[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[Written by Livia Dyring] [Image by Dalia Sara and Aike Jansen] At times, I can feel like I’m playing twister constantly. Except the mat is a large world map – and it’s all too real.
[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 within—and beyond—Glasgow’s art scene.
[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.
[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.
[Written By Anastasija Svarevska] [Image by Dalia Sara and Aike Jansen] How often do we get stuck? Stuck in a queue for food, in an elevator, in an awkward conversation or a complicated situation and so on. For quite a while, I was stuck when asked “Where are you from?”
[Written by Maria Jeleńska] [Image by Elena Roselli and Aike Jansen] Moving out from home can be a very difficult experience. I left Poland three weeks ago, and it is my first time at a new university, city, and country. This situation is about standing on your own feet.
[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.
[Written by Elena Roselli] [Image by Dalia Sara and Aike Jansen] When you set out for Ithaka Ask that your way be long, full of adventure, full of instruction. […] Ask that your way be long, At many a summer dawn to enter -with gratitude, what joy- ports seen for the first time;
[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.
[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.
[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.)
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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?
[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.
[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).
[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:
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[ 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.
[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.
[Written By: Gabriel Rutherford] [Photographer: Elena Roselli] The importance of arts funding cannot be overstated. For culture, funding is crucial for survival especially in an age where inflation means that artists have to charge more for their art, thereby limiting audience sizes - already a problem in the echelons of “higher” art. After all, when was the last time you went to the opera?
[By: Aike Jansen with thanks to Jo Reid] If you were a queer student at Glasgow Uni before the 1970s, the only way to meet up with fellow LGBTQ students was having lunch together on a specific day in the Fraser Building. Then in the 70s, while homosexuality was still criminalised in Scotland, a lecturer set up the Glasgow University Gay Society, Gay Soc for short. One week, the society would meet in a QMU committee room to listen to a talk or chat, the next week they would socialize in a bar, ensuring that both closeted and out LGBTQ students could join. Now, GULGBTQ+ is among one of the biggest societies on campus, still ensuring there’s a great variety of things happening - from weekly coffee-meetups where one can hang out with others of a specific orientation or gender-identity, big Wednesday-night events, knitting groups, campaigns and ceilidhs. ‘The LGBTQ+ community is so big, you’ve got to make sure you’re trying to cater to as many people as possible’ says Jo Reid, current president of GULGBTQ+. ‘It can be challenging, taking care of all these different needs. You’ve got to balance being informative, and offering welfare, and campaigning while being a social society. At the end of the day, this is a volunteer society, people come here because they want to have fun! But if there’s something missing, we very much welcome our members to tell us what they’d like to see and we can try to make it happen.’
[Written By: Niki Radman] [Illustration: Perry Stewart] It is a truth universally acknowledged that every self-respecting film nerd on the face of this earth must have seen Blade Runner at some point or another. Although less than successful during its initial release, the film has developed a cult following that few others can claim. It has been praised for stunning visuals, thought-provoking themes and an eerily beautiful score by Vangelis. I will not try to counter any of these claims and I don’t aim to push the masterpiece off its pedestal. I won’t try to argue that ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is poor either. When I saw both movies at a double-feature over the holidays, the experience was very enjoyable. Upon further reflection, I realised something wasn’t quite right. My stomach started churning and eventually I identified the feeling which was tormenting me as anger. Something about these movies had made me profoundly angry. Initially I was too emotional to form my thoughts into a coherent argument however, distance and time have made it easier to untangle the threads and lay out before you now exactly what I believe went wrong.
[Written By: Anna Shams Ili] [Photographer: Rowan Allen] “I’m going to count down - eins, zwei, drei, and then we scream.” Andreya Casablanca shouts out to the audience, leaning slightly back as to not scream directly into the microphone. Her scream is joined by the audiences’ and the one of fellow frontwoman Laura Lee. They jump and dance on stage while playing their punk-inspired tunes, trying to make this average Wednesday stand out. That’s the main difference between playing at a festival and outside one, they tell me later. You can feel that people aren’t really always letting loose the same way having been weighed down by the workday. This is all happening at Broadcast, where they are guesting as part of their Europe tour. While the band hails from Berlin they are no strangers to the UK, not even Glasgow. Last time they played support, at Broadcast as well, for Stag & Dagger - this time they’re headlining. When asked about their favourite spot so far, Andreya naturally answers Glasgow. And yet, “London is like Berlin times three. And we’ve played there a lot, especially some of our first shows, so we feel like we have a fanbase.”
[Written By: Emma Lees] DIY slacker rock hero Mac Demarco played his hotly anticipated date on the last Friday of November at The Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow as part of his This Old Dog tour. Set to be eclectic mix of psychedelic garage music sloped with jazzy overtones and heinous onstage antics - it did not disappoint. Well known for the stream of trippy slow paced romantic records he releases which lie in stark contrast to the boyish and downright vulgar behaviour in his videos and in front of the crowd. With a goofy Lloyd Christmas Canadian charm, endearingly softly spoken voice and low maintenance modus operandi, he’s become a hero for anyone who’s ever felt weird and liked it.
[Written by: Lucia Marquez-Leaman] I am a second generation Spice Girls fan, a sacred obsession carefully passed on by familial elders. Having come 20 years late to the party I have been deprived the luxuries of the super- fans back in their heyday alas, I will never be able to throw my balled up pants at Geri or whatever crazed fans used to do before twitter. So when The Grosvenor cinema advertised a special 20th anniversary screening of ‘Spice World’ I ditched my very real plans that were definitely happening at the altar of the Spice Girls and their great work.
Written By: Hannah Lane Photo: Hannah Lane
The Lighthouse, 21 Oct – 25 Nov, Free to attend.
By: Isabella Noero Photo by: Sebastian Summers The sabor of Cuban culture is much closer than you think. In its 3rd year, the Havana/Glasgow Film Festival brings the authentic essence of this Caribbean island to Glasgow - its official twin city since 2002.