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Bleed Greener: Eco-Anxiety or Eco-Empathy? The Climate Crisis and Mental Health

It is undeniable that the pandemic has had a severe impact upon many people’s mental health. Invariably, people are spending less time interacting with other human beings in social situations and work environments, and more time in isolation with only their thoughts for company. This has caused the worsening of pre-existing mental health issues such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, along with the rise of anxiety and loneliness amidst the general population. Furthermore, the ways in which Covid-19 has shifted the nation’s focus away from crucial, time-sensitive efforts to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis have also had a particularly negative impact upon those individuals suffering from a chronic fear of the consequences of environmental damage. In the past few years, this state of heightened concern for the future of the planet has been termed ‘eco-anxiety’. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Eco-Anxiety or Eco-Empathy? The Climate Crisis and Mental Health

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Mourning through Online Dating

I don’t know about you or whether it’s just the condition of my friends (myself included) but there seems to be a prolific obsession with online dating at the moment. Every time I see my friends they are either telling me about the Hinge date they went on last night, showing me outfits for their Tinder date tonight or aggressively breaching privacy laws with an immensely deep Facebook stalk of their new match. Continue reading Mourning through Online Dating

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Review: The Crown Season Four

As the final season of Olivia Colman’s Queen Elizabeth graces our screens, there is a lot of talk about the new season of The Crown. The highly anticipated TV drama is now finally getting to the juicy bits of British Royal history with the divisive Thatcher administration and the introduction of Lady Di. For many viewers, this is one of the most exciting TV drops of the year, as the Diana scandal is still fresh in the minds of many Brits. It certainly made for interesting viewing, but did it live up to the hype? Continue reading Review: The Crown Season Four

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Lockdown Wanders: Walking Spots Around Exeter

Going for walks everyday can soon become monotonous. However, lockdown has left us with little to do and walks have become a great way to stay active and get some fresh air. I know that most of us would rather be living our best student lives, going to the pub and meeting friends. However, this is a great opportunity to explore Exeter and the surrounding areas a little more. There are some hidden gems right on your doorstop and here are some of my personal favourites: Continue reading Lockdown Wanders: Walking Spots Around Exeter

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Single Review: ‘Yesterday’ by Loyle Carner

Loyle Carner’s new single ‘Yesterday’, is a heartfelt, politically charged and introspective account of mixed-race identity in our contemporary society. The track marks the hip-hop artist’s latest release since his second album, Not Waving, But Drowning, and like his previous tracks incorporates both sensitive and intelligent lyricism. Continue reading Single Review: ‘Yesterday’ by Loyle Carner

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It’s Debatable: Gym Closures

For: 2020 has been an odd year in many, many ways, and for me, perhaps one of the oddest personal developments has been that I have become a Person Who Gyms. Regularly. On Purpose. Enjoying it. I cannot emphasize enough that if I went back and told 2019 me about this, she, along with everybody else I know, would have laughed very hard, for a … Continue reading It’s Debatable: Gym Closures

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My Culture Comforts: Saturn Returns with Caggie

Whilst I know astrology might not be for everyone, I cannot recommend the podcast Saturn Returns with Caggie enough. This enlightening podcast aims to bring clarity to listeners during challenging or transitional periods, which I am sure we can all agree is particularly needed in our current climate. With her therapeutically calming voice, Caggie Dunlop offers lessons and advice on a range of subjects from sex and relationships to identity and purpose, and even broaches the topic of witchcraft. At first, some episodes might seem a bit far-fetched. However, with the help of her guests and her astrological expert, I’ve found that at least one lesson can be taken away from each episode in a bid to further our individual quests for authenticity. Continue reading My Culture Comforts: Saturn Returns with Caggie

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Review: A Bit of a Stretch by Chris Atkins

A Bit of a Stretch by Chris Atkins is undoubtedly one of the most topical, funny and damning works of non-fiction that you will ever read. The book narrates, in diary form, the time that Atkins, Oxbridge graduate and award- winning filmmaker, spent in Wandsworth prison, after being convicted of tax fraud in 2016. Continue reading Review: A Bit of a Stretch by Chris Atkins

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Cohabiting for COVID-19

If you’d told me at the start of the first lockdown that I’d spend the second one living with a man I had been dating for less than two months, I’d have laughed in your face. Cackled. In April, I had only recently got out of a pretty intense situationship that, looking back, did not spark joy, just near-clinical anxiety, and had followed that with a very brief phase of ‘I will sleep with anyone who even blinks at me from across a room/shows mild interest on a dating app’ before being cock-blocked by Rona. Continue reading Cohabiting for COVID-19

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The Best Podcasts for Lockdown Listening

Lockdown is boring. It really is. One can only bake so much banana bread and tolerate so many Zoom quizzes. Therefore, the question of 2020 has become: ‘what shall I do now?’
Solution: Podcasts. Podcasts are a great way to fill the hours because you can listen to them whilst you do other things, such as run, take a bath, or bake the tenth banana bread of the day. Below is a selection of some of my all-time favourite podcasts: Continue reading The Best Podcasts for Lockdown Listening

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Bleed Greener: Greening the Arts, Sustainable Theatre at the University and Beyond

Katie Wood is a fourth-year Drama student at the University of Exeter who has a particular interest in creating sustainable theatre at the production level. In this interview, we discuss barriers to sustainable theatre, as well as what steps have been made within the university to mitigate student theatre’s impact upon the environment. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Greening the Arts, Sustainable Theatre at the University and Beyond

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Designed by Banksy, Showcased by Stormzy, Worn by the Nation

All the way back in June 2019 (which feels like centuries ago now), at Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage, Michael Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr, also known as Stormzy walked out to perform. He sported a stab-proof vest decorated with a spray-painted monochrome union jack. Continue reading Designed by Banksy, Showcased by Stormzy, Worn by the Nation

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The Dangers of Face Changing and Body Morphing Filters on Social Media

Reality, sadly, is not always attractive. Contrary to what television and media may suggest, life is not always on a good day, from the right angle, or with good lighting. We do not always look our best, and the worst part is that we imprint this illusion of perfection onto ourselves and our expectations. Selecting and altering the best photographs. Feeling like we are not doing well if we are not looking good. The endless, vicious comparison of ourselves against those we see on social media and in film. Continue reading The Dangers of Face Changing and Body Morphing Filters on Social Media

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Culture Comforts: Jeff Wayne’s Musical Adaptation of War of the Worlds

“No-one would’ve believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space” – so begins Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of War of the Worlds. Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds is a progressive rock concept album, telling the story of The War of the Worlds (late Victorian novel by H.G. Wells, the first ever … Continue reading Culture Comforts: Jeff Wayne’s Musical Adaptation of War of the Worlds

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Turning Down your Next Job in Cyber: Why the Arts Matter

At this point in 2020, watching the news is almost like watching a B movie with the ridiculous and outlandish headlines we’ve come to accept as the norm. It feels like there is little left that could faze us. Yet, the re-emergence of a somewhat patronising advert informing ‘Fatima’ that her “next job could be in cyber” still managed to shock. Which begs the question, how can we ensure their survival if the government isn’t going to? Continue reading Turning Down your Next Job in Cyber: Why the Arts Matter

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Billie’s Body: The Culture of Body Shaming

Billie Eilish has exponentially risen to fame in the last few years, renowned for her ‘baggy’ streetwear style as shown by “her gender-neutral style to the Grammys with a neon green, crystal-embellished Gucci bowling shirt and jogging pants” (Lindsay Weinberg 2020). In an interview for Calvin Klein’s 2019 campaign, “I Speak My Truth In #MyCalvins”, Eilish divulged that her style sparked from her desire for … Continue reading Billie’s Body: The Culture of Body Shaming

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Adapting Queer Romance: Maurice

Maurice is one of my all-time favourite novels. E. M. Forster’s tale of emotional and sexual awakening was written in 1913-1914 but published posthumously in 1971. In Edwardian England, an explicitly queer narrative with a happy ending was out of the question. To please mainstream audiences, queer (or queer-coded) relationships in 20th century literature and film were conventionally doomed from the start, often with one … Continue reading Adapting Queer Romance: Maurice

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Reviews in Retrospect: Wales Bonner Spring 2021 Collection

British fashion designer, Grace Wales Bonner’s Spring 2021 Menswear collection is a beautifully retro, jewel-toned tribute to her Jamaican heritage. The Central Saint Martin’s graduate regularly explores black culture through her designs, and her most recent collection takes inspiration from early-1980s Jamaica, and dancehall and reggae culture. Wanting to put her own spin on this, she looks to her upbringing in London and adds a British twist to her Jamaican roots. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: Wales Bonner Spring 2021 Collection

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How to Capture an Individual in Words: The Benefits and Limitations of Life-Writing

Life-writing, that is biographies and autobiographies, are not a recent phenomenon. However, now more than ever these works of literature dominate the bestsellers list with the writing of Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, and more selling millions of copies. But what makes these books so appealing to a modern audience? Is it the mere explosion of ‘celebrity’ admiration or is there something more complex than this at hand? Continue reading How to Capture an Individual in Words: The Benefits and Limitations of Life-Writing

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Education in Isolation

*written before the latest government announcement* I am sure that anyone reading this will have already been bombarded with statistics and horror stories about students in halls – everything from being forced to eat cold suppers day after day and being barred from any form of human contact or communication. So, I will do my best not to devalue some of the quite horrific situations … Continue reading Education in Isolation

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Review: Knives Out

Knives Out (2019) directed by Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) is one of those films that reminded me of the exquisite quality of modern acting, writing and editing. As a lover of old classics, usually bought second hand at charity shops, my viewing repertoire of late has been sorely limited to scratchy action flicks and cringe-worthy romances, and so it was a breath of fresh air to cuddle up with a coffee and a first-rate murder mystery that left me feeling that maybe there is hope for humanity. Continue reading Review: Knives Out

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Interview: Save the Children Society Supports Moria Refugee Camp

Online Editor, Miriam Higgs, had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Save the Children society’s President, Alex Madden, and Campaign Officers, Poppy Pearce and Juliet Jarvis regarding their Moria Refugee Camp support programme. They discussed the foundations of the campaign and getting it off the ground, how COVID-19 has changed the face of donating and giving aid, and how Save the Children and charity societies more broadly are so important in establishing a support network within the student community. Their discussion follows: Continue reading Interview: Save the Children Society Supports Moria Refugee Camp

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Bleed Greener: How to Talk about the Environmental Crisis

Introducing the topic of climate crisis into conversation is a risky game. Not uncommonly, the phrase will elicit a raised eyebrow, a smirk, or even a derisive comment. Similar to the way in which some people shy away from discissions about feminism and veganism, climate change is often considered an improper topic of conversation, and one that is taboo within polite company. Despite the fact that the environmental crisis is worsening at a greatly troubling rate, many people recoil from verbal announcements of its existence. In modern society, no-one invites climate change to a dinner party. Continue reading Bleed Greener: How to Talk about the Environmental Crisis

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Reproductive Justice: An Urgent Guide

As the 2020 US election has approached, the reproductive rights of American women have once again been called into question by the anti-abortion rhetoric in the power centres of the United States. Donald Trump and the majority of the Republican Party are vocally pro-life, while Democrat candidate Joe Biden is pro-choice and pledges to keep access to abortion safe and legal if he is elected this November. Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in American politics right now; 46% of Trump’s supporters and 35% of Biden’s state it as a ‘very important’ factor in how they will vote in this election. Continue reading Reproductive Justice: An Urgent Guide

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Review: Rebecca

Much like its main characters, Netflix’s Rebecca was doomed from the start. When adapting Daphne Du Maurier’s gothic masterpiece, director Ben Wheatley set himself an ambitious task. The original novel, focusing on a chilling love triangle (husband, wife, dead-ex-wife), has haunted generations of readers, and was the basis for Hitchcock’s Oscar-winning film of the same name. Although Netflix’s remake is watchable, Wheatley, like the new … Continue reading Review: Rebecca

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American Albums to get you through Isolation

I have been in lockdown for nine days now and the term ‘isolate’ never felt so lonely. As a result, I’ve been listening to a few trusty artists religiously, accompanying me to every meal, shower and pretty much each moment that I’m not staring longingly out my window, trying to get some work done. Continue reading American Albums to get you through Isolation

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Halloween at Home

I think we can all agree that this year has been filled with enough horror to last us a lifetime; but the only way this nightmare could get worse, is by taking away my favourite time of the year. Halloween has been a fundamental holiday throughout my life and if you think I’m letting COVID-19 stop me from getting into the spooky spirit, you can … Continue reading Halloween at Home

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Halloween Best Bakes: Spooky Gooey Cookies

Happy Halloweeeen! I love this time of year and so does my sweet tooth. As the world turns darker and colder I am reminded of my childhood days of scuttling door to door, filling my pumpkin with as much sugar as possible. This year, however, we won’t be doing this for one sensible reason: we are in a global pandemic. Instead I’ll be at home enjoying my chocolate cookies with a melted centre and green slime for the horror affect. This recipe is truly to DIE for. Continue reading Halloween Best Bakes: Spooky Gooey Cookies

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Review: Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

Dolly Alderton’s long-awaited debut novel is a perceptive and entertaining reflection on modern romance, female friendship and growing older. Acting almost as a fictional companion to her non-fiction memoir, Everything I Know About Love, released in 2018 to critical acclaim, Ghosts contemplates many of the themes which have earned Alderton her status as ‘the voice of the millennial generation’. Continue reading Review: Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

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Living Presently in a Pandemic

You’re confined to your house, have one contact hour a week (where your lecturer spends thirty minutes trying to work out how breakout rooms work), and you can’t help but ask yourself “when is this all going to blow over?” as you devour another batch of your housemate’s cookies. We’ve all been there, but how can we try to simmer down our anxiety riddled brains? As a third year student endeavouring to finish a degree, work a part time job, and not have a mental breakdown during a global pandemic, I have found that practicing mindfulness and taking time to meditate helps to ground me in the present moment and keep me from getting too overwhelmed. We’re all so busy, especially as term starts to pick up, and sometimes we feel guilty for what appears to be sitting down and doing nothing. But maintaining your own mental state is as productive as exercising your body or making a meal and is necessary in preventing burn out and generally supporting your mental health. Continue reading Living Presently in a Pandemic

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The Fashion Industry: Ignoring the Plus-Size and Petite Communities

It is common knowledge by now that the fashion industry is not as inclusive as it could and should be. One of the areas of fashion that lacks inclusivity is the sizing range that clothing stores and companies offer to customers. ‘Regular’ sizes in the UK consist of anything between a size 6 and a size 16. Anything outside of this ‘regular’ sizing is then considered to be petite or plus-sized. Whilst the fashion industry is trying its best to be inclusive by featuring petite and plus-size ranges as parts of their collections, it doesn’t always hit the mark. Continue reading The Fashion Industry: Ignoring the Plus-Size and Petite Communities

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Review: Beneath the Waves

As the mornings grow colder, the nights longer, and it feels like there are perpetual grey skies threatening months of rain, sometimes all you can do is put on your most threadbare pyjamas and snuggle up with a good book. However, with deadlines looming and online University being weirdly more stressful than the real thing, considering I’m attending in said pyjamas, what I really need is a slither of a good story. A short story, so to speak. Sculpting a believable and captivating world in a handful of pages is a difficult thing to get right, but fellow Exeter student Daisy Ella does just that in her first self-published story, Beneath the Waves. Continue reading Review: Beneath the Waves

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Reviews in Retrospect: Rafiki

Wanuri Kahiu’s 2018 feature film Rafiki is an intimate portrayal of forbidden love. Banned in Kenya for its representation of a same-sex couple, the film received global critical acclaim for its unapologetic and lyrical depiction of queer love in a country that criminalises homosexuality. Based on the Ugandan short story “Jambula Tree” by Monica Arac de Nyeko, Rafiki follows the story of Kena and Zita, … Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: Rafiki

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Bleed Greener: Sustainable Alternatives to Fast Fashion, the World’s Best-Dresser Polluter

In recent years, consumers have demanded more and more from the fashion industry. They clamour for greater quantities of garments to fill their already-bursting wardrobes, to keep up with fleeting TikTok fashion trends and, most importantly, to appear on their well-curated social media accounts. The fashion industry has undergone a significant shift in recent years, rapidly adapting to the purchasing habits of modern consumers. Above all, people are seeking more clothing than ever before, and this sartorial excess comes at the cost of the environment. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Sustainable Alternatives to Fast Fashion, the World’s Best-Dresser Polluter

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Review: Emily in Paris

Netflix’s new comedy-drama Emily in Paris, created by Darren Star (Beverely Hills, 90210, Sex and the City), is what happens when the over-romanticisation of Paris meets the under-representation of female screen characters with any depth or originality. Sorry, maybe that’s a bit harsh. But you can’t set a TV show in an iconic European city and make the premise of said show about how many … Continue reading Review: Emily in Paris