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December 2021

Cheap

55/02

Cheap

Cheap thrills. Cheap and cheerful. Cheap at the price. Do it on the cheap. Cheap and nasty. Dirt cheap. Talk is cheap. Cheap shot. Cheapish.

One word. Many combinations. Many implications.

Editorial team

Inez Margaux Spaargaren, Robert van Overveld, Oliwia Jackowska, Jonas Althuis, Alessandro Rognoni, Tuyen Le

With contributions from

Vineet Dhall, Minh Anh Nguyen, Carmel Verhaeghe, Daniel James Keeffe, Ksenija Onufrijeva

Cover design by

Editorial Team

Editorial

Have you ever started a conversation with friends bragging about how little you spent on your new bike, or how good was that Chocomel discount at Aldi, or how cheap was Prague when you were there to visit your friend? Maybe not, but probably yes. University students simply love advertising a cheap lifestyle, it is inherent to their behaviour, and to their social skills.

It is also true that so much of the world strikes us with the possibility of spending less, enticing people with their low-cost strategy, sales and super crazy deals. Fast-fashion, German supermarket chains, Ryanair, shiny gyms with annual discount plans, and Bouwpub beer; our life is a hunt for the most affordable things. Some cheap buildings, as well, have their own fashion. Who doesn’t like a facade of corrugated steel, or a fully-plywood interior. Very trendy indeed.

However, cheapness doesn’t just relate to money or finance. Whether a cheap shot, a cheap person or a cheap thrill, it is a term that connects to wider images, of things of lower nature, of everything-tacky or, sometimes, of coolness and nonchalance. In truth, we are attracted by cheapness in all its forms and weirdness, and we sometimes fancy escaping its negative connotations. In this edition, we attempt to draw these connections by bringing you stories from the realm of the very cheap (and the very expensive). We offer you anecdotes about Delhi markets and bootlegged items, stories of high and low fashion and low-budget films, reportage on barely-paid internships, the world of drag queens and much more!

So, while you deal with your Christmas presents’ headache, we encourage you to lose yourself in this cheaply printed edition. Forget about money or style, sit back and enjoy!

Contents

Louder than Words

Pen Pal

4 - 6

pg.

Do our body parts come at a price? Well, let's negotiate. Negotiation and bargaining is an art form. Every art form has its distinct mediums and tools. Alternatively, can these tools be our body parts? This article highlights a bargaining form existing in the fruit market of Delhi, India, where a distinct non-verbal style of negotiating the price, commonly known as the Azadpuri style, takes shape. 

A Reflection on the Materialistic You

From the editors

7

pg.

The "greenest" material is the material that was not used, and the cheapest Black Friday deal out there was the deal that was not bought. It's surprisingly hard not to do or buy something as humans who happen to live in a materialistic and growth-oriented society. Since self-development seems to strongly relate to the things we own or participate in, we constantly fall into the trap of the marketing machine. Where, in the end, we become a salesman to ourselves; "This would actually help me improve my health", or "the new version does have features that I miss in the current version". The result? We buy. 

Cheap Queens and Real Queens

Pen Pal

8 - 9

pg.

“I’m a cheap queen, I can be what you like” – King Princess (“Cheap Queen,” 2019). “Cheap queen” is a term that refers to a “queen” in drag who is resourceful, who can make something out of not very much.

Astral Conversations

Pen Pal

10

pg.

Cheap Labour...?

BK Report

11 - 14

pg.

The infamous internship, you've heard the horror stories: a gruelling period of hard work for little to no pay. Tireless hours spent on minute details in Revit models, endless sun-studies and Lumion renders that few people will ever see. The implicit expectation to stay at the office late, working unpaid overtime. Work that you spent hours on, disregarded by your supervising architect, who has already changed their mind but not yet informed you. Perhaps not the exciting and inspiring reality of architectural design you hoped it would be. But those are just horror stories right? Just the exception? One bad experience among a plethora of good ones? Right?

Bootleg Paradise

From the editors

15 - 17

pg.

The good, the bad, and the bootleg. What does it mean to own a bootlegged item? I am inviting you to dive into the alternative world of goods, spanning across the globe.  This is the underbelly of our consuming culture that we are not dare enough to be proud of.

Cheap Absurdity

From the editors

18 - 19

pg.

“You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!” is a quote which is nothing short of iconic. The delivery of the line and the senseless surrounding storyline of The Room makes for the absurdity of what is happening on-screen. The Room, Birdemic: Shock and Terror and virtually anything by Neil Breen are films that are just bad, yet something still draws us to watch and cherish the moments of these disastrous flops.

Cheap or Priceless?

Pen Pal

20 - 21

pg.

Empty window holes watching greedily as you pass by. Paint on the façade, once bright and smooth, now burnt-out, embroidered with countless cracks. We all know those, and we wonder what secrets they are keeping behind the dusty doorknobs — the abandoned. The legacy of the second part of the 20th century that brought countless factories, warehouses, once-bustling industrial areas into silent pieces of oblivion. And so they stay. Empty. 

F*ck Black Friday

From the editors

22 - 23

pg.

Black Friday is known worldwide as the day when Christmas shopping can begin; this year, it was the 26th of November.

The Richness In Living Cheaply

Pen Pal

24 - 26

pg.

Coming from the UK, in the context of the wider world, I have been remarkably privileged. In modern discourse, that should go without saying really. But it hits you in remarkable and unexpected ways after spending some time in a place where those immediately around you have comparatively much less.  

High and Low

From the editors

27 - 29

pg.

From Jil Sander x Uniqlo to Dior x Nike, from Tiffany x Supreme to Versace x H&M, collaborations between high and low fashion are crucial to contemporary relationships between brands and the public. On the high end, they offer an opportunity to democratise a brand’s image, de-stigmatising themselves from being exclusive. On the low end, they are a great marketing opportunity. Now part of the mainstream way of fuelling the business, the way these collaborations come together is often telling of the controversies of our society..

Artefact: Lost & Found

Artefact

30 - 31

pg.

‘Artefact’ is a recurring two-page spread, which features a beloved object presented by one of the BK City staff members. This time we decided to examine objects that are not loved by anybody, and did a little searching in the BK's Lost and Found. What we found out will blow your mind!

BKINO POSTER: The Day of the Wacko

From the editors

32

pg.

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