The bodies of Salvadoran Oscar Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria were found washed up on the banks of the Rio Grande, after an attempt to cross the US-Mexico border. A viral image of Valeria’s arm around her father’s neck as they lie face down has since captivated the media’s attention, giving rise to heated debates on the ethics of hard-hitting images. Despite the photograph being used to advance certain political agendas, what it is depicting cannot be ignored: human suffering. Continue reading Media Coverage of Migrant Crises – the Politicisation of Suffering?
Short trousers, redcurrants, summer rain, campsites, tears, electric hand mixers, intelligence, ice cubes, skin and plums. These are some of the objects and phenomena that Norwegian author, Karl Ove Knausgård describes in his book, Summer. Continue reading So Scandi: In praise of “Summer” by Karl Ove Knausgård
Recently, I spent a few days on holiday with my boyfriend in Dublin. It was the first time either of us had been abroad without any kind of responsible adults, and we’d opted to take three trains and a ferry rather than fly. Our journey there was long, complete with an overnight stop in Holyhead, but once we got off the shuttle bus in the … Continue reading Postcards From Abroad: Dublin
It’s summer, time to relax and enjoy the weather. Yet with anxieties about the environment at an all-time high, the heat serves as an unpleasant reminder of a climate on the brink of catastrophe. Greta Thunberg has told us it’s not too late to change our ways, though – so what are the facts and dangers, and what can we do this summer to help save the planet? Continue reading An Environmentally Friendly Summer
Yesterday is a film with a lot on its plate, which results in a final product that is, at best, reasonably entertaining, and at worst, one step away from being a confusing mess. Whilst I did find the film enjoyable, a few key flaws prevent it from being a wholly successful romcom. Overall, despite a talented cast, and interesting premise, Yesterday is a film that promises more than it can ultimately deliver.
Continue reading Review: Yesterday
Social media has become a performative space. It presents a platform that allows us to display a photogenic version of our lives to the world. This perpetuates in the summer as our news feeds become crammed with everyone’s holiday shots, rather than the grim summer jobs that help us afford them. But should we be ashamed of this? Or is it just a natural human … Continue reading Putting your best foot forward or faking it: are we too critical of Instagram’s glamorization of summer?
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is one of the rare pieces of literature that sits in the Venn diagram overlap of edgy teens and Romantic scholars. A tale of creation and loss, ambition and remorse, love and grief, Shelley remains the queen of innovative paralleling, not just in themes but in her characters. Her unique frame narrative of letters, stories, and even her preface never ceases to impress me with its clever overlapping and, while some parts of the tale are so implausible as to seem ridiculous, her intricacy and exquisite language rightly puts Frankenstein in the literary canon.
Continue reading Review: Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson
Until recently, Swift’s decision not to make political statements and attempts to appear politically neutral have caused some controversy among her fans in an increasingly politically divided America. In the past year, however, Swift has started to make moves towards revealing her own political views, supporting her local Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen in the 2018 elections, and releasing her change.org petition in June 2019 to campaign for the US Senate to pass the Equality Act, a bill aiming to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. Continue reading Taylor Swift & Pride Anthems
RAZZ have collated together five shows available to stream right now that centre LGBTQ+ stories. Get bingeing to celebrate the end of Pride Month!
Tales of the City – Netflix
For fans of: Alex Strangelove, Easy, All in my Family
Tales of the City is a celebration and evaluation of queer communities. With a stellar cast, this Netflix limited series assesses the trials and tribulations of a family that transcends bloodlines. For queer family-making 101 give this a watch. Continue reading Five LGBTQ+ TV Shows to Binge Right Now
WHILE none of the Scandinavian countries have an official religion, summer is worshipped in the region as if it is one. Scandinavians are used to the long, murky winters of the Nordic noir media genre. Danes even joke that the Danish year has 16 months, three of which are November. So, it is no surprise that when summer finally arrives, they know how to make … Continue reading Wild Swimming, Strawberries and Wood Cabins – How to Get Scandi This Summer
The Conservative Leadership contest is now down to the two final candidates: Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson. We are set to find out the new party leader, and our new Prime Minister, in roughly a month. The main differences that have been highlighted are that Jeremy Hunt believes that leaving the European Union with no deal is “political suicide”, whereas Boris Johnson is happy to leave the EU without a deal. But forget about Brexit for now, and let’s look at the nuances. RAZZ have done the heavy lifting for you and have researched each candidate thoroughly in terms of their promises to young people and how their track record stands in relation, so please get ready for a shit tonne of hyperlinks. Time to compare each candidate to the other so that we can prepare for our future. (Spoiler: we’re fucked). Continue reading “They’re both knobheads really”: Who Can We Trust To Be Our Next PM?
Katrina: Thanks for our lovely meal at Bill’s last night- it was the perfect way to finish off second year and celebrate results! First of all, I have to say I was really impressed with the refurb of Bill’s, it definitely brings a much more elegant tone to the restaurant. What did you think of it? Continue reading Review: Bill’s Summer Menu @ Exeter
Currently 38 years old and living in exile in Canada, Arsham Parsi is an Iranian queer refugee activist working to help his community in Iran. Parsi says that he came to terms with his sexuality early on and after a transgender friend ended her life, he decided he must begin to discreetly help the situation for Iranian queers. This work included helping a local doctor carry out research on HIV among gay and bisexual men in their city, before he turned his efforts to covertly advancing queer civil rights. In 2003 he started a Yahoo group chat called “Voice Celebration” which gained a total of 50 participants who could establish connections and lean on each other for support; all operated under a false identity (including Parsi) due to the dire legal situation for LGBTQ+ people in Iran, which still operates the death penalty. Unfortunately, in 2005, he found out that the Islamic authorities had begun to unravel his identity and were looking for “a gay activist named Arsham,” so he was forced to flee to Turkey where he registered as a refugee and lived for three months before being relocated to Canada. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Arsham Parsi
The Salsa Soul Sisters, Third World Wimmin Inc Collective was the first “out” organisation for lesbians, womanists, and women of colour in New York City and is now the oldest black lesbian organisation in the USA. They grew out of the Black Lesbian Caucus of the Gay Activist Alliance, officially splitting in 1974 and inviting Latina women to join (they would also later include Native American and Asian members). Original collective member Candice Boyce said that there “was no other place for women of color to go and sit down and talk about what it means to be a black lesbian in America”. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: The Salsa Soul Sisters, Third World Wimmin Inc Collective
Phillip Picardi, if not already, will be a publishing legend. After completing his degree from NYU in 2012, Picardi began his career working at Racked and Teen Vogue. Two years later, he became senior beauty editor at Refinery 29 but just seven months into the job, Picardi returned to Teen Vogue as digital editorial director (this is all by the age of 25). He worked closely with editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth and creative director Marie Suter, transforming the publication’s branding and turning towards politics, social issues, and activism. Condé Nast said that during Picardi’s time at Teen Vogue, “traffic to TeenVogue.com has increased to more than 9.2 million unique visitors, up from 2.7 million unique visitors last year, mobile traffic more than doubled with an increase of 109 percent year on year, and video viewers grew 989 percent”. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Phillip Picardi
Brenda Howard was a bisexual, polyamorous, LGBTQ+ activist. In a movement that sadly has a tendency to erase bisexual people, Brenda Howard led a fierce fight for bisexual people and helped her LGBTQ+ peers admirably. Most notably, she coordinated a rally to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, AKA the first ever Pride march. Otherwise known as the “Mother of Pride”, she helped evolve the march into Pride Day, and then into Pride Month. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Brenda Howard
Martin Luther King Jr.’s right-hand man, a tireless Civil Rights activist, and an openly gay man – Bayard Rustin fought throughout his life against prejudice, yet he still faces a great deal of historical erasure. Born in 1912, Rustin learnt and adopted Quaker values of nonviolence from a very early age. In 1937, he went to college in New York and joined the Young Communist League because of their progressive views on racial issues but left at the start of the Second World War when it began to emphasise support for the Soviet Union. His focus then shifted to socialism and he joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) in 1941. In 1944, Rustin was arrested as a “conscientious objector” because he refused to register for the draft, being so against the war as he was, and faced a number of other arrests during his time with FOR. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Bayard Rustin
When her father King Gustav II Adolph died in battle, a six year old Christina was elected queen. She took the throne in 1632 when she was 18, after receiving the typical education of a prince. She wore androgynous dress and opposed marriage and motherhood, instead drowning herself in education and politics. She even started Sweden’s first newspaper in 1650 and established peace for her nation in the 30 Years War (1618-1648), known as one of the most destructive conflicts in European history. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Queen Christina of Sweden
Affectionately known by many as the mother and father of the Gay Rights Movement in America, Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny worked tirelessly, both independently and together, for gay rights. Gittings, in the late 1950s, followed on from Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon (see profile) and started the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) and, in 1963, went on to take over as editor of The Ladder, their national gay women’s magazine. Kameny, however, never intended to become an activist until, in the midst of the ‘Lavender Scare,’ he was fired from the Army Map Service (the precursor to NASA) for refusing to answer questions about his sexuality. With a derailed career as a budding astronaut, Kameny appealed to the Supreme Court about his firing and, though it declined to consider his case, it became the first civil rights case based on sexual orientation filed in a U.S. court. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny
Liza Cowan and Penny House had been best friends since they were four, and in their mid-twenties in 1975 decided to launch DYKE magazine – a quarterly of lesbian culture and analysis. Living in 1970s New York at the time, the pair were in the midst of explorative conversations around lesbian culture, with their magazine following the lesbian separatist ideology. Lesbian separatism mainly followed the ideal of living without men entirely in patriarchy-free, women-only communities. The magazine said “We want to publish a magazine that fulfils our need for analysis, communication and news of Lesbian culture. We believe that “Lesbian culture” presumes a separatist analysis. If Lesbian culture is intermixed with straight culture, it is no longer Lesbian; it is heterosexual or heterosocial because energy and time are going to men”. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Liza Cowan and Penny House
Born in 1920 New Orleans, Stormé DeLarverie was a biracial lesbian without a birth certificate (because interracial marriage was illegal) who went on to become a brilliant drag king and a queer legend. She was racially abused a lot in her youth and when she realised she was also gay, she moved, fearing that she’d be murdered if she stayed in the South. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Stormé DeLarverie
Mabel Hampton was born in 1902 in North Carolina, later moving to Harlem. She met Lillian Foster in 1932 and the two were together for 45 years. Foster said in 1976: “Forty-four years ago I met Mabel. We was a wonderful pair. I’ll never forget it. But she’s a little tough. I met her in 1932, September twenty-second. And we haven’t been separated since in our whole life. Death will separate us. Other than that I don’t want it to end.” Foster died two years later in 1978. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Mabel Hampton
Following the overthrow of President Omar Al-Bashir, the Sudanese population took to the streets of the capital, Khartoum, to protest the military takeover and demand a civilian government. In recent weeks, these demands have been met with violence, leading to hundreds of injuries and deaths, over a thousand displaced and many men and women raped. The Sudanese military government has also organised an internet blackout with the objective of preventing a mass organisation of protests through social media and limiting the ability to raise awareness of atrocious government actions. Despite these efforts, the Sudanese crisis has become breaking news worldwide through online movements such as turning #BlueForSudan. Continue reading Turning #BlueForSudan: The Impact of Social Media
Born in 1945, Marsha P. Johnson was an African-American trans rights/gay rights/AIDS activist, sex worker, and drag queen. Whenever someone asked her what the “P” in her name stood for, she would reply: “Pay it No Mind.” Sylvia Rivera was born in New York City in 1951 of Venezuelan and Puerto Rican descent, and worked as a trans rights/gay rights activist and drag queen as well. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera
Virginia Prince was born Arnold Lowman in Los Angeles in 1912 and began using her mother’s clothes to cross dress at the age of 12. She later married a woman, which ended in divorce and the proceedings publicly exposed Prince’s cross dressing. Prince began living as a woman by the early 1960s and was a pioneer of transgender activism, working primarily through the written word. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Virginia Prince
By now you’ve probably seen the photograph of Dr Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Chris (who has chosen to keep her identity largely anonymous), bloodied on a London bus in the early hours of 30 May after refusing to kiss on demand for a group of young men. After going viral, this photograph has spurred mass international outrage towards the attack, with people questioning how such a disgusting act of homophobia could still take place in the UK in 2019. Continue reading Pussy Grabbers & Right-Wing Populism: The Justification for Homophobia
Jane Heap and Margaret Anderson were co-editors of The Little Review, founded in 1914, and instrumental in introducing modernism to America. The co-editors were also lovers, living in New York’s Greenwich Village and participating in local lesbian circles. The Little Review featured lesbian writers such as Amy Lowell and Djuna Barnes, as well as regular contributions from Sherwood Anderson, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and William Carlos Williams. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Jane Heap and Margaret Anderson
“Because I came out in the context of black liberation, women’s liberation and – most significantly – the newly emerging black feminist movement that I was helping to build, I worked from the assumption that all of the ‘isms’ were connected.” (Smith)
Barbara Smith is a Black, lesbian, feminist, and socialist who radically transformed how we think today. Born in 1946, she gained both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree before becoming heavily involved in the Women’s and Gay liberation Movements. That these were not attentive to the concerns of women of colour was glaringly obvious to her, and in 1974 Smith co-founded the Combahee River Collective, which explicitly attended to the concerns of black lesbians in black feminist politics and organising. This way of viewing black feminism as a movement through which the interconnected oppressions of race, gender, sexuality, and class could be addressed was their priority and they termed this “identity politics.” Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Barbara Smith
Exams are over and summer has arrived! You’ve finally handed in that godawful essay on eBart, your favourite dress is back in the wardrobe now EGB has been and gone, and you’ve taken the obligatory rock photo. You are picturing yourself sipping a cool bottle of Devon red, warm paper-wrapped fish and chips bundled on your lap in Exmouth with the sun setting over the sea.
But this is the south west of England, so what about the inevitable not-so-sunny days?
Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon became lovers in 1952, at the height of the McCarthy era and the ‘Lavender Scare’ (which saw gays and lesbians purged from the federal government). They soon moved to Castro Street in San Francisco, which was then not the gay hub that we know it became in the 1970s. There they founded The Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), a secret social club for lesbians, which gained ground and established resources to help the community from the struggles they faced in the outside world. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon
After moving to London with his parents and six siblings, Edward Enninful was only 16 years old when he was scouted on a train and briefly modelled for Arena and i-D. He then assisted stylists Simon Foxton and Beth Summers, before being appointed fashion editor at i-D after being introduced to founders Trish and Terry Jones. At the age of 18, this made Enninful the youngest ever editor at a major international fashion title. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Edward Enninful
“I am Black and I am gay. I cannot separate the two parts of me into secondary and primary struggles. In South Africa I am oppressed as a black person. And I am oppressed because I am gay. So when I fight for my freedom, I must fight for both oppression. All intolerance. All injustice.” (Nkoli) Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Simon Tseko Nkoli
Regarded as the founder of the first US lesbian publication, Edythe Eyde embodied the vital enthusiasm needed to run a magazine. She produced nine newsletter-esque magazines in 1947-8 called Vice Versa, all from her desk at her daytime secretary job. In a tedious, repetitive process Edye would make carbon copies while typing the original, using the office machines. California law did not allow mail to circulate information about lesbians, so Eyde delivered her magazine by hand to her Los Angeles community of queer women, encouraging them to pass it onto her friends when they were done reading. In the first issue, Eyde wrote: “Such a publication has never appeared on the stand […] Why? Because Society decrees it thus. Hence the appearance of VICE VERSA, a magazine dedicated, in all seriousness, to those of us who will never quite be able to adapt ourselves to the iron-bound rules of Convention […] This is your magazine.” Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Edythe Eyde
Sophie Chapman, Copy Editor, has chosen Pride icons that have impacted the world in a variety of ways, whether through their work or activism. To kick them off are Vogue’s lesbian power couple: Dorothy Todd and Madge Garland.
Dorothy Todd was appointed editor of Vogue in 1923 and, between then and her controversial dismissal in 1926, she and fashion editor/lover Madge Garland revolutionised the magazine into a queer masterpiece. Commissioning work by iconic queer contemporaries such as Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, and Vita Sackville-West, the still-young publication “became a bible of modernism and the avant-garde” (Rosen). Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: Dorothy Todd and Madge Garland
I have never been less excited about pride month. Not just unenthused, but literally exhausted. Since I came out in 2015, pride has always felt problematically joyful; whilst I revelled in the chance to shamelessly express my sexuality, I was always acutely aware of those around me detaching the party from the parade, the commodity from the cause of genuine liberation. Nonetheless, I always felt like I had something to say about pride, and as though that something might actually be productive. Instead, this year, as I was trying to research an angle for this piece you are about to read, I felt so deeply uninspired, disillusioned, and, quite simply, depressed. Continue reading Problematically Joyful: Why I’m Struggling This Pride Month
Fozz, Print Editor and Co-President, has chosen Pride icons that have made waves in the publication industry. To kick off, here are a few Pride icons for you in the lesbian collective: The Furies.
From 1971-3, 12 women known as “The Furies” published two feminist publications called Motive and The Furies, exploring “major questions of women’s identity, women’s relationships with other women, with men, and with society at large” (Meinke). Early members like Charlotte Bunch, Ginny Berson and Rita Mae Brown (author of Rubyfruit Jungle featured in RAZZ’s 2018 Youth issue) named the group after the Greek mythical women spirits with serpentine hair and red eyes, known for their vengeance and anger. As Ginny Berson wrote in the first issue of The Furies: “We call ourselves the Furies because we are angry. We are angry because we are oppressed by male supremacy”. Continue reading RAZZ Pride Icons: The Furies
Six housemates are confronted with the end of the world knocking ferociously at their front door. With no chance of stopping it, they plan to use their final evening to go out with a bang. An intriguing mix of irrational and logical, panicked and patient, attacker and victim, these housemates are an unlikely – and unlikeable – bunch, and their Armageddon party will only degenerate already unstable relationships within themselves and each other. Continue reading Review: Mannequin Mouth’s ‘Armageddon Baby’
Ruby Jones, a University of Exeter student, disabled writer and activist, tweeted last week about the ableism she suffered at Hijacked festival on Thursday 30 May. In the original tweet was four photos of an e-mail she sent to a person of authority in relation to the Hijacked events team with the caption “my letter of complaint after having to deal with discrimination and medical neglect at Hijacked Festival yesterday – utterly appalled lengthy read but highlights the ableism i had to deal with #makefestivalsaccessible”. The photos she attached describe the incident: Continue reading “#MakeFestivalsAccessible”: Exeter Student Speaks Out on Her Hijacked Experience
After seeing The Remarkables when it first debuted in March, I was intrigued to see how co-writers Matt Smith and Sean Wareing had edited their original musical to make it Fringe-ready. With a few script cuts and new songs, I was impressed to see the changes made while retaining the show’s hilarity and ridiculousness. With an incredibly witty cast and creative team, The Remarkables remains a thoroughly enjoyable and strikingly professional student-written musical. Continue reading Review: Fringe Preview-Shotgun Theatre’s ‘The Remarkables’
Focused on the eponymous philosophical experiment of ‘Epiphenomenal Qualia’ – informally known as Mary’s Room – Amy White’s production is a fascinating exploration of the Human. When Professors Shelley and Cavendish build ‘Adam’, their first artificially created man, they stumble upon student Mary to test the extent of his humanity, and whether such machines can possess a soul. Through their unexpected friendship, Adam begins to show flaws that align with all the naturally “broken” parts of being a human.
Continue reading Review: Fringe Preview-Theatre With Teeth’s ‘Mary’s Room’
Netflix provides another charming romantic comedy for us in Always Be My Maybe, one that endears the audience but fails to reinvent the genre. The story of Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park), two childhood friends who reconnect after sixteen years not speaking, navigate their feelings for one another despite living two different lifestyles. Continue reading Review: Always Be My Maybe
“The boys laughed and whispered to me that they were called the Lounge Cats, or something like that, and that they were quite famous. I replied that so was I.” (193)
The taxi driver known as Jack the Hat is undoubtedly a local celebrity in Exeter and its surrounding areas, and had been since long before the publication of this book. This quasi-mythical figure was made known to me before my first year had even started, when a fourth-year friend encouraged me to save the number of his taxi service in my phone. She told me a story of how Jack had helped her friend recover a misplaced credit card, and, in the following months, I heard more and more tales of Jack’s unprecedented kindness and heroism. Continue reading Review: Jack by Shane Moore O’Sullivan
Hannah O’Dowd’s T3 play Unknown featured some of the strongest student talent that I’ve come across at Exeter.
In what was undoubtedly the most moving piece of university theatre I’ve seen, this play tells the true story of a plane accident and its consequences on Hannah, the writer and protagonist. Unknown tackles the complex theme of trauma with sensitivity and maturity on the writer’s part, showing the evolution of her psychological and physical wellbeing in the two years since the incident. While autobiographical, the play has a broader outlook, preventing it from feeling overly personal. O’Dowd’s aim has been to create a meaningful piece of work that gives voice to the victims and survivors of brain injury, memory loss and trauma, as well as what at times feels like a more personal attempt at catharsis. It is gentle and at times wry, while humour and light-heartedness also give the play a fresh outlook and reveal O’Dowd’s writing skill, as well as her self-awareness and perspective. Continue reading Review: Unknown
Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is a fresh, female-led, spin on the coming of age tale. Arguably one of 2019’s best comedies, Booksmart demonstrates how being young can be a painful yet hilarious experience. By successfully blending tales of raucous adventures and responsibility, Booksmart illuminates the emotional pains associated with teenage friendship and the transition into adulthood. Continue reading Review: Booksmart
TW:// sexual violence and trauma
Some days go by and you don’t think about it at all. It doesn’t cross your mind, and no one would know any wiser. Then, while you’re doing mundane tasks, it hits you. You put on the same shoes you wore the night it happened. You eat the same breakfast you had the morning after it happened. You walk down the street and think that you saw someone that looked just like them – but no. It’s just your mind playing that cruel trick again, reminding you of that night when you were sexually assaulted. Continue reading Getting My Buzz Back: Vibrators & Recovery from Sexual Trauma