Roses-Issue-2021

scan.editor

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S C A N

FINAL SCORE

LANCASTER

57

YORK

115

S T U D E N T C O M M E N T A N D N E W S

Image by Lancaster University

NEWS

‘University Wellbeing Failings

from the top down.’

COMMENT

ROSES

Everything that’s

wrong with #GirlBoss

SCREEN

2021: A YORK

VICTORY

How

Are Medical Dramas Tackling

the Pandemic?


scan.lancastersu.co.uk | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | facebook.com/SCANonline Week 24- Week 26 | 2

C O N T E N T S

EDITORIAL TEAM

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

NEWS Pg. 3-5

‘Groups’ section of our Facebook page to join sections

“No sufficient evidence.” University Wellbeing Failings from the top-down.

that you’re interested in.

What’s Happening in Northern Ireland? How the UK (and the EU) are slowing down the global vaccination effort

Will There Be Another Wave?

Will Russia Invade Ukraine?

Editor

Erin Wilson

scan.editor@lancastersu.co.uk

COMMENT Pg. 6-9

Everything that’s wrong with #GirlBoss and why it’s time to decolonise feminism

New anti-rape movement Everyone’s Invited exposes rape culture in UK education

Cuthbert the Caterpillar - Yet Another Division in our Society?

WhatsApp, a Playground for Political Cronyism and Corruption

Raya and the Last Dragon: What’s Going on, Disney?

Associate Editor

Jodie Reeve

scan.associateeditor@lancastersu.co.uk

ARTS & CULTURE Pg. 11-14

The Loss of Accessibility After Lockdown Aestheticizing Study – Artistic or Toxic?

Getting over a creative glut: Where to start with game development as a beginner

Questioning Arts and Culture: Teenage Girls Have Good Taste in Books

EDITORIAL

Interview with ‘Three Left Feet’

How to Get into Publishing

MUSIC Pg. 15-18

London Grammar’s Californian Soil Review Not In Chronological Order: Julia Michaels Album Review

Eurovision 2021: All You Need to Know

Festivals to go ahead…?

Music Upcomers: Leo Jai releases debut exploring toxic relationships and sexuality

Tramp Stamps: Problematic Industry Plants?

SCREEN Pg. 19-22

What just happened at the Oscars?

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Review

How Are Medical Dramas Tackling the Pandemic?

“Can you guess what every woman’s worst nightmare is?” – The refreshing female perspective in Promising Young Woman

How The Snyder Cut has changed fan-corporation relationships

FASHION & BEAUTY Pg. 23-26

A conversation with Elvira Gothlin The Colour of Revenge: The Fashion of Promising Young Woman and why it works.

Helen McCroy: Tribute to her most iconic look

Marketing for SOCKSHOP: an interview

My year as Editor in review

LIFESTYLE Pg. 27-30

Let’s Talk About It - A Guide to Sustainable Period Products

This Is My Plantfession: Veganism is Complicated

TikTok Goes the Clock: Why Am I Still Scrolling?

The Best Ways to help You Sleep

Seaspiracy Changed my Life: What to do Next?

SPORT: ROSES UNLOCKED 2021 Pg. 31-34

Oar-some effort from Lancaster’s Rowers.

Lancaster’s Swimmers are Definitely NOT Fish Out of Water

Lancaster hits bullseye with a Darts Win Speed Pool leads to a Ballsy Battle Lancaster Coast Home in the Cycling

Vice Chancellor and Sports President Darts Challenge Lancaster Runners Edged at the Finish Line

Lancaster Archers shoot for Gold

The Pentathlon Sprinting shows the Community and Camaraderie at Lancaster

Lancaster Esports Prevail

A Question of Roses – Lancaster can bank on their Brains

Welcome to the last issue of SCAN for this academic year!

It’s so hard to believe how weird this year has been and yet how quickly it has flown, and with that

my time as Editor is also up!

Being Editor is something I have wanted to do since I joined university and joined SCAN not long

after that. It’s been a stress-filled job, but one I’ve loved. I can’t thank my team of Editors enough

for all the hard work they have put in this year, especially with all the difficulties we have faced as

a society battling the effects of the pandemic.

I also really want to thank my fellow student media heads, Theo Hunt, Matthew Cartwright, James

Scowcroft, Emily Jago and Shannon McCaul. They have been a true joy to work with this year and

our weekly meetings have been so wholesome.

Carolynne Editor

Lauren Banks

scan.carolynne@lancastersu.co.uk

Online Editor

Sophie Tomlinson

scan.onlineeditor@lancastersu.co.uk

Carolynne Online Editor

Jonathan Robb

scan.carolynneonline@lancastersu.co.uk

News Editors

Tom Burgess and Syed Ahmed

scan.news@lancastersu.co.uk

Comment Editor

Beth Train-Brown

scan.comment@lancastersu.co.uk

Sport Editor

Sam Stewart

scan.sport@lancastersu.co.uk

Arts & Culture Editor

Megan Jones

scan.arts@lancastersu.co.uk

Music Editor

Oli Middleton

scan.music@lancastersu.co.uk

Screen Editor

Rhys Wright

scan.screen@lancastersu.co.uk

Fashion & Beauty Editor

Rhian Daniel

scan.fashion@lancastersu.co.uk

Lifestyle Editor

Jennifer Kehlenbeck

scan.lifestyle@lancastersu.co.uk

Heads of Online Publicity

Lilli Reuss

scan.marketing@lancastersu.co.uk

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

at su.vp.campaignsandcomms@lancaster.ac.uk

Printed by Mortons

Erin Wilson

Editor |

scan.editor@lancastersu.co.uk

Though we’ve still got some time left of the term, I leave you in the capable hands of our new

Editor-elect, Tabitha Lambie, who I’m sure will do a great job!


scan.lancastersu.co.uk | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | facebook.com/SCANonline Week 24 - Week 26 | 3

N E W S

“No sufficient evidence.” University Wellbeing Failings

from the top-down.

Erin Wison

EDITOR

Since the start of this academic year how

many times has the Vice Chancellor,

Andy Schofield professed that his “priority

is the welfare of our students at this

difficult time.”

Yet since the beginning of this academic

year it seems as though weekly; I am battling

some faceless section of the university

management for help with regards to

my own welfare.

Not long after moving back to university

for my final year of studies in an already

bizarre year, I began having issues with

someone who will remain anonymous. I,

and other students faced with Bowland

College and the Deanery Team on regular

occasions to discuss the issues. These

ongoing issues went through the due

process of investigation by the Deanery.

Yet despite numerous complaints from

various sources their outcome was that

there was ‘no evidence’ to substantiate

my claims regarding the offending person,

proving the failure of University staff

in ensuring the wellbeing of students.

The ongoing issues include noise disturbances

in the early hours, breaches

of Covid-19 regulations and drug use on

university premises that the College and

the Deanery have failed to adequately address

or take any proper disciplinary action

towards.

It states explicitly in the University Student

Handbook which all students are

given upon coming to university that the

above behaviours are not permitted, and

will not be tolerated.

Not only are these offences breaches

of university policy, but they are also

breaches of the Universities UK Code of

Practice – a Code which Lancaster University

have signed up to follow.

The issues had been consistently disturbing

from late October to early April

and had taken a significant toll on my

health – both mental and physical. During

these months I was frequently going

without sleep or little sleep and yet still

having to carry on with my studies, two

part-time jobs and voluntary work without

a decent amount of sleep. I regularly

informed the College and the Deanery

contacts I had originally spoke to that my

health was slowly getting worse and yet

I was faced with repeated bureaucratic

responses.

“We are doing everything we can.”

“I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing

so many difficulties.”

“Support is available to you via the

College Advisory Team, Student welfare

team or the Students’ Union Advice

Team.”

In these months I had taken up Counselling

given personal difficulties outside

of this issue that had been exacerbated

by these disturbances, a fact the Associate

Deans were made aware of in one of

our many Investigatory Meetings and yet

when faced with the state of my mental

health, I was met with little to no sympathy

as well as no compulsion to do anything

to help me.

Approaching the beginning of April, after

a brief period of time, the person in question

came back to university and within

hours was causing disturbances. Given

the failings of both Bowland College and

their Deanery team to make any difference

or improve my situation in anyway,

I decided to take my issues to the top.

An extensive email was sent repeatedly

over 3 weeks following the failure of the

individuals mentioned and their PA’s to

respond.

I additionally contacted our Vice Chancellor,

Andy Schofield, to alert him that

this article was being written and requesting

a comment. I also sought commentary

from him through his PA and

via the Lancaster University Press Office.

I demanded immediate action taken

with regards to these issues and the staff

handling such complaints. These ongoing

issues have taken a serious toll on my

mental and physical health in an already

stress-filled year. I have been through

every avenue available to me to improve

my situation and it appears as though

staff simply do not care nor have the interest

in ensuring the safety of students.

The VC declined to give a comment or

apparently deliver on his promise of ensuring

his priority of student welfare.

However, whilst Andy Schofield declined

to respond to my requests for a comment,

I did receive this from the University

Press Office:

“The wellbeing of all our students is

of upmost importance – particularly

given the challenges of the last year.

The University has worked closely

with community police to ensure

students understand and comply

fully with Covid-19 regulations and

our student support teams have remained

available throughout to those

experiencing additional difficulty.

Although we can’t discuss the details

of individual cases, in this particular

situation we understand that the

Student Conduct Officer has been in

touch and will be investigating the

complaint.”

At present, these issues are circulating

the Student Complaints Process, with

no hope in sight frankly. With regards

to my situation, I took matters into my

own hands and removed myself from the

situation given the toll it was taking and

the lack of help I received from any of the

upper echelons of the university.

In a year that has been unprecedented

for more reasons than

one, Lancaster University, the

Vice Chancellor, Bowland College,

and the Deanery Team have

proved that student welfare and

wellbeing is far from a priority.

I got more help from my cleaner.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Common


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N E W S

A Look Into The Recent Violence in

Northern Ireland

Sam Turner

DEPUTY NEWS EDITOR

Violence littered the streets of Northern Ireland

over a period of 12 days between the

29th of March and 10th of April, ceasing

after the death of Prince Philip. The seeming

sporadic outbreaks are increasingly concerning

considering the sectarian divides

in the country due to the bloody history of

the Troubles and the threat of returning to a

similar situation.

Unrest began in Derry/Londonderry on the

29th of March and spread out over the following

12 days as a series of violent altercations

between police and rioters reached

Belfast, Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Portadown.

Though in both unionist and nationalist

areas, the initial violence seemed to

originate from unionist aggression towards

the Irish Sea Border and events surrounding

the funeral of Bobby Storey.

A height of the altercations came at the

peace wall in West Belfast which divides

sectarian communities, unionist Shankill

Road and nationalist Springfield Road. A

gate between the communities is opened

during the day, but shut at night to divide

the two residential areas.

On the 7th and 8th of April, the violence of

the previous days - which mainly consisted

of missiles and petrol bombs being thrown

at police officers - swelled in West Belfast. A

public bus was hijacked and burnt, missiles

and petrol bombs were thrown from both

sides of the peace wall and a stolen vehicle

was rammed at the gates in an attempt to

breach them, though this was eventually

unsuccessful.

Police intervened on both nights and soon

became the focus of the attacks. As many

as 88 police officers have been injured since

the 29th of March. In footage of the events,

a large majority of the rioters can be seen

wearing all black attire and face coverings,

however, they appear to be made up of

mostly younger people, with police reports

noting that children as young as 13 were involved.

This has raised questions about the motivation

for the violence and whether it is

completely sporadic, whilst there are some

concerns about possible paramilitary involvement

in planning and goading younger

people into action considering the age of

the participants and sectarian locations of

the events. The Northern Ireland Protocol -

a faucet of Brexit legislation that attempts

to avoid a hard land border in Ireland- has

been one overlying contributor to major unrest

in Northern Ireland since early January.

The Protocol protects the 300 mile border

between Northern Ireland and the Republic

from becoming a hard trade border as

goods can be transported across without

any checks.

However, it has effectively created a trade

border in the Irish Sea as numerous goods

have to be checked at ports in Belfast and

in Larne. This comes after promises in 2018

and 2019 by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

that the creation of an Irish sea border

would not take place due to the possibility

of it “damaging the fabric of the union,” a

blatant lie considering the Northern Ireland

Protocol.

Johnson has drawn a symbolic line between

Northern Ireland and the UK mainland even

though his past concerns about the border

underline the fragility of the Irish situation.

As the current violent reaction suggests,

this creates fears for unionists who see the

protocol as a betrayal to their British identity

and a step towards a united Ireland which

they desperately oppose.

Many Northern Irish unionists also feel

that this flouts the Good Friday Agreement,

which helped to end the Troubles in 1998,

a dangerous result of Johnson’s propensity

to discard the Irish situation. The funeral of

senior IRA member and Northern Chairman

of Sinn Féin, Bobby Storey, is also a possible

cause for the current violence.

Though the country was in a lockdown at

the time, the funeral procession and service

- which took place on the 30th of June 2020 -

was attended by many more than the 30 person

limit imposed at the time. Among those

present was Sinn Féin Vice President and

deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland,

Michelle O’Neill.

The funeral garnered criticism back in June

2020, however, the following police investigation

and Public Prosecution Service

decision not to prosecute the attendees, including

Ms O’Neill, caused further outrage.

First Minister Arlene Foster called for the

resignation of Chief Constable Simon Byrn,

though he refused.

Sinn Féin defended their actions, claiming

that they abided by the rules at the time.

However, the apparent, very public flouting

of restrictions that Ms O’Neill had previously

encouraged the public to abide by,

and lack of repercussions has caused both

unionist and general outrage. All this is exacerbated

by the Covid-19 pandemic, the

sectarian divide in communities and the

threat to a British unionist identity that the

Irish Sea Border poses.

But it still brings into question what needs

to be done for Northern Ireland to move forward?

Right now Northern Ireland requires

political reinforcement to quell community

tensions. Though the Sea Border is evidently

making the unionist British identity seem

under threat and causing some community

outrage, economically it puts Northern Ireland

in an individual situation.

Due to the EU aversion to a land border,

Northern Ireland receives many of the trade

benefits of the EU single market, whilst still

being part of the UK. However, the formation

of any kind of border between the UK

mainland and Northern Ireland was bound

to spark violence, clearly Boris Johnson

knew this and his lie further presents an ignorance

to the situation.

If the Prime Minister can show his support

for Northern Ireland and affirm its status as

a valued part of the UK, he may be able to

recover some of his lost support and quell

the fears that many unionists have of a

United Ireland. If the unionist crease of protesting

following Prince Phillip’s death says

anything, it signifies their value of their own

British identity.

However this poses the threat of increasing

nationalist tensions which have also clearly

been sparked by the riots and may require

the political support of Dublin in whatever

action London takes to appease both sides.

If the PM cannot do this, the Northern Ireland

Protocol may need to be revised or

scrapped altogether as it dangerously offsets

the fragile symbolic power balance

between unionists and nationalists, something

that many unionist politicians are trying

to achieve with article 16 of the protocol.

But right now, the combination of factors

has offset the communal balance of the Irish

situation and Johnson’s threat to the Good

Friday Agreement could be extremely dangerous

if immediate action from London

and Dublin does not take place. Once this

happens, if order is assured, Northern Ireland

could be in a valuable economic situation

with both their EU and UK economic

affiliations.

Image Courtesy of Jon Crel via Flickr


N E W S

scan.lancastersu.co.uk | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | facebook.com/SCANonline Week 24 - Week 26 | 5

Explained: The Call For A Global Vaccines Patent Waiver

Syed Ahmed

NEWS EDITOR

Back in October 2020, representatives from

India and South Africa tabled a proposal

at the World Trade Organisation, asking it

to suspend medical patent rights for the

duration of the pandemic to ensure that

along with rich countries even developing

nations have proper access to vaccines

and other crucial medical equipment and

drugs.

In the absence of these proposed measures,

the countries have

argued that wealthier

nations will benefit from

new technologies while

poorer states continue

to be affected by the

pandemic. The proposal

states that patents are

hindering access to

affordable medical equipment

and therefore by

instituting a temporary

ban, we would be able to

allow multiple companies

to start the manufacturing

process sooner,

instead of having the

production controlled

by a group of few large

multinational companies

that hold the patents

for the products. Many

low and middle-income

countries have voiced

support for this proposal,

however, many developed

countries including

the UK, Canada, and

Norway have completely

rejected the motion saying

that the existence of

patents is necessary for

encouraging innovation

in the field of medical

science.

Although the United States was initially opposed

to the idea of a temporary vaccines

patent waiver, on May 6th President Biden

bowing to mounting pressure from Democratic

lawmakers and more than 100 other

countries threw his support behind waiving

intellectual property rights for COVID-19

vaccines, angering many pharmaceutical

companies who stated that the President

was misguided on the issue. Following this,

the European Union signaled its willingness

to commence talks on the issue,

however, Germany which is home to many

large pharmaceutical companies including

BioNTech has voiced strong opposition to

the proposal.

Those opposed to the proposal have

argued that proper and equal access can

be achieved through voluntary licensing,

technology transfer arrangements, and the

WHO’s COVAX system. Furthermore, they

also state that COVID-19 related medicines,

therapeutics, and vaccines are complex

biological products in which the main barriers

are production facilities, infrastructure,

and know-how and therefore waiving

patent rights for vaccines is not the right

approach as it doesn’t address the above

problems.

In addition to this, they also articulate that

the patent-waiving measure also does not

solve the issue of supply chain constraints

and bottlenecks which are also one of the

main obstacles that vaccine manufacturing

companies face while ramping up production

capacity. They go further by saying

that since this waiver leads to multiple

companies starting vaccine production, it

will cause more manufacturers to having to

fight over the already congested supplies of

raw materials, leading to the supply chain

being severely disrupted.

However, opponents of the counter-proposal

state that the COVAX system, which primarily

runs on voluntary donations made

by rich countries, is grossly inadequate for

ensuring timely access to medical products.

The COVAX system aims to procure over

2 billion doses of vaccines and share them

equitably between rich and poor countries.

However, according to data compiled by

Duke University, the COVAX scheme has

until now reserved only 700,000 vaccine

doses for a combined population of over

1.7 billion people. This is a very minuscule

amount compared to the nearly 6 billion

doses that developed countries reserved

for themselves through direct deals with

pharmaceutical companies.

The COVAX facility is a constituent part of a

global effort, the Access to COVID-19 Tools

Accelerator (ACT-A), to supply not just

vaccines, but also other medicines such as

monoclonal antibodies, testing kits, and

oxygen to poorer countries. The latter is

an ambitious programme led by the World

Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda

Gates Foundation. However, the procurement

targets set by this programme are not

sufficient because of the 2 billion vaccine

doses that the COVAX facility aims to deliver,

fewer than 1 billion would go to Low

and Middle-Income Countries. So, if the

vaccine requires two doses, this amount

will be enough for fewer than 500 million

people. Similarly, ACT-A’s diagnostics arm

aims to procure around 500 million tests

which some experts say is only a fraction

of what is needed to fight the pandemic.

Therefore, ACT-A is, even if fully financed,

at best is just a partial solution to the access

problem. Moreover, because of a massive

funding gap, even these targets are far

from being reached. To date, donors have

provided US$5 billion of ACT-A’s $43 billion

required budget for Low and Middle-Income

Countries over the next year.

In addition to this, proponents of the

proposal argue that the voluntary transfer

via company-led initiatives has delivered

limited results. This is because AstraZeneca’s

manufacturing agreements with

Indian and Brazilian companies including

the Serum Institute of India, which is the

world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, lack

transparency about costs, and Pfizer whose

vaccine candidate has shown promising

results, have shown no willingness towards

licensing or technology transferring their

patented products.

Furthermore, Médecins Sans Frontières

(MSF) which has been advocating for

a waiver on

COVID-19 vaccine

patents for

several months,

has argued that

the waiver is justified

on emergency

grounds

and is crucial for

poorer countries

that cannot afford

to pay the

high prices for

vaccines and

other treatments

relating

to the COVID-19

disease.

Considering

the highly

controversial

and contested

nature of the

proposal, it is

very difficult for

all the parties involved

to reach

a consensus in

the World Trade

Organisation’s

Trade-Related

Aspects of Intellectual

Property

(TRIPS) Council

where the

matter is currently pending. It is theoretically

possible to put the matter to a vote

but members have never let it happen in

the past, and therefore they are unlikely to

do so now. However, with the recent and

catastrophic surge of cases in India which -

at the time of writing this article - has been

recording over 300,000 new cases daily for

the past two weeks, pressure is mounting

on the UK and the EU governments to support

the vaccine patent waiver. However,

with the United States deciding to back the

proposal, the struggle to get a temporary

global patent waiver has gotten an important

and much-needed boost.

Image Courtesy of Sermer Mehzer via Flickr


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N E W S

Will There Be Another Wave?

Tom Burgess

NEWS EDITOR

As the vaccination programme in the UK

continues to speed up and immunise swathes

of the population many have wondered if

there will be another wave of Covid-19. Research

shows that there will most likely be

another wave in the autumn of 2021. Part of

the problem, according to the head of the Office

for National Statistics, is that there is significant

regional disparity in the level of antibodies

among the population. Chris Whitty

recently noted that while in London 30% of

people have antibodies, the figure is only 16%

in South Wales. The vaccine rollout has been

impressive and an example for the rest of the

world to follow but there is still much more

work to be done.

Chris Whitty has also advised against speeding

up the process of coming out of lockdown.

Politically, the Conservative back benches are

pushing for a speedier return to normal life

but so far the return has been kept gradual.

By mid-May six people from different households

will be able to meet indoors and it is

this measure which Whitty says has high risk.

In the UK, as of the 2nd May, 34 million people

have had their first dose and a further 15

million have had both of their doses. The expected

next wave is expected to impact those

who have not yet had vaccines and those

whose vaccines have not worked.

Boris Johnson announced that despite the

success of the vaccine programme the surges

of cases in the rest of the world are cause for

concern. In India, there were 2,771 deaths

in 24 hours last week and Turkey has announced

another full lockdown. It is not the

time to be complacent in the UK, despite over

half the population being vaccinated at least

once the remaining millions can still be hospitalised

or worse. Another worry is that the

virus may continue to mutate as cases rise

around the world.

The last thing that anyone wants is another

extended lockdown and the economic and

mental toll that causes for all of us. However,

it’s important to be aware of the consequences

of quickly lifting restrictions and

returning to normal. Would it not be better to

return to normal slowly and achieve it for the

long term then rush into things and soon be

back in lockdown while another wave causes

cases to rise around the country? From the

available evidence it looks like there will be

another wave in autumn or winter, the most

important things that we can do are to look

after each other and follow medical advice.

The vaccination programme has provided

the country with hope, lets not get complacent

now.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Will Russia Invade Ukraine?

Tom Burgess

NEWS EDITOR

In April 2021, the EU estimated that

there had been a buildup of roughly

100,000 Russian troops on the

Ukraine border. Tensions between

Russia and Ukraine have been high

ever since the Crimea was annexed

in 2014 and this recent buildup has

put the EU, US and NATO on edge.

In Putin’s most recent annual state

of the union speech he warned the

West not to cross the ‘red line’ and

stated that ‘The organisers of any

provocation against Russia will regret

[their actions] in a way they

never have before’.

Despite the recent announcement

by Russian Defence Minister Sergei

Shoigu that he was ordering several

units on the border to pull back tension

is still high. Shoigu declared

that the trop movement was simply

a demonstration that Russia put

up a ‘credible defence’. Conflict in

Ukraine has been prevalent since

the West backed western Ukrainians to topple

their pro-Russia government and this has

led to Russia supporting eastern groups in

challenging the new government in Kiev. The

division in Ukraine is a continuation of divisions

during the Cold War. Relations between

the West and Russia need to be re-evaluated

if there is to be any prospect of a peaceful settlement

for the region.

What is missing from the troop withdrawal

is the actual movement of armaments from

the border, the troops may be leaving but the

means of invading Ukraine are deliberately

being left in place. Putin’s aggression may

simply be a means of re-asserting Russian

influence and status as a great power. Russia

wants to use the international pressure

to force Kiev to negotiate with the Russian

backed eastern Ukrainians. Once the eastern

Ukrainians have been legitimised through diplomacy

they can seek to gain constitutionalised

autonomy and veto any Ukrainian involvement

with the West.

With tension escalating between the

US and China we can only hope that

conflict between Ukraine and Russia

will ease following the troop withdrawal.

Russian desire for a buffer zone from

Western Europe is still an important

factor in their foreign policy. Intimidating

Ukraine and dominating news

cycles is a way in which Russia can

try to manoeuvre a path to gaining a

buffer zone akin to the USSR again.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

will travel to London before heading

to Kiev to demonstrate Washington’s

support for Ukraine. President Biden

has been clear about his support for

Kiev but has stressed that reforms

need to be made to address the notoriously

corrupt political system.

US support will be crucial in building

up Ukraine’s defence in an effort

to deter Russian action.

Image courtesy of Pixabay


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C O M M E N T

Everything that’s wrong with #GirlBoss and why it’s

time to decolonise feminism

Lilli Reuss

HEAD OF PUBLICITY

In 2015, fast fashion brands were earning millions

from #girlboss merch, various white

women were publishing success-story memoirs,

and brands were profiting from the absolute

bare minimum.

Capitalism was commodifying feminism.

Corporations transformed it into an aesthetic

rather than a struggle against oppression. Girl

boss feminism, as defined by women such as

the founder of the fast-fashion brand Nasty

Gal, Sophia Amoroso, celebrates individual

and financial success as the ultimate form of

empowerment. Amoroso heavily profited from

building her brand around the girl boss feminism

mentality and aesthetic. She portrayed

herself as the absolute girl boss feminist, writing

a book and having a TV series about her

rise to the top in weeks.

brand themselves ‘lefty feminists’ n

make a career off posting girl boos

quotes n havin a haircut n still get to

be posh rich girls wh do nothin but

get to feel good abt it - pippin via

Twitter

This has become an issue in the fight against

racism, with brands like Urban Outfitters and

Reformation being called out for their racist

behaviour towards black customers and employees

while posting about Black Lives Matter

on their social media platforms.

In these instances, feminism and anti-racism

have not been treated as an actual fight for

equality and human rights. They’re a trend.

Variations of feminism, such as the girl boss

feminism, often lack intersectionality and fail

to be representative of most women’s struggles.

Extensive research and exposés are revealing

just how much slower women and minorities

move up the career ladder. They are often

more likely to be burdened with childcare duties,

frequently without financial or practical

support, prejudiced against in interviews and

promotions, or simply be marginalised in an

office workspace that is majority white, cis

men.

These issues need to be addressed and cannot

be combated with a “working harder” mentality.

Moreover, the girl boss mentality often exploits

women, pushing them beyond their limits

and justifies unfair wages, all in the name

of empowerment and feminism. Girl boss

feminism glosses over real issues, such as affordable

childcare or flexible working hours.

We do not need inspirational quotes or stories

of white women’s success. We need policy and

behavioural change.

ploit female garment workers in developing

countries.

It is not worth celebrating a woman for assimilating

patriarchal qualities and oppressing

other women in the name of feminism.

We must hold people accountable for their actions,

especially when it comes to politics or

big corporations. Women in power need to be

criticised for their harmful actions, which girl

boss feminism is preventing.

While misogyny and patriarchal oppression

are ever-present in politics and business, this

branch of feminism is not the solution. It becomes

apparent that without oppression and

systemic exploitation, it is pretty difficult to be

successful in a big business. This demonstrates

that uprooting these systems, not assimilating

with them, should be at the top of the agenda.

Lastly, how could I conclude without pointing

out how patronising the term “girl” boss is

But in recent years, it has been criticised for

its glass-ceiling approach to feminism. It celebrates

white women for integrating themselves

into our society’s patriarchal and oppressive

power structures while perpetuating

the oppression of the majority of other women.

Girl boss feminism celebrates class hierarchies

and highlights how capitalism directly

praises and benefits from the rich, contributing

to the further oppression of women and

people of colour.

However, while girl boss feminism is regarded

critically by most, feminism as a marketing

tool has become endemic in several industries.

Individuals like Florence Given focus

their entire aesthetic on female empowerment

while acting in an exploitative fashion towards

other women, rendering their feminism more

performative and less empowering.

“florence given boils my blood loooll

gotta love the way oosh girls jus

Despite girl boss feminism having received

much criticism, corporate employers continue

to weave this toxic tale of success of how

“hard work will get you there.” It is a renewed

attempt to sell this utopic dream of economic

wealth, where no matter your ethnic background,

gender, or sexuality, “you can get there

too, if you only work hard enough.”

This omits the racial and intersectional struggles

many black women and women of colour

experience when applying for jobs. Furthermore,

it overlooks the truth of structural oppression

and opportunity gaps, which heavily

influence how well individuals do in education

and on the job market.

This boss girl culture is white feminism.

My mom worked two jobs and

so did her mother before her. Our

revolution is resting and being taken

care of - Sheila Marlene via Twitter

Another issue of girl boss feminism that is still

prevalent is the act of celebrating a woman

just because she is in a position of power, ignoring

all her other actions. This often prevents

women from being held accountable

for their potentially harmful and problematic

actions.

Women like Sofia Amoroso or even Kylie Jenner

are often celebrated for being women in

powerful positions, distracting from justified

criticism of their harmful and exploitative behaviour

towards their employees. Both Nasty

Gal and Kylie Cosmetics seem like empowerment

utopia’s with fancy logos and banners

showcasing empowering slogans, printing

#girlboss onto bulk-bought merch. However,

the reality of working there is a lot less idyllic.

Both Amoroso and Jenner treat their female

workers abysmally, claim other women’s work

for themselves, have been known to fire pregnant

women and, in the case of Amoroso, ex-

Have you ever heard of a male CEO being referred

to as a boy boss? No. Because that would

be ridiculous. Yet, we have readily accepted a

form of feminism that perpetuates gender disparities

rather than fighting them. While we

might have gotten rid of the girl boss aesthetic,

the mentality is still ingrained in most of us

and needs to be eradicated for good.

Making white women the new white men

was never going to help anyone, especially

not when it comes to solving systemic racism

or homophobia within capitalist structures.

Girl boss feminism evades accountability and

makes it seem like women are a homogenous

group, which we are not. The success of one

single white woman by no means implies the

empowerment of all. Instead, feminism needs

to be a unified struggle for the rights of all

women, regardless of skin colour, sexuality,

class, gender, or religion.

Image courtesy of Sandy Joe.


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C O M M E N T

New anti-rape movement Everyone’s Invited exposes rape

culture in UK education

Erin Wilson

EDITOR

#MeToo. #TimesUp. Now, Everyone’s

Invited.

icated. It takes immense courage for

victims of abuse to come forward but to

be met with slut-shaming, victim-blaming,

and disbelief is damning.

Rape culture is a normalised part of everyday

life, for both men and women, either

as perpetrators, colluders, or victims.

Everyone’s Invited is an anti-rape movement

organisation based in the UK, focused

on exposing rape culture through

“conversation, education and support.”

Their website for reporting incidents of

rape, sexual harassment and assault was

established in June 2020 by Soma Sara, at

the time an English student at University

College London.

Soma’s experience of rape culture began

in her early teenage years. Conversations

with friends throughout her time at

school and university began to reveal to

her just how widespread the issue is for

young people. While finishing her degree

at UCL, she began sharing her experiences

of rape culture on Instagram.

In light of the overwhelming response

from those that resonated with her story,

Soma founded Everyone’s Invited, a space

created for survivors to share their stories.

Since March of this year, over 15,000

anonymous testimonies have been submitted

and shared on the site, sparking a

conversation about rape culture among

millions.

In the wake of the Sarah Everard case,

testaments of survivors have flooded the

website. At the time of writing, the number

of testimonies totalled 15,643, naming

more than 80 UK universities – including

Lancaster University.

In an interview with The Evening Standard,

Soma Sara explicitly states that, “this

is a culture that has existed forever.”

a number of atrocious acts.

Image courtesy of David Holt via Flickr

These issues, whilst they stem from a lack

of education for both genders with regards

to sexual misconduct and how to

report it, comes more prominently from

the society we live in and how we are conditioned

to react to such harsh realities.

In an open letter published on the Everyone’s

Invited website, welcoming visitors

to the site, it states that:

“Much of the behaviour described within

these testimonies is the product of a culture

that normalises and trivialises these

actions. Growing up, we were socialised

to believe that this behaviour was acceptable.

Now, having read the testimonies

everyone can understand the profound

weight of everyone’s actions.”

The thousands upon thousands of testimonies

are horrifying, revealing an

endemic of sexual abuse, silenced and

scared victims, and a corrupt system that

has prioritised reputation over the investigation

of serious sexual allegations.

Along with the shocking reality of sexual

abuse in education, Everyone’s Invited

and the conversations that are being conducted

as a result are exposing the shocking

gap in teaching young people about

proper sexual education.

while you’re out with your boyfriend, only

for him to get mad. I didn’t realise harassment

was holding your hips to move

you out of the way or receiving unwanted

‘compliments’ from men calling you beautiful.

There are many remedies that need to be

made in public education. This is something

I noticed at high school, sixth form,

and now university. The glaring gap in discussions

on sex and relationships is destructive

and needs to be fixed.

Under the pressure of anti-rape activism,

the government has now ordered an immediate

review and a helpline to aid those

in need. The helpline will be run by the

NSPCC to both support potential victims

and provide advice to children and adults.

Ofsted will also be looking at safeguarding

in both state and independent schools.

Unfortunately, the reality of sexual abuse

is one that has been so normalised for

all of those involved and these testimonies,

whilst vile, are not surprising. Every

girl I know has a story like these ones. Of

course, it’s not just women, but we consistently

form the majority and that’s the

problem.

There is nothing more influential than

peer on peer normalisation, says Soma

Sara. It’s time this toxic attitude was erad-

Governments and universities are now

sitting up and starting to revise their

methods for dealing with issues of sexual

abuse.

The OfS has published a statement of

expectations, which outlines the “practical

steps” universities and colleges

should take to tackle harassment and

sexual misconduct.

Universities should:

have processes in place to allow

students to report and disclose

any incidents.

work to minimise potential barriers

to reporting and disclosing.

ensure investigatory procedures

are fair and independent, and

that those involved get effective

pastoral support.

set out behavioural expectations

for all students, staff, and visitors.

If you have experienced sexual misconduct

or been affected by anything in this

article, please contact your college wellbeing

officer or get in touch with the Everyone’s

Invited helpline: 0800 136 663.

If you have experienced sexual misconduct

at Lancaster University, you can report

this via the iLancaster app, under the

Unisafe option. Alternatively, find more

information here.

“Everyone is invited to this discussion.”

Image courtesy pf author and Everyone’s Invited

How many times did you awkwardly

hug a boy you didn’t really

want to?

How did it feel when a girl you

were friends with made you do

something you didn’t want to?

Whilst some young people learn what it

means to have ‘safe sex’ with no unwanted

consequences, I feel that what is being

revealed through Everyone’s Invited reinforces

the idea that we are not properly

taught what it means to have ‘safe relationships’

and what constitutes sexual

harassment and toxic relationships.

Image courtesy of Bojan Cvetanovic via Wikimedia Commons

How many times did you say no?

We are all guilty to some extent when it

comes to perpetrating issues of sexual

violence and harassment, whether it’s as

someone who covered up a report, didn’t

believe a victim, or committed any one of

To me, abuse meant physical violence

and controlling behaviour. To me, harassment

was someone following you down

the street or catcalling you from a car.

I didn’t realise abuse is the sickening

anxiety after you spill a drink in a pub


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C O M M E N T

Cuthbert the Caterpillar - Yet Another Division in our Society?

TOM CULF

Of all the controversies of 2021, I’m not sure

this was on anyone’s bingo card.

Just like the other ‘issues’ perpetuated by

Twitter, it popped out of nowhere. And like

the blockage of the Suez Canal, its existence

makes everyone an expert in some obscure,

never-heard-of-before subject – and yes, I

am directly comparing the geopolitical history

of the Suez Canal to the blind-tastetesting

of multiple varieties of a log-shaped

chocolate cake with the face of a caterpillar

stuck on one end. It’s been a weird year.

Supermarket brands are a polarising subject

in the UK with everyone having their favourite.

Unsurprisingly, Aldi came out on top in

an October 2020 poll by Which? with M&S

at a close second. This is rather convenient

for the caterpillar argument since you could

frame this as a great battle between the nation’s

two favourite supermarket brands for

dominance of the chocolate-log-turned-caterpillar

market.

So far though, it remains an opportunity for

me to scroll through social media looking

at the predictable range of new Cuthbert

the Caterpillar memes – including the cake

photoshopped into the biggest hit of the

year, Line of Duty.

I guess the real question here is ‘what is the

point?’

In the real world, M&S are lodging an intellectual

property claim because they don’t

think that customers will be able to tell £5

Cuthbert and £7 Colin apart, arguing that

they are ‘protecting’ Colin and his good

name from his mortal enemy across the

street. With Colin’s 15 million sales in his

bag (cocoon?) and over 30 years on the shelf

(branch?), I would think he’s approaching

retirement anyway and Cuthbert would

probably beat him in one-on-one combat,

however that would look.

Obviously, the question we were all asking

as soon as we heard of this was, ‘Is there

something that makes Colin worth the extra

£2, other than not having your shopping

hurled at you faster than you can bag it at

the checkout?’

Fortunately for us, the Mirror sent Ruth, 48,

from Kent on a very essential mission to

find as many caterpillars as she could and

conduct the ultimate test. Unfortunately for

us, Cuthbert had hidden from Ruth by the

time of her visit and so this wasn’t much use,

however Colin came out on top with a score

of 5/5 which, to be fair, is unbeatable.

Nevertheless,

the

court battle

is yet to

come, and

until that’s

over we’ll live

with another

division in

our society.

At least this

time the

division is

only about a

branded log

of chocolate.

I, unlike

Ruth from

Kent, don’t

claim to be

an expert

(she didn’t

either, I’m

just bitter

she got the

job), and certainly

don’t think it’s up to us to decide their

fate. Surely, we should leave it up to them

– Colin and Cuthbert – to sort out the dispute

between themselves while we sit back

and watch the age-old-classic-probably-

Brexit-voting caterpillar take on his faster,

more agile rival in some kind of duel. Maybe

Sainsbury’s Wiggles could referee.

Image courtesy of PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

WhatsApp, a Playground for Political Cronyism and Corruption

RALPH BARTON

We all know how it works. The lunches, the

hospitality, the quiet word in your ear, the

ex-ministers and ex-advisers for hire, helping

big business find the right way to get its

way. In this party, we believe in competition,

not cronyism.”

David Cameron spoke in 2010, during

a party conference speech on lobbying

shortly before he became prime minister.

We now know that Cameron knew better

than us all. He lobbied ministers, civil servants,

and special advisors.

The affair, first reported by the Sunday

Times and Financial Times, has exposed

yet another episode of cronyism and lobbying

scandal in British politics. Cameron,

who has been involved with Greensill since

his premiership, lobbied ministers to bend

the rules so the capital firm could receive

COVID Corporate Financing Facility loans.

It is important to put this in the context of

the other episodes during the COVID-19

crisis, where the significance of cronyism

and unofficial lobbying has been highlighted.

Contracts awarded to neighbours

and WhatsApp messages used as a simple

method to change tax policy – the COV-

ID-19 pandemic permitted those in power

to benefit themselves and their associates.

Cameron was hired as an advisor to Greensill

in 2018, taking share options reportedly

worth up to $60 million. The founder of the

capital firm, Lex Greensill, was previously

a senior advisor to Cameron and attended

key meetings in 2019 with the current

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. Greensill

Capital

went on

to provide

services

for a

number

of NHS

trusts.

Throughout

2020,

months

before

the collapse

of

Greensill,

Cameron

tried to lobby the Chancellor of the Exchequer,

Rishi Sunak, through several text

messages and phone calls but he offered no

assistance to the failing firm.

Nine meetings were held between Cameron

and two permanent civil servants at

the Treasury, Tom Scholar and Charles

Roxburgh. These virtual meetings involved

Cameron lobbying the civil servants for

Greensill to obtain money from COVID

Support Programmes.

The Greensill debacle comes after allegations

against the Government regarding

their handling of production contracts

during the pandemic in which Hancock

was privately contacted. Alex Bourne, acquaintance

and former

neighbour

of current

Health Secretary,

Matt

Hancock,

secured a

lucrative

contract,

reportedly

worth

£30m, to

produce

plastic tube

vials for the

NHS. Bourne’s company, Hinpack, was offered

the contract after Bourne offered the

company’s services via a WhatsApp message

to Hancock. Initially set up to produce

plastic takeaway boxes for the restaurant

industry, the company, set up in 2018, had

no prior experience in the production of

medical devices. Hinpack is currently under

investigation.

Boris Johnson was recently implicated in

this style of WhatsApp lobbying. Texts from

March of last year, between Johnson and

Sir James Dyson, show the Prime Minister

promising to ensure the tax status of his

company would not be changed if they

were to produce ventilators.

Johnson reportedly said, “I am First Lord of

the Treasury and you can take it that we are

backing you to do what you need.”

Two weeks later, Sunak announced a

change to the regulation.

The revelations over the past year have

highlighted a pattern in which quick

WhatsApp messages to senior politicians

by business interests and friends of government

are being used to carry out unaccountable

backdoor lobbying. Their willingness

to help friends, family, and business

partners by abusing their power has been

highlighted by the crisis which created a

unique opportunity for them to distribute

vast sums of money with little scrutiny.

As such, never has an event better highlighted

this attitude permeating throughout

government and one which needs to be

admonished.

Image courtesy of Yuri Samoilov via Flickr


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C O M M E N T

Raya and the Last Dragon: What’s Going

on, Disney?

AMY BROOK

I remember the days when Disney were

creating masterpieces. Intelligent, inspiring

reflections of our society.

Inside Out told a story of mental illness

through a creative, visual representation

still used by child psychologists and

therapists. WALL-E warned us of climate

calamity if we continued our environmentally

harmful ways. Zootopia told a story of

overcoming bias through an anthropomorphic

society of animals.

I was always excited to watch these films

because I knew I would come out of the

cinema with a different outlook on life. I

would be inspired.

Now, I sit down to watch the latest release

with the worry of being underwhelmed.

On March 6, Disney released Raya and the

Last Dragon, a film about a girl who finds

a big, blue dragon and heroically saves the

world. Simple storyline, lovable character

designs, and possessing all the right chemistry

to create a successful animated film.

Thing is, it’s generic and has no unique

voice. The current worldwide gross?

$82,000,000.

When I watched this film, I thought it could

have been the day that I’ve been waiting

for: to watch a Disney animation and feel

something. When I watched Bolt, I felt

something. When I watched Moana, I felt

something. But when I watch any of the

recent films that Disney produces, I feel

nothing.

My parents say, “Hon, that’s just because

you’re getting older!” But my parents also

think animation is exclusively for children.

And how wrong they are. (Besides, I

remember my mum sobbing within the first

ten minutes of watching Up so clearly you

can still be moved by films for children at

the age of 59.)

I love nothing more than being able to cry

at an animation. It means, whoever has

worked on it, they’ve succeeded.

I didn’t cry at Raya, as much as I was desperate

to. It had the potential to speak to

its older audience and address the real-life

issues it chose to work with, war and distrust,

in a deeper way than what it did but

the execution just didn’t work. And no, it’s

nothing to do with age because, two weeks

ago, I was sobbing my heart out at The

Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I’m nearly

twenty!

So, what does this say about Raya?

It says that Disney has lost its creativity

in the thirst for commerciality. It’s always

been about the money but this is getting

more explicit because these films are not

masterpieces anymore. They seem to be

masterplans of consumerism.

Our nation doesn’t judge an animation

based on its creative success but instead on

how it has bought its way into our culture.

We were given toys of cartoon characters

when we were kids, we ate from dinner

plates with their faces on, we read book adaptations

of the films before bed. When you

grow up and watch these again, you quickly

realize most of them are creatively subpar

but the nostalgia brings you back to it with

fond memories every time. Then you’ll buy

those same films and toys for your children

and the cycle continues.

The business campaigns we see from top

animation companies are not just for

selling their latest piece of work, they’re

for engraining a positive impression of

that film into children for the rest of their

lives, which they will then pass onto their

own children. It is an unbreakable cycle

of societal learning. Ultimately, we can

suggest here that even if a film is terrible,

the correct marketing will always tell you

otherwise. Mediocre films by production

giants have this system entirely in their

favor while works like Mary and Max by

Adam Elliot (a favorite animated film of

mine that only grossed around $2,000,000)

get nothing.

Raya and the Last Dragon is not a bad film.

It has the Disney magic we all know and

love, and the soundtrack was beautiful.

Overall, I was very entertained. But was it

what I was hoping for? Not at all.

There were so many things it could have

done to step out of its comfort zone, so

many cliches it could have moved away

from, but it played it too safe. It fell into the

heartbreaking trap that stories from POC,

women, and minorities are often forced

into: playing it safe to be accepted by the

mainstream. (I mean, we all know how

much Disney is scared of outright saying a

character in a cartoon is gay and, really, this

was no different. Queer-bait much?)

It feels as if the companies decided sometime

in 2017 that the thoughtful inclusion

of topical themes and current affairs is

somehow no longer integral because their

films sell just as well without them. That

statement doesn’t seem untrue because for

Raya to have accumulated so much money

in such a short time confirms this idea, and

it’s scary. The fact this extortionate sum of

$82,000,000 doesn’t even count the extra

cash pulled in from merchandise is scarier.

It’s selling. Really selling. Everywhere you

look, Sisu the dragon smiles at you from

pencil cases, t-shirts, plush toys, and action

figures, beckoning you for your money.

Yes, it has always been a debate if Disney is

failing or succeeding with their animations

but the one element that we know will

never fail is their marketing tactics. They

know how to create films we will cherish

and love forever, even if they lack in the

important creative areas.

The question is, are we ever returning

to Disney’s ability to create something

groundbreakingly incredible or are we

slowly getting further away from that

dream? I think this fate now lies in the

hands of independent production companies

and opening up this creative space to

minority writers and creators, without this

capitalism-fueled pressure to fit, safely, into

the mainstream. Disney needs to step up to

its competition.

Better storytelling is worth more than

money.

Image courtesy of Amy Brook.


C

A R T S

& CULTURE

A R

O LY

N

INTERVIEW WITH THREE LEFT FEET

MUSIC

TRAMP STAMPS: PROBLEMATIC INDUSTRY PLANTS

FASHION

& B E A U T Y

A CONVERSATION WITH ELVIRA GOTHLIN

LIFESTYLE

N E

SCREEN

A GUIIDE TO SUSTAINABLE PERIOD PRODUCTS

WHAT JUST HAPPENED AT THE OSCARS?


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

The Loss of Accessibility After Lockdown

Megan Jones

ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR

Whilst we cheer — and eventually hug

— about what we are gaining as lockdown

eases, it is easy to forget what we

risk losing.

It’s May 2021, and the world has grown so

accustomed to the “new normal” that there

is a collective eye roll at the mere mention

of the words “unprecedented” and “challenging

times”. The pandemic’s multitude

of difficulties and complications has interfered

with every facet of our lives, yet we are

beginning to see the return of normal life.

And we are excited about it.

Pubs are open again; theatres and cinemas

are advertising their reopening. We will

have meals out, shopping trips and staycations.

It is both a celebration and a collective

sigh of relief.

There is, of course, hesitancy surrounding

the gradual unveiling of life post-lockdown

— for obvious, virus-related reasons. But

there is also unease at the thought of losing

the main (only) benefit of the pandemic:

the rise of accessibility. Accommodations

deemed impossible when requested by a

few have become freely available when necessary

for the entire general public. Many of

society’s most vulnerable, who have likely

endured more than a

year of shielding and

isolation, face the

potential loss of the

freedom and opportunities

gained from

working from home

and virtual events.

Accessibility has never

been more cherished

nor more widely

available than in the

last twelve months.

During the lockdown

periods, almost everything

has been made

available to enjoy virtually.

From the rise of

pub quizzes to virtual

book signings, online theatre productions

to dreaded Teams calls, making events accessible

from home has been the driving

force of the arts and culture sector. These

same accommodations repeatedly denied

to disabled people as too difficult or too

restrictive became overnight completely

achievable.

Whilst it was — and still is — frustrating

to see the ease with

which everyone met

these accessibility

needs, it has granted

so many of us a

multitude of opportunities

that were

previously unavailable.

The arts have

smoothly adapted

to virtual life — barring

the occasional

technical difficulties

and frozen screens

— giving new freedoms

to those

housebound, bedbound,

with limited

mobility or mental

health struggles

that made in-person events an impossibility.

It has removed some barriers to access

in terms of location, travel and costs. And,

it has opened up opportunities for all kinds

of international participation; attendees are

no longer restricted by where they live, and

Aestheticizing Study – Artistic or Toxic?

Maddy Jeffrey

Most students have fallen down a ‘studytube’

rabbit hole at some point during their

time in education. This has either resulted

in a sudden burst of intense motivation to

be your most productive self or you have

spiralled into a state of self-hatred and unhealthy

self-comparison. Study is increasingly

becoming aestheticized on the online

space, with the proliferation of Instagram

and Youtube channels dedicated to the likes

of ‘dark academia’. Although this may initially

appear to be inspiring students to be

productive and creative, there are concerns

that it may be encouraging more toxic patterns

of study.

When we are stuck in a study-rut, a good bit

of ‘studytube’ watching can get that motivation

flowing again. It can encourage you

to reach for your dust-covered pencil case,

hunt down some pastel highlighters and

find that study zone. There is no doubt that

study is a good thing; we are privileged to

be at university and its great to make the

most of this opportunity. Equally, many students

are visual learners so making study

notes ‘look pretty’ is an effective way to

absorb knowledge. With study visuals such

as dark academia conjuring a whole mood,

immersing yourself in the colours, fashion

and general vibes has the possibility to be

transformative to one’s study habits. Why

not transform something that was previously

a chore into an artistic form of selfexpression?

All that being said, the aestheticization of

study can verge upon problematic. With

that haunting neoliberal voice banging in

our heads, constantly telling us we aren’t

working hard enough, making study into

an entire personality may be dangerous or

at least perpetuate unhealthy ‘productivity’

narratives. With art being fused with productivity,

it may be somewhat defeating the

purpose of artistic expression; does art exist

to free the individual from the stresses of

everyday life? To rail against the status quo?

To bring a moment of peace

to the artist? Even art and creative expression

is not free from the rationalising

clutches of neoliberalism.

Maybe this is reading

into study aesthetics

too much, ignoring the

very real benefits that

emerge from creative

study. It can be fun, vibrant,

and inspiring.

After all, who doesn’t

want to do well in their

exams? Even then, however,

within the study

online world, there is

little recognition of the

privilege that comes

hand in hand with being

able to embrace

aesthetic study. Solid

pens and highlighters are expensive, as is

creating a motivating and artsy workspace.

Also, making study aesthetic requires time

– a precious resource that most of us don’t

have enough of. Many students have to work

part-time jobs to sustain their studies making

finding the energy to throw themselves

into a productive mood difficult. We’ve all

seen those photos of an Apple MacBook

neatly positioned on an oak desk, surrounded

by gorgeous notes. Is this yet another

unattainable standard imposed upon us by

social media?

Image courtesy of @thebookishhorcrux via Instagram

panelled events can include guests from

around the world.

Our virtual world made 2020 easier in a

lot of ways. It generated escapism, created

communities, and kept the world spinning

when it felt like everything had stopped.

But, now that the world is beginning to open

up again, what happens to these opportunities

that the majority no longer need? While

most people gain more physical freedom,

the potential end of virtual events is a devastating

loss of freedom for others. Where

does it leave people who still

need them, who will always need them, and

were likely denied these same accommodations

pre-pandemic?

I hope online events do continue. And

though the excessive use of the “new normal”

might make us all want to scream,

there might be some merit in the phrase. A

new normal can make accessibility a priority

rather than an afterthought. Asking for

accommodations can be seen as acceptable

rather than stigmatised. Inclusivity should

be valued and necessary, even when lockdown

is — hopefully — a thing of the past.

The online world is a strange place and aesthetic

study may well be one of those phenomenon’s

that exists solely in the technical

sphere. However, as we approach exam

season, stress, anxiety and feelings of inadequacy

are naturally going to be rife. The

last thing most students need right now is

to feel bad about their non-aesthetic study.

In an Instagram saturated world, it is becoming

difficult to remember that real life

is not filtered, it is not always ‘cute’, and it is

far from aesthetically pleasing. It might be

worth remembering that the next time we

finish a short snack and study session at 2

am in our pyjamas.

Image courtesy of @e.mcnall via Instagram


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

Image couresty of____________

Getting over a creative glut: Where to start

with game development as a beginner

William Macluskie

It is a common and widely cursed conundrum;

an artist stares at their sheet of paper

with a pencil or other creative implement

frozen in hand, a writer is mocked

by the ghosts of the words they have yet to

pour forth in ink, the photographer watches

their lenses gather dust as they are taunted

by the unique and revelatory visions of the

world only they foresee. All are paralyzed at

the verge of a creative flow state, by not only

the bewildering barrage of creative, groundbreaking

possibilities competing for attention,

but also a halting, perceptible,

icy grip that suffocates any notion of mental

motion, let alone self-actualized creation,

until the motivation festers and decays,

leaving the idea to fester in creative limbo.

The artist, frustrated, gets up and leaves to

pursue other pursuits, vowing with equal

parts growing determination and fear of inaction

to spill their mind into their work for

all to see.

“Why the waffling and poorly veiled misappropriation

of Poe’s Imp of the Perverse?”

I hear from creative literary students and

writers alike! The idea of being terrified by

the ever-lengthening, ever-adjusted deadlines

for a personal, often grandiose creative

project is a thorny problem I have wrestled

with much dither and delay. To announce a

not-so-secret confession, I’ve always wanted

to make video games, or make games as

a hobby. However, I always seemed to get

distracted, put it off, or procrastinate on

the actual ‘making’ part of the creative process.

It’s thus a delight to have overcome the

problem, if somewhat partially, and to write

about the experience for those similarly afflicted.

If you want to start making simple

games and learn the ropes, read on for some

handy tips on 3-D modelling, coding, sound

and where to find inspiration or support!

What finally kickstarted my efforts – and

what I would recommend to anyone wanting

to try making games - was diving into a

game jam. A game jam is a time-restricted

challenge, in which you’re tasked with making

a video game, sometimes to a theme,

within a limit of a few days, up to a week

or more. It’s a great way to focus on getting

general experience and practice with time

management, prototyping and overall design

or you can focus on one specific idea

or skill you want to work on. If like me you

often have a hundred tabs open in an effort

to learn a hundred different things, a

jam will help force you to focus on one or

two things, which will help you develop far

more in the long run! Online, you can find

a massive collection of differently themed

game jams on Itch.io (which also lets you

host and play other developer’s games too,

for inspiration!) which will let you flex your

creative muscles while receiving some feedback

from other developers. Just be sure to

give the other developers feedback as well!

Once you’ve picked your jam, what do you

do? If you’re completely new, and have no

experience making graphics resources or

sound, checking out resources from Open

Game Art and Freesound can help you get

started, as long as you’re careful to check

any copyright licensing first! If you want to

make your own graphics and sound from

scratch, tool-wise, there are far too many to

list (and if you specialise in sound or graphics,

you’ll already know far more than this

writer) but to save some time for beginners,

I’ll outline a few to recommend if you have

no experience whatsoever.

Very loosely speaking, for any small projects,

you’ll need something to make sprite, vector,

or 3D modelled assets, something to create

or synthesise music and sound, and finally, a

game engine to put everything together and

save you the trouble of manually coding the

‘plumbing’ and more technical aspects of

your game together. Unity 3D – a professional

version is available if you register online

at Github as a student – and Godot are good

starts, and Gamemaker Studio 2 is also very

good if you don’t mind paying a little to try

out the licence. In terms of sound, Chiptone

is a good retro-esque sound effect generator

and for those with musical skills, LMMS is

an open-source digital audio workstation

that can get you started making music for

your games as well. Tutorial-wise, there are

a wealth of resources online for the aspiring

creative or developer; Youtubers such

as Shaun Spalding and Friendly Cosmonaut

(Gamemaker Studio tutorials and design),

Brackeys (Unity and C# programming), ,

Brandon James Greer (sprite art and spriting

principles), Jonas Tyroller and Blipsounds

(sound effects and sound design) all

are just the tip of the iceberg! Game

Developer Conference talks can also be really

insightful for anyone looking to seriously

step into the industry as well.

Lastly, the best advice would be to join a

group! In the early stages of LUSU affiliation

is the LU Game Dev society, a soon-to-be

official society looking to form a community

of students keen on game development

which should be a great place to get stuck

into the future with local game jams to help

you learn the ropes! Beyond that, joining the

discord groups of various game jams online

can be a fantastic way of meeting and working

with other developers too.

Doing creative work of any kind taxes both

a mental and creative stamina that can be

difficult to maintain even in times of relative

stability; given the horrible year it has

been – or years more generally, depending

on your outlook - it has been tough to try

and even collect some sort of mental cohesion

to think about stretching the creative

mind. However, it’s been a highly rewarding

and validating experience and if anyone else

is stuck in the position I was, I can only hope

the mindless rambling of a beginner developer

is insightful and helps you overcome

your own creative rut.

Image courtesy of Simon Law Via Flickr


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

How to Get into Publishing

Megan Jones

ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR

Publishing is a highly competitive, oversubscribed

field, and entering the industry

can seem like a daunting and overwhelming

task. However, progress is being made

regarding the transparency of the publishing

industry and the growing availability of

amazing resources for aspiring publishers.

These are just some of the groups, events

and newsletters that are perfect for publishing

hopefuls.

SYP

The Society of Young Publishers is a longstanding

community for aspiring publishers,

first established in 1949. The SYP is a

volunteer-run organisation offering advice,

community and potentially mentorship to

anyone hoping to make it into the industry.

If you’re looking for experience in publishing,

anyone can apply as a volunteer to gain

useful skills and contacts, with multiple

committees based across the UK.

Whilst the SYP does offer a range of free resources

and low-cost events for non-members,

there is also the option of becoming

a member. Annual student membership is

£24 and will provide access to their quarterly

magazine, Jobs Board and events at a

discounted or free rate.

Publishing Hopefuls Facebook Group

This Facebook group is a community of over

Maddy Jeffrey

Since the dawn of adolescence, the teenage

girl has been the punchline of many of a stereotypical

joke; they are hormonal, irrational,

image-obsessed, boy-crazy fangirls who

are a public nuisance with their screaming

and crying. Whether it is Beatles-mania,

learning k-pop dances, or fantasising about

a fictional universe, the teenage girl will

forever be viewed as a swooning, oestrogen

filled mess. As a newly turned twenty-yearold,

I have only just left the teenage girl club,

and I take issue with the ways in which anything

that possesses a mostly young, female

fanbase is presented as unintellectual or

sometimes downright silly. As I spent most

of my teenage years with my head buried in

young adult post-apocalyptic books, this

article will explore why books adored by

teenage girls ought not to be dismissed as

‘low-brow’ or soppy, but rather embraced as

emancipatory for many young women.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room

– the Twilight Saga. Now … there is no denying

that these books are problematic in

many regards; Bella is hardly a strong independent

woman and her love interests can

3000 aspiring publishers and is a curated

space to share questions, concerns and even

rants about the struggles of making it in

publishing. Every week they share a threat

of the latest jobs and internships, making

it easy to find all the latest publishing

roles in one place.

Whilst it appears that

everyone is competing

for the

same set of

jobs, there is

a wonderful

willingness

f r o m

t h e

community

to offer

help

and advice

to

a n y o n e

struggling

with an application

question

or interview

tips. This positive

and driven community

is the perfect place for anyone

interested in publishing.

The Publishing Post

The Publishing Post is a fortnightly newsletter

boasting a team of over 100 publishing

be viewed as highly controlling. Though, it

can be argued that much of the criticism

aimed at the series is somewhat unwarranted.

Stripping the series back to the basics,

the story is about a teenage girl falling in

love with a mysterious handsome vampire

and becoming stuck in a supernatural love

triangle. It’s fun and provides a fantastical

escape from the humdrum of everyday

teenage life. Being a teenager is hard and

god forbid

they enjoy a book series … about vampires

… and werewolves. Not everything is written

and intended for an adult (male) demographic.

If teenage girls want to enjoy an

interesting, easy-to-read supernatural romance,

why hate on them?

hopefuls collaborating to bring their 1000+

subscribers a huge wealth of publishing

information. It is free to subscribe to receive

the newsletter in an email and all articles

are also available on their

website. From interviews

with people

in publishing

to upcoming

events,

ways

to

upskill

and the

l at e st

r e -

lease

s ,

t h e

Publishi

n g

Post is

an incredible

resource

for those

interested in

publishing. It is

run entirely by aspiring

publishers — many of

whom have since become working

members of the industry — and anyone

can get in touch and become a contributor.

They can be found at www.thepublishingpost.com.

The Indie Insider

The young-adult genre is more than just

Twilight. Anyone belonging to Generation

Z will remember the explosion of the dystopian

genre in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

The Hunger Games series, the Divergent series,

and the Maze Runner series dominated

the young adult book genre. There were

numerous book covers produced as well

as excessive merchandising and countless

film adaptations (to varying degrees of success).

There was so much to enjoy for book

fans. Whilst Twilight sometimes walks into

a morally grey zone, these dystopian books

introduce young people to some rather

complex topics, such as authoritarian governance,

violence, political empowerment,

and freedom. To this day, I have the Hunger

Games books to thank for my interest in

politics. Although these books are hardly

ground-breaking, young people have to begin

their philosophical awakenings somewhere

– dystopian young adult books are a

great place to start.

Yes, all of these books contain romance

sub-plots and are often featuring

female protagonists, the

Maze Runner series being one

of a few exceptions. The writing

is hardly super intellectual and

the narratives themselves are

far from entirely original. Even

as someone who obsessed about

these books when I was younger,

I too can read them back and

laugh at clunky dialogue and silly

plot points. However, I am aware that

I am no longer the target demographic.

Whilst I struggle to relate to TikTok crazes

Another incredible, free newsletter dedicated

to independent publishing houses and

their latest book releases. The Indie Insider

spotlights lesser-known publishers and offers

amazing insights into unrated works of

fiction. They can be found on Twitter @_indie_insider.

Bad Form Review

Bad Form is an incredible platform supporting

Black, Asian, and racialised community

writers and offers marginalised creative

opportunities to develop their publishing

skills. Their one-day course, How to Get Into

Editorial Book Publishing, is unfortunately

sold out, but it is worth following them on

social media for future events. Find them at

www.badformreview.com

#MarketYourMarketing

#MarketYourMarketing is an events series

created by Ellie Pilcher, a marketing manager

and debut novelist (What Planet Can

I Blame This On? out June 3rd). She offers

industry insights into CVs and cover letters,

networking and useful side hustles. These

events are often collaborations with other

writers and publishing professionals and

are a great resource for learning more about

marketing. All the events are free to register

for, and previous events are available on

her YouTube channel. She can be found on

Twitter @ElliePilcher95.

Image courtesy of @giselle.reads via Instagram

Questioning Arts and Culture: Teenage Girls Have Good

Taste in Books

and the latest popular YouTubers, I would

never dismiss the enjoyment that today’s

teenagers receive from these new forms of

entertainment. Let teenage girls enjoy what

they enjoy, especially if what they enjoy is

reading. Books can be empowering and impactful

and ought to be open to all, no matter

what age or gender.

Image courtesy of @abookishheather via Instagram


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

Interview with ‘Three Left Feet’

Maddy Jeffrey

SCAN sat down with Elspeth Dale, the Creative

Producer and Company Director of

theatre company Three Left Feet, for a chat

about the company and upcoming projects.

How did the four of you meet and

how did the idea for Three Left Feet

emerge?

All four of us attended Lancaster Uni and

all studied theatre, but we actually met as

part of LUTG. Lara and I began the company

after working together on a production

of Twelfth Night, which Katie and Andrew

were also involved

with, however,

they weren’t actually

part of the

official Three Left

Feet team until

more recently as

the company expanded.

I always

wanted to start a

theatre company,

but the light bulb

moment didn’t really

happen until

after I got passed

up for an arts job

I thought I had

a decent shot at.

Which, if you’re

ever privy to a

Three Left Feet

team rant about

the difficulty of

getting into the

industry, you will

know is

not an isolated issue!

All of us have

first-hand experience

of being turned down for entry-level

jobs, despite our degrees and additional

experience outside of academia. And if

that was a problem before COVID, it will

be much worse now considering the number

of arts jobs lost to the pandemic. Really,

we started Three Left Feet because we

wanted to make theatre! We are particularly

interested in creative adaptation – taking

old classics and giving them a fresh twist.

We also like to incorporate all sorts of elements

into our productions, like live music

and puppetry, as well as performing in more

unconventional spaces – so far, we’ve performed

in a Waterstones and the Maritime

Museum.

Have you encountered any difficulties

in starting your own company?

Starting a company was pretty intimidating.

We had no business acumen or experience

so didn’t even know where to start. However,

this never became too much of a problem

because the first thing I did was approach

Work In Progress at the university. If

you’re a current student or recent graduate

of Lancaster with an entrepreneurial idea,

they have oodles of support and expertise to

offer on all the tricky businessy bits which is

invaluable when you’re starting a company.

What advice would you give to anyone

thinking about starting their own

business?

Firstly, do it! Especially in the current climate,

the job market is going to be a complete

nightmare. Now, I’m not suggesting

it will be easy and you will immediately be

able to make a bunch of money from it and

quit your zero-hours contract straight away,

but if you commit to it and keep at it, you’re

creating your own job and probably in a line

of work you are passionate about. You will,

of course, need funding and there are a lot

of options out there – the Prince’s Trust is a

good one for young entrepreneurs.

Ask questions! Get advice! Find a mentor!

Be honest with yourself about what you

don’t know and go and find out the answers.

(If you’re at Lancaster, seek out Work in Progress!)

We all know a huge range of people

with different experiences – someone will

have the answer you’re looking for and they

really won’t mind you asking.

I actually have a blog series about this on

the 3LF blog!

How have you coped with the past

year?

We’ve had to be really flexible and throw our

preconceived notions out the window. Honestly,

that’s just true in general because not

all ideas work out at the best of times! We

had to cancel our big, outdoor Summer performance

of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

and the debut of our arts festival, Arts in the

Park. It was crushing because so many people

had worked so hard on it. It took a while

to get over, but eventually we realised that

there’s not a time limit on our ideas. We can

still do all these things, just in the future.

We’ve also taken this time to put more focus

on our online platform and on producing

work that can be delivered virtually. I

think this is a positive because this makes

our work more accessible to those unable

to physically or financially get to the

theatre. For example, in December we released

a shadow puppetry performance of

The Snow Queen (in partnership with the

Dukes, funded by the Arts Council) which

was available to stream online. And that

was made because the pandemic forced us

to think outside of the box.

What is the most rewarding part of

your work?

Collaborating with and giving other creatives

a platform. We work with some really

talented people and want to keep expanding

that creative network! Our newest project

launched in April: ‘Feetured’ with Three

Left Feet (pun and misspelling intended).

This is where we put a spotlight on other

artists and performers based in the North

West; every month we will post an interview

and a blog post with the ‘feetured’ creative

so our followers can hear all about their

work. It’s a lovely opportunity to meet other

people trying to make it in the industry and

that’s really rewarding.

Virtual Arts in the Park is going to be held

on the 12th June! Can you tell our readers

more about this project?

Originally, this was our answer to having

to cancel the live event last summer. We

thought it was unfair that the people who

had already signed up to perform wouldn’t

get a chance to showcase their work, so we

decided to offer an online festival opportunity

instead. It went down well, so we decided

to bring it back this year! It will take place

on Facebook and images/videos of participants’

work will be shared throughout the

day. Applications are currently open on our

website if you would like to sign up to share

your work!

What are your

plans for the future?

Any future

projects or collaborations?

Let’s just say we

have a lot of exciting

ideas in the

pipeline. It might

surprise people to

know how long it

takes to get a project

up and running;

there’s a lot of time

spent writing funding

applications,

waiting to hear

back from funding

applications, and

actually bringing

all the aspects of

that project to life!

I’ll give you some

teasers: radio plays,

Lancaster Music

Festival and Shakespeare

– take from that what you will…

Do you have any social media accounts

where our readers can follow

your projects?

Yes! We are @threeleftfeetuk across most

social media platforms and our website is

www.threeleftfeet.co.uk. You can also sign

up to our mailing list via our website so

you’ll never miss what we’ve got coming up

next!

Image courtesy of @threeleftfeetuk via Instagram


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M U S I C

London Grammar’s Californian Soil

Review

Erin Wilson

EDITOR

The opening of ‘Californian Soil’, London

Grammar’s third album had me thinking

two things – the vibe echoed that of Michael

Fassbender’s ‘Macbeth’ in the eerie scene

with the fog and the three witches. Alternatively,

the scene in Harry Potter where Harry

listens to the clue in the bath – very fantastical.

That’s basically the vibe of the whole album,

just not as impressive. To me, all the songs

sound very samey and melancholic and

there are none that really stand out. The title

song, Californian Soil, and its follow-up,

Missing, both sound similar-ish, like many

of the songs on this album. Although there

is some rise and fall in the tempo of the collective

group of songs, like other albums I

have reviewed this year, it is not one I would

sit down and dedicate a decent amount of

time to solely listen to, more like one I would

play in the background whilst I’m reading or

making a cup of tea.

Where Lose Your head picks up the tempo

a bit, the only moment I thought the album

might pick up, Talking, placed towards the

end of the album, is very repetitive and boring.

Although the vocals of lead singer, Hannah

Reid, are still strong, they don’t glean

the same impact as their first album, If You

Wait, where audiences heard songs like Hey

Now and Metal and Dust.

I expected more from an album entitled

‘Californian Soil’, something warmer and

earthier – instead I got empty and cold.

Hannah Reid has commented saying Californian

Soil is about her gaining possession

of her life, in part after she almost quit the

“sexist and exploitative” music industry in

2019. But the impact of the industry is not

felt in the chords of the album, instead, the

standard archetypes of the album feel stale

and bland and the album

ends as anticlimactically

as

it starts.

Image courtesy of londongrammar via Instagram

Not In Chronological Order: Julia

Michaels Album Review

Erin Wilson

EDITOR

Although I am now well-listened in Julia Michael’s

musical history, before this she was a

relative unknown until her joint single with

fellow artist, JP Saxe, ‘If The World Was Ending’,

permeated every media platform in

July last year – and then I was hooked. Since

then I have somewhat binged Michael’s discography.

I was amidst the honeymoon

phase of listening to one of her most

recent single, ‘All Your Exes’, when I

opened Spotify to find a whole new

album. So, the past few days have

been spent listening to ‘Not In

Chronological Order’ on repeat.

This is Michael’s first studio album,

following EPs, ‘Nervous System’

and ‘Inner Monologue’ parts one

and two. This new music seems the

result of the last few years of crafting

her musical identity as a truly

talented pop singer, but her music is

so much more than that. Whilst ‘Not

In Chronological Order’ has the staple

sounds of a hit pop album, the lyrics are so

full of feeling and deeply personal.

The album opens with the first single, ‘All

Your Exes’, a song about being so in love

with someone you wish you were the only

one they’d ever known or been with. The

music video takes the message of the song

one step further where Michaels re-creates

a psychological

thriller within a 3 ½ minute segment, taking

inspiration from thrillers like American

Psycho and Serial Mum. The song is an exaggerated,

somewhat comedic take on the

jealousy that exists in relationships. The

song opens with slow, melodic tones accompanied

by acoustic guitar, ultimately

luring you into what you expect to

be such a love ballad, only for

a quick switch, now with an

electric guitar accompaniment,

into a sinister portrayal

of love.

The rest of the album

ping-pongs between

sentimental songs

like ‘Love Is Weird’

and ‘Little Did I

Know’ to dance hits

like ‘Lie Like This’

and ‘Undertone.’ The

album is ultimately

inspired by Michael’s

relationship with fellow

artist, JP Saxe, who

also co-wrote several of

the songs on her new album,

including ‘All Your Exes’.

In an interview with udiscovermusic,

Michael’s described her

album as “another side of me, because for

the first time I’ve experienced a new kind of

love, one that has been happy and healthy,

and the songs reflect that.”

Despite all my raving for ‘All Your Exes’

(amazing as it is) my favourite song on the

album is actually the last one, ‘That’s The

Kind Of Woman’, which tells the story of a

maturing Michaels and dealing with the insecurities.

“Jealous but the right amount/

Isn’t scared of missing out, missing outs

scared of missing her, yeah/Doesn’t buy

things to fill voids/Doesn’t hate the sound

of her own voice.”

Whilst I’m clearly a huge fan of Julia Michaels,

I think this album is the natural progression

to her musical work over the last

decade and reflects not only her true talent

but a true version of herself.

Photo courtesy of Julia Michaels via Instagram


scan.lancastersu.co.uk | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | facebook.com/SCANonline Week 24 - Week 26 | 16

M U S I C

Eurovision 2021: All You Need to Know

Maddy Jeffrey

ARTS AND CULTURE EDITOR

Eurovision is back and it is better than ever!

Last year saw the much-loved song contest

cancelled for the first time since its founding

in 1956 and its absence was undoubtedly

felt. This celebration of European music

continues to increase in popularity, even inspiring

a Will Ferrell film

released last year, filling

the gap of the cancelled

contest. As we look ahead

to a more positive future,

Eurovision 2021 may the

party that welcomes us

back to the world; even

though 2020 was a strong

year, featuring hits such

as Iceland’s Think About

Things and Russia’s Uno,

all artists have utilised

lockdown to bring songs

that make this year one of

the most competitive in

recent Eurovision history.

Now is the time to get excited!

Any student Eurovision

fan will be aware that the

contest has a fun habit of

falling neatly amidst the

chaos of exam season. To

serve as a positive distraction

from studying, the

week-long contest has

its first semi-final on the

18th of May, its second

on the 20th May and the

grand final on the 22nd of

May. For those in the UK,

the two semi-finals will be

shown on BBC Four, with

the grand final being aired

on BBC One. Graham

Norton will be returning

to comment on the final

for UK viewers, hopefully

providing all the quips

and catty remarks that we

missed last year! Rylan Clark-Neal and Scott

Mills will also be providing commentary,

with Chelcee Grimes being a new addition

to the UK Eurovision hosting team. Rotterdam

is the host city after Duncan Lawrence

won with the hit song Arcade in 2019.

Although the contest is definitely going

ahead, it will not be a normal year. The producers

originally proposed three plans for

this year, with an entirely normal contest

being ‘Plan A’, ‘Plan B’ involving the acts

performing in Rotterdam with a limited audience,

and ‘Plan C’ requiring countries to

stream their songs without travelling to the

venue. Naturally, ‘Plan A’ has long been off

the cards, but thankfully, ‘Plan B’ appears

to be going to plan! Photos have emerged of

the Covid-19 testing sites at the Rotterdam

Ahoy arena and all appears safe, clean and

efficient. The audience will be missed, as

will their flag-waving and voting reactions,

but the fact that we have a contest this year

is a testament to all those involved in making

it a reality in light of all this adversity.

Anyone who has ever watched Eurovision

will know that the songs can be rather extraordinary,

for better or for worse. With

Ukrainian drag queens, British flight attendants

and Finnish zombie-beasts having

graced the iconic stage, this year is comparatively

tame. According to the odds of

Eurovision World, Malta is favourite to win

with an upbeat pop song called Je Me Casse,

exploring female sexual freedom and independence.

The song is sung by Destiny, who

British viewers may recognise from Britain’s

Got Talent series 11. She has already won

the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2015,

so maybe she is destined to be an all-round

Eurovision queen? France and Switzerland

are close on Malta’s heels, with the songs

Voila by Barbara Pravi and Tout l’univers by

Gjon’s Tears. Both are strong songs, making

this year far too impressive to call a runaway

winner. Voila has a distinctly French style

and Tout l’univers is a building atmospheric

ballad with impressive high notes. Could

this be the year for a francophone winner?

However, let’s be real … most do not watch

Eurovision for well-written, intellectual

songs. We want fireworks, camp vibes and

Euro-trash. Fortunately, this year has something

to keep everyone entertained. Of all

places, San Marino (a tiny landlocked country

surrounded by Italy), is planning to bring

Flo Rida to the Eurovision stage. He features

on the track Adrenalina by Senhit and they

have claimed that if he is allowed to travel,

he will be there. Covid-19 has denied us

many things – it cannot take the possibility

of Flo Rida representing San Marino away

from us as well! Germany’s song called I

Don’t Feel Hate by Jendrik is full to the brim

of quirk; with a unique music video, it will

be interesting to see what they do with the

staging. Equally, the return of last year’s favourites

Daði og Gagnamagnið with their

new song “10 Years” will surely be a fun moment

full of shameless dad-dancing.

Covid-19 aside, this year has been one of the

most controversial in a while. This year will

see iconic Eurovision countries such as Armenia,

Hungary and Montenegro not competing

in the contest for a variety of reasons.

Armenia, as well as struggling with the pandemic,

has been in conflict with Azerbaijan

over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

There are rumours that the Hungarian

broadcaster withdrew on the basis that Eurovision

was too LGBTQ+ friendly. On that

note, Russia’s singer, Manizha, has received

backlash from Russian

conservatives for her feminist

song Russian Woman

and been discriminated

against on account of her

Tajikistani heritage. She

has openly supported the

LGBTQ+ community and

identifies as a feminist. In

continuing to capture the

complexity of Europe, the

contest is an interesting

microcosm of wider political

and social changes

taking place.

Politics aside, there is lots

of great music to get excited

about! Even the UK

has entered a good song!

James Newman will be

representing the UK with

the song Embers; it is a

high-energy dance song

that would be a moment

in a club. This song seems

like it would benefit from

a large audience buzz so

a restricted crowd may

hinder the song on the

night. Though, there is

little doubt that this is a

huge step up for the UK

after finishing 26th in

2019. Last place is unlikely

to be repeated this year

and who knows, maybe

the UK will finally know

what life is like being on

the left-hand side of the

scoreboard. We shall see!

There you have it! Hopefully, this article will

have caught you up on everything you need

to know about Eurovision 2021. So far, the

winner is impossible to call, making this

year an absolute must-watch. Even though

it will be different to the usual Eurovision

we all know and love, the competition is

fierce, serving us the contest we all deserve

after the events of the past year.

Image courtesy of Eurovision via Instagram


scan.lancastersu.co.uk | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | facebook.com/SCANonline Week 24 - Week 26 | 17

M U S I C

Festivals to go ahead…?

Jodie Reeve

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

According to Boris Johnson’s four-step plan

out of lockdown, festivals (and nightclubs)

can return from June 21st.

The potential return of festivals is a little

dizzying; exciting because after being

cooped up inside for practically a year to

be under the sun and singing alongside

a crowd sounds like the dream, but also

nerve-wracking because even the sight of a

crowd on TV makes me double-take after a

year of trained social-distancing.

Of course, not all festivals are planning to

go ahead in-person this year, with some

remaining online. This includes Glastonbury,

a behemoth of a festival which in 2019

had a capacity of around 203,000 people,

making it unfeasible and too risky to allow

in-person this year. Instead, Glastonbury

plans to live-stream acts, with the line-up

including Coldplay, Wolf Alice and Michael

Kiwanuka.

However, another biggie – Reading and

Leeds Festival – announced on Twitter

after Boris’ plan was revealed in February

that: “Following the government’s recent

announcement, we can’t wait to get back to

the fields this summer. LET’S GO”, setting

the joint-festivals date for August’s bank

holiday weekend. The organisers claim they

are ‘very confident’ that the festival will

happen, however, replies to the tweet show

a huge range of opinions, including those

doubtful that the festival will be allowed to

run or that it is dangerous and irresponsible

for the organisers to have given it the

green light already.

Talking to the Guardian, Festival Republic

director Melvin Benn said that: “We’re enthusiastic,

we’re excited, and we’re certain

that it’s going to go ahead…Young people

are so desperate to be released among

their peers, without parents and Zoom and

school and college overseeing every minute

of every day. They are a coiled spring and

we have to do everything to get this on the

road for them.”

t remains to be seen whether or not scheduled

festivals for this summer will actually

go ahead, but Reading and Leeds festival

are clearly feeling optimistic, releasing

another 90+ names to the festival line-up

on the 23rd April. Most people are craving

normality, and a chance to be outside, in

a crowd or with their friends, is incredibly

tempting. Although, the backlash from the

festival announcements also points out an

anxious consideration on whether things

are moving too quickly, with detractors

hoping that having fun in the sun at crowdheavy

festivals won’t mean we are shacked

up in Winter if it causes another wave of

the pandemic to hit. Organisers, such as

those planning the Reading and Leeds festival,

have defended themselves by arguing

that most people will have been vaccinated

by August, and that it is currently in Boris

Johnson’s plan to allow these events to go

ahead.

In the face of the mixed return of the bigger,

well-known festivals, a range of smaller

festivals also say they are hoping to run as

soon as June, giving chance for people to

embrace smaller artists and venues. Lancaster’s

own medium-sized festival ‘Highest

Image courtesy of J. U. P. via Flickr

Point’ in Williamson Park is planning on

happening this September, with the line-up

including Rag’n’Bone Man and Ella Eyre.

Swaying on the grass with a drink in hand

and a chorus of voices singing, talking and

squealing around me sounds amazing after

being stuck inside the same four walls most

of the year. I’m sure most of us yearn for

this freedom. Although, after a year where

things can change for the worst at the last

minute, I am trying not to get my hopes up

too high.

Music Upcomers: Leo Jai releases debut exploring

toxic relationships and sexuality

Beth Train-Brown

COMMENT EDITOR

‘come over.’ comes from a series of

encounters between lovers.

Leo Jai, 19, is one of London’s rising stars.

In his debut, ‘come over.’, the Ugandan-born

singer explores the motion of infatuation

and the nature of a toxic relationship in

a voice so tender it reminds you of Troye

Sivan or Zayne.

“Before, during and after heartbreak,” he

told umusicians, “this song travels through

the motions of a love which once appeared

bliss but in reality was built on toxicity.

“When I was writing this song, I was dealing

with my own trauma from past experiences

helping me emphasise, ‘I don’t want

you to come over.’”

Leo Jai, already proving himself a holistic

force to be reckoned with, edited his own

cover art and co-directed his music video.

Filmed in lockdown, the video makes use of

every room in the house, featuring several

aesthetic shots in the bath and looking out

across the London skyline. And, of course,

plenty of scenes with his plant babies.

The thought-provoking lyrics are the kind

you’re already singing along to before you’ve

finished hearing the song for the first time.

They’re catchy and vibey but hold a certain

nostalgia for innocence.

“When you’re a teenager, any sort of affection

mixed with alcohol, drugs and partying

can blur the lines of your feelings which

haven’t even been identified yet but, at the

end of the day, the truth always comes out.

“The title of the track contains a full-stop,

implying that this is the final chapter of our

story…Period.”

‘come over.’ may be about the end of this

chapter in Leo’s life but it’s just the start

of this London singer-songwriter’s career

under the management of L4ent Ltd.

See him perform live at the secret London

venue, Garden of Rhythm, on May 20th.

Image courtesy of J Courtesy of @the_leojai, @Chakkrisorn and @directedbynikeel


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M U S I C

Tramp Stamps: Problematic Industry Plants?

Oli Middleton

MUSIC EDITOR

I think it is safe to say that everyone knows

what TikTok is. The short video sharing app

has become an integral part of the internet

with roughly 3.7 million users in the UK

alone. The wide range of content or ‘sides’

of TikTok appeal to everyone with the algorithm

crafting the perfect ‘for you page’ for

every viewer. Too often I have clicked on the

app to enjoy a few minutes of funny videos

to then realise two hours have passed

and I have lost crucial productivity

time. One crucial aspect of TikTok is

music. Most the videos on the app

contain music in some way and

many artists have risen to stardom

through the popularity

of their music on the app.

‘Wellerman’ by Nathan Evans

is a prime example

of a song that many

have found through

TikTok. Certain

artists have even

shaped their

songs for them

to have catchy sections

which users can

dance to or use as a

meme. TikTok can make

a musician’s career.

This brings us to the topic for

today. The Tramp Stamps are a

girl band with their Spotify description

claiming they are a “collision

of pop and skate-punk.” There is

Paige Blue on drums, Caroline Baker

on guitar, and Marisa Maino with lead

vocals. Before reading the rest of this article,

I would encourage you to view their social

media and listen to one of their songs. It

is important to understand the band’s vibe

before going forward.

I, like many others, discovered the band

through TikTok. A video of their ‘Songwriting

tips’ appeared on my feed. I did not really

engage with the video after viewing it

one time and quickly moved along. A few

minutes later a video from their account

about matching tattoos appeared. I didn’t

like, share or comment and clicked away.

Then another video appeared. You can imagine

where this is going. The band had

well and truly forced me to notice them by

appearing on my page. After viewing their

profile in full and listening to one of their

songs, I concluded that the band wasn’t really

for me. I like pop-punk but maybe not

what they were going for. I moved on, until

a few days later when videos about the band

gained my attention. Many users of TikTok

felt the band was an industry plant and not

a good one at that.

An industry plant is an artist who has the

backing of a major music label yet present

themselves as self start-ups and organic.

This is typically viewed quite negatively

due to the fake personas involved and artists

such as Lorde and Lana Del Rey were

frequently accused of being a plant. These

accusations spread to Tramp Stamps. Many

people were quick to question the fact

that their videos kept appearing on their

TikToks as well as the fact that the band

made it onto a few official Spotify playlists

after only being founded six months earlier

with no large following. The group presents

themselves as a small, self-made band from

Nashville. In a YouTube video, they claimed

that they garnered their popularity through

“being hot” along with a consistent social

media presence. The evidence from TikTok

and Spotify could be understood as luck

however, it does not end here.

All three members of the band were involved

in the industry prior to the band’s

creation in February 2020. Most notably,

Paige was already signed to a record label

and had written songs that had appeared in

a range of advertisements and films. It is a

similar story for Caroline and Marisa who

have released their own solo projects in the

past. As a group, they all have experience

from within the industry which would place

them a huge advantage when trying to gain

popularity as a band.

It is harder to prove that the band has current

industry backing. The band has addressed

these accusations in a post on their

social media. They acknowledge their past

within the industry however deny any current

connections. The band publishes their

music through a self-made label called

‘Make Tampons Free’ and it is distributed by

‘Artists Without A Label.’ Their professionallooking

graphics are made by a 21-year-old

freelance graphic designer they met in college.

Tramp Stamp are adamant that they

currently do not have any industry backing

so cannot be an industry plant. As mentioned,

it is hard to prove this either way. It

could be argued that their previous range of

experience in the industry constitutes them

to a plant as they have an insider’s knowledge

and connections.

People typically point to two controversies

to justify the view that

Tramp Stamps have current

backing. The first is that all

three were not seemingly involved

with pop-punk before

the band’s creation around

February 2020. The majority

of the band wrote

and produced pop

songs in their previous

record deals.

Their personal

social media accounts

show little

evidence to

show any involvement

in pop-punk

until the band’s founding.

You can see a literal

change in post styles from

normal to pop-punk based

on their Instagram accounts

after February 2020.

However, not everything has to

be shared on social media - maybe

the band liked pop-punk in private?

Well, a now-deleted TikTok shows the

band doing a simple music challenge.

The members had to lower a finger when

they recognised a song with all the songs

being classic pop-punk or rock songs. The

group did not know most of the songs, most

damning being not recognising ‘I’m Not

Okay (I Promise)’ by My Chemical Romance.

Additionally, the image of the band appears

quite generic. The girls have their hair dyed

bright colours and wear punk clothes. Many

claim this to be incredibly manufactured.

Again, maybe pop-punk is a secret passion

for all three that they are now sharing with

the world - we don’t know. However, appearing

inauthentic in the realm of pop-punk is

an issue. A great video by the well-known

Anthony Fantano highlights the importance

of authenticity within this genre of music.

Fans wish their artists to be genuine and the

Tramp Stamps likely would not have faced

the same scrutiny if they were a disco group.

The lack of evidence to prove the band truly

love pop-punk has led many to believe that

it is an industry decision rather than a personal

choice.

Now, the second and more concerning controversy

for the group. If you did not know,

Tramp Stamps are hardcore feminists and

girl bosses. Yet, the group has a connection

with Dr Luke (aka Lukasz Gottwald.) Dr

Luke is a well-known producer who faced

accusations of emotional and sexual abuse

from Kesha. This has led many artists to cut

ties with him and comment on the matter.

Tramp Stamp’s music distributor (Artists

Without a Label) is owned by Kobalt Music

which Dr Luke part-owns. As a feminist

group, this does not look too good. Also, this

demonstrates the varied connections that

the group have to the industry.

The accusations of Tramp Stamps being

industry plants is just one of many controversies

the band has had to tackle. I have

already mentioned a few which resonate

outside the world of industry plants such as

their connection with Dr Luke. The group

have also faced criticism for their lyrics.

Their single ‘I’d Rather Die’ is a song about

not wanting to sleep with “another straight

white guy.” This has received a lot of questions

when two members of the group

are straight females with one married to

a straight white guy. Marisa, who is not

straight, claimed to be a lesbian on a TikTok

then got annoyed when everyone called her

a lesbian (that is another issue for another

time.) The lyrics do not appear genuine. In

the same songs, lyrics that ridicule men for

not being about to “get it up” because of alcohol

have widely been interpreted as advocating

sexual coercion. This is just one song.

Their other singles have a similar premise of

girl boss and f*ck all men.

Maybe it is just me fascinated with the

band. They really have made a name for

themselves with more and more articles

appearing about them every day. I haven’t

even had a chance to even comment on the

racist tweets made by Marisa in 2015. The

group does deny all claims of them being an

industry plant or being a problematic band

in general. They do make an interesting

point about sexism, as it is typically females

or minorities that are accused of being industry

plants.

This is a situation where you can form your

own opinion. Some groups may view them

as industry plants controlled by someone

on the inside while others may just see the

band as a group of people who happen to

have industry experience. As for the band

being problematic, I would argue they are

but you may not agree. I think their refusal

to acknowledge a lot of their mistakes says

a lot about them but who knows, they may

change. If you are looking for an all-female

pop-punk band, there are many others

worth listening (highlighted in a video by

@sagehaleyofficial on TikTok.) The Tramp

Stamps are a band at the start of their journey.

Their music and reputation have a long

way to go.

Image courtesy of Tramp Stamps


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S C R E E N

What just happened at the Oscars?

Rhys Wright

SCREEN EDITOR

It feels like a lifetime ago when Bong Joon

Ho’s Parasite triumphed and became the

first non-English language film to win Best

Picture, which was probably the last good

thing to happen before COVID crashed the

party. Since then, this year’s Oscars was

postponed for two months and forced to

adapt to COVID restrictions. The Academy

controversially adopted a

No Zoom policy and reluctantly

allowed nominees who

couldn’t attend the ceremony

in Los Angeles to virtually

attend from hubs in London

and Paris.

Steven Soderbergh was hired

to direct the ceremony, which

is no easy task in the best of

times, let alone at the present,

but the results were…awkward

to say the least. There was a

slew of changes and tweaks to

the ceremony, most notably

cutting the performances of

the Best Original Song nominees,

giving biographies of the

nominees after their names

were announced, and rearranging

the order of categories.

And strangely, the in-memoriam

segment was notably

shorter for some names than

others. All of this, the strippedback

ceremony, and the continuation

of the host-less format

made for an event devoid

of much levity.

The big winner proved to be

Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, long

seen as this year’s front runner,

winning a grand total of three

awards including Best Picture,

Best Director, and Best

Lead Actress. Nomadland has

recently been made available

on Disney+ and you can look

forward to Zhao’s next film, Marvel’s The

Eternals, later this year. Importantly, Zhao

has made history as the first Asian woman

(and only the second woman after Kathryn

Bigelow) to win Best Director.

This year marked the first time since 2006

that no film won more than three awards.

This had the unexpected benefit of ensuring

the awards were fairly spread out, with the

only Best Picture nominee to go home completely

empty-handed being Aaron Sorkin’s

The Trial of the Chicago 7. Emerald Fennell’s

masterful revenge thriller Promising Young

Woman took home Best Original Screenplay,

with The Father winning Best Adapted

Screenplay. The awards for Costuming and

Hair and Makeup deservedly went to Ma

Rainey’s Black Bottom, Animated Feature

and Original Score predictably went to Pixar’s

Soul, Cinematography and Production

Design to David Fincher’s Mank, the excellent

Sound of Metal swept the Sound and

Editing categories, and an absence of big

effects-driven blockbusters cleared the field

for Tenet to take home Best Visual Effects.

This year’s acting categories proved to be

unusually competitive. Best Supporting Actress

saw Glenn Close and Olivia Colman

squaring off once again, this time alongside

Amanda Seyfried for Mank, newcomer Maria

Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,

and veteran of Korean cinema Youn Yuhjung

for Minari. Seyfried once seemed like

the early favourite, but Mank’s tepid reception

shifted the conversation to Close vs Colman

Round 2. It’s 2021 and Glenn Close still

doesn’t have an Oscar and that’s a travesty,

but it seems making up for lost time wasn’t

enough to overcome the fact that while her

performance in Hillbilly Elegy was praised,

the film itself was critically reviled, currently

standing at 26% on Rotten Tomatoes and

also garnering Close a Razzie nomination.

Seeing Bakalova nominated was an unexpected

pleasure. It’s so infuriatingly rare

that performances in full-blown comedies

get the awards recognition they deserve,

and Bakalova more than earned her place in

this category. Bakalova, a Bulgarian actress

with little prior experience, successfully held

her own opposite Sacha Baron Cohen, who’s

been playing the character of Borat for over

a decade and pioneering this style of prank

comedy and social satire even longer. In one

of the highlights of the night, Youn Yuh-jung

went on to win the category and became

the first Korean to win an Oscar in an acting

category. This is long overdue considering

that even Korean language films like Parasite,

which swept last year’s ceremony, had

zero acting nominations despite its performances

being universally praised.

On the other hand, Best Supporting Actor

was less competitive this year. Daniel

Kaluuya’s compelling turn as Black Panther

leader Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black

Messiah was long seen as the frontrunner.

He was joined by Sacha Baron Cohen for

The Trial of the Chicago 7, Leslie Odom Jr. as

Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami, character

actor Paul Raci in Sound of Metal, a performance

that makes significant use of American

sign language, and…LaKeith Stanfield

for Judas and the Black Messiah. Stanfield’s

starring role received widespread acclaim,

so seeing him nominated was no surprise,

but seeing him nominated for Supporting

Actor rather than Lead raised eyebrows

everywhere. Regardless, Kaluuya went on to

easily win the category.

The initial frontrunner for Best Actress was

Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,

where she once again proved herself to be

one of the greatest performers alive. The category

was rounded out by Vanessa Kirby and

Andra Day, but the two floated

as potential upsets were Carey

Mulligan in Promising Young

Woman and Frances McDormand

in Nomadland. McDormand

won her third Best Lead

Actress award, giving her one

more win in this category than

Meryl Streep and only one less

than Katharine Hepburn. But

still, Davis and Day’s losses are

a bitter pill to swallow considering

that this category in its

93 years of existence only has

one non-white winner, Halle

Berry 19 years ago.

And then they got to Best Actor,

which had been moved

to last when Best Picture is

ordinarily announced. This

rearrangement signalled that

the producers were anticipating

that Chadwick Boseman

would posthumously win for

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and

end the night on a bittersweet

note. Instead, we got the uncomfortable

anti-climax of the

award going to Anthony Hopkins

who wasn’t present, leaving

Joaquin Phoenix to end the

ceremony in what was probably

the most uncomfortable

Oscars moment since the La

La Land envelope mix-up.

It’s a classic story of a careerbest

performance being

passed over to instead reward

an industry favourite with a cabinet full of

statuettes, but this time comes with the

tragic consequence that Chadwick Boseman

will never win his well-deserved Oscar.

The Academy voters had their chance and

they squandered it. But it didn’t end there.

The producers turned the late Boseman’s

face into an NFT in a “tribute” and included

it in every nominee’s gift bag, turning his

death into a commodity. The order of the

ceremony was restructured to capitalise on

Boseman’s death and in the end, they never

even gave him the award.

Image courtesy of theacadmey via Instagram


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S C R E E N

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Review – The

Land of the Free isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

ANGUS WARRENDER

I sometimes wonder what Kevin Feige is

like: the Marvel Studios head-honcho is in

command of arguably the largest media

property on the planet, but what’s really going

on beneath that baseball cap he wears?

By all accounts, Feige’s a nice guy—which

is good to hear considering he could buy

a majority stake in our entire planet and

barely bite into his piggy bank. His efforts

seem less focused on tyranny—for the moment—and

more on producing entertaining

streaming series. WandaVision won me

over, and a few weeks after that concluded

we were thrust straight into The Falcon and

the Winter Soldier: a second toe dipped into

the water of Marvel’s Disney+ series and

the one that I’d argue could have been the

safest. Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie

have chemistry that would put Heisenberg

to shame, and the premise is very easy to

sell as middle-of-the-road Marvel action.

However, despite Feige and Co. having a

very easy foundation, the rest of the series

builds upwards in some unexpected ways.

Set weeks after Endgame, Sam Wilson has

decided not to step into the star-spangled

shoes of Captain America, and his decision

to retire the shield inspires ire from Bucky

Maria Svartvadet Jakobsen

DEPUTY SCREEN EDITOR

The pandemic has undoubtedly had large

effects on the entertainment industry, and

while some venues like cinemas have been

Barnes—the former Winter Soldier, now

a guilt-ridden civilian. But as the government

takes advantage of Sam’s reluctance

and introduces their own Captain America

(played with understated depth by Wyatt

Russell), a new group of steroid-swigging

super soldiers emerges, and the titular

heroes must reluctantly partner up, and in

the process embark on a walking tour of

the post-Endgame MCU. The Falcon and the

Winter Soldier enjoys giving its two leads

the centre stage, providing them both with

pathos that was hard to achieve when both

were playing second-fiddle to the original

Cap.

The show isn’t afraid to politicise its material,

either: in a world where a raccoon

helped save the universe and someone

unironically calls himself “Batroc the Leaper”,

the idea of a Black Captain America

still inspires vitriol. Halfway through an

episode, the action is put on hold in order

to introduce us to Isaiah Bradley, one of the

most important additions to the comics

canon in decades. The inclusion of this

censored super-soldier takes the series in a

fascinating direction, reflecting America’s

very real medicalisation and experimentation

on Black soldiers, and I thought foregrounding

him in the often-whitewashed

at a halt, binge-watching series has been an

activity getting many people through seemingly

endless lockdowns. Whereas many

TV shows can offer escapism from reality,

many medical drama showrunners have felt

a moral responsibility to portray the pandemic,

its effects on the healthcare system,

and honour

healthcare

workers.

Although the

inclusion of

the Covid-19

pandemic in

medical TV

dramas was

bound to

happen, these

shows have

still chosen

to tackle it

in different

ways.

Shows

like Grey’s

Anatomy

and Chicago

Med chose to

place themselves

in the

middle of the

pandemic,

alternate history of the MCU was an

unexpected but incredibly important

addition to the series.

That’s not to say the show isn’t without

its flaws. The Falcon and the Winter

Soldier spins a great many plates,

and it’s no surprise that some of them

fall. The middle of the series feels incredibly

cluttered, with the half-dozen

overlapping plot threads fighting for

attention. One scene in particular,

where half the Marvel Universe is

crammed into a living room, feels in

service of spectacle rather than story.

Because of this, a lot of other interesting

ideas aren’t given the breathing

room they need. The “Flag Smashers”,

a faction of baby’s-guide-to-Marxism

revolutionaries looking to destabilise

the world order, start as an interesting

faction but trail off into bland and

underdeveloped punching-bags; spouting

stock bad-guy phrases

and sinister schemes. This culminates in

a finale that delivers an emotional and

engaging ending, especially for Sam and

Bucky, but lacks that same consistency

overall.

Verdict: The Falcon and Winter Soldier is

showing its effects on patients and doctors.

Grey’s Anatomy, perhaps the biggest medical

drama there is, has so far let its entire

17th season revolve around the pandemic.

Many of the season’s patients are Covid

patients, and the series also shows some

central characters being admitted with the

virus, some even needing a ventilator. There

is rarely a moment to forget about the pandemic,

with doctors wearing full protective

gear, and all patients wearing masks. We

also see the personal effects on the series’

doctors, with doctors living apart from

their loved ones, family members passing

away from the virus, and the mental health

strain on healthcare workers during the

pandemic.

While Chicago Med season 6 also places

itself in the midst of the pandemic, it focuses

more on the Covid-negative patients

in the ED than its Covid floor. Whereas

Grey’s Anatomy sees some of its doctors be

admitted with the virus, and many doctors

struggling to cope, Chicago Med has so far

only seen one main character contract the

virus, who recovered quickly and early in

the season. There is some exploration of the

effects on the healthcare workers, and we

do see the protocol of testing and air showers

before entering the ED, but the show

still focuses mostly on cases not related to

the virus, and the doctors’ personal lives

Image courtesy of falconandwintersoldier via Instagram

a satisfying, if sometimes messy, chapter of

the MCU. With all the elements it juggles,

the series finale struggles somewhat to tie

off loose ends whilst still packing a satisfying

punch. But if there’s one thing this show

does well, it’s punch.

How Are Medical Dramas Tackling the Pandemic?

seem less affected by the virus than in

Grey’s Anatomy.

Although most shows have in some way

addressed the pandemic, and its effects on

hospitals and healthcare workers, some

shows, such as The Good Doctor and New

Amsterdam, choose to jump to a post-pandemic

time. These shows give less of their

time to the pandemic but strive to create

a sense of hope for the future. The Good

Doctor opens its fourth season with two

episodes addressing the pandemic, before

jumping to a future after the pandemic. The

first two episodes of The Good Doctor do a

great job in portraying the severity of the

pandemic, with patients and a nurse passing

away from the virus, while also showing

the strain the pandemic has put on

the healthcare workers. Although jumping

quickly to a pandemic-free future means

the show doesn’t explore the pandemic

to the same extent as shows like Grey’s

Anatomy, this time jump allows the show

to convey a sense of hope to the audience.

Many people watch TV series as escapism,

and this allows for an escape from reality

while also conveying positivity and hope for

the future.

Image courtesy of greysabc via Instagram


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S C R E E N

“Can you guess what every woman’s worst

nightmare is?” – The refreshing female

perspective in Promising Young Woman

Erin Wilson

EDITOR

WARNING FOR SPOILERS

“Asking for it.”

“You’d think they’d know better at that

age.”

“Where are her friends?”

“They put themselves in danger, girls like

that.”

Already within the opening moments

of Emerald Fennels’ directorial debut,

Promising Young Woman, the audience

is introduced to a gaggle of ‘promising

young men’ espousing the typical misogynist

rhetoric associated with women.

In an interview with Variety magazine,

director, writer, and actress Emerald Fennell

described the main themes of this

delicious new revenge thriller as forgiveness,

romance, and revenge.

Promising Young Woman follows Cassie, a

29-year-old woman in a dead-end job and

little in the way of prospects. By day she

works for minimum wage in a small coffee

shop in Ohio and returns to live in her parents’

home by night—here however is her

base for plotting her nightly activities as an

unlikely vigilante.

Following the sexual assault of her best

friend, Nina, when they were both attending

medical school 7 years previous to the

events of the film, Cassie has been embarking

on a mission across Ohio to enact her

own form of revenge.

“You’re not as rare as you think, you

know how I know? Because every

week, I go to a club and every week

I act like I’m too drunk to stand and

every f*****g week a nice guy like

you comes over to see if I’m okay.”

Cassie’s weapon of choice is herself and

her words. Her ploy to lure men into taking

a long hard look at themselves and their

behaviour towards women, as conditioned

by society, begins with a story of a drunk

woman that has become a cautionary tale

for all women.

In Promising Young Woman, however, this

cautionary tale is flipped on its head,

instead used as a method of empowerment

for our colour-clad heroine.

This is certainly a film for women by women.

The powerhouse duo of the talented

Emerald Fennell and Carey Mulligan work

wonders in driving home the cautionary

tale of letting sexual assault go unacknowledged

and allowing both men and women

a mirror to examine their own behaviour.

Whilst Cassie’s character is a champion for

ensuring male predators get their comeuppance,

she is by no means flawless—and

here is where Promising Young Woman is

refreshing.

Although the audience is led to root for

Cassie, they are still made to recognise that

her method of revenge is unconventional

and, at times, problematic. She bypasses

bureaucratic justice when it fails Nina, for

underhand, dirty tactics when it comes to

enacting revenge and making those responsible

for Nina’s and her situation feel the

pain they felt.

This examination of responsibility is even

directed towards herself as she voices

regrets over not being able to fix Nina’s situation

or be there more for her at the time.

Regularly directing blame towards herself

and the other women in this film infuses

Promising Young Woman with the refreshing

perspective rarely seen in female revenge

movies—that females also hold responsibility

when it comes to colluding in stories of

sexual assault. The same sexist and misogynistic

comments voiced at the opening of

the movie are repeated time and again by

women who should have helped a fellow

woman in this situation.

This internalised misogyny and victimshaming

are only a few of the myriad of issues

tackled in this film. The film is littered

with issue upon issue that every woman

faces today—consent, sexual stigma, western

beauty standards, drug abuse, sexual

assault, and slut-shaming to name just a

few.

Whilst the film is a champion of femininity,

even as a weapon, with its pastel palette

colours, typical ‘good girl’ image executed

by Mulligan and pop queen soundtrack

including Paris Hilton, Billie Eilish, and

Charlie XCX, the story is still a hard one to

watch.

Although Fennell’s talent allows the audience

moments of irony and wit in this black

comedy, they are usually framed within

the context of truth. The film is truth itself

when it comes to societal attitudes and

how damaging a moment can be when it

isn’t taken seriously.

The damage also comes with how palpable

the fact of female danger is in this film.

In the film’s denouement leading to an

ultimate finale, the audience sees Cassie

face her antagonist and the perpetrator of

Nina’s assault, Al Monroe, in a remote cabin

in the woods filled with drunk, middle-aged

men celebrating Al’s impending nuptials.

After a confrontation gone wrong, Cassie

is killed by Al after not taking kindly to the

accusations—and harsh truth—he was

faced with. Perhaps the hardest truth in

this film is that despite the empowerment

and ultimate comeuppance of those who

colluded in Nina’s assault, which then led to

her suicide (as implied in the story) is that

it takes the death of two ‘promising young

women’ before a man’s crimes are considered

serious and he faces accountability.

For her pains, Cassie is made into another

faceless victim of misogyny and a corrupted

system that favours the benefit of

the doubt to save face rather than supporting

vulnerable women. Following Cassie’s

death, the audience never sees her face

again in the remaining section of the film,

however, she does get some dark satisfaction

after her death when Al Monroe is

arrested for her death (and hopefully prosecuted

for Nina’s assault.) There is so much

to be said about Promising Young Woman

as a film, from the carefully selected actors

to the carefully curated playlist. From its

colour palette to its harsh mirror of truth.

Ultimately, when it comes to the truth in

this film, it goes beyond just Cassie’s story,

but the truth of how downplayed stories

of sexual trauma can be, simply because

they make the listener uncomfortable. This

film opens up discussions of consent and

safety as well as how men and women can

both be perpetrators when it comes to rape

culture.

Image courtesy of Rocor via Flickr


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S C R E E N

How The Snyder Cut has changed fancorporation

relationships

Jonathan Robb

CAROLYNNE ONLINE EDITOR

If there’s one thing that has come to the fore

in recent months, it’s the ongoing dilemma

between directors and the corporations that

hired them as to who gets the final say as to

the edit of the end product, most noticeably

as a result of the recent release of Zack Snyder’s

director cut of his Justice League film.

While far from the first time that such disaccord

has occurred, it certainly marks one

of the most high profile examples due to the

persistent and public demands by fans to

have the film released, and also reflects on

how fan, artist, and corporate relations are

maintained in the digital age.

Not that studio control is only a modern occurrence,

in the classical Hollywood studio

system, the film was very much a product

to be manufactured, and directors were

hired to complete their role during the film’s

shooting before it would be passed onto

a specialist editor to create the final cut

for the studio heads. One means of getting

around this used by directors such as Alfred

Hitchcock and Orson Welles was to ‘edit in

camera’, by mostly shooting a limited number

of only the desired shots to be used in

the film, preventing the editor from having

much choice of what to use.

Alternative cuts can sometimes have a long

and complicated release process, such as

with the film Blade Runner, and its 7 different

cuts, with its most recent ‘final cut’

being released in 2007, 25 years after the

release of the original, or more recently,

Francis Ford Coppola’s decision to recut

The Godfather Part III last year for the film’s

30th anniversary. In some instances, these

can be seen as the superior or definitive versions

of the films, for example, few would

argue in favour of the almost nonsensical

happy ending Ridley Scott was forced

to add to the theatrical cuts of Blade

Runner, where Deckard and Rachel

fly off together against a luscious

verdant backdrop, a strikingly far

cry from the dystopian city setting

shown in the rest of the

film. More recently, it is hard

to see many people returning

to the theatrical cut

of Justice League, given

the far more positive

reception the Snyder

cut has received, as

well as the knowledge

that it is the intended vision

of the director.

Yet, it is also important to

remember that Hollywood studios

are running a business and

ultimately, for better or for worse,

need to produce a commercially viable

end product. For all the virtues of

the director’s cut of Justice League, it is

almost inconceivable that Warner Bros.

could have released the 4-hour version in

cinemas. Hence, there is perhaps the need

for a happy balance; while Snyder’s vision

would have required substantial cuts in

order to have been released, it likely could

have been achieved without

reshooting many of his

scenes to change the film

considerably in terms of

tone and content from the

original script. A more positive

example can be seen

with the release of Ari Aster’s

Midsommar, where after

editing down his initial

cut at the studio’s request

Aster was allowed to release

his director’s cut on home

media shortly after alongside

the theatrical cut, no

drama or public outcry involved.

As we seemingly enter into a

new era of how we interact

with and consume media as

a result of streaming and social

media, it is interesting

to consider how the idea of

studio relations with directors

and fans may change in

the future. If Warner Bros.

hoped that the Snyder Cut

would silence the many fan

outcries on social media,

they must be sorely disappointed

right now, as it has only served to

invigorate cries for Snyder’s planned Justice

League trilogy to be produced. Indeed, it

seems like navigating fan reactions on social

media will become a common consideration

for studios in the future, with places

like Twitter making it easier than ever before

for fans to rally together.

The type of fan movements coming together

can range from the genuinely useful (the

backlash received by the original character

design for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie undoubtedly

resulted in a better end product)

to the less realistic and confusing (what is

the evidence behind the claims that there

is a George Lucas cut of Star Wars Episode

IX waiting to be released?). Social media itself

serves as a powerful means of protest,

as demonstrated most obviously by the Snyder

fans who have made it difficult to find

a single tweet by Warner Bros. which isn’t

filled with calls to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse

in the comments. There is an underlying

risk of this sort of protesting overstepping

the mark in terms of its behaviour, with the

term ‘toxic’ having been labelled to the Snyder

Cut movement before (although many

will refute this as coming from a small minority),

and if reports are to be believed,

Warner Bros. may actually be less inclined

now to ‘give in’ to the fans.

Streaming services may offer the answer as

free from the confines of a physical release,

runtime becomes less of a problem, as does

the expectation that each individual film to

perform well, as subscribers are paying for

the service overall rather than individual

films. One has to only look at Netflix’s

recent output of films such

as The Irishman, Mank, or I’m

Thinking of Ending Things to

see that they are willing

to take risks with more

challenging films. More

speculatively, there

seems no reason

why several different

versions

of films could

not be released

simultaneously

on

streami

n g .

W h i l e

there is a

certain degree

of uncertainty

about what the

future of cinema

will be in a streaming

landscape, and many

will mourn the shift away

from traditional distribution

methods, there is also a

lot of possible changes for the

better to be optimistic about.

Images courtesy of snydercut via Instagram


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

A conversation with Elvira Gothlin

Rhian Daniel

FASHION & BEAUTY EDITOR

I spoke to Elvira Gothlin who was inspired

over lockdown to take up sewing, a passion

that grew into a small business called

Florence Designs.

Follow her on Instagram at @byflorencedesigns

and check out her designs on

Depop, @madebyflorence.

1. Could you tell me a little bit about

yourself and your relationship with

fashion; has it always been important

to you?

I am from Sweden but grew up in a few different

countries before coming to the UK

for uni in 2017. I have always loved fashion,

mainly from an entertainment standpoint.

I like watching fashion shows and

admiring beautiful pieces and checking

out other people’s unique styles. It wasn’t

until lockdown that I started thinking

more about how I dress and how I would

love to be bolder with my fashion choices

etc. That’s also partly why I started making

my own clothing in lockdown, to try

new styles and shapes without committing

to buying so many new pieces.

2. What is the story behind ‘By

Florence’? How did it all start?

Everything began in lockdown when I started

using my sewing machine which hadn’t

been touched for years. I had a lot of extra

time on my hands, and I have always wanted

to try and make my own clothes. I figured,

how hard could it be? A dozen broken needles

and a couple of tears later I finally made

my first piece, a pair of trousers that were

so lopsided the bum area was on my thigh.

I scaled it back and started sewing smaller,

easier pieces and trying new techniques

from youtube and TikTok.

Eventually, I became confident enough to

post sewing videos on TikTok, which is

where I got my first customer. I made a custom

green satin corset for a girl in the US,

and I loved it so much I decided to make

more pieces and list them on my Depop. I

gained some traction and now I have a small

business going!

3. What inspires your designs?

I keep my designs pretty simple but make

them unique with cool patterned fabric and

colors. I have a few basic sewing patterns

(the shapes that are cut out and sewed together

to create the piece) that I drafted,

such as a basic ‘bodice’ which I can then

turn into all sorts of tops. Lots of my inspiration

comes from Pinterest, TikTok and Instagram.

4. If you could describe the ethos of

your business in three words, what

would they be and why?

I would say ‘inclusive, unique and fun.’

I try to be inclusive by offering my pieces

to be custom made to any size, and specific

requirements whether that be shorter pant

legs for someone petite or longer arms for

taller people! I also feel like many of my

items are very unique, especially if I use vintage

fabric that isn’t made anymore. I also

designed a spiral long sleeve top, which I

haven’t seen before and I think it’s pretty

special. The last word for me is fun! I want

people to get excited when they open my

parcels, I pay a lot of attention to my packaging,

making sure it feels like a special gift.

I also love to throw in freebies like matching

scrunchies.

If I could add a fourth word, I would gently

throw in ‘sustainable’. I make a conscious

effort to be more environmentally friendly

through my plastic-free packaging and using

fabric scraps for smaller projects. Everything

is also made to order, which means I

don’t risk stock being unsold and wasted. In

the future, I would love to upgrade to more

sustainable fabric and only use natural fibers:

something which is quite hard to do

when starting up as they are more expensive.

5. Lancaster town is full of vintage

and charity shops which are ideal for

Image courtesy of Elvira Gothlin via Instagram

shopping more sustainably, has that

impacted the way you shop and view

shopping? Do you think much of the

student body share your ambitions?

It has absolutely affected the way I shop. I

try to only buy second hand or make things

myself, and being in Lancaster makes that

quite easy. The charity shops have plenty of

nice stock, and I’ve been to a few kilo vintage

sales which were great and affordable.

I think young people in general have a good

understanding of how to shop more sustainably,

and I see lots of uni students going to

the charity shop or shopping at small businesses

instead of large fast fashion brands,

which is great!

6. There is plenty of advice surrounding

sustainability in fashion,

is there something that you think is

overlooked?

I think there is a lot of great information

and sustainable fashion advocates out

there who put out great advice. One thing I

would say is the most sustainable thing is to

wear items you truly love regardless of the

current ‘trends’ because the trend cycle is

shorter than ever and hard to keep up with.

7. I would say that people are more

supportive of small businesses recently,

do you agree? Do you think

this will last?

People are super supportive of small business

which is amazing and I have met

some incredible people online because

of this. I try my best to shop small rather

than from corporations now and I love

it because small businesses usually put

in more effort into their customer experience

through things like packaging

or hand written notes. I think the move

towards smaller businesses will last, but

there will always be the issue of price.

Large corporations can cut costs in a way

that smaller businesses cannot, so in the

end it all depends on customer trends and

if they are willing to pay a bit more.

8. What would be one piece of advice

that you would give to anyone

starting a small business?

I would say to do something you truly love

and to go for it by starting small. Try a few

things out and see if it works, there’s nothing

wrong with changing course multiple

times, I’ve done it myself. Not every idea is

going to work or be successful, but steady

perseverance over a long period will pay

off and you will get there.

9. This all began with Covid in the

background, what impact did it

have to play?

Covid has been tough on everyone and I

could never discount the toll it has had on

our mental health and wellbeing, so I will

try to take a positive spin on this instead.

Covid had a huge impact on me, as I probably

would not have even started sewing if

I wasn’t in lockdown. It has also meant that

more people have started all sorts of hobbies

and have turned online to find others

who do the same thing. I’ve met so many

people on TikTok and Instagram who love

sewing and started during lockdown, so it

has helped me find a really positive and fun

environment.

I’m so thankful for all the people I have met

online who have given me sewing tips and

how we always help each other, I don’t think

that community would have formed if we

had all been at school, uni or work.

10. What is the biggest struggle that

you had to, or are having to, overcome?

It’s hard not to compare yourself to other

creatives and small businesses, and I am

guilty of that. I try to remember that we are

all in different chapters of our journey and

that one person’s success doesn’t minimize

your own.


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

The Colour of Revenge: The Fashion of

Promising Young Woman and why it works.

Erin Wilsom

EDITOR

In a film about female revenge and echoes

of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, it

is unlikely you would expect the candy-coloured

palette served up in Promising Young

Woman.

The audience see the protagonist, Cassie

Thomas, played by Carey Mulligan, dressed

in all shades of candyfloss-pink and bubblegum-blue,

an apparent picture of innocence

and the least likely candidate for a massacre

of revenge.

The colours and the clothing in this film

feeds into the ideology touched on by a

character in the film:

“Guys all want the same thing…a

good girl .”

This crafting of the “good girl” image down

to Cassie’s powder-blue dresses, plaited

blonde hair and multi-coloured nail polish

crafts her perfectly as an unlikely vigilante

and the perfect victim for male predators

to take advantage of. Cassie’s clothing hides

the dark interior of a society of conditioned

predators who take advantage of the ‘easiest’

targets.

The bubble-gum-pop aesthetic contrasts the

dark undertones of the story and there is a

contrast seen in the costumes Cassie wears

throughout the film. To Cassie, clothes

are her mask and perhaps her weapon of

choice. Her clothing is different during the

day and the night, used as a mask or shield

against unsuspecting men. During the day

she is the picture of colourful innocence

and during the night, she is what every guy

wants – a good girl who has had too much

of a good time.

Director, Emerald Fennell, and Costume Designer,

Nancy Steiner, commented on how

the crafting of Cassie’s wardrobe is important

for misdirection in her character.

Fennell explains the film’s playful aesthetic:

“Just because [a film] is deadly serious, does

not mean it needs to be Deadly Serious.”

Fennell understood Cassie’s “very dark

path,” but refused to yield to the audience’s

expectations by dressing her protagonist in

oversized hoodies and worn-out leggings.

“[Cassie’s] clothing that she wears during

the daytime is a disguise and a costume .

. . because she’s trying to come off as this

sweet, girly, feminine, candy-coloured lady,

in a way to avoid confrontation.” Nancy

Steiner, Costume Designer.

With this pastel aesthetic, Promising Young

Woman highlights its main point: women,

no matter their lifestyle or clothes, must be

viewed as capable, animate beings worthy

of our trust. However, Cassie yields differing

levels of respect and reactions based

solely on her clothing, from both male

and female characters. From her clothing,

the characters around her gauge how they

should treat her.

For instance:

•When Cassie dresses in pink for her work

at the cafe, men speak to her like she is a

confused child, mansplaining exactly how

to make a coffee.

•When she dresses as a Stripper Nurse,

men’s enthusiasm soars.

•When Cassie wears a grey suit, men and

women treat her like a competent, albeit

underperforming, person.

With each opportunity, Cassie shows the

audience the danger of judging women

solely by their clothes. Cassie’s use of typical

gender-related colours, but also the neutral

tones of her office-wear suggest that she

will not yield to typical gender stereotypes

regarding colour and clothing, instead criticising

those who do – predominantly men

who appear only in shades of blue throughout

the film.

Helen McCroy: Tribute to her most iconic looks

Image Courtesy of @peakyblindersofficial via Instagram

Isobel Dignum

DEPUTY FASHION & BEAUTY EDI-

TOR

16th of April 2021, Helen McCroy sadly

passed away at just age 52. An iconic actress,

beloved wife, friend and mother, she is most

renowned for her roles as Polly Shelby in

BBC Peaky Blinders, as well as Draco Malfoy’s

mother in Harry Potter alongside many

other great films eg. Skyfall.

As a tribute to her successful

career, I decided to take a

look back at some of her most

iconic looks on the red carpet

as well as the many characters

she plays.

Firstly, my most favorite is

her character Polly Shelby in

BBC Peaky Blinders. Her character

is a strong, independent

businesswoman which is

what I aspire to be (without

the violence of course)! At the

time this wasn’t the case for

women.

The recent look from Season

5, has got to be the most iconic!

The sunglasses, the hair,

the red lip and a power suit,

which is the trend currently, is amazing.

Don’t forget the Bentley she is leaning on!

The show will not be the same without her!

Sticking with the ‘independent woman’

mindset my next look is again from Peaky

Blinders, but this time Season 4.

This small scene again featured the iconic

shades, but this time a gorgeous and slightly

embellished trench coat which Helen pulls

off so elegantly. The sex appeal of smoking

in this show is once again featured here. I

think what stood out was almost how modern

Helen’s character looks compared to the

other women. Definitely a favourite scene!

My last look from the series is from season

3. This time Polly Shelby is sporting a more

feminine look compared to her ‘Female

Boss’ attire in other episodes and scenes.

The pastel, almost nude pink ball gown with

feathers is elegant, sophisticated and just

glamorous. Helen’s figure looks stunning

and this off-the-shoulder dress highlights

her defined shoulders and collarbones.

Moving on to the red carpet, there are almost

far too many iconic looks to choose

from her very long and successful career in

acting. However, I have managed to choose

a few favorites and even some considered

controversial to you.

From the British Academy Awards 2019,

Helen wore a floor-length Alberta Ferratti,

black dress and looked spectacular. The hair,

makeup and dress design were flawless, like

it was made perfectly for her. I feel like this

look embodies her character on Peaky Blinders.

I could envision it being worn with the

many ruffles, sequins and details.

Sporting a green Burberry dress with her

Courtesy of @promisingyoungwomen via Instagram

husband Damian Lewis at the 21st Critics

Choice Awards is definitely up there with

my most loved looks. The dress is feminine

and sexy with lace yet so modest and empowering.

The colour and design are gorgeous

and actually so different from what is

usually shown by Burberry.

When researching Helen McCroy’s looks, I

actually found out she walked the runway

at Temperley Runway Show for London

Fashion Week in 2018. This sequined white

jumpsuit is a little different than her usual

looks but it looks absolutely beautiful as she

pulls it off with her glowy skin. This actress

clearly loved fashion, and it’s amazing to see

how well-rounded she was in her career.

Overall, Helen McCroy is an iconic woman!

She is fashionable and stylish; even if some

of her looks come from a character, it’d about

the way she embodied and created that Polly

Shelby persona. It’s a tragic shame to lose

a beautiful soul to something devastating in

life. You can see from the many tributes paid

by her loved ones that this beautiful woman

will always be remembered and I wish

her family all the best as viewers speculate

about the next season of Peaky Blinder without

the iconic Polly Shelby...


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

Marketing for SOCKSHOP: an interview

Isobel Dignum

DEPUTY FASHION & BEAUTY EDITOR

‘SOCKSHOP’ is a large sock and underwear

provider in the UK. From bamboo socks and

loungewear to annual donations towards

charity ‘Emmaus’. I got the privilege of interviewing

Kate Marrin, a Digital Marketer

working with an agency towards the marketing

efforts of SOCKSHOP.

Tell me about what your

job entails?

I’m based on the search engine

optimisation (SEO) team at a

digital marketing agency, KW

Digital as a Digital Marketing

Executive. I work with companies

to improve their search

visibility online. This includes

a lot of content writing, which

is one of my favourite parts of

the job.

My job also includes analytics

analysis, website management,

social media, YouTube work, liaising

with journalists and lots

of research.

This is a job I had no idea existed

whilst at university, but

it’s the perfect fit for someone

looking to get into marketing

who enjoys writing.

Pizza Hut, Chill Factore, Pall Mall Medical,

The Global Classroom and Forever Unique.

I’m hoping working here has greatly improved

my general knowledge!

(A TIP!)

As a recent graduate I applied for lots of

marketing positions within larger fashion

labels like boohoo and Missguided, but was

not successful. Fast forward two years and

their website, SOCKSHOP are all about using

clothes (mainly socks - the hint is in the

name!) to express yourself and live your best

life.

Writing blog content for fashion companies

is brilliant to explore too because it’s always

on trend and definitely inspires your own

wardrobe!

work bamboo Elmer socks to support antibullying

efforts in the UK.

This is a campaign that I’ve helped to develop

which has been incredibly rewarding!

What would you say to those that

wish to pursue a similar career as

yourself?

Go for it! No day is the same

and it’s never boring. Grab

every experience you can - and

if you can’t find any then make

your own.

I set up my own podcast last

year with one of my best friends

and that definitely helped me

to secure this job because it

showed creativity, initiative

and a willingness to learn.

Finally, where do you see

your career in 5 years

time?

The pandemic makes it difficult

to say but, in 5 years I’d

definitely like to be in a management

position. My ultimate

long-term goal is to work within

marketing for The Walt Disney

Company, so if that happens

in 5 years I’d be more than

happy!

What made you choose to

take this career path?

I studied ‘Theatre and English

Literature’ at Lancaster University

for my undergraduate

degree, and after two years

I realised that whilst I loved

acting, it was just a hobby! I

wanted a job that provided additional

stability, opportunity

for progression and could enable

me to travel after the pandemic.

I did the classic career searches online, and

discovered the world of marketing. If you

never quite made it to professional football,

wiggle in with the marketing team!

What’s it like working for a Digital

Marketing Agency?

One of the best parts about agency life is the

variety. It gives you experience across a host

of industries, which is something you’re unlikely

to experience during an in-house marketing

position.

I cover companies across tourism, restaurants,

health, manufacturing, education and

fashion to name a few. Some of the clients

KW Digital work with include SOCKSHOP,

I’m now working with at least two fashion

brands because they’re clients at the agency.

What’s it like working with a Fashion

company?

Working with fashion clients like SOCK-

SHOP is fantastic because they always

have new things in the works. They’ve just

launched a fantastic new loungewear range

that’s created from bamboo, and they’ve got

fantastic Father’s Day presents with socks

based on rock ‘n’ roll artists, so working with

these products is always fab.

One of the big parts of my job with SOCK-

SHOP is to capture the core message of

their company and help to communicate

this on their website. You’ll find that across

Day-to-day, what do you do in relation

to SOCKSHOP?

My task list ranges across all of my clients.

I can be writing blogs one minute and then

exploring search trends and analytics in the

next.

It’s a great balance!

Image Courtesy of Kate Marrin

Can you share any marketing campaigns

SOCKSHOP advocates?

A previous campaign with Erasmus raised

over £17,000 for the homeless charity.

At the moment, SOCKSHOP’s Bully-Free

Zone campaign is working with Elmer and

Kidscape to donate funds from their path-


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

My year as Editor in review

Rhian Daniel

FASHION & BEAUTY EDITOR

As the Academic year comes to an end and

my time at SCAN draws to a close, I thought

I might take this moment to reflect on this

year’s fashion in all its bizarreness and absurdity.

There is nothing that sums up the Covid

period more than the increased emphasis

on digitized events. In our personal lives,

last spring saw the dawn of the infamous

Zoom quizzes whose popularity dwindled

as the months went by; there is only a

certain number of times that one can

be asked about capital cities before

the novelty wears off. Digital

presence was just as important

for all companies within the

fashion world and outside

of it. As many struggled to

readjust to this new way

of doing things, changing

their events to suit

the small screen experience,

so did major

fashion houses and for

this reason, many of

us were able to experience

something that

we were never able to

before: a ‘high fashion’

show.

We may not be one of

the privileged few sitting

front row or attending

glamorous parties but

nonetheless, we were there.

Perhaps though we weren’t

lucky to received an ice encased

flower for the Saint Laurent

show recently, like Camille

Charrière did and displayed on

her Instagram and perhaps we aren’t

wearing head-to-toe designer for the ocassion,

more likely in bed with a hot drink:

yet, we were still watching it.

whether in terms of their mental wellbeing,

their relationships with others, and

the relationships with our planet. We have

seen a dramatic increase in the reception of

small businesses, utilising this new online

prominence to broadcast their products. In

so doing people have supported more environmental

choices in terms of

their shopping habits,

buying socalled

Image Courtesy of @voguebusiness via Instagram

ing mushroom leather and artificial silk.’

However, there has equally been an effort

in exposing the source of materials and the

practices around it, most importantly, the

source of cotton used in many fast fashion

brands. Likewise, the boycott of these companies

to do unfair labour practises has

further fed the ammunition to

support smaller businesses

and led

to wide-

the fashion industry?: ‘small organisations

are often led by visionary product specialists

or designers, particularly in the fashion

industry. The small scale allows companies

to be flexible, this is crucial in order to adapt

to very diverse market conditions and economic

turbulence. In addition, small companies

have no other option than to take

risk in order to leave their mark, notably if

they are start-ups.’

The problems for the future of the fashion

world remain the same, however, the solutions

are becoming more manifold. As

consumers push in one direction, eventually

the larger companies will have to

follow. We should be under no illusion

of the seriousness of the situation

across the board in terms of workers’

rights and sustainability

but Covid has demonstrated

that we do care, we just need

to have the correct options

available to us for us to

make the right decisions.

Many writers, including

myself, spend much

of the time advocating

and calling for others

to make changes so

this time I will change

the subject a little bit.

For words to have an

impact there need to be

imaginative, forthright,

and inspire people to write

them. I have been lucky this

year in SCAN to write with

some fantastic people and I

encourage you all to continue

next year. I hope that this year’s

focus on industry change as much

as lighter, more fun pieces will continue

onwards and I wish all my SCAN

Fashion and Beauty writers the best of

luck for the coming years.

This bodes well for the future of fashion,

though it would be a great shame for shows

not to be live and part of the allure of it all

is that to receive an invite means something

but for it to do so, there needs to be people

desperate to watch. The use of film allows

fashion to transcend beyond simply a label,

as I feel it was sadly becoming that way, and

to be an experience for everyone. Its place

as an art form was firmly re-established.

More than this has happened this year

though, especially for sustainability. I think

for the foreseeable future I will be relishing

the picture that captured dolphins in

the Venice Canals; the moment that everyone

should have realised that it was really

our fault that the world was changing for

the worse if anyone had any doubts. I do

genuinely think that lockdown gave everyone

a chance to reflect upon their habits,

slow

fashion

products which

are handmade or second

hand.

To accompany this, a bit more of a focus on

sewing to repair our own clothes has been

seen as well as to sew our own masks. This

change has been perhaps more subtle than

the others but I do hope that it is something

that will be taken up more in the future.

Even more so there has been a renewed

interest in discovering more sustainable

materials and sources. Vogue Business

notes, ‘the appeal of biomaterials startups

Bolt Threads and Spiber has been clear to

sustainability-minded investors, who have

pumped $256 million and $600 million,

respectively, into the companies develop-

s p r e a d

distrust and

accusations from the

use of sweatshops to greenwashing.

I would like to be positive and say

that this marks the beginning of the end

for such companies but perhaps that is too

much to hope for.

The truth is that despite all the technological

innovations and the innovative thinkers

and creatives, the fashion industry is

generally quite slow to respond to change.

Yes, it may have the capacity to release new

designs every week and think of imaginative

ways to market them but in terms of its

values and changes in the supply chain, it is

fairly unwilling.

Ilaria Pasquinelli writes for the Guardian in

her article Could small be the new big for

Image Courtesy of @voguebusiness via Instagram


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L I F E S T Y L E

Let’s Talk About It - A Guide to

Sustainable Period Products

REBECCA NEWMAN

Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity

of sustainable options for everyday

items, such as metal straws and cloth

tote bags. But like most things to do with

menstruation, we’re only just beginning to

talk about sustainable period products and,

there’s a reluctance to make them an accessible

option for everyone who has a period.

There are actually loads of environmentally

friendly, cost-effective products out there

just waiting to replace the disposable products

that are silently passed to us when we

get our first period.

So, let’s talk about it. Here’s my guide to sustainable

and reusable menstrual products.

Image courtesy of Monika Kozub via Unsplash

The Menstrual Cup

The menstrual cup has actually been

around since the early twentieth century,

having taken the form of an aluminium cup

(ouch!) in its early days. Today, it’s made

from a flexible medical-grade silicone. To

insert, there are several different folds you

can use (try them all and work out which

one is most comfortable for you), then

simply rotate the cup once it’s inserted into

the vagina to make sure the suction seal is

unbroken. It will collect blood in the vaginal

canal for up to twelve hours, and the

seal ensures a very small chance of leakage.

To remove, just pinch the base of the cup to

break the seal and pull it out, give it a wash

with water and a mild soap between uses,

and then boil between menstrual cycles to

sterilise.

pon and actually helps with period pains

(although there’s no scientific evidence

behind that). Not only is the menstrual cup

cost-effective, as different brands range

from £10 upwards and will last up to ten

years if taken care of properly, but the environmental

benefits compared to single-use

sanitary products are phenomenal.

Brands - OrganiCup; Mooncup; OVIO

The Menstrual Disc

The menstrual disc is not too dissimilar

from the menstrual cup, there are two

big differences between them. One: the

menstrual disc is disc-shaped (obviously).

To insert, you pinch the two sides together,

push it back and down into the vaginal

canal, and tuck the front of the disc behind

your pelvic bone to sit at the base of your

cervix ( further in than a menstrual cup). To

remove, just hook your finger over the rim,

and pull out.

Two: the menstrual disc can be left in for

supposedly mess-free intercourse. Reviews

on this vary, but as it sits below the cervix,

your partner should not be able to feel it,

and the malleable material means it won’t

be causing anyone any injury. It’s also

reported to be even less likely to leak than

the menstrual cup, making it a favourite

for people with active lifestyles. They are

unfortunately more expensive than the

menstrual cup, with the Ziggy Cup coming

in at £34.99.

Brands - Nixit; Ziggy Cup

Image courtesy of natracare via Unsplash

ing. However, our better washing facilities

today have brought reusable period pads

back into fashion. Unsurprisingly, they

function exactly like every sanitary pad

does, varying in different sizes to match

your flow, with popper buttons replacing

the sticky tabs on the wings to secure

them to your underwear. Typically, they’re

made from bamboo charcoal or cotton, and

feature several layers to provide leak-proof

protection. After use, simply give them a

rinse in the sink if possible, and then wash

(typically in a mesh or delicates bag) with

the rest of your clothes in the washing machine.

They’re fool-proof really.

Image courtesy of pikulkeaw_333 via Pixabay

Some people shy away from the idea of

pads being reusable, but that’s just another

stigma created by capitalism to make

money off periods. When you think about

it, washing a reusable period pad is no different

to washing a t-shirt that you’ve sweat

onto.

In the long run, they’re cost-effective too,

with some brands claiming to last 150 uses

before needing to be retired. However,

prices range, with some more popular

brands like Bloom & Nora pricing a pack

of 10 pads at £65. This may look shocking,

but when you put pen to paper and do the

maths, it works out cheaper than buying

disposable pads.

Brands - Bloom & Nora; Eco Lily; Teamoy

Non-applicator Tampons

a 25% discount with the first box (£5.40),

and a 20% discount if you’re a student (£5.76

- nice!). A box of 24 regular Tampax applicator

tampons are £6.27 on Amazon, so for

students not only is this cheaper, but you’re

also saving the planet whilst you’re doing

it. The only downside is that the tampons

are still disposable, and therefore it’s less

environmentally friendly than the reusable

menstrual cup.

Brands - Callaly; YOPPIE; TOTM

Period Pants

Period pants suffer from the same stigma

that reusable period pads do, but once

again, they’re a reliable and sustainable

option for menstruation. The idea behind

period pants is that they look exactly like

any other regular underwear, coming in

different shapes and types, only they have

several leak-proof layers that are breathable

and lock in odour to allow worry-free bleeding.

Similarly to reusable pads, a quick rinse

after use is recommended, before washing

and air drying.

They’re simple and effective as far as period

products go, but they take a serious knock

at your bank account. A pack of 3 WUKA

ULTIMATE MIDI BRIEF - HEAVY FLOW

comes to £74.97, and WUKA recommend

owning five to seven pairs. They also claim

to only last over 2 years before they start to

lose absorbency if cared for properly. Here,

freedom and comfort come at a heavy price.

Brands - WUKA; Modibodi; Thinx

Image courtesy goodsoulshop via Unsplash

What people usually shy away from is the

insertion of the menstrual cup. It can feel a

bit invasive on the first use, and may take a

couple of tries while you’re getting to grips

with it, but overall it’s not difficult and

once you’ve got it down to a science, you’ll

never want to go back. Some users claim

it’s much more comfortable than a tam-

Reusable Period Pads

Before the disposable period pads that

we’re familiar with today were created, reusable

cloth pads were what everyone who

had a period used, but they lost popularity

in the early twentieth century due to the

risks of infections without proper wash-

Without the plastic or cardboard applicator,

most non-applicator tampons function as

environmentally-friendly menstrual products

– they are made from organic cotton

with compostable packaging. They’re surprisingly

cheap for tampons as well. Callaly

offers a box of 24 organic cotton, nonapplicator

tampons for £7.20, also offering


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L I F E S T Y L E

The Best Ways to Help You Sleep

Jennifer Kehlenbeck

LIFESTYLE EDITOR

For years I have struggled with getting to

sleep. This has only been made worse by the

combination of a global pandemic and third

year stress. So recently, I have tried some

new methods to help you sleep.

By doing this, I realised that over the years

I have basically tried every single method

that is meant to help you sleep… Except

for no caffeine in the afternoon. My ability

to function is dependent upon my 3pm caffeine.

So here is the verdict of what can help you

sleep from an accidental sleep expert. This

list is roughly organised by the order that

I tried them. I would have loved to include

separating your work and sleep space on

this list, but as a uni student that is impossible.

Maybe that is the key to sleep, but for

at least a little while I will have no idea.

So if you’ve currently struggling to sleep,

or you’re wanting to prevent the inevitable

exam stress sleep crisis, this list is for you!

Herbal Tea – great for relaxing

I do not

specifically

think that

they helped.

They are

a bit like

h e r b a l

teas, but

in a tablet

form. And,

to be honest,

I don’t

find that

they help

as much…

and they are

way more

expensive.

Definitely

try herbal

teas before

these!

Don’t Eat

Just Before

Bed –

great… for

a specific

problem

For me, herbal teas are a great way to relax.

Specifically, camomile teas are meant

to promote relaxation, but I find that all

herbal teas help. Hot drinks sooth my soul

and have become a part of my night-time

routine. I don’t know how great they are for

sleep, but if they help you relax that is half

the battle.

Breathing Techniques – a classic for

a reason

I 100% swear by this. Concentrating on

your breathing in any way, shape or form

helps me sleep. It makes you concentrate

on something other than what is currently

going on your brain. It stops you thinking

about that essay you have to write, or that

embarrassing thing you said in 2007 (I have

no idea why trying to go to sleep always

brings moments like this into your mind).

Let’s be honest, breathing techniques are

basically counting sheep for adults. But,

it one ups counting sheep because it also

makes you heart rate slow down!

Some basic breathing techniques I would

recommend include:

Breathing in and out for 4 counts

Breathing in through your nose and out

through your mouth

I would also recommend trying guided

breathing – but more on that later.

Kalms – maybe try real sleep medicine?

I used these on and off for a few years, but

Not eating

before bed

is probably

great if the

reason you

can’t get to

sleep is ingestion. However, I don’t know

how helpful this is in general. I mean it’s

probably not so great if the reason you cannot

sleep is because all you can focus on is

the insistent hunger in your stomach.

Bedtime Yoga – my go to way to relax

This is great to help you rest! But I always

find that by the time I actually go to bed, I

am out of this relaxed state. Perhaps I need

to do it directly before bed. However, I don’t

think that will work for me. I am far too tired

at bedtime to do a plank, a downward dog,

or even a simple forward fold. I use yoga to

end the workday and I find that this is great

for balance, but I have no idea if this impacts

my sleep.

Get into a schedule – an ideal

Yes, this does impact your sleep. I imagine

this is really helpful for those without any

schedule, but I feel like the key to rest cannot

be as easy as simply having a schedule.

I have a schedule and still struggle to sleep.

There is no guarantee that the time you go

to bed is the time you go to sleep.

Listening to relaxing music – I don’t

think so

I don’t think listening to calming music has

ever helped me sleep. I find that despite the

music playing, my mind still wanders. I have

played music at various volumes and the

same problem persists. Maybe this is something

that would work for some people. And

considering it is one you can easily do for

free it might be worth a shot.

Exercise During the Day – I guess

I have no idea how I would test if this one

works. I have had sleep problems regardless

of whether I regularly exercise or not.

I am sure this works in the long term, but

if you are reading this article you probably

want something that will work a bit more

instantly.

Reading Before Bed – a lovely

thought

I went through about a week of consistently

reading before bed, but I find for me this is

not sustainable. I have to be reading a good

book, have a physical copy of the book, be

awake enough to concentrate, and finish

what i was doing beforehand at a good time.

That is a lot of variables that rarely align. On

that one week I was regularly reading before

bed, I did find that it helped relax me… and

it had the added bonus of me being able to

brag about the fact that I was reading before

bed!

Image courtesy Bruce Mars via unsplash

Leaving Your Phone Behind – another

lovely thought

If reading before bed is a nice but impractical

idea, then not going on your phone

before bed is definitely one. It obviously

helps (the science about blue light does not

lie), but who can realistically do this on the

regular. We have been programmed to be

constantly on our phones and I often find by

the time I think about putting it down, it is

already time for bed.

Meditation – trust me, it works

I was sceptical, but this does work. Sleep

meditations are great. You can do them

while in bed and they help you concentrate

on your breathing. I particularly like the

ones with body scans, I find that this both

relaxes me and focuses me on something

outside of my thoughts.

Specifically, I would recommend the app

Insight Timer if you want to give this a go.

I searched for ages to find an app without

in app costs, and this app has an insane

amount of free options. I have been listening

to a meditation every night for about 5

weeks and have yet to run out of free ones

to listen to.


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L I F E S T Y L E

This Is My Plantfession, Veganism Is

Complicated

Tabitha Lambie

DEPUTY LIFESTYLE EDITOR

If you’re a meat-eater, a plant-eater or anything

in-between welcome to my plantfession;

veganism is complicated. There I said

it; I don’t care how many vegan influencers

say it’s easy, it’s not. If it’s the

struggle to give up dairy or

having to pay over two quid

for your easter egg or drawing

your moral boundaries:

it’s so darn complex. There’s

no handbook and what’s

right and wrong seems to

constantly be changing especially

in the world of fast

food. Now, you’re probably

super confused at this point;

what is she on about, fast

food? Well, let me tell you…

VEGAN DRAMA ALERT!!

With the controversy of

Burger King’s plant-based

Rebel Whopper resurfacing,

social media has blown up

with confusion on whether

vegans should even be consuming

these alternatives

from meat-oriented fast

food chains. Great, yet another

spanner in the ol’moral

works. I always thought it

was a good thing to support

the evolving vegan culture,

supply and demand and all

that, but maybe I’ve got it

all wrong. What if we’re the

problem? This sounded so

crazy in my head so I hopped

onto the internet in search

of answers. It wasn’t long

before I reached ‘Viva!’ - a

British animal rights group

that focuses on the promotion

of veganism. I’ve always

respected their work so I was mortified by

Nicholas Hallows’ conclusion that vegans

WERE funding the slaughtering of animals

by consuming these vegan alternatives and

unwittingly helping fast-food chains capitalise

on our plant-based lifestyle.

This was a shock to the system so let’s talk

about it; this is just an opinion after all.

Hallows begins by debunking the concept

of supply and demand, claiming we have

no idea what brands such as KFC do with

our money, that there’s no jar where all our

pounds go to be invested back in veganism.

This is ultimately true; I don’t need to participate

in an undercover investigation to

realise KFC primarily invests into the meat

industry. KFC kill over 750 million chickens

every year and accepts no accountability for

the cruel abuse these animals suffer. This

is disgraceful and unnecessary but whatever

we do, they’re still going to kill those

chickens!! At least by supporting a vegan

alternative it advertises a new way to enjoy

KFC; welcoming a plant-based future where

chickens don’t die for our consumption. But

the only way this works is if we support it, introduce

pessimistic mates to the vegan side

of life, write reviews, suggest improvements

so these vegan alternatives can be the best

they can possibly be. If we simply boycott,

what change can we possibly create?

However, Hallows seems to have considered

this, suggesting these vegan alternatives do

still have an audience just not vegans. Instead

he believes these products should be

promoted to “flexitarians and the meatless

Monday mob”; vegans shouldn’t be seen supporting

the meat industry and these alternatives

should solely be reserved for those

attempting to reduce their meat intake. This

is a fair point, flexitarians are the future in

my opinion but to say it’s great for those reducing

their meat intake to consume these

products but not vegans who have already

removed meat from their diets seems a little

extreme in my eyes. These kinds of principals

are a quick way to make veganism elite

and for most of us that’s not the aim at all.

Ultimately veganism is the end goal with

flexitarians and meatless Mondays being

stepping stones to a plant-based future but

if we make it harder and harder for people

to enjoy a vegan lifestyle, what do you think

will happen?

These opinions aren’t just mine; Toni Vernelli,

International Head of Communications

and Marketing at Veganuary, also

agrees these vegan alternatives are a step

in the right direction for everyone, advising

the vegan community to not “let perfection

be the enemy of good.” I totally understand

how it can seem we’re supporting animal

cruelty by consuming these products, but

nothing ever changes without change! If

VEGANS boycott VEGAN alternatives what

does that say?

We need to lead the way to a plant-based future;

we’re role models not an elitist cult. I’m

not suggesting these opinions can’t be expressed,

that would be beyond hypocritical,

all I’m asking is that they’re expressed in a

more considerate manner. Comments such

as “The meat eaters already have everything

they want from the chain so why would they

want to swap their chicken for Quorn?”

comes across as very judgemental; instead

of making unevidenced assumptions, we

need to show that this IS the

way forward and you can’t

do that from a distance.

but that’s life.

After reading this article, I

felt it my duty to reach out

to ‘Viva!’ and discuss this

with them directly; I was so

grateful to be able to speak

to Siobhan Dolan. After discussing

the article it became

clearer that these opinions

weren’t a universal front

and ‘Viva!’ never wished to

promote veganism as elitist.

Dolan expressed that, “Viva!

want to help everyone on

their vegan journey, every

step in meat reduction is a

step in the right direction”

and that they only want to

make “veganism as inclusive

and fun as possible”. Dolan

confirmed Hallows’ article

would be reviewed immediately

after my concerns of

elitism and I’m pleased to

say after revisiting the article,

edits have been made.

Now this is the ‘Viva!’ I know

and love, veganism is for

everyone and you don’t need

to live off organic beetroot

to stay true to your values; if

you want to continue enjoying

fast food as a vegan, you

can! It’s your choice and at

the end of the day everyone

will have different opinions

So, I’ll end how I began. If you’re a meateater,

a plant-eater or anything in-between

welcome to my plantfession; veganism is

complicated but it doesn’t have to be. It’s

your life and if your life includes Greggs’

Vegan Sausage Rolls, more life to you. If you

want to stick to the tofu, more life to you

too. Personally, I’m planning on continuing

on treating myself to a cheeky Papa John’s

Vegan Garden Party every so often because

in my opinion supporting veganism within

the fast food industry is essential in creating

the sustainable, plant based future we so

desperately need.

Image courtesy of Tabitha Lambie via @tabisaurus.bakes


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L I F E S T Y L E

Seaspiracy Changed my Life: What to Do Next?

MOLLY KITCHEMAN

The ocean could be empty of fish by the

year 2048. For those born in the year 2000

like me, there will be no fish by the time we

reach 50. That’s right, in just 38 years the sea

may be empty and will remain an empty,

lifeless void. So, should we stop eating fish?

Too many answer this question in the form

of futile resolutions and through participating

in the newest, fashionable trend. Wooden

straws, reusable containers, paper bags

and so many more. Though they “seemingly”

mean well, these attempts are pointless and

half-arsed. Humans have witnessed the extinction

of hundreds of animal species, such

as the Sicilian Wolf, Japanese Sea Lions, Siamese

Flat-Barbelled Catfish…the list is endless.

Each of these animals have one thing

in common. Though drastically different in

habitats and physical traits, what they all

share is us; they were driven to extinction by

humans. The human species made the decision

to force these animals from the planet,

so let’s return to that question: will we stop

eating fish now we’re aware of their possible

extinction by 2048? Well, I’m not so sure,

what may seem such a simple answer is often

met with ignorance.

The recent surge in veganism, what some

would label a craze or/and a trend, has

birthed more and more documentaries

aimed at bringing awareness to human

agencies. In the case of Ali Tabrizi’s recent

documentary, Seaspiracy’s attention is

placed on the fishing agency. Tabrizi shines

a spotlight on it through use of graphic imagery

and rare, plain-spoken truth. Now,

will its audience, after accessing such unsettling,

inhumane displays of violence vow to

never purchase another slice of Tesco’s finest

Scottish salmon? Maybe, but the truth is,

and always has been, that for any significant

change there must be mass cooperation. Do

you think that the Sicilian Wolf would have

survived extinction if one farmer turned

around and spared its life instead of murdering

it to protect their cattle? Of course

not. If the mass population continues to

fund the fishing agency and supermarkets

continue to distribute fish, the recent surge

in wooden straws, bamboo lunchboxes and

wax wrappings won’t have any impact.

Like many others, Tabrizi’s Seaspiracy influenced

my decision to change not only

my eating habits but also my lifestyle. I became

a vegetarian

again, something

I had given up just

a few years back,

and I became more

aware of my own

carbon footprint.

However, distressingly

these changes

won’t account to

much if millions of

us continue to fund

industries such as

the fishing agency.

See, such changes

are crucial for the

continuation of not

only the fish population,

but thousands

of animals

that rely on fish.

Seaspiracy highlights

the problematic

nature of

the fishing agency but, what we should take

from it is that it’s not just up to the viewer to

bring about change. That change is reliant

on the compliance of the majority. Buying

a wooden straw or eating one less serving

of fish a week just is not enough anymore,

it never really was. Sign petitions, highlight

human error and ultimately, stop eating the

damn fish!

Image courtesy of Valerie Buckland via @the.

Tiktok Goes The Clock: Why Am I Still

Scrolling?

Tabitha Lambie

DEPUTY LIFESTYLE EDITOR

Have you ever found that you feel more productive

scrolling through Tiktok than doing

your assignments? Do you wake up to it?

Image courtesy of hello-i-m-nik via unsplash

Find yourself justifying an extra 10 minutes

because it hasn’t hit the hour? Well, you’re

definitely not alone; emphasis on the definitely.

Founded in 2016, Tiktok has amassed

over 91 million users worldwide and has risen

to be one of the most popular social media

platforms

we have

ever seen.

You only

have to

see Inst

a g r a m ’s

desperate

attempt

to rip off

T i k t o k

through

Reels to

understand

how

popular

Tiktok has

b e c o m e .

Famous for

its 60 second

videos

and trends,

Tiktok essentially

takes all

the best

bits of Musical.ly

and Vine to create the ultimate distraction

because let’s be honest, once you

start scrolling it’s hard to stop. Trust me

I know; in the time it’s taken me to get to

this point I’ve scrolled through Tiktok for a

good 10 minutes for “research” aha. So what

makes Tiktok so addictive, let’s find out

shall we…

The biggest draw of Tiktok for me personally

is the fact every video is only 60 seconds; I

don’t have to stay focused for long to be entertained.

This means we can decide within

the first 15 seconds if we’re interested and if

not scroll straight onto the next video. But

when does the scrolling end? Once you hit a

video you enjoy most of us then click on the

creator and binge the rest of their videos; we

know we’ll enjoy them because we enjoyed

the first one. Whoops another 20 minutes

down the drain just to realise you’re actually

bored of bingeing their videos but still aren’t

satisfied. It can feel almost hypnotic as you

keep scrolling and scrolling; USC professor

and author Dr Julie Albright suggests this is

caused by us entering a “pleasurable dopamine

state” that stops us from breaking the

cycle.

Worryingly the biggest cause for this “pleasurable

dopamine state” isn’t only the fact

every video is a mere 60 seconds, though

this does play a major factor, but Tiktok’s

reliance on “shock value” content to keep its

users scrolling. There is no denying we’re all

suckers for crazy stunts and drama so that’s

exactly what Tiktok provides no matter the

cost. Now, I won’t go into details about some

of the extreme challenges/trends we’ve seen

Tiktok promote in the past – Skullbreaker

Challenge for example – or we’ll be here

all day, but these are the trends that create

“shock value” content that we simply can’t

just scroll past. Marry “shock value” content

with catchy “sounds” and you’ve got a

platform that’s hard to escape, especially for

the youngsters which is who this app is marketed

at.

I think you’ve got the picture by now and

for many of you this probably isn’t news; it

doesn’t take a genius to realise how addictive

Tiktok really is and for many of us it’s

just life. But what if I told you there might

be a way out of your scrolling predicament?

There is actually a way to set your screen

time on the app; all you have to do is go

onto your profile, click the three-dot icon in

the top right-hand corner and scroll down

to “Digital Wellbeing”. From there you can

set your screen time and start your new life

with a far less tired thumb.


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S P O R T: ROSES UNLOCKED

Oar-some effort from Lancaster’s Rowers

Jodie Reeve

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Arriving at the Sports Centre’s canopy, I was

Tabitha Lambie

DEPUTY LIFESTYLE EDITOR

I think it goes without saying Roses this year

isn’t how we’ve ever seen it before but that

hasn’t stopped us; nothing can dampen our

spirits - aha yes, I went there, a swimming

pun in the very first sentence.

Now, I must admit I’m more for contact

sports - rugby player by day, judo enthusiast

by night - but I was so excited to be covering

swimming this year. It’s not something I get

much exposure to, so I was living for some

pool-side action and boy did Lancaster deliver.

Not only did we have a PB set by Will Bowler

in the 50m backstroke, but we saw some

outstanding performances ranging across

both competitive and development squads.

Despite not having York in the pool, all of

our swimmers were still fighting for gold,

greeted with the ‘whoosh’ of the rowing machines,

a sound which signalled the effort

and strength needed for

the sport. Having meant to

have begun at 7PM, the races

were delayed for an hour

due to technical difficulties

at York. However, the

increasingly cold weather

didn’t seem to dampen the

enthusiasm of the rowers,

especially the senior women’s

team who were listening

to music, chatting and

maintaining their energy.

using each other to take their lengths to the

next level. It was truly an outstanding effort

and amazing to see a club so united.

Instead of going into great detail over every

dolphin kick, which from where I was standing

all looked pretty immaculate, I want

to give you a greater insight into the club’s

lead up to Roses. The swim team has been

amongst those severely affected by the pandemic

with most swimmers having not been

in a pool since November.

During the wait, the senior

women’s captain Anna

Simpson, explained what

it’s been like for LUBC this

year. The society had only

been able to meet a month and a half before

Christmas to train together, and then went

completely online during Lent term, making

it difficult to stay motivated. Although,

Anna says that since Easter everyone has

been keen to get back into it and have been

training hard.

Each team had four rowers who had to row

500m, making it a 2km race. The coxswain,

who usually steers the boat and ensures coordination,

was also there to yell encouragement.

After speaking with Head Coach, Stewart

Horton, there were some clear concerns regarding

biometrics - getting the swimmers

back into the water. Despite the club president

and captains diligently running land/

cardio training during lockdown, this simply

wasn’t a replacement for pool sessions.

However, although Horton asserted there

should be no increased risk of injury, he did

suggest many of them may struggle from inefficiency

in the water and difficulty finding

that competitive mindset after a year without

competition.

However, after speaking with Women’s

Performance Captain, Grace Spong, and

Men’s Swim Captain, Konstantinos Onoufrou

AKA ‘Khaos’, finding that competitive

mindset clearly hadn’t been an issue.

According to Grace, there had

been a real sense of determination

from all swimmers as “everyone

just wants to beat York”. Khaos

commented on this further, expressing

how the “swimmers were

hungry to be back” and that over

lockdown he had several swimmers

asking for more drills to push

themselves which in turn motivated

him to put in that much more

work ready for their return to the

season. It’s safe to say that united

determination wasn’t in vain with

The event started out strong with the senior

women’s team, made up of rowers Katie

Phillips, Georgia Rattigan, Sophie Young,

and Trina Read - alongside coxswain Megan

Dyke. The senior men’s team was next and

also gave it their best shot, and included

Toby Gilmore, Finn Carter, Chris Roberts

and Jamie Mellor, with Charlie Guilden as

cox. The last team to race was the men’s

novice team, made up of Vlad Oancea, David

Richardson, Kieran Duffy and Matthew

Iewthwaite with Jamie Mellor as cox. Whilst

York managed to win these races, the endurance

shown by our teams was outstanding,

and I agree with Finn Carter who ended his

race with “that was insane.”

The novice women’s team competed third

and were the victors of the event. The team

included Maisy Bowen, Caity Beattie, Sophie

Raine and Claire Roberts. Jo Witten,

the coxswain for the novice girls, explained

that the women have never competed, so

the novices “have some grit” and had been

“training like animals” to be fully prepared.

It clearly paid off and gave Lancaster two

points for the start of Roses.

For every race the society went wild with

support. This team spirit was noted by the

men’s senior rowing team after they had

competed, with Chris Roberts explaining

that with rowing “you’re doing it for the people

around you.”

Image courtey of Jodie Reeve

Lancaster’s Swimmers are Definitely NOT Fish Out of Water

Lancaster pulling through for a Roses win,

beating York by two points.

There is only one way to sign off this match

report so, in the words of Grace Spong, “we

don’t need pool time, we don’t need help to

win because we have the red rose!”

Image courtey of Tabitha Lambie

Lancaster hits bullseye with a Darts Win

Beth Train-Brown

COMMENT EDITOR

In a series of legs that lasted nearly five

hours, Lancaster beat York 3-2 in the

women’s and 6-3 in the men’s matches.

The object of the game involves players

‘checking out’ by getting their start score

down from 501, reaching zero by throwing

a double or a bullseye with their final

dart. During the very first set, audiences

watched on as Lancaster’s Darts

Co-Captain, Harriet Phipps whittled her

score down to 12 then 6 then 2. Finally,

she hit a double 1 and the team could be

heard cheering across County Square.

Last year’s darts competition was held virtually,

involving anyone who happened to

have a dartboard at home. Co-Captain Harriet

remembers playing in her garage but

this year she struck victory in County Diner,

bringing Lancaster its first win of the competition.

Despite freezing Northern temperatures, the

odd swarm of flies, and loudly drunk freshers

traipsing across the livestream area, the

darts players played on from 7PM to gone

midnight. Before the women finished, they’d

secured three more wins for Lancaster and

lost only twice.

Lancaster’s mid-competition win in Darts

may not have secured Red Roses this year,

but it’s left the Darts club with another triumph

under their belts going into the season.

Image courtesy of Lancaster University Students’ Union Facebook


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S P O R T: ROSES UNLOCKED

Speed Pool leads to a Ballsy Battle

Sam Turner

DEPUTY NEWS EDITOR

The pool event at Roses was a little bit different

this year compared to previous tournaments.

As opposed to traditional 8-ballpool,

where competitors face off against

one another attempting to pot seven of their

own-coloured balls before potting the black,

this year - due to coronavirus restrictions -

players raced against each other at ‘Speed

Pool’.

In Speed Pool, the aim is to pot all 14 of the

coloured balls on the table and then the

black ball to finish. 10 seconds are added for

fouls (mainly the accidental potting of the

white ball) whilst the premature potting of

the black is classed as a DNF (did not finish).

Each player from the men and women’s

brackets had two attempts at clearing the

table in the fastest possible time.

This year, rather than watching in person,

the games were streamed online. Whilst

York played on a traditional green cloth

table with red and yellow balls, Lancaster

adopted a cool blue, with blue and yellow

balls. Due to the high level of concentration

that the sport demands, and therefore majorly

silent competitors, the commentary

team filled the dead air with play-by-play

action and some…interesting conversations

about beans.

The tournament opened with the York

women’s team, who posted standout times

of 4 minutes 18 seconds, 4:40 and 3:00,

whilst the Lancaster women’s team weren’t

to be discounted, ranking twice in the top

five with competitive times of 3:28 and 3:55.

It soon became clear that both teams

were adopting different strategies, as York

showed more of an inclination to push their

speed, whilst the Lancaster competitors

were generally more meticulous with their

shot choices, leading to a somewhat slower

overall pace but greater degree of accuracy

compared to the York players who raced

around the table.

One member of York’s men team posted an

incredibly swift clearance of 1:54, but due to

their apparent speed focus, the team looked

to be missing

more shots and

suffered a number

of DNF’s in

the later stages.

The Lancaster

men soon

showed their

prowess at the

table as their

first competitor

proved

to be a pure

marksman,

rarely missing

a shot. Their

second player

produced a

time of 3:05, clearing the table with a level

of swag that lived up to the slogan on his t-

shirt; “Can’t make training,” as he potted his

final black with a suave bank shot.

In the end, both teams demonstrated their

Lancaster Coast Home in the Cycling

Tom Jeffreys

DEPUTY SPORT EDITOR

Lancaster University Cycling Club dominated

York 38 points to 14 to win this year’s

time-trial cycling event.

The cycling, unlike most other Roses events

this year, was competed in by well-trained

athletes who have had over a year of intense

day-to-day training due to lockdown - with

little other sporting options available and

the cycling hype-train at an all-time high. As

a result, President Iain Murray anticipated ‘a

really close match’.

However, this year’s match was far from

close; ‘we absolutely destroyed them’, said

Murray.

Lancaster’s finest cyclists competed in three

categories: fast, medium, and social, with

riders aiming to record their fastest 10km

time via 7.8 laps around the club’s circuit.

This was an aim that was completed with

overwhelming success.

President Murray led from the front with

Lancaster’s fastest time, clocking in with

an impressive 14 minutes and 50 seconds in

the fast category. Ishbel Strathdee rode the

fastest female and medium category ride

with a rapid time of 16:36 and the fastest social

rider was

Josh Williamson, who finished his 10km

with a time of 17:11 - which really makes you

question what category of rider you’d be if

he is ‘social’.

The cycling society has only been able to

train together since April 21st, but a fantastic

display of unity was shown as the society

gathered in the sunshine to prove that roses

are indeed red and provide the atmosphere

that this year has sorely missed. In the absence

of crowds, the cyclists were able to

find unity in the unique scoring system that

meant each cyclist was put into a team of

three – one cyclist from each category –

with each cyclist’s time accumulated to

make an overall score for each team.

Overall, 5 teams from each university entered

the event, so teams were aiming to

finish as high up on the 10-team leader

board as possible, with the top spot offering

10 points, and second spot 9 and so

on. Hence, it is clear for us all to see that

Lancaster completely dwarfed York, taking

home 38 of the 55 points on offer.

Moreover, Lancaster took all 3 of the podium

spots on the leader board and made

up 5 of the top 6 spots to comfortably coast

to victory. As a result, the cycling added 4

points to Lancaster’s overall Roses tally.

Lancaster’s dominant team comprised the

following 20 cyclists:

Iain Murray, Joe Baker, Bryan Lewis, Stefan

Image courtesy of Lancaster University Students’ Union Facebook

skill and most impressively adapted their

game to the current restrictions. However,

it was the York team who took the women’s

bracket, whilst the Lancaster men’s team

achieved times of 2:10, 2:13, 2:40 and 2:50

- taking places 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in the

table and winning their bracket.

Image courtesy of David Evans

Freeson, Jonathan Hall, Ishbel Strathdee,

Sam Norman, Tom Butterwick, Azim Zafran,

James Reed, Dan Herterick, Anirudh

Bansal, Isaac Hodgson, Roscoe Martin,

Emma Marshall, Josh Williamson, Olivia

Johnston, Anna Philps, Emma Beeson, and

Holly Gibbons.

Vice Chancellor and Sports President Darts Challenge

Emma Blakey

DEPUTY COMMENT EDITOR

As a novice to most sports (excluding running

and rowing), the idea of reporting on

a darts match was quite daunting for me.

However, the rules were simple enough to

follow: Both players start at 501 points, aiming

to get to 0.

The inner bullseye is worth 50 points, while

the outer bullseye is worth 25 points. Then

there’s the triple ring (inner ring), which is

worth 3 times the points of the outer number

it lands on, and the double ring (outer

ring), which is worth twice the points of the

outer number it lands on. Finally, all other

spaces in the ring are worth the number the

dart lands on.

Enthusiastically presented by William King

and Izzy Norwood, the first match included

our own Vice Chancellor Andy Schofield vs

York’s Vice Chancellor Charlie Jeffery. York’s

VC Charlie took an early lead, making a

confident start. However, Andy then got a

triple 20 score, suddenly overtaking Charlie,

maintaining a cool, collected expression.

Mid-game, Charlie took back over, with both

VCs taking the match very seriously. Andy

began to fall behind with 96 points, meanwhile,

Charlie was on 4. Right near the end,

we saw Andy and Charlie battling at breakneck

speed, ending up at 3-2. Charlie hit the

final correct points selection, winning by a

hair’s breadth.

The second and final match was between

the two sports presidents, with York’s Maddi

Cannell vs Lancaster’s own Paul McCarthy.

Paul swiftly took the lead with 470 points.

Soon after, we saw a tight 455-453 with

Maddi lowering her total score until she

was in the lead at 211-110. However, after

Maddi threw a few darts off-board, both

players were neck-to-neck at 20-17. Sadly,

the match’s finale wasn’t aired due to a technical

error.

Notable moments included Paul McCarthy

being teased for his name (you can

guess why!) and the tense closeness of both

matches right near the end.


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S P O R T: ROSES UNLOCKED

Lancaster Runners Edged at the Finish Line

Tom Jeffreys

DEPUTY SPORTS EDITOR

Lancaster’s running club was pipped to the

post in this year’s Roses running event, but

still managed to gain an impressive and

important 6 points for Lancaster’s overall

Roses tally.

The Men’s A and B teams both won their

events, winning 4 and 2 points for the university

respectively. However, York Men’s C

Team won their event, as well as winning in

all three of the Women’s categories.

18 men and 18 women entered the competition,

with their scores corresponding

to their position on the leaderboard, with

the aim of the game to accumulate as few

points as possible.

The runners ran a 5km race in dry, overcast

conditions allowing for the athletes to run

some jaw dropping times without the pressure

of too much rain or sun; the club’s distance

captain, Jacob Cann (pictured), ran

the day’s fastest time to come first in the

men’s event with a staggering time of 14:37.

This was made even more impressive by the

fact that he ran a 17:30 5km straight after

his race; utterly outrageous.

One of the club’s ‘Run Leaders’,

Leo Cossham, picked up

a podium too, coming third in

the Men’s category with similarly

outrageous time of 15:27,

and Transport Secretary, Matt

Briggs, capped off a fine day for

the As in 4th place.

In the Women’s categories, Anna

Philips (pictured) paced a rapid

20:40 to come third overall and

pick up some vital points. Social

Secretary Imogen Wilson and Ellen

Sayles strode into 8th and 9th

place respectively for the Women’s

A team.

For the Men’s B team and the

Women’s C team, consistency was

the word. Aaron Doyle, Reuben

Copley, and Andy Thomas finished

6th, 7th and 8th respectively

to not only crush their B team

competition, but York’s A team

too. Leona Upton, Molly Riding

and Amelia Page of the Women’s

C team came 12th, 13th, and 14th

respectively to finish above the

Women’s’ B team but came just

short of winning their event.

After a year of all too much running practice,

Lancaster’s Running and Athletics

Club were finally able to put some of their

relentless lockdown training into action

and did so with good success; under a minute

separated the Women’s C team from

victory which would’ve resulted in an overall

draw. Nonetheless, Lancaster’s running

club continues to excel with over 100 members

and prove that #RosesAreRed.

When asked for a quote on this year’s event,

the running club eloquently said, “York

swims in the shallow end”.

Here’s a list of the weekend’s athletes: Anna

Philips, Imogen Wilson, Ellen Sayles; Leona

Upton, Molly Riding, Amelia Page; Jessica

Dean, Merlyn Gilldaley, Dasha Allard. Jacob

Cann, Leo Cossham, Matt Briggs; Aaron

Doyle, Reuben Copley, Andy Thomas; Richard

Joisce, Calum Laing, Matthew Green.

Images courtesy of Leo Cossham

Lancaster Archers shoot for Gold

smiles, including the current president, Rosie

Irwin Holbrey. Rosie, who was on her last

12 hours of being the society’s president, had

also brought Ptrevor (pictured), the pterodactyl

plushie that was the team’s mascot,

to watch the event whilst it unfolded.

the society as being like a family, which was

clear to see throughout the competition and

in celebration of the end result.

Jodie Reeve

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Situated on the Rugby League Pitch, the first

competitive component of the day started at

10:15am, and included every archer shooting

60 arrows each, six at a time. This was to

see who the best female and male archer of

the teams in York and Lancaster were (who

would win their university one point) and

also identify the top three archers of each

university who would compete in the final

competition.

This lasted an hour, and during the wait I

spoke to the previous president of the Lancaster

University Archery Club (LUAC),

Dave Spruce, who wielded an open laptop

with a shared spreadsheet where him and

York were tallying up the live scores. Dave

explained how lockdown significantly impacted

archery practice since most society

members didn’t have suitable gardens or the

equipment to train at home. With such little

time to practice, it was no wonder that some

archers were feeling nervous to compete.

Despite this, the archery team were all

After much anticipation, the mixed team

head-to-head competition finally began,

which had the best three players from each

university competing. Representing Lancaster

was Katie Roadknight who scored 535

points out of 600 during the first part of the

day, alongside Daniel Shynn (scoring

496 out of 600) and Charlotte Brocksom

(scoring 463 out of 600). We were already

on a high note, as with those outstanding

sets of points Katie had won one

point for Lancaster for being the best female

archer from the York and Lancaster

teams, and Daniel had missed out on

the best male spot by only eight points.

The following arrows shot by the group

of three were tense, as after four rounds

we were tied with York, and knew that

the next round either gave the red roses

a tie or made them victorious. A moment

of silence, and then an eruption

of whoops from the team as Lancaster

realised they had beaten York in the last

round, scoring Lancaster four points

and meaning the team had achieved five

out of six points altogether. Charlotte,

one of Lancaster’s winners, described

Images courtesy of Jodie Reeve


scan.lancastersu.co.uk | Twitter @SCANLU | Instagram @scanlancaster | facebook.com/SCANonline Week 24 - Week 26 | 34

S P O R T: ROSES UNLOCKED

The Pentathlon Sprinting shows the Community

and Camaraderie at Lancaster

Annie Ord-Houghton

Having not been to a famous Roses weekend

before I had no idea what to expect when

covering an event, especially in light of the

current COVID-19 restrictions. That being

said, the anticipated competitive comradery

and sporting excitement did not disappoint.

Not being an avid follower of any particular

sport, I was excited to watch something that

I would not necessarily have thought to see,

which brought me to the sprints. Initially,

I was expecting a group race, but instead,

I was met with individual runners from all

other sports societies there to represent

their team. There was definitely something

amusing about each sprinter being called

out as their dedicated sport, such as ‘squash’

or ‘canoe’.

Each runner had only one chance to get

their best possible time on the 80m sprint.

I got the feeling this certainly put an added

dose of pressure on the individuals (little did

they know many of them would have another

chance to race due to a funny amount of

false starts from timers not being started).

After all the participants had completed

the sprint, the fastest times were incredible.

For the boys, the quickest time came in at

10.01 seconds from a member of the rugby

seconds team. For the girls, it was 11.25 seconds

from a speedy member of the women’s

rugby team. I think it is safe to say that the

rugby players really brought it home for the

sprint. However, all team representatives

gave it their all and their societies should be

proud to have them.

What was most enjoyable about the event

was the supportive community element.

During everyone’s sprint, all their fellow

competitors were cheering them on from

the sidelines, giving the competition back

some of the spirit that COVID-19 has tried

to take away.

Naturally, this was a year very unlike Roses

of previous years. But everyone held the

same unanimous opinion that they were

just grateful to be able to take part this

year, no matter what adjustments had to be

made.

Taking to the screen like a duck to water – Lancaster

Esports Prevail

Abbie Salkeld

So many sports have had to make alterations

this year to ensure a safe Roses but one

sport that has come into its own is Esports.

Fielding an impressive team of 27 players

over the course of the weekend, Lancaster

certainly delivered an exceptional performance.

Before I dive into the results, I will give

you a short summary of what takes place

in Esports, as I must admit I didn’t know

myself until this weekend. Esports is competitive

gaming designed to test teamwork

and strategy. There were six main matches

played during Roses, as well as a number of

show matches set up for fun. In each of the

games, teams took it in turn to attack and

defend over a cycle of different maps testing

each other’s skills.

When I tuned in to the final Esports overwatch

match on Sunday, the Lancaster

team was already in a good position having

won all five previous matches. Despite the

challenge of the mostly new Breeze map,

both Lancaster and York gave an impressive

fight. The first round was won by Lancaster

who initiated the game as defenders and

came out on top. For the following round,

the roles reversed placing Lancaster in the

attacking role and resulting in a draw as

York put up an impressive defence. However,

the defence couldn’t last, and as tensions

and adrenaline rose Lancaster took

the final two games by storm. As a result of

this, Lancaster was awarded a clean sweep

across the board, winning all six games in

the main tournament, despite a resilient response

from York.

Speaking to the president of Lancaster’s

gaming and Esports society, Dylan Couperthwaite,

he commented on the amazing

job York University did in arranging

everything from the graphics on screen

to getting all the streams up and running.

While the society has the benefit of lending

itself to the online format, the tournament

couldn’t have been pulled off without

the commitment of all the organisers and

players.

All in all, it was a pleasure to see Esports

thriving off the challenges this year has

presented and coming together to create

such an impressive event. The hard work

paid off and it was a victory well deserved

for Lancaster. I for one can’t wait to see

what next year brings. As has been proven

this year, there is no obstacle that can get in

the way in the battle of the Roses.

A Question of Roses – Lancaster can bank on their

Brains

Amy Brook

As a fresher, I had heard all about Roses before

arriving at Lancaster but never experienced

it in its full glory, so to hear I was going

to cover the closing event this year was

quite an honor! However, I soon realized

that my immersion in the event wouldn’t be

how I expected. My event was held online

this year, so I quickly had to bid the thought

of sitting beside a tennis or rugby pitch with

my notebook and pen an underwhelmed

goodbye.

However, though faced with a few technical

difficulties here and there, everyone

involved with the presenting and coverage

ensured the event ran as seamlessly as possible

and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay on

the livestream. Covering an event from your

bedroom can be more fun than previously

imagined!

So, what is this event all about? ‘A Question

of Roses’ involves two teams of four students,

a points system, and a lot of general

sports knowledge. The winning team is deduced

through the highest number of points

they score by answering five rounds of questions.

This year, it was presented by JCRs

Maddie and Paul, who both did a brilliant

job. Not to forget the iconic appearances

from the student keeping track of the scores

who deserves full credit for both my laughter

and Paul’s quote: “I enjoy these score updates,

maybe more than I should.”

In the first round, it seemed as if York had

the upper hand when they scored their first

four points. In contrast, Lancaster scored

nothing due to giving an incorrect answer.

In the second round, although both the

teams performed equally well, the Lancaster

team were held back by their lack of points

from earlier but managed to snag enough to

keep up steadily behind their rivals.

By the end of the third round, which was

won by York, the score was 11 - 8.

The fourth round consisted of Roses knowledge

questions, and Lancaster blazed

through these with their more in-depth

knowledge of the event than York. York held

onto the points they had accumulated from

the earlier rounds but could not hold their

higher ground for much longer, as Lancaster

also won the fifth and final round with

their rapid and clear answers.

‘A Question of Roses’ ended on a triumphant

32 - 35 to Lancaster. With scores so close, it’s

fair to say the teams were evenly matched –

though, ultimately, roses were red!

Image courtey of Sammie Caine

Image courtesy of Abbie Salkeld

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