Our Features and Regulars pages were graced by brilliant and gutsy content this year, and every writer who appeared in Grapeshot deserves a bit of torn-up tiara. But some pieces sparked particularly enthusiastic responses from readers; what follows are some of the best interviews and articles that stirred debate or grabbed attention throughout the year.
Building Tension: The relationship between architecture and activism at Macquarie
As large swathes of the campus are cordoned off, deconstructed, rebuilt and reorganised, Emma Harvey asked the question: to what degree does the architecture of the university affect our movements and gatherings? This article sparked fierce debate between readers, and whatever you make of the sentiment behind Harvey’s piece, we think everyone can enjoy the image of a panicked Vice-Chancellor having to scurry into a secret tunnel to escape mobs of student activists picketing on his office lawn.
Grapeshot Challenge: Woman Vs Wild
Our long-suffering Regulars Editor, Nikita Jones, endured a lot this year for the sake of the hallowed Challenge section – including a date with a Daddy, a daring Drag performance and delivering a uni presentation at 10am thoroughly sauced – but by far the most dramatic challenge took place somewhere in Heathcote National Park. To our knowledge, it’s the only Grapeshot challenge thus far that has resulted in a police report.
Slow Progress: On living with dyspraxia
Few people know what dyspraxia is, and even people who do often hold misconceptions about the disability. Cameron Colwell’s personal take on growing up and living with dyspraxia was one of our most popular features this year, and added valuable insight about a poorly understood and insufficiently supported disability.
My Grandfather, Bogside Artist
Writer Aoife Wilkinson’s grandfather was one of three world-famous artists who grew up in the violent streets of Bogside, in the Irish city of Derry during the 30-year period of guerrilla warfare known as The Troubles. Her story on the street art he created to campaign for peace is moving and fascinating, and if you haven’t noticed by now, we at Grapeshot are suckers for a bit of political art.
Erin Christie’s funny yet brutally honest memoir piece about the paradoxically isolating effects of antidepressants is both a brave portrayal of how university life can exacerbate depression and anxiety and a skewering of Australia’s drinking culture.
Billion Dollar Bruce: Grapeshot sits down with Macquarie’s Fifth Vice-Chancellor
Most people might recognise Professor S Bruce Dowton’s unique bowtie-and-bald-head look, but few knew anything more about Macquarie’s most powerful head honcho. When Grapeshot was granted half an hour with the VC, things were bound to get interesting, and combined with a quick yet thorough history of the money scandals and personality quirks of Bruce’s predecessors, the interview makes compelling reading.
Undercover: Whose Essay is it Anyway?
Max Lewis’s satirical undercover investigations this year into a cult, a pick-up artistry workshop and neo-Nazi organisation were some of our most popular content, and it’s hard to choose one that stands out. But perhaps the investigation that students were most invested in was Max’s endeavour to secure a convincingly written fake essay on the internet. With drama, suspense, and a heartbreaking love story, what more could you want?
Single Mums: The perpetual political punching bag
Using the unlikely inspiration of Jacqui Lambie, Angela Heathcote perfectly melds the political with the personal in this piece, contrasting her experience of loss with the brazen and patronising statements made by politicians about families led by single mothers.