Here it is, the first editorial I am writing as Editor-in-Chief of Concrete. I wish I was writing this under different circumstances, with a print issue being scattered around UEA and campus bustling with people who read our publication. Instead, I sit at home in Edinburgh, hundreds of miles from Norwich and even further from some of my friends. Operating online will have to do for now.
So, what have I been up to in quarantine? I lost many hours to Animal Crossing, continued writing articles where I could, and I slept. A lot. Switching off and finally relaxing really shows how exhausting university life can be. On top of this however, I guess the most important event was finishing my degree! I did not get the dissertation photo I dreamed of next to the lake, and I did not get to celebrate with snakebites in the Square with my friends, but it’s done. I passed. I’m free. Well, I’m free until I return to UEA in September for my MA, but that’s a worry for another time.
Until then, I have a publication to run. I’m not sure this has really sunk in yet, but luckily for me, I have two incredible Deputy Editors, Matt Branston and Will Warnes to help me along the way. Concrete has been a huge part of my life for the past few years, and joining is hands down the best decision I made during my time at UEA. It helped me realise I want to go into journalism as a career, allowed me to meet some amazing people, and became the platform I would use to get a national journalism award nomination under my belt. The moment I found out about my award nomination will always be memorable for me, as I stood with a full face of make up in a dress rehearsal for ‘Into the Woods’. I’m sure Matt and Will can also vouch for the euphoria of this moment having been nominated for awards themselves. It was the culmination of all the hard work we had put into making our writing better over the years, so roll on October for the awards ceremony!
The past few weeks have been spent recruiting our brand-new editorial team, which if I do say so myself, was an amazing success. The talent we have on the team this year is unbelievable and I am so excited to see what they do in their roles. I have full confidence in every single one of them. We were therefore keen to put them straight to work, hence the “issue” and new content you will have seen today.
The murder of George Floyd has caused an incredible wave of activism worldwide, and we are very keen to use our platform to contribute. One of the most important things we can do to help is educate ourselves about issues in all facets in which they appear, and as a publication which covers many industries and interests and provides a platform, we pledged to take advantage of it. We sincerely hope you can learn a thing or two from the articles we have released, and continue to support the movement in every way you can. Black lives matter.