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Blog Posts (112)

  • The Death of Queen Elizabeth II and The Chasm Left Behind

    News editor Lucy Osborne discusses the impact of Queen Elizabeth II's recent death and the significant yet controversial legacy she's left behind: Artwork by Kate Granholm (IG: @Katesartthings). On the 8th September the news broke that none of us quite believed would ever come. The death of Queen Elizabeth II has rocked the United Kingdom, sending shock waves across the world. There has been more discourse online over the past two weeks discussing colonialism and the murky actions of the monarchy. It is a hard tightrope to tread, paying respects to the death of a grandma, a mother and a monarch whilst still recognising the atrocities committed under her reign. Whilst we live in an ultimately ‘United’ Kingdom, it is interesting watching reports of The Queen’s death acting as a peaceful hand between Scotland and England amidst speculation of a second independence referendum for Scotland. The significance of the death occurring at Balmoral and Queen Elizabeth II’s love of Scotland is not something to be dismissed. Whilst we can ruminate in jubilation of the public’s mutual grieving between England and Scotland, the reception in Edinburgh has been far from civil. Boo’s were heard amongst the thousands gathered as King Charles III was announced as king. A University of Edinburgh student displaying a sign calling for the monarchy’s abolition was arrested as The Queen’s coffin arrived at St Giles Cathedral. This has now been charged as a criminal offense; undermining our ability for freedom of speech and execution of protesting. Arguably this act jeopardizes the principle of free speech. It’s a challenging tightrope to tread, managing the respect required during the current mourning period whilst also ensuring that the establishment remains held accountable for their treacherous colonial acts. Further arrests have followed in London, perhaps amongst fear of unrest as a new monarch is crowned. It makes us ponder what the public's reaction will be as Prince Andrew inches his clammy claws closer to the crown. Without the protection of Queen Elizabeth II, we are left wondering if he will finally be forced to answer to the law. The sensationalized interview with Prince Andrew on ‘Newsnight’ in 2019 was the ultimate blow to the monarchies popularity amongst younger generations. The only crown Prince Andrew has received thus far is the least popular royal award– it seems ‘generation Z’ is less willing to excuse the acts of a prolific pedophile and his cronies. The icy tension between Prince Harry and Prince William the past two years has started to thaw, once again bonding in their grief. The recent anniversary of their mother’s death, Princess Diana, parallels their public mourning at a teeteringly young age twenty five years ago. They are again bearing their hearts on their sleeve in the withering judgment of the public eye - now with two powerful women in their wake. This chasm of pain is mirrored in Meghan Markle and the Princess of Wales (Kate Middleton) stilted interactions. A family once united in apparent perfection has shown its cracks with Prince Harry’s move abroad. It cannot be disputed however, that whilst tabloids and gossip columns slam Meghan and Kate in competition with each other they behaved with dignity and respect; both to each other and to the public. Their compassion was met with gentle smiles and kind eyes. Despite this unification between siblings, it would be an insult to write about the death of any monarch without acknowledging the lives lost under their influence and the generational, systemic racism and classism enforced. Queen Elizabeth II’s death has served as a harsh reminder of the atrocities committed within the British Empire, perpetuated by the royal institution. The negation of any acknowledgment of, or reparations for, the lives lost in the suppression of rebellions against the British colonial regime of Mau Mau in Kenya, poignantly exemplifies the monarchy’s blatant disregard to accept the inhumane crimes committed. During this time as King Charles III makes his ascension to the throne, there has been hope for a shift and a progression in the royal family. He will be met with a divided nation. Cries for the abolition of the Royal Family are clanging through the streets, quieted by those clinging onto its familiarity and quaint celebration of Britishness. Rather like Edinburgh, it is a stark dichotomy between the new town and the old. During her reign, there has been a stark degree of social mobility: from the legalisation of Gay Marriage to the political turmoil of losing three prime ministers to resignation and scandal. Yet, the Royal Family has remained. Such an archaic institution whilst respected, should still be held accountable for their history and the outrageous ramifications of British colonial powers. In this world of constant change, it is perhaps time to instill a swift motion of mobility within the Royal Family, honoring those who have been vilified and targeted for generations. This is not meant to condemn the Royal Family, but rather invite them to educate themselves and the nation on the mistakes of their history and ensure the future is paved to be a tranquil and equal place.

  • Wait…What Can I Put in My Carry-On, Again? A Travel Checklist for Going Abroad

    FCDO student ambassador for the University of Edinburgh Georgina Burt takes us through all of the tips and tricks needed for going abroad: Artwork by Kate Granholm (IG: @katesartthings). For most of us it has been a while since we have experienced those surreal drives to the airport in the very early hours of the morning when the world is seemingly dead. Thankfully, with most countries having reopened their boarders and easing their COVID restrictions, things are back in full swing within the travel sector again and those delightful, groggy 4am wakeups are no longer just nostalgic memories of the past. Of course, while going on holiday is generally for the purpose of relaxing, I’m sure that we can all agree that sometimes getting organised beforehand can be a stressful ordeal. From picking out which clothes to take to sorting out all the logistics of food, accommodation, and transport in a distant location you have never once stepped foot in. Luckily, for those about to embark on their ‘study abroad’ programmes, gap years, or summer getaways who are feeling a little bit rusty when it comes to preparing for a trip, #TravelAwarehas made travelling easier than ever! Based on my recent experiences travelling after the pandemic, here are some great tips on getting organised before going abroad: CHECK THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Before finalising your destination, it is wise to double check that you can meet all the criteria necessary to enter your chosen country. This ‘criteria’ may include an array of mandatory vaccinations, visas, and in recent years, covid tests, tracing apps, and passenger locator forms. The last thing you want to do is be denied boarding at the gate after having it sprung on you that you are missing documents! Fortunately, you can actually check the entry requirements for any country here, as the FCDO’s pages have kindly laid out all the fundamental information you will need for your trip. Make sure you use them to brief yourself on the local laws and customs of your destination also, so that you are aware of how to be respectful of your surroundings and avoid getting into trouble! For example, did you know it is illegal to bring e-cigarettes into Thailand or Australia? Top Tip: It is common procedure for most countries to deny you entry if you cannot demonstrate evidence of a return or onward journey ticket! 2. BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE Undeniably, this is not the most exciting step of the pre-departure process… However, travel insurance is crucial for providing you with a parachute in case of emergencies abroad. So, how do I know which travel insurance is appropriate for me? Luckily, the FCDO’s advice pages can help you assess which insurance plan is best for you! As an overarching general rule though, it is imperative to be covered medically for any travel. Typically, you should also buy an insurance plan tailored specifically to the needs of your trip, such as coverage for winter-sports, outdoor activities, or water sports, and it is recommended to have all gadgets and valuables covered in case they get stolen or damaged abroad. Personally, I would highly recommend having an insurance plan to cover you for any covid-related incidents or travel disruptions as you can be offered compensation or alternative means of transport if necessary. Top Tip: In the post-Brexit world we now live in, you are entitled to a shiny new G-hick card once your old E-hick has expired! This will cover you for medical emergencies abroad, (however it is still highly advisable to purchase travel insurance alongside it, as these cards are limited in their coverage.) 3. CHECK YOUR PASSPORT IS VALID Don’t be fooled! This seems like a silly one, but your passport doesn’t necessarily need to be expiredfor it to be considered invalid. Many countries require that passports have at least 3-6 months left before expiry – but it’s best to double check this using the FCDO’s travel advicepages. So don’t get caught out, as Emergency Travel Documents are extremely expensive (and stressful) to get your hands on! Top Tip: Be sure to take photocopies of your passport with you abroad. These are valuable to confirm your identity if requested by local authorities abroad, at checkpoints, or in the instance your real documents are misplaced or stolen. 4. DON’T FORGET THE LITTLE THINGS While there are so many parts that go into planning your trip, it is important to plan ahead for the little things too! For example, be sure to familiarise yourself with which currency you will need while abroad and be sure to get some cash exchanged into that currency. This is helpful not only to avoid racking up exchange charges just from tapping your card, but also, a lot of small markets and towns abroad tend to only accept cash! Additionally, from personal experience, it is handy to find out whether your phone plan still offers EU data roaming after Brexit – to my surprise, one morning my phone plan cut me off which became a huge inconvenience while studying abroad. If your trip is long enough it may be worth purchasing a pay-as-you-go sim abroad. 5. THE AIRPORT It’s been a few years now since COVID, so it’s fair to say that we are all a little bit rusty when it comes to remembering the proper airport procedures. Airports can be really stressful sometimes, especially when it is busy during the holiday seasons, so here are just a few little things to remember to make the process run smoothly for you: ● Check-into your flight online the night before and download your boarding passes! – I very narrowly dodged a €155 penalty recently for not doing this…not recommended. This is handy to not only reduce the amount of waiting time in queues at the airport the next day but alsosome budget airlines can charge fines for not doing this. ● It’s recommended to show up to the airport 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours before an international flight – don’t underestimate how busy the airport will be! ● Liquids in hand luggage must not exceed 100ml each and must fit into one clear plastic bag – this includes makeup, creams, and perfumes. ● Remember to take off jewellery and belts for the metal detectors in security to avoid the trouble of beeping and getting searched. Once you have made it this far, I’m glad to tell you that you have officially completed your pre-departure checklist! All the intensive preparation has finally been completed, allowing you to throw yourself into your trouble-free holiday paradise! Now, while all these little steps are a bit of a bother, I’m sure we can all agree it’s worthwhile to plan ahead so that once you reach your destination, you can unwind knowing everything has been taken care of in advance. Planning and preparing for the worst isn’t the most fun at the time, but in the long-term actually enhances your holiday experiences by lifting the burden of your worries wile abroad. So, for anyone feeling a little bit overwhelmed trying to get the most out of their trip abroad, be sure to check out the FCDO’s advice page for more information like this to help you plan your trip and make everything a lot less stressful. *Georgina is currently working as the FCDO student ambassador for the University of Edinburgh, seeking to promote the UK Government's TravelAware campaign to the Edinburgh community. References:

  • (World)ly Sounds in Isolation

    ‘The band is just me in my room, with my guitar and my computer and some synths’ paints a picture of John Braner’s instrumental companions. John Braner creates instrumental music in his home studio in Edinburgh. Since the 1980s, he has travelled from recording his guitar notes in a 4-track cassette recorder in New York to collaborate with computer-based instruments in Edinburgh. His musical journey has not only passed through technological developments but has also incorporated music inspired by the world. Now, he is looking for opportunities where his music can be used in film projects and by film students. In the following conversation, I explore Braner’s thoughts on the expression of instruments and their ability to cross boundaries. Not a lot of people think of making music for the film industry. How did you realise that your music is fit for films? And how did you think of approaching the film students at the University of Edinburgh? I didn’t start out thinking that I would make music for films specifically. I don’t have any vocals for my music, first of all. A lot of people would tell me that you need to have vocals for making your music recognisable but I like to make music with just sounds. I am not trying to please anybody but myself. While talking with other people I also realised that my music would be good for films. I have been meaning to send out emails to film schools and just see if anybody wants to use it — you can get in touch with me and get the files to put it in your films but I don’t do it specifically for films. My music can be for anybody who likes to listen to it. When I heard your first music on Soundcloud Waving to Wendy, I was surprised to hear the sounds of the Tabla instrument which originated in the Indian subcontinent and is widely used in South Asian classical music — it instantly reminded me of my home. How did you get to know about the instrument and what is the significance of Tabla in your Rock music? I like to listen to all kinds of music. I like when music from all over the world surprises me. I love to put in surprises like Tabla in my different genres. I love to build layers and make my music look like a collage of different bits of instruments from the world. This kind of fusion in my music is inspired by artists like Trilok Gurtu who is a wonderful Indian percussionist. He mixed the sounds of Tabla with electric guitars and drummers of the Jazz and Rock musicians. People in rock bands have been inspired by instruments like Conga drum and Afro-Caribbean percussion. The music genre of Jazz and rock coupled with an instrument like Tabla is an experiment to bring out something different from mainstream Rock. I started Waving to Wendy with a little loop of Tabla and got music on top of it which I really liked. Such kind of little obstructions are famous in Indian music but not in the UK — it attracted me. You have been so vocal about doing instrumental music rather than adding lyrics to your music. Does your music affect your perceptions of looking at life? Oh, that’s a deep one — I think more than affecting my perception of life, it has given me new perspectives of music itself. Whenever I listen to music I always listen to the music before the lyrics and I think most people are the other way around. But mostly you’ll see if that music gets in your head even when it is not expressed by words — the tune remains in your head. Music has certainly given me more freedom to work on something that I didn’t use as a means to earn money. When money comes in between there’s a lot less freedom to explore what powers music can hold. Sometimes I also think about how people can find a connection with songs irrespective of their language. Even if people don’t understand the words, they can feel emotion through music. Like last week my Bulgarian flatmate discovered an Indian rap artist and she loved him even if she wasn’t able to understand a single word. With the absence of language, how do you think that instrumental music can convey the emotions that you are trying to express and can promote transculturalism? Does the release from the weight of words help in establishing a connection with people? Music does not need the weight of words to connect. I have loads of CDs by artists from around the world with their vocals in languages I do not understand. I am interested in the workings of sound. Music can exist beautifully without any vocals and if the vocals are in a different language that doesn’t matter. Like Trilok Gurtu performs the Indian tradition where he is not singing words but sounds — Ta-Ta-tak-taka-tak — those are not words of a spoken language but just sounds of the instruments coming from his mouth. A lot of Brazilian musicians do that too. They use their voice like an instrument like I would use my guitar — they are not using any words. It is always interesting to see performances where musicians come together on a stage with their various musical knowledge and present a new kind of melody which goes beyond boundaries.

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Pages (13)

  • Online student magazine in Edinburgh | the edi magazine

    HOME FEATURES NEWS TRENDING CULTURE VOICES ARTS SCIENCE FASHION IN FOCUS CONTACT Search Results THE LATEST POSTS Lucy Osborne 40 minutes ago 4 min The Death of Queen Elizabeth II and The Chasm Left Behind Georgina Burt 19 hours ago 5 min Wait…What Can I Put in My Carry-On, Again? A Travel Checklist for Going Abroad Paridhi Badgotri Aug 3 4 min (World)ly Sounds in Isolation Ellie Wilson Jul 27 3 min The Music Festivals to Attend in Edinburgh this August Georgia Bennett Jul 20 5 min When “Never Again” Happens Again Zoja Manček Páli Apr 16 7 min Diminishing Returns - Why sleeping less to work more is counterproductive María López Penalva Apr 9 2 min Does wearing a suit make you a lesbian? Kate Charlton Mar 30 3 min International (White) Women’s Day: What Went Wrong?

  • CULTURE | the edi magazine

    HOME NEWS TRENDING CULTURE VOICES ARTS SCIENCE FASHION IN FOCUS CONTACT Search Results Chloe Lawson Feb 21 6 min Toxic Selflessness An opinion piece by Chloe Lawson about the toxicity that can come with the idea of ‘selflessness’ . Clara Sablitzky Jan 17 8 min New Year, Better Me? A personal article from Clara, she shares how to stop the “self-destructive, self-improvement” cycle and make 2022 your best year yet. Chloe Lawson Nov 28, 2021 6 min Ova-looked and fed-up: Gender Discrimination in Medicine and Healthcare Chloe Lawson examines the inherent misogyny in medical research and exploring the very real and dangerous of ignoring half the population. Clara Sablitzky Nov 7, 2021 5 min Clara’s Guide to Edinburgh - An Impossible, Yet Ideal, Day in the Life Clara Sablitzky shares her impossible, yet ideal, day in the life as a fourth year student in Edinburgh. Megan Clarke Oct 30, 2021 7 min In Conversation with Funmi Lijadu Funmi Lijadu shares her passion for the art of collage with Megan Clarke. Chloe Lawson Oct 22, 2021 6 min The TIK TOK MD? A discussion of the dangers of self-diagnosis of mental illnesses based on non-legitimised resources on Instagram and Tik-Tok. Lourenço Anunciacao Oct 18, 2021 5 min The Beach of Life A trip to North Berwick inspires a semi-poetic story about as life slowly returns to normal. Hannah Shaw Oct 8, 2021 3 min 'Quo Vadis, Aida?' - How a Film Taught us More About a Genocide than School Hannah Shaw reviews the film 'Quo Vadis, Aida?' Kirsten Provan Sep 27, 2021 4 min Diss Won’t Do: A Rundown of Everything That’s Been Distracting Me from Writing My Dissertation Kirsten Provan recounts everything (from Netflix to YouTube) that has been helping her procrastinate writing her Masters dissertation. Isla Boote Apr 20, 2021 1 min Mine in the Future This poem is about missing someone you love whose presence persists in your memories. Evie Snelling Mar 27, 2021 3 min Review: It's a Sin Evie Snelling discusses the harsh reality and social stigma attached to the AIDS pandemic and how it has taken a binge-worthy show for... Clara Sablitzky Feb 9, 2021 6 min Surviving Online Lockdown Uni...Again Clara Sablitzky and friends share their tips for getting through the new semester. Ellie Wilson Feb 2, 2021 4 min Book Review: Love in Colour Ellie Wilson writes about Bolu Babalola's 'Love in Colour', a book which inspires 'pure joy'. Jade Rawling Jan 31, 2021 1 min The Ancient War Jade Rawling’s poem “The Ancient War” is inspired by the uproar of romanticised battle. Zebib K.A. Jan 19, 2021 3 min Film Review: Kajillionaire Zebib K.A. reviews the film Kajillionaire, encapsulating the actors performances, storyline and subtle meanings in the film perfectly. Kiera Mann Jan 6, 2021 4 min Gender Politics in The Queen’s Gambit Kiera Mann provides an interesting review into the series 'The Queen's Gambit', revealing where it falls short and where it may be... Rachel Watkins Dec 31, 2020 5 min In Conversation: Nayna Florence Rachel Watkins talks to 20-year-old influencer Nayna Florence about University, Youtube and her new Podcast. Kirsty Thomson Dec 29, 2020 8 min In Conversation: Audacious Aunties Kirsty Thomson is in conversation with the Audacious Aunties as they embark on the third season of their amazing and insightful podcast. Maddie Noton Nov 26, 2020 7 min A Bit of a Stretch: A Community Silenced by Modern Stigma. Maddie Noton investigates the realities of prison life and the damaging effects that public opinion and stigma can have surrounding prisons. Kirsten Provan Nov 14, 2020 4 min The Mental Health of Mr Robot Kirsten Provan explores the mental health of Amazon Prime's Mr Robot and how the series portrays dissociative identity disorder.

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