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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

Chris

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

eurocrisis
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.

NEXT ISSUE 01.04.2018