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Identities not Categories: Is there a Problem with BAME?

Over lockdown, I’ve been subjected to many a rant from my dad concerning how fast society is changing; usually an add-on to his lecture about how ruthless and toxic cancel culture can be. Now, to a certain extent I can sympathise. Our linguistics and what’s considered politically correct are evolving and changing at a rate that we’ve never experienced. A recent example of such controversy is … Continue reading Identities not Categories: Is there a Problem with BAME?

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Cruise Ships and Covid-19: An Opportunity to Re-Examine the Travel Industry

Cruise ships represent the immensity of travel in the modern world. The access to oceanic space from the luxury and comfort onboard is part of the mass appeal for consumers, but there is a darker side to the glistening structures that line our waters. Often dubbed as ‘floating cities’, despite their testament to modern engineering, the industry is an environmental disaster. In the adversity of lockdown, there have been enormous economic pressures and questions over the future of travel across the globe. However, the current pandemic and suspension of most of the cruise industry’s activities have also afforded a unique opportunity to re-examine the environmental impact of these ships, and whether a green recovery is possible. Continue reading Cruise Ships and Covid-19: An Opportunity to Re-Examine the Travel Industry

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Reviews in Retrospect: Outlaw Culture by bell hooks

I first heard about intersectional feminist writer bell hooks in a Media Studies classroom during sixth form. We were taught that bell hooks challenges the “ideology of domination” that perpetuates misogyny, racism and classism. Our teacher also told us that hooks deliberately refused to punctuate her name with capital letters, to symbolically shed the tools of power that regulate personal identity. Before I ever read bell hooks, the idea of a writer powerful enough to escape the confines of language fascinated me. The first of hooks’ writing I read, her 1994 collection of essays and interviews Outlaw Culture, asserts that popular culture is never “apolitical”, and representation always matters. Unpretentious, piercingly insightful, and funny, Outlaw Culture is as fascinating as hooks herself. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: Outlaw Culture by bell hooks

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Defiant, Self-Aware, Accessible Feminism: Why you should read Florence Given’s ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’

Florence Given’s book Women Don’t Owe You Pretty (2020) has been The Sunday Times bestseller for ten weeks in a row now, and it’s no surprise why. Continue reading Defiant, Self-Aware, Accessible Feminism: Why you should read Florence Given’s ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’

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What makes you BRITish enough: Why Rina Sawayama called out the Music Industry

Imagine releasing a critically acclaimed album only to be told you aren’t eligible to be nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize and BRIT awards, let alone win them; all because apparently you aren’t British enough. For Japanese-born British singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama, being told she couldn’t even qualify for consideration for an award so clearly deserved is obviously nothing less than heart breaking. After living in the UK for 25 years and holding indefinite leave to remain in the country, why do the BPI rules deny her this accolade for which she has so evidently been snubbed? Continue reading What makes you BRITish enough: Why Rina Sawayama called out the Music Industry

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Politics on Screen: Sitting in Limbo

At the start of June BBC One aired Sitting in Limbo, a factual drama about the consequences of the Windrush scandal of 2018. Despite the programme flying largely under the radar, nearly two months after I watched this important piece of television, I still reflect on it and the way it made me feel. Continue reading Politics on Screen: Sitting in Limbo

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Review: Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods (2020) is Spike Lee’s latest release after his critically acclaimed BlacKkKlansman (2018), which won him his first Academy award. Lee’s constant stream of provocative and profound pieces has proven time and time again that he has “his finger on the pulse of modern America” (Mark Kermode). The plot follows four ex-GIs who return to Vietnam to recover the remains of their fallen comrade, the almost mythical, Black Panther-esque Stormin’ Norman. At least that’s their cover. In reality, they return to retrieve bars of gold that the American army stole from the North Vietnamese all those years ago. Continue reading Review: Da 5 Bloods

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Making Herstory: How TIME is Foregrounding Women’s Excellence

In response to the historic gender exclusivity of their ‘Man of the Year’ issues, published for 72 years, TIME Magazine recently launched a project, recreating 100 covers, each celebrating a ‘Woman of the Year’ from 1920 to 2019. The project aims to turn the spotlight to the achievements of women which were historically overshadowed by those of their male counterparts. From renowned fashion icon Coco Chanel to mathematical revolutionary Emmy Noether, from the champion of Indian independence Amrit Kaur to sporting legend Serena Williams, TIME’s project truly presents an incredible compilation of female champions. Continue reading Making Herstory: How TIME is Foregrounding Women’s Excellence

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Theatres in the Dark: Here’s How You Can Support Your Local Playhouse

When theatres fell dark on Monday 16 March 2020, few could have imagined that nearly four months later their doors would remain closed. Their auditoriums decidedly empty and their stages eerily quiet. While lockdown has meant we’ve been able to enjoy award-winning productions streamed directly to our homes, performers, technicians and audiences alike are now eagerly anticipating a return to normality, itching for theatres to raise their curtains once more. Continue reading Theatres in the Dark: Here’s How You Can Support Your Local Playhouse

Footballer or Philanthropist? Rashford Speaks Out

When Marcus Rashford walks out onto the pitch donning the white shirt of England’s international football team, we see a star footballer, who is representing his country as one of the best in the world. What we don’t see, however, is the young boy who received free school meals as a child, whilst his mother struggled to make ends meet. Like Rashford, this is the harsh reality for many families in the UK, with 1.3 million children claiming free school meals in 2019. The government’s Free School Meal scheme allows children from low-income families to receive free meals during their education, right from nursery age. Continue reading Footballer or Philanthropist? Rashford Speaks Out