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|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.
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.
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?
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.
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
Photo courtesy of doppeldenk-spiele
Still can't get enough of European austerity politics? Not afraid of a delicate financial situation in your own living room? Then, "€uro Crisis" might be just the right board game for you! In the wake of the latest Greek crisis, the spotlight has once again been cast on the European financial crisis. E&M author Julia Schulte shares her experience in playing the recently developed board game "€uro Crisis" and explores how it depicts these troubled times.
I just bought the Spanish national football team at a give-away price. When the government had to privatise some of their most valuable possessions, my bank struck gold. Simon has a good run, too: as a major bonds holder of a highly indebted Ireland, his bank expects a nice dividend at the end of the year – unless I stop it.
I rearrange my tokens and think about which card to play next. This is by far the happiest I have ever been about the financial crisis. Simon smiles. He is one of a group of five students who developed "€uro Crisis", the board game which sometimes is so painfully close to reality that it leaves the winner with an uneasy feeling. Still, a lot of people seem eager to gain the title "Best Euro Crisis Gambling Bank". A crowd funding campaign to produce the game on a larger scale finished on 19 July, and provided the five of them with over 15,800 € – a lot more than the necessary 13,400 €, a goal they had already reached six days before the campaign’s official ending.
Spanish party Podemos has been on the rise in Spain gaining popularity in the country's most recent regional elections. E&M author Leire Ariz Sarasketa takes a closer look at the movement and what it means for both Spain and Europe.
When Spanish protesters took to the streets in 2011, they voiced their complaints about corruption and what they considered to be a faulty democratic system. Back then, a few politicians condescendingly suggested that rather than by occupying public spaces, the so-called indignados would be more effective at changing the system by going into politics. "Let's see how good they are in the real world," they seemed to think. Four years on, the new Spanish party Podemos, considered by many an heir of the Indignados movement, has five seats in the European Parliament and recently broke records in the local and regional elections held in May.
This transformation from street protesters to political heavyweights tells a powerful story of the rise of popular movements everywhere. Take for instance in the fact that the new Mayor of Barcelona, known for her fight against evictions was previously arrested by a police force that will now be under her control.
|Photo: GothPhil (Flickr); Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0|
Another week, another selection of journalistic gems, compiled by one of E&M's editors: Frances Jackson on a modern use for ancient philosophy, remembering Srebrenica and a couple of disconcerting developments in Russia.
Frances, Diaphragm / Baby editor
A word of advice from the ancients
In the run-up to last Sunday’s unprecedented referendum, much was written about the future of Greece, not all of it, I fear, especially helpful. One article, however, that seemed to buck the trend was William Irvine’s piece for the BBC on Stoicism and its applicability to the current situation.
Reminding us that the word crisis comes from the Ancient Greek for "decide" (a point that was incidentally also made by German polymath Joseph Vogl at a discussion I went to last week in Munich), Irvine disabuses his readers of the misconception that the Stoic approach is merely that of the stiff upper lip and highlights instead its inherently practical, vigorous nature even.
Though Irvine focuses on how the Greek people might achieve a degree of control over events in their country, I suspect that we could all probably benefit from the wisdom of the Stoic school of philosophy. You never know – taking time to consider how things could be worse might actually give us some much-needed perspective on this issue and others.
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. On the blog, we host a photo competition called Europe Through a Lens and 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 gone with "European cityscapes" and you're welcome to interpret the topic however you wish. Whether taken in the place you grew up or just a holiday snap, entries can be images of anything from vertigo-inducing skyscrapers to the view from a rooftop, bathed in the light of the setting sun – so do feel free to let your imagination run wild!