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Browsing: Arts & Culture

In 532, two rival hooligan groups joined forces to rebel against the Byzantine emperor. It is the evening of Sunday, the 18th January 532. The uprising has been defeated. Over 30 000 citizens of Constantinople have lost their lives and wide areas of the city have been destroyed. What happened? Riots had begun five days earlier in the hippodrome where the legendary chariot races took place. It was initiated by supporters of the greens and blues, the two factions of ancient Constantinople. Chariot races were an enormously important event in the Roman Empire. Long after gladiator fights had been abolished,…

Erin Morgenstern returns with her second novel, The Starless Sea. One of the most anticipated releases of the year was finally released this month on the 5th November. Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus, which debuted in 2011 and quickly became a national bestseller due to its whimsical setting and beautiful writing. Erin Morgenstern has enriched both the start and end of the decade with her rich prose and whimsical settings, that are characters of their own within the book.  The Night Circus (2011) The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there when…

Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins  Avg. Goodreads score: 3.79 This book follows Daisy Winters, an off-beat 16 year old from Florida. Daisy finds out that her sister, Ellie, has just gotten engaged to her long-term boyfriend, who just so happens to be the crown prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to be in the spotlight, but due to being the younger sister of the Prince’s fiancée, she becomes tabloid target number one. Due to this, she has been forced to join her sister Ellie in relative seclusion across the pond. To help with her image, dashing Miles has been…

It looked like love, it felt like love. But this is not a love story. With 12 novels under her belt and counting, British author Holly Bourne may be a name you have heard of, but if not, she should be. She has a knack for writing amazing novels, both young adult and adult, that make your heart melt and break. In her latest YA novel though, it is all about the recovery. Amelie loved her boyfriend Reese, and he loved her. Or so she thought, but she’s beginning to realise that love isn’t supposed to hurt like this. After…

The National Theatre will end its sponsorship deal with the fossil fuel company Shell, after announced plans to accelerate the theatre’s plans to be carbon neutral. This follows the Royal Shakespeare Company’s end of its partnership with oil giant BP after harsh criticism and a student protest earlier in the month. Despite BP sponsoring a programme that subsidises tickets to sixteen to twenty five year olds, school students threatened to boycott the company if they did not end their partnership immediately. Shell previously sponsored an annual youth theatre festival at the National and has been a partner since 1995. When…

70 years before the Brexit referendum, Winston Churchill called for the unity of Europe It’s the 19th September 1946. Noise level rises as Winston Churchill steps up to the podium of the assembly hall at the University of Zurich. “I wish to speak to you today about the tragedy of Europe”, he begins his speech. “What is the plight to which Europe has been reduced? Some of the smaller states have indeed made a good recovery, but over wide areas a vast quivering mass of tormented, hungry, care-worn and bewildered human beings gape at the ruins of their cities and…

Writing slates appear unspectacular and boring. But the small black tablet was an important factor in the educational reforms of the 19th century: The medium of the Enlightenment. In the 19th century, Welsh industry was heavily relying on slate extraction. Wales became the world’s most important supplier of slate. What appears like a rather unspectacular material has had a major influence not only on the Welsh landscape, which was changed through slate extraction, but also on modern education systems. Years ago – before notebooks and tablets made their way into the classroom – writing slates were the common medium for…

North Wales is a place rich in culture. Every summer, we have a food festival and every October there is a fun fair in Menai Bridge. Aside from these enticing activities there are many places of cultural interest. Side note –The majority of the castles in Wales were part of Edward I’s campaign to conquer North Wales and also the majority were a part of the Owain Glyndwr Rebellion.   Caernarfon Castle Caernarfon Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site, that has recently been used as a film location for season 3 of The Crown. It was used as King…

October time means one big holiday, and that holiday is of course Halloween; and with Halloween of course comes horror films. Now I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of the horror genre in general, but when a great one hits it really resonates with me, and the slight renaissance of the genre in the past few years has been a great addition to the industry as a whole. In celebration of the genre I will be counting down my top 5 favourite horror films of all time in descending order from number five down to the…

It is that time of year where the shops are decked out with giant bags of sweets, cobwebs are used as dressing for the windows, and everyone is getting dressed up, Scary or not. Halloween is a very atmospheric time of year, and in your free time you might be able to find time to read a book. Maybe around Halloween you already have chosen what books you want to read, however if you are looking for something new, or maybe you always want to hear about new books, here are five books that fit this time of season. While…

“To the cute girl with the coffee stains on her dress. I’m the guy who’s always standing near the doors… Drink sometime?” This sweet rom-com is a soon to be classic just like the 80’s and 90’s movies that it has been inspired by. This book plays into the classic tropes of a rom-com but still manages to remain witty and truly authentic. The story follows Nadia, who after a breakup is on the track for The New Routine To Change Her Life – which involves catching the train on time at 7:30 (well, except for when she oversleeps) – and…

With the looming prospect of Brexit overshadowing daily life at the minute, us at Seren along with the majority of informative news outlets up and down with the country are naturally spending a vast majority of time discussing this big issue that will affect us all. In fact, this issue is going to be heavily influenced by the whole political climate as we hurtle towards a no deal Brexit, and unlike another unstoppable cataclysm in the form of the asteroid from Armageddon, we unfortunately do not have the luxury of sending in Bruce Willis to save the day. Although the…

Another great British institution in the filmmaking world is the world renowned Aardman Animation Studios based out of Bristol. Just like the portrayal of the plucky inventive Brit in the classic war films, Aardman has slowly built a name for itself over the past few decades by their incredible attention to detail and top-quality filmmaking. Since their first feature length effort in 2000 with Chicken Run they have only released 7 more films, but every single one of them has been a top-quality joy to watch. Unlike any other animation studio (including the gold standard of Pixar), Aardman is the…

On October 14th 2019, the winner of the annual Booker Prize was announced with the shocking twist that it would be shared with two authors instead of one. Winners of the award were Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood for The Testaments (a companion novel for The Handmaid’s Tale) and British author Bernardine Evaristo for the book Girl, Woman, Other. First established in 1959, within the 50 years that this prize has been awarded, it has only been shared twice before, in 1974 and later in 1992. However, after the second time, the rules for the Booker Prize were changed so only…

Bookish podcasts to listen to when you want to hear thoughts on everything book related Sometimes after you read a book the one thing you want to do is discuss it, or maybe you like to see discussions of anything book related, including the writing process. However, sometimes finding the people you want to discuss these things with can be difficult, as the people you know may not be as avid in their reading as you. So, to help solve that issue here are a few podcast suggestions that are perfect for this situation. 88 cups of tea This podcast…

After Halo, Bungie began working on Destiny: a sci-fi rpg looter-shooter which showed promise in the teasers and trailers building up to release: upon release players were frustrated at the lackluster campaign, lack of activities and little post-launch support. The one thing people found redeemable about Destiny was the endgame experiences: the Vault of Glass raid on Venus and the Nightfalls, which were strikes ramped up to 100 in difficulty. Once the first wave of DLC hit, Crota’s End and House of Wolves, the player base maintained itself only with hardcore fans: casual players didn’t really get to experience a…

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