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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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 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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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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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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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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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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The Importance of Arts Funding

[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?

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Interview with Jo Reid, President of the GULGBTQ+ society

[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.’

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kiss me. say it.

[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.

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I’m With The Band: Gurr

[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.”

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Mac DeMarco Review

[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.

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Review: Spice World

[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.

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Havana Glasgow Film Festival

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.

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Share My Table: ‘I Hear the Image Moving’

Written By: Arianne Crainie   Tramway, 20/10-29/10/17, Open daily, 12-5pm. Free. What will it take for people to recognise that refugees are equal and human? That they too are living, breathing individuals with homes, jobs and families? Correspondingly, how does the mainstream media feed into these ideas and who voices these narratives?

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Poetry @ Inn Deep (#notacult)

By Jen Hughes If there was anything that could perfectly encapsulate ‘punk’, it was Poetry @ Inn Deep. It was on Tuesday 24th October it celebrated its 5th birthday, and it was a night of intelligent prose and rowdy audience participation. As it was a special occasion, they had a projector up with a social media feed where the audience could post pictures of themselves on Twitter and Instagram at the event under hashtag #spec_books. It filled up pretty quickly, not just of pictures from the event but also with memes and pictures of cute animals.

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Review: Blade Runner 2049

Written By: Arianne Crainie Illustration: Michael Paget   Warning! Spoilers ahead! Thirty-five years ago Ridley Scott’s cult classic Blade Runner illuminated the big screen with questions on modernity, humanity and identity. Now its offspring, Blade Runner 2049 dir. Dennis Villeneuve, is updating these ideas to run with our contemporary society. Or at least it tries to.

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Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival: Youth Perspective

By Aike Jansen CCA, 13 October ‘17 Thinking about representation of mental health in mainstream media brings to mind either exaggerated, judgemental, or overly comical portrayals that often don’t have a positive effect on the way people experiencing mental health in their day to day life are regarded by others. It is thus excellent to see two young filmmakers tackling this subject in a sensitive yet highly artistic way .‘Northern Lights’ and ‘OverLove’ are presented together as ‘Youth Perspective’ at this year’s Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Both films are not perfect, as no film about a subject that is experienced in so many different ways will be, but they are emotional, tense, and contributing to a more honest portrayal of what mental health is like.

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Review: Loving Vincent

By Amy Shimmin - @amylfc GFT, 17/10-19/10 ‘17 First of all, it is not enough to consider Loving Vincent solely as a film. We are reminded before the picture starts that ‘the film [we] are about to see has been entirely hand painted’; this is the fruit of over one hundred artists. Each frame of the movie has been painted in Van Gogh’s signature style: swooping brushstrokes of oil paint. This, in itself, is an unprecedented achievement, and worthy of merit. There is a silent awareness amongst the audience that we are watching something that goes beyond mere camera and film.

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Review: Brothers Karamazov

Reviewed by Hamish Stewart Tron Theatre, 13/10/17 Religion and power, amoralism and sex, scandal and murder- all awash at Richard Crane and Faynia Williams’s ‘The Brother’s Karamazov’ reboot at the Tron Theatre this Autumn. And what else could be playing with that thematic lineup? This impressive feat of distillation, where the essence of Dostoevsky's tone remains perfectly intact in the two-hour show, leaves the audience wondering what exactly the world’s been doing for the last 150 years, given the narrative could have been written yesterday.

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SQIFF: Sad Girl Cinema

Reviewed by: Clare Patterson 30/9/17, CCA Glasgow Created by artist and writer Claire Biddles and writer and ‘Doll Hospital’ zine editor Bethany Lamont, ‘Sad Girl Cinema’ is a documentary that combines representations of mental illness on screen with analysis from contemporary female writers. The film is still in production – the event, examining numerous representations of mental illness on screen, is bookended by two short clips from the film itself - and even for just the first glimpse of this ongoing project, the CCA Theatre is packed, showing the ravenous appetite for this kind of representation, for perspectives on women with mental illness outside of harridan mothers and ‘tragically beautiful’ teenage girls.

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SQIFF Shorts: Defiant Dykes

Written by: Amy Shimmin - @amylfc Back for its third year, Scottish Queer International Film Festival is renowned for its diverse programming. From following pregnancy while trans to a queer anarchist punk musical, to workshops on LGBT working class cinema wrapped up with late-night parties, the Festival promises a scream of a line-up every autumn. SQIFF Shorts: Defiant Dykes presents a collection of six short films, focusing mainly on lesbian identity, in the UK and overseas.

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Review: Looking Awry: Presenting Bisexual* Desire on Screen

Reviewed by Aike Jansen From 27th of September until October 1st, Glaswegians can again delight in the best of queer film during SQIFF. For the third year in a row, Scottish Queer International Film Festival is promoting LGBTIQ+ cinema - getting people to watch and talk about films they would otherwise not have the chance to see, whilst creating informative events alongside it. Perhaps symbolic for the neglect of bisexual experiences within LGBTQ+ politics, activism and communities, representation of bisexuality in film was completely lacking in the first two years of SQIFF. To make up for this “fuck-up”, there is now a bi-specific programme, kicking off with a ride through cinematic representations of bisexuality presented by Jacob Engelberg, the programmer of Brighton-based queer film strand Eyes Wide Open Cinema.

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

SSE Hydro, 27th September Nick Cave’s legendary status precedes him. With 16 studio albums under his belt, and a global reputation for his dark, unsettling and existential songwriting, expectations are high for the 60-year-old Aussie and his band of eccentrics, The Bad Seeds, to deliver an affecting and memorable performance. And deliver they certainly do.

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Gig Review: Gregory Alan Isakov at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut supported by Leif Vollebekk

Gregory Alan Isakov writes stories, seamlessly interwoven into raw melodies, creating hypnotising and beautifully poetic songs. Hailing from Philadelphia, Isakov’s music is quickly gaining popularity over here, with the success of singles such as ‘Black Car’ and ‘The Stable Song’. However to appreciate the full scope of his repertoire, and talent, you must experience the energy of his live performances. Accompanied by an outstanding group of musicians- a violin, banjo, double bass, drums and an equally talented support act- an uplifting and intimate gig awaited me at King Tut’s.

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The Internet and Empathy

Despite the extent to which it has become intertwined with our twenty-first century lives, the Internet is often regarded with caution. The recent election of Donald Trump and the notable rise of the alt right across Europe has only brought criticism against online culture into sharper relief. It is undeniable that the Internet can be a breeding ground for hate. Online chat forums lead angry young men to believe that white masculinity is under threat from those who don’t agree with them - feminists, the LGBTQ+ community, etc. - and a space such as the Internet naturally provides an echo chamber in which hateful subcultures fester and churn out trolls. On an individual level people worry that excessive use of social media can have an adverse effect on mental health, that genuine empathy is being replaced by the angry-face react button. Millenials, the world’s first ever Internet generation, are seen as ‘self-obsessed’ and unable to have decent conversations IRL.

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Empathy in Culture

When was the first time you really put yourselves in someone else’s shoes? I mean, really thought about and felt what someone else was feeling? Empathy and sympathy are key skills we tend to learn growing up, and one of the first times we are asked to actually consider a different person’s viewpoint or situation is through the media we consume. Culture does a great job providing a ‘window on the world’; giving us access to places and the lives of people we may have never had the chance to witness before – from nature documentaries showcasing penguins in Antarctica to novels detailing the life of an astronaut. Culture can also show us ideas and life experiences far beyond our comfort zone, forcing us to confront our own preconceptions and build empathy for someone we may never have met, or someone who might not even exist. 

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Empathy in Music

Our editors reveal the albums they have connected with personally. Look out for more album reviews in our upcoming issue! Mylo Xyloto (2011) Coldplay I was tempted to listen to Mylo Xyloto after seeing the beautiful album cover; colourful watercolour designs with graffiti inserts looked rather unique and promising. When I researched the album before listening to it, I knew it was going to be different from what I had heard before, but what I didn’t know was how it would make me feel. This might sound ridiculous but Mylo Xyloto is like a friend to me when I need company in an unpleasant state. The vast majority of songs are relatable, therefore, listening to them makes you feel as though you’re not alone. If someone manages to write songs about the feeling I am experiencing that means that they had to feel the same at some point and they managed to make it into a work of art. Also, the album has a positive vibe while speaking about heart-breaking experiences. For all these reasons, this album helped make me feel understood.

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GFF Review round-up I

This year for the Glasgow Film Festival 2017 I was both coordinating the press coverage for GUM and volunteering on the festival myself. However, with so many interesting films on, there were no signs of fatigue. Here’s a quick round up of films I’ve managed to see (no fully formed reviews here, just scattered thoughts).

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Slumber Club presents: A Trilogy

In the last decade, there has been an exponential growth in the amount of participatory theatre being produced. What started as a new theatrical experience has now often become a tokenistic trait. Nowadays, participatory performances rarely provide the audience with actual agency and autonomy, but rather an illusion of such. We are Slumber Club, a group of third year Theatre Studies students at the University of Glasgow. From Friday the 17th until Wednesday the 22nd of March we are putting on a project titled Trilogy. We want to return ownership of a theatre performance to you. We intend to move audience interaction from the performance to the process, so the spectator’s active involvement is to contribute items and ideas during the show’s development. When we then perform the final show, created by the spectators, we hope to question these ideas of participation and democracy.

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GFF Film Review and Q&A: The Chocolate Case, 2015

This documentary about a group of maverick Dutch journalists investigating the possibility of ethically produced chocolate manages to be educational, depressing, and very funny all at the same time. The beginning half depicts the efforts of the core member of the group, Teun van de Keuken, to get himself imprisoned for the crime of consciously eating chocolate while knowing that its production has involved child slavery. Towards the end, the film shifts its focus to Teun’s (‘Tony’s’, as his name is commonly wrangled by anglophones) quest to create their own, 100% slave-free brand of chocolate, called Tony Chocolonely. As it turns out, there are massive obstacles on the way to achieving that goal.

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