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SMOKEMAG a window into westminster


student pride is back

meet our new columnist


Trevor wilson brings live at the loft to harrow

february 2018



Imani livingston Poetry collection




Student pride

Welcome to the new and refreshed SmokeMag. A new look for our new content. Created by students, for students, Our new aim is to be more inclusive, to represent what great talent we have at Westminster and showcase the best and brightest.


superorganism interview


Live at the loft with trevor wilson

This month, our first Student cover star, Trevor Wilson, talks to us about his upcoming EP and bringing life to the Loft on Harrow Campus.


The ugly side of modelling

Student Pride is back and better than ever, our first ever columnist is bringing the banter for the most romantic month of the year and at the back, check out our newest feature to see what crazy things have been overheard on campus this month.


social influence dina torkia


the perfect match valentine’s day


what’s on overheard


editor’s letter




We hope you like the new look, Welcome to February. Michael C Ward Art Director

m m ag ag m m a ag g m m a ag g m m a Lama El Khamy editor in chief

Katherine Cenaj Deputy Editor

Michael C Ward art director

Jasmin Goken Comment Editor

Mark Hoskin Music Editor

Miriam Cocuzza Music Editor

Kate Richardt Fashion Editor

Omar Balde Fashion Editor

Peony Hirwani Lifestyle Editor

Kristiyan Stefanov Arts Editor

EglĂŠ lusciauskaite Media guru

the team



imani livingston passionate poetic

few years ago, poetry was dismissed as a boring piece of writing dominated by the past. However, it is now making a comeback, with more and more young people getting involved in the creative process. Nowadays, if you ask a teenager or a young adult who their favorite poet is, they most likely will go for one from their generation. Poetry is an art form that requires a person to bare their soul into white blank pages, and that is what Imani Livingston has so bravely done. Imani is a year 3 Contemporary Media Practice student at the University of Westminster. Her passion for poetry started at a young age, having written her first book at the age of 13. At the time, it was all fun and games as she never thought of sharing her work. Now, however, she has decided to show herself to the world in her book Unapologetically. Unapologetically is a small book compiling 11 pieces of poetry that deal with issues such as mental health, confrontation and relationships. When asked what made her choose these particular pieces, she says that this was a way for her to finally show a part of herself that no

one ever knew, a part that “does not sugarcoat reality and that simply shows truth. “I am just being myself, unapologetically.” In the process of making this book, Imani faced many obstacles, the biggest one turning to be herself. “You are your worst critic. There’s always that voice in your head that asks: is it good enough?”. It took her two years, but with the support of her mother and her friends, she managed to bring her book into the world. Now she is focusing on getting it out there as much as possible. She has been reaching out to spoken word artists about performing her poetry in an exhibition, which will be happening sometime this semester at Ambika P3, the university’s own venue. When asked if she would ever perform her own work, she stated that it is something she is still working on and she needs to work on it more before doing in front of people. Unapologetically, is now on available on Amazon both as paperback and kindle version, and should definitely be on all of our shelves.

LAma El Khamy

Unapologetically is available now on amazon 4

3rd year BA Contemporary media practice imani livingston


advert 6




ow to have the most basic bitch Valentine’s . Valentine’s Day in the modern era, for some, can be a time to show off your love to your Instagram followers and Snapchat fans. Despite tweeting you were, ‘SO DONE’ and have since been tagged in twelve memes about being strong and independent, you probably took back the romance who betrayed you. So, I’m here to assist you to make your ‘love’ and ‘happiness’ look partially believable. 1000: Start the day with a surprise that isn’t surprising. A card on Valentine’s Day? NO WAY. Take a Snapchat next to your conveniently contoured face, expression: shock and joy. To up the level of basic I recommend the monkey emoji covering their eyes with a caption like ‘love him’ (even though you didn’t

ITS OKAY TO BE BASIC last month but it’s fine). 1300: It’s time to brag to your 500 instagram followers! We hope you got some flowers b e c a u s e everyone

loves flowers even though they wilt and die, but so will you, so it’s cool. Valentines day screams Montage! Mosaics are perfect for all your cheesiest memories, like the ones where he got you a Michael Kors watch for Christmas and you were the “Luckiest girl”. Whatever Michael Kors jewellery he got you, so did millions of other basic girls. Then for the

“WHATEVER MICHAEL KORS JEWELLERY HE GOT FOR YOU, SO DID MILLIONS OF OTHERS” caption don’t forget to add all the love heart, couples, kisses and monkey emojis that Apple blessed you with for this very moment. 1400: to fill the time between actually seeing your Valentine, tag all your single friends in memes about how you wish they could find someone as great as them, to remind yourself that you are more superior and they are very, very alone. 1900: Time has flown and you check your MK watch to realise it’s time for the big date, whatever you choose to do, in order to be the most basic of bitches, you need to get a boomerang involved. Leave the Fiat 500 at home and get some drinks in. Clink the shit out of your Pornstar Martini glasses and upload it straight to the instagram story with whatever filters you see most appropriate. And if you haven’t said ‘boy done good’ on some form of social media, wherever it may be, then you haven’t successfully completed the basic bitch Valentine’s Day. Love, Char x

Happy Valentines 7


special guests courtney act riyadh khalaf lewis oakley nichi hodgson lewis hancox callum scott ollie locke evan davis


SMOKEMAGatpride2018 9




is pride for everyone? S


tudent Pride is taking place this year at the Marylebone Campus from the 9th-11th of February. With London Pride only a few months away in June it begs the question: “Is a student pride really necessary?" After speaking to a few students who will remain anonymous the answer seems to be yes and no. Student Pride is an excellent way to bring awareness to LGBTQ+ issues. Yet, there seems to be concern as to whether or not this is just another opportunity to party. Student Pride doesn’t necessarily have much of a difference to general pride events other than the fact that it’s put together for students. So, what’s the point? It’s probable that the University could be using this as an excuse to promote diversity to prospective students. However, as a believer in all things good I’m confident that this isn’t the case. Pride is an event that allows those who don’t feel accepted by society to come together in a safe and encouraging environment. It opens the door to students who want to explore their sexuality, often for the first time when they move away from home, and connect with others who have shared the same struggle. For the past 5 years, LGBTQ+ issues have been a hot topic, yet there’s still so much that the general public needs to learn. For example: the changing use of pronouns, ways to combat discrimination against trans people, and nontraditional types of gender association. It’s a process that needs a voice, and Pride is that tool for change. At worst, Student Pride is a good reason to get involved and become educated on problems that affect today’s students. Overall, if Student Pride is done for ethically correct reasons that help boost the morale of students across all campuses, then it’s worth a go.

michelle del rey



Mark Hoskin chats to the eight-man band about the crazy year they’ve had after first forming in 2017

superorganism 15


hink Pavement meets Tame Impala meets The Avalanches, and you’re getting somewhere to understand Superorganism’s massive appeal. The band came together through music forums with members scattered around the world – Orono, the lead vocalist, recorded her vocals for Something for your M.I.N.D on a Macbook in her Maine dorm. The band’s guitarist, Harry, says that they worked in a casual way before Something for your M.I.N.D was released because they “didn’t know if anybody would be that interested”. But the single became one of the biggest indie tracks of the last year, helped in a way by Frank Ocean who played it on his Beats 1 show. Despite not having much of a presence beyond a Soundcloud page, the band’s profile rose rapidly. Over the summer, all but one of the eight members moved into a shared house in London. The house doubles as the production hub for everything from writing and recording, to preparing artwork and making music videos. Harry explains that each member knows their role and will work on their own until they’re ready. “We’re sending these files to each other even though we live in the same house. Then I’ll make some contributions to it and send it back,


and then send it on to the next person and so on” he tells me. That also means the band is constantly working on something as “if one person isn’t feeling too inspired at some point, then you can guarantee at least three other people are” says Harry, “and then when those people kind of burn out, then that other person picks up the ball and starts running with it as well.”

“THERE’S SO MANY OF US, WE’RE NEVER STUCK FOR IDEAS” They acknowledge that this is an unusual process – having more than two songwriters – “but there’s a constant stream so we’re never stuck for ideas” points out Harry. He also says having such a big band serves as quality control. “If it’s ticking all the boxes for us, it’s probably going to work out for other people too” explains the band member. The band’s stock has risen with the release of new singles and high-profile coverage, turning into one of the most compelling indie bands around. Rolling Stone magazine named Something for your M.I.N.D one of the best tracks of 2017. Superorganism sold out the 600-capacity Village Underground for their first ever headline show and is about to release its debut album on March 2nd. Despite that, Harry doesn’t feel there’s any pressure on the band, as their past experiences were “like a Rocky-style training montage” for them. Part of the band’s appeal, without doubt, comes from the fact that their music is unashamedly optimistic. They describe their sound as “technicolour pop” explaining, however, that the genre is less relevant. It is more important that a song “has an immediacy, a catchiness and succinctness to it” in a way that people can “connect” by listening to it. When I asked Harry what his favourite samples on the record are, he told me he likes the celebratory sounds like crowds cheering and champagne popping. Why? “It sounds like a good time to me” the guitarist smiles.


LIVE at the loft Y

ou can call me Beyoncé if you like!” Smoke Mag had a chat with Trevor Wilson, the man who brought back “Live at The Loft” and who is working on his brand-new EP. When I queued at the Forum of Harrow campus for a coffee I could see Trevor coming after me, joking about the fact that he thought another girl with curly hair was me. “Wrong hair I guess”, he said with a smile on his face. Trevor and I moved into a comfy place in the Forum and started talking about what he was up to at the moment and the stress pre-dissertation: “Oh, it feels awful!”. But Trevor was keeping himself busy and one of his biggest projects at the moment is “Live at the Loft”, a series of shows that are held once a month in The Loft of the Harrow campus. This gives the chance to whoever has a band or sings to perform in front of a crowd. “I actually brought it back in October and we plan to have it every month, but I didn’t have lots of time so we skipped last month; but we're already planning the next one".

The next “Live at the Loft” is going to be the 15th of February. Although the organisation is still at early stages, Trevor has something already in mind: “I want it to be more on the Hip-Hop side, because the last one was more on the R&B and acoustic”. Of course, for those who have a band or are not into Hip-Hop are still able to take part within the show. Also, the bands who didn’t have space in the previous show are set to perform in February. “The show is open to everyone from University, if you have a song you want to perform and let people hear it, definitely come down and I will find you a spot”. Trevor himself is going to perform within these events, even though he is busy in the studio with the production of his own EP that he defined as “visual EP” is about “bringing the old school vibes to the new school time”. It is almost time for Trevor to leave university. He will be leaving in a few months and as a thirdyear student he wanted to make sure to give some advice to our University of Westminster’s newbies: “If you know you can, just do it! Don’t be scared and just go out”.



Words Miriam Cocuzza

3rd year BA commercial Music Business Trevor wilson



the ugly side of modelling B eautiful”, “Amazing, hold it, hold it”, “Pose darling, work the camera”, “Now I want you to take off your clothes”. These aren’t the words you would expect to come from a high fashion photographer’s mouth. For a lot of models, the idea of being photographed is not the dream it has been made out to be. More and more models both male and female have come clean in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. They reveal how common sexual abuse and exploitation is by executives and photographers in the modelling world. An outburst of claims from actors were sparked by the Harvey Weinstein scandal in late 2017. It has caused other industry’s to follow lead, including fashion. But, this is nothing new. Models, such as Karen Mulder and Louise Gagnon, have been experiencing abuse as early as the 80’s. Mulder made claims against attempted rape from the executives of Elite modelling agency multiple times. She even spoke out on a French chat show, Tout le Monde en Parle. In 2002 the abuse led her into a coma after attempting to end her life with sleeping pills. She then spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

SHE ATTEMPTED TO END HER LIFE WITH SLEEPING PILLS Gagnon, French fashion magazine editor and former model since the age of 18, had similar experiences. With the mention of heroin use, rape orgies and prostitution being common within the industry, a single sexual abuse claim is nothing to her. She says some models take up prostitution in Amsterdam’s red light district between shoots. Famous photographers Bruce Weber, Terry Richardson and Mario Testino have all been accused of sexual exploitation. All three have worked for the likes of Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair magazine. According to an interview from with male model Robyn Sinclair, it is common for Weber to include unnecessary nudity in his shoots and would encourage ‘energy’ exercises. These included the photographer putting his fingers in the models mouth while touching their private parts. Sinclair says “there was a lot of touching.” 15 models have since accused Weber of sexual harassment. Gene Kogan told that if a model refused to work with a certain photographer, such as Bruce Weber and Mario Testino, then they might as well pack up modelling and get into another industry. Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, has commented on the claims saying that “a crisis often results in action”. Clearly, something needs to change.

words Drew-Alexandra O’Keeffe 21


Youtuber, blogger, instagrammer and a modest fashion influencer, Dina Torkia, otherwise known as Dina Tokio on social media is all about fashion and creating content for her online followers. Born of an Egyptian Father and English Mother, Dina spent her first seven years along with her twin sister and brothers in Egypt. The family later returned to the United Kingdom to live in Cardiff, Wales. Known for encouraging Muslim women to be themselves by dressing on their own modest terms and to live the adventurous life Dina has proven to be a success. Dina’s YouTube channel currently has over 707 thousand followers and her Instagram account has an impressive one million followers. Her content is based on modest fashion, which focuses on how Muslim women can wear clothes in modern society without feeling they are limited to traditional, Islamic clothing. Dina loves to experiment with colour, buying extravagant and mostly large clothes as she loves the oversized look.

dina Tokio

Words AIsha benmeriem


Dina is also known for her make-up tutorials where she applies makeup she has either bought or received from companies, to teach her followers how to put on makeup for a variety of occasions. Other videos include Dina showing step by step tutorials of how to put on a headscarf, teaching women how to experiment with the placing of material over their heads.

Muslim women to chase their dreams and be their true selves no matter what anyone says. Dina has recently impressed her enormous Instagram fanbase through being featured in British Vogue, alongside the likes of Sophie Walker, the leader of the Women’s Equality party and Stella Creasy, a Labour MP. The issue is dedicated to ‘women of influence’, some may say the 2018 suffragette movement.

Dina is married and owns a second YouTube channel with her husband called Sid and Dina. They use the channel to debate and discuss every day subjects such as Islam, love, family and also post daily videos on special months such as Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims around the world. She emphasises that “voicing what you truly believe in can be such a powerful tool”.

The February issue celebrates a hundred years since women were first granted the vote, illustrating to the readership a selection of some powerful women of today. Dina voices female autonomy and fights for female equality.

Dina and her twin sister, Tasneem co-own an online clothing company called ‘Doosy fil Tina’, translating to ‘step in the mud’ in the Egyptian dialect. The company emphasises on going ‘back to your roots’ and embracing cultural identity. The company is based in the UK, selling contemporary clothing that reflects their memories and experiences of the Egyptian culture. Their collection consists of bags, hand-made jewellery and scarves, which can be worn as an Islamic headwear called the hijab or as a normal scarf for anyone to purchase. Through her social media platforms Dina has inspired m a n y yo u n g


tech and beauty T

a pretty match?

he year has only just begun, but the beauty industry is already making significant changes to the ways in which consumers try and buy products, through new technology. Beauty apps are not an entirely new phenomenon. There are countless apps available to download where you can change your hair colour, try makeup products or carry out your own virtual makeover. With new gadgets being released every year, it was inevitable that beauty companies would harness the technology available to them to create their own products. In fact, several new beauty related gadgets were introduced to the world at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, which show the extent to which the industry is evolving. The ‘HiMirror’, otherwise known as a ‘smart mirror’, not only uses a camera to analyse your skin, but it also points out all of the imperfections present on your face. It has the Amazon Alexa built in, so you can order the recommended beauty products, or watch makeup and skincare tutorials on the mirror. Neutrogena have also released details about their ‘skin scanner’ known as ‘Skin360’.


Attach the gadget to your phone, and a ‘30x magnification lens’, ’12 high powered LED lights’ and some ‘highly accurate sensors’ will study your skin. The app then recommends products that would suit your skin based on the information you receive, and you can track your skin over time. This type of technology is also present in apps you can currently download onto your phone. Some of them analyse your skin and tell you whether you’re using the right skincare for your skin type, whilst the makeup related ones help you ‘try before you buy’. There’s no denying, makeup can be expensive. The thought of spending money on makeup or skincare could be difficult for a student. These apps are not only convenient and ingenious, but helpful. Find out if you like the look of that lipstick, or if that foundation suits your skin tone in advance by using apps like Feel Unique, Slapp or L’Oréal Makeup Genius. Or even download the Pretty in my Pocket app so that you scan the barcode of a product and read reviews about it. Save your money and time, learn about your skin, and buy that lipstick you want – just make sure you try it out virtually first.

Words Joanne Clarke Image Ian Dooley

Single and Ready to Mingle byMaria Campuzano


t’s Feb. Which means that Valentine’s Day is around the corner and thousands of lovebirds world wide are ready for it, or not, and us singletons prepare to dwell on the fact that we are alone. Or at least that is what Hollywood wants us to think. So what is the point of this day when you can have anyone you want at a swipe and practically everyone on your screen is ‘looking for a good time, not a long time’? Well, it isn’t that big of a deal. It’s supposedly a day to celebrate love, so let’s do that. For the past few years, my girlfriends have been the best dates on Valentine’s Day. We stay in and watch Netflix, we go out for a fancy dinner, we go to the cinema to watch a romance film. And we are together, having fun and enjoying life as it comes. I appreciate those little moments when we take a break from our lives to celebrate our love, not only on Valentine’s day. So I guess the point of this day is to remind us

that love exists, and it is everywhere. Dating apps are not going to change that. As long as you are being honest with what you want, it shouldn’t be such a big deal. If you are looking for a hookup, do it. If you are already in a casual thing with someone, do it. If you are in a relationship, do it. And if you just want to have fun on your own, do that too! Just let them know you appreciate them, for whatever they are to you. Yes, socially we have commitment issues, not only romantically but in life, too. We are afraid to settle because we think there is always something better, that the grass is greener on the other side. And we don’t feel connected. With a person, with a job, with a place, the list goes on. But it takes time. Everything is a process, and every person has their own pace. So enjoy it everyday. Today, tomorrow, on February 14th. The key is in enjoying the ride.


february WestMun Society Conference Regent street and LTS

2nd - 4th

Live at the loft The loft, Harrow


Elections Results night The loft, Harrow 15th Women’s Rugby Throwback throwdown 21st Regent Street Freidns of Palestine Panel 22nd regent Street 17.30


to campus

Two friends at the undercroft..

Bad day?

Yeah kind of. I checked my bank account and my grades on the same day.

Debating life in the library.. Ah. It seems like this course wasn’t designed to be learned in one day after all.

Geography between friends.. Do you know where Costa Rica is? Yes you idiot. It’s in Africa You sure? Yeah, didnt you notice? It sounds sooo Afffriccaan.

Overheard in Harrow Library.. I think my ex-girlfriend was more passionate about InDesign than she was about me. Dont take the personally dude, InDesign is pretty great


overheard at

westminster 27

e dia m ma g e d m me i a e dia dia m m e m d dia m edi m ia there’s more online at

Smoke Mag Issue 20  
Smoke Mag Issue 20