thing is that everyone is heard. When it’s all women speaking in a group, we still need to acknowledge that we are not all equal and haven’t all had the same experiences. The structure is loose because its still so new, but the main thing is there are heaps of people showing up, because they want there to be change. More and more people who aren’t women want to be told what they need to do as well. People are aware of it, and they know it’s wrong, but they’re not really sure of what to do about it. So I thinking coming all together and creating practical solutions to problems is a step in the right direction.
Whereabouts do men, non-binary individuals or trans people fit into this? Evidently you work for everyone to be safe and happy, but are there any specific things to address to these people? Anything that we put in place will also benefit men - it’s not necessarily something that will put women at an outrageous advantage to them. Especially with trans and gender non-conforming individuals, its not that we are just setting aside thought for them, but they are directly involved in the process. I would hate for it to be a white, cis women’s league, it’s a bigger problem. Gender-neutral toilets, disabled access all come into it as well. There are so many aspects of this that we can address. It’s not necessarily going to make everybody thousands of dollars, but it’ll be more inclusive.
What practical steps would you recommend for someone who doesn’t feel safe at a gig? It’s all about developing trust and empowerment. Mainly it’s educating people that they can call stuff out, not in a direct way that could put them in a potentially dangerous situation, but rather going to a bar manager and talking about it. Education and empowerment are the main things. Feeling more empowered is going to encourage more women to want to play in venues as well. Going up on stage is terrifying for anyone, but if a
Yegor Letov, the Father of Soviet Punk Eamonn Kelly Yegor Letov was extremely sickly in his youth as a result of his family having moved from an area in Kazakhstan to where the soviet government would conduct nuclear explosions in the sky. Doctors told his family that he would not live past his teenage years, and Letov was indeed pronounced clinically dead multiple times until his health stabilised. As a result, Letov’s parents basically let him do as he pleased, resulting in his free spirit and antiauthoritarian views.
Grazhdanskaya Oborona formed in provincial Siberia as a two-piece between Letov and his long-time friend Konstantin Ryabinov. The band’s name a plays on both a nickname for the police and in its truncated form: ГрОб (Grob) the Russian word for coffin. They released two albums in 1985, with overtly political lyrics. This attracted the attention of the KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti). For their trouble, Letov was interred at a psychiatric hospital while Ryabinov was conscripted into the army. In this forced exile Letov began to write music prolifically. In 1987, Letov would perform as Grazhdanskaya Oborona and under the deliberately controversial name “Адольф Гитлер” (Adolf Gitler). Stop right there, I know what this looks like, but Letov was an anarchist, and certainly not a Nazi. For instance, after a skinhead beat a non-Slavic fan of the band to death at one of the band’s concerts in 2004, Letov had very specific words for Nazi punks: “We are patriots but not Nazis… [to] totalitarians on the left and right and of all colours and stripes FUCK OFF. Please do not associate your stink with our activities.” Letov is and will remain an incredibly controversial figure in Russian culture, especially in light of his political advocacy in the early 90s. The story goes that Letov was tipped off to the fact that that the KGB was going to arrest him again because of the Adolf Gitler performance, so he skipped town with his girlfriend and fellow punk Yanka Drevelia, a fellow musician. Letov hitched around the boondocks of the Soviet Union for a year, occasionally joined by friends and family, whilst disseminating bootlegged tapes and live recordings (known as magnitizdat), as well as playing live shows to earn bed and board. Letov returned home in 1988 after his family made appeals to the KGB. Between the years 1986 and 1990, the band released fifteen full-length albums, and that’s not even counting the various side-projects of various members of the band. The music the band produced during the 80s is a strange blend of noise rock, anarcho-punk and Russian folk music. It is at once rough, angry and dirty ‘dangerous’ music that would make your parents weep, but also super-catchy, very poetic (even if you rely on translations). This music is incredibly aware of youth in general - especially their discontent with the Soviet Regime. In 1990 Letov broke up the band amidst fears that they would become a “commercial pseudo-counterculture project”, but eventually reformed in 1994 as a vaguely psychedelic shoegaze act. The general vibe of the music released after 1990 is brighter, feverish yet optimistic. It’s less political to be sure, but if the mission statement of their 80’s material was violence against the system, the mission statement of their post-80s material is peace. Grazhdanskaya Oborona continued to play sell-out shows right up until the death of Letov in 2008.
Strength in Subtlety Sophie Nixon Regardless of whether you dress for comfort or aesthetic, one’s style is a physical manifestation of who you are. On a socio-political scale, your fashion choices also impact others; from those around you, to those who make the clothes. I talk to Naomi Hall, a recent fashion graduate from Curtin University, about her graduate collection Shibui – Hand of the Maker and how she examines themes of identity, handcrafts and the sustainability of fashion and materials in her work. What attracted me to Hall’s collection was the juxtaposing materials; the use of warm, heavy cocooning wool in contrast with the ethereal fabric of bamboo, linen, cotton and silk. Her collection was inspired by her trip to Japan in early 2016, particularly from visiting a family-owned silk farm in the country, which had been producing handmade silk textiles for generations. This led Hall to research into the theory of Shibui, an aesthetic of simplicity, subtlety and understated elegance. It prizes a balance between simple, beautiful aesthetics and practicality. This ethos resonated personally with Hall, being one of the main influences behind her collection, simultaneously with emphasis on the handmade. Hall has always been a maker and craft savvy, from embroidering to carving wooden spoons, Hall credits her parents and upbringing as the influence behind this. When developing her graduate collection, she wanted to express how the handmade reflected her own identity and context. This manifested in her work through a hands on engagement with materials such as felting wool and hand spinning silk, but also through the subtle use of symbolising the hand and finger print. She wanted to make a collection that reflected its origins, showing the hand of the maker. “I wanted to include all of my context and all of me in the garment without writing my name on it…it’s all about it being ingrained”. This had me thinking about our own identities and why we dress the way we do, how conscious are we about the fashion choices we make and how much are we influenced by external factors and contexts? Hall grew up in Esperance, Western Australia. Living the rural life, she was brought up to think practically and economically. Things were never wasted and were always mended where possible, this triggered a sense of sentimentality when designing her garments and how clothes could be loved and worn most. Returning back to the core ethics of Shibui, she expressed that when garments are in the balance between beautiful and practical, they’re worn and loved more. With that came a sense of empowerment in these subtle choices, “I like the idea of being elegant and having a purpose,” she goes on to express how there’s something subversive in being feminine and chic, whilst still having the movement and freedom to do everything you could in a pair of running shorts. When it came to the choice of materials in her collection, it only made sense for her to choose fabrics that were not only beautiful, but also practical, comfortable and resilient. These textiles, namely bamboo, cotton and linen, were important to her for their material qualities, and because they reflected her experiences and environment growing up in rural Australia: “I’m not designing for someone in a different country, I’m designing for myself- the context which I’m in. If it’s going to be a true reflection of me, it has to include my context and surroundings, and Australia is obviously bloody hot as shit. It wasn’t the driving force behind my collection, but its something that is instinctively relevant to you”. The use of natural fibres wasn’t just for comfort, it was an ecological response in opposition to synthetic plastic-based fabrics such as polyester and acrylic. Hall expressed her dismay at their use in fast fashion, citing how there’s been a shift into how garments are constructed and the move away from natural fibres. Garments aren’t made to last like they used to, the clothes fall apart, but the plastic based fabrics never decompose in landfill. This isn’t to say natural fibres don’t have their own ethical issues, or to criticise consumers of fast fashion. In a world where a majority of us are underskilled, it’s costlier to get something fixed than the price of the item itself. Here’s where I try to indoctrinate you into the capsule wardrobe cult: try to find sentimentality in your clothes, opt for quality over quantity. If you’re lucky enough, fork out a little more for well made clothes, you’ll save money in the long run. Don’t be afraid to get thrifty, search your local op-shops and vintage stores, or try and pick up some new skills (YouTube is your best friend for all your crafty tutorial needs). On a final note, Shibui - Hand of the Maker, is a sneaky and sophisticated collection, reminding us that the individual fashion choices we make are not signifiers of our and who we are, but also how our small choices impact the world, globally. And with that, there is strength in subtlety.
Gloves by Clare Moran @more_ankles 19
Hot tips from a kind of successful creative If you want to be serious and turn your creative pursuit into something that’s a career, you are going to have to run it like a business. This doesn’t mean selling out, and this doesn’t mean abandoning all morals. But it does mean looking beyond the fun parts and looking at the other, equally important parts: how to promote, how to keep track of finances and turn a profit, and how to avoid legal and moral pitfalls. Sounds like something only a corporate fat-cat would care about. The thing is, they already know all of this stuff. And they use it to their advantage, out competing us and squeezing us out of the market, which is why it’s more important than ever to stay ahead Marketing is Everything The word ‘marketing’ seems to have a bad rep. The truth is, marketing is often misunderstood. It’s essentially just letting people know that your business exists, and is important. Something as simple as a Facebook page or Instagram can improve your chance of getting people to discover your art, and it reminds people you still exist every time you post. Advertising, by definition, is marketing that has been paid for, but if you’re still a small fry there is so much you can do for free. Collaborating with other artists is a great way to cross promote. Organising events and hosting things in backyards or warehouses is fun, and can be free or cheap if you do it right. Don’t be afraid to collaborate with journalists and other media outlets, some will be willing to write about you for free if it benefits them too. But don’t exploit people! Artists deserve to be paid, obviously. Lastly, and importantly: Know your demographic/target market. Basically, you need to figure out the types of people who will buy your product. Nobody fits neatly into pigeonholes, but it’s good to get a ‘general’ idea of the sort of person you can expect to buy your goods. Financial obligations, legal obligations, ethical obligations? It’s important to keep track of how much you spend on your business. I went to my bank and got a 0% interest credit card, that I use exclusively for purchases for my business. I also keep each receipt/invoice I get, and turn online invoices into PDFs to keep track. I used to think I made so much money at vintage markets, but after accounting for market stall fees, the cost of my clothes, and other costs, I was spending about $600 and only bringing in about $750. Which is a $150 profit. Pretty bogus! You need to look at every dolleridoo you spend, and see if there’s anything you can cut costs on without compromising quality (or your morals. It’s also important to stick to your legal obligations, because there are some real spooky pitfalls you could potentially fall into. For example, is that cute Disney fan art you’ve been making actually legal? Are you accidentally knocking off a copyrighted design? Copyright law is a messy one, especially since so much of what we do now involves selling on US websites, and so we have to know their laws as well as ours. While big companies seem to get away with ripping off independent artists all the time, if you mess up, you could potentially have to pay some hefty fines. I’ve heard anecdotal stories of musicians being fined thousands for having knockoff music equipment on stage, and artists being sued for accidentally making art similar to a poster design from the 80’s. Do some googling and know what you can and can’t do, because lawyer fees are expensive. It’s important to remember this applies to all of your business. So when you are picking a name to go by for your clothing brand, do a Google search and see what other similar businesses exist in Australia, and the US. Lastly, don’t skimp big time on your morals for the sake of making a few extra dollars. Running a business, you will run into a heckload of ethical conundrums. Even though doing the right thing is almost always the more difficult/expensive option, it’s also the most important. Try to find creative ways to cut costs without cutting others down. If Disney villains and Donald Trump have taught us anything, it’s that there are already too many bad role models out there, so try to make money while also making the world a vaguely less terrible place. Even if it means working a bit harder. Don’t stop learning If there’s one thing you take away from all of this, it’s that Google is your friend and that you should never stop learning. If there are gaps in your knowledge, do some research. Turning your creative pursuits into a Real Life Adult Job is tricky, and it’s not for everyone. Whether you do it as a career, a side hustle, or just for the love, it can still be fulfilling and meaningful. If you’re in it for the long haul, just know that you should always be learning. Remember you’re competing in an overcrowded market, and it’s a hot mess out there. But I believe in you! You’re great!
Body Image As the weather heats up, summer fashion tends to lean towards less material. Consequently, you may find yourself seasonally inclined (or at the least encouraged by rising temperatures) to show more skin. How do summer fashion norms impact the relationship you have with your body? I got a one-piece swimsuit with mum from David Jones in late high school, when they were still making the transition from senior’s water aerobics to mainstream fashion aesthetic. As a thick black girl, it was self censoring, but also a utilitarian turn away from underwire that grows soggy and precarious amongst the waves. I settled on a black number that I hoped came off retro or elegant with its scooped back and sweetheart neckline that meets mesh netting up to the collarbone. I was occasionally self conscious of this fabric-heavy choice that differed greatly to my peers. I slipped it back on the other week and was surprised by its binding ‘power netting’ lining, which has not been a feature of my subsequent bather choices. That first suit was trying to tame something, make it curvy in the right way. I love summer and my relaxed, clear-skinned and melanin poppin’ post-beach self. I’m more comfortable in my skin salty and sunned, as dimply, soft and stretch-marked as it is. My past few summers at the beach have cultivated a pragmatic confidence that isn’t unwavering, but is a big come up from the days of seeking power netting.
Laura Mwiragua There was a bad trend for a while where shorts only just went past the knee. Now I don’t even know what’s going on in shorts culture. In my mind, when I hear ‘shorts’ I immediately think of people wearing polo shirts with that little guy playing golf on them, 200-dollar snapback caps with that little guy playing golf on them, and yellow pyramids. My dad used to wear a sarong to bed during summer. I used to be in awe of that, but now I can only imagine him waking up at 3.29 AM every night, drenched in sweat, his legs a labrynthian tangle. As a former ‘wannabe’ ‘goth’ ‘teen’ I still follow the oath of wearing tight dark cloth in summer, and keeping my legs together so nobody can see the tear in the crotch of my pants.
Jesse Wood Perth summer is the pits if you’re even remotely self-conscious. Wear something that covers the thighs you hide from the world and pass out in a sweaty mess walking from the bus stop to get your $1 Hungry Jacks Frozen Coke. Pick up something that looks a little less like you’re trying to avoid contracting malaria on a safari and enjoy weight loss billboards all down Stirling Highway, which of course involve a tiny woman with measuring tape around her waist and a very unhealthy looking man. At the end of the day you just can’t win, so you’ve just got to put on your old baggy bathers with the droopy elastic and the bum pilling, head down to Cottesloe Beach, and then swim over and urinate right next to anyone who looks at you for even a millisecond longer than they needed to work out you weren’t a shark.
Alex Hamilton I’ve been told I have a flat chest a few times here and there. Here and there can be terrible places. I’m older now and have grown to this age in the same body, so we are on amicable terms. In summer I keep purchasing crop tops and shirts that facilitate chest exposure, before bundling them away in strange shapes (these things never fold neatly) into the back of draws and the bottom of shoes. When in store I forget that I don’t like people seeing my chest. Or perhaps the lack of movement in that general area, I’m an expanse without undulation. Which is fine, but also something very easy to think of as not fine. I do like the colour of my skin in summer, watching it become richer in colour like a coconut cream curry broth reducing on the stove. For this, I am happy to wear less.
Bryce Newton Every time summer rolls around I think fuck, what am I going to wear anywhere, I can’t wear winter clothes to hide my substantial paunch because I’ll end up a sweaty mess and nobody likes sweaty messes (unless you do, in which case power to you). The last time I weighed myself I was well above 100kg and that can’t be healthy, I need to go for a few runs ay. It’s a catch twenty-two. You could not exercise and go around in the knowledge that you are being silently judged by those around you (the prejudice IS real) or you could exercise, and be quietly not ok with the knowledge that on some level, you are reducing yourself to a body for these people because it’s not for your own appeasement, exercise makes you feel bloody awful, no number of endorphins can shake that truth. And in the same token I don’t actually own any summer clothes beyond a t-shirt, so more often than not I just don’t go out, but when I do it’s with some kind of coat, and people ask “aren’t you hot” and I reply “no thanks I’m cool” but of course, if it wasn’t already apparent, I am not cool.
Meme Obituary Annelise Jansen PEPE THE FROG Ask anyone under the age of 25 if they know who Pepe the frog is and they will probably pull out some variation of worn out, blurry frog man that has been put through more screenshots than his little pixels could take. This absolutely classic meme has been around since 2008 in the form of the feelsgoodman and feelsbadman.jpgs. He underwent multiple iconic transformations and was used on every corner of the internet for years – he became a staple in every man’s meme stash. Collectors went crazy over the coveted ‘rare pepes’. Pepe paved the way for many other breakout frog memes such as dat boi and kermit. Tragically, after becoming a hate symbol, the alt-right made sure Pepe passed away without the dignity such a long standing meme veteran deserved. HARAMBE Born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, on May 27, 1999, Harambe’s life started out promising. Harambe was moved to Cincinnati Zoo in 2014 – if only we had known the consequences. Not even two years into his stay at his new home, Harambe was shot and killed after a misunderstanding with a 3-year-old child that had fallen into his enclosure. Harambe died two tragic deaths; the first when he was brutally murdered, and the second when the internet dragged his lifeless body through a montage of increasingly unfunny tributes, finally gasping his last breath around September. Rest in Peace Harambe Please Never Come Back. GABE THE DOG Equipped with possibly the most annoying bark in the world, Gabe is the type of dog you’d want to strangle if he wasn’t so god damn adorable. Gabe’s ear-piercing bark was first uploaded as a video titled “the new dog source” on January 8th, 2013, and since then, has continually been edited into shitty meme remixes of terrible songs, just often enough for us to tolerate. Gabe flew low over the next few years, until his tragic death on January the 20th, 2017. The internet exploded into a frenzy of mourning tribute videos, and it was clear Gabe had become Harambe reincarnate. On this day, Gabe taught us a very important lesson - nobody cares unless you’re dead.
BONE APPLE TEA One of the most popular memes of 2016, Bone Apple Tea, was based around the premise of captioning unappetising food with increasingly ridiculous bastardisations of “Bon Appetite”. The meme was born after one twitter user unironically captioned their food with “Bone apple tea”, thinking it was the correct spelling of the phrase. We regret to say Bone Apple Tea did not make it to 2017 – it was over when the meme came full circle and it started being funny to label food “Bon Appetite” again (as if it wasn’t pretentious enough in the beginning). The final nail was driven into the coffin when your 13-year-old cousin and that basic chick you met on tinder 6 months ago started captioning their food Instagram’s with ‘bone app the teeth’. LEST WE FORGET: FOREVER ALONE GUY Before Pepe the Frog or Feels Guy rose to fame, there was an equally gloomy meme making it’s way through custom desktop wallpapers and forum Avatars – Forever Alone guy. Characterised by it’s grotesquely misshapen potato face and thin streams of Microsoft-paint tears, Forever Alone Guy was used in a wide array of anger-inducing image macros – “Rage Comics”. Forever Alone was screenshot, copied and downloaded so many times you could see the individual pixels that made up his pathetically cratered face. We may look back at it with fondness, but this meme stands as a monument for every past, present and future meme that will make you wish it had left you “forever alone”. JOHN CENA STFU was a signature move made famous by WWE superstar John Cena. Recently the Wrestling legend himself had become an overused and over-appreciated internet phenomenon, much like his wrestling career. Now the only people screaming STFU are the neckbeard basement dwelling redditors who have the unfortunate luck of stumbling upon the lifeless remains of this dead meme. Never has a meme suffered such a swift defeat since Cena himself was crushed by Edge in 2006.
meet at 12.30 at oak lawn free buses into the city from 1.15
2pm murray st mall MAKE EDUCATION FREE AGAIN 23
Viewfinder: Victor Swarze Victor Swarze is a Russian born photographer who has been living and working in Perth for six years. He has a bachelor of Psychology and finally gained refugee status this year. I believe every one of us has a particular place eliciting a powerful sense of longing, a place unattainable, leaving us never quite satisfied or fulfilled. I call this place ‘home’, and I’m not exactly sure whether it’s a place I left, or somewhere I am yet to discover. It is not even clear whether such a place exists. However, it is tempting to pick up a camera and seek that which so well eludes the eye. We may be criticised for attempting to capture that which is not there, but isn’t that what all of us are doing, isn’t that what sustains us in the pragmatic world devoid of wonder?
To Burn, or not to Burn? Maddison Howard Art by Danyon Burge We have a long, tumultuous history with prescribed burning in Australia. It’s a fiery debate in the media, universities, research centers, park management offices and our homes– do we light the match and fight fire with fire, or risk loss of property (even life) for the price of inaction? Once upon a time, fire was utilized for a single purpose – to manipulate the environment in order to resource food, water and shelter. The Aboriginal people of Australia had skillful mastery of the art of flame-wielding and complete understanding of how to manage the subsequent burn. Comparatively, today’s fire regimes must be able to meet multiple requirements, including those of protection of property and life, whilst also responding to the needs of our fireadapted environment. A challenge great enough on its own, further heightened by a rapidly heating climate. It is a dangerous game to play, prescribed burning. Success relies on extensive knowledge about the location to burn in, the frequency and intensity the burn, and the timing. Additionally, it is beneficial to pre-empt any weather changes that might occur, and to understand every facet of the complex and ever changing environment subject to the burn. These are the requirements that must be fulfilled in order for a prescribed burn to be a guaranteed success. However, these requirements can never fully be met, and as a result, a prescribed burn can never be guaranteed to go off without a hitch. Yet we, our communities and our government, demand this guarantee from fire management bodies and fire scientists. We demand that they play the prescribed burning game and figuratively, shirtfront Mother Nature. So our scientists research the ecology, biology and geography of an area roped off for a prescribed burn, in order to understand the dynamics of the environment and predict the optimal intensity and frequency of the prescribed burn. Meteorologists try to estimate the weather and any possible anomalies that might cause a prescribed burn to escalate into an uncontrollable wildfire. Land management bodies talk to local residents and communities about aesthetic changes to the area and possible health risks resulting from the smoke and airborne particles. Firefighters and volunteers run through evacuation procedures and hand out pamphlets, preparing for the worst-case scenario. All these actions are undertaken (along with considerably more) in an effort to try and control what is in essence, uncontrollable – fire. Prescribed burning can be likened to rolling the dice in Monopoly. You own the whole section of the board you are heading for; you own the next 5 properties. But there is still a 1 in 6 chance that you might roll the dice and land on the one property at the far end of the stretch that is not yours, and have to pay an enormous rent to your little sister. In a prescribed burn scenario, the experts cover all the controllable elements and also prepare to the best of their means for the uncontrollable. But they are playing, at a fundamental level, with nature - there is still a small chance that they might land on their little sister’s property, and all their preparation and research falls to the wayside. These are the scenarios that we most hear about in the media and that are publicized as evidence in the literature on anti-prescribed burning. I do not think that we can use the mishaps of prescribed burning projects as evidence to not burn nor can we point the finger of blame at the fire management bodies that have been given the impossible task of controlling the uncontrollable. It has been proven by historical Aboriginal practice and scientific research, that Australia needs fire. It supplements our environment and natural ecosystems. If scientists recommend prescribed burning as a way to satisfy that need and if they are confident in their practice and their research, then I say burn baby, burn.
CLIMATE CHANGE and how things heated up: A speedy overview of undervalued discovery and deep anguish and pain for thousands of hard working scientists Jade Newton Climate change is a certified contentious subject, known to polarize, and incite division, debate and public outcry. As humans dealing with this environmental issue, there are three main categories we fall into: Climate Change Deniers, Climate Change Accepters, and the Uninformed. Unfortunately, the uninformed (which I, at the time of writing this sentence, am currently apart of), often side with the stronger proponents of this issue, based on what they’ve heard, or what side of the argument others are backing. Join me on this tiny investigation into CLIMATE SCIENCE. First things first – some definitions: WEATHER: The way the sky is behaving today. CLIMATE: Prevailing weather conditions and patterns known to affect an area during certain times of the year, (what you might expect during certain seasons). CLIMATE CHANGE: changes in the typical and expected climate, occurring due to a range of factors. GREENHOUSE GAS EFFECT: increased CO2 levels = gets warmer GLOBAL WARMING: increased warming happening on a global scale (affecting all climates) Everyone agrees climate change is a thing. There was an Ice Age, accompanied by a family friendly film franchise. This is evident from the fossil record, among other environmental artefacts. The controversy begins when people started suggesting that we, the human population, might be contributing to climate change. Enter, stage left – Svante Arrhenius. It is the late 1890’s. In an attempt to explain the ice ages, Svante Arrhenius, generates an intense equation that suggests cutting CO2 levels in half would lower European temperatures 4 to 5 degrees – enough to return to an ice age. Colleague Avante Högbom had the genius idea to take that equation and determine human contributions to CO2 levels through industrial sources, and found that we were contributing to current levels at a rate about the same as environmental processes at the time. Arrhenius estimated that in roughly three thousand years, the additional CO2 we were generating would result in an increase in global temperature. This was not received as alarming information, and colleague Walter Nernst, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, welcomed the idea and suggested setting fire to coal seams to expedite the process. Insanity, right? In response to the suggestions put forth regarding human impact on global climate, scientists argued against the idea that weak, tiny, human contributions could have such a large and significant impact upon the ENTIRE world. The back and forth about human-induced climate change has occurred from this point onward. The argument gained significant traction when we realised that our CO2 contributions, and other massive terraforming activities (read: deforestation, diversion of rivers, altering flooding patterns, creating artificial lakes, large scale agriculture, et cetera) could possibly impact the environment in a meaningful way. The back and forth between scientists, arguing for and against human contribution to climate change have resulted in vast outputs of research, spanning new calculations, theories, models and CO2 measurement technology. Jumping forward 100 years to the 1980’s, Climatologists made disturbing projections that indicated we would experience detectable warming from our personal CO2 deposits in global atmospheric banks. International recognition of the importance of climate change materialised as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That was around twenty or thirty years ago. What have we done since then? To put it bluntly, we have more or less bickered over semantics. Given that climate is something observed over years, and our capabilities of measuring climate have been changing (and so the measurements of the past aren’t as nicely comparable to those taken on the instruments of today) there is always room for debate. The IPCC has consistently said, growing in certainty with each review of available evidence, that the climate is and has been changing. The world is getting warmer - human influence is almost irrefutably related to this fact, and we should probably be doing something about it if we can. Ultimately, whether or not you believe that humans are involved, given that the hotter it gets, the greater the impact on us and our environmental and socioeconomic prospects, it is advisable for all of us to take precautionary measures against global warming. What are we doing now? In 2015, 196 nations signed the Paris Agreement, agreeing that they ‘should’ set some goals to cut emissions. Given the incredibly non-threatening and neutral implications of that wording (how many times have you told yourself you should get around to brushing your teeth and instead fallen asleep in a sleep-deprived haze at 2AM with an obscure sub-section of YouTube being burned through on your phone through that handy ‘auto play’ feature), we can only wait with baited breath, or petition our local government representatives to take action to stop the world heatin’ up so fast.
An Ebola of Plants Dr Laura Boykin, computational biologist and recently appointed 2017 Senior TED Fellow, spoke with Maddison Howard about the growing food security crisis of cassava plants in East Africa. When I think of scientists, I imagine white-haired, white cloaked, pale-skinned old men, tapping away at their keyboards in secluded offices and mixing crazy chemicals in their fluorescent-lit laboratories. A preconception proved completely wrong upon meeting with Dr Boykin – an enthusiastic, life-loving woman with plenty of passion, and a keen desire to use her scientific prowess to make a change in the world. Dr Boykin is one of many faces in a team of scientists, students and farmers, working on East Africa’s cassava-whitefly crisis. Cassava, a starchy, whitefleshed sweet potato like plant is a major source of food for Africa’s population, and in fact, the world’s population generally. At current, it is under immense threat from whitefly bugs which act as carriers for two crop destroying diseases. If a cassava crop becomes infested with either mosaic or brown-streak disease, it can mean the complete loss of food provisions and income for East African farmers and their families. Dr Boykin and her team have so far identified 34 different types of whitefly bugs, and are now working on determining which of these 34 are transmitters of the viruses to the cassava plant. One of the key challenges in the fight against cassava infestation is that there are different species of whitefly inhabiting different areas of Africa, and exposed to different quantities of the cassava disease. This means that a solution for the problem in Malawi, will not necessarily equate to a solution in Uganda – because whitefly behaviour may differ across space. Dr Boykin explains that “there are people who are trying to generate cassavas that are resistant to whiteflies and the viruses themselves, to do that they need to make sure they are getting [cassava] resistant to the right thing at the right space. For example, in Malawi there is a different species of whitefly than in Uganda, so to help farmers in Malawi we need to make sure we don’t give them the Uganda cassava necessarily but that we make a special attempt at getting it resistant to the right thing there”. It is apparent that the issue is a very complex one, and that developing a universal solution could be years in the works. Dr Boykin acknowledges that a true fix to the problem is “a way off,” but does envision a positive end to the project. “The end goal of this whole thing, the day I’m going to be like ok I’m going to retire is [when] we walk out into the field and the farmers have been given varieties of cassava they can grow that are actually resistant to whatever pests and diseases they have. That’s the ultimate goal, to get a plant to them that is robust enough to handle whatever might happen.” A major question I had for Dr Boykin was, why persist with cassava? I couldn’t understand why cassava was so important to continue dealing with, particularly in light of it being attached to such a problematic infestation. Why not just plant a different crop that is less susceptible to whiteflies? The well-reasoned answer, “It’s very high in calories, so if it is there (cassava), it’s a good source of people staying alive” also, “it’s really low input, so with the climate changing and it getting hotter and drought being a thing, cassava takes zero input. It’s really drought tolerant, so [suitable] for people in places where its really dry.” Additionally, Dr Boykin made the argument for cassava’s cultural importance,
“Imagine if rice wasn’t in Asia – there would be a crisis. It is farmer preference, farmers like it, it’s money for them.” Thinking for possible quick-fix solutions to the whitefly, I asked about insecticides. Why not use them on the little guys? It turns out that much like the anti-biotic superbugs causing anarchy in our hospitals and health care facilities, whiteflies are capable of becoming resistant to insecticides very quickly. Dr Boykin made the point that “big developed countries play the insecticide game and some do it very efficiently but you have to have this integrative pest management approach. You can only use them for so long because then they’ll be resistant, and so the big places like here can do it because there is money, but in East Africa they have zero money. And so insecticides are hard – if they are used improperly then they are 10x worse.” I was beginning to understand the true difficulties of this food security crisis, not just from the scientific perspective, but also from the farmers’. According to Dr Boykin, 80% of the farmers in East Africa are women, and despite extensively planning and preparing their crops to ensure a year’s supply of food, they are often blindsided by diseased cassavas. These women don’t just plant cassava though; they have a plot of land with a variation of beans, tomatoes, maize and sweet potatoes. Cassava is actually planted as the back-up crop, but once the other seasonal crops have been used and the family is in need of an extra food source, they will harvest the cassava to help them get by. You can imagine then, the heartbreak that comes with thinking you have enough food to get yourself and your family through the winter, and then when you go to tap into those provisions they are rotten, infested, and unusable. Suddenly, your family is down to one meal a day and starving, from events that were completely out of your control. It’s in this fashion that Dr Boykin’s work emerges as being not only scientifically notable, but also outstanding for humanitarian issues in Africa. One of the things I most admire about Dr Boykin is her deep yearning to truly help people who need it the most. She is passionate about making science for people other than “old white men”, and aims to do so by empowering the people of East Africa with knowledge and training. Over her numerous trips to the countries of East Africa, Dr Boykin has conducted training courses, made contacts to host students in Australia, visited and educated prisoners about cassava viruses and whiteflies, and developed facilities in places that, pre-Boykin, didn’t even have internet. Dr Boykin is all about being part of the solution, actions not words, and collaboration with the people of the land, who really know about the cassava problems and who have all the big questions for scientists to answer. Despite all the fanfare around Dr Boykin, her impressive accomplishments and endowments, and her installment into the prestigious TED organisation, she remains humble and forever thankful to the people she works with. When I asked my final question, what it means to be a TED fellow, Dr Boykin responded in gushing compliments of the people she meets and networks with at TED events. She says, “its like they’ve collected all the cool people, all the optimistic people and put them in one thing…TED fellows are hope”. Undeniably, after my hour with Dr Boykin and hearing about her visions for the future of science, I agree that TED fellow Boykin is indeed, hope.
Pelly Mix tape: songs that give you a ~full body shiver~ Radiohead - Reckoner (In Rainbows) Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls (West End Girls) Bjork - Pagan Poetry (Vespertine) James Blake - Not Long Now // Enough Thunder (Enough Thunder) Methyl Ethel - Rogues (Oh Inhuman Spectacle) Aretha Franklin - Say A Little Prayer (Aretha Now) Mansionair - Easier (Single) Isaiah Rashad - “Heavenly Father” (Cilvia Demo) Evelyn “Champagne” King - Love Come Down (Get Loose) Love Space - Tatsuro Yamashita (Spacy)
Neruda Review James Brooks I’ve always felt that history shows how we live and art shows how we feel. That Neruda is more art than history is a credit to the filmmaker, Pablo Larraín (who recently directed the lauded Jackie), who elevates what should have been a straight and simple biopic to a subversive and innovative film. The story is simple – the Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda is hunted by a detective, Oscar Peluchonneau, after condemning President Allende’s oppression of Chile’s communists. But this seemingly thin skeleton holds a heavy and rich exploration of the dichotomy of poet and man; a figure so heavily mythologized in life and death that the narrative becomes more important than the facts, the character more important than the man. I don’t think I’ve seen such a perfectly desecrating biopic, such a perfect humanization of the sacred image that we tend to hold of the artist, or any public figure revered so highly in life and remembered so well in death. Where many biopics act, not dishonestly, but as if they are true and accurate representations of the events and characters, Neruda makes no such pretensions, and indulges in the fiction and narrative that the detective Peluchonneau weaves (or is led on by) in his internal monologues throughout the film. Not to say the film is complete farce – Larraín presents an accurate exploration of the history and culture of Chile at the pivotal point before the rise of Augusto Pinochet.
Neruda leads us on a chase, which in itself makes for a gripping drama, but it is not only that. Peluchonneau chases Neruda and Neruda chases… something else, whether through the famous hedonism of the left elite of the period (placed in sharp contrast with the suffering and oppression of the left working class), or through flitting from house to house to escape the grip of the apparently inept police force, who are always one step behind. Towards the end of the film, when the drama is on the precipice of becoming a little self-indulgent, it flips. It becomes surreal and even funny, a beautiful example of magic realism made famous by the Latin American authors following Neruda. Without spoiling anything, the detective Peluchonneau becomes a mere vehicle for Neruda himself to explore what exactly he is chasing; whether he is urged on by simple self-preservation, or by the sheer thrill. Neruda daringly carries the stories that will be told and the romantic mythos that is weaved about his daring escape from Chile and Allende. After all, if the government wanted him dead, he would be dead, a character ponders. On the surreal: it begins very early in the film through the camera work – the camera flicks back and forth between two and three different shots, but the dialogue continues naturally. The disconnect between what you’re seeing and what you’re hearing is jarring but becomes natural. It’s an emblem that the film carries throughout, emphasizing the unreality of the words themselves while also making them more important than the static space they occupy – the narrative, above all, is what matters. This disconnect is especially prominent in scenes between political characters. It focuses the fiction on the political dealings of Chile, and the detachment from the real struggles of the people during the period. Amongst this is the casual depiction of poverty, mass arrests and oppression by the Allende government that remains quietly in the background. The scenes of the left elite’s excess are put in sharp focus and juxtaposed against the poverty of the working class communists. “When communism comes, who will we be equal to – you, or me?” a woman asks Neruda halfway through the film. We are presented with the failings of the high ideals of communism, and the mythology of those high ranking intellectuals. Yet we also see its beauty – in the art, the poems, and the love the leftist ideology inspired during the period. You come out of the film with an emotional and experiential understanding of Chile, Pablo Neruda, and the tumultuous period that no history book can provide. Not to say history is useless and art is everything, but we must appreciate both in order to gain a full and rich knowledge. A knowledge that can only be presented so intimately by one who has been so deeply enmeshed in the cultural upheaval of the far-right Allende and Pinochet. Larraín has never hidden his disgust of the Pinochet government’s utter disinterest and repression of art and culture.
Neruda is a deeply political film as well as a deeply artistic, cultural and historical wonder. We don’t see his great rise and we don’t see his final fall, but rather all the little climbs and missteps that make the man truly human. Whether it is the true Pablo Neruda we see, or merely the character, we can’t say – death and history renders the separation impossible.
Tom Vincent Ryan Suckling Tom Vincent is the program manager for PIAF’s 2017 Lotterywest Festival Films. Born in Dorset, Vincent went to university at Liverpool – half-heartedly studying politics, preferring to trail the city’s DJ scene with mates. An image hardly unfitting for a bunch of lofty, rancid youths; but still in comic contrast to the shirted, contemplative man sipping his coffee before me. He made his return to university after living in Japan for three years, taking a Master’s in Cinema Studies. His specialty: the distribution and exhibition of film. From here Tom Vincent worked at what is now call the National Media Museum in the UK, programing for eight years until the southern hemisphere beckoned. Having never before visited Australia, Tom has lived in Perth for now over two years. This being his second time at programing the festival for Somerville and Joondalup, I wanted to ask the film-buff about the experience of curating films for a changing audience, the social potential of film and cinema, and trash. RYAN SUCKLING: What were your university days like? TOM VINCENT: In Liverpool, I was really disengaged with my course. I didn’t question or think very deeply about why I was there. The best thing, apart from some aspects of the course that I did enjoy, like political philosophy, was the DJ-ing I did around the city with the mates I lived with. That was really rewarding. In terms of film, my friends and I used to watch each other’s video collections, a lot of it was recorded off the TV. This was in the late 90s, when TV broadcasting still had a good commitment to international and independent cinema. You could record Jim Jarmusch movies for instance, and watch them again and again. I wasn’t going to the cinema very much; Liverpool didn’t have a strong independent cinema at the time. After Japan, I went back to university for master’s and was then completely immersed in cinema. I used that time to broaden out and explore pockets of film history, especially world cinema, that I felt I needed to see. It was all done with the idea that I would work in cultural cinema. Were you watching a lot of Japanese cinema? Not necessarily, but I had read some of the important books on Japanese cinema. There was a very important cultural commentator called Donald Richie, who became the leading writer on Japanese culture and cinema from the 1940s to the 2000s, up until his death. He was an American and lived in Japan from 1946. He met everybody culturally important to Japan, and he wrote the classic books on Japanese cinema in English. So by the time I got back to Nottingham, where I did my MA, I was keen to explore what he had written on. I wanted to understand how an English audience’s perception of Japanese culture might be affected by distribution, but that’s getting very technical. My wife’s Japanese, my kids are half-Japanese, and I’ve been back to Japan roughly every other year for the last 12 years, so I still have a very strong connection to Japan. Can you distinguish between what makes a good film, and what makes a brilliant film? I’m someone who’s very interested in the function or potential of film in relation to the public. When I think about cinema for work I tend to think of two things – whether the film has achieved what it set out to achieve on its own terms, and also whether what it’s set out to achieve is any good. For a film to be brilliant it would need to excel at both of those things. Also, I think the film would need to resonate deeply with the audience. The latter thing is not something that can be controlled, it’s dependent on where the film’s seen and by whom. For that reason, film don’t always stay brilliant. Something can be brilliant in 1978 and no longer brilliant in 1988, because it doesn’t mean what it once meant. How do you think about audiences? I think about audience constantly. I think about the audience that comes regularly, and I think about the audience that comes occasionally or in fact doesn’t come. I’m trying to choose a sequence of 21 feature films for committed audiences that want to be shown a range of new things, but also say to people who haven’t been that this film might be for you. I often find that when people come to Somerville and Joondalup for the first time, they really enjoy the experience of being there, it’s an evocative environment and your senses are heightened by being outdoors. There’s also an aspect to films that works very well in that context. It’s hard to articulate what it is, but
certain films are better suited to indoor cinema. Some films that are really intimate, interior dramas that have a certain closeness to the cinematography, don’t come across very well outdoors. Do you think that the programing signifies a particular cultural condition? How we might think about the self and society? I can only reflect what individual artists want to bring to that. But I think any cultural or film festival worthy of the name would always seek to have more plurality. If you removed the less commercial cinema programing, if you were only left with the top 10 films of the year, the ones that make the most money; I think you’d have a really poor diet of cinema, as the range of representation and psychologies would be very narrow. I think it’s a given that PIAF broadens the diet, and offers a greater range of character and ideas about selves. At its best cinema is an opportunity to experience others, and that’s what PIAF is here for. How do you think audiences are changing? Cinema audiences are holding up, against expectations. Of course some film festivals do go, but I don’t think that this kind of institution is under any kind of threat, I think people are seeking curation more and more. It’s the paradox of abundance – being offered so many choices that don’t have a given hierarchy. Netflix or simply anywhere online – how does anyone choose what to look at or even how to think about something? I do think people are looking for advocates and people to represent certain programs to make a community. I find that audiences really do engage with the idea of a curated festival. What’s your impression of Perth’s film culture? In the case of Perth, PIAF is a big historical factor. Somerville’s been showing films since 1953. I find Perth audiences to be quite open to foreign language cinema. I would like there to be a little more range throughout the year in terms of Perth’s film culture. I don’t think Perth has quite enough institutions that are supporting film in its broadest sense. I think the programing at the UWA Film Society is outstanding. If that kind of completely non-commercial exhibition event was better sustained, I think that would be the next step for Perth. I would like Perth to have more of a what’s called repertory film culture, programing classics and older films for audiences. I think that’s an important part of any city’s film culture. What are you watching at the moment? I’m watching a TV show called Fishing with John. I’ve only recently become aware of it but I feel I should have known about it years ago. It was made for an American cable TV network in the 90s, hosted by the actor and jazz musician John Lurie. Every episode he invites one of his friends to go fishing with him. I’ve seen two episodes so far, the first with the director Jim Jarmusch, and the second with Tom Waits – two of my American cultural heroes. It’s everything – meditative, bizarre, boring, understated, and everyone’s slightly antagonistic. The voiceover suggests that they’re having mystical adventures. It’s a woozy late night cultic classic thing that I’ve just stumbled across, and I’m a bit obsessed with it. In the case of film, do you have guilty pleasures? Are you fond of trash? I don’t really believe in the concept. I think Dirty Dancing is a fantastic film, as is House Party with the rappers Kid and Play. I love trashy cinema. Some of the filmmakers I’m most fascinated by make what you might call trash. The obvious ones being Paul Verhoeven, John Waters, and even Kenneth Anger – they all have seriously interesting trashy aesthetics. It’s not just about laughing about things because they’re strange or indulgent, I think it’s about finding truth in trashiness. They’re pushing something until it breaks, and when something breaks, it reveals something. Then there’s accidental trash, which can reveal other things. That’s the fascination with The Room, as it’s trash that doesn’t know it’s trash. For the first time I found it hysterically funny, for the second I didn’t like it at all.
Hobbies, Reviewed Ben Yaxley “I remember in grammar school the teacher asked if anyone had any hobbies. I was the only one with any hobbies and I had every hobby there was... name anything no matter how esoteric. I could have given everyone a hobby and still had 40 or 50 to take home.” - Cormac McCarthy I’m not sure why Cormac said this, because it seems to me that his only hobbies are riding about on a horse and thinking about yucky things. Though he does make a nice point. Having a hobby makes you flex your head, keep boredom at bay, become a ‘broader’ person and possibly stave off loneliness. I’d say that I already have a good handful, but this year I decided to challenge myself, and try to take up 100 new ones. I will be giving objective accounts of my experiences, so that you too can understand if these activities will be worth ‘a fair go’. RULES - Before placing judgement one should immerse themselves in the hobby for minimum of 90 minutes. - If one cannot physically participate at that moment, one should research that hobby until they have a good idea of how it works and what it is like. - The less you have to set up, and the less you have to pay, the better. - It should be something you can do alone, or at least without friends. The whole point is to have fun BY yourself. #1 - Audiobook Narration Some of the most pleasant interactions I’ve ever had with other human beings is from reading to them or vice versa. It’s a strangely intimate activity. That’s why I’m interested in professional audiobook narration, through the headphones it feels like you’re having a 1-sided 1-on-1 with a stranger, yet unlike podcasts or resonating music, you know you’ll be listening for the long haul. Written content aside, the narrator has the difficult responsibility of maintaining an immersive performance for potentially dozens of hours. Listening to the books of Lemony Snicket as a kid, I was always baffled at the idea of someone reading aloud for 8 hours straight you never even hear the narrator break to take a leak or a sip of coffee, it’s inhuman. I looked up a tutorial and the Youtube guy, Sean Pratt, was saying “anyone even thinking about taking up audiobook narration should spend 1-2 hours each day reading aloud in their closet for the next two weeks”. Down in my friends underground man-cave, I spent a long fortnight reading 3 chapters of Don Quixote aloud each day. Despite the lack of light, the cockroaches, the empty packets of Cheetos and sharp anime figurines, I’d say that reading aloud was definitely more enjoyable than reading silent- even if I did breathe in a dangerous amount of asbestos while doing so. Spice Rating HOT #2 - Hiking Hiking is just walking except you eat little nuts and m&ms while doing so. The other day I hiked around the perimeter of Elizabeth Quay. Contrary to popular belief I don’t hate the place so much, but, often when I am there I like to imagine a predictable future where resigned to his fate, Colin Barnett crouches in a hidden bunker beneath the Quay. Over the droning sound of gunfire and speedboats above, Barnett takes one last look at his wife and two daschunds, their bodies lying already stiff on the floor. After a brief struggle with the childlock cap, he swallows the last of the cyanide tablets and gyrates to the ground. Not long after are the bodies found by our city’s leading Perthonalities, who, as per request, scatter the ashes upon the shores of the BHP Billiton Water Park. Unaware of the processions, local children run screaming shirtless through the bubbling remains, simply enjoying just another hot January day. Spice Rating HOT #3 - Kumbucha After my brother gave me a quick lesson in fermentation I went and left a big bucket of fruit and yeast under my bed for three months. To my surprise the rancid slop did not turn into a poor man’s Yakault, instead turning into a highly alcoholic broth, potent as a warthog in the sow sty. I know this because I just took a big gulp and blew into a cops breathalyzer and only now have I just got back from jail. Spice Rating MILD
Waste, not. Clement Sache Trash and I have always had a pretty intimate relationship. Growing up in the hills we didn’t have kerbside rubbish removal, so our Sundays always involved a 40-minute drive to the local tip. Here, we had to sort and dump our trash into giant bins and an even bigger landfill. Holding a visceral image of how much waste our family produced I was pretty confident that I wasn’t a super wasteful person, yet when I moved back recently from a one-person apartment to my beloved share house it was like peeling back a Band-Aid and finding that the wound underneath had festered and was now weeping a rancid yellow puss. There were bags and bags of wrecked clothes, unused things, plastic bottles and plastic bags. It was absolutely nuts. I felt dirty and ashamed. I decided to do what any sensible millennial would do – I googled, pinned and Youtubed my way into committing to a dramatic life change– I decided to go zero waste completely. Living zero waste is a lifestyle rooted in the single goal of producing less waste. It’s not only rubbish but also recyclables, energy, food waste, and especially relevant to WA: water. If you look it up, you’ll see a lot of ecominded 30-somethings in the USA buying in bulk from Wholefoods, storing things in fancy jars and posting #aesthetic photos on Instagram. That’s not my brand of lifestyle change. I believe that if anyone wants to change their habits, it needs to be sustainable, gradual, and easy to slot into one’s daily routine. Starting a zero waste lifestyle is all about making informed choices. Look in your neighbourhood and see if there are places you can switch your shopping to that have less packaging or have locally grown produce. Your local grower’s markets, Spudshed and even IGA can have great ranges of locally grown fruit and veggies. Instead of bagging your tomatoes and oranges in plastic bags, either forgo a bag completely or bring a reusable one from home. Same goes for your dry goods: look for bulk buy stores or delis with locally sourced bits and pieces. In Perth, we don’t have many at all, so you will have to look around. Some great options are Kakulas Sisters/ Brothers, the Angry Almond in Subiaco and the champion of them all – The Wasteless Pantry in the Hills. I know it still sounds quite overwhelming so here are some tips that will help in your (hopeful) transition to a zero waste lifestyle: - Canvas bags are both great for replacing plastic carry bags and individual produce bags. Shove your prised bushel of kale in that old promotional tote you got on O-Day. - Reusable alternatives – KeepCups, metal forks and knives, even the classic metal water bottle. - Make things yourself – bread, produce bags, makeup wipes, the lot. If you can’t buy it and you want it that badly you’ll learn to make it. This applies to lunches, brunches and coffees too. - Work with what you’ve got – reuse the trash you can, compost, and use your garden to grow things. - Do it like your grandparents did – Use tea towels instead of paper towel, hankies instead of tissues, glass/metal/ ceramic containers instead of plastic. You can even learn to can your own produce. This brings me to my next point… - Research. Read, watch, ask someone. Many different local communities run free classes on the different aspects of sustainable living and there are tonnes of blogs with advice, recipes and tutorials. - Finally, talk about it. Blab about it. Blog about it. The more people you tell, the more accountable you’ll become, and the more people you’ll influence to make the change too. Zero waste is hard, yes. But it is also rewarding in many different ways – both for your own wellbeing, and for the environment.
Performance Poetry with Maddie Godfrey Ben Yaxley Maddie Godfrey is a 21 year old poet from West Australia. She has performed at specky places all over the world including the Sydney Opera House, Amnesty International UK, and at TEDxWomen events in London. Recently she wrote and performed a seven night solo show at Fringe titled “If My Body Were a Poem”. It was hair raising, powerful and really good. BEN YAXLEY: What led you to start writing and performing? MADDIE GODFREY: I’ve written for as long as I can remember. Even as a young kid I always found comfort and familiarity in reading and storytelling, which I think was where the poetry came from. When I was growing up I definitely thought I was going to write novels, and then I thought I was going to be an academic writer. I really wanted to write about body theory, like kind of study body builders, female body builders especially. I was really interested in that, the manipulation. How we build our bodies. Was there a long period of just writing for yourself, before performing for others? I performed for the first time doing the Experimental Writing unit with Allan Boyd as part of my major. Part of the class was that you would get an extra mark if you performed or published during that time. So I decided to perform at The Moon at the Perth Poetry Club, which would have been … September 2014? That was just to get a better mark for my uni course. I went up and did it and I was shaking violently. I remember so many details, its a bit mad. I couldn’t tell you what I was wearing any other day of my life, but I can tell you what leggings I was wearing, what shoes I was wearing. I’d come from the gym or something. And I performed a poem called Toxicity from Warm (a zine I put out), and halfway through I had this feeling that this was what I was meant to be doing. What advice would you give to people who are interested in poetry but have never immersed themselves in it? I would say, find as much as you can. Find as much variety as you can. Find what clicks. There’s some poetry I read that I don’t like at all. Even poets I am told are great and renowned and even contemporary poets who are winning prizes, I’ll read it and be like, this? I feel nothing. I think the measure of good poetry is something you feel in your gut. You read it and you’re like oh, that. That’s how I feel, that’s something I’ve never been able to express. I can see what the poet is describing, I can hear what they’re describing. I think poetry sometimes feels like colours, and when I read good poetry I can say its a certain colour? Which is a weird way to say it, but that’s just how I process it. If you’re interested in poetry, do a google search, go to events, message poets in your local area, ask them what is on. Find poets you like, and not poets you’re told to like, but poets you actually feel resonate with you. There are so many poets, there are so many good poets in the world. And you don’t need to be sitting at an empty desk or under a tree to start writing... It’s usually not pretty! So many poems of mine have been written in the shower. I should keep a notebook in there.
I don’t, but I should. I have this awkward thing where I stop showers halfway. I’ve stopped showers with shampoo in my hair because I’ve been like ‘this one’s a banger’ and just run to the other room in a towel, dripping on a chair. I’ve written so many poems like that. And these people hear them on a stage. You hear them on a stage and you don’t realise I wrote that in a towel, with crap in my hair and just in a weird state of... damp. That’s the reality of it. We can’t all be Murakami. No. No we can’t. I’m definitely not, in case you haven’t realised yet. I remember my grandma; I think she taught poetry at UWA back in the 70s. And when I was studying I only knew of the stuff I was meant to like? You know, Wordsworth...things from classic Anthologies and stuff. I was asking something like, ‘why poetry?’. Not as a way of calling it irrelevant, but I wanted to see her perspective. And she said, “It’s just like any other form really. Movies, music, novels, anything. You’ll find a lot stuff that you don’t care about, but then something will strike you and you’ll be like, ‘Aw! this is life affirming! This is good.’” I think one of the coolest things that has been sent to me recently is “why do we not teach contemporary poetry in schools? Why do we only teach old poetry when young voices should be heard by young students”. And I think that’s really powerful and really important in terms of what you’re talking about, of searching for poetry that meant something to you. Poetry that resonates. I was lucky enough to have my stuff published in a WACE exam last year, which was really cool. So a poem of mine was a close-reading text. Oh wow. About gender, and about gender fluidity particularly. And all these kids had to write essays on it. Did you get to see any of them? No, I got some quotes, sneaky ones, but I didn’t get to see a full essay. Maybe one day. I feel like that would be like, Okay, I’m finished, that’s the highlight of my career. My old lit teacher, who I idolised, messaged me and was like, good job. That was surreal. I haven’t been out of school that long myself – it hasn’t been that long since I was doing that exam. Now suddenly I am worthy of being studied? Which just seems silly to me, but it is an honour, and I think it comes down to being able to maybe be someone’s realisation that not all poetry is about the trees, and the sky, and the ducks. Not all poetry is Wordsworth or Blake or Plath. I adore Plath, but not all poetry was written that long ago. There are poets like me who are young, who are still working stuff out, who are still learning how to cook, and clean, and do laundry and have healthy relationships. Who are also writing poetry that is valid in an educational and a formal way. And I think there is a lot of power in that.
If you want find out more and get further involved, Spoken Word Perth has a fortnightly open mic event at Paper Mountain on Wednesday nights. The Perth Poetry Club also have readings at the Moon from 2-4pm every Saturday.
Up to The Minute: A Reading Review A Good Man is Hard to Find Flannery O’Connor Currently I’m chugging through Flannery O’Connor’s book of short stories A Good Man is Hard to Find. Set in the pre-meth Deep South, the tales are all equally disquieting, mysterious and darkly funny. I admire that her characters always have their own rules of internal logic, sometimes very strange yet she sharply conveys everything with style and originality. I’d probably recommend this (or her novel Wise Blood), to fans of Gummo, True Detective, and probably the Coen Brothers. Ben Yaxley Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham I love the autobiographical nature of this novel and the way it barely focuses on any of the sub-plots, and instead flows continuously in a life-like manner. Callista Goh Les Miserables Victor Hugo I’m not very far into it, about 150 pages of a 1200-page book. While reading, I’ve been thinking about how the people we meet have a profound impact on us. It’s really moving how much compassion can change a person’s life. Mike Anderson Facial Moisturiser: Reviews and Usage Instructions Multiple Authors I have recently been reading information about skincare. I wash my face with a bar of soap and that particular bar does not seem conducive to any form of moisture. I probably shouldn’t be using it, but I like how dry my face feels, even when water is rushing over it. Using a bar of soap makes me feel robust. Sometimes I think about washing my hair with it but I know that is not a good idea. I am getting a deep wrinkle on my forehead and I want to combat any other landscape changes or unnecessary undulations which may be forming. I spend long periods of time reading online reviews, but they are hard to trust if I cannot see the skin in person. Everyone’s skin is different anyway. I went into Aesop but the woman serving me didn’t sell me anything, she said I seemed unsure. She gave me samples in a thick paper bag I kept for quality alone. The last thing I read for enjoyment was the instructions on the small sachets of moisturiser, telling me to rub in upwards motions. Bryce Newton The Georgics of Virgil Virgil – 29 BC What is up with these old dead guys and their thees and thous am I right? If I wanted to read about bloody sea-queens and freaking tartarus I would have gone and watched Clash of the Titans or Hercules (the Disney cartoon) or Hercules (the one with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson). And why is it this stuff is always written in Latin, its like ‘yeah we get it, you went to UWA and spent three years studying a dead language, but 119 pages of verse and iambic pentameter is a little beyond masturbatory. Jesse Wood A Time for Everything Karl O. Knausgaard Its terrain is enormous, covering the most indelible encounters between the human and the divine, from Cain and Abel to Noah and Ezekiel. This book is obsessed with angels. The prose is divine, like an incandescent stream of feeling, place and imagery I long to melt away with. Ryan Suckling
White Cars Bryce Newton There is an anonymity that comes with driving a white car, Simon tells me. He hunkers down in his Mitsubishi Mirage, white, wraps his hands around the wheel and fits fingers to well worn ridges. When I first sat in his car there was a pair of black gloves on the front seat. It was in winter. A car is a cupboard. I cannot drive so I fade into the bitumen road, water on a carport floor. People who drive white cars can be anything. I wear white shoes so I can be anything too, but it is winter and they are printed with mud marks and frequented by waves crashing onto a rubber shoreline. If you pick up the shoes you can trace the tide and rub it away with a damp cloth, everything beginning again box fresh and free from the imprint of life. Soft white paper wrapping itself around your feet and a cardboard lid pushing you down, closer. Do you often feel contained? I stack empty shoe boxes one on top of the other, watch shoes wander around the house. In winter they collect dirt in their pockets, turn it out out onto the floorboards when they are alone. Refuse to sleep outside. Life begins on the ground. If you look closely it’s where you will find house foundations and your own feet, the feet of an animal you have never seen. I tighten my shoe laces from top to bottom. Nothing is built on the road. A set path secured and stored away. It’s a car’s world. I walk away from the sidewalk littered with fragmented snail shells, over the green strip of grass that has been allowed to grow. I step down and place new rubber onto the road: sneakers never as sturdy as the outer edge of a tire. I imagine my feet moving around, rubber soles never leaving the road as they roll. Shoelaces left behind, bending under the weight of a metal body. My body is made for movement, safety. I am tested again and again. Insured. My body strapped in before a crash. You transporting your family in seven seat comfort and superior design. I am a cavern, filled with empty coffee cups and parking tickets. I am collecting coins you do not know about but need, hold them in hard to reach places. A blue car beeps at me while I block its path. I have been walking slowly, thinking about my features. My insides stopping and starting at a turn, price depreciating upon purchase. A man, a woman screaming inside of me, knuckles white at the wheel and holding my handles as I drive. I have never had an iPhone. Your eyes in my rear view mirror, looking into me and alert like never before. It’s all routine now. Waiting while you are at work on Thursday. A woman runs her hand over my body. Leaves a print in the dust, though there is not much. Paint slowly flaking away and dug from my doors as another body pushes against me, scrapes back my outer skin. Worth less. I move away from the road and back to the grass. I find the rough path that bites when you fall. My feet move one step at a time, inferior transportation. Cars move past me, sleek in the summer sun. A car cannot sweat. I look away when they draw near, ashamed. A car drives past, seamless and gliding. Engages with the bitumen, moves through its carved path. Paint smooth and liquid in the sun, my skin dead and dry. Covered in clothes. People who drive white cars can be anything.
Unity Against Trump
Unity Behind Trump
Millions of Americans woke up on the 9th of November feeling a sense of hopelessness and despair. Donald Trump’s victory was so difficult for so many of us – myself included.
There’s no denying Trump is controversial. In the first month of his presidency he reinstated the gag rule, threatened to tax Mexican exports by 20%, and replaced top military leaders with his own personal strategist (Steve Bannon). The fact remains that he is the President, and it is crucial to unify behind him.
To gauge the fallout of Trump’s election, the Human Rights Campaign surveyed 50,000 American youths – the personal stories and results were gut wrenching. In one instance, a girl had her tyres slashed because she had an Equality sticker on her car. In another, a Latinx was told that the new President “is gonna deport wastes of space like you”. These stories offer a small snapshot of the hate and bigotry being experienced. But despite this, 57% of respondents said that the election result made them more motivated towards helping others, and that decent Americans should be inspired to step up and fight back to defend the ideals and values they hold dear.
I’m all for standing up to express our democratic rights … but not this time. Protests and other forms of activism can be a great way of inducing change within political institutions. President Trump, however, is very likely to respond negatively to activism, but doubling down on his policies. We all know he’s (in)famous for his adamancy. So why should we, as Australians, support him? By supporting his actions, we have a chance of maintaining a strong America, a historically powerful ally to Australia. As Australians, it’s imperative that we consider our national security. The United States has been a powerful ally to Australia for 76 years now. Since 2007 we have had the largest access to American technology, which without them we could not afford. Supporting the US and Donald Trump would ensure that we maintain economic and military security, which, with growing global uncertainty, we will require in the near future.
This fightback can take many forms. We have seen Democrats wearing pro-Obamacare badges at Trump’s Inauguration, millions marching in the Women’s Marches worldwide, and public figures declaring that they too will register with any Muslim register established. America’s history is littered with uplifting stories of resistance. From Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat, to the hundreds of thousands who marched on Washington in 1963 demanding equal rights for African-Americans. America has seen what resisting policies of hate and bigotry can achieve. Today, with the rhetoric and policies from the Trump administration resembling that dark period, it demands that decent Americans fightback and resist to give hope to those frightened by deportation, security to those insecure because of difference, and courage to those who fear speaking out or standing up against hate and racism.
There are alternative powers, China and Russia being prime examples, but should we really be supporting undemocratic nations over the US? China is renowned for its oppressive government and poor living conditions. Russia only just decriminalised domestic violence. The U.S. has a solid democracy held firmly together by long-standing checks and balances. Trump may seem bad, but do we really want to back undemocratic nations with little respect for human rights? Our alliance with the US in invaluable and makes a clear statement about our intentions as a nation.
As a Michigan youth wrote in that Human Rights Campaign survey: “My generation… is working harder than ever to make sure the American dream is accessible to everyone and that everyone is included in our society. They are taking a stand against hate. They are demanding a just world, and are fighting for it.”
The lack of support for the president has already seen protests in Oregon turn violent, with fires set and properties vandalised. An editor at Vox incited mayhem in response to Trump’s election, stating “if Trump comes to your town, start a riot”. With the numbers showing up to these protests, if we take this disunity to heart, there’s no telling how many thousands could be hurt. To protect the safety and security of Americans there must be support for leaders.
There will be days where hate and bigotry will win. But as Hillary Clinton reminded us, fighting for what’s right is worth it. And people like that Michigan youth will be among the most vocal and ferocious in declaring that hate and bigotry has no place in America.
Leaders with overwhelming support from the get-go often continue to do great things for their country – Franklin D. Roosevelt helped America out of the great depression. A little closer to home, Prime Minister Bob Hawke connected with trade unions to build stronger economic stability for the working class. It’s clear that Donald Trump has resonated with the working class, perhaps he can do the same, but he’ll need support and patience. If we dismiss Trump, we’re dismissing the voice of millions of disenfranchised Americans. We might not always like change, but supporting our leaders clearly has its benefits. You don’t have to like Trump, but for the sake of U.S. citizen welfare and Australia’s national security, we must unify behind the President of the United States.
Interview with Anne Aly Mike Anderson Anne Aly is the current member for the federal seat of Cowan. She worked as a senior policy advisor in the public sector before completing a PhD studying audience constructions of terrorism. Politic Editor Mike Anderson sat down with her to talk about her views on Australian anti-terror laws and women in parliament. MIKE ANDERSON: How do you feel the current Australian anti-terror laws are working, from a policy perspective? ANNE ALY: Australia has some of the broadest and far reaching anti-terror laws of any western country. Unlike countries like France and the US we haven’t seen a large-scale terrorist attack on our soil. About 7 years ago I wrote my first book looking at how countries define terrorism - back then. Australia had this very narrow definition of terrorism. Saudi Arabia, which is known for its human rights abuses, have such a broad definition that any dissent against the monarchy can be classified as terrorism. Our laws are getting increasingly broad, taking away that specificity we had. You can argue how necessary they are, but my argument is that it’s all well and good to have hard law enforcement approached but they need to be balanced with prevention. Prevention works on the root causes. Do you think the national discourse around de-radicalisation and counter terrorism are damaging to marginalised groups in our society? We use de-radicalisation as this umbrella term, but with no real clarity as to what it is. In reality de-radicalisation does not work. I’ve not seen a program around the world that works. If somebody is radicalised to the point of being highly engaged and ready for violence it is extremely difficult to bring them back from there. The programs I’ve seen are 3 week courses, they get released and go straight back to Al-Shabaab. Well hello, if you’re releasing them back to the same environmental conditions, then of course they’re going to go back to the group that gave them meaning and security. We push for one line answers, it’s really damaging. The Media and other commentators are highly complicit in this. Simplistic one liners like “they were radicalised online” only feed into a certain impression and perception, but do nothing to clarify how we address it. It creates a situation where we incorrectly focus on individual psychology, as if they were part of a cult, when really there’s a whole raft of other issues. Terrorism and violent extremism are also very much social phenomena. Simplistic answers and focusing solely on individual psychology are never going to work. Is there any merit in having a minister for counter-terrorism? There have been some talks to introduce something like what the US has, but we aren’t the US - we don’t need a department of homeland security, we have agencies that work quite well together. I believe a year or two ago that we introduced the officer of the counter terrorism coordinator, who kind of oversees everything. I think that was a really good move. I’d like to see us do better at what we’re already doing, rather than introducing new structures that try to resolve the gaps. What inspired you to run for the seat of Cowan with the Labor Party? I’d worked with both Liberal and Labor governments, and with governments overseas, but never had political aspirations of my own. At the end of 2015 I was at the height of my academic career, having been to about 20 overseas trips in a single year. I remember attending Club de Madrid and the UN 3 weeks apart, leaving both thinking that. I was going back to Australia, where nothing would change because there was no political will. I
got a call from Labor about a week later asking me to run for the seat of Cowan. I asked family, and they all said I should go for it. I’d read about Noel Pearson saying he’d been asked to run 15 years earlier, and regretted not doing so. What if I did that thinking I could make more change from outside and regretted it? It’s really just a different way of trying to make the change I want to see. At the last election we saw a fall in the number of women in parliament, how can we act to ensure there are more women in parliament? The key point is getting women selected for safe seats. Even if there is a strong representation of women running, they’re often in marginal seats. Women of colour are often placed even lower. The thing we need to understand is that politics is not a meritocracy, you can have very talented people left on the backbench, that’s the reality of politics. I think we’re at a stage in world affairs where politics is struggling to attract good people. That said, I do believe we had a strong cohort of candidates in Labor. You’re asking someone to give up their career, which probably earns more, to be a politician, and be constantly scrutinised and required to work 7am to 10pm in Canberra. Even though I wasn’t sure what to expect in becoming a politician it’s an honour to represent my electorate, and I work hard to represent them. We need to rebuild the trust and respect for politics that people have. When we do that, we make politics a noble profession and it becomes valuable and interesting. If we do that, we’ll attract a more representative, higher calibre cohort. That said, I’m all for quotas, they’re great, but they need to be for a purpose and not just for the sake of a quota. As a woman of colour, do you feel that you are in a position to encourage greater diversity in politics? I hope so. When I was first elected people were telling me I was the first Muslim woman in parliament, which was never something I’d had in the front of my mind. After I won my seat I had calls from mothers of diverse backgrounds - they told me they had always told their daughters they could be whatever they wanted, and they thanked me for making it real for them. Last year I won an award from a magazine, I was their woman of the year, and their theme was “disrupter”. At first I thought that I wasn’t a disrupter, but when I thought about it as breaking the norm, it makes people stop and think, and that can be disruptive. What advice would you give to young women that want to get into politics? I would say learn what it’s about, volunteer, find out what it takes. There’s really two ways you can go, join a party, work your way through hoping to get preselected, or you can build a name for yourself and having something to bring in. That’s not to say those who come through the party have nothing to bring - they’re just two different options. I would also say contact someone already involved. I mentor some young people, they come in and work one day a week, show them what this job is about, give them a taste. Also, follow your heart and get really good at that. People get into politics to make change, to give back, to add value. Politics isn’t the only way you can do that. Some routes can be even more effective. If making change is your passion, politics is one option, but not the only one. As you know our magazine is called Pelican, have you ever had any interesting encounters with pelicans? I’ve not had any encounters with Pelicans, though I do find them beautiful, but I did have a rather bad encounter with a Chicken. I’ve been scared of them ever since. I do love birds though, I have ceramic birds all around my house, I don’t keep real birds because I don’t like caging them.
Presidential Address Nevin Jayawardena Welcome to a new year at UWA! I’m Nevin and I’m your 104th Guild President. Given that the theme for the first edition of Pelican is HEAT, I thought it’s only fitting I drop some ‘fire’.
In Western Australia, born and raised; in the books is where I spent most of my days. Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool; learn about your Guild, that’s the number one rule. If you’re feelin’ no good and you got a question too; you should come to your Guild cus you know we got you. But If you wanna meet some peeps and then take a few leaps, join a bunch of our clubs, cus we’re here to party heaps. Unfortunately, that’s about all the fire I can drop at this stage. I’m no lyricist, just a mechanical engineering student now in my sixth year at UWA. My job as Guild President is to run the peak representative body for student issues and concerns. We are a Guild run by students for students, and my number one aim is to make sure you have the support you need throughout your time at UWA. So, if you ever need ANYTHING, come to the Guild and we will help you out!
Get involved with Pelican! Pelican Magazine is written by students, for students and we’re always looking for fresh new faces to join our publication, so if you can write, draw, or edit come find us in our office above the Ref - we’re heaps friendly and definitely want to meet you.
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