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Wednesday, 18 March 2015 00:00

Europe Through a Lens – March / April 2015

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ETAL logosmall

They say a picture paints a thousand words, so we've set out to discover what photography might be able to tell us about today's Europe.

Here at E&M, we don't just want to know what young Europeans think about Europe, we also want to find out how they see and feel the continent. Sixth Sense plays host to a photo competition called Europe Through a Lens and we regularly publish a selection of our readers' photographic work. All you have to do is submit images that you think best represent our selected European theme.

This time around, we've chosen "Europe on the move" as our theme and you're free to interpret this however you like. Entries could be images of anything from early-morning commuters or lunchtime joggers to migrating birds – it's all down to you and your powers of imagination!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015 00:00

Munich in Green and Black

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St Patricks Day
Photo: Tobias Melzer
 

St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the Bavarian capital

 

With Ireland and Irish diasporas around the world honouring their patron saint today, E&M photographer Tobias Melzer takes a look at continental Europe's largest St. Patrick's Day parade, an emerald extravaganza of good cheer and cultural diversity that has been held annually in the German city of Munich since 1995.

When it comes to exportability, there's no saint quite like Patrick. His appeal seems to know no bounds and St. Patrick's Day parades have caught on in just about every corner of the world. This year will also see a number of European landmarks, including the Colosseum in Rome, Montmartre's Sacré-Cœur Basilica and the London Eye being illuminated in verdant hues as part of Tourism Ireland's "Global Greening".

Though Munich is perhaps best known for its beer halls and Brezen, not to mention the world-famous Oktoberfest, there is a least one day a year when being Bavarian takes a back seat and the city embraces other cultural traditions. Now in its 20th year, the Munich St. Patrick's Day parade not only showcases the breadth of the Irish community's cultural endeavours here – everything from hurling to folk dance – but also gives a platform to other nations represented in the city.  The 2015 edition, which took place last Sunday, featured contributions from as far afield as Slovenia. In a show of international understanding, leprechauns mingled with Lederhosen-clad musicians, a certain dark beer flowed freely alongside German Helles and even the lord mayor of Munich got on stage to sing a duet of "Whiskey in the Jar". Saint Patrick would surely have been proud.

vespa.jpj

 

Photo: Paul; Licence: CC BY 2.0

Italian vespa in Durham, UK

 

Immigration is a hot topic in the UK and the current political campaign is no exception. In the run-up to the general election, scheduled for 7 May 2015, politicians from different wings are getting tougher on EU migrants. Focusing mainly on migrants coming from Southern Europe and, especially, on the Italian community living in the UK, E&M's author Nicoletta Enria takes us through some of the scenarios about how this election could affect EU migrants and their lives in a country where they don't have the right to vote.

 

From the time of the Roman Empire to Ellis Island and now taking to the streets of London, Italians have always been known to migrate and make their presence known throughout the world. As youth unemployment in Italy soars, hitting a staggering 43.9% in November 2014, young Italians cannot help but feel anger, disappointment and resentment towards a system that offers them no hope and begin to look for a brighter future abroad. This swarm of educated youngsters, the "escaping brains" as they are known in Italy due to the fact that many of them have university degrees, are now predominantly settling in the UK. Officially, there are said to be 600 thousand Italians today in the UK, of which 60% are under the age of 35. What is life like for all these hopeful young Italians in the UK and how will the potential outcomes of the UK General Elections in May affect them?

 

In Italy, partially due to the role of the press in glorifying the UK and Germany, young Italians are brought up believing that all hope lies in migrating there. More and more hopeful Italians are travelling to the UK and finding themselves living in squalid, cheap hostels to avoid transport costs and expensive rent. Paid minimum wage, sometimes even less, they are ideal for low-income jobs as they provide big companies with cheap labour. In their dream for a better life not just Italian migrants, but also Portuguese, Spanish and Greek youngsters are facing this similar unexpected economic hardship, in an attempt to escape the financial crisis in their home countries. There is also a large community of young Italians studying at British boarding schools and universities in an attempt to profit from one of the best education systems in Europe and broaden their opportunities to obtain jobs in more places around the world. With a growing anti-immigration discourse in the UK, seen in articles such as this one by the Sun referring to Portuguese, Italian, Greek and Spanish migrants as "PIGS [that] are here to stay", integration is a privilege that not all of these young migrants have. Despite this, plenty of Italian migrants I have spoken to, myself included, thoroughly enjoy living the UK and feel fully integrated in their home away from home.

Monday, 09 March 2015 00:00

European landscapes

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ETAL logosmall

They say a picture paints a thousand words, so we've set out to discover what photography might be able to tell us about today's Europe and are pleased to announce the winners of our January / February competition.

We had a good feeling about the topic for this edition of Europe Through a Lens and were not far wrong. Our readers responded imaginatively to the theme "European landscapes", showing the continent in all of its natural glory. With entries ranging from verdant valleys and rolling hills to desolate, wind-swept scenes, the judges faced their toughest challenge yet in deciding which photo should claim top honours.

In the end, though, it was Junyuan Chen, a Chinese photographer and winner of the competition back in November last year, whose image The lonely tree was awarded first place. Junyuan, who lives in Glasgow, captured the shot in the late afternoon at Loch Lomand, just in time for the last light of the day. He believes that the centrepiece of his prize-winning composition is probably the most photographed tree in Scotland. You can find more of Junyuan's work on his Flickr account.

NEXT ISSUE 01.10.2015

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