Meeting the Board: Chaakir and Alexandra

Last but definitely not least, we want you to meet our dear Social Media Manager Chaakir Benzina, and our lovely Graphic Designer Alexandra Barbu!

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Meeting the Board: Jeremy and Eda

The second batch of our new editorial board wants to introduce themselves to you. Meet our Final Editor Jeremy Bernard, and our Website Manager Eda Saridogan!

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Writer’s Block Is Looking For Editorial Board Members!

Writer’s Block is looking for fresh, new, enthusiastic, talented, and creative editorial board members! Do you like writing, editing, or do you have any journalistic aspirations? Then join the Writer’s Block editorial board!

What/who is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s Block magazine is the student magazine of the English department at the University of Amsterdam, but we have an international readership and contributors from across the globe. In our magazine, which is released every 3 months, we publish articles, essays, reviews, interviews, short stories, poetry, photography, and artwork. Even though the magazines are published in English, we also encourage students from outside the English department to join our board, so it doesn’t matter if you study astrophysics, law, pedagogy, history, or play the clarinet in the national orchestra – everyone is welcome at Writer’s Block.

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Synergy: Writers and Editors in Collaboration

“You don’t try to reverse the river or get it to jump over a mountain, you harness its flow and energy to gently urge that it join up with other tributaries.”

David Byrne

1. Introduction

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think that writing is a lonesome activity. Granted, like many writers I spend a lot of time by myself in a room, working on a computer. Seeing as I maintain my focus best when there’s no-one else around, I often choose to be on my own when I write. However, the writing process isn’t merely comprised of typing words on a page. In fact, there are various important facets to writing that involve other people, and so writing, for me, becomes a game of communication and collaboration. Not only has such collaboration enabled me to write higher quality texts, but I also find it energizing and motivating.

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Silkworms and Me – a Love Story

Every year, summer’s first few days of sunshine bring back a wealth of half-forgotten activities and hobbies to our exam-worn lives. Iceboxes and swimming gear are dug up from the hidden reaches of our storage, balconies and gardens become pleasant habitats once more, and we finally remember what sunglasses were for. For some, it means the first of many trips to the beach, to others late evenings in the backyard with a glass of wine, or maybe even a couple of plane rides across the globe. To a select few, however, the taste of summer brings a powerful desire to relive childhood memories and bunker down in their bedroom to breed silkworms like there’s no tomorrow.

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Expectations and Confrontations: On Taking Risks in Art

“No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything.”

Oscar Wilde

1. FREEDOM

Lately I’ve been considering the merits of taking risks in art and what taking artistic risks means to me in the first place. As an artist I believe that I should be able to express whatever I want without restrictions, limitations or objections. That is to say, no imagery, topic or theme should be off the table. I want my art—regardless of the genre I’m working in—to be a vehicle through which I can freely explore emotions, imagery, ideas, philosophy, morality, spirituality, etc. Letting something or someone get in the way of my artistic expression is to diminish the quality of my work, because if I have to adhere to a set of rules that I don’t stand by, I’m not allowing myself to be authentic as an artist. By extension, I can’t be authentic as a person, either, because art is my highest and purest form of expression. So, when I make art I find it useful to be able to not give a shit about rules, conventions, opinions, political correctness, being offensive or being entertaining, as long as I know what I’m doing and, most importantly, why I’m doing it. But such freedom never comes without a price.

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