HIStory?

Eddie Cleaver | June 24, 2016

The Oxford English Dictionary defines history as “the branch of knowledge that deals with past events; the formal record or study of past events, especially human affairs”. It is the definitive record of human exploits throughout time.  We study history at school, we refer to it throughout life, we watch it in the making, we use it to learn lessons from the past, to use as a basis for progression and to record achievements, or failures. History gives us an opportunity to leave our mark on the world, to extend our story beyond our short lives. Being annulled into the realms of history allows us to live forever.

But isn’t history just a version of events? Recordings of those holding influence and power, those cultures who developed the written word, one of many versions of the reality of our past. There has been very little input into recorded history by 49.6% of the population for starters. To put so much reliance on historical record or to chase inclusion within it overlooks its most basic flaws. History is littered with inaccuracies, conflicting accounts, misinterpretation, personal influence, perjury, political and religious propaganda, guesswork even. To place so much emphasis on history seems absurd in today’s world of reliance on scientific study. Should it be put in the same category as story, fairytale, legend or religion? It would seem we should take history with a herculean pinch of salt.

Some influential humans live on, immortalised in history while others, many equally as influential, are forgotten. Why do we know of Darwin yet not Wallace, Tutankhamun yet not Hatshepsut, who was Cecilia Payne (the discovery of the elements which make up stars could seem to be of reasonable importance)?

Every scientific theory built upon the unrecognised steps of so many. Every war fought by the unquestioning loyalty of the humble infantryman or the advice of those less celebrated. What of the assistants and collaborators, mentors and supporters, those who often did the hard yards and dedicated their lives with little or no reward. They are lost in time, unable to be heard like ghosts searching for the afterlife.

There are many heroes, less so heroines, and always the obligatory villains. Often two sides of the same coin, just a change in lead characters. Who is the terrorist and who is the freedom fighter?

Do the realities of history even stand the test of time? We laud famous battles and leaders while forgetting the atrocities of war and colonisation. Are the achievements of a football team more important than those of Marie Curie? IMO they could be if that team is Liverpool FC. Is proving a somewhat tenuous genealogical link to Genghis Khan (a genetic test that is widely available) a badge of honour or a symbol of shame? Maybe it is an insight into the male psyche.

What if history tells us more than at first appears, what if history is more than a record of events over time. What if history is a record of what we want it to reflect, a reflection of our hopes and fears, our dreams and nightmares and most likely our egos and desires. It’s almost as if it was HIStory……….  

Dark Wonderland – Toni Maticevski

Juliet Sulejmani | May 6, 2016

If you thought the exhibitions at Bendigo Art Gallery couldn’t get any better, well, here’s news for you.

Bendigo Art Gallery has just announced Dark Wonderland, which will be Toni Maticevski‘s first ever exhibition. With work spanning over Toni Maticevski’s 20 year career, including objects from his early practice to his most recent work, the Monaco Gown worn by Princess Mary to the King’s 80th birthday, and the commissioned gold lame gown worn by Jessica Mauboy for Eurovision 2014.

Maticevski is one of Australia’s most talented fashion designers, who is also recognised internationally for his designs, and has created a body of work that is diverse and focused on ideas and creative challenges.

Karen Quinlan (Director of the Bendigo Art Gallery), commenting on the exhibition, said: “Toni Maticevski has managed to morph, adapt and defy the boundaries of fashion, crossing the line that divides fashion design with fine art. For anyone who has ever dreamed of wearing a masterpiece, this is a must-see exhibition,”

The exhibition opens 13 August  – 20 November 2016. Bendigo Art Gallery

 

Watch. Read. Eat. Vegan

Emma Noack | April, 18 2016

Watch. Read. Eat. Vegan

Veganism is more that just what you eat. It becomes a way of life. To me it is about making conscious choices and knowing what I am spending those dollars on and what the ethical, environmental and health impacts those choices are having. Over the next few months I will write some posts about things that interest me as a vegan. These posts don’t have an agenda to convert everyone into vegans, but rather I’m just interested in putting some ideas out there about the choices we all make and creating a discussion about what impact they have and why we make the choices we do. I guess I just want to give you, quite literally, some food for thought.

Watch: Step one: watch Bag It! This documentary explains not only the environmental effect plastic has on the planet, but also the health risks (both mental and physical) that plastic has on us as individuals.

Read: After watching Bag It! you may need to visit Trash Is For Tossers to put into practice everything you have just learned. I recommend taking small steps so you don’t feel overwhelmed. By making small changes in your life to create less waste and use less plastic you can minimise the waste you contribute to our oceans and minimise your own exposure to plastic. My top three tips to creating less waste are:

  1. Carry a spare tote bag with you everywhere. It comes in handy so often and prevents you needing to get yet another plastic bag.
  2. Carrying your own plastic free water bottle, like this Klean Kanteen one around with you to stay hydrated. This choice means less plastic bottle waste, and it also may encourage you to drink more water, and possibly chose water over other less healthy options.
  3. Visiting grocery stores that have bulk foods available (such as Friends of the Earth, Source Bulk Foods and Terra Madre in Melbourne) and bring your own bags and jars to put the foods in. This is an efficient way to decrease packaging waste (and it’s actually a cheaper way to shop and the foods tend to be healthier options). Buy your pasta, grains, nuts, tea and more this way and save on plastic and money.

Eat: Just one meal a week OR day that is vegetarian or vegan is a way of having an effect. Voting with your dollar and spending money on less animal based products is a way to tell companies and the planet that more ethical and less wasteful commodities are in demand and important to you as a consumer. Either pop into Smith and Deli for a delicious ‘Foghorn Legless’ sandwich and a delicious desert or make this pasta (adapted from Minimalist Baker) below:

Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 250g quinoa or spelt pasta (or any pasta you prefer)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • 8 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsp spelt flour
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk (Pure Harvest and Nutty Bruce are tow of the better ones available)
  • A large handful of spinach
  • ¼ cup of Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C and toss tomatoes in a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Place cut side up on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish. Then set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta. When done, drain, cover and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the sauce. In a large pan over medium-low heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and the garlic and shallot. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and stir frequently, cooking for 3-4 minutes until softened and fragrant.
  4. Stir in 3-4 Tbsp flour and mix with a whisk. Once combined, slowly whisk in the almond milk a little at a time so clumps don’t form. Add another healthy pinch of salt and black pepper, bring to a simmer and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes to thicken. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (Optional: You can also add a few shakes of vegan parmesan for extra flavor at this time if you wish.)
  5. Once the sauce is to your desired thickness add spinach and olives then add pasta and roasted tomatoes and stir.
  6. Serve immediately and garnish with extra black pepper, fresh basil and/or vegan parmesan cheese.

Humidity Be Gone

 

Mel Howard | February, 11 2016

Little Things That Make My Life Easier-Part 1

 

Egg white and olive oil hair mask aka Humidity Be Gone.

Coming from comparatively zero humidity in Melbourne to an average 85% in Byron, my wavy sometimes curly, short hair is freaking the heck out. A friend at work gave me the perfect trick.

  1. In small glass jar, break one egg white, add a tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Screw on lid and shake like nobody is watching.
  3. Apply to hair.
  4. Leave in hair for 20 minutes (or three eps of Mad Men).
  5. Wash it out well in a COLD shower, ‘cause ain’t nobody got time for scrambled hair.

I jumped straight in the surf and by the time I was home, my hair was super shiny and had curled into perfect beachy ringlets.

Happy days.

Authors note: there are few times in ones life where you may find yourself laughing out loud at your own expense. Trying to neatly apply a sticky egg white mixture to your hair over a sink may be one of them. Neatly being the key word. Embrace the ridiculousness.

Lovelove

mgirling

[Credits: Words by Mel Howard and Illustration by Juliet Sulejmani]

2016 Challenge

Juliet Sulejmani | January, 01 2016

Happy New Year!

Watch my first Vlog where I explain my personal 2016 Challenge, where I will attempt to:

  • Read 100 Books
  • Watch 100 Movies
  • Visit 100 Places
  • And make 100 Recipes.

I’ll be updating my blog with reviews as I go through the challenge, and I will also try to post a vlog every Monday with an update!

I hope you enjoy and I wish you an extraordinary year!

Jx