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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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