Winter Hack: How the Chronically Cold can win at winter

By Aditi Arora

Hey guys,

So let me introduce myself:

1) My name is Aditi
2) I study an MPhil (Masters in Philosophy) in Education, Globalisation and International Development
3) I am often the coldest person in the room

As the Michaelmas term progresses, I’m finding the days get shorter, darker and significantly, colder. It definitely feels like survival of the fittest – dodging sneezing classmates in hope to avoid getting ill, popping (always legal) pills when I am inevitably ill etc.

So in this article I thought I would share my wise wisdom, accumulated from years of trial and error on a chronic quest to unravel the secret ingredients of ‘what keeps one warm?’ during sub 20 degrees temperature?

Here are five of my top tips ‘n’ tricks:

1) LAYERING –
Although this may be the most logical piece of advice it is one that I often overlook. Sometimes I find that I’m so keen to be warm as soon as possible that I end up throwing on the thickest and/or fluffiest jumper I can find. However I soon discovered that this is ineffective, given that I’d heat up walking to lectures, or be sitting in a hot sweaty lecture hall and find myself unable to take my jumper off because I’m not wearing anything underneath #freethenipple. So I’d recommend starting with a vest and/or t-shirt as a base layer before progressing onto a long-sleeved t-shirt before a thin jumper (turtlenecks are the best I find) and potentially then the super fluffy jumper!

N.B. This is the most basic layering model – any stages can be multiplied for additional warmth. Continue reading Winter Hack: How the Chronically Cold can win at winter

#summerstories: On Taking a Hiatus from Purpose

By Mishal Bandukda

This is my summer truth: I’ve been bored, broke and alone for two months. The summer vacation crept up on me and before I knew it, I was about to spend ten weeks at my parent’s new home, in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, with practically no money to speak of. Now, as September approaches and I prepare to move into an attic room in Cambridge and softly weep into a copy of The Canterbury Tales, I feel happier and more like myself than I can ever remember being.

The anticipation of seeing my home friends morphed into disappointment when one by one they told me they had fully-booked summers. There was nothing to distract me from the inevitable spam of people pretending not to hate their lives which Instagram relentlessly seems to regurgitate at this time of year. The initial weeks of my boredom were not only frustrating, but painful, as I was suddenly confronted with the strained family dynamic I had been avoiding all year. Living at home for three months with your parents when your views on every topic known to man are at odds with each other means that the safest mode of conversation is small talk. It killed me to sit through dinner-table discussions about groceries, the weather and the never-ending saga of my extended family. I became so under stimulated that I started reading for my dissertation as a means of diversion – and that is perhaps the most worrying indication of my mental state.

Continue reading #summerstories: On Taking a Hiatus from Purpose

Stage Talk: Cassia Price on being a woman at the Fringe

Cambridge theatrical communities are well-represented at the Edinburgh Fringe every year. This year there are about 25 shows from current or recently graduated Cambridge students at the Fringe, and countless others from alumni. And they are in good company. Alongside those performers sent from Fen to Firth each year we are joined by Oxford, Bristol, Durham, London, Exeter, Leeds and many other high-achieving universities. Despite any diversity within university communities, a large portion of shows at the Fringe are either all-male or male-dominated.

Walking down The Royal Mile a flyer was thrust toward me saying “All-male acapella group – you look like you’d love it, ladies!”

As we walked away, I thought “why all-male?” Male performance is hardly a unique selling point here at the Fringe. A performer in this year’s Footlights Tour Show, Ania Magliano-Wright pointed out to me that the finalists of the Chortle Student Comedy Award were exclusively male, accompanied by a male compère. The final took place here at the Fringe, and in the website review of the event, there was no mention of the lack of female and non-binary representation. It’s as if it is taken for granted that comedy is a male space. As the make-or-break platform for comedy in the UK and arguably worldwide, it suffers a remarkable lack of diversity.

Continue reading Stage Talk: Cassia Price on being a woman at the Fringe

Contribute to Cambridge Girl Talk this summer!

Whether you’ve been exploring far flung places, lounging on the beach, cutting your teeth at an internship or just soaking up some post-term calm and recalibrating, we want to hear your summer stories.

Now accepting articles, fiction, art and photography, please email cambridgegirltalk@gmail.com with a brief introduction to your ideas – we can’t wait to hear from you!

Join us!

Cambridge Girl Talk are looking for a group of enthusiastic self-identifying women to form our 2017-18 committee. Positions include Events Director (x2) Sponsorship Organiser, Social Media Co-ordinator, Blog Editor and Head of Visual. Please send a brief email to cambridgegirltalk@gmail.com introducing yourself, stating which role you are interested in and why before 25th June.

Image: Rose Finn Kelcey, The Restless Image, 1975

Diss Talk: Amelia Stevens on the Architecture of Prada

[Although Architecture] may be seen to be rooted in pragmatism, it is a powerful and extraordinarily revealing expression of human psychology [reflecting the] ambitions, insecurities and motivations of those who build.

– An extract from The Edifice Complex: An Architecture of Power

To me, The Edifice Complex by architectural critic Deyan Sudjic, beautifully explains the ways in which buildings throughout history – usually of a patriarchal, political or religious nature – have been carefully and often ruthlessly orchestrated to intimidate their guests. Rather than elaborate external symbols of power, subtle manipulations of architecture have been used to leave guests feeling ‘suitably intimidated.’ Although not reflecting the same ambitions, insecurities and motivations; I was interested in the themes explored in Sudjic’s writings and how they might be applicable to the analysis of many other building types and programmes. Characteristically, I chose to write my dissertation on Prada: an Architecture of Manipulation, and the ways in which luxury brands use architecture to manipulate consumers.

prada 5
Prada: An Architecture of Manipulation, Dissertation Title Page

Continue reading Diss Talk: Amelia Stevens on the Architecture of Prada

Diss Talk: Imogen Flower on Iranian women singers and their quest to make the world listen

My dissertation examined the interweaving of politics, religion, gender and music in relation to Iranian women singers. My focus was on the changes incurred by the revolution in 1979, which saw a dramatic shift from the modernising, Westernising stance held during the Pahlavi era (1925-1979) to the Islamic theocratic rule secured by Supreme Leader Khomeini.

As dominant attitudes towards religion and gender changed, legislation surrounding music, which Khomeini believed was ‘like a drug’, also transformed to correspond with Shari’a law. Under immense religio-political pressure, music largely retreated into the private sphere, with the notable exceptions of the revolutionary hymns and anthems played by the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, and the establishment of the annual Hymns and Revolutionary Music Festival in 1986. More specifically, the solo voice was thought to symbolise Western individualism and consumerism, antithetical to the revolutionary vision; and, furthermore, women’s voices were considered to make men think of things other than God. As a result, Iranian women singers were hit hard by the revolution, which appeared to present them with an ultimatum: either stop singing or leave their country.

Parisa
Parissa performing at the Shiraz Arts Festival, 1967.

Continue reading Diss Talk: Imogen Flower on Iranian women singers and their quest to make the world listen