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How has the pandemic changed me?

 NOTE: this is based on personal experience only and in no way seeks to presume that this was a common experience, nor diminish the (likely worse) experiences of many others. Neither I, nor any of my loved ones has been put into hospital or died due to the virus, so I write from the perspective of someone impacted most intensely by the lockdowns imposed by in response to … Continue reading How has the pandemic changed me?

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Review: Nora: A Doll’s House

A reworking of Henrik Isben’s 1879 groundbreaking play, ‘Nora: A Doll’s House’ by Stefi Smith was beautifully adapted by Exeter University Theatre Company in this production. The play features three simultaneous versions of Nora in 1918, 1968 and 2018 – with the years aligning themselves with significant moments in the feminist movement  To execute what is essentially three versions of the same play at the … Continue reading Review: Nora: A Doll’s House

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Interview with Mandy Barnes from Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services

This interview references sexual violence. There are support resources at the end of the article. Hi Mandy! Would you be able to explain what Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services (DRCSAS) does for anyone who might not be sure? DRCSAS is a confidential and professional support organisation based in Exeter, but we also have offices in Barnstaple and Torquay. The service is for anybody … Continue reading Interview with Mandy Barnes from Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services

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The Politics of Attraction in Love Hard

spoiler warning! I love a good Christmas movie and we’re at that time of year when Netflix starts to release a bunch of holiday goodies. Admittedly, some of these films are great cinematic masterpieces! Others are… guilty pleasures. From The Princess Switch trilogy (yes trilogy) and The Knight Before Christmas to the mandatory viewing of The Holiday and Love Actually, Netflix knows how to keep … Continue reading The Politics of Attraction in Love Hard

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Reading Corner: The Poetry of Erin Hanson

I promise I will save you, When you cannot stay afloat, And if your tears can fill an ocean, Then for you I’ll be a boat. ~e.h Poem Source: Tumblr Upon scrolling through Pinterest in 2017, I came across a poem by Erin Hanson. You may have seen her poems on Pinterest or other social media platforms, identifiable by her handle: e.h. The poem stuck … Continue reading Reading Corner: The Poetry of Erin Hanson

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Movember: Shining a Light on Men’s Health

trigger warning: mental health, suicide and cancer Male suicides accounts for approximately 69% worldwide – over twice the number of female suicides. In addition to this, men live an average of five years less than women, and the charity Movember argues that this is largely due to preventable factors. The Movember movement was created for these reasons and raises awareness for men’s health to decrease … Continue reading Movember: Shining a Light on Men’s Health

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Staying Sustainable at Christmas

As Christmas creeps up on us, you’re no doubt wracking your brain to think of gift ideas for everyone in your life. It’s tempting to go into town and buy the first vaguely appropriate thing you see, but why not make this a Christmas where the environment is just as important as the festivities?  Continue reading Staying Sustainable at Christmas

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Culture Comforts: Shakesbeers, France

The opportunity to spend a year studying abroad in Grenoble, France, promised a comprehensive cultural experience: lazy nights spent by the Isère River drinking Carrefour’s finest €2 bottle of wine, evening hikes up the Bastille to watch the sunset over the city’s extensive urban panorama, and weekly trips to the Deux Alpes where I attempt to ski without falling flat on my face (‘attempt’ being … Continue reading Culture Comforts: Shakesbeers, France

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Politics on Screen: Pablo Larrain’s ‘Spencer’ and the Resurgence of the Diana Obsession

The People’s Princess: an oxymoron of terms to some and a feat which only one woman has ever gotten right, Diana is still loved by the world. The Diana wave has hit another generation by storm, and I blame The Crown – mainly for the fact that I’m also looking coyly into the mirror and practicing my ‘alright’s’ like the rest of the Gen-Z army … Continue reading Politics on Screen: Pablo Larrain’s ‘Spencer’ and the Resurgence of the Diana Obsession

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A Performer’s Promise

The recent tragic events at Astroworld – Travis Scott’s annual festival in Texas – has left many questioning the responsibility of an artist for their audiences’ safety. People attending concerts expect and deserve not to worry about being in danger for various reasons, but should the finger be pointed at the performing artist? Continue reading A Performer’s Promise

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Culture Comforts: Michael Buble’s ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’

As November draws to an end and the evenings are getting progressively darker and colder, I can’t help but open my Spotify playlist to the first track of Michael Bublé’s Christmas Album, ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’. You may recognise the song from everyone’s Instagram and snapchat stories in the last couple of weeks as the backdrop to pictures of the Christmas … Continue reading Culture Comforts: Michael Buble’s ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’

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A Dark Day Indeed: ‘Black Friday’ and Mass Consumerism

Black Friday hasn’t always been about big sales in the run-up to Christmas. Some of the earliest uses of the term ‘Black Friday’ were in reference to the US gold market crash of 1869 and stock market crash of 1929. In the 1950s, police in Philadelphia used the term ‘Black Friday’ to refer to the day after Thanksgiving and the chaos that ensued when huge … Continue reading A Dark Day Indeed: ‘Black Friday’ and Mass Consumerism

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Review: 30 by Adele

Adele is back. 30 is her fourth studio album and has been one of the most anticipated releases in recent years. Six years since 25, it reflects on her life during this period, including her split from her husband (it’s about “divorce, babe”, as she remarked during a recent Instagram live), and both sonically and emotionally, it is her most daring album to date. 30 … Continue reading Review: 30 by Adele

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Discover Devon: Brixham

Brixham is a wholesome fishing town a stone throws away from Torquay. Built around the harbour, Brixham is a town full of heritage and places to explore, especially during the summer months. I found myself there last June and discovered what this cute coastal town has to offer. You have two options for getting there, both of which begin with a train from Exeter to … Continue reading Discover Devon: Brixham

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Instagram Campaigns: Do They Actually Work?

Post a picture of your pet and we’ll plant a tree! We are a nation of self-confessed dog lovers; is this a save the planet match made in heaven? To the dismay of millions of users, the post that recently circulated on Instagram turned out not to be fraudulent, but the creation of a group far too small to fulfil the promise of a tree … Continue reading Instagram Campaigns: Do They Actually Work?

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Reading Corner: Milkweed

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli is a difficult book to describe to someone who has never read it. Perhaps “haunting” is the most appropriate adjective. This book follows the life of a young boy known as Misha, orphaned and living on the streets of Warsaw, Poland when World War II strikes. The story is told from Misha’s perspective, which is one of extraordinary innocence due to … Continue reading Reading Corner: Milkweed

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Bookstore Politics: Sally Rooney’s Translation Trouble

You’ve probably heard of Sally Rooney, the mastermind behind Normal People, Conversations with Friendsand most recently, Beautiful World, Where Are You. At just thirty years of age, Rooney has gathered much critical acclaim and success, along with a lot of publicity and people have been eagerly awaiting her latest book and whilst it has been met with significant praise, discussion has also turned toward her decision not to translate the book into Hebrew.  Continue reading Bookstore Politics: Sally Rooney’s Translation Trouble

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In Defence of Boybands

We’ve all been there; you’re at a party, the song has just finished, and you hear the familiar beat of a One Direction track begin to fade in next….Everyone groans. You roll your eyes for a moment of social inclusion, but next thing you know, you find yourself listening to that very song on your way up Forum Hill the following morning. Musical guilty pleasures: … Continue reading In Defence of Boybands

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Review: The Body Remembers

RAZZ’s BAME officer Ana Anajuba reviews Heather Agyepong’s solo dance performance which took place at Exeter’s Phoenix earlier this month. Created and performed by artist, dancer, and actor Heather Agyepong, The Body Remembers is an innovatively interwoven piece of theatre that utilised visual and audio elements to present a deep exploration of trauma and movement within the body, specifically in Black British women. It delves … Continue reading Review: The Body Remembers

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Culture Comforts: ‘America’ by Simon & Garfunkel

Amidst the burgeoning stress of oncoming assessments, trying to recover from fresher’s flu, and navigating tumultuous reunions with family, it’s reading week. At least, it is for me — my condolences if you are not one of the lucky ones. Although, the idea that a week off can be regarded as a ‘break’ in any sense of the word is mystifying. Catching up on work, … Continue reading Culture Comforts: ‘America’ by Simon & Garfunkel

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Review: No Time to Die (2021)

*Spoiler Warning* No Time To Die is a thrilling piece of action cinema, with all the spectacle and panache you might expect from a Bond film. More importantly, it’s a tribute to Daniel Craig, as he throws in the towel after fifteen years. The film picks up where Spectre (2015) left off all those years ago. Bond is holed up on an island somewhere, enjoying … Continue reading Review: No Time to Die (2021)

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Reviews in Retrospect: Belle (2013)

The movie Belle, directed by Amma Asante, was inspired by a portrait of Dido Elisabeth Belle found at Kenwood House. It tells the story of an empowering black woman, Dido Belle, born from the relationship between a navy officer and a slave. Despite her recognised and accepted place in the family, she is faced by a racist society that is not ready to consider black … Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: Belle (2013)

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Squid Game, Capitalism and the Popularity of the K-Drama

*Spoiler Warning* What was once a subculture of people willing to read subtitles has now become a popular and normalised activity; Netflix’s new release Squid Game has more people watching k-dramas than ever before. The show certainly has some controversy worth discussion – and I’m not just talking about the reawakened debate of dubbed or subbed – but the deeper meaning and political messages interlaced … Continue reading Squid Game, Capitalism and the Popularity of the K-Drama

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The Power of Protest

With the occurrence of two protests against the formation of a pro-life society within the university, there has been discussion surrounding whether protest is an effective way to incite change. In light of the current status of protest in parliament, this conversation has never been more significant; The Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill carries heavy implications for the future of protest in the UK. The current bill already  aims to provide police with further powers to stop disruptive protests, but home secretary, Priti Patel, has recently made it known her intentions to amend this bill to include a travel ban on protesters with a ‘history of disruption’. This introduces another layer to the discussion; are non-peaceful protests justifiable due to efficacy? This article will address the political and social advantages and disadvantages of protest in hopes of answering these questions. Continue reading The Power of Protest

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Catchy or Controversial: Popular Songs with Controversial Lyrics

We’ve all listened to the Rolling Stones – Satisfaction, Gimme Shelter, You can’t always get what you want – nearly everyone knows them. Your parents love them! You’ve almost definitely heard them, even if you didn’t realise it. They are band that define “rock n roll” and enjoy their music or not, you’re bound to hear them again – they’re embedded in our musical fabric. Recently, one of their most controversial songs Brown Sugar was dropped from their set list following the announcement of an upcoming tour. First recorded in 1971, the highly problematic song discusses slavery and “how black women taste so good”. The sexism and racism in this song is rife and blatant and yet is has taken until now, 2021, for the Rolling Stones to question its appropriateness for performance. So much for progression.  Continue reading Catchy or Controversial: Popular Songs with Controversial Lyrics

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Wear It Like Lizzo

Lizzo made headlines recently for her stunning appearance at Cardi B’s 29th birthday party in a sheer dress. As an equally dazzling number of people have commented, the gown did not leave much to the imagination. Cardi B’s party, which took place at LA River Studios, had a ‘dancehall’ theme and a star-studded guest list. Across the board, there was no shortage of fishnet-esque dresses, … Continue reading Wear It Like Lizzo

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A Love Letter to Gogglebox

It’s 8:58pm on Friday night once again and with popcorn and blankets at the ready, I set up All4 to watch the newest episode of Gogglebox. This time I’m not in my lounge in my hometown but in my new university accommodation, and watching on my computer screen, still trying to make it feel like it’s mine. But as the minutes turn into the end … Continue reading A Love Letter to Gogglebox

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The September Scaries

Regardless of how many lists we’ve made or stationery items we’ve acquired, starting a new academic year, whether we’re ten or twenty, can be fairly daunting. September is most definitely a month of change, and like the start of a new calendar year can be associated as a time to start afresh. It brings an unspoken pressure to socialise more, join a whole load of societies all whilst staying ahead of your workload. If we reflect on this shortlist I think we can begin to acknowledge that it’s unrealistic. The more we understand the unmeasurable amount of pressure placed on students, the more we can see that these are more likely to lead to a breakdown as opposed to a breakthrough. Continue reading The September Scaries

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Creative Corner: Recurring Dream

I’m in a wood and it’s dark. Trees compete to thrust their limbs Above the earth. Their branches twine and tease, Threading my hair into knots, Wet as moss. I’m in a wood and I’m running, And the leaves lash out harder than my pace. They smack me like shadows, Full of reproach, Carrying the night forward, onwards, forever. In the shortest breath, I hear … Continue reading Creative Corner: Recurring Dream

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Reading Corner: The Chronicles of Narnia – A Children’s Classic to Help Me Through Adulthood

“Isn’t that a children’s book?” If you see a young woman in a café, sipping a latte with her nose in a book, a children’s story may seem an unlikely choice of reading material. And yet, that is exactly what I’ve been doing. The classic The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis is a seven-book series, telling tales of the magical land of Narnia and … Continue reading Reading Corner: The Chronicles of Narnia – A Children’s Classic to Help Me Through Adulthood

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Roomania

After the success of her first two novels, Sally Rooney published her latest novel Beautiful World, where are you, to critical acclaim. RAZZ writer Elinor Wallis discusses how and why Rooney has become so popular in recent years. Wallis suggest how Rooney is able to standout from the rest while noting how accurately she is able to capture the zeitgeists of young people growing up in an ever changing world? Continue reading Roomania

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Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again: ABBA’s Virtual Return

ABBA is back! After nearly 40 years one of the most iconic bands of the 70s has returned with a brand-new album Voyage, generating excitement for fans for what is ahead. The band has announced a new album and songs as well as a “revolutionary concert,” that sees ABBA preforming via avatars. This has also ignited a discussion as to whether this new type of concert will be as enjoyable as seeing your favourite bands and singers … Continue reading Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again: ABBA’s Virtual Return

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Culture Comforts: The Process (Podcast Noor)

“And, how is your heart today?,” Noor Tagouri asks her guests at the end of a podcast episode.  Although I’ve dipped in and out of this podcast, The Process (Podcast Noor), frequently over the past six months, the question still helps me to pause and take a moment in my day to check in with myself.  The multiple lockdowns and subsequent social deprivation of the … Continue reading Culture Comforts: The Process (Podcast Noor)

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Review: Sex Education Season 3 (2021)

Crickey, well that was depressing! After an almost two-year wait, ‘Moordale Sex School’ is back for another year, and just like the anthem of the previous series, I’m now left with another earworm that I can’t sing aloud in public. Amongst struggling to understand how these teenagers are STILL at the same school, I was kept on a lengthy tether of fear, love and annoyance … Continue reading Review: Sex Education Season 3 (2021)

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Review: Cinderella (2021)

Kay Cannon’s new musical comedy Cinderella (2021) reimagines the traditional tale with a modern twist. Set in a middle-ages-style kingdom, Ella (Camila Cabello) traverses the tyranny of a patriarchal society to achieve her dream of opening a dressmaker’s stall at the market. Her attempts fail and she is mocked by the townsfolk. Luckily, the disguised Prince Robert (played by Nicholas Galitzine) sees Ella, buys her … Continue reading Review: Cinderella (2021)

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Too Much Pressure on Freshers?

Freshers’ Week: seven days of meeting complete strangers, clubbing, drinking and terrifying welcome talks. After what for most has been a painful and difficult year and a half lost due to COVID-19, it’s back and better than ever. With restrictions having been lifted, students are finally free to mingle to their heart’s content – no rules of six, no two metre safety bubbles, no 10pm … Continue reading Too Much Pressure on Freshers?

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A True ‘Hot Girl Summer’

This summer was the first occasion we could begin to relax from the pandemic by going out and experiencing social life thanks to eased restrictions. This opportunity comes with many expectations and challenges. During lockdown many people turned to junk food for comfort, sacrificing physical activity with the excuse it would not have mattered this year, or believing there would have been time to make up for the indulgences. The social expectation of displaying a perfect body in summer resulted in many people taking quick fixes to shrink their figure or alter their appearance. Furthermore, going back to normality and enjoying other people’s company can constitute a challenge in itself, inducing people to either search for human contact in potentially unsafe ways, or alternatively remaining inside despite the ease of the government’s measures.  Continue reading A True ‘Hot Girl Summer’

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Strictly’s Most Memorable Moments

It wouldn’t be autumn without Strictly Come Dancing on our screens every Saturday night. Whilst last year’s series was hampered by the effects of the pandemic, it still brought the nation some much needed joy – with some of the live shows providing distraction straight after government briefings. However, series 19, which begins this month, promises to be a return to some kind of normality … Continue reading Strictly’s Most Memorable Moments

Interview with Matriarch founder Ria Kalsi

*content warning: death threats, low self esteem, body image* RAZZ writer Amber Hogan speaks to Ria Kalsi, founder of online platform Matriarch, defined as “the platform that strives to create change, empower and build human connection”. Ria talks about the benefits and challenges of using social media, online trends and dealing with negativity.  What made you decide to use social media as your platform for … Continue reading Interview with Matriarch founder Ria Kalsi