Monday 30 November 2015 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Monday. 30/11/2015

The Monocle Minute

Image: Alex Holyoake

Weathering the storm

The climate change conference (COP21) begins in Paris today, less than three weeks after terrorists laid siege on the City of Light. In the days following the series of co-ordinated attacks that left 130 dead and more than 350 injured, France called a state of emergency (which is still in effect), Brussels was placed on lock-down as authorities feared a similar attack and searched for would-be terrorists, and the US issued a worldwide travel warning for its citizens. Yet organisers of the climate conference were remarkably quick to assert that the summit would still go ahead in the shell-shocked French capital. Even more remarkable was the fact that not one of the 147 heads of state from around the world pulled out. While a lot of the decisions and rhetoric following the Paris attacks have been reactionary, COP21 can be seen as an act of defiance – and a stand against the fear that the attacks sought to generate.

Image: Getty Images

Japan: big spender

Japan has given hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe but during a visit to Tokyo last week UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres didn’t just thank his hosts for being generous – he also criticised Tokyo for taking in too few asylum-seekers. Last year, of the record-high 5,000 applicants from 73 countries who applied for asylum, Japan took in 11. (The figures from past years are similarly small: six of 3,260 applicants were accepted in 2013 and 18 of 2,545 in 2012.) Guterres urged Tokyo to allow more refugees to resettle in Japan and to offer more support for their integration. It was a direct challenge to recent remarks by prime minister Shinzo Abe, who said Japan should focus on attracting more women into the workforce before opening its doors to more refugees.

Image: Hong Kong Markets Organisation

Back in time

With Hong Kong’s luxury goods sector enduring a rough patch, consumers are being encouraged to buy vintage this Christmas. The Something Old pop-up market, open until 20 December, features 30 stores selling vintage clothes, cameras and even a collection of vintage motorcycles. It is the latest venture from the Hong Kong Markets Organisation (HKMO), the team behind the regular food and beverage-focused PMQ Night Market. Food has a huge fan base in the city but demand for vintage goods is less proven. The Kowloon site is away from typical expat areas, making it a truer test of local tastes. “One of our commitments is to promote designers and artisans, especially the best brands in town, and help them develop actual businesses,” says Vince Poon, HKMO’s managing director.

Image: Getty Images

Treading the boards

The West End has had a great month as November has seen three highly praised British productions successfully transfer from London to New York City: Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III for an open run; Ivo van Hove’s production of A View from the Bridge, which started at the Young Vic and is now on at the Lyceum Theatre; and Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female Henry IV, which is currently showing at St Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. According to Matt Wolf, London theatre critic for the International New York Times, the praise isn't all that surprising: “Every British production that gets good reviews comes under scrutiny in New York.” His pick of the bunch? “A View from the Bridge, because it felt like a classic that had been re-animated as something new. People who have seen it before will discover a different side to the play.”

Image: Stefan Ruiz

The Big Interview: Daniel Libeskind

Steve Bloomfield sits down with one of the world’s greatest and most interesting architects, Daniel Libeskind. Perhaps best known for the Jewish Museum in Berlin and for being master planner for New York’s Ground Zero, Libeskind discusses the state of the world, optimism and the place he calls home.

The Monocle Travel Guide to Miami

Miami has a lot going for it: its shoreline, year-round warm weather and diverse population. Our new travel guide will help you explore the neighbourhoods to discover its full potential as we introduce you to the dynamic art scene, the best bars and restaurants and everything in between. Published by Gestalten, The Monocle Travel Guide to Miami is available now at The Monocle Shop.


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