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Established since 1967 Weeks 11-20 2024



Lancaster’s Vice Chancellor

Sends Message on the

Israel-Palestine Conflict



The current Israel-Palestine conflict has

affected many Lancaster students. Recently,

the Vice-Chancellor has sent out a message

about the conflict. Read the full article to find

out how some Lancaster students and the

Lancaster community have responsed to the



First Aid

Myths Busted:


Fact From

Fiction to Save








Caitlyn Taft | NEWS


The timetables for the past

two academic terms have

generated controversy amongst

undergraduates at Lancaster


Some students have expressed

“deep concern” for their current

Timetables for a multitude of


These students have been

feeling overwhelmed by how the

organisation of their lectures,

seminars, labs, workshops and

more have been arranged.

Currently, the University’s

Timetabling and Booking Policy

states that teaching hours are:

“9am to 6pm on Monday, Tuesday,

Thursday, and Friday. 9am to 1pm

on Wednesday.”

For many students, these times are

not accurate.

Countless undergraduate students

have expressed annoyance with the

fact that they are unable to partake

in Wednesday afternoon sports

activities anymore.





Pushes for

Place at








Arts &














Caitlyn Taft






Efe Imoyin-Omene


Firstly, happy New Year! I hope the new year is

treating you all well. We’re in the midst of the

Lent term and I don’t know about you, but I’m

feeling it.

It’s been a busy term for me! I’ve been sorting

out SPA nominations and trying to get this

issue ready. Also, apparently I have this thing

called a degree.

Honestly, I have so much

more in store for SCAN. I’ve

been loving my time as Editorin-Chief

and I’m so proud of

my team.

A Letter From The Editor

I have a lot of thanking to do, so let me begin.

A massive shoutout to the

world’s best Associate Editor,

Efe. Truly, thank you. You are an

asbolute gem. You’re not only

amazing at your role but you’re

an amazing person.

I love spending my Thursday mornings talking to

you on SCAN’s radio show at BailriggFM.

Also, I cannot forget to thank

Lexi Joyce, Noor Rahka, and

Bethan Williamson. You are

brilliant all and I’m so thankful for

your contributions to SCAN. You

make this job feel so rewarding.

Thank you to VP Education Sam Hedges for

discussing the timetabling article with me. You

have been a massive help. Thank you for allowing

me to discuss an issue that has affected so many


Also, thank you to my boyfriend, Oli. He has been

incredibly supportive and has helped through so

much. He’s the best, maybe I’m just biased though.

There are some fantastic articles in this issue and

I’m shocked at the talent that our team has. I hope

you enjoy reading this issue.

If you are thinking about joining

SCAN but are unsure, come

along to our weekly meetings.

They take place in Furness Back

Bar every Tuesday 5pm-7pm.

I love workshops and I aim to hold more before the

term ends.

If anyone is interested in

workshops about any part of

SCAN (sourcing images, article

writing, formatting, etc), please

let me know!

I know this issue is later than the usual Lent issue.

Managing the entirety of SCAN whilst doing my

degree is very difficult. I’m doing fine but the

deadlines suck!

As it’s a new year, we would love to see new faces

as writers, photographers, illustrators, graphic

designers, website designers, and more. If SCAN is

something you might be interested in...

Join the team by messaging us on

Instagram @SCANLancaster

or email me at


Caitlyn Taft (@Caitlyn_Taft)


Maria Hill & Sky Fong



Laura Johnson



Adrian Collis & Emily Holtom



Atiya Mahboob



Naomi Onakunle & Amy Dixon



Valentina Caneschi & Lexi Joyce



Amy Brook & Freya Stoodley



Georgina England



Noor Rakha & Elizabeth Brooks



Will Jones & Peter Murdock



Bethan Williamson

The Editorial Committee above is responsible for

all content and production of SCAN. Compliments,

comments and complaints to be addressed to

Editor in Chief in the first instance. VP Societies &

Media, Danny Goodwin, is responsible for all legal

matters and significant reputational harm and can be

contacted at su.vp.societiesandmedia@lancaster.


(Printed by Mortons)

Uni News at a Glance

LUSU Elections:

Your New Full-

Time Officers

and Liberation

and Campaign

Officers 2024/25

The new student engagement

and attendance tool (SEA) will

It’s just been election season and the “bring together a range of learner

results for next academic year’s FTOs analytics from different University

and LCOs are in!


Three out of the six

current Full-Time

Officers have been reelected.

President: Cerys

Evans (she/her)


O f f i c e r :

H a r r i s o n

Stewart (he/


Wellbeing Officer: Ella

Smith (she/her)

“We want our students to

understand what data is being

Activities Officer: Jack collected, what we will be doing

Watson (he/him)

with the infomation, and why.”

Womens+ Officer: Millie Ni-This academic year, learner

Elle Ashton (they/she) analytics will be availble to tutors

Students with Disabilities and staff within departments.

Officer: Em (they/she)

and Charley (they/them)

Congratulations to all of you!

SEA: New Tool

to Support



Lancaster University is launching

a new tool to support students.

The SEA tool will track:

- Moodle use

- Attendance data from


- Assessment submission

- Use of library resources

Rebecca Heron, Head of

Student and Programme


explained that:

You can request to meet with

your deepartment to discuss your

learner analytics data.

To find out more, check out the

university’s website.



Is Here!

The 45th annual Lancaster

Literature Festival is back. The

event celebrates all sorts of

literature in Lancaster and beyond.

Students and the public alike are

invited to author and poet

conversations and readings.

In light of the current cost of

living crisis, the festival events

are free/ pay what you can

(with a recommended ticket

price of £5 for all events).

Following on from last year’s

successful Writers in Residence

scheme, this year, the Chair of

Lancaster Litfest, Julie Bell, has

announced that the event will

be joined by children’s author Sophie

Anderson, naturalist Mark Cocker,

philosopher AC Grayling and poet

Hannah Lowe.

Litfest will also see their first

Lancaster History Lecture, which

will be given by Sathnam Sanghera,

the acclaimed author of Empireland.

It’s Litfest’s ambition to create a

platform for everything to do with

books and perfomance. This year,

Lancaster Litfest are welcoming

Lancaster Lore and Queer by Gum .

Book your tickets and find

out more on their website:


The Winner of

Lancaster ECO

Challenge Has

Been Anounced

From 24th July to 25th August, the

University Underpass was closed as

Green Lancaster’s ECO Challenge

has been

ongoing since

January and

now the winner

has be chosen.

The challenge is

in collaboration

with the nine

colleges, Work

in Progress, and

Team Mentors

from across


It encourages “experimentation,

having a go, and learning through


Last year’s winning team ECOEats

went on to put their idea into

action. The team runs weekly

cooking sessions and in Welcome

Week successfully delivered 2,000

boxes of vegan chilli to student

kitchens across campus.

Fylde and Furness came in second

place with their ECORewards

idea, where students would get

rewardsfor recycling via an app.

Lonsdale came in first place with

their ‘Lonsdry’ idea, focused on

tackling the issue with the tumble

dryers on campus.

scan.lancastersu.co.uk SCANLU SCANLancaster


Lancaster: Fix Your


Timetables for Your

In the policy, it states that “Wednesday

afternoons (13:00 onwards) are reserved

for undergraduate sports activities.”

It continues, “As such no core, creditbearing

undergraduate teaching which

isn’t repeated elsewhere in the week will

be scheduled during the time except

with the express consent of the PVC

Education or their nominee.”

Some students have reported having

classes outside the times that the

University’s Timetabling Policy have


A few students have said that they have

classes that end after the 6pm teaching

hour cut off.

The lack of consistency in the

Timetabling system has left students

unable to unwind after their day. The

university encourages students to

join societies and partake in Sport


However, some students cannot fit their

societies and clubs into their personal

timetables anymore. One student told


“I can’t even go to my society’s

social tonight because I have a

lecture that ends at 7pm. I would

skip [it] but I don’t know if it’ll be

online later.”

The Timetabling system’s inconsistencies

have greatly disadvantaged many

students. For other students, they have

stated that the timetabling system has

been working fine for them, as one

student told me:

“My Timetable has been really

thought out and spaced out for me.

I don’t have to get into Uni super

early and I’m not in [classes] really

late either. It works really well for


Many students have been experiencing

“time poverty” due to core modules

being taught outside of core hours.

“Time poverty” is a concept defined

as the feeling of having too many

things to do and not enough time

in which to do them. This can effect

student mental health and expected

degree outcomes.

Some undergraduates who are in

their Third year have described feeling

“overwhelmed” whilst others are

“stressed but managing”. Two students

with opposing opinions have said to me:

“I’m in almost every day until 7pm

and then I have to travel back from

the Underpass which can take

ages. I get in and I feel exhausted.

There’s no way tutors want to be

in [university] this late either. How

are we supposed to make time for

our societies and sports if we’re

finishing so late? ”

“I’m normally in until late but I don’t

mind it. Staying on campus and

being in the library means I get work

done, so it doesn’t really bother


“Time poverty” has a higher chance of

affecting students who are struggling in

the current cost of living crisis.

Students, who have part-time work

whilst juggling their time for their full

time degree, will be forced to change

their possible working hours.

This may lead to part-time jobs

being more difficult to maintain for

students from low socioeconomic


“Time poverty” also affects students

who commute to Lancaster from

other towns or cities. A student, who

commutes to Lancaster and has parttime

work, told me about their situation:

“I commute from Blackpool. I

normally have 9am-11ams. I have

to leave an hour or two early in

case there’s traffic and then I have

nothing [on my timetable] until 5pm.

So I’m stuck waiting on campus

when I could be doing a shift or

relaxing. It’s an absolute joke. The

uni doesn’t care about commuters.”

Students with Disabilities and chronic

illnesses may feel disadvantaged as they

are expected to work these long days.

Without the constraints of the Core

hours, students with disabilities and

chronic illnesses may end up unable to

attend all core material.

Current Students

One student told me that:

“My Wednesdays are full so I don’t

have a day off until the weekend.

My mental health and physical

health is really bad at the moment

so I feel drained by 2pm on


Other students with dependants may

feel massively disadvantaged by the

non-core teaching hours. With core

modules being taught outside core

hours, this can result in these students

struggling to cover childcare.

For some students with dependants,

they may be forced to require nurseries

and afterschool programs which can be


This leaves these students

economically and academically

disadvantaged compared to nondependant


Recently, the current Full time officer

for Vice-president Education, Samuel

Hedges, attend a Union Assembly

discussing this very issue.

The purpose of the assembly was “to

affirm the Union’s position that there

should be no timetabling of core

materials outside the core teaching


The assembly outlined the issues

of students who are disadvantaged

by the timetabling of core modules

for non-core hours and wants

the University to ensure that the

university maintains the University’s

set Timetabling and Room Booking


This would ensure that no core teaching

is happening past 6pm and after 1pm on


The assembly states that the

Wednesday Afternoons should be

“free for sport, and recreational

activity” as it “is crucial for student

mental health”.

They fear that increased workload and

the inflation of student contact hours

are leading to greater risk of students

suffering from burnout.

The assembly has been approved to go

on to be debated on a wider level.

The University has a new framework

for education planned for Autumn

2024. This new curriculum model

will be underpinning “changes

are required to our academic

regulations, student administration

business processes and systems.”

For many students, they will not see

the changes or benefits of this new

curriculum model as they will be

graduating in Summer 2024.

This means students will continue

to experience the stress and

disadvantages of the core modules

being timetabled for non-core hours

which may affect whether they get

the grades they wanted.

The university has responded to this,


“While the Timetabling and Room

Booking Policy states “where

requested or deemed necessary,

teaching sessions may be

scheduled outside core teaching

hours”, undergraduate core

teaching is only ever scheduled on

a Wednesday afternoon as a last

resort, and only where the event is

repeated elsewhere in the week.

Students can request a move to an

alternative group to avoid attending

sessions on Wednesday afternoons.

6pm teaching slots are only utilised

as a last resort where teaching

cannot be accommodated in core


Any student who is struggling

with any element of their

student experience is strongly

encouraged to seek support from

the University’s Student Wellbeing


Front Page Story Photo Credits:

Sadie Coll

Article Teaser Photo Credits: :

Sadie Coll, @lancasterfirstaid,

Eve Perring, and Max Bachellerie.


SCANLU SCANLancaster scan.lancastersu.co.uk

N e w s


Adrian Collis

& Emily Holtom

Lancaster’s Vice Chancellor

Sends Message on the Israel-

Palestine Conflict

Adrian Collis

over 2 million Palestinians prior to the conflict



In October, Lancaster University’s vicechancellor

Andy Schofield published a

statement to all students and staff, offering

support for those affected by the ongoing


A statement sent in the University’s student

newsletter on the 13th of October outlined the

aforementioned support available to staff and

students in wake of the “deeply distressing”

escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel.

The Israeli government has declared

war on Palestinian militant group

Hamas following an attack on the 7th

of October that killed at least 1,300

Israeli citizens.

They are additionally upholding a siege, cutting

off electricity and food supplies to all who remain

in the area.

It has been estimated by OCHA,

the United Nations Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs,

that as of the 26th of October over

8100 Palestinians have been killed,

with at least 20,000 injured.

At least 7,000 have been killed in Gaza alone,

with almost half of Gaza’s population prior to the

conflict being under the age of 18.

In Israel, it is estimated that around 1,400 people

have been killed, with over 5,400 injured.

community towards the University’s

wellbeing services as well as the

24/7 wellbeing helpline and staff

members directly impacted towards

the Employee Assistance Program,

which they ensure readers is “free

and confidential”.

Schofield encourages readers to uphold

“Lancaster’s values of respect for individuals,

building communities and creating a positive

impact for good in this world” within the

University’s communities, both “to each other

and to the wide groups we engage with”.

Various action has been taken

regarding the conflict both oncampus

and in Lancaster’s town,

as some student groups urge the

University to take a stance on the

current situation or condemn the use

of violence to citizens on both sides

of the conflict.

A number of protests and rallies have occurred

in order to demonstrate student solidarity to

Palestine, with a number of student organisations

such as Lancaster’s Friends of Palestine society

requesting that the University condemn the

actions of the Israeli government.

Following two movements organised

by Lancaster’s branch of Socialist

Appeal, a communist organisation

expressing and providing pro-

Palestinian sentiment and resources

on-campus, security intervened with

the demonstrations and instructed

the students involved to leave


At this time, no other statements have been

made on the conflict by Lancaster University or

any official organisational branch affiliated with

the University.

The government has conducted a series of The vice-chancellor’s statement

airstrikes on the city of Gaza, which was home to also points members of the

ITV News Visits the Students’ Union to

Talk About Supper Club


TV cameras were rolling in the

Students’ Union this month

covering the cost of living crisis

and what’s being done to help at


Granada Reports journalist, Siham Ali,

got in touch after SU President Cerys

Evans highlighted the issues when she

was in the audience at a recording of

BBC’s Question Time in Lancaster.

Cerys had spoken powerfully about the

impact the spiralling cost of living was

having on students across the country

and asked what the political parties

were going to do to help.

Siham was interested to see what is

being done here at Lancaster and her

report showed the Pantry that has been

set up in the SU reception area and

the Supper Club that is running every

Thursday night.

Siham’s report featured interviews with

Cerys and VP Welfare Josh Newsham,

who spoke of their own experiences

and how the Supper Club was helping

students here at Lancaster.

Photo Credits:

Lancaster University’s

Students’ Union.

scan.lancastersu.co.uk SCANLU SCANLancaster

N E W S 5

Plan on Travelling in 2024 ?–

Why Not Try a Flight-Free Trip?

Anna Foster


Flight-free travel can significantly reduce

your Carbon footprint and can make travel

seem like even more of an adventure.

Flying connects the world like never before

opening travel to faraway places. But this comes

at a huge cost to the planet.

Only around 12-15% of the population are

frequent fliers, yet aviation contributes about

2.5% of the world’s total CO2 emissions and

produces many other pollutants that contribute

to climate change and other environmental


Buses often take longer and are slightly worse

than trains in terms of emissions but often

are much more affordable suiting the student

budget. No-fly travel often means adapting our

travel habits completely.

Instead of a week-long holiday with

a flight on either end and having one

location you’re based at you can

stop at a few places along the way

as you travel and can often be much

more flexible in when and where you


I, like many other students and young people, am

keen to travel.

I think for me

travelling and

seeing how

beautiful and

diverse our


and people

are reminds

me of why I’m


about climate

action in the first


In 2018, a movement began in

Europe called flygskam meaning

“flight shame” in Swedish, the aim

being to encourage flight-free travel

that is slower and closer to home.

Often it can feel like the actions we take to

improve our lifestyles for the sake of the planet

only have limited impact but taking one flight

emits more than most people in the world do per

year, so not taking that flight can have a hugely

beneficial impact.

Travel by train is, of course, the best

option. Flying from London to Madrid

emits around 118kg of Carbon

Dioxide whereas the equivalent train

journey emits only


But even driving in a

car alone is often better

than sitting in a cramped

economy seat on a plane.

Though train travel

is often seen as

more expensive

(particularly in the

UK where a train

from Edinburgh

to London can

cost well over £100), there are

ways to make overland travel more


journeys in the UK

The St Ives Bay line is

considered one of the

most beautiful train

For the past couple

of years, I’ve been

flight-free and

mostly holidayed

in the UK hiking

in the Lake

District, Scotland,

and Brecon Beacons,

volunteering in marine conservation

in the Hebrides, and admiring the

Cornish coast on one of the most

scenic train journeys in the UK.

Being grounded has made me

appreciate my own country’s natural

beauty much more.

I’ve seen more wildlife than I ever have on foreign

holidays from Grey Seals, Minke Whales, Puffins,

Northern Bottlenose Whales, Red Squirrels, Sea

Eagles and many more.

And last year I even managed

to do some foreign travel. With

some friends I went on a trip to


France on the Eurostar, it was only

an hour and a half from London and

by travelling in the middle of the

week during the summer holiday we

managed to get tickets that cost only

£39, this along with booking a cheap

hostel made it a relatively budget


I also went on an interrail trip

with my parents in Switzerland

and Italy where we travelled

through Pairs, Interlaken,

Chur, Varenna, Stresa and

Geneva and I did two of my

bucket list items – the Glacier

and Bernina Express!

Interrailing is a great

option for keeping train

travel costs down there

are interrail passes

available to all ages.

Interrailing has become a rite of passage for many

students and young people. If you’re looking

for a travel adventure for 2024 that’s affordable,

flexible and green interrailing is a great option.

Prices range from £167 for 4 days

in one month to £614 for 3 months

continuous. They can be useful for

short holidays as well as longer

periods of travel as well.

Choosing where you travel can also help keep the

costs down, Eastern Europe for example is often

more affordable than Western Europe.

And for the longer distances of travel that most

people would probably just take a flight for, why

not try a sleeper train?

There are many sleeper train

routes across Europe, and they

can be quite a good way to save

on accommodation and travel long

distances at the same time.

Even though 2024 will be the first year I fly again

since 2019 but I’ve very much fallen in love with

Flight-free travel.

I’d choose a train over a plane any day and

hopefully now you’re considering it too!

Photo Credits (in order): BBC, Anna

Foster, Anna Foster, and Back on



SCANLU SCANLancaster scan.lancastersu.co.uk

scan.lancastersu.co.uk SCANLU SCANLancaster


C o m m e n t


Atiya Mahboob

Golden Globes: Award Show

or Cesspool of Controversy?

Lexi Joyce


The Golden Globes, established in 1944,

is an award show to celebrate significant

works in film and television per annum.

However jolly this seems, the ceremony

has been marred in controversy since its

inception, culminating in the tumultuous

events of this year’s broadcast.

Let’s consider if the Golden Globes are truly as

glamorous as they seem.

In 2010, the Golden Globes were rumoured

to be involved with bribery concerning their

nominations. Particularly Burlesque and The

Tourist, two rightfully acclaimed movies I enjoy.

However, perhaps these ‘Best

Picture’ nominations aren’t what

they seem. 2010’s host, actor, and

comedian Ricky Gervais joked that

these films only had nominations

because of the show’s alleged

involvement in bribery.

More seriously, a mere two months later, Phillip

Berk, a notorious Globes voter and long-running

President of the Association responsible for the

ceremonies was expelled for sending emails to

voters regarding Black Lives Matter. He called it

a ‘racist hate movement’. The Association was

dissolved from their involvement in the show.

and filmmaker Jerrod Carmichael.

Opening the show with an

unflinchingly biting monologue, he

stated ‘I’m here because I’m Black’.

Supposedly, making a comedic

spin on the heavy racist- intentions

the show was heavily affiliated with


Carmichael goes even further to call out the

Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)-

previously run by Berk, hinting that they didn’t

air a show in 2022 due to the aforementioned

controversial comments. Saying ‘I won’t say they

are a racist organisation, but they didn’t have a

single Black member of the team until George

Floyd’s death’.

Carmichael encourages all of us

to look past the deceiving wall of

glamour and discover the ugly truths

behind it. Some of which were more

obvious in this year’s show.

Jo Koy, another American actor and comedian,

was in charge of hosting the summary of an

incredible year for motion pictures. Especially

with the cultural significance of Barbenheimer,

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film, and new

stunning cartoons.

However, it fell very short, going viral

for all the wrong reasons.

In 2023 the show was hosted by

Black American comedian, actor, This show, initially a very exciting one, was

Who Really Took the Spot:

quickly diminished by Koy’s hacky jokes. All

of which fell very flat with little applause, and

concerned looks from the crowd of Hollywood


Koy went on a tangent, glorifying

the historical representation of

Oppenheimer, and it being based on

a 700 page book of dogma around

the Manhattan Project. He used this

hyperbolic praise to belittle Barbie

in response, making a laborious joke

objectifying the doll, and in doing so,

almost all the women involved in its

creative process.

Photos( top to bottom): Michael Tran, AFP via Getty

Images, Getty Images, and Lancaster University.

Greta Gerwig (Barbie’s director, executive

producer and writer) did not seem pleased as

Koy reduced the themes of existentialism and

women’s empowerment in the blockbuster to

juvenile breasts’ jokes.

Race, Class and Nepo Babies

Efe Imoyin-Omene


On June 29, 2023, The US Supreme Court

struck down affirmative action in college

admissions. Affirmative action is an active

government effort to improve employment,

education, and other opportunities for

members of historically disenfranchised


Despite it being implemented to level the

playing field, many people rejoiced at its

cancellation under the belief that it unfairly

favours racial minorities, specifically Black


Mr Blum, the founder of Students for Fair

Admission, celebrated his group’s success

in the blockbuster ruling, heralding it as the

‘beginning of the restoration of the colorblind

legal covenant that binds together our multiracial,

multi-ethnic nation’, calling affirmative

action and other similarly motivated schemes

‘discriminatory admission practices [that]

undermined the integrity of our country’s civil

rights laws,’.

Yukong Zhao, president of the Asian American

Coalition for Education, told the BBC he

welcomed the ruling, arguing that affirmative

action had negatively affected Asian American

students’ odds of enrolment at elite schools.

‘This decision will preserve

meritocracy, which is the bedrock of

the American dream.’

But by overturning affirmative action, far less

people have seen their American dream realised.

An historically all too familiar reality has made

good on threats to rear its ugly head yet again.

Emory University’s racist rejection

As a part of its 2023 Juneteenth programming,

Emory University’s medical school apologized

to 83-year-old Marlon Hood for rejecting his

application in 1959 because of his ‘Negro race’.

Thankfully Emory University was desegregated

three years later and Hood ended up studying

at the HBCU (Historically black colleges and

universities) Howard, retiring in 2008 after

having a successful career.

Still, the exclusion that Hood faced

endures today in much more

insidious ways.


A 2019 U.S. News study found that 43% of white

students admitted to Harvard University were

ALDCs. This refers to students who are recruited

Athletes, Legacy students, on the Dean’s interest

list (applicants whose relatives have donated to

Harvard), or Children of faculty and staff.

The study also showed that the

number of admitted Black, Latino

and Asian American ALDCs were

less than 16% from each racial/ethnic


Moreover, the same study revealed that

approximately 75% of white ALDCs accepted

into Harvard would have been denied admission

if they had been treated as white non-ALDCs.

So, contrary to ill-conceived belief, it is

not Black students who are at a significant

He went on to

make a similarly


joke about Taylor

Swift’s ‘overexposure’

on footage at NFL games,

when simply supporting her partner,

player, Travis Kelce.

Though I feel Koy’s humour left everything

to be desired, his monologue has been met

with some positive reception. The Guardian

commended Koy for taking on the difficult task

of relieving a crowd of ‘uptight celebrities’. This

perspective seems to add another dimension to

the conversation.

Seemingly, the Globes tend to

hire those with a natural ‘buy-in’,

intentionally bringing an element of

horror to the stage, a flux to deliver

or expose controversy.

Which indeed gets people talking about the

show, and ultimately, watching it. This also goes

beyond just the Golden Globes, just look at the

Chris Rock-Will Smith incident at the Academy


But is this dramatisation a good look? Should

we be thinking more about who is running our

favourite television events?

advantage when it comes to the college

admission process. White students with deeply

entrenched social networks are the ones

enjoying the privilege.

To interrogate unfairness in higher

education, we need to look at

the ways class and race intersect

beyond finger-pointing and


Ultimately, there is always going to be a

limitation on the number of students these elite

institutions can admit, even for those who hail

from the most privileged backgrounds.

The exclusivity is a part of what

makes these elite institutions elite.

So to all those who have been/

are/will be disappointed, look at

the legacies, please leave Black

students out of this.

Like Taylor Swift, they would very much like to

be excluded from the narrative, one that they

have never asked to be a part of.

8 C O M M E N T




and the



Caitlyn Taft


For those of you that don’t know,

February is LGBTQ+ History Month.

While LGBTQ+ stories are always

important, this month extra effort

is made to raise awareness about

the significant contributions the

community have made to society

while continuing to imagine and

strive for a society where true

equality is second nature.

In honour of this month, Lancaster

University’s LGBTQ+ Forum has

been hosting numerous events.

One of which was a Trans protest in

Alexandra Square. Here is a list some

of their upcoming events:

23rd February: Cake Crawl 12pm-3pm

in town.

21st February: Fylde Welfare Event

College Stall 11am-4pm.

26th February: Weekly Coffee Evening.

Despite being a small group of student

volunteers, The Forum is dedicated to

advocating for LGBTQ+ students.

They have campaigned annually

for trans rights by protesting in

Alexandra Square. They have also

ensured that Sugarhouse provides

gender neutral toilets for attendees.

Alongside this, they have been

providing a safe space for queer

students by promoting sexual health

and active signposting for STIs. The

Forum also has fun sober and drinking

socials to ensure that everyone is able

to have a good time.

Due to their diligent campaigning, each

bar on campus will have a LGBTQ+

flag as well as a poster explaining

its meaning and significance for the

entirety of February.

Another important campaign

they have been leading is called

Rainbow Laces, which will be

available at the end of the month.

All proceeds will be used for

supporting LGBTQ+ people (either

through SU support or a charity.)

Rainbow laces will be purchasable

from the SU and the Forum.

If you are LGBTQ+ or interested in

the forum, I encourage you to check

out their Instagram or email Thomas

Cross, the current LGBTQ+ Officer.

Happy LGBTQ+ History Month


Email: lusu.lgbtq@lancaster.ac.uk

Instagram: @lancasterlgbtq and


Efe Imoyin-Omene


Whether it’s: Reggae, Dancehall

and Soca from the Caribbean,

Afrobeats, Ampiano and Alté

from the continent of Africa,

Drill, Garage and Grime from the

UK or R&B, Soul and Hip-Hop

from the States, the African

diaspora’s global influence on

music creation and consumption

is undeniable.

Like Fulani braids being falsely

credited as ‘Bo Derek Braids’ or Elvis

Presley being treacherously crowned

the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ when

he jacked most of his swag from

hardworking and underappreciated

Black artists like

Big Mama Thornton

and Little Richard,

innovations from

the African diaspora

have a sad history

of being stolen, or


How can we combat

this? Enter the

Producer tag.

What is a



A producer tag is

an integral element

of many songs,

especially in R&B

and Hip-Hop. The

producer of the song

will insert a short

sound (typically at the beginning)

meant to familiarise the listener

with who is responsible for the


It also makes mapping out

a producer’s oeuvre easier

as their audio watermark is

featured on the tracks they


It experienced a massive rise in the

late 2000s and early 2010s with the

rise of the trap subgenre of Hip-Hop.

A producer tag usually

includes someone saying

a short and memorable

phrase, announcing their

presence on the track; an

example of this might be

Young Chop’s producer tag

‘Young Chop on the beat’.

Another example is Lil Ju who is

most known for his acclaimed work

with the rapper and activist Megan

Thee Stallion.

‘And if the beat live, you

know Lil Ju made it’.

Alternatively, it can be a

notable audio idiosyncrasy

like Pharrell Williams’

signature ‘four count start’.

Due to the trailblazing work of

Black Americans, the art of forming

producer tags has extended outside

of the African diaspora with the

likes of Murda Beatz and DJ Khaled

creating their own as well. ‘Murda

on the beat, so it’s not nice’ and ‘We

The Best Music!’, respectively.

The History of the

Producer Tag

Producer tags originated in the

1990s, emerging naturally at the

intersection of hip-hop music’s

growing mainstream appeal and the

common practice of rappers loudly

announcing their names over the

instrumentals, which was known as


SCANLU SCANLancaster scan.lancastersu.co.uk

Make Your


Ta g Your


The History

of Producer Tags

They were initially used

as a form of protection

against somebody stealing

the beat; the musical

equivalent of an artist

signing their art.

Lucas Garrison of DJBooth wrote:

“When you send out a beat,

you have little to no control

over what happens to it.

Someone could very well

use it without giving you

credit, or even worse, claim

it as their own.”

“One way

producers can

prevent this from

happening is

through a drop.

Adding a catchy

little snippet at

the beginning is

like a watermark,

it ensures

everyone knows

who the beat

belongs to.”





Noticeably absent from this

conversation are female producers.

And that’s not because women

haven’t made significant

contributions to urban productions.

Quite the contrary.

However, according to

Forbes, women only make

up 3% of producers.

There are many reasons for this like

young girls having a lack of role

models in STEM fields as well as the

bias and ostracization many women

face even after shattering their

fraction of the glass ceiling.

In 2017, music producer Drew

Dixon accused record executive and

Def Jams Recordings co-founder

Rusell Simmons of raping her in

1995, breaking a difficult 22 years of


Sadly, her story is not

an isolated incident but

indicative of the violence

women face for daring to

tuck in their seats at the


There is still hope with acts like

Missy Elliot who has worked with

everyone from Destiny’s Child,

Beyoncé, TLC, Aaliyah, and Whitney

Houston to rising stars like Chlöe,

FLO, and Anitta.

Both Elliot’s career and

others are inspiring

generations of young Black

girls to get in the driver’s

seat of their artistry.

Some of my favourite producers

right are now are women, like the

Grammy award-winning production

duo Nova Wav- responsible for

producing a good chunk of Beyoncé’s

Renaissance album. They have also

produced for Ariana Grande, Britney

Spears, Rihanna and countless


What’s your Tag?

The concept of putting your

distinctive magic into your work

is not unique to the field of music


No matter who you are

and what you do, you must

always bring your tag.

This can be as simple as vowing to

be honest with yourself and others.

And if that manifests in a striking

catchphrase… then so be it.

Photos( top to bottom):

Billboard.com and @novawav on


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C O M M E N T 9

Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass

Doors: Issa Rae and Black Creativity in

Hostile Territory

Efe Imoyin-Omene


A useful framework for thinking about

art and the ever-complex life it imitates is

Rudine Sims Bishop’s Mirrors, Windows,

and Sliding Glass Doors.

Art is a mirror when audiences can see their own

lives reflected back to them, a window when they

can view lives and stories that are different from

their own, and becomes a sliding glass door when

they feel immersed in the story’s world and feel

empathy for the characters.

In many ways, the work of

multihyphenate Issa Rae

encompasses all three. She is most

known for creating, producing, and

starring in the hit HBO dramedy

Insecure- depicting the lives and

loves of millennial Black women in

Los Angeles.

She is also known for starring in movies like the

blockbuster hit Barbie, American Fiction and

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Despite

2023 looking like a banner year for the mogul, she

admitted to TIME that last year was ‘not fun at


In January, her show Rap Sh!t was axed by Warner

Bros. Discovery. Sadly, Rap Sh!t wasn’t the only

black-led show that experienced an abrupt death

in the last two years- joining projects like The

Wonder Years, A Black Lady Sketch Show, Grand

Crew, South Side, All Rise, Raising Dion, Queens

and Rae’s reality show Sweet Life: Los Angeles.

One can’t help but be dismayed by Hollywood

seemingly backsliding on the Diversity, Equity

and Inclusion pledges made in 2020.

Due to the coalescing of the pandemic and

unavoidable conversations about America’s

anti-blackness, entities like Amazon, Netflix and

Walt Disney Co. vocalized their intentions to

financially support Black-led organizations and

initiatives. According to UCLA’s 2021 and 2023

Hollywood Diversity Report, there has been an

uptick in the casting and hiring of creatives who

are racial minorities.

However many stories with a culturally specific

lens like Rap Sh!t are ignored in service of more

‘universal’ (read: palatable) stories.

As someone whose published work revolves

around the lives of young Black Queer people,

I’m often praised for my ability to make my

characters universal, despite their identities.

I once took this as a compliment. But

why should I work extra hard to make

my characters relatable? Why isn’t

the fact that my characters, that I am,

that we are human relatable enough?

I guess when

you’re used to

mirrors, windows

and sliding glass

doors seem scary.

In 2018, 27% of children’s

books published

featured animals as

main characters—more

than books featuring all

non-white characters


In 2020, only 8.8% of

employed editors in

the publishing industry

were Black, according

to the Bureau of Labor

Statistics, and in a

collaborative study

conducted by Oxford

University and Reuters Institute it was discovered

that as of 2023 only 6% of UK top news editors

were people of colour and that 0% were in Brazil.

For a Black creative, these statistics feel bleak. The

industry gatekeepers, my lecturers, classmates

and teammates rarely look like me and in pitch

meetings it’s not uncommon for my work to be

met with dismissal.

The bigger the room, the more alone

I feel.

Due to the dual strikes of the WGA (Writers Guild

of America) and SAG (Screen Actors Guild), she

had to lay off eight employees and witness her

projects’ burgeoning wings clipped.

An Exploration into Academic

Snobbery within Universities

David Grice


As university students, we are expected

to think beyond the realms of the ‘norm’,

beyond the ideals of the universal, but why?

Should we not attempt to broaden those

ideals to include all?

It may seem like an irrelevant discussion, but

perhaps the nature of being a university student

includes the expectation to study harder and aim

higher than our contemporaries.

Is that not why there are entry requirements and

required summer work, to test ourselves to prove

that university is for us?

The Rise of University Graduates

There has been a rise in the population of

university students and an increase in applicants

per year to university. According to Statista,

compared to 30 years ago, the amount of students

applying to university per year has almost

doubled, from 405,000 to 767,000. And in 2019,

over half of the UK population was educated to

a tertiary level.

To the great benefit of the UK, many

people are being educated at an

undergraduate level, if not further.

However, we should then ask, what

about those who aren’t?

There are many careers now that not only

recommend but require a degree, a phenomenon

that has increased over the last decade titled

‘degree inflation’.

According to a report by the Harvard Business

School, ‘in 2015, 67% of production supervisor

job postings asked for a [university] degree, while

only 16% of employed production supervisors

had one.’

They also stated that ‘while a majority of

employers pay between 11% and 30% more for

[university] graduates, many employers also

report that non-graduates with experience

perform nearly or equally well.’

More Accessible Universities?

The question, therefore, is whether universities

should be more accessible.

We cannot deny that universities are beneficial

for society. They inspire and teach many

valuable skills to people who may not have

the opportunities to do so at an age of mental

development and growth, but does this then lead

to snobbery beyond the confines of an academic


Every university, even one like Lancaster, known

for its prestigious positions within the league

tables, must ask itself, does it lead to academic


Does it teach its students to consider

themselves ‘better than thou’?

Do the activities that the students

partake in seem elitist?

Though I have claimed earlier that over half of

the UK’s population does hold a degree, the BBC

makes it apparent that ‘only 7% of the world’s

population holds a Bachelor’s degree‘.

However, this does not negate the truth that

many employers within the UK will expect and

provide preferential treatment for applicants

Despite it all, Black innovation will shine. I think

of books like All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M.

who have completed a degree to a sufficient

level. The number of applicants with completed

Bachelor’s degrees is bound to rise.

Rethinking Our Attitudes

Having personally worked with numerous NHS

staff who did not have university training, I have

realised that they have a tenacious attitude.

They work tirelessly to provide a satisfactory

experience during a time of increased trepidation.

My biggest fear is for you to consider this article

anything other than a declaration that those

who have only received secondary education are

worthy of understanding.

Nor is it a claim that those who read

this are bound to commit the sins of

‘academic snobbery’, something that

we all may mistakenly do.

We must analyse the attitudes that we, personally

and as a society, might hold towards those who

only have a secondary education.

Moving Beyond Snobbery

We should perhaps move beyond the snobbery

that fabricates barriers between different class

systems and instead enjoy a more coherent

understanding of the entirety of our society.

Notable as our academic accreditation may be,

they should instead be seen as an addition to the

person we already are.

Why should certain forms

of entertainment or career

opportunities be withheld from those


We deserve mirrors too.

Johnson, Here Again Now

by Okechukwu Nzelu,

and Honey & Spice by

Bolu Babalola. I think of

shows and movies like

Everything Now, I May

Destroy You, and Rye

Lane. I think of music like

Chloe X Halle’s The Kids

Are Alright and Ungodly

Hour, Natanya’s Sorrow

At Sunrise and Solange’s A

Seat At The Table.

My (read: our) Black

Creativity is surviving in

hostile territory. When it

feels hopeless, all I can do

is keep writing.

‘If there’s a book that you

want to read, but it hasn’t

been written yet, then

you must write it.’– Toni

Photos (above and below): Djeneba Aduayom

for TIME

(@djeneba.aduayom on Instagram) and

@lancasteruni on Instagram.

who have not attended university?

We must also note that as university students, if

we are provided with roles that require academic

accreditation, we should use it as a source for

good, to expand and envelope those who may

not have gained their university certificate and

to propel them to positions based on merit and

experience rather than documentation itself.

On the brighter side, a recent article by the BBC

displayed improvements regarding student

applications on UCAS to ‘top uni courses’ from

disadvantaged backgrounds, that there has

been an increase of 7% since last year that have

applied to medicine, dentistry, veterinary studies

and Oxbridge.

While this perpetuates the ideology that one must

go to university to be of use, it also encourages

those who have not had the opportunity that

they are not to be forgotten.

Experience Beyond Our Degrees

For even ourselves, we should become more than

solely ‘university students’, but rather to prove

our merit and abilities, attempting to impress

those around us, as we did before we arrived on

the tiles of Alexandra Square, boxes in hand.

However, I do not write this to claim

that the reputation of Lancaster, nor

the expectations placed upon the

students, should diminish.

Instead, it should be the expectation that the

toll that universities as an entity place upon us

should entice us to experience more than just the

courses we’ve enrolled on.


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Arts & Culture

Reclaiming My Identity

When My Native


Naomi Onakunle

& Amy Dixon


Caitlyn Taft

and Alison Taft

Language is ‘Dead’

Caitlyn Taft


To most of you, my language is dead and

has been for centuries now. A language

that’s often thrown aside and rendered

pointless. To most of you, my country is not

even a real country.

Honestly, for most of my school life, I thought the

same. Telling people that I am Welsh felt like a

lie for years.

How can I be Welsh if I can’t speak

it? (Mae’n ddrwg gen i, dw

i ddim yn siarad Cymraeg.)

How can I be Welsh if I can’t

read the road signs in my

own country? (Mae’n ddrwg

gen i, dw i ddim yn darllen


There is a deep remorse I have for that teacher

now. Who told her to be ashamed of her


Who told her to forget the language

in her last name, claiming it to be

dead, buried, and replaced by the

English words of hate she spread

during a festival about celebrating

the cultural importance of Cymraeg

and Cymru?

I was born in a Welsh hospital and I lived down

the road from a bilingual primary school. Eight

year olds can speak better Welsh than me, a

twenty year old who only has an A grade in Welsh

GCSE as proof of her nationality.

I felt like a fraud to my ancestors,

despite most of my family not

speaking our language apart for

the odd Wenglish sentence. Still, I

carried my guilt until it turned into


My language has

always been a joke.

With the rise of the

political party Plaid

Cymru, talks of Welsh

independence were

laughed at amongst

my classmates.

S4C, especially Rownd a Rownd, and learning


I’ll give my Cymry friends love

spoons and celebrate Dydd Santes

Dwynwen every 25th January

silently and pridefully.

My language and culture are not dead. Even with

the struggle of free Welsh learning resources,

Welsh speakers are on the rise, even with

Duolingo ‘pausing’ their Welsh course to focus

on “more popular languages”, despite 3 million

active learners, I’ll keep telling you that in the

line to Sugar and in hushed conversations in


With the name restoration of Yr

Wyddfa (previously called Snowdon),

Welsh culture is becoming integral to

building modern Wales.

In First Year, every time I told someone

about my Welsh identity, they asked the

same question. “Can you say something

in Welsh for me?” It could’ve been in the

queue to the bathroom in Sugarhouse,

or in the never-ending Greggs queue. No

matter the place, they always asked.

Shamefully, I’d string

together random

Welsh words I

remembered from

secondary school.

“Rydw i’n chwarae pêl-droed” (I play football)

and “Rydw i’n ysmygu sglodion” (I smoke chips)

are compliments to them, not beginner entry

Welsh and gibberish sentences.

The monolinguals would clap and

wish they were Welsh.

Most of the Welsh I use daily is the odd word or

phrase thrown into normal English sentences.

Let’s have a look becomes let’s have a gweld.

“Wenglish” is incredibly common in

North Wales, it defines my identity

as a North Walian and as a Welsh


I didn’t learn Welsh in primary school. “cinio or

brechdanau” (dinner or sandwiches) were the

only Welsh words I knew.

We were taught that Wales is rich with Celtic

history. Some of our history is forgotten about,

overwritten for most of modern Welsh history.

For example, the stories of the warrior princess

Gwenllian being widely forgotten.

Our history was full until 1536 when

Henry VIII arrived and banned

our language. Until 1942, for four

hundred and six years, it was illegal

to siarad Cymraeg in court.

If their children were caught speaking Welsh in

school, they were punished and stuck with the

“Welsh Not” around their necks to shame them.

English was required as a result of the Treachery

of the Blue Books, forever affecting the nation’s

language and culture. No matter what happened,

the English were set on drowning us out.

My classmates,

who had


whose mother

tongue was

Welsh, laughed.

I never got the joke,

and I still don’t.

The rage I

carried turned

into passion

once I started

realising that my culture is not dead.

The mourning I felt for my language and my lost

culture was a feeling that was misplaced. I am

still angry but it’s no longer targeted towards

myself. It’s aimed towards the ignorance to my


Many non-Welsh people have been taking a

Welsh word that’s untranslatable and crucial to

our culture.

Hiraeth doesn’t mean a longing for

any random place you’ve never

been. It is an unending longing

for Cymru before the English

colonisation. So, let us eat our bara

brith and mourn what we have never

had in peace.

Ignoring the angry visitors who hate the

restoration of the mountain’s name, this is

incredibly important and a massive achievement

for the language.

Thanks to the rising support in Wrexham A.F.C,

due to Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s

purchase and documentary of the club, people

are realising the potential of Cymry.

Our culture is rich in sport, music, art,

and folklore.

I encourage anyone, Cymry, Saes, or an avid

language learner, to pick up learning this rich


Read Welsh literature, listen to

independent Welsh artists, have a

gweld at some Welsh art, or watch

an episode of Rownd a Rownd.

For the Welshies who feel the same as me, I want

to remind you that you can determine how your

identity is formed.

Your lack of speaking the language

doesn’t make you any less Welsh.

Grieve what you don’t have and

learn to love our country within or

from afar.

After years of struggling with my identity, I am

comfortable in my Welshness.

I recall one of my teachers before our Eisteddfod,

a yearly festival on celebrating Welshness, told

my class, “we’re learning Welsh because the

government is forcing us.”

Did they succeed in this? No, you

cannot drown out a language older

than your own.

In recent years, I’ve spent many hours

rereading, respeaking, and relearning Cymraeg.

I’m no longer embarrassed about my lack of

knowledge about my country. I enjoy watching

My language is beautiful and I am

proud to be Cymry.

Cymru am byth until the day I die.

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


Exploring the Complex Legend of Elvis


Amy Dixon


On January 8, 2024, admirers

worldwide commemorated what would

have been the 89th birthday of the King of

Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.

His remarkable legacy, spanning music, fashion,

and culture, have enthralled generations

globally, including myself. His profound impact

on the fabric of American life remains a subject

of fascination.

Born to humble beginnings in

Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys and

Vernon Presley, Elvis faced early

hardships with the stillborn death

of his twin brother, Jesse, and the

desperate poverty of the area.

This hardship haunted him and was instrumental

in shaping his extremely generous and socially

conscious nature, as well as songs like ‘In the


His initial songs, including ‘That’s All Right,’ ‘Blue

Suede Shoes,’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock’ - all recorded

at Sun Records - not only dominated the charts

but became anthems for a generation, fuelled by

his bold, unique, and rebellious spirit.

Rapidly catapulted into unparalleled

fame and wealth, Elvis acquired

Elvis quickly became the

ultimate embodiment of

American values, but in his

own words,

“The image is

one thing, and

the human being

is another. It’s

very hard to live

up to an image”.

Graceland, a mansion

in Memphis, along

with numerous cars,

horses, and lodgings

for his loyal staff and

many girlfriends.

This era of extreme celebrity took a troubling

turn as his manager’s relentless pursuit of

wealth led to endless shows in Las Vegas,

resulting in addiction to prescribed drugs and

the disintegration of his marriage to Priscilla.

Ultimately, this led to his untimely death.

Elvis’s tragic demise has added

complexity to his historical figure,

as it becomes clear that he was

a vulnerable, desperately lonely

soul exploited by wealth-grabbing


As the lyrics of “Suspicious

Minds” suggest, he was “caught

in a trap”, unable to walk out and

leave the spotlight.

Elvis mania is experiencing a

recent resurgence, fuelled by the

biopic starring Austin

Butler and directed

by Baz Luhrmann,

described as a ‘blistering,

turbocharged chronicle

of the King’ and ‘a

kaleidoscopic portrait

of the king of rock’n’roll

and his puppet-master

promoter’ by The


Following closely is the release of

“Priscilla,” starring Jacob Elordi and

Cailee Spaeny and directed by Sofia

Coppola, aiming to capture the

intricate, knotty dynamics of one of history’s

most famous couples from Priscilla’s perspective.

Having had the privilege of hearing

Priscilla Presley, now 78 years old,

speak at the London Palladium last

year, her memories of Elvis seemed

primarily loving, yet tinged with

heartbreak following the recent

death of their daughter Lisa Marie


I also explored

the ongoing Elvis

Exhibition at the

London Arches,

running until April

2024, which was

a deeply moving

experience. Countless

possessions from

Graceland, including

his iconic flamboyant

concert jumpsuits,

told the story of his

profoundly eclectic


The opportunity

to sign a birthday

card for Elvis, a gesture that will

reach Memphis, underscored

the tragedy of his story and the

unwavering loyalty of generations of


All the tributes at the museum underscore the

enduring appeal and timeless quality of Elvis’s

music in a vastly different world, solidifying him

as an irreplaceable icon.

In an intriguing technological twist, later this

year, a world tour of an AI-generated Elvis

concert is set to showcase his electrifying

performances in a modern reimagining, for

those who are interested.

Photos: Amy Dixon

Popular 2023 Books for Every

Emotion in 2024

Naomi Onakunle


Emotions are complex. They can be

mental states such as anger or fear,

and are subjectively experienced in

response to people, situations and


Here are some emotions you can experience,

and the books you can link with them:


It is characterised by feelings of joy, content

and fulfilment. When

an individual practices

self-care, or has good

relationships for example,

a sense of happiness can

be evoked.

The Book That

Wouldn’t Burn by

Mark Lawrence

is a high fantasy

novel about the

lives of two isolated

individuals colliding.

This is the first book in Lawrence’s

The Library Trilogy so if you enjoy

this then there’ll be more to check



It is described by feelings of

revulsion towards something

offensive and unpleasant. The

actions, ideas, and appearances

of others, or simply the five

senses can stimulate feelings of



Michallon’s The

Quiet Tenant is a

psychological thriller

about a serial killer and a victim

that he has decided to ‘keep’

(TW: abuse of various kinds).

The book is narrated from the

perspective of the daughter, the

victim, and a restaurant owner.


This emotion is

associated with feelings of

disadvantage, despair, and

disappointment. Losing a

loved one, or having trouble

at school or work can cause

feelings of sadness.

Hello Beautiful by

Ann Napolitano

is a tale of love,

sisterhood, and

family. It follows

the story of college students, Julia

Padovano, a young ambitious girl

who hails from a close-knit family

and William Waters who’s family is

dysfunctional to say the least (TW:



It’s an emotional response to a perceived threat

or danger, thus triggering the

body’s fight-or-flight response.

An individual may feel

uncertain or unsafe around

deep water, which could

therefore elicit a sense of fear

if they were to be near it.

Some People Need

Killing by journalist,

Patricia Evangelista

is a memoir which

documents the many

deaths of Filipinos, at

the time of the Drug War, during the

administration of Filipino president,

Rodrigo Duterte.


Categorised by feelings of stress, frustration,

and irritation, anger can occur when you

feel wronged or if someone is being abusive

towards you.

Chain-Gang-All-Stars is a

dystopian novel by Nana Kwame

Adjei-Brenyah detailing a battle

between death row inmates for the

chance of freedom, all in the name

of entertainment.


It is a feeling of shock as a response to something

unexpected. An individual could come home

to their loved ones holding a surprise party for

them, thus evoking a sense of surprise.

Prince Harry,

Duke of



Spare, details

the intimate

moments of his

life within

the royal

family. The


book sparked global surprise as

well as outrage due

to the disclosure of

personal matters.

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

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A Festive Weekend Getaway

to Edinburgh

Amy Dixon


To reward myself for making it through

the term, I decided that it was time for an

enchanting escape to Edinburgh, a city I

had never explored before, but had always

been on my Lancaster university bucketlist.

I boarded the 10:09am train from Lancaster

station and arrived at Edinburgh Waverly

at 12:17pm. This gave me the rest of the

afternoon to explore the iconic sights.

I began at Princes Street

Gardens which offered

stunning views of the city

skyline, including the dominating hilltop

presence of the Castle.

Next on the itinerary was a leisurely wander

down The Royal Mile, so called because of the

mile-long parade of shops that connect the

Castle and Holyrood Palace.

Lined predominately with tweed,

cashmere, and whisky shops, I was

certainly spoilt for choices of places

to buy gifts!

Along the Royal Mile is the magnificent St

Giles’ Cathedral, built in 1124 and gearing up to

celebrate its 900-year anniversary this year.

It’s vaulted ceilings and candlelit

ambience provided a welcome

refuge from the bagpipes and the

bustling city.

Sunday began with a rare glimmer of sunshine,

so I made my way to the

imposing Edinburgh

castle, an enduring

symbol of the city’s

resilience. The castle

housed a variety of

museums that told of its


I explored the

eerie prisons

that dwelt in the

castle’s vaults

and discovered

graffiti made by

the inmates that

dated from the


To explore the literary

legacy of Scotland and

to ensure I had not

entirely forgotten my

degree, I next went to

the Writer’s Museum.

Within its cosy rooms were the

artefacts that make up the rich

tapestry of Scottish literary legends.

As night descended, I headed to Greyfriars,

where I practiced the tradition of rubbing the

bronze nose of the endearing Bobby statue to

gain good luck.

This testament to man’s best friend

memorialises a dog who loyally

guarded his owner’s grave for 14

years, until his own death in 1872.

I then took a frightening stroll around Greyfriars’s

Kirkyard in the dark to connect with the ghouls

of Edinburgh’s past and find the graves that

inspired Harry Potter characters, such as the

grave of Thomas Riddle.

This saw the end of

my weekend escape

to the outstanding city

of Edinburgh.

I boarded the 18:51pm train

from Edinburgh Waverley

and made it back to rainy

Lancaster at 20:56pm, giving

me plenty of time to get ready

for lectures on Monday.

It is remarkable how

much of Edinburgh

I could see in one


(A literary recommendation

to accompany this trip

would be The Antiquary by

Sir Walter Scott).

Photos: (flag) @Normann on Flickr

and (photographs) Amy Dixon

What’s on at The Dukes this Term?

Naomi Onakunle


Fancy watching a theatre production

or a comedy show?

Perhaps there’s a

film that you didn’t

get a chance to

watch in your local

cinema? Well, look

no further! Below

are just SOME of

the productions

available to

see, during this

academic term!

From February 15th to

March 20th, you could


- Sir Ian McKellen reprising his

role in Hamlet.

- Your Fat Friend, a powerful

documentary which discusses

body image.

- American Fiction.

Golden Globe winning

film, Oppenheimer will

also be screened for a

final time, alongside

Wonka, so be sure to

secure your tickets!

Accompanying these

viewings will be the

screening of a mystery

film, so if you like

surprises, then this may

be for you!


And a performance from

comedian Geoff Norcott in his

show, Basic Bloke.

There are many more productions

available, so head over to The Dukes

website to check them out!

- The highly anticipated musical

adaptation of a beloved

American classic, The Color


- The Boy and the Heron.

And these are only the film screening!

Some of the stage performances are:

- Peak Stuff.

- Showwomen.

- The Dream Collector.

Photo (left to right): Claire Folger

Orion Releasing, The Dukes, Rosie

Powell, and The Dukes

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A R T S & C U L T U R E 13

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood:

The Stories of Those Who Were Silenced

Valentina Caneschi


Many people know who Ulysses/Odysseus

is: the protagonist of the Odyssey; the guy

who helped the Achaeans to win the Trojan

War thanks to his invention, the wooden

horse; that person who took ten whole

years to get back to his home, Ithaca.

Yes, many do forget that he spent seven of those

years with Calypso, cheating on his wife Penelope

over and over again, while she was literally just

waiting for him to come back to her and her son,

faithfully. But yeah, Odysseus, a great guy.

But that’s not the character Margaret

Atwood decided to centre. Her

choice, was to carve out literary

space for his wife, the very under

appreciated Penelope.

But who is she, really? Who is the woman

regulated to a mere footnote in Odysseus’s story,

used just to make him look like this amazing man

who saved his poor wife from a bunch of savages?

These questions are answered in

beautiful detail by Atwood in her

novel The Penelopiad.

With a wonderful and engaging first person

narrator, we witness a Penelope who does not

pretend to be the strongest or most beautiful

woman who ever lived.

No, in this novel,

Penelope just tells

her story from the

land of the dead,

remembering her

past, from the

moment she was

born, to the moment

her husband killed

all her Suitors.

It is a story of pain, tears

(quite a lot of them),

jealousy, and attempted

brightness. But, most of all,

it is a story of death, love

and regret.

And all that is not

only experienced by

the queen of Ithaca,

but also by someone else, someone

even more under appreciated who

are finally given a voice: her Maids.

For those who are not too familiar with the story,

do not worry, I am about to quickly explain why

they are so important.

In all the years

Penelope had to wait

for her husband, she

had a lot of helpers,

some of them being

her Twelve Maids,

loyal and trustworthy

girls who had been

living with the queen

since the day they

were born.

This novel partially

chronicles the lives of

those same Twelve Maids,

who tell us about how they

have been abused for their

entire lives, how they had

no chance of changing their

futures, ever since birth.

They tell their

stories through the form of a chant,

a musical poem, and once, even

through the form of a play that they

themselves enact.

Penelope is undeniably not the luckiest

woman, but hearing about their lives from their

perspectives definitely reminds us that, in the

end, she is still a royal.

So yes: poetry, prose, play, different

point of views, characters nobody

ever talks about, raw and truthful

emotions: these few but intense

pages have everything one could

ask for.

If you ever want to explore Greek mythology

outside of those wonderfully interesting, but told

and retold stories of the same men and gods, The

Penelopiad will let you do just that.

With this novel, Margaret Atwood just

confirmed that she is an extremely

skilled writer: never boring, never

obvious, always new.

She is a true creator of masterpieces.

First Aid Myths Busted:

Separating Fact from

Fiction to Save Lives

Amy Dixon


There are many common myths about first aid

techniques that can be very dangerous and

cause more harm than good.

As a trained first aider, I have put together a list

of five common myths and corrected them with

clear instructions.

If you would like to learn more first aid or

simply practice your skills, then the Lancaster

University First Aid Society (which meets every

Monday at 8pm) is a great group to join.

Alternatively, head to the St John Ambulance

website for step-by-step instructions, videos,

and diagrams.

Myth 1: You can swallow

your tongue if you are


Fact: It is not physically

possible to swallow

your tongue, even when

unconscious, as it attached

to the base of your mouth

with soft tissue.

However, it can block the airway by falling to the

back of the throat, so if somebody is unconscious

you must open their airway by placing two

fingers under their chin and your hand on their

forehead and tilting their face gently.

You can then put them in the recovery position

and call an ambulance.

Myth 2: Keep someone

on their back if they are


Fact: When someone is

drunk or very ill, they are

likely to throw up.

It is crucial that the person is rolled over onto

their side, ideally in the recovery position, or at

least with a cushion or something similar that

prevents them from rolling onto their back.

This will stop the person choking on their sick,

which can be fatal.

Myth 3: Tilt someone’s

head back to stop a


Fact: If you tilt someone’s

head back when they have

a nosebleed, they are

likely to swallow the blood

and make themselves

sick, as the nose, throat

and ears are all connected

by canals.

Instead, you should ask the patient to pinch the

soft part of their nose and lean forward to stop

blood dripping onto their clothes.

The bleeding should stop within 10-20 minutes,

but if it does not, you should seek help from a

healthcare professional.

Myth 4: If someone is

having a seizure, put

something in their mouth.

Fact: Forcing any object

into a person’s mouth

when they unconscious

or having a seizure is

very dangerous. It could

damage their teeth, or

they could swallow the

object and choke.

You are also putting your hands at risk, as during

a seizure their jaw muscles will tighten and bite

down. You do not want to get your finger bitten

by someone else!

Instead, clear a safe space around the person

and try and place something soft like a jacket

under the person’s head. Once the patient has

recovered, ask them if this was their first seizure.

If it was then they need to go to hospital.

Myth 5: Apply butter or ice

to a burn.

Fact: If butter is put on

the burn, the grease will

prevent the release of

heat from the skin, which

prolongs the pain. When

ice is put on a burn it

reduces the blood flow

to the burnt area as the

capillaries contract from

the cold.

This can reverse the healing process and even

cause an ice burn.

The only effective and safe way to treat a burn

is by running it under cold water for 15-

20 minutes. Make sure that you remove any

jewellery or other obstructions that are near the

burn site.


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M u s i c


Valentina Caneschi

& Lexi Joyce

Chloe and Chlöe:

The Thematic

Throughlines of a


Efe Imoyin-Omene


Chlöe was introduced to the world as Chloe

Bailey, one half of the genre b(l)ending

sister duo Chloe X Halle. Together, they

have achieved great success.

But when the two set off on their solo endeavours,

many criticised Chlöe’s progression into overt

sexuality and a more pop-friendly sound as

‘cheapening her uniqueness for mass appeal’ and

‘doing too much’.

But if you listen closely, while there

are sonic differences, there are

undeniable thematic connections

between Chlöe and Chloe X Halle.

‘Ungodly Hour’ (2020) and ‘Treat

Me’ (2022): The Command for


While the former is a nocturnal groove and the

latter is braggadocious Pop&B, both songs state

the Terms & Conditions to get with them.

Chloe described ‘Ungodly Hour’ as ‘owning [their


The song is about an ‘electric’

‘situationship’ where ‘someone isn’t

ready to fully commit or settle down

with you’. Instead of pleading for

a partner unable (read: unwilling)

to make things official, they rest in

‘[their self-worth]’, only opening the


When you decide you like yourself

(Holler at me)

When you decide you need

someone (Call up on me)

When you don’t have to think about


Love me at the ungodly hour

Here ‘Ungodly Hour’ serves as a coy nod to

nocturnal rendezvous calls- alluding to a

sexuality Chlöe would unabashedly unleash in

solo offerings like ‘Treat Me’– and a heartfelt

command for unconditional love, even on the

days when our imperfections reign supreme.

This continues with ‘Treat Me’ as Chlöe

declares that anything less than ‘exceptional’ is


Here, she sees her self-love as the baseline for any

potential suitor.

Treat me like I treat me

Yeah, you know I do it right

Oh, I make me feel so nice

Treat me like I treat me

Love me



Oh, oh,

treat me

I treat me



Hour’ and

‘Treat Me’ send a

positive message to

listeners. Know what

you deserve and refuse to

settle for anything less than.

like I love me

and deeply,

‘Busy Boy’ (2020)

and ‘Body Do’ (2023):

Situationships and The

Guise of Empowerment

The road to healing is never

linear even for It-Girls like

Chloe X Halle. Stars-they’re

just like us!



In ‘Busy Boy’, the duo flips the misogynistic

saying ‘nice guys always finish last’ to ‘that’s why

the nice guys, they will always last, that’s why the

playboys always finish last’.

The girls proceed to blast a twotiming

guy [who] keeps ‘sending

[them] too many pictures of [his]…’

and has a ‘baby comin’ any day’. But

they still ‘play with [him]’, ‘tell [him]

what [he] wants to hear all the time’,

‘just because [he’s] so damn fine’.

Even though they know this guy isn’t worth

seeing them at the ‘Ungodly Hour’, they settle

for a situationship that contradicts their

aforementioned Terms & Conditions.

While the song is an inescapable groove, there is

an underlying tone of sadness, as we know the

superstars are settling for fleeting fulfilment.

That’s why I don’t play with you

I spend a little time, don’t stay with


I tell you what you wanna hear all

the time

Just because you’re so damn fine

Busy, busy boy

Busy boy, busy, busy boy, aren’t


Like ‘Busy Boy’, ‘Body Do’

sees Chlöe settling for

a situationship over a

misleadingly buoyant

beat. Tired of ‘all the

fighting’ and aware he’s

untrustworthy; she asks

him to just do the ‘lyin’

in [her]’.

Once again, it

is notable that

she is aware of

her partners

deal breaking

limitations and

disheartening she

‘deserve[s] better’

but keeps coming

back for the feeling

‘[she knows]’.

You know I

can’t trust you


As far as I can throw you (Ah)

But I’ma trust what that body do


‘Cool People’ (2018) and ‘In

Pieces’ (2023): An Ode to Loved


Misery can seem like your only option if there are

no cool people in your world willing to pick you

up when you’re in pieces. These two songs show

how a drop of kindness can make an ocean of


In ‘Cool People’, Chloe X Halle

acknowledge that today’s youth are

coming-of-age in hostile territory

where only endless precarity is


This makes them feel ‘down on the regular’ but

when they are together ‘the rain dries out’.

This song illustrates how even when

wickedness seems omnipresent, it

is important for us to remember that

‘there’s still cool people in the world’.

‘Cause darlin’, when you smile it’s

like the rain dries out

Now there’s no more room for


Got me singing Hallelu, ah, Hallelu,


When you hold my hand it just

reminds me how

There’s still cool people in the world

‘In Pieces’, the title track from Chlöe’s debut solo

album takes what she first explored as a teenager


While promoting the project, she was

candid about how the ‘darkest times’

had her questioning her life.

Here she comes to her loved one(s) in the glory

of the ‘Ungodly Hour’, with a deep desire to be

‘where [they] are’.

The lyrics are poignant yet universal, creating

vivid imagery of the reciprocal relationship she

commanded in ‘Ungodly Hour’ and ‘Treat Me’.

They need each other like ‘fire needs a spark’.

‘Cause I don’t wanna go on

Oh, livin’ a life that you’ve been


And I don’t want nobody else

To hold me when I’m in pieces

Whatever the form, ‘Cool People’ and ‘In Pieces’

spotlight the transformative power of community


‘I’m just being who I am, unapologetically and

completely, and if people think that’s doing

too much, well then, I guess I am. I would be

doing a disservice to myself if I tried to be less

than who I am and dim my light.’- Chlöe Bailey

Photos (top to bottom): Daniel Boczarki/GI and YouTube

Space NYC

16 M U S I C

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Taylor Swift, The Eras Tour Film

Review: Is this the Peak

of Concert Cinema?

Lexi Joyce


As a Swiftie, this review may be biased due to my immense

appreciation of Taylor Swift’s phenomenal lyricism and

incredible work ethic.

But either way, let’s talk about Swift’s 2023 live-concert film,

The Eras Tour: The Film. It was formed of high-quality videos

from Swift’s concert tour, spanning three nights at LA’s SoFi

stadium in August 2023.

The Film, is an exact replica of the usual Eras tour

show, excitingly chronicling Taylor’s ten musical

eras through stunning visuals and theatrics that

showcase how far she has come as an artist.

She starts with songs from Lover, and everything is very

pink and sparkly, easily recognisable amongst Swifties as

encapsulating the overall Lover era.

Supposedly, Taylor starts the set with this era

because it was the one interrupted by COVID-19,

which halted the live shows that were planned

around it.

Aside from being a treat for her devoted fandom, Swift’s

film has proved to be very profitable, grossing over $250

million worldwide.

According to Blockbuster, this makes it the most

successful concert adaptation in history. So now

that we know how glorious both the tour and the

film are, let’s get into why.

The most prominent question once the film was announced

was what surprise songs would make it into the adaption.

Taylor selects two or three ‘surprise songs’ in her over

decade-long discography to play per show.

Everyone prayed their favourites would make the

cut, not just for their booked show(s), but now the

film. In some ways two of Taylor’s most careerdefining

songs made it.

‘Our Song’ from her debut album, Taylor Swift, and ‘You’re

On Your Own Kid’ from Midnights.

Speaking for everyone watching the film, this

took us on an emotional rollercoaster, from one of

Taylor’s first songs, to one summarising her own

personal journey. Very mesmerising.

As the film and show progresses, the atmosphere shift is

palpable through each song or era.

And the shots of the audience, united by their

light-up bracelets, make it more of an interactive

experience, even while I was sat in Lancaster’s

Vue cinema of thirty people. It almost felt like a

stadium of thousands in North America.

The tour was done justice by the big screen, and the music

both sounded, and felt incredible. The bass was pounding

and you could feel almost as elated as you would from a live


This is an incredible way to give fans who weren’t

able to score tour tickets a chance to experience

Taylor live, arguably the most commendable

aspect of the adaptation.

I left the cinema with even more respect for Taylor’s

endurance and enthusiasm for a spectacular, three hour

long show.

She was truly shown as the ultimate pop-star.

Now available to own on Sky and Amazon Prime

post-cinema viewings, you can watch the Eras

Tour anywhere you wish, without the stress of

having to buy tickets. What a blessing!

2023 was a big year for Taylor’s career, seemingly

skyrocketing more than anyone could have imagined, and

the concert film really shows the

extent of her progress and loyalty to her


It will




be exciting to see

2024 follows Taylor,

what easter eggs

have missed for

upcoming news.

As I write this, Taylor has announced the release of her

eleventh studio album, pausing her current

re-recordings schedule.

It will be intriguing to see how Taylor will go about

adding a new era to the show. What songs will be


Director Sam Wrench has stunning shots not just on

Taylor’s emotion and energy, but the hard work of her band,

team of dancers, and even the crowd.

All of which can be overshadowed in the moment

of seeing your favourite artist live, or on blurry

Instagram live streams.

In this release, you can see the miraculous stage presence of

everyone and the gratitude from the whole production.

An unforgettable experience and a perfect time capsule of

one of the most successful global tours of all time.

It shows that music history is being made right


Whether you’re a fan of Taylor, or just enjoy live music, this is a

must watch, stunning and almost magical.

Photos (top to bottom):

@marceloendelli on

Instagram (@gettyimages on

Instagram) and @taylorswift

on Instagram

Tate McRae: A Star in the Making

Valentina Caneschi


Tate McRae might be only 20 years old, but

she’s been making songs for a whole decade.

She became internationally recognised after her

single ‘You Broke Me First’, dropped in 2020.

However, her true breakout came with

the smash hit ‘Greedy’.

Since coming out in September 2023, it’s gained

rapid virality, reaching number 3 on the Billboard

Hot 100.

The parent album (her sophomore effort)

critically acclaimed THINK LATER was

released on December 8th of the same


Enjoying immediate success, it debuted in the top five

of the UK Albums Chart as well as within the top ten

in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Norway,

Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark,

and the US.

The most famous song aside from ‘Greedy’

is definitely ‘exes’, which she says she

wrote in only half an hour, making it even

more impressive than it already is.

Tate McRae’s music while mature is unequivocally

Gen-Z, charting the relatable waters of toxic

romances, breakups, issues of self-esteem and self


While her songwriting can veer into

the formulaic, her unflinching honesty

always shines through.

It is truly wonderful to see the world appreciating

young women being themselves, so go stream her

music, dance, cry, enjoy it, and join us in anticipation

for the next album!

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M U S I C 17

Tyla: South Africa to the World

Efe Imoyin-Omene


If the name Tyla doesn’t ring a bell to you, it’s likely her

delicate yet powerful voice will. It is behind the 2023

viral hit Water. Laced with innuendos, coy flirtation and

an addictive dance challenge, the track was poised for


Make me sweat, make me hotter

Make me lose my breath, make me water

The bells are ringing now, huh?

While she is not new to the music scene-having released

her debut single ‘Getting Late’ in 2019 right after

leaving high school- ‘Water’ has certainly

placed her on the international stage.

With ‘Water’s viral

success, she became

the youngest South-

African and the first South-

African soloist in 55 years to

enter the US Billboard Hot 100,

her song peaked at No. 7.

It peaked at number one on both the UK Hip Hop/R&B

and Afrobeats charts and as of writing this article, the top

15 in places like Nigeria, Norway, Singapore, and Switzerland.

Seemingly, taking the world by storm.

Furthermore, she won Best African Music

Performance at the 2024 Grammys.

On December 1st, she released three singles,

‘Truth or Dare’, ‘Butterflies’ and ‘On and On’,

teasing her self-titled debut album stated for a

March 22nd release.

It goes without saying (even

though I’m literally about to say

it), that this is Tyla’s moment.

But moments aren’t just given,

they’re made.

This is the making of Tyla’s moment.

Engineered for Virality

Firstly, ‘Water’ has an undeniably catchy chorus. While it was wellcrafted

for virality, unlike other viral hits, the songwriting is never


Although many modern songs tend to be shorter

to accommodate for consumers’ dwindling

attention spans, ‘Water’ is a breezy 3 minutes and

20 seconds and a breath of fresh air in an endless

rotation of microwaveable ‘hits’.

She cooed it best on the song’s second verse:

You ain’t gotta go nowhere

You can stay inside it

Additionally, she uses a lot of earworm phrases and melodies in

the choruses and hooks of her songs. This helps them get stuck in

our heads.

Now you care? (Ah)

Truth or dare?

Are you playing?

Truth or dare? (Tell me)– Tyla, ‘Truth or Dare’

Let the party go on all night long

We can go on, on and on- ‘Tyla, On and On’

Another person known for this is Rihanna (one of Tyla’s chief


You can stand under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh,

eh, eh

Under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh– Rihanna,


Just get ready fi work, work, work, work,

work, work

He said me haffi work, work, work,

work, work, work- Rihanna, ‘Work’


Tyla’s music combines

R&B, Pop, Afrobeats and

Ampiano, which is a Nguni

word loosely translated to ‘the

pianos’. It is a subgenre of House

music that emerged in South Africa in the


This diversity makes her

unpredictable, with the only sure

thing being excellent quality. This

prevents her from being boxed in by


Through this, she has created the freedom to

experiment whenever and with whatever she


Moreover, this allows her to appeal to

many different markets. More on her

mass appeal later.

The percussion-heavy nature of

Ampiano music gives her songs

a unique sense of danceability


While non-dancing pop acts became the norm for

a while, thanks to the increasing visibility of black

female artists like Normani, Tinashe, Chlöe, Victoria

Monét and Leigh-Anne and the international

popularity of K-Pop, the girls (and some of the guys)

are giving choreo again.

Beauty is in the eye of the… Desirability


There’s no subtle way for me to phrase this so I’m

just gonna be real: Tyla is drop dead gorgeous!

Ten, ten, ten across the board.

Her face card never declines,

my gawd.

As much as society enjoys trotting out

trite phrases like ‘beauty is only skin

deep’ and ‘what matters is what’s on

the inside’, we rarely practice what we


Most celebrities are conventionally

attractive, not by coincidence but by design.

And with her light-brown

skin, dainty noise, toned frame and mixed

heritage (her family is of Zulu, Indian, Mauritian

and Irish descent), Tyla fits a racially ambiguous

beauty standard, thus benefitting from colourism

(prejudice or discrimination against individuals with

a dark skin tone).

This allows her to appeal to many communities in a way that her

unambiguous and/or dark-skin Black counterparts struggle to.

The African Wave

From artists like Tems (the first Nigerian female artist to be

nominated for an Oscar) to Wizkid, Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, Davido,

Rema, and many others getting well overdue international

recognition to Western artists like Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Selena

Gomez, Justin Bieber and countless others rushing to collaborate

with them, it is abundantly clear that the cultural temperature

is finally warming up to the heat African music has always been


Consequently, Tyla is now being showcased to

an audience ready to enter her world. On top of

that, she is working with Western producers and

songwriters like Tricky Stewart, known for his work

with hitmakers like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Britney

Spears, Mariah Carey, and many others.

This gives audiences unfamiliar with South African music a sense

of comfort when listening to her as while her sound is fresh, it’s not

entirely foreign.

Photos (top to bottom):

Annie Reid/Press and Sony



In a recent Genuis interview, Tyla mentioned

the 2001 song ‘Rock The Boat’ by late R&B

singer and actress Aaliyah, which is

about rocking something else, if you

catch my drift.

‘Water’ is similar in the fact that its

allure rests in what’s implied, like

the R&B songs of the 90s and early


Nowadays many

songs about sex are

gratuitously explicit.

Tyla, by returning

to tradition,

plays on our



with nostalgia

and seamlessly

places herself

in conversation

with the icons she

one day hopes to

become. And by

alluding to the intimate,

her music can be enjoyed

by all ages and cultures.

This is Tyla’s moment. I’m here for it.

Are you?

18 M U S I C

Most-anticipated Releases for

2024 to Keep an Ear open for

Lexi Joyce & Efe Imoyin-Omene


With a new year comes new music, and

this year seems like a promising one. But

can it top 2023? Here’s a simple guide to

some of the interesting new releases and

possibly ground-breaking albums that are

(coming) out this year.

The Snuts with Millennial

The Glaswegian alt-rock band dropped their

new album February 23rd. This follows their

artistic shift to more politically motivated

themes, heavily


in Burn the

Empire from

their second



Loss of Life is

a relatively big

comeback from their

2018 release. A lot has

happened since then,

so it’s exciting to see

the direction their

muses take on this

outing. Like Millennial,

Loss of Life hit streaming platforms.

The Last

Dinner Party

The Last Dinner

Party’s A Prelude to

Ecstasy follows their

tour with Hozier,

and critical acclaim

for their stunning

live performances,

with fancy dress themes, incredible visuals,

and of course, music.

The indie prince

returns to his throne

with his third album

What Happened to

the Beach? With the

release of its three

singles, this album

is more versatile,

and a bit more jazzinfluenced.

This is

definitely one to

enjoy in its entirety.

Declan Mckenna

Everything Everything


The Manchester

alt-rock electronica

band will release

their next album on

March 1st.

Big names in rap are

dropping in 2024, including ASAP Rocky, Future,

and everyone’s queen, Megan Thee Stallion. She

recently announced she will embarking on the

aptly titled Hot Girl Summer Tour this summer.

February is the month

of Usher.


The King of R&B

released his ninth

studio album ( first in

eight years) COMING

HOME 2 days before he

headlined this year’s Super Bowl Halftime show.

Boasting collaborations with heavyweights like

Burna Boy and Jungkook, this project is truly the



South African

singer Tyla’s selftitled

debut album

arrives March 22nd .

She is a buzzworthy

name at the

moment thanks

to her Grammy

winning hit Water.

It’s exciting to see a

young talent’s career unfold before us.

Faye Webster

Faye Webster’s,

Undressed at the

Symphony comes out

March 1st. A wonderful

lyricist and vocalist,

Webster is always worth

investing in.


Khruangbin are an eclectic Texas trio. Their

upcoming album A la Sala, slated for an April

5th release,

will be more

focused on soul

and psychedelic

rock. An exciting

evolution for

their almost

15-year-long career.

Chlöe Bailey

Chlöe’s Untitled sophomore

album- Talking to People

Magazine, she said ‘I can’t

wait to put out this new

music. I think [the fans]

will be very happy and very

proud of me.’ Using words

like ‘dance’ and ‘groove’,

we can interpret this as a

tacit confirmation she’ll

be leaning into the Pop&B

sounds of her previous solo

songs ‘Have Mercy’, ‘Treat

Me’ and ‘Body Do’.

While the album’s first single FYS is mid-tempo,

she ‘never wants to put [herself] in a box’,

promising listeners a true fusion.

Halle Bailey

Speaking of Bailey’s, younger sister Halle has

also been teasing solo music. Off the heels of The

Little Mermaid, The Colour Purple, her first solo

Grammy nomination, and the birth of her son

Halo, Halle will undoubtedly

have a lot to explore in her

debut solo album.

Speaking to British Vogue

in early 2023, she described

her debut project ‘as a sonic

mash-up of [my] jazz and

grunge influences’ with

celebrating her ‘newfound

independence’ being a

prominent theme. While

vague dates/promises have been thrown out

across her social media channels, nothing has

been confirmed yet. We’ll be patiently waiting.

SCANLU SCANLancaster scan.lancastersu.co.uk

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande’s

seventh studio

album Eternal

Sunshine comes

out March 8th. It

is supported by the

serviceable lead single yes, and? that takes aim

at those that circulate rumours about her body

and draw salacious conclusions about her love

life. Her first album in four years and since her

divorce, the cohesive narrative flirtatiously blurs

the line between autobiography and fantasy.


Beyoncé has stopped the world yet again with

the announcement of her upcoming eighth

studio album slated for a March 29th release.

She dropped an epic Verizon commercial and

two new Country songs TEXAS HOLD ’EM and

16 Carriages (one joyful, one contemplative)



Superbowl, strongly

contrasting the

House and Dance

numbers on Act 1:


No news on the title

of Act II, but keep

your eyes peeled for the marvellous ways this

three act journey unravels.

Hopefully, Queen Bey taking ownership of

Black genres that have been co-opted and

appropriated continues to open doors.

Beyoncé has stopped the world yet again

with the announcement of her upcoming

eighth studio album Act II: Cowboy Carter.

Photos (in order):

Gary Williamson,


on Instagram, @


on Instagram, @


on Instagram, Clash

Magazine, Mega/Gamma,

Jeremy Soma, Michael

Tyrone Delaney, C.C.,

Wonderland Magazine,

AB+DM, @arianagrande

on Instagram, and Mason


A Key to


Podcasts To Get You

Inspired This Term

Lexi Joyce


When I was writing this article on my Notion

page, I was picking an image to go at the back

of my writing. What came up when I simply

searched ‘podcast’ was a neon sign at the back

of an office, saying ‘you are what you listen to’.

So on that note, here are some podcasts to keep you

positive and motivated this term.

Growing with the Flow by Nayna Florence does

exactly what the title suggests by focusing on topics

that range from lifestyle, art, and culture to everyday

life chat, and even themes of advice and self-help.

Hosted by Nayna Florence, she explores her University

journey from Undergrad to her current Masters. Her

voice is so calming and what a beautiful soul she

seems to be! Definitely someone that understands her

audience and knows how to motivate you in simple

ways. Like a virtual friend, or big sister.

Working Title by Margot Lee may sound like a

confusing name for a podcast, but it perfectly captures

how difficult staying motivated in your work, study,

self-growth, and even general life can be.

The podcast focuses on how to reach your own idea

of ‘success’ in your 20s, perfect for this age group and

any student.

The daunting task of ‘figuring out’ life is made more

approachable by Lee’s friendly voice. The episodes

tend to be around 30 minutes, perfect for your

commute to and from campus, or for your lunch

break at the library.

World Book Club by BBC World Library. I feel the

power of reading for your own leisure and enjoyment

is ignored as we get older and obligations begin to pile

on. I am certainly guilty of this.

When my seminar prep reading list reaches

astronomical heights, audiobooks can be a way to

read in a way that fits in with the rest of my daily


But if you can’t find time to commit to a book, I

recommend the World Book Club hosted by the BBC

World Library. The podcast often gets authors in to

chat about their popular books, providing a great

summary and breakdown of what you’ve read, or

are interested in reading. They have a great selection

of genres, and times, and spotlight international


This is a more easily digestible form of getting yourself

lost in a good story, and a good way to relax and

escape for a while, so you can come back to studying,

or general duties with a renewed mindset.

TED Talks Daily is perfect for growing your mind.

These TED talks span across every subject, idea, and

concept imaginable. There’s something for everyone

and you will learn something each time. It is an

incredible way to find content that relates to your


Whether music, cooking, politics, sports, or even

crime mysteries interest you, there’s always a podcast

for it. You never know you may find your favourite


scan.lancastersu.co.uk SCANLU SCANLancaster


S c r e e n


Amy Brook &

Freya Stoodley

From Wicked to Dune: My Ten Most Anticipated Films of 2024

Sky Fong


After the Barbenheimer fever of 2023, the audience

is more than ready to go back to the cinemas to

watch films after the few years

of disruption that COVID-19 has

caused to the industry.

If you don’t know what films to look out

for in the coming year, here’s a list of the

ten most anticipated films I have on my

radar for 2024!

Honourable Mentions:

- Close Your Eyes (dir. Victor Erice,

releasing in April)

- Evil Does Not Exist (dir. Ryusuke

Hamaguchi, releasing in March)

I’ve had the honour of watching

these two brilliant films by Erice and

Hamaguchi at the London Film Festival. And I would

absolutely recommend everyone to check these films out

when they are coming out.

Number 10: Wicked: Part One

Release Date: 29/11/2024

Director: Jon M. Chu

Starring: Cynthia Erivo, Ariana Grande, Jonathan Bailey,

Ethan Slater, Marissa Bode, Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Yeoh

As a musical fan, I am intrigued by how Chu would bring

this popular stage show onto the screen. He had just helmed

In the Heights a few years ago, which I adored.

Will Wicked be able to capture the same


Starring Erivo and Grande, will they be able to bring the

beloved musical characters to the big screen?

Number 9: Bird

Director: Andrea Arnold

Starring: Barry Keoghan, Franz Rogowski

The chaotic bisexuals have been truly represented on

the screen after Keoghan’s performance in Saltburn and

Rogowski’s Tomas in Passages.

These two are teaming

up in British filmmaker

Andrea Arnold’s first

narrative film since

American Honey.

It will be fascinating to see

how the Fish Tank director’s

social realism will bring these

two rising actors together in

this film. The details of the film

are still under wraps.

Number 8: Problemista

Director: Julio Torres

Starring: Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton, RZA, Greta Lee,

Catalina Saavedra, James Scully, Isabella Rossellini

A24, having brought us Everything Everywhere All at Once, is

once again distributing a surrealist comedy film examining

the immigrant experience.

Torres’ directorial debut follows an El Salvador toy

designer assisting an eccentric artist to get a visa

to stay in New York City.

With promising reviews coming out of SXSW last year and

produced by Emma Stone and Dave McCary’s Fruit Tree,

let’s hope this will land UK distribution soon.

Number 7: I Saw the TV


Director: Jane Schoenbrun

Starring: Justice Smith, Brigette-Lundy-Paine,

Danielle Deadwyler, Fred Durst

Schoenbrun’s follow-up to their directorial

debut, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,

premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in

January with rave reviews.

They again evaluate our relationship

with screens in the digital age, where

two teenagers bond over a late-night

television series, but reality begins to

crack as the film progresses.

Also produced by Fruit Tree and distributed by A24, I Saw

the TV Glow garnered comparisons with David Lynch and

David Cronenberg’s films. Schoenbrun is certainly one of

the most exciting filmmakers of our generation.

Number 6: The People’s Joker

Director: Vera Drew

Starring: Vera Drew, Lynn Downey, Griffin Kramer, Kane

Distler, Nathan Faustyn, Phil Braun, David Liebe Hart, Scott

Aukerman, Tim Heidecker, Maria Bamford, Bob Odenkirk

The queer coming-of-age comedy made headlines as its

screenings were cancelled due to “rights issues”. Drew

unofficially parodies the DC comics, with herself starring

as a transgender Joker.

Financed through crowd-funding

and made in front of a green

screen, the film has gained quite

a positive reputation through its

festival run.

Critics have praised it for being “deliberately

outrageous” while providing “a genuinely

moving story of self-acceptance”. Fingers

crossed the film will land a UK release.

Number 5: Mickey 17

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Steven Yeun, Naomi

Ackie, Toni Collette, Mark Ruffalo

Bong Joon-ho’s long-awaited follow-up to his Best

Picture-winning Parasite is a sci-fi film based on

Edward Ashton’s novel Mickey7.

Pattison plays an “expendable”, whose

body regenerates with most memories

after failed expeditions to colonise an ice


With a stacked cast and an exciting premise, will Bong

return to the Oscar stage this year?

Number 4: MaXXXine

Director: Ti West

Starring: Mia Goth, Elizabeth Debicki, Moses Sumney,

Michelle Monaghan, Bobby Cannavale, Lily Collins, Halsey,

Giancarlo Esposito, Kevin Bacon

This film is West’s third instalment in the X trilogy after

X and Pearl. This time, he is taking the slasher genre to

the home video era, where Maxine pursues her career in


Goth has said this story would be the best of the


Having adored those two previous films, I cannot wait to

see what West will do with this cast.

Number 3: Love Lies Bleeding

Release Date: 19/04/2024

Director: Rose Glass

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Katy O’Brian, Jena Malone, Anna

Baryshnikov, Dave Franco, Ed Harris

The Kristen Stewart-starring film is Glass’s sophomore

feature after her breakout horror film Saint Maud.

The film is a romantic thriller about a gym

manager and a bodybuilder’s love, leading to

violent events.

Coming fresh from Sundance and heading to Glasgow and

Manchester Film Festivals, lucky ones might see

Stewart in the UK in person.

Number 2: Megalopolis

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Starring: Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Nathalie

Emmanuel, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza,

Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, Grace VanderWaal,

Kathryn Hunter, Talia Shire, Dustin Hoffman, Giancarlo


Coppola is arguably one of the greatest directors of all time,

having directed The Godfather series, Apocalypse Now and

many more iconic movies.

Megalopolis is his return to directing

since his last film more than a decade


The extent he has gone through to make

the movie happen through self-financing

is astonishing. With all the behind-thescenes

disputes during filming akin to

those during Apocalypse Now, Coppola’s

passion project might very well be another

masterpiece in his filmography.

Number 1: Dune: Part Two

Release Date: 01/03/2024

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson,

Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista,

Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux, Stellan Skarsgård,

Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem

Villeneuve’s Dune was one of the best films of the decade,

and it is exciting to see him bringing this A-list cast together

again to explore more into the world of Arrakis. Chalamet

describes the film as “the baseball ball coming through and

cracking it”.

Christopher Nolan compared Dune: Part Two to

The Empire Strikes Back.

I can’t wait to dive deeper into this epic journey while

putting my hands through the Dune popcorn bucket.

Are you ready for the movies 2024 has to offer? What

are your most anticipated movies of 2024?

Photos (left to right): A24, JIFF, Warner Bros., and Warner Bros.

20 S C R E E N

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The Hunger Games: The Ballad of

Songbirds and Snakes - Film Review

These are the first Games in which the tributes are given mentors, Katniss’ Panem who mercilessly kills. His betrayal and deception

Hannah Cochrane

an attempt to make more Capitol citizens watch the murderous pierce through the musical nature of the film.



As soon as I found out that The Ballad of

Songbirds and Snakes was going to be

adapted into a film, I knew I wanted to read

the book before I watched it. I was (and

still am) an avid fan of Suzanne Collins’

fictitious dystopian world.

I rewatched the original Hunger Games series,

released from 2012 to 2015, at the start of the

summer when they were added to Netflix. The

Hunger Games films bear a striking resemblance

to their book counterparts, building upon the

source material with perfect casting and an

incredible film score. I could only hope the same would be true of

the prequel.

The book was beautifully reminiscent – easily one of the best books

I’ve read all year. Needless to say, I had very high expectations for

the film. I paced through the 500+ page book in less than a month

and finally watched the film trailer straight after I’d finished the

final page.

The trailer and following teasers inundated

my Instagram made my anticipation rise to an

astronomic level – and for good reason, as I

figured out the minute the film started playing.

With Tom Blyth as young Coriolanus Snow and Rachel Zegler as

Lucy Gray Baird, the casting was immaculate. The film follows

Coriolanus as its protagonist (though he is the antagonist of The

Hunger Games trilogy), and his challenges as the mentor for Lucy

Gray, a District 12 girl, in the 10th annual Hunger Games.

As with the novel, the film was split into three

sections – ‘The Mentor’, ‘The Prize’ and ‘The

Peacekeeper.’ Each section correlates to before

the Games, the Games themselves, and the

aftermath of the Games for Coriolanus.

Set 64 years before Katniss

Everdeen’s Hunger Games, there’s

nothing of the luxury the tributes

enjoy before the Games.

Dehumanized, the tributes are transported to

the Capitol in a livestock train, left in an empty zoo cage for

the spectacle of Capitol citizens.

Hoping to make the Capitol, and eventually the districts, watch

and root for the Hunger Games, Coriolanus devises several of

the aspects of the Hunger Games that the audience knows from

Katniss’ storyline. Tribute interviews, donations, betting, and

drone-delivered provisions are all the future President’s inventions.

The whole story was fascinating to watch unfold,

especially as it was such a close adaptation of the


As with any solid villain origin story, you want to root for

Coriolanus – or ‘Coryo,’ as his cousin Tigris calls him. Insinuations

of evil seep through his actions, though one can’t help but hope

that his connection to good-natured Lucy Gray saves him.

The links to Katniss, Snow’s future nemesis, are

gorgeously constructed.

Lucy Gray’s words and actions – even her musical ties with the

Covey – cement subtle foreshadowing of the character of Katniss


While I don’t have many criticisms for this film,

some of the musical moments, namely the

Reaping in District 12, felt unnecessary and a bit


It worked well in the book but didn’t quite carry across into the

film in the way I’d hoped. In the book and film alike, some of the

characters’ fates aren’t fully shown; namely Lucy Gray, and Tigris.

We know from Mockingjay: Part 2 that Tigris is a disgraced stylist

from earlier editions of the Hunger Games – though how she

reached the point of helping district rebels, we’re never told.

Lucy Gray doesn’t have a clear ending either, though, as Olivia

Rodrigo’s ‘You Can’t Catch Me Now’ song for the credits implies,

her disappearance will forever haunt Coriolanus.

Their almost-love story hardens his heart against

the district and against any ideas of rebelling

against the Capitol, poisoning his heart as he will

poison so many others.

Overall, I think The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is one of the best

films to come out in a long while, another excellent instalment in

The Hunger Games franchise that adds an intriguing depth to the

greatest antagonist in the original series.

But The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is not a love story. It is the

origin of President Coriolanus Snow, the cold-hearted ruler of

We Don’t Have to Settle for Mediocre: Ni No

Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered

Caitlyn Taft

So, I never finished the game because it meant


finishing the time spent with my Dad.

Video game production has been on a rapid decline these

past few years. When Cyberpunk 2077, Pokémon Scarlet

and Violet dropped, there were countless complaints from

avid gamers about the various bugs, glitches, and low frame

rates that plagued these releases. With every new game,

the bar seems to descend lower and lower. Should that

really be the standard?

In 2013, the localised version of the Japanese Role-Playing Game

(JRPG) Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was released for

PlayStation 3.

My Dad, a man I got the

love for this game genre

from, would show me

game trailers every day

after school for months.

We were both really

excited for one big


It was Developed by Level-5, known for their Professor

Layton games, and got the help of Studio Ghibli to animate all of

the major cutscenes in the game.

The game’s soundtrack is magnificent, as it was

composed by Joe Hisaishi and performed by the

Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. The game looked

and sounded gorgeous.

When it came out, my Dad bought the game for me. I spent the next

year engrossed by it, rushing to take my shoes off after school, and

playing it until tea time.

You play as Oliver, a thirteen year old boy from

Photo: Hannah Cochrane

Photo: Caitlyn Taft

Motorville who travels to the Other World after his

mother dies tragically. Alongside him is his now

alive stuffed toy, Mr Drippy.

He tells the boy that there is a way to save his mother though. He

just has to find the Great Sage Alicia, his mother’s ‘soulmate’ and

rescue her from the Dark Djinn Shadar.

There’s the typical JRPG elements in the game:

combat, items, gear upgrades, and side quests

but Ni No Kuni shines in its addition of familiars.

Familiars are in some way the game’s version of

Pokémon but if they had swords.

You explore the fantasy world, filled

with a dark evil that only Oliver, the

pure-hearted one, can expel with his

magic. Throughout the adventure, you

explore a desert palace with a queen

who loves cheese, a town run by a

cat whose ‘soulmate’ is Motorville’s

shopkeeper’s cat, and a pig inspired

Steampunk kingdom. You meet

likeable allies who assist you in


The story is heart-breaking and funny. Mr Drippy, with his

beautiful Welsh accent, always brings a sense of levity, even in the

heaviest situations.

I was, and still am, in love with this game to the

point I purposefully never finished it. I continued

for months attending to side quests and battling

with my familiars and allies.

Playing the game in 2013 was one way my Dad and I bonded. He has

always been busy with work. When he wasn’t working, he would

help me with the hard boss battles, as the combat system isn’t the

best at times.

When I received my Nintendo Switch for Christmas, I also received

the remastered version. I’ve started replaying it again and the game

is truly wonderful. It’s not the same as playing in my lounge with

my Dad helping me when I get stuck or lost but it still holds up a

decade later.

As gamers, we may gravitate towards the big

franchises but we don’t have to settle for mediocre

or half-baked games. I want to feel like I did back

in 2013, rushing home from work or university to

play a game that feels full of life.

The love put into Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch feels lost

compared to the big name games coming out now, and I say that as

a loyal Gamefreak fan.

Even Ni No Kuni’s franchise went downhill after

their new gacha mobile game, proving that big

game companies only care about one thing:

consumers’ money.

Good games, at their core, are rich with story and beautiful graphics.

Why can’t big named game franchises understand that?

I’m thankful that indie games are on the rise. Even though they have

much less than the budget of big game companies, they manage to

create compelling stories with stunning graphics.

Some of my favourites that I have enjoyed over

the years are Celeste, Turnip Boy Commits Tax

Evasion (or, Turnip Boy Robs a Bank), Hollow

Knight, Slay the Princess, and Subnautica.

If you’re looking for a fun game to treat yourself to after exams, I

wholeheartedly recommend Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.

It’s a little pricey but there’s about 50 hours of gameplay available.


scan.lancastersu.co.uk SCANLU SCANLancaster


Saltburn Review: Eat the

Rich and Leave You Hungry?

Freya Stoodley


The 2023 film about lust has left much to be desired.

How has Saltburn (2023) divided its audience as both an

accomplishment and a failure?

‘Eat the rich’ is taken very literally in the film. Various scenes go to

the extreme in showcasing Oliver’s carnal longing for access only

inheritance will ever truly grant him.

Though, was Oliver truly infatuated with the

Cattons, or was it just their property?

Amongst the major cinematic achievements of 2023, namely

Barbie and Oppenheimer, Saltburn has emerged as one of the

year’s most infamous offerings.

By garnering a viewership divided between

intrigue and repulsion and TikTok virality, one

can’t help but question: is it just too much?

Saltburn is a stunning collage of unresolved

themes where the line between satirizing and

glorifying the elite becomes thin.

The film’s lead ‘Oliver’, performed by Barry Keoghan is a complicated

embodiment of dangerous desires. Keoghan- as the negligible and

unorthodox Oxford undergrad- is a complete standout. However,

his performance is overshadowed by the narrative’s inability to

make an ideological commitment.

Instead of focusing on Oliver’s psyche, the

ending chooses to focus on creating a shocking

twist, ultimately falling flat, and not following

through with these interesting themes of class

consciousness and University life.

Photo: MGM/ Amazon Studios

Wonka – A Chocolatier

Who Conquered the Big

Screen (and Many Hearts)

Valentina Caneschi


Now, let’s be honest with each

other: nobody expected Wonka

to be good. After Gene Wilder

and Johnny Depp’s impeccable

portrayals of Willy Wonka, this

reimagining had massive shoes

to fill However, it is safe to

say that Timothée Chalamet’s

performance has silenced the


If you’ve watched the star in Call

Me by Your Name (2017), Lady Bird

(2017), Little Women (2019), Beautiful

Boy (2018) and Dune (2021), then

you know that he’s a versatile actor

who brings a sombre nuance to his

characters, making his shift to the

musical genre with Wonka all the

more confounding.

Wonka is a film about a

slightly unhinged and

magical chocolatier who

saves lives. It was the

ultimate departure for

Timothée Chalamet and

he landed with enviable


This musical fantasy film directed

by Paul King focuses not on Charlie’s

adventures, but on the origins

of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate


Wonka brings magic

to Europe, immediately

posing a threat to the

already affirmed

chocolatiers in

the city. He goes

through many

challenges, always

assisted by his loyal

friend, Noodle,

played by the

instantly loveable

Calah Lane.

One of the biggest critiques lobbied

against the film when the trailer

aired in the summer of 2023 was

the presence of Hugh Grant, cast as

Oompa-Loompa. Hugh Grant.

The dreamy British actor

who starred in Notting

Hill (1999), Bridget Jones’

Diaries (2001) and Love,

Actually (2003)... playing an

Messaging is a major issue in Saltburn. While many have lauded the

film as a takedown of the disconnected aristocracy, it fails to meet

this praise by depicting the Catton family as naïve over sadistic.

Moreover, their archaic reign over the Saltburn

castle is a considerably weak one, easily

unravelled by Oliver’s machinations.

Their actions are suggested to be out of ignorance rather than

cruelty, making their subsequent downfall feel unjust and out of

the blue. This incoherence spills over into Oliver’s character shift,

reducing Keoghan’s nuanced performance to be more in line

with the calculated villainy of Lex Luthor rather than the morally

complex and sympathetic Walter White.

The character at his ultimatum is worse than the

wealthy family he surrounds himself with, ruining

the moral ambiguity of Keoghan’s performance.

Photos (left to right):

Warner Bros.

and Netflix

Oompa-Loompa? But what

a majestic job he did! His

portrayal was filled with

sassiness and wit, making

him the perfect comic


The set design is also

phenomenal: the

chocolate shop’s sweet

flowers, the hotel’s

dark and worn out

halls, the gallery’s


Everything has been

thought out in incredible

detail, and viewers cannot

help but feel like they’re

also a part of this magical


Of course, many still criticise

Wonka, calling the whole

musical over the top, others

saying Timothée Chalamet

was not ‘crazy’ enough to

portray the mad-hatter.

But where do you stand? As the fantasy

musical is leaving the cinema, now is

a great time for you to give it a watch

and enjoy (or not) the performances

and beautifully designed sets.

Noor Rakha



Blue-eye Samurai

is an action adultanimation

set in

Edo-period Japan.

Mizu (Maya Erskine) is

an outcast, perceived

as a demon by her

people for the blue

eyes that she received

from her father, a

white man.

Now, she seeks

retribution for what

made her a ‘monster’.

There were four white

men present

in Japan at

her birth,

and Mizu

means to kill

each one of



as a

man, her

mission knows

no bounds.


exploring gender

positions in the

fictional setting.

The animation style is

A strange quality of Saltburn is its ability to be both nostalgic and

distant. The setting of the mid-2000s brings back familiar strands

of indie-rock and early Oxford posh-casual fashion. The film takes

us back to the era without depending on it entirely, supported by a

stunning soundtrack.

The Saltburn and Oxford settings have a timeless

and unidentifiable quality to them, equally

fantastical and psychedelic.

Competing with predecessors to the cautionary rich obsession

story, The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) and even 2019’s Parasite,

Saltburn doesn’t pave new directions in class conflict discourse.

One thing, however, that can’t be understated is

Saltburn’s entertainment value. Everything from

the comedic one-liners to reflexive references to

Pulp’s ‘Common People’ and the overall aesthetic

of the film makes it a compelling watch.

Whether it’s to appease the TikTok frenzy or for the stand-out

performances, Saltburn (2023) is a must-see.

Blue-eye Samurai:

Patricide, Patriachy, and the

Path of Revenge

gorgeous, like a goreflecked

painting. The rich

colours of the landscape

and their sheer scale is


The violence is

visceral, cutting

through the

tranquil beauty of

each scene.

Mizu is a calculated

protagonist. Her resolve

at points blurs between

self-destructive and

supernatural, whilst

her seemingly ‘assured’

demeanour hides a

multitude of scars.

I particularly

enjoyed the

exploration of

patriarchy through

two seemingly

privileged women.

Mizu’s disguise as a

man allows her to go

unquestioned on her


Princess Akemi (Brenda

Song) resists the rigid

roles her society expects

from her and desperately

attempts to escape them.

I would be amiss

to not mention the

lighter aspects of

the show, such

as Ringo (Masi

Oka) the handless

optimist with

aspirations for


Then there is

Taigen (Darren

Barnet), a

samurai from

Mizu’s past, with a

quest for honour;

his stubborn

demeanour leads

to the funniest

lines in the show.

It’s a rare thing to find

a show as delightful as

this. Blue-eye Samurai

manages to be truly

faithful to its themes

and characters, whilst

remaining to be an

entertaining, gore-filled




Poor Things as Male Fantasy

of Female Sexual Liberation

Maria Hill


Ever since the trailer release, I was absolutely itching to watch

Yargos Lanthimos’ Poor Things. It appeared to encapsulate

everything I love about cinema: strangeness, humour, and

an exploration of new styles (and, of course, featuring the

talented Emma Stone). Yet, I left the cinema with a bitter taste

on my tongue.

On the surface, Poor Things can be viewed as a weird, comedic “girl

boss” movie.

Poor Things is centred around Bella, a science

experiment and a “born sexy yesterday” architype

who goes on a journey around the globe to gain

knowledge while having a lot of sex.

It’s very easy to engage with the text as pseudo-feminist: ultimately,

Bella takes control of her life within a patriarchal society, gaining

knowledge and power along the way.

However, while Bella is growing as a person, the

audience comes to either forget, or to simply not

care about, one main factor: Bella has the mind of

a new born.

This infant-woman hybrid is Bella.

Such a subject matter has the potential to be an interesting

philosophical debate. Certainly, in the original book written by

Alasdair Gray, this is presented through a question of the male gaze

in a Lolita-style.

Written from the perspective of Max McCandles, the book focuses

on him being an unreliable narrator telling Bella’s story – a

narration which is disproven, critiquing how his male gaze and

warped perception of woman (or, in this case, infant girls, but we’ll

touch upon that later), is completely wrong.

SCANLU SCANLancaster scan.lancastersu.co.uk

Early on in the film, it’s revealed that Dr Godwin Baxter found the

half-dead body of a pregnant woman after she jumped off a bridge

into a river. Dr Baxter then removed the brain of the mother and

Photo (above and below): Searchlight Pictures and Paramount Pictures

put her unborn child’s brain inside the fully grown woman’s skull.

Mean Girls (2024)- Can She Sit With Us?

Efe Imoyin-Omene and Naomi Onakunle


Whenever a beloved classic is being remade or adapted

there’s a mutual knowing between everyone involved that

it’s going to be an uphill battle. Especially if what’s being

adapted is the endlessly quotable pop culture phenomenon

Mean Girls (2004).

Serving as the chief inspiration behind an Ariana Grande music

video, millions of Halloween costumes and an international holiday

(October 3rd), this new movie had massive heels to fill. But like the

trailer-which tried her very best to hide the fact that this imagining

is a musical- ‘This Is Not Your Mother’s Mean Girls’.

Mean Girls (2024) is an eclectic combination of the

Broadway musical and the 2004 screenplay, which

itself is based of off Rosalind Wiseman’s 2002

book Queen Bees and Wannabees.

Filled with elaborate numbers, hilarious narration from instant

standouts Janis (Moana’s Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian (Tony and

Grammy Award nominated Jaquel Spivey), inescapable product

placement, stellar vocal performances from most of the main cast,

celebrity cameos, breakneck pacing and TikTok used surprisingly

well for plot progression, can the new Mean Girls sit with us?

Spoilers ahead!

Like its predecessor, the film opens with the quiet home-schooled

teenager, Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) preparing for her first High

School experience after travelling to the USA from Kenya. From

here we experience her musical number, What Ifs which details her

anticipation and anxiety about this new adventure.

Instead of briefly mentioning her background in ‘Africa’ through

dialogue like in the original movie, we actually have a specific

location (Kenya) and get to feel immersed in the tall grasslands of

wildlife all via low-tracking shots before seamlessly transitioning to

the school courtyard.

This depiction solidified the contrast between Cady’s childhood and

that of her peers. It also serves as a nice lead into the Apex Predator

song later in the film.

Reneé Rapp reprising her role as Regina George from the

Broadway musical, elicits a different kind of power than

Rachel McAdams’ portrayal. While both embodied the mean

girl mentality/aesthetic, Rapp’s depiction evoked a more

bold persona through her towering frame, flirtatious and

conniving energy, and most importantly, her striking voice.

From the moment she appears on screen

during the ‘Meet the Plastics’ number, up to

her climatic song World Burn, Rapp seizes our

attention like the Queen Bee she is.

On the other hand, Bebe Wood’s portrayal of Gretchen didn’t

have the same impact as Lacy Chabert’s due to the lack of

screen time given to her friendship with Regina. While we can

appreciate the homage to the iconic lines ‘That’s so fetch’ and

‘You can’t sit with us!’, when it came to spilling Regina’s secrets to

Cady, the sense of betrayal did not hold the same effect.

It’s only through Wood’s song, ‘What’s Wrong With

Me?’ that we get a brief glimpse into the girls’

friendship and how it’s impacted her.

Lines like ‘Mama called me beautiful, don’t believe her anymore’

and ‘What’s wrong with me? Could it be you? It’s probably me’

wonderfully demonstrate how detrimental her ‘friendship’ with

Regina has been on her self-esteem. As beautiful as the song was,

it’s unfortunately the only insight we get into Gretchen’s life. Bebe

feels severely underutilised.

One of the areas that left much to be desired in this adaption was

the worldbuilding. We don’t get much of the Plastics interacting

with other students and outside of the principal cast, we don’t learn

a lot about the interiority of these teens’ lives, making moments

that were impactful and poignant in the 2004 movie (namely the

all-girl intervention and the prom scene), ring hollow.

This is not helped by the pacing that travels at a

lightning speed, undercutting the impact of Cady’s

transformation into a Plastic and Regina’s betrayal

of Aaron.

Within the movie, though,

there is no room for critique.

The story is told from the

perspective of Bella, who

goes on a sex rampage. The

debate around male gaze is

stripped completely.

Disguised through the idea of female sexual liberty, Bella’s character

is sexually assaulted multiple times throughout Poor Things.

I was particularly disguised when, not entirely understanding

her situation nor what comes with being a sex worker, she joins a


We see her constantly in discomfort,

trying to gain some kind of control

over what is happening to her.

However, these moments are framed

not with disgust but with comedy.

Any conversations that could be had regarding the ethics and

horror of child prostitution ( for that is what is going on) are

brushed over with comedy, and that Bella’s character is written

with minimal emotions.

The horror that is happening to her is deemed

okay, for she views it as an “experiment” to gain

experience of the world.

As summarised in a LetterBoxed review by user ‘bananakarenina’,

“This is such a male fantasy of what female empowerment/

feminism could be. All clit, no feelings. […] people don’t even

seem to be bothered that these men are having sex with a literal

child-brained person”.

Through the movies usage of TikTok, it

perfectly captures the precarity of popularity

and how Gen-Z and Gen Alpha are coming of

age in hostile territory, their every fall during

a risqué Christmas dance routine plastered

on every For You page (including the Hot

Girl Coach herself, Megan Thee Stallion’s),

immortalized in Internet history. By

integrating social media, this movie speaks

to the concerns of 2024 teens, the same way

the 2004 one did for millennials.

‘Sexy’ and ‘Someone Gets Hurt’ are definitely

standout numbers in the film. With the clever

incorporation of today’s culture through

TikTok in the former song, performed

by Karen (Avantika Vandanapu) and the

Euphoria-esque vibe achieved in the latter performed by Rapp, the

theatricality of both along with the wonderful choreography elevate

the viewing experience, more than justifying this reimaging’s

existence to the legions of Mean Girls purists.

While the anti-bullying message at the end was a

little saccharine, what disappointed me more was

the fact we don’t get a glimpse into how the girls

are after learning the lesson. Has Karen found a

way to overcome being shamed by Regina for her

sexual history? Will Gretchen find a new clique or

forever stay under Regina’s thumb?

Even if it’s the end of the movie, getting a sense that these characters

live beyond our screens highlights how high school is only a little

part of their big, complicated and messy lives.

Overall, the musical adaptation was a joy to see and is definitely a

force to be reckoned with in its own right.

Standout numbers: ‘Apex Predator’, ‘Sexy’, ‘Someone Gets Hurt’,

and ‘World Burn’.

Standout Performances: Reneé Rapp (as Regina George), Auli’i

Cravalho (as Janis ‘Imi’ike), Jaquel Spivey (as Damian Hubbard) and

Avantika (as Karen Shetty).

scan.lancastersu.co.uk SCANLU SCANLancaster


L i f e s t y l e


Georgina England

A Day at

Animal Care

Georgina England


What began as a necessary

antidote to missing my little Jack

Russel Ruby whom I left at home,

has turned into a love affair

with the animals at Animal Care


I now dedicate a few hours

every week to volunteering at

the animal shelter where I am

working, walking and spending

time with multiple dogs and cats.

Established in 1978, Animal

Care is a sanctuary for

dogs, cats, guinea pigs

and rabbits. The shelter

rehomes roughly 800

animals annually.

Helping to ensure

that the animals of

Lancaster are looked

after and find good


Though the place opens

to volunteers at 10 am I

usually arrive just before

so that I have the rest of

my day to do whatever

else I need to.

This time is also

perfect for the dogs’

morning walks.

Each animal should

be given regular

exercise, for the dogs

this means at least

two walks a day and

exercise that lasts

roughly 20 mins.

This could mean a short walk on

the lead around the grounds of

the shelter or being taken off the

lead in one of the enclosures so

they can play freely.

This morning I took out a

little 11-year-old Jack Russell

terrier called Spot.

Spot had lived most of his life in a

loving home but when the owner

got older, he was no longer able

to give Spot the care and time

that he needed.

Though we may love our

animals it is important that

they be given the best

quality of life possible, and

this can sometimes mean

giving them to a more able


Spot was also going partially

blind, so it was important to be

slow and gentle with him. This

goes for all of the animals who

are in shelters as some have

come from difficult backgrounds

or have temperaments that new

visitors are not used to.

To ensure the safety of all

the volunteers, the staff and

the animals, everyone must

check in to an online system

so the staff can see who is

on the premises and how

much exercise the dogs

have been given each day.

Grabbing a few treats and a dog

water bottle I headed into the

kennels. With a lead in hand, I

found Spot’s pen and opened the

door to let the little guy out.

The grounds of Animal care boast

many paths across the meadow

which lead to three different

paddocks. The enclosure allows

the dogs to run around off the

lead and play with toys freely.

Spot is a big fan of the

tennis ball so going to the

paddock means playing

endless games of fetch, but

for bigger dogs it allows

them to run properly and

play without the limits of the


Each of the

a n i m a l s

has their

own unique


and the staff

are dedicated to

finding the perfect

home to suit their


Each animal is assessed

on how they behave in

various scenarios, so do

they like other dogs? How

well do they get on with

children and cats? Do they

have a lively temperament?

At the centre, there are indoor

spaces where volunteers

are able to play with the

dogs away from the rainy

Lancaster weather.

Once inside, Spot

opted for a little

squeaky carrot to

play with, which

provided numerous

games of fetch. After

a few belly rubs and

some treats, it was

time to put him back

in his pen.

It is always hard to say

goodbye to them simply

because they are so cute.

All volunteers can stop

by the café on their way

home for their free cup of

coffee or tea.

The tables outside

offer a view of

Lancaster City

and Morcombe

Bay so with a

book in hand

and a piece

of a homebaked



levels have

never been


The work that the

volunteers and workers at

animal care do is so essential

both to the community and to

the animals that they help.



become a

reflection of ourselves and

deserve to be cared for,

respected and loved.

It is also especially important that

after Christmas we remember

the importance of understanding

the responsibility of owning a pet.

They are not just for Christmas

and when getting a pet you are

looking after a life, and that

responsibility needs to be taken


The RSPCA commented

seeing a rise of 25% in the

number of stray animals

found in the UK.

The charity has now launched the

Adoptober campaign which aims

to encourage more people to

consider adopting and fostering

instead of buying from breeders.

If you want to find out more or

would like to become a volunteer

head to https://www.animalcarelancaster.co.uk/

where you can

register to be a volunteer or

donate to the organisation.

Photos: Georgina England

Rising Mould

and Chill

in Houses:

How to Stay

Warm this


Lexi Joyce


Here are some tips on how to stay

warm, especially with the rise of mould

and damp in these wintery months.

- Try your best to keep your windows

and window-sills dry.

- Avoid drying your clothes indoors on

a drying rack.

If you have to, open windows

to allow aeration, and prevent

excessive moisture build-up.

- Reduce steam in your bathrooms by

running the cold water before the hot

when showering.

- Keep your windows open when you

can, but make sure you’re still staying


- An electric blanket is an item I swear

buy. You can buy it or ask for it as a gift.

It’s an easy way to stay warm

and avoid using central heating,

especially important if you’re outside

of University accommodation.

- Keep a bottle of mould removal spray

at hand, best to attack it at first sight,

to lessen the chance of growth or illness

from it.

- Layer up! Lots of little layers help your

body retain heat longer than one thick

layer. Thermal socks are also good for

wearing to bed and around your home.

- Hot Water bottles are probably one

of the most cost effective ways to get

warm and cosy.

You can just fill it up with boiling

water from the kettle. Microwavable

‘hotties’ (as I call them) are a great

option too.

- Finally, if you have taken some steps to

diminish mould, but it’s sticking, don’t

be afraid to call your landlord/rental

company to help fix the increasing


Warmest Wishes,

Lexi Joyce



SCANLU SCANLancaster scan.lancastersu.co.uk

Solo-Star: The Underrated Joy of Going

to Concerts AloneOnly £15 for a ticket, I saw it as a sign, not

Chlöe: September

even thinking to ask if anyone wanted to


Efe Imoyin-Omene

go with me. I deserve(d) joy, pleasure, uplift.


Me and the Music. Anybody that knows me or has taken

one glimpse at any of my Instagram highlights knows I

love music. However, up in until last year I’d never been

to a live concert. Why? I’m glad you asked.


Up until recently, I’ve never had the money to pay for the tickets

and travel for even intimate gigs, let alone the blockbuster

stadium shows I was dying to see.

Because of that, I always enjoyed the thrill of performances from

DVDs, shaky Twitter videos/ grainy Instagram lives, and reviews.

However, after a few years and some jobs, I was finally in the

position to make my dreams come true.

Here are my biggest take-aways from my new gig experiences.

Scared to stick out

Before last year, there were several instances when I was close to

seeing some of my favourite artists live but because I couldn’t get

any friends to come (or was too timid to ask), I decided to forsake

myself joy.

I was afraid of how weird I would look going to a concert alone.

The painful silence of my own company setting in as huge groups

of friends rave about all the incredible memories they would be

making together.

Stepping Out

At the end of 2022, I was amid the healing (and hurting) process

of letting things and people go, while learning to let new people

in. Then I saw that the girl group FLO (who I’d been passionately

following since their debut single earlier that year) was coming to

Manchester in April 2023.

And for as much as I chat about music, it

was about damn time I experienced it live.

FLO: April 2023

I am so glad that FLO was my first ever

concert. Despite initially feeling awkward

standing in the line by myself, once

their angelic harmonies started I was

transported to another planet. I sang (read:

screamed) every word, copied every riff and

run, sweated buckets, and danced like no

one was watching.

Despite getting lost on my way to and from

the Travelodge, I had an amazing time. I

even met their choreographer and two girls

complimented my dancing. Apparently, I’m

‘a vibe.’ But I was just getting started.

Beyoncé: June 2023

There was drama with Queen Bey. I bought my ticket in February

but found out in May that the concert was the night before my

English Language exam. I wasn’t going to sacrifice Beyoncé though,

she called dibs.

So I did something wild. I went to the concert, stayed in Euston

station until 5 the next morning when I caught the train to

Lancaster, and did my exam at 9AM.

The concert was yet another display of Beyoncé’s unrivalled

prowess as a performer, producer, historian, vocalist, and athlete,

and left me with a new motivation.

On a less positive note, my phone died, I lost my water bottle, the

videos I took were awful because I couldn’t stand still and I had to

pay £10 because my bag was too big. Read the venue rules people!

Where To Eat During Your Study

Break: Meal Deal Edition

Caitlyn Taft


Finding a yummy and good valued meal

deal can be a challenge, especially in our

current cost of living crisis.

Meal deals are a topic I am very passionate

about. After years of intense research

(munching on sandwiches across the UK), I’ve

taken it upon myself to tell you, what you could

be eating for better value, taste, and variety

during your study breaks.


The nation’s favourite. I felt truly heartbroken

and somewhat betrayed when the price

increased to £3.90 without a clubcard. It was a

day the UK will never forget.

As someone who had an embarrassing 72 meal

deals in 2023, I’d like to believe I’m well advised.

Taste: Brilliant. The sandwiches always feel

fresh and the snacks are as tasty as ever.

Variety: Tesco have a wide range of vegan and

gluten free products. Even if you’re not a fan of

sandwiches, there’s a good selection of pasta as


Value: Is it worth it? With a clubcard (£3.40), I’d

say so. It’s definitely not something I would eat

daily, ignore my shameful Tesco Wrapped stats.

It’s a lovely lunch to have maybe once a week.


I feel like people forget that Boots do meal

deals. Although the Boots’ meal deal section is

nowhere near campus, personally, I’m appalled

that more people don’t know about them.

I’m a bit biased because there are only two meal

deal options in my town: Morrison’s or Boots.

Taste: After a long day of shopping for flat

necessities, a good Boots meal deal always

cheers me up. Not to be biased again but the

sandwiches are excellent quality. A cheeky

guilty pleasure of mine!

Variety: Some may be shocked to find out that

Boots has a fantastic range of gluten free and

vegan products.

Value: This is where Boots turns me away

sometimes. The taste and variety is impeccable

but the price? £3.99 without an advantage card

is not sustainable for a student. I frequently lose

my advantage card, I’m certain I have one for

every email I’ve ever made.


Every Lancaster student’s favourite place to buy


Taste: Can’t get better than a Greggs, can it?

Sometimes it tastes like regret when you’ve

waited in the long line at 1pm.

Variety: Sandwich wise, there isn’t a lot of

variety. I always get the same sandwich and I

don’t really plan on trying the other few out.

Value: Recently, the Greggs meal deal price

rose to £3.90. For a meal deal without a snack,

that feels absurd. Maybe it’s better to save your

money and make a packed lunch some days.


My First Year hangover cure was a Spar meal


Unsurprisingly, they’re a bit ruined for me now.

Taste: It’s a basic meal deal. Personally, I’m not a

fan of some of the sandwiches.

Variety: There’s a good few selection of

sandwiches. However, you only have the choice

of a handful of drinks. Sometimes I don’t want a

Fanta fruit twist or a flavoured sparkling water.

Value: Like the other options I’ve discussed,

Spar’s price has increased. It’s currently £4.25.

Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it unless

you’re really fancying a certain sandwich.


Even with the name change, it’s still Central in

my heart. I enjoy the short walk to it during my

library breaks, except when it’s raining.

Taste: If I’m looking for good food and I’m okay

with a little walk, Central/ LUSU Shop is where

I’d go.

Variety: No one talks about how much variety

it has! Loads of different drinks, snacks, and

sandwiches (vegan and gluten free).

Value: I do wish that it was a bit cheaper

because of the cost of living crisis but maybe

I’m just nostalgic for the £3 meal deal days.

Compared to some outrageous prices, I think

this meal deal price is quite fair.

Overall, it’s up to you where you spend your

money. Personally, I’ve bought a meal deal

from each of these options over the past

academic year.

As long as you’re eating during a busy uni day,

that’s all that matters.

My last concert of 2023 was

actually with one of my

closest friends, seeing Chlöe.

Learning from my solo

misadventures, I made sure

to bring my portable charger,

asked him to take videos,

packed the two of us plastic

water bottles and we booked

a cheap hostel five minutes

away from the concert hall.

The concert was a beautiful time and we got particularly

sentimental when she performed her final ballad In Pieces.

Cause I don’t wanna go on

Oh, livin’ a life that you’ve been missin’

And I don’t want nobody else

To hold me when I’m in pieces

With life leading us in exciting but very different directions, these

moments will become rare. As bittersweet as that is, I’m glad we

got to share this.

2024 concerts

Last month I saw RAYE in Bristol. Next month I’m going to see

Samara Joy (with the same friend) in London and I’m currently

planning more trips of joy.

Through my tumultuous, yet euphoric experiences, I am no longer

afraid of being alone at concerts because I always find someone to

talk to like the mother-daughter duo I was set next to at Beyoncé’s


Breaking the ice is easy when you know you have one major interest

in common. If there is something you love, don’t let the fear of

looking weird stop you. Look weird. Have the time of your life!

How Often Should You

Wash Your Sheets?

Georgina England


Moving away to University and living alone means

having to complete little tasks around the house that

are usually delegated to another more responsible

adult. One of these is the washing of towels and bed


Thanks to social media, there has been great debate

about how frequently we should wash our sheets, and

the length of time that people leave this boring task

varies greatly.

Many were enraged and disgusted to find that some

people only wash their sheets every few months.

Though this is certainly not the longest stretch of time

that dirty sheets have gone unwashed it is far longer

than the recommended time.

Laundry experts (yes there are such things) have

suggested that bed sheets should be washed once

a week and only to be left a maximum of two weeks

before they are changed and washed.

Our beds accumulate all sorts of dirt and grime ranging

from pollen and sweat to dust as well as any pet hairs if

we allow them in our beds.

Considering we spend a third of our life in bed, it now

does not seem such a struggle to believe that bedding

should be such a breeding ground for germs and mites.

Though these mites may only be dust mites, according

to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention they

can trigger asthma and allergies. Considering the

events in Paris during fashion week only last year and

the rampage that the bed bugs which are particularly

resistant to insecticides went on, people have become

more cautious when it comes to bedding.

So the best way to ensure your bed (or for some people

your office) is clean is to wash it on a hot wash of 60

degrees as the hotter the more germs are going to be


scan.lancastersu.co.uk SCANLU SCANLancaster


Creative Writing



Noor Rakha

& Elizabeth Brooks

Ravens & Writing

Desks – A Podcast by

Writers For Writers

Valentina Caneschi


Ravens & Writing Desks is a podcast

held by Lancaster University Master

student and published writer Beth

Train-Brown. It is available on Spotify,

with new episodes uploaded every

week. You can also catch it on Bailrigg

FM every Thursday at 3pm.

In each episode, Beth interviews a new

writer about their craft. The podcast

usually begins with a conversation

about a specific topic with them

reading out work that is related to that

topic. Finally, each episode ends with

an interactive writing exercise that

listeners can get involved in.

As a writer, I found the podcast

to be very useful, and recently, I

had the pleasure of interviewing

Beth about her wonderful project!

How the Project Started

The project emerged due to a gap Beth saw

in writer’s podcasts. They were ‘annoyed at

how few writers’ podcasts gave practical

Photos Credits: Megan Taft and Alison Taft

advice’. While ‘a good conversation about

the philosophies of writing’ is great, Beth

hopes their new platform can balance that

with ‘genuine, usable advice’.

When researching other platforms

for her show, Beth was inspired by

Yvonne Battle-Felton’s podcast,

Bookable Space. On Bookable

Space, Battle-Felton invites writers

to read some of their work.

Beth appreciates the platform it provides

for emerging and underrepresented writers,

something she hopes she can do with her

new show. As someone with an ‘auditory

processing disorder’ she finds some of the

longer segments of reading to be difficult

to hold on to, which is why on her show she

‘love[s] adding in sound effects and backing


It is wonderful to see Beth use their

experience with disability to make

their show more accessible. There

are unfortunately many barriers to

creativity but Beth is intentional that

Ravens & Writing Desks is a part of

the effort to shatter them.

As Beth was constructing the show, they

drafted a few segment ideas (including an

Agony Aunt for writing) before

finally landing on writing


‘These have become

my favourite part of the

episode! I’ve written some

of my best poems and

snippets of prose during

these exercises.’

Each writing exercise is split

into two parts: the first is

governed by a prop chosen

by the guest writer, related to

the show, and the second is a

twist prompt that she chooses,

designed to take the writing

written up to that point in an unexpected


‘We listen to four songs chosen

by the guest writer that they often

listen to when they’re writing and

I’ve collected all of these into a

Ravens & Writing Desks playlist that

can also be found on Spotify.’

Beth’s Favourite Episodes

While all the episodes are amazing, Beth

does have a few favourites. The inaugural

episode, ‘On Writing Weird Poetry’, is

particularly special to her.

She invited one of her close friends (and

previous co-host of another radio show she

had), Lucy Whalen, to talk about the new

artistic writing movement of The Weird.

‘It was a riveting episode to make,

discussing the ways in which

this contemporary art is shifting

the way people engage with and

perceive poetry.’

They also have a soft spot for ‘On Writing

Lyrical Poetry’ and ‘On Storytelling in

Poetry’ because ‘I wrote two of my all-time

favourite poems in each of these.’

The first was a poem about a

burlesque cabaret event that she’d

performed in and the second was

about Robin Hood’s secret lover,

Will Scarlet.

If you’re looking something wildly useful,

the podcaster suggests ‘On Macro-Editing

Your Novel’ and ‘On Writing Your Opening

Scene’. Finding them extremely inspiring,

she walked away from both with pages of

notes for her own writing.

Finally if Sci-Fi is your gig, ‘On

Writing Surrealist Sci-Fi’, ‘On Writing

Historical Fantasy’, and ‘On Getting

Young People into Writing’ might be

the episodes for you.

‘All three conversations were riveting —

from the merits of fan fiction to the Year

With No Summer (real thing), and finally

having 2001: A Space Odyssey explained in

such a way that I actually understand it.’

New episodes

On the topic of new episodes, Beth raved

about a recently recorded episode with Ed


‘It was an utter barrel of

laughs, so much that I

have four and a half hours

of audio to edit.’

It also inspired the author to create Ravens &

Writing Desks: After Dark (The Uncut Edition),

which currently features the full unedited

version of this episode. If Greek Gods, Loki

and breaking into song sounds exciting to

you, check out this episode for all the feels.

‘This spin-off show is in no way

affiliated with Bailrigg FM. This spinoff

doesn’t even know her.’

‘Throughout the uncut episode, you can

hear both Ed and I lament at how we are

twenty minutes then thirty minutes then

an hour then two hours late to drinks at our

mutual friends’ house while we write duet

songs about Loki and Thor.’

While Season 1 is wrapping

up, Beth, the eternally

prepared superstar, already

has the entirety of Season

2 and Season 3 mapped

out with plenty of episodes


A very special songwriting

exercise, mental health talks with

a professional counsellor and

fantasy author, discussion with a

D&D Game Master, a puppeteer

and playwright, a drag queen and

a BookTok wonder are just some

of the things listeners of Beth’s

podcast have to look forward to.

How can people be part of the


This sounds like a wonderful show to be on

and the best part is that you can.

‘If you’re a writer interested in

coming on the show, send me a

message on the show’s Instagram

(@RavensWritersPodcast) or to my

personal account


Photos: courtesy of

Elizabeth Train-Brown



World’s Gone


The world’s outside doors

that will never again open,

All these trees have seen

many things, but they’ve never

seen the ocean,

Coloured leaves will have to

go so fresh green ones will

take their place;

I wonder if the wind will carry

them to sea, before winter

snow gives chase,

Just to see what freedom

looks like, just for once in their

seasonal lives,

Rather than brush them onto

roads, just to get crushed by

the human drive:

To not think twice, to not give

up, and I’m no coward, I’ll do it


Accept my fate once and for

all, I will go quietly into the


Comments from the Editor

This poem is beautifully melodic

thanks to the consistent use of couplets

throughout the piece.

The use of caesuras reflects the idea of

stopping and starting, attempting and

failing as you carve a path for yourself

in life.

Adam measuredly captures so many

emotions and sensations in this poem.

From its beautiful imagery to its sonnet

structure and poignancy, ‘World’s

Gone Beautiful’ is more than

deserving of its title as winner.

But someone needs to water

that one flower in my room,

When you’re halfway down the

view, that’s when you have no

right to choose;

I’ve seen the people crossing,

knowing the world’s given

them time,

For the world’s gone beautiful

and I am fine.

If only I could climb and reach

the future that was truly mine,

The world from halfway down

is worth my time.

The art for this piece is

originial artwork from

Third Year student, Eve


SCANLU SCANLancaster scan.lancastersu.co.uk

‘Lost in the




by Adam Lawrence


I Will Write this Year, I Promise!

Noor Rakha


The new year is upon us, and I have

nothing but a feeling of trepidation for the

impending term. The mounting number of

essays has left me with very little time to

write for my own pleasure.

It has been a while since I’ve written

something worthwhile. Now, when I sit

down to write, the prose ends up being


When this happens, I have a

couple of tricks to help me get

back into my stride.

Note that although I am a prose writer,

and this advice relates to prose, most of it

can be taken up by any writer.

Read a book.

I think of reading as an input and writing

as an output. This however does not mean

you should read absolutely anything – you

should be judicious.

Read in your genre and form, and

refamiliarize yourself with the

format, style, and structure.

Think of how your style as a writer differs

and is similar to the works you’ve read.

Make a nice playlist.

I construct my playlists around the

emotions I want to evoke in my writing.

Listening to film or television

soundtracks helps me get

immersed in the world I’m


Songs aren’t my preference but choose

whatever gets your creative juices flowing.

Find a desk.

Say it with me now; I shall not write in my

bed right before I go to sleep. I know your

sleep schedule is barely existent, don’t

make it worse.

Clean up your desk and put all

those random receipts and post-it

notes in the bin. Maybe go to the

university library and find yourself

a secret spot.

Get a warm beverage and a little snack,

stick on your headphones, and put on a


Brainstorm and outline.

I understand planning is not the most

exciting thing in the world, but drafting

your piece of work ten times until it

becomes vaguely cohesive doesn’t sound

too thrilling either.

First, you need to write out all your

ideas, and dump it all onto a Word

document. Once all of it is out, you

can piece together what works,

what doesn’t, and what gaps rest

in between.

From here, you can create an outline. Now

remember, an outline doesn’t mean your

story is set in stone, but it does make the

writing process a lot more straightforward.


There are some days where you’ll write a

lot, there are some days where you won’t.

No matter the amount you write,

you will always need rest.

You put yourself under a lot of strain while

writing, and you will always need time to


Find a writing buddy.

Writing can be quite self-involved, even

isolating. Critique partners/groups can

help with this. Groups like these can help

with developing your skill as a writer, as

well as providing feedback and advice.

These all might seem like simple

things, but they’re all small steps

towards progress.

Once I become consistent, maybe I’ll

finally be able to write that novel I keep

annoying everyone about.

This is probably my

favourite Janet song but

lately listening to it makes

me sad. Not an immediate

and sharp sadness. But one

that is subtle and lingers in

the air minutes, hours, days

after a listen. A sadness that

stealthily dominates my


It mutates as I realise

that they only reach out

when they need someone

to mediate a fight. Why

do I have to be useful to

be noticed and why do I

care about people who so

effortlessly prove they don’t

care about me?

While Janet’s delicately

yearning for her ‘you’ back,

I’m forced to reconcile with

the fact that I have never

That was me last year, the

day of my eighteenth. The

momentous departure

from childhood trappings,

the ultimate voyage

into adulthood and new

possibilities. But even on

that day, sadness glided my

weary fingers across the

school keyboard.

Now a month into nineteen,

not much has changed.

Sure, I’ve made new

friends and I’m trying my

best to float in this cold

and confusing world. My

smile remains crooked. My

effervescent joy artificial.

My energy is simply a legacy

of a body that refuses to die.

I’m still grieving a love I

never had.

I pretend I’m the dragon

breathing fire, but I’m

broken and I’m crying.


scan.lancastersu.co.uk SCANLU SCANLancaster



The Bridge



had a ‘you’. That the many

there, grin compliantly as

get so lonely, can’t let potential ‘You’s’ in my life With all that weighing they explain away another

just anybody hold me have moved away, created on me and not enough transgression.

an unbridgeable distance, stabilizing my self-esteem,

You are the one that lives in or simply discovered ways I start to think that my

me, my dear

to shatter my heart.

uniqueness is my barrier to

acceptance, the obstacle

I want no one but you’ -Janet

preventing me from finding

Jackson, I Get Lonely (1997)

my ‘you’.

My mum says she’s proud

that I’m not afraid to be

unique. I chuckle. If I’m

going to be gawked at, I

might as well be a spectacle.

If I baptise myself in a lake

of fire maybe my thirst for

acceptance will cease even

as I burn. Maybe the ghosts

in my group chats won’t

haunt me.

I am submerged in sadness

deeper than my motivation

to be happy. I talk to people

on the daily, but it takes

effort. I simply cannot be

or else I fade into a second

thought, another forgotten

invite. I need to be funny,

insightful, articulate, loud

but not too loud, strong

but too much resolve is

aggression. So, I sprinkle

a few aphorisms here and

My heart is bleeding on my

sleeves as I stitch gold out

of the discarded, knot by

knot. My hands get frail and

my wings heavier. My mind

dilapidated from decoding

intentions from their


‘Well, I care

I know you don’t care too


But I still care’- Beyoncé, I

Care (2011)

I am angry. And anger like

mine can’t be contained.

Tomorrow I’m meeting

them at the middle of the


Comments from

This piece is hauntingly beautiful.

Emoefeoghene (Efe) captures a

melancholic weight that encapsulates the

entire piece with a sense of yearning.

The art for this piece is

originial artwork from

Third Year student, Eve


the Editor

The piece brilliantly explores the fear of

going into the world, and the nostalgia we

feel for our childhoods.

The use of metaphor and imagery creates a

rich and colourful world, that is ultimately

dimmed by the approaching idea of


by Emoefeoghene (Efe) Imoyin-Omene

Urire and Akpofure

Efe Imoyin-Omene


Black is the colour of my true love’s


Little did 16-year-old Akpofure know

that September 20th 1992 was going to

change his life and create two.

‘I’ll call you.’ He declared.

‘How? You don’t even have my number.’

She responded with incredulity

burrowing her delicate brows.

‘I’ll find it.’


It began as innocuously as any other

day. Akpofure was strolling back to his

estate from church. Then a friend called

him over. That’s when he met her.

That night Akpofure was on the quest

of his life. Thankfully, both of their dads

worked for the same company so he

was able to find it.


She was adorned in a loosely fitting

knee-length dress, had a low cut, and

radiated an addictive warmth. Even

back then, her beauty needed no

assistance. She had a light so bright it

was blinding to the uninitiated. But

Akpofure knew how to bask in her glow.

Urire and Akpofure started walking

together, the conversation was so easy

they couldn’t even feel the dawn setting

in on them.

‘5041 was the number!’ He sings right

before he drops me off at the train


‘A number I’ll never forget.’

Thank you mum and dad for your love.

It’s what got me here.

Photos: Urire and

Akpofure Imoyin-Omene


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scan.lancastersu.co.uk SCANLU SCANLancaster


S p o r t s

Bombers Set to Fly

High in 2024


Will Jones

& Peter Murdock


Ready for

the 2024


Peter Murdock


The Lancaster University American Football

society- the Bombers- will come into the

second half of their season brimming with


At time of writing, they are enjoying an undefeated

season, with the prospect of it being capped with a

double bill, consisting of a clash with UCLAN that

would see them promoted into Division 1 North A,

and of course, a home Roses.

It’s a palpably exiting time to be a

Bomber. Rookies who joined the

society at the start of 2023 have

cemented themselves into the team

over the course of the last term.

After a successful bootcamp following the

Christmas holidays, the club is ready to carry the

momentum on and off the field into the new year.

Speaking to Vice President Kaie Turner, it became

clear just how tight a unit

the society is, stemming

from a delicate but crucial

balance of values that exist

outside game day. Turner

was quick to emphasise the

key pillars of the squad-

“It’s a club team. It’s

about supporting and


He then followed that with

a grin, and the equally

important admission that,

“We enjoy winning

and we are good at


They certainly are good at

it, but by no means does

that come from simply

turning up and putting in

a performance Any Given


The necessary

preparation that goes into a week

of training is in-depth and allencompassing.

From ‘chalk-and-talk’

analysis sessions, to position-specific

training, no stone is left unturned.

The nature of American Football, with it’s

seemingly endless rulebook and tactical approach,

is something that the Bombers actively lean into.

Turner explained that depending on

their opponent, Lancaster players have

to learn new tactics and positional

play, which is practised and filmed in

training, before being reviewed by the

team and the coaches.

Despite this in-depth approach, Turner was quick

to point out how within the society.

“Everyone is learning.”

The ethos around building relationships which feed

into team performance is something that Turner


“We rely on veteran players and coaches, lads

that really know what they are doing- I’m not one

of them! I have to turn around to people like Jack

Watson and Coach Swimmers.”

The calibre of both the playing and coaching roster

has encouraged growth. Headed by Lea Hall, the

coaching team is comprised of individuals whose

expertise has been crucial in constructing game

plans and general management.

During the two-times weekly training sessions, the

work of Defensive Coordinator Coach Swimmers

(Matthew Berry) and Offensive Coordinator Coach

Rosie (Andrew Morrow) have helped build a wellrounded

and competitive squad.

Many members of the Bombers, past

and present, have been selected to

play in the BUCS All-Star North vs

South game, providing opportunities

for players to gain experience and

if they stand out, to be potentially


Ruby Watson, who joined the Bombers at the start

of the academic year, is a current member of the

Great Britain American Football Team, and has

been a vital cog in the team’s success during the

2023-2024 season.

To have a player like Ruby Watson is a rare luxury.

The size of the sport within the UK makes for a

small player pool.

According to the British American

Football Association, in 2019, around

4,230 students were engaged in

BUCS Football.

It’s hard to judge whether this relatively low number

of students, compared to many other university

sports countrywide, has since risen or decreased in

the aftermath of Covid-19.

The wider placing of American

Football in the UK sports scene is an

interesting topic. Since the 1980s,

various news outfits, beginning with

Channel 4, quickly cottoned onto the

popularity of the sport within Britain.

However, the engagement that has since been

shown towards the NFL and College Football

across the pond, has not corresponded to local

interest in British American Football.

Kaie Turner believes that a mixture of funding

and media attention, coupled with a grassroots

approach, would see the game make strides. Quite

clearly the picture needs to change-

“There are so many UK fans of

American football but if you turn around

to an American Football fan in England,

and ask who’s your favourite local team,

they’d respond with ‘I didn’t realise we

had one.’”

Across Britain, the amount of American Football

teams is slim. Indeed, when asking Turner about

the mixed gender makeup of University American

Football, it became clear that for men and women,

opportunities to play at a local level are significantly

less than many other typically UK-based-andplayed


“When else in my

life am I going to

be able to join

an American

Football team and

get stuck in? Why

would I pass up

the opportunity?”

Happily, for all

students, BUCS

American Football

provides that chance.

The 2024 Lent

Term promises

more of these

chances. The

clash with



Sunday promises

to be epic, with

the Bombers’

chance of promotion hanging on that


Following their bout, the team are hosting a Super

Bowl party at The Crafty Scholar in town, which

will surely be a night to remember.

Wednesday night socials will also be

back firmly in full swing, alongside

weekly flag football sessions that are

open to the entire university.

Of course, there’s the small matter of Roses at the

start of May, where the Bombers will seek to make

it a hat-trick of victories over York Centurions.

With a truly unique team spirit and ethos, led by

individuals like Kaie Turner and the Club President

Matthew Chadwick, who’d bet against them to do

just that.

If you are keen to join the Bombers, head to their

Instagram @lubombers and get in touch via DM.

Photo Credits: Ottillie Peterson

Valentina Caneschi


Whether you’re tuned in

for the incredible displays

of athleticism or for the

wonderful opening ceremony,

the Summer Olympic Games

are a must-watch.

This international sporting event has

existed since the late 19th century,

taking inspiration from the Ancient

Greek Olympics.

Happening every

4 years (with some

exceptions), this year’s

Summer Olympic

Games are coming back

July 26th and ending

August 11th. They will

be held in Paris, which

has been preparing for

them for years.

According to the Olympics official

website, the estimated viewers for the

opening ceremony are 1 billion, around

1/8 of the world population. 206

countries will be participating, putting

together a total of 10500 athletes.

While the athletes are

working hard to bring

pride to their country

by participating in the

Games, Paris is quickly

finalising all the details

and event spaces, and

the viewers are waiting

in anticipation.

Paris 2024 have decided to take the

opportunity provided by the IOC in

the Olympic Agenda 2020 to “propose

additional sports to enhance its

programme and overall concept.”

The four additional

sports that will be

added this year include:

Breaking, a type of

dance, Sports Climbing,

which involves boulder,

speed, and lead,

Skateboarding, and


But the real question is... will the USA

win again, as they did for the past three

games, or will a new country be at the

head of the medal table?

We will soon find out!



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Excitement Builds as the Cricket

Club Gears Up For BUCS and Roses

Will Jones


In a bid to elevate their performance in the upcoming

BUCS season and Roses, the cricket club is undergoing a

strategic shift in its training approach.

The club’s leadership, spearheaded by First Team Captain

and Vice President Gregour Carr, is placing a heightened

focus on individual drills to fine-tune player skills and

ensure they hit the ground running when the competitive

season kicks off.

Carr, an enthusiastic advocate for structured training

programs, emphasized the importance of returning to the

rhythm of playing cricket.

“This will give us the best opportunity to play at

our best during the BUCS season and Roses,”

Carr noted during an interview.

The club’s commitment to individual drills is seen as a

crucial element in their pursuit of success.

Despite the inevitable loss of some graduating

players, the teams remain relatively stable.

Carr expressed confidence in the ability of the new crop of

freshers to seamlessly integrate into the squad.

“I believe both the 1s and 2s are good enough

to push for promotion in BUCS,” Carr declared.

The Second Team, having finished runners-up for the last

two years, is poised for a breakthrough. Carr is optimistic

about their chances, stating,

“It is about time the result goes their way, and

we get that desired promotion.”

The club’s aspirations extend beyond BUCS success, with

Carr setting his sights on repeating the triumphs of the

previous year at Roses.

“The boys can get the job done,” Carr affirmed,

illustrating his unwavering belief in the team’s


The First Team Captain is particularly enthusiastic about

the upcoming season and sees it as an opportunity to

showcase the team’s talent and determination.

One player who promises to be a standout

performer this season is Josh Little.

Hindered by injury last year, Little was unable to participate

in Roses. Carr is eagerly anticipating a full season with

Little, emphasizing his significant contributions both with

the bat, boasting an impressive average of 40,

and as an electric wicketkeeper.

Carr believes that having Little on the

field for an entire season will make a

substantial difference and contribute

positively to the team’s dynamics.

Reflecting on his role as captain, Carr expressed

his enjoyment in guiding the team through the


He relishes the opportunity to help his

teammates enhance their skills during training

sessions and views the captaincy as a new

dimension that adds to his own game.

“I love a challenge,” Carr stated,

underlining his eagerness to step

onto the pitch and lead the team to


As the cricket club intensifies its preparations, anticipation

among players and supporters alike is palpable.

With a renewed focus on individual drills, a stable team

composition, and key players like Josh Little poised for a

stellar season, the club is gearing up for an exciting and

competitive journey ahead in BUCS and Roses.

Carlos Alcaraz: The New Ace of Our Time

Peter Murdock


I was seriously annoyed when I realised that I wouldn’t be

able to watch the 2023 Wimbledon Men’s Final.

Tuning into Wimbledon every summer has

routine, usually with the shameful but

unique admission of not having watched

any of the other tournaments during the


But as soon as I was able to,

watched the entire final back in

full- a testament if nothing else

to Carlos Alcaraz, and how he

captivated me during the

course of Wimbledon.

Coming into the tournament as the

Men’s World No. 1 seed must have

carried a serious amount of pressure, and

following his winning of the US O p e n ,

the expectation and curiosity

surrounding Alcaraz was






Would he be able to rise to

the challenge of playing on grass?

Would he even make it out of the first

round? Even by the time of the final, could

he beat 7-time Wimbledon winner Novak

Djokovic? Resoundingly, all answers were in

the affirmative.

My interests have usually centred around team sports.

Rugby, Football, more recently Ice Hockey- they have

always captured my attention.

I find them to be more naturally supportable from a

distance, and an easy and entertaining discussion point

with other sports fans.

There is much to be said for the value of

team sport. But sport is also entertainment,

and at the highest level, sometimes that

can be forgotten and swept up into the

maelstrom of the professional industry.

Sportspeople have personalities, and

when playing individually, much of that

personality is laid bare to the audience.

For me, that is enthralling.

Tennis has a tendency

to serve up some of

the most polarising,

and crucially,

entertaining characters

of the

sporting landscape.

From John McEnroe,

to more recently

Nick Kyrgios,

entertainment that

fulfils various definitions has been


Alcaraz perhaps does not possess the

more explosive personalities of the above.

Undoubtedly, the indispensable fire and

drive is there, and those watching inperson

or on television bear witness to


But his manner is exemplary, and he really

seems to love playing, particularly

in moments with everything on the line.

I’ve been lucky to grow up with the modern

greats of the sport, so why in under a year

has such a special affinity developed?

Unquestionably, his style of play is box-office, from

his sheer speed around the court, to the disguised

drop-shots that almost seem too nonchalant

to work.

Maybe it was the fact that

he seemed to be the one to

fill into the void left by

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and


The simple answer dawned on

me a while after watching the

final. Carlos Alcaraz is my age.

All things being well, he is set to

become the player of my generation.

Whilst I grew up watching Andy Murray winning

Wimbledon, I will grow alongside Alcaraz.

He will be a reference marker to me for

years to come, and I will always be able to

remember the starting point.

No pressure, Carlos.

Photo Credits (from both articles):

@lancasteruniversitycc on Instagram,

@carlitosalcarazz on Instagram

and Getty

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These Violent Delights:

The Catharsis of Kickboxing

Noor Rakha

Strangely, the fierce nature of the sport

a sense of clarity.


makes it a lot easier to connect with people,

Exercise in general has been proven to improve your mood. What is

as you’re always trying to make sure your particularly attractive about kickboxing is that it is not only exercise, but

blows aren’t too hard.

it can also alleviate pressures in a controlled, supportive environment.

I started kickboxing in my first year of university, via the

LU Kickboxing Society (@lukickboxing). I didn’t have any

prior experience, and I frankly had no idea what I was


Despite this, I continued to turn up every other week and made it a part

of my regular schedule. Surprisingly, it wasn’t only self-defence that I

learned in those sessions.

The society usually meets twice a week, on

a Wednesday and a Sunday, for sessions in

the George Fox Foyer.

Although the proper techniques are taught, we are often advised to be

gentle during sparring matches, just in case.

Most people might expect a martial arts

society to have an intense atmosphere, but

that couldn’t be further from the truth. The

sessions feel very welcoming and inclusive

with a patient exec always willing to help.

The sessions usually encourage you to pair up, meaning you end up

meeting new people every week.

There are a plethora of reasons why people start kickboxing, but I think

the reason why people continue to do it is far more interesting.

Khalisah Mahmood, President of LU Kickboxing Society told me:

“I enjoy kickboxing for a lot of reasons, but

what made me continue doing it over the

years was it allowed me to clear my mind. It

helps me resolve any tensions, stress and

helped me become a lot more focused and


It might sound strange to associate catharsis with martial arts, but there

is something very therapeutic about it.

Like Khalisah, I found that kickboxing aided

me when I felt stressed or overwhelmed

with my course and assignments. I found

a sense of relief, which meant that when I

returned to my studies, I approached it with


I was quite timid when I started. There were a few times that I outright

refused to punch people during sparring sessions, which, as you can

imagine, was not a very smart strategy.

I’ll never forget what the coach told me

afterward; “You just have to go and punch

someone in the face.”

The point of sparring was contact, and I didn’t believe I could hold my

own. I lacked confidence, and so I gave up before I had even started.

So, after that session, I decided not to be


A year and a half later, I punched someone in the face during a sparring

session. I was swiftly kicked thereafter, but it showed how much I’ve

grown in confidence over time.

Kickboxing isn’t only about self-defence;

it can be a safe outlet for stress or an

engaging way to build up your confidence.

But most importantly, it’s really freaking cool.

Women’s Futsal Pushes for Place at


Peter Murdock


Up until the last few months, there’s

been no way for women to play

Futsal at Lancaster University.

Hopefully, that is all about to


The creation of a women’s Futsal

team is a mission that Max

Bachellerie and other members of

the Futsal team have been on for

a while and, as the academic year

wears on, is one that they are close

to achieving.

The idea to set up a women’s side

was born at Freshers Fair. Whilst

running the Futsal stand, Bachellerie

had several inquiries about whether

there was a team for women.

“We just had to say ‘No,

there isn’t a women’s team.’ My original excuse

was that there wasn’t the demand- It became

fairly clear that there definitely is the demand

for it.”

From that moment, his interest in fulfilling that demand

only increased, despite the difficulties that come with

wanting to create a new team.

“It’s still really early. We’ve only hosted a

handful of sessions, but I think women’s Futsal

can grow massively at this university.”

“The team has to demonstrate sustainability,

and I firmly believe that this is a sustainable


Sustainability is an important part of the journey. Creating

a team that doesn’t exist for more than one season is

simply not a potential outcome that Bachellerie, or more

importantly, LUSU Sport, are interested in.

Indeed, no BUCS team has folded since

Covid- a proud record that LUSU wish to


However, the rewards of forming a

women’s Futsal team surely outweigh

the risks.

Bachellerie hopes that “if all goes well, next year they’ll be

in a BUCS league, playing as much as the current men’s

team does.”

Since joining the men’s team, Bachellerie has

been part of a tight-knit 25-strong playing

squad that competes in BUCS and of course,

against York.

Competing in a team at Roses is a truly special experience,

and Bachellerie is determined to provide women that are

keen to play Futsal with that chance.

When will that chance come? This question

applies to Futsal as a whole.

Away from the fledgling women’s team, Bachellerie also

wants to better engage the existing men’s squad. He’s

already applied for a men’s second team Roses match,

which would see the players not picked for the second

team still competing.

The player pool for men and women is

unquestionably there.

Moreover, the sport occupies a notably unique relationship

with other societies. The 11-a-side team has players who

come to Futsal to give their players extra game time.

Futsal also draws international students, with

players from four continents in the current

men’s team.

The society tries to appeal to as broad a student population

as possible. There’s no reason why this couldn’t apply to all

Futsal teams.

Responding to a question about his desired outcome, Max

Bachellerie was clear.

“The dream is for Women’s Futsal is to become

its own autonomous entity.’

In other words, the hope of it becoming a fully-fledged

society. If this article does anything to further this goal,

then its writer will be content.

For further details surrounding training times- currently

every Tuesday morning at 11:15-12:45 in the Sports Centrehead

to their Instagram @lufutsalclub

Photo Credits: Max Bachellerie



1) Against (4)

6) Diner’s request (5)

8) Reflection (6)

11) Tiny British bird (4)

15) Voiced by Chris Pratt


16) The university world




1) Pooh’s bouncy friend (6)

3) None (4)

4) Look up to someone (6)

5) ‘Feel Good Inc.’ band (8)

7) Christmas drink (6)

9) Turn bitter (7)

17) In depth (8)

18) A criminal (5)

19) Say sorry (9)

20) Infomation from lectures (5)

21) Garden grass (4)

22) Football match (8)

10) Ancient item (5)

12) Mental obstacle to

creativity (7, 5)

13) Idiot (3)

14) To Explode something (8)

17) Healing plant (4, 4)

It’s the middle of Lent term. Why don’t you do some

puzzles on your study break? It’ll keep your mind active!

The answers will be released on our Instagram very soon!

Message us at @SCANLancaster to let us know what

other types of puzzles you want to see in our issues.

























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