section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Hipster heroes of gentrification

    • Charlotte Howell
    • 02 December 2015
    1 Comment

    I was born into a working class family in Leyton, East London. But in the late 1980s, gentrification in the area forced us to relocate to the poor working class town of Harlow, Essex. In a twist of fate, these days I can't even afford to live there. This time it is not due to gentrification brought about by 'hipster' entrepreneurs, but because powerful construction companies have replaced the historical architecture with new developments and housing estates. I know who I'd rather pick a fight against.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Not racist but

    • Barry Gittins
    • 01 December 2015
    5 Comments

    I'm not homophobic, but if you question my relished prejudice, satirise my hissy fits, you're not playing fair. I'm not racist, but don't you call out my revulsion, or reveal cultural discrimination (not here over there). I'm not sexist but your flaunting of sexual freedom, power, makes me long for lost hour ... If you peer quite closely you will notice I am mostly not a loving breathing person (that's rare).

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Working mum contemplates balance amid chaos

    • Jen Vuk
    • 27 November 2015
    1 Comment

    The tweet I sent that afternoon pretty much summed things up: 'Running late for work-life balance seminar. Why? Life, of course.' The irony was not lost on me. While officially I work part-time, I also freelance as a writer, volunteer regularly at my kids' primary school, have increasingly frail elderly parents who I feel terribly responsible for, and try to keep fit and maintain some semblance of a social life. On the day of the seminar on work-life balance, I'd managed to fill my schedule to breaking point.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Worn by remembering, mastered by great age

    • Grant Fraser, Ignatius Kim and Margaret Quigley
    • 24 November 2015
    5 Comments

    Not seven steps from the familiar geography of her room her bewilderment sagged on her walking frame as she shied away from the stern arm that was guiding her ... We composed ourselves upon the couch long enough for her to plead 'But I don't know who you are' as she trembled beneath the insult of my peering eyes and frowned away; and I felt a stranger's smile curdling on my face.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Abuse survivor's other superpowers

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 19 November 2015
    1 Comment

    Following its whitewashing of 'wife-beater' Ant-Man and the Black Widow slut-shaming debacle, Marvel has a long way to go to show it is not one big boys club. Alias, basis of the new series Jessica Jones, is one example of a modern day Marvel comic that, in the words of pop culture critic Roz Kaveney, offers a 'rebuke to the convenient pieties of the comic book', by proving that comics can be thematically rich, and can take serious issues — such as the physical and sexual abuse of women by men — seriously.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My own personal recession

    • Isabella Fels
    • 18 November 2015
    5 Comments

    My recession digs deep. In many ways I cannot take a leap as I would if I had heaps of money. How I would love to buy all sorts of goodies and never deny myself anything! How I wish I could be given a handout and make easy money, and throw money around everywhere I go! I feel myself learning the value of money the more I yearn for the dollar. In many ways it makes me feel stronger to make my money last longer, rather than constantly being lured by the dollar, and being easy fodder.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Homeless, Paris

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 17 November 2015
    3 Comments

    Lone men stand at street corners, look on with apathetic eyes, shabby men from everywhere and nowhere, and beyond. Their tattered, mud-stained tents are massed beneath the overpass, misshapen globes the varicose, bruised colour of unhealthy veins. They make me think of tulip bulbs, caught between the seasons' change - too late for summer's plenitude, too early for the spring.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Flapped by computer scam butterfly effect

    • Brian Matthews
    • 13 November 2015
    3 Comments

    'Bloody amazing in life, isn't it, how things link up when you don't want them to.' Mac was now talking to me over his shoulder because he was putting mail in the local boxes. 'The man's son is in IT, and his specialty is security. But the young bloke's just got married. He's on his honeymoon and, though he's due back on the very day this scam business happened, he can't come home because where do you think he and his wife are honeymooning? In Bali. Under the volcano. All flights grounded.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Eviction porn has ethical foundations

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 November 2015
    1 Comment

    Against the backdrop of the crash of the US housing market, we linger on the lurid details of families' removal from the brick boxes that have been their homes for decades. We can only watch as they cycle through stages of denial, bargaining, fury and grief. These are well meaning people who have innocently fallen foul of a system that deals in laws and dollars, not humanity. It is a system so corrupt it turns the exploited into exploiters; where its desperate victims embrace corruption in turn as a means of survival.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Called or shunned by Vietnam war conscription

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 10 November 2015
    7 Comments

    I'd never met a Vietnamese, couldn't figure what we had against them. But we were raised in shadow of returned men, the shimmer of lapelled bronze, a presumption we in our turn would go when ordered ... Most of us dodged gap years of sweat and khaki, missing madness, maiming, napalm, agent orange, learning how to kill and to piss ourselves out of fear. Instead we were granted head starts with women, front marks in the greasy pole dash, a less congested clamber to unremarkable lives.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A Taliban bullet didn't keep her down

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 November 2015
    2 Comments

    Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai came to international prominence in 2012 after being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman, for her advocacy for girls' education. He Named Me Malala ponders whether her father shares indirect responsibility for the shooting, as he encouraged her advocacy. The question of exploitation is relevant whenever a child enters the public gaze, but here it threatens to undermine Malala's own agency, as a young woman who can think, speak and act powerfully on her own behalf.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    School reunion cracks the amber of middle age

    • Barry Gittins
    • 06 November 2015
    6 Comments

    I never thought I'd do the whole high school reunion thing. Yet here I am, nametagged and ready to face the music, along with 50 of my fellow 1985 alumni. I recognise some straight off. Others mystify. Teenagers trapped in the amber of middle age. High school was genuinely hard for many of us. Some have died. Some entered Boggo Road's then-penal walls. Some are still paying for decisions made back in those mid-80s. Memory propels the sail of our union and we've left safe harbours.

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