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Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Going beyond the stigma

Burlesque Noir has been “berlesking bad” since its founding by Holly Rebelle in 2005. Rebelle discovered early on as a solo performer that performing burlesque allowed her to fully express herself artistically and was so exhilarating; it gave her “glitter hangovers” for days after being on stage. Knowing that art history extensively celebrates the female form, she wanted to be a part of this artistic body expression movement. The desire to share this experience with a group of women gave rise to the creation of her very own burlesque troupe.

“[Burlesque] has been a deep exploration of identity for me,” Rebelle said. “One of the things I am most proud of is creating an open space for women to creatively express themselves using their bodies.”

Rebelle said she enjoys the journey of creation that goes into burlesque and knows there truly is artistry in its performance.

“I have seen burlesque open up discussions that are often only discussed within the academic sphere such as cultural appropriation, feminism, racism, ageism, critique on capitalism, the problems of the patriarchy, violence, privilege, body shaming, slut shaming and power dynamics. I am so thankful to be part of a community where this dialogue is ongoing and is possible,” Rebelle said.

Nudity during any burlesque show is the controversial part of the art form. Rebelle said she is familiar with the stigma and believes the continued shaming and hiding of the naked body, especially of women’s bodies, is what keeps some people from accepting burlesque as a true performance art.

“I think it is OK and normal, that once in a while, people are offended by art,” she said. “Art inspires us to talk about the difficult issues in society and can open a door to explore the world with different eyes and new perspectives.”

~ Photos by Sergio Jiménez


Global gaze

International students are seen all around campus on a daily basis. UNM leads all universities in the state for having the most international students in attendance, according to the Global Education Office. New Mexico ranks 40th nationally in international student enrollment. “We have about 1,222 students at the University, but we are working to increase this number,” said Pablo Torres, senior operations manager at the Global Education Office. Chinese students are the most common international students at UNM. There are 223 students from China, 188 from India, 118 from Brazil, 76 from Iran and 67 from South Korea.

~ Photos by Kanan Mammadli


A kick out of life

Christopher Wehan remembers the first time he knew soccer came natural to him. At a soccer practice when he was 6 or 7 years old, his coach asked to see how far he could kick the ball, and his went the farthest.

Now a junior majoring in organizational communication, Wehan said the sport taught him about life.

"(Soccer) gave me an education,” he said. “I think a lot of the things I learned in life, I learned through soccer like how to deal with hardship, injures. It has given me the best friends I will ever have, and the best opportunity to travel the world."

Wehan's best game was when he scored two points against Old Dominion this season.

"This season was pretty good, personally,” he said. “It was a really good season for myself. I scored a lot of goals and got to play a lot, but as a team we didn't reach our goals and expectations, so at the end of the day it’s kind of a bummer, kind of a sad end to things. But overall it still was a great season.”

Next season, Wehan said his goals are "to be a better teammate and a better leader, rather than any goals on the field."

After graduating, Wehan plans to continue playing professional soccer, calling it “a dream of mine."

~ Photo by Di Linh Hoang


A thousand little faces

Albuquerque currently has thousands of homeless children under the age of 6, and CLNkids aims to end the cycle of homelessness through education.

Parents receive job skills training while the children receive the highest quality of early childhood education at no cost. CLNkids is a place many children call home, and is often a sanctuary away from the chaos of homeless shelters, hotels and living in cars.

The workers and volunteers at CLNkids believe in the impact of education and care deeply for the children in their care. Sherri Wells, development and communication director at CLNkids, said she is passionate about the organization because she can “use my talent for storytelling for a purpose and a cause. I love our children more than life. I have seen how just one caring person can make an impact on someone else’s life.”

The children’s ages range from six months to 8 years old or older, and undergo a typical day of schooling which includes breakfast, playtime, naptime and age relevant education. CLNkids currently depends on the support from private and public donations, advocacy and volunteerism.

~ Photos by Diana Cervantes


R.I.P. Gasworks

The Gasworks was a do-it-yourself concert venue that catered to local bands and touring bands on a budget. Jake Lang opened the venue in July 2011 and said he has seen many bands come through.

“We’ve had at least, I would say, at least four shows a week for the last three and a half years,” Lang said. “It’s a lot.”

In October 2014, The Gasworks announced they were closing because the building they were located in had new owners and The Gasworks was given a month to run the venue.

“To be fair, it could’ve been worse,” Lang said. “Being a DIY venue, we could’ve been shut down for not having permits.”

The last show at The Gasworks took place on Nov. 29 and featured out-of-state bands such as Into It. Over It., Lemuria, Foxing and Gates. The small venue was nearly packed on that Saturday night.

During the show Into It. Over It. and Lemuria performed a cover of Modern English’s “I Melt With You” as a combined set. Audience members later sang to Queen’s “We Are The Champions” playing over the PA system.

As of now, Lang has no plans to open another venue … at least not yet.

“I would love to help people do something, go back to doing house shows or anyone that wants to do a small venue,” Lang said. “But I have a feeling that not doing something will drive me insane and eventually I will do something else, but for the time being there’s no plans.”

~ Photos by William Aranda


New Mexico Football vs. Boise State

New Mexico 49, Boise State 60


New Mexico Soccer vs. South Carolina

New Mexico 2, South Carolina 1


New Mexico Midterm Elections 2014

New Mexico midterm elections 2014 took place on Nov. 4.


New Mexico Basketball vs. Western New Mexico

New Mexico 85, Western New Mexico 49


Southwest Bacon Fest 2014

The second annual Southwest Bacon Fest 2014 took place at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum on Oct. 18. Attendees were able to visit festival booths with vendors from around Albuquerque serving bacon-inspired dishes and even have a chance to compete in competitions including a bacon eating contest.


New Mexico Soccer Vs. Missouri State

New Mexico 2, Missouri State 0


New Mexico Football vs. San Diego State

New Mexico 14, San Diego State 24


New Mexico Football vs. Fresno State

New Mexico 24, Fresno State 35


UNM Homecoming 3-D Chalk Painting

Denver artist Chris Carlson created a 3-D chalk painting for homecoming week at UNM.


UNM vs. NMSU

The Lobos win their first game of the season against NMSU 38-35.


Burlesque Noir

Burlesque Noir presents "Keepin' It Classy" at The Launchpad on Sept. 13.


WICKED Backstage

"WICKED" will run from Sept. 17 to Oct. 5, 2014 at Popejoy.


New Mexico Men's Soccer vs. UCLA

New Mexico 1, UCLA 2


New Mexico Football vs. Arizona State

New Mexico 23, Arizona State 58


First Annual Rebel Donut Dash

The first annual Rebel Donut Dash took place at Balloon Fiesta Park on Saturday morning. The event helped raise money for The Storehouse, New Mexico’s largest food pantry.