Black History Month Issue

scan.editor | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9





An Interview with Alan



& B E A U T Y

A24 Saint Maud Reviewed


& B E A U T Y

Waste in the Beauty Industry

SCAN Special Issue:

Black History Month




The 5 Best Horror Games for

Spooky Season

Football Fan Culture in Lockdown

Interview with Bastille

guitarist, Will Farquarson | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 2



NEWS Pg. 3-5

The Future of Journalism: An Interview with Alan Rusbridger

A Brief History of America’s Civil Rights Movement

Interview with Noah Katz on the Definition of Antisemitism

A Peek Into The Life & Legacy Of Thurgood Marshall


Why You Think Feminists Are Crazy (And Why They Aren’t) Making Role-Play Accessible for ND Players

Why I Can’t Support J.K. R*wling

Interview with a Student OnlyFans


Understanding Microaggressions The Life and Legacy of Audre Lorde What is White Privilege?

Bee on the BAME Attainment Gap

Being Black in Higher Education

ARTS & CULTURE Pg. 13-15

5 Best Horror Games to Celebrate the Spooky Season Review: Hamnet

Interview with author, Andrew Miller

Covid-19 Cannot Stop Student Creativity – An Interview with Lancaster University Art Society

MUSIC Pg. 16-18

The Joy of Making Playlists

Sufjan Stevens - The Ascension: A Break-up with the Past

Bastille back with ‘survivin’’: An Interview with band guitarist, Will Farquarson

SCREEN Pg. 19-21

Horror: The Genre with the Best and Worst Remakes

Did James Bond kill the cinema?

A short introduction to Scandinavian TV David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet Reviewed

A24’s Saint Maud Review


There is only so much cosmetics can conceal: highlighting the waste problem in the beauty industry.

Our Favourite Outfits from Emily in Paris

Kenzo Takada: A Tribute

Why You Should Wear Sunscreen Every Day – Yes, Even in Winter Francesca’s Beauty Files


Essay Writing: My Tips and Tricks

How We’re Making the Most Out of this Year

Interview with a student addict


How Truthful Are The Things We See?

Lancaster’s Autumnal Beauty Spots

SPORT Pg. 33-35

The Return of Female Football’s Golden Era – A Likely Prospect or Hopeful Optimism?

Goals, Glorious Goals – has the Premier League season started as good as they say it has?

Football Fan Culture in Lockdown

The 12th Man: The Influence of No Fans in Football

Getting the ‘Nick’ of Squash

Want to get involved? We’re always looking for writers,

photographers and more - email the relevant section

editors below to register your interest, or head to the

‘Groups’ section of our Facebook page to join sections

that you’re interested in.


Erin Wilson

Associate Editor

Jodie Reeve

Carolynne Editor

Lauren Banks

Online Editor

Sophie Tomlinson

Carolynne Online Editor

Jonathan Robb

News Editors

Tom Burgess and Syed Ahmed

Comment Editor

Beth Train-Brown

Sport Editors

Sam Stewart

Arts & Culture Editor

Megan Jones and Maddy Jeffrey

Music Editor

Oli Middleton

Screen Editor

Rhys Wright

Fashion & Beauty Editor

Rhian Daniel


Editor |


To begin, I want to thank my amazing team for putting together another fab issue. Special thanks

to Tobias Max Kafula for guest-editing a Black History Month themed section!

As we head into another lockdown I hope everyone is managing to keep as safe as we can wherever

you are in the world, hopefully SCAN can offer some respite in these increasingly crazy times!

The first month of back-to-uni-life has certainly been a turbulent one, I’m sure none of us never exepected

that our time at university would be conducted via a computer screen or that seeing those

we care about would be marred with so much worry.

I want this to be a message of reassurrance - life may look different, feel different and be different

at the moment, but we are still here. If you need a friendly face or article, I hope you can find such

amidst the pages of SCAN. If you are still here, so are we :)

Lifestyle Editor

Jennifer Kehlenbeck

Head of Photography

Head of Marketing

Lilli Reuss

The Editorial Committee above is responsible for all content

and production of SCAN. Compliments, comments and complaints

to be addressed to Editor in the first instance. The Editor-in-Chief,

Shannon McCaul, is responsible for all legal matters

and significant reputational harm and can be contacted


Printed by Mortons | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 3


The Future of Journalism- An Interview

with Alan Rusbridger

Image courtesy of International

Journalism Festival via Flickr

Tom Burgess


SCAN had the pleasure of interviewing the

former chief editor of the Guardian newspaper,

Alan Rusbridger, to discuss the future

of journalism and challenges for the profession.

Journalism is a popular, if slightly daunting,

career path for students of all disciplines

from English Literature to History and

Politics. Rusbridger has seen the profession

change from a print-based monopoly on

information, to the present reality of 24/7

news coverage which is predominantly online.

The factors that made journalism the

career for Rusbridger still hold true today

through the vocation’s ‘variety’ and sense

of duty to ‘bear witness to the world’. In today’s

media landscape there are so many

different interpretations of what ‘journalism’

actually is that it is difficult for the journalists

themselves, never mind the public,

to define what it is that journalism does.

There is a staggering gap between how The

Sun views journalism and the New York

Times- ‘If there was that degree of difference

in brain surgery people would be saying how

can I trust that when you can’t even agree

amongst yourselves’!

The solution to defining journalism lies in

another problem for the profession going

forwards- how to separate proper journalism

from fake news. There is a tendency

among journalists to laugh at social media’s

citizen journalism as opposed to professional

work- there is a belief that the public will

miss journalists if they cease to function.

‘That message isn’t going through’ as people

don’t consider journalism to be the vital

service that it is. According to reputable

measures of trust ‘journalists tend to be at

the bottom’ and this poses a genuine threat

to democracy. One of the key pillars in a democracy

is a strong and independent press

that can hold all other forms of power (and

fellow media institutions) to account. People

are just more skeptical of newspapers

along with journalists as they are not the

sole gatekeepers of information anymore,

as they were in the age of the printing press.

Rusbridger said that ‘a lot of that is really

healthy’ as journalists can’t ask for ‘blind

trust’ while warning about the failings of

citizen journalism and social media.

Rusbridger explained that there is a key

distinction between ‘subjective and objective

journalism’. If you asked an American

journalist which category journalism falls

into they would say that it was objective.

In the UK most journalists would say ‘that’s

b****cks, the moment I choose my first sentence

in my story I am making a subjective

choice’. There needs to be a serious rethinking

of how journalism changes to gain the

trust of the public again, there needs to be

analysis ‘of how and why we do things’. The

younger generation is vital as they are ‘not

asking for £40,000 a year’ and can help ‘reframe

and remake’ how journalism is done.

Rusbridger acknowledged how different it

was to get into journalism compared to how

it used to be done: ‘work for the local paper

for three or four years and if you are lucky

you go and work for Fleet Street’. While

‘everything has changed’ it is clear that it is

not all bad news for prospective journalists

looking to break into the field. While the

traditional route is now nearly impossible,

due to the ever-decreasing numbers of local

papers, there are numerous opportunities

presented by the new digital world. Today,

anybody can write, challenge, and commentate

on the events of the world- Rusbridger

said that ‘you can get on anybody’s radar’.

This is a far cry from the world where people

had to get their news from newspapers and

only then what the editors of those papers

deemed important. As technology rapidly

advances new opportunities for the younger

generation are presenting themselves.

Rusbridger highlighted that only the young

have the ability to capitalise on these openings

as we ‘haven’t got any money’ and can

act as the disruptors which established organisations


The advance of technology also poses the

potential for an existential threat to journalism,

in the form of AI. While we are not

nearly at the stage of all-powerful AI, there

are already algorithms that can report on

sports matches reliably and efficiently. Microsoft

recently made 27 people redundant

in the UK as AI filled their places. While this

is a justifiably terrifying prospect for aspiring

journalists it can present progress and

improvement instead of the end of journalism.

While sports commentary and story

selection maybe soon the domain of algorithms

Rusbrisger thinks it has the potential

to free ‘up money for what has to happen’ in

areas such as investigative journalism. He

commented that while AI may reduce the

number of journalists but there will always

be ‘lots of things that do require the human


‘There isn’t enough money or security in it

if you’re not incredibly committed’ was Rusbridger’s

advice for up and coming young

journalists- you’ve got to see it as a ‘vocation’

and a vital public service which is increasingly

important. ‘You have to be realistic

looking at the media landscape and

thinking where you fit into it’ whether that

be starting up a local paper in Lancaster as

the current coverage isn’t good enough or

using new technology to invent new ways of

spreading information and news. In a way,

it has never been easier to get your words

into print, which Rusbridger emphasised as

‘it is really important to build up an archive

of what you do’. As it is so much easier to get

your voice heard, you’ve got to prove that

it is a voice worth hearing in the quality of

your work.

The future looks uncertain for journalism

as the old economic model of selling newspapers

and getting revenue from advertising

dries up. It is more important than ever

that young journalists take up the cause

of spreading reliable information that can

help shape the discourse around issues that

affect humanity’s future such as climate

change and coronavirus.

Rusbridger asserted that ‘it matters if we

believe that the fires sweeping through the

West Coast of America are caused by poor

forestry management or climate change’. If

we dismiss these fires as many media outlets

have done and simply say it was poor

forestry management then no policy changes

will occur, it will be put down as a human

error. Rusbridger pointed out that if what

is actually causing the increasing fires and

hurricanes is climate change, it could prove

‘cataclysmic to the human species’ and journalists

need to point out the facts of the

situation. There are more issues, such as the

ongoing pandemic, that require accurate

and informative journalism. In summary,

there truly has never been a greater demand

for the younger generation to invigorate

journalism and show people why it is a necessary

public service. | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 4


A Brief History of America’s Civil Rights


Image courtesy of Voices, Film

and Television

Sam Turner

America’s rich history of civil rights

activism is one that must be looked

back at and celebrated, both during

Black History Month and also

in daily life. The trials and achievements

of the movement have secured

its prime position in the history

of world politics, ushering in

our modern-day moral and legal


They also, now more than ever, hold a place

in current affairs, as the problems faced by

the Black Lives Matter movement and black

people in the current day strike an eerie

chord that echoes recent history.

Although the roots of the movement date

back to the Civil War and before, when activists

and the oppressed fought for basic

human rights under the shadow of the slave

trade, it is the Civil Rights movement of the

1950s to early 70s that won the modern legal

freedoms against a segregated society,

unwelcoming of reform.

Since the early 1900s, groups like the NAACP

had been working against racism and prejudice,

securing major legal victories against

voting discrimination and holding one of

the first civil rights marches in 1917, commonly

known as the ‘Silent Parade.’ However,

it was during the 1950s & 60s that they,

among others, began to force society into a

previously unseen and unimagined realm of

liberty for Black Americans.

By 1955, the voice of Rosa Parks and the

death of 14-year-old Emmett Till, which was

legally unanswered for by the accused, reverberated

through the homes and minds of

the country. Their voices, or lack of, became

catalysts in initiating a ‘golden age’ for civil

rights, calling for racial equality and legal


Victories for the NAACP followed, such as

the landmark 1954 Brown v Board of Education

decision that outlawed segregation

in public schools, and the 1950 decision to

desegregate railroad dining cars. Early legal

triumphs were important in countering the

de-jure segregation in the South,

Concurrently, whispers of the name Martin

Luther King Jr began to emerge. In 1957, after

the NAACP’s Montgomery Bus Boycott,

resulted in the desegregation of busses in

Montgomery, the Southern Christian Leadership

Conference (SCLC) broke onto the

civil rights scene.

Dr. King and the SCLC became the bridge

for civil rights between the minor victories

of the 1950s to a decade of revolution in the

60s. They were bolstered by the actions of

50,000 (mostly student) supporters in February

1960, who took part in “Sit-ins,” as they

filled up segregated seats in restaurants and

transportation, asking to be served.

With the support of the new and charismatic

President Kennedy, the movement saw

paramount victories in the early 1960s. The

further desegregation of Southern transport

in 1961 and the 1963 March on Washington

were key in garnering support for the movement

on a global scale. However, despite the

Civil Rights Movement’s growing momentum

and renown, federal power and many

Americans still refused to listen.

With the assassination of President Kennedy

in 1963, there was a forced change

from a period of cohesion. Groups like the

NAACP, SCLC, SNCC and CORE who once

shared almost identical morals and means

of securing rights, saw a division in ideology

and methods.

This was often exemplified by the efforts of

Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, two

historic civil rights leaders who were pitted

against each other in the media due to their

contrasting ideologies of nonviolence vs aggressive

resistance to the system.

Both saw success, with King and the SCLC

winning victories in their 1965 voter registration

campaign and their march from

Selma to Montgomery, which allowed President

Johnson to push the 1964 Civil Rights

Act through Congress, as the televised

march drew media attention and backlash

when peaceful protesters were attacked by

police and locals.

Whilst the SCLC and Dr. King worked with

the president to secure these rights, Black

suffering due to institutional problems,

such as poor living conditions for African

Americans in inner-city Ghettos, sparked

action from more radical groups.

Riots broke out in cities across

America between 1964 and 1968,

initiated by wrongful killings of

Black Americans, police brutality,

and the assassination of Martin

Luther King in 1968.

These years of perceived fragmentation

were a reaction to continued oppression

and an exemplification of the lengths the

movement was forced to pursue in order to

achieve basic human rights. Despite media

and historical condemnation, more radical

opposition was essential in pushing for further

federal action in the form of the 1968

Fair Housing Act, which prohibited discrimination

regarding the sale, rental, or financing

of housing on the basis of race, religion,

national origin or sex.

In addition, much of the less-radical activism

of this period has also been lost in the

media portrayal of violence and aggression;

grass-roots groups like the Black Panthers

sought to resolve economic racial disparities

in inner-city areas, proposing a 10 point

program for systematic reform and with

their 1969 “Free Breakfast for Children” program.

At its peak, the program fed 20,000

children across 19 states and was a precursor

to the federally funded 1975 breakfast


However, there is an unnerving parallel between

the 1964 Harlem riots, sparked by the

murder of James Powell, a teenager who was

shot dead by the NYPD, and May 2020 protests

at the wrongful killing of George Floyd.

The face of recent history can clearly be seen

today, attesting to the vitality of remembering

the past of the Civil Rights Movement.

In conclusion, with all things considered,

these groundbreaking victories for civil

rights must be at the forefront of modern

memory and celebration. However, the

repetition of the past in our modern age of

furthered equality begs the question, how

much has actually changed?. It challenges

us to think about how the world can continue

to move forward when leaders and individuals

are intent on committing actions

that belong only in the dusty pages of history. | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 5


Interview with Noah Katz on the Definition

of Antisemitism

Tom Burgess


SCAN had the pleasure to interview Noah,

the Campaigns Officer for the Jewish Society,

regarding the open letter to Andy Schofield

(the Vice Chancellor/VC) concerning

the acceptance of the International Holocaust

Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition

of antisemitism.

The open letter ‘is a definition of discrimination

against our minority community’

that Noah believes is ‘necessary because

antisemitism is such a unique form of prejudice

and because it is ingrained in so many

things’. Lancaster University is one of many

universities across the country that have yet

to accept this definition, despite a recent

letter from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

about the possibilities of cuts to

funding if the definition is not accepted.

Noah explained that ‘people aren’t always

clear on what it is to be antisemitic’ and that

by having a definition it ‘restricts hate speech

in the sense that it is able to give a definition

of what hate speech would be’. When

asked whether antisemitism is overlooked

in comparison to racism, homophobia and

islamophobia the answer was an emphatic

‘yes, 100 percent’. Noah mentioned that antisemitism

is often presented as the views of

‘fringe groups’ but that recently there have

been incidents at Warwick University and

with Professor Miller at Bristol University.

In these instances appalling views are being

presented with the defence of being allowed

due to free speech. Noah said that they are

just continuing ‘age old antisemitic stereotypes

that literally date back to the Middle


Noah was keen to emphasise that ‘people

day to day will not see a difference. It’s

the fact that if an incident was to happen, it

would be dealt with in the proper way’. In the

statement by the Jewish Society it mentions

that there has been opposition to this definition

being accepted on the grounds of free

speech. In the statement there is direct reference

to the fact that this definition ‘does not

restrict valid critique of the State of Israel’

and Noah made it clear that by adopting this

definition ‘we’re not trying to stop conversations

at all’. It does say that the definition

will ‘stop those who mask their Antisemitism

with anti-Israel rhetoric’.

At the end of the letter to the VC it is made

clear that this definition has been adopted by

British Jewry, the NUS, the major UK political

parties, the British government, 35+

international governments and over 30 UK

universities. This is not a radical or unprecedented

step to take- even ‘our rivals at York’

have adopted this definition! There is currently

a petition to sign to show your support for

the adoption of the IHRA definition- hopefully

this will show the VC and university as

a whole that among the student base there is

widespread support for this change.

IThe university statement regarding this issue

mentions being ‘committed to building

a diverse, inclusive environment’ which is

‘free from prejudice’. There is an ongoing

review of the ‘University’s policies to support

equality and diversity’ and they add that

‘more formal consideration of the IHRA’s

definition of antisemitism may take place as

part of this’. However, ‘no specific timetable’

has been set yet although ‘the matter will be

discussed by University management in due


Image courtesy of Noah Katz

A Peek Into The Life & Legacy Of Thurgood


Syed Adan Ahmed


At a time like this, we take a look at the life

and legacy of Thurgood Marshall, the first

Black Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore,

Maryland on July 2, 1908, to William and

Norma Marshall. From a very young age,

Marshall’s parents instilled in him a deep

sense of appreciation for the U.S. Constitution

and for the principle of rule of law. He

also learned how to debate at a very young

age as a result of his father taking him and

his brother to watch judicial proceedings.

Fast forward to 1930, Marshall enrolled himself

in Howard University School of Law and

it was here that his personal views on racial

discrimination were strongly influenced by

Charles Hamilton Houston, the law school’s

Dean. Three years later, in 1930, he graduated

magna cum laude (with distinction)

and stood first in his law class. After graduation,

he started a private law practice in his

hometown of Baltimore.

A year later, he successfully represented the

National Association for the Advancement

of Coloured People (NAACP) in the discrimination

suit Murray v. Pearson and thus

began his long affiliation with the organization.

He was appointed as the Chief Counsel

for NAACP at the young age of 32. In this

capacity, he argued numerous civil rights

cases before the Supreme Court ranging

from Smith v. Allwright in 1944 to Sweatt v.

Painter in 1950, winning 29 of the 32 cases

that he took part in.

But his most historic and consequential case

came in 1954 when he represented Oliver

Brown, an African-American father in a case

against the Topeka Board of Education. This

case, titled Brown v. Board of Education

founds its way to the Supreme Court which in

1954 passed the landmark ruling that judged

racial segregation in schools a violation of

the U.S. Constitution and thus ordered the

desegregation of American schools.

Image courtesy of Jim Bowen via


As a testament to Thurgood Marshall’s legal

intellect and competence, President Kennedy,

in 1961, nominated him to the U.S.

Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and later

in 1965, President Johnson appointed him as

the Solicitor General of the United States. In

this capacity, he represented the government

in 19 cases and won 14 of them. He later remarked

that this was the best job he ever had.

Four years later, in 1967, upon the retirement

of Justice Tom C. Clark, President Johnson

nominated and the Senate confirmed Thurgood

Marshall to the highest court in the

land. During his time on the bench, he compiled

a liberal record that included strong

support for the constitutional protection of

individual rights and opposition to the death

penalty. His philosophy of judicial activism

was eloquently described by this quote of his

“You do what you think is right and let the

law catch up”.

After serving on the bench for 24 years, Justice

Marshall retired from the court in 1991

due to failing health, and the vacancy thus

created was filled by Clarence Thomas who

was nominated by President George H.W.

Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in

the October of 1991.

Two years into his retirement, Thurgood

Marshall passed away on January 24, 1993,

due to heart failure at the age of 84. After laying

in state in the Great Hall of the United

States Supreme Court Building, he was buried

in the Arlington National Cemetery in

Virginia. | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 6


Why You Think Feminists Are Crazy (And Why They Aren’t)

Lucy Whalen

3 years ago, I was sat in school adamantly

denying being a feminist to some boys.

They’d been talking about feminism in a way

that was anything but positive and then felt

the need to ask the girls in the class if they

identified with this strange, unknown creature.

The first couple who had the audacity

to say yes were greeted with mocking laughter,

so when they came round to me, my

natural reaction was to say no.

But I didn’t just say that to avoid being

laughed at; I actually thought that my response

should be the correct answer.

“Feminists hate men” and “they’re just being

irrational at this point” were arguments that I

heard pretty frequently growing up.

Yet, what I’ve come to realise since then is

that this isn’t what feminism is all about.

Ever heard of a misandrist?

This is a term used to describe people who

are strongly prejudiced against men – so,

like, the opposite of a misogynist but equally

as bad.

In contrast to this, feminist leader Bell Hooks

defines feminism as “a movement to end sexism,

sexist exploitation, and oppression.”

Sounds pretty different to aiming for the next


But how come people still think feminists are

‘crazy man-haters’?

Well, let’s start at the beginning.

In the 19th and early 20th century, feminism

started to take shape as women began campaigning

for some equal rights, primarily the

right to vote. This is what is known today as

first-wave feminism.

However, this move obviously wasn’t liked

much by men in power at the time. (There

were those in favour of women’s suffrage,

such as David Lloyd George, who served as

British Prime Minister from 1916-1922, but

many weren’t.)

In 1914, one of the key figures for shaping

public health in the USA, William T. Sedgwick,

argued that women shouldn’t be allowed

to vote because it might render them

infertile. Eighty years later, television evangelist

Pat Robertson claimed that feminism

was nothing more than an “anti-family political

movement.” See a connection?

Many also believed that science backed up

their arguments. So, many of the women

fighting for change were seen as trying to

defy the laws of nature – which, in reality,

was just a society made by men, for men.

But there are other reasons for why feminists

are still sometimes seen as crazy.

Suffragettes were often portrayed

as fanatical for wanting

to defy the foundation

of this society. For example,

there’s a striking postcard

from the earth 20th century

of a screaming baby, throwing

a tantrum whilst yelling,

“I want the vote!”, clearly

suggesting that giving women

such a right would be just

as productive as giving it to

a child.

In other words, a woman

Image courtesy of Beth Train Brown

wanting power was not easily associated

with a woman in her right mind, and some

of those views that we thought had died out

after women gained the vote have instead

been drip-fed down the generations to the

feminism of our age.

I’m not trying to pretend that feminism is

perfect, but the majority of feminists want

nothing more than equal rights for themselves

and to support equality for others, too.

The last thing they want is hatred, anger, and


Is that really so crazy?

Marah Johanna Koster

As a role-play game-master, it is said that, as

a group, you create the story.

Though that is not the limit of a gamemaster’s

job. You must make sure everyone is

comfortable and feels safe. Here are some

tips to help, especially in regards to neurodiverse

or traumatised players – because tabletop

is supposed to unite people in having fun.

Everyone has a burden, some more than others.

The term neurodiverse means deviating

from the norm. Keep in mind that people are

not at fault for their mental health and they

may need help, assistance, or warnings

As an umbrella term, neurodivergence can

include any kind of mental health issue, disorder,

or untypical traits. It doesn’t mean

you have to be a champion of understanding

every detail, but awareness, some preparations

beforehand, and keeping their comfort

in mind can really help. Most players will

work together with you so make sure they

feel trusted and have a place to talk about it.

Making Role-Play Accessible for ND Players

to exclude. This could be anything triggering

or traumatising. A trigger is something

that brings up past trauma and, of course,

we don’t want that. It is important to know

those words, events, topics as well as possible.

It doesn’t mean you should feel terrible

for slipping up once but try to memorise it

before every session.

Soft limits are less problematic but important

nonetheless. These are things that make you

or your players uncomfortable – this could

include themes like child abuse or certain

crimes. If someone asks for children to not

be victims or monsters, that is valid. You are

a team and want the best story for each of

you while staying on healthy grounds. Never

break those promises or they won’t trust you

as GM.

The next tip would be to give them the option

to pause or leave the game at any time, even

without explanation. It might be because

they feel triggered, unwell/uncomfortable,

or overloaded (this might often be the case

with autistic players.) It is crucial to check on

them and see if they need any kind of help or

to be left alone.

- Sound – make sure you have no

heavy background noises. Ask before

using any music/sounds for effect.

- View – if you have material to show,

digital or physical, make sure everyone

understands and can read it. Create

maps that point attention to the

most important things: doors, NPCs,

route, etc. Ask before using any pictures

that could incite disgust or fear.

- Names – make sure to use their

preferred name and their correct pronouns.

Make it a routine to check-in and, of

course, explain the difference between

in and out of character; that they can

use it any time by saying it. Ask for

feedback after a session: the more you

know the better you can make it for


Image courtesy of Marah Johanna Koster

It is always a good idea to do a ‘session

zero’ to discuss those things. I like to start

by asking my players what topics they want

These are some possible issues to be aware

of for neurodiverse players can include: | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 7


Why I Can’t Support J.K. R*wling

Image courtesy of T_Majorie via Flickr

Rhys Wright


If you’ve seen Twitter lately, you’ll have

noticed the inescapable uproar surrounding

a figure I used to respect and admire,


For those blissfully ignorant, the notoriously

queerbait-y author of Harry Potter

came out of the closet herself – as a


Let’s break it down from the beginning.

First of all, if you happen to think that

specifying pronouns is political correctness

gone mad, or that deadnaming a

trans person is acceptable, or approve of

any other practice that denies trans, nonbinary,

and other gender-nonconforming

people of basic human dignities and recognition

then take a hard look at yourself.

Like most people of our generation, I idolised

You-Know-Who for years. I bought

countless Harry Potter books, films, and

merch, but it was her Twitter presence that

made me question my role in making her

several hundred pounds richer.

It was two years ago when I unfollowed

her. I’d noticed her unconstructive manner

of engaging with people online: if someone

had an interpretation of her books she

disagreed with she would shut them down

and insist they were 100% wrong, if someone

pointed out ret-cons in her works she

would refuse to admit it, and if anyone was

especially critical of her work they would

find she had blocked them. It was a harbinger

of things to come and convinced me

of her defensive approach of responding to

any criticism.

Her prior relationship with the LGBTQ+

community has been always been misguided

at best and exploitative at worst.

For over a decade now she has reaped the

benefits of queerbaiting by claiming some

of the Harry Potter characters are gay but

never in the actual texts, gaining social

praise for inclusivity without having to depict

queer characters in her work.

And when she wrote Professor Dumbledore

and his ex-lover Grindelwald into

her latest Fantastic Beasts film, their relationship

was scarcely even alluded to. Is

it really representation if it’s retroactive

and missing from the text itself? Many

suspected this queerbaiting was a way of

gaining the queer dollar without scaring

off the homophobic dollar, but who knows.

And then came what her spokesperson described

as a “clumsy and middle-aged moment”

when she liked a tweet calling trans

women, “men in dresses.”

Many were keen to give her the benefit of

the doubt but earlier this year she doubled

down on the trans-exclusionary rhetoric,

and every voice condemning her actions

seemed to fuel her vitriol. It started when

she tweeted in response to an article using

the term ‘people who menstruate’, insisting

that the proper term is women, even

though there are trans men who still menstruate

and countless women (post-menopausal,

pregnant, pre-pubescent, and many

others) who don’t menstruate.

Many then began to ask a simple question:

does she recognise trans women as

women, yes or no?

In her characteristic refusal to listen to

criticism, she dove headfirst further into

trans-exclusionary rhetoric, writing halfbaked

essays attempting to portray her beliefs

as rooted in reality and to conflate all

the criticism with abuse.

Her arguments that she is a ‘victim’ of cancel

culture and censorship are both laughable

and insulting. Firstly, she is not being silenced.

No one disputes that she cannot say these

things, she has a right to free speech and is,

disappointingly, using it and her influence to

further normalise abuse against an alreadypersecuted


Secondly, people condemning her statements

and subsequently refusing to support her verbally

or financially is not ‘cancel culture.’ It’s

people putting their money where their mouths

are and refusing to endorse anyone who would

deny basic rights and recognition to another

human being.

Like most celebrities with a large following,

she has received threats of violence online.

These threats are a fringe group claiming to

speak for the mainstream, they do not represent

the trans rights movement (just as R*wling

does not speak on behalf of feminism). Threatening

anyone with violence is not okay but

claiming that these threats are representative of

all criticism she has received is untrue. She’s

not a free-speech martyr. She used her platform

to spread hate and misinformation and others

are using their platforms to condemn it.

The problem with the discourse around You-

Know-Who is that it mostly concerns the problems

she has faced as an individual and not

the detrimental effects on the trans community

caused by people of immense influence normalising

prejudicial stereotypes.

Judith Butler said it best in an interview I heartily

recommend you read: “[I]f we are going to

object to harassment and threats, as we surely

should, we should also make sure we have a

large picture of where that is happening, who

is most profoundly affected, and whether it is

tolerated by those who should be opposing it. It

won’t do to say that threats against some people

are tolerable but against others are intolerable.”

But the most baseless stereotype she has perpetuated

is the dressed-to-kill type, the harmful

belief that some trans women and cis men may

use access to gender reassignment or genderneutral

spaces to infiltrate cis women’s toilets

and changing rooms for sexual pleasure.

In her most recent book, R*wling employed the

trope of the perverted serial killer who dresses

as a woman to stalk and kill cis women. This

trope, popularised by films such as Dressed to

Kill and The Silence of the Lambs, has no basis

in reality and actively harms public perception

of the trans community. And let’s not forget the

irony of her publishing this book under a male

pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, also the name of

a notable conversion therapist.

In truth, trans people are more likely to be assaulted

in changing rooms rather than the other

way around because laws preventing them

from accessing the space for the gender they

present as marks them out and endangers them.

You-Know-Who can say what she likes and

still be a multi-millionaire, she can enter any

toilet or changing room without realistic fear

of being assaulted, she can go to any country

her passport will allow and be given legal recognition

as a woman and face no fear of being

called insane or dangerous or even be at risk of


She will never face people refusing to acknowledge

her as a woman, and she will never understand

the physical and mental strain of gender

dysphoria and transitioning, or the normalised

abuse that she is participating in.

So, think about that the next time you want to

spend £32 on a licensed Potter wand. | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 8


Interview with a Student OnlyFans Image

courtesy of

Beth Train-Brown


So, tell me a bit about OnlyFans

for those who aren’t familiar with

the site.

[Piri]: So, OnlyFans is a website for those

who want to sell premium content – it can

be anything but I’m assuming you want to

talk about the porn side! Customers can pay

monthly to subscribe and view the content.

You can upload anything you want – from

normal photos to lingerie photos, and sexually

explicit content.

How did you get into it?

[Piri]: I always wanted to try it but I was

always in relationships. However, I had a

breakup and was super broke at the time (big

old overdraft) so I finally decided to just go

for it in May of this year.

[ButterFlower]: I started it over lockdown. I

wanted to see what the hype was all about!

What sort of things do you post?

[Piri]: I post nude photos and videos as well

as lingerie shots, mostly just me posing and

looking cute. I did do some pay-per-view

masturbation videos but that’s just whenever

I feel like it!

[ButterFlower]: I post lingerie photos and

lewds, anything fun and flirty. (A lewd is a

tease photograph; not quite a nude photo but

teasing the viewer.)

Are you ever worried about what

this could mean for your professional

career if these photos were

found by someone who recognised


[Piri]: There was always some fear about that

but, rationally, employers shouldn’t and can’t

discriminate against people for doing sex

work. I feel pretty confident that it won’t impact

my future other than starting off my adult

life with a huge cash injection! I do worry that

I’m desensitised to it all and underestimating

the impact this could have but, to me, it’s not

a big deal.

[ButterFlower]: Yes and no. I don’t post anything

that could be majorly controversial but

I keep my name out of it. Most people know

I have it; it’s not a huge deal. That said, I do

avoid posting explicit photos just in case. I

believe that it shouldn’t matter at all but sadly

we still live in a conservative society.

Have you had any negative experiences

doing what you do?

[Piri]: I’ve had some weird messages and a lot

of dick pics but I’m used to that now and you

can laugh it off. Something that gets to me

though is the odd time when somebody steals

your content. Someone made a fake account

on Twitter with my content and got about 500

followers. It was quickly reported and they

deactivated and apologised. It’s a really unfortunate

side to doing what I do but it taught

me to watermark my stuff.

“I got so much more comfortable

with my p*ssy!”

[ButterFlower]: A lot of people have said

weird things or got rude about it but honestly

I’m used to it now. Unsolicited pictures and

slut-shaming are (sadly) almost part of the job


Is there a support network in place

for people who have those negative


[Piri]: Well, I guess you’d want to talk to your

friends for their support in general but honestly

the community of other OnlyFans girls on

Twitter is insanely supportive. They will help

get stolen content taken down super fast; so

many girls helped me out I can’t thank them


[ButterFlower]: I know a fair few people who

do it and we talk to each other and my boyfriend

is super supportive but we just have to

look after each other.

How has running an OnlyFans

account affected your self-confidence

and self-image?

[Piri]: My self-confidence and self- image

have gone through the roof! I was always

pretty confident before but I just appreciate

my body so much more and believe people

more when they say I’m good-looking. I’ve

noticed that I’ve stopped worrying about eating

too much and stopped checking out my

size in the mirror (more just checking myself

out!) I also got so much more comfortable

with my p*ssy! I used to be self-conscious

and worry about how she looked but now I’m

really not arsed and I appreciate and see the

beauty in her so much more.

[ButterFlower]: I felt like a bad b*tch before

and now I feel like a bad b*tch with extra


How do you think the image of

what someone on OnlyFans is and

compares to what is shown in media?

[Piri]: The thing about the image that annoys

me the most is calling people “lazy” or saying

they’re “taking the easy way” for starting OnlyFans.

Yes, you can get successful but you

do have to work at it pretty hard and it’s not

like I’ve given up the rest of my life for it:

I still work another job and I’m going to do

a masters next year. Doing OnlyFans doesn’t

mean we don’t have other jobs.

[ButterFlower]: People think it’s full of girls

trying to scam – especially after the Bella

Thorne situation. But I just think if someone

is willing to pay, why not?

Now, there are a lot of rumours

about people making thousands

each week from OnlyFans – how

true is that?

[Piri]: I was hoping you’d ask this! As of just

now, I have made $11,700 from OnlyFans

alone and probably another grand or so on top

of that from Cashapp and Paypal. I’ve been

doing it for 14 weeks so, as you can imagine,

I’m gassed by how much I’ve made! These

days, I’m making about $3k a month (which

is about £2.3k). It does work, ladies.

[ButterFlower]: It can be true. I know a few

friends of mine who have made loads but

it depends on what you’re willing to post. I

make a lot of money but the pressure to post

more and more explicit or dirty material is always


Do you have any parting advice to

give students considering starting

an OnlyFans?

[Piri]: My main advice would be: Reddit is by

far the best website for promoting your content.

Don’t get disheartened when you start,

either, because it does take a whole month to

get started. Finally, only post content that you

want to post. Lots of people will ask for more

and it can be easy to just go with it but there

is absolutely no pressure to cater to anyone.

Just post photos of looking cute if that’s all

you want to do.

[ButterFlower]: Do it but be careful. Don’t

use your real name, post only what you are

comfortable with and don’t let anyone pressure

you. (And make sure you pay your taxes!) | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 9


Understanding Microaggressions

Tobias Max Kafula


In this article, I want to explain what microaggressions

are. As we move to the stage as

a community to reaffirm our commitment

to being anti-racist within the Student Union

but also within the University itself and

the local community. Therefore, this article

would be an educational piece on the definition,

history, misconception, and the future

of microaggressions.

Racial Microaggressions can be defined as,

“the brief and everyday slights, insults, indignities

and denigrating messages sent to

racially minorities during individuals by

well-intentioned white people who are unaware

of the hidden messages being communicated”.

The definition illustrates that white

people who are genuinely well-intentioned

can fall I to

the trap of showing biases or state comments

that are considered to be offensive

in a wider context than they might realise.

How did this subject come about? Back in

1970, Dr. Chester Pierce was the first to coin

the term “microaggression”-- as common as

denim, now -- to describe the subtle racial

putdowns that degrade physical health over

a lifetime. But the concept is also rooted in

the work of Jack Dovidio, Ph.D., and Samuel

Gaertner, Ph.D. in their formulation of aversive

racism. While many well-intentioned

white people consciously believe in and profess

equality, they often act in a racist manner


One of the misconceptions is that microaggressions

the same as racism. The answer is

yes and no. They are based on some of the

same core ideas about people who are minorities

or are marginalized in parts of the

world ( for example, that they’re not smart,

that they don’t belong, or that they make

good punchlines), but microaggressions are

a little different from

overtly racist, sexist, or homophobic acts or

comments because they typically don’t have

any negative intent or hostility behind them.

People who engage in microaggressions are

ordinary folks who experience themselves as

good, moral, decent individuals.

Microaggressions occur because they are

outside the level of conscious awareness.

Within Microaggressions there are three sections:

- Micro – assaults

- Microinsults

- Microinvalidations

Firstly, we look at Micro assaults. Micro- assaults

are Explicit and conscious derogatory

racist epithets that are purposefully meant

to hurt people of colour. Examples may include

but are not limited too:

- Name-calling

- Promoting discriminatory signs and flags

- Avoidant behaviour, purposeful discriminatory


In addition to this, we then begin to look at

microinsults which out of the 3 terms, tend

to be the one most recognised act of microaggression

as well as micro-invalidations. It

can be defined as unconscious and unintentional

demeaning slights made toward people

of colour. Examples are but not limited


- Implying that one got a job because of quotas

- You don’t look Black/ white enough

- You are a credit to your race

Lastly, we look at the final term. Microinvalidations.

These, like microinsults, are the biggest

acts of microaggression acts in practice

throughout society. Microinvalidations can

be defined as being, communications that

exclude, negate, or nullify the psychological

thoughts, feelings, or experiential reality of a

person belonging to a particular group. Examples

are but not limited to:

- Commenting on how well someone speaks

English, when from an English-speaking

country in the Global South

- Statements such as “`When I look at you, I

don’t see colour”

- Comments such as “There is only one race,

the human race “

- Comments such as” I’m not a racist. I have

several Black friends”

In order to grasp the effects of microaggression

as it can hold on minorities, I need to

share with you my personal experience of it.

Throughout my 19 years of existence, I have

experienced various forms of microinsults

and microinvalidations. These included:

- “You’re black on the outside but white on

the inside”

- “You’re English is very good”

- “Where are you really from?”

- “Does your family live in huts?”

- “I never touched a black person’s hair before,

can I touch yours?”

- “You’re playing the Race card”

How did this affect me mentally you might

ask? Firstly, I felt that I couldn’t be myself,

and had to be the person that people wanted

me to be. As growing up, there was this atmosphere

of “leave your culture at the door”.

This consequently progressed into the feeling

that I never felt good enough or truly accepted

within society.

While I explained how microaggressions affected

me, we haven’t talked about how it

could affect BAME students with their Mental

Health. A report was done by the Why is

Curriculum White Campaign, tilted “, Builtin

Barriers: The Role of Race in Shaping BME


Experiences at Lancaster University. Their

findings were as follows,

• BAME Students experienced more depression,

self-doubt, frustration, and isolation

that impacted their education as a result.

• 19% of students surveyed feel their race had

a negative impact on their safety.

• For those who had experienced racism and

microaggressions, less than 5%

claimed they had reported it to either the

Union or the University.

47% of the participants feel they have to

modify their ethnic and cultural identity to

‘fit in’ with western norms in academic settings.

It shows that within Higher Education and

here at Lancaster University, BAME Students’

experiences will often be worse compared to

white students due to the racial institutional

barriers that are still present. In addition to

this, the worsening of their mental health

will see. BAME Students lose trust within the

university and are more likely to be less engaged

within the university community.

In order to combat this, we all need to make

an effort. I am asking readers to:

- Be constantly vigilant of your own biases

and fears.

- Don’t be defensive. Listen

- Be open to discussing your attitudes and

biases and how they might have hurt others

or in some sense revealed bias on your part

- Be an ally, by standing personally against all

forms of bias and discrimination.

By doing so, only then can we remain committed

and reaffirmed to the process of

decolonizing our institutions and be more

progressive in our to be more inclusive, not

only within the university but as well within


Image courtesy of King’s College London | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 10



The Life and Legacy of Audre Lorde

Louisa Hinks

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was a self-described

‘black, mother, warrior, poet’.

Her work aimed to ‘demystify the assumption

that these terms cannot inhabit the

same space: Black and lesbian, lesbian and

mother, mother and warrior, warrior and


Lorde was widely known by others as a Black

feminist, poet, and lesbian

activist. She was the daughter of immigrants

and lived in New York City. She

spoke, through her activism and her published

works, on the importance of the struggle

for liberation among oppressed peoples

and of organising

intersectional activism across differences of

race, class, gender, sexuality, age and ability.

She received many honours and awards, including

the Walt Whitman Citation of Merit.

Lorde served on the board of the Feminist

Press in New York City and often gave readings

of her works at Judith’s Room, a

feminist bookstore in Greenwich Village.

Lorde published her first volume of poetry,

First Cities, in 1968 after leaving her job as

a librarian. She began to reach a larger audience

after the publication of Coal, by a major

company in 1976. Soon after in 1978, followed

what is often thought of as one of her

greatest works, The Black Unicorn, in which

she explored her African heritage.

One of the most defining moments of Audre

Lorde’s career was her 1981 presentation at

the National Women’s Studies Association

Conference. The part of the speech that most

stood out to me was: ‘After fifteen years of a

women’s movement which professes to address

the life concerns and possible futures

of all women, I still hear, on campus after

campus, “How can we address the issues of

racism? No Women of Colour attended.”

Here she addresses the problem of intersectionality

within the women’s

movements, a problem that also existed

within black rights movements.

These problems are still very prevalent in today’s

activism and representation of social

issues. Black women being doubly discriminated

against was something too often overlooked

and continues to be overlooked. And

as a lesbian woman, Audre Lorde had insights

into the intersections of racial, gender,

and sexuality-based discrimination, which is

part of why she is such an important figure in

the history of social change.

Audre Lorde died of breast cancer at age 58

in 1992. She had cancer for 14

years and wrote The Cancer Journals in 1980,

following her first stages of the disease. In

this book, which is now a Penguin Classic,

Lorde blends journal entry, memoir, and essay.

She judges questions

of survival, sexuality,

prosthesis, and


In The Cancer Journals,

Lorde wrote: ‘I have

come to believe over

and over

again that what is most

important to me must

be spoken, made verbal


shared, even at the risk

of having it bruised or


This statement embodies

the way that Audre

Lorde lived her life. She

confronted injustices of racism, homophobia,

and sexism. Despite these being challenging

and emotionally draining topics to

broach on a regular basis, this was her life’s

mission. The messages conveyed through

her activism and poetry are still relevant lessons

in today’s society, giving power and a

voice to people facing injustice.

Image courtesy of Thomas Hawk via Flickr


What is White Privilege?

Tobias Max Kafula


White Privilege has been defined by Kehinde

Andrews, a Professor of Black Studies at

Birmingham City University, as “the benefits

that you get from being white. If you are an

ethnic minority there are certain disadvantages

you have.

The term was first introduced by former Civil

Rights Activist, William Du Bois, in 1935. He

first coined the term when discussing the differences

of a poor white man and poor black

man and how white people received more

assistance. However, the term came into

full effect after the groundbreaking essay by

Peggy McIntosh, an American Activist. Her

Essay, titled” White Privilege: Unpacking the

Invisible Knapsack Peggy McIntosh” detailed

daily forms of White Privilege.

Examples of White Privilege in the UK

1) Black people were more than nine times

as likely to be stopped and searched by

police as white people. (2018 -2019)

2) Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Britons

are more than twice as likely to be

unemployed than white people. (2017)

3) White people are more likely to own their

own home, compared with BME

people. Just 21 percent of black African and

24 percent of Arab Britons are homeowners,

compared with 68 percent of white

Britons. (2017)

4) Pupils of Roma background are more than

three times as likely to be excluded

from school, compared with white British

children. Black Caribbean pupils are almost

twice as likely to be excluded. (2017)

5) Fewer than 60 percent of black students

achieve A* to C grades in English and

Maths by the time they finish their GCSEs

aged 16. White Gypsy and Roma students

have the lowest level of attainment in this

category, with just 10 percent attaining

A* to C grades. (2017)

( Link to the source: https://www.aljazeera.


This highlights that White people do not face

discrimination in terms of Education as a

direct result of the colour of their skin. The

same is true for Housing, Healthcare, and

Employment, in the UK. Meanwhile, other

ethnicities are more likely to be the victims

of a racist institutional system that will be

entrenched for generations – unless we take

action! In

order for us to this, we need to understand

the misconceptions surrounding white Privilege.

1) Using the term ‘white privilege’ is not racist.

2) Having white privilege does not mean that

you need to feel guilty about anything

3) Having white privilege does not mean that

you’ve never struggled – or that you

haven’t worked/studied hard

4) Having white privilege does not mean

you’re a bad person, it’s just about

understanding that people of certain races

are more likely to be discriminated


Acknowledging White Privilege means that

we can work towards a solution: have these

discussions about how an unjust society

built by systemic racism still affects ethnic

minorities today. Furthermore, It helps us

understand that no-one truly benefits from

an unequal society, where race is a determining

factor. Finally it is the key to be building

relationships across races.

To conclude, educate yourself and others on

the barriers facing ethnic minorities. In addition

to this, you need to promise to Listen

and amplify the voices of all ethnic minorities

and understand it is not enough to be

“not racist” but rather proactively anti-racist.

Lastly, confront Racial Injustices even when

it is uncomfortable.

Image courtesy of Joseline Jagararo via Flickr | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 11



Bee on the BAME Attainment Gap

Tom Burgess


Bee the VP for Education, recently spoke

out about the poster that has gone up in

the Students’ Union offices. It attracted attention

due to the fact that it publicises the

12% attainment gap at Lancaster University.

Bee said that this issue ‘goes unnoticed’

and questioned ‘why are those students not

achieving the same as their white peers’? Bee

challenged the university on recruitment

grounds, describing how ‘in the south they

have really really diverse student bodies’-

Bee was frank about the fact that ‘we really

don’t here at Lancaster’. Bee recommended

looking at the ‘widening access participation

plan’ to see Lancaster’s specific goals

and aims in the coming years.

Bee warned that the statistics show that ‘in

over a decade we barely made progress’ towards

our goals. On a more positive note,

she does feel that ‘the attitude around this

has changed’. The one issue that Bee hopes

will decrease the attainment gap is having

‘anonymous marking’. Anonymous marking

has the advantage that unconscious bias is

completely eliminated which is one of the

many ways in which BAME students can be

disadvantaged. Bee’s predecessor Ian Meeks

was the person who first started calls for

anonymous marking to be used and Bee is

hoping to continue his work and get it over

the line. Bee hoped that by publicising the attainment

gap it will give the issue ‘that push

that we need to get anonymous marking’.

Bee is hoping to bring back the ‘Equality, Diversity

and Inclusion’ reps- ‘I’m hoping we

can relaunch it this year’. She thinks that

‘the more diverse voices we have the better

for change’. Putting the poster up in the

SU offices means that ‘all of the university

staff have to walk past’ those statistics, it’s a

challenge to ‘do something about it’. When

the attainment gap has been decreased the

poster can be taken down or amended to a

lower percentage. Bee has been getting increasingly

frustrated in meetings that she

has been having as she can’t understand why

they have ‘put on hold diversifying the curriculum’.

She is tired of all the promises and

statements that the university puts out and

wants to see ‘actual change’.

At Lancaster the target is to reduce the attainment

gap ‘to 6% by 2024/25’ but Bee

thinks that even if the university does get it

down to 6%, which is an ambitious target,

it will be far harder to eliminate the unconscious

bias that remains. Bee recognises that

it is frustrating ‘students starting the conversation

now will have left’ before the changes

will be in place- but ‘it is the right thing to


Bee rounded off the interview by telling us

that ‘it will be a long time before we see the

change that is needed’ but that the correct

first step is to embrace ‘anonymous marking’.

Another big step will be to diversify the recruitment

of the university-

‘if we have a more

diverse staff and more

diverse students we’ll be

better as a university’. To

help make these changes

happen consider becoming

an academic rep or

when the renewed EDI

roles become available,

sign up! Reducing the attainment

gap is the right

thing to do and as a student

body we can create

the pressure for it to happen.

Image courtesy of Lancaster University Student’s

Union website


Being Black in Higher Education

Tobias Max Kafula


Before we begin, this piece is a combination

of my own and other’s personal experiences

as a minority living in Britain and an

analysis of some of the national issues facing

minorities in higher education. It needs

to be stressed that this should not be used

to tell all the stories of what black people go

through in this nation. That being said, being

a black person in this country is exceptionally

difficult when we have institutional

barriers in education. This in addition to

dealing with the constant microaggressions

and negative stereotypes can make life even

harder. People often claim that compared to

other nations, Britain is the least racist. This

country is seen as more welcoming, progressive,

and committed to tackling the institutional

barriers that have hindered so many

black people. This article is here to inform

the reader from the perspective of a black

man and a student that we are far from it.

Furthermore, I would like to illustrate how

much progress we still need to make to be

much more inclusive.

My experience with the education system

can be best summarised as daunting. When

I first came to Lancaster, I was mentally prepared

to be a minority in a white institution,

based on the fact that I spent 17 years in a

white upper-middle-class town - in some

cases, I was the only black person in my class.

It was not a secret that Lancaster had issues

with racism. The first Google search results

brought up the Snow Sports Scandal. Then

former BAME Students Officer, Chole Long,

resigned following the leaking of photos of

the accused wearing a white T-shirt covered

in discriminatory messages. This did not

make me feel at ease coming to Lancaster.

As the year progressed and when I stood as

the candidate for the BAME Students Officer,

the extent of the racial problems at both the

Student’s Union and the university was appalling.

For instance, when students were asked

about their experiences of racism, 22% of

students said they have experienced racism

at Lancaster University. These experiences

can manifest in a variety of ways, including

racial slurs and sexual fetishisation, many

of them taking place within student accommodation.

30% of black and minority ethnic

students surveyed felt there were not enough

safe spaces to speak about race within Lancaster

University and 33% believe the Student’s

Union does not take issues of racism

seriously. When asked about their opinion

on whether the Student’s Union prioritises

race equality, over 38% of participants said

it fails to prioritise issues of race. Additionally,

over 25% of BME students believe that

the Union’s full-time officers (FTOs) fail to

support matters of race in the same way they

do other causes. These are just highlights of

the issues reported by the ‘Why is My Curriculum

Campaign White?’ report “BUILT-IN




Hearing about black student’s experiences at

Lancaster made me angry. Not only because

of what the report revealed, but also because

the Student’s Union took no action at the

time. The Student’s Union has a responsibility

to ensure that all students are safe from

horrible incidents like those reported. I truly

hope as the BAME Student’s Officer that

myself and the other FTOs can make a difference,

which is why we have created a strategic

plan to combat these issues. No student

should have to feel that their voice does not

matter. No student should have to think that

their Student’s Union doesn’t prioritise them.

In light of my experience, I argue that we are

not as progressive as we often like to claim.

We are still dealing with a brutal and aggressive

system that disproportionately affects

minorities in higher education. We need better

training for staff within education, our

curriculum decolonised, and a better, more

stringent policy on hate crimes. If we want

to have a progressive future in which we can

defeat racism, these are the solutions.

Image courtesy of Noun Project | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster @carolynneonline | Week 6 - Week 9 | 12






5 Best Horror Games to Celebrate the Spooky Season



An Interview with Bastille’s guitarist, Will


& B E A U T Y

The Waste Problem in the Beauty Industry


Essay Writing: My Tips and Tricks


A Short Introduction to Scandinavian TV | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 13

A R T S & C U L T U R E

The 5 Best Horror Games to Celebrate the

Now that the nights are getting longer and

the weather is getting colder, there is no

greater Autumnal sensation than staying

in, snuggling under a blanket and playing

a calming video game. However, for those

who exist solely for Halloween antics, Animal

Crossing: New Horizons probably isn’t

going to provide you with much fulfilment!

If you are more inclined towards a gaming

experience that simulates a heart attack,

this list may provide you with gaming ideas

perfect for a Covid-19 Halloween.

1) Alien: Isolation

Holy hell … this game knows how to create

an atmosphere! In taking creative inspiration

from the film Alien, the game developers

have implemented iconic aspects from

the film, such as the constant tech beeping

and claustrophobic design of the spaceship,

into a strangely beautiful yet nightmarish

interactive experience. Although the game

is rife with jump-scares, it is the moments

of silence that are the most unnerving. The

very setting of an alien-infested ship leaves

you peeking around every corner and hiding

in every locker out of sheer paranoia.

Spooky Season

Maddy Jeffrey

This title is


likely to be remembered


a defining horror

game of the

outgoing console



2) Outlast

The first Outlast

game is a

masterpiece of

the jump-scare

horror genre!

As you play as

an investigative


in a decaying

asylum, you often ask ‘why?’ when your

character insists on persevering with his

venture despite the presence of the unique

patients. With narrow hallway chases, hiding

in lockers and oppressive lighting, this

game ticks all the boxes of a good horror

game. Although the gameplay can become

repetitive towards the half-way point, it is

still well worth a play with your flatmates!

3) Resident

Evil 7: Biohazard

Would a horror

game list be

complete without

at least

one Resident

Evil title? Tonally,


is a departure

for the series;


with classic


Evil titles, the

visuals are a

step-up and

the overall atmosphere

is far more immersive, so much

so that this game may be too much even

for a committed horror fan! The events in

Biohazard are truly horrifying and the gore

is sometimes excessive but if you are of a

strong mental and physical disposition, this

game is not to be missed!

4) Until Dawn

This cinematic, choice-driven game is easily

one of the most immersive video games ever

Image courtesy of @hjl via Flickr

to have existed! In adopting all the quirks

of 80s and 90s slasher movies, Until Dawn

is unapologetically an homage to that era.

With a diverse cast of comically stereotypical

characters, the tone feels familiar, yet

the depth of the storyline surpasses that of

a love-to-hate slasher film. Academy-award

winner, Rami Malek, is just one in an incredible

cast that brings the game to life. Until

Dawn is only about eight hours long but its

replay-ability will leave you frequently returning

to collect every bit of lore!

5) Dead by Daylight

For those missing out on human contact

and want a gaming experience you and your

friends can enjoy together, Dead by Daylight

will help you finally find out who would die

first in a horror movie! With iconic characters

from the horror canon being the playable

killer, hunting out the other players

can be exhilarating and will give everyone

something to laugh about. The player rotation

between the killer and the survivors

keeps gameplay fresh, meaning it will be

3am before you know it! Luckily for gamers,

social isolation is nothing new but for those

missing their friends, this game will be sure

to lift your spirits in a maniacal sort of way!

Review: Hamnet

Beth McMillan

Whether we like it or not, at school we

are all introduced to (or forced to suffer

through, whichever way you look at it!) William

Shakespeare’s writing. I confess, I love

a good Shakespeare play but, until recently,

I had never really stopped to think about the

man behind the works. Too often, long-dead

authors can become dehumanised mysterious

figures of the past, remembered only

through the legacy they left behind. Reading

Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet for the SCAN

book club made me fall in love with the

famous Bard in a new way. Writing from a

range of perspectives within Shakespeare’s

extended family, O’Farrell paints an extraordinary

picture of Elizabethan England and

the life and times of England’s favourite


The novel is centred around the untimely

demise of Shakespeare’s beloved son, Hamnet,

from the plague. Through her intimate

depiction of the events leading up to the

tragedy (including the plague’s sinister

journey to England), the family’s final moments

with their son and their grief in the

aftermath, O’Farrell brings a humanity to

the Shakespeare family that transgresses

the boundaries of time. Their struggles do

not seem so far away from our own in the

modern-day and these ‘historical figures’

are effortlessly brought to life in new and

imaginative ways.

Woven throughout the text alongside the

main narrative through a series of flashbacks

is a quiet and understated yet beautiful

love story between William and his

future wife Anne. I was in hysterics at Will

being quite the ‘lad’ and his frankly pathetic

attempts at flirting! I found myself thinking

“Seriously Will? You’re meant to be the

wordsmith – you can do better than that!”.

Through this interweaving of the past and

present of Shakespeare’s life, we get to know

the man behind the mask; he is a young

man desperate to escape his abusive father’s

shadow and forge his own path, fed

up with his small-town life and yearning

to explore the world. We see Shakespeare

through many complex guises: the scholar,

the teacher, the writer, the son, the father,

and the husband.

Who else but Shakespeare would be rebellious

enough to marry Stratford’s resident

witch? Based on the true fact that Anne was

suspected of practising witchcraft (probably

due to all single women with green fingers

in Shakespeare’s time being regarded

with suspicion),


also explores

the hostility


by the match

and the vicious



Anne. By portraying


as genuinely a

‘witch’ – if you

count making

herbal remedies

and being

slightly psychic

as ‘witchcraft’

– we get

an interesting

insight into the way rumours are blown out

of proportion in small rural communities.

We are also able to glimpse where Shakespeare

may have got some of his inspiration

for his more fantastical ideas and brilliant

feminist commentary.

O’Farrell creates a beautiful landscape in

which characters thrive and the late 1500s

are brought to life in vivid and vibrant

technicolour. The book is an extraordinary

Image courtesy of Megan Jones

retelling of Shakespeare’s life in all its beautiful,

simple humanity and promise of his

future legacy. However, we learn that, in

the end, it is not his legacy that matters but

what he did with it, as we see the wonderful

words that pay tribute to and immortalise

his son in Hamlet. Witty, well-researched

and expertly told, Hamnet was exactly the

kind of book I needed in my life and I would

definitely recommend it. | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 14

A R T S & C U L T U R E

Interview with the Author, Andrew


Alistair Williams

Andrew Miller is a British author, originally

from Bristol. He is the author of eight

novels, and his most recent, Now We Shall

Be Entirely Free, came out in 2018. Andrew

studied English and creative writing at

university, culminating in a PhD in Critical

and Creative Writing at Lancaster University,

from 1995 to 1997. Miller’s novels fall

into the genre of historical fiction, and he

has been compared to Hilary Mantel by the

Guardian. SCAN managed to speak with

Miller (over the internet) on Friday 16th


1) What drew you to writing historical


I didn’t set out wanting to write ‘historical’

fiction. Before I was published, I wrote all

sorts of stuff, probably not much of it ‘historical’.

But the first two novels I published

had 18th-century settings and so I found

myself being described as a historical novelist

and with, perhaps, some expectation I

would continue in that way. For that reason

- or that in part - I made sure the third book

was contemporary (Oxygen), and since then

I’ve tended to alternate between fiction set

in the more or less now and fiction that

might fall under the ‘historical’ heading. My

publishers - wonderful publishers - have always

been happy for me to write whatever I

wanted, and that’s what I’ve done.

It’s true, however, that I’ve always loved reading

‘historical’ fiction. My first really powerful

experiences of reading were probably

Rosemary Sutcliffe’s novels for young readers,

particularly Eagle of the Ninth, which

I guess I read at about eight or nine years

old. It’s hard to say exactly what the draw of

historical fiction is above and beyond what

makes any fiction worthwhile. For me - for

many readers - history is exciting. The past,

as they say, is another country and good fiction

is one of the ways we can travel there. I

feel very at ease writing about the world of

two hundred years ago. It doesn’t feel freakish.

Nor does it feel somehow less relevant

than fiction set in the present, though I accept

that one view of ‘the role of the novel’

is that it should be some sort of state of the

nation report. That’s fine, it can be very effective,

but it’s clearly not the limit of what

fiction can do. (What is the limit?)

The truth, I think, is that what we want from

fiction is complex - an expanded sense of

things (life), a view into what’s normally

hidden from us (the minds of strangers), a

reality more coherent than the one that surrounds

us (this can be a relief, it can be healing).

Also, beautiful language (language that

works) and perhaps just the company of another

voice, another sensibility that we can,

at our leisure, take inside of us. And these

wants are just as likely to be supplied by a

book following the lives of people in a world

lit only by fire as it is by one lit by the light

of electronic screens. Good writing is good

writing. ‘Setting’ is not that important.

2) Why do you have a focus

towards the early

romantic period?

The late 18th century and

early 19th appeal, I think,

because they are both distinct

and yet at the same

time, recognizable and

‘modern’. In this country,

the 18th century sees an

acceleration in the decline

of religious faith and

a rise in scepticism and

the secular. That’s what I

mean by modern. If you go

back much earlier you need

to factor in the role of faith in

people’s lives, public and private.

That’s very interesting but

it’s tricky to try to convey just how

central that faith was, how much part

of the shape of life. We are so far away

from that now.

3) Who is your favourite author

and why?

Well, I don’t have a favourite author, so I’ll

give a couple of names. D.H Lawrence got

me started (also Hardy). The Rainbow and

Women in Love are among the best things

written in English in the 20th century. And

Penelope Fitzgerald was a kind of genius. I

love her work, I love her wisdom. The Blue

Flower should be in anyone’s top ten list of

great historical fiction.

4) Has lockdown inspired you

or hindered you?

Lockdown’s been pretty good. I was able to

work every day and that’s not normally possible.

The world was quieter and calmer; I

felt the same way. That said, I’m a little over

it now. Can we move on, please?

5) What do you have planned


I’m in the last stages of finishing a little

novel called ‘The Slowworm’s Song’. It’s my

first time writing in the first person and I’ve

found that hard. No real idea if I’ve managed

it or not. I don’t show my work to anybody

until I’ve taken it as far as I can, then it goes

to my editor and agent and I wait, very nervously,

for the responses.

6) Did your PhD from Lancaster

University help you become a


I used the universities as my patrons. I had

no real interest in having a PhD. The best

thing about being at Lancaster was having

David Craig as my supervisor. A calm and

serious man, quietly helpful but never intrusive.

7) What is the best piece of advice

you have for young writers?

Best advice? Camus used to say to young

writers ‘Be ambitious’. That’s not bad. I’d

add, be patient. Good writing, Art, takes


8) What was your first writing


The first work I ever published was a poem

in the Rialto magazine. I was sent a nice letter

with a five-pound note enclosed.

9) When did you

first realize that

you wanted

to become

a writer?

I was eighteen


taking my

A levels. I


t h e r e



be a better


to use my


10) Do

you have

any writing


that you would

say are specific to


Probably lots but I might not recognise

them as such. Ask my daughter or my


11) Would you say you have a

writing routine?

Routine is good if you can manage it but life

often gets in the way so it’s important to be

adaptable. Write when you can and be ready

to write anywhere.

Image courtesy of Abbie Trayler-Smith | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 15

A R T S & C U L T U R E

Covid-19 Cannot Stop Student Creativity

– An Interview with Lancaster University

Art Society

Maddy Jeffrey


interactions and any content for the members

via our social media.

Image courtesy of Lancaster University

Art Society

We spoke to Amie, Roseanna, Annie, and

James from Lancaster University Art Society

to discuss how they are coping with this

Michaelmas term.

1) These past few weeks have been

stressful for students across all UK

universities. There is constant uncertainty

regarding new restrictions;

subsequently, have you been finding

it difficult to run your society?

Amie (President) - I think it has been a definite

challenge! As we can’t have meetings in

person and there were issues with the handover,

we don’t have the facilities to have all

the sessions we wanted to run in person.

Also, with the evolving rule restrictions, we

are constantly changing and tweaking our

plans to be able to give our members the

best experience we can. However, because

of Zoom and Teams and social media, we

can have our exec meetings and do our activities

online with the members which is

positive. This isn’t the way we wanted this

year to go but we are using the resources we


2) Have restrictions limited what

you can provide to your members?

Roseanna (Social Media) - Yes. The Art

Society used to hold weekly art events on

Tuesday to provide hands-on activities for

our members. It is indeed difficult as members

now may not have access to art supplies

such as acrylic paints, brushes, pencils, etc.

3) Freshers Fair is a major part of Welcome

Week at Lancaster and with the

move online, all societies had to think

on their feet! How has your engagement

fared, as a result?

Annie (Secretary) - We definitely had to

think on our feet about the move to online;

the art society is a very interactive one so

we’ve faced a lot of challenges when trying to

think about how to make our society accessible

and enjoyable to any members. I don’t

believe our engagement in terms of expressions

of interest or people asking questions

has suffered too much. We have had quite a

few people showing their interest and wanting

to know how we’ll be operating. We did

have to make the decision to postpone any

art sessions for this first term (we just faced

too many complications in trying to make

the sessions a viable option). However, this

was not due to a lack of engagement at all.

We will definitely be trying to keep up the

4) Many artists are seizing the opportunities

provided by lockdown

to experiment! Have you collectively

been able to derive any inspiration

from your experiences of


Amie (President) - I think the lockdown

has definitely given artists more time for

self-reflection and the time to practice new

techniques and investigate different ways of

creating art. However, we feel like Covid-19

and the stress of the current world has had

such a negative impact on mental and physical

health. Through the art society and the

themes we will use each week, we want to

try to use it as a medium of escapism and,

despite everything, focus on the good things

in life.

5) For people considering joining

your society, are you currently

working on any new projects together,

or do you work on a more

individualised basis?

Amie (President) - On a weekly basis, we

usually have a theme that we encourage

members to create their art around. This

gives a community feel despite the distance

between us and the different styles each person

creates. We have some possible group

collages/activities planned for later on in

the year which will create a bigger collective

piece, but at the minute this is still depending

on the current restrictions.

6) With returning to degrees and

student life, many (myself included)

will be struggling to make time

and energy to creatively utilise

their emotions. What would your

message be to new and returning

students who are finding creativity

to be a struggle?

Amie (President) - I think my message to

those students is that it is ok to feel that way.

Due to the current climate, there is a lot of

uncertainty and panic that is hard to ignore.

My suggestion would be to find a routine

that works for you; routines are known to

alleviate stress and anxiety and allow you

to designate time for what matters to you

as an individual. Especially with the online

self-lead learning during term 1, the importance

of having a routine to regain some

semblance of normality has never been as

important. This is why, as a society, we have

our meetings at a designated time every

week to provide a platform of relaxation and

escapism for members to self-reflect and

use their creativity to express themselves.

7) Artistic expression is more than

painting on a canvas; it is a process

that involves collaboration, space,

and resources. Do you fear the longterm

impact Covid-19 will have on

people’s engagement with the creative

world? As the access to art supplies

is costly and difficult, do you feel

it is important to continue to push the

importance of art in discussions surrounding

how university life should

be structured?

Roseanna (Social Media) - I do believe

that artistic expression, or the sense of art,

is and can only be developed on a long-term

basis. Covid-19 has brought restrictions limiting

the activities we can host, which actually

created a barrier for us to get involved

with a lot of works involving collaboration,

or works that have to be conducted in specific

locations that could have been shutdown

due to the virus. It is very important

for us to get engaged online and have regular

events related to our art interests.

8) Obviously, the lockdown rules

are changing daily. Do you have

any major events planned for this

academic year or are you just seeing

how things go on a weekly basis?

James (Events Coordinator) - We have taken

the decision to host online-only events

for now. We are going to keep an eye on how

restrictions change, and as soon as it proves

possible to host in-person sessions again

we hope to be able to do so, but for now,

the most important thing has to be putting

the safety of our members first whilst still

encouraging as much member engagement

in the society as possible, and online seems

like the best way to do this. Because of this,

we haven’t planned any major events for

this term, but we still hope to be able to host

more events in terms two and three! | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 16


The Joy of Making Playlists

Max Grainger

Quite often when it comes to music, I can

find myself being a bit of a purist; or, in probably

more accurate terms, a snob. I like to sit

down and listen to an album because that’s

how the artist intended for their music to

be listened to, right? Maybe it’s because of

how I tend to listen to music, which is typically

through physical media such as CDs

and vinyl, which really doesn’t help with the

whole ‘snob’ thing, does it? When listening

to music I tend to avoid playlists that others

have made, or those Spotify playlists made

to fit any ‘vibe’ or ‘feel’. Albums are how music

should be listened to, each track is put in

context, flowing into the next as intended.

Listening to a playlist means you lose some

of that, and in a way lose a part of a song. Or

at least, that’s the case for a pre-generated

playlist, made by some algorithm to fit your

mood and taste.

But personal playlists are something different.

You can have a huge range of playlists,

be them for pre-drinks, an artist you love,

made to fit a certain mood or time of year,

or just songs that you like. In some ways, a

playlist can make your connection to a specific

song even stronger. Because you can

just stick them on whenever without the

feeling that you have to complete them like

you do albums, playlists can be soundtracks

to moments of your life that would otherwise

be silent. Songs you hear at certain

times will always be associated with those

moments that stick out to you, and the

emotions you have tied to those songs will

be stronger. Picture this: you’re on a train on

the way back from a quite important family

event. You’re not feeling the best and to

pass the time on a long journey you stick on

your playlist of favourite songs. Staring out

of the window at the rolling countryside as

rain trickles down the window, that song

comes on, and it just fits. From now on, for

better or worse, that song will always be associated

with that moment. Thanks to your

playlist, it means something more to you

than before.

A favourite of mine is making playlists for

specific times of the year. Earlier this year,

on maybe one of the sunniest days of the

year so far in late February, the uncharacteristically

bright weather put me in one

of those summery moods. The storms we’d

been having all month had relented, just for

a day, so I started making a summer playlist.

Handpicking favourite songs that you know

will fit a certain time of year, especially when

it’s nowhere near that time, can help you

get through those rough times. Tired of the

wet and grey days of the late winter slump?

Make a summer playlist for the (hopefully)

bright and warm days ahead. Got a long car

journey ahead? No road trip is complete

without an accompanying soundtrack. Just

can’t wait for Christmas? Well, it’s never

too early to start preparing your Christmas


In other ways, playlists can act as a form of

catharsis. Who hasn’t made themselves a

playlist of sad songs for those times when

you’re just feeling a bit rubbish? Sure, there

are countless ‘sad’ playlists out there that

are just a search away, but having your own

songs that make you, and maybe just you,

sad makes it hit just that little bit more. These

are your songs for you and your time alone,

not something for consumption by everyone.

A step above the sad playlists are the even

more melancholic break-up playlists. Probably

the most personal of all, these playlists

can be filled with your ex’s favourite songs,

the songs you showed them, and the songs

you associate with the times you spent.

Sometimes you’ve just got to let it all out,

and there’s no better way than making a

playlist of tracks that you know will just do

it for you. But after the inevitable sadness,

there’s the acceptance and the time to move

on. And the time for the strong, independent,

I-can-do-it-myself playlist. You’re over them

and you’re over that crappy breakup playlist,

and it’s time for you to get your head back in

the game. Fill it with the tracks that get you

motivated, the ones that you wake up in the

morning for. Fill it with those energetic, angry

songs that all your friends hate. So what

if your housemates can’t stand you blasting

Death Grips? You’re stronger now, and this

playlist is getting you through those tough

times where you could be lying in bed wallowing

in your own sadness. Goodbye The

Smiths, hello happier times.

And that is why making playlists is such a

joy. They’re the soundtrack to the movie of

your life, however mundane that movie may

be. It doesn’t matter if they’re the soundtrack

to a once in a lifetime holiday or just songs

that you can stare out of windows to. Playlists

are your hand-picked selection of songs

that mean something to you. They can be an

album-length compilation of exactly your

choosing, each song fitting the same mood,

or they can be vast, sprawling collections of

every song you’ve ever loved, a never-ending

mix of everything you love listening to.

They’re yours and yours alone. So embrace

that. Go ahead and make that playlist, then sit

back, relax, and enjoy the tunes.

Image courtesy of Olivia Middleton | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 17


Sufjan Stevens - The Ascension: A

Break-up with the Past

Jonathan Robb


Sufjan Stevens’ music has always been inspired

by America, be it American folklore,

history, or geography, particularly on his

two albums inspired by states Michigan

(2003) and Illinois (2005). This is probably

what makes The Ascension such a stylistic

difference, as Stevens makes a deliberate

rupture with the Americana of his previous

albums for something darker and more introspective.

Perhaps the most notable change is the

sound of the music itself which rejects the

folk instrumentation of Stevens’ previous

album Carrie and Lowell (2015) for an electropop

soundscape. The tone is set straight

away on intro track ‘Make Me an Offer I

Cannot Refuse’, which starts off with choral

singing suddenly interrupted by synths,

and ends with an extended one-minute

instrumental outro with electronic percussions

and singing synths. From there the

album encompasses a wide soundscape

from glitchy production (‘Ativan’ and ‘Death

Star’) to dream pop (‘Sugar’) to even traces

of new age and ambience (‘Die Happy’). Often

the songs will feature extended instrumental

outros allowing the various synths

and electronic sounds to express the tone

themselves. While these songs have a very

different flavour to them as opposed to his

folk music, electronic is a genre that Stevens

has previously explored, and his songwriting

skills have lost none of their talent in

switching between genres, crafting songs

which match the tone of the album and lead

to some occasional really impressive sonical


The subject matter of the album feels undeniably

heavy and is perhaps best expressed

in the album’s 12-minute long closing opus

‘America’, which centres around the repeated

haunting refrain of ‘don’t do to me what

you did to America’, a plea of hopeless protest

against a culture he once admired but

now finds to contain a spreading rot. The

song uses multiple relations to religious imagery

and expression, which has a certain

emotional resonance from an artist who has

referred to himself as a Christian throughout

his career and made frequent reference

to it in his music, now finding himself in a

country where the Church is being distorted

into more of a political than spiritual identity.

Stevens also turns an introspective gaze

onto himself, pondering about the purpose

of his life as he nears middle-age on track

‘Goodbye To All That’, and worries about

the impact that his life will have had on

those around him on the standout title track

(which might just be one of the best songs

of the year).

That said, this might also be his most overtly

romantic album yet, with many songs featuring

lyrics addressing a lover directly in a

way often unseen in Stevens’ music. Not all

of the relationships described are necessarily

happy: see the protest against a difficult

and manipulative lover in ‘Video Game’ or

his attempts to reconcile a hurting relationship

in ‘Sugar’, however it is ultimately the

album’s romantic elements which give it

it’s hope. Perhaps this is most clearly displayed

on the track ‘Tell Me You Love Me’,

in which Stevens spends the first 3 minutes

of the track voicing his insecurities and

worldly doubts while pleading for his lover

to confirm their love for him, before in the

last minute of the song the instrumental

suddenly blossoms and swells as Stevens

decides to choose to cling onto the love he

has for them in spite of everything, placing

his certainty in it.

The Ascension is not necessarily the Sufjan

Stevens album that people expected, and

certainly, for some, it may prove to be too

much of a rupture in style. Yet musically it

certainly reinforces the themes of the album

as he rids himself of the style attached

to Americana in exchange for ethereal electronics

far removed from any set geography.

Ultimately, it is the strength of Steven’s

songwriting and some of the record’s emotional

moments which make this another

strong entry into Steven’s discography.

Ninja Sex Party – The Prophecy Album Review

Image courtesy of ninjasexparty via instagram

Image courtesy of asthamtickittyrecords via


Lauren Banks


Comedy albums are hit and miss. But

Ninja Sex Party’s 5th original album, The

Prophecy, is one of the best that they have


After 12 years and 8 albums together, duo

Danny Avidan and Brian Wecht work together

seamlessly. Avidan plays the sexedup,

spandex-clad Jewish superhero-withno-powers

Danny Sexbang, while Wecht

is the silent mass-murderer Ninja Brian. A

strange combination, but one that will never

fail to make you laugh.

The album opens with an introduction, before

segueing into the 11-minute epic ‘The

Mystic Crystal’, which tells the tale of Danny

and Ninja Brain going on an epic quest to

free a princess kidnapped by a necromancer.

This was the first single from the album,

and an extremely fitting one. It doesn’t feel

like just one song – the style changes several

times, and the story is genuinely funny.

In one memorable section, Danny tries to

defeat the evil necromancer with love, only

to get his legs broken and for Ninja Brian

to kill the necromancer by using Danny as

a club. In the same vein as their other long

song, the 9-minute 6969, it spins together a

bizarre, fun story that grips you throughout.

My favourite song on the album has to be

the ballad ‘Wondering Tonight’. While at

first it seems like a mournful rumination on

lost love, it turns out Danny Sexbang is just

wondering who his ex is banging now. However,

while the lyrics are raunchy and ridiculous,

Avidan’s voice is just beautiful.

Without a doubt, the funniest song on the

album – and in my opinion, one of the funniest

songs NSP has penned – is ‘Welcome to

My Parents’ House’. About bringing home a

girl while your parents are home and being

told to keep it down by your mum, it really

hit home with me, and made me think about

all the times as a 16-year old I’d come home

with a boy or a girl and try to spirit them

away to my bedroom without my parents

trapping me with embarrassing questions.

Interspersed between songs are little skits

that add to the comedic value of the album.

My personal favourite is about the wishing

bear, but all of them are fun little interludes

to break up the album.

You can’t discuss a Ninja Sex Party album

without looking at the music videos. Always

high concept, most are either fully or partially

animated, beautifully shot, and telling

a story throughout. ‘Wondering Tonight’,

while the lyrics are infinitely sad, there is

something incredibly funny about seeing

all the romantic moments between Danny

Sexbang’s lost love and her new man with

Ninja Brian in the background of every shot.

While we don’t yet have a music video for

‘The Mystic Crystal’, the preview shots and

animation look incredible and will be well

worth the wait.

In an interview with Vanyaland, Avidan and

Wecht opened up about what their favourite

part of recording the album was. Wecht

replied that it was working in the legendary

LA studio Sunset Sound, where artists such

as The Doors and Elton John have recorded,

saying that ‘all of these incredible artists

have worked there, and being in that space

and doing our songs about wizards and

dicks and stuff felt like we were really a part

of history’.

The Prophecy is now available to stream on

Spotify and Apple Music! | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 18


Bastille back with ‘survivin’’: An Interview

with band guitarist, Will

Beth Train-Brown


“We’re coming back with a new kind of sound;

we’re coming back with a higgledy-piggledy

mess – but cool.”

Weirdly enough, your new single

‘survivin’’, which was released just

last month, is quite relevant for

that lockdown feeling.

It was written before all of this kicked off but

we were speaking about this the other day.

It’s almost not important what the intentions

were when we wrote it because people

listen to it and it speaks to them. When you

write something and release it, it becomes

public property in a way.

A lot of our songs, Dan will write with something

specific in mind but then you’ll meet

fans who say, this means this to me. And you

can’t say no because, to them, that is what

it means.

Dan, Bastille’s frontman, has spoken

about writing this from a place

before lockdown, using it to explore

anxiety, self-doubt and the

overwhelmingness of modern life.

What does it mean for you?

I suppose the theme of self-doubt is quite

universal, especially since COVID happened

and anxiety is through the roof.

It’s interesting because I know Dan very well

so when I listen to lyrics he’s written, it’s not

necessarily personal to my life because it’s

him who I hear saying these things. It’s different

when the lyrics are written by someone

you know personally. For me, a lot of

the songs, lyrically, don’t have a personal

connection because they’re written by my

friend and I know what inspired them.

It’s interesting you talk about that

distinction between listening as a

friend or a fan because the chorus

has been described as a “warm

enveloping hug from a gang of

friends” – which might be the

sweetest lyric analysis I’ve ever

heard. Can we see some of your

relationship with the others come

through in this new track?

Yes, I think. I think it must come through

all our songs. One of the fascinating things

about being in the band but not being a

songwriter is that there’s a different dynamic.

There’s something very deep and personal

about writing lyrics – language itself is

exposing – whereas when I write the guitar

parts it isn’t quite the same thing.

Language is an innate window to the soul

and I’m always lost to explain my relationship

to our lyrics because it’s that complex

thing where I know Dan very well but I have

no idea what his process is. Often my interpretation

of what he’s written is based on

what I know of him but you can only know

someone so well – I could be completely


Dan’s said previously about


you were “completely tearing up

your process, being spontaneous

and starting again” and that track

had a very strong punk vibe. What

does that mean for your upcoming


I think that was a bit of an outlier. We’ve

done a couple of punky songs – especially

the second album. It’s always fun to do that

and I want to do more.

We all grew up listening to Blur so it was

amazing that we actually got Graham Coxon

on that track. It was a really cool one to

come back with.

I absolutely love the music video


it’s so trippy, it’s cracker.

I love it – but they did make me look about

87 years old! Dan looks like Dan and Kyle

looks like a smoking hot Kyle then I’m the

granddad-looking one in the background.

Maybe that’s my vibe?

At the time, we couldn’t really get together

so that’s when we came up with the idea for

an animated video. They had a whole team

in America and they’re absolutely amazing.

It’s great to see these young creative people

come into the industry.

I was watching that music video

when I noticed that the final scene

plays a snippet of ‘survivin’’.

Does it? I genuinely hadn’t noticed that. I’m

sure it does and that’s very deliberate and

very clever. Subliminal. I like that.

I’ll be honest, sometimes I’ll be listening to

the old albums and I’ll hear a song I just forgot

existed. They’ll play one live and I’ll be

hearing it for the first time in years. I don’t

listen to Bastille while we’re not on tour.

Is it a bit like how people don’t like

listening to the sound of their own

voice on recordings?

I do hate when I have to

record backing vocals

– I can’t listen to

that. Usually,

I’m fine with

my guitar


there is

a bit in

‘ T w o



s h e ’ s

j u s t


the guitar

and there’s

a fluffed note

that I played and,

at the time, I was like

that’s kind of weird. Now,

I’m like, oh God, don’t ever let that

be played again.

So far, you’ve had Bad Blood,

Wild World and Doom Days.

(Although, I feel like Doom Days

would be better timed for right


[Laughs.] Good point. We were prophetic –

by mistake.

Those are some poignant album

titles. Do you have the next title in

mind yet?

Well, we’ve got a single-syllable alliterated

theme going on so we’re kind of limited. We

haven’t even started thinking about it yet

while we’re still writing. I think the theme

comes after the fact.

The last album, Doom Days, we started out

with a narrative arc but, even so, it’s only

once you finish the writing process that

you can take a step back and see all of the

individual pieces come together for a title.

It’s hard mid-process to have that clear-cut


‘survivin’’ was released along with

the announcement that “this showcases

a new, groove-led sound

for Bastille typical of the band’s

new expect-the-unexpected sonic

God knows. [Laughs.]

identity.” That is quite a bold

message. What

does the

move towards



actually mean?

Every time we release anything, we always

try to be different, so that’s always the “new


To be honest, it is quite groovy, the new

stuff. We’ve never adhered strictly to the

idea of genre so we have songs that are kind

of rock and songs that are ballad; you just

try and make each song cool and something

to be proud of.

Dan’s got that unique voice that ties it all together

in the end.

So, I guess our new sound is a higgledy-piggledy

mess of all sorts of things.

‘Higgledy-piggledy mess’ – I love


Not my most articulate. [Laughs.] But yes.

Look forward to higgledy-piggledy messes

in our next album.

Check out the full interview on our website

and watch Bastille’s new animated music video

for single, ‘survivin’’, on their Vevo, which

premiered on October 6th.

Image courtesy of Bastille’s VEVO | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 19


Horror: The Genre with the Best and Worst


Joe Hopewell

By the time you read this Halloween season

has passed us by and now we’re facing the

agonising few weeks before Christmas décor

is acceptable. I feel pretty confident that

over the last few weeks as the All Hallows’

Hype kicked in, we’ve all indulged in sitting

down with family or friends and watching a

good old-fashioned scare-fest.

There really is nothing like it. I for one,

alongside my scare-proof flatmates, had a

good go at watching the classics over the

previous weeks. Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986),

Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers

(1978), John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), I

could list the classics forever but these, in

particular, are my go-to choices. They are

also all remakes.

The purpose of this editorial is, therefore,

to look at the horror genre’s successful remakes,

gleam what works from them, and

also shame Psycho (1998) and the work of

Platinum Dunes in general really.

With the examples I gave earlier, it is easy

for the average film viewer to be unaware of

their status as remakes in and of themselves.

David Cronenberg’s grotesque body horror

classic Jeff Goldblum flick has supplanted

the original 1958 take on The Fly, similarly,

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

has done the same respectively. However,

I’d implore any fan of these films to try a

double feature with their progenitors. Both

films resemble each other but the remakes

take startling alterations based on the thencurrent

mindset of their times. In short, all

of these films are time capsules and complement

each other well.

Cronenberg took an endearing ‘science can

never take the place of God’ 1950s B-movie

feature about Vincent Price swapping heads

with a fly, and by retooling the scientist as a

lovable outsider and the insectoid elements

into a degenerative condition he makes each

form startlingly different. In the mid-80s the

spread of AIDS was an uncomfortable cultural

touchpoint, so one can imagine an

audience member seeing the parallels of a

mutating Seth Brundle to the news reports

of the time. The Fly had turned from a cautionary

fable into a harrowing sci-fi story of

caring for a loved one who was literally decomposing.

The same reasoning can be seen in Philip

Kaufman’s take on the eternally resonant

Body Snatchers. The original was set in a

small town where everybody knew each

other- the horror derived from seeing the

familiar be stripped of its distinctiveness.

The 1978 take is scary because in the big city

everything is unfamiliar and indistinct- the

invasion may already have happened; you

just haven’t noticed yet. The fear of losing

humanity is supplanted twenty years later

with the fear that we, as a society, have already

lost it long ago.

But what of the bad remakes I alluded to

earlier? I think 1998’s Psycho is noteworthy.

Taking a film that terrified baby boomers

in the 1960s and redoing it shot for shot is

pointless and


more than it


There should

always be a

director and


team seeking

to stand

beside the

greats, not in

their shadows.

Michael Bay’s


Dunes tried

their hands

at horror remakes in the late 2000s with

their takes on A Nightmare on Elm Street and

Friday the 13th, managing only to succeed in

annoying the ten people that still care about

those franchises. Which demonstrates the

other important (and blindingly obvious)

factor in worthwhile remakes: the filmmakers

need to care.

Until the next time cinephiles, Joe Hopewell.

Image courtesy of Sammy-Williams via Pixabay

Did James Bond kill the cinema?

Rhys Wright


The news that the latest instalment in

the 007 franchise, No Time to Die, has had

its release date yet again pushed back,

this time to April 2021, a full year after its

original planned release date, has come

as a blow to an entertainment industry

already handicapped by COVID-19. Following

this announcement, Cineworld, the

world’s second-largest cinema chain, broke

the news that it would be closing all of its

venues indefinitely.

Of course, the Cineworld closures are the

result of far more than just No Time to Die

being postponed, it was merely the last

remaining studio tentpole between now

and the Christmas season after the likes of

Dune and West Side Story formed another

domino fall of postponement. With many

places in the midst of second waves of

COVID-19, many audiences understandably

do not feel safe attending cinemas,

even with the current safety precautions in

place, and not only that

but there is very little

available to see.

Another key factor in

major studio releases

being pushed further into

next year is the lacklustre

box office returns over the

summer season. The only

major release between

cinemas partially re-opening

in July and the present

was Christopher Nolan’s

highly anticipated Tenet,

which had the burden

of restarting an industry

almost singlehandedly

alongside several smaller independent

films, and predictably the box office returns

were less than what the industry was hoping

for, although by no means paltry. Again,

a combination of reduced capacity due to

social distancing measures, some markets

being closed entirely, and audiences staying

away out of fear of infection, resulted in studios

determining that continuing to release

blockbusters in the current climate is too

much of a fiscal risk

While most responses to this were to push

release dates back into next year, some low

risk-high reward model films like Bill &

Ted Face the Music were given a premium

video-on-demand release. Premium videoon-demand

is proving to be a particularly

popular form of release in the current

climate, to mixed results; lower budget

films have fared more successfully, whereas

studio tentpoles like Mulan are believed to

have underperformed.

Meanwhile internationally, the Chinese

market has continued its re-opening to

much success following its recovery from

COVID-19, with the Chinese historical war

drama The Eight Hundred so far becoming

the highest-grossing film of 2020.

In the UK, the recent announcement of

a second national lockdown means the

remaining Odeon, Vue, and independent

theatres still open will have to close once

again as leisure industries fall under the

government’s definition of non-essential.

The already considerable financial strain

on the exhibition industry will obviously

be exacerbated, and the obvious question

is will the government provide substantial

aid to an arts sector in peril? Who knows?

Maybe there’ll just be another push to retrain

in cyber.

So, what upcoming releases do we have to

look forward to…and when? After failing to

save the world in March with her infamous

all-star rendition of ‘Imagine’, Gal Gadot is

returning to save the box office this Christmas

with Death on the Nile and Wonder

Woman 1984. Will she succeed? Only time

will tell, but if COVID-19 cases continue to

rise then it’s possible that the Hollywood

studios may pull yet another Charlie Brown

football-swipe with the release dates, which

means the UK won’t really be missing

out on all that much should the current

national lockdown be extended over the

Christmas period.

Image courtesy of ClaraDon via Flickr | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 20


A short introduction to Scandinavian


Image courtesy of m_

chaggar via Instagram

Maria Svartvadet Jakobsen

Running out of things to watch during lockdown?

In desperate need of something to

binge? Why not escape the cold Lancaster

weather by diving into the even colder

weather of Scandinavia through some excellent

TV shows? Scandinavian TV, just like

British, American and other foreign TV, has

a wide range of genres and types of shows.

However, Scandinavia puts its own spin on

familiar genres like crime with its own subgenre

Scandinavian noir and plays a central

role in the production of certain genres,

such as contemporary teen dramas.

Skam – The series that took the

world by storm

Like many foreign TV shows, Scandinavian

TV shows have a tendency of staying

within Scandinavia, its main audience being

people from Norway, Sweden, Denmark

or the other Nordic countries. However, the

2015 teen drama series Skam is an extreme

exception to this. The series took the overdone

high-school drama and wrapped it in a

new, innovative media format. Throughout

the week, clips, text-messages, or Instagram

posts were posted in real-time on the Skam

website, before the content was unified into

a full episode on the website on Fridays.

Each season features a different main character,

and each deals with an important issue,

such as sexual abuse, sexuality, and religion,

in a truly honest way. The show uses

its interactive medium to create characters

that feel more real to the audience than ever

before, with each character having their

own social media accounts and a presence

outside of the episodes alone. With Skam,

Norwegian TV channel NRK has managed

to create a show which portrays a realistic

picture of not only Norwegian but many

high-school students’ experiences.

After the national and international success

of Skam, NRK continued to produce TV series

in the same type of multi-media format.

From 2018 to 2019 they produced the series

Lovleg, which, like Skam, deals with sexuality,

but in the form of a lesbian relationship.

The concept was also used for the series

Blank, which also featured the real-time releases

of clips, social media posts and text

messages, but dealt with another age group,

those just finished in high-school and entering

adult life. The series deals with issues

of relationships to friends and family, romance,

race and class differences.

The international success of Skam also led

to different adaptions by different countries,

such as Skam Austin, Skam España, and

Skam France.

The Bridge (Broen) – The epitome

of Scandinavian noir

Probably the genre Scandinavia is most famous

for is Scandinavian noir, also known

as Nordic noir. While both the UK and

Scandinavia produce crime drama series,

both countries put their own spin on the

genre, setting Scandinavian noir apart

from British crime dramas. The Bridge is a

Swedish and Danish collaboration, consisting

of 4 seasons, the first season starting

with a dead body being discovered on the

Øresund Bridge, exactly on the border between

Malmö and Copenhagen, leading to

a joint investigation. As is common for the

Scandinavian noir genre, the series follows

two detectives, Swedish Saga Norén and

Danish Martin Rohde (1st and 2nd season)

and Henrik Sabroe (3rd and 4th season).

The main character, Saga Norén, is a complex

character with poor social skills and,

without mentioning any spoilers, fits with

the Scandinavian noir trope of the far from

simply heroic protagonist. Scandinavian

noir, and The Bridge, is multi-layered, and

takes the viewer on a thrilling murder investigation,

darker and more twisted than

those of British crime dramas and typical

whodunnit style murder investigations. The

series is full of well-timed twists and turns

that keeps you captivated by the mystery

and the characters, and keeps you clicking

“Next episode.”

Like Skam, The Bridge has proved popular

internationally, having been shown in more

than 100 countries, and prompting several

remakes, including the UK and France’s The

Tunnel. However, none of these can compete

with the entrancing darkness of Scandinavian

noir in its purest and most elegant form.

Other great Nordic noir TV series to check

out: The Killing (Danish: Forbrydelsen) and

Bordertown (Finnish: Sorjonen).

The Rain – A post-apocalyptic


Over recent years, several Scandinavian series

have premiered on Netflix. Series such

as the Swedish Quicksand, Danish The Rain,

and Norwegian Ragnarok have all proved

popular, not only in Scandinavia but internationally.

The Rain is a Danish post-apocalyptic

series, in which a deadly virus-bearing

rainfall kills almost all humans in Scandinavia.

The audience follows Danish siblings

Simone and Rasmus who are left to take

shelter in a bunker by their father. After six

years, they emerge to search for their father,

who never returned to the bunker. Already

from the beginning, it’s a thrilling show, that

keeps the viewers on their toes. With high

production value and a character-driven

plot that keeps you emotionally invested,

The Rain is an exceptional show to emerge

from Scandinavia. If you’re a fan of shows

like The 100 or Under the Dome, or just generally

sci-fi and post-apocalyptic TV and

film, then you might want to check out The


Although available on Netflix with English

dubbing, you don’t quite get the same experience

as when watching it in its original

language, Danish. With the voices you hear

matching the actors’ lips, it conveys the

emotion of the scenes better. The show is

available with English subtitles.

Occupied (Okkupert) – A political


In another series about the future, we find

ourselves in a very different Norway to the

politically stable, rich, and democratic

country we see today. The series depicts a

Norway in which all oil and gas production,

Norway’s biggest export, has been stopped

due to catastrophic events. This creates a

massive energy crisis in Europe, causing

Russia, with the support of the EU, to invade

Norway to restore its oil and gas industry.

The series is centred around politics and

war, and the layers of secrecy, action and

tension build-up to a captivating story that

you can’t help but get invested in. The series

is placed in the political thriller genre,

and for good reason, featuring agents, assassinations,

rebel groups and more. It is a

stark contrast to the peaceful Norway and

Scandinavia we see today. The series had a

budget of £7.5 million and is Norway’s most

expensive production to date, and this can

be seen in the series high production value.

Occupied delivers everything you want from

a political thriller. Highly recommended for

fans of The Man in the High Castle or Designated

Survivor. | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 21


David Attenborough’s A Life on Our

Planet Reviewed

Alistair Williams

Sir David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet

was released on Netflix on Sunday 4th October,

being moved from a cinematic release

in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The

cinematic release of the film was something

that had to come to my particular attention,

due to its relevance to a module I was studying

last academic year. In this module’s essay,

I compared the yet-unreleased film to

Al Gore’s two documentary films, An Inconvenient

Truth, and An Inconvenient Sequel,

and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Before the Flood.

Unlike its initial cinema release, the release

of the film on Netflix crept up on me very

unexpectedly. While initially presented as a

reflection on the developments in environmentalism

during Sir David’s lifetime, the

film soon develops to become a platform for

the broadcaster to discuss the issue of climate


When discussing this huge issue, Attenborough

pulls no punches, describing the

current state of the environment, and the

potential future for the planet. My dad, who

chose to watch the film with me, stated:

“this almost brings me to tears, Alistair”.

The message Attenborough conveys is both

heartfelt, and shocking. In my opinion, there

is no better person than Attenborough to

spread this message, after several generations

have tuned in to hit series’ such as Frozen

Planet and Life, as well as The Blue Planet

and Planet Earth, both of which have had a

sequel series within the last five years. Attenborough

has come to represent the subject

of natural history within British culture,

having worked within documentary making

at some level since 1954.

The audience is taken on an interesting

journey within the first half of the documentary

of Attenborough’s career, which

uses old clips from the time, with narration

from the 2020 Attenborough played over

the top. I found this use of older clips very

effective in showing the change that Attenborough

must have experienced, not just in

the natural world, but in the format of his

career as a presenter and naturalist. Alongside

the clips, the documentary is occasionally

intersected by a countdown screen,

which updates alongside the time period

Attenborough is discussing. On this screen,

there is select information, which includes

the world human population, carbon in the

atmosphere, and remaining wilderness. Between

the longer sections of narrative description

by Attenborough, these intersecting

screens show the development across

his career. Unfortunately, as you might expect,

the amount of carbon and population

dramatically increase, as the remaining wilderness


Outside of the emotional impact of this film,

there is also a lot to learn from the documentary

in terms of factual information. A

lot of information is presented within A Life

on Our Planet. Some of these facts will make

any audience member feel uncomfortable

- Attenborough states that wildlife populations

across the globe have more than

halved since the beginning of his career. Attenborough

looks at various adverse effects

of climate change on the natural world; animals

such as coral reefs dying as the ocean

acidifies, a global average temperature rise

of 4oc, release of methane through the thawing

of frozen soil, mass animal extinction,

and millions of humans rendered homeless.

Attenborough concludes this by saying “this

is a series of one-way doors, bringing irreversible

change”. Attenborough works hard

in his description to tell the audience that

this disaster has already started, is happening

right now, and will only get worse.

Attenborough says in the conclusion of the

documentary, “It’s now apparent it’s not all

doom and gloom. There’s a chance to manage

our impact. Manage our impact, and

once again become a species in balance

with nature. All we need is the will to do so”.

As the documentary finishes, Attenborough

at least partly lifts the audience out of

the depressive tone of the middle of the

documentary, by stating that with the

will to act there is still time to make a

difference. I felt that the final message

of this documentary was perhaps understated

compared to the description

of the doom and gloom aspects of the issue,

but understandably, Attenborough

has the intelligence not to end the film

on an entirely sour note.

I knew that Attenborough’s breakdown

of climate change, where he would make

a heartfelt speech directly to the audience

was coming, but it still affected me.

It certainly wasn’t the first time Attenborough

has spoken openly about man-made

effects on the environment, or about climate

change as a topic, but it might be the first

time that they had been done together so effectively

by Attenborough. One of Attenborough’s

strengths in creating this message is

his overwhelming popularity, reaching audiences

that some activists might not. Unfortunately,

while Attenborough can reach a

wide audience, he cannot create change on

his own, that would require governmental

action. It will be interesting to see, however,

once this documentary has been viewed

and digested by mass audiences, whether it

will have a big effect on the climate change

discussion (akin to An Inconvenient Truth).

Only time can tell.

Image courtesy of International Monetary

Fund via Flickr

A24’s Saint Maud Reviewed

Ellie Ball


Morfydd Clark transcends all previous notions

of performance in writer-director

Rose Glass’s debut film. The psychological

thriller/horror marks Glass as one to watch

so to speak, sparking much excitement

amongst the film community. The narrative

centres around a recently converted medical

care-giver, Maud, upon her arrival at

a new nursing post. Here we meet her terminally

ill patient and former professional

dancer, Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), a person

who embodies all sin in Maud’s eyes.

Maud endeavours on a metaphorical pilgrimage

in order to save her patient from

more than terminal cancer – she is on a

mission to “save [her] soul”. Jennifer Ehle

and Morfydd Clark offer sublime, titillating

performances throughout, utilizing their

bodies and facial expressions to create a

sensual, climatic, and thoroughly chilling

work of art.

Rumoured to be in contention of Oscar

nominations, the film has achieved considerable

critical acclaim, often a challenging

feat for directors of the horror genre. The

genre classification of the feature has been

the subject of controversy;

it is not a film

that bombards the

spectator with meaningless

jump scares

and predictable genre

tropes. It is a remarkably

unsettling film but

not in the traditional


There is something

strikingly human

about this film, despite its thematic and

visual engagement with the supernatural.

Saint Maud delves into the most fundamental

concerns and dichotomies of humankind:

Life vs. Death, Virtue vs. Vice, Soul

vs. Soulless, Sanity vs. Insanity, and most

importantly God vs. The Devil. As the film

progresses, it becomes increasingly unclear

whom or what Maud believes she is communicating

with, the skilful use of inverted

camerawork, the symbolism of anti-clockwise

drains and the increasingly disturbing

content of the film implies that perhaps

God is not listening, but

something else is.

Ultimately, the true horror

of the film lies within

the social exclusion, marginalisation,

and mistreatment

of our sympathetic

protagonist. For

me, Maud goes down in

history as one of cinemas

loneliest characters. This

is foregrounded by the

film’s use of eerie silence, making for a very

tense and isolating viewing indeed.

Glass’s symbolic nod to Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis

does not go unnoticed, the everpresent

cockroach which lingers inside

Maud’s claustrophobic apartment consolidates

the sheer isolation of our central character.

Glass’s references to Franz Kafka and

William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of

Experience suggest that Maud is someone

on the brink of transformation – but a transformation

into what exactly? The theme of

transformation is core to the viewer’s interpretation

of the film, is Maud doomed to be

condemned or sent to be saved? Amanda’s

character is also dealing with a transformation,

life’s most fundamental transformation

– death. Amanda is in many ways

as lonely as Maud, after all, what could be

lonelier than the struggle with one’s inevitable

death? Saint Maud stands as a disturbing

social commentary on the modern-day

UK which is all too relevant amidst the outbreak

of Covid-19. The film engages excellently

with complex characters and the exploration

of universal anxieties surrounding

mortality, religion, and the search for a higher

sense of purpose in a seemingly meaningless

diegetic world. Saint Maud has firmly

secured a place on my Halloween watchlist.

Image courtesy of saintmaudmovie via Instagram | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 23

F A S H I O N & B E A U T Y

There is only so much cosmetics

can conceal: highlighting the waste

problem in the beauty industry.

Rhian Daniel


We trust our brands blindly and often unconditionally:

we may shun a few companies

after a scandal breaks out, vow never to

buy from there again and within a month or

two, after a shiny new collab, we are back.

Most companies are aware of our fickleness,

our superficial morality, and most of all our

narcissism, and therefore scandals are sat

out, waiting for it to blow over before it can

be re-packaged and re-imagined by the marketing

team. Sadly, this is the reality of the

fashion world today but while fast fashion

companies have a least been attempting to

fight the small, unimpactful protests another

world has slid quietly through the net: the

beauty industry.

The beauty industry has a whole host of their

own issues: for example, pseudo-political

terms such as empowerment and self-love

are stamped onto the packaging to ensure

that the true, self-deprecating nature of the

product remains hidden under the perfunctory

marketing that draws us all in. These

problems, for the moment, will escape the

wrath of the discontented student writer.

Instead, I turn to another little issue: climate


Elephants wander new realms in Tilaxan

Tharmapalan’s haunting image. They traverse

not the harshest conditions that nature

can throw at them but instead face new

struggles through the bleakest outreaches

of human interference, a rubbish dump. The

image shows a herd of elephants rummaging

through the waste on a landfill site near

a wildlife sanctuary in Sri Lanka and presented

the photographer the Royal Society

of Biology’s photography competition’s first

prize and to humanity the harsh and sobering

reality that we rarely are forced to face.

Among the rubbish that they sort through,

I’m sure they are faced with the by-products

of our beauty routines from slowly decomposing

tubes to the micro-beads polluting

their water.

The National Geographic highlighted this

problem in 2019, in an article ‘The beauty industry

generates a lot of plastic waste. Can it

change?’. They wrote, ‘the amount of plastic

packaging on U.S. products (not just on personal

care items) has increased by over 120

times since 1960—with almost 70 percent of

that waste piling up in landfills. Globally, the

packaging industry for beauty and personal

care products, which primarily reflects plastic

packaging, makes up nearly $25 billion in

sales.’ As mentioned, this was written over

a year ago, and with the advent of Coronavirus,

who knows what these figures could

look like now. Only time will tell what impact

medical necessities will have upon our

ocean or what consequences lockdown has

had, moving consumers even further away

from the less convenient and more expensive

eco-friendly alternatives, which are

so often produced by smaller and start-up


So, where does this failure lie? Well, in truth,

everyone, but that isn’t a very helpful statement.

Much of the blame is laid at the consumer’s

door and our poor choices and priorities,

however, this isn’t the full story. Yes,

we need to get better and yes, those who can

afford it should be prepared to spend a few

extra pounds on a product that is recyclable

and on a company that is committed to sustainability.

Yet, we are equally entitled to exclaim

that the issue is so confusing and the

jargon so convoluted that it sometimes feels

like you need an engineering degree in order

to understand the recycling system; and further

to this, to what extent are companies

genuinely committed to ensuring that their

products are sustainable and are not cutting

corners so that they can feign concern in

order to not lose their customers? In short,

how many beauty companies are interested

in more than their fiscal goals?

The first step is understanding what is actually

on our bottles. The signs on the side of

our jars, pots and bottles tell us more than

we appreciate. The first one is of an open

pot with a number followed by ‘M’: this is

the period after opening with ‘M’ standing

for months, 6M therefore mean you have

6 months to use it after opening. A similar

symbol is an hourglass, however, it states

that the product will last for 30 months

whether it has been opened or not. The leaping

bunny, perhaps the easiest to decipher,

means that no animal testing was used. The

Mobius symbol means that the packaging is

recyclable and if there is a number inside,

that is the percentage of packaging that was

made from recycled material. The green dot

is the symbol with the two arrows inside

which means it is part of the European recycling

scheme and has abided by waste laws.

Lastly, the red Ecocert symbol means that

Image courtesy of @oceanwasteplastic via Instagram

95 percent of the product contains natural

ingredients: for further information their

website highlights all the requirements that

are needed to have this certification.

The reality is though that these symbols

don’t tell the whole story if they are present

at all, and with beauty products being

some of the most complex products, what

are we to do? Unboxing rituals have helped

promote the false image of equating pretty

packaging with luxury and so unnecessary

plastic wrapping is therefore used for companies

to market their product. Therefore,

a small pot with a neat Mobius symbol is

rarely the reality for most of us.

‘Beauty product packaging is often composed

of a variety of types of material,’ explains

Stephen Clarke, Head of Communications

at TerraCycle Europe. ‘[…] 120

billion units of packaging are produced

every year by the global cosmetics industry,’

Clarke continues. ‘Of these, very few plastic

waste items generated in the bathroom are

accepted by most public kerbside recycling


Much journalism has placed the solution in

the hands of the consumer, calling for longer-term

changes in our shopping behaviour

and a need for us to demonstrate that we demand

better; but why is this the end of the

story? We certainly need to change our habits

but that can be difficult for a whole host

of reasons: maybe we don’t know what our

products are made out of ? Maybe we don’t

live near a place that does refills? Maybe we

cannot afford the premium prices that ecofriendly

companies charge.

We cannot afford to let companies slowly

bend to our will, it is time to call for companies

to be proactive and transparent: it is

time for them, as well as us, to do better. | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 24

F A S H I O N & B E A U T Y

Our Favourite Outfits from Emily in Paris

Beth Train-Brown


So, if you haven’t heard already, there is a

new show on Netflix called Emily in Paris.

I went in having heard the social media cries

of “cliché” and “abhorrent” and even “borderline

hellish” – and, I’m not going to lie,

the first episode in, I was kind of agreeing

with the Twitter storm.

But then, I got a bit deeper into a bottle of

wine (and a cheeky bit of romantic loneliness)

and, as the night wore on, suddenly

I’m living vicariously through Emily’s tragically

American character and hanging out

with all the lovely eligible men de Paris.

I don’t know how this show does it (I do

and I think it’s the French accents plus the

fact that everyone is Hollywood Hot) but I

just got so pulled into Emily in Paris that,

when the last episode finally rolled credits,

I checked the time and it was 2AM.

1. Emily’s yellow cami and maxi


This is undoubtedly my favourite outfit in

the show. It’s elegant in a way that is still Parisian

city casual. The thick black belt pulls

the ensemble together like a maxi dress,

adding that bit of bold edge to better fit

the Parisian fashion, which is honestly the

best stylistic decision of the wardrobe department

because now I can’t imagine that

printed silk camisole with anything else.

And yellow is a bold enough colour to show

off some of Emily’s sparky personality!

2. Emily’s structured white dress

(and its disaster)

This mini dress was designed by the fictional

Pierre Cadeau (and the very real Stephane

Rollande), featuring one shoulder and huge

rumples that add to that gorgeous lily effect.

True French haute couture.

Image courtesy of @emilyinparis via Instagram

3. Camille’s sheer polka dots and


Camille’s character is the American envy

of French fashion. The wardrobe took inspiration

from model Caroline de Maigret

who often pairs a blocky square-shouldered

jacket with something lighter and

feminine underneath.

In this scene though, we see Camille in

a stunning contrast of sheer polka dots

under a beige plaid dress that brings out

her blonde hair to make the perfect beginnings-of-Autumn


4. Emily and Gabriel at the launch


Brooklyn, the American movie star guesting

a Parisian launch party, says it best

when she stage-whispers, “the hottest guy

at the party is walking over here.”

Gabriel’s casual shirt and blazer ensemble

is effortlessly dapper and, in a quirk of

I could write a very long article about the In the show, two Avant-Garde stylists stage

loveliness of each character or the weird a publicity stunt and fire paint at the dress cinematography, matches the same tone

gently racist vibes the show has or the fact – and somehow I still love it, if not more. Emily wears with her casual red meshtop

skater dress. Both are flawless and

that Gabriel, our dreamy leading man, has It’s brass and ridiculous (and makes the fictional

Cadeau cry) but I adore the urban/ her handbag even matches the colour of

the sexiest voice I think I have ever heard –

but on the topic of fashion weeks, I thought couture clash.

his jacket! (Sex and the City stylist, Patricia

I’d live vicariously through the show’s bizarrely

riveting outfit choices instead.

nods to plot.)

Fields, is back at it with subtle wardrobe

Why You Should Wear Sunscreen Every

Day – Yes, Even in Winter

Lauren Banks

to re-apply it at least once every 2 hours, or


after exercising outside. UV rays can also

penetrate through glass, so it’s important to

apply it even when not leaving the house.

If you think sunscreen is just something you

put on when you’re on holiday or sitting out

in the sun, I need to stop you right there.

Sunscreen is one of the most important

things you can put on your face, as it has

many benefits aside from protecting you

from sunburn.

The SPF (sun protection factor) in sunscreen

protects your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays

from the sun, which can be incredibly harmful

to your skin. There are two types of UV

rays: UVA rays are the ones that cause you

to tan, but can also cause premature skin

ageing and wrinkles, and UVB rays, which

cause sunburn and can lead people to develop

skin cancer. SPF tells you how long it

will take for the sun to affect your skin when

wearing it – so wearing SPF 30 will take you

30 times longer to burn than if you weren’t

wearing sunscreen.

UV rays can penetrate through clouds, and

still affect your skin when it’s winter. In an

article from the World Health Organisation,

they recommend an SPF of at least 15, and

This might sound like a lot, but there are numerous

benefits to wearing sunscreen every

day, especially on your face. It decreases the

risk of skin cancer and contributes to antiageing,

as prolonged exposure to UVA rays

without protection can cause premature


Working SPF into your daily skincare routine

is easy. You can either replace your

moisturiser with one that contains SPF, or

find a facial spray that you can wear alone or

over makeup! And if you have oily skin, don’t

worry about it clogging up your pores – you

can either use a lightweight spray or a nonoily

formula – Eucerin has an oil-control

formula that’s factor 50+.

Sunscreen doesn’t have to be expensive,

either. Always a classic, Garnier’s Ambre

Solaire range has an array of both spray and

fluid sunscreens especially for sensitive skin,

with nothing dipping below factor 30. Other

great sunscreen brands include Hawaiian

Tropic (my personal favourite for their Airsoft

Face cream) and good old Nivea.

Try not to forget about your lips, either – try

and find lip balms that have SPF built into

them! Otherwise, a hit with an SPF-filled facial

spray will do the trick.

However, there are some pitfalls to sunscreen.

The Environmental Working Group’s

annual sunscreen guide discusses some

of the issues of chemical sunscreen over

natural sunscreen, highlighting common

ingredients in chemical sunscreen, such as

oxybenzone, which raises concerns about

allergies and skin absorption. They also

raise the point that consumers tend to misuse

products with a higher SPF, such as staying

in the sun for longer than they would

if using a lower SPF product. Higher SPF

products also have higher concentrations of

sun-filtering chemicals in them, which may

trigger allergic reactions. They recommend

staying within the SPF30-50 range.

If you want a more eco-friendly option for

sunscreen, there are some great options.

While more expensive, they’re made from

all-natural, vegan ingredients, making them

more suitable for people with extra sensitive

Image courtesy of @sokoglam via


skin. Amazinc has a range of sunscreens,

from sticks to butters, from SPF 10-50.

Shade is a UK-based brand made of only 4

ingredients, using zinc oxide to protect the

skin from the sun’s harmful rays. While not

vegan (it contains beeswax), it’s free from all

perfumes, alcohol, and is never tested on

animals. Their products are SPF 25, as they

do not use chemical active ingredients in

their products.

Wherever you get your sunscreen from, the

most important thing is that you consistently

wear it every day. | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 25

F A S H I O N & B E A U T Y

Kenzo Takada: A Tribute

Image courtesy of @tmagazine via Instagram

Isobel Dignum

The Tiger. That’s what you are all thinking

when someone states the brand ‘Kenzo’

to you right? Those vibrant tiger emblem

sweatshirts or ‘the eye’ t-shirt print are

iconic. You cannot go on a typical night out

in Manchester city centre, or anywhere for

that matter, without seeing someone wearing

it, thinking because its a well-known, designer

brand that they can get into any club

or fancy bar.

My first designer purchase was a Kenzo

sweater. I was around 15 years old and I

thought I was very cool and trendy with my

‘Kenzo Paris’ logo jumper that I bought from

the children’s section of

Sadly though, for those of you who are unaware,

on the 4th of October 2020 Kenzo

Takada, aged 81, passed away after contracting

Covid-19. This is a devastating loss

in the fashion world, particularly for the

Paris fashion scene. Anne Hidalgo, Mayor

of Paris, actually took to Twitter to write,

‘he had given colour and light their place in

fashion.’ Takada ultimately changed the direction

of fashion in the 1970s, with his East

meets West inspired designs. Not only was

he one of the first Japanese designers to succeed

in Paris and also internationally, but he

is also deemed one of the original designers

to work on the vision of genderless fashion.

It began in Paris in 1970, the age of iconic

retro but classy style: flares, bell-bottoms

and Diane von Fürstenberg. Takada gambled

on buying a one-way ticket to Paris to

re-start his life and in turn his career. Kenzo

Takada’s inspiration is said to originate from

the famous artist, Henri Rousseau. In the beginning,

Takada could not afford to pay for

prints and textiles to work with, so he painted

on the walls of his first little boutique

on Galerie Vivienne naming it, ‘Jungle Jap’.

However, problems with the name caused

it to be rebranded, and ‘Kenzo’ was born in

1971. It was revolutionary, completely different

from the usual Parisienne style and

sophistication with its urban themes and

pops of electric colour. The brand was such

a huge success that ‘Kenzo’ was sold in 1993

to become part of the luxury good conglomerate,

LVMH. Now, it is run by US cult

designers Humbert Leon and Carol Lim of

Opening Ceremony who create the unique

designs we see in Selfridges and Harvey

Nichols today. I am interested to see how

the Kenzo label will change and develop in

the future.

Vogue Runway quoted Kenzo Takada who

stated, ‘I’d like to be remembered as a designer

who crossed boundaries.’ This quote

is so powerful, as I believe that in today’s

society it is important that we are able to do

this; to cross boundaries and explore different

avenues not only within fashion. Takada’s

story about starting from nothing and

taking a risk to create a spiritus, now wellknown

brand, are my favourite ones to read

about. I find this particular story bewitching,

the gamble that was taken just because

of the love and passion he had for art and

textiles is truly inspirational. I will continue

to love Kenzo Takada’s brand and purchase

his collection, as his legacy lives on.

Francesca’s Beauty Files

Francesca Adams

1. What is your go-to look and what

products do you use to achieve it?

I always try and minimise the amount of

make up I have on day to day, especially

when wearing a mask most of the time. Eye

make-up is therefore extremely important

when you’re trying to make an impression.

Clean lines and widening illusions are important

in my routines – I’m currently using

No. 7 Gel eyeliner and an inexpensive

eyeliner brush to achieve a half cat-eye flick

to elongate my eyes and Pixie Beauty’s Endless

Silky Eye Pen in White to widen them.

I’m also making sure to keep my skin exfoliated

and hydrated after being stuck under a

mask all day.

2. You’re stranded on a desert island

with only your five favourite

cosmetics, what are they?

I would just say a good moisturiser and call

it a day but with the luxury of choice I would

have to go for a few more staples:

(i) A well- balanced toner cross cleanser,

I’m loving AlphaH Balancing Cleanser with

Damask Rose, but it’s a limited edition so I

need to stock up!

(ii) My perfect day cream currently from

PURE, it’s vegan, sulphate and cruelty-free!]

(iii) No. 7 Lovely Lips Lip Balm in Poppy Petal,

it is the perfect tinted lip balm that gives

the vibrancy of a lipstick without the consequential

chapped lips.

(iv) Percy & Reed Smoothing No-Oil Hair

Oil; it’s the perfect non-sticky solution to dry

hair ends.

(v) The biggest bottle of Chanel No. 5 you

can find.

3. What is your skincare routine?

Not overcomplicating what I put on my

face; it changes daily depending on what

my skin needs. I always use a day and night

cream with SPF and always cleanse my face

in the evening with a silicone exfoliating

brush. Sticking to such a ‘routine’ I find can

be damaging to your skin if you continually

stick to certain products that your skin

doesn’t really want. Imagine it like having

soup every day of your life, the same one,

even if you’re dying for another flavour: listen

to your skin, it will need different things

on different days.

4. What is the best beauty advice

anyone has given you?

Make sure you choose a signature scent,

wear it everywhere, make people remember

you. And if your hair looks great, it doesn’t

matter about anything else. You can never

feel truly confident on a ‘bad hair day’.

5. What was your biggest makeup

faux pas?

I used to wear so much foundation because

I used to think that more make up would

make me look grown-up – thankfully there

isn’t much photo-evidence of this phase, but

all those faux pas and embarrassing moments

have helped me find my unique style

and way of doing my make-up that I love


6. What is a product that you have

your eye on and why?

I have had my eye on LUSH’s ‘Catastrophe

Cosmetic’ facemask. I find that because

I have quite well-behaved skin, I struggle

to find something that isn’t too hydrating

or too mattifying, I’ve heard great things

about this mask; that its perfect for combination

skin. Maybe it will fall into my basket

next time I wander into the aromas of

LUSH in Lancaster city centre.

Image courtesy of Francesca Adams | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 27


Essay Writing: My Tips and Tricks

Image courtesy of Kelly Teague

via flickr

Jennifer Kehlenbeck


Throughout your time at university you will

be asked to write an essay, probably a lot

of essays – even if you are doing a science

degree! Therefore, it is important to try and

master them early.

When it comes to writing essays at university

it will take you some time to work out

your own perfect way of going about it. I

am not the objective source of information

on essay writing, my advice is what I have

found useful throughout my time at university.

Feel free to disagree with me, it’s not my

way or the high way. At the very least, I hope

this guide will give you something to think


This article is structured based on what I

think are the four main elements in writing

an essay: preparation, planning, writing and

editing. There is more to an essay than just

forcing the words out, and yet these other

stages are often overlooked or rushed.


Read a lot

I never understand why people don’t read a

lot before they write. It is literally the easiest

part of writing an essay. Reading as much

as you can, or have time to (an important

distinction), means that you have more to

reference in your essay. You’ll have a word

document (or more) full of people you agree

or disagree with ready for when you write.

If you don’t end up referencing something in

your essay then it was not a waste of time, it

probably helped you think about your topic

– at the very least it will give you a bibliography

long enough to impress any professor.

Read smartly

However, simply reading a lot isn’t going

to help you if you are not reading smartly.

If you don’t look for the author’s argument

(or key facts depending on what you’re reading)

then you could be reading better. Make

lots of notes when reading! Write down the

writer’s main argument, any secondary arguments

you find interesting, how you react

to the writer’s arguments and how you

would use them in your essay (it is useful to

do these last two steps in a different colour).

Detailed notes will almost write your essay

plan itself.

Write your references as you go

This is such a time saver. It will save you the

faff of trying to get them all together at the

end – you won’t have to basically stalk the

author to try and find out what journal they

wrote in. In a similar vein always make note

of page references when you read! No one

wants to have to read an article twice – the

first time was more than enough.


Write all your points on paper first

Once you have finished doing all your reading,

write down all the points you want to

discuss on a piece of paper. Seeing them on

a page allows you to focus on your argument

and structure. You can experiment

with what structure works for you without

commitment. I always find seeing it on paper

illustrates to me what points flow into

the next one.

Go over your initial plan more than


A simple tip, but make sure you like your

plan and feel comfortable writing it before

you start writing, or even properly planning.

No one wants to be halfway through and realise

they hate their argument.

Make a full plan

Once you have a baseline of all the points

you want to write paragraphs on, fill in the

plan. Put in all the information and arguments

you want to use to serve that point

– and be sure to include references! If you

do this, you won’t have to search through

multiple word documents to find what you



Push yourself to write a draft

To be honest, I don’t have loads of tips for

actually writing an essay. So much depends

on the specific essay and the way you personally

write. However, I will say the most

important thing is to actually write it. So

much of writing an essay feels like staring at

the computer praying for words to come to

you, hence, I find it helpful to mildly force

myself to get a draft done even if it is not

perfect. I always find once I have the first

draft, even if it is really rough, crafting the

essay into what I want it to become is much



Actually edit it

I’m under the impression that some people

don’t edit their essays. While some might

edit as they go and find that works for them,

I would advise you to make time to edit afterwards

as well. Not only does it help you

get rid of pesky spelling or grammar mistakes,

but it also helps you see your essay

as a whole and get a good sense of the logic

and flow of your argumentation.

Write the edits down on paper

I find that going paragraph by paragraph

and writing down the edits I want to make

(ie sentences I want to make clearer) without

editing the document itself gives me

clearer focus. It means I am focused on the

essay as a whole rather than a single sentence

or word. This takes slightly longer

than a simple read through, but is so much

more useful.

Have your computer read it aloud

Chances are at some point you will have

been told to read your essay aloud. This is

probably good advice; however, it doesn’t

sound fun. An alternative is to make Microsoft

Word read your essay aloud to you.

I found that when writing an essay, I get

used to what I meant to write rather than

what it actually says. Having Word read it

aloud means that you are forced to notice

overlooked issues such as spelling mistakes,

double words and poor sentence structure.

Have a friend read it

This is great… but can be awkward. A year

ago, I would not have suggested this as a

tip, however, last year a lecturer forced us

to swap essays before handing them in and

it was very useful. Someone else can pick

up on things you can’t. For example, when

reading my essay my friend noticed that I

overused a word.

The act of reading someone else’s essay

is just as useful as them reading yours. It

shows you what other people do well and

makes you focus on the act of editing. It also

gives you a much-needed break from the

monotony of your own writing! | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 28


How We’re Making the Most Out of this


Jennifer Kehlenbeck


We could spend ages talking about the

negatives of this year (trust me, I have), but

that’s not the most productive thing to do.

Perhaps instead we should reframe how we

think about this weird time. We might have

to work a bit differently (not harder, just

differently), but this year can still be memorable

(and not just in a bad way). Sure,

things will be a bit odd this year, but with

a little bit of creative thinking we can still

get a lot out of all aspects of our lives from

studying at university to thinking about our

future careers to participating in societies

to enjoying our nights in. Luckily for you, all

the creative thinking has been done for you

by some of our writers. This is how we are

making the most out of this year!

productivity this year. One of the most

important ways I have tried to overcome

this has been through timetabling my

days. When I know I have the “luxury” of

doing lectures as and when I please, I figured

it would be far too easy to wind up

cramming in all of them at the end of the

week. And, so, by writing up my own version

of our usual academic timetables, I

have been treating my asynchronous lectures

as if they were actually timetabled

for me. By doing this, I’ve also found I’ve

left ample time to get through my weekly

readings and have managed to (so far)

feel prepared for my seminars.

Lily McGahern

Saying goodbye to Nights out...

Neha Gupta

So, this year has been difficult, to say the

least. Less than a month into this new academic

year, it would be very easy to feel

unsettled given the huge adaptation we

have had to undertake. It took me a while

to come to terms with this new standard of

living; but when I eventually accepted this

new university style, life back in Lancaster

became considerably easier.

Potentially the biggest way in which I have

adapted to moving back to Lancaster has

been by forcing myself to see the positives

of online and at-home learning. As someone

who has always found it considerably

easier to work anywhere but in my living

area, I immediately had doubts about my

The new normal has definitely taken

time (and is still taking time) to adjust to,

in particular, the lack of Sugar and now

socialising during a lockdown. To make

the most of my last year at university, we

have had to be creative in how we spend

our Wednesday and Friday nights. Luckily,

I am in a bubble of seven, therefore, the

living room has turned into our own personal

club, flashing disco light included. The

main priority of these nights being making

up new ‘pres’ games, with ‘pres’ now lasting

all night. From drunk Jenga, to the old and

trusty ring of fire, along with the occasional

game of piccolo and photo roulette, we have

managed to have some of the funniest and

even eventful nights just sitting in the living

room. Although it is not the third year

I thought I would be getting, there is definitely

something to be said for making your

own fun, with it bringing me and my housemates

even closer once again. I have loved

being back at uni and I am excited to adapt

to these new ways with my best friends, even

if it is just for one more year!

Jennifer Kehlenbeck

At the moment, I am taking every chance

and opportunity I have. The chances we

have feel very limited currently, so we’ve got

to venture out of our comfort zones and grab

the ones available to us.

For example, the university and careers

service are both offering loads of optional

talks. And now because they are online,

they are so much easier to attend. A 5-6pm

talk now seems doable – I literally went to

one on Wednesday. Signing on something

at this time in person seemed unthinkable,

but online is another story. With it online I

could watch it in the kitchen with my tea in

the oven – the 5-6 time didn’t interrupt my


Also, the online format means we have the

chance to nip in and see if they work for us.

We no longer have to sit there with an awkward

silence waiting for them to end, if it’s

not useful, you can leave at the click of a button.

But out of all the things I have signed

on for, I haven’t left any of them. Turns out,

these are useful. Who knew!

before. I think that when it comes to university

this year everyone’s attitude should be

to dive in headfirst without shame.

Lauren Banks:

While this year isn’t going as many of us had

hoped, I’m lucky to have found a few ways

to make the most out of it!

My course means I have 2 hours of contact

every week, sometimes 4 if I have my

biweekly module. This might seem very

empty, but actually it’s given me a chance

to get a head start on my essays (early, I

know!). Plus, now that the library is socially

distanced and very quiet, it’s my ideal space

and every time I come to campus I make

sure to book in a couple of hours so I can

bask in the silence and get some reading


Having spare time is really doing wonders

for my mental health as well. I taught myself

how to cross-stitch over lockdown as a

way to relax and focus on something other

than my phone, so I’ve recently started to

sew Christmas presents for my family and

friends! It also gives me plenty of time to

cook in the evenings for me and my flatmate.

This year I am attending all additional seminars

offered, bombarding my lecturers with

emails, going to so many careers talks, attending

many office hours and posing questions

to academics I have never spoken to

Images to the right courtesy of Jennifer Kehlenbeck,

image above courtesy of Debby

Hudson via Unsplash | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 29


Interview with a student addict

Beth Train-Brown


Maddy is a second-year Lancaster University

student. She is also a self-described drug addict

and alcoholic..

So, Maddy, describe a typical day

in your life.

Well, if I drank the night before then I wake

up early, around 10AM. But if I got stoned

then I don’t wake up until much later (3PM

maybe?) and I usually miss my seminars.

The new blended learning approach is actually

pretty handy because it means that I

don’t have to get to campus super early (or

at all) because I can just catch up on the

seminar recordings whenever I want.

I do work during the day. I do work for my

course, do the readings, watch the lectures,

sometimes call my mum.

Then, around tea-time, I feel exhausted.

When I start feeling drained, I know that I

need a drink or a smoke to perk me back up.

If I go to bed without getting drunk or having

a smoke then I don’t feel like the day’s


And is that a normal cigarette or


Oh, weed. I don’t smoke tobacco. I used to

smoke joints (which is tobacco and weed)

but then I started smoking blunts (which is

just weed) and it goes down so much easier,

you know? I smoke them a bit like cigarettes

– definitely as often as other people smoke


smoke is all I can think about.

I love the smell of weed and rolling the blunt

and lighting it and smoking it. It’s like how

some people enjoy knitting, I suppose. It

keeps your hands busy.

Smoking weed is a bit like knitting?


[Laughs.] Well, you know what I mean. It’s

downtime. It’s a hobby that’s completely

your own. I don’t have to worry about anyone

else, about grades or test results, any of

that. I get to see myself progress and know

that it’s just for me.

You’ve told me a little about

smoking weed

daily. Do you take

any other illegal


I remember it started

a few weeks into first

term. I came to uni and

I’d already taken stuff

before (I literally took

a pill in Ibiza, like the

song) but it was always

as a group and I’d make

sure I only took a little

because everyone’s

heard horror stories

about kids who die the

first time they take ecstasy,

you know?

Well, I used to do a lot

more last term. Every

time we went out clubbing,

I would take something.

But then, I was in a Lancaster nightclub

(which I won’t name because you’re giving

me a look like I shouldn’t) and someone offered

me a sniff in the toilets. And, I’m not

going to lie, when she said “sniff ” my brain

short-circuited and I thought she meant

blow my nose.

Anyway, she holds up what looks like a little

bullet or something and taps some white

powder behind the nail on my pinky finger.

I sniff it without thinking (because it feels

a bit rude to say no when it’s free) and that

was it. I walked back into the club feeling

like I was ten feet tall. I was invincible. Everything

was so much more fun.

There are only two decent clubs in Lancaster,

so nightlife was getting boring but suddenly

everything was interesting again.

That night was the start of it. Since then, I

would take anything that was offered until I

got bored with having to rely on other people

and started contacting dealers myself.

It’s surprising how quick it is to learn to understand

a dealer’s menu on Snapchat. It

made me feel so cool and mature to be ordering

my own gear. I went through MDMA,

ecstasy, coke, ketamine, Xanax, poppers,

a bunch of other stuff that I had to google

first. I keep a list somewhere that I’m sort of

using to check off (but that makes me sound

a little obsessed and I promise I’m not!)

How much does all of this cost


Before lockdown, when all the clubs were

open, it could be upwards of £100-150. Now,

I mostly just smoke weed (I get through

about 4-5g a week because my tolerance has

gone up massively) which makes life a lot

cheaper – maybe £40 a week. I don’t do as

much as I did before; it’s not the same when

you don’t have the club scene there.

I used to blow through my maintenance

loan so fast, it was unreal. But my flatmates

did too – they spent theirs on clothes and

overpriced alcohol at clubs; I spent mine on

other things.

Do you think this has affected

your health?

I mean, probably. I did get really ill in second

term last year because I took a mix of a few

things that basically ruined my appetite so I

forgot to eat for a good few days. Then I once

took ecstasy and drank so much water I was

nearly sent to the hospital.

It probably will affect me long term but I

just keep thinking – you know, we’ve only

got one life and I want to live it. I want to do

everything I want to do and see what happens.

SCAN does not endorse any illegal drug use.

Substance abuse is a serious mental illness.

If you have been affected by anything in this

article or think you might suffer from drug addiction,

please contact your college wellbeing


You can’t really get addicted to weed but I do

feel a difference if I don’t smoke one night

– I don’t sleep as well, I get nauseous in the

morning and I feel a bit down, emotionally.

When it gets to that time of day, having a

Do you know what it was that

you took that night?

Yeah. I mean, maybe. I think it was coke. As

in, cocaine. I never asked.

Images courtesy of Beth Train-Brown and

Snapchat | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 31


Sophie Tomlinson


We are surrounded by everyday visual culture,

from paintings to images and cinema

to something as ordinary as the traffic

light system and the highway code signs

on our roads. We see these ordinary objects

and generally just accept their meaning

and place within society. But how are

their meanings created? How do they become

an integral part of our culture? How

do we, even if it is just subconsciously, decode

the messages that the visual presents

to us, how does the visual culture control

our minds and the way we see the world?

As a Media and Cultural Studies student,

these questions are considered as it exposes

how much visual culture controls

how we see things in our everyday lives.

I am going to briefly demonstrate these

ideas by analysing a few images in order

to explore this concept.

This idea is reinforced through the introduction

of the digital camera in the 20th

century; paintings and images could now

be reproduced in different, transmittable

formats, and photos, are interpretable

messages, rather than literal meanings.

For example:

According to Barthes and his theory of semiology,

there are two, key main areas we

have to consider when interpreting a coded

image: denotation and connotation.

We can put these ideas briefly into practice

by analysing the image above.

Denotation- (what we see)

So, in the image, we see the trees, a lake,

the sky and the colours, blue and green.

How Truthful Are The Things We See?

Here we can take a whole different perspective

on the image. I have changed the colour

of the image, which therefore changes the

meaning. If we repeat the same process,

we can say that the signifiers are the same,

whilst the connotations are significantly different.

The connotations of black and white, make

a place of suggested peace and tranquillity

turn into eeriness. This indicates the importance

of how an edited replicated image, can

instantly change its meaning when placed in

the hands of the editor.

This idea is reinforced, when we use a caption:

So how much does visual culture control

our everyday lives? How much of it is true?

The clever use of editing can manipulate an

image and its set ideology so much that it

destroys any uniqueness that the original

image has had. By the time it reaches us as

the audience, it may have been processed

that much that we see a completely different

meaning to the one intended- memes

and GIFs are good examples of this, where

images may have had multiple producers

with an intended different reading each


So next time you see a form of visual culture,

just stop and take time to think about

how genuine its content may be.

You may realise, that the world is never

truly as it appears to be.

Connotation- (the things we associate

with the image when we see it)

We instantly decode (the idea of converting

a coded message into one which

someone will understand) based on the

knowledge that we have. So, we look at

this image of a traffic light system above,

and instantly associate the colour red to

‘stop’, amber to ‘get ready’, and green to

‘go’. But how do we already know this?

The traffic light system is based on the

idea that when a code is introduced, we

need to learn it so we can understand

the code and fully comprehend the culture.

This idea is also reinforced through a

shared code, as we read signs and symbols

through a set of cultural forms.

However, whilst it is important to respond

to the idea that we can understand images

through a shared code, images can

also be polysemic (have multiple meanings)

due to images being used in different

contexts and different forms- for example,

the same image used in a different context

will result in a different meaning, or, people

from a diverse culture may also interpret

the same image in multiple ways.

For example, here, we could say that the

trees and the lake indicate nature, which

is linked closely to the powerful feeling of

spirituality. You could also say that when

looking at the image, you are drawn to

the use of blue. The symbolism of water

is drawn to the feeling of cleanliness and

healing, where it could be seen that the

trees have been purposely presented as a

frame (masking) to interrupt this flow of


This is the key message that I can take

from this image. Looking at it from an unbiased

perspective, I don’t know the editor’s

intended preferred reading (the messages

and meanings the editor intended

to be taken from the image).

This introduces the concept of power- the

idea that the author takes all control and

can manipulate an image using camera

angles, captions, formats and colours to

try and make us think a certain way. This

idea is shown in the replicate of the image

above, below:



Here, if you consider the initial denotations

and connotations with the image the

caption portrays, it impacts the thoughts

and feelings we have about the image.

Going back to the earlier idea that images

are polysemic, it is shown that anchoring

pieces of visual media with captions limits

this potential polysemic meaning.

Captions bluntly put images into context

and stir us towards the preferred meaning-

within a matter of seconds this image

which symbolised purity and healing,

paradoxically, now indicates heartache and

suffering. This idea is fixed as the image is

placed alongside the text to create a narrative

and a fixed reading.

Image of traffic lights courtesy of Didgeman

via Pixabay

Image of lake courtesy of Lindsay Tomlinson | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 32


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Lancaster’s Autumnal Beauty Spots

Lily McGahern

Williamson Park

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Autumn accentuates this historic city’s

enchanting spots. With the rust coloured

leaves strewn all over the city and everyone

heading back to university, Lancaster

has the feeling of new beginnings. The

earthy tones highlight the area’s natural

beauty, with many picturesque places to

walk, study and enjoy over Michaelmas


Lancaster Castle

Steeped in history, the preserved grounds

of the castle are crisp and bright, with all

the autumn foliage surrounding it. Sitting

on top of a hilltop, you can get some of the

best views of Lancaster here.

Not only do the grounds give all the autumnal

feels but the castle’s coffee shop

is also the perfect place to study. It is spacious

and bright, with the sweet smell of

coffee and cakes making it one of the best

places in Lancaster to sit and work.

Lancaster Canal

Whether you are after a stroll or fancy a

run, the canal’s towpath, which stretches

over 27 miles, provides a peaceful escape

from university life. With a crisp crunch

underfoot, the path is strewn with fallen

leaves, making the walk feel like fall is everywhere.

Although, running past the back

of the Sugarhouse, there is the miserable

reminder of pre-COVID nights.

The park at night fits the season, with

Ashton Memorial being lit up making

the whole park bewitching. Spooky and

ghoulish, a walk in the moonlight brings

all the Halloween vibes. Come in the daytime

to experience the spectacular views

of Lancaster and the Lake District, as well

as the park being vibrant with autumnal


Woodland Walk

With the speckles of golden yellow and

burnt orange littering the trail, the woodland

walk is beautiful at this time of year.

You don’t have to venture off-campus for

some fall scenery, with it being right on

your doorstep. Use it as a relaxing walk

to forget about your studies, or as it gets

colder something to pick you up on those

hungover mornings.

Graduate College

Look no further than on the edge of campus,

for the vivid scarlet trees of Graduate

college. The falling leaves provide a perfect

photo opportunity, as well as make

your walk onto campus, if you’re in Cartmel,

Lonsdale or Grad, that little bit more


Images courtesy of Lily McGahern | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 33


The Return of Female Football’s Golden Era – A Likely Prospect or Hopeful Optimism?

Chloe Henderson

1921 was a horrible year for the development

of the women’s game. Women’s

football was in full swing; it was providing

liberation from the monotonous

style of Victorian life and was becoming

hugely popular – and not just among

women. But, despite this, 1921 saw the

prohibition of women’s football across

the UK.

What women’s football (and football

in general) would be like now if this

had not happened is something for

mere speculation and hypotheses. Who

knows? Maybe it would be female footballers

that are the idols of young children;

maybe it would be the names of

Alex Morgan and Marta that would be

yelled when smashing a ball into the top

corner of the goal – as opposed to the

chants of Messi or imitations of Ronaldo’s


Yes, 1921 was a grave year for the game,

but it should never be forgotten - it

should be used to propel the desire of

women to participate in and excel in

sport. This is one of the fundamental

beliefs of Lancaster University Women’s

Football Club (LUWFC); which provides

a welcoming atmosphere for people

of all abilities – regardless of whether

you have already played at an impressive

level, or whether you’ve never even

kicked a ball.

LUWFC consists of three teams: there

are first and second team who both

compete in the BUCS league (against

other universities); and there’s the development

team, which provides the

perfect atmosphere for people wanting

to develop their skills and to meet a variety

of new people, without any pressure

or need for prior experience.

As a member of the first team, one of

the standout moments of last season

was when we were 3-0 down at home to

Newcastle at half-time (who, by the way,

we thrashed earlier on in the season)

and, after an emotional half time team

talk, we managed to claw back the score

to 3-3 with an immense set of goals - and

we continued to knock on the door for

more goals to snatch the win. The desire

and heart to work our way back, from

which would’ve otherwise been a horrifically

disappointing defeat, is something

I have only experienced a handful

of times in all my years being a member

of num

e r o u s

s p o r t s



has had

a trem

e n -

d o u s

i m p a c t

on my



- especially

through Wednesday night socials

(which have unfortunately been temporarily

suspended due to the Covid-19

situation). Walking through the typically

chilly winter streets of Lancaster on

socials, dressed as a golfer or a giraffe

(or whatever ridiculous outfit was on

theme that week) have been some of my

favourite memories - and it’s something

you wouldn’t experience anywhere else

but at university. In addition, the long

coach journeys for the away days really

help to make you feel more professional

Image courtesy of LUWFC

and they add a massive feeling of being

a member of a team.

Hopefully, more and more girls can be

encouraged to try football out and have

the same positive experience that I, and

so many others, have had. This generation

of women could become the next

generation of England’s (or the world’s)

sporting hero’s - and maybe, just maybe,

the return of the ‘Golden Era’ may only

be a fingertip away.

Goals, Glorious Goals – has the Premier League

season started as good as they say it has?

Sam Stewart


Image courtesy of Justin Tallis/PA Images at

Saturday 12th September 2020 – the first

game of the new Premier League season.

Fan-less, but fabulous. Sky’s first game of

the season saw newly-promoted Leeds

United take on runaway champions Liverpool

and slog out a seven-goal thriller – with

Liverpool edging it 4-3. ‘The best opening

day game ever’, many exclaimed. Regardless

of whether or not you agree, one thing’s for

sure; it was a sign of what was to come.

Perhaps it’s the lack of accountability and

pressure for defenders, but the fan-free atmosphere

has led to calamitous defending

and goals galore

since the

return of the

world’s greatest


league. You

expect clangers

from the

likes of Harry

Maguire and

Kepa Arrizabalaga,


you know it’s

bad when the

likes of Virgil

Van Dijk

and Alisson

are making

mistakes. But

although the

defending has

been enough to make any football fan cringe,

the season has well and truly started with a


There have been 13 games with six goals or

more in them, that have tantalised our footballing

taste buds so far. That’s over 19% of

the games so far. Not only this, but it took

until the 47th game to have our first 0-0 of

the season; and it’ll come as no surprise to

anyone that it was between West Brom and

Burnley – that’s exactly the fixture and result

that has been commonplace over the

years. We’ve been spoiled in the opening

few game-weeks, so it was comforting that

this game reminded us of where we’ve come


Although the goals have dealt us some delicious

entertainment, it’s not all been smiles,

rainbows, and high-fives. VAR has managed

to sober up our enjoyment and ruffle more

feathers than an overly handsy farmer.

We saw it on the opening day with new signing

Robin Koch for Leeds against Liverpool;

the new interpretation of the handball

rules is an abomination to football. We saw

it again against Eric Dier for Spurs against

Newcastle; which even saw Steve Bruce (the

beneficiary of the diabolical decision) call

it a ‘nonsense’. Joel Ward, Victor Lindelof,

Matt Doherty, and Neal Maupay were all penalised

for handball penalties in a similarly

shocking and shambolic manner.

Crystal Palace manager, Roy Hodgson, said

it best for me:

“I think the rule is a nonsense…For me the

handball rule should be a simple rule. When

you deliberately handle the ball to prevent

a goal or to get an advantage, it’s handball.

And when the ball hits you and you can do

nothing about it, it’s not handball.”

Well said Roy.

The Premier League has long been the home

of the greatest footballing entertainment, but

nothing could have prepared us for how this

season has started. Don’t get me wrong, VAR

and the ever-changing laws have to and will

improve – they have already asked for more

leniency on the handball rule – but let’s not

let this inhibit our enjoyment. There’s bound

to be more goals, more thrillers, more clangers,

and more controversies. But let’s be

honest, we wouldn’t want it any other way,

would we? | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 34


Football Fan Culture in Lockdown

Beth Train-Brown


Lockdown has been difficult for the arts

industry and has seen thousands of businesses

close. But, while football is back on

the telly, little thought is going towards the

small, untelevised teams and how lockdown

has changed fan culture.

I’m originally from Lincoln (up the Lincoln

Imps!) and whenever they play, me and my

Dad sit in the garage with the radio on listening

to the commentary, or we go to a pub

that stinks of damp wood and beer to listen

with everyone else. When Lincoln got promoted,

we went onto the South Common,

stood elbow to elbow in the crowd, and sang

‘Sweet Caroline’ as the team bus drove past.

Now I’m at Lancaster, I’m too far away to

reach the right radio frequency. Not only

that, but even if I could, the pubs are all

closed. Even when pubs reopen, it won’t be

the same – a goal scored in a pub hits different

when there are thirty blokes yelling at

the glitchy TV in the corner.

I spoke to a second-year Lancaster student

about their experience supporting teams in


“I’ve always supported Liverpool but big

teams like Liverpool are so crowd-based;

it’s all about community, especially where

I come from. Watching a match in a pub

is insane because everyone’s cheering together

and it’s like a family.

“In the living room watching it on telly,

there’s not even a crowd at the stadium,

right now. It’s not the same without the

fans. It’s a fan’s game.

“Ever since meeting everyone in my flat

last year, I’ve loved the energy around

small teams. There’s always been a different

kind of excitement when a small

team wins but it’s more obvious than ever

now that we’re in lockdown.

“I’d love to support an underdog team because

it’s more exciting – the highs and

lows are better, more emotional. You’re

on the edge of your seat more and I suppose

you invest more in a smaller team.

“If it wasn’t for lockdown, I don’t think

I’d feel this way. At the pub, every match

is exciting but in my front room, with two

people who don’t care about Liverpool because

the score is fairly predictable, it’s not

the same.

“My flatmate supports a smaller team in

League One. He has a season ticket and used

to go see them live all the time. Now that

Getting the ‘Nick’ of Squash

spectators aren’t allowed and smaller teams

aren’t televised, it must be kind of terrible.

The sense of community for both is so much

more important now.

“I’m glad they’ve brought football back (and,

don’t get me wrong, I’ve missed watching

sport) but it’s just not the same. It’s lonely.

It’s lost the excitement.”

Image courtesy of Flickr - Trevor

Wallis - trevorwallis778

As of right now, the Premier League is back,

as is the EFL, and the Europa and Champions

League. It is not clear what will happen

to football – especially with a looming prospect

of a second total lockdown, but fans

are remaining hopeful – that’s all we can do.

Rhian Daniel


The university squash club at Lancaster has

been a vital part of my university life over

the past few years. So, it was a great relief

that, despite the challenges, we have been

able to continue to play - albeit with strange

restrictions. Squash has always been an underrated

game, in my opinion; it’s the forgotten

racquet sport which rarely makes it to

the Olympics or other large sporting events,

but this is no reflection on the demanding,

entertaining and rewarding game that it is.

Playing a so-called ‘minor’ sport at a university

will always come with difficulties

(namely funding and support). However, I

am pleased to say that this year the club has

reached its highest number of participants

across all three standard levels - beginner,

development, and first team. I consider it a

great privilege to be able to play for an exceptionally

inclusive and motivated team,

who has done so much to get more people

involved in this fantastic game.

The game itself, for those who don’t know, is

played in a court with four walls. The rules

of the game are not especially complicated

and certainly not worth going into now, but

the main necessary abilities that the game

demands are speed, strength, and coordination.

However, the most important part of the

game is how enjoyable it is. In a time where

we are all feeling under a lot of pressure, and

when this abnormal situation is distressing

and disorientating, the squash court is a

place to relax; it’s is a place to relieve some

stress, and it’s is a place to improve your

overall improve your mental, and physical,


The only downside to this upsurge of interest

is being able to find the resources to adequately

coach this number of people. Speaking

to the club’s president, Jennifer Wat,

she said, “the last thing we want to do right

now is turn people away.” Yet, among the repeated

back and forth conversations with

the university and the student’s union about

the creation of bubbles and other rules, the

major disappointment was that funding

seems to be currently out of the question

for the first time. Luckily, however, the club

has luckily managed to secure funding, once

again, from Sultans as well as forming partnerships

with Live Suite Media, Karakal and

TCL Cumbria.

In recent months, court time has been somewhat

hard to come by. In line with the government’s

Covid-19 rules, we aren’t allowed

to play with people outside our household

- except for when we are in bubbles at training.

Jen said, “It means that team bubbles

who play with each other once (in the case

of development squads) or twice (BUCs

squads) a week, cannot do so again during

the week in their own time. Given that locals

are no longer allowed into the Sports Centre

now, we’re hoping that we can find a way to

secure more

court time

to accommodate


the interest

we’ve received.”

I, however,

am very


that I have

been able to

play at all

and frankly

am surprised


even within

Tier 3 rules

we are able to play twice a week. After the

long break that lockdown brought, it is a

great relief to be playing again and as the

club continues to be innovative (ensuring

that everyone is able to be involved), I hope

to see that squash continues to gather the

interest that it clearly deserves.

Image courtesy of Rhian Daniel | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | Week 6 - Week 9 | 35


The 12th Man: The Influence of No

Fans in Football

Image courtesy of

Tom Jeffreys

‘The home advantage’, one of the biggest clichés

in sport - and football is no exception.

When asked the question, ‘What gives the

home advantage?’, there will always be an

array of answers as to why a team does better

at their home ground. Some are outright

laughable, such as Graeme Souness’ rather

sour suggestion that Aston Villa had left,

‘the grass longer than normal’ in order to

gain an advantage in their 7-2 humiliation of

Liverpool; some are the stuff of legend, such

as the suggestion that Stoke became undefeatable

on a cold and rainy Tuesday night.

However, the most consistent answer is ‘the

12th man’ - the home fans.

Previous in SCAN, Joanna Donnelly wrote

an excellent article discussing ‘the influence

of the fans in football’. This was just before

we were put into lockdown and live sport

was abandoned in Britain until June. Now,

as live sport has returned – this time without

fans - it is a good time to look back at

a crazy summer of sports and evaluate the

influence that having no fans has had on

sports – and football in particular.

Joanna studied the home and away win percentage

of the following five teams: Manchester

City, Sheffield United, Burnley FC,

Crystal Palace, and Norwich City. Now, after

each team has played over 10 games of postlockdown-football

behind closed doors, we

can compare results (*Stats are correct as of

October 8th, 2020*). Manchester City have

an impressive home win rate of 86%, but

their away form withers at 50%, compared

to their respective 82%- and 69%-win rates

pre-lockdown. From here on in, there is a serious

drop in quality results. Sheffield United

haven’t won on the road since lockdown,

and their home win rate is just 50%; their

win rates were 57% and 60% respectively

before lockdown. Burnley have won 20% of

their home games, and 43% of their away

games compared to their 58%- and 36%-win

rates without fans. Crystal Palace have won

a measly 17% of their home games, with an

equally poor 29% away win rate, which is

a big drop off from their respective figures

pre-lockdown – 50% and 38%. Finally, Norwich

(who were relegated in last place last

season) still haven’t won at home since lockdown

began but have won a game on the

road in the championship, meaning their

away win rate is 17%. Norwich have just

continued their downward spiral over lockdown,

as their pre-lockdown win rate was

also poor – 30% at home and 9% away. The

immediate conclusion is that the removal of

crowds has had an extremely negative influence.

Aside from last season’s runners up, all the

teams have had woeful restarts. In keeping

with Joanna’s conclusion that fans truly are

the source of home advantage, all the examples

given, aside from Manchester City,

seem to rely on their fans for an extra boost

and have suffered without them. It must be

said that Man City are a much more successful

side, so their results are inevitably better,

but regardless of the quality of the team,

each of the other five teams saw their home

results drop. Perhaps, as Manchester United

fans would love to say, City are unaffected

by the empty stadiums because they rarely

fill their stadium anyway – their average alltime

attendance is just 37,097 out of a possible

55,097 – but the logic that they have no

home atmosphere would suggest that their

away form during lockdown would improve

(which it hasn’t) as they’re more accustomed

to playing with less pressure.

Perhaps Souness’ outrageous suggestion

had some truth to it; there are small, niche,

and familiar advantages for each team at

their home ground, with the fans being one

of them.

Whilst every fan outside of the blue half of

Manchester would love to support this theory,

it certainly isn’t true, with Manchester

City’s 2019/20 attendance figures at 54,219

and their pre-lockdown win rate was also

very impressive. However, it is worth making

the point that, whilst Souness’ long

grass claim was nonsense, there are perhaps

small advantages that teams exploit at their

home grounds. Fans or no fans, there is an

added pressure to do well at home because

otherwise, the difference between a home

and away game wouldn’t even be a discussion

now that football is without fans.

Despite Manchester City’s improvement

at home suggesting otherwise, I am in total

agreement with Joanna; fans make the

difference in football. Her (self-admitted)

biased example of Liverpool is unarguable,

their atmosphere, especially for the big

games, must be awe-inspiring for the players.

Anyone who plays any level of sport

knows the feeling of when a family member

or friend comes to watch you play, there’s always

an added pressure, but also motivation

to do well, so I can only imagine what it feels

like to have tens of thousands of devoted

fans who work all week to see you play and

urge you on. Home stadiums, with passionate

home fans, are fortresses.

Sport is a much more underwhelming entity

without fans, and this can be seen outside

of football as well. The gulf in quality and

blockbuster excitement between English

Premiership Rugby and New Zealand’s Super

Rugby Aotearoa (with fully packed stadiums)

is evident, and that’s coming from

a man who’s seen his team jump from 5th

to 2nd over lockdown. Elsewhere, we can

look at sports such as snooker, which in

terms of atmosphere is perhaps famous for

the wrong reasons. Nonetheless, Ronnie

O’Sullivan, who transcends the sport for his

infamous lack of motivation seemed to have

an extra spark for the Snooker World Championship

Final when only a third of the Crucible’s

capacity was filled.

Regardless of what sport you follow, we can

unanimously agree that sport needs its fans.

Whether you’re a Norwich fan (if they exist)

wanting to do your part to stop their downward

spiral; a rugby fan who wants to see an

Autumn with rugby as exciting as the Bledisloe

Cup with brimmed stadiums; or a fan

of anything who wants to get rid of the awful

artificial crowd noises on the TV, at least we

can all agree on one thing: fans are the biggest

influence in sport.

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