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Curtain Call in COVID-19

The last time I saw live theatre was back in late 2019, when I was sat watching Paul O’Grady in drag performing in the pantomime version of Goldilocks. Despite my preconceptions of watching a pantomime as an adult, it was surprisingly rude and worthy of genuine laughs out loud. I left the theatre entertained and desperate to tell any unlucky acquaintance about the past two hours of sex and bum jokes I had just witnessed. Over a year later, it looks like theatres will finally be able to reopen to half capacity on 17 May 2021, and full capacity on that fated day in June 2021. But with the cinema industry hit hard enough to bankrupt Cineworld, things don’t bode well for the theatre industry. Continue reading Curtain Call in COVID-19

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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?

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Bleed Greener: Cli-Fi, a Genre to Save Us All?

This year, I have been thinking a great deal about the role of the arts and humanities in the fight against climate change. While I have heard anecdotes about interdisciplinary projects that aim to tackle the ongoing environmental crisis from a range of different scholarly perspectives, it is troubling that the input of the humanities scholars is often reportedly neglected in favour of the data produced by the scientists and geographers. Undoubtedly, there is a sound rationale behind such a decision: we need data to assess the extent of the problem, and to develop practical recommendations for change. However, I strongly believe that the arts and humanities have serious untapped potential for helping to divert our course away from environmental catastrophe. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Cli-Fi, a Genre to Save Us All?

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What are “Love Languages”?

The term “love languages” was first coined by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts (1992). The book remains influential, having sold more than twelve million copies since its original publication. A lot of us will have heard the term “love languages” being used in the media in some way, but what are they and how do we use them? Continue reading What are “Love Languages”?

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The Healthy Helena: Food and Mood

Whilst it’s well known that eating a healthy, balanced diet is beneficial for our physical health, people are often unaware of the impact our nutrition has on our mental health. With the current bleak and often stressful environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, comfort foods are tempting ways to lift our spirits. However, sugary treats and processed foods can often have the reverse effects, and it is important to nourish and nurture your body with the right nutrition in order to feel your finest. Continue reading The Healthy Helena: Food and Mood

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Bleed Greener: Spotlight on Sustainability Week

The 1st to the 5th March is this year’s Sustainability Week, an annual event that emphasises the importance of making sustainable choices. However, there is one thing that sets this year’s Sustainability Week apart from similar efforts that have been made in previous years: the Societies Sustainability Alliance. At present, this Alliance is comprised of 17 different societies which, collectively and in collaboration with university staff, aim to “improve representation from societies and groups in discussion and decision-making regarding sustainability at the University of Exeter” (Societies Sustainability Alliance Terms of Reference). The member societies range from those that already have a distinct environmental focus, such as Be The Change, to those that have a more academic focus, such as the Exeter Law Society. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Spotlight on Sustainability Week

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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