Photography: Sofia-Sekia Atrutkepic

Sofia-Seika Atrutkepic is a student studying photography here at Murdoch University. She loves travel, photography and has a Pug named Potato. I decided to find out more…

 

Hey Sofia, I love the Image you shot for the cover. How did you go about shooting it?

“I shot in the sound studio with my friend Imogen for a class. The assignment was on light gels and we shot Imogen’s sister Astrid.”

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“I love people, I love expression, and I like capturing what I find is beautiful about someone, the special thing that makes them who they are.”

Can you tell us more about these photos from India? When did you go?

“I went last year (2016) in the uni holidays. I used this trip to work on my photography, and experience a different culture that was vastly different from Australia.”

Is there a particular reason why you chose India?

“Not particularly, as a student it was a destination that was suitable for my budget (laughs). But before my travels there I had seen some pictures that made it seem like such a magical place.”

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How did you travel around India?

“I backpacked mostly. I started at the bottom of India (In Goa) and travelled around by bus, taxi, Tuk-Tuks and Rickshaws.”

You seem to love to shoot portraits, why is this?

“I love people, I love expression, and I like capturing what I find is beautiful about someone and what makes them who they are.”

And lastly, how is your pug Potato?

“Potato is great and loving his little doggy life. His best friends Jaffa and Jedha go for a walk together every day down in the field. He hasn’t been in any photoshoots lately but he makes a great assistant!”

Do you have any websites you want to share?

“My Facebook (Seika Photography) and you can follow my intragram @sofiaseika for more of my photography :).”

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[PHOTOGRAPHY] Sofia-Seika Atrutkepic

Sofia-Seika Atrutkepic is a student studying photography here at Murdoch University. She loves travel, photography and has a Pug named Potato. I decided to find out more…

 

Hey Sofia, I love the Image you shot for the cover. How did you go about shooting it?

“I shot in the sound studio with my friend Imogen for a class. The assignment was on light gels and we shot Imogen’s sister Astrid.”

“I love people, I love expression, and I like capturing what I find is beautiful about someone, the special thing that makes them who they are.”

Can you tell us more about these photos from India? When did you go?

“I went last year (2016) in the uni holidays. I used this trip to work on my photography, and experience a different culture that was vastly different from Australia.”

Is there a particular reason why you chose India?

“Not particularly, as a student it was a destination that was suitable for my budget (laughs). But before my travels there I had seen some pictures that made it seem like such a magical place.”

12778955_954812491262585_1011428234272868764_o

How did you travel around India?

“I backpacked mostly. I started at the bottom of India (In Goa) and travelled around by bus, taxi, Tuk-Tuks and Rickshaws.”

You seem to love to shoot portraits, why is this?

“I love people, I love expression, and I like capturing what I find is beautiful about someone and what makes them who they are.”

And lastly, how is your pug Potato?

“Potato is great and loving his little doggy life. His best friends Jaffa and Jedha go for a walk together every day down in the field. He hasn’t been in any photoshoots lately but he makes a great assistant!”

Do you have any websites you want to share?

“My Facebook (Seika Photography) and you can follow my intragram @sofiaseika for more of my photography :).”

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[FASHION] MEET PATTY

 

Patty Curral is a 22 year old studying graphic design here at Murdoch. In July 2016, she created a street wear brand label called LOSO Apparel. I took some time to get to know more about her, and LOSO Apparel.

 

Hi Patty, How did you start designing for your own street wear label?

“One of the Graphic Design courses here at Murdoch called ‘Brand and Identity’ (IDD202) was based around coming up with a logo and merging it with a product to sell.  That’s when I created LOSO. I really loved that course, and it taught me how much I love designing my own product, it gave me so much satisfaction (Shout out to my tutor Erica Ormsby!).”

 

“I would always see so many streetwear companies soley targeted at men, so I wanted to make a change”

 

So what does LOSO actually mean?

“So, it’s a Thai slang word, which stands for low society (in a joking way). In Thailand if you’re a cheap skate they call you a LOSO. When I would go out with my friends in Thailand I would rather dress comfortable than dress up, so they would call me “LOSO” (laughs), so my nickname became the brand:) “

What are your inspirations behind LOSO?

“I would always see so many streetwear companies soley targeted at men, so I wanted to make a change to the scene and introduce my own Street Wear label. I love hip-hop music so that was an inspiration behind my designs, but I also think it’s a great way to show what music you’re into or to show off your idols, these make a great ice breaker when meeting new people.”

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Where would you like to see LOSO heading in the future?

“To be honest I’d love to see it being featured in a shop like Culture Kings, that is a big dream of mine. Of course I could open my own pop up shop but it’s a bit too much to handle, with uni and lack of money at the moment (laughs).”

How can people look at and buy LOSO apparel?

“You can check us out on Instagram @losoapparel, Facebook /LOSOapparel and https://www.losoapparel.com/

The Verge

I feel like I live my life constantly on the verge of something. It’s a little hard to pin down exactly what that something is. It moves on a scale from terrible to wonderful. I realised that there was something I have seen happen to the universe. As if someone has flipped a switch and lights everywhere have begun to switch on and off.

 
Sometimes the verge is the edge of a cliff. You are standing there with your toes over the edge. It’s easy to think that maybe you could choose to take a step backwards to safety. Or maybe it would be easy to take a step forward over the edge and willingly fall into the abyss below. But how much control do we really have on the verge? The ground beneath you could crumble. The wind could blow a gale in any direction. The most frightening part of it all is the anticipation of what could happen if you were to fall.

 
But occasionally the verge looks a little different. Imagine you are standing in front of a closed door. You cannot see what is in there but you can hear things, the oddly comforting voices of people you may not know. There is a feeling deep within that something good, or something you want, or something fulfilling is on the other side. But what if it is not the way we imagine it to be? What if you misheard the sounds? Maybe the real danger is not missing out but walking through the door.

 
The verge is a strange phenomenon that seems to be ever present not just in my life but in the lives of the people around me. I fell off the cliff once, a few times in fact, but I always managed to climb back out and stand on the edge once again. It becomes a cycle I suppose. Of falling and climbing and falling again. You fear it every time. But I think it works the other way too. If a light can switch off, then it can switch on too.

 
Recently I saw a person I know, a friend of sorts, talk about a cliff of her own that she had fallen over. But for a few days now she feels like she has climbed back up the cliff face. Her verge has changed from a cliff to a door. She has turned the handle and begun to take a cautious step from a dark room into a lighter one. Watching her do it is incredible. It fills me with joy to see her open the door enough to let in a little bit of light. Her hopeful heart as she crosses the verge is a beacon for all to follow.

Searching for Mike

As far as we knew nobody had seen Mike Macduff for decades. I’d heard wild stories about him in my childhood because he went to school with my dad. Nobody knew if he was alive or dead, (but it wouldn’t surprise anybody if he was.) I decided to track him down.

Mike was apparently very clever. His classmates were a bit wary of him because they knew he could make the people around him do what he wanted like a skilled chess player.

Mike was the type of kid who’s so clever they get bored by school. By All accounts Mike’s school did not cater for smart people; rather it was intended to train young men to take over the British Empire. It has been described as a place designed to make a young man capable of going out to east Africa and taking over a patch of land from the last guy. The graduate would then keep watch over her majesty’s interests and make sure the natives behaved until the next guy came along.

Legend had it that Mike had been on an international school trip. He had a packet of cigarettes he knew would be found at airport customs- where they’d be confiscated as he was a minor. Mike’s plan had been to get caught smoking in front of the teacher on purpose. The teacher confiscated the cigarettes, put them in his pocket and walked them through customs. All Mike had to do was lift the cigarettes out of the teacher’s pocket once they were through security.

Supposedly there was a teacher at Mike’s school who would walk up to boys in class and touch their legs while they sat working in silence. Mike’s solution was to position a ping pong ball in his shorts. When they teacher came in for a feel, the ping pong ball was dislodged. It fell to the floor with a clatter, breaking the silence of the classroom. The other students turned in their seats to investigate the noise only to find the teacher in a compromising position.

How was I going to find this guy? His friends hadn’t seen him, but they did know his family came from an area of Scotland called Black Isle. (Black Isle is extremely remote and its local dialect died out in 2012.) The nearest civilisation to Mike’s family home is a village called Munlochy. I did some digging. Munlochy has a village Facebook page. I posted an ad on the Facebook page asking, “Do the MacDuff family still live in these parts? Has anybody kept in touch with them?” 

Some time later I got an email from a local who’d seen my ad. No, the Macduff’s had moved out years ago, but there was a lady who had lived in the area for decades. She might know something.

The lady had kept in touch with Mike’s brother who me in touch with Mike. As it turned out he was in France “working with fruit” (whatever the hell means.)

All aboard: A trip on the Leeuwin

I just spent a week on the Leeuwin, a three-masted sailing ship that travels up and down the WA coast, building character in young people by teaching them about sailing, leadership, and teamwork.

I was on board with about 38 other university kids. We were divided into four groups of about 8-10 people. Each group was led by an experienced volunteer in about their early 20s. The volunteers showed an amazing level of leadership tragically lacking in many politicians and teachers. Each group would take turns doing watch, which could involve sitting on the deck for four hours at night, steering the ship or watching the horizon for danger.

On that second day, we sailed about 80 miles out past Rottnest. The island had been sheltering us from rougher waters and the effects were noticeable as we got further into the ocean. Sea sickness hit well over half of us. To get from the front of the ship to the back, you’d have to step over horizontal bodies lined up on the deck. It looked like that scene in Gone with the Wind where Vivien Leigh walks through a sea of wounded soldiers.

A typical day on the Leeuwin would start with morning exercises at 6.30. That might involve yoga or calisthenics. After that, we’d have breakfast and start ship chores: Deck scrubbing, bathroom cleaning etc.

In the afternoon, our groups would rotate to take lessons in knot tying, ropes, navigation and such.

On about the third day, lessons went out the window when the crew caught a Wahoo off the back of the boat. Everyone crowded around to get a look. The beast was over a meter weighed over 20 kilograms. Eventually, it was bled, hacked into slabs about the size of a man’s forearm and taken to the galley. It was made into a curry type thing. I think we had it for lunch the next day. It tasted pretty good.

The day after that we dropped anchor off Rottnest and spent the afternoon on pinkies.

On the last night, we had a talent show. I saw a girl reciting pi to four hundred while her friend juggled rope balls and a third man danced around their heels with his legs crossed.

I had one of the best weeks of my life on the Leeuwin and I seriously recommend everybody applying for it. My highlight was climbing the main mast. At the top is a small plaque with a message. The only people who know what it says are the people who’ve climbed up and read it.

The Great Perth Bush Doof

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By Conrad Charles Maclean

Deep in the wilderness outside of Perth, far from any telephone reception or loathsome routine, adults rave beneath the stars wearing animal onesies and tutus. A Bush Doof is in progress.

A Doof is a public outdoor dance party. They’re common in Europe and they can be commercially run or operated at a financial loss for the love of a good party.

Tonight’s Doof is in a clearing surrounded by dense bushland. Dream catchers and tight rope wires hang between the trees. This Doof has several techno dance floors and an acoustic area.

Essentially adults come to these Doofs to play with each other like children, which is tremendously healthy. Alongside the dance floor Doofers twirl Devil sticks and Poi balls. They hula-hoop and spin fire-staffs for hours on end. Most stay up all night by camp fire light doing LSD, MDMA and bud. Doofing is nothing if not modern Bohemianism.

Beside the dance area somebody’s hung a huge net between several trees; like a hammock. It’s big enough for people to jump around in, but somebody’s lighter falls through the net onto the ground below. His mates have to crawl over to his end of the net so that the whole thing can sag low enough for him to reach out and pick it up. There’s also a cabbage being tossed around the net like a volley ball.

How to get fucked up while consuming your daily dose of vitamins. Photo by: Conrad Maclean

How to get fucked up while consuming your daily dose of vitamins.
Photo by: Conrad Maclean

Back packers have flavoured this melting pot and many of the Doofers don’t speak English as a first language. French boys run around with Bubble wrap cones on their heads. A Dutchman shimmies over to me on the dance floor. He paints the Dutch flag on my face with what looks like eye liner. Mostly the Doofers are Germans, Italians and Scandinavians, but there are a few Gaelic speakers.

Most non-commercial Doofs are run on public land for liability reasons. There have been Doofs held on private property. Word is one was crashed by Bikies. It didn’t end well and the land owner was liable.

There’s a general consensus that a level of anonymity preserves a healthy non-commercial Doof culture. Thus the location of a non-commercial Doof is not announced until the day it’s held, and you only get invited by somebody who you know is going.

This means people only invite friends they trust, people who they know won’t start trouble. Also because it’s not publicly advertised it doesn’t get mobbed with people. There are only about 400 at tonight’s Doof, anything bigger would cause trouble.

One Doofer describes it to me like this “Five out of ten, or six out of ten people are dickheads. The more people rock up, the more dick heads.”

Editor’s Note: This piece is non-fiction, because Conrad’s life is generally more exciting than the average person’s.

The Demons of Barry’s practice

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By Conrad Charles MacLean

An abridged version of my interview with local exorcist Barry May.

Father Barry May is a local Perth exorcist. He held Anglican ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2007. He worked as an army chaplain for 14 years and spent another 14 in the police force. I sat down with Barry to talk to him about his exorcism work.

“They all think the only church that can do this is the Catholic Church” Barry laughs “Well I’ve got news for them. It’s not that way, and honestly I deal with 98% Roman Catholics…Muslims do it…I’ve had Hindus. There are in various faiths exorcists, because in the major faiths there are evil.”

Barry tells me about some of his adventures. “Oh, one of my very first actually, girl was about 25, 30 years of age. She had at least a dozen nasties in her, and it took me hours and hours and hours to deliver her, and I was wearing a crucifix and all of a sudden this hand came out and grabbed it…she was a big kid, fairly heavy girl, and she just grabbed at this and tried to rip it off my throat.”

“I said “you leave that alone!”

… “And she said “Jesus is my brother.””

(Barry says those last four words in a harsh gravelly voice.)

“That’s what she said, that’s what she sounded like. I said “Jesus is no brother of yours, go get the hell out of here.”

Barry has Hindu customers as well. Photo by: Madura McCormack// Ubud, Bali

Barry has Hindu customers as well.
Photo by: Madura McCormack// Ubud, Bali

“So that was that, after 10-12 (demons)-I’m guessing it was 12-she was free.” He explains.”

“I don’t charge anything” he informs me “I’ve never charged a thing…it’s not ethical, not for me. I know some do. The Catholics want to pay because they always pay their priests. I’ve never done that, never accepted that. I want them to know that this is a ministry that we don’t charge for.”

“We always have a very long interview session” he explains “because it would be arrogant to say to somebody “I can fix you up, give us ten minutes…it might take several hours to find out where their coming from, what is their faith value, what’s been happening to them, what have they been playing around with? Because once you start delving you will find almost without doubt that they have had some occult involvement, whether it be recent or whether they were perhaps teenagers…boys who play around on a full moon with a Ouija board.”

Barry told me he believes practicing witchcraft can cause a person to be possessed by demons.

“There are witches covens in Perth” he tells me “there are people who on outward appearance are respectable, might be a doctor, or a lawyer or your next door neighbour, or teacher. And they practice witch craft by night time, at a full moon and dance around in the nuddy, and (in) the next day they put on their clothes and go to work and become your GP.

It’s not common but it does happen unfortunately, and to say “oh, look, I’m really a white witch, and their OK.” Crap. Their not. White or black witches, they still pray to Satan to give them guidance. I mean, a white witch will say “I belong to Satan, for good things to happen, so I can prosper.””

Barry had this warning for amateurs thinking of taking up exorcism.

“I’d be very, very careful. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t do it (exorcism) but do a lot of study on it. And if you had for the right reasons, not for your own reasons, I don’t do it for my reasons.

“In fact it scares the pants off you because it’s pretty hairy stuff, by the time I’ve finished, and I’ve done an exorcism, I’m absolutely walloped. Honestly walloped, and people say “god you’re sweaty.”

“And I am sweaty because it just takes so much out of you. So it depends how much you’re prepared to give…if you do it for the good of the person, and for their salvation and their enlightenment and all that sort of stuff, fine, go for it.”

Psychological Warfare

By Conrad MacLean

You are taking a car ride with your sister and your Uncle. Your sister has really been getting on your nerves because she’s a pathological suck up. If somebody who she perceives to be powerful makes a statement like ‘what a lovely day’, she’ll jump in with something like ‘Oh my god! Yeah! I was just thinking that!’

Let’s play.

You know the local farmers in the area are supporting a cull on badgers. Badgers are a pest or something. Your sister is planning to protest the cull with her friends. You know your Uncle is in full support of the cull.

“Uncle,” you ask. “What did you say your thoughts were on this badger cull?”

“Oh it’s something that needs to be done; they dig holes and make it hard to plant crops.”

Your sister looks uncomfortable. She will never argue with Uncle but she will sit silently and listen. She’ll squirm.

“I hear people play loud music outside the badger burrows,” you say. “And when the badgers climb to the surface to investigate the noise, they wack them with shovels. Is that still a widely used killing method?”

“Wouldn’t surprise me,” says Uncle.

“Tell me more about why we need to cull them.”

If your sister does try to change the subject you gently bring the conversation back to your Uncle’s rant. You stoke the fire gently to keep him talking.

“Oh and you were saying the farm animals break their legs in the badger holes, Uncle.”

You watch your sister out of the corner of your eye.

“They break their legs in the badger holes, yeah, it’s a massive problem; of course these hippies protesting the whole thing don’t know what the hell their talking about.”

“Fascinating, tell me more!”

Your sister gives you a death stare and murmurs “why are you doing this?”

Uncle is oblivious to the full situation and continues talking.

Doing a Tony Clifton

You’ve pissed off your peers. Perhaps you’re about to be fired, or your co-workers are building a work place complaint case against you. Maybe your housemates are going to call an intervention and ask you to find somewhere else to live because you never do your dishes or pay your share of the rent.

Before the work place hearing or the share house intervention can be arranged you call a meeting of your own. Sit each member of the aggrieved party down together. Talk how much you value them and give each one a token of what they mean to you. (Like a small stuffed plush puppy doll or an acrostic poem you’ve written about each individual at the meeting.) Let’s see them get rid of you after that.

“why are you doing this?”

Plausible deniability

You are twelve years old. You’re in primary school and recess has just ended. On your way back to class you see that teacher you hate.

It’s fun to stare at this teacher during recess to freak him out.

The teacher has painted a line on the ground. He’s telling who ever will listen that this line signifies the school boundary. Anybody who steps over the line gets in trouble. It’s petty but it’s something the teacher seems to care about.

You put one foot over it, saying “oops.”

The teacher stares at you.

You step back and forth over the line saying in bored voice “Oh no! I’ve stepped over the line. Somebody stop me before I do it again.”

The teacher knows better than to react but you know from experience you can make him crack. “Oh stop me, dear teacher,” you drawl. “Mend my wicked ways before I step over the line again. I can’t help myself. I’m devoted to a life of sin.”

Finally the teacher goes for the bait and leads you off to the principal’s office.

The principle obviously thinks this is petty but humours your teacher.

“Do you know why you’re here?” the principle asks you.

“No! I have no idea; my teacher just led me here. I don’t know what for!”

The Principle tells you to wait outside his office. You hear him talking to your teacher inside.

“What can I do?” the principle asks “he’ll deny everything. You can’t prove anything and he’ll complain to his parent that we pick on him.”

“He always does this!” your teacher fumes.

The principle calls you back into his office and says “leave Mr Watson alone.”

Life-size teletubbies in the real world. Photo by: Madura McCormack

Life-size teletubbies in the real world. Photo by: Madura McCormack

Remembering the legend

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by Conrad Maclean

The man was nearly seven feet tall and skinny as a joint, with dark hair and a smile on his weather beaten face. His accent was the child of the many countries he’s lived in. He reminded me of Struwwelpeter, that boy you get told about as a kid who never washes or cuts his nails and hair.

If the local cricket team was playing near his house, he’d sit at home and shoot potatoes onto the playing field with his homemade cannon. It was his way of showing team support. He’d been known to sit on an aeroplane with a bag of fruit, and if the airhostess told him ‘you can’t take that through customs,’ he’d go from seat to seat offering his fellow passengers a piece of fruit so it didn’t go to waste.

Planet Earth never produced a nicer guy.

When we met him he had swum the darkest swamps of the human psyche, lost most his family and danced with some pretty awful demons. Though personal horrors had left scars, he had amazing positivity, wisdom and a never ending stream of bawdy jokes.

“Hey Conrad, why didn’t Snow white go to the ball?”

“I don’t know,” I’d say. “Why?”

“Because she’s fucking Dopey.”

**********************************************************************************

The year was nineteen eighty-something.

What had started as a protest over municipal housing had collapsed into street fighting between the police and protesters, whose demonstration had been hijacked by local anarchists.

The anarchists were brilliantly strategic. This was an era before mobile phones and the anarchists realised that the police were communicating with vans with satellite dishes attached to them. All the anarchists had to do was take out the vans and dozens of police officers would be immobilised.

My friend’s job was to walk up to one of these vans wearing a trench coat. He’s have a chain wrapped around his waist, under the coat. He’d clip one end of the chain to the door of the van, walk a lap around the vehicle and clip the other end of the chain to that same door. My friend would yell “NOW!” protesters would charge at the van and push it on to its side. The chain would stop anybody in the van escaping. Police communication was quickly crippled.

The battle raged for days. Rioters blockaded the areas of the city they controlled by stockading the streets with junk. They created walls with any crap they could find. By the light of bonfires they sat and guarded this fortress into the night, smoking reefer and playing music.

What happened next came out of nowhere. My friend would later say, ‘They must have been kept hidden under the city.’ His theory was that they had been hidden underground, after the Nazis had been pushed out at the end of World War 2; a secret weapon to defend the city in case of another invasion. Nobody really knows where they came from but it sure wasn’t from outside the city.

What were ‘they’?

Leopard Tanks. They smashed through the barricades as if they were butter, ending the protest for good.

My friend skipped his native country after that, he said they were onto him and his phone was being bugged. He needed to lay low.

Eventually he drifted into Australia.

I never met somebody who had so many adventures, so much joy and so much pain. It’s been nearly two years since he passed on. We’re sorry to have lost him but even luckier to have known such a great guy.

R.I.P mate