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Exploring the lives and art of young people in Halton

Serial

APRIL 2021

CULTURE

ALL BODIES TO THE STAGE / DAFT PUNK / O.X. COLLECTIVE / meet MATt plant SMALL BUSINESS focus / HALTON GREEN NEW DEAL / WANDERLUST / in RAeALITY FILM REVIEW + Much more!

1 ISSUE TWO


@lary_the_dinosaur Here's this month's Lary. I drew them a few years ago based on Veronica Sawyer from Heathers The Musical. 'Lary the dead Dino walking' '-Charlotte 2


04 Cover Art 06 Small Business - Focus 08 Community Talks - Meet Matt Plant 12 Living with autism 14 LCR Spotlight - Flight One 16 Teya's Legacy 17 Meet Dexter Dragon! 18 The Scarlet Watch - Elkie Atherton 20 All Bodies to the Stage 22 Nathaniel Hall talks to Glow @ The Studio 24 O.X. Collective 26 Culture Pigeon - Daft Punk - R.I.P. 28 Kickstart Creative 30 Community Talks - Green New Deal 32 The Birth of Goldenarm 36 In Raeality 38 Wanderlust 40 Serial Kindness Editorial Advisory Team Editorial Team Facilitator - Meg DeMar Designer - Greg Oldfield The Studio Project Manager - Louise Nulty

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COVER ART

TONI-LOUISE CARTER I am 21 and based in Runcorn. How long have you been creating art? I've been creating art for as long as I can remember really, there are so many photographs of toddler me doodling with crayons and paints. All through school and college, art was my favourite subject. I was always that 'arty' friend who helped with your art homework and did the bubble writing for your projects. How did you first get into it? There isn't really a specific reason for getting into art, it is just something I have always enjoyed and wanted to pursue a career in. I just really enjoy making things, probably more than I enjoy the final product. What training do you have? I don't have specific training other than my school and college qualifications in fine art and photography. However, I am currently in my second year of a Graphic Design and Illustration degree at Liverpool John Moores University. I have learnt so many new skills just from going to university as well as learning more about my style and what I enjoy making the most. What media/ software do you use? I pretty much use anything to make my work! From acrylic paints, paint pens, felt tip pens, coloured pencils to cutouts and digital work on Photoshop or my iPad. Recently, collaging handmade textures with some loose outlines has become a big part of what I do but I will always have a special place in my heart for some simple pen and pencil drawings.

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What is the inspiration for this piece? The inspiration behind this piece was the Dr Seuss The Lorax film, one of my many favourite films. I really recommend it! I wanted to capture the story of the film, specifically the focus that it has on the effect of cutting down trees. The small town of Thneedville lives through buying bottled air and electric trees, the town wasn't always like this though. What are the aims of your art? I always find the best pieces I make often come out of when I don't put too much thought or meaning into what I am making. I tend to think whilst I am making, so often the main aim of my work is to be a fun, exciting piece! If I were to really think about it though, maybe the aim of my work is to show others that not everything has to be finished and super neat. It could be a quick drawing or an illustration with no meaning behind it, what matters is that you have fun creating. Where can people find you on social media? If you want to see more of my funky stuff, find me on instagram and facebook @tlcillustration

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Ha lton: A S m a ll B or oug h of S m a ll B usinesses BY LISA BAZELY

H a lt on is on ly a s m a ll b orou gh s o y ou m a y b e s u rp ris ed t h e n u m b er of s m a ll b u s in es s es a va ila b le righ t on y ou r d oors t ep – a n d es p ec ia lly t h os e ow n ed b y y ou n g p eop le in H a lt on ! T h e 2 0 2 0 N a t io n a l L o c k d o w n s a w a s p ik e in n e w s m a ll b u s in e s s e s b e in g s e t u p – in c lu d in g o n e o f m y o w n ! I s t a r t e d m y b u s in e s s d u r in g t h e N o ve m b e r 2 0 2 0 L o c k d o w n , a ft e r d is c o ve r in g h o w m a n y d a n g e r o u s a n d u n s u it a b le p r o d u c t s a r e s o ld b y p e t s h o p s fo r s m a ll a n im a ls lik e h a m s t e r s . T h is le d m e t o c r e a t e T h e H e lp fu l H a m s t e r C o m p a n y, a im in g t o e d u c a t e a n d p r o m o t e p r o p e r c a r e a s w e ll a s s e llin g s a fe h a m s t e r fo o d a n d p r o d u c t s . I u s e m y I n s t a g r a m p a g e t o h e lp e d u c a t e h a m s t e r o w n e r s a n d g ive t h e m t ip s a n d a d vic e t o m a k e p r o p e r c a r e a c c e s s ib le t o e ve r yo n e . I lo ve t h e fa c t t h a t I a m a b le t o h e lp p e t o w n e r s s p o il t h e ir h a m s t e r s a n d p r o vid e t h e m w it h k n o w le d g e t h a t w ill h e lp t o in c r e a s e t h e q u a lit y o f life fo r t h e ir p e t s ! I a ls o g e t a lo t o f m e s s a g e s fr o m h a m s t e r o w n e r s t h a n k in g m e fo r m y e d u c a t io n a l p o s t s b e c a u s e t h e y’ve b e e n a b le t o le a r n a lo t a n d m a k e t h e ir p e t s h a p p ie r w h ic h is a lw a ys g r e a t t o h e a r !

I s p ok e to th ree oth er youn g b us in es s ow n ers in H a lton to h ea r th eir s t or ie s a n d le a r n a b ou t t h e ir jou r n e y in t o t h e w or ld of b u s in e s s ! C o u r t n e y R o b i n s o n i s 2 1 y e a r s o l d a n d i s t h e o w n e r o f C o u r t ’s C u s t o m D e s i g n s . C o u r t n e y s e lls a w id e r a n g e o f p e r s o n a lis e d a n d n o n -p e r s o n a lis e d it e m s , s h e s t a r t e d h e r b u s in e s s d u r in g t h e p a n d e m ic in A u g u s t 2 0 2 0 a n d h a s m a n a g e d t o e x p a n d h e r b u s in e s s in a ve r y s h o r t s p a c e o f t im e . W h a t d o you lik e th e m os t a b out your b us in es s ? I lo ve m a k in g it e m s a n d h e a r in g t h e fe e d b a c k o f m y c u s t o m e r s . I s t a r t e d o ff m a k in g it e m s fo r m y o w n c h ild r e n a n d fe ll in lo ve w it h a ll t h e it e m s I c r e a t e d ! I lo ve h o w t h e r e is n o lim it t o w h a t yo u c a n m a k e p e r s o n a lis e d w it h t h e s p e c ific m a c h in e s I h a ve ! I lo ve b e in g a b le t o u s e m y o w n id e a s o n m y p r o d u c t s a n d I a ls o t a k e c u s t o m e r r e q u e s t s a n d lo ve t h e id e a s m y c u s t o m e r c o m e u p w it h .

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E llie Is h e rw ood is 25, a fu lly q u a lifie d p e rs on a l t ra in e r a n d c re a t or of t h e P od c a s t F it n e s s , F e e lin gs a n d F e m in is m . E llie is a p erson a l tra in er w h o ru n s a p rogra m c a lled ‘H a p p ier, S tron ger, Fitter’ w h ere sh e foc u ses on c rea tin g h ea lth ier lifestyles, h elp in g p eop le a c h ieve th eir fitn ess goa ls, b u t a lso h elp in g im p rove th eir m in d set a n d c on fid en c e a t th e sa m e tim e. S h e sta rted u p h er p rogra m b ec a u se "I th in k so m a n y p eop le p u t p ressu re on th em selves to lose w eigh t for w h a tever rea son , b u t if th a t p erson d oes love th em self, th ey w on ’t b e h a p p y w h a tever siz e th ey a re, a n d I w a n ted to m a k e a p rogra m th a t foc u ses on th a t ra th er th a n ju st c rea tin g a q u ic k fix th a t isn ’t su sta in a b le a n d d oesn ’t a c tu a lly m a k e you h a p p y." E llie a lso c rea ted a n d h osts h er ow n p od c a st w h ere sh e ta lk s a ll th in gs fitn ess, fem inism a n d feelin gs! H er c on ten t ra n ges from d ea lin g w ith gym a n xiety, m otiva tion , a ttitu d es tow a rd s w om en 's b od ies a n d d iet c u ltu re - it is ju st lik e h a vin g a c h a t w ith you r b est m a te! W h a t d o y ou lik e t h e m os t a b ou t y ou r b u s in e s s ? I love w h a t I d o b ec a u se I ju st love seein g p eop le’s c on fid en c e grow – th a t is th e b est p a rt of th e job 10 0 % !

B e t h L o u is e is 21 a n d is t h e o w n e r o f W is h U p o n A S c e n t

A r e y o u 25 o r u n d e r a n d o w n a s m a ll b u s in e s s ? G e t in t o u c h a n d t e ll u s y o u r s t o r y ! C o n t a c t u s a t s e r ia lc u lt u r e z in e @ g m a il.c o m

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MEET

MATT PLANT

COMMUNITY TALKS

Q. Who are you? Matt Plant. I teach Drama and Theatre A Level and run the Centre of Excellence for Performing Arts at Cronton Sixth Form College

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Cronton College have recently debuted the ‘Theatre Matters Magazine’ – a passion project written by drama students, and meticulously edited by local drama legend Matt Plant, who I am interviewing today!

Q. Where did you study drama? I didn’t take the subject at school but was heavily involved in their extracurricular offer. It was at Sixth Form that I took A Level Theatre Studies and it was truly amazing. We were all quite giddy with theatre and it was at this time, with A Levels demanding so much time, that I faded away from all external groups and this seemed the right thing to do as we were all growing up and people were moving on. My Sixth Form experience once again changed my world – introducing me to other loves of English literature and language in a way that I had never experienced before. I began to find a niche in acting that I had hitherto not found a name for. In 1992 I went to what was then Chester College, a small HE college known widely for its excellence in Sport and Teacher Training, but not for anything else. Whilst at Chester, I was introduced to almost everything I have taken forward. The drama lecturers were so in tune with what we wanted as students and there

was always a production to work towards and brilliant trips and visits that bonded us all so well. We were able to take things out to Italy, Spain and Morocco and take part in crazy theatre festivals – we were still giddy and very happy with the world. After this I got a place at The Academy in London – it sounds very grand, but it was a fairly small school in Whitechapel that has since been consumed by LAMDA. I went for the feel of the place and it was a great time, training all morning and rehearsing all afternoon, whilst performing a different play every three weeks. It was exhausting, but great training and I have fond memories.

Serial

CULTURE 9


COMMUNITY TALKS

Q. What’s your favourite memory as a teacher/actor? Any moment when I feel that in some small way I’ve made a contribution to a student’s life. I was chuffed to be able to be involved in the opening of the Playhouse - it was a hectic but hugely rewarding time here at Cronton. As an actor I favoured The Importance of Being Earnest gig over everything else – it was a role I relished (Algernon Moncrief) and a tour I’ll always remember due to the sheer number of beautiful theatres we were able to pack in across the country.

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Q. Have any of your students gone on to achieve acting greatness? I always maintain that the A Level is never about training actors. I’m so much more interested in theatre history and deciding how we got to where we are. I’m excited to see theatre develop and recover from the pandemic and how we might shape the course to suit. So many students achieve wonderful things without ever setting foot on a stage again – if they enjoyed the time they were here then that’s enough for me.


MEET

MATT PLANT

Q. Who is your favourite actor? Henry Irving without question. His spectacular productions enabled British theatre to be once again envied throughout the world and his impact in America still resonated long after his death in 1905; his private contributions to discipline and realign the ethos of theatre companies, for example - always overpaying his actors and creating endless benefits for actors who had fallen on hard times. He also campaigned tirelessly for a National theatre – a theatre that would enable poor and rich alike to access the

almost endless work available in a country that housed Shakespeare’s legacy. In my view, Irving is responsible for refreshing the theatre and realigning the profession as a more respected and wholesome business! Q. Any advice for young people interested in theatre? Never take yourself too seriously. Ever!

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Living with autism is both a struggle and a war because you sometimes just don’t understand what people are feeling and sometimes it makes it hard to have friends. I have autism and sometimes I wish I didn’t because it can make life all that much harder. But then the “war” part; yea I get what you’re thinking. That sounds like a war on its own. But the fact is, for me, it's not. The war is the fight between the sides: the side that wishes things were different and the side that is glad I am who I am because of my gifts and my wonderful opportunities and life lessons. I get the chance to write this for all of you because I have autism... how great is that! I understand that because I have autism there are many things I might just never be able to do and for me that’s ok! But one especially important thing I always want to remember is that I will always try. Some things are extremely hard for me, but I’ve learned that the things that make it not so hard is how I handle it. I may want to yell and scream because it is easier to do those things. But easy isn’t always the best choice. This thing they call life is amazing and I want to be amazing in it!

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CORYNNEDITTRICH So, if you ever find someone with autism just know they are ok to be friends with and you would be lucky to have them because people with autism are amazing. I may have autism but because of that, I learned coping skills. I learned how to handle stress, depression, and more. It’s because of my autism learned just how amazing it is to win when you try and really care hard enough. It may be difficult sometimes, as I’ve said, but it’s not impossible. And you never know what those things you just can’t do are, or if they are something you are great at unless you try. I can’t express it enough, trying is so important! It helps you develop a great work ethic which can help you in life. Sometimes my autism gets in the way like, sometimes my mom will tell me something she needs me to do and I hear her, but I can’t process it at the time. And it’s hard because even after three or four times of her saying it, I still don’t understand. And she might rephrase it and then I’ll get it. Or other times I just still can’t process it for some reason. But it’s ok because there are many other things I am good at. Sometimes I find myself repeating the TV, or other people, and sometimes even talking to myself.

That’s called echoing and it’s quite normal and helps me process. For the longest time, I didn’t understand that some of the problems I have in school or a social situation are not my fault but now I see. I have a condition called autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and that is a real thing that makes real things hard. And that's ok. I’ve learned that it’s not the war outside you must win, it’s the war inside us. If you don’t do that then you’ll never know how strong you are, but when you do, they’ll never know what hit them. Having autism is not something you can change or cure, but why would you want to? There’s nothing wrong with us. You have uniqueness and the strength of a fighter in you to help your abilities shine through. Once you figure out how to walk, jump, or even drive then you’ll see it will always be there but you’re not going to let it stop you from the beautiful journey through life Thank you for reading this, love

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LOOSE COMMUNITY RECORDS TAKES FLIGHT! FLIGHT ONE featuring; Liam Hillyer, Elysian, Seagoth, Rhys Hopkins and Aligners, is the first of five releases, with five tracks adding to the compilation each month on Bandcamp Friday. Although the compilation is intergenerational, many young musicians will be featured and still have the chance to submit their tracks and get support from the team to bring their own music to life. contact loosecommunityrecords@gmail.com The Studio and LOOSE would normally host many artists performing their tracks live, playing alongside each other at gigs, building a fan base and meeting and collaborating at rehearsals. The pandemic has closed down those opportunities for musicians all over the World. We responded by developing an online community, with jam sessions, streams, mentoring and songwriting/music production and more. To bring that work together and ensure Halton based artists can find a goal to focus on and something to aim for when inspiration and confidence are being tested, we created LOOSE Community Records. A genuine opportunity to talk, create, collaborate and stay connected to music and the spoken word. The label aims to be a home for original, new or previously recorded music and audio, to lend a guiding hand through production and promotion and give space and time for sharing knowledge, skill and experience. As well as the compilation release, there will be live events, workshops and unique projects through 2021. Loose Community Records is not driven by one person; it is a community fused by the drive to keep the love of original music alive for all.

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Elysian

Liam Hillyer

LOOSE Community Records

Seagoth

Rhys Hopkins

Aligners loosecommunityrecords.com 15


May 15th is International Water Safety Day so we wanted to share this info from a group in Halton. Teya’s Legacy is a youth-led water safety campaign founded after the death of our friend, Teya Davies aged 14. Our main aim is to raise awareness of water safety and drowning prevention for young people - to find out more about our work go to our @TeyasLegacy twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok.

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MEET DEXTER DRAGON! Dexter started off with a long snout and skinny limbs, I wanted his character to be shy and almost weak looking, but this didn't work out. So from then I changed his look countless times and kept the characteristics I liked about him from the older models. I took inspiration from a few cartoons which I grew up with, if you look closely you can see that Dexter has the same body shape and feet as Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse classic gloves but in red, a bow tie like Roger Rabbit and a similar snout shape as Spyro the Dragon. I then made his legs and arms thicker to give him more of a warm feeling as a cartoon. The latest model of Dexter as you can see has a smaller snout, thicker arms and legs and smaller horns as he is only a young male dragon. His fins on his back start off large from the head and get smaller down to his tail, his teeth are also more blunt than sharp as I wanted to give a more friendly look to his smile. The hairs on his head only contain 3 strands similar to Goofy and Bugs Bunny. To draw Dexter Dragon I use my phone and sometimes Photoshop. I use an app called Ibis Paint X which is great for someone who has a low budget but needs a digital drawing app. All my drawings on my phone are done without a stylus or pen, just my finger which can be challenging but after many years of practice with the app, I have got used to it. I've got so used to drawing him it's getting pretty easy, that's key if you're creating your own character, keep changing the look but keep characteristics you liked before, andexperiment, find your style.

ABBY MOYLE

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Right, I know it’s a change of pace from Miss Americana but s�ck with me. So, today we’re going to talk about Zack Snyder’s cut of the controversial film, Jus�ce League. You can find this film on Both HBO Max and Sky Cinema if a�er my ramble you would like to watch it. You can also check out the trailer on YouTube. Context �me. In 2017, DC studios released the film Jus�ce League. It was directed by Joss Whedon. This wasn’t always the case. Zack Snyder was hired with the task of direc�ng the first on-screen unity between the Jus�ce League a�er he directed the not massively well received Batman vs. Superman. Tensions between Snyder and DC were strong about the crea�ve direc�on of the very an�cipated upcoming film. Tragically, Zack and a producer of the film and his wife, Deborah, lost their daughter, Autumn to whom the film is dedicated. Zack Snyder reportedly gave up his will to fight the DC studios So, we know who directed it, but who does it star and what is it about? No cas�ng changes were made from the 2017 theatrical cut though characters were added. Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ezra Miller as Flash star as the Jus�ce League. Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Jared Leto and Jeremy Irons return in their past DC characters and J.K. Simmons and Ryan Zheng come in as new DCEU characters based on DC comic characters. This film centres around the death of Superman and in his death, he awakes the Mother Boxes drawing in Steppenwolf to spark the apocalypse. Batman, in fear of a new threat, tries to unite the Jus�ce League before the Boxes are united.

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The Scarlet Watch from Elkie Atherton So, why watch the 4 hour long (sorry I didn’t men�on that) Snyder cut when you have already watched the Joss Whedon movie? Well, it’s be�er. In the first 10 minutes I knew that. Seeing the intended tone of the movie really made a difference and the overall deeper darker tone made it feel like its own movie. The new 4:3 aspect ra�o emphasises the ac�on sequences and shows off the figh�ng skills of the Jus�ce League. The show stopping cinematography and the impeccable soundtrack steer the film away from the cliché of a DC film trying to be a Marvel film. While the original script feels more organic. The extended running �me helps the audience understand mo�ves and to get to know characters more personally. This all accounts to a spectacular piece of film that should have been released in the first place if I’m honest. Ok, this is not a perfect film. Let’s go on a tangent about the male gaze, shall we? So, in this film we see the Amazons a�er their appearance in the first Wonder Woman film. The difference in what they are wearing is a perfect example of the male gaze. Male gaze is the perspec�ve of a no�onally typical heterosexual man thought to be embodied by the audience to, in most cases, degrade women. It is no coincidence that both versions of the Jus�ce League were directed by men and Wonder Woman was directed by a woman. Superhero films and the male gaze imposed upon them is not yet something of the past and we should s�ll point things out and try to dismantle lenses of films that just don’t work and never really have Apart from that, and maybe a few issues here and there, I would say that the Snyder cut is a stand out film and definitely not one to sleep on especially if you are interested in cinema. Thank you for reading to the end and if my rambling convinced you to watch this film you can catch it on Sky Cinema and HBO Max. Remember to stay safe and keep on nerding.

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'It’s A Sin' star Nathaniel Hall talks to GLOW @ The Studio about his experience of living with HIV by Mia Ridehalgh

Nathaniel Hall, actor, theatre-maker and HIV activist from Manchester, joined Glow @ The Studio (an LGBT+ youth support group) over a zoom session to talk about his experience of living with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and how contracting the virus changed his life.

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It’s A Sin premiered on Channel 4 on January 22nd 2021 and is a drama series about young gay men living in 1980s and 90s Britain, and their experiences with the AIDS pandemic that swept across the globe. During the zoom session Nathaniel told his personal story which began with him contracting HIV back in 2003 at the young age of 16 after his first sexual encounter. He revealed that he felt so ashamed to have contracted the virus that he actually kept it a secret from his family and dealt with his illness in silence for fourteen years. Nathaniel’s story, which included a slideshow with images such as a depressing looking concrete block that he revealed to be the sexual health clinic where he initially went (alone) to get checked, was heart-breaking to listen to. It was the story of a young naïve boy having to deal with an extremely serious situation without the help and support of his family and friends due to his own feelings of guilt and shame that prevented him from telling those closest to him what he was going through. However, Nathaniel’s witty banter and hilarious side comments throughout made what is often quite a grave topic to discuss more open and comfortable for his listeners. His revelation that he is now ‘out’ to his family and happily living with undetectable HIV (which is when a person who has the virus is treated with regular medication and cannot pass it onto anyone else), gave his truly inspiring story a happy ending. Unfortunately for many young men and women in the 80s and 90s (when HIV was a relatively new illness with very little understood about it and no effective treatment), the virus developed into AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) which is incurable and indirectly causes death due to the body no longer being able to fight infections and diseases. Nathaniel expressed how, despite having the virus, he feels extremely lucky to live in a time when exceptional treatment and medication is available for people who contract HIV. He explained that a person with HIV can now live a perfectly normal, happy and otherwise healthy life thanks to developments in HIV treatment and a better understanding of what the virus actually is, therefore reducing the stigma that had previously surrounded the topic of HIV and caused many inaccurate statements to be made. Additionally, Nathaniel informed us that scientists and doctors are hopeful to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, as many people living with HIV today are undetectable.


Nathaniel also talked about the recent publication of his own play First Time which documents his personal experience as a young boy getting diagnosed with HIV and the following years that he spent coming to terms and dealing with his illness. True to Nathaniel’s light-hearted nature the play has some absolutely hilarious parts alongside some heart-wrenching scenes which highlight the personal struggle that those who are diagnosed with HIV go through. Nathaniel also said that after the play ends each audience member is presented with a letter as they leave the theatre. This letter is an exact copy of the letter that Nathaniel sent to his family and closest friends back in 2017, when he decided it was time to tell them about his HIV diagnosis. This is a really effective and unique addition to an overall brilliant and emotional play, and makes the audience feel connected to Nathaniel and his personal story whilst also representing the wider community of people living with HIV and their experiences of being diagnosed and coming out to their friends and family. It was an honour to have been able to chat with Nathaniel and his story is truly emotional, tear-jerking but most of all extremely inspirational. The book of Nathaniel’s play can be purchased through his website at www.nathanieljhall.co.uk and for a limited time only £3 from every copy sold will be donated to the George House Trust charity, which supports people living with or affected by HIV in the North West of England. You can follow Nathaniel on social media: @nathanieljhall.

GLOW @ The Studio supports Halton's LGBT + youth. Twitter/Facebook: @glowlgbt Instagram: @glow.lgbt

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O.X. collective

DANCER AND MODEL ABBY O'CONNOR ON THE SET OF THE O.X. PRODUCED MUSIC VIDEO FOR LONELY ANIMALS BY STRANGERS.

O.X. Co-Founder and graphic designer Sean Goddard

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Crawlers photographed by O.X. at Halton Castle in Runcorn

Elliot from Aligners shot by O.X. on location in Liverpool

O.X. are a collective of multi media creatives specialising in videography, audio mixing and production, graphic design and music/brand photography. The collective consists of Liam McGrath, Sean Goddard and Jamie Griffith (that make up the band Strangers) as well as their long time collaborator, photographer and director, Paul Higgins.

After working on several projects together, the group decided to expand their pool of collaborators and offer their services to other artists, officially starting business in January of 2021.

The collective aims to operate not only as a production company but as a platform for artistic advice and entertainment. Their podcast, Stereo Typical, ranges from insightful conversations and interviews with creatives to lengthy and humorous discussions about music and the arts, offering a wealth of support and entertainment for artists and music fans alike.

For further information on O.X. head to www.oxcollective.co.uk and be sure to follow us on instagram @o.x.collective.

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N O E G E PI

R U T L CU

On the 22nd of February 2021, it was announced via YouTube that legendary French House duo ‘Daft Punk’ would be splitting up after 28 years as a group. The video showed the two stylish robots trudging through the desert, with Thomas Bangalter (the silver one) asking his gold counterpart (GuyManuel de Homem-Christo) to initiate his self-destruct sequence, before walking quite indifferently to his demise – a gorgeous explosion of sparkling metal and black leather.

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It sounds silly to say, but the video genuinely packs an emotional punch upon watching.

Daft Punk were one of the very few stalwart pop cultural staples for my generation, producing music which we have all enjoyed without even really being aware of it – whether it was through blasting Kanye West’s ‘Stronger’ at a year 6 school disco, a deep, obsessive dive into Michel Gondry’s directorial output, or even through the numerous advertisements they have filmed over the years, everyone I know knows Daft Punk. I can’t remember not knowing Daft Punk! All their songs are meticulously crafted; effortlessly kinetic and danceable, with possibly the most original samples ever,


DAFT PUNK - OBITUARY BY BEN COOPER

crafting accessible but incredibly complex musical landscapes, at times giving even the legendary Aphex Twin a run for his money. Listening to their music, now more than ever, becomes a strangely emotional experience. The humanity that many people are quick to write off when discussing electronic music is unequivocal now, especially when you take into account the thousands of tributes posted in the days following the announcement. Perhaps the two ‘robots’ are more human than we once thought. RIP Daft Punk, 1993 - 2021 27


Keeping you in the loop about the creative opportunities available to you in Halton. Halton MakeFest is a free festival that hosts different creative workshops providing a number of experiences and opportunities for people to learn a new skill or take part in creative activities. Some of the workshops from the 2021 MakeFest included, creative writing, a Songwriting Masterclass, Bubble and Fabric Painting and Origami – there is literally something for everyone! During the COVID-19 Lockdown this year, the festival was moved online but this didn’t stop the creative juices from flowing. I spoke to Sean O’Hare, the host of Halton MakeFest, to hear all about the background of the festival, the difficulties that were faced by moving online and the opportunities that will be available for the people of Halton in the future of the festival.

What do you personally think that the best thing about MakeFest is? That’s a hard question. Personally I think the best thing about Halton MakeFest is it celebrates creativity in Halton and gives people of all ages and ability the opportunity to try creative activities for free. What was the inspiration for the line up that you chose? Each year we send out a request for Makers and anyone can apply who would like to be part of the festival. We had originally asked for Makers who could deliver their sessions in person (like last year) but unfortunately due to COVID we had to make the decision to move the festival online in January. Moving the festival online meant that we could only have 8 makers, so when it came to choosing the Makers we wanted to make sure that we had a wide range of creative activities that are suitable for people to join in at home.

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Were there any difficulties/problems that you faced hosting the entire festival online and, if so, how were you able to overcome Werethese? there any difficulties/problems that you faced hosting the entire festival online and, if so, howthe were you online. able toWe overcome It was definitely a challenge hosting Festival had some experience of live streaming from our Mako Create actives these? we really wanted to hosting step it up a gear for Halton MakeFest and It wasbut defiantly a challenge the Festivalonline. We had some for it to be more like a TV show. The first thing that we needed to do experience live streaming fromthat ourwas Mako Create actives,but we really was to of find a suitable venue large enough with a good internet connection. Luckily the studio in Widnes agreed to let us setlike wanted to step it up a gear for Halton MakeFestand for it to be more up our streaming studio there for the week which was a perfect a TVshow. thattowe neededato find a suitable setting.The Wefirst alsothing needed purchase lotdo of was new to equipment and do lot ofwas testing pre-event. over the moonconnection. with how theLuckily,the live venuea that large enough We withare a good internet streams turned out and the number of people who have viewed and studio in Widnes agreed to let us set up our streaming studio there for taken part in the festival. the week which was a perfect setting. We also needed to purchase a lot of new equipment and do a lot of testing pre-event. We are over the moon with how the live streams turned out and the number of people who have viewed and taken part in the festival. ARTWORK CREATED BY VIEWERS

Are you looking at hosting another Make Fest event in the future? Yes, we hope so. We love running Halton MakeFest. At the moment Are you looking hostingfrom another Makeevent. FestWe event thebefuture? we are all justat recovering this year's will in soon Yes,we hope about so. We love running Halton the moment we thinking new things we could doMakeFest.At next year. Hopefully we might be able to combine the last two festivals and have both online are all just recovering from this year’sevent we will soon be thinking and Face-To-Face Sessions. 2021’S MakeFest ran between the about16th newand things do next year. Hopefully might bethe able to 19thwe of could February. You can catch up andwe watch all of workshops, sign upand to the mailing to beand the first to hear about combine last twoorfestivals have bothlist online Face-To-Face the next MakeFest here: Sessions. https://www.haltonmakefest.co.uk 2021’SMakeFest ran between the 16th and 19th of February. You can Makefest this year was funded as part of the Borough of Culture. catch up and watch all of the workshops, or sign up to the mailing list to be the first to hear about the next MakeFesthere: https://www.haltonmakefest.co.uk

Lisa Bazley is a trained Actor, Musician and Singer from Halton. For more information, you can contact her via: lisabazleyy@gmail.com

@lisabazley_

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COMMUNITY TALKS

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ashlee Brown, Co-founder of GND Halton about what the hub aims to achieve for the community and how people can get involved. What are GND Halton’s key principles and aims and how will these aims, if achieved, benefit the Halton community specifically? GND UK has 5 main principles they are working towards. They are to Decarbonise the UK, Build Secure Jobs, Transform the Economy, Protect and Restore Habitat and to Promote Social Justice. Our aims as a hub focus on 2/5, which we feel are needed most in Halton. They are 'building secure jobs' which we are working towards with the Green Jobs campaign and 'protecting and restoring habitats' by working with local schools to promote sustainable, green living through fun games. Green Jobs in Halton are extremely important because even before the pandemic we had an overwhelming unemployment rate. Using figures from the NEF, TUC and RSA, the GNDUK team believe 3000 Green Jobs can be created in Halton and Weaver Vale. Kids are the future and by starting to cut down on meat, encouraging them to walk to school and providing equipment to plant their own gardens/ compost, they will have these ideas throughout their lives which will have great impact for local areas. What are your plans for expanding community outreach in Halton? The support from the Halton community is vital in ensuring the different aspects of the GND are achieved. We rely on People Power just as much as Political Power. We want to be a hub that works towards making Halton Greener and Cleaner but also works with the people on them for Halton by being a bridge between MP’s and constituents. There are many people in Halton who want to make a change, who feel strongly about the environment and social issues but don't know where to start when it comes to fixing it/approaching someone about it. We recently called for volunteers, and now have a team of 6, who are reaching out to MPs and spreading the word about our hub so if people are interested in joining us, they can send us a message on our social media!

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SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: Facebook: Information: Email:

HaltonHubGND Halton Hub: Green New Deal UK. https://linktr.ee/HaltonHubGND haltonhub-gnd@outlook.com

What are your ideas regarding ‘Green Jobs’ and what steps are you taking as a hub to achieve this? Our team at GNDUK released figures about how many Green Jobs can be created in Halton, Merseyside and Warrington (this figures can be found for yourself on the link herehttps://www.greennewdealuk.org/campaigns/green-jobs-take-action/?step=) We believe for Halton and Weaver Vale, Green Jobs can be created in fields such as care work, green infrastructure (building and transport), and research and development. As a hub we have used the facts and figures from our main team as well as other groups such as friends of the earth to draft together a document containing all the potential Green Jobs we could have in Halton and ideas on how we can achieve it. One of the ideas being through apprenticeships. We will be meeting with MP Mike Amesbury to discuss this soon. We are fortunate to have support from Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury, who with his team is very eager to work with us on introducing Green Jobs in Halton. However, for us to be able to complete this in the long run, we need the Government to see Green Jobs as a priority and put our ideas into practice as well as providing funding for retraining and apprenticeships. Do you think 2030 is too optimistic to achieve net-zero carbon emissions? Do you think we can afford not to achieve this by 2030? In 2019, the Government stated that ‘The Environment Agency has set itself the aim of becoming a net zero organisation by 2030’. To me this isn't too optimistic at all if the Government acts now! When this was released, we had over 10 years to start tackling this challenge, yet two years later, not much seems to have changed. Yet if the government worked with movements such as the GNDUK we could provide them with solutions and ways this could be achieved. It is like they have just said what people wanted/needed to hear but have forgotten to put in the work. They plan to be net zero by 2030, which would mean cutting out the use of dirty energy, but people will need work put in place before this, so they aren't left without a job. We are seeing changes slowly, between the bigger market for electric cars and more charging points and cities introducing clean air zones but there is still so much we can do. There is only so much we can do individually, but until the Government starts taking it seriously, we won't see a massive change. But with GNDUK and all the local hubs now popping up all over the country as well as groups such as XR, they won't have a choice but to listen to us and act! EMILIAGROWNEY

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Edigbe Ubido - The Birth of Goldenarm 32

Chapter 2 of The Birth of Goldenarm is now available. For all the latest information, publications and competitions visit the instagram page @thebirthofgoldenarm


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Four more pages coming in each issue! If you can’t wait you can buy the full version on Etsy! 35


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Mia is a keen travel photographer and as we have been unable to travel during the Coronavirus pandemic, she took the opportunity to explore the local areas and develop her photography skills.

From the 23rd March to the 5th April, Liverpool waterfront was ignited by the stunning River of Light Trail. The trail displayed eleven beautiful art installations dotted around the Royal Albert Dock and Liverpool One. The event was curated by Culture Liverpool and Visit Liverpool, supported by Arts Council England, and provided a free, exciting and encapsulating outdoor journey for locals to visit during lockdown when most entertainment venues and events had been closed for some time. The installations were on view both day and night during the two-week display, but really came alive after the sun set each evening and the sculptures were lit up, exposing their incredible electric beauty in the blackness of night. The trail formed a loop around Liverpool’s handsome waterfront and a map could be found online at visitliverpool.com (right). The map was also posted on boards throughout the trail itself. Despite the cold evening winds* the trail was a truly magical experience and lit up the darkness of the lockdown with some wonderfully spectral displays of modern art.

*unfortunately two of the installations - 'Make A Wish' and 'From Here' - were closed when I visited due wind damage.

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Rainbow Bridge

Ursula Lassos The Moon

Exponential

Talking Heads

Absorbed By Light

End Over End

Neighborhood

Futures

All In The Balance39


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Serial Culture Zine- Origin Story! Serial Culture zine has been created to provide a platform for the young people of Halton aged 11-25 to share their artwork, cultural activity and lifestyle loves. Through Halton Borough Council’s youth provision programme, young people responded to our survey and call out for contributors. A small team have developed the zine from scratch with a larger community of young contributors. If you want to add your cultural voice and artwork contact serialculturezine@gmail.com The views expressed are those of the contributors. LOOSE has been creating opportunities for the people of Halton to perform, record, share and develop creatively since 1997. In 2010 LOOSE opened The Studio in Lacey Street, Widnes. This community venue is home to our current Lottery funded project, partner organisations and community groups. To find out what we currently offer, visit: www.thestudiowidnes.org.uk

GET INVOLVED! Are you age 11-25 and living in Halton? Serial Culture would love to hear from you! We are looking for budding writers, artists, poets, photographers (the list is endless!), who would like to be featured in our new zine. Perhaps you have a local story you would love to share, want to write a piece on something you are passionate about or show us another talent of yours. We are looking for submissions for upcoming issues, so if you fancy sharing, email us at serialculturezine@gmail.com It doesn't have to be a finished piece; it could even just be an idea! We will work with you to make it print-ready. We only ask that articles are 500-700 words.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING WHAT MAGIC YOU CREATE.

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COVER ART TONI-LOUISE CARTER

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Profile for Serial Culture

Serial Culture Issue 2  

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