Moving (and moving back) during a pandemic

***Brief mention of sexual harassment***

Neave recounts her journey of emigrating during a global pandemic at the age of 19. Goodbye England, Hello Belgium.

Once trapped in the English north, but now has copious amounts of life experience beyond the UK. A couple of months ago, the now 20-year-old packed her bags to start a new life in the tranquil European country of Belgium. Leaving behind her family, friends, and comfort zone as she challenged herself to adapt to a new life in mainland Europe.  

Originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Neave decided to fly abroad to be closer to her partner.

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#woke: How social movements have clung to Instagram’s aesthetic narrative in 2020 and 2021?

When you think of a protest or a social movement, I am sure this past year’s events come crashing through your mind.

2020 became the year we were all trying to escape from once the clocks ticked over into 2021. The hardest year that many of us remembers. Constant lockdowns, a deadly virus sweeping the nation, glowering at the four walls of our family homes as we turned to the internet, and social media to keep ourselves entertained for months on end.

But looking back at the events that defined 2020 as the ‘Worse Year Ever’ one period particularly stands out.

In May 2020, we saw the passing of George Floyd in the United States and it sparked one of the – arguably – biggest social movements carried predominantly by social media and spread like the Australian wildfires to the rest of the world. The Black Lives Matter movement which originally started back in 2013 after the devastating shooting of Trayvon Martin and picked up traction in the early 2010s, has now resurfaced to the mainstream with vengeance.

Black squares and ignorance littered Instagram feeds as a ‘Blackout Tuesday’ was announced by “official” movement pages. In a society where capitalism runs alongside institutional inequality, this should not be as shocking as it is.

Performative activism became a buzz phrase used to undermine the legitimacy of people’s actions on social media. Black square, performative activism. Reposting an infographic, performative activism. Resharing a video of black pain, performative (and ignorant) activism.

Months later, the Black Lives Matter movement still appears in many debates and conversations featuring racial inequality as it is now seen as the cornerstone in unveiling systematic oppression against black people.

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Why Period Poverty Should Be Taken More Seriously Across the UK

Imagine this. You have just sneezed and there is no tissue available for you to blow your nose. Snot is dripping down and out of necessity, you use your t-shirt to stop it making more of a mess. Your t-shirt is not an adequate replacement for a simple napkin or toilet paper.

Now think about the millions of people who have to do without sufficient menstrual products at their disposal. People that ought to use alternative supplies such as ripped pieces of fabric or cloth and some who go without.

Recent news of Scotland becoming the first country in the world to provide free period products has ignited debates into the seriousness of period poverty across the UK. Studies have shown that many people in the UK alone face challenges and struggles to access the products needed during menstruation. This issue does not impact the UK exclusively, as period poverty of varying degrees can be found all over the world, however, with a few interventions, the entire UK can minimise the problem.

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Holidays Sponsored by Student Finance

Tasked with researching and producing a statistic based news story, I conducted an investigation into where UK university students choose to go on holiday and why. From conversations with my peers, I found out that there are multiple ways students go about funding their holidays. This resulted in a slight economic standpoint of the research.

This is completely my own research findings and production. Conducted between March and April 2020 [Research + Data Magazine Supplement]

Multi Source: Part-night Streetlights?

Imagine you have moved to an unfamiliar town for university and on your way back home you arrive at a pitch-black street, unable to distinguish between the road and the pavement.

That is what it is like for students of the University of Essex, but I am sure many other students from across the country experience the same struggles.

A common ritual for university students is to live on campus for their first year, to help with settling into new surroundings, making new friends, and constantly being policed by campus security. But after that glorious first year of being looked after, like you are the most important person in the world to your university, you are shoved out onto the streets of the local community and told to fend for yourself.

The exposing nature of adulthood rearing its head as you – and equally helpless friends – try to find shelter and a place to call home for the remaining time at university.

However, you may feel like an accomplished human being and a contributing member of society (as well as your new local community) when you have all the basics needed to live sorted.

But there is one catch, one thing that totally slips your mind because whilst living in the place that never sleeps aka university accommodation, with the bright lights that provide comfort when walking back from the library at 3am on your lonesome.

Streetlights. Do they exist?

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Reportage: DAY6 Concert at O2 Academy Brixton

Ever wondered what it’ll be like to experience a live band in a language you have next to no experience in?

With the music industry concentrated by western artists, sometimes it’s refreshing to get out of the western bubble to discover new global talents.

DAY6, a 5-member (previously 6), South Korean band doing their 2nd world tour after their 1st one ‘Youth’ was successfully sold out within minutes of release. The Gravity world tour was announced a few months after the end of their previous world tour.

The 2020 concert happened in O2 Brixton, a venue with a capacity acutely shy of 5’000. I arrived at the venue around midday to ensure I got the best possible space for the concert, but little did I know, there was already around 100 to 200 people queuing up. Walking down the side of the line, trying to find the end of it, as it wrapped around the length of the building and started continued around the corner. Music was being blasted from the album as well as other songs from JYP artists. The excitement overtly expressed on people’s faces as the waiting has only just started.

T minus 5 hours.

It is common knowledge to people familiar to the Korean entertainment/K-Pop industry, that it is extensive. You will never feel the need to be part of the same stan groups as their will always be a magnitude of things to talk about. Shows to share, the discovery of new groups and the instant connection to people you will never meet again. It all comes with the experience.

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Listicle: Thrifty Finds in London

Interested in sustainable fashion? Look no further. London is known as one of the fashion capitals in the world. The move towards more eco-friendly trends is no stranger to Londoners as the style has been practiced by many for the better part of the 2010’s. Now in 2020, the style has not died down. London may seem to be more consumerist when it comes to fashion but with the shift towards more eco-friendly ways of setting trends, London does not skimp.

Here are some of the best places to find affordable brand names and clothing pieces.

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Review: Radiant

Would you watch a TV drama from South Korea? There’s a different air and sense of reality you get that alters your own perception more than Spanish telenovelas and British soaps.

The talent of fitting an intense storyline within a 12 -16 episode is beyond me.

You can expect sponsorships that go beyond, with the cast meeting in Subway every other episode but you can’t show loyalty to Apple because South Korea is truly faithful to Samsung.

This drama is no exception.

Radiant, 2019, goes by many names, the direct translation being ‘The Light in Your Eyes’ but can also be commonly referred to as ‘Dazzling’. The South Korean fantasy romance television drama aired on JTBC from 11th February to 19th March. It starred the well-known talents of Nam Joo-hyuk, Han Ji-min, Kim Hye-ja and Song Sang-eun.

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Opinion: Why I Choose Not to Drink at University

The omnipresent drinking culture presented at British universities is too pervasive.

Everywhere I go, I am constantly haunted by posters of the month’s upcoming events with deals to get a free drink if you’re one of the first 100 to enter.

“What drink do you want?” The dreaded question I am constantly asked because it requires me to decline the alcoholic drink they assumed I wanted in the first place. Only to be interrogated by any follow up questions regarding my personal choice and the consumption of alcohol.

Or worse yet is having to repeat to the bartender that I want just coke (the beverage not the drug).

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