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ASUNM Arts Studio executive director crafts a new path forward

The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico recently announced their 2022-23 agency directors, including returning ASUNM Arts and Crafts Studio executive director Sara Atencio-Gonzales. She was rehired largely due to her history of dedication and hard work. Atencio-Gonzales first learned about the studio in Fall 2020, when she joined ASUNM’s Emerging Lobo Leaders program. She became interim director in Spring 2022 and applied for the position for this year after she fell in love with the work. In the position, she balances both outward and inward facing jobs, taking care of studio member and employee needs as well as budgeting, working with other ASUNM offices and event planning.

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REVIEW: Former UNM student’s ‘Natives Don’t Get Haircuts’ bursts with wry introspection

On June 28, Wry Press released “Natives Don’t Get Haircuts,” a chapbook by former University of New Mexico student Hataałiinez Wheeler containing 29 poems and one short story. Fans of Wheeler’s will recognize the disconcerting linework as analogous to what is often scrawled alongside his sketches and photographs, while those new to his work will be brought in by the tension and language — none will be disappointed with the outcome, printed and bound. Wheeler, the definition of an interdisciplinary artist, has already released three albums and an EP under his nickname Hataałii. A personal favorite is the song “Walking on Our Own,” co-written and produced by current UNM student Jakob Jaques. Wheeler is also a model and actor, recently working on the AMC television series “Dark Winds” as Joe Leaphorn Jr. In the past year, he’s even delved into painting and jewelry-making with vigor.

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REVIEW: ‘Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes’ is a visually appealing, ego-boosting slog

The film industry loves to make movies about the film industry and “Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes” from Austrian/Sri Lankan director Kevin Kopacka, is one of the newest films to join this long tradition after its release in the U.S. on June 24. The Guild Cinema luckily only had a one-night screening of the film so hopefully no one else — save for the poor unfortunate souls in the movie house on Saturday, July 9 — will have to subject themselves to this bore of a watch. “Dawn” starts out following a couple, Dieter (Fredrick von Lüttichau) and Margot (Luisa Taraz), as they explore a possibly abandoned castle inherited by Margot from some dead family member; I say possibly because, at most points, the film can’t decide if the castle is truly abandoned or not. It would seem so, based on its decrepit and dilapidated state, but the couple spends the night there in a bed with some suspiciously nice white sheets — however, this is only a minor annoyance in a film as annoying as a crying child in a restaurant, although far less forgivable.


Loboscopes: July general predictions

In the heat of the summer, the cosmos promises to light a fire underneath you as Mars, the planet of confrontation and motivation, moves through Taurus, inching closer to the erratic and rebellious Uranus and eventually hitting a perfect conjunction on August 1. The slow-moving energy of Taurus will be especially at odds with the fiery, impassioned energy of Leo as the sun moves into the sign late in the month. How will you fare this foul, fiery weather? Continue on for specific advice for your sign.

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REVIEW: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ is a thunderous hit

“Thor: Love and Thunder” was released on Friday, July 8 and is officially my second favorite Marvel movie with the first being “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (and yes, I have a list of the movies and shows in order of my favorites; it's extensive.) “Love and Thunder” kept my attention the whole time; I was so engrossed the entire time, I forgot to take notes on the movie like I usually do for reviews (Don’t tell my editors).


UNM professor-led band lights up music scene with new album, ‘Fuego’

Quieto, a band led by University of New Mexico theater professor Alejandro Tomás Rodriguez, released their new album “Fuego” to streaming services on June 10, experimenting with a new sound and brand for the band, which embraces Afro Latin, blues, rock, cumbia, funk and hip-hop inspirations. Their lead single, “Galope Nocturno,” has received over 1,300 streams on Spotify so far.

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Journalists struggle with impartiality amid Dobbs verdict

On June 24, the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned the legal precedent of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which guaranteed constitutional protection of abortion rights. Due to the highly divisive nature of this decision, journalists across the country are struggling to balance their personal opinions with journalistic neutrality. Rebecca Salinas, a digital journalist for KSAT in San Antonio, believes in neutrality and understands its importance in journalism, but also sees an importance in bringing emotion to a piece while staying on the line of impartiality.

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OPINION: Fourth of July: ‘What is there to celebrate?’

Ask a patriot, and they’ll tell you that the United States, like other countries, is built from a complicated web of ideas and values that have shaped the country since its very inception — freedom, equality and independence for all. Even though the “all” has never really included everyone, these values still supposedly take priority. Each year, we even celebrate when the U.S. first established these ideas as the guiding principles of our constitutional republic, on the day we declared our independence from Great Britain: the Fourth of July.

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‘Mad God’ impresses with hopelessness, nauseates with skill

Phil Tippett’s “Mad God” released its final part on June 16 to Shudder, showcasing 30 years of top-tier stop motion work in a confusing, unsettling film not comparable to anything else I’ve ever seen. Though at times the screenplay stutters in the depth it perceives of itself, the skill behind the animation is undeniable and further cements Tippett’s place as the “Mad God” of stop motion. “Mad God'' doesn't have a traditional plot and, as a result, can be difficult to describe to readers. Initially released in three parts (like a Cronenberg-directed Dickens novel), “Mad God'' generally follows distorted, mutated figures as they attempt to carry out their violent goals in a war-torn underworld seemingly intended to mirror our world.

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UNM, Albuquerque community reacts to Roe overturning

On Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court announced their ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case, ​​overturning the constitutional right to abortion decided in Roe v. Wade, 1973, and further protected in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 1992. The decision kicked off a weekend of protests from abortion rights activists and allies across the nation. In Albuquerque, hundreds of protesters, University of New Mexico students and other community members gathered in Tiguex Park Friday night to express their anger at the decision. UNM student Joliana Davidson expressed her anger over the decision and how it will affect people with uteruses’ bodily health.

State of City

Community organizations showcase Albuquerque at Expo and Celebration

Over 40 community organizations gathered in the Blacksmith Building at the Albuquerque Rail Yards on Saturday, June 25, for the city’s Community Expo and Celebration prior to Mayor Tim Keller’s State of the City address. These organizational partners showcased the work they’ve done, the opportunities they afford and the roles they play in the greater Albuquerque community — as well as their opinions on the current state of the city. Joey Wilson, warehouse coordinator for the Albuquerque Public Schools Title I McKinney-Vento Homeless Program, which supports unsheltered youth and their families to help them attend school and get an education, expressed concern with the city’s handling of the unhoused population, specifically the youth.

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Community Expo takes doggy detour

On Saturday, June 25, dozens of community members, politicians and local organizations gathered for the Community Expo and Celebration at the Albuquerque Rail Yards in conjunction with the State of the City address. While their owners were listening to Mayor Tim Keller detail his plans for the city, a select group of canine companions took time to enjoy the newly renovated Rail Yards and the slightly overcast weather. Desiree Cawley, marketing manager for the city’s Animal Welfare Department, welcomed the crowd of furry friends from community members joining in on the celebration as well as animals up for adoption brought by the department.

Strata Gallery Showcase

Santa Fe gallery showcases emerging UNM artists

Anna Rotty and Rosalba Breazeale, two graduate students at the University of New Mexico, are set to be featured as new Emerging Artists at the Santa Fe Strata Gallery’s second annual Group Member Exhibition, running from July 26 to Aug. 20. The Group Member Exhibition will host a collection of works in various mediums from 16 established gallery members and five newly selected emerging artists and will allow visitors to walk through an eclectic mix of ideas.

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UNM students respond to gun violence in their communities

Gun violence is a growing concern across the nation, as in recent years the number of mass shootings annually has grown considerably, from 417 in 2019, to 700 in 2021, with 2022 on track to match last year’s high, according to the Washington Post. In Albuquerque, there have been 51 deaths related to guns in 2022 alone, according to Gun Violence Archive. Though New Mexico’s government has taken steps toward greater levels of gun control, it’s still not enough, according to Cheryl Haase, social media lead for Moms Demand Action, an organization of mothers devoted to ending gun violence in their communities.

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REVIEW: ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ never quite finds its rhythm

Cooper Raiff announced a strong presence in the indie film scene in 2020 with his breakout debut “Shithouse.” Made on a mere $15,000 budget, it was enough to garner the attention of one Dakota Johnson, who produced and stars in Raiff’s latest outing, “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” for which Raiff won not only an Audience Award out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but also a $15 million distribution deal with Apple TV+. The film may not be enough to get everyone to clap their hands like its title-inspiring song, but it might be enough to get you to bob your head with the beat.

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5 and Why: 5 suggestions for restful summer activities

The middle of summer can be a nerve-wracking time for students. With half of break near gone and the next semester fast approaching, it can often feel as though we’ve wasted our free time and not done all that we’d planned. However, summer is also a time of rest and relaxation to recharge for the coming semester: the only time in a year where students have the opportunity to be alright with not accomplishing anything. Incoming University of New Mexico senior Alli Arend offered us five activities she uses to relax over the summer.


Albuquerque celebrates Juneteenth

The city of Albuquerque celebrated Juneteenth this weekend in Civic Plaza with numerous speakers, musicians, community leaders and artists. Leading the organization of this event was Nichole Rodgers, the city of Albuquerque’s African American community and business liaison with the Office of Equity and Inclusion. City Council member Klarissa Peña helped introduce the festivities with a proclamation regarding the city’s celebration of Juneteenth and the need for continual support of the Black community.

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‘Neptune Frost’ strikes a ‘unanimous gold mine’

Released in the United States June 3, 2022, the Afrofuturist musical “Neptune Frost” is a singular delight, jam-packed with strong political motion, fantastical design elements and powerful, moving music; it is truly unlike anything I have ever watched before. The directorial debut of prolific musician and actor Saul Williams, co-directed by Anisia Uzeyman, “Neptune Frost” follows the interconnected stories of Neptune (Cherly Isheja and Elvis Ngabo) and Matalusa (Bertrand Ninteretse), a pair living under a dystopian totalitarian government known as the Authority whose tales intertwine when their meeting sets into motion an otherworldly technological force.

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