The articles appearing this month seem to have a much more serious edge than previous months. Heart wrenching tales of Hillsborough, shocking tales of abuse and depressing revelations in the Panama Papers. There’s been so much to sift through and a remarkable amount to learn. These five however are the ones that really summed up a hugely impacting month.

Why Erykah Badu’s Opinion Is Dangerous
Medium, by Dominique Matti

An incredibly well written piece, explaining why when Erykah Badu says that ‘girls skirts at school should be knee length’ it’s just victim blaming in disguise. Drawing on relatable life experience Matti tears down Badu’s defences and makes an argument for wearing whatever the hell you want.

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The Psychological Cost of Boring Buildings
Science of Us, by Jacoba Urist

Do you ever find that you suddenly feel excited and optimistic when you walk into an area that’s visually stimulating? An area full of different sights, sounds and smells? Well this piece argues (with the science to back it up) that there’s a huge difference in our reaction to boring buildings and areas full of variation and intrigue. It makes a great deal of sense really, boring buildings are just that, boring, and that impacts our minds and lives more than we realise.

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Hillsborough disaster: deadly mistakes and lies that lasted decades
The Guardian, by David Conn

There was so much written around the verdict of the inquest into Hillsborough, as the families at the centre of it were finally given peace, finally backed up as the judge determined that their loved ones were killed unlawfully. But this is a special piece, looking in detail at the people at the heart of this story, retelling the events with a very human edge and through many perspectives. It’s completely devastating, totally unimaginable today, but so continually fresh.

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Whistleblowing Is Not Just Leaking — It’s an Act of Political Resistance
The Intercept, by Edward Snowden

A fascinating piece from whistleblower Edward Snowdon taken from Jeremy Scahill’s book The Assassination Complex, looking at the different kinds of leaks. The ones deemed acceptable, the ones met with a slap on the wrist (Ellsberg) and the ones met with a heavy handed criminalisation of the whilstleblower (Manning). Leaks help remind people of the service these organisations are providing, and who they are meant to serve – something that can easily be forgotten.

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Reclamation Through a Microphone
Pitchfork, by Raphaelle Standell-Preston

An astonishingly moving personal essay from the lead singer of Braids, looking behind their upcoming EP at the issues it deals with and the bravely told story it faces. Of course music is often highly personal, but rarely do we get such a crystal clear explanation of how it can help the writer work through and deal with their emotions, both past and present.

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