2015 got off to a shit start with traumatising effects on the Western psyche.
The notion of our rights to freedom of expression suddenly came to the fore-
front of our minds and sparked a debate which highlighted issues far beyond the
tragedy at Charlie Hebdo: what is liberty? Whose freedom is truly free? What is
offensive and when do we have the right to be offended?
In this latest edition of Artefact, we explore some of the many interpreta-
tions of the concept of liberty, and ask some very clever people to share their
thoughts. Iconic news anchor Jon Snow and politically engaged graphic design-
er Jonathan Barnbrook (who also did our center piece – thanks Jonathan!) spoke
freely in conversations with us.
We dive into the blood red waters of the Faroe Islands and consider the inhab-
itants rights to their own culture and an arguably more sustainable way to feed
themselves. We also celebrate our freedom to vote by looking into the possible
outcome of the General Election in May – can anyone predict it?
I’m taking a right liberty here to say, this is a wicked magazine – enjoy!
04 IN BRIEF
08 FREEDOM, FATWAS AND THE MOB
09 WHAT MAKES SOMEONE
10 THE ANCHORMAN: IN CONVERSATION
WITH JON SNOW
Josh de Souza Crook
14 CARL BIGMORE
18 THE RED SEA OF THE FAROE
24 THE CHANGING FACE OF HIP HOP
26 GRAPHIC MATERIAL:
30 MATTHEW BOVAN
34 LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY
38 THE UNPREDICTABLE ELECTION
40 IT’S FOMO YOU MOFO
41 CLAPTON FC ULTRAS
42 THE LIBERTY OF AFGHAN WOMEN
43 TOUR DE FORCE
44 A YEAR OF LIBERATION
45 FOOD PORN
48 SEEN ON CAMPUS
50 LAST WORD
Managing editor: Paula Wik
Deputy managing editor: Danielle Agtani
Print output editor: Louise Bonner
Print production manager: Amy Kirby
Chief sub-editor: Sebastian Moss
Sub-editors: Hasham Cheema,
Layout sub-editors: Arak Zagata,
Dominic Brown, Jacqueline Owusu, Fraser Thorne
Features editor: Storm Simpson
News editor: Aurora Bosotti
Deputy news editor: Yasaman Ahmadzai
Lifestyle editor: Rose Stoker
Deputy lifestyle editor: Rachel Willcocks
Entertainment editor: Ria Sajit
Deputy entertainment editor:
Culture editor: Astrid Madberg
Deputy culture editor: Max Schwerdtfeger
Opinions editor: Fleur de Boer
Deputy opinions editor: Molly Turnley
Social media editor: Holly Oxley
Multimedia editor: Arij Limam
Online output editor: Ed Oliver
Online production manager: Bianca Pascall
Online producers: Katherine Carruthers,
Sports Editor: Sean Coppack
Thalia Aboutaleb, Joseph Ackerman, Raya Bargh-
outi, Tom Beastland, Divya Bhavani, Olivia
Broome, Tom Buttrick, Nelson Campos, Sean Car-
penter, Martin Cervenansky, Vicki Cheng, James
Childs, Mary Clarke, conorwithonen/flickr,
Josh De Souza Crook, Rune Hellestad/Corbis,
MS_imageSPACE/Splash News/Corbis, Arran O’Don-
nell, Luke O’Driscoll, Jennelyn Estacio, Thu-
vika Ganeshalingham, Yordan Georgiev, Sophie
Hadley, Bryndis Hjartardottir, Corali Houlton,
Antonella Huka, Ella Jukwey, Yeasin Khan, Otto
Linder, Guy Longbottom, Elena McDonough, Pie-
teke Marsden, Dóra Maurer/Whitechapel Gallery,
Emma Morrison, Shannei Morrison-Brown, Nadiyah
Naidoo, Elvira Nuriakhmetova, Ebi Osuobeni,
Jasmine Perkins, Carlotta Righi, Zanna Roll-
ins, David Rothwell, Katrina Schollenberg-
er, Stephanie Shaw, Isabella Smith, Charlotte
Somerville, Diana Tleuilyeva, Hallam Tweddell,
Sam Walker, Oliver Woodbridge, Supermundane
Oswin Tickler, Smallfury Designs
Published by the London College of
Communication, London SE1 6SB
#4. February 2015
Feedback to: email@example.com
Auschwitz liberation remembered
at Imperial War Museum
The Holocaust is still a painful mem-
ory for many. Survivors of the Holo-
caust spoke on January 27 about their
experience in concentration camps, at
a commemorative ceremony held at the
Imperial War Musuem.
The day marks the 70th anniversary of
the liberation of Nazi concentration
camp – Auschwitz- Birkenau. The ser-
vice was held with the theme “keep the
Avram Schaufeld, 88, and his wife
Vera, 85, were speakers at the event.
Vera recounted how her parents had
decided to move from their hometown
in Czechoslovakia to Prague in 1939.
Straight away she was placed on the
Kindertransport (special trains cre-
ated to evacuate children from areas
threatened by Nazism during WWII) and
left in Liverpool Street, all alone.
“We leaned out the window, our parents
waved white handkerchiefs and that is
the last time I saw any of my family”.
At the time, Avram lived in a small
town near the German border and did
not manage to escape. He was sent to
Auschwitz and later on to Blechhammer.
He remembers the prisoners seeing Rus-
sian airplanes flying over the camp:
“People who had been in the [armed]
forces knew that they were Russian,
so we knew that the Russians were not
far away. But that’s when the Germans
started us on the death march”.
The ceremony was hosted by the Mayor
of Southwark, Councillor Sunil Chopra,
and was attended by several distin-
guished guests including Southwark MP
Simon Hughes, and Alexander Yakovenko,
Ambassador in the UK for the Russian
In his speech just before the wreath
laying, Simon Hughes thanked Mr and
Mrs Schaufeld for their testimony.
“It reminded us that you have been
able to forgive an unconscionable evil
but you want us not to forget said
The ceremony concluded with a memo-
rial prayer performed by Rabbi Dr.
Moshe Freedman followed by the wreath
laying, two minutes of silence and a
reveille by the The Standard Bearers.
Words: Otto Linder
Supermundane’s use of playful, poppy
colours in optical drawings were per-
fect for Artefact’s latest cover. The
illustrator behind the pseudonym, Rob
Lowe, joyfully interprets our liberty
theme as freedom of expression.
A Tamworth man, who lives and works in
London, Lowe has had an impressive 20
years experience in the creative in-
dustry. His distinctive work has been
published and exhibited worldwide.
With magazines such as Sleazenation,
Anorak and Fire Knives under his
belt, Lowe has worked on many ground-
breaking and independent publications.
The front cover follows Lowe’s ongo-
ing project You Made Me; a collection
of mesmerising, God-like faces, drawn
with spewing mouths.
Lowe said: “the idea behind it is - I
think we make our own Gods and demons.
Only we have the ability to create
“I think the idea of liberty isn't
about us all loving each other (which
is an unattainable goal and frankly
ridiculous), it’s rather about being
decent to each other, allowing others
to have views that counter your own.
“A quote I do like is ‘Please – a lit-
tle less love and a little more common
decency’ by Kurt Vonnegut”.
Words: Louise Bonner
In conversation with Fran Krause
Fran Krause, an animator and part of the Character Anima-
tion Program at CalArts, is asking for your weirdest secret
fears to be submitted to his Deep Dark Fears Tumblr and he
will turn them into short comic strips.
Anyone can contribute, with the only rule being they must
be “original stories, fears or ideas”.
How did you come up with the concept of Deep Dark Fears?
I’ve always had a lot of little irrational fears popping
into my head throughout the day. They used to strike me as
odd. For instance, when I’d stand on a street corner when I
lived in Brooklyn, and a van would zip around the corner,
the thought would always cross my mind that the van would
cut the corner too close and its bumper would scoop off
my kneecap. One day I wrote down as many fears as I could
think of, out of curiosity. I think I had about twenty, and
the thought occurred to me that I could make them into a
series of illustrations.
Are there any submissions to the blog that have real-
ly stuck with you? Yes. Sometimes people send me messag-
es where they open up to me in very personal ways. I keep
their secrets, though.
Have you ever thought “I can relate to that”. when people
send you their fears? Absolutely. I think I can relate to
all the fears that I’ve drawn. Maybe I don’t have all the
fears personally, but I’ve thought a lot about them and I
can see where most of them come from.
How do you feel about the response that the project has
received? I’ve been very lucky to have a positive response
from people who have found my comic. It’s very encouraging
and it’s one of the reasons I’ve continued to draw the com-
ic for a few years now. I’m also happy that I have a chance
to interact with my readers and draw their stories. People
have been very generous.
Why the style of the comic strip rather than a simple il-
lustration? I like a sense of timing, I am an animator by
training. A single illustration usually feels like a time-
less moment, where a comic has movement through time. You
don’t have to say everything all at once with a comic. You
can slowly reveal your thoughts.
How long does it take to produce each comic? Sometimes they
take an hour, but usually they take 3-8 hours.
What is one tip you can give to those that want to break
into illustration? It’s very important to do something that
interests you strongly.
You are currently working on a Deep Dark Fears book, what
can you tell us about that? It’ll have 50 comics from my
website, and 50 that I’ve made just for the book. It will
be out this September from Ten Speed Press. I’m really
looking forward to seeing the finished book, it will be my
first one. It’s allowed me to spend more time on each of my
comics than I would be able to normally.
What else should we be looking out for from yourself? I’m
also working on an animated version of another comic, skip-
Words: Hallam Tweddell
Oh Heck! Cobain biopic due out in April
Described by Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic as ‘terrific’,
Cobain: Montage of Heck, enjoyed a rapturous reception dur-
ing its January premiere at Sundance 2015.
Just as well, considering director Brett Morgen spent seven
whole years painstakingly piecing together material re-
leased to him by Courtney Love, whose attitude to the doc-
umentarist was apparently “Go through all my shit, make a
fucking movie and Iʼll see it when itʼs done”.
The documentary contains a composite of Kurtʼs journal en-
tries (Cobain was a prolific diarist), unheard songs, home
movies from his childhood, show footage, rare photographs,
personal recordings, drawings, collages and demos; as well
as animation and interviews with family members, ex lovers
The film takes its name from two trippy mix-tapes Cobain
compiled in 1987 on a two-track cassette recorder featuring
tracks from Frank Zappa, The Beatles and Butthole Surfers,
as well as miscellaneous sonic recordings and verbal ex-
Kurt’s daughter, 22 year-old visual artist Frances Bean
is credited as an executive producer on the movie. In his
introduction to the biopic at Sundance, Morgen said, ‘I
just wanted to give Frances a few more hours with her dad’.
He’s since called her reaction after watching it the best
achievement of his career.
Fans are assured they will learn things about the legend
that they never knew, but it sounds like impartial viewers
are in for a fascinating and moving watch regardless, when
it hits the UK in spring.
Words: Isabella Smith
Zero tolerance, zero cutting
2015 brings great revolutions against female genital mu-
tilation (FGM) practises in the UK, an agonising and
life-threatening infringement upon freedom. Close to 500
FGM-related cases are being reported each month by hospi-
tals in the United Kingdom.
International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM commemorates
worldwide efforts made by campaigners to eventually extin-
guish these numbers.
“We see FGM as an extreme form of violence and a seri-
ous human rights violation. Zero Tolerance Day is a great
opportunity to keep raising the issue on the international
agenda” says Mary Wandia, Program Manager at Equality Now.
The artistic community is also instrumental in bringing
about FGM awareness. We spoke to filmmakers Flora Berkeley
and Richard King, along with Girl Effect who created the
documentary, FGM: A Change Has Begun.
“Richard and I went through a whole range of emotions. We
were shocked that such a brutal practice is the norm for so
many children in the world today; we were appalled at the
injustice that FGM manifests; and we were inspired by the
strength of the women we talked to, and their commitment to
changing what they see as an unacceptable violence against
women, even when faced with being threatened and ostracized
from their communities” explains Berkeley.
Anti-FGM is unlike any other sexual health movement as it
challenges decades of tradition to create a cutting-free
future for everyone.
Words: Divya Bhavani
X-Files to make a TV comeback
ʻSeekers of the truthʼ will be happy to hear that popular
ʻ90s series X-Files is set to return to our TV screens. Fox
TV have confirmed a comeback for the iconic cult show.
The famous sci-fi series ran from 1993 to 2002 and followed
FBI agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, played by David
Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, investigating unsolved cases
involving paranormal phenomena.
Talks of re-opening the X-Files are still in early stages
as the producers are struggling to find a free window for
Duchovny, Anderson and creator of the show, Chris Carter.
As for the comeback of X-Files, I remain sceptic. In the
last episode, the alien-fighting duo were waiting for an
extra-terrestrial colonisation which would happen on Decem-
ber 22, 2012 - the predicted end of the world.
2012 has now past and no Armageddon. Will agent Mulder and
Scully pick up where they left off and figure out what hap-
pened with the alien colonisation?
That would be a very predictable move. Just a quick look at
the two feature films made by the series, show that thereʼs
nothing new to bring to the table.
Words: Bryndis Hjartardottir
Adventures of the Black Square
A new exhibition at Whitechapel Gal-
lery explores the history of abstract
art over the century, showcasing works
of more than 100 contemporary artists.
Arranged chronologically, the exhi-
bition is divided into four themes:
Utopia, exploring Malevichʼs and oth-
er artists’ visions; architectonics,
looking at geometric abstraction in
architecture; communication, showing
ideas in magazines and other media,
and the Everyday, exploring how ab-
straction is part of our daily lives.
Paintings, photos, sculptures, films
and magazines look at the emergence of
abstract art in Europe and development
in Asia, the US and Latin America.
Kazimir Malevich’s painting, Black
Quadrilateral, is the starting point
of the exhibition; representing the
birth of the new movement and remains
a symbol of abstract art.
The exhibition is more than a lega-
cy of Malevich’s Black Square, it’s a
journey through the evolution of ge-
ometric abstraction and its link with
society and politics. Malevich’s icon-
ic artwork was created in turbulent
times- after World War I and two years
before the Russian Revolution in 1917.
Malevich’s Suprematism, using geomet-
ric shapes, texture and pure colour,
can be seen throughout the exhibition,
for example, Lyubov Popova’s Painterly
Highlights of this period are Gustav
Klutsisʼ Design for Loudspeaker No.5
(1922) and Aleksandr Rodchenkoʼs pho-
tograph of Radio Station Tower (1929)
which became a symbol of “the communi-
cation of a new social order”.
An interesting part of the exhibition
is the ʻNeoconcretistʼ movement in
Latin America, after the Second World
War, with geometric sculptures by Oit-
icica and Lygia Pape.
A strong history of art exhibition, it
can feel overwhelming for those un-
interested in abstract art, but is a
must-see for fans of the genre.
Adventures of the Black Square: Ab-
stract Art and Society 1915-2015 runs
until April 6, 2015.
Words: Diana Tleuliyeva
Magna Carta 800th anniversary
2015 marks the 800th anniversary
of Magna Carta and the United King-
dom will celebrate the occasion with
numerous events and exhibitions
throughout the country over the coming
What was initially an attempt for the
unpopular King John to avoid civil war
in 1215, the Great Charter has become
the foundation of the British legal
system still used today. It estab-
lished the principle that absolutely
no-one was above the law, and most
famously it gave all “free men” the
right to a fair trial and justice. The
term “free man” was however loosely
used in the early years of the Magna
Carta, as it excluded the peasants,
who had to seek justice through the
Even though only three of the original
63 clauses are still in force today,
the main principles of the document
have filtered through the ages.
The anniversary will be marked with
much fanfare. For the first time in
history, the four remaining copies
will be united on display at the Brit-
ish Library. The institution will host
a Magna Carta exhibition opening March
13, exploring the history and signifi-
cance of the document. Artist Cornelia
Parker has been commissioned to create
artwork to mark the 800th anniversary.
In the 800 years since the signing of
the Great Charter, the document has
become a symbol of liberty and the
rule of law.
Itʼs widely recognised as one of the
most important legal documents in de-
veloping modern democracy and inspired
well known documents including the
Declaration of the Rights of Man and
of the Citizen, the US Constitution
and the Universal Declaration of Human
Despite the fact that the original
documentʼs purpose was to control a
problematic king, its reinterpretation
over the years has helped maintain its
importance and its influence on the
liberty debate today.
Words: Bryndis Hjartardottir
Dóra Maurer / Whitechapel Gallery
and the mob
Words: Luke OʼDriscoll
Image: Mr OH
In September 1988 the world was a
different place: Phil Collins was
at the top of the charts, poll
tax was but a distant nightmare
and Salman Rushdie had just re-
leased his fourth novel, The Sa-
By February of 1989 Ayatollah
Khomeini, the spiritual leader of
Iran, had issued a fatwa declaring
a death sentence against Mr Rush-
die for blaspheming Islam in his
book. The writer would spend the
next ten years in hiding, protect-
ed by the British security servic-
es at an estimated cost of £11M to
the UK taxpayer.
Many, including fellow writers,
have repeatedly criticised Rush-
die for what they saw as a blatant
exercise in self-promotion, if a
very hazardous one.
The consequence of his right to
free speech has perhaps been most
damning for those he never knew.
In 1993, Aziz Nesin, a Turkish
left-wing intellectual, was tar-
geted by angry Sunni Muslims for
translating and publishing ex-
tracts from Rushdie’s novel. The
hotel at which he was staying dur-
ing a literary festival was set
alight by the mob, and although
Nesin managed to escape unharmed,
35 others weren’t so lucky and
burnt to death in the blaze. The
incident was not isolated.
The threat to Rushdie's life is
still very real with a current
bounty of $3.3M. In 2010 he was
placed on an al-Qaeda hit list,
the same list that included the now
deceased Stéphane “Charb” Char-
bonnier, murdered in the Charlie
Hebdo killings of January 2015.
Having the wrath of the larg-
est religion in the world is one
thing. Having the rage of Neapol-
itan mobsters is another wholly
In 2006 Roberto Saviano published
Gomorrah, a culmination of five
years worth of investigations
into the Camorra: “Italy’s other
The book shifted a million copies
within its first year. That fig-
ure’s now in excess of 10M, trans-
lated in 51 countries.
The attention Saviano brought to
one of the world nastiest crimi-
nal organisations did not go unno-
ticed. In particular by the Casal-
esi clan, whose exploits the book
details in great lengths; running
construction rackets, being heav-
ily involved in not only the drug
trade but also the hugely profita-
ble dairy business and, of course,
murder. By 2008, his life had been
threatened numerous times and he
was living under constant police
protection, moving from safe house
to safe house.
Saviano has spoken damningly of
his forced exile and the solitude
it’s brought. He told the Italian
newspaper La Repubblica, “What is
my crime? Why must I live like a
recluse, a leper?”
Is the expense one pays for the
right to free speech sometimes
greater than the reward? As Sa-
viano himself aptly puts it: “The
fuck with success”.
Stewart Lee’s The Jerry Springer
Opera: a satirical look at the ex-
ploitative nature of American chat
shows through the canon of Chris-
tianity. The musical was written
in 2001 and ran for over 700 per-
formances throughout England and
the US before succumbing to the
pressures of Christian right-wing
At the height of its run hundreds
of protesters could be found out-
side theatres across the country,
with the Archbishop of Wales, Bar-
ry Morgan, calling the show “gra-
In 2005 BBC General Director Mark
Thompson made the decision to tel-
evise the musical. This became the
single most complained about show
in British history (to be knocked
off only by Big Brother) receiv-
ing 55,000 complaints to the BBC
prior to airing, whilst regulator
Ofcom recorded 9,000 after trans-
Christian Voice, however, did not
stop there. They attempted to sue
Thompson for blasphemy but the
case was thrown out by judges.
Hounded by years of blasphemy al-
legations and campaigning, the
show came to an end. When asked,
more recently, if Lee had been
disheartened by the process he an-
swered “It did make me feel there
was not much point ever trying to
reach a mass audience with any-
thing interesting and provoca-
Another show swamped with contro-
versy despite only running for two
nights before being cancelled was
Behzti, a play by Gurpreet Kaur
Bhatti. A black comedy, the the-
atrical work was set in a Gurd-
wara, a Sikh temple, and included
scenes of rape, physical abuse and
The play's premiere, at the Bir-
mingham Rep in 2004, saw hundreds
of members of the Sikh communi-
ty turning out to protest against
the production. The demonstra-
tion soon turned violent when the
building was stormed. 85 police
officers, including 30 in riot
gear were required to bring peace
upon the theatre.
Bhatti said she created the play
from her “fury at injustice and
hypocrisy” she saw within the Sikh
community. Prominent figures with-
in the Birmingham Sikh community
were quick to attack the play. Lo-
cal MP Khalid Mahmood stated the
performance aimed to cause max-
imum offence, while chairman of
the Council of Sikh Gurdwaras Sewa
Singh Mandha said that “it will
not help race relations in the
Following threats of abduction
and violence, the playwright was
placed under temporary police pro-
tection and her flat fitted with
window bars and CCTV.
Ten years on Bhatti told the
Guardian: “My experience showed
me that freedom of expression
is precious, both as a gift and
a right. When it is taken away,
there is nothing left but abject,
THE HUMAN ZOO
Last year the Barbican centre held
an exhibition by South African
Brett Bailey, where black actors
were displayed in a ‘human zoo’,
following showings in 12 cities.
A commentary on racism or racism
itself was the question asked as an
online petition, started by jour-
nalist Sara Myers, advocating the
cancellation of the show reached
22,987 signatures at change.org.
Following protests and support
from around the country includ-
ing Lord Boateng, Britain’s first
black cabinet minister, the per-
formance was cancelled.
Many commentators called the pro-
test a product of ‘viral hysteria’
following the petition. Bailey
himself queried how many people
protesting had actually seen the
show. Questioning, “Do any of us
really want to live in a soci-
ety in which expression is sup-
pressed, banned, silenced, denied
a platform? My work has been shut
down today, whose will be closed
THE PROPHET AND THE FUTURE
In January 2015 what happened at
the offices of French magazine
Charlie Hebdo will stay with many
forever. A turning point in the
argument for free speech and civil
liberties. Is there ever a step
too far? An offence that is too
grave to forgive? Or are we living
in an overtly extremist, too eas-
ily offended world?
There’s no black and white an-
swer to it but what must be held
up is a personʼs right to pro-
duce and create freely, without
fear, intimidation or death. As
Oscar Wilde put it more succinctly
than I ever could “I may not agree
with you, but I will defend to the
death your right to make an ass of
From religious upsets to
Italian gansters - here’s
some defining moments in the
debate on free speech
Theresa Mayʼs proposed Coun-
ter-Terrorism and Security Bill
to make universities legally re-
sponsible for extremism on campus
is still causing anger.
The Bill has passed the second
reading stage in the House of
Lords and is now being fiercely
debated at the committee stage.
Although the actual name of the
programme was omitted in the Bill,
it is said to be an extension of
the governmentʼs controversial
ʻPreventʼ strategy to crack down
on terrorism in the rise of IS;
particularly since the Charlie
Hebdo attacks in Paris this Jan-
Prevent has caused wide backlash,
especially within the Muslim com-
munity, who say the strategy in-
fringes on the privacy and free-
doms of all Muslims.
In a recent interview with the
Daily Telegraph, the former head
of the MI5, Baroness Manningham
Buller, criticises Prevent for
its failure to stop the spread of
Jihadism in Britain, saying it is
“clearly not working”.
What do all these measures and
proposed laws actually mean to an
average Muslim like me? I wear the
headscarf, pray five times a day,
attend university dressed like an
average person, and try to avoid
dodgy IS Twitter accounts.
However if this proposed law is
passed then it means I can have my
passport taken away without any
solid proof, just because my uni-
versity lecturers and peers might
think that I am acting suspicious-
Part Five of the Bill sets out
guidelines for the specific au-
thorities which are to intervene
in the ‘prevention of people being
drawn into terrorism’.
These authorities include local
government, criminal justice,the
education and child care system,
health and social care and the po-
lice. This means that anyone from
the local council as well as uni-
versity tutors, nursery school
teachers, the family doctor and
dentist; essentially, the whole
community will have a legal obli-
gation to spy on me!
What the Bill doesnʼt explain is
what makes someone suspicious in
the first place. How would my GP
tell that Iʼve been radicalised?
Are there symptoms associated with
being a terrorist? Could more fa-
cial hair for men be a symptom? Or
perhaps a Vitamin C deficiency is
down to the fact I suspiciously
cover my hair?
Where will the line be drawn to
prevent a Big Brother-type regime
that follows anyone with a head-
scarf or a long beard?
Speaking about the surveillance
of Muslims on campus, Ibrahim Ali,
the vice president of student af-
fairs at the Federation of Student
Islamic Societies (FOSIS) said:
“In an environment where Muslim
students already feel like they
are under increased surveillance,
the measures outlined in this Bill
will only serve to reinforce these
FOSIS is an umbrella organisation
of student groups in colleges and
universities across the UK and
Ireland, representing the inter-
ests of more than 115,000 Muslim
Its president, Bashir Osman, said
in a statement recently: “The bill
proposes intrusive measures that
threaten the civil liberties of
students and runs the risk of cur-
tailing the freedom of speech that
is so fundamental to campus life”.
Since the rise of IS, the spot-
light has been on university cam-
puses as potent breeding grounds
for fundamentalism. In recent
months the pressure has mounted on
universities to stop some Islamic
speakers from attending universi-
ties and lectures at events.
The National Union of Students
(NUS), have spoken out against
parts of the Bill which they say
infringe on the freedom of speech
of all students.
“Placing a vague statutory re-
sponsibility on universities to
‘prevent people being drawn into
terrorism’, and giving the Gov-
ernment undefined powers to or-
der that ‘extremist’ speakers be
and search without suspicion and
tempered aspects of the draconian
control order regime,” said poli-
cy officer Rachel Robinson.
This debate is not about the need
to tackle the issue of terrorism.
We all believe that our government
has a duty to protect us from such
The issue is with the knee-jerk
reaction of hurrying important
Bills through Parliament without
proper considerations and ignor-
ing the lesson of the previous
failed attempts to halt Jihadism.
The Counter-Terrorism and Secu-
rity Bill which is garnering in-
creasing support within Westmin-
ster has raised red flags among
members of the public.
As a Muslim and a student, I feel
that amendments to the Bill should
be made with greater clarity as to
the meaning of terms such as ‘sus-
picious’ and ‘fundamentalist’.
I do agree that something needs
to be done to stop British-born
fighters traveling to Syria for
the wrong reasons, but it should
be tackled in a way that doesn’t
turn everyone into a suspect.
A good place to start would be to
educate young minds to effective-
ly root out the initial causes of
After all, universities and
schools are a place for education,
Big-brother style plans to
tackle extremism on campus
could turn students and
lecturers into spies
What makes some-
Words: Arij Limam
banned risks further developing a
culture of suspicion and surveil-
lance on campuses,” the NUS says.
The Bill is currently being pushed
through Parliament with little
objection from peers; some saying
the its quick passing is neces-
sary to ensure the security of the
British public as the threat of
A closer look at the Bill,shows
that new powers will be given to
the police and border-security to
seize passports - as well as the
issuing of temporary exclusion
orders to suspected persons.
It is a good thing to not al-
low known IS fighters to return to
Britain after committing heinous
crimes. But the increasing pow-
ers of border-security to seize
passports means that if I travel
alone to Turkey, the removal of
my passport by suspicious author-
ities could effectively render me
stateless and strip me of my basic
Liberty is one of the UK’s leading
civil liberties and human rights
organisations and has raised ques-
tions and concerns about the Bill
since its creation.
“The Counter-Terrorism and Se-
curity Bill is full of the kind
of unsafe, unfair policies which
the Coalition appeared to reject
when it reduced pre-charged de-
tention, curtailed powers to stop
1989 was a big year for journalism and free-
dom. Hundreds were massacred in a pro-de-
mocracy, student-led protest in Tiananmen
Square. 1989 created freedom inside Germany,
as the Berlin Wall fell and opened up the
East to the West.
It was also the year that Jon Snow became the
lead anchorman on the 7pm Channel 4 News. A
passionate journalist and advocate for press
freedom and freedom of speech, Jon's one of
the most respected presenters in news media,
although he says he’s actually a reporter and
a rather poor presenter.
We caught up with him shortly after the mur-
der of ten Charlie Hebdo journalists to dis-
cuss liberty and press freedom.
Jon's been the face of Channel 4 News for
over 25 years. He’s a tall, towering man at
6ft 4in, but never daunting. With a laidback
attitude and probably the best tie collection
on British television, Jon's also previously
rejected an OBE because he doesn’t believe
working journalists should accept honours
from the government.
He’s a human rights campaigner and a po-
litical activist, famously kicked out of
Liverpool University in 1967 for being an
anti-apartheid protester. Jon is a nation-
al treasure in terms of news media and free
Beginning the interview, I ask Jon how he
would define a free press, and why is it im-
portant for countries to have press freedom?
“A free press is really the core of any human
existence, if you can't talk to each other,
if you can't transmit information to each
other, then the one thing that distinguish-
es us from all other animal life is absent.
And what's the point of that? So I think it’s
a structural thing, it's something that you
understand when you see it, but perhaps it’s
quite difficult to define,” he says. “Of
course, the events in Paris were at the whole
essence of freedom of speech. I didn't much
like the content of Charlie Hebdo but I abso-
lutely defend their right to publish”.
The world turned its cameras towards Paris on
January 7. Religious extremists attacked the
French capital and murdered ten journalists
at the Charlie Hebdo office in the process.
Will these kinds of attacks intimidate jour-
nalists? “I think journalists are intimidated
by the sensitivities of some religions, and
it’s not exclusive to Islam. You know very
often we have no idea what offence involves.
“It’s very difficult to know what is, and is
not, offence. For example, I have worked a
lot in Iran where the image of the Prophet
is not as guarded as it’s in Sunni Islam. In
Iran, the Shia does have images of the Proph-
et so it can be confusing for someone who
knows very little about Islamic practice and
“Yeah, I think we are intimidated a bit by
it, intimidated by the unknown, but not,
I think, by the threat of death - I think
that’s extreme and unlikely,” Jon continues.
“You're more likely to be run over in front
of your own house just crossing the street
than you are to be destroyed by a fanatic.
But it's less than that. You do feel a sensi-
tivity partly because you know it, but that’s
not intimidation. But you feel a little bit
of sensitivity about it yes”, he explains.
It’s easy to hear Jon say things like this,
tucked up in the comfort of his ITN studios
on Grays Inn Road, but even at 67 years old,
he regularly reports from conflict zones that
many would deem dangerous.
What does 'Je suis Charlie' mean to you? “I
tweeted 'I am Charlie, I am the Jewish shop-
pers, I am the Muslim policemen' because I
felt more comfortable with that. I’m probably
not Charlie - in literal sense, I’m Jon! I
don't think Jon would have done what Char-
lie did but I defend the right of Charlie to
do it. So that’s why I'm prepared to tweet
and support for sure that I am Charlie. It
means to me that I'm in complete solidarity
with those who defend a free press and that I
think is the core of it”.
Jon wasn’t alone in showing support for press
freedom and those who lost their lives in
the attack. The hash tag went viral online,
with millions joining the unity march in the
French capital and other cities.
The Turkish prime minister and Egyptian min-
ister both condemned the attacks, joining
other world leaders in support of freedom of
expression. This ignited anger globally, as
Josh de Souza Crook caught up with Jon Snow shortly
after the Paris attacks to discuss liberty,
free speech and press freedom.
Words: Josh de Souza Crook
Images: Via Channel 4
Has the coverage of Paris differed from the
Taliban massacre on Pakistan school in the
Western media? “Of course there has been much
more access - access does have a big impact”,
says Jon. “If the Pakistani school had hap-
pened in a European country then it would
have been a bigger event than it was. But I
think both were pretty well treated.
“We've got greater reason to be critical of
ourselves for not doing more on Boko Har-
am in Nigeria, who may have killed up to two
thousand people whilst this Paris event was
going on. But that was about access, the fact
is that you can't get into Northern Nigeria.
There are no pictures coming out and televi-
sion is about pictures. So to some extent the
weight of the story is actually about access,
rather than overall importance”.
Access does play a vital role in coverage.
Some news organisations get scrutinised for
only ever covering internal and European af-
fairs. Perhaps some solely choose to focus on
those matters? Others don’t have the abili-
ty or resources to cover incidents further
afield like the Taliban school massacre in
Pakistan, or Boko Haram kidnapping children
in remote corners of Nigeria and Cameroon.
Trying to cover stories further afield nor-
mally comes at a price. Reporting on the
Taliban or Boko Haram could have huge impli-
cations on a journalist’s life if they are
captured or caught in conflict. According
to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 60
journalists were killed worldwide in 2014,
and 70 in 2013. The group says the past three
years have been the worst since records began
Is the increasing death toll damaging the
freedom of the press? “I think there is no
question whatsoever, and you feel it your-
self when you're in the field. Journalists
have now become an acceptable target”, Jon
“When I started 40 or so years ago, the idea
of shooting journalists was not frankly main-
stream. There was little of it - very, very
little of it. You might die in an accidental
spin-off from a bomb explosion or something,
but the idea that you'd be targeted was not
both Turkey and Egypt have some of the high-
est numbers of journalists currently incar-
Do you think this was all part of a PR stunt
from countries with notorious reputations for
press freedom? “There is no way that anyone
can regard President Sisi of Egypt a defender
of a free press. I mean it’s absolutely out-
rageous. He is actually one of the few world
leaders who have locked up large numbers of
journalists for doing no more than their job.
“It’s completely scandalous that he should
in any way regard himself as somebody who can
speak out about the events in Paris. As for
Mr Erdogan, the Turkish president, well he's
on some transit of some description, from a
pretty good prime minister to a fairly dread-
ful president and he seems to have got ‘reli-
gion’ in a rather big and potential 'marcap'
[market capitalisation] way”.
Reporters Without Borders last month urged
Turkey’s judicial system to reverse an Anka-
ra court’s decision to ban media coverage of
the questioning of four former ministers by a
parliamentary commission investigating major
corruption allegations. A reported 70 jour-
nalists are held in Turkish prisons.
According to the World Press Freedom Index
2014, there were 180 countries across the
world ranked on press freedom, with Finland
ranked first. The United Kingdom was ranked
33rd and France 39th.
The press freedom campaigners condemned the
presence of certain world leaders with poor
track records of a free press. This includ-
ed Turkey, who came in at 154 and Egypt who
ranked 159. Saudi Arabia appear further down
- in 2014 they ranked 164 out of a possible
180 in the index, making them easily one of
the worst offenders.
Do journalists feel uncomfortable with Sau-
di officials and other governments joining
the unity march in Paris? “I think certainly
what’s happened after Paris is that hypocrisy
has been the flavour of the day for many of
these world leaders,” Jon says. “We've men-
tioned Egypt but Saudi Arabia really takes
the biscuit. This is the country that ex-
ports radical Wahhabi preachers, and then is
in some way startled when their teachings to
vulnerable and mixed up kids is in the terri-
ble events in Paris.
“No, the Saudi sympathy and understanding for
what happened in Paris is unacceptable. They
have to put their own house in order before
the rest of the world is prepared to listen
to them expressing any kind of sorrow for
what happened in Paris. What happened in Par-
is, ultimately, at least to some extent, can
be tracked back to states like Saudi Arabia
that foster this kind of extremist believe”,
Around 40 world leaders joined the unity
rally in Paris following the attacks. Imag-
es spread of leaders walking arm in arm with
each other in a more secure, separate section
of the march. This included the French presi-
dent, François Hollande, British Prime Min-
ister, David Cameron, alongside leaders with
records for poor internal press freedom.
What occurred in the French capital will no
doubt be one of the biggest headlines this
year, but what about events from 2014?
“But now with the spread of media penetration
across the world, those tyrannical forces
that wanted to extinguish information will
kill journalists. So I'm sorry to have to
say, but I think the figures illustrate a
The past 12 months have certainly put the
vulnerability of journalists in the head-
lines. The beheading of American journalist
James Foley was a pinnacle event that high-
lighted the dangerous climate foreign corre-
spondents face in conflict zones. The United
Nations reported that on average two report-
ers a week are killed while trying to bring
news to the public.
The target and murder of journalists and re-
porters is the worst-case scenario in their
line of work. While many escape death, they
often end up captured or imprisoned for try-
ing to report to the public. NSA whistler-
blower Edward Snowden is wanted by the United
States for espionage after leaking many of
the National Security Agency’s most guarded
If Snowden returns to his homeland, it’s
likely he’ll face a sizeable sentence behind
bars. Jon previously interviewed Carl Bern-
stein (one of the whistleblowers behind the
unravelling of the Watergate Scandal) about
I ask when does journalism turn into breaking
the law? Should governments be taking greater
measures to protect or imprison people like
Snowden? “Snowden is a very interesting and
intriguing case. I think quite a lot of gov-
ernments have been grateful for what they've
learned,” Jon replies. “Unquestionably the
Germans were absolutely horrified to discov-
er that their own chancellorʼs telephone was
being bugged by the United States. I would
argue that governments have an obligation to
protect people like Snowden - there is a huge
contrast between him and Assange for example.
“I think Assange is a much less clear-cut
situation, but Snowden will go down as one of
history's great whistleblowers. His whistle-
blowing was extremely responsible, there is
no evidence that anybody has died as a result
of what Snowden disclosed,” Jon says.
“The idea that in some way security was so
compromised that individuals in the field
were all going to get killed just does not
seem to be true. There is a lot of phooey
about it all. Iʼd like to see Germany ac-
cord some sort of diplomatic protection to
How has journalism changed since your first
7pm show, and what citizen journalists can
add to press freedom? “It's been a revolution
since then, and we're still in the middle of
the revolution. You know, we're still trying
to balance online activity with what we put
out on television and people consume it in
such varied ways.
“Nobody knows really how people consume the
information that we are putting out every
night. Is it on an iPad? Is it simply down-
loading the odd item or what? We have no
idea. Certainly not that many are sitting in
front of the television and watching a whole
hour of news at any one moment,” Jon says.
“As far as citizen journalists are concerned,
I think they can add an absolutely amazing
amount, but they won't get paid for it, so
that's the problem. It's monetising what you
can do - if you can write, if you can film,
if you can edit, then you have a terrific
“The problem is, can you earn money from it?
Well the answer is yes if you’re good enough
and clever enough in placing it. I actually
think there are more opportunities through
citizen journalism than there has ever been
from full-blown acts,” Jon explains.
We’re still in the middle of a media revolu-
tion, as experts continue to predict what the
future holds for newspapers, radio, televi-
sion and news media. It’s difficult to pre-
dict trends and there are new formats for
picking up news and information appearing all
What do you believe is the clever way to
consume news in a world of social media? “I
suppose to be honest, pick and mix, kind of
a bit here and a bit there. I think all of
us now pick up stuff now from Twitter, from
Facebook, from telly, from the radio so I
think the main thing is to use every possi-
ble methodology of receiving information,” he
“We keep talking about a free press, free-
dom of speech and the rest of it. The freedom
to pick and mix from these assorted sources
- masses of sources of information - it's a
great blessing and also a bit of a curse, as
you might miss something”.
In a world of mass information, it can be
a dilemma picking what news you listen to.
Thereʼs plenty of high-quality journalism
available from both media organisations and
citizen journalists, but there are also sites
that flourish by publishing false informa-
tion. The rise of spoof and satire sites has
created an era of false news.
Free speech and expression has risen to the
top of global agendas following the massacre
in Paris. These are principles we should be
fighting for everyday, not just because ex-
tremist attacks have made the evening news.
CARLBIGMOREDocumentary photographer Carl Bigmore
talks about the American Dream, the Pacific
Northwest, and being a whale.
Words: Olivia Broome
Images: Carl Bigmore
The Sol Duc Rainforest in the Olympic National Park in Washington. Classed as an international biosphere reserve and a world heritage
site. Also home to sasquatch sightings and used as a filming location for the Twilight movie franchise.
Eric and his horse Hollywood by the Snoqualmie River, Washington.
Whether he finds himself in forests, parking lots
or walking down mountain roads, documentary pho-
tographer Carl Bigmore has an eye for beauty and an
ability to tell stories through his images. Explor-
ing the way humans interact with their environment,
he leads us through communities and landscapes
where fauna meets flora, observing and recording
the essence of life in the most unexpected places.
Carl recently graduated from the London College
of Communication with an MA in Photojournalism and
Documentary Photography and is busy setting up an
exhibition in Toronto. Artefact stole a few minutes
of his time to discuss the American Dream and the
The portraits you’ve taken show really interesting
free-spirited people, how do you find your sub-
jects? Well it’s the Pacific Northwest of America,
which is pretty countercultural, so a lot of those
people youʼll see daily if you look for them.
For this project I had a very strong idea of the
type of people I wanted to photograph – free spir-
ited is a good way of describing that – so it was
really just a case of driving around for a month
and being open to chance meetings. Luckily people
in the Pacific Northwest are very open and willing
to share their lives.
The picture of Wegatha (the pink haired girl) for
example was made when I started talking to her on
the street in Portland, Oregon. Then the longer I
was there the more I got connected – so the por-
trait of Mike (the bearded guy in the Rolling
Stones t-shirt) came about through meeting his
grandson who then introduced us.
What side of people do you try to portray? Iʼm
really interested in trying to capture a moment
where the subject fleetingly forgets theyʼre being
photographed and gives over a little bit of vulner-
ability. Itʼs a lot about feeling the moment when
it occurs. I guess thereʼs always a little sense of
melancholy in these portraits, which I like.
My camera also helps because itʼs an old Rolleiflex
which has a waist-level viewfinder. I find people
are more comfortable around it as Iʼm not holding
it up to my eye, thereʼs no barrier between me and
the subject. It allows for a more natural portrait.
There’s a lot of nature in your work and an in-
teresting balance of humans vs. fauna and flora.
What’s your relation to society and the natural
world? It probably informs everything I do in my
photographic practice. Iʼm fascinated about our re-
lationship with the natural world. As we get closer
and closer to whatever is coming our way in terms
of climate change, I feel a sadness about how weʼve
lost some of those connections to nature.
I think people want to reconnect more and more, and
the Pacific Northwest has a lot of those people,
which is partly why Iʼm drawn to create work there.
So what does the idea of the ‘land of the free’ and
the American Dream mean to you?
The US is a complex and contradictory place. I
struggle to know what to make of those ideas. I
like the naïve optimism that anyone can achieve
what they wish as long as theyʼre willing to work
I met a lot of people whoʼd fallen between the
cracks of that idea. Thereʼs a healthy cynicism
amongst the Americans I met about the land of the
free. Late comedian George Carlin said: “itʼs
called the American Dream because you have to be
asleep to believe it”.
I really enjoyed looking at your Between Two Mys-
teries work – could you tell me more about the
story behind it and about the poetry and quotes
that accompany the photos? The project is an ex-
ploration of the real and unreal in the Pacific
Northwest (PNW) of America through its filmic and
musical hinterland. I first visited the PNW almost
ten years to the day that I started this project.
It left an impression on me and Iʼd been wanting to
do a photo project there ever since.
Over time I realised a lot of my associations with
the area were through the prism of popular culture.
Be that the music of Nirvana and the grunge move-
ment of the 90s, or film and television locations
such as The Shining or Twin Peaks.
I set out guided by these places known to me
through popular culture, and used them to find the
real people and places of the PNW. The project
became me creating my own interpretation of the
region through a collection of images that mixed
elements of fact and fiction. To echo this idea I
wanted the photographs to feel like film stills,
that dealt with themes of the American Dream, myth,
history and popular culture.
The quotes accompanying the work are mainly from
lyrics and film scripts that were produced in the
PNW. Often the text will have a direct correlation
to the image. For example thereʼs a Nirvana lyric
placed next to a photo of a river, taken in Kurt
Cobainʼs hometown. Other texts have no direct rela-
tion but convey a mood or atmosphere.
Tell me about your past and how you discovered
photography. I grew up just outside London in the
countryside. My grandad worked for Kodak and I
remember him always having cameras and shooting on
Kodachrome. I think that was where the seed of be-
ing a photographer was planted. He passed away when
I was a teenager before I really started taking
pictures so itʼs bitter sweet.
I would love to talk to him about photography now,
but at the same time I like to think he would be
really happy I’m taking pictures. I’m currently
archiving all his old photos so that feels like a
creative collaboration with him.
What are your plans for life after LCC? Do you have
any exhibitions coming up? Right now I’m in Toronto
where I have an exhibition opening this week at the
Harbourfront Arts Centre. I hope to split my time
between North America and the UK so that I can car-
ry on producing work here. I find the vastness of
the landscape really inspiring.
What are your feelings on deforestation and aban-
doned building spaces? As someone who loves being
outdoors, deforestation is obviously something I
find disheartening. But I think there are ways we
can exist harmoniously with nature. The optimist in
me likes to think we could make it happen.
However the pessimist thinks we’re headed straight
for something out of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I
like abandoned buildings, especially when you begin
seeing nature reclaim them.
Winta is originally from Eritrea but moved with her family to the US when she was a child. She had lived in several states before
moving to Portland to study.
Mike is a Vietnam veteran and 28 years clean. He became heavily addicted to herion after returning from war. It was
his way of dealing with the painful flashbacks.
The Painted Hills form part of the John Day Fossil Beds located in Eastern Oregon.
Words: Bryndis Hjartardottir
Images: Bjartur Vest J.Helgi
FAROEISLANDSAn insider’s perspective on the controversial topic
of whaling in the Faroe Islands. Should the islands
have the liberty to stop by evolution or give in to
The atmosphere is tense. The men on the beach are
in deep concentration. Adrenaline is running high
and the whale killers are in a trance state of
mind. Emotions are heightened. Someone whispers
a silent prayer; a prayer for it to be over as
quickly as possible.
On the horizon the boats are coming closer, nar-
rowing in a school of Pilot whales. The whale
killers are waiting, in seconds the shores of the
Faroe Islands will turn red once again.
What follows next is a social media frenzy. All
over Facebook and Twitter misleading headlines
read ‘Stop the dolphin massacre in Denmark’ and
‘The annual blood festival in the Faroe Islands’.
This ‘blood festival’ is reported as a ‘rite of
passage’ for the islanders. Rumors spread of the
killers being ‘young teenagers’, with the whale
corpses supposedly left on the beach to rot. And
so in people’s minds, these myth becomes a fact.
Back on the beach, the school of whales have been
killed and are ready for butchering. Soon they
will be distributed throughout the community. The
whale killers are happy. Once again they have
provided food for their families. Just like their
ancestors have done for centuries before them.
Bloody and dramatic photographs of the hunt leave
the international community horrified. And it’s
Modern society is not used to seeing animals
killed so openly. Now they see ‘normal look-
ing’ people slaughtering these majestic animals.
They’re covered in blood, with their wives and
children watching. It’s hard not to classify this
The Internet fills with photographs of children
sitting on whale carcasses and people performing
their national dance, expressing joy. It’s easy
to jump to conclusions when you don’t understand
the context of these photos.
The Faroe Islands, a self-governed nation within
the Kingdom of Denmark, are situated in the North
Atlantic, halfway between Scotland and Iceland.
Settled by Vikings in the ninth century, the
country is made up of 18 islands.
This small archipelago is home to a population
of around 48,000 people that are outnumbered by
sheep (Faroe Islands translates to Sheep Islands
in old Norse). The weather still pretty much sets
the agenda for this small group of islands.
The harsh and shifting weather conditions often
makes it difficult to plan any outdoor activities
in advance, and the country has often been named
“the land of maybe” by travellers trying to plan
their trips on the islands.
But what most people might have heard about the
Faroe Islands is their tradition of killing Pi-
lot whales; known locally as Grindadráp or more
commonly as ‘The Grind’. It’s a dramatic scene by
its very nature, as the killing of any animal is.
Despite this, the Faroese whale hunt is different
from other methods of slaughter, because of its
honesty. Contrary to the modern ‘civilised’ pro-
duction of meat (which is hidden away in slaugh-
ter houses and neatly packaged for urban society
to buy at the supermarket), this is, and has to
be done, in the open.
This drastic scenery pictures men with big
knives, a bloody ocean and large beautiful ani-
mals, and speaks to our strongest emotions.
It’s because of these dramatic images that inter-
national organisations have rushed to the islands
to interfere with these cruel acts. Many of them
arrive ill-equipped and with no willingness to
understand the culture.
The most visible organisation fighting to save
the whales of the Faroe Islands has been the Sea
Shephard Conservation Society (SSCS). Since the
80s, the SSCS have been actively trying to stop
this practice which they describe as “a mass
slaughter” and “the Taiji of the North”.
SSCS’s view is that the whales don’t belong to
the Faroe Islands: “They do not belong to any
nation. The Pilot whales and other cetaceans
slaughtered in the Grind hunts are wild, migrat-
ing animals who are simply swimming past the
deadly killing shores of the Faroese when they
are driven in with boats and hauled onto the
Last summer they launched their biggest campaign
yet: Operation Grindstop, following on from their
earlier Operation Ferocious Isles in 2011. Hun-
dreds of activists patrolled the islands by air,
land and sea with the agenda of stopping any
Grind killings taking place.
This also resulted in 14 arrests for breaking
whaling regulations after a Grind took place on
the island of Sandur in August. The organisation
is non-profitable and heavily rely on donations
for their campaigns.
SSCS are known to use direct action to pro-
tect marine life, which has made them unpopu-
lar in many circles and are often referred to as
‘eco-terrorists’. Yet, they seem to be quite pop-
ular in the celebrity world: Operation Grindstop
is supported by celebrities like Charlie Sheen,
Pamela Anderson and Brigitte Bardot.
Contrary to popular belief, Pilot whales are not
hunted by blood-thirsty men going out with their
boats to satisfy their greed. In fact, Pilot
whales and other species swim in Faroese waters
all year round. The Pilot whale drive only takes
place when a school is sighted close to land and
when it’s in accordance with Faroese whaling reg-
Annual records of drives and counts of Pilot
whales and other small cetaceans date back to
1598. These statistics provide over 400 years of
documentation, making it one of the most thorough
records of wildlife exploitation in the world.
The Grind is strongly regulated with rules in-
cluding when a drive is allowed, including who
can participate and the methods of killing and
butchering. The drive of the whales is regulat-
ed by national authorities under the Ministry of
Fishery and national whaling association Grinda-
mannafelagið. Along with the district adminis-
trator, they have authority over the drive. Four
whaling foremen are elected for each bay used.
The district administrator will decide after a
sighting whether or not the legal requirements
for a drive are being met. Legal requirements
include; weather conditions, if there’s enough
participants on boat and on land for an efficient
drive and kill, and if a shore or shallow of a
bay is near which is authorised for the drive.
There are 23 whaling bays in the Faroe Islands
which meet the requirements – no other location
may be used.
When the administrator has decided to proceed, he
and the local whaling foremen determine which bay
is suitable to drive the whales ashore. The boats
then slowly and quietly drive the whales to the
allocated beach in a big semicircle, where they
If the whales can’t be beached then they are
driven out again, according to regulations. A
swift mobilisation of manpower is required on the
beach to conduct the killing of this group of
large animals. A blow-hole hook is used to secure
the whale and a spinal lance is used to sever the
spinal cord. This severs the major blood supply
to the brain and ensures both loss of conscious-
ness and death within seconds. The spinal lance
has improved accuracy and safety in the kill and
is arguably the most humane way to kill these big
The catch is then divided between the partici-
pants and local residents, in accordance with
the traditional community sharing system. These
catches are shared without the exchange of money.
They’re a few exceptions, some small parts might
be sold for the purpose of cleaning and for com-
pensation of damages made in the Grind.
Since 1994, members of the Faroese national whale
association, Grindamannafelagõ, have been the
representatives to the outside world. Hans Jakob
Hermasen, a member of their committee, explains
that “Grindamannafelagið has two main aims: to
improve the slaughter or make the changes neces-
sary for it to be as humane as possible, and to
inform about the Grind as we see it”.
Hermasen, like many others in the Faroe Islands,
believes that the media hype around the dramatic
and spectacular sights are contributing to the
aggressive campaigns aiming to stop it.
He understands the pictures are not easy to
watch: “There’s a big difference between when I
watch something on the TV screen, and when I’m a
part of it. I like less what I see on the TV, but
my job is to kill the whale as quickly as possi-
ble. And this is what’s being served into peo-
ple’s homes by the media”.
Many of the locals feel angry with what they
perceive is a misrepresentation to the outside
world. They feel they are being denied the oppor-
tunity to narrate their side of the story.
SSCS has been accused of deleting Faroese com-
ments on social media when trying to show a dif-
ferent perspective. Some of those who do comment
say there are myths surrounding the subject that
many people believe to be solid facts, but debat-
ing in a public forum has proven useless.
“People will rather believe an incredible lie
than a simple truth” Hermansen says. He believes
the deep emotions that people have for whales are
Nearly wiped out by the whaling industry in the
last few centuries, these creatures have gained
an almost sacred status in modern society. Yet
the Faroese aren’t just blindly killing every
Pilot whale that comes near the islands. They
carefully plan their hunts.
According to the North Atlantic Marine Mammal
Commission (NAMMCO) the Pilot whale population
around Iceland and the Faroe Islands is estimat-
ed to be around 128,000. Proving the Pilot whale
species is not close to extinction.
Based on documented catch figures from the is-
lands, the annual average number of whales killed
is around 800, though these widely range from
0 to 1,107 in the catch figures of 2000-2014,
representing less than one per cent of the total
estimated Pilot whale stock.
“It’s a question about [the] environment and how
to live where you are. We have adapted by tak-
ing what we need from the nature to live of; from
what grows and what lives here. On the islands,
our duty is to make sure that it’s not an endan-
gered population that is being hunted. The meth-
od of slaughter needs to be humane and taken for
food consumption – so that nothing dies unneces-
sarily,” says Hermansen.
But the presence and interference of the many
activists has taken a toll on the locals, who
otherwise are known for their tolerance and hos-
pitality. Hermansen believes this to be the most
damaging result of Operation Grindstop.
A Gallup poll from earlier this year showed that
77 per cent of the Faroese population, especially
young people, believe that the Grind should con-
tinue, while 12 per cent wants it to stop.
Hermansen believes the 77 per cent aren’t nec-
cessarily in favour of the practice but they’re
against the ignorant, aggressive campaigns. “Peo-
ple from London, Paris, New York etc. are decid-
ing how we are supposed to live here in the Faroe
“We are the only society in the world where
there’s a connection between modern society and
remains of the old. The new civilisation doesn’t
have that connection. There are slaughterhouses
where professional people slaughter and you don’t
see what’s going on and you accept that. But then
don’t accept other people living this way”.
Many in the Faroe Islands like to be part of the
food process. A Faroese fulmar hunter told Vice’s
Munchies that he liked the honesty behind get-
ting your own food, because he knew how it lived
and how it was killed: “There are slaughterhouses
where professional people slaughter and you don’t
see what’s going on and you accept that”.
However, there’s another reason why the Grind
tradition is at risk. Studies have shown that
Pilot whale meat and blubber contains high levels
of heavy metals and PCBs.
The Faroese Food and Veterinary Authority has
advised the islanders to stop eating Grind meat
or to limit their intake. Many believe that these
evidence-based reports are more likely to end the
tradition of Grind, as opposed to the pressure
that comes from foreign cultures. Some organisa-
tions, like Earthrace Conservation have started
an open dialogue about the risk of eating whale,
instead of using aggressive campaigning.
The hunting culture in the Faroe Islands isn’t
a “rite of passage” for the people, or to quench
their thirst for blood. In spite of being a high-
ly modern society, the Faroese rely on food to be
imported as vegetation on the island is sparse.
The liberty to provide their own fare from the
limited resources available (in a sustainable
way), is what’s important to the inhabitants.
They live close to nature because in a place like
the Faroe Islands you can’t escape it.
The Faroese have great respect for the animals
around them, but they also know that for one an-
imal to eat, another has to die. The Grind means
a lot to the Faorese. They sing ballads about the
Grind, wear jewellery symbolising it, and are
grateful for the food provided by the whales.
Grindamannafelagið recognises the Grind may stop
in the near future if young people lose inter-
est in the practice, but they say that could take
time: “The question remaining is if it should be
by evolution or revolution”.
Are white artists such as Macklemore and Iggy Azalea pushing
hip hop to the verge of cultural appropriation?
Leading white rapper Eminem has faced vast
amounts of criticism from the hip hop commu-
nity and even politicians, but the authen-
ticity of his artistry has seldom been ques-
The fear of hip hop becoming another white
musical genre, bares similarities to past
black ones such as rock ʻn’ roll and jazz,
which have both been impacted by cultural
appropriation. In the late 1800s, jazz be-
gan as a by-product of the mass migration of
African-Americans following the abolition of
Whilst black musicians lacked the econom-
ic resources to make and sell records, their
music grew in popularity and major labels saw
this as an opportunity to market their music
under the term ‘race records’.
But the first original jazz recordings in
1917 were by the ʻOriginal Dixieland Jass
Bandʼ, an all-white ensemble who claimed to
be “The Creators of Jazz”.
During the 1920s, more jazz musicians start-
ed to make a name for themselves, including
black artists such as Duke Ellington and Lou-
is Armstrong. But dubbed the ‘King of Jazz’,
white star Paul Whiteman was one of the most
financially successful. His music was de-
scribed as “jazz in name only” and lacking
the genreʼs improvisational and emotional
London College of Communication senior lec-
turer and author of the The Soul Book, Ian
Hoare explains that the creation of black
music during this period was “displaced Af-
ricans picking up on a lot of European and
African traditions and making a completely
“What you see then is that the music being
consumed on a mass scale was increasingly
based on the music made by black Americans”.
“So although there is a white commercial
mainstream based largely on European tradi-
tions, it's appropriating music that black
Americans have invented and manipulating, di-
luting or changing it to make it more acces-
sible to the white mainstream”.
When most people think of rock ‘n’ roll,
Elvis is the name that comes to mind. His
legacy as the genreʼs ʻKingʼ is undisputed
Words: James Childs
Image: Rune Hellestad/Corbis and MS_imageSPACE/Splash News/Corbis
because of his massive cultural impact among
both white and black audiences.
Dr Henry points out the influence black art-
ists had on Elvis such as “people like Otis
Blackwood, whoʼd write Elvisʼ songs and teach
him how to dance”.
In the 1950s, rock ‘n’ roll began to perme-
ate the cultural mainstream and became pop-
ular among young white Americans due to its
youth-oriented style and subject matter, its
energy, and its often defiant attitude to-
Rock ‘n’ roll was the term used to describe
music of white musicians who sang rhythm and
blues (RB), originally called “race music”.
“RB was created by Billboard magazine to
market black music to a white audience”, ex-
plains Dr. Henry.
Black records such as Jimmy Prestonʼs Rock
the Joint and Fats Dominoʼs The Fat Man are
cited as some of rock ‘n’ rollʼs earliest
hits, but record labels began to re-record
songs by black musicians, using white artists
to appeal to a white audience and sell more
Hip hop separates itself from its predeces-
sors because its performers and producers
have developed a degree of financial inde-
pendence and can exercise a level of influ-
ence on mass media.
Its roots are described by rapper Q-Tip as an
“artistic and socio-political movement/cul-
ture that sprang from the disparate ghettos
of NY in the early ʼ70s coming off the heels
of the Civil Rights Movement and approaching
the end of the Vietnam War”.
It has since developed into a billion-dol-
lar industry, and the line that separates its
culture from the industry itself has increas-
ingly become blurred.
Hip hop being appropriated by white peo-
ple comes from the idea that artists such
as Macklemore and Iggy Azalea will spark a
shift, where white rappers become the face of
But we also have to understand many white
rappers including Macklemore, Action Bronson,
Mac Miller and Eminem have been key figures
in cultural appreciation, promoting and up-
holding hip hop culture, constantly referring
to their African-American influences.
Hip hop culture is essentially about strug-
gle, and that idea is a universal one which
crosses racial boundaries. Hip hop has become
so big it can give artists from all walks of
life and cultural backgrounds a voice.
When Macklemore won three out of the four Rap
Grammys, it not only shocked hip hop but also
the music community as a whole.
Whether or not Iggy Azaleaʼs stance equates
to cultural appropriation, the success of a
few white artists cannot overshadow the vast
amount of rappers, of all races, who continue
to promote hip hop culture globally and rec-
ognise it as a powerful black art form.
Hip hop has always been considered a rep-
resentation of black culture, but an increas-
ing number of artists, DJs, fans and other
key players in the genre have voiced concerns
that it's on the verge of cultural appropri-
There's a growing debate about whether the
success of white rappers is having a detri-
mental impact on hip hopʼs core values.
With the power of globalisation, cultures can
be absorbed with the click of a button. In
recent years, signs of hip hopʼs cultural ap-
propriation have become increasingly apparent
within mainstream media across music, fash-
ion, art, TV and film.
Recently, US rapper Macklemore spoke to
hip hop radio station Hot 97 in New York
about hip hopʼs future. In the interview,
he touched on cultural appropriation, white
privilege and the heated feud between Iggy
Azalea and Azealia Banks.
In a previous interview with Hot 97, Azealia
Banks broke down in tears, explaining to lis-
teners: “Huge corporations are still caking
off slave money. So until they want to start
talking about what they owe us, at the very
least you owe me the right to my identity and
to not exploit that. Thatʼs all weʼre holding
on to in hip hop and rap”.
Macklemore gave his opinion on the interview
saying: “there is a lot of truth in [it]”
adding: “The privilege that exists in the mu-
sic industry is just a symptom of the [white]
privilege that exists in America; itʼs a
There are numerous examples of cultural
appropriation ranging from Rihanna wear-
ing a hijab in Abu Dhabi to the Miley Cyrus
twerking craze, a dance movement that can be
traced back to Josephine Bakerʼs Banana Dance
in the 1920s and beyond.
Dr William Lez Henry, a social anthropologist
and lecturer in Criminology at University of
West London, explains: “Africans have been
doing movements like that forever, and even
in certain parts of Asia, women have been
belly dancing but maybe not as elaborately as
“In a contemporary context that dance style
comes from Jamaican dancehall in the 1980s,
that was the first time I ever saw it”.
But can outsiders really participate and
engage in a culture without there being ap-
propriation and displacement of certain val-
Cultural appropriation and cultural inter-
action are two separate things. The former
implies exploitation, with there often being
little knowledge of the culture's history.
“Cultural participation is when people em-
brace, respect and promote the culture. For
instance a friend of mine, David Rodigan,
knows that because he is white he will get
more opportunities to play reggae music. But
he is also one of the biggest promoters of
reggae,” says Dr Henry.
The Little Fellow, Jonathan Barnbrook, 2004.
I arrived early at Jonathan Barn-
brook's studio, a large baby-blue
building sticking out of the bor-
ing brown-and-white street row,
reminiscent of old French archi-
“Come in,” he says after I press
the buzzer, ushering me past the
gate and into his pristine hard-
wood floored studio space, com-
plete with three design associ-
ates huddled over Mac computers.
I can’t keep my eyes from dart-
ing around the place, expecting
to find some intricate pictures,
type fonts or secret design pro-
jects I wasn’t supposed to see.
No luck. The Barnbrook studio
space reflects much of the man
himself: collected, calm and un-
Barnbrook is unlike your standard
graphic designer. With a career
expanding over a decade in the
industry, he seems to have main-
tained firm values, even with the
tempting lure of large corpo-
rate pay packets most of us would
probably sell our souls for.
Noted for selecting commissions
– and turning them down – on the
basis of these values, Barnbro-
ok has demonstrated that graphic
design and typography are a lot
more than pretty fonts and pic-
tures – they are vehicles for
Barnbrook graduated from Central
Saint Martins and the Royal Col-
lege of Art, and now heads one of
the most renowned graphic design
studios in London, Barnbrook De-
A part of his most noted work
includes designing the cover art
for David Bowie’s comeback album
The Next Day.
Barnbrook has also collaborated
with British artist Damien Hirst
on the typography, layout and
design of his monograph I Want To
Spend the Rest of My Life Every-
where, with Everyone, One to One,
Always, Forever, Now. He says
that Hirst was “not an arrogant
shit, but one of the easiest art-
ists to work with”.
Alongside graphic design, indus-
trial design and motion graph-
ics, Barnbrook is an established
typographist. He has his own font
company VirusFonts, which has re-
leased typefaces such as Tourette
He puts name choices down to lan-
guage and the ability to marry
abstract forms, saying language
is about extremes, and that words
Barnbrook has been using graphic
design for positive social impact
since signing the First Things
First design manifesto 15 years
ago. The document, backed by a
multitude of designers, vows to
use design as a cultural inter-
vention in pursuit of social,
cultural, environmental and po-
Graphic designers have a so-
cial accountability in what they
choose to work on, as they are
helping corporations ‘feed’ us -
the consumers. Because how free
are we in society, really, when
corporations and politicians are
subtly but surely tapping into
our stream of consciousness with
the help of graphic design?
As a widely recognised social ac-
tivist, you’ve stated that you’d
like to use design as a “weapon
Words: Katrina Schollenberger
Images: Jonathan Barnbrook
Artefact sits down with graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook to
discuss his values and the social and political themes in his work.
for social change”. What pro-
gress do you feel you’ve made?
My first reaction is none at all.
You can’t quantify that kind of
thing. You can’t quantify how
society changes. The way opinions
form and affect society is in-
credibly complex and it's not to
do with one or two people – it's
to do with the history, the cul-
ture, what people find out about
other peoples own prejudices and
who their parents are. You can't
put it down to one thing. All you
can do is hope to communicate the
truth and affect things in some
I’d never claim that anything I
did directly changed the world.
What I was saying is that graph-
ic design has a potential to do
something worthwhile. Often when
people look at design histo-
ry there has been a tendency to
separate political design from
commercial design – it is thought
that political design is some-
thing that happens 'over there'
in totalitarian regimes, a com-
mercial design is supposedly de-
void of politics.
Actually, commercial design is
full of politics. To be a com-
mercial designer is a political
decision. To ignore the issues
around sweatshops, to ignore the
fact that you're consenting to
relentlessly push a market econ-
omy is a political decision. So
I think [saying that] was more
to tell students that as graph-
ic designers we have a powerful
weapon. Let’s confine it to a
very narrow definition of what it
does, and let's actually use it.
You designed the Occupy London
logo for free. What role does
graphic design play in movements
like this? How is it beneficial
to the cause? I think one of the
most annoying criticisms about
that was that it was “turning it
into a brand”. What people are
doing there is confusing a brand
with a unifying identity. Brands
do have unifying identities, but
what for? It’s to sell you stuff.
Whereas a unifying identity for
a political movement, like Occupy
London, is something that people
can see as symbolic and repre-
senting of worthwhile political
values. So that’s not the case
at all. The point of doing Occupy
London was, firstly, that it was
something I believed in.
Second, they needed a focus so
people quickly understood what
they were about. That was the
energy, that was the reason for
it. You said it was done for
free- that’s not an issue at all,
you shouldn’t expect people who
have no funding to pay. Although
Barnbrook is a commercial com-
pany, we don’t necessarily turn
down non-commercial work if it's
something we believe in.
Is there a freedom of speech
concern in your work? How im-
portant is that in your social
consciousness? It’s important
to tell the truth. I think the
issue with freedom of speech is
that it’s much more difficult to
say what you want to say nowadays
than it was a few years ago. If
you're going to comment make it
an intelligent comment. It does
surprise me nowadays that you
can be prosecuted for downloading
terrorist material. What that as-
sumes is that you could be ready
to commit a crime, when in actual
fact you're just trying to figure
out just why people do what they
do. I find that kind of thing re-
So freedom of speech doesn't
necessarily show itself in your
Violence Is a Cycle. 2004.
Suis Charlie’ on your Facebook
page makes any difference.
Who influences you? It's not just
one thing. If you’re talking on
political terms, it doesn’t just
come directly from political
writing, it comes from walking
around the streets and seeing
something happen. Watching a TV
program or a piece of poet-
ry, which can stimulate you and
crystallise something. The first
thing I think about as a designer
isn’t actually about the polit-
ical message, it's about making
the world a nicer place with your
work, and politics falls in line
with that. Sometimes it's about
something that’s purely about
beauty. sometimes it's about do-
ing a good job. Sometimes it's
about telling the truth.
What do you say to those graphic
designers who reject values as
a priority in their profession?
They aren’t rejecting values,
they just don’t think political
values are a part of it. Whether
they like it or not, they are.
I find it quite disgusting that
some designers don’t acknowl-
edge the harm that the expanding
manufacturing does to the world,
work, would you agree? In my
work directly, what it does do,
in maybe a more abstract way, is
talk about the duality of lan-
guage. For instance Why are
these words like Peace, Free-
dom... was about how I’m inter-
ested in the way politicians say
the absolute opposite of what
they mean when they use certain
words. Peace is a completely
abused word, terrorist is a com-
pletely abused word. Right after
September 11 we thought we knew
who terrorists are but just weeks
afterwards the definition of the
word terrorist became relative to
which side you were on.
Will you be creating anything in
response to the Charlie Hebdo at-
tacks? It’s more complicated than
that. I didn’t find the satire
they did particularly funny, but
that’s in no way saying the ac-
tions against them were deserved.
I find politicians jumping on
this freedom of speech thing
cringeworthy. Suddenly they are
for freedom of speech when they
spend all their time trying to
limit it. And the public’s reac-
tion, I think the best way to re-
spond is to not not self-censor.
I don't think putting up a ‘Je
or the fact that the brands use
sweatshops. I mean, how can you
as a human not think about these
things? And if you don’t talk
about them, you’re a liar. Do we
really want a world which is dom-
inated by Western brands that are
exploiting the East through it?
The problem is the level of dis-
cussion. People can get away with
it too easy. I do find whenever
I'm in a lecture the questions
are generally quite, not nasty…
but I have to justify myself.
Whereas, you see a lot of top
designers, fashion designers,
graphic designers, industrial
designers…they are not questioned
in any way about their capitalist
motives for doing something which
should be addressed a little
I understand you’ve turned down
commissions on an ethical basis,
such as Absolut Vodka, and 15
years ago you signed the First
Things First design manifesto. In
doing this, have you damaged your
reputation among potential cli-
ents in the industry? To be hon-
est, I do it less now than when I
was younger. We’ve taken some
commercial jobs that if you
probably went through the spon-
sors, you wouldn’t necessarily
say they were good. I'm not going
to sit here and say everything we
do is spotless. I think, espe-
cially in graphic design, clients
don’t want designers with opin-
ions. They want designers who can
show them how, not question why.
It probably does deter a lot of
people from working with us, but
then they probably aren’t the
right people anyway.
As a graphic designer, and this
is specifically for students, you
find your own place. You don’t
have to worry that you're not
going to get the work because
stuff isn’t commercial enough or
because you're being a bit too
Have you also missed out on
decent pay by doing this? Yes
of course. It's about what you
represent to people as well.
For instance, turning down Coca
Cola, so much of what they rep-
resent is an icon of capitalism,
that to work with them would be
totally the opposite of what we
do. The worst argument is how
can I afford to turn down these
jobs when I'm starving? You have
to be realistic, obviously if
you're starving on the street you
do the work. Thankfully, I think
graphic designers aren’t in that
position, they can afford to turn
down work, they just won’t take
on the discussion.
What do you see yourself doing
in the future? We are working
on ArtBasel and a major person-
al project, a project on North-
ern Ireland. It partly involves
education, but also photographing
the [Northern Irish] murals. They
were a primary form of communica-
tion there – redrawing the let-
ters, releasing them and seeing
how people react. Now it's still
an ongoing situation, so we don’t
know if people will do something
horrible or insulting with them,
we want them to be valued as wor-
thy cultural British things. It’s
a project we’ve been working on
for three or four years that will
go live in four weeks.
What advice would you give to
other aspiring graphic designers?
Don’t separate yourself and your
beliefs from what you do in your
work. You’ll make yourself ill.
Why Are Words like Peace, Freedom, Truth, Democracy Always Used by Warmongers, Oppressors, Liars, Bullies. 2003
We talk personal expression with a celebrated
Central Saint Martins MA Fashion knitwear student
Words: Diana Tleuliyeva
Images: Gabriela Antunes
At 24, heʼs already had placements with Diane
von Fürstenberg, John Galliano and Louise
Gray. Heʼs also worked with sportswear brand
Gola and customised trainers for auction, Art
This talented MA Fashion Knitwear student is
one of the select students from Central Saint
Martins to show his graduate collection at
London Fashion Week, the end-of-year goal for
Growing up in York, Matthew Bovan knew he
wanted to become a fashion designer. From
quite a young age – inspired by his mumʼs
creativity – he began making his own clothes.
“Iʼm still surprised I was focused that
young,” he recalls.
After Leeds College of Art Design, he ap-
plied to Central Saint Martins in 2009 to
study Knitwear. “Being able to create your
own fabrics gives you more scope. [Knitwear]
is the foundation of a lot of textiles. [It]
also gives more creative room to the design
process,” says Matthew on why he chose this
For Matthew, fashion is about personal ex-
pression, creativity and energy, which he
finds liberating. Having a personal viewpoint
is very important. “Sometimes it takes months
for something to fully form itself and some-
times it can happen in 10 minutes – it canʼt
be theorised or explained. Itʼs like a per-
sonal barometer – only I can see when some-
thing is finished”.
Matthew explains how his time spent in the
big fashion houses helped him realise his own
unique style. “You quickly find out whatʼs
good for you, and whatʼs bad for you”.
Working for Galliano is a big deal to most
aspiring designers, yet Matthew has a differ-
ent perspective on this. “It was a hard time
to be at the house [due to the designerʼs
well-chronicled personal problems] and it
made me appreciate being able to work on my
Matthew describes his own style as “clashes
of texture”. Indeed, mixed materials form a
core component of his collections. Tradition-
al wools, plastics, rubber, resin, clay and
even plastic sheets are all incorpoated in
The starting point for all of them is an “in-
itial feeling” followed by inspiration from
books, films and simple things around him:
“My research is very personal and it reflects
me and my taste”.
Matthewʼs BA graduate collection - featured -
was inspired by gore movies. Jelly-like yarns
and plastics were colourfully interwoven.
“Everything was hand-drawn with hidden sym-
bols and meanings, very personal to myself,
then translated into hand-sewn pony beads or
computerised knitwear,” he explains.
His boundary-pushing vision is central to his
current collection. Matthew is going to use a
lot of colours and textures in his final-year
collection for London Fashion Week: “Thereʼs
a huge mix [of materials]: lurex, cashmere,
plastic and foam”.
This time heʼll also be experimenting with
shapes and incorporating jewellery into the
garments. “I feel itʼs really sincere to my
style and feels evenmore personal this time.’
Words: Fraser Thorne
Images: Ben Palmer Fraser Thorne
We are in the midst of volatile times. We persistently contest whether
our democracy pertains to a true freedom of speech, there is global
unrest and a recurrent battle of ideologies.
While postured politicians fill our newspapers and
T.V stations, there are those who express their con-
victions on ground level.
From the streets of Paris and London, to coverage of
the clashes between opposing political groups, the
following photographs are from the forefront of our
struggle for liberty...
11.01.15 - Millions of people congregated in Paris to show solidarity with those killed in the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Across the
world similar rallies were held in shows of unity with the Parisian people.
05.11.14 - Thousands of protesters descend on Parliament as part of the Million Mask March, protesting against Government corruption, mass surveillance, austerity. The march was
attended by revolutionary comic Russell Brand and Dame Vivienne Westwood.
29.10.14 - Protesters outside the Thai Embassy in Kensington, pushing for the release of investigative Human Rights campaigner Andy Hall. He was imprisoned by the Thai Government
for exposing the working conditions of Thai labourers under Natural Food Ltd. He faces ten years in jail, coupled with eight million in fines.
25.01.15 - Far Right Nationalists clashed with Anti-Fascists in Dover, during a march in which the Nationalists called for tougher immi-
gration security. Three arrests were made during the protests.
11.01.15 - Je Suis Charlie was written over the paving slabs of Paris
Increasing dissatisfaction with politicians and politics make it
harder for pundits to predict the outcome of voting in May.
In May this year, voters in the UK will go to
the polls to decide the outcome of possibly
the most unpredictable general election in
years – and one that could decide the course
of this country for the foreseeable future.
Support for both Labour and the Conserva-
tive parties is dwindling amid perceptions of
elitism, arrogance and perhaps most impor-
tantly, a lack in ideological fortitude.
The vast majority agree that Britain’s poli-
tics has changed to the point where it can no
longer be described as a two party system.
The number by which we now list the parties
in Britain’s political system is also conten-
tious – the increase in popularity of small-
er parties have made commentating on how the
country ought to be governed markedly more
complicated and interesting than it once was.
The two biggest parties have to contemplate
how far they are willing to appease those who
claim to hold the traditional Conservative
and Labour values, and at the same time hold
onto the decisive vote of middle England – a
spectrum of the population both parties will
claim ownership of.
The factors influencing Britain’s election
are numerous – a fragile, if growing, econ-
omy, a potential referendum on the Europe-
an Union and a failed recent attempt by the
Scottish National Party (SNP) to break the
country up are just three of them. The sheer
number of parties vying for our votes, as
well as the fact that Parliament is coming to
the end of a fixed term, means this will be
an election without precedent.
2015 will be Joe Twyman’s fourth gener-
al election as head of political and social
research at YouGov. The previous three, he
says, were relatively simple.
The last election in 2010 was, as Twyman
says, an easy one to comment on – the only
question being whether or not David Cameron
had reformed the Conservatives enough to win
a majority, but considering how far behind
they were in the Commons, a coalition with
the Liberal Democrats was, in hindsight,
Whereas in 2010 the Conservatives easily won
the most votes, and subsequently almost 50
more seats than Labour, this year the polls
are considerably closer, and the result will
probably be another hung parliament. The past
18 months have seen Conservatives fluctuate
between 30 and 32 per cent, Labour between
32 and 34 per cent and UKIP is currently in
third place with 15 per cent.
“There are a lot of great uncertainties sur-
rounding this election,” Twyman continues,
but says he is fairly certain there will be
another hung parliament. Beyond that, the
result gets a lot more complicated to antic-
ipate. “Any pollster or political scientist
will tell you it is not a good idea to look
at the gap between the Conservatives and La-