Wednesday 1 May 2024 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Wednesday. 1/5/2024

The Monocle Minute

The Opinion

Image: Türkiye Design Council

Society / Hannah Lucinda Smith

Starting from the ground up

The plan for rebuilding Antakya, the city worst affected by last year’s earthquakes that devastated much of southern Turkey and parts of Syria, was revealed yesterday. A consortium of international architects assembled by the Turkey Design Council, an NGO, has drawn up a master plan that will triple the city’s green spaces, provide modern housing to replace rundown neighbourhoods and recreate its rich historical fabric. The rebuilding will take decades – but the hardest part of the reconstruction is persuading residents to approve the plans.

Many property owners in Antakya have lodged legal objections against the demolition of their buildings; scores of damaged houses around the city are spray-painted with signs confirming that their case is with the courts. There are also religious and cultural considerations: Antakya, which was known as the ancient city of Antioch, is home to Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities and boasts a wealth of protected monuments on land that belongs to religious groups. Finally, there are the historic sites that have been taken under the protection of the culture ministry for restoration. All were consulted during the design process and the architects say that they have reached a consensus. But homes are an integral part of our identity and sense of security; even when they are badly damaged, it can be difficult to let them go. That is something that designers must consider as they draw up plans to reconstruct devastated cities.

About 80 per cent of Antakyans are currently living elsewhere. Many of those who remain in the city still live in container camps. Rebuilding is a matter of urgency – and the most important part of that is enabling and persuading residents to return to their homes as quickly as possible. The true success of new Antakya will not be measured by the awards or plaudits that it wins but by how many of its people choose to live there again.

Hannah Lucinda Smith is Monocle’s Istanbul correspondent. For more opinion, analysis and insight, subscribe to Monocle today.

The Briefings

Image: Alamy

Mobility / The Philippines

Plucky strike

Drivers of the Philippines’ jeepney minibuses will strike for a third consecutive day over the government’s plans to modernise public transport. The owners of these unique vehicles, which were originally built by adapting US army jeeps from the Second World War, are being asked to join co-operatives and gradually replace their jeepneys with safer, greener options.

Authorities argue that such ventures will better enable drivers to access finance to buy new vehicles with cleaner engines and more comfortable cabins – but also a hefty price tag. Those who fail to comply risk having their operating licence revoked and vehicles impounded. Resistance has been strongest in Metro Manila, where jeepneys are an essential part of the transport network. Protesters want the state to do more to subsidise the transition to greener vehicles. Drivers also worry about large corporations taking over the industry and the gradual disappearance of a national icon.

Art / New York

Maturing palettes

The 12th edition of Frieze New York begins at The Shed in Manhattan today and runs until this Sunday. The dynamic programme, curated by US gallerist Christine Messineo, features work from 68 galleries, including New York-based Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner and the Miguel Abreu Gallery, and international exhibitors such as Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Xavier Hufkens and Gallery Hyundai. Talks and presentations from emerging industry names, including São Paulo’s Central Galeria, Madragoa from Lisbon and Patron from Chicago, will shed light on younger gallerists and encourage new perspectives. Supported by High Line Art, a programme dedicated to expanding contemporary art into public spaces, this year’s iteration of Frieze New York is an homage to the city’s remarkable flair for integrating creativity into the urban environment.

Image: Honeycomb

Music / Serbia

Taking the stage

“For most bands, Serbia hasn’t been a tour stop for years but I believe that it has a lot of potential,” says Dmitry Zaretsky, co-founder of concert agency Honeycomb. He’s acting on that conviction by promoting shows in Belgrade for the likes of UK indie stalwarts Bombay Bicycle Club, punk-popper Yungblud and even Ed Sheeran. For Serbian music fans, the change has been welcome but it might not have happened without Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which led to the demise of Zaretsky’s previous business.

Pop Farm had promoted shows in Russia ranging from high-profile concerts to Moscow’s Bol festival. Zaretsky was among the thousands of creative Russians who chose Belgrade as their location for a restart. With no initial visa requirements, it was easy for his compatriots to start businesses there. Honeycomb now operates in 12 countries, including Greece and Romania, but Belgrade remains its base. “It’s full of people who love music, so why not bring it to them?”

For more culture and business insights, as well as ideas from our global network of reporters, buy a copy of Monocle’s May issue, which is out now.

Beyond the Headlines

The List / Brazilian newspapers and magazines

Fine print

Despite recent economic difficulties faced by newspapers across the world, Brazil’s newspaper sector is thriving: last year, five of the country’s largest titles saw a rise in circulation. Most notable of those was financial paper Valor Econômico, which is now looking to expand internationally. Here are some other Brazilian print titles worth keeping an eye on.

‘Carbono Uomo’ and ‘Carbono Donna’. Published by Editora Carbono’s Lili Carneiro, these lifestyle quarterlies are an elegant look at Brazilian fashion, tourism and art.

‘Piauí’. This large-format monthly magazine boasts in-depth political coverage and is one of Brazil’s most admired titles – think of it as a more tropical version of The New Yorker.

‘Ela’, from ‘O Globo’. Published by daily newspaper O Globo, Ela is one of Brazil’s few magazine supplements. The weekly publication is a fun exploration of fashion and Rio de Janeiro, and its columns are cleverly edited by Marina Caruso.

For more on Brazil’s print media and our interview with Maria Fernanda Delmas, editor-in-chief of ‘Valor Econômico’, tune in to episode 605 of ‘The Stack’ on Monocle Radio.


Monocle Radio / Monocle on Design

Monocle Design Awards

Highlights from this year’s edition of the Monocle Design Awards, celebrating excellence across all disciplines.


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