Tuesday, August 9

Tag: RHUL

Bridgerton, Our Flag Means Death, and Diversifying History
Film & TV

Bridgerton, Our Flag Means Death, and Diversifying History

In our digital age, where information about any historical era is more readily available than ever before and any uppity fact-checker can send a Tweet, differing opinions about the extent to which historical drama has a duty to be ‘accurate’ abound. There are video essays a-plenty pointing out the inaccuracies and anachronisms in just about any movie or TV show with a historical setting. But lately, we’ve seen media embrace anachronism. Two recent and ongoing shows in particular, Bridgerton and Our Flag Means Death, use anachronism to increase minority representation and give their histories a diverse and modern twist. The goal, in any fictional narrative, is not to give a history lesson. Though the occasional YouTube video detailing the inauthenticity of a character’s hat in the lates...
The Minority’s Minority? Guyana, Rise Up
Culture & Literature, Visual Arts

The Minority’s Minority? Guyana, Rise Up

Mother’s Day seemed like an appropriate time to get in touch with my Indo-Guyanese ancestry, so I took my Mum, born and bred Guyanese, on an outing to the Tate Britain's exhibit, Life Between Islands. Guyana’s locale tends to leave it overwritten in many Caribbean tributes. You can imagine my joyful surprise, then, to see a thriving Guyanese presence in Life Between Islands. It is an excellent celebration of all things Caribbean, with a focus on the impacts of colonialism, migration and British identity, tying generations together through art, film, fashion, music and even interior design, to the ongoing efforts for cultural decolonization.  Guyana occupies this odd spot – it’s part of the Caribbean but it’s not an island. It sits east of Venezuela and straddles the northern coast...
Searching for a Home: Connection through Crises
News, Opinion

Searching for a Home: Connection through Crises

As I sat down to write this article, it suddenly struck me just how wide and complex the word ‘connection' is. At its core, connection has these profound connotations of a bond, of intimacy, of emotion. Yet we apply ‘connection’ to acquaintances and social media friends. On LinkedIn we ask a stranger to ‘connect’ in the name of professional development. We connect the dots, and play Connect 4.  Most recently, connection has been used to talk about current crises from the Russian war on Ukraine to climate change. Now with Ukrainians being forced to find refuge in countless countries across Europe, we might wonder how this changes our viewpoint on connection.  Yuliya, who recently fled Ukraine, told me her story. Below is her account of what happened.  “I was born an...
Unity for Ukraine
News, Opinion

Unity for Ukraine

How the Invasion of Ukraine Has Demonstrated What a Europe In Unity Can Do For Victims of Violence, Invasion And War On 21st February 2022, Putin recognised the independence of non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, and on 24th February ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.  The EU council had already delivered its first round of sanctions on the 23rd, in response to Russia’s recognition of the separatist regions’ independence. This was then immediately bolstered by further sanctions on the day of the invasion, alongside the Joint Statement by the EU council condemning the ‘unprovoked and unjustified military actions’ of Russia, deploring ‘the loss of life and suffering’ and warning of measures which would ‘impose massive and severe consequences on Russia...
The Be Real App: The Next Big Thing? 
News, Opinion

The Be Real App: The Next Big Thing? 

It’s deadline season, and for the third day in a row, the ‘Be Real’ notification goes off while you’re in the library. You take the picture, capturing your front and back camera views: an exhausted face in one corner, an empty coffee cup, and a computer with God only knows how many tabs open. This isn’t the life you wanted to portray online.  Be Real, a new social media app, sets itself apart by going for pure authenticity. With the tagline “Your friends for real”, the app sends out a notification everyday at a different time to capture and share a photo in two minutes. The only problem? It’s exposing how mundane our lives really are.  It should be refreshing; isn’t this what social media was supposed to be? After all, isn’t there beauty in the everyday? Without the potent...
Disconnection Is The Theme, Making Money Is The Dream
News, Opinion

Disconnection Is The Theme, Making Money Is The Dream

The government’s announcement of intent to privatise Channel Four isn’t news. Sadly, this song has seemingly been played since time immemorial. Earlier iterations of privatisation plans were blocked in the House of Lords in 2016 with hope for a repeat performance soon. Back on 4th April 2022, Boris Johnson’s unscrupulous government revealed that ongoing discussions were taking place in the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) to sell Channel Four Television Company. This has been met with widespread public backlash from the creative industries and politicians alike. Even other Conservative MPs have denounced the government’s plans for privatisation, instead requesting additional support for public service broadcasters. Sir Peter Bottomley acknowledged that C4 was in ‘the best st...
Marking the Study Abroad Experience
News, Opinion

Marking the Study Abroad Experience

The Connection Between Person and Place After tasting the cuisine, meeting, and befriending local people, walking through the streets and immersing yourself in a new culture and country, you make a connection to a place. Positive or negative, a connection is formed. This can take seconds, days or years and can change and develop as time progresses. An amazing weekend somewhere can leave you longing to return for the rest of your life. Multiple years in a place can leave you wanting to run away and never look back. When students study abroad, some form a connection with their country of study that can only be described as a second home: an intense emotional connection that leaves them planning their return before they even leave.  In society we often make specific emotional conn...
Toxicity and the Darker Side of Gaming Culture
Culture & Literature

Toxicity and the Darker Side of Gaming Culture

Games have always been a way to escape reality, but unfortunately some take that escapism too far. The anonymity of online gaming presents a shroud of misconceived ‘free speech,’ which many take advantage of to spout abuse at others. Unity found that 7 out of 10 players say they have experienced some form of toxic behaviour in online gaming communities. Toxicity can include, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, hate speech, threats of violence and doxing. Of course, there’s a fine line between banter with friends and toxic behaviour. Spurring someone on to play better may be fine, but if hate speech becomes involved this is where the toxic culture rears its ugly head. Unity found that women were less likely to engage in voice chats, and that when they did the toxic sexism put them...
Do Adaptations Ruin Our Favourite Books?
Culture & Literature, Literature

Do Adaptations Ruin Our Favourite Books?

Book to movie adaptations often walk a very fine line between good and bad. They can, thanks to avid fans, be quite dangerous to produce. Perhaps ‘dangerous’ is a strong word, but reactions to adaptations like the 2010 Percy Jackson movie demonstrate that one can never underestimate the connection between a fan and their favourite book. If the adaptation fails to meet expectations, it can be devastating for both the fans and the pockets of Hollywood executives. An optimist would argue that adaptations have inherently good intentions. They seek to bring a work to life and build on the world that an author has created. This can be particularly magical in a fantasy genre – the Harry Potter film franchise did an excellent job of capturing Hogwarts, and seeing such a place conjured up on th...
5 Video Games to Wind Down with After Exams
Culture & Literature

5 Video Games to Wind Down with After Exams

Gaming is a great way to escape reality for a few hours. From the internet phenomenon of Among Us to more intense games like The Elden Ring, there is something for everyone to cure the post-exam burnout. They’re a great way to fill the daze after uni when you don’t want to always be #livingyourbestlife. From classic nostalgia to games you might not have heard of, this list has you covered. Mario Kart Whether on mobile or Switch, or even the old-school Wii, Mario Kart is a classic. This game can adapt to anyone; some prefer a gentler game at 50cc or intense gameplay at 200cc. You don’t even need to be a ‘gamer’ to enjoy this game. To get together with friends and play Mario Kart provides some relaxation and fun – so long as it doesn’t get too competitive. To spice up this sturdy clas...