As powerful as the media is nowadays, our favourite 2000s girl that we have very greatly been fond of, our beloved Britney, artist and singer of hyper famous hits such as “Oops!… I Did It Again”, “Womanizer” and “Baby, One More Time”, is finally, apparently, facing justice regarding the unfair conservatorship case in which his father has total control over her doings, making her not able to see her own kids, manage her money and many other things. But, how after so many years has this case come back to the court? Believe it or not, it took a documentary to make that happen and the discussion that came afterwards.
The documentary “Framing Britney Spears” gets us through how the media has failed the pop star in keeping her well-being and keeping her sane overall, failing to give her privacy and keeping her in the public eye at such a young age, also showing the building pieces of the case that Britney is fighting today to gain her liberty and free herself from her father.
The #FreeBritney Movement was born in social media in the last year and has seen a rebound once the docu came out with celebrities joining the call for justice in support of Britney. Writing this article I’m having a throwback just by listening to her hits and I really think that she doesn’t deserve what she’s going through. The media has failed her but now we are seeing how they are willing to amend that and give back the good times she gave us with her music by trying to save her from a battle that, unfortunately, it has been shown she can't get out of by herself. Let’s hope the media can now do the greatest thing for her: finding her freedom.
How the Media is trying to reconcile with Britney - Pierina Fiestas
Spring is finally coming and with it, warmness and hopes are filling our hearts! Everything seems to be getting better in all aspects, including rona (I've been waiting to say this for so long y'all!!!!!) so to fully enjoy this flourishing vibe and to celebrate the liberty which is on our doorstep, why not start planning a trip? I know it might seem a little too early, but nothing stops us to dream and at least get a feel of different countries through our favourite media!
The first stop of our journey, we are going big or going home! Brazil! The biggest country in South America, home to more than 210 million people! Although Western media construct the country as this super dangerous place, the vibe is actually way chiller (you gotta stay woke tho), there, you're able to enjoy beautiful beaches, welcoming people, and excellent culinary dishes (seriously underrated in my opinion) for a cheap price! Plus, because the country is so big, you can go to different regions and experience completely different cultures within the country, as the bohemian Rio, the cosmopolitan São Paulo or travel back in time in Brasília, which was entirely constructed in the ‘60s. To give you a feel of the country, here are some media which reflect its vibe: the movie Rio (2011), which shows its tropicality and nature, Brazilian Western (2013), a national production, which was based on the song 'Faroeste Caboclo' by Legião Urbana, another song would be 'Rave Balança e Bafora' by Ventura, which is a Brazilian funk song, the genre most played at parties there. Party is the Brazilian vibe!
Our next stop is Spain! A country that's home to more than 45 million people! Although the country is not as big as the last, because of its rich history and position, it has a dense cultural diversity, there, 10 different dialects are spoken! So you can only imagine how much each region diverges from another! The country offers beautiful beaches, amazing culinary dishes (don't even get me started on the tapas gggggg), and a rich cultural background… artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Miguel de Cervantes, Juan Miro, and Gaudí are all from there and really mirror the Spanish vision of the world. To give you a feel of the country, here are some media which reflect its vibe: the series La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) (2017), which became really famous in the country and around the globe, The Invisible Guest (2016), which is literally described as a cardio exercise (¡Olé!), and some of the songs are La Camisa Negra by Juanes, which everyone in Spain knows and Jilgueros by La Raíz, which talks about social circumstances in the country.
Next up is Thailand! Which is a country I haven't been but I reallyyyyy want to visit, so let's plan the trip together, shall we? :D Home to more than 69 million people (haha), Thailand is known for its paradisic beaches, amazing food, weird laws (like you're prohibited to go out without underwear ?????) and beautifulllllllll temples, like Wat Rong Khun, Wat Phra Kaew and manyyyy others (seriously, look them up, 35,000 temples, I am in love). It also has some extravaganzas as the Ping Pong Show (if you know, you know hahahh) and fish that can walk ???? (idk man, I just looked it up, it's the Cryptotora Thamicola fish). To further enrich our feel of the country, the movies The Beach (2000) and The Hangover Part II (2011) take place there, so check it out! And idk about you, but while planning my trip I will be listening to ธารารัตน์ and มาเฟียสเปน by Youngohm, some good songs from there.
Well guys, I love planning trips very very much but that's all I have for today… but you are totally free to plan your own trips to different countries and share with us your favourite media from them as well!!!! Nothing better than absorbing some new ass cultures and experiences!! xoxox
Getting a Feel of Hope - Leticia Zanini
Do All Off-Screeners Think The Same? Part 2
- Merel Clerckx and Shina Pieber
In part 2 of this discussion Off-Screeners reminiscence Borrels, parties and Off-Screen trips, while they also discuss how they feel about studying Media. If you haven't watched part 1 yet, you can check that out here!
What I Eat In A Day sponsored by Johnsons Super Suntanning©
- Aaron Eller
Two weeks ago, I got a sponsoring deal with Johnsons Super Suntanning© that stipulated that I had to go into the wilderness to test the durability and flexibility of their product. It was also stipulated that I describe my healthy and natural eating habits to show how Johnsons Super Suntanning© is as much part of a healthy lifestyle as a balanced breakfast! Of course, I was going to document the entire ordeal on my Instagram stories for all my thirty thousand followers that adulate me. I built my following on three principles that I hold dear to my heart: authenticity, hard work, and inexpensive Ukrainian bot accounts that gave me an initial yet fully deserved boost to set off my career. After talking to my Instagram gurus, I found the perfect way of combining my brand of natural healing content and Johnsons Super Suntanning©: PERINEUM SUNNING. I took the first plane to Denver to start my expedition into my inner light with Johnsons Super Suntanning©.
I woke up at 5 in the morning and after consuming a porridge consisting of different berries and some smoked salmon on rye bread, I went right to work, smeared all the important parts of myself with Johnsons Super Suntanning© and presented my posterior to mother sun until I acquired the desired effect (two hours). I then went back to my tent and started working on my new influencer workout program before starting to make lunch. I marinated two chicken breasts in a garlic and soy sauce mixture to then roast them on an open fire and paired them with steamed vegetables. The steamer basket I used to do this doubles as a kegel egg which you can buy on my website :). I then decided to go on my afternoon run but after an hour or so realised I was lost and was only carrying my Johnsons Super Suntanning© and a Swiss Army knife. I tried to find my way back to my tent but alas could not find it. After searching for a long time, I found a cave that gave me shelter. But I was hungry and thirsty. I fell asleep full of hope, but my active sportswear did not make for a good blanket.
I woke up at 4 am to the bizarre and distorted scream of some animal and decided to make a run for it. Luckily after running for what seemed like an eternity, I saw that the sun started rising again and indulged in some good old fashioned anus tanning. I slathered on my Johnsons Super Suntanning© and tried to find some peace and quiet. My hunger was starting to grow soon though, so I found some purple looking berries that I served with a side of grass and gnawed on some twigs for fibre. Considering the caloric intake that I was working with I started to meditate about successful future online marketing campaigns to get my mind off my inevitable demise. I passed out from exhaustion at around 8 pm.
With a heavy heart I must confide to you that I have run out of Johnsons Super Suntanning© I sadly wasn’t able to find water yesterday and had to drink what was left of my bottle of Johnsons Super Suntanning©. Luckily, the ethanol in the tanning lotion got me drunk enough to make me forget about the horrors I had to endure during the past days. Thank you Johnsons Super Suntanning© :). In the absence of any source of protein, since all my traps have done little to catch any wild game, I had to resort to eating my left arm which I prepared with a mix of dirt and Johnsons Super Suntanning©. It was not as nice as my last trip to “In-N-Out Burger” but I can say that as always homemade food tastes the best. Of course, I seasoned it with my own blood, sweat and tears.
After having been found completely dehydrated and on the brink of death Mary Kulinsky (known to her fans as @Healthinista) was brought to a nearby hospital and was able to make a full recovery. After hearing about the lengths to which she went in order to survive in the wilderness Johnsons Super Suntanning© quickly cancelled their sponsorship.
One movie set, 2 actors but lots of different opinions.
The new Netflix movie Malcolm & Marie, directed by Sam Levinson, came out on February 5th and has already sparked lots of different opinions. The theme of film making and critique towards the film industry makes it particularly interesting for those studying in this field.
“Try hard poetic” All over the internet you can find people critiquing the way this movie tries to be poetic, Tumblr and aesthetically pleasing to a broad audience. The fact that it was filmed in black and white often adds to the argument. But when taking a deeper look into the movie and the way it was made, you will find out that it was actually filmed on Kodak film and according to an interview with Zendaya, who is the leading actress and co-producer of the movie, this decision was made to add timelessness. It pays tribute to the black and white era in Hollywood where black actors where under-represented and gives these two black actors “their” moment. I’m questioning if this attempt of making something appealing to a broad audience is actually something you can critique, because I think that is what most directors try to do. The real question is if you can make it appealing in an authentic way.
“The black experience portrayed by a white man” Another hot topic is the assumption that Sam Levinson, a Caucasian man, is portraying his own frustration with Hollywood and film criticism in form of the character of Malcolm, a black film maker. In the movie we can see his frustration with the racially influenced and predominantly white film industry and critics that connect most of his actions to his race and matters of politics. So why is a white director trying to depict the black experience in the film industry and setting a focus on this for the first 20 minutes of the film? Good question, but maybe it would also be good to not forget about the collaborative process of the making of this film. Concluding from another interview with Zendaya the making of this film was a collaborative process where everybody, including John David Washington, who plays Malcolm and also co-produced the movie, contributed their experiences in the industry. Considering that, I would say it is very vague to assume that the character of Malcolm is a depiction of only the frustrations of the director, but might rather be a portrayal of a mixture of experiences from many of the people who worked on the movie together.
Despite all this critique I think the movie is worth watching, simply for the aesthetically pleasing ;) images and the interesting approach to producing a film in the midst of a pandemic.
Malcolm & Marie: Critiquing Critique - Shina Pieber
I Use TikTok, My Friends Use Reels - Merel Clerckx
TikTok, a social media app originating from China, has blown up in recent years with short-format vertical video content. Their success lies largely with young teens/young adults, who scroll through their personalised “For You page”. I think the reason we all love it (and why it’s so addictive) is the algorithm they use on the app, which (after some use) knows exactly what you want to see and feeds users videos that match their interests. For me, I love that the content I get shown is so niche, with other users sharing weirdly personal anecdotes which I can relate to. On other social media sites, those weirdly personal niche things just don’t get shared.
I’m personally always kind of embarrassed to admit to a new friend that I do in fact use TikTok on a daily basis, and try to hide the screen time statistics stating I spend 3 hours a day on the app. I do know a couple of my friends are just as hooked, and they send me content every couple of hours just to share the smiles, but even they won’t readily admit that they use it. I feel like there is what I can only describe as a “stigma” around TikTok - it’s a little “cringey” to indulge in it, probably because people our age assume it’s an app for 13 year old kids making typical little dance videos or lip syncing. Whilst this is a part of the app for sure, most people don’t realise the variety of content that there is, or how hooked you can get when they give you exactly what you want.
In response to TikTok’s popularity, Instagram launched a very similar feature on their main app on the 5th of August 2020, named “Reels”. Just like when they stole Stories from Snapchat, Reels didn’t take off immediately. Content creators have tried to create content that fits the 15 to 60-second format, but what I’ve noticed thrives on the Reels recommended pages of my friends is purely TikToks, downloaded from the platform and reuploaded to Instagram. Still, my friends who are “anti-TikTok” watch Reels on Instagram!
I’ve tried - maybe it would be useful to keep all my consumption of other people’s media content on Instagram…? But alas, I hated it. Useless content, often content that would just appeal to a mass audience, 5-minute crafts (don’t ever actually work out), weird surfing videos or dogs and cats. It was just not my thing, no niche content feeding my addiction. I think this is probably because: A) the algorithm just isn’t as precise or intense, or that B) the atmosphere on Instagram is much more prim and proper, showing only the social-media ready parts of life. This would mean that all the weirdly personal relatable stories from people like me are missing.
Why do my friends watch Reels then? Personally, I think they just genuinely are too embarrassed to join TikTok, or they “don’t want their data in China’s hands” (not that it isn’t already……).
Digitalisation, Surveillance & Societies
Focus on current social and political issues concerning digitisation in the Master Digitalisation, Surveillance & Societies at Erasmus University Rotterdam
Across cultures, professionals are facing questions about surveillance, privacy, and digital security. These are also related to more daunting inquiries about ethics and norms through digital media. That’s way Erasmus University Rotterdam offers a new Master programme named Digitalisation, Surveillance & Societies starting in the academic year 2021 – 2022.
Are you interested in the social, cultural and ethical consequences of new and established technologies? Do you want to learn more about the way that our use of terms like ‘privacy’ and ‘security’ actually shape people’s lives? And are you interested in the interplay between technology shaping our lives, and social actors shaping technology? Then Digitalisation, Surveillance & Societies at Erasmus University Rotterdam might be the Master programme for you!
01 Harry Potter Borrel: D&D
08 General Member Assembly #3
10 Online Pub Lecture #2
19 The Haarlem Brewer's Pilgrimage
20 Meditation Session
26-28 Open MEAC event
06 Book Club Meeting
07 Charity Event
07-14 Study Trip - tbd
20 Movie Night #4
22 Study Career Event
26 Kingsnight Cruise
29 Feels Like Family Borrel
If you are struggling with studying online the UvA has in-house psychologists that can offer you various types of support. From the 12th until the 16th of April the UvA organises a mental health week with (online) health- and wellbeing activities. More information about this will be released soon.
An initiative set up by a student to fight loneliness is UvA Walks. If you want to get to know new people and have a chat on the phone or go for a walk in Amsterdam, you can sign up here.
Drunken Pirates Treasure Hunt
On the 10th of February, Off-Screen pirates marched the snowy streets, together with their co-captains, looking for their delicious treasures to make them feel warm inside and to get them drunk.
Check out the pictures here!
Newsletter design by Shina Pieber and Nadia Heemskerk