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How Sia’s ‘Music’ illuminated the Continual Misrepresentation of People with Autism in the Arts

The directional debut of well-renowned singer, Sia, has been met with mass criticism from the public. Music, centres around a non-verbal autistic girl placed in the care of an unstable Kate Hudson in this family drama. The movie has been nominated for a Golden Globe, and the autistic and neurodivergent community are not happy about it. Why? Despite Sia promising her best ‘intentions’ and undergoing three years of research, she failed to deviate from the ableist telling of autistic stories for self-gain. To put it bluntly, as the UK’s National Autistic Society said: ‘Sia has got this one wrong.’ Continue reading How Sia’s ‘Music’ illuminated the Continual Misrepresentation of People with Autism in the Arts

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Interview: Art Society Discusses Lockdown Life Drawing

It’s an overwhelming understatement to say that it’s been a difficult year, for very obvious reasons. Everything, in our personal, professional, and literally physical existences, has become increasingly strained and under pressure. Approaching the year anniversary of our first lockdown, this pressure is building more than ever. This also means that it’s been almost a year since societies have been able to run any regular events. In-person events are crucial to the running of many societies and with guidelines changing all the time and the country moving in and out of lockdowns and tiers, the impact has been far felt. However, COVID-19 has had a particularly dramatic impact on the art community in Exeter, with restrictions preventing perhaps the most personal of in-person events, the life drawing class. Continue reading Interview: Art Society Discusses Lockdown Life Drawing

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RAZZ Recommends: How to Cope with Your New Housemates aka, Your Parents

So, we have entered a third national lockdown. After the announcements in March and November, you would think that Boris Johnson and his Government would have a checklist of important information to include in a lockdown briefing. Unfortunately, this list seems to have been lost, mistakenly taken on a trip to Waitrose, leaving Boris to babble behind his podium, staring at a post-it with fruit, veg and toothpaste scribbled on it. Once again, university students were left puzzled on 4 January and were presented with a choice: to return or to stay home. Continue reading RAZZ Recommends: How to Cope with Your New Housemates aka, Your Parents

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Something About this Lockdown Feels Harder

Something about this lockdown feels harder. Perhaps it’s the darkness that starts to creep in before dinnertime. Maybe it’s the weather: mostly grey, always cold, sometimes pouring. Or potentially it’s the sheer relentlessness of it all. Whatever it is, the majority of my days are characterised by a strange sense of time moving at the speed of treacle off a spoon. Continue reading Something About this Lockdown Feels Harder

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Interview: Kia from Nudes By Kia

As part of RAZZ’s SHAG Week, Caitlin Barr had the privilege of interviewing creator Kia, the founder of the queer owned UK business Nudes By Kia, which turns “people’s own nudes into wearable art”. Caitlin and Kia spoke about the genesis of their business, and why they think that reclaiming and celebrating your body is so important. Their discussion follows: Continue reading Interview: Kia from Nudes By Kia

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It’s Time to Talk Porn

In the popular American TV show Friends, two of the main characters, Chandler and Joey, accidentally find a free porn channel during one of the episodes. From the moment they see it, they develop an urge to keep it running – even if it means leaving the TV on for days. This addiction to porn is an increasing phenomenon due to, on the one hand … Continue reading It’s Time to Talk Porn

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Interview: Siân Docksey from The Sex and Nature Salon

I interviewed Siân Docksey prior to the salon to ask her how she found out about this unique, yet fascinating opportunity, to which she replied, “way back in March when the world set on fire and everything just disintegrated in front of us, I lost all of my gigs. I was on a writer’s weekly mail out and there was an advert for joining a Creative Fellowship at the University”. After questioning whether being a ‘Fellow’ involved “[walking] around in a cravat [tipping your] hat at people”, she soon discovered that the University of Exeter’s Arts and Culture team recruits three Creative Fellows a year, who work with academics to enhance their area of research. So, “it’s a bit like speed dating,” Siân noted, laughing. As if by fate, Siân was partnered with Dr Ina Linge, an expert in “The Politics of Sexual Nature”. Continue reading Interview: Siân Docksey from The Sex and Nature Salon

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Accessing Contraception During COVID-19

Casual hook-ups, dating and late-night tinder encounters have become extinct practices due to COVID-19 and government regulations to control the virus. However, this is not to say that sex is not happening. Whilst it may feel strange to seek contraception in a time where physical contact is being so publicly discouraged, it is important to remember that every aspect of your health is valuable and should be taken care of. So, whether you are in lockdown with your significant other or just wanting to explore your contraceptive options, there are lots of resources still available to you. Continue reading Accessing Contraception During COVID-19

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RAZZ Interviews the Cast and Crew of Theatre with Teeth’s Hair

On Sunday night, I put on my make-up and dusted off a dress to go to the theatre. The unusual aspect was that it was a virtual one, where Zoom became the stage, but still a theatre nonetheless. It was the first reveal of Theatre with Teeth’s witty comedy, Hair, and with the COVID-19 pandemic putting a full, in-person performance on hold for the foreseeable future, the talented members of the society decided to virtually showcase extracts from their upcoming production. Written and directed by Leila Lockley, Hair tells the story of a young, aspiring Black actress, Ali (Marion Ojua) in her pursuit to break into the industry. However, Ali quickly discovers that the people around her, particularly casting agents, are far too concerned with appearances and stereotypes, as she faces multiple microaggressions and instances of discrimination. Following the performance, I had the privilege of chatting with the cast and crew of Hair to discuss the rehearsal process and the inspiration behind this moving play. Continue reading RAZZ Interviews the Cast and Crew of Theatre with Teeth’s Hair

Palatable Feminism Doesn’t Owe You Accountability

At the start of December 2020, social media influencer, writer and artist Florence Given came under fire for seeming to have replicated the work and message of Chidera Eggerue (whose online moniker is The Slumflower). The initial accusation came from Eggerue herself, who posted a series of Instagram stories talking through what she perceived to be similarities in their books (Given’s Women Don’t Owe You Pretty and Eggerue’s What a Time to Be Alone and How to Get Over a Boy). These included the cover style, some of the snappy phrases Given utilises (most notably “Dump Him”), and the self-illustrated, ‘coffee-table’ vibe of the book. Eggerue called for accountability from Given, and some redistribution of profits both to her and the other Black women Given credited in the afterword of her book, stating “Black women’s ideas generate wealth for white people. But that wealth doesn’t go to our community.” Radio silence followed from Given’s usually very active Instagram, until a few days later when she posted a statement via her Instagram, attempting to explain her side of the story. She pointed out that Eggerue had “ethusiastically” endorsed Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, and that it would have been impossible for her to read How to Get Over a Boy before handing in her manuscript for her own book. She cited her own previous work and drawing style, as well as her long-term interest in feminist thinking and the ways in which it has inspired her art. She also said she had donated a chunk of her advance to Black Minds Matter, a UK charity aiming to provide Black people with free care from Black therapists. Black Minds Matter has refused an offer of a further donation. Continue reading Palatable Feminism Doesn’t Owe You Accountability