YOU COULD BE LISTENING TO:
better late than fresher:
A podcast where a fifth year mentors a first year through their first year of uni
better late than fresher
A FIFTH YEAR MENTORS A FIRST YEAR THROUGH THEIR FIRST YEAR OF UNIVERSITY
YOU COULD BE LISTENING TO:
thicc queens in cars:
A podcast where two women of colour drive to uni, interrupted by their GPS, it’s about friendship and road directions
thicc queens in cars
TWO WOMEN OF COLOUR DRIVE TO UNI, INTERRUPTED BY THEIR GPS, IT’S ABOUT FRIENDSHIP AND ROAD DIRECTIONS
YOU COULD BE LISTENING TO:
tortured artists aren’t:
A podcast interviewing different perth creatives about their mental illness and their practice
tortured artists aren’t
INTERVIEWS WITH PERTH CREATIVES ABOUT THEIR MENTAL ILLNESS AND THEIR PRACTICE
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THESE PODCASTS FROM LIBSYN
contents Pelican 2018 Volume 89 BOLD
BOOLADARLUNG - Pelican The Pelican team acknowledges that the UWA campus is located on the lands of the Whadjuk and Minang people of the Noongar Nation, who are the original storytellers and spiritual and cultural custodians of their land. This was stolen and never ceded. Weâ€™d like to especially thank Len Collard from the School of Indigenous Studies for sharing the Noongar word for Pelican with us, booladarlung, which will appear on the cover of all issues of Pelican this year.
06 | CONTRIBUTORS 08 | EDITORIAL | Katie + Josh 08 | PRESITORIAL | Megan Lee 10 | REAL CAMPUS NEWS | Hugh Hutchison 12 | FIVE SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE THE PROBLEM MEMBER OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT GROUP | Hugh Hutchison 13 | QUARTERLY ELECTIONS | Hugh Hutchison 14 | TERTIARY EDUCATION HOROSCOPE | Hugh Hutchison 16 | WORDS WITH BEN YOUNG | Finnian Williamson 18 | GO BIG OR GO HOME: BOLD CHOICES IN FILM | Various Authors 19 | BOLD PLAYLIST | Sophie Minissale + Jordan Murray 20 | BRAVE AND BOLD: THE STORY BEHIND ELCI THREADS | Hinako Shiraishi 22 | SCIENCE: WAVE ENERGY | Russell Watt 24 | GAMING: IS IT REALLY THE SAME WITHOUT SPLIT SCREEN? | Rashdoge Bro 25 | BOLD ARCHITECTURE | Amy Thomasson 26 | MAKING GREEN FASHION WHEN YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO | Rebel Boylan 28 | FRANK OCEAN | Sophie Minnissale 30 | ARTS: DUCHAMP | Ava Cadee 32 | THE STELLA PRIZE | Vanessa Karas 34 | BOLD AND BOLDER | Ishita Mathur 36 | BE BOLD AND SHARE YOUR STORY | Aleisha Sleight 38 | FOREIGN FILMS: ACROSS BORDERS AND BOUNDARIES | Isabel Boogaerdt 40 | “HEY, WHAT’S YOUR ATAR?” | Michael Smith 41 | YOU’RE WEARING MAKEUP? | Rosemary Barton 42 | WHEN I KNEW I HAD ENOUGH | Jordan Murray 45 | PERTHISSOMUCHMORETHANOK | Asha Couch 46 | AFTER THE DUST SETTLED | Michael Smith 48 | THE A-WORD | Caitlin Owyong 50 | THE FUTURE | Joshua Cahill 52 | THE HAND-MADE TALE | Frances Harvey 54 | WE USE WE-CHAT HERE | Cormac Power 56 | THE PERFECT STORM | Thomas Coltrona 58 | BEAD FRIENDS FOREVER | Grace Huffer 60 | THE COLOUR OF FREEDOM | Amran Abdi 61 | I FELT SO SMALL TODAY | Maddie Godfrey 62 | WORDS WITH HERA LINDSAY BIRD | Vanessa Karas 64 | YOUNG PRESENTER IN BROOME | Molly Hunt 65 | NEVER TOO LATE 66 | ROCK AGAINST RACISM | Mike Anderson The University of Western Australia acknowledges that its campus is situated on Noongar land, and the 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.
Reece is a 10ft tuna fish.
Expects at least a free coffee when this layout is over.
Last time Megan was mentioned in Pelican it was as ‘girl with earrings’.
Katie has done a lot of country driving. Buy her a coffee.
Josh is in a lot of debt right now. Buy him a coffee.
Hugh has ghost written for countless celebrities and written ghosts for R.L. Stine.
Finnian studied film at ECU. Make of that what you will.
Jacob is a city dweller and lifelong cinephile. He makes short films that are too weird and inaccessible for everybody but him.
Dominic thinks socialising is overrated. That’s why he watches movies.
Cameron used to have hopes and dreams, now he has google scholar and a HECS debt.
Is’ most used hashtags on Insta are #35mm, #vegan and #ironic.
Jordan is terminally unemployed and willing to work for three different kinds of pomade. He thinks that fifty million Elvis fans can in fact be wrong.
Sophie is a ‘cat lady without the cats.’ Don’t ask her about music unless you don’t have to be anywhere for another 24 hours.
Hinako’s nickname is Taco. This is her greatest achievement.
Russell is an engineering student who spends his free time drinking tea, debating and wearing cardigans. His personality turns 86 next month.
Rashdoge is a second year university student who narrates life in his head like Jeremy Clarkson does.
Amy is known for forming obsessions with weird things which she hopes is endearing but probably isn’t.
Rebel dreams of freelancing from cute hipster coffee shops. Currently she can only afford to work at Reid.
Ava is studying Political Science and International Relations and dreams of one day inventing an easy to use fitted sheet.
Vanessa spends a peculiar amount of time daydreaming about drinking coffee with her literary heroes (who are dead).
Ishita is tired and sleepy but also committed to kicking ass.
Aleisha traveled for 6 months last year, now she's back enjoying life and eating overpriced avocados.
Michael thinks hummus should be its own food group and is a big fan of ducks.
Rose wrote poetry as a child, now she mostly watches Grand Designs reruns with a bag of grapes in hand.
Asha is a Skyscanner addict and classical music lover, which she thinks makes her more culturally evolved (it doesn’t).
Caitlin has never watched a Netflix series through from start to finish due to her commitment issues.
Frances is a fashion student with an overwhelming aversion to buying clothes from anywhere but op-shops.
Cormac spent most of his last week watching documentaries on Yugoslavia instead of writing his thesis. He still really likes tea.
Thomas studies law.
Grace is doing her honours in the history of art. She makes very good coffee.
Amran Abdi is an Early Childhood educator, children’s book author and speaker with the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia. She’s extremely passionate about activism through art.
Maddy is a poet and burrito enthusiast. They are cultivating a cactus family, but have already killed two.
Molly swears she’s the reincarnation of a 1970’s disco queen, so challenge her to the dance floor. She dares you.
Mike studies Politics and Employment Relations. Ask him about elections if you are having trouble sleeping.
WANNA WRITE FOR PELICAN? We think you should. We think you’d be perfect We think this could be the greatest collab since butter and toast…if you know what we mean. Send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram or Twitter or most importantly, pop up to the office for a cuppa. Kettle’s on, don’t forget the Monte Carlos. The views expressed within are not the opinions of the UWA Student Guild or Pelican Editorial Staff but of the individual writers and artists. 7
editorial So looks like we are back at it again, but hopefully this time even more interesting, a little funnier and a whole lot wiser. Bold wouldnâ€™t be the edition that it is without the absolutely tireless work of our design team of one (Lyn, an absolute champ who is nice to us even when we donâ€™t deserve it) and all the fantastic editors and writers. Every part of this magazine represents a choice, and a bold choice at that. To put yourself out there and contribute a little slice of life is the epitome of bold, and we bloody love that.
So those first weeks of uni are over. We hope you enjoyed the tutorial icebreakers, getting lost on your way to class and the lecture bashers promising volunteer getaways. Now is your time to take the metaphorical bull
by the metaphorical horns and embrace the bold choices that come with being at university. In this edition we wanted to showcase all the risks, the leaps of faith, the shots in the dark that make us, in our own little ways, bold. If you don’t like bulls, metaphorical or otherwise, or you don’t like metaphors, we hope you like bold font. There’s a lot of that in this issue. The world is an interesting place right now and with young people making up the largest demographic we ever have, we kind of need to be bold in our decisions, actions and coffee choices. In the words of Josh’s Year 10 English teacher, “It’s how you respond to your situation that defines you.” In the words of Katie’s Year 10 English teacher, “How have you still not done your essay?” Ctrl b, Katie & Josh
Being bold. Trickier than you think. Rewarding if done right. Being bold is being authentic and challenging convention, however you see that for you. I’m a big fan of a bold earring and vocal political opinions, but that’s just me. A big part of being bold is speaking up. Do what it takes to challenge conventions and connect with other people, because for too long the status quo has been hurting people in our society. Following on from that, I think a crucial part of being bold is also listening and learning when someone speaks up – learn from your failures and take action to make society better when someone calls you out or calls you in to make a change.
only be stopped if you stand up and speak up about how cuts are cooked, and why the government should be taking your education seriously. Don’t know where to start? Hit up the Education Action Network or any of the other Guild departments. Students are powerful when we act as one and learn from each other’s experiences. So, get involved and join the Guild, ya mug.
I’m going to go full hack (although I prefer the term ‘hero’) for a minute here – have your say! Get politically active! The Government is trying to tear apart the higher education section and gut it’s funding through non-legislative means. This can 9
Wow, What a Coincidence! Very Particular Demographic of UWA Student Base Happens to be Very Vocal About Particular Pelican Articles “In this climate of ridiculous outrage culture,” said the group’s spokesperson in an official statement, “I’m just glad there’s a lot of very similar looking people willing to speak out about being scandalised, incensed, affronted and repelled by this liberal snowflake nonsense.” Local Dropkick Surprised to Learn First Tute Ice-Breakers not an Assessable Item “Wait, that wasn’t my in-class presentation?” said the student who’s been skiing in Whistler, works as a manager at Dome, but actually has two sisters, not one. The Science is in: Calling (x) the (y) of (z) is the Citizen Kane of Talking About Things “At last, we can say, with the entire scientific community behind us, that the Cars franchise is the UWA of Pixar Animation Studios,” said one excited researcher.
real campus news Hugh Hutchison
Creative Writing Major Disappointed to Learn that the Great Australian Novel has Already Been Written “I don’t know how I thought I was going to compete with Deltora Quest.” Econs Major Very Pleased to Hear Some People Still Believe in Trickle Down Economics “I don’t know how any economic system is ever going to compete with Reaganomics.” Disgruntled Attendee to UWA Graduation Ceremony Pleasantly Surprised by how Good UWA thinks UWA is “I spent three years thinking this place was pretty mediocre, but if all of these softly spoken people with British accents and six figure salaries from UWA think it’s a great university, I’m hardly going to be the one to correct them.” Emotionally Overwhelming Yet Pleasantly Familiar Sense of Dread Returns Two Weeks Into Semester “It’s great to be back at one of Australia’s top universities!” Said one student as she took a brief pause from screaming helplessly into the void. Student Filing Overdue Tax Return Accidentally Sees His Accrued HECS Debt “I don’t pay thousands of dollars each year to have to see how many tens of thousands of dollars I’ll have to pay in a few years.”
The dreaded group assignment – the calling card of the shit broadening unit, the bane of any GPA – we all know what it’s like to be paired up with total duds for something worth 50% of your overall grade. But have you ever stopped to think that maybe you’re the one dragging the team down? If any of these sound like you, maybe it’s time to take a good hard look in the mirror. 1. You insist on speaking to your group only in volleyball analogies Sigh. We get it; you represented Australia in volleyball at an Olympic level. Does that mean you have to spike our LAWS2301 discussion with incessant references to niche moments in volleyball history?
3. All of your work on the assignment is copypasted from Yahoo Answers about puberty Your group’s been hounding you for weeks, asking to see some proof of your contribution thus far. You panic - you’ve been sick, you’ve had a family emergency – none of the usual excuses are going to cut it. You’re behind on lectures, and you haven’t done shit. But you know where to turn to. It’s never let you down before. Yahoo answers. 4. You refuse to present to the class in any medium other than long form improvisational comedy
Although I do see the connection between us scraping an HD for our presentation on the Corporations Act and Kazakhstan narrowly making it into the 2008 Olympics after placing fifth in the Tokyo women’s qualifiers, it gets old pretty darn quickly when it’s your sole frame of reference. Don’t be this person, folks.
This person. Oh boy. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been called up with my group to present on the humanitarian implications of tighter border control and the person standing next to me calls out for a location and scenario from the audience. Not only is this a poor way to present information about a very serious topic, but seven to ten minutes is hardly enough time to establish a meaningful rapport between the characters and close the bit in a way that’s satisfying to both the audience and the performers.
2. You write your entire section in a long dead dialect of Chinese
5. You’ve trained thousands of rats to attack other group members who talk over the top of you
Sometimes bridging cultural gaps between group members can be tricky business, particularly when working with international students who aren’t quite comfortable with life at UWA. Speaking from experience, it’s just the worst when you’re trying to get someone involved in a project and their contribution is entirely in the imperial court dialect of Guānhuà. It’s especially annoying given that the time spent finding a translator specialising in the languages of the Ming Dynasty could have been spent editing and proofreading.
People can be rude sometimes, particularly when there are some serious marks on the line. It’s important to remember that everyone else in your group has the same amount of skin in the game, and we’re all nervous about making sure the project is of as high a quality as possible. Maybe keep that in mind next time you flood the ground floor of Reid with an army of disease carrying rodents intent on doing your bidding. Set some ground rules before you start working with your new group, so everyone remains polite, respectful, and free of agonising pestilence.
You Might Be the Problem Member of Your Assignment Group
If there’s a sight that every long-term UWA student would be familiar with, it’s the impenetrable gaggle of OGC candidates crowding every imaginable thoroughfare, the lecture venues paper-mâchéd with red and green pamphlets, and the flood of messages from people you vaguely remember being a cunt in high school asking for a vote. Guild election is springtime for the ego, the aspirational, and not to be forgotten, the fresher who has been severely dudded into thinking that they’ve actually got a chance to get anywhere near an OGC position. Unfortunately, the greatest limitation of the current cycle is that it comes only once a year, much to the chagrin of ordinary students who have come to relish playing the role of single discarded chip to the candidates’ flock of dirty seagulls. All that looks to change, however, with the latest Guild Council motion, which is heralding some major electoral reform. Under the new system, elections for OGC will be held four times a year, with supplementary elections to be held on every major non-denominational holiday. Presidential and executive elections will also occur four times a year, although on alternating months to avoid any electoral downtime. “This is the best way to ensure that the student body stays switched on to the guild throughout the year, not just in September,” said Guild President Megan Lee. Needless to say, this is huge news for UWA, and for everyone who enjoys being pepper sprayed with self-promotion. One Launch official went on record as being in favour of the proposed changes. “We’re keen to have as many opportunities as possible to present unpopular, inflammatory referendums to the student population,” he said. “And think of how many opportunities we’ll have to rebrand ourselves when we’re losing six or seven elections a year. We’ll be wearing more masks than a fucking Scooby Doo villain.”
UWA STUDENT GUILD UNVEILS BOLD NEW PLAN FOR STUDENT ENGAGEMENT: QUARTERLY GUILD ELECTION CYCLES
The Guild Council is also due to consider a number of other proposals at this meeting, including requiring a bare minimum of at least a thousand students to nominate for OGC for an election to be declared valid, and awarding NUS positions on the basis of performance in one on one combat.
horoscope to Help You Deal with Your Tertiary Education Horror-scape
Hugh Hutchison 14
It’s all in the stars ... ARIES
Your return to UWA has brought with it surprising new friendships and the blooming of new romance, all part of an exciting new identity.
Now’s the perfect time to get those creative juices flowing, so get out there and find your muse. Paint a picture, write a book, take an acting class, start up a widely circulated student run paper. Go on, we fucking dare you.
You are now a furry. Your friends are furries. Your new love interest is an anthropomorphic tiger costume.
TAURUS Everything’s going pretty fast and furious for you at the moment, so don’t be afraid to get a good night’s rest or just reach out to friends and family if you need some TLC. Uni can be pretty stressful, particularly when you’re enduring as many as four contact hours in a single week.
GEMINI The winds of change are due to blow in your direction, revealing to you important, live altering truths. After a medical breakthrough, the disfiguring twin-shaped bulge protruding noticeably from your stomach will at last be revealed for what it is: the undigested body of your twin who you chowed down on in the womb.
CANCER You’ve got some huge decisions to make in the coming months. Will you stay in and study, or go out partying with your friends? Will you apply for that internship or keep working your comfy hospitality job? Are you going to take up composting or just do a bunch of crack all the time? The choice is yours, my friend.
LEO Like it or not, everyone around you sees you as a natural leader. Take pride in your status as headhoncho. Don’t be afraid to take charge. Lead a tute discussion. Apply to be a fac-soc pres. Encourage a close circle of followers to participate in a masssuicide ritual at the Claremont Showgrounds. Start a book club.
SCORPIO Spring is here, so it’s time for some spring-cleaning. Get the toxic people out of your life, and work towards a lighter, happier energy. Keep a particular eye out for any long, thin men in trench coats because they are probably snakes.
SAGITARIUS Your symbol is the centaur, with the speed of a horse but the brains of a human. Unfortunately, due to some planetary nonsense going on upstairs, for the next month you will have the speed of a man but the brains of a horse.
CAPRICORN You will receive some disturbing news about a loved one’s sexual proclivities. If you are a Capricorn and this turns out to be correct, please email me at email@example.com and tell me what weird shit they’re into.
AQUARIUS In the coming weeks you’ll come to appreciate the wisdom of your friends in times of adversity. Don’t be afraid to accept help from the people you care about. As your friend I’m telling you it’s definitely not too late to invest in Bitcoin AND the Perth property market.
PISCES This month you will be an M&M-like confectionary originally marketed in Canada, and a product extension of the Peanut Butter Cups product line. You are a Reese’s Pisces.
VIRGO Be honest in your interactions with the people you care about: as Gemini makes station at Aries, those around you are going to be more tuned onto your bullshit. Also, in case you were wondering, an anonymous submission to a student run confessions page does not constitute a sexual encounter.
Ben Young is one of Perth’s most recent success stories. After years of directing commercials and children’s TV, he got his break last year with the directorial debut Hounds of Love, a Perth made suburban horror which went onto international acclaim and scored Young the gig of directing Hollywood sci- thriller Extinction (to be released on Netflix later this year). Pelican Film Editor Finnian Williamson spoke to Young about how to carve out a film career in Perth, what it’s like directing on a Hollywood set and why you need the drive to make movies more than the person sitting next to you. I saw that you started out as an actor in your teens but found it frustrating finding roles and turned to directing. Do you think this acting experience helped you become a better director? Yes, significantly. Part of the reason I got frustrated being an actor was because I didn’t like the way directors were speaking to me. They weren’t communicating clearly and they didn’t allow me to bring any of my own process to it, and I didn’t feel like it was very collaborative. As a result I never felt like I was doing the best performance that I was capable of. I did a degree in film, and was still acting, so that’s where part of the frustration came from. So I thought, oh, maybe I could do this directing, I’ll just talk to actors in the way I wish I was spoken to. You studied film at Curtin University then WAAPA’s Screen Academy. Would you recommend this pathway to Perth film students, or any other ways? No-ones journey is the same. There’s not a bunch of boxes you can tick then you’ll have a career. For me, that worked, but I think the thing that worked most about it is that the entire time I was at both film schools, I was making my own stuff. So every weekend I was taking out gear and shooting music videos or teaming up with WAAPA actors at Screen Academy and shooting scenes on the weekend. I
ben young 16
was also doing the Perth Actors Workshop where I was shooting scenes, so, film school’s good because obviously I did learn stuff, but the best thing about it for me was the access to the gear. I could get hundreds of thousands of dollars of gear for nothing and also meeting like-minded people. I’m still working with people I went to Curtin with to this day. Do you find that to be a misconception, that a degree will get a film student a job? I don’t know. I think a lot of film students think tragedy’s cool. They like the idea of being the poor struggling artist but don’t become proactive in seeking a career out. No-one’s going to give you a job because you’ve got a degree, it’s just not going to happen. You’ve got to make your own stuff. The other thing I was doing whilst I was at film school was already applying for artist grants from Screenwest, so you’ve got to be proactive. And I think the best time to do that is when you’re a student, because your living expenses are cheaper, and I only had 12 contact hours at Curtin, so why not use the rest of that time? It’s easier to make your own stuff in many ways as a film student then when you’re out in the real world. Obviously a common move by Perth creatives is to travel over east. Do you find that Perth has a lot to offer over Melbourne and Sydney? Yes. To put in perspective, off the top of my head I can’t think of any other film-maker from Perth who has left Perth and then made a film. The simple thing is that everybody has the idea they’ve got to ‘leave the little place and go to the big place’, be it Sydney or Melbourne. And every film student from around the country flocks there and they want the same thing, and the obvious thing is that there’s way more competition. A film graduate in Western Australia, well, you’ve got your connections now and hopefully you’ve met a handful of people from film school you want to keep working with. And by now
NO ONE’S GOING TO GIVE YOU A JOB BECAUSE YOU’VE GOT A DEGREE ... YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE YOUR OWN STUFF. some of them have joined the Writers Guild or the Directors Guild or FTI or whatever it is and they’ve got some other contacts and so it’s easier to make stuff. It’s your hometown, you know the locations, you know the stories. Plus, ScreenWest has the same grants that all the other film bodies over east have, except there’s way less competition. So my thing was to rather run off, I’d become a big fish in a small pond. So I did a lot of stuff here that did well locally but didn’t really travel over east. Then I was making stuff that was appearing on a national level. And then I made Hounds of Love in Perth which had some success internationally and then as a result of that, I got a call from Los Angeles offering me a ticket to go over there and meet people. And then I did an American film. So when I went to Los Angeles, it was on someone else’s dime. And that’s the way to go, rather than go over there and bash on doors and end up making coffee’s for people and working the ridiculous hours that you have to work in the film industry and not having time to develop your own stuff. I just decided to stay here and take advantage of what’s here. And it worked for me, and Zak Hilditch (Perth film-maker, director of WA-made These Final Hours and Netflix’s 1922) took the same path as me and now we’re repped by the same management company in Los Angeles. You had a career in commercials, short films, music videos and children’s TV before landing your first feature. What did you find to be the biggest learning curve in this time? One of the two things that was big for me was constantly writing. Hounds of Love was the ninth feature film script which I’d written. And none of the others got up. I’d been shortlisted for West Coast visions six or seven times, and shortlisted for Link (Screenwest grant now known as Elevate) eight times before I got it. I one hundred percent believe that I’m talentless, but I just wanted it more than anybody else. Writing is really important as a director I think because it teaches you about story, and the other thing that’s really important is just doing it. I probably learned as much about storytelling doing music videos as much as anything else because they were an opportunity for me to understand visual language and I was developing a visual language while I was developing my storytelling. So the two married very well.
Your first Hollywood feature film, Extinction, is being released on Netflix later this year. What did you find to be the greatest difference between directing in Hollywood and Perth? There are so many differences, I don’t know where to begin. Well, a big difference between Hollywood and Australia is that I’d say in Australia it’s eighty percent art and twenty percent commerce. In America it’s one hundred percent commerce. It’s all about the dollar. It’s not a hobby, it’s a very, very real industry with very, very real objectives on making money. Well, it’s probably eighty percent commerce and twenty percent art, but that twenty percent art is only there if they think it’ll add to the commerce. Directing a movie for Hollywood for me is like directing a gigantic television commercial. Did that come as a shock to you? It was what I expected, having had heard all the horror stories from people having had gone over there. It wasn’t quite as bad as doing a TV commercial, but you’re not the boss. You’re reminded you’re not the boss every single day. And every single creative decision you make gets vetted and watered down. It’s impossible to have a singular vision. With Hounds of Love, warts and all, that’s the film that I wanted to make. There are things I’d make about it differently if I was to go back and do it now, but the film that went to screening is exactly the film I set out to make. I can’t see how that would be possible in Hollywood. And if you could give any advice to a younger Ben Young, the one who’s trying to get acting gigs and studying film, what would you say? It’s all clichés, but clichés are clichés because they’re true. Your first script is going to suck, so hurry up and fail. Hurry up and fail. And the amount of people I meet who write one script and don’t get funding and get bitter at the whole industry is amazing. Like I’ve said, I wrote nine. You’ve got to want it more than the person next to you.
Extinction will be released on Netflix later this year. For more information on ScreenWest news and funding grants, visit https://www.screenwest.com.au/
The Tribe (2014)
go big or go home:
One of the boldest films in recent memory I can think of is Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi’s The Tribe. A Ukrainian film featuring only deaf actors, featuring no speaking, not even subtitles, just the actors in a scene using sign language throughout. The fact that the film’s story can be understood to an audience member who doesn’t know sign language is a feat, but to be as engrossing as it is, is a testament to Slaboshpytski’s impeccable direction. The film also features many disturbing themes and incredibly graphic scenes of sex and violence that are undoubtedly confronting; especially seeing as the 126-minute-long film is comprised of only 34 shots, meaning when we see these graphic scenes, we aren’t allowed to look away because the camera doesn’t. Though for me, some of these aspects seem to go too far and were included only for shock value. That being said, it is nevertheless an incredibly bold film from a storytelling, thematic and technical standpoint. The fact that it didn’t completely fall apart is a miracle, and moreover, the fact that it is a legitimately good film shows that Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi is a talent to watch out for. Jacob Brinkworth Ichi the Killer (2001) Anyone looking for a bold movie need look no further than Takashi Miike’s 2001 ultra-violent, gorefest Ichi the Killer, a film that doesn’t just break down genre walls but smashes through them leaving a pool of its own blood in its wake. Provocative, stomach churning and seriously funny, “Ichi the Killer” follows a psychotic man with a fetish to cause unimaginable pain on his victims. His penchant for torture makes him the perfect tool for the Yakuza to use for their bidding. So ensues a barrage of bat-shit crazy scenes of sadomasochistic torture, as Ichi is unleashed on warring Yakuza gang members. It’s boundary-pushing filmmaking like only Miike knows how. In fact, the film was so outrageous that it was banned in Germany, Malaysia and Norway and has developed a strong cult following over the years. Be bold, seek it out. Dominic Kwaczynski
bold choices in film 18
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) The #MeToo movement has recently sent shockwaves through Hollywood and the world. The actors of today are speaking out about violence against women. But this issue of gender inequality is not a new concept in the film world. All the way back in 1951 A Streetcar Named Desire was awarded a whopping four oscars, and raised massive awareness for domestic violence against women, and toxic masculinity. Based on the renowned play by Tennessee Williams, the film revolves around our protagonist, Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh), and her agony upon discovering the abuse her little sister Stella Kowalski (Kim Hunter) has endured at the hands of her abusive husband, Stanley (Marlon Brando).The film is shockingly confronting especially considering that women didn’t have political voices back in the 50’s. Both Leigh and Hunter’s performances empowered women at the time to speak out against abuse. A common misconception made about black and white films is that they’re overly dramatised and painfully slow. Streetcar, however, is an iconic example of the big, bold strides these films made in challenging social norms at the time of their conception. Cameron Carr Murder on the Orient Express (2017) The blanket rule when it comes to cinema is that: originals are always better than remakes. But when it was announced that Murder on the Orient Express was going to be in a cinema near me soon, I gave the producers the benefit of the doubt. Having the audacity to rework a piece of Agatha Christie’s would seemingly signify it must have been done well – but apparently, I was misguided. Not even the big names of Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp could resurrect this film from the landslide of the catastrophe that it was. Regardless of whether Branagh was attempting to re-create the BBC version of the novel or not, his boldness in taking the place of David Suchet was a guarantee to disaster. A piece of advice – hit up your local library, get the boxed set, watch the originals and record over that memory in your mind. Oh, and trust your gut instinct, because originals are always better than remakes. Is Boogaerdt
Sophie Minissale and Jordan Murray
Pet Shop Boys - “Go West” The Village People, only more camp. BROCKHAMPTON - “GUMMY” This song is the mission statement for the entire boy-band. The whole thing feels like the punchline to a raw, bold and unashamed set up. Here the boys of BROCKHAMPTON let go of all insecurities, and allow themselves to be vulnerable in a punchy and exciting way without being brash about it. Great storytelling and delivery from the best up and coming boy-band. Wham! - “The Edge of Heaven” George Michael willfully confuses seduction with obsession and violence with passion, and ends up writing the fullest, most overblown song of his career. Not an unsubstantial achievement. Beyoncé ft. Jay Z - “Crazy in Love” Call me basic, but it’s not a playlist of bold music without a little bit of Beyoncé. Living Colour - “Cult of Personality” I don’t think Corey Glover and Vernon Reid honestly think that JFK, Mussolini, Stalin, and Gandhi are in league, but they articulate the similarities in a way that seems wholly sensible; a bold idea, if not made bolder by the songs three guitar solos. dodie - “In The Middle” If you don’t think writing a song about a potential threesome between exboyfriends is bold with a capital B, then we really can’t help you. Here, dodie writes light, and breezy pop music with a somewhat sassy edge. But, it’s a diversion from her usual sound. She generally makes heartwrenching, introspective and soulful guitar tracks. Check her out. Judas Priest - “A Touch of Evil” “Painkiller” is the most obvious choice, but no song - whether that be on Painkiller or any other Priest album drags into its third refrain with quite
as much dread as does, “A Touch of Evil,” emboldened by Rob Halford’s maniacal screech, ‘You’re possessing me!’ Kevin Abstract - “Miserable America” Here, Kevin Abstract expresses the struggle of being bold in a place that is stopping you from doing just that. This is a “fuck you” to all the people who can’t take you for who you are. Kanye West - “Blood on the Leaves” ‘You could’ve been somebody,’ pleads Kanye by-way-of Brando, in a song that takes something as bold as love and mines it for all of its selfish, horrible, jealous twists and turns. On the ‘10s boldest album, it sticks out as its best and boldest song. Sampa the Great- F E M A L E Sampa comes straight out on this track with some fiery and heavy delivery from her 2015 mixtape rightly titled, “The Great Mixtape.” While Sampa is definitely in her infancy here, you can tell she is sowing the seeds for becoming the bold poet and wordsmith she is today. This song serves as a “round of applause” for all women (especially women of colour) for fighting and striving in the world they live in which more often than not can work against them. R.E.M. - “The Great Beyond” According to Jim Carrey, Andy Kaufman is “The Great Beyond,” in Michael Stipe’s mouth, it’s that feeling of wonderment and fear borne out of any uncomfortable situation. It’s a love letter to boldness as an answer to life’s more inexplicable moments. Frank Ocean - “Chanel” Frank has an unmatched way of singing about the most vulnerable parts of his life in the proudest and boldest way. More specifically on his track, “Chanel,” he speaks openly about his bisexuality, relationships and career achievements. Keep rubberbanding those “Delta dollar gift cards,” Frank.
How did it all begin? In the summer of 2016, Cecy (my highschool friend) and I were sharing ideas over Facebook Messenger, a lot of “what if we did this? Or that?” That’s essentially how ELCI was born. After high school, Cecilia relocated to Abuja and I was still in Perth. We were trying to find ways we can help each other out, because I wanted to be back in Africa so bad (that’s my goal right now too). She also wanted to be back here in Perth going to uni with all our friends. We both wanted things we couldn’t have and then we decided to find way to merge the worlds and wants. What challenges did you face starting the label? The first big challenge was coming up with a name for our brand, that almost seemed impossible. We are still finding it challenging to keep the costs of shipping all the pieces from Nigeria or Rwanda to here in Perth. In terms of our designs, we are still constantly working on how to make them more comfortable and this is something we will continuously try to evolve in. In all honesty, the internet becomes your only friend and it’s amazing on how much easier things got when we start browsing on “How to do this or that”. Where are your fabrics sourced from?
brave and bold: the story behind elci threads WORDS WITH LINDA IRIZA An interview with power woman Linda Iriza, co-founder of the label ELCI Threads and 3rd year Marketing & Economics Student at UWA. Interview by Hinako Shiraishi 20
All our pieces in the past collections have been made out of Ankara print that was sourced in local markets in Abuja, Nigeria. Ankara print is also known as Kitenge or “African print”, it is a widely worn material all across Africa. The material tends to be made by a Dutch company, Vlisco, and then they’re distributed all across Africa, this has been the case for centuries. Where do you draw your inspiration for collections? Our inspiration is always drawn from women we look up to. The Solange Knowles and Oroma Elewa’s of this world, not only are these women style gods but they’re changing influencing and shaping the future for black women. Your clothes are made predominantly in Nigeria and Rwanda. How do you connect these countries to Perth, and why is it important for you that these clothes are made there? In everything you do in this life, you have to stay true to your identity. I’m Rwandan and I hold great pride in that and Cecilia is Nigerian. We are trying to connect the East and West of Africa, this is our way of staying true to who we are and also show how a connected Africa truly is the FUTURE.
Perth is a special city for us, we’ve spent our teen years in Perth. A person’s teenage years are literally the most rapid, awkward and overwhelming beautiful years. We want to positively influence the African culture in Perth, by showcasing the beauty and creativity of our people through fashion and other creative ways. How do you see African fabrics and designs being incorporated into the fashion industry in Australia? Do you see any issues with cultural appropriation? There’s a current wave of black entrepreneurs all across Australia, not just Perth. This to me is the most beautiful and reassuring thing to see. The African community is slowly realising the opportunities that are available, even if they aren’t available we are making them available. In the next few years, I hope that our community becomes more supportive and involved with black owned businesses based in Australia. Personally, it’s incredible to see so many black owned labels using Ankara prints in traditional and non-traditional designs. Every industry has in some way benefited from black culture or black owned land or black owned resources. This is historically known and nothing has really changed. The same goes for the fashion industry not just specifically in Australia but worldwide. African print is something that has been part of our culture for centuries; we make aunty and uncle jokes about the prints. “Every Sunday, all the aunties wear their best prints and well the uncles try too”. At my church, here in Perth, if you’re married you have to come to church in African print dresses and boubous. This isn’t even a “rule” or “forced” but our mothers saw their mothers and aunties transition into married life not only mentally but also by the way the dressed too.
Linda’s tips on how to fix culture appropriation (once and for all): 1. Understand that culture is very complicated, beautiful and sensitive; and people’s cultures should always, and I mean always, be respected. 2. Credit all your sources of inspiration 3. Call it by what it is 4. Be an inclusive brand: from your PR team, to your photographers, to your models 5. Bring more diversity into the current Australian modelling industry (change the fact that every POC [person of colour] feels that they need to relocate to the States to pursue their career due to the lack of opportunities here in Australia). What is the future for ELCI Threads? Where do you see the label in 5-10 years? ELCI essentially is a portfolio that we will be using when approaching other “Made in Africa by Africans” brands. In the next 5 years, we hope to be a hub that’s home to 20+ other African small business labels. Your one pit stop for made in Africa; clothing, art, home decor and much more. Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Photograoh from ELCI Threads Co-founder Linda Iriza (photograph by Zvita Photography)
A lot of major fashion labels have gotten backlash for culturally appropriating African prints and other aspects of black culture; hair being the next big issue. The issue here is that these major labels to many can be seen as “innovative” “fashion-forward” because they’ve came up with a “NEW AND UNIQUE” collection. In reality, these brands have literally stole the prints, the hair and everything else off minorities. They end up selling these “unique” pieces for a ridiculous amount of money. Once again, African culture is making millions - but these millions aren’t even benefiting a single African person.
science: wave energy Russell Watt
Thanks to Wiebke Ebeling, the Centre Manager for the Wave Energy Research Centre, for her assistance with this article. 22
One and a half kilometres off the coast, beneath the towering pylons of the Albany Wind Farm a single buoy sits tethered to the sea floor 30 metres below, battered by the cold currents of the Southern Ocean. It isn’t much now, but in a few short years this will be the home of the largest wave farm in Australia. This is the beginning of the Albany Wave Energy Project, funded by the State Government, which will see Carnegie Energy eventually build 20 energygenerating buoys, creating about two-thirds of the power of the existing wind farm. Given that the wind farm can supply 80% of Albany’s energy needs in the right conditions, the coastal port town will then frequently be powered by 100% renewable energy. That’s really exciting. And what’s even more exciting is that UWA is playing a major part in the project.
THE START OF A SWELL So what’s the big deal with wave energy? For starters, there’s a lot of it. Estimates of the total collectable power output from wave energy range from between 1TW to 10TW, or in other words, potentially up to 50% of global energy demand. But what makes wave more appealing than wind or solar is the reduced variability. While the sun disappears for around 12 hours every day (not including times when it’s hidden by clouds) and wind is highly dependent on weather systems and changes in air pressure, there is always a significant amount of wave energy you can capture. Given that our power networks are currently based around having a large amount of constant power at all times, wave power can quite easily enter the energy mix without having to worry about storage or other types of power management to counteract the variability. But wave power is nowhere near as popular compared to these other renewable sources. In fact, there are virtually no large scale wave farms anywhere in the world. And there’s a couple of reasons for that. Firstly, you have to make sure that the thing that is capturing the wave energy won’t break apart often. The stress put on anything tied to the ocean floor during a storm is immense, and you don’t really want your multi-million-dollar buoy drifting off whenever the swell picks up. And given that these wave farms have to be a fair way off-shore because the force of the waves closer to the coast are far too much for anything to last for long.
one piece of silicon next to another, put some wires in it, and leave it in the sun. With wind, you stick a massive fan blade to the end of a generator and nature does the work for you. But wave motion is incredibly complex – even when it appears to be going in one direction, there are a bunch of other forces and currents pulling everything around. This means you’re stuck using complex, intricate machinery to be able to convert as much of that motion to electricity as possible, and that technology has only just begun to exist. That’s where UWA and the Wave Energy Research Centre step in.
U-W-AVE The centre’s aim is to develop technology and techniques that will make wave energy cheaper, more efficient, and longer lasting, hopefully opening the door for other groups around the world to use this research to make wave energy a major part of the global energy supply. There are three main programs the centre will be running once it gets started, focusing on coastal processes (how waves move and how wave energy converters impact this), ocean-structure interaction (how to make sub-sea structures stable and what arrangement of these structures works the best), and geotechnical engineering (how to best make foundations for wave energy convertors so they don’t drift out to sea). Carnegie, and eventually other wave energy companies, will also use the centre and wave farm area to test their own technologies. Whilst the centre is still being set up, they expect to be offering work experience and internships to interested students once it opens, allowing them to be at the forefront in the push towards 100% renewable energy. The hope is that this collaboration and research will lead to cheap, efficient, and long-lasting wave energy technologies that can be utilised around the world, and compete with other renewable technologies and fossil fuel power generation. Given it’s potential, this research could well and truly change the world for the better. But there are still a huge number of other issues that renewables have to overcome. From public perception to political interference, the road forward won’t be easy. But all we can hope is that lonely buoy in the middle of the Southern Ocean is the beginning of a much bigger change to come.
But the main problem is the cost. Capturing wave energy is hard. With solar, all you need to do is put
IS IT REALLY THE SAME WITHOUT SPLIT SCREEN?
Rashdoge Bro As a kid growing up in the early 2000s, there was always that one day of the week you look forward to. You and a mate would go to one another’s house, grab a slice of pizza and some cola, and sit down for a session of split screen gaming. Gone are the days whereby gaming with a mate was as simple as plugging in another controller, competing and cooperating with one another, in person, on a day off. Nowadays it’s all about online gaming that requires hours of time and investment to create an even playing field, and god forbid you don’t have internet that’s fast enough to keep up with everyone else. These are just some of the minute issues that plague modern gaming in contrast to its split screen predecessor. Don’t you remember those times when you bought a new game, got really good at it then invited your friends over so that you could use all your accumulated experience to promptly give them an ass kicking? You had the pleasure of observing the multiple phases of frustration and agony across their faces. This was one of the best parts of gaming together; it wasn’t just the fact that you could play with your mates, it was the fact that they were right there next with you coordinating or directly sparring with you. Split screen gaming had charm and character, and this is what was truly unique about it. Most of us when playing a game together would much rather play a cooperative story with our friends, as opposed to a random person online who completely lacks coordination, has poor internet connection and more often than not lacks basic communication skills. All these factors have made the concept of multiplayer more irritating as opposed to an enjoyable experience. “Call of Duty is my favourite game!” While most would accuse those words of belonging to a 10 year old kid, I genuinely understand their point. One of the reasons games like Call of Duty - in spite of its lazy repetitive gameplay - still manages to sell so much is due to its ability to stick to its core multiplayer feature of split screen gaming. Before you gag at the thought that there are any redeeming factors about Call of Duty, hear me out. Some of us are guilty of actually enjoying trying to outdo one another with increasingly complicated layouts taking
chances with lootboxes in the hopes of receiving something good. This is because, despite lacklustre and clunky old fashion mechanics and monotonous storylines, games like Call of Duty capitalise on the old fashioned values of a good old fashioned, mono e mono, two person gaming session. One console, one game, two or more controllers, piles of junk food and a good time with your mates. Now, it’s all about graphical fidelity and micro transactions- a system tailored to basically encourage us to spend more on gaming. Today, flying solo is the way to go. But what’s the point of having a mate over for a gaming session when one of you has to become a spectator, which is no fun for anybody? Granted, there isn’t anything particularly terrible with playing video games onlinearguably, online gaming can have experiences that are unique to it. However the bottom line is the parts that were most fun about playing split screen games with your friends in the past - the unique bonding opportunities it offered - made the experience so much more enjoyable than online gaming. Case in point: say you score a ridiculous goal on FIFA or a kill streak on Halo. If you were there with your mates, you would all proceed to shout, yell, jump around and slam the most epic of hi-fives. On the other hand, you could have executed an absolute fluke of a shot online but your mate, who was on the other side of the map, will call bullshit and ask you to prove it. I could go on and on, but there is little to no point. Split screen gaming is just not monetarily viable for gaming companies to invest in anymore . If anything, split screen mode just discourages people from buying more copies of the games, which is counterintuitive. The only way that we, and the next generation of gamers, can experience anything similar to the former is if we collectively stand against the general stance towards what society has deemed is the norm in gaming. Even then, the greed that plagues the gaming industry would greatly outweigh the opinion of the few.
We often forget to be attentive to the spaces we inhabit. Yet our environment has a profound impact on the way we think about ourselves and our potential. Poorly-designed spaces can make us unproductive and uninspired. But they can also help us realise our potential. Alain de Botton has long been well-regarded for his profound views on life, love, and Proust. But what many people don’t know is that de Botton also has some bold ideas about architecture. After the success of his 2006 book The Architecture of Happiness, de Botton founded a project called Living Architecture, commissioning houses from some of Europe’s leading architects. These houses aim to inspire and coach us to improve our selfawareness through attentive spatial design. These houses are built to be thought-provoking. The thesis of The Architecture of Happiness is that the features of buildings can evoke certain emotions, and even more than that, can actually shape what we believe ourselves to be capable of. The aim of Living Architecture is to build functional houses that inspire us to be our best selves. In the process, Living Architecture has started a conversation about the immersive potential of modern architecture. Where concern for architecture has typically been dismissed as for the elite and erudite, de Botton’s book and the success of Living Architecture prove that the spaces we choose to inhabit have a profound impact on our sense of self. With an impressive catalogue of seven spaces, Living Architecture has a house to suit any and every taste and temperament. The soon to be opened ‘Secular Retreat’ is the latest addition to the family, offering a countryside getaway in South Devon. Ironically, the house has an ecclesiastical feel, its sand concrete façade blending into the rolling hills. Each of the houses has a distinct character, but all have one thing in common: isolation. These are more than holiday homes. They offer a genuine escape from the day to day monotony of life, an opportunity to rediscover yourself without distraction.
We’ve all experienced the anxiety induced by a cluttered space. Some of us have felt the claustrophobia of a stuffy tute room. For others, an unmade bed and old sheets become a living nightmare of stagnation and procrastination.
Ultimately, de Botton’s aim is to sensitise us to built space. While we might not be able to live in a carefully curated space day-to-day, having an awareness of the influence of environment on our mindset is an invaluable tool. Bold architecture and spaces might just help us live a little better. 25
making green fashion choices when you canâ€™t afford to Rebel Boylan
In a time where fast-fashion is the trend, going against the status-quo and looking to environmentally friendly designers can be seen as a bold, not to mention, extremely difficult move. There’s a strange dissonance in the fashion industry where the big players love to talk up how they’re deviating from the norm, but when you take a closer look it’s evident there’s not much actually going on. Can the big names in fast fashion even be synonymous with sustainability? Surely that’s just a massive oxymoron? Fast fashion is a term used to denote inexpensive trends that move quickly and are readily available to consumers for very low prices. Those cheap jeans that you know won’t be in fashion next year. The $5 t-shirt you bought and knew wouldn’t last very long but you didn’t care because it was so cheap. There’s no way this can be sustainable due to the cheap supply chain activities and massive amount of waste. There are many examples of retailers who have the power and influence to make a real difference, and while on the surface may appear to, simply don’t. If they really wanted to make a bold statement, maybe they should shy away from the tired business model of short-lived, inexpensive fast-fashion products. The power that you have as a consumer is being able to choose to put your support in brands who are working to present an alternative to capitalist pro t models. Let’s be real though, these brands are often expensive and inaccessible to students. This doesn’t mean that you have no power to fight the mass consumerism model being promoted. You can educate yourself and campaign for positive change. There are many things you can do in order to not be complicit in this system.
the pieces you already own. I love this method because of the great importance it places on being mindful, introspective and optimistic. If you do need to top up your wardrobe, rather than buying the trendiest new shoes each season, invest in good quality pieces that will stand the test of time. There are companies keeping it green; check out Everlane for jeans made in a factory that recycles 98% of its water, relies on alternative energy sources and purposes by-products. Dick Moby is great for eyewear and the best part is it’s made from plant based and recycled plastic! Uniqulo is another transparent brand that reports on their direct and indirect carbon emissions for inexpensive basics that can be reused and repaired. I get it though, sometimes you’re just going to fall in love with the piece of the moment. When this feeling strives, improvise! Instead of simply choosing the easy way and having what everyone else does, use the piece as inspiration for something even better. For example, the straw beach bag that is so-in-right-now can be easily emulated with some great op-shop finds. I tied a cute scarf I had lying around onto mine to make it a statement piece. I also saw a tutorial online which made one out of placemats! You can look fashion-forward, but with your own unique twist and know that you took the ethical road, too. Sustainable fashion is about making the conscious choice to not take the easy way out. It’s simple to grab something off the rack that you just have to have, even if you know it’s not going to last. It’s much more difficult to make the bold choice to go against the status quo and choose pieces that are not only good for your conscience but pieces that are going to stand the test of time.
If you’re looking to go against the status quo by being more environmentally conscious in your fashion choices, your mantra is simple, “stop buying trends, start buying pieces that last.” It may sound easy but we all know the all-too-compelling temptation to buy the trendiest bag that’s featured on every Instagram it-girl. While there’s nothing wrong with buying a new a bag, it’s more about not mindlessly spending. The best way to change your mindset is to cull your wardrobe of everything you don’t wear. I like to keep in mind the Kon Mari method of only owning items which, “Spark Joy.” Her method focuses on decluttering people’s lives by limiting possessions to those you truly love. Owning fewer items of clothes helps to move your mentality away from the mass consumerism model, and allows you to really cherish
Self Portrait taken by Frank Ocean 2015
“MIND OVER MATTER IS MAGIC, I DO MAGIC”
I think Frank Ocean is the boldest and one of the most important musicians of our time. I appreciate that’s a grand statement, but you can’t argue it doesn’t stay on track with the theme. At least in my eyes, Frank Ocean is markedly different to any of his mainstream, current and popular contemporaries. From the way he presents himself, through his raw, vulnerable, unashamed self-expression, and ability to throw normality to the wayside. For those who are not acquainted with Frank, let me give you a quick history (additionally, let me express that I am incredibly jealous that you get to listen to his music for the first time. Savour it). Frank Ocean (born Christopher Edwin Breaux) is an American RnB, hip hop and neo soul artist born in Long Beach, California. His rise to the public eye was mainly thanks to that of alternative hip hop collective, Odd Future, a group who also have spawned such names as Tyler, The Creator and The Internet since their conception in 2012. After his first commercial release titled Chanel ORANGE in 2012, he eventually left the group and has and gone on to carve out an illustrious and at times, elusive career. It’s the word elusive that springs to mind when most people talk about Frank. In stark contrast to many of today’s modern artists, Frank Ocean has a practically non-existent social media presence. No Twitter, Instagram, no official Facebook, nothing except a sparsely updated tumblr. Which is bold in itself, really. With so much of the world today happening on our screens, it can feel like people who don’t participate in that sphere in some way, don’t really exist at all, or somehow we are untouchable. In a fame and moment obsessed culture, story- telling in music can sometimes lose an edge.
identity and thought, and Franks’ lyrics act as his monologue. His production in its components are almost skeletal, despite his lyrical content being emotionally dense. It’s this bare-bones production that allows Frank to ensure his voice is heard. He is able to make grand political statements without being explicit. Notably, on his track “Nikes,” he expressed how he looks exactly like Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African-American boy shot by George Zimmerman in 2012. Similar to his expression of political thought, his celebration of sexuality is done so freely and without reservation. From the gender-neutral love songs on channel ORANGE (reflecting his bisexuality) to photoshoots in his self-published magazine, Boys Don’t Cry, in a full face of make-up, glitter and all. Frank (and other contemporaries of his who are starting to) attempts to redefine what it means to be an artist in the hip hop and RnB community, one which is sometimes saturated in hyper-masculine figures. He is just willing to do whatever feels natural to him, something which I think he expresses in his 2017 interview with i-D magazine, “You can answer a lot of questions with ‘Yes.’ But you can answer many more with ‘No.’ No is run of the mill. Yes is a gem.” Frank Ocean isn’t bold in the most conventional way. He’s not loud, he’s not brash and overly outspoken except when he needs to be. It’s because of this contrast to his peers and contemporaries who do present themselves this way, that I think Frank Ocean is bold. He rejects the mainstream way of expression, and instead commands himself on his own accord, free of outside in influence. Also his music is just really, really good.
Frank virtually disappeared for four years to live a life, his life. He rejects this popular notion of 24/7 livestreamed investment in people’s lives. That’s why I think his music is so emotionally hard-hitting. The stories of heart-break and parties in Chicago, “poolside convos,” about past summers and his fear of growing up too fast are told to you as if you’re in the passenger seat of one of those long car rides at night time, when it’s just you and the driver spilling your emotional guts out. I think this sentiment is best expressed in his 2012 interview with GQ, “As a writer, as a creator, I’m giving you my experiences.” Another quality that cements Frank as being bold is his expression of emotional and personal vulnerability. Music is a vessel for expressing both
When Marcel Duchamp’s now-iconic sculptural work ‘Fountain’, was unveiled at an exhibition for the Society of Independent Artists in 1917, it sparked uproar in the art movement. Submitted under the pseudonym ‘R. Mutt’, the piece was met with heavy criticism and debate over whether it was art or not. It was so controversial that the sculpture was removed from the exhibit and Duchamp resigned from the society’s board. Even now, a hundred years on, many still struggle to come to grips with this piece. So, why all this fuss over one sculpture? Duchamp’s revolutionary work of art was a porcelain urinal. This made people furious. Art was supposed to be beautiful and pleasing. How could we possibly hang a urinal in a gallery and regard it with the same admiration as the celebrated masters? Duchamp sought to “take the piss out of” modern artists, suggesting that the art world should be open and accepting. His bold move became a marker of the beginning of modern art, changing the perception of art as we know it today and shaped how we define and interpret art. The art world is shrouded in pretentiousness and exclusivity. Duchamp’s corpus of work broke down these barriers and poked fun at the elitism of art, his sculptures serving as a kind of practical joke. Take ‘Bicycle Wheel’, the first of his kinetic sculptures that came to be known as ‘Readymades’, artworks made using found objects. The creation originated when Duchamp mounted a bicycle wheel on a stool in his studio, spinning it while he thought. He explained: ‘I enjoyed looking at it, just as I enjoy looking at the flames dancing in the fireplace’. Among his other ‘Readymades’ are Unhappy Readymade (1919), a weathered geography textbook, Prelude to a Broken Arm (1915), a snow shovel hung on the wall, or L.H.O.O.Q (1919), a print of the Mona Lisa with a moustache drawn on it and when pronounced aloud in French sounds like ‘her ass is on fire’. Duchamp was drawn to the use of found objects as it allowed him to be liberated from the confines of a specific style or trademark, making them universally approachable. What makes these sculptures so important is that they distorted previous perceptions of what constitutes an artwork, calling into question what we define as art and essentially pulling the leg of the art world. By laughing in the face of artistic conventions, Duchamp’s tongue in cheek works brought humour into the stiff and serious walls of the art gallery, making the idea of art more accessible and engaging. Duchamp’s legacy extends far beyond sticking
a toilet on the wall and calling it art. He was a proponent of surrealism and Dada and is widely regarded as creating the idea of conceptual art. That being said, to label his work as a specific style betrays his aversion to labels and repetition. Many of Duchamp’s original pieces have been lost, yet his influence can still be found in the modern art we see today. Duchamp fathered the idea of art coming from the brain as opposed to the eye. We see it in Andy Warhol’s use of brightly coloured Brillo boxes echoing the readymade and in Yves Klein’s investigation of how a specific shade of blue can stir deep emotion within us. A canvas painted solid white might sound a ridiculous, hell, it might make you angry. But it got you thinking, so surely that means something? Surely that could be art? When we stop looking for a “meaning” behind a work and start creating the meaning for ourselves, drawing from our own experiences, our own emotions and our own interpretations, suddenly everything becomes more personal. We are able to appreciate art greater when we can relate to it. That’s part of the beauty of Duchamp’s works. They invite us to think, rather than just look. He opens the door, or rather completely kicks down the door, to the exclusive club of the art world through his humour and bold defiance of rules and convention. In a way he says ‘It’s okay to laugh, it’s okay not to take this so seriously’ – I mean, how could we even begin to try take a chimney ventilator (Pulled at 4 pins, 1915) or a comb (Peigne, 1916) Seriously? Duchamp was having a go at the idea that galleries would still accept his work with the same pretentiousness as a masterful landscape, advocating that art isn’t always about uptight seriousness and critique. According to Duchamp, ‘If we accept the idea of trying not to define art, the readymade comes in as a sort of irony.’ His oeuvre signifies the shift in thinking where the idea behind art becomes more important than the art itself. Through a rejection of ‘retinal art’, art made simply to be aesthetically pleasing, Duchamp questioned the norms of what we consider as art. No longer was it up to gallery curators and critics to decide what art is or what it means. Now, we, the audience bring our own meaning and interpretations to the table. You don’t have to ‘get it’, because that’s not what ‘it’ is about. What is so exciting about modern art is not a piece itself, but all the things it makes us feel and take from it, rather than something the artist imposes on us. Duchamp’s choices paved the way for modern artists to be daring and celebrate experimentation without being confined to stiff and pretentious protocols. That is what makes his work so bold.
WORDS WITH MIRANDA RIWOE
the stella shortlist
Mirandi Riwoe is one of six writers shortlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize. She talks to Pelican about her new book The Fish Girl, the Australian literary landscape, and offers inspiration and advice for emerging women writers. Can you tell us about your book? My novella, The Fish Girl, writes back to a Somerset Maugham short story titled The Four Dutchmen. His story centres on how a ‘Malay trollop’ causes the destruction of the Dutchmen’s friendship, while whitewashing the dire treatment the woman ultimately receives. My novella is set in the colonial period, in Indonesia, and explores the Malay woman’s trajectory up to the point of The Four Dutchmen’s tragic ending. How has the Stella Prize influenced your writing? I really admire how the Stella Prize showcases such a variety of female authored works. Former Stella Prize listed works represent a wide range of important issues and interests to do with women, feminism, writing, humanity, self, belonging and so forth. This encourages me to write about what matters to me. What do you think it means to be an Australian writer? I think to be an Australian writer means we need to be aware of the many, varying storied lives out there. We also need to encourage and allow space for writers of different backgrounds and experiences to tell their stories. What kind of responsibility do you feel as a Queensland writer? My next novel is set in the gold rush period in North Queensland, featuring Chinese siblings who travel to Australia to dig for gold. As a writer of IndonesianChinese heritage, I like to write of themes to do with racism, identity, belonging and immigration. Although this will be a historical novel, I think it also can reflect upon contemporary issues regarding these same themes. What challenges do you face as a female writer? I think, generally, juggling time to write between work and family commitments is difficult. I think it can be very difficult, especially when you are still an emerging writer or unpublished, to justify the time you take to write. On the upside, I’ve really benefited from strong
networks of support among the women’s writing community and being part of an all women writers group. What advice can you offer to female and emerging writers? Generally, I always encourage writers to just keep on writing, especially when they have encountered rejection emails or loss of faith in their own work. Keep on writing, keep on writing. I would also advise female, emerging writers to write about what matters to them, because most probably it will matter to others too. And a good writers’ group is priceless. Can you comment on the state of the Australian literary landscape in regards to writing by female authors? For me, it seems to be healthy, brimming with interesting, provocative, questioning, investigative, gorgeous writing. I think initiatives such as the Stella Prize and the strong work produced by certain female writers has assisted in strengthening this field. I am very invested in reading a wide range of Australian female poets and writers. How did you counteract the gender bias whilst writing your book? The whole point of writing The Fish Girl was to give Mina, the main character, a voice. We remain with her the whole time. I’ve created for her an inner and outer world that was elided in Somerset Maugham’s story, which was based on the experience of the men. Even in my crime fiction, set in the Victorian period, I strive to counteract or question ideas to do with gender bias, by exploring notions of sexuality, opportunity and justice.
You studied Arts – what did your career advisers say at school? How did you brush off criticisms and follow your dreams? Pretty early on, I had a lot of bold dreams and ideas that people around me shut down. I think it’s a part of our tall poppy syndrome culture, but people often really wanted me to think smaller and to set less ambitious goals, which is so wildly contrary to my nature and my core identity. So I was probably 13 or 14 when I essentially shut off external opinions. It was a hard balance, because I’m sure a lot of people around me had valuable things to say, but all I heard were the negatives, which also had a lot to do with my poor mental health throughout my teenage years. I basically wasn’t open to receiving any kind of advice, from anyone.
BOLD AND BOLDER WORDS WITH KEEYA-LEE AYRE
Keeya currently leads marketing for the Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation programme, a £15.5 million partnership with the UK Department for International Development, working to accelerate the delivery and impact of digital humanitarian assistance. She studied Arts at UWA.
ISHITA MATHUR 34
A huge number people told me to do a commerce/law/science degree and I just didn’t take a bar of it - I very bullheadedly told them all I was going to do an arts degree in anthropology and pursue a career in international affairs, and they would roll their eyes at me or scoff about how they knew better, and I would go home and write in my journal about how everyone could go fuck off. I have always been a really outspoken person, and there were a lot of people who didn’t like that anyway (especially from a young woman of colour from a working class background) and tried to ‘put me in my place’, so shutting everyone off and building walls helped me get through adolescence. I’m sure a lot of people thought I was an arrogant little shit, but I did what I had to do to cope with balancing my depression, the ambition so central to who I am, and manifesting a future that I wanted to live through to see. You are currently working as the Marketing Manager for the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation programme, and are also the EditorIn-Chief of Tech’s Good, a digital publication which evaluates the social impact of technology. What do your jobs entail and what have you learnt about activism and social change through your involvement in these industries? I joined the GSMA as a Marketing Manager in August 2016, when I was living in London. For two years, I led marketing for the Ecosystem Accelerator, Digital Identity and Disaster Response programmes, including two multi-million dollar Innovation Funds. The Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund also receives significant funding and support from the Australian Government,
so it was great to have that link to home and to work with DFAT directly. Having come from smaller teams and start-up/NGO environments, this was a huge leap for me, but I’m proud of what I was able to achieve in this time – particularly producing a new series of video content and case studies that drove more engagement with our advocacy work. I started Tech’s Good as a kind of intellectual sideproject, to investigate and expand my understanding of this space, while also providing a knowledge sharing platform for others. Through my time at the GSMA, as well as earlier experience working with a few global NGOs and interning at the UN, I’ve realised how much advocacy and social change depend on good storytelling. You can do the best research in the world, but it’s meaningless if it isn’t communicated well. Why is mobile tech crucial for social impact? In most emerging markets, mobile technology is ubiquitous. If you haven’t spent much time in the poorer parts of Asia, Latin America or Africa, you may not realise just how important. Most people in these areas have never had WiFi, desktops or laptops – they have mobile phones, and mobile internet is their gateway to the information and services many of us take for granted. Many households, even the poorest ones, often have mobile phones. I saw this first hand in 2010, when I was 18 years old and went to Malawi to live in a small rural village and teach maths and science at a boarding school. I was completely ignorant and thought that I’d be going to some remote hunter gatherer community with no contact with the outside world. It’s so laughable now to realise I thought that way, but those were the very colonial images I’d received from films, from reading National Geographic – and even the very first semester of my anthropology study at UWA. What I found were intelligent, multilingual people, all with mobile phones who were completely involved in the ‘modern’ world, but doing it in their own way. We may have become complacent with the power of connectivity, but for many people, accessing content on education, health, agriculture and more can be (and often is) life-changing. You’re an advocate for intersectional feminism. How can white women stand in solidarity with women of colour, and effectively be bold when it comes to the fight for women’s rights?
up in Perth. My father is black American, and my Mum is a white Australian from Perth. Growing up, I didn’t know anyone else with an afro, and could count the number of people of African descent I knew (exempting my own family) on one hand. I’m now living in Atlanta, the centre of the civil rights movement in the US and the birthplace of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, learning more about my own history and culture every day. I am very pale skinned (but with an afro) and so in many, if not most, contexts I am seen as ‘white’, particularly when I straightened my hair as a teen. I don’t decide to notice race as an issue, because I can never be wilfully ignorant of my own history or the social oppression my own family face. But because my whiteness exempts me from a lot of overt racism, to actively put myself into a situation to point out the injustice I see is a choice. There is no reason white women can’t make the same choice, even though they don’t ‘have’ to. There are also so many other dimensions - like class, sexuality and disability to name only a few - that may be invisible. We are too used to judging each other based on what we see (and there’s a lot of research on this being an entirely natural neurological process) but try to always push yourself to consider what you can’t see. I don’t think anyone should feel ashamed for making those snap judgements – we all do it, whether we admit it or not, it’s how our brains are wired. But do you critique those thoughts, and acknowledge them? Are you willing to take on criticism without feeling personally attacked? Are you willing to listen to other people when they tell you about their experiences, and believe them, and understand they may walk in the world in a very different way to you? It’s all about asking yourself those kinds of questions, and it’s an ongoing journey. Pay more attention to the language that is used around you, to notice if ‘minority’ voices are heard – or even present. There may be women on a panel; are they all white women? Are they all able-bodied? Are they all straight? I don’t believe this should ever be tokenistic (and to be honest I am in two minds about quotas), but we need to always ask ourselves – who aren’t we hearing? Could their perspectives help us all to see more, to understand more, to be better? You don’t have to be directly affected to listen to others, believe them, and stand and/or speak in solidarity with them.
To properly answer your question I need to take a sojourn. I am biracial, so I occupy a really specific social space. I am white and I am black. I was born in the United States in St Louis, Missouri, but grew
WORDS WITH NAOMI FOGLIANI (INSTAGRAM: @URGIRLYOYO)
AND SHARE YOUR STORY
be bold Aleisha Sleight
STRIPPING IS EMPOWERING. TO KNOW YOU’RE AN EXHIBITION AND THE MORE CLOTHES YOU TAKE OFF THE MORE EMPOWERED YOU ARE, THAT IN HERE THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD YOU CAN DO THAT. IN REAL LIFE, THE MORE CLOTHES YOU TAKE OFF THE MORE VULNERABLE YOU ARE.
CW: Sexual Assault, Substance Abuse, Death When I sat down with twenty-year-old Feminist, WAAPA graduate, artist and proud stripper Naomi Fogliani, I found myself questioning what it meant to be bold. Is it rescuing a child from a burning building? Holding the door open for someone? or maybe it’s just listening to someone’s story. Life’s busy, it can be easy to be consumed with your own problems, that really aren’t problems at all. Ms Fogliani experienced the tragic death of her Mother as a teenager, coupled with expulsion from high school, counts of sexual assault as a young girl, mental health struggles, an eating disorder and substance abuse. After her Mother’s long battle with cancer Ms Fogliani told me: “She was predicted to die so many detrimental times… When she eventually did pass, the funeral
directors came in an hour later and asked if I wanted to say any last words, and I just looked at this discoloured body and said no. My Mum was no longer in that vessel.” There’s no rule book on how to recover from the death of your Mother (or any loved one). Instead of mourning and accepting her Mother’s death, Ms Fogliani fell into a self-destructive path of substance abuse and denial. Saying she felt pride in “not feeling anything at all”, the 2015 Colour Run was her first moment of acceptance: “I did MDMA and went on the Colour Run, this was two months after Mum passed away. At the end, we went to Heirisson Island and I took my shoes off and stood on the edge where the rocks are and a little bit of water touched my toe and I just started crying. I had this overwhelming feeling my Mum was there. It was the first time I properly had a break down over my Mums death.” While her Mother battled with cancer Ms Fogliani was fighting her own war around consent and sex. Consent seems to be this sensationalised neverending topic. It seems impossible to try and break down issues surrounding consent, because many of those issues are often uncomfortable to discuss. With more conversation, we can only hope that in the near future we will learn to respect each other’s bodies and emotions with more sensitivity and
understanding. As a young 13-year-old girl Ms Fogliani felt manipulated into having sex with a group of guys on multiple occasions, as they claimed it was “a normal thing”. Feeling rebellious and “scared something would happen” if she stopped, Naomi never had the courage to say no. This grey area surrounding consent, especially with minors, has no immediate solution but perhaps the more stories shared, the more we will all feel bold to start speaking up for ourselves and others. This year Ms Fogliani is abstaining from drugs, alcohol and smoking while empowering herself through exploring the world of stripping and exotic dancing. She believes stripping is an act of Feminism and self-empowerment. Ms Fogliani told me that despite being a stripper, she’s really not a sexual person, in fact she identifies as a cupiosexual (similar to asexual, when a person doesn’t feel sexual attraction but still desires a sexual relationship). After completing her WAAPA degree and her experiences as a teenager, she wants to break down misconceptions about stripping and get back to being happy. Telling me: “I’m proud of stripping, if you’re not proud of it don’t do it… Also, I just love being naked and dancing”.Being bold is sharing your story, thanks Naomi Fogliani for sharing yours.
Within the Western world, we pride ourselves on our ability to voice our own opinions and speak freely. Yet it is apparent that Hollywood rarely produces films, which explore socially relevant and contentious issues. The lack of these kinds of films has gone hand in hand with the atrocious construction of minority groups. Consequently, when directors come out with films that depict the multidimensional nature of one’s identity, i.e. portray someone as a normal human being, it is claimed to be a bold move. But why is it that other countries are so willing to speak about these issues while we sit at home watching the carbon copy movie about that outsider girl who falls in love with the ‘jock type’ who ends up being a bit of a nerd at heart (think HSM, Angus Thongs & Perfect Snogging etc.)
foreign films: ACROSS BORDERS AND BOUNDARIES
Without sounding like a wanker, foreign films seriously are refreshing – they aren’t afraid to push limits and they explore the things that are on our minds. The nature of foreign films make scrutiny a given, yet strangely enough when these films make it to our screens, they frequently receive accolades. Sexuality and gender identity are often at the root of the struggles faced by millennials, and nevertheless the exploration of these experiences is uncommon within the Western world. Teenagers currently only ‘learn’ about sex through one of two forums – these being either a) watching porn that is generally non-consensual or, b) seriously shitty sex-ed where the world is viewed with heteronormative glasses. This means that when France and Italy came out with (no pun intended) Blue is the Warmest Colour (France) and Call Me by Your Name (Italy), we were automatically eager to buy our tickets. Putting aside the fact that a white cis-gender heterosexual man directed it and that certain scenes are arguably overly sexualised, the French film is acclaimed for its courage in delving into the foreign territory of ‘lesbian sex’ in a context separate from the world of porn. The film began to explore the confusing nature of sexuality and the struggle teens face in straying from the ‘norm’. By diverging from the typical romance between a guy and a girl, as well as by portraying sex as something pleasurable rather than about procreation, these films provided a platform
though which viewers can engage with these issues. Even though there are problematic aspects of the films, the choices made by the respective film crews are vastly different from what we normally see, but probably should be seeing. Even when it comes to the pressing refugee crisis, foreign cinema still outdoes the West. It’s quite ironic that the countries with this issue more evidently on their doorstep still manage to create such beautiful films about this exact problem. On one hand, it’s important to let those who’ve gone through this speak about their experiences but on the other hand, minimising the discourse of such a critical issue isn’t fair to those who don’t have the ability to speak up. Especially in this context, whereby the West has played a large role in prolonging the conflict, it feels as though we have the responsibility to provide a platform for the matter to be discussed. Hollywood also has the financial means to create these kinds of films and still we stay silent. Lemon Tree, a 2008 Israeli film, in an understated but stunning way depicts the experience of those living amongst the region’s tension. Even with the supposed bias, the film shows both ‘sides’ of the Arab-Israeli conflict and all its complexities. Unlike any of the almost non-existent Hollywood films on the same topic, there is no dramatization or generalisation about how things are. The characters within the film are shown as people with their own political beliefs and lived experiences, rather than involuntary members of sides of battle. This humanising and humbling portrayal as well as the genuine discussion of such a relevant issue is so unique to our cinemas. While many would argue in favour of using film as a medium for social change, this is clearly not the priority for Hollywood. Without disrespecting the many films that are focussed on creating a work of art, ultimately, the visions of Western directors are orientated towards profit, or constrained by producers who are. Whilst this is an understandable pursuit, it still is rather disheartening that the voices and incredible stories of many are ignored, especially because Hollywood has the capital to delve into these issues.
Image from Lemon Tree dir Eran Riklis 2008
hey, At the start of every new teaching year at UWA, there are a few things I’ve come to expect as new students acclimatise themselves to university life. Mostly banal, these include an uptick in requests for directions, an increase in library noise, and a seemingly endless line of parental vehicles blocking the steps at Reid library every morning and afternoon. But there is one first-year catchphrase that I’ve always considered insidious, and which never fails to irk me when I hear it: “Hey, what’s your ATAR?” I’ve been around UWA a long time, and at this point I’m no longer a stranger to the game, but this question continues to be slightly jarring in my ears. It certainly doesn’t help that it’s almost invariably posed by someone who talks too much, and in such a manner as to be simultaneously eager, insecure, and pleading. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling out firstyears for a preoccupation with high school. It’s not fair to expect people to forget five years of their life overnight, nor is it fair to expect them to learn a new set of social cues in a week. For most, finishing high school is their crowning life achievement, and one which required a great deal of work and dedication. It’s natural to be proud. I don’t begrudge anyone the nostalgia of high school certainties. But that’s not what “Hey, what’s your ATAR?” is. Instead, it’s a band-aid fix to a lost sense of place and status. It’s a lazy way of organising new and exciting social circles, delegating any personal responsibility for engaging with, or really getting to know, someone new.
Michael Smith 40
what’s your atar? University can be a big, scary place: it can be unpleasant not knowing everyone, where you belong, or even who you are in the face of significant and irreversible change. But that’s part of what university is about: adapting and growing. Establishing a sense of place isn’t as simple as quoting a number and instead requires a little compassion, some humility, and a genuine connection with the people you meet. It’s not easy, and it might take while, but it’s infinitely more valuable. I’m aware that some will remain unconvinced by sentimental. In the spirit of banishing the question from campuses across the state, I’ve managed to get my hands on an advance copy of the UWA admissions statistics for 2018. If you ever wondered where you as a school leaver sit academically at UWA, now you know. You don’t ever have to ask anyone, and if anyone ever asks you, be bold, set their mind at ease, and show them the numbers before ordering a coffee or beer and really getting to know them. ATAR
you’re not wearing makeup? I never really used to call myself a feminist. I do think in all women there is an urge to fight. There is a general feeling of being less powerful, more constrained, and like we have to prove ourselves in ways others don’t, but you become immune to casual sexism. I once heard an artist stating she felt removed from things such as feminism because, here in this little city, we aren’t really touched by the same issues that other artists fight for. I thought for a while this was true to some degree.
worth as a dedicated worker become determined by something that I chose to or chose not to put on my face? I was told I was supposed to be an “aspirational product”. Implying, despite my other qualities, that the only thing that would make me aspirational to another woman is how beautiful I looked. When I look at the women in my life, I don’t even consider their appearances. I think about their selflessness, their passion, their kindness, and many other internal things that are so much more important than physical appearances. I feel it is important to add that I think no less of women who choose to wear make up. As a creative, I actually strongly admire this as an artistic form. But it is a choice, one that should be consciously and honestly made by each individual. This was my choice and continues to be so. Now, even more so than before though, I’m tempted to cover up the things on my face that make me insecure. Through years of not wearing make up I thought I had developed a certain degree of happiness with my appearance, but this quickly proved untrue. That one woman took away my confidence, and it was the worst feeling in the world. But instead of being angry, I wanted to put that emotion into something good; into making others feel confident. So now when I go so far as to have actually put make up on, I wipe it off again. I think of all the wonderful, pimply, freckly, beautiful, scarred women in my life who tell me that I help them. That every day they see me without make up, it gets them closer to the day they might not wear any. They say they think of me in the morning when they are painting their faces, and every once in a while, on the odd occasion, they stop. If I know that I can make a least one other woman in the world feel beautiful just the way she is, then my insecurities don’t matter at all. This is my role, and we all have a part to play. If we take a backseat merely because we don’t suffer the same level of oppression that other women do, we are letting our whole sex down. It is surely the moral duty of the people, like us, who have relatively a lot of power, to stand up for those women who quite literally have none. Now, I am proud to speak of myself as a feminist, perhaps a small one, but none the less an important one.
Then I was told I could not work my shift unless I had make up on. I was shattered. Since when did my
Rosemary Barton 41
when i knew i had enough Jordan Murray
I can still remember the first day that I noticed it; under the harshest lighting of the work toilets, just left of my brow, between the temple and my fringe’s peak. It was there, fading and revealing individual strands of hairs in a row, receding back towards my crown. I had seen it in photos a year earlier, and it had concerned me infrequently since, but it was then that I realized my dreams of being big, bold, and beautiful, were done. The dream was over. Let nobody ever underrate the virtues of hair, or the boldness of hair, or the complete dimensions of ones own personality that are defined by the angular directions in which their hairstyle moves. Let nobody tell you that baldness—or being bald— is OK, when you feel that it’s not OK. We live and thrive and kick and breathe around celebrities, each as handsome or as sexy as the other because of the wild ways in which they choose to gel their pompadours or spray their bouffant. We listen to A Flock of Seagulls, and we marvel at the sheer ingenuity that went into engineering a style that
can stand so tall and proud above a song as poor as “I Ran (So Far Away).” We rightfully don’t listen to Billy Corgan, or Chris Daughtry, or Billy Joel, because they sport a polished and taut bowl of lumpy contours where a big, grandiose statement should otherwise be. So, when you’re in your twenties, and you notice that your undercut now falls flat in the wind because it’s thinning rapidly in a diffuse pattern, you naturally think about a lifetime of hairstyles that will soon be unviable. For me, I thought about James Dean’s quiff, and I felt utterly stunned and petrified; I realized that I could never, ever, look as cool as James Dean, and I certainly could never look as fine as Marlon Brando, or Steve McQueen. I could never be Elvis Presley, or anyone deserving of the name Elvis. I was destined towards a lifetime of accounts, law, business, finance, and the occupations of constant ennui. No music, no fun; just work. That’s what the absence of a hairdo meant to me, and it felt like I had just been told it was terminal.
Michael Stipe performing at South by Southwest, photo by Kris Krug 2008
Can you blame me? Are any of your heroes bald? Do any of your heroes wear hats to stop their hair from flowing in the wind? There’s a reason The Edge wears beanies everywhere, and it’s not because he thinks they look particularly sharp or trendy. It’s because he’s ashamed of the hideous shine from his polished scalp, a sight scantly seen by anyone. Nobody should feel ashamed, as the absence of hair can just as easily portray unto one a quality of complete and unquestionable confidence in one’s own image that they can live freely in their own skin. But, when the guitarist in a band worth close to a billion dollars refuses to accept that even he is not owed a haircut, that idea that anyone else might be able to accept it disappears in a moment. This is your future, those shiny temples scream at you in the bathroom mirror, a future to be ashamed of. Forgive the melodrama, but to be bald is, often, to not be bold. When you spend summer’s wasting and childhood’s ending, listening to singles and albums and absorbing a lifetime of surprises from afar, you tend to not develop like the other kids. They get taller, get into sport, kiss each other, and stay up until midnight. I didn’t do that. I marvelled at the lives of celebrities and cult figures, despairing that I could be one of these beautiful people, if not in stature than in style. And funnily enough, when you build a life on the virtue of vanity, it tends to crumble under scrutiny; scrutiny that can come from an arrant eye in the mirror, catching faded strands of hair at an odd angle. I belabour the point, but I do so only to sing the praise of one man: Michael Stipe. If you’ve seen him before, you’ve seen him a million times; sparkling cranium and angular jaw, he’s a man who I have never met, yet still intrinsically understands me and my place in the world. He’s a man for whom the torture of hair loss proves more pressing, more alarming, and more distressing; in his early days with R.E.M., his hair flopped ungracefully in his face to defend him from the world’s criticisms. On the band’s first single, “Radio Free Europe,” he muttered indistinctly; it was for affect. When performing live, he hid, quietly yelping a confession every once in a while, in between serving slogans and refrains to distract audiences. That emptiness of confidence defined the band and Stipe for the better part of a decade; when they finally saw success with “It’s the End of the World As We Know It,” “Orange Crush,” and “The One I Love,” not much had changed. Stipe became clearer, sure, but his anguish in self image lingered, unlike his bangs.
By his own admission, Stipe’s thick, greasy, long bangs once served to obscure and obfuscate himself from audiences (as too did his garbled lyricism). These qualities weren’t façade, but intrinsic elements of R.E.M.’s expression. Stipe’s lack of confidence, debatably, shepherded the band through its years on IRS, eventually defining their 10 years as a band reserved and shy of judgement. By the late ‘90s, however, when Stipe’s hair was completely gone, so too had his murmur and subtlety. Instead of songs like “Don’t Go Back (to Rockville),” which, though brilliant, felt aloof and specific in meaning, he began to sing songs like “The Great Beyond,” which dealt in shiny, happy themes, or “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite,” which, though ostensibly gibberish, remained proud, declarative gibberish. He had been robbed of hair in a more perverse manner; a gay man in semirural Georgia, his hair held him back from a lifetime of mockery and pariah status. When it was gone, that reality—that he was not the American model of Man— hit him hard. But, in turn, it brought him towards the surface in a way that his long, beautiful hair wouldn’t allow him. In Stipe, the dynamic between baldness and boldness feels inverted. Here stands a man whose hair once allowed him an escape from the reality of gilded stages and prying eyes. Once gone, he was horrified to see the stadiums that greeted him. He had no option other than to adapt and accommodate, and by leaning into it with a clean, tight shaving job, he imbues me with confidence for myself. I’m not gay, I’m not from the South, and I’m not forced to dance, perform, and play pretty on a night-by-night basis. Why can’t I be bald and be bold? I don’t want to circle around the very obvious lesson that we all ought to act in our own best interests, with respect to others and what they may or may not think about us, but I do want to make a very specific comment about the impermanence of the self and how these things can ultimately make us better, more effective people. Just ask Stipe; 85 million records sold, and not a single strand of hair to his name. I’d rather be Stipe, confidentially owning baldness, than a man obsessed with his boldness.
#perthismorethanok Asha Couch
It only takes a glance inside my wardrobe to realise that I’m not exactly a pro at keeping up with the latest trends, so I guess it makes sense that certain fashions tend to elude me on occasion. However, one particular fad that I am both hyper-aware of and exceptionally discontent with is the way in which so many of us take pleasure in shitting on Perth. Sure, I get it, Perth is essentially the little sibling of the bigger state capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne, and there’s plenty to nitpick if you want to be critical. I think that because Perth is relatively small, saying that it’s a great city is often interpreted as having no drive to achieve big things, which is ridiculous. Being a city with so much room for development, there is more opportunity to both contribute to the growth of the city and blossom in your own right! I freely admit that I’ve talked trash about our exorbitant coffee prices and the fact that no bands ever tour to us, but when I stop and think about it, if that’s really the worst I can say about my home, then I’m pretty damn lucky. Four years ago when I graduated high school, I was just like every other preppy and painfully naïve fresher. I told anyone who would listen about how I would be “out of this shithole and off to Melbourne, or Sydney, or somewhere where they have reeaaallll culture”, like I knew anything about culture at the ripe old age of seventeen. Four years later and I’ve managed to pull my head out of my ass and realise that yes, we don’t live in a heaving metropolis, but where else could I be in the hills, in a city, at the beach, and in a forest all within a hour’s drive of one another? You need only come to the Kings Park lookout at night to see the veins of the city alight and alive with the to-ing and fro-ing of it’s inhabitants. Or if the beach is more your thing, there’s no better place on Earth to wish the sun
goodnight as Cottesloe. Come for fish and chips on the beach, stay for sunsets that paint the sky with colours our brushes can’t even begin to imagine. As for culture, the stories that shaped Fremantle leave little to be desired for any history buff. Norfolk pines stand as sentries to these old streets; wander around for a day and you can feel the history in the bricks of the walls, built in ages gone by. And on top of all this, I’ve still neglected to point out the fact that unlike in Sydney or Melbourne, students and lowincome earners can live close to the CBD in relatively decent housing. Nice. At the risk of sounding like every basic white girl who has ever been on a Contiki tour, I think a big part of appreciating home is travelling away from it for a while. I didn’t go on Contiki, or take a gap year working on the Canadian ski slopes, but over the last few years, I’ve put every spare cent that I have earned away for travel. I do genuinely believe that every place in the world has something wonderful to offer but at the end of the day, there’s no place like home. There’s nothing I love more than packing a bag at the last minute and disappearing to a new part of the globe, but coming back home to Perth really makes me realise how good we have it here. It’s so easy to stop seeing the worth in a place when everything has just become part of the furniture, so I’m challenging you today to take a look at our spectacular little city through the eyes of a tourist. Give a lil’ love to good ol’ P City; we’ve got some pretty great stuff going for us in our corner of the world. Enough with #perthisok, try #perthisfuckingfantastic instead.
after the dust settled Michael Smith
Georgiana Molloy Anglican School in WA’s south-west courted controversy with a proposal to remove certain works from its Year 11 and 12 English courses. In an email sent to parents in early February, Principal Ted Kosicki criticized his school’s English reading lists as “abhorrent,” “uncensored,” and “crowded with inappropriate material.” Mr. Kosicki suggested that the school had received parental complaints about the suitability of Craig Silvey’s Jasper Jones and Nam Le’s The Boat as high-school English texts. He also alleged that “vulgar language” and “explicit sexual innuendo” present in the works motivated his decision to remove the works from the curriculum. The school has since backpedalled on its decision in the face of pressure from prominent Australian literary figures and outcry within the national media. Responding online, Craig Silvey thanked Principal Kosicki for “seeing reason,” and acknowledged those “who [had] voiced their support for the rights of our students to read challenging texts, and the rights of teachers to guide them.” Following the adage “any book worth banning is a book worth reading.” As an author, is having your work banned in some sense a badge of honour? I’m not sure that I’m especially proud to learn that a ban of my work had been proposed, but I do want my books to provoke and challenge and inspire discussion. Obviously this requires a range of responses to a text – some of them complimentary, others more hostile. But so long as a passionate dialogue has been ignited, then a novelist, in part, has fulfilled their task. Good books ask questions, and their relevance is defined by the ongoing debate for answers. Let me just say that I’m principally opposed to censorship. And I don’t just apply that philosophy to works that I support or admire. With the exception of cases of hate-speech, vilification, incitement of violence or restrictions designed to protect children, no work of art or opinion should ever be combatted by removing it from view or deeming it unlawful,
particularly on the grounds that it is disagreeable, offensive or in breach of community standards. What would you say is ‘inappropriate,’ about Jasper Jones, Cloudstreet, The Boat or Romeo and Juliet? Why do you think some parents and senior admin staff of GMAS were scared of these texts? I can’t speak for the other texts which were under review, but my understanding is that their opposition to Jasper Jones stemmed from its language, adult themes, and depictions of violence. What do you think makes appropriate reading material for students in a contemporary world where they have access to inappropriate material whenever they want it, thanks to the internet? Should schools deliberately present challenging or confronting material to students as a part of their curriculum? I believe it’s part of the mandate for English departments to introduce challenging material to their middle and senior students, and to do so in a way that curates the discussion by providing social context and guiding the discussion and interpretation of these works. The classroom is critical in the process, because it’s often when students are introduced to these ideas in isolation that they can often be misunderstood. There is a line in Jasper Jones that says Corrigan is a town of barnacles that “clench themselves shut and choose not to know,” about the outside world. Do you find any eerie parallels between the potential book ban in this small regional WA town and some of the plot of Jasper Jones? To a degree. Look, I empathise with these parents, who have a particular belief system, and whose first instinct is to protect their children. However, it’s ultimately a disservice to shield young adults from truths that are upsetting, because it’s inevitable that they will eventually encounter them. We often lie to young children about the truth of the world because they’re not equipped to understand it. Part of what it means to become an adult is to burst the protective layer of your childhood and look beyond yourself, which permits you perspective and empathy and humility. Some people never go through that process, and in doing so, never really grow up. This is actually what Jasper Jones is ultimately about.
the a-word Caitlin Owyong
I went to a party last weekend. The host was someone I’ve known a long time, so I was taken aback when he took a second to recognize me before saying, “I thought you were another Asian!” He seemed completely oblivious to the magnitude of his words, so I laughed it off – but they cut deeper the more I thought about them. There is something grotesque in viewing – subconsciously or not – Asians as a collectable series of props to one’s narrative. I rarely hear anyone described as ‘European’ – they’re always French or German. But for some reason ‘Asian’ is sufficient when it comes to describing Taiwanese or Malaysians. It’s a term that saves one the time and effort of acknowledging individual ethnic identities by bunching all forty-eight of them into one. It strips each culture of its differences and rounds them up into a common rank of second tier citizens whose primary goal as a demographic is to play
a supporting role. That’s why The A Word leaves a sour taste in my mouth. There’s this lingering idea that Asians aspire to appeal to Caucasians, if not be as Caucasian as possible. I get confirmation of this every time someone says, “You’re my favourite Asian!” I saw it in a stranger who tried to use his American passport as a pickup line after asking where I was from, and if my name was really my real name. And again, when a friend unthinkingly said cosmetic surgery exists to correct people’s Asianness. The A Word has become a prefix for fetishization, predominantly regarding women. It’s surprising that people think themselves flattering when saying, “You’re the hottest Asian I’ve ever seen.” Someone once chivalrously slid into my DMs and said, “A threesome with you and your sister would be awesome. You’ve both got those nice Asian bodies.” Boy was I charmed so fucking hard that I had to take a moment to breathe, put my palms together, shove them up my ass and turn myself inside out. So, is it racist to say Asians are cute? If you define racism as systematic oppression, then no. But as a blanket statement, it’s demeaning. Homogenous generalizations don’t equate genuine praise, no matter how well-intentioned. Asia isn’t inherently a fantasy land that exists to fulfil the aesthetic pleasures of its visitors. But it’s still marketed as a place where you can Boomerang your Bintang atop an elephant in a hot spring before you namaste all the way home. As diplomatic as our social circles seem, preconceived paradigms of Asian identity unfailingly manifest in unchecked words, revealing an internalized typecasting of individuals according to generalized ideas of race. Lack of confrontation breeds routine apathy and frankly, there are no repercussions for those guilty of cultural insensitivity. There needs to be an active rise in the discussion of racial hierarchies for any dismantling to occur. And we should start with calling out offences without feeling the need to laugh them off for the sake of comfortable conversation.
the future Josh Cahill
Working in local politics can be tough. Putting yourself out there in the public sphere is undeniably a bold move. The pressure, the long hours, the constant criticism that faces politicians is only exemplified when those politicians are young people. Pelican sat down with three of Western Australiaâ€™s youngest local politicians to get a sense of what youth leadership looks like, their process to success and highlights along the way. ADAM KOVALEVS (22) has served as a Whiteman ward councillor for the City of Swan for two and a half years. GEORGIE CAREY (21) has served as local councillor for the Town of Mosman for around 5 months. SEBASTIAN SCHIANO DI COLA (20) has
served in the Shire of Capel as a local councillor since aged 18. What would you say is the highlight of the time in your position as a local councillor? Were you ever pressed to take a bold stance or position? ADAM: I would have to say that the highlights almost always are related to direct interaction with the community. I think there is something very rewarding about being able to work together with the community to achieve some tangible outcomes. I have meet some amazing residents in my area all doing their bit to improve our community and lifestyle. Being able to be part of various community initiatives, fairs and events definitely helps provide
balance to the long council and committee meetings.
matter. As a council we reversed our decision to the delight of the community.
GEORGIE: My highlight happened at the February Ordinary Council Meeting (the monthly meeting where we actually make the decisions). Prior to the meeting, we had been through the initial stages of some community consultation to do with a proposed skate-park extension. The idea for skate-park extension had come from some young members of the community that wanted to improve the skate-park in Mosman Park who argued that it is now quite old and a bit too small for the numbers of skaters in Mosman Park.
Many have described becoming a local councillor as the pinnacle for youth leadership and representation, in your experience do you feel this is true? Are there better or alternative avenues for young people to be bold and express their views?
We had to make a decision about whether to go forward with further consultation with the wider community about the potential skate-park extension at the February meeting. At the meeting, we had about 10 of the young members from the skate-park committee come and address a room full of adults about why they were passionate about the skate-park and the reasons why it needed the extension. This was a highlight for me because it is the first time I have ever seen young people attend or engage with our Council meetings. I give full credit to the passionate young skaters for convincing all of the councillors to vote in favour of continuing with further community consultation because had they not come and spoken, I’m not sure that the consultation would have been approved. SEBASTIAN: The highlights of Local Government especially in regional WA are the little wins. One of the first little wins I had was with the help of fellow Councillors securing funds for a local cricket club through our minor community grant scheme. On a larger scale, over the past months I’ve been working on establishing the Shire of Capel’s WALGA Roadwise committee to assist Council with extra leverage in acting on road safety concerns affecting our more than 500km of roads. I was recently pressed to make a bold move and back down on my original support for the South West Waste Site being investigated in Capel, it’s economic benefits were second to none, though community outcry was too loud to ignore. I’ve received petitions and protests, against current political issues before, most have been from our loud minority, though I could clearly distinguish that this time, it was the true belief of the whole community and actively changed by position on the
SEBASTIAN: I attended a youth leadership program as a speaker in 2016, participants had spent the week talking about the many way’s people can make change, in fact only a small amount actually recognised politics as an avenue, there is plenty of avenues to wander down, and Local Government isn’t the top of the political chain. Volunteering was probably one of the most distinguished ways of making change. Join a campaign or issue that you’re passionate about and provide the best resource you have (yourself) to making change. That’s how I started, my passion was youth engagement and providing young people a voice, that’s what I’ve always been working towards. How did you find the campaign and election process? Did you feel there was a need to prove your experience when compared with older candidates to the community? GEORGIE: The campaign process was an interesting one for me! I predominantly used social media to reach as many people as possible, as well as give people an easy and accessible avenue to engage with, however, it also left me susceptible to online trolls. I think because I was shaking things up a bit and pushing for more diversity on local councils, I was targeted by online trolls determined to dismantle my campaign to protect the status quo. Nevertheless, this vocal minority was no match for the support I received from the Mosman Park community. While I think I might have raised a few eyebrows when people realised I was only 21, I think there was a hunger in the community for something different. And I guess that’s the beauty of democracy; we all have the right to put our hands up regardless of our experience (or lack thereof) and it’s up to the community’s as to whether they’ll vote you in or not. SEBASTIAN: I had a very successful campaign, I worked hard, and I did it with a lot of support from friends, volunteers, supporters and businesses … The election process was well explained to me and I understood my obligations and responsibilities. Unfortunately, I think that some candidates sometimes do not understand before they put their
hand up. I am constantly having to prove my experience compared to my older fellow councillors. Often not to council but to the community. As one of the only Capel councillors who uses social media to discuss issues with constituents as they arise, I am constantly bullied and threatened by electors for my age. A recent example was when I was publicly abused by an elector for not owning my own home, and therefore she said, “you have no right to talk about rates or explain how they work to me until you have owned a home”. She went on to say some nasty things about my appearance, experiences and value, personally targeting me for my age rather than discussing the issue. I was only attempting to explain to her how the GRV and rate in the dollar calculation works and how though her rate notice was higher in Capel than on her other properties outside of the shire that her rate in the dollar is in fact higher in the other towns and therefore she technically pays a lower rate on a higher valued GRV property in Capel. The hard truth for some in the contentious rates debate. Furthermore, it’s unfortunately not uncommon for me to receive message or comment criticising me for my age, electors refusing to discuss issues with me and publicly targeting me on social media. On the contrary though, the constant flows of messages and support I receive directly from the majority of electors far out ways the abuse. Along with the support my local radio, TV news and newspapers have given me over time because they respect and are aware of my experience and know that I can provide a youthful perspective on issues. I was wondering since you first took the position has the job matched your expectation in terms of making decisions and changing the local community? Or do you feel like your hamstrungon occasion by having to compromise with other voices in chamber? ADAM: The very first thing I learnt on Council was that you can’t please all the people, all of the time! I had this idealistic thought, that I would be the people’s champion, that I would stand up for the little guy and be one of the good guys. And then I got to my very first council meeting and the initial decision I had to make was on a housing development approval. I sat there and listened to the neighbours of the house in question passionately argue against the development,
speaking about the negative impacts it would have on them and their family and I thought right, these are the everyday people that I was elected to represent let’s support them. Then the family who put in the application got up and spoke about how they had been saving for twenty years and had gone through significant financial hardship but were finally in a position build their dream home. Right then and there I learned that the community will always have differing opinions so even when you think you have made the right decision there will be someone waiting to tell you that you made the wrong one. Don’t get me wrong, I think diversity of opinion is important and should challenge us to make better decisions. It is clear though that many issues are more grey than black and white. My intent is always to listen open-mindedly, consider carefully the opinions of others and then act in the service of others. I think it is important to be aware that as a Councillor you only have one vote in the Chamber so you need the support of your fellow Councillors in order to make positive change for our communities. That means there are times when despite you believing in something passionately and being convinced that it would benefit the community enormously it doesn’t get through council. It can be very frustrating but that is the way democracy works, it teaches you to really saviour the victories and despite how tough it can get when you are able to effect real, meaningful change for your community it makes it all worthwhile. _____________________________________________ The work that Adam, Georgie and Sebastian have done in their local communities shouldn’t be overlooked, they’ve provided perspectives and platforms for youth in a sphere where they were never listened to before. They have also provided the inertia that has seen more youth candidates in local elections. Yet it is important to remember that just because you aren’t a local politician doesn’t mean you can’t create change. All these fantastic people started out representing youth issues in all forms, from volunteering to advisory councils, there is no one size fits all policy. if you are prepared to put in the hours, to stick it out when the going gets tough and to not be put off by those who say it can’t be done then you can achieve real change no matter what position you may or may not hold.
the hand-made tale
Frances Harvey The allure of “hand-made” and “hand crafted” goods has been growing in the past decade. Since 2008 the search for “handmade” has risen around 67%, according to Google Trends. Consumers and manufacturers alike have made a conscious move backwards, away from mass produced products, to pieces created by hand. This trend of artisan goods is a story in and of itself and can be told another time. The story that needs to be told is what it means for an item of clothing to be handmade. The definition of handmade is hazy to say the least, with the Oxford Dictionary seeing it as “made by hand, not by machine, and typically therefore of superior quality.” For something to be handmade implies special attention, skills and care. The notion of hand making something tells us a story, we are able to envision someone working on the garment from scratch and piecing it together to create the final product. The costly price of a handmade garment is justified because consumers know (or assume) that artisans, seamstresses, embroiderers, and print makers are being paid the fair salary they deserve for making your product. As a consumer you are able to connect the creation to the creator, and this holds sentimental and financial value. An association is often made between handmade clothing and ethically made clothing, and it is true that these often go hand in hand. However, ethically made clothing is not always “handmade”. And, more crucially, something that is “handmade” is not always ethical. Fast fashion operates such that we can forgive the cheap prices of certain products when we know they have been made by machines and are distanced from human labour. For an item to be machine sewn, or machine knitted, or machine embroidered takes the fantasy out of the creation of the clothing. It is just another piece of mass produced material making its way into the consumer economy. The terrifying thing about this is that every single item of clothing is handmade by someone. Someone physically handled and created the piece of clothing you are currently wearing. Currently, there are no such machines that can manage the intricate work of making items of clothing from start to finish. Sure, fabric is printed using technology and clothes are stitched together using sewing machines, but a human has to directly operate that machine in order for it to work and create the final product. Just because something is “machine made” or mass produced does not make it separate from hand-made clothes. The term “handmade” is thrown around a lot, but is incredibly important to the way we view and engage with fashion. To say that a dress or shirt has been
handmade is a very easy thing to claim. But whether it was handmade in safe working conditions with fair wages is another question entirely. We distance ourselves from the manufacturing of clothes because it is so easy to do. Walking into a beautifully lit up store with piles of neatly folded clothes takes us into a place where we forget how these clothes even came to be here. We should value locally and handmade goods that support local artists and makers and we should be paying the appropriate price for their work as well. But we need to know and truly understand where these clothes are coming from and who made them. People are misled every day through claims of items being â€œhandmadeâ€?, where the cost of that does not feed back into paying the person or persons who truly created it. We need to start asking these questions and not taking our clothes for granted. We are becoming more ethically conscious and that should extend to the clothes we wear. Ask those questions of labels and their claims to being handmade, what are you actually paying for? Clothing labels have a duty to you as a consumer to be transparent and held accountable for their work. And as a consumer you have a duty to respect where your clothes are coming from and who is making them. Next time you pick up a cheap t-shirt in Kmart, think about the many hands that have fashioned that fabric and stitched those seams. Recognising the value of handmade clothes is very important. But recognising that all clothes are handmade is even more important.
we use wechat here
THERE’S NO SKYPE, NO FACEBOOK, NO TWITTER, NO INSTAGRAM – WE USE WECHAT HERE Aside from being the opening lyrics to a Chinese rap song called WeChat (look it up, it’s incredible), it also serves as a good reminder that over 1 billion people have a different app to run their life – WeChat. While your more tech savvy friends may have mentioned this strange app at one point or another, you may actually have no idea what it is and why so many people use it. It is quite hard to grasp the enormous breadth of what WeChat does and the speed of its astronomic rise to become a central component of life in China. This will hopefully give you some understanding of that significance, as well as highlight some of the challenges it faces in expanding outside of China. So, what is it? There are two answers here – one for China, one for Australia. In China, WeChat is all of your apps at once. It’s Facebook, WhatsApp, Tinder, Amazon, phone banking and Uber. It’s your bankcard, your Google maps and your PayPal all at once. It can book doctors appointments, flights, train tickets, pay parking fines and split bills with your mates. It has been called a SuperApp for a reason. Let’s demonstrate this with a quick example. You and some mates are heading out for a Sunday sesh that is dictated entirely by WeChat. You start a group chat and check WeChat’s heat map to see if a popular bar is a bit too crowded. It’s looking good, so you call a taxi to bring you all there, paying for the taxi through WeChat. You arrive and order some drinks by using WeChat to scan a QR code on the table, bringing up a menu that allows the staff to bring you your drinks without you ever leaving the table. Your mates have already paid you back for the taxi, no BSB and account number necessary. You take a photo and post it to WeChat. You finish up and head outside, but realise you haven’t had
nearly enough to eat! A street vendor is selling some food out of a tiny stall. No worries! Just scan the piece of paper taped to his stall and the money is in his pocket like that. Take your food and be on your merry WeChat way. In Australia, it’s basically WhatsApp with a newsfeed and more emojis. One of the reasons why WeChat is so much less impressive in Australia is that it is integrated heavily around Chinese services, banking and communication. Without a Chinese bank account, nearly everything that WeChat offers won’t work for you in Australia. While steps are being made to expand the ability of Chinese tourists to use WeChat Pay abroad, it’s doubtful that such an integrated app will take off for Aussies. As has been highlighted by the recent scandal over Facebook’s handling of data and its role in elections around the world, data security still remains an important point of tension for an app like WeChat.
To that, it says something deeper about the promise of technology and democratisation. When the Internet came to China and social media burst to life, many thought that it would be a tool of democracy and resistance for young Chinese looking to subvert Party rule. It now seems that for Tencent, WeChat’s parent company, cooperation with government is part of the business model that makes their aspirational technology another tool in the authoritarian handbook. What is so truly interesting about WeChat is that it’s not just Facebook for China, but something entirely more. It is truly impossible to imagine life in modern China without WeChat, yet the app only launched in 2011. In 7 short years, it has become so centrally integrated with Chinese society, sending many in China straight from the pre-web era to the ultra modern mobile payment society of today. While for many it’s hard to imagine life without Facebook, we are yet to see anything like the kind of integration of society with technology that WeChat provides. I’m not particularly sure we want to.
Tech aficionados who decry how far behind Australia is when looking at apps like WeChat have to consider how many people would be comfortable with a Facebook Messenger that operated across as many elements of your life as WeChat does. There’s an inherent tension between the convenience an app provides and the amount of data it creates about you as a person. As a Chinese company, it’s important to remember that WeChat also has to turn over that data to the Chinese government. Like something out of an episode of Black Mirror, the ability to track and use the sheer volume of data that WeChat gathers is wildly dystopian. Data on what you buy, where you buy it and who you buy it with are all very interesting things for the Chinese government to look at, especially as they move towards creating a social credit score for citizens. Already, those who are deemed to be a bit on the undesirable side have been banned from trains or air travel, with more limitations to come as the system is rolled out across the board. The more information there is about you, the more areas to be policed and perfected. Spending too much on junk food and alcohol? Maybe not the best thing in the eyes of the Party. Purchasing fifty copies of Xi Jinping’s latest book? Five meow-meow beenz for you.
the perfect storm
In a world feeling the effects of man-made climate change, it seems that there are more and more extreme weather events popping up all over the place. Australia is in a unique position as a country which seems to have experienced nearly every type of extreme weather.
Thomas Coltrona 56
Maybe the first thing that pops into your head would be all of those water corporation ads about frogs in buckets, due to the worst drought on record from 1996 to 2010. Or it’s the wild and devastating bushfires, like on Black Saturday in 2009. Unfortunately, water in the form of floods like those seen in Queensland the following year can do just the same. And then we have our very own cyclone seasons which raise anxiety levels in the north of our country every year. Earth, fire, water, air. Guess I should have paid attention to how powerful these elements were when watching Avatar as a kid. If only it stopped at that though. Snowstorms in Canberra, heatwaves in Sydney, coasts affected by tsunamis, bouts of lightning…..oh and yes our claim to fame, The Great Perth Hail Storm of 2010. Never forget. Well, I’m sure insurance companies never will anyway. Knowing all of this then, it is a huge surprise that all of this extreme weather is a……tourist attraction? Believe it or not, when most people are heeding the warnings to stay inside or abandon their homes (depending on the situation), there are those who instead go “Crikey! I’ve never seen anything like this before! Let’s get a bit closer!” Now, some would call them crazy, but they’re officially known as “Storm Chasers,” which is misleading in that they chase all types of extreme weather. These are the people who want to pit themselves against Mother Nature, try to get the best photographs for bragging rights, or want to see different parts of the world. Quite humbly, some of them do it because they want to stand in awe of something more powerful than them, something incredible. What’s incredible to me though is how doggedly these people seem to pursue their passion. Many Australians make an annual pilgrimage to the United States’ “Tornado Alley,” to find that perfect storm, experience it, capture it, and, in the age of social media, share it with all their friends and the world at large. Yes, in today’s age, storm chasers can find more appreciation for such a risky hobby.
Here in Western Australia, our most common attraction for chasers of extreme weather is big bouts of lightning storms. As the systems come off the Indian Ocean, over the coastline and hundreds of kilometres inland, they can pick up a lot of ferocity, as Perth storm chasers Glenn Casey and Craig Eccles know very well. They both drive significant distances and grab stunning photographs of bolts hitting the earth. I know I’m amazed that they’re able to capture those splitsecond moments, but it’s as much about the scenes they capture as the lighting itself. Both men try to ensure they that keep their distance. Eccles has a saying “if you hear thunder you are too close”. Then again Casey says “I have had a bolt hit less than a kilometre to 150 metres away from me, and that was it - back into the car, and off down the road.” Would have thought the car would be a lightning rod and the worst place to run to, but oh well. In any case, both share that same search for the rush and thrill that the power of these lightning storms provide.
at their fingertips to be able to predict heatwaves and storms is more a “labour of love” than just another day at the office. Oh and of course it makes it so much easier to know when and where to turn up to see these weather events. So how does such a community come together, and how can you join? Well, just like a lot of niche hobbies there are websites dedicated to keeping people informed of goings on in the storm chasing world, such as https://www.australiasevereweather. com/storm_news/index.html. But the thing about niche hobbies is that the people who have them are just like you and me. One person’s Gossip Girl obsession is another’s passion for the wild forces of nature, albeit theirs is more expensive. Arguably they’re both just as dangerous, but also arguably just as fun.
But where do a lot of storm chasers work (you’ve never thought to ask)? The answer is actually more obvious than you might imagine. At the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, you know, the weather experts. Yep, apparently they have floors of people dedicated to extreme weather, so they get paid to follow their passion. As BOM extreme weather forecaster Dean Narramore says, having all the data
BEAD FRIENDS FOREVER IS A REFRESHINGLY BOLD LOOK AT FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS
WORDS WITH JOLINA
bead friends forever
In life, and in art, there is a history of women being pigeonholed into a category that is perpetuated through an obscure Freudian negation – we are women because of our ‘lack’ of being men. The exhibition Bead Friends Forever is a refreshingly bold look at female friendships; what we have rather than what we lack. Bead Friends Forever is the collaborative project of best friends Johanna Acs and Alina Tang, who have jointly formed Jolina. The pair create weird and wonderful artworks made from iron-together beads from IKEA. Jolina use soft pastel colours to make smiling flowers, suns with sunglasses, and ‘booby houses’, among other funky forms, through a creative process that has friendship at its core. This year, Bead Friends Forever has already exhibited in Perth at the Peaks Fringe World Festival at Paper Mountain in January, and in Albany at the Vancouver Arts Centre in February. Bead Friends Forever will be on display again this year, on the 12th of May at The Goods Shed in Claremont for the Scribblers Festival. Following the success of Bead Friends Forever, Jolina took time to speak to Pelican Magazine about their unique art and creative processes. Grace Huffer: How long have you been friends for? Jolina: We have been friends since the tender age of 2. So, 23 years this year! Apparently we were inseparable at day-care, and would refuse to go without each other. It was a time of Peter’s ice cream buckets, no pants in the playground, and matching haircuts. GH: I noticed that your art has a distinctive, charming style, reminiscent of childhood simplicity. How important has your friendship been towards shaping your style? J: We know each other incredibly well, which we think is our secret to creating cohesive and collaborative work. It’s important to know what you can not only agree on, but both be excited by. We both get tremendous joy out of creating something beautiful and pastel but also a bit
Grace Huffer / Photo by Tasha Faye 2018
weird and funny. In a recent interview our friend and fellow artist Tarryn Gill mentioned that she knows her creations are ready when they make her laugh. We feel similarly about our work - it’s perfect when it makes you giggle. We have a shared love for colour, in particular for pink and pastels, as well as an inclination for subverting the soft and sweet. We want people to do a double-take when seeing some of our pieces. A good example of this is our collection of booby houses: cute, pastel houses with mostly friendly (but some slightly creepy) faces that have a set of boobs instead of windows or doors. Though our approaches are very similar, we also have our own distinctive styles that are unique to us personally. We like to think of our style as a venn diagram with a large overlap in the middle. GH: I always find it interesting when art incorporates household materials, rather than using traditional mediums like oil or acrylic. Why did you choose iron-together beads for your pieces? J: We think it’s essential to be resourceful and to think outside the box in order to be excited and inspired. Working with traditional materials can be satisfying, however that doesn’t tickle our fancy. We rediscovered iron-together beads during a trip to IKEA, and we were drawn to the colours immediately. It was a combination of nostalgia and sitting down and creating together while watching our favourite TV show - The Office (US version!). A lot of the time we spend with each other is at work, so it feels fun and dynamic to be collaborating in a different way.
GH: You mentioned that the technique of joining the beads is simple - how has this enabled you to encourage the participation of viewers? J: The beauty of the iron-together beads is their accessibility. It’s something you can do alone, together, and with friends. Part of the charm is that you can sit down with almost anybody and create something cute and colourful together. There is always an element of audience participation with our work - we don’t just want to share the visual experience, we also want to encourage tactile engagement as that’s what we enjoy doing. Usually this takes its form in workshops run in conjunction with the exhibitions. There’s something really beautiful and sweet about a group of strangers sitting down together and quietly creating while getting to know each other. It also makes them realise that creating something is about slowing down and making something considered. GH: What are your future plans for Bead Friends Forever? J: We would love to create more large-scale work (Jo dreams of creating a wall-sized baby), as well as incorporating more elements of narrative. For example, every installation we do is site-responsive and is a new approach to the visual narratives that are created on the wall. The stories are always evolving with every new work, as it grows with the new beads we make for every project and the contributions from the community. We are also hoping to take this project and develop it further through artist residencies in other countries so that it can reach its full potential!
In terms of technique, joining the beads is simple, which gives us more time and energy to focus on colour, shape and character.
At 7 the children took a good look at her plump lips, wide nose and they all pointed at her calling her a baboon; a monkey - an animal. At 9 all the little girls gathered in the bathroom. Each coming their hair and braiding it into a long pony tail. So she joined in. Whipped out her Afro comb gleefully and began to “fluff her fro”. They laughed. Looked at her and said “you call that hair”. She cried herself to bed that day. Begging her mum to braid her hair with hair extensions next time so she could finally have lushes locks like the other girls in her class. At 15 her curvaceous hips and bulging chest were mistaken for being extra, unhealthy weight. So she began to each her fufu, suqaar and basboosa that night only to regurgitate it all after dinner. At 17 she began bleaching her skin. Carolite, Udulite, Medovin were sitting there resting on her bedside table. It was a routine. She’d brush her teeth, put on her retainers and would began soaking herself in creams she kept telling herself would improve her complexion. Sitting in the doctors room, on the magazine rack in the waiting room. She picked up the first magazine she had saw. She looked at the pale, thin, fraile lady who looked like she hadn’t eaten in days with envy. At 21 she decided to free herself from the shackles of modern slavery. She wore her fro with pride. Threw away those bleach creams along with those magazines. She embraced her curves. She ate whenever she wanted and whatever she wanted. She looked in the mirror and told herself she was beautiful. She believed it. She started reading more books on strong women. Amran Abdi
the colour of freedom 60
A new school, a fresh start. She entered the undercover play area and sat next to one of the girls from her class. A smirk and rude glare caught her attention. “You can’t sit with us” she was told. “Your skin. The colour of your skin is dirty”.
Women like Rosa Parks, Nana Asmau, Khadeejah bint khwaylid. She realised that the greatest accessory a women could wear was her dignity.
i felt so small today Maddie Godfrey
CW: harassment, specifically queer harassment. I was driving home from University, thinking about what I wanted to write in this article, when it happened. A man in the car behind tailgated me through the freeway exit, beeping incessantly (I was slightly below the speed limit and it was raining heavily). After the freeway exit, we reached a red light and I wasn’t pleased to see him stop close behind me. Here, he started pulling disgusting statements from his passenger seat and using his voice to throw them towards me. This is how on a Monday afternoon at 5pm, I found myself stuck in peak hour traffic, unable to move away from the man loudly calling me a “dirty sl*t”. As I failed to fully comprehend what was happening, the man became more violent with his threats. I truly feared for my safety. We were grid locked behind a red light, with so many people somewhere inside the surrounding cars, but I couldn’t see any of their faces. All I could identify was the man in my rear view mirror. How his constant yelling, lasting for over five minutes now, had turned his pale skin an unappealing shade of pink. Later I would remember his face like a bruised fruit. The kind that everybody in the supermarket picks up, squeezes gently, then puts down immediately after. He was overripe in the way that spreads a bad smell through your whole share house. With my hands shaking on the steering wheel, I slowly turned my head towards him. I am a small, femme presenting person. I have a fuzzy shaved head and often get mistaken for a high school student. I don’t exactly know why, but I felt that perhaps once he saw how vulnerable (read: terrified) I looked, he might stop threatening to “come over there and punch your f**king head in”. It only made things worse. His abuse became more personal, more targeted. He began to criticise my appearance, calling me an “ugly f**king lesbian” and many other words I don’t want to give any more space on this page (or in my memory). When he started to make homophobic comments, I wanted to pretend that I wasn’t
affected, but my impending sobbing indicated otherwise. As a queer person, I have been privileged to pass for ‘straight’ and ‘cisgender’ a lot of the time. I am also white and come from a middle class background. These privileges mean that my experiences of harassment are a small window into a much bigger issue. The only way I can describe the feeling of someone abusing you because of who you are, or who you love, is the visceral sensation of something inside of you crumpling beyond recognition. A few hours after this happened, while sitting on my bed and looking through last year’s photographs, I remembered other incidents I have previously experienced but always pushed to the back of my brain. I remembered an unknown man who watched me kissing a woman in Edinburgh, his open mouth like a dark, damp side street. I remembered a non-binary partner who was anxious to walk around our city together, and how their whole hand would shake inside of mine. How their smile would run for cover whenever someone yelled from a passing car, even if it was nowhere near us. I remembered once, leaning in to kiss someone for the first time, and suddenly realising that we were in public. The plebiscite vote had recently passed, but only just, and that kiss was a revolution we didn’t have the emotional energy for. I wanted to write this article about something else. Something uplifting or impressive or interesting. But here I am, a proud queer person who still shakes behind their steering wheel. I want to be so much stronger than I am. I keep trying my best to drive forward, but sometimes the traffic traps me. I know I am surrounded by people, but I cannot see their faces or reach for their hands. We are all alone in our cars, and one of us is crying, while someone continues yelling words which they do not understand the weight of. I felt so small today. I did not feel bold or brave or anything worth writing about. But I am still here, and I am still queer, and maybe that’s enough for now.
Hera’s poetry is BOLD and honest; it makes readers slightly uncomfortable whilst synchronously in awe of her compelling combinations of metaphor, which entice us to look at the world just that little bit differently. Pelican talks to Hera about stand-up comedy, television, and what she’d save if the internet was on fire. Thanks for talking to us! Did you ever think you’d get an interview request from an obscure Western Australian magazine called Pelican? Yes, I get hounded by obscure bird themed magazines all the time. Just last week I had to turn down the cover of ‘Falconers Weekly’ How has your day been so far?
WORDS WITH HERA LINDSAY BIRD
Pretty good, I’m waiting for the courier drivers to deliver my boyfriend’s new computer monitor, which has so far been a good excuse not to leave the house. Most of your poetry is hilarious but also deeply sincere. Is this what you look for when you’re reading - emotional honesty but also dick jokes? I think it’s just the way life feels! Sometimes, even in misery, a dick joke appears. You’re at the grocery store buying coldsore cream & wheatbags & the total is $69.69 and you have to honour that moment. Nothing that has ever made me cry has been able to do so without making me laugh first. But literature aside, it’s just real. There is usually some humour in misery just as light-hearted jokes can spectacularly hurt your feelings. Have you ever considered stand-up comedy? No. I love stand up comedy when it’s good, which is rarely ever. You have to have a very specific talent in order to tell people nothing but jokes and have them laugh, and I do not have that talent. Besides, I like a medium where I can crack a few jokes and then tell everyone how in love I am and how nice the sky looks without having a beer bottle thrown at me.
Hera Lindsay Bird is a New Zealand poet and author of her self-titled debut volume of poetry Hera Lindsay Bird. Her new book Pamper Me To Hell & Back was published in February this year. Photo taken by Vivien Lindsay for Rogers, Coleridge and White Literary Agency 62
Your poetry is dripping with metaphors and similes that are hilarious and also so original. What is your process for coming up with them?
You’ve said in previous interviews the theme of all your poetry is, “You get in love and then you die.” Are there any other themes you’ve seen emerge?
I used to play a lot with text generators & find combinations of nouns I liked which I would extrapolate out into metaphor, but I’ve stopped micro managing my own work so much these days. I put myself through metaphor bootcamp for so many years it kind of comes naturally now. My best advice to writers starting out is to make lists of nouns you love, and put them through a simple text randomizer and keep the ones that make you laugh. It sounds dumb, but one day you will think to yourself...of course, my heart is a ham anvil.
I don’t believe in themes. Themes are just recurring anxieties pretending to be literature. Besides, all the best themes eat themselves in the end. If you think you have an idea of what your poem is about, you have to let the poem change your mind.
Seems like poetry is on the rise, with the emergence of instagram poets and sites like Button Poetry. Do you think poetry is making a come back, or did it never really go away? To be honest, I’m not really interested in whether or not poetry is dead or alive, as long as I get to wear black lace gloves at the funeral. It does seem to be having a resurgence, but I also feel uninterested in the health of poetry in general. Of course it’s good that young people are engaging in art, but I don’t really care what kind of art that is. To me, youtube videos and web series and zines and comics are just as good, if not better than poetry, and as long as something is thriving, I don’t care what is.
What’s your favourite TV show at the moment? High Maintenance! I talk about this show all the time and have the worst time trying to convince people to watch it, but the new season on HBO is hands down the best television I’ve ever seen. It makes me feel the uselessness of poetry! Such a good feeling. A lot of us are half way through semester one and have assignments we are procrastinating from. Any advice for surviving the rest of the uni year? Uhh... I dropped out of my BA so I’m probably the wrong person to ask. Make use of the free healthcare, counselors & gym equipment while you can. That shit is expensive in the real world.
Your new book is out! Are there as many references to TV sit-coms as in your first book? There are as many references, insofar as there was only one in the first, and one in the second. The sitcom mentioned in the second book is The Nanny. One of the poems in that book is, “Pyramid Scheme,” which you’ve said is the only thing you’d save if the internet was on fire. What is it about this poem you love? Important distinction – not the only thing I’d save, but the only thing of mine. This is the poem I’ve been trying to write since I started trying to write poetry. It was one of those poems that took two hours to write, and six years to learn how to write it.
YOUNG PRESENTER IN BROOME IT’S STILL A BIZARRE FEELING TO KNOW MY VOICE IS BROADCASTED ALL OVER THE KIMBERLEY REGION.
A few months in and I was already presenting the Saturday breakfast show
POPULATION OF ABOUT THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND PEOPLE.
Now I present in Broome for the Kimberley region... my first thought was “I’m too young to do this..I’m not experienced enough..I don’t know enough!”
I STARTED WORK WITH THE ABC IN BROOME THIS TIME LAST YEAR... Molly Hunt
My previous job I broadcasted in a remote community of Elcho Island in the NT. I loved it, I would speak in my native tongue Yolngu Martha and talk about stories like the kids that caught the turtles down the beach. It gave me freedom and I felt good giving something for the community to look forward to every morning at 8am.
It still goes through my mind today! I put a lot of doubt in my head, but I thought, I have an advantage, I’m FROM the Kimberley, born in Cliff country Kununurra and raised in Smokey town Wyndham, one of the hottest places in the region. I know the communities and I know the people. Maybe I can bring something to abc Broome, maybe I can say what the young people are thinking, the issues, the dreams and hopes. It’s like a lightbulb went off in my head, I thought to myself “ Hec, I’m the only indigenous person working for the abc in Kimberley” I have a role to play, I’m in a really unique position to vocalises community people...I want to share stories about the kids that go diving in Shark and Crocodile infested water to hunt for their dinner or about the young father of five that survived a croc attack while he was throw netting out bush. This can get all get exciting but there’s still that voice in the back of my head “You’re just too young” I can either fight with that or just simply embrace it... yes I am a 21 year old indigenous presenter in the Kimberley, with a mic there waiting for fresh stories to be voiced by me.
CW: Sexual Assault. Here I was, finally. Ms Beirut. 9:45am. The words stare up at me from the small card. I hesitate, wiping down my clammy hands before pushing through into a well-lit room. One lone man sits on a chair, flicking through the daily paper. My gaze rests on the noticeboard next to him where posters are stuck together in a haphazard fashion. A photo of a happy family grins at me, partially hidden behind another plastered with the words, ‘We can help you!’. “Hi, are you alright there?” a woman calls over from across the room, her head popping up from behind a desk I hadn’t noticed before. “Oh, um,” I walk towards her, fumbling with the card which was suddenly sticky in my grip. I hold it up for her to read, realising too late that the font wasn’t big enough, apologise, and slide it across the table like I’m returning something borrowed. “Ah, Ms Beirut! Second door from the left. Just wait outside until she calls you in,” she smiles, pointing her pen to one side. I nod in thanks, gingerly picking up the card and return it safely back into my pocket. The corridor is long, but I find the door easily and sink into a couch nearby. A few seconds pass before I glance up at the clock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. The hands read 9:43. Tick. “Chloe?” Ms Beirut smiles warmly from the door. She is petite, elegantly dressed in a pantsuit with her hair twisted into a simple up-do. I notice a hint of lavender as she ushers me in, and for a moment we remain silent, interrupted only by the sound of water pouring. “So, what can I help you with?”
And there it was. Such a loaded question. What could she help me with? Or really, where do I begin to unravel this complex web of emotions that had caged me in so tightly, for so long? Even I would sometimes get lost in this maze, gasping and groping my way out, trying to make sense of what had happened. It was like pulling apart threads of my own existence, choosing whether or not it mattered. If I bunched it up tightly enough, wound it round and round and tucked it away, surely it wouldn’t matter anymore.
“I want to stop running away.” I hear the words, but the voice isn’t mine. They come out distorted, warped by the vice caging my throat. “What are you running away from?” I couldn’t answer. Some days it was the night it happened. Most days it was trying to comprehend how it had happened to me and why I felt the way I did. So many others had experienced worse, been treated worse. I didn’t feel like I should be placed into the same category. I didn’t feel like I deserved to feel the same betrayal. For so long I had bounced between telling someone and blocking it from my consciousness altogether. But suffocation comes with a price. For all intents and purposes, it seems to work. Until one night and a few too many drinks later, everything comes bubbling up to the surface in an uncontrollable, ugly mess. And who do you talk to, when it would expose the person you cared about the most? I went back every week, waiting for the clock to strike 9:43, when Ms Beirut would open her door and welcome me in. It was a slow process – frustratingly so. The threads were woven over another so tightly that they were hard to unravel. Some were stretched to their breaking point, others torn apart, becoming separate fibres. The same questions kept spinning around in my head, but it was like a never-ending chase, doggedly following me wherever I went.
Why would someone who cared about you do this to you? It wasn’t their fault. It must be mine. How could I let it happen? It didn’t make sense to me back then, and it still doesn’t make sense to me now. I just wish I had known sooner that this isn’t a fight I have to do alone. I had been pushing so hard against the current, bogged down by its weight, when all along the raft had been there, waiting to carry me back to shore.
never too late 65
rock against racism Mike Anderson
I’ll be the first to admit that music is probably not my strong suit; I’m a politics student, writing articles about politics, acknowledging however that music has the tendency to cross over into the political. Music has reflected sentiment in its community, and often will respond to growing trends, such as the increasing racism in society. Music in these instances will grow into a greater societal movement of its own.
a fascist Conservative Party politician, the National Front, a neo-Nazi political party in the UK, and spewed racist slurs calling for all non-whites to be deported. National Front had been growing in support electorally, in some wards they had received upwards of 20% of the vote. Clapton’s fascist views were not only disgusting but markedly hypocritical given his success was based on black music and covers of black artists. .
Rock Against Racism is perhaps one of the betterknown muso-political movements., formed in the UK in the 70’s to combat rising racism and fascism. The movement was put together by committed anti-racists, with Red Saunders and Roger Huddle being the names most closely recognised with the founders. The emergence of the organisation was as a direct response to the fascist and racist rant made by Eric Clapton in 1976. In this hate filled rant, Clapton voiced his support of Enoch Powell,
The organisation started by helping young reggae and punk bands put together shows, assisting in the promotion and organisation of gigs. Most line ups were a mix of white and black bands, with a mix of both punk and reggae music. The organisation wasn’t just tackling National Front and racist musicians, but also the institutional racism, and the open marching of fascists from National Front, both of which led to the Battle of Lewisham (a bloody clash between NF, anti-racists, and police) in
1977. RAR had been organising marches too, with the smaller gigs and marches leading to the 1978 Concert in Victoria Park in the East End, an area that had been targeted by NF. The Anti-Nazi League had been launched the previous year and held similar goals to RAR, leading to the ANL supporting the 1978 concert. The 1978 concert started with a massive march across London and ended in an all-day festival with a line-up of white and black bands. The march and festival attracted 100,000 attendees, giving their message a large audience. Jerry Dammers of The Specials noted the success of the movement, given that the National Front “No longer marches”. Geoff Martin who organised the 30th anniversary concert attended the ’78 show. He was 15 years old and a fan of The Clash, he spoke of the main drive in attending was the music, but the message of anti-racism stuck with him. RAR got youth interested with music speaking a message they could relate to. Along with Rock Against Racism came the emergence of young musicians carrying a message of anti-racism. 2-Tone Ska emerged with Rock Against Racism, with Jerry Dammers of the Specials having been involved in the 1978 show. Ska originated in Jamaica, a fusion of calypso, R&B, and jazz music. 2-Tone took this style and mixed it with elements of punk that had emerged in the UK. 2-Tone Ska bands usually comprised a small brass section, keyboard, and your usual 6 String, Bass, Drums set. 2-Tone Ska as a genre tended to
exemplify anti-racism and racial unity, most bands having multi-racial line-ups, including The Specials, The Selector, and The Bodysnatchers (also notably an all women lineup). A symbol that reflects this is the checkerboard pattern, used as a symbol of racial unity. The music coming from the 2-Tone genre carried the same message Rock Against Racism had carried, racial unity. Songs from The Specials such as “Ghost Town” and “Racist Friend’ touch issues that youth were, and are, facing; in this case rising unemployment and racism. Rhoda Dakar and the Bodysnatchers put forward a feminist message in a largely male dominated genre, with their song “Ruder Than You” referencing the genres association with “Rudeboys”, a term coming from Jamaican Ska with young people wearing suits, and pork pie hats. The Bodysnatchers declaring they, the Rudegirls, were there to stay. Rock Against Racism didn’t emerge in a vacuum, the UK was experiencing racial tension, a rising fascist threat, and growing unemployment exacerbating an already existing class divide. A movement to oppose this rising threat was inevitable, and were already emerging. Rock Against Racism, and 2-Tone Ska managed to attract young people who enjoyed music, but also managed to grab them with a message that would resonate with them. The fight against fascism isn’t over by any length, but perhaps we can take some lessons from the past on how to combat the nazi scum.
Share in $25K * worth of prizes Open a new Everyday account1 and go into the draw to win*: • 2 x cash prizes of $10,000 each • 5 x travel vouchers worth $500 each • 3 x Nintendo Switch consoles • 3 x iPads Wi-Fi 32GB Space Grey • 100 x Event Cinemas Movie Tickets
Apply today1 Visit unibank.com.au or call 1800 864 864
UniBank is a division of Teachers Mutual Bank Limited. 1. Membership eligibility applies to join the Bank. Membership is open to citizens or permanent residents of Australia who are current or retired employees, students and graduates of Australian Universities or family members of members of the Bank. Conditions of use – Accounts and Access document and Fees and Charges brochures are available online or from any of our offices. You should read both of these documents before deciding to open accounts and access facilities issued by the Bank. Any advice provided here does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation, or needs, which you should consider before acting on any recommendations. For further information call 1800 864 864 or go to unibank.com.au. *Promotional offer. Terms and conditions apply and are available online at unibank.com.au or from any of our branch offices. The promotion commences at 9:00am AEDT Monday 15 January 2018 and closes 9:00pm AEDT Thursday 31 May 2018 (“The Promotional Period”). Entrants are eligible to enter the draw to win the prizes if during the Promotional Period they; a) become a new member or customer of the Bank and open a new Everyday account b) are aged 18 years or older and c) are a current full-time student at an Australian university. Authorised under NSW Permit No. LTPS/17/20878, ACT Permit No. TP17/02631, SA Permit No. T17/2447. UniBank is a division of Teachers Mutual Bank Limited ABN 30 087 650 459 AFSL/ Australian Credit Licence 238981 | 01193-STU-UB-0118-A4-Pelican-b