Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Inter-Railing

by Tobias Thornes ‘Hotel,’ said the border official, pointing to the place I’d left blank on the form. I must have looked conspicuously European as I waited amidst the queues of Malaysians to cross into Thailand, for almost at once he had come and beckoned me into a side office. Britons, as I knew, did […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Re-Orient

by Tobias Thornes I have now, in the course of some twenty-one instalments, related to you most of the adventures that awaited me on setting out, so many years ago now it seems like another Age, in the spring of 2018 on my long journey of Slow Travel. Many miles I ventured by foot or […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: The Costs of Growth

by Tobias Thornes The winter’s freeze was beginning to thaw as I made my way south: into the Heart of Asia. This was the land where Russia and China meet: a large, land-locked expanse surrounded by its powerful neighbours, the mythical heart of an infamous ancient Empire that was the largest contiguous power the world […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Bodies of Water

by Tobias Thornes Like a great, central artery, the Trans-Siberian Railway sweeps right across the vast expanse of Russia the giant. From Vladivostok in the East to Moscow in the West, through snowy plains and forested mountains, crossing countless streams with names unknown to travellers overwhelmed by so great a swiftly sweeping, vanishing array, it […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: A Point of Fracture

by Tobias Thornes Saint Petersburg was famously said to be the most ‘intentional’ city in the world. In some respects it has always resembled more symbol than settlement: the symbol of what its founder, Peter the Great, wanted his Russia to be in 1703; the symbol of an artificially Europeanised ‘western’ Russian culture under the […]

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Comment, Prose

The Myth of Rhodes: Editoriel

by Aidan Chivers The Myth of Rhodes: a Special Report The Myth of Rhodes: Editoriel Rhodes: a Perspective Rhodes Must Fall: a Timeline Putting Rhodes in His Place Iconography Campaigns: a Global Perspective Safe Spaces and Student Protest Complete Bibliography for the Report Dr Ian Forrest: Guide to Further Reading Facebook posts cited  Previous Poor Print coverage […]

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Comment, News, Prose

Putting Rhodes in His Place

by Alex Waygood The Myth of Rhodes: a Special Report The Myth of Rhodes: Editoriel Rhodes: a Perspective Rhodes Must Fall: a Timeline Putting Rhodes in His Place Iconography Campaigns: a Global Perspective Safe Spaces and Student Protest Complete Bibliography for the Report Dr Ian Forrest: Guide to Further Reading Facebook posts cited  Previous Poor Print coverage […]

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Comment, Prose

Rhodes: A Perspective

by Joanna Engle The Myth of Rhodes: A Special Report The Myth of Rhodes: Editoriel Rhodes: A Perspective Rhodes Must Fall: A Timeline Putting Rhodes in His Place Iconography Campaigns: A Global Perspective Safe Spaces and Student Protest Complete Bibliography for the Report Dr Ian Forrest: Guide to Further Reading Facebook posts cited  Previous Poor Print coverage […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Myths of the Arctic

by Tobias Thornes A vast and varied wonderland of unimagined splendour. Such new, dramatic sights had few parallels on the pages of sweet, well-tempered Europe or sun-scorched North Africa’s well-thumbed manuscripts. It’s no wonder the dumbfounded explorers, stumbling upon this immense set of scenes unseen, this blank book far, far across the Western sea, called […]

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Comment, Prose

Safe Spaces and Student Protest

by Juliet Butcher. Box by Alex Waygood. The Myth of Rhodes: A Special Report The Myth of Rhodes: Editoriel Rhodes: A Perspective Rhodes Must Fall: A Timeline Putting Rhodes in His Place Iconography Campaigns: A Global Perspective Safe Spaces and Student Protest Complete Bibliography for the Report Dr Ian Forrest: Guide to Further Reading Facebook […]

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Comment, Prose

Iconography Campaigns: A Global Perspective

by Emma Gilpin. Box compiled by Alex Waygood. The iconography campaigns that have taken place in recent years remind us of the fact that history is littered with people and things that it would perhaps be preferable, or at least more convenient, to forget. There have been movements across the University of Cape Town, Harvard […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: A Journey Northwards

by Tobias Thornes The North wasn’t designed for travellers. Even in a warming world, where my arrival was met with bitterly weeping rain that would have been snow in a more typical November – if ‘typical’ still exists any more – Canada is not a country easily traversed. As I wended my slow way northwards, […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Castro’s Cuba

by Tobias Thornes Entombed forever in a place where sunlight never shines. Beaten and broken by remorseless hands and feet. Tortured until I no longer recognise truth from falsehood. Consumed by fear, is there anything left of what I once was – anything left of myself? This was not my reality. But it was, I […]

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Comment, Prose

Turning Up Trumps

by Eleanor Harris It is hard to put a positive spin on an inexperienced man, who is also vocally racist, sexist and homophobic becoming the next President of America. But over the past few weeks, that is the difficulty that we have been facing. Time and time again, our words have seemed to ring hollow. […]

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Comment, Prose

Visions of Cultural Appropriation

by Zad El Bacha Utopia There have been hundreds of years of rich, positive exchanges between cultures. When a European meets an Arab, they ask them about the patterns on their clothes, the words in their books, the instruments in their songs. The Arab asks them the same. They listen and learn, they answer in […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: A Cuban Conundrum

by Tobias Thornes The heat of a long, lingering Louisiana summer simmered still as I made my slow way across the humid wetlands of that southerly state. It’s a country of wide deltas and stretching coastal marshes, a buzzing frontier between the amazing lifeforms of land, sea and sky united in a swampy soup of […]

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Comment, Prose

The Hills

by Eleanor Harris The view from the top is never the same, although I know every hold. One of the few things you can rely on in Snowdonia is, perhaps paradoxically, that it will always be changing; and yet, despite the dramatic seasonal changes, the ancient hills are consistently compelling. All year, it is as […]

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Comment, Prose

Good Place, No Place

by Emma Gilpin When Thomas More wrote his Utopia in 1516, he described a society that was in many ways the polar opposite to his own, Tudor England. At the time, many critics believed he was writing an instructive text that could be read as a guideline for the improvement of European society. As we […]

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Comment, Prose

Reconstructed Utopia

by Aidan Chivers In the latter part of the 1st C BC, the Emperor Augustus’ obsession with Roman sexual morality was based largely on drawing contrasts between the behaviour of his day and the perceived standards of former times. Seeing moral decline as being in parallel with wider national failings, he linked the greater chastity […]

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Comment, Prose

Relative Dystopia

by Christy Callaway-Gale In two separate incidents during the same week, my dad was mistaken for my boyfriend and my mum was mistaken for my grandma, which told me everything I didn’t want to know, yet already knew, about society. This is how a life-changing article on gender norms on the front page of the […]

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Comment, Prose

My Perfect Life: A Careful and Complex Design

by Emma Gilpin The squares line up evenly and perfectly, forming a beautifully neat grid which I can scroll through, a photographic record of all the best moments of my life from the ages of 15 to 19. Four years of my little life, cherry picked to create a filtered reel of selected highlights. This […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Conspiracy by Design?

by Tobias Thornes ‘Global warming? There ain’t no such thing! Didn’t y’ hear? That’s just a conspiracy cooked up by the Chinese. An’ the leftists. You’re a leftist, ain’t ye? Now you listen to me, mister. You leave all that clap-trap out o’ here. We’re done with commies, we’re done with Obama, now we’re goanna […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: A Voyage through Time

by Tobias Thornes Forgive me if I begin at the end. For the end is near, now: I can feel it in my bones. These my eyes, which looked upon so many of the world’s ancient wonders, have grown dim – like those wonders themselves, which one by one went out, melting like stars before […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: The End of the Road?

by Tobias Thornes In the midst of the unimaginably vast, empty expanse that is the surface of the Pacific Ocean – the thin, glittering film across which we have slid for nearly a month – the first, precious sighting of land feels like the fulfilment of one’s every hope and dream. For days I have […]

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Comment, Prose

Operation Recovery

by John Webb I have to say that this is an abridged article as I have sold the full story to the Oxford Mail (World Edition) which will appear shortly under the banner headline ‘I Beat Hernia’. It is based loosely on a two thousand year-old tale about medical matters by that renowned Roman scholar […]

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Comment, Prose

The Frustrations of a Fallible Mind

by Lucy Mellor Unimaginable complexity; the norm in a society consumed by technology most of us don’t understand. Taken most for granted though, is the human form; familiar as anything, and yet no-one has quite figured us out. Criticism of the self comes far too easily, but we are all a microcosm of the universe […]

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Comment, Prose

Dissertation on Roast Goose

by Jacob Warn On St. George’s Day at Oriel College, Oxford, it is customary to feast on Roast Goose – fat Isaic Bird! Indignant, I beat off the carnally-laden arms of our servers. Give me something blander, my appetite and I demand. My appetite, four years after forsaking the excess of Animal Meats is blanched, […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Paradise in the Pacific

by Tobias Thornes I’m going in search of an island. It’s no ordinary island. You won’t find it on any map; it can’t be seen from space. Yet it’s the size of Texas. The only way to reach it is by sea, but you won’t see it coming. You’ll only know you’ve reached it when […]

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Comment, Prose

Communicating Convictions

by Zixin Jiang ‘Jesus never invited anyone to a “lunchtime talk”,’ said a comedian on an Oriel comedy night last year. She was referring to the weekly talks organized by the Christian Union (CU), of which I am a part, on various questions about Christianity. You get a free sandwich lunch, a cookie, a piece […]

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Comment, Prose

A Judgement of Judgement

by Jenny Potter On entering a hospital, one can be asked to describe pain on a scale from one to ten, a comparative measure based on all pain you can remember feeling. In this system a ten is a ten, an unfamiliar yet equally valid ten when compared to any other. Through our limited awareness, […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: The Search for Soul in South Korea

by Tobias Thornes Somewhere beneath the steel spires of China’s biggest city lie buried the remnants of a tiny village of ages past. Somewhere – overridden by congested roads and railways, over-trodden by millions of traipsing feet – lie the bones of countless generations now forgotten. It seems ironic that even in a city where […]

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Comment, Culture, Prose

Periods, Taboos and Female Shame

by Emma Gilpin It was a secret that we all had and we kept it, ashamed, embarrassed, scared about what it all meant. I suppose that’s because it meant adulthood, but it also meant something much more intimidating than that: womanhood. I got my period when I was twelve. I didn’t, couldn’t, tell anyone about […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Changing China

by Tobias Thornes A wide and enticing country brews, always, just beyond our western comprehension, like a cauldron of constant change the taste of whose broth we never can be sure. Such is the allure of tantalising China: a rich civilisation veiled behind a mist of mystery. And I, like so many awe-stricken adventurers, am […]

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Comment, Prose

Honour Above Everything

by Madeline Briggs My high school had this motto – it was on a plaque in every classroom, repeated at chapel and assembly, hanging on banners around campus: ‘Wisdom more than Knowledge, Service beyond Self, Honour Above Everything’. I doubt many of my classmates spend a lot of time thinking about it today. Most stuff […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Hell on Earth

by Tobias Thornes ‘Surely, this is Hell indeed. Except that these pour souls suffer not for their own but for someone else’s sins.’ The Monsoon breaks like a sudden breath of sweet, fresh air after a long asphyxiation. Across the dry, sun-seared northern states of India reverberates a wave of joyful exhilaration: the long-awaited water […]

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Comment, Prose

Et in Arcadia ego

by Fergus Higgins ‘You see, it wasn’t the ordinary sort of Doubt about Cain’s wife or the Old Testament miracles or the consecration of Archbishop Parker. I’d been taught how to explain all those while I was at college. No, it was something deeper than all that. I couldn’t understand why God had made the […]

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Comment, Prose

Why Britain Should Leave the EU

by William McDonald ‘To remain in the EU is a more dangerous option for British security in its deepest sense economic, political, military and social.’ As the dust has settled on the recent EU negotiations and the date for the referendum has been set, one thing is clear: these negotiations have not fixed the great […]

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