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SPARK’s Best of 2017: Film and Television

By Sophia Simon-Bashall FILM Hidden Figures Hidden Figures came out in 2016 in the US, but only landed in UK cinemas in February this year. It’s a true story untold until now, one of three African-American women whose contributions to NASA in the 1960s were integral to the process of sending the first astronaut into…

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SPARK’s Best of 2017: Music

By Sophia Simon-Bashall EVERYONE’S ‘best of 2017’ list features Lorde’s stunning sophomore album ‘Melodrama’. As wonderful as that album is, it’s not the only one to be released this year. It’s been a painful year to be a music lover, particularly for rock and alternative fans. Equally, our ears have been blessed with some amazing new sounds…

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Why Snape’s character makes me unsurprised about JK Rowling’s defence of Johnny Depp

By Pip Williams Content note: Reference to domestic and sexual violence Like much of my generation, the Harry Potter books were an intrinsic part of my childhood. The later films mapped alongside my own teenage years, with the final installment coming out the summer I began sixth form. I watched it in the cinema in…

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If Emma Lazarus could have words with Donald Trump

By Sofia Heller Emma Lazarus was a 19th century Jewish American writer whose poem “The New Colossus,” engraved on Lady Liberty’s platform, embraces immigrants as they enter the United States. Though she was from an upper class family, Lazarus defied societal restrictions and norms and dared others to do the same. She confronted sexism, anti-Semitism, and class struggles…

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There’s a reason I don’t have 100k for a housing deposit, and it’s not an £832 lottery ticket habit

By Pip Williams I’m a Millennial, and your out of touch saving plans don’t reflect my lifestyle Millennials – defined as the generation born between about 1980 and 2000 – are pretty much all adults now. When this September rolls around, the cohort of students hitting British universities will include students born in this millennium.…

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We must never look the other way

By Kaylen Forsyth Content note: Sexual assault, violence against women and girls People often look out of the window to avoid the problems sat right in front of them. When there is something in need of addressing, we tend to plunge into an irrelevant stream of thought in order to dismiss the matters at hand.…

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Sexism: Adaptable to the 21st Century

By Shira Small My sophomore year of high school, a dozen freshman boys created a March Madness style bracket evaluating each girl in the school to determine who was the prettiest. The domain they used required individual input, meaning they couldn’t just copy and paste names from the directory—they had to type in all 140 girls’ names…

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4 Body positive books to read right now

By Sophia Simon-Bashall Body positivity – or ‘bo-po’ – has been gaining mainstream momentum in this past year. In some moments, this has seemed wonderful. It is heart-warming and inspiring to be able to scroll through Instagram and see people showing their bodies some appreciation. Conversations have been started in publications and between people that…

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