The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 20 August 2016

Image: Getty Images

Projection of power

When Turkey needs a hero – especially a gun-toting, wildly nationalistic hero – it turns to one man: Polat Alemdar, the so-called “Turkish James Bond”. The secret-service agent, played by actor Necati Sasmaz, stars in the film franchise Valley of the Wolves and has a shot as sharp as his lines. A new film in the series is usually made when Turkey gets embroiled in a diplomatic spat – the last, for instance, portrayed the Israeli military as a clandestine, villainous organisation in the aftermath of the raid on the Gaza-bound Turkish peace flotilla in 2010. A new instalment is now in the works and predictably takes Turkey’s recent coup as its theme; expect big explosions, plenty of intrigue from the meddling West and a conspiracy theory or two. But who on Earth will play the cleric Fethullah Gulen?

Image: Hassan Ammar/PA Images

Mapping Cairo

Cairo is well known for its congestion: 20 million people reside in the city’s metro region and about two thirds depend on public transit. The subway system and public buses cannot cope with demand so an estimated 20,000 to 80,000 privately run microbuses fill in the gaps. Now a group of young Egyptians – with backgrounds in urban planning, business development, computer science and economics – are trying to change that with their new initiative Transport for Cairo. Their initial goal is to map and share data on the city’s convoluted transit system, including its informal networks, to ease people’s access to transport. The group has already collaborated with the likes of the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency; it’s a sign of more good things to come.

Home improvement

After winning the 2016 Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture last month, Toronto-based architect Heather Dubbeldam is channelling the $50,000 (€44,000) prize money into funding her research project The Next Green. Dubbeldam and her team will visit Scandinavia and Germany to analyse the countries’ sustainable housing. But instead of importing their ideas blindly, her challenge is to come up with plans that will change how she and her colleagues build sustainable and aesthetically pleasing residences in Canada. While research and scientific advances are key, don’t expect everything to be hi-tech; as Dubbeldam points out, sometimes it’s the thoughtful angling of a window that makes all the difference.

Image: Faye Sakura Rentoule

Capital gains

The silver tongue and sharp wit of architecture critic Rowan Moore are usually reserved for his incisive writings in the UK’s Observer newspaper; his second book, Slow Burn City, is a thoughtful, long-form meditation on the nation’s capital. London’s private-property market may be booming but as Moore points out, it’s not creating a particularly positive environment for the city’s inhabitants. Appended by a short manifesto for reversing some of the private sector’s oversights – namely providing enough affordable housing and public spaces to keep the city an alluring place to call home – Moore’s work is lucid, good tempered and timely. We’re reminded that London has weathered its share of storms in the past, encouraged to appreciate the cosmopolitan colossus that it is today and implored not to take the capital’s incredible good fortune for granted.

From Monocle 24

‘The Childhood of a Leader’

Actor Daniel Klemens reads an essay by Australian film critic Glenn Dunks recalling his first childhood visit to the cinema. Meanwhile, we hear from actor-turned-director Brady Corbet about his striking debut The Childhood of a Leader. Plus: Argentine director Pablo Trapero discusses his record-breaking Silver Lion-winner The Clan and Little White Lies editor David Jenkins looks back at his favourite western My Darling Clementine.

From Monocle Films

Monocle preview: September issue 2016

Get a move on and discover all you need to start an empire with the Entrepreneurs Guide in our business-savvy September issue. Pick up a copy to discover the places to be and people to know – not to mention all the usual engaging reports and eye-opening photography. Available now at The Monocle Shop.

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