Twerking, sexism and how we distract from female success

[Written by Amy Shimmins]

[Image by Aike Jansen]

At the end of 2018, Ada Hegerberg was awarded with arguably, the greatest accolade in her sport, the Ballon d’Or. This was the first time that any woman has been awarded the prize, and winning the inaugural Ballon d’Or Féminin followed an exciting year for Hegerberg of winning the league with her side, Olympique Lyonnais, as well as the Women’s Champions League. She scored forty-six goals in this period and has already scored another fourteen in the current season (at the time of writing). I’m noting these achievements here, as almost all of the coverage has focused not on her success, but rather the distraction that took place as she received her trophy, which is probably what you’ve heard more about.

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Strange fads: Things that pass through your life like whirlwind

[Written by Maria Elena Roselli]

[Image by Tosca de Wilt]

The year was 2012. The Avengers had just come out, everybody was singing Call Me Maybe, and—as the summer was ending—my 15-year-old self was getting ready to jump head first into another year of school. As it usually happens for most of the people living on planet earth, all the plans I’d had about having a quiet year were soon smashed with a hammer. As a teenager dealing with adult issues for the first time, my problem-solving skills were not exactly top-notch, which eventually led me to seek out different ways to forget my complicated daily life. And like every angry teenager dealing with the world, I found my greatest isolation tool in music.

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Clothing, Crime, and Consent

[Written by Lynsay Holmes]

[Image credit: Wikimedia//Tomar]

Content Warning: This article includes a discussion of sexual assault.

“You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.” This quote was taken from the Irish Examiner’s report of a rape trial that occurred in Cork, Northern Ireland in November of 2018. In the trial—where a 27-year-old man was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl—the defence lawyer publicly scrutinized the victims dress and urged the jury that her choice of underwear, which was a thong, conveyed consent. Even though the incident had occurred in a muddy alleyway, the perpetrator had claimed that the sexual contact he had with the girl was consensual. In the end, the accused was acquitted and the girl left in disgrace.

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In Poor Taste – Hegemonic Masculinity, Static Liberties and The Right To Not Engage

[Written by Rafe Uddin]

[Image by Julia Rosner]

The ability to speak freely and without fear of persecution can be seen as essential for human rights, net neutrality, and human evolution—a precondition of our progress as a human civilization. This argument is increasingly polarising and often at the centre of conflict between either side of the political spectrum. However, one wonders what an emerging trend of “uncompromised free speech” truly represents and what it contributes to societal cohesion. What are the true benefits of an individual espousing racist, classist, or homophobic views in the name of free speech? Could this relate to an innate human want to offend? Does it point to an endemic issue of individuals utilizing core liberal principles to promote ideas designed to repress and encroach on individual civil liberties, in order to both shield and maintain the status quo?

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Seatbelts in Palestine: Blurring the boundaries between culture and resistance

[Written by Jack Jeffrey]

[Image Credit: flickr//Martin Abegglen]

If you take a look at the World Health Organization’s road safety statistics for Gaza and the West Bank, you will see two blank boxes. The first is ‘% of road traffic accidents related to alcohol consumption’; for obvious reasons, the absence of data here is not surprising. The second empty box is ‘% of passengers who wore a seat belt’, which is strange for numerous reasons. Firstly, wearing a seat belt is obliged by the law in both Gaza and the West Bank, with an apparent police enforcement rate of 7 out of 10. Consequently, one would think that they would at least have a rough estimation of how many passengers were breaking the law. Secondly, unlike the discovery of a drunk-driving epidemic, a high number of strapless passengers would not come as a major shock to the rest of the world, nor would it undermine the piety of a predominantly Muslim society.

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State of the Union

[Written by Katharina Eisenhardt]

[Image by Julia Rosner]

GUM relaunches it’s Brexit series with Katharina Eisenhardt’s ‘State of the Union’. With a focus on broader EU issues, it will seek to highlight the changing dynamics to scientific funding, comparing coverage of EU priorities in the media, and exploring the impact on personal identity. 

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Is Instagram Killing Us?

[Written by Stephanie Reynolds and Anastasija Svarevska]

[Image Credit: Instagram//Jonathan Lo (@happymundane)]

Content Warning: This article includes discussion of body dismorphia and other mental health issues.

I scroll aimlessly through Instagram, looking for nothing in particular. I see people who are much better looking than me, cooking something much more delicious than my last meal while in a beautiful location that is—you guessed it—much more picturesque than where I am. I am both enthralled and loath to continue looking. I study her skin and her hair. They’re so much better than mine. She has a fitness routine that is so disciplined and difficult yet she does it with such ease and energy. I feel guilty, as I can’t be bothered to do anything. She has the best diet plan and the best ingredients. She knows exactly where to purchase hemp seeds and her cupboards are never short of the essential vegan morsels. She has an expensive blender that she uses every day to show us how to make the most delicious vegan smoothies. She has a gorgeous boyfriend who poses with her in pictures. He is loyal and caring and they are the best couple in the world and they never disagree or have any arguments.

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Re-evaluating Extinction – Why Declining Birth Rates Cause Alarm

[Written by Kaisa Saarinen]

[Image and animation by Rafe Uddin]

The global birth rate has decreased starkly over the past few decades. In the early 1950s, there were 36.8 births per 1000 people; today the figure stands at 18.5, and is expected to continue falling. The spatial distribution of these births is also not equal; children are significantly more likely to be born in Sub-Saharan Africa than in East Asia. These statistics have yielded a variety of regional discourses. In countries with declining birth rates, the numbers are often discussed in concerned and alarmist tones. In a world where the ‘population explosion’ is recognised as one of the most difficult problems of our time, contributing to the global environmental crisis, there is a need to critically examine why the fact that fewer children are born is presented as a serious problem.

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Hostile Environment Policy – British Till When?

[Written by Hester Lee]

[Image Credit: Creative Commons//Flickr.com//Chris Fleming]

Birthright citizenship, while now almost exclusively applicable to countries in the Americas, still holds considerable political issue in the UK as it sheds light on the current dispute of certain migrant’s claims to citizenship and the vilification of migrants in the media, regardless of their absolute legal right to be in the country.

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Escapism vs. informative filmmaking

[Written by Ellen Magee]

[Image by Adriana Iuliano]

Watching a film is often an experience akin to invading the fantastical imagination of a stranger—that is, by the creative environment we enter, or the feelings invoked in us, or the fanciful characters whose lives we feel a part of. It is often thought that watching films is a method of escapism and a distraction from real life; a time to switch off and to fully immerse oneself in this fanciful world, far from any daily woes of our often bleak in comparison lives. This fantasy of cinematic experience is apparent particularly in films that depict imaginary utopian worlds, such as science fiction films, and superhero movies, to name a few. Indeed, the highest grossing films from 2018 are abundant in their fantasy worlds, not least The Incredibles 2, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Black Panther, and Ant Man and The Wasp. However, there are other films that—whilst still encompassing this cinematic experience—enforce important information on their audiences, such as Netflix’s 2018 hit Roma, which teaches its audience about the workings of a housekeeper in Mexico City, and BlacKkKlansman (2018), Spike Lee’s retelling of a true story about an African American cop infiltrating the KKK in 1970s America.

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On serendiption and all its friends

[Written by Martina Bani]

[Illustration by Silvia Sani]

Today I broke up with my boyfriend. “Long-distance relationships never work”a sentence I’ve heard so many times that it sickens me now. Most of all because it’s true. Dealing with feelings framed by long-distance is intense; euphoric one moment, and hopelessly dispirited a second after. No half measures. You could say that such an intensity of feeling best encapsulates the “rise and fall” paradigms of relationships, as the possibility of time together is limited. If the squeezebox of time shrinks, so do the bellowing feelings within it, and the sound comes out at a higher pitch. In this way, exploring the rapid dynamics of long-distance relationships can offer us insights on how relationships, in general, work.

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The Robots are Coming?

[Written by Flora Anderson]

[Image by Anna Shams Ili]

In 2017 Hanson Robotics’ social humanoid robot Sophia was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia. Sophia is very human-like in appearance: she can speak, move her face realistically, recognise other faces and even cracks a few jokes. It is strange, perhaps that the world’s first ‘female’ robot citizenship is granted in a country where many women still have to ask permission from their male relatives to leave the house. Despite this, is Sophia really the intelligent, conscious machine that she seems?

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The Monster and Me: learning to live with an eating disorder

[Trigger Warning: this article includes discussion of eating disorders.]

[Written by Anonymous]

[Image by Karin Tokunaga]

Being skinny was part of me; at least that was what I’d been taught to believe. I remember how my friends told me how lucky I was to be skinny, how I got into modelling and my family was so proud of me, how my body shape was the first thing anyone seemed to notice about me. And then it turned into an obsession.  
It’s a tale that has played out countless times.

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#MeToo – Zero-hours contracts, sexual assault and NDAs – Uber’s Public Image Priorities

[Written by Toju Adelaja]

[Image Credit: freestocks.org//flickr.com]

[Trigger Warning: This article includes discussion of sexual assault.]

When Uber driver Rebecca Graham was sexually assaulted by two passengers and reported this to Uber; she was offered no counselling, reimbursement for lost wages, or anything remotely helpful. They also refused to disclose the identity of the passenger without a subpoena and that she couldn’t get a warrant since there was no evidence beyond her testimony.

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In Conversation with Effie Crompton

[Written by Gabriela Saldanha Blackwood]

[Image Credit: Cuba photos 2018 by Effie Crompton; header and footer by Gabriela Saldanha Blackwood]

On a sunny Glaswegian morning before the dreaded exam season had begun, I met up with Effie Crompton, a third-year communication design student at GSA and fellow North Londoner. Although it was our first time meeting, I had been following her dreamy Instagram (@effiecrompton) for some time. Over coffee at Papercup we discussed the intentions behind her art, the importance of community, and her recent trip to Cuba.

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Overcoming the Obsessive Urge to Pick at My Pimples

[Written By Annegret Maja Fiedler]

[Image By Annegret Maja Fiedler//20th Century Fox Animation Studios]

Trigger Warning: Discussions of mental illness, blood (minor), body hatred and self-harm (ritualistic).

Since the age of eight, I have struggled with acne and dermatillomania, which also known as skin-picking or excoriation disorder. Dermatillomania is characterised by uncontrollable picking at skin on any area of the body, which can lead to emotional and physical damage. It can be triggered by boredom, negative feelings, and skin conditions such as acne or eczema. My toxic relationship with dermatillomania began with squeezing zits on my forehead before bed. I found it oddly comforting and addictive; perhaps for the same reason YouTube channels such as Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) have gained millions of subscribers.

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Out with the Old, in the with the New: Why We Need Less Television Reboots

[Written by Emma Harrison]

[Images by Tosca de Wilt]

We have never had such a broad range – or, arguably, high level of quality – of televisual content as we do right now. The monumental success of streaming services like Netflix has led to the production of an unprecedented number of programmes – we almost have too much choice in what we watch, from hundreds of sitcoms to colossal undertakings like Game of Thrones. But are we truly living in a ‘golden age’ of television? It seems a questionable claim considering that so many of its great successes are inspired by (or a direct reboot of) older material.

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#MeToo – A Catalyst for Legislative Change?

[Written by Pauliina Ketonen]

[Image by Kate Zápražná]

[Trigger Warning: this article includes discussion of sexual assault.]

Scandals come and go, but in the last year, their number and media permanence has been dizzying. With reports spanning from Hollywood to the UN we are forced to acknowledge how deeply bullying, sexual harassment, and abuse are embedded in our society.

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Feeling Christmas

[Written by Elsa Lindström]

[Image by Elena Roselli]

Until last year, I was never that excited about Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, of course it was nice to have a reason to not go to school and get presents, but if someone asked me what my favourite holiday was, I would always answer Halloween. Christmas just simply was not that special, and I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about.

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Putting the Cult in Culture

[Written by Reiss McInally and Andrew Trower]

[Image Credit: Flickr.com//Gage Skidmore]

Jordan Peterson @ Edinburgh Playhouse | 28th Oct ‘18

It’s not just the price of the ticket or the cost of getting to Edinburgh. I like to think that my time is worth something, too. Peterson obviously disagrees.

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Glasgow Zine Library Interview

[Written by Gabriela Saldanha Blackwood]

[Images by Gabriela Saldanha Blackwood]

I sat down with Lauren Davis, director of the newly opened Glasgow Zine Library and long-established Glasgow Zine Fest on a particularly dreich Glaswegian day. The space is a haven, tucked into an unassuming street near The Laurieston Pub. Zines of all descriptions that are inspired by an endless range of diverse life experiences clad the walls. A multiplicity of thoughts and voices are housed here, completely open to whomever steps in; that is the essential beauty of this community space. Lauren’s passion was truly infectious, and this interview was a testament to the importance of both the library and the festival withinand beyondGlasgow’s art scene.

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Beyond Borders #6: personal accounts exploring how identity is found when you are living between cultures

[Written by Maja Soomägi]

[Image by Elena Roselli and Aike Jansen]

Since the beginning of my life, I have been in a state of existing in between countries. On one side, a language without a direct translation of “please”. On the other side, a language with an abundance of vowels. When my grandmother calls me, we say hi in the same language. Opening phrases, how are you, I’m good how are you, same. But then it changes, and our mouths form different words, provides different sounds. She speaks to me in one language, I respond in another. Growing up, I never saw that as a weird thing. It was just everyday life, that my dad spoke to me in one language while I responded in another and laughed at my friends when they accidentally called my dad “dad” in a language they knew nothing about.

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The effects of working in retail on Christmas spirit

[Written by Charles Pring]

[Image by Elena Roselli]

I have generally always been in good supply when it comes to festive spirit, especially once the days of mid-December starting drifting past. Sure, the predatory commercialism can be disillusioning, and my acrid rage smoulders at the sight of Christmas goods before Halloween, but it is hard to resist the charms of seemingly endless food and drink, the gathering of family, and the glorious receiving of free stuff.

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Powerful pages

[Written by Elena Roselli]

[Image by Grace Elder]

Since a very young age, I have always been described as a “bookworm”.
Growing up, I quickly grew bored of usual stories you could find in kid’s books, to the point that my father had to make-up a new story every night to get me to go to sleep. The problem was pretty much solved when I started to read alone. I was finally able to form my personal image of the stories written in the books I loved, to choose the characters I wanted to dream of, the type of story I was intrigued by.

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Mental health and television

[Written by Dalia Gale]

[Image by Anna Shams Ili]

Content warning: this article includes discussion of mental illness and the representation of such.

Mental illness is a thing. Some people would still like to keep it a taboo subject, while others deny its existence, but mental illness is not going anywhere, and those who suffer from it will not be silenced. Creators in particular do not like being silenced in any matter, and for that reason they often reach for art and its various form of expression to discuss mental illness and share their experiences with it.

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Beyond Borders #2: personal accounts exploring how identity is found when you are living between cultures

[Written by Sophia Archontis]

[Image by Elena Roselli and Aike Jansen]

Being bicultural is a double-edged sword.

It feels ungrateful to say this, as biculturalism and bilingualism are definitely gifts: I can speak many languages and I find myself able to assimilate into multiple different cultures, feeling comfortable as I do. However, in spite of the cultural diversity I have gained, I find that I have lost my cultural identity – something that in others is innate never seems to have existed in me.

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Flexitarianism: The case for cutting back

[Written by Melissa Dunn]

[Image by Kate Zápražná]

Recently, it seems like we’re constantly being told that the single biggest thing we can do to save the planet in the next 12 years is to turn vegan – or at least cut cows out of our diet. But do you really need to go as far as giving up all animal-based products, or is it OK to just reduce your meat intake by going “flexitarian”? The answer to that question depends on your motives. Do you think that killing and consuming animals is unethical, or do you just want to do your bit towards saving our planet? Those in the former camp would argue that nothing short of veganism is good enough, but for those in the latter camp, the answer may not be so clear-cut. My perspective here is strictly environmental – I’m trying to find out whether flexitarianism actually changes anything for the better.

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Beyond Borders #1: personal accounts exploring how identity is found when you are living between cultures

[Written by Viva Gikaite]

[Image by Dalia Sara and Aike Jansen]

I don’t think there’s anything particularly interesting about my upbringing, despite its relative diversity. I was born in Lithuania, moved to the American Deep South as a baby and lived there until the age of 11 when my parents divorce and my mum’s desire to escape the States brought us to Scotland. (Scratch that, the fact that my mum was brave enough to start her life over in a new country with an adolescent daughter is pretty interesting. Snaps to mama. But not to me.)

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The science of action: free will

[Written by Katie Veitch]

[Image by Grace Elder]

It can seem completely intuitive to us that we do indeed have free will. Surely, it can only have been my prerogative, and nothing else, that led me to buy that vintage Louis Theroux T-shirt for £35. There can’t be any pre-determined reason making that an inevitable decision, right? To clarify, free will extends to more than just clothing choices; free will is the ability to have many choices in front of us and to pick one without any external influence. It’s the ability to be the playwright of our own life, instead of the lead actor. However, when we look into the science behind these concepts, it seems that there really may be an explanation for everything we do and think.

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Jacob Banks interview

[Written by Ellen Grant]

[Image Credit: Grace Rivera @__gracerivera]

Jacob Banks is, in his own words, a storyteller. At just 27, he exudes a self-assured wisdom that belies his years. He was the first unsigned artist to perform in Radio 1’s Live Lounge, and has already toured with Emeli Sandé, Sam Smith, and Alicia Keys – but now he is a headline name in his own right.

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IDLES at Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow, 20/10/2018

[Written by Annegret Maja Fiedler]

[Image Credit: WikimediaCommons//Alexander Kellner]

IDLES at Queen Margaret Union (QMU), Glasgow was an empowering, optimistic and loud audio-visual experience, which included a full body workout. Their tour features their newest album Joy as an Act of Resistance, which does not shy away from directly addressing Brexit, toxic masculinity, bereavement, xenophobia and mental health. It has been receiving rave reviews since its release in August, and has managed to inject heavy punk rock into European and US charts. Their sold out performance on the 20th October, 2018, of course, did not disappoint.

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Science and art: trapped between two worlds

[Written by Annegret Maja Fiedler]

[Image by Annegret Maja Fiedler]

“I thought you were going to study fine art,” says a former classmate. I wince in pain. I thought I was going to study fine art, too. Drawing has always been an escape for me. If I would not have moved away from Berlin before completing high-school, I would not be studying marine and freshwater biology at university. In the past, I have felt trapped between two different worlds, art and science.

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The song I know by heart

[Written by Pauliina Ketonen]

[Image Credit: Flickr/kentarotakizawa]

It all started in 2006. The album? Crazy Frog Presents More Crazy Hits.

Crazy Frog is a CGI-animated blue frog, that spawned from the insanity that was early 2000s marketing. Crazy Frog Presents More Crazy Hits is one of several cover albums starring the frog and includes hits such as Cotton Eyed Joe and Everytime We Touch but most importantly for little 9-year-old me, We Are the Champions. Feeling like a champion, I told my mom how much I loved the song. She patiently listened to my rambling, and then made me listen to the original. And that’s how I discovered Bohemian Rhapsody.

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Ageism is never in style

[Written by Hannah West]

[Illustration by Grace Elder]

“I don’t feel old, I have never felt old.  I think you can dress any way you want to”, said 89-year-old Instagram sensation Baddiewinkle during a Refinery29 interview in 2016.  Baddiewinkle didn’t become the face of Missguided and gain 3.8 million Instagram followers by ‘dressing her age’ – this we know for certain. Instead, she became a social media megastar by sporting neon crop tops, multi-coloured fur, and platform boots that I would never even attempt to pull off. In recent years Baddie has been a part of the evolution of an ‘ageless’ fashion. By this, I mean that she has, within herself, totally debunked the socially prevalent idea that older women ought to ‘dress their age’ – a phrase which is really just a polite way of saying that women should conform to a societal norm that they don’t necessarily agree with.

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Love-me-nots

[Written by Sherlock Crockett]

[Image by Alice Hill-Woods, Creative Writing Editor (@alice35mm)]

I ask myself the same question until I can’t remember the answer.

I figure that I can reach my limit,

that I can choose to lose truth’s whisper

and lose myself in the process. I struggle

to make it so that maps will never matter.

I want to forget the street under my feet until I’m standing in a garden

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Between Science and Art

[Written by Rowen Leverntz]

[Image Credit: WikimediaCommons//Illustration from Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary]

Art can be seen as an expression of human imagination that creates an emotive response, and science is exploration and discovery of the human mind. Both surround our own perceptions of life from the mind itself, meaning there must be some comorbidity or connection. I believe we find art so impactful because of its innate interaction with science: the relationship between the two is a layered question, as the effects of experimental art and biological composure consistently overlap. We may be drawn to art itself through the paradox of familiarity and discovery.

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Between Algeria and France: Pied Noirs and the Maghrebian Subject

[Written by Nora Aubry]

[Image Credit: Pixnio.com//USFWS]

For nearly a decade, the refugee and migration crisis has seen thousands risk the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa into Europe. This has increased significantly as civil war and environmental factors force individuals to leave their home countries. Most poignantly, it remains an issue that does not seem near conclusion. Isabelle Adjani – a French actress who defends the migrants’ cause – stated in a recent interview with ELLE magazine that the “nature of roots is to be able to adapt, acclimate and grow anywhere”, implying that people who are uprooted from their homeland should belong wherever they wish. Such a remark makes me question our notion of home, its meaning and leads to a reflection upon our own roots. Is our identity defined by where we come from and our family’s past?

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Who am I? An in-between real life horror story

[Written by Nina Panter]

[Image by Tosca De Wilt]

Picture this scene; you are in your friend’s car on the way to god knows where, or enjoying some simple pre’s in a flat and music is playing; it’s an old pop song that was on the radio a couple years ago, it’s silly but catchy, and life feels good. As the song ends, your friend turns to you and says; “Next I was thinking we could put on a song you like! What’s your favourite band?”

….. Boom.

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Musings of a Swede: A 2018 Election story

[Written by Amanda Landegren]

[Image By Aike Jansen]

I never used to be very interested in politics. I never engaged with what I considered boring and aged discussions between people, with the elusiveness of straight and honest answers ultimately becoming exhausting. It wasn’t until I had to vote earlier this year that these questions suddenly burst into importance and I actively took a step towards being able to make an informed decision. I  have always had values and opinions, but never considered where these really caused me to land politically. Until this year. What surprised me watching debates and following politicians on twitter, was firstly the lack of basic respect; also the dishearteningly alienating and polarising political climate. However, the question that I find immensely interesting to ask is whether this polarisation is a true representation of the reality, or if it is a simplified image offered to us by propaganda and by the media?

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Being in-between: Sexuality and The Rocky Horror Picture Show

[Written by Rowen Leverentz]

[Illustration by Norliza Matheson @norxillustrations]

The first time I watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show I was probably about 14 or 15. My parents didn’t want me to watch it at the time, so I went around to my friends and we watched it secretly together. The show is based around a heteronormative engaged couple named Janet and Brad, who end up in a spaceship inside of a castle. The ship is full of aliens obsessed with fashion and sex that sing the whole way through. It’s probably the most ridiculous thing you will ever watch, but the show made me feel comfortable within myself due to its openness surrounding sexuality.

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Breaking Free from My Old Self

[Written by Tara Smith]

[Image Credit: Popbuzz.com//DisneyStudios]

So I’m 12 years old, chilling on the sofa, remote in one hand, while I wait on my best friend to put the DVD on. We’ve planned our whole sleepover out: fluffy PJs on, a bowl each of sweets, and hot chocolates. I am so ready to watch and fall asleep to a movie I have seen a hundred times before; recite all the best lines, play on my phone at the sad parts, then fall asleep at the end credits. But this isn’t the movie I expected.

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Tom Odell: Review

[Written by Katherine Jossi]

[Image by Katherine Jossi]

Oct 12th Barrowlands

Tom Odell’s performance at the Barrowlands kicks off the tour for his upcoming album.  After a two-year hiatus, Jubilee Road is set to release later this month. When I think of British singer-songwriter Tom Odell, I remember his first album from 2013 – Long Way Down. I was 15 when it came out and I remember listening to his song Another Love after boy drama. So naturally I was expecting a fairly mellow concert, but it was anything but that.

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A defence of the term ‘basic’

[Written by Manon Klatt, Culture Editor @manonqueenbi]

[Image by Kate Zápražná]

Pumpkin spice, rose gold, Taylor Swift, Instagram, yoga pants. Either you just read that to the tune of Fairy Odd Parents, or the image of a basic, white girl just formed in your head.  A picture resembling me, a self proclaimed basic girl. People apply the term to girls in a derogatory way, who they deem as plain, without personality, maybe even a bit unintellectual. This might make you wonder, why did I chose to apply to term ‘basic’ to myself. The answer is simple, I am reclaiming the term ‘basic’, arguing that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being basic.

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Making it your way? #1

[Written by Joycee Choong]

[Image by Kate Zápražná]

From freelancing to zero-hour contracts, extended internships to the gig economy, ‘non-traditional’ jobs are increasingly common. This series of articles will focus on how people experience these different roles; how it’s affecting their views on life and work; whether they feel it’s positive, negative, fun, scary, or maybe a combination of those things? To start things off, we have a contribution from Joycee, who writes about what she has learned since she started freelancing.

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Why did Glasgow University need another theatre society?

[Written by Amanda Landegren, Publicity Coordinator for GIST]

[Image Credit: GIST//Facebook.com]

With the current existence of over five other performing arts societies, was there really space—and need—for yet another theatre society at the university? When looking to the anglo-centrism of the content performed, the answer was a firm but enthusiastic yes! GIST, Glasgow International Student Theatre, was created last year with the intention of bringing attention to theatre from around the world. With a goal to perform, promote and celebrate theatre in translation and theatre from lesser known authors, the founders imagined a society where all are welcome, no matter accent, experience or prior knowledge. Looking then at the society’s first year in existence, the members are a small but devoted bunch who all contribute to diversifying the performing arts scene. The great advantage of multiple nationalities is not only cultural insight into the plays, but also the ability to share that insight with others.

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Halloween In Different Countries

[Written by Aimée Stanton, Elsa Lindstöm and Maria Jeleńska]

[Image Credit: Pixabay//philprice13]

It’s spooky season. People are picking out their costumes, planning parties, and purchasing massive amounts of sweets. Halloween is a beloved holiday for most people in the UK and the US, however, the rest of the world might have some different takes on how to celebrate skeletons, vampires, and a sugar-induced coma.

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Being Afraid…Being Very Afraid

[Written by Mark Wilson]

[Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons//Universal Studios 1931]

You know the drill. Lights off, curtains shut, volume up, and feet in a safer place than the ominous darkness lurking beside your sofa. No other genre has become synonymous with such accepted rituals as that of horror. This encroaching of the horror film within people’s living rooms, cinemas, and social lives has particularly escalated in the past few years due to a severance from the infamous ‘torture porn’ and ‘jump-scare’ flicks of the mid-2000s, towards more socially minded modern horrors. The social phenomenon that became of Hereditary (2018), the Oscar success of Get Out (2017), and the box-office leviathan It (2017), all demonstrate the resurgence of an innate desire to be genuinely frightened. But why is ‘scary’ so sought-after, and what is the cause of this cultural shift towards the horrific; and how, ultimately, can fear bring us a new level of empathy and understanding, together as a society?

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Interview with a witch

[Written by Emil Marty]

[Image Credit: ‘A witch at her cauldron surrounded by beasts.’ Etching by J. van de Velde II, 1626//Wellcome Collection]

With Halloween hot on our tail, the usual spooky signs are showing. It’s that time of year where supermarkets go supernatural, and every dark corner is littered with cobwebs. Plastic skeletons lurk behind the fruit and veg aisle, and we run home to go over the entire back-catalogue of American horror movies. But come November 1st, the cobwebs have been wiped away to make room for the Christmas tree, the skeletons have been replaced with Santa Claus, and Nightmare on Elm Street swapped out for Miracle on 34th Street. For many, Halloween is a quick holiday that breaks up summer and Christmas with a freak excuse to get drunk and dress up. But for some, Halloween has roots that rest deeper than that, and continue beyond October 31st. In witchcraft, Halloween or Samhain marks the last harvest festival of the year. To find out more, I caught up with a friend of mine to talk about their practice. Brynn Alred, 20, tells me all I need to know about tea, tarot and how to hex a Tory.

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“Sip into autumn” or “Sip into a trend”?

[Written by Anastasija Svarevska]

[Image by Tosca de Wilt]

When you think about coffee, what exactly comes to your mind? Is it the smell of freshly grinded beans, a survival tool, a bitter liquid, a drug, a daily ritual of going for a cup with a friend, a Starbucks logo, or an “indulgence in a cup”, as the saying goes? No matter how many different connotations and meanings it might bear, it is safe to say that there are three camps in which we, as coffee-drinkers, are divided into: those who know its history and who enjoy it as such, sipping on pure espresso from freshly roasted Kenyan beans; those who don’t really care about where it comes from because, well, coffee is coffee isn’t it; and those who exclusively enjoy the idea of having a coffee, be it from Starbucks or a hipster coffee shop around the corner, with everything that it implies: cute Instagram pictures, fancy cups, or trendy tastes which, with the change of seasons, are on the front burner. One of them is, as we all know, pumpkin spice (which, as I recently discovered, not only extends beyond coffee to cocktails such as White Russians, biscuits, buffalo wings – which makes me wonder why we still don’t have pumpkin spice infused perfume – but that’s not what this article is about).

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Is everyone falling in love with autumn? Or is it just me?

[Written by Abby Wilson]

[Image by Abby Wilson]

Autumn: the glorious transition from the warmth of summer to the bitterness of winter. It is a season full of colour: deep reds, burnt oranges, mustard yellows. Sadly, alongside the changing colours comes the changing tones. Despite the occasional seasonal walk through the park or nearby forest, where we can witness, first hand, the magic of autumn, it is colder, breezier, rainier, and often, we would rather spend these darkening days indoors. Personally, with studying and other commitments, I struggle to spend as much time outdoors as I would like. However, I have found a simple solution: bringing my favourite elements of the outside in. This includes colours, scents and even tastes. I’ve listed some of my autumnal favourites below:

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Against a Politics of the Dead

[Written by Dovydas Kuliešas]

[Image by Kate Zápražná]

So where to start? “Our Town” is Labour’s newest Party-Political Broadcast. It’s already made waves across Twitter, with a message “laser-targeted at small towns across the country”.  Designed to be the message the “left behind” have been waiting for, Labour are seemingly seeking to translate this into loyal supporters of other parties flocking to them out of sheer emotional infatuation. Looking at the current ongoing trends in UK politics today, this gamble seems likely to pay off; but something about it feels wrong to me.

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Between Mental Illness and Health

[Written by Vaiva Gikaite]

[Image by Kate Zápražná]

Content Warning: This article includes discussion of mental illness

The language that we have to talk about mental illness is limiting. Currently we speak of disorders and illnesses as discrete sets of symptoms, you have X or are suffering from Y. But anyone who’s been struggling with their mental health for a while and has Googled their symptoms even once can see that the lines between diagnoses are blurry.

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Calling Out Call-Out Culture

[Written by Gabriel Rutherford @niemalsallein_]

[Illustration by Grace Elder]

“Cancelled”. “Over”. “Called out”. A new lexicon of language is being formed online, particularly on Twitter, where more and more fans are policing their own “faves”. The language a celebrity uses, who they are photographed with, what they wear and even what they eat is being critiqued in what seems to be a crusade to find the one true virtuous celebrity (spoiler: it’s Jeff Goldblum). A “callout culture” has been formed, where it’s the done thing to instantly point out the transgressions of a famous person – fair enough. After all, this is done with good intentions and a noble goal, namely to try to influence social behaviour by calling out public figures who perpetuate damaging ideals or actions.

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Glasgow Walking Tour: Southside/ Battlefield / Queens Park

[Written by Hannah Lane]

[Illustration by Grace Elder]

Grain and Grind

First stop is a relaxed coffee shop located in Battlefield in Glasgow’s Southside. From Mount Florida station – which doesn’t take long to travel to from Central – Grain and Grind is just a short walk. The all-day café have a focus on grains – including several waffle dishes on their brunch menu and fresh bread for sale – and coffee. They also stock homemade doughnuts on Saturdays and Sundays, which are amazing! The interiors are relaxed and modern and the food is lovely, so this is somewhere really nice to go for a few hours if you want to get away from the West End!

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Glasgow in Conversation: CCA

[Written by Gabriela Saldanha Blackwood]

‘Glasgow In Conversation’ is an online series seeking to profile socially, politically and/or culturally engaged figures and spaces within the Glasgow context. The premise is simple – 10 questions, which remain more or less the same, put forth to interesting people doing interesting things within our city.

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Being Single When Literally All Your Friends Are In Relationships

[Written by Morgan Laing]

[Image by Morgan Laing]

Like many women who have obsessed over the seminal romantic dramedy Sex and the City, I have found myself – alone, on a Saturday night in front of the TV – pondering the similarities between the four fabulous protagonists and myself. Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, Miranda, me… our lives aren’t all that different. Just like them, I have a tight-knit group of friends. I also live in a city, and I attend blowout brunches that I can’t financially justify but still indulge in anyway because, hello, have you tried the pancakes in this place?

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Between Art and Artist

[Written by Annie Wakefield]

[Image by Kate Zápražná]

When an artist makes controversial statements or life choices that you neither support or condone, is it possible to find a separation between an artist and their art, or are they of one thing?
For many people, there is a dilemma in still appreciating an artist’s work, be it watching a film starring said actor, or listening to an artist’s music, after they’ve come under fire – whether it be for making provocative political statements or for unacceptable behaviour in their personal life.

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Between Crime and Punishment

[Written by Natalia Melenteva]

[Image by Anastasija Svarevska]

“I like them to talk nonsense. That’s man’s one privilege over all creation. Through error you come to the truth! I am a man because I err!” 

“What do you think, would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds?”

Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1866

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Glasgow Walking Tour – Trongate

[Written by Betty Henderson]

[Illustration by Betty Henderson]

Glasgow is a city that celebrates culture. A place that is buzzing with art, history, and the most incredible music scene. It’s a place that is loud, proud and oh so friendly – and although it may be home to some of the best art galleries and museums in Scotland, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is a city that thrives on art and eccentricity, and nowhere encapsulates this vibe more than the eclectic Trongate area. Here is my guide to the ideal way to spend an afternoon in the East End of the city, from vintage shopping to totally instagrammable cafes. There is something for the art lover in all of us.

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Between Bodies: shifting the perspective of the ideal male beauty

[Written by Saamkyu Smart]

[Image by Sophie Thornton]

After generations of impossible female beauty standards, men are starting to feel the same pressure to conform to a very specific form of beauty. Actors and models of the same body type are being constantly pushed into the spotlight as the ideal form of male attractiveness– the lean yet ripped look. Although these body types give off the illusion of being healthy and natural, the process by which models and actors gain them is quite the opposite. It’s a job to be lean and muscular, and for the majority of the time, it’s a temporary one. Additionally, when the standards are set so high, it’s hard to not feel any social pressure when you’re not even close to muscular.

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Always the friend, never the lead

[Written by Stefanie Reynolds]

[Image by Aike Jansen – Online Photo Editor]

I love film. I love experiencing film at the cinema, at a friend’s house on a wide screen TV or just on my own, in my bedroom, through my laptop. I enjoy most genres; comedy or romantic being my favourite. I go weak in the knees for a beautifully, romantic love story! However, despite this, there is one (huge!) sacrifice I have to make whenever I give myself over to film for an hour or two – I probably won’t see myself. Under representation is a problem in film, but worse still is the token black character. My non-black friends have often been quick to remind me of many films with black actors, and have even eagerly pursued to put them on in my presence.

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Man, the man is non-stop

[Written by Niki Radman]

[Image Credit: Steve Jurvetson/flickr.com]

Whenever I sport my What-Would-Lin-Manuel-Miranda-Do-T-Shirt in public, people tend to give me puzzled looks and, occasionally, a hesitant “So, who is… errr –?”. It appears that there are still people in Scotland who don’t know the name Lin-Manuel Miranda. Curious. To be honest, answering their question is difficult for me. When you admire someone to the extent that I do Mr Miranda, drawing a sensitive sketch – both of perceived personality and various achievements – becomes extremely challenging. Chances of going on a disconnected ramble are high but then again how to pick from the plethora of information obtained on afternoons of compulsive googling? Nonetheless, here is my attempt at an overview.

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TOMORROW: Between

[Written By Arianne Crainie – Editor-in-Chief]

Hello everyone! Hopefully you’ve had a chance to take a browse at the articles published over the past few days. If not then click back to the feed where you’ll find some pieces on the theme of ‘Tomorrow.’ This mini-theme was chosen to coincide with our Freshers zine-making workshop last Friday (what a great turnout – tysm to everyone who came!!). It also prompted us to reflect on what we wanted for the magazine.

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TOMORROW: Zine Making Workshop

Last week we ran some of our first workshops of the year including a wonderfully well-attended zine making workshop! To coincide with our Fresher Week mini-theme of ‘Tomorrow’ we collected pages together to create a zine on the theme and the result is absolutely fantastic!

This is just a taster of the kinds of workshops and events we’ll be running for the next year. Always with a goal to be inclusive, encourage collaboration and engage in creative pursuits, regardless of experience or ability!

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TOMORROW: Making the most of Tomorrow

[Written by Maisie Joanna and Ellen Grant – Events Managers]

Glasgow is never short of goingons, and this month is no exception. Whether you’re a fresh-faced first year ready to get to know the city, or you’ve been pacing these streets your whole life, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Tomorrow doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom…

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TOMORROW: The Poetics of Tomorrow

[Written by Alice Hill-Woods – Creative Writing Editor]

The future has been analysed, fortified and deconstructed; met with elation, met with anxiety; always written about. Writing about tomorrow can be an act of rebellion, or a manifesto for the future, because it requires the intention for change. In this sense, it is a wonderful prompt for creative outlet, as it finds its place between dichotomies such as the known/the unknown, hope/fear and change/rigidity. It presents itself as an opportunity to reimagine and reconstruct our environment or ourselves on the premise that it is a fresh start.

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TOMORROW: Hypothetical Politics and the World of Tomorrow

[Written by Rafe Uddin – Politics Editor]

[Illustration by Julia Rosner]

The political discourse is one which is abound with hypothetical notions of what the world of tomorrow will look like. From daunting notions of rapture, as societies descend into conflict, to a belief that a political decision could stave off this outcome. From the impeachment of Trump to the reversal of Brexit – the leading assumption suggests that these will help society overcome an illiberal agenda. However, hypothetical arguments do little to outline what tomorrow will actually look like. I would go as far as to argue that they only amplify any echo chamber that you might be living in (Twitter now curating the voices in your head). However, I am not advocating playing host to all perspectives. Instead I am advocating – being pragmatic about the future – not altogether cynical.

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TOMORROW: “Where are we going tomorrow?”

[Written by Morgan Laing – Deputy Editor]

[Illustration by Julia Rosner]

Last week, during a spontaneous road trip with my best friends (HI, AM I IN AN AMERICAN COMING-OF-AGE FILM??), I experienced what can only be described as a “moment”. A “moment” is one of those occasions where the sky seems unbelievable and the music is right and you all of a sudden sense – in your heart and in your bones – that everything is going to turn out exactly as you dreamed it would, when you were a child building the perfect world in your mind.

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TOMORROW: The classic fourth-year existential crisis

[Written by Perry Stewart – Online Editor]

I’m almost certain that a whole stack of people around the internet will have written about this already, but I’m entering my fourth and final year of university and I am filled with a dreadful sense of unease. It’s not that I’m not looking forward to returning and getting back into the groove of lectures. No, it’s the fact that I have to make proper adult choices soon and I’m in no way ready for that. I bought a giant plush shark from IKEA today with my own money, that is how much of an adult I am. So, when I was given the brief to talk about the concept of ‘tomorrow’, I decided I’d talk about how much I’m dreading it.

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The Career Fear

[Written By: Rachel Shnapp]

So, we did it. In a few weeks we will officially have degrees, and can plaster that first, 2:1, 2:2 onto our bright and shiny CVs that we will  (or already are) ramming down the email-shaped throat of anything, anywhere that is vaguely related to the kind of job we imagine ourselves doing. For me, it’s somewhere in the realm of film and arts, but I’ll also happily take a job in marketing/ journalism/a bar. Anything that will allow me to pay my rent, basically. And I know from talking to friends that it isn’t just me being massively melodramatic (although that has been known to happen on very, extremely rare occasions…). But everyone seems to have, what I call, The Fear.

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The Thing About Gender

[Written By: Emma Lees]

In the April of 2017, Caitlyn Jenner gave an interview with Diane Sawyer in which she discussed her transition from a male to a female. People all over the world seemed fixated upon the fact Bruce had once been a wealthy, successful, inspirational man, an Olympic athlete. Suddenly, it seemed the act of a gender reassignment surgery had stripped her of the right to be held in such high regard. The interview was memorable and one statement in particular still sticks with me: ‘I’m not stuck in anybody’s body, I hate that phrase. I’m just me.’ This is everything – everything that is wrong with our notions of gender identification.

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An Interview with Hannah Hill

[ By: Emma Lees ]

Hannah Hill is a 22-year-old woman from London. What first drew and continues to draw me to Hannah’s’ social media presence is her power to use raw relation in a way most people can’t stomach: forthcoming with not only her position on social standards, mental health, immigration, drug use, politics, equality and body image (to name a few), but she also shares her perceived weaknesses and strengths. She lays herself bare and brave. This in turn cultivates a network of girls who genuinely care about her; girls who read her vulnerable musings like a diary, who notice when she seems happier or sadder, and like a private-public chat room communicate that concern or well-wishes for all to see. Scrolling through her Instagram is the mental equivalent of a girls’ sleepover, the admiration for yourself you wanted to have but didn’t know where or how to start, an uninhibited conversation in the girls’ bathroom with someone you immediately know has shared a slice of your life and love, victories and losses. To summarise – Hannah is singlehandedly the girl gang we all need. She is the human manifestation of those girls who dominate the likes of Laura Callaghan’s illustrations – sassy, sincere and unapologetically sexual. She puts the time in to be the person reinforcing feelings worth talking about and for someone with 43.3k followers on Instagram, that’s a socially significant mindset to have and a courageous life to live.

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Anthem for a Structural Engineer

[Written By: Andrew S George]
[Photographer: Silvia Sani]

Column: A vertical beam
In compression
How could support
Elicit depression?
Here I sit, broken hearted
With dreams of Greeks
Gone, departed
Column: A vertical beam
In compression
Computers were built
To answer these questions
Now, paper and pen firm in hand,
I feel my brain buckle and turn to sand –
Verify general solution and constants;
It can’t just be me that thinks this is nonsense.

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Productivity = self-worth?

[Written By: Hannah West]

The irony of me writing this article is that I have been putting it off, and off, and off – procrastinating entirely and finding something else to do the minute I sit down at my desk.  But that’s not all – I’ve also had the exact same internal fight every single time this has happened. I end up beating myself up about the fact that I can’t seem to find it in myself to be productive, even when I know how much time I have to do something and what my other commitments are.

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TEDxUniversityofGlasgowSalon: All Kinds of Minds

[Written By: Kritika Narula]

[Photographer: Erifili Gounari]

The narrative on mental health has strengthened over the years. Yet, a very small proportion of the people seek help. The reasons vary. The identification of mental health issues is hard because of their conspicuous absence from the mainstream medical narrative. Even if one identifies the issue, it is difficult to muster enough courage to acknowledge it in entirety and reach out for help. What complicates matters is that these experiences are extremely personal and explaining what one is going through is a daunting task in itself. To add to this, there’s unfathomable stigma about accepting such illnesses and disorders because they are seen as a character flaw.

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Quietly Confident

[Written By: Hannah Lane]

‘Don’t talk much, do you?’ These were words uttered to me a matter of days ago, as I sat in the back of a car with my older sister and two others. We were undertaking an hour-long journey and, unsurprisingly, my sister had been talking non-stop the entire time whilst I had hardly spoken only one word beyond the necessary polite greetings and initial small talk. I then smiled at the person addressing me and mumbled something about a tendency to zone out during car journeys, and that I was more of a listener anyway.

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The Natural Capitalist

[Written By: John Hill]

The nineteenth-century American philosopher Ralph Emerson wrote that ‘the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it’. It is natural to focus on the needs or desires of ourselves above anybody else’s concerns as self-interest drives us all and impels us to fulfil our own individual wills. Freud himself was interested in the study of our innermost drive and concluded we have two primitive instincts: Eros and Thantos, our will to live and our death drive, the pursuance of personal fulfilment and preservation.

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Covering just the pretty things: why does the press forget about sustainability when talking about fashion?

[Written By: Elsa Lindström]

The fashion weeks take over the press coverage every spring and autumn with magazines rushing to praise their latest collections and show off their best looks. These weeks are considered the most important part of the year, at least if you trust Vogue, and the industry basically revolves around them. But in the midst of the newest trends of capes and leather dresses, little attention is given to the ethical issues of fashion, such as designers environmental aspects or workers’ rights.

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The Value of Fiction: Why are we intellectualising our reading choices?

[Written By: Emma Harrison]

[Illustration: Julia Rosner]

There is a pretty strong consensus, when it comes to fiction, that there are “good” and “bad” books. In a less complicated world, this would simply mean that there are books that are well-written and enjoyable to read, and books that aren’t. Instead, the issue is far more convoluted – a good book must also be considered proper literature, of academic interest, of sound reputation, and as far from commercialised writing as possible. Whether it is actually enjoyable to read or not often seems to be less important than how far it can distance itself from its contemporaries.

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Sex and the University: Learning Curves

[Written By: Charlotte Dean]

We all have a past. Some people ignore it. Some people delve too deeply into theirs, and some never learn from it. With age we need to accept our past for its heavenly highs and for its painful pitfalls. There are moments and times I am not particularly proud of, whether it was going on a trampoline blind-drunk in wedge heels (and thankfully only breaking a small bone in my foot) to giving too much too soon to someone who wasn’t worth it. We need to consider our own ideals and opinions far more and this can begin with accepting our faults. When in toxic relationships we all have done things we regret, but as long as we ask for forgiveness and know we’ve done wrong only then will we be able to move on.

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Style Icons: Charlotte York Goldenblatt

[Written By: Morgan Laing]

Who, between the years 1998-2004, could we identify as the owner of the shiniest hair, the best wardrobe, and the most hopefully romantic outlook in the whole of Manhattan? Charlotte York Goldenblatt, that’s who. For as long as Sex and the City graced our screens, Charlotte York Goldenblatt (formerly known as Charlotte MacDougal, though we don’t talk about that now. Her first husband was fine in some respects, but the way he allowed his mother to interfere in every aspect of his life was hella weird) trotted around NYC in some of the chicest ensembles you’ve ever seen – and yet Carrie was supposed to be the unequivocal style icon? Let’s discuss this for a second.

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Dream Wife – Album Review

[Written By: Katie Fannin]

‘Dream Wife’ is the eagerly awaited self-titled first album from the Icelandic-Brightonian pop punk three-piece. Formed during art school in Brighton, the band have already made a name for themselves supporting a cavalcade of big names on tour and securing a slot at the infamous SXSW last year.

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Instagram: is it improving our photography?

[Writer and photographer: Silvia Sani]

Currently, Instagram is one of the most-used applications. Its purpose is rooted in letting people share moments in their life through pictures: a photo with friends on a night out, a beautiful sunset, the university viewed from the library (I have done that), an image of summer holidays in a sunny country, and so on. When scrolling down on Instagram, all one sees is memories of other people’s lives.

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No Glow-up Pending (Just Learning to Accept my own Mediocre True Self)

[Written By: Shamso Abdirahman]

My last Instagram post was a selfie. I thought I looked cute in the picture and, more importantly, I remember feeling carefree and happy at the time. It had made the cut from the dozen others I’d taken, and after seeking the counsel of various WhatsApp group chats (it absolutely was not a spontaneous post) I posted the selfie. So came the post-upload wave of validation from friends and followers, and it’s fair and honest to say that my two hours of social media traffic was validating but soon enough – over. The many love heart emojis and messages with the words ‘glow-up season’ were all appreciated, but it never dawned on me that I had glowed up.

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