Wednesday, 30 September 2015 08:19

Thoughts on turning thirty

Written by
Turning 30
Photo: Tobias Melzer

As E&M prepares to launch its 30th edition, we asked ourselves what turning thirty means to us as individuals. From fear to excitement, editors past and present weigh in on this milestone of modern life.


Chris, editor of Heart / Legs  (26 years old)

I remember in my teens watching an episode of Friends where one or other of the group (was it Ross... Rachel or Dave? It doesn't matter) was really stressing out about turning thirty. At that point, it seemed miles away and I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Now it's much nearer and I still can't see what all the fuss is about. True, your twenties slip by pretty quick but then I look at 18 year olds today and I think, oh god, was I like that once? Thirty seems much more refined, like a glass of port. A time where you're confident enough to know what you do and don't like and not get phased by situations, and young enough to still legitimately be able to go a bit crazy every so often. Overall, I'm looking forward to it and hope that I'm still young at heart despite the extra responsibilities.


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Fernando, editor of Brain / Heart (30 years old)

Turning thirty is a paradox. Beyond the clichés that surround this milestone age, what I really take from it is the inspiration of past lessons. For all the things that turned out wrong and I stubbornly did it again – and failed one more time – the time to learn has come! It is like the feeling of having an open book to be written with a pen whose ink has been tested several times already.

Friday, 11 September 2015 09:08

Greece walking the tight-rope

Written by
VignettaGrecia Alice
Cartoon by Alice Baruffato

This month Alice Baruffato continues her series of cartoons for E&M and focuses on the hot topic that is the Greek crisis. With the sweeping "no" in the Greek referendum regarding the EU austerity measures leading to the resignation of minister of finance Yanis Varoufakis and eventually also of prime minister Alexis Tsipras, Greece's instability was a concern for the whole of Europe. Greece's future seems wholly unpredictable; the first female prime minister for Greece, Vassiliki Thanou, will head the caretaker government until the elections, but will she help Greece cross the tight-rope and reach the financial and political stability it so longs for?

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Photo: Farrukh (Flickr); Licence: CC BY-NC 2.0  

With the September fashion weeks fast approaching, the world awaits the autumn/winter trends about to be unveiled by some of the most influential contemporary designers. E&M author Katarina Poensgen investigates the origins of fashion week and what it means for us today.

It’s an opportunity for showing new trends, artistic talents and edgy clothing. Fashion week – whether it takes place in London, Paris or Berlin – is more than a time for fashion fanatics to show off; it’s a historical culturally important show of creative and luxurious items of clothing displayed on a catwalk for the world to see. This is where designers and models battle it out to prove why they deserve to be a part of the glossy world of fashion. As exciting fashion week is for many today, its intriguing history is also worth investigating. 

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Photo: Brian Dell  (Wikimedia Commons); Licence: CC0 1.0  

It's that time for another of E&M's editors to suggest their favourite reads: Chris Ruff reflects on what the female involvement in the Islamic State could represent and how far did social media impact the british elections.

Chris, Heart / Legs editor


The women of IS

A powerful article that caught my eye this week is the latest in the New York Times' "State of Terror" series, focusing on the story of three young girls from London who flew to Syria to join the Islamic State in February this year.

The long read has numerous strands to it, including the identity dilemmas of second generation Muslim immigrants in Britain and other Western countries, and the tactics used by IS to lure young women from their safe homes in the West to their violent and dangerous "Caliphate" in the Syrian desert.

But what struck me most was the links to female empowerment and the "twisted form of feminism" that the IS female brigades represent. Of the 4000 foreign fighters who have joined the movement, 550 are estimated to be women and girls. Yet what is clear is that the phenomenon is misunderstood and authorities still don’t know how they should deal with it. One cannot help but notice that the fundamentalist Islamic critique – young Western girls being sexualised from a young age – has some truth to it. But their solution – the complete covering of the face and head and a life of purity and devotion to one’s husband, not to mention actively supporting a murderous regime – is an anathema to our liberal Western values

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