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Review: Fearless (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has done it again. By ‘it’, I mean managed to record a THIRD lockdown album. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) hit streaming platforms at midnight on Friday 9 April, and I’ve spent the last couple of weeks transported back to my tween years as a deeply committed Taylor Swift stan. Continue reading Review: Fearless (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift

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In Conversation with Active Together 

Over the past academic year, Exeter University’s Education Incubator opened up a call for student-led, anti-racism projects, announcing that they were “looking for students at Exeter who [wanted] to develop innovative ideas and approaches to enhance the anti-racism agenda both within the University community and beyond.” Subsequently, five student-led projects were awarded funding to develop their collaborative, student-centric, anti-racism projects. I had the chance to speak to the faces behind one of these projects: Nina Cunningham, a third year BSc Sociology student, Rhianna Garrett, a Master’s student of Technology, Creativity and Thinking in Education, and Manan Shah, a first year LLB Law student. Together, they launched Active Together, which aims to tackle the culture of racism and microaggressions that can be prevalent within University societies.  Continue reading In Conversation with Active Together 

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Best Lockdown Buys: Themed Nights

Lockdown upon lockdown has either made time fly or crawl. One silver lining of this added time indoors is the necessary demand for creativity. Although, admittedly, much entertainment came from Netflix and alcohol… some stand out purchases really helped us through. Want company but housemates are at deadline central? No worries, just settle down with “Bones Jones” – our niche new housemate. This plastic skeleton … Continue reading Best Lockdown Buys: Themed Nights

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Vilified Victims: The Problematic Portrayal of Violence Against Women in True Crime

During multiple lockdowns this year and last, I have found myself reaching for true crime documentaries and films on Netflix. There’s something about them that’s just so compelling to me – I’m the kind of person who stays up on Wikipedia deep dives reading about serial killers, much to my shame. However, many of these shows and films fall short at representing their female victims … Continue reading Vilified Victims: The Problematic Portrayal of Violence Against Women in True Crime

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When Does Cultural Appreciation Become Cultural Appropriation When it Comes to Marketing?

Cultural appropriation seems to be a phrase that’s coming up more and more frequently on social media, particularly in conversations surrounding the fashion industry. Many popular fashion companies such as Victoria’s Secret, Savage X Fenty, Gucci, and Prada have been accused of cultural appropriation in designs and marketing. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the practices, customs, or aesthetics of one social or ethnic group by members of another (typically dominant) community or society.” A deeper understanding of cultural appropriation refers to when people in the dominant culture in society take elements from a culture that has previously been systematically oppressed. This means that in 2012 when Karlie Kloss walked down the Victoria’s Secret Runway wearing underwear paired with a Native American headdress, suede fringe, and turquoise jewellery the Navajo people were deeply offended as the outfit disrespected and trivialised their culture. When designers take inspiration from other people’s cultures, it lets them show a love for the cultural aesthetic. The caveat of that is that often, in doing so, these designers remain prejudiced against its people. Continue reading When Does Cultural Appreciation Become Cultural Appropriation When it Comes to Marketing?

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

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