Tuesday 16 May 2017 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Tuesday. 16/5/2017

The Monocle Minute

Image: Reuters


Kurds in the fray

President Donald Trump isn’t known for having an impeccable sense of timing but the decision last week to arm the Kurdish militias fighting Isis in the north of Syria came at a somewhat opportune moment. It flies in the face of Turkey’s demands that the US distances itself from its Kurdish allies, yet Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan – who meets Trump at the White House today – is on the back foot internationally after his bitter referendum campaign descended into name-calling European nations and his cabinet is desperate to reassure foreign investors that the country remains open for business. Erdogan has been relatively reticent – even conciliatory – so far on the US’s game-changing decision on Syria. That might not last when these two bellicose leaders meet but, as Turkey is the country with the most at stake, Erdogan is unlikely to talk Trump down.


Stealing the limelight

The editor of Canada’s most prominent current affairs magazine, The Walrus, has resigned amid a row over race and culture in the country. Jonathan Kay stepped down at the weekend following outrage at his defence of critic Hal Niedzviecki, who wrote an essay stating he didn’t believe in cultural appropriation. (That piece drew anger from the press and swiftly led to Niedzviecki’s own resignation from the Writers’ Union of Canada.) Kay’s leap into the discussion is the latest in a string of controversies during his tenure as editor in chief, including an uproar regarding the treatment of freelancers. While Kay has been widely credited with improving the quality of the magazine, many believe The Walrus deserves an editor who doesn’t let unnecessary controversies overshadow its journalism.

Image: Getty Images


Singing and samba

Though Portugal is still abuzz after its first Eurovision victory this weekend, we are already thinking about a potential new guest nation for next year’s show – Brazil. Australia’s inclusion in the song contest for the past three years has significantly broadened the scope of the event beyond the continent and Eurovision has a growing fan base in Brazil. At this year’s finale in Kiev, we spotted more than a few Brazilian flags and the country’s leading newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, has began covering Eurovision from afar. Fan blogs are now clamouring for a Brazilian entry in Lisbon next year and we’re inclined to agree: not only would it be a great boost for the Lusophone community but Brazil knows how to make a party special. We’re envisioning a pitch-perfect performance by a rising star, such as Anitta (pictured), blending well-crafted pop with Brazilian rhythms.


Winter sun

While many figures from the fashion world are gathering at resort shows in Kyoto or Paris for the likes of Louis Vuitton and Chanel, the southern hemisphere’s style set has congregated in Sydney this week for the 22nd edition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, the nation’s most high-profile fashion week. The annual event (and the Australian fashion industry generally) has long had to grapple with the issue of contrasting seasons between northern and southern hemispheres: when the rest of the world is showing autumn/winter collections, it’s summertime down under. In the past two years, however, by pushing the event back one month to May and encouraging designers to show trans-seasonal (or “resort”) collections instead of spring/summer lines, organisers have aligned the event with the rest of the industry and garnered more international attention; this year buyers from the likes of Net-a-Porter and Selfridges are in attendance. They will be eagerly anticipating shows by designers such as Anna Quan, Christopher Esber and, one of the country's biggest exports, Kym Ellery.

Something old, something new: Paula Scher and Adrian Shaughnessy

This month Robert Bound is joined by graphic designer and first female principal at Pentagram, Paula Scher, and Adrian Shaughnessy who teaches visual communication at the Royal College of Art and is also co-founder of Unit Editions. They bring in the objects that have aided and inspired them throughout their careers.


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