Seatbelts in Palestine: Blurring the boundaries between culture and resistance

[Written by Jack Jeffrey]

[Image Credit: flickr//Martin Abegglen]

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

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On serendiption and all its friends

[Written by Martina Bani]

[Illustration by Silvia Sani]

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

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

[Written by Anonymous]

[Image by Karin Tokunaga]

Trigger Warning: this article includes discussion of eating disorders.

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

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Overcoming the Obsessive Urge to Pick at My Pimples

[Written By Annegret Maja Fiedler]

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

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

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

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Flexitarianism: The case for cutting back

[Written by Melissa Dunn]

[Image by Kate Zápražná]

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

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Jacob Banks interview

[Written by Ellen Grant]

[Image Credit: Grace Rivera @__gracerivera]

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

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Clothes modification – giving a second life to the clothes you don’t love anymore

[Written by Martha Scott]

[Image by Karin Tokunaga]

We constantly hear about how bad ‘fast fashion’ is, both from an environmental and an ethical point of view. The rapid cycle of production and consumption of clothes is destroying our planet; it’s also well known that the people making our cheap clothes rarely receive a fair wage.

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Making it your way? #1

[Written by Joycee Choong]

[Image by Kate Zápražná]

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

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Between Mental Illness and Health

[Written by Vaiva Gikaite]

[Image by Kate Zápražná]

Content Warning: This article includes discussion of mental illness

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

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Glasgow Walking Tour: Southside/ Battlefield / Queens Park

[Written by Hannah Lane]

[Illustration by Grace Elder]

Grain and Grind

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

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Being Single When Literally All Your Friends Are In Relationships

[Written by Morgan Laing]

[Image by Morgan Laing]

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

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Glasgow Walking Tour – Trongate

[Written by Betty Henderson]

[Illustration by Betty Henderson]

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

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TOMORROW: Between

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

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

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TOMORROW: Zine Making Workshop

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

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

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TOMORROW: “Where are we going tomorrow?”

[Written by Morgan Laing – Deputy Editor]

[Illustration by Julia Rosner]

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

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TOMORROW: The classic fourth-year existential crisis

[Written by Perry Stewart – Online Editor]

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

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The Career Fear

[Written By: Rachel Shnapp]

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

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The Thing About Gender

[Written By: Emma Lees]

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

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Productivity = self-worth?

[Written By: Hannah West]

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

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TEDxUniversityofGlasgowSalon: All Kinds of Minds

[Written By: Kritika Narula]

[Photographer: Erifili Gounari]

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

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Quietly Confident

[Written By: Hannah Lane]

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

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

[Written By: Emma Harrison]

[Illustration: Julia Rosner]

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

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Instagram: is it improving our photography?

[Writer and photographer: Silvia Sani]

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

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

[Written By: Shamso Abdirahman]

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

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Interview: Deacon

[Interviewed by Hannah West]

South London rapper Deacon is an up-and-coming performer on the British hip-hop scene who has already generated incredible hype with his first single, ‘No Evil’ – a hugely political piece inspired by the shape that today’s world takes, and by recent events that he has witnessed around him. Deacon certainly keeps his writing up to speed with the world, and his candid voice will undoubtedly influence many.

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Difference of Opinion?

As humans, we like to have opinions. We value and trust our own opinions. But things change, and we often find ourselves realising that the opinions we once held no longer stand. Sometimes, our view on something – on a film, or a song, or a book – starts to alter, or dwindle, or degenerate. We grow out of things. We start to think differently. We realise that the thing in question may never have been particularly good to begin with (hi, low-rise jeans). Three writers talk about how their appreciation for particular pieces of media has changed – or, in some cases, declined – over time.

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DEGENERATION // Living Sustainably

[Written By: Hannah Lane]

[Illustration: Julia Rosner]

In a world slowly being torn apart by environmental destruction, and with people consistently adopting a ‘disposable’ attitude towards everyday life, a personal effort to live more sustainably can often feel futile. We’re constantly aware of the impact our every move has on the environment, yet it can be difficult to distance ourselves from our plastic-infused bubbles and properly examine what exactly our everyday actions, habits and lifestyles do to the world we live in. Nevertheless, it seems that more and more of us are becoming aware of the benefits of sustainable living and making a conscious effort, big or small, to live more mindfully and be more environmentally aware. Recently, I’ve come to realise that we can make an effort to live more sustainably in so many areas – from our food and drink habits and everyday commutes, to our fashion and beauty addictions.

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DEGENERATION // Photo Essay

[By: Elena Roselli]

RISING FROM ASHES

In front of the building site of the building that recently burned in Glasgow city centre, the man coordinating the site is the only splash of colours in an otherwise grey landscape, representing to me the potential of creation that a single human being represents in front of a symbol of destruction.

 

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