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Western Eye 10.13  —  Issue 02

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UWE’S STUDENT VOICE

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INSIDE ISSUE 02 WESTERNEYE UWE’s Student Voice

SCIENCE & TECH

FEATURE ARTICLE

ENTERTAINMENT & LIFE

BRISTOL’S BACKBONE

Zombies Theoretical pathogenesis

Israel & Palestine Thoughts on the conflict

All things Halloween Fright season

Local stories The unsung heroes

Continues on page 10

Continues on pages 12 & 13

Continues on pages 16 – 21

Continues on page 24

POST-RECESSION CRISIS. ONE THIRD OF BRITISH CHILDREN LIVING IN POVERTY.

Breadline Britain

‘Economically developed’ Britain is struggling under a constantly expanding class divide GEORGE GILL

news@westerneye.net

in the post-recession era, with only limited signs of growth and recovery, poverty remains an ever-challenging plight for millions of people living in Britain. David Cameron’s venerable claim that “we’re all in this together,” seems depressingly poignant when a Barnardo’s children’s charity report has been published which shows that a third of all children in the uk, 3.6 million, are living in poverty. The report commissioned by Barnardo’s highlights the failings of the chancellor’s economic policies and further highlights the need for an economic ‘plan b’. The families who live below the poverty line, have just £12 per person per day to provide everything, and many in winter months, have to chose between eating and heating. The impact of this poverty is vast. Children from lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to suffer from chronic illness, mental health illness, malnutrition, poorer education and a lack of employment opportunities.

government policy is failing terribly. Of course, it will continue to get worse, as the government is enacting the hardest and fastest public sector and welfare cuts ever seen. Whilst Britain is described as an ‘economically developed country’, its high levels of inequality mean that the poorest people in society will be unlikely to see any benefit from the weak recovery for years. Government policy, in a nutshell, has neglected the difficulties of millions and focused, instead, on retaining the privileges held by big businesses which still turn a healthy profit. One large food retailer, for example, is still achieving profits in excess of £1 billion. In this time, local greengrocers and independent cooperatives all over the country are closing down and being replaced by smaller, staff-less versions of our supermarkets. Failing that, they are being replaced by betting shops, charity shops and ‘cash for gold’ pawnbrokers. Much of this change is being made possible by a huge reduction in interest rates, providing only large companies with cheap capital investment

85% of survey respondents felt that the chancellor, George Osborne, does not account for the financial worries of ordinary people The Child Poverty Act 2010 aimed to end child poverty in Britain by 2020, bringing 100,000 children out of poverty every year. Current predictions reveal that, in fact, a further 1 million children will be impoverished over the decade and so it’s clear

whilst small-scale retailers and the self-employed are still being laughed out of the bank. Simultaneously, those who are on lower and middle incomes — for example many students, public sector workers, construction workers, small business

STARFISH THROWER THE POOREST IN BRITISH SOCIETY ARE UNLIKELY TO SEE ANY BENEFIT FROM THE WEAK RECOVERY FOR YEARS

proprietors and so forth — have been hit by unprecedented cost of living increases, drastic cuts to social security benefits and higher taxes. Millions of other people remain unemployed altogether, they are switching between low-paid, insecure jobs or they are being forced to take up unpaid and sometimes costly internships. Cost of living increases continue to mean people face soaring bills for basic life essentials. According to the Office of National Statistics [ons], household bills have been rising four times faster than average earnings since 2008. Rising costs of basic life essentials, such as energy, disproportionately affects the poorest people the most. Price comparison website uSwitch.com carried out a survey in which 85% of respondents felt the chancellor, George Osborne, does not understand the fears of ordinary people. Despite the government being a coalition between liberals and

conservatives, it seems Nick Clegg has failed to achieve any substantial concessions from his Tory counterparts. Particularly with regard to sustaining the social security entitlements afforded to the poorest people in our society. Housing benefit, child benefit, child tax credit, employment support allowance and disability living allowance are all being reduced or reassessed by the extensive austerity reforms. Such measures have left us with a range of scandals that see, for example, people with severe learning difficulties being summoned to ‘work capability assessments’. Welfare services are acting in a way which demeans and distresses the most vulnerable people in Britain. Under the Lib-Con coalition, income tax for the highest bracket has been reduced whilst vat, which again affects the poorest in society disproportionately, has been increased. Ons statistics on income inequality show that the

richest fifth of households earn 14 times more than the poorest fifth of households, who have an average income of just £5,400. Similarly, recent research at the University of Birmingham reveals that inequality in the distribution of wealth is even greater than that of income. Amongst the wealthiest age group in society (55-65), 10% of those people own less than £28,000 compared with the richest 10% who own more than £1.3 million in assets. Even though poverty in Britain is less common than in some of the poorest regions of the world, it is clear there are still a huge injustices present, even amongst the richest countries in the world. Poverty is having devastating effects on people in every corner of the globe during the current economic situation. So far, attempts at changing this have been ineffective and inadequate.


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Western Eye 10.13  –  Issue 02

NEWS

NEWS — UWE FACULTY AND GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS A MESSAGE FROM YOUR SU PRESIDENT. CHARLIE ROPER.

Work for UWE improvement CHARLIE ROPER

supresident@uwe.ac.uk

since being in office, I’ve been working on a range of projects. Block Grant Increase

The first key success was receiving an increase in our Block Grant which is the money uwe funds us with. We were faced with a 5% cut, but through negotiation and a paper which we took to the Board of Governors which I presented early Summer, we have managed to get over 1% increase (so over 6% if counting no cut). UWE Student Charter

I’ve been working on a new uwe Student Charter, which is the agreement between uwe, The Students’ Union and you as a student – it is going to be considerably shorter and more relevant to you during your study here. UWESU Settle-In Team

The biggest project I have delivered is the uwesu Settle-In Team which this year has expanded with secured funding from Unite. Through this, a team and I have been able to knock on nearly every new student’s door in the first week of term and also carry out follow up visits in early October to see how things were and are, and to signpost students to the correct places if necessary.

Presentation to Technical Staff in the South West

I gave a presentation at a workshop, on how Technical Staff impact on the student experience. uwe are now looking at how they allow technical staff access to the curriculum to make it more relevant for you. This is because feedback I have received shows that you are learning a lot more from technicians. Student Governor Forum

The first Student Governor Forum has been very successful, with excellent feedback from Governors and senior university staff alike. The forum is unique to uwesu/uwe, where I set the agenda, chair the meetings and have control. I will be developing this more this year to remain best practice uk wide. Vice Chancellor/President Campus

is currently running. I am calling uwe to commit to full transparency of additional course costs prior to application on all courses, and to absorb essential costs within the tuition fee. I have been visiting campuses to get as much feedback as possible and shall be submitting a paper to the next Vice Chancellor’s Executive to move things forward. AS ALWAYS YOU CAN CONTACT ME AT SUPRESIDENT@UWE.AC.UK OR TWEET @THESUPRESIDENT

Looking for a part-time job?

Walk Arounds

I pitched an idea to Steve West, Vice Chancellor, to do campus walk-arounds to engage with students who many not normally engage with me or the vc. We did our first one in October and spoke to many students who were enabled to give feedback directly to the top. Hidden Course Costs

Some of you may have seen my Hidden Costs Campaign which

Jobshop is the answer Register online at www.uwesu.org/jobshop

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Western Eye 10.13  —  Issue 02

03

NEWS

month for the history of an entire race is fair or not, and concerns about black history being delegated to a single month, especially given the heroism of some of the historical figures often recognised. Victoria disagrees, she states:

OLLIE HICKS

news@westerneye.net

first celebrated in the uk in 1987, October marks the celebration of Black History Month [bhm]; but how has it come about, what does it mean to people, is it necessary and how can students get involved to celebrate what October had to offer. Bhm is held every October in Britain and February in usa and Canada and aims to promote knowledge of black history, culture and heritage, disseminate information on positive black contributions to British society and heighten the confidence and awareness of black people to their own heritage. The predecessor of Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week”, chosen because that marked the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. In the week’s initial years of being created, primary emphasis was placed on encouraging the coordinated teaching of the history of American blacks in the national public schools. The first week was met with a far from universal acceptance, only gaining cooperation from the department of education in three states, however it was regarded as a huge success by Woodson, and plans for a repeat of the event on an annual basis continue to this day. Negro History Week was met with an enthusiastic response and prompted the creation of Black History clubs, an increase in interest among teachers, and interest from progressive whites. Negro History Week grew in popularity throughout the following decades with Majors across the United States endorsing it as a holiday. The expansion of Black History week to Black History Month was first proposed by the leaders of the Black United Students of Kent State University in February 1969, where the first celebration of Black History Month took place in Kent State one year later in 1970. In 1979 as a part of the United States Bicentennial, the informal expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was officially recognised by the United States Government. President Gerald Ford spoke in regards to this urging Americans to “seize the opportunity to honour the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavour throughout history”. Black History Month in the uk, however, kick started much later in 1987 more generally attributed the work of Ghanaian analyst Akyuaba Adda-sebo, as well as the Greater London Council, working alongside former London Major Ken Livingstone who stated that:

It doesn’t matter if it is black history month or white history month it is what we can do as a university to make the student experience better… it’s not just about black students it’s about everyone else because the more you divide people into ethnic groups you will start to repeat the potential problems of the past. Kevin Wilson, a 2nd year Education, Learning and Development student, follows a similar view:

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR AN ACTIVIST, HUMANITARIAN AND LEADER IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

Black History Month I like the fact that there is something to say who we are as black people and where we’ve come from. Given our history, it is beyond saying we are black and we have rights now. It is about what we do and how we can move forward in the future VICTORIA OWOLANA VICE PRESIDENT NIGERIAN NETWORK In order to enrich the cultural diversity of the Greater London area, it is imperative that Londoners know more about African influences on medieval and renaissance European music so that accepted ideas about European music is changed. Despite the significant role that Africans and diaspora have played in the world civilisations since the beginning of time, Africa’s contribution has been omitted or ignored in modern history books. But what does Black History Month mean to Students? October started off with the celebration of the 53rd year anniversary of Nigerian Independence, the Vice-President of the uwe

Nigerian Network Owolana believes it:

Victoria

Celebrates much more than just independence from colonial rule, it is more about finding ourselves as Nigerians and taking responsibility for who we are and developing our nation … every year we tend to look at where we are as a nation and look at ways to move forward. The day saw a seminar about international students and they can use what they have learned at UWE for national development when they finish. The network had two speakers, Professor Paul Olomolaiye, the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Faculty of Environment and

Technology who spoke to international students about learning from past mistakes in the history of Nigeria, followed by a talk from Fola Kudehinbu the Executive Chairman of the African and Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise, who conducted a question and answer session with students regarding their role after they finish their course at uwe. Additionally focussing on how they can transfer the skills they have learned here to life back in a Nigerian environment, especially the ability to diversify and become more employable from participation in extracurricular activities and schemes. This said, Black History Month sparks an annual debate about whether the designation of one

It is a good thing to promote the fact that there are differences in society and people are harmonious together … We’ve got a month - I find it excludes everybody else, but it highlights a section of the community that has been negatively prejudice in the past and to try and readjust that is a good thing … if you don’t look at the past, then you don’t know where to go, so you have to reflect on what has happened in the past and then try to readjust in the present. Tom Renhard, uwesu VicePresident Community and Welfare is a keen supporter of the month’s events stating that: In terms of the eyes of this institution, as long as there are students who want us to run Black History Month, which they do, we will continue to do so … From a history student’s point of view I think it’s important to remind ourselves of what has happened in the past, to see what has changed, how can we look to the future, and ask have things changed? Are things better than they were forty years ago? I still think more can be done to integrate different communities and I think everyone has a role to play regardless of race or gender. Tom Renhard will be organising ‘Love Music, Hate Racism’ the free live music event this year taking place on Saturday 26th October in RED Bar, Frenchay Campus, starting at 8:00pm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT WWW.UWESU.ORG/ENTS/


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Western Eye 10.13  –  Issue 02

COMMENT

COMMENT — OPINION AND TOPICAL DEBATE A PRINCIPLE OF LIBERTY. QUESTIONING FREE SOCIETY.

Why is Britain so against the burqa? The hypocrisies of Boris Johnson’s argument; that the Niqab (aka the ‘face veil’) goes against British principles of ‘liberty’, suggest the need for another look at why Britain wants to ‘Ban the Burqa’ LAUREN MOORE

comment@westerneye.net

boris johnson has recently spoken out against a school uniform which includes a Niqab, “It is against my principles and it’s against the principles of liberty that London should stand for”. I personally find it hard to believe this is a remark on the strictness or sexism of the school’s uniform policy, as he claims. This is because the blazer, compulsory skirt (yes, compulsory skirt) and, as my mother used to call them, the ‘nightmare to iron’ shirts are still part and parcel of my Catholic secondary school’s incredibly strict and sexist uniform policy. And David Cameron’s recent claim that he is backing the rights of institutions, such as schools and courts, to enforce dress codes which exclude the Niqab (supposedly he didn’t mean the rights of Muslim schools to enforce their dress codes) does not reflect these institutions’ inability to incorporate the Niqab as reasonable adjustments can be made.

society telling Muslim women what to wear. The ultimate example of this is France’s complete ban on wearing the Niqab in public in April 2011, which has resulted in harassment and fines for Muslim women who do not conform. If we hear the words ‘a nationwide ban on something a woman can wear’, do we instantly think of a secular, free and democratic society such as France or Britain? Probably not. Unfortunately Western society is in fact obsessed with what women do and don’t wear, and the recent Burqa and Niqab debates are testament to this. Women’s fashion is often the most easily recognisable sign of the times. Show me a picture of a woman in a tight woolen jumper and a poodle skirt, I’ll say 1950s! Show me a picture of a woman in an oversized shoulder-padded suit with short, boyish hair and one earring, I’ll say 1980s! Show me a man in a suit and a tie and I’ll say “Sometime in the last century?”. Great Euro-American eras are encapsulated in women’s fashion, and with one glance at a

Western society is obsessed with what women do and don’t wear, and the recent Burqa and Niqab debates are testament to this These hypocrisies and flaws in the Niqab debate, for me, reflect the desperation of certain corners of society to find fault with the Niqab. A need which is caused by a dominant ideology of how women should dress in Britain. The irony is screamingly evident; if the Niqab is against British ‘principles of liberty’ then how does banning what a person can wear reinforce those ‘principles of liberty’? It doesn’t! Either we are a free society or we aren’t. If we ban the Niqab, then we automatically lose one of our liberties; liberties that, according to Johnson, are what Britain stands for. If you step back, these calls from the Prime Minister and The Mayor of London are just Western

woman in a mini-skirt an entire decade’s worth of imagery and historical knowledge flood in: the Civil Rights Movement, Kennedy, The Beatles, the Vietnam War, the ‘peace’ symbol, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Woodstock, etc, etc. I would go so far as to say that the way women dress is one of the bed-rocks of defining a society, culture or era. And this is, at least in part, the reason that the Burqa and Niqab have received so much attention. If the Burqa and Niqab in Britain define these multicultural times, it is no wonder that it is these particular symbols that come under most heat from the anti-immigration Right. ‘We want our women in Jeans and a T-shirt!’, they may as well shout. ‘We want these women to

reflect our society, our culture, our religion or lack thereof!’. One poignant example of the British backlash to how Muslim women dress was rather horrifyingly illustrated in a scene from Channel4’s ‘Make Bradford British’. Sabbiyah, a Muslim woman, was the target of a tirade of abuse from a pub dweller and told in no uncertain terms that she must don a “mini-skirt” and a “low-cut top” to fit into British Society, before he proceeded to sexually harass her. The onslaught left her in tears. Western Society, it seems, will find any way to get Muslim women out of ‘those silly face covering things’ if they fundamentally don’t reflect the dominant culture. Law, policy, harassment and fines are all symptoms of some women not reflecting the Western cultural norms that women usually do. The anti-immigration Right, and even the Western feminists who call for ‘liberation from the Burqa’ are missing the point entirely. Telling a woman what not to wear is just as oppressive, patriarchal and an infringement DADEROT EXHIBIT IN BUNKA GAKUEN COSTUME MUSEUM of a woman’s rights as telling her she absolutely has to wear a Our focus should be on incorUnfortunately, however, this Niqab. A woman’s right to wear porating the rights of Muslim will not be achievable while a Burqa and Niqab should be the women into our institutions, not people believe that Muslim bedrock of this glorious, free, 21st trying to mould them into an women’s bodies can be used as an Century, democratic society. ‘ideal’ of Western culture. advert for ideals of British society.

The end of Britain? The Money Week video — The End of Britain,  makes for shocking viewing. Although it  seems extreme, and the figures used may be subjective, could the message be relevant? GINNY FAULKNER

headofonline@westerneye.net

by accepting a welfare state and coming to expect the Government  provide us with a  financial safety net, we have handed them more power than should have ever been allowed. We have literally put our purses in their pockets.  Allowing the increase in University fees but still funding the majority of students to study means that spending functions on a premise of hope that will not encourage wealth, as debts can rarely be paid back (85% of students will never pay back their loan!).  Not only this, but if we continue to buy cars, computers

or TV’s on finance, and continue to gamble  on the markets  with wealth that does not yet exist we are balancing our economy on a promise rather than hard cash. This creates a void of money. Through spending, this black hole is being increasingly widened and our economy relies on the total unpredictability of stock market undulation. Now we all know this, so why are we still not thinking about it in sustainable terms? We have fallen in to a financial trap. Any government which applies actual cuts will be voted out of power but as the electorate, we are not thinking about the long term costs. We cannot continue this pattern of spending money which we do not have. 

Selling off Royal Mail was the first step. What will be next? Pensions? The NHS?  Student Finance?  We need to choose what we value most. Government borrowing interest rates currently stand at 2%. Rates cannot physically get much lower. We cannot all get something more from our government then we put in; its simple maths. Make the banks pay? They can’t afford to, we have to do this ourselves.  We have elected Governments on the flimsy promises of a better life for all. The banks, although not innocent, are being used as a scapegoat for our own greed. READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT WESTERNEYE.NET


Western Eye 10.13  —  Issue 02

I NEED TO CLING TO SOMETHING. BATTLING COMPULSION.

Could electronic cigarettes make this Stoptober a success?

LAUREN MOORE

when asked why I still smoke I often quote The Smiths’ lyric “I need to cling to something”. Well, don’t we all? For me, smoking is as much a habitual compulsion as it is a chemical addiction. It’s something for my hands to do; something for my mouth to do. If I’m not physically clinging to a cigarette the Devil will find work for my idle hands and it will usually involve some sort of relentless tapping, or I will accidentally find myself clutching a cake. Many people have this sort of compulsion: biting nails, sucking thumbs, overeating and even mindlessly scrolling through Twitter are all symptoms of idle hands and habitual compulsions. This is where nicotine patches tend to fall down, there’s nothing for the hands to do. Many ex-smokers claim they put on weight after giving up smoking. This is because we maintain the hand-to-mouth compulsion but replace the cigarette with a nice cake or three. Nicotine inhalers, those small

Does slob-hunting deserve such a bad name? Discussing the pressing matter angering both ethical hunters and animal lovers alike HANNAH OWEN

comment@westerneye.net

contradicts the historical exercise of traditional hunting, and could be considered as ‘playing tennis with the net down’. A blog by Matt Skogland, a us conservationist and hunter, explains how there are two sides to hunting: ‘slob hunting’ and traditional hunting. For example The Northern Rockies are home to 350,000 elk and Skogland explains how once he climbed to, tracked and killed a bull elk. That meat provided his family with healthy, wild, local, organic, non-factory farmed meat through the winter. It was used for a purpose and not just mercilessly killed. Conversely in Montana, hunters that reside there will blast a herd of elk on the run with 30 bullets, leaving them wounded to slowly die. Yet there are complaints that there are less and less elk available to hunt … is that really surprising? Skogland continues to say “I’m a hunter, and slob-hunting wastefully kills animals and ruins the name of hunting for everyone”. He argues that without a shutdown on slob hunting the ecological benefits of ethical hunting when managed sustainably will be lost to ego-gratification and entertainment.

the oxford English Dictionary defines hunting as the ‘pursuit and kill of a wild animal for sport or food’. The phrase has always been riddled with controversy, as opposing sides of the practice hold views steeped in both allegiance and passion. But is this definition still relevant? Does it refer simply to an age-old practice embedded throughout human history? And where does it sit in modern society? In one corner of the sporting world there is a favourable game of ‘Hunting Parties’. Wild animals including the zebra, baboon, giraffe and the precious rhino are fenced in on reserves, and for a price they are hunted by party members hoping to secure a beautiful trophy as memorabilia for their dream hunting holiday. In his documentary ‘African Hunting Parties’, journalist Louis Theroux asked a paying ‘huntsman’ from Ohio “If money was no option what would you be gunning for?” To which he answered “A rhino, they just look fierce”. As a PAOLO NEO CIGARETTE SMOKING — HABITUAL COMPULSION OR CHEMICAL ADDICTION? result of over hunting by these ‘huntsmen’ the black rhino popuplastic tampon-shaped things, have actually discovered some of lation has decreased by 97.6% have attempted to replace both the same cancer-causing toxins since the 1960s. The same can be the cigarette and the cake while contained in electronic cigarettes said for the white rhino which is maintaining the all important that exist in normal cigarettes, also critically endangered. If you If money was no hand to mouth compulsion. albeit in far less quantities. did fancy hunting a rhino or an option what would However, for me, too much is Nevertheless, the Medicines elephant for pleasure it will cost you be gunning for? lacking. There’s no drag, no smoke, and Healthcare Products you around $50 – 100,000. no ‘hit at the back of the throat’ Regulatory Agency [mhra] are To hunt a lion will cost around to speak of. Essentially the ‘I like currently testing electronic ciga- $10,000, but these lions are not smoking’ part of my brain feels rettes so that they can soon be wild and armed with experience; The famous Lascaux caves in cheated, even though I’m getting prescribed by uk doctors as nico- they are deprived of a natural life, Southern France are a sanctuthe same amount of nicotine. tine replacements. ary of paintings expressing early and bred purely for sport. Recently I tried an electronic However, the lasting effects The hunting experience at one man’s reverence and gratitude cigarette. Now there’s a nicotine of using electronic cigarettes will of these reserves is focused on for the animals that sustained replacement I could get on board not be truly known until we’ve equipping the customer to ensure their lives. Ethical hunting reigwith. It maintains the hand-to- been puffing away at them for a a trophy is ‘won’. A team of track- nites this approach by abiding to mouth compulsion without the decade or two. ers will assist them by finding the ethical standards, an approach of calories of cake. It also mimics Hindsight is a wonderful thing; desired animal while a vehicle ‘necessity over delicacy’. Modern the drag of nicotine-laden smoke after all, tobacco had been popu- will drive the huntsmen to the hunting however, does not give through the use of vapour, so I get lar for around 150 years before location, close enough to aim and the animals the fair chance that that hit at the back of my throat, evidence began to even suggest shoot. They are aided in aiming they would have had long ago. and the feeling of inhaling and that it was harmful. For some individuals who by a tracker, but the huntsman exhaling a substance rather than Without rigorous medical is given the honour of actually are restrained by the confines just nicotine flavoured air. If it evidence electronic cigarette shooting the animal themselves. of poverty, the need to procure wasn’t for the unrealistic weight smokers are essentially guinea Then a tracker will remove the a valuable asset through huntof the electronic cigarette, I pigs for the possible harmful carcass, although not until they ing overpowers any need for wonder if the ‘I like smoking’ part effects. The general consensus are offered a chance to have a moral justification. Others hunt of my brain would even notice amongst medical professionals at photo taken with their ‘prize’. to superficially satisfy primal that I’m not actually smoking! the moment is that they are the Vital skills acquired for hunt- urges to kill, and create a set-up Unfortunately for me however, lesser of two evils. However, it’s ing are lost within this practice; purposefully for them to fulfil electronic cigarettes have not currently up to the individual to the achievement of outwitting this impulse. Both ethical and been through the same rigor- decide whether or not to believe the animal is questionable and ‘slob-hunting’ exist in the world, ous testing as their patch and the hype. alludes to it being a some- but the ability to justify them is inhaler counterparts. Tests so far what artificial experience. This matter of animal welfare.

While sales of electronic cigarettes rocket, current debate questions whether the like-forlike product is worth the potential risks

comment@westerneye.net

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COMMENT


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Western Eye 10.13 – Issue 02

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SPORT

Western Eye 10.13  –  Issue 02

The Best Football Team in Bristol

As women’s football continues to grow in popularity, Bristol Academy are soaring to the top ALEX STOREY

comment@westerneye.net

in the past ten years, women’s football has come on leaps and bounds. It is an almost unrecognisable sport from that at the turn of the millennium. Where coverage was previously sparse, there is now much wider reporting on the women’s game. Where previous support was rare, women’s football is now packing supporters into stadiums up and down the country. Nowhere has seen the benefit of the rising profile of the women’s game more than in Bristol; where Bristol Academy are now ranked as one of the top teams in the country. Although this season ended in disappointment, coming second in the league after a final day shoot-out with Liverpool Ladies and an FA Cup final loss to Arsenal, the team has come a long way over the course of the season. On top of their excellent achievements this season, their performances have earned them a place in the UEFA Champions League, competing against the very best teams in Europe for only the second time in the club’s history. Bristol defender Alex Windell believes that this season is only the start for the club. “If you’d have offered us finishing second in the league and getting to the final of the FA Cup before the season, we’d have bitten your hand off, but it shows a lot about the club that we ended up disappointed in the end.”

If you’d have offered us finishing second in the league and getting to the final of the FA Cup before the season, We’d have bitten your hand off “The game against Liverpool was really disappointing because we didn’t play as well as we could have done, but we only lost three games all season and we gave it a really good go” she said. Where previously Arsenal held a firm grip on the women’s game

in England, now Bristol Academy and others are competing in a fiercely contested league. Windell says that the improved competition is down to a better standard of football being played. “The game now is incomparable to ten years ago where the standard was maybe not as good. Now there is better coaching and a much stronger development programme meaning that young players can get the support and training the need.” Support for women’s foot ball started right at the top with increased funding and exposure

DENIS DERVISEVIC FOOTBALL

from the FA and is filtering its way through the women’s game. There are now over 200,000 women playing football regularly in the UK and that number continues to rise. “With the better coaching and training, more girls want to join clubs and get involved. At Bristol, we now have teams ranging from under 9’s right the way through to our senior team. We’d still love to see more girls getting involved in football but we know it will take time” Windell said. With the FA announcing a five year plan to boost women’s football in October 2012, there are

clear indications that the trends is inescapable. a five-figure sponsorship deal are going to continue and The FA “Essentially, we’re playing the with Bristol City, building a is willing to back women’s foot- same game as the men, but there closer relationship with their city ball in the UK. is no need to compare our game neighbours. However, it is not just at club with theirs. There is so much Windell does not believe that level that the women’s game is more money in the men’s game, women’s clubs need necessarily seeing rapid growth. The London we just play because we love the to have such a strong relationship Olympics allowed four million game, it’s not about the money with a professional men’s side to people to watch Team GB reach for us. be successful. the Quarter Finals and this “The women’s game is a more “Although it’s nice to have year’s European Championships free-flowing, enjoyable game for financial support and increased attracted TV and online coverage, the fans to come and watch and exposure from being part of the likes of which are normally although it is never going to have an established club, there are reserved for the men’s game. the same global appeal as the definitely benefits to being a International football is some- men’s game, it’s great that the stand-alone club in our own right. thing that is very much on the status of our game is growing so “We are proud of our individualradar of Alex Windell as she has rapidly.” she said. ity and the fact that we have our own branding, our own fans and our own ground to play at. It’s a massive part of who we are as a club” she said. The pride that is felt across the women’s game has been somewhat damaged in recent times with a series of high profile disparaging comments made about the women’s game in the media. The most recent of which was a comment former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler made about two male players “fighting like girls”. This comes just a couple of years after Richard Keys and Andy Gray were sacked from Sky Sports for making sexist comments about female referee assistant Sian Massey. Although Windell did not wish to dwell on the subject when the question was put to her, it is clear that these comments do cause a stir within the women’s game and raise concerns that the hard work that has been put into promoting the game gets overshadowed by these remarks. Now the season is over, Windell says she plans to do what every footballer up and down the country, male or female, will most likely do in the post season: Rest just been called up to her first Windell believes that part of up, go on holiday and stay fit and England Under-23 squad for a the reason so many more people healthy ready for the new season. training camp this month. are deciding to watch women’s There is one difference however, “If you had told me before the football now is because they are “Obviously I’ve got my full time start of the season that I’d been in fed up with the way some of the job outside of football” she says, an England squad, I would have top men’s players behave on and “This means I can’t just take off laughed in your face! I want to off the pitch. for six weeks like the male profesuse this training camp as a step“With us there is no play-acting sionals do”. ping stone to get into the squad or diving on the floor. It is much The difference between the for competitive matches and then more about playing honestly and men’s and women’s games is who knows, maybe even the full fairly and there isn’t this massive perhaps best summed up by this squad from there” she said. circus that follows us around statement. Whilst Wayne Rooney With the increase in media wherever we go” she said. and Cristiano Ronaldo would be exposure for women’s football, Although Bristol Academy sunning themselves in their off the game is getting compared remain the only club in the season, for Alex Windell and the more to the men’s game than ever Women’s Super League not offi- rest of the WSL players, it’s just before. The comparison is one cially affiliated with a respective the 9-5 until the season starts that Windell believes is unfair but men’s team, they have signed again in January.


Western Eye 10.13  —  Issue 02

Rugby Leauge World Cup

A Preview of the Cup, Hosted by England & Wales TOM WILLIAMS

assistantsport@westerneye.net

For the f irst time in thirteen years, the Rugby League World Cup is returning to the UK throughout October and November. England and Wales co-host twelve of the best teams in the world to f ind out just who is number one. The fourteen teams are divided into two groups of four and two groups of three, which are organised as follows: © Group A: Australia, England, Fiji & Ireland. © Group B: Papua New Guinea, France, New Zealand & Samoa © Group C: Tonga, Scotland & Italy.

08

SPORTS

© Group D: USA, Wales & Cook Islands. The tournament sees each team play three group matches in order to progress to the quarter f inals. Groups A & B will play all their matches within their groups, but groups C & D will play one team from the other group, on top of the two teams in their own group. The quarter f inals see the winners of each group face the runners up and 3rd place f inishers of groups A & B. On Saturday 23rd of November, Wembley Stadium will host “The Big Hit” when both the semi-f inals will be played. On November 30th the winners of those two matches will face each other at Old

Trafford for the World Cup Trophy. The current holders New Zealand go into the tournament in a very strong position, being the second favourite team to win. Australia, who have won more than any other team, are tipped to lift the trophy for the 10th time on the 30th of November. The England team are also seen as potential winners of the tournament, and are hoping to achieve this a win for the f irst time since 1972. As for individual players to watch out for, the World Cup sees many of the best players in the world coming up against each other. England’s Standoff and Captain Kevin Sinf ield (who won the’ Rugby League

World’ magazine Golden Boot award 2013) is looking to guide England to success in a major world tournament to put a cap on the end of his international career. There’s also Australian hooker Cameron Smith who is widely regarded as being the best player in his position and will be looking to help his team win the trophy. Another player to watch is New Zealand winger Jason Nightingale who has scored eleven times for the Kiwis in just seventeen games. As for the other home nation, Wales’ stand-off Lloyd Smith will be looking to show why he won Welsh player of the year in 2011 by helping Wales to progress as far as possible. The tournament begins on 26th of October at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The opening ceremony will take place prior to England taking on Australia and then Wales playing Italy, and will be televised live on BBC One. The semi-f inals (Nov 23rd) will also be on BBC One, as will the f inal on November 30th. Bristol plays host to one group match, USA v Cook Islands, in Group D. The match will be played at the Memorial Stadium on the 30th October, where Bristol Rugby and Bristol Rovers play their

RUGBY LEAGUE LEEDS LIBRARY & INFO SERVICE

home matches. Kick-off is at 8pm and Tickets are only £10 making this a great opportunity to watch international sport. A full list of f ixtures can be found at http://www. rlwc2013.com/world_cup

UWE Fixtures For November

SPORTS MATCH DATES SPORTS MATCH DATES

AMERICAN FOOTBALL

UWE VS CARDIFF

03/11/13

LACROSSE

UWE VS PLYMOUTH

13/11/13

UWE VS EXETER 17/11/13 UWE VS GLOUCESTER 20/11/13

UWE VS PLYMOUTH 24/11/13 NETBALL

UWE VS CARDIFF MET

13/11/13

BASKETBALL UWE VS SWANSEA 13/11/13 RUGBY LEAGUE

UWE VS GLOUCESTER

13/11/13

UWE VS EXETER 20/11/13

UWE VS SOUTH WALES

UWE VS WORCESTER2 27/11/13 RUGBY UNION

UWE VS SWANSEA

13/11/13

UWE VS EXETER 20/11/13

UWE VS ST MARK AND ST JOHN

20/11/13

FOOTBALL

UWE VS SWANSEA

13/11/13 & 20/11/13

UWE VS ST MARK & ST JOHNS

20/11/13

20/11/13 & 27/11/13

UWE VS EXETER 06/11/13

UWE VS CARDIF MET 13/11/13


09

Western Eye 10.13  –  Issue 02

SPORT

Focusing On Lacrosse Each month our Sports section will feature one of UWE’s Sports teams.

TOM WILLIAMS

comment@westerneye.net

Lacrosse as a sport isn’t exactly in the mainstream. It is almost never televised in the UK; the sport is not played professionally and is played at very few schools around the UK. But that doesn’t mean people don’t want to play it. I sat down with the UWE Lacrosse Club President Alex Atkinson, men’s captain Rory Myles and the women’s captain Charlotte Shaw to gain their perspectives on the sport in general, the state of UWE Lacrosse and to find out more about the club’s activities, including beyond the actual playing of the sport. The sport finds its origins in Native American culture, but like all modern sports it has changed in many ways. The basic aim of the game is to outscore your opponents by shooting the ball into the other team’s net using a stick. The game is played for a total of 80 minutes and is divided into 20 minute quarters. Whilst the basic aims of the game are the same, in terms of contact and physicality the men’s and women’s games are worlds apart. Rory described it best by saying: “Basically, they’re two different sports,” which was met with nods of agreement from Alex and Charlotte, with Alex adding “the only thing that are the same are the size of the goals.” The

men’s game is full contact which requires players to wear a helmet, shoulder pads, gloves, elbow pads, sometimes rib or chest guards and most importantly a box or cup. As for the women’s game all stick and full body contact is not allowed, so as a result there is no personal equipment needed, aside from the stick. The physicality of the women’s game is limited to “pretty much just the stick” according to Charlotte. The game sees 10 players on the pitch at any given time, with 1 goal keeper, 3 defenders, 3 mid-fielders and three players in attack with each team being allowed another 13 players in the squad as substitutes. These subs can come on at any time and there are no limitations for the number of times a team can substitute people. Once a player is off the field they are able to return to play in order to keep the intensity of the game up, thus making it an incredibly fast paced game to play. Lacrosse at UWE in the past has not been the strongest, but this beginning to change. Last season the number of people playing for the club was very low and as such the teams struggled and unfortunately were relegated a division, something which Charlotte elaborated on by saying “We were definitely in the wrong league. We were playing against teams who have been playing for years, but most of our team

picked it up last year.” But low squad numbers is now a thing of a past with 200 people expressing interest in lacrosse at the Freshers Fair and then over 100 of those people turning up for the first training session of the year As a result of this the club is able to put out two men’s teams and two women’s team, but they will not be treated as a “First Team” and a “Second Team.” Something that came across from the interview was that there is a massive focus on inclusion in the UWE lacrosse club and having a very strong team spirit, something which seems to be ingrained into game itself as Rory says “you have to trust the person you’re playing with” and Alex backing this idea of team unity adding “most of the time it’s about giving it to someone else.” The physicality of the game often leads to sin-binning; whether it is because of a mistimed tackle or having unsafe kit, with smaller infringements leading to being sent off for 30 seconds and larger ones being for up to 3 minutes. Despite the physicality of the men’s and women’s game (all three of them agreeing with each other when Rory jokes that the women’s game is “more aggressive, mostly because they’re not allowed to physically take out their anger on the pitch”) there is a lot of respect between teams, with Rory comparing to rugby in the sense that it’s a very physical

game “but at the end we always shake hands and have a drink together.

But at the end we always shake hands and have a drink together. The teams have been putting a lot of effort into becoming more formidable team, something they feel they are more than capable of, especially because of their coaching staff. The men’s coach Guy Oldring is also the coach of the England Universities team and the women’s team recently recruited Pete Wilson to help the team go from strength to strength. This season the men’s team is aiming high as their ambition is to be promoted to the league they were in last season, which they feel they can certainly achieve due to all the hard work they have been putting in and will continue to. As for the women’s team, their aim for the season is a little simpler as they want to win a game this season. This is something that they seem far more confident about than last year, especially with their new coach. Off the field the UWE lacrosse club is very active and social.

Something that was evident as all three of them had been out the night before on a lacrosse social, although this in no way impeded their ability to talk so passionately about their club. They do have organised socials but because they’re all such good friends they tend to socialise with each other beyond these club organised events. Alex even mentioned that a lot of “2nd and 3rd years often join the society partly because they’ve heard how good the socials are.” The main thing I took away from the twenty or so minutes I spent with Charlotte, Alex and Rory is how passionate they all are about their sport and the lacrosse club. They even joke about taking foundation degrees or staying on to do a Masters at UWE so they can continue to play for the team and socialise with their teammates. Alex used the word “family” when describing the lacrosse club. The team trains from 16.0019.00 on Sundays on the astroturf at Frenchay and welcome new members at any time of the year. Their home matches are played in Filton at the sports and leisure centre at Elm Park, a full list of which can be found at bucs.org. uk under the lacrosse drop down menu.


Western Eye 10.13  —  Issue 02

JAMES RILEY

comment@westerneye.net

Are zombies real? To many people, the idea of a horde of ravenous zombies tearing through the nation is a grotesque and distant f iction; something reserved for the big screen or the comic strip. Scenes of overrun cities and desolated countryside communities don’t worry these people. But worry they should. What is a zombie? Haitian Voodoo folklore dictates they are cursed souls, raised from

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY our darkest fears, we may, in cynical conclusion, bestow the label of zombie on these transmogrif ied souls. For if something looks, acts and bites like a zombie, then what matters the name? Known as the infected, the walking dead, carriers, biters, abominations or masticating madams; the name will matter very little when you are barricading your doors, praying the torrential horde passes through your streets without tasting the terror which oozes from your trembling skin.

asexually reproduce in almost all warm-blooded animals, it can only sexually reproduce inside the intestines of cats. (Talk about being picky. As far as sexual fetishes go this one is pretty out-there, or, maybe, in-there is more apt?) The life of Toxoplasma has one central theme: get into a cat’s guts and reproduce. Through the wonders of adaptive evolution, it has developed a subtle and sinister way of getting inside the intestines of cats: by altering the behaviour of infected rodents. Following infection,

Zombies: the theoretical pathogenesis

When hell is full, the dead shall walk the Earth

the dead by witchcraft. But this explanation holds no blood. A zombie is a creature which can be explained, at least theoretically, by science. A zombie is a sick person, infected with a horrible pathogen. Lots of real parasites make nasty changes in the behaviour of their hosts, making them act in weird and wounding ways, to increase the chances of the parasite spreading. This could be a virus, as is seen in many movies, it could even be a bacterial or fungal agent. Could these pathologies infect and change a human into a recognisable yet horribly distinct creature? A change which would dull the brain and leave the host unable to resist the visceral urges plaguing them: the urge to kill - the urge to eat. As we project

Let’s explore some of the more plausible pathologies which could, under the right (or, more accurately, wrong) circumstances, confer the characteristics of the zombie on an unwitting victim; turning them into Patient Zero, the genesis of the pandemic. What follows is science, it is real, and it is scary - scarier than anything you could f ind dwelling in the recesses of Stephen King’s macabre mind. Scarier than the thought that the S.U. have stopped serving £1 drinks on Monday evenings. This is zombie science: check your pulse and delve in. An example of a modifying microbe is the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Toxoplasma is a strange creature with a strange lifecycle. Although it can infect, live and

via contact with infected cat feces or meat, the rodent who is normally very scared of cats and repelled by cat pheromones becomes incredibly brave, daring and actually attracted to the smell of cats. This change in behaviour leads to an increased likelihood of the rodent being eaten by its natural predator; and if an infected rodent gets eaten by a cat then Toxoplasma also gets eaten, meaning it can f inally make the parents proud by carrying out its life’s ambition of romping in Mr Whiskerson’s intestines. One of the postulated ways in which Toxoplasma is thought to bring about this change in behaviour is through the development of parasitic cysts in the brains of rodents. One paper found almost double the number of cysts in the amygdala, a centre of the brain involved in mediating fear of predators, compared to other brain regions. I know what you are thinking: this little anecdote about Toxoplasma isn’t connected with zombies at all; it’s just cat eat rat. But it is connected. It’s a parasitic organism causing a behavioural change in a host in order to maximise the survival of the parasite. And Toxoplasma doesn’t just infect rodents, it infects us too. In fact, according to research by staff at Stanford University, up to a third of the world’s population is infected with Toxoplasma. Although this is

10

mostly not a serious problem, bovine spongiform encepharecent research has shown a lopathy (BSE) crisis gripped possible causal link between the nation, leading to parents Toxoplasma infection and a not knowing whether steaks range of mental health prob- were safe, and politicians carelems such schizophrenia and lessly stuff ing burgers into ADHD. their offspring’s mouths. BSE We can see from the tale is caused by prions, misfolded of Toxoplasma that parasites disease-causing proteins. can alter the behaviour of These prions slowly damage their hosts in order to bene- the brain, giving it a spongef it themselves. However, to like appearance under the make a zombie requires some microscope. This degeneration specif ic alterations. The movie causes stumbling, aggressive Quarantine - the American cows which are affectionately version of the Spanish horror labelled ‘mad’. Although transREC - makes use of the rabies mission of BSE is normally virus as the zombie pathogen. A rabies virus which has been genetically engineered We can all agree that to be extremely fast acting. the above diseases are The wild-type rabies virus itself has some seriously scary somewhat zombie symptoms which are designed, like through evolution, to facilitate the viruses transmission. Infected animals start out with a fever and end with cerebral through the ingestion of and cranial nerve dysfunction, infected meat, pathogens are incoordination, weakness, found in all tissues and fluids seizures, diff iculty breathing of the body. So it is theoretand swallowing, excessive sali- ically possible to transmit vation, abnormal behaviour BSE through a cow’s bite. The and aggression. These symp- human form of BSE is known toms are tailored to make the as new variant Creutzfeldthost transmit the virus. As the Jakob disease (vCJD). vCJD virus is transmitted through symptoms include dementia, the saliva of an infected memory loss, hallucination, individual, excessive saliva paranoia, psychosis, disoriproduction and in increase in entated walking and slurred aggression leads to more bites speech - a mumbling, fumbling, - more bites means more infec- stumbling ‘zombie’. tions. When the virus is passed I think we can all agree that onto a new host it works its the above diseases are someway from the site of the bite, what zombie-like and that that along the nerves, to the hosts pathogens can cause a change brain, where it goes about in the behaviour of the host creating the zombie-like state they infect. These changes in in the new victim. behaviour are often caused by It should be mentioned, the alterations in the struchowever, that the incubation ture of the brain; whether period (the time it takes for this is by neural degeneration, rabies’ symptoms to mani- the formation of parasitic fest in the host) is relatively cysts or other stranger methlong - between 2 and 12 weeks. ods. In order to create a Furthermore, in humans, zombie, specif ic structures of rabies tends not to cause the the brain must be altered by hyper-aggressive behaviour ‘zombie pathogen’, to disrupt seen in animals, with almost their functions, including: the all human-human infections cerebellum, balance and coordue to organ transplants, and dination; the hypothalamus, not bites. appetite control; the frontal Therefore, in the movies, lobe, intelligence and probgenerally the virus must lem solving; and the amygdala, be mutated in some way to anger and rage. By affecting produce a zombie, becoming the normal functioning of super-fast acting or making these brain areas, our theothe host hyper-aggressive retical pathogen would create such as in 28 Days Later. a stumbling, shuffling, insa(Incidentally, the virus in 28 tiably hungry, intensely dumb Days Later, called ‘Rage’, was a and f iercely angry individual mutated version of Ebola virus, which wants to eat you - a created by scientists trying to zombie! discover the cause of aggresAs we have seen, some sion in the brain.) This doesn’t diseases closely resemble (at mean that rabies isn’t a poten- least in method, if not symptial pathogen which could toms) a potential zombie cause a zombie-like human, it infection. The idea of a shufjust means that the wild-type fling, biting menace following rabies virus does not make us you around deserted streets into frothing madmen (yet). which was once a distant We’ve seen how mighty mice f iction, is now it is a distinct and demonic dogs have their plausibility. pathogenic routes in science, but what about the zombie cow? A few years back the


11

Time goes fast when you’re ... going slow?

The theoretical science of time travel brings the future closer than ever before. TOM WILLIAMS

comment@westerneye.net

Lights flash. Bonf ires topped with a straw Guy Fawkes, watching explosions colour the sky and a near death experience for Big Ben and his stony entourage – that’s what most of us think of come the 5th November. But Doc Brown remembers the 5th November a bit differently. As “a red-letter date in the history of science” - the day he invented the flux capacitor. To those of you whose childhoods were deprived of ‘Back to the Future’, here’s a catch-up class. Doc Brown is your archetypal frizzy-haired white-coated scientist. On 5th November 1955, he invented time travel by pimping out a 1981 silver DeLorean DMC-12 with a flux capacitor, powered on the radioactive element plutonium. On reaching a speed of 88mph, the car can fling its rider through space

Western Eye 10.13  –  Issue 02

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

and time to any specif ied date. In one episode, Marty McFly, Doc’s adolescent comrade, travels back to 1955 and inadvertently seduces his mother… you get the idea. But, according to a succession of physicists, starting with Albert Einstein (who looks suspiciously like our Doc Brown), time travel isn’t just a far-fetched idea that only exists inside our television screens. So for any aspiring Doc Browns out there, here are some ways you could make your very own flux capacitor: 1 Understand what you’re working with… We are all aware of the three dimensions of space – length, width and depth – especially when it comes to free hand baggage on easyjet; but there’s a fourth dimension – time. Space and time are like two loved-up peas in a pod – one cannot exist without the other and any event happening the universe

has to involve both. But time does not flow at a constant rate – a fact forming the basis of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. 2 Toss in a bit of gravity… The greater the gravitational pull on an object, the slower it passes through time, an effect called ‘gravitational time dilation’. Enter Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Imagine gravity as the third wheel forming a curve through space and time’s love affair. For example, let’s say you could somehow manage to circle Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole in the centre of our solar system, with a central mass equivalent to that of 4 million suns. That would be a lot of gravity pulling on you, meaning you would travel through time at half the rate you would do so on earth. So spend 5 years doing this and a decade will have passed on earth. BAM! You just time travelled into the future.

3 Add some speed… As an object accelerates closer to the speed of light, time passes more slowly because the object gains mass as it accelerates, another conjecture of Einstein’s Special Theory. The hands of a clock move more slowly on a speeding train that those of a stationary one. According to English physicist, Paul Davies, if a train could reach 99.999% of the speed of light, only 1 year would pass for the passengers on board, while a massive 223 years would have gone by back at the station. 4 Find yourself a wormhole… Otherwise known as the Einstein-Rosen bridge, wormholes are theoretical channels which pass through the heart of a black hole. They create a shortcut through space and time, effectively connecting two separate times and places, allowing for time travel into the past or future, depending on how quickly either end of the wormhole is travelling. 5 Generate some anti-gravity… Current calculations theorise that these wormholes are narrower than the centre of an atom and only stay open for a fraction of a second. So

no matter how much you diet, you’re still likely to get crushed by the black hole’s merciless gravitational forces once your trusty wormhole decides to close. Kip Thorne, physicist at the California Institute of Technology, faced the same problem while creating an algorithm that described the physics of a theoretical time machine. His solution? Antigravity. The existence of anti-gravity, or negative-energy, was f irst proposed by Einstein in 1915. Rather than pulling things together, it pushes things apart. So generate enough of this stuff, place it inside your wormhole and the job’s a good’un. Providing you can overcome any of the slight technicalities, like stumbling upon an actual wormhole or not getting gobbled up by an enormous black hole, time travelling really is a piece of cake. And physicists continue to pour over many more bizarre ways to make it a possibility, from accelerating an object the speed of light (a no-go, according to Einstein) to cosmic strings and Kerr Holes. Watch this space (and time).

Discussing Dementia

The Frenchay Campus debate about an issue will affect almost all of us. KAYTIE MCFADDEN

comment@westerneye.net

On Thursday 3rd October, Frenchay Campus’ very own Exhibition and Conference Centre played host to a debate. This debate was about an issue which most would agree is not spoken about even nearly enough. A disease with which 820.000 people in the UK are currently diagnosed (alzheimersresearchuk.org). It is estimated that 25 million people in the UK have a close friend or family member suffering with the degenerative disease. This disease is Dementia. A scary disease, the name of which brings forth

heart-breaking images or wasting away in a care home, unable to remember the names of your children. The sad fact is that one in f ive people ages 80+ will suffer from dementia. With life expectancy increasing year on year, the issue of dementia, and how it can be tackled, is becoming more and more important. The debate was arranged by BRACE, a Bristol based charity which fund research into Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The ‘Question Time’-style debate was chaired by the legendary Jonathan Dimbleby – presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’ and one of

the country’s most respected broadcasters. The f ive panellists came from a range of different professions and backgrounds – Steve Webb who is Minister of State for Pensions and the Liberal Democrat MP for Thornbury and Yate; Beth Britton, a freelance writer and campaigner concerned especially with dementia, as she helped to care for her father who suffered from vascular dementia from the age of 12 until he passed away in 2012. The third panellist was Zara Ross, head of care at the St Monica Trust, which provides high quality sheltered accommodation and care for elderly and

disabled people. Seth Love is a Professor of Neuropathology at the University of Bristol. Neuropathology is the study of diseases such as dementia which affect the central nervous system. Last, but certainly not least was UWE’s very own Myra Conway. The Associate Professor of Neurochemistry and Dementia is currently working on research which is funded by BRACE, investigating the role of certain proteins in glutamate toxicity, which is a key contributor to the cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The debate kicked off with a question about whether

people suffering with dementia are the responsibility of their family members, or the government. To read the rest of this review, go online to www.westerneye. net/scienceandtechnology


14

MU S I C & E N T E R TA I N M E N T

Red Bull gives you house parties

Western Eye 10.13  –  Issue 02

Ever wondered what a real life Skins party would be like? Jayde Smyth finds out JAYDE SMYTH

what makes a perfect house party? Red Bull Studios has a pretty good idea: one large student house, an enormous amount of alcohol, mini fridges full of red bull, 330 hot and sweaty guests, oh and of course up and coming dj duo Bondax. The venue, located just between Bristol’s Whiteladies Road and Park Street in Cotham, is the perfect setting, and only to be found by those who have been invited to the elite event. Arriving fashionably late, people were already spilling out into the garden, the music could be heard half way down the street and bouncers were guarding the entrance. I had no idea what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t this. Mattresses were pressed against the windows, uv lights illuminated the rooms and the walls vibrate with each beat. Three of the rooms in the huge house had been transformed into mini club rooms hosting a variety of electronic, house and dance music. It’s hard to know where to start, the room on my right holds the bar, the room on my left relatively empty so I follow the crowd of people making their way up

the stairs and I decide to work my way from top down. On the third floor was room three, which was hosted by small Cheltenham label Casa and was described by Red Bull Student Brand Manager John Orme-Williams as the night’s “biggest success.” uwe alumni Jim Denyer and partner Max Pederson first pull the crowds in with an amazing set which included a mix of house and techno music. The queues for the relatively small room were pooling over onto the stairs, and inside people were pressed against the walls as they danced along to the hypnotic beats. dj Miles Denman, a personal favourite of Orme-Williams’, then took over the reins and performed a phenomenal set which had the room physically rocking. The heat radiates from each room making you believe you were in a nightclub in Spain, not a house party in Bristol. Just one floor below, Bristolborn night club Tropics host the second room with a collection of current dance music blended with various house anthems. The once ordinary student bedroom had been transformed into a miniature version of the relatively new club with uv bulbs, state of the art dj decks and a giant inflatable palm tree being tossed around.

ED STOGDALE WAITING FOR THE GUESTS TO ARRIVE

One party goer Carys Charlesworth said “I didn’t quite know what to expect, but it was so good. I would probably say it was one of the best night’s I’ve had as a student. It was almost like a scene out of the old Skins!” On the bottom floor stood the main room, the ceiling was layered in helium balloons creating a true party atmosphere, the walls were lined with vinyl disks and at the back of the room stood a large deck and amps pumping out amazing anthems until five

The atmosphere is electric, this is the moment everyone has been waiting for… in the morning. Kicking off the party was Futuregarden djs Tim Price, Nathaniel Baring and Aaron Sycamore who have plenty of experience performing at house parties in Southampton. Next to grace the decks were Bristol duo Mortal, aka Bryan Longhurst and Ben Curtis, slinging out a completely different vibe of techno. As we entered the room popular Bristol djs Pardon

CARYS CHARLESWORTH BONDAX TAKING TO THE STAGE

My French were warming up the crowd with a combination of house and disco before they shortly handed over to Sam Knowles or more widely known as Karma Kid. He draws in the crowds from the upstairs rooms with some of his hits “In My Arms” and “It’s Always” showing off his skills as students sandwich into the room making it feel like you were stepping into Bath Spa saunas. It’s 3:15am and Red Bull Studios have provided the perfect after party for friends George Townsend and Adam Kaye. A bright light shines the way as Bondax squeeze their way through the crowds, passing right by me I see their eager, yet sweaty faces. After spending two weeks recording in Red Bull Studios, the former bedroom producers from Lancaster George and Adam have had a whirlwind ride of late. They’ve received honourable mentions on Radio One from both Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw, they’ve performed at some of the most amazing festivals including Bestival, Creamfields, and Beacons, and now are having a host of house parties thrown for them across the country. Could life get any better? The atmosphere is electric, this is the moment everyone has been waiting for, the room feels smaller as people push their way into any available space. Their entourage stumbles towards the decks, cans of red bull are passed from one of the mini fridges, a beach ball gets batted around and the crowd have a new found energy. If I could describe Bondax in three words they would be: charismatic, friendly and engaging. In

all the rooms and of all the djs the crowd were never as responsive as they were with these two boys. The guys had them clapping, swaying to their hits, belting out words at the top of their lungs and did it all with smiles of wonder upon their faces. The walls were dripping with sweat, alcohol was flowing and they were genuinely interesting to watch. George has a complete look of concentration that it makes him appear at least ten years older, he looks like a total professional. Adam is charming the crowd, shaking hands with screaming girls and constantly laughing. Their songs penetrate the very souls of the people swarming the room, infecting them with the need to dance despite it now being four o’clock in the morning. They played some of their classics ‘Baby I Got That’ and a remix of “No Diggity” as well as their brilliantly mixed new single “Giving It All.” One fan, Jon Price was thrilled at having the chance to see them perform. “They were even better live than I thought they’d be, it was an awesome night and I’d highly recommend anyone going to a Red Bull sponsored event.” At 4:30am I was defeated although the party carried on until the early hours of the morning. As I mentioned at the start of this review, I had no idea what to expect but if I had gone in with expectations I am positive they would have been completely smashed. In a word, the night was surreal. It was professional, unique and captured that house party vibe that makes them so legendary. It was the house party to end all house parties.


Western Eye 10.13  —  Issue 02

Filth Not another cop movie UWE Film Graduate, Cole Underwood reviews Jon S. Baird’s adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Filth. Warts and all © released: 27 September (Scotland) 4 October (rest of uk © certificate: 18 © director: Jon S. Baird © cast: James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Jim Broadbent © running time: 97 mins

COLE UNDERWOOD

plot: When an Edinburgh school student is murdered, alcoholic and sociopathic police detective, Sergeant Bruce Robertson (McAvoy) realises this is the big chance to secure the promotion he has been waiting for. When some of his co-workers have the same idea, Robertson hatches devious plans to knock them out of the running. However, as both his addictions and his ghosts start

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MU S I C & E N T E R TA I N M E N T

to catch up with him, his mind begins to lose its edge. In Short: Considering the relative experience of its director and the weight of expectation on its shoulders, Filth is a solid and highly entertaining effort that is at times hilarious and at others harrowing. Flawed, volatile, utterly absorbing and keen to prove itself, it is just like its main character. In Full: It’s worth going into Filth with an open mind. Firstly the lighter-hearted viewer may be shocked into submission by its harder hitting elements, but the more battle-hardened-filmgoer, despite its more excessive elements, can still take it seriously. Because make no mistake, this is a film with surprises up its sleeve. For starters, director Jon S. Baird, the man who brought us the virtually unseen Cass, is a surprising choice to helm this particularly ripe material. An

adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s hallowed novel of the same name (with the shadow of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting towering over it and with the eagerly awaited Porn unfortunately still absent from our screens) this is a volatile choice for the director. It could either be his big break, or it could blow up in his face. His competence as a director is abundant here however, as James McAvoy’s socially destructive cop runs rampant through the scenes, control over the story is confidently maintained. Comparisons to Trainspotting, while easy and occasionally accurate (for elements of that seminal film are present here) are largely counter-productive. This could never be Trainspotting 2013. That would probably be in 3d. That film struck a chord with audiences because of its particular moment in time, sticking it to the man at a time when it was the popular thing to do in Scotland. It was political, Filth is less so – it’s not even really about police work. Trainspotting showed several poor, unemployed youths doing pretty much anything they wanted because they had nothing to lose. In Filth, our protagonist, while he has already lost, is not in that position. He is in a position of power, and that makes all the difference. In a time where some of our main methods of socialising mean that the minute details of our lives are increasingly opaque, the inner workings of a broken man’s mind are likewise. So really what is more accurate is to compare it to other modern thrillers with themes of loss of identity – such as The Machinist. Set in Irvine Welsh’s home city, Edinburgh, Baird makes an honest

attempt at portraying the local, if not the national. While the old cliché of ‘the city is a character’ is not true here, Baird has shot it with a gloomy, urban hue that makes the film’s locale constantly apparent. Filth is through and through, very Scottish. It is also a portrayal of the Scottish police force, set in the aftermath of a local murder of a high-school ethnic minority at the hands of a gang. Assessing this as more an opportunity for work ascension rather than social injustice, detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson sets about manipulating his way up the chain of command, sabotaging all of his co-workers in turn. These characters are briefly introduced – much in the same way as Trainspotting’s characters were – but, with the exception of Imogen Poots and Jamie Bell’s (who both give underwhelming performances) threatening newcomers’, are largely and swiftly forgotten about. As Robertson, McAvoy is the movie’s nicotine tarred beating heart. Throughout the film he is a towering presence, part Trainspotting’s Begbie, part Me, Myself & Irene’s Hank Evans and part any Nicholas Cage performance ever. His unmitigated rage in the first half of the film powers us through it as he flips off young children, manipulates co-workers and receives fellacio from a minor. This is not the McAvoy of X-Men: First Class or Atonement, this is something not yet seen from the actor. For it is also a very physical performance and as the run-time progresses and Robertson’s mind begins to slip, you can literally see the strain in every facet of his facial expressions. We gradually see him turn from confident, staggering arrogance to a pitiful, almost spectral presence of

Remember not to Skream Vol. 7 hits hard

Up and coming dj Skream’s latest release emanates unbridled creativity of new artist COLE UNDERWOOD

2.30am in benicassim. A horde of festival goers surround the Trident Senses stage as an up and coming dj takes to the stage. He has taken a foothold in the charts because of a number of collaborations with artists such as Example and Katy B. It would have been easy to glide through this set playing those mainstream pop hits and going on his way. He didn’t. Instead he produced a marvellous 2 hour set laced with originality and verve which set

the crowd alight… Well, not literally. Even so, the wide ranging and expansive set ranged from techno to house, mixed with heavy elements of dubstep. The latter of these genres takes charge in Skream’s latest release, Skreamizm Vol. 7. But, like his live gigs, the album is tinged with a variety of sounds. The opening to the ep is one of the collaborations in which Skream has made quite a reputation for himself. Copy Cat (feat. Kelis) is hardly a heavy hitter, featuring a minimalistic backing track and dominated

by the vocalist herself, which creates a stylish but ultimately lacking introduction. However any fears that this will carry on are immediately allayed with the track Vacillate. It features a deeper running bass track, reminiscent of Justice or Boyz Noize, which is then pacified by a piano melody before hitting back again. This track demonstrates the true and intended nature of the ep. The wonderfully named Scrooge’s Revenge is a track that is more recognisable to the dubstep on display currently, and

MILKSHAKESANDMOUSTACHES.COM

is not a bad song in its own right. But, when taking into account the nature of the experimentalism manifested in the rest of the ep, it just feels slightly disappointing. Sticky on the other hand hauls the ep right back, again with a fairly minimalistic intro it evolves into an electronic masterpiece, featuring a pounding techno rhythm mixed with a simplistic and yet effective bass track. It

himself. You can see the strain overcoming him until it breaks him utterly, and in a post-breakdown scene late on in the film, in which Robertson meets the gaze of his ex-wife from across a supermarket, her rejection of even this smallest of human recognitions obvious to him, his reaction will bring you close to tears. Unlike Trainspotting, sex, more so than drugs, is the main item on the menu here. And while Robertson indulges in hearty portions of cocaine, it is his pursuit of one female or another that spikes his interests. There are sex scenes galore, and while they may not be particularly graphic, they are many and they are various. As his nihilistic tendencies continue to damage his own life and the lives of those around him, he gradually begins to slip. Delving into his mind, we witness bizarre dreamlike sequences that nearly always feature Jim Broadbent and nearly always fall flat, failing to make their point. Ultimately, Filth is a tale of one man’s greed, drive and overbloated ego. While by no means the Trainspotting of our time, it is a solid Irvine Welsh adaptation and in McAvoy’s Robertson we have one of the fiercest British protagonists of recent times. Surprises lurk around every corner, including (spoiler alert!) a marvellously unpredictable script, an extremely adult turn from Harry Potter’s Moaning Myrtle, and one of the most entertaining credit sequences this film watcher has ever seen.

is an example of how music can evolve within a track itself. If Sticky is perceived as heavy compared with the rest of the EP so far, wait until you get to Inhuman. The song is practically personified by the music, with a horror movie-esque intro before thrash dub jumps out at you menacingly. This is followed by a brief interlude before an even heavier drop finds you hiding under the covers. The ep finishes in much the same vain with Junkyard Dispute being a slightly toned down version of its predecessor. Overall, if dubstep is your thing then I would recommend this ep. But if you’re expecting the mainstream pop chart hits then frankly, you’re in for quite a shock. © Skream will be coming to Motion, Bristol on Friday the 15th of November.


16 MATT FLETCHER

the evening of Thursday 3rd October saw a wave of excitement run through the Bristol O2 Academy, as the sold out crowd eagerly awaited the arrival of the Mancunian four piece band The 1975. The last year or so has seen the band jump from underground gigs to being a household name with a tour of America under their belt. After releasing their self-titled debut album (The 1975) earlier this month the group set out to tour the uk not knowing that their debut album would smash the uk chart and fly to number 1. With a series of sold out shows ahead I can imagine many would happily swap places with them! As I waited for the boys I was pleasantly surprised by the talent that was on show beforehand, with music from MMX and Night Engine. First on stage were Oxford’s own MMX who received a warm greeting and pleased the crowd with astounding vocals and great synthesized beats. I shall

The 1975 at the O2 Academy

Matt Fletcher reports on the sold-out show which brought the house down most defiantly be keeping a close eye on this group and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Next on was Night Engine a London four piece band who played songs with a great bass line for dancing but the, at some points overtly screechy, vocals were a bit of a let-down on the odd song. Yet the set was strongly received by the crowd and despite my drawbacks all in all they put on a decent show. Finally after what seemed like a lifetime of a wait, The 1975 took to the stage to a roar worthy of a football stadium. With a quick

MATT FLETCHER

What’s on in Bristol this Halloween

With Halloween fast approaching, here are a few events that you may want to consider for the occasion SOPHIE SEDDON

you could not be in a more vibrant city for Halloween than Bristol. Even if it is not on the night itself, there are events happening everywhere for this time of the year. On the 31st, Ramshackle at the 02 are hosting ‘Halloween Freak

Western Eye 10.13  –  Issue 02

MU S I C & E N T E R TA I N M E N T

Out’, which has three rooms with different types of music being played, filled with death, gore and horror. Starting at around 10:30pm, Ramshackle is your ultimate go-to place on Halloween itself, as the venue usually had a wide range of music tastes to suit all. Most events however are happening on the weekends before and after Halloween.

look at the crowd they opened up with The City a song that is big on guitar and bass that got the crowd up and jumping. With a swift move onto Milk it became clear that the set list would go beyond the album, to the joy of the entire audience including myself. Lead singer Matt Healy was on top form, charismatic and energetic as he jumped around the stage, standing on monitors; and at one point even took a photo of the crowd on his polaroid camera. In fact he was so involved that he came close to overheating telling the crowd “I might puke” but swiftly resolving the situation by taking off his shirt, to the delight of the female section of the crowd (and probably some of the men). With such a depth in their musical arsenal the crowd was a sight to behold, from swooning girls to skinhead men, The 1975 really have something for everybody. Yet this only added to the atmosphere as it incorporated a feeling of almost family-like interest with everyone there to enjoy the pure depth this particular band has to offer.

The superclub, Syndicate, in the centre of town is usually considered one of the big club events on the Halloween calender, (Saturday 2nd of November) encouraging all you young things to come in outrageously scary costumes. Yeah, sure, so its DJ’s are called ‘Steve ‘Scary’ Murphy’ and ‘Tim ‘Spooky’ Shires’, and it sounds a bit cringe. But overall it should be a good laugh if you’re with the right people, and with a separate room upstairs, there’s plenty of choice if the music downstairs is not to your liking. It also falls on the club’s usual ‘Get Sexy’ night, so maybe a True Blood-esque costume would be appropriate here? But just around the corner from Syndicate is Bierkeller, a venue that offers alternative entertainment to those who prefer rock and punk music. Their Day of the Dead event, on the same night as Syndicate is offering a hog roast, face painting and live music. So if your music taste is not club tunes or pop music, but hard rock and punk, then maybe Bierkeller will surprise you, and you can celebrate the Day of the Dead in true Mexican style. Mind you, at £20 for a food ticket,

Songs to follow included Heart Out and Settle Down both of which incorporate a jazzy baseline accompanied by a big chorus that rang around the arena to the clear delight of the band. The sound then took a more mellow turn with Fallingforyou a very

said what it seemed most were waiting for “this one’s called chocolate” a huge cry goes up and the hypnotic beats of Chocolate start. It was difficult to hear Healy above the overwhelming sound that the crowd generated in its glee. Afterwards the band went off to the misery of everybody there which prompted a cry of “SEX, SEX, SEX” from the crowd. Hearing the calls The 1975 appeared back out to play the raw indie rock soundings of Sex. Here is where I thought they would end so I was joyous when the sexy rift of You started up for the final song. A brilliant end to an unforgettable show despite what some think You has the guitar riffs capable of rounding the night off. All in all it was great to see how far this band has come in the last

MATT FLETCHER

slow and emotive song that had the crowd swaying left to right to the beat. The follow on saw my personal favourite song Robbers which allowed for front man Matty’s voice to really show its ability in range and emotion. The rest of the gig saw the big songs from the album played. Girls, the next single, had everybody dancing like mad men to its rhythmic beats. Finally Matty

year or so. The depth that The 1975 has to offer should appeal to most. It was also refreshing to see how grateful the band was to their dedicated fan base. If any of you have the chance of checking these guys out live, take the chance you won’t regret it. You can grab their self-entitled album from iTunes now, best tenner I’ve spent in ages.

PEDRO J. FERREIRA FLICKR GET YOUR PUMPKINS OUT!

and £14 for a non-food ticket, it may be pricey, but you are not just paying for a generic club night, which will make the hole in your pocket worthwhile! I would do it just for the hog roast… Speaking of Day of the Dead, on the 26th of October, there is actually a Day of the Dead festival in Bristol by Millennium Square and the Harbourside, which features live music, arts and crafts and fireworks. But what makes this event special is that is refocuses on the traditional Mexican holiday, the Day of the Dead, to remember lost

ones, and promises the event will be an eclectic blend of Mexico meets the West Country. Personally, I think that sounds quite promising, and £6 a ticket isn’t bad. So if clubbing isn’t your thing, but a good day outside with some live music and other activities, this sounds like it could be the place for you. But whatever you choose to do, plan now. Tickets sell out very quickly and if any of these events look good to you, it is more than likely other people have had the same idea. So get booking, and enjoy Halloween!


Western Eye 10.13  —  Issue 02

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A R T S & FA S H I O N

Halloween costume ideas Stand out from the crowd MILENKA STEVENS & JILL ALGER

it’s that time of year again, and with Halloween just around the corner it’s time to start thinking about your costume for the night (or week if you have several parties to attend). During your time at uni going out in fancy dress is about as common as going out wearing your normal clothes. Seeing a smurf on a night out becomes a regular occurrence and weekly

Cereal Killer

What you’ll need: © Empty cereal boxes © Plain top and bottoms © Toy knife © Fake blood (optional)

trips to Primark become a necessity. But by the time Halloween has arrived your creative inspiration may be running a little low and it’s not always easy finding something fun or original on a student budget. But don’t worry, the WesternEye are here again to help you out. We have compiled a short list of fairly cheap and recyclable Halloween costumes that should impress your friends... even if it is just for the comedy factor.

ESCAPADE.CO.UK

This is probably one of the most student affordable, sustainable costume ideas – all it requires is for you to finish your Coco Pops or Corn Flakes and attach the empty box to your ordinary clothes with a few safety pins; you don’t even have to change your outfit from earlier in the day. Then just pick up a plastic knife from a fancy dress shop and some fake blood if you want to add a touch of effort and don’t mind spending a few pennies, and there you have it — you have transformed from lazy student to ‘cereal’ killer with utmost ease.

ALLYOUNEEDTOPARTY.CO.UK

FASINFRANKVINTAGE POPSUGAR.COM

Miley Cyrus at the vmas

What you’ll need: © Skimpy nude clothing © Foam finger © Indecent dance moves If you’re struggling for ideas, you could always go for the shock factor à la Miley Cyrus at the vmas this year, and see if anyone’s faces will match those priceless expressions of Will Smith’s family. Nude coloured clothing and double hair knots is all you really need for this look. Tongue permanently hanging out optional. Foam finger most definitely compulsory.

The Fresh Prince

What you’ll need: ©Bright, heavily patterned clothing ©Slick dance moves ©Rap skills

SHEKNOWS.COM

‘Your Friend’

For an iconic and eye-catching idea, dig out your wackiest clothes and just throw them together in one colourful ensemble of patterns. Voila — you’re the fresh prince! If you haven’t already noticed, 90’s clothing has recently taken a leap back into fashion, so this costume will also keep you bang on trend. You could even make a boombox out of cardboard if you’re feeling particularly creative.

What you’ll need: © Friend’s clothing

CARBONCOSTUME.COM

Hit Girl from Kick Ass

What you’ll need: © Purple wig © Leather-look jacket © Leggings © Eye mask Find a purple wig in a fancy dress shop (Gloucester Road has a couple of good and fairly

cheap ones), or if you still have time, you could order one from Amazon or eBay. Add a plaid skirt, some purple leggings or tights, and a leather-look jacket for one kick ass outfit. You may even get the opportunity to reuse the wig with another costume if you’re lucky.

And if you are really stuck for ideas, or money, you can always raid your friend’s wardrobe and go as them for the night! This idea is best if you’re of opposite sexes, otherwise it probably only works if you’re going to a party with mutual friends who will recognise what you’ve done…


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Western Eye 10.13  –  Issue 02

LIFESTYLE

Halloween: cocktails & stews

Pre-drinks are a great way to save cash – make sure your drinks are full of Halloween spirits (in more ways than one)!

“I’m Not A Witch, But I Cook Like One”

KAYTIE MCFADDEN

assistanteditor@westerneye.net

Whether you want to splash out or save the pennies, there are many different Halloween related cocktails to try out. The ‘Zombie’ is probably the ultimate Halloween treat. My personal favourite (throughout the year, not just during October), it uses a few different spirits (three different types of Rum) so can be costly, but there are alternatives, which I’ll tell you about as we go along!

COCKTAILS RANDY CONNOLLY

The recipe as follows:

© Half fill your glass with ice (totally optional, it tastes good cold, but keeping the ingredients in the fridge means that it its refreshingly cold without watering down your drink! © Add one shot of white, one shot of dark, and one shot of spiced rum. (This is all good and well in a bar, but it’s totally pointless buying three different bottles of

SYNNE VANGEN

comment@westerneye.net

rum. So unless you’re classy and non-student-y enough to have a liquor cabinet then just stick with spiced rum, as it tastes the best.) © Fill almost to the top of the glass with fruit juice. I tend to use a combination of pineapple and orange juice for this, but a splash of cranberry never hurt anyone. I recommend using all three and counting it towards your five-a-day. Then you’re not even lying when you tell your parents “yes, of course I’m eating lots of fruit and veg. © Supernoodles? I don’t even know what they are!” © Adding a little grenadine and

For a cheaper, but equally tasty Halloween cocktail try ‘The Hulk’: blue Curaçao right at the end is why it’s called a zombie. The red-coloured Grenadine sits on the top and the Curaçao sinks to the bottom, giving an ominous layering of blue, green, orange and red. Just try to resist the urge to stir it, it goes a horrible brown colour! © 2/5 WKD Blue (obviously, WKD can be easily substituted for whichever blue-coloured alco-pop

happens to be on sale at the time. For example, ASDA have a home-brand blue alco-pop which costs £1.70 for 70cl). © 2/5 Red Bull (or once again, whatever cheaper alternative you can find!) © 1/5 Vodka. The result of this winning combination is a luminous green coloured drink, hence ‘The Hulk’. It will even turn your tongue green, which is just adding to the zombie costume you’ve been slashing up clothes and spraying fake blood about to create. It’s the details that count!

I have a friend who is scared of Halloween. She is scared of the ghouls that parade drunkenly on Park Street, the small children that come to her doorstep asking her for sweets and the ghosts, ghouls and horror stories that are thrust into everyday life at this time. For me Halloween marks the start of Winter. I feel the need to have gloves and an umbrella in my bag just in case, and crave comfort food rather than just simple food. Around this time is when I

© Get around £5 worth of beef stew meat cut into 1 inch cubes and place on a layer of olive oil at the bottom of the crock pot whilst warming on the second lowest heat. © Get a pack of mushrooms and cut them in half and place on top of the meat. Trim a pack of baby carrots, whilst adding two large parsnips peeled and sliced lengthwise with two large onions roughly chopped. © Meanwhile, melt any three stock cubes of your choice in a bowl and a half cup of water. Add three tablespoons of tomato

This final recipe is particularly student-friendly, as it involves using the cut-away flesh of your beautifully carved pumpkins! Pumpkin Vodka!: © Cut the skinless pumpkin into 1inch cubes and bake in an oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. © Then add the pumpkin to your bottle of vodka. © Raid your flat’s rarely used spice collection to see if you have any cinnamon sticks or ginger, and add them if they’re available! © Put the lid back on and leave for a week at room temperature, shaking once a day. After that, strain out the solids. Serve with lots of ice!

start to feature broths and soups in my diet. A crock pot, electrical or the good old fashioned hob ones can last you a lifetime and are a worthy investment to your kitchen equipment for about £15. The recipe I’ll be making on Halloween to comfort my poor friend is an old school and chunky stew. My granny would be proud – and cheap considering how many portions (up to ten portions depending how greedy you and your friends are) you’ll be able to make for about £10. Also, plonking all the ingredients together over the stove makes it feel like you’re making a witches broth, or maybe that’s just me?

puree, two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, three smashed garlic cloves and the most generous addition of pepper you’ll ever sprinkle in your life. © Lastly three smashed cloves with around five small potatoes and a handful of frozen peas and sprinkle a tablespoon of cayenne pepper and ground allspice for luck. © Leave to gently bubble on the lowest heat for three and a half hours, stirring every twenty to thirty minutes.


Western Eye 10.13  —  Issue 02

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20

LIFESTYLE

Cultural Origins : Of Halloween

DAY OF THE DEAD SAM ANTONIO

MADALINA CIOBANU

comment@westerneye.net

October is upon us, which not only marks the beginning of a new academic year and the settling in of the autumn season. It’s the month which includes one of the most popular holidays - Halloween. We all enjoy Halloween, with its frightening costumes, themed candy and spooky garlands, but how much do we know about this holiday’s origins? A contraction of ‘All Hallows’

By the beginning of the 20th century it became a widespread celebration, adopted by people of all social, religious and racial backgrounds Evening’ or ‘All Hallows’ Eve’, the 16th century Scottish-derived name ‘Halloween’ is celebrated on the 31st of October. In the liturgical year, this time marks the reminiscence of the dead, including saints and martyrs. There is an ongoing debate, sparked by some scholars’ belief that this holiday is a Christianized feast originating in the Western European harvest festivals and others’ who attest to its pagan roots. Believed to have strong Celtic influences, this celebration is closest linked to ‘Samhain’, a Celtic festival celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, which marks the end of the harvest season and the

beginning of winter. It was seen as a homecoming feast of departed souls and spirits. However, harmful spirits were also believed to attend, which is why people took cautionary measures such as lighting bonfires in order to protect and cleanse themselves. In terms of Christian influences, Halloween falls on the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows’ Day, also known as All Saints’ (November 1st) and All Souls’ Day (November 2nd), thus becoming All Hallows ‘Eve. These three days are referred to as ‘Hallowmas’ and honor saints, proving as an opportunity of prayer for the recently departed souls that have yet to reach Heaven. All Saints’ was first celebrated in 609, usually on May 13th, but Pope Gregory IV suggested switching its celebration date to November 1st in 835. They became holy days of obligation across Europe by the end of the 12th century, involving customs such as church bell-ringing and ‘souling’, which involved the baking and sharing of soul cakes for all christened souls. This is believed to be the origin of trick-or-treating. The tradition of dressing up in costumes originated from the fact that All Hallows’ Eve provided a last opportunity for souls looking to gain vengeance on their enemies. In order to protect themselves, people would wear masks and costumes to conceal their identities. There have been suggestions that the popular jack-o’-lantern symbol originally represented the souls of the dead. In Britain, Halloween’s popularity diminished considerably with the appearance in 1605 of Guy Fawkes Night (November 5th), with only Scotland and Ireland keeping the celebration, as it had roots as

Harmful spirits were also believed to attend, which is why people took cautionary measures such as lighting bonfires in order to protect and cleanse themselves deep as the Middle Ages. We often hear the origins of Halloween attributed to the American culture, yet early 18th and 19th century North American documents give no mention of the celebration. It was actually the mass Irish and Scottish immigration of the 19th century that brought Halloween to North America, as the Puritans of New England maintained a strong opposition to it. Although strictly confined to immigrant communities at first, by the beginning of the 20th century it became a widespread celebration, adopted by people of all social, religious and racial backgrounds. The most well-known symbol of Halloween is the jack-o’lantern, which is traditionally carried while trick-or-treating in order to keep evil spirits away. In Ireland and Scotland the turnip used to precede the pumpkin, but North Americans use the pumpkin due to its size and softness, which makes it easier to carve. The year 1837 marks the tradition of pumpkin-carving associated with the harvest season and it only became associated with Halloween in the mid-to-late 19th century. Other elements are also viewed as symbols, such as corn husks and scarecrows - usually anything that depicts themes of death, evil and myth. In terms of color, this holiday is predominantly associated with orange and black. Halloween costumes are traditionally inspired from frightening characters or entities, such as ghosts, monsters, skeletons, witches etc. Dressing up in costumes and going ‘guising’ was a custom in 19th century Ireland and Scotland and didn’t reach the United States until early in the 20th century. Along with this started the commercialization of other types of costumes, those inspired from celebrities, princesses and popular movie/cartoon characters. ‘Guising’ or ‘trick-ortreating’ is customarily a children celebration on Halloween, when children go in costume from door to door, asking for treats such as candy, with the question of ‘Trick or treat?’ The ‘trick’ part is seen as a ‘threat’- if no treats shall be given, the homeowners face the possibility of mischief on their property. In terms of food, as Halloween is associated with the harvesting of apples, candy, caramel or

Western Eye 10.13  –  Issue 02 taffy apples are famous treats. ‘Pangangaluluwa’, a local version In modern Ireland, the custom of ‘souling’, in which groups of baking a ‘barmbrack’ still of people perform a song in persists. This consists of baking exchange for money or food. In a fruitcake, into which a charm Singapore, the ‘Hungry Ghosts is placed. The lucky finder of the Festival’, a Chinese variation of charm is believed to find true Halloween is celebrated during love during the course of the lunar seventh month, when year. Other popular foods include supposedly hell opens its gates caramel corn, candy pumpkins, for spirits to re-visit their families. candy shaped like skulls, bats etc., Romania’s Halloween celebrapumpkin pie and soul cakes. tions are centered on the myth Although these are the main of ‘Dracula’ and are held in the features, symbols and custom Sighisoara citadel, Dracula’s place celebrations of Halloween, as of birth, and these are just a few. the holiday has spread around Halloween’s origins have deep the globe, it has been personal- roots in today’s culture and sociized by different countries and ety, and you’ll be able to enjoy it civilizations. The Philippines on the 31st of October regardless still celebrates something called of whether you prefer traditional or modern festivities.

Bristol’s Most Haunted.. Places that you might want go (or avoid) on this years’ Halloween... OLIVIA GARNER

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Bristol is a historic city with roots that can be traced back to 60,000 years to the Palaeolithic era. It is now a modern flourishing city however many believe that this rich history may be the cause of some creepy occurrences in many sites around Bristol. Ghosts hunters, paranormal experts and even Yvette Fielding from the popular TV show ‘Most Haunted’ seem to think there may be some truth in the claims. Whether or not you believe in such things these historical buildings may be interesting to visit, read about or make a good scary story this Halloween. The Christmas Steps Bristol BS1 5BS The Christmas steps were built in 1669 funded by Jonathan Blackwell. It has had many names over the centuries including Lonsford’s stairs (after an officer died there during the English Civil War), Queen street and also Knyfesmyth street. As it was near to the harbour it is generally known that the Christmas steps was an area filled with bar’s and brothels but this is not the only interesting aspect to its legacy. There are also legends of ghosts that haunt the walk way including that of a Victorian female. Some have reportedly heard a person walking up the stairs behind them only to turn and see nobody there. Is it the old fashioned Victorian street lighting causing tricks or is this a true ghostly ‘hot spot’? The Hatchet Inn 27-29 Frogmore Street, Bristol, BS1 5NA The Hatchet Inn is a 400 year old pub dating back to 1606 situated in Bristol’s city centre. It is now a Grade II listed building and a hub of alternative nightlife

which in a sense it has always welcomed. It is supposed to have been a regularly visited place by pirates and later housed a cock fighting pit and bare knuckle boxing. Its claim to being one of Bristol’s most haunted places revolves around its rather creepy front door. Legend has it that underneath the black tar that coats it the door is covered with layer upon layer of human skin. It is also supposed to have a haunted basement – one can’t help but think that the basement and front door might be linked to the same unfortunate ghost? The Dower House Stoke Park Estate, Bristol, BS16 1AU The Dower House is a familiar sight for many getting the bus to Frenchay campus but many are unaware of its history or ghostly legend. It is now a Hotel and a Grade II listed building. The Dower House dates back to 1553 and was built by Sir Richard Berkeley. After 1760 it became the Dower House of the Dukes of Beaufort and their families. It is rumoured to be haunted by Elizabeth Somerset who was the 17 year old daughter of the fourth Duke of Beaufort. She went out riding, her horse was scared by a fox and she fell and broke her neck. Ever since there have been reports of people hearing horses hooves around the Stoke Park Estate when no horses have been in the park for many, many years. Also a ghostly figure of a woman in 18th century dress has been spotted who many believe to be Elizabeth. It was used as Stoke Park Mental Hospital from 1909 until 1988 and many report supernatural happenings within the main building itself which could, to believers, be attributed to deceased inmates of the old hospital.


Western Eye 10.13  —  Issue 02

21

LIFESTYLE

Mentally disadvantaged MENTAL HEALTH LUKE CARTER

representatives of the superstore or the inpatient?

SHONAGH POYNTER

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Picking a Halloween costume for some is the spectacle of the year. Why not out humour your friends by going as a used sanitary towel, because nobody has done that before? Maybe go as the zombie bride and blend in with all the other sad, lonely corpses jilted at the altar. How about that ‘mental patient’ costume in Asda and Tesco? Why didn’t I think of this before? Well, for very good reason presumably (hopefully! Recently, both leading brands Asda and Tesco released ‘psycho ward’ Halloween costumes. For around twenty pounds it included ragged clothing, a fake meat cleaver, pseudo blood and a jaw restraint amongst other charming features. It truly compromises the true horror! Not because the mental patient is universally feared nowadays alongside that girl with cystic acne who keeps giving you the wink in class and popping up out of hedges on your travels, but because whoever sat in a boardroom meeting discussing this proposal genuinely thought that this was a tremendous notion. Terrifying!

“Everyone will be running away from you in fear in this mental patient fancy dress!” Asda claimed. To say that this is an outdated perception of mental health is quite the understatement. If we’re travelling back to the 18th century and highlighting the entirely petrifying

(i.e. smashing those prehistoric stereotypes), then I shall skip the buzz of the mental health patient and eagerly wait for the homosexual costume to arrive in store. Failing that, I can only hope that they release ‘the black man’ or god forbid ‘the career – minded, independent woman’; because nothing is scarier than the female who opts for professional success over all the wonders that only a hubby and child - bearing entitles

to many. Significantly, depression affects 1 in 5 older people. And, of course, whilst albeit mental health is much more difficult to decipher compared to physical health in which can be observed and monitored more clearly, globally it is still a wholly relative concept; it is dependent upon time and culture what we view to be an a mental condition. For instance, up until shockingly recently, homosexuality was still

Tesco and Asda are suggesting that 25% of the country voluntarily drag an axe around to slaughter civilians with you to; why, they must have been deemed to be a mental illness and summoned by Satan himself. For was only decriminalised in 1967. just £15.99, they’ll chuck in a free The way in which it has been public stoning and witchcraft depicted suggests that each of trial, too! these unique individuals, subject So what really encapsulates to the wrath of any form of the present mental patient? mental disorder, are all categoriNothing. At least nothing relating cally axe – wielding, serial killers. to physical appearance anyway. Slight generalisation, I think so? As the term would suggest, it is Further statistics according to the inner workings of an indi- the mental health foundation, on vidual’s mentality that in fact the facts and figures surroundrender a person to be mentally ing mental health are alarming in ill and occasionally consequently how common it is to encounter. 1 sectioned. Even then, conditions in 4 people in the UK will experiare so diverse and numerous that ence some kind of mental health to encapsulate all of them into a problem in the course of the year. single body of costume is simply Subsequently, Tesco and Asda are impossible. Let alone taking into suggesting that 25% of the counconsideration the vast spectrum try voluntarily drag an axe around at hand; some conditions being to slaughter civilians with! far more severe than others. Vast What these supposed family magnitudes of people suffer from – orientated companies failed to mental impairments in which recognise is exactly just how many still allow them to carry out people they would be offending. their lives and perform phenom- That is not just to mention those enal things. Exhibit A: Stephen who themselves directly have to Fry, who openly talks about the endure a condition but all others depths of his bi – polar disorder. indirectly affected, of which have Exhibit B: Ruby Wax, whose inner worked so hard to challenge battles with depression is known the stigma surrounding mental

health only for these chumps to metaphorically dump all over their triumphs. What is this teaching children roaming around these supermarkets? Schools work incredibly hard to derive children of intolerant discrimination based on false stereotypes, whilst they’re then simultaneously being presented with this paradoxical image during shopping outings. Mental health is not entirely taboo in modern society, and certainly it is not as taboo as it once was, but that is not to say that it still doesn’t carry certain presumptions and negative attitudes in response to it. Merton coined the self fulfilling prophecy, in which highlights the dangers of labelling people; when a person is labelled as something, they begin to act up to the way in which they are perceived. Mental health patients thus may be quick to think that there is no point in them trying to get better on our accord, and that is utterly heartbreaking. Many have stated that this is a mass undoing of all of this hard work, while some have argued this to be a blessing in disguise. Issues of stigma are being publicly scrutinised and perhaps opening old wounds is a way of reminding people that it is still very much a problem we must face; rarely does an organic opportunity for fighting stigma arise. I can see both sides to this. However, the remarks I encountered made by everyday people on social networking reassured me that the majority similarly found it to be utterly repugnant. One of my absolute favourite replies on Twitter was a former inpatient who sent in a photo of her on her wedding day, glowing and happy. Similarly, other sufferers rivalled the cause by posting

pictures of them wearing t-shirts and jeans, just going about their daily business. Sure, both stores issued generic and ‘meaningful’ apologies along with a large charity donation. But realistically, the damage has already been caused. In some ways, we are so advanced as a culture. But sometimes it takes controversies like such to remind us that, despite the modern technological and scientific advancements (cue the flying cars!); we still have a long way to go in overcoming prejudices and social attitudes from the Dark Ages. If we’re going to make crashing generalisations, then I can only hope that mental health sufferers do not retaliate by dubbing all those who are supposedly sound of mind under the umbrella of the morons who delivered this product idea. The irony of the situation is that really the only ones who seem cognitively disadvantaged to me are the product designers at Tesco and Asda, whom are so evidently ignorant and insensitive towards the feelings of at least a quarter of the nation in which they are trying to sell products to. Market research? No? Maybe next time!

We still have a long way to go in overcoming prejudices and social attitudes from the Dark Ages


22

Western Eye 10.13  –  Issue 02

A R T S & FA S H I O N

A/W fashion trends

With the colder months closing in on us, it’s time to start thinking about your winter wardrobes. Fortunately, Bristol Fashion Week returned to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway once again to guide us on all of the hottest styles and trends for Autumn/Winter 2013. Held between the 25 – 29th JILL ALGER

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Bristol Fashion Week is the perfect opportunity to wise up on how to keep on-trend in the upcoming seasons. September and featuring 18 catwalk shows and a wide scope of brands. We were lucky enough to get press passes to the event, and having been wowed by the A/W collections of many high street brands, we have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to look amazing — great news for us students! There were several standout trends displayed in the show ready for the approaching months, so we thought we’d give you a heads up so you know what to look out for on your next shopping spree. There’s no escaping the cold weather, so we might as well embrace it and look good in the process.

White Winter

Animal prints

Winter Florals

There’s no denying that Autumn/Winter are the partying months, and there’s nothing quite as good as enjoying the festivities dressed from head-to-toe in as many sequins and glitter as one dress can hold. It’s the one time of year us girls can feel red carpet-worthy — so why waste the opportunity?!

IMAGE THE MALL CRIBBS CAUSEWAY

Another trend that is getting us jumping around with excitement for the festive season (despite it only being October) is the Winter Whites which are currently coating the stores like snow. White never fails to look elegant and stylish and let’s face it — who doesn’t want a white Christmas?!

Embellishment Tartan IMAGE BOB SINGLETON

One of the main trends that stood out on the catwalk was tartan. Whether that’s tartan trousers, blazers, or even kilts! This Autumn/Winter is all about channelling our inner Scottishness.

Red

If you’re a lover of all things floral then don’t panic — even though summer is becoming a distant memory, the catwalk has confirmed that we can continue to cloth ourselves in our feminine favourites. Just set aside the pastel colours and make sure they are darker and warmer in tone and you’ll be good to go.

IMAGE MISS SELFRIDGE

All Miss Selfridge, £TBC

IMAGE BOB SINGLETON

There’s no denying that Autumn/Winter are the partying months, and there’s nothing quite as good as enjoying the festivities dressed from head-to-toe in as many sequins and glitter as one dress can hold. It’s the one time of year us girls can feel red carpet-worthy — so why waste the opportunity?!

IMAGE JILL ALGER

There’s no denying that Autumn/Winter are the partying months, and there’s nothing quite as good as enjoying the festivities dressed from headto-toe in as many sequins and glitter as one dress can hold. It’s the one time of year us girls can feel red carpet-worthy — so why waste the opportunity?!

IMAGEWALLIS

Coat – Wallis, £99

IMAGEDOROTHY

Coat – Dorothy Perkins, £59


Western Eye 10.13  —  Issue 02

23

A R T S & FA S H I O N

Huge look into the eyes of the prize winners The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize wows Bristol audiences

JILL ALGER

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Following the success of the highly acclaimed Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 at the National Portrait Gallery, London, the exhibition is now showing its face in Bristol. Featuring 60 outstanding portraits of the works of some of the most talented emerging young photographers, established professionals, photography students and gifted amateurs, this exhibition is one not to be missed. Last year 5,340 submissions were entered by 2,352 photographers, all hoping for one of 60 places, and having run their course at the National Portrait Gallery, the chosen ones are now being displayed at Bristol’s M Shed. the world,” says Julie Finch, head of Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives. “This will be the first time the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize has been seen in Bristol and I’m delighted M Shed is hosting this prestigious exhibition. Councillor Simon Cook, assistant mayor with responsibility for culture, added:

This is a rare opportunity to see the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world

Earlier in the year, five UWE Bristol photography students joined a group of 13 Young Curators aged between 18 and 25 from Knowle West Media Centre and Young Arnolfini, and helped to develop and market the exhibition for the Bristol Museum. The Young Curators informed the hang of the portrait prize and examined the effects of hanging photographs in different ways in terms of how they would be received by the spectator. This is a rare opportunity to see the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world,” says Julie Finch, head of Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives. “This will be the first time the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize has been seen in Bristol and I’m delighted M Shed is hosting this prestigious exhibition. Councillor Simon Cook, assistant mayor with responsibility for culture, added: This exhibition captures famous faces as well as intimate moments and many of the portraits will leave the viewer wanting to find out more. Our thanks must go to the National Portrait Gallery and Taylor Wessing, sponsors of the competition. Our partnership with the National Portrait Gallery goes from strength to strength and having this exhibition – exclusive to Bristol - demonstrates the many benefits effective partnership working brings. Earlier in the year, five UWE Bristol photography students joined a group of 13 Young Curators aged between 18

and 25 from Knowle West Media Centre and Young Arnolfini, and helped to develop and market the exhibition for the Bristol Museum. The Young Curators informed the hang of the portrait prize and examined the effects of hanging photographs in different ways in terms of how they would be received by the spectator. The group also helped the Bristol Museum’s marketing services in order to help attract other young people to the exhibition. Art can often be brushed off as being ‘boring’ to the younger generation, but this is an event that has something for people of all ages and is truly eye-opening, regardless of your background or interests. Some of the members of the group also made audio recordings about the photographs that they felt had a meaning to them, which highlights the subjectivity of the pieces. Visitors will be able to listen to these audios via QR codes in the gallery using their smart phones. (M Shed). The Taylor Wessing

This is a rare opportunity to see the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world

Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 has been at M Shed since Saturday 20 July, and will run until Sunday 3 November, so make sure you check it out while you can. Visitors have a choice to pay what they think the exhibition is worth to them, payment is discretionary.


24

Western Eye 10.13  –  Issue 02

B R I S T O L’ S B A C K B O N E

BRISTOL’S BACKBONE — AN INSIGHT INTO LOCAL CULTURE INTRODUCTION. ANNA-MAY RICHARDS.

Stories from the unsung heroes We all enjoy Bristol for many different reasons. For some it’s the market stalls in town, the local pub, or a favourite place to dance. There are people behind these places with more to share than you may initially consider. Is it the artists, musicians and performers who make Bristol what it is or could it be the nature of the people behind the scenes? There is a huge section of society who remain unheard. We want to tell the fascinating stories of these unsung heroes. Those who have so much to say, but do not usually have the platform to do so. It’s time to hear from the voices which keep this city ticking over. It’s time to hear from Bristol’s Backbone. ANNA-MAY RICHARDS

ANNA-MAY RICHARDS

assistanteditor@westerneye.net

assistanteditor@westerneye.net

tomorrow, Davy Reed is headed up to Manchester to hand deliver 12,000 copies of Crack magazine. A true team effort- everyone chips in to make sure underground music fans across England can have their dose of Crack’s culture. As junior editor, he faces responsibility for checking the content of all the fields Crack moves in, but his writing focuses on the us hip-hop scene. Here, we talk Bagel Boy, Simple Things Festival, and gender in the underground music scene. Crack found itself on the ladder of respectability by issue five through their interview with James Murphy of lcd Soundsystem. The publication has since branched out into programmes including The Warehouse Project, and Outlook, as well as being part of the team behind influential music events. Founders Jake and Tom are childhood friends who grew the cultural compendium that is Crack, from a blog after being reunited in Bristol, their home town. As a free publication, Crack makes its money from advertisement revenue. An obligation to quality, and specific criteria, the adverts are always appropriate to the articles that fit the brand’s mantra. No evil corporations advertise here. Davy moved from Newcastle down to Bristol in 2008, the WesternEye gave him a platform to kick-start the writing career that Stool Pigeon and old copies of Mojo had ignited in him. Despite having little idea of what Bristol was all about before the move, it only took a walk around Stokes Croft on a sunny day to be convinced that this was the city for him.

renowned for its creative and rebellious attitude, Bristol is constantly pushing the boundaries in the artistic, political, and domestic worlds. Award winning St Nicolas’ Market embodies a huge part of what Bristol is about. Home to an eclectic mix of eateries and shops including Pieminister, haberdasheries, record shops, alternative fashions, and even Doctor Burnorium’s Hot Sauce Emporium. Though some of the stalls don’t stick to the more conventional bargain prices of market stalls, the quality is high and you can still enjoy a delicious mountain of Moroccan food at Al Bab Mansour for only a fiver.

The first real night I went to was at the old fire station, an Invisible

THEBEARDYWEIRDY STOKES CROFT — BRISTOL’S CREATIVE HUB

Circus night. That was absolutely mad, that was the first night I realised there was loads of mad s**t going on here. While still at uni, Davy sent the Crack team some of his writing but nothing came of it. So he set off to Crack’s headquarters and asked to write for them. “For about a year I was bugging them with anything I could, and asking for feedback. Eventually they started trusting me with working on interviews”. What started off as a 25 hour a week unpaid internship, has evolved into a career with a fulltime wage. Chuck D [of Public Enemy] was the first [interview] that really felt real. Ghostfaced killer was pretty surreal. [I] went and interviewed him and he was lying in his bed, eating a big bag of pretzels, it was like I was reading him a bed time story or something. Little Dragon was one of the early ones I did [May 2012] and I was a bit too nervous to enjoy that. It’s funny to overcome that initial anxiety, and learn how to plan your questions and how to frame things, especially when you can meet some unpredictable, undisciplined characters.

But it wasn’t plain sailing from degree to Crack. After graduating, Davy went from being on the dole, to working in asda, to being on the dole again, to getting sacked from a frozen yogurt company on his first day, “I was gutted about it, I even got the hat with the little angel wings on it”. To add to the job hunt stress, the papers were full of news about the Coalition’s latest scheme to lower unemployment rates; workfare. He has concerns about the impact of schemes like workfare on smaller or alternative publications. It seemed the only outcome of compulsory work experience was free labour for companies and less time for individuals to gain valuable experience. This was especially awkward as the foot-in-the-door for most careers requires at least a small amount of unpaid work. It’s not black-and-white, because most small companies, like art companies, media companies and publications - no-one’s getting rich off this, no one’s making a lot of money, it wouldn’t exist without that. Personally if I wasn’t able to claim some sort of benefit and get some sort of support after university, I wouldn’t of been able to do what I do now.

BRIS.AC.UK ST NICHOLAS MARKET

On Sunday’s, Wednesday’s and Saturday’s the market spills out onto Corn Street, at the top of which is Bristol’s registrar office where wedding’s often take place, contributing to the cheery atmosphere. Aside from a few endearing grumps, the traders are happy to chat with you about what-ever you fancy and are keen to tell you about their produce. Whilst browsing the bags, dream catchers, and hot sauce, you may notice the guys in green vests. These are the people who make sure things run smoothly,

who set up and take down the market, who keep the place clean, and the traders happy. They are an integral part of the market. I speak to one of these people; twenty-nine year old Medo, a tall, Egyptian-Johnny Bravo, who shows me around the market and shares with me some of his views on Bristol, the world, and life. Medo grew up in Cairo, and comes from a respectable family of doctors and soldiers. He trained in the Egyptian capital as a physiotherapist, but his qualifications are not applicable in the uk so he spent the last eight years working for security and in other service areas. In Cairo, Medo studied physiotherapy and practiced as a qualified masseur. He talks about the importance placed on getting an education, and the disapproval placed on people who do not achieve. His work ethic is strong and so he remains level headed about being unable to use his qualifications. I cannot afford to get a degree here; I would be saving for years to go. But if I saved then I would deserve it. You shouldn’t have what you don’t deserve. I want to enjoy the luxuries of life, which means I need money, so I work. Everybody expects a lot from everyone; especially with the traders. To Medo, people on benefits have the minimum. They are unable to spend money on more luxurious past times and items. He believes that it’s more difficult for them to enjoy their lives in a fulfilling manner. He thinks Bristol is a beautiful city, and compares it to the faster pace of London, which he prefers to visit. I love to visit London but to live with the hassle and the traffic and the busy and the noisy s**t it’s too fast. It’s enough for me to be a guest there. But every time I go there I’m excited like a child. Our greeting and casual formalities are interrupted by a slightly distressed woman’s voice coming out of Medo’s walkie-talkie. The power supply isn’t working on Corn Street for some stalls, Medo’s colleagues can’t find the keys for the electric box and one of the wires needs to be changed. Medo maintains his cool demeanour, clearly “the Egyptian sense of humour is not to take anything too seriously”. READ THE REST OF THESE ARTICLES AT WESTERNEYE.NET/BRISTOLSBACKBONE


WesternEye Issue 2