FALL / WINTER 2019-2020
Synchronise the right team at a moment’s notice anywhere in the world.
Pantone Cool Gray 9c
“Defeat? I do not recognise the meaning of the word”. UNITED KINGDOM • SWITZERLAND • CANADA • CYPRUS • MALTA • DUBAI Contact +44 203 695 0020 - email@example.com - www.anchoragegroup.org
MADE IN AFRICAÂ
JOIN THE PRIDE
#palbracelet #protectlions @protectlions
ear Friends, Welcome to the first issue of 2020!
The end of 2019 approached at lightning speed, and our thoughts were turned toward the past. With this new beginning, we decided to take into consideration what the juncture of a year labelled ‘confusion’ brought with it. With mindfulness of the present, we cruise from the United Kingdom to China, Italy, Venice to be precise - in recognition of our magazine’s founder, who, at heart, in mind, and spirit, is a true Venetian. The Netherlands to Germany to South Africa, as far as the virtual world that is surrounding us… Stories about individuals that have given our planet thought. Companies and charitable organisations that have used their influence to make the universe we live in a better and more interesting place. There is support for the arts, historical memories, a sincere acknowledgement of our environment, and a consideration of politics. What 2020 will bring us is, at this moment in time, merely speculation, a view toward a future that can only be imagined. We look forward to embarking on these travels together with you, dear readers, step upon a single step in the direction of our tomorrow. But we would also like to take this opportunity to thank you: For your support. Your enthusiasm. Your loyalty and patronage. Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year, we would like to leave you with the words of Thomas Carlyle:
Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see further. With much love, Florentyna
Luxury Goods & Retail Consultants
• “the quality remains long after the price is forgotten” Sir Henry Royce
Alfie Bowan Embracing his Journey
52 Sea2 See To Sea Things Clearly
PAL (Protect the African Lyon) Join the Pride
Volkswagen Beetle Farewell dear Friend
48 Hours in London... Imagine That
The Antwerp Six Fashionable Numbers
Baroness Thatcher The Iron Lady
Guo Pei & Rose Studio A Journey of a Thousand Miles
The Iron Ladyâ€™s Bruges Speech September 20 th, 1988
Storie Veneziane Valmont Perfumes
52 62 8
FALL / WINTER 2019
Synchronise the right team at a moment’s notice anywhere in the world.
Pantone Cool Gray 9c
“Defeat? I do not recognise the meaning of the word”.
The Bauer Hotel Because I Call it Home
Acqua Alta Will the tide turn?
A Limen Passage A Journey to Self-discovery
Human-Centric Computing A Modern Narrative
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CONTRIBUTORS A big thank you for your time, your effort, your knowledge, and your imagination. Adam Jacot de Boinod, Travel Giorgia Chiampagn, Fashion Mauro Della Porta Raffo, Politics Clementine Fitzgerald, Art Lucia Galli, Environment Iwana Krause, Writer at large Celeste MacMillan, Automobile Sebastian N. Markowsky, Technology & Finance Cristina Rogna Manassero, Psychology Paolo Marchetti, Art Director Karina Valeron, H-Edition Director You are all invaluable! Alexandra della Porta Rodiani, Editor Florentyna von Schöneberg, Editor in Chief Roberto Pucciano, CEO H Fusion Media Group
inspirational exclusivit H Edition is published eight times per year and offers advertisers an exclusive audience of affluent readers. Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure that content in the magazine is accurate, we cannot accept and hereby disclaim any liability to loss or damage caused by errors resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. All rights are reserved. No duplication of this magazine can be used without prior permission of H Edition. All information is correct at time of press. Views expressed are not necessarily those of H Edition Magazine.
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Alfie Bowenâ€™s safe haven by Clementine Fitzgerald
ildlife. According to the Oxford Dictionary - by definition: Wild animals collectively; the native fauna (and sometimes flora) of a region. A topic that must hold our attention as it is a large part of the world that we inhabit, and as such, are also obliged to ensure the protagonistsâ€™ survival. Notwithstanding, there is so much that is just simply wrong: Trophy killing, trade, loss of habitat... All factors that we are
aware of and yet, ongoing components that are, in fact, to date, not prevented. Should the question as to what we could do not continuously reside in our consciousness? Is there something within our power to accomplish or that we should feel obliged to achieve, or is it that we are just simply sanctioned to talk about the subject and hope for the best? Hoping that somebody else at some point in time will solve the problem â€“ a little bit like global warming. It is so much easier to put the burden onto others, as we independently are not responsible. Whoever, somewhere, will surely find the solution.
We are just passengers on a journey, and it is our obligation to maintain our planet Alfie Bowen
On occasion, we are faced with individuals whose endeavours ‘kick us into gear’. Whose personal circumstances may put our own lives, and how they are led, to question – and whilst we are at it – to revision. There is one particular individual who does just this. He is autistic. He was bullied. He has fought throughout his whole life to find his place in society. To achieve this, he has found his escape from the daily animosity of other individuals in animals. Ever since Alfie Bowen was a small child, he found safety and sanctuary in the animal kingdom; photographing magnificent creatures became a natural evolution of an obsession derived from fear and social exclusion. Alfie’s life was filled with dreams, and through these dreams, he found his calling. In his words, “the nonstop nature of my mind is being put to good use in the creation of these vignettes. I am a dreamer, and I am living my dream”. When the question arises as to what he wishes to achieve through his dreams and photography, his answer is simple and to the point; he hopes to have a positive impact through his work and the platform that this provides; firstly with regard to wildlife conservation – his escapist world - and secondly, for those other people, that like him, suffer from mental health conditions. He regards this as a very lonely journey and feels that the roads travelled are under permanent scrutiny. In light of this, he would like to achieve role-model status for others who suffer, to show them the way – that there are paths that can be travelled in the most positive of ways. He would like to encourage others to “go for it, practice often, and never give up. It takes time to improve but embrace
the journey”. Apart from his family and friends, whom he considers his biggest role models and a source of support and constant encouragement, he also takes inspiration from British author, broadcaster, naturalist, and photographer Christopher Gary Packham. Born in 1961, Packham was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease in his late 30’s and in 2005, with Asperger’s syndrome. Packham has had many honours and awards bestowed upon him, including an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Southampton, ‘Conservation Hero of the Year’ by readers of Birdwatch magazine, the Wildscreen Panda Award for Outstanding Achievement, and a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to nature conservation, amongst others. To Alfie, Chris has demonstrated time and again, that mental health issues shouldn’t stop anybody from following their passion - an ingredient which he considers crucial to building a successful career. From a young age, Bowen realised that wildlife and its protection was of paramount importance. He knows that ours is a world that is “crucial to human survival and that the inability to commit to reversing the effects of climate change is dangerous for all who call Earth home. We are beginning to see gradual change, and momentum is gathering behind the issue, but the recent fires in Brazil show that we must do more. There can be no escaping from the fact that we, as humans, are failing the many species at risk of extinction, including our own. We do not own Earth, rather we share it, and thus we should be
emotions and feelings. I have a lot to say. Still, anxiety makes it difficult to express myself verbally, so photography has become my way of expressing those emotions and experiences”.
the voice for those without one”. Regarding the Earth that we live on, we are just passengers on a journey. We are obliged to maintain our planet for future generations - because they have not yet had the chance to live their allotment of its conservation. Alfie is trying to pave the way, ignited through his struggles as a child, sustained by his love of animals, and emphasised as a consequence of his emotions. In his opinion, emotions are vital to making good artwork, and for him, they are his fuel. Art for Alfie is “crucial to global society, a universally understood method of communication and a force for societal change. I think a piece of art says a lot about both its subject and the artist behind it”.
What do you think is necessary to take a visually engaging photo? “In 2019, we are visually spoilt with more content than ever before. A photograph has to be visually arresting and emotionally engaging to grab and keep the viewers’ attention. It’s tough to take a good photograph in 2019, and I’m very tough on myself, only the best will suffice”. Bowen takes considerable care to ensure that his works are visually appealing. By using his emotions to enhance the sensibility of others and by encouraging art enthusiasts to connect with his story, he hopes that they may even potentially view it as a source of inspiration. A proof that no matter what the circumstance, things can get better, and negativity may be turned around. He is taking steps toward his goal: An ambition to make our world a slightly better place. He aspires to make his works not only perceptibly appealing but also offer a glimpse into the emotional nature of those animals he photographs, an approach which he believes should be adopted by humanity in general. Today, Alfie still has to photograph ‘his’ animals through fences. Separations that constitute enclosures for those animals that we know to run free in the vast plains of the savannah. Tomorrow is anyone’s guess, as Alfie Bowen, at just 21 years of age, has big plans for his future. Apart from planning to travel to Africa in 2020, he will also be publishing a debut coffee-table book: ‘Wild World’. He is planning a UK-wide book tour and hopes to visit schools to promote inclusion. The world of Alfie, the photographer, contains many layers. There is his reputation as an artist which he wishes to build on to attain global recognition; then there is his mantra, concerted effort to achieve positive impact on mental health and autism provisions; and lastly, but most certainly not of lesser importance, there is the fulfilment of his dreams regarding global conservation efforts: “The world is in dire need of a dose of wisdom, it’s a scary place at times, and I think my message is clear – let’s all be a little kinder to each other… Love can change the world”.
Can you describe the process of producing one of your photos? “I often think of potential compositions whilst doing the most mundane of tasks, and immediately sketch them out. I always make sure I have an idea of the image I want to capture before heading into the field — it focuses my obsessive mind on the task in hand”. If you had to choose, what would you consider to be your favourite aspect of photography and the process that accompanies it? “Without a doubt, the ability to demonstrate
The world is in dire need of a dose of wisdom, it’s a scary place at times and I think my message is clear...
Let’s all be a little kinder to each other… Love can change the world 15
by Iwana Krause
Protect the African Lion 16
habitat. Lions live in the vast plains of the African savannah and they have time and again, found themselves centre stage in many stories; from C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, to Joy Adams Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds (the story of Elsa); from Brian K. Vaughan’s Pride of Baghdad and the true meaning behind liberation, to Disney’s acclaimed The Lion King, Simba being an all-time favourite. So why are the ‘Kings of the beasts’ a species whose population is constantly and rapidly declining? “It had started like any other day. The wind whistled eerily through the swaying long grass of the plain; a vast savannah of life and death stretching mile after uninterrupted mile into the distant horizon, ceaseless slaughter committed across the length and breadth of its dusty soil under the constant, unforgiving glare of the burning sun”. (Daniel S. Fletcher - Kings of the Jungle, the Savage Savannah)
The African Lion – or Panthera Leo – is a large and muscular, deep-chested, powerful animal. It wears fur that may vary in colour – from light nude to greyish-silver, from yellow-tinted red to dark brown. It is the only representative of the cat family that displays sexual dimorphism and the lion is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful creatures to be found roaming the savannah, and its wide vast plains. It is also one of the loudest. With square-shaped vocal cords (triangular in most mammals), the vocal cords are stabilised, enabling them to respond better to the passing air. A lion’s roar can be as loud as 114 decibels (rock concert levels lie between 100 to 120 dB, and hearing loss can begin to occur after exposure to levels beyond 110 dB). Lions are incredibly social animals, although they may rest up to 20 hours per day. They live in ‘Prides’ consisting of one alpha male and five to six females. Pride members display their affection by rubbing their heads together, moaning quietly in the process, or roaring loudly in chorus. For them; a normal interaction and their means of social communication. They are often erroneously named the ‘Kings of the Jungle’. The jungle, however, is not their normal
ph. melvin altshuler (pal ambassador)
Loss of habitat, prey scarcity, retaliatory killing, trophy hunting, and trade (both legal as well as illegal), are all factors that are aiding and abetting the decline of the Panthera Leo’s life today. These magnificent creatures have become vulnerable, so much so, that they are now on the brink of extinction.
michele buhofer (pal ambassador)
Conor was born in Johannesburg in 1987 and grew up in South Africa, where his genuine love of nature and reverence for the environment was developed whilst roaming the broad fields of magnificence throughout his childhood. The moment one steps into McCreedy’s world, one feels how deep this allegiance lies. He is bewildered by rarities in nature and finds endless inspiration here – for Conor; nature is without-a-doubt the unifying thread of humanity. Although he has travelled the world, living in various locations such as New York or LA, he currently lives in Zurich, where next to the Limmat (the river traversing the city), McCreedy lives above his gallery. A free spirit at heart, his African roots nevertheless run so very deep, to the point that Conor decided to play his part in the world of philanthropic endeavours, founding PAL (Protect African Lions) in 2013. Its ‘Lion-Hearted’ mission: Raising awareness through working with similar organisations with mutual goals. The creation of these strategic partnerships helps
ph. michele buhofer (pal ambassador)
Incredible if you think about the fact that in pre-colonial times over one million lions were roaming the African continent – today, although difficult to measure accurately - the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) estimates that only around 20 000 African lions are remaining. Although international laws cover most of the above factors, it is more than difficult to implement, impose, and/or enforce any form of regulatory mechanism procedure; leaving this vigilant, sovereign, majestic, and proud, hypnotising animal in dire need of help. Hypnotism that has cast its spell: Conor McCreedy established a non-profit organisation with one straightforward mission; to attain the actual enforcement of the existing laws. Because McCreedy has one concrete goal; to achieve the ‘protection status’ for the African Lion.
20,000 ph. matthew mccreedy (pal ambassador)
Wild lions left throughout Africa
2,500 1,000 2
Of those lions are male
Captive lions killed annually by hunters
Lions â€˜trophyâ€™ hunted per day
drive awareness and allows PAL direct access to other organisations on the ground. PAL’s vital understanding of corporate, charitable, or business’ goals, allows for their assistance in making those voices eager to change the world for better, heard. They are working toward adding governmental lion projects to their strategic partnerships, and their ‘Brand’ Ambassadors are all unique individuals from different walks of life – including entrepreneurs, models, artists, actors, businessmen, adventurers, and of course, activists. Unique to PAL, their fundraising method through artistic collaborations. The first of these, through its founder, has created a one of a kind ‘mccreedyblue’ coloured PAL bracelet. This particular colour has honed a monochromatic ‘blue’ vocabulary in Conor’s artistic work since he started to paint in his early 20’s. His endeavour to explore the universe through this one colour is a life-long pursuit that ultimately leads him to develop his own intense pigment. His fascination with blue is dualistic: He is both calmed by it, and yet drawn to the storm inherent within. Unquestionably, just as his blue pigment ignites an ‘unspeakable effect’, it can also characterise the animal in question; calm, collected, sovereign, on the one hand, intimidating and fierce on the other. It was thus only natural that the first PAL collaboration would contain the colour ‘mccreedy blue’. The PAL bracelets - symbolising the co-existence between humans and the natural world - were de-
signed by Lianne Landman, a passionate PAL supporter. Lianne launched her Lianne Landman Collection in 2005 in South Africa with beauty and community upliftment at the heart of every design. Her collections carry a sense of raw sophistication, individuality, and an insatiable attention to detail. As head of design and manufacturing for PAL, she continues her close collaboration with incredibly talented young African women who use the braiding skills that have been passed down to them from generation to generation. Through the magnum opus of these bracelets, jobs are created in a country where unemployment rates are well beyond 25%. The funds raised through the sale of these bracelets go directly to the charities main partner ‘Global White Lion Protection Trust’, who actively work with wild lions and manage the funds accordingly. All other donations are dispersed to various Lion projects on the ground. For Conor: “The creation of PAL is central to my work as an artist. I’m deeply connected to nature and have been since I can remember. It is an immutable influence on everything I do. I struggle with the toxic threat civilisation has inflicted on our planet and all of her glorious creatures. By focusing on the Panthera Leo, it is my aim to protect the apex of the sub-Saharan African eco-system. PAL is my concerted effort to do something about this crisis, in a place that is very dear to me and for an animal who I revere and adore”. There seem to be no other words necessary. Let us all join the pride!
I am honoured to be an ambassador of P.A.L. - an incredible initiative that aims to protect the African Lion. We can all make a difference by acting sooner rather than later. Andrew Rothschild 22
48 Hours in London by Adam Jacot de Boinod
Only a hundred years ago, a quarter of the entire world was run from London.
William Turner, View of London from Greenwich, 1825, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
cial district, had to be rebuilt. It is now packed with skyscrapers inventively named after their shapes like the Gherkin, the Shard, and the Cheesegrater. Feeling exhilarated but weary, it was a short taxi ride back to our Corinthia Hotel to relax. My girlfriend took a spoiling and lengthy facial while I got the map out to plan the next day. After a delicious dinner downstairs at the hotel’s grand and spacious restaurant and replete with too much pudding, there remained only one thing for us to do; a stroll out along Trafalgar Square, just up the road from the hotel. Perched far above, Admiral Horatio Nelson on his magnificent column carved from Craigleith sandstone. Then a walk on to nearby Leicester Square, where some of the world’s most superb film premiers are screened. And of course, Shaftesbury Avenue, the main area for theatres that have been graced over the centuries, by all of the leading British actors: Anthony Hopkins, Judy Dench, Laurence Olivier, Sean Connery, Kate Winslet, Richard Bur-
ondon is a city to walk about in, so we dropped our bags at our Embankment located hotel and headed straight out. We crossed the bridge to board the London Eye for a panoramic view of the town. The South Bank is, indeed, chiefly residential. Our concentration thus on the north to spot all the significant sites: The Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Seen from above, the Thames meanders in massive loops, inviting us onto a riverboat opposite that took us gently downstream past the Globe Theatre, the faithful recreation of Shakespeare’s stage. Alighting nearby at the fantastic success that is Tate Modern, this enormous art gallery converted from an old factory houses painting by Picasso and other modern masters. We then crossed the ‘wobbly bridge’ beside the gallery to go north of the river to St. Paul’s Cathedral, where once inside, we walked up around the dome to look down on the very spot where Charles and Diana were married. A masterpiece of a cathedral that was mercifully spared the Blitz; still, much of the surrounding ‘City’, the finan-
folded handkerchiefs, a peculiarly British habit. We decided to take a ‘Boris Bike’, named after their introduction by the city’s former mayor and now Prime Minister Boris Johnson. We pedalled our way north, up past the Serpentine lake, beyond the galleries and the charming Peter Pan statue until we reached Notting Hill. Having heard so much about the area from the eponymous film, wandering with abandon down the Portobello Road was a must. It consists of a large street market with hundreds of antique shops and bric-a-brac stalls. I rummaged around old British sporting objects, Victorian road signs, and fancy doorknobs. Further down, we saw every sort of vintage clothing from military uniforms to frocks from yesteryear. Perfect for presents as everything is a little bit different! It is an area to fall in love with encompassing nicely spaced roads with lots of private gardens that are surrounded by an abundance of grand stucco houses. Although maybe not precisely British, we had an early dinner at one of our favourite restaurants on Elgin Crescent called E+O. Short for Eastern and Oriental, it has a wonderful décor, very much in keeping with the eclectic vibe found throughout the area.
ton, Michael Caine, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, … The next morning, it was an early start off to Harrods, the famous department store, to see how the other half live. Goods and produce displayed over four gleaming floors, including a room filled with shop souvenirs – boasting (incredible but true) teddy bear versions of the store’s famous doormen in their green livery! After that followed a short walk up Knightsbridge towards Hyde Park Corner, on the way there, it was only natural to pop in on a pub called The Grenadier off Belgrave Square, home to many of the more influential embassies. It’s one of the authentic British pubs completed by an old-fashioned feel with habitués propped up on stools. We then crossed the road into Hyde Park, London’s leading and central area for rest and exercise. The more active were skating and jogging past deck chairs that supported heads of older folk warding off the sun with their
In London, love and scandal are considered the best sweeteners of tea. John Osborne Giuseppe de Nittis, Trafalgar Square, 1878, Malinverni Collection, Milano
crossing the road back to the hotel. As our hotel is situated in the West End, the next morning provided us with just enough time to pop in on Liberty’s, the old family department store. There were lots of small tempting items on display, but London shopping does not come cheap. The emporium is conveniently located right by Carnaby Street, which, fifty years ago, was the fashionable place and critical in putting the swing into the ‘Swinging Sixties’. We then crossed over to Regent Street and into Mayfair (boasting the London Monopoly board’s most expensive properties, although Belgravia residents might disagree). Nonetheless, it is where the Hedge Fund financiers ply their trade and where some of the smartest car showrooms exhibit their latest models.
Saturated, we took a cab back towards the West End, London’s central area for shops and activity. It was an evening drive that took us past the sublime Buckingham Palace, home to the Queen and Prince Philip. Only to then proceed down the famous Pall Mall, along which an abundance of parades and so much pomp have taken place. Stepping out early at Parliament Square to walk the last bit, we saw the outside of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Big Ben, London’s landmark timekeeper, told us just how late it was, so we walked on past Downing Street. The Prime Minister lives here at No.10 (these days behind armed guards and metal bars), before
André Derain, Regent Street, 1906, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Banqueting House. It is also two minutes from our hotel. Of course, we were not able to do everything. 48 hours may be perceived as a reasonable amount of time, and it certainly felt like we had covered a lot, but it was only a tiny morsel of what London has to offer. Next time must include the hidden delights of recitals at Wigmore Hall and the Wallace Collection of Old Masters. We must not forget Lords Cricket ground for a truly quirky British summer sport and The Tower, where six ravens must be kept at all times as an insurance against the Tower, or indeed the United Kingdom, falling. And then the ‘Beefeaters’ or the Chelsea Pensioners for their red tunics and ‘tricorne’ hats. London is a city with so many unconventional prerogatives and layers of history!
Strolling down Savile Row is another must. Here, tailors make the suits of the so-called jet-set, and it is common for prices not to be displayed in the windows. It’s also where the Beatles took over an entire rooftop to film Let It Be (much to the dismay of the police). It is imperative to then stroll down to Piccadilly and through the Burlington Arcade. We did just that and walked where traditionally the stewards take a dislike to anybody whom they find whistling - this could potentially lower the tone of this very upmarket parade of clothing boutiques. And then lastly, we strolled onto St James’s, a district full of gentlemen’s clubs, cigar shops, shirt makers, and top wine merchants. Of all the area’s purveyors of fine goods, none is more renown than Fortnum and Mason, where people famously enjoy that classic British institution: The Cream Tea. Crossing The Mall (along which Princess Diana’s coffin took its final journey) and walking through St. James’s Park, we reached Whitehall, where the cavalry on horseback guard the palace against their sentries. In reality, though, they serve as a selfie opportunity for tourists. It’s bang opposite to where Charles 1st met his end on a scaffold outside the
Adam Jacot de Boinod is an international travel journalist and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World, published by Penguin Books. A special thank you to the Corinthia Hotel (www.corinthia.com) and E&O (www.rickerrestaurants.com)
Thatcher Much more than merely the â€˜Iron Ladyâ€™ by Mauro della Porta Raffo
To wear your heart on your sleeve isn't a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best November 11th, 1990. Margaret Thatcher looks out of the window before she leaves 10 Downing Street for the last time.
argaret Thatcher often cites her father’s experience as a grocer as the basis of her economic philosophy. His doctrine included much more than just making sure that at the end of the week, the income showed a little surplus. Her father was a practical person, but also a man of principles who “liked to connect the progress of our corner shop with the great complex romance of international trade which recruited people all over the world to ensure that a family in Grantham could have on their table rice from India, coffee from Kenya, sugar from the West Indies, and spices from five continents. Before I had read a line from the great liberal economists, I knew from my father’s accounts that the free market was like a vast sensitive nervous system, responding to events and signals all over the world to meet the ever changing needs of people in different countries, from different classes, of different religions, with a kind of benign indifference to their status. Governments acted on a much smaller store of information and, by contrast, were themselves ‘blind forces’ blundering about in the dark, and obstructing the operations of markets rather than improving them”. (Introduction ‘The Downing Street Years’, HarperCollins 1993). The economic history of Great Britain over the last forty years has done nothing but confirm and develop almost all the concepts of her father’s practical economic doctrine. Actually, from childhood, Maggie became equipped with the mental vision and the ideal analysis tools to rebuild an economy devastated by State socialism. Through ‘The Downing Street Years’, Margaret Thatcher reconstructed the basis of her human, economic, and political formation, which initially took place in Grantham, Lincolnshire (England). She was born here on October 13th, 1925, as Margaret Hilda Roberts, the second of two daughters, to Alfred Roberts (1892-1970), merchant, Methodist preacher, and local politician with a robust liberal spirit, and Beatrice Ethel Stephenson (1888-1960). Margaret Roberts grew up in Grantham, study-
ing and working in the two paternal drugstores until she concluded her secondary studies at the Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School. Subsequently, she opted for a university bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford: The young Margaret graduated in 1947, specialising in X-ray crystallography. Academic studies, however, were not her only occupation during her Oxonian years. Roberts began taking her first steps toward political activism, joining the local association of Conservative students – the Oxford University Conservative Association – of which she became president in 1946. At this time, moreover, she began to corroborate her instinctive liberal and conservative orientation with readings that contributed to the theoretical foundation of the so-called ‘Thatcherism’. First among these was Friedrich August von Hayek’s ‘The Road to Serfdom’. She expressed her thoughts in the second volume of her autobiography, ‘The Path to Power’ (HarperCollins 1995). Stating that from her point of view, the greatest impact was the irrefutable criticism of socialism in ‘The Road to Serfdom’, believing that for Hayek, Nazism (National Socialism) had its roots in the social planning of nineteenth-century Germany. In his book, he showed that the intervention of a State in economic sectors or those of society gives rise to almost inevitable thrusts, extending planning to other industries. He warned us about the profound and truly revolutionary implications that state planning may have on Western civilisation. Hayek did not use many idioms about the monopolistic tendencies of planned society – ones which corporate groups and unions would inevitably tend to exploit. Any demand for security regarding the workplace, income, or social position, would imply exclusion from these advantages for those who do not belong to the specific privileged group. That would thus cause compensatory privilege requests by the excluded groups. In the end, everyone would lose in Above, Mrs. Thatcher pictured on her wedding day in 1951. Right, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher addresses the Conservative Party Conference, October 12th 1984.
en her political and economic knowledge. Margaret also refined her argumentation, and thus managed to obtain Dartford’s nomination for the Conservative Party House of Commons general elections of 1950 and 1951. Although Maggie was defeated on both occasions by the Labour standard Norman Dodds, she managed to erode the consensus progressively. Through thorough preparation and her incredible personality, she convinced her colleagues and the journalists apropos the benefits of a younger conservative candidate – as well as being the only female one. In the meantime, since 1949, she had begun seeing a man ten years her senior. Denis Thatcher was a divorced (from Margaret Doris Kempson, strictly speaking, the ‘first’ Mrs. Margaret Thatcher) wealthy entrepreneur, whom she had met at a celebratory dinner announcing her first candidacy in the House of Commons. The two married on December 13th, 1951; from that day forward, Margaret Roberts became forever known as Margaret Thatcher.
such a situation. She believed that perhaps he did not stem from a British conservative environment, and indeed, did not consider himself a conservative at all. He may have been potentially deprived of all inhibitions that characterised the tormented social conscience of the English upper classes when it came to deliberate these subjects openly. Margaret was not surprised that ‘The Road to Serfdom’ included the dedication: “to the socialists of all parties”. At the same time, the United Kingdom had just begun to define its ‘post-war consensus’ period. According to most historians, this only ceased with the beginning of the Thatcher era, despite an ongoing rotation of Labour Prime Ministers: (1945-1951) Clement Attlee, (1964 – 1970, 1974 – 1976) Harold Wilson, (1976 – 1979) James Callaghan, as well as Conservative Prime Ministers: (1951 – 1955) Winston Churchill, (1955 – 1957) Anthony Eden, (1957 – 1963) Harold Macmillan, (1963 – 1964) Alec Douglas-Home, (1970 – 1974) Edward Heath. Initially set by Attlee to face the severe difficulties of the second post-war period, a model of political cooperation became transversely affirmed. It was marked by a substantially paternalistic attitude of the State toward the citizen, in a crescendo of dirigisme, corporatism, and welfare. This quickly led the British economy to stagnation and excessive inflation in the name of egalitarianism and full employment, depressing private initiative and dramatically increasing the power of the trade unions. These facts became increasingly apparent during the Margaret Roberts years. She worked hard to deep-
Page left, from top to bottom, Margaret Thatcher driving a British tank in Germany, 1986; Portsmouth, England. Leader of the opposition Margaret Thatcher visits Warship HMS Antrim, 1987; The first female British Prime Minister wearing a welding mask during her visit to the Yewland Engineering Company, 1978; Prime Minister plays pool; Prime Minister seen here at what remains of the Head Wrightson works in Thornaby Middlesbrough, September 12th 1987; Margaret Thatcher sat in the living room with her husband Denis, 1989; Ex-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is seen dancing with the Beverly Sisters during the 1990 Conservative Party conference.
If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise at anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing. Margaret Thatcher
lowed the position of Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Science during the Shadow Cabinet of Edward Heath (1967-1970). It was a department that, in the aftermath of the conservative victory, was kept in the government led by Heath (1970-1974). Meanwhile, Thatcher had gradually strengthened her increasingly frank liberal convictions. She remained strongly disappointed by the liberal-Conservative program failure, at first promoted and then betrayed by Heath. It was, in fact, also a reaction to the umpteenth statist conservative retreat. In 1974, she became Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment following Wilson’s new Labour victory. Soon after, she founded the Centre for Policy Studies with Keith, Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department. That marked the beginning of her revolution. In ‘The Downing Street Years’ she also stated that her collaboration with Keith made her see clearer how, what seemed technical arguments about the relationship between money circulation and the level of prices, went right to the heart of the matter: What the role of the government would be in a free society. It was the government’s task to prepare
With the support of her husband, she abandoned her profession as a chemist to undertake legal studies, by far more suitable regarding her political ambitions. Thatcher obtained the status of a tax lawyer in 1953, shortly after which she became the mother of twins – Carol and Mark. Rejected by the Conservatives for the Orpington by-election, she decided not to apply for the general election of 1955. Instead, she settled to partake in the following 1959 election, obtaining the Finchley Conservative Party nomination (a London community with a Jewish majority made up mostly of traders, professionals, and intellectuals). That was considered ‘safe’. Thatcher managed to convince them by presenting a liberal program, including tax reductions, support for free enterprises, and less state interference. On October 8th, 1959, whilst conservative Harold Macmillan became Prime Minister, thirty-three-year-old Margaret Thatcher entered the House of Commons for the first time. Soon after that, she arrived at the House of Lords with the honorary title of Baroness. She left, by her own will, only on April 9th, 1992. It did not take much time for her to rise through the echelons of the institution and party. First as parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Pensions under the governments of Harold Macmillan and Alex Douglas-Home (1961-9164). After the return of Labour-led power with Harold Wilson, there fol-
Above, Margaret Thatcher 1983 Election campaign; Page left, USA President Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher walk Reagan's dog Lucky on the White House lawn, 1985.
lined the number of welfare subsidies, taking care to transfer the tax collection axis from direct to indirect taxes. The positive effects of Thatcher’s efforts on the country’s economy were slow to manifest themselves. For this reason, she faced the first signs of unpopularity in the autumn of 1980. Historically based upon Heath’s reactions, some members of the government even began expressing doubts about the road taken, urging the Prime Minister to ‘reverse the route’. Margaret’s response was a memorable one on October 10th, 1980, during the Conservative Party conference: “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning”. The microeconomic data would soon prove her right, attesting to a net reduction of inflation and a significant increase in production – this became particularly notable by the mid-1980s. Entirely consistent with her principles, Thatcher drastically reduced the weight of the State everywhere: In the industrial sphere, privatising most stateowned companies (including those of water, gas, electricity, oil, and steel), with positive consequences for competition; in the financial sphere, reducing controls and restrictions on stock market operations in favour of international investments (with a secondary effect, evident to most observers, in favour of speculative dynamics); and in the social sphere, by reducing public subsidies and also by actively encouraging the sale of social housing to tenants. It was a pathway toward the transformation of traditionally Labour proletarians, allowing for a new class of owners that were destined to expand the conservative electoral base. She demonstrated the same consistency regarding the unions. After years of growing strength, these suddenly saw themselves as strictly regulated and reduced. Despite innumerable demonstrations and strikes (especially in the early years some attempted to impose their reasoning until the bitter end), they
a framework of stability (both constitutional, under the law, as well as economic, through a healthy currency), within which each family and company would be free to pursue their dreams and their aspirations. She believed that the idea of telling people what their ambitions should look like and how to make them happen had to be left behind. Based on this policy, Thatcher succeeded in being elected leader of the Conservative Party (the first female ever) on February 11th, 1975. She replaced Heath, who, inflicted upon him by Wilson in 1974, suffered two consecutive defeats over seven months. Maggie also confronted the wave of strikes called to life by the unions on this basis. These strikes paralysed the United Kingdom during the so-called ‘winter of discontent’ (1978/1979). They also stigmatised the incapacity shown by James Callaghan’s government (Wilson’s successor in 1976). Thatcher led the Conservative Party to victory during the May 3rd, 1979 election. She asked the Conservative Party, in a government with limited powers and strong national defence, to place its trust in freedom and the free market again. Thatcher knew that she would be able to keep the party united in this election campaign program. But in the dark days that preceded her tangible success, she had to fight to ensure that this time, the conservative government maintained its vigour. Had they failed, they would never have had another chance. The following day, on May 4th, 1979, Margaret Thatcher became the first woman in British history to hold the office of Prime Minister. It was the beginning of the ‘Thatcher era’; a period of profound changes for the United Kingdom. A period in history that, blessed with three consecutive victories for the Conservative Party, would last until November 28th, 1990. The starting point, however, was not the simplest; faced with an ongoing, ‘out of control’ inflation – under the ‘post-war consensus’ – to pursuing a goal of full employment even at the expense of economic growth. Thatcher rigorously applied the monetarist recipe, raising the cost of money sharply to reduce inflation. Nevertheless, at first, the opposite effect was obtained by considerably increasing the unemployment rate, especially in the manufacturing sector. At the same time and without dismantling the structure of the welfare state, she stream-
Above, Masked protesters of western leaders Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher kiss at a 1986 demonstration by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) against the hosting by the UK of US nuclear cruise missiles on British soil. Page left, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at Conservative Party Conference Blackpool, England, 1985
too were obliged to take note of their powerlessness in the face of Thatcher’s unshakable determination. Notable was the miners’ strike, which began on March 6th, 1984. It lasted an entire year, but finally, on March 3rd, 1985, they capitulated without condition. One of the most considerable proofs of her inflexibility was certainly her attitude toward Irish republican terrorists. Case in point when on March 1st, 1981, some of those detained at the Northern Irish Maze prison began an indefinite hunger strike in an attempt to have their political prisoner status recognised again (revoked five years earlier by Labour). Thatcher (ignoring the appeals of Pope John Paul II), was adamant in continuing to deny them this status. It was the guerrillas who, after ten of them had starved (including their leader Bobby Sands), eventually surrendered on October 3rd of that year. They attempted their revenge a year later on October 12th, 1984, with the bombing of the Brighton Grand Hotel, where the Conservative staff was staying during their annual party conference. Five people died in the attack. Thatcher, who was also present, came out unscathed, insisting on holding her conference speech at the previously established time. She proclaimed her intransigence toward any subversive force, following which, she received transversal confirmations of esteem for her strength of mind. Thatcher had a personality of an exceptional nature. That had already been highlighted in 1976 by the Soviet Ministry of Defence’s principal news agency, the Red Star. In the aftermath of a speech delivered by
the then opposition leader against the Soviet Union’s hegemonic aims, Thatcher was ironically labelled the ‘iron lady’. It was a name that she publicly claimed a few days later and which ended up indelibly associated with her persona. Thatcher’s firmness was indeed iron clad. She demonstrated this not only domestically, but also internationally: Whenever she felt the UK’s full sovereignty threatened. The most striking example is undoubtedly the ‘Guerra de las Malvinas’. She did not hesitate to move against Argentina in her defence of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, a small and inhospitable British colony east of ‘Tierra del Fuego’, always claimed by the Argentines. They invaded between the 2nd and 3rd of April 1982, believing that they could take advantage of a moment of apparent disengagement from the British side. Overall and generally surprising, Thatcher unleashed the British air and naval fleet against Argentine President Leopoldo Galtieri’s unrealistic expedition. She soon obtained a clear victory on June 14th (although afflicted by almost a thousand fallen, over a quarter of these British). This move resulted in a personal triumph for the Prime Minister, who was re-elected just a few months later on a wave of renewed patriotism, reminiscent of imperialistic bygone days. Regarding international relations, her rapport with Ronald Reagan (the President of the United States from 1981 to 1989) was particularly close-knit. They were linked by a common liberal creed and tough an-
Any leader has to have a certain amount of steel in them, so I am not that put out being called the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher
ti-communism strategies. Ideologies which, nevertheless, did not prevent either from supporting the reform efforts of Mikhail Gorbachev – Margaret Thatcher was so indebted that she already proclaimed the end of the Cold War in 1988. The designs of the European Union, however, obtained less trust. That, despite her initial interest in the community project which proposed the possibility of a free movement of goods, albeit genuine competition. Thatcher did not hesitate to express her opposition toward the prospect of greater European integration. For her, this implied a reduction of British sovereignty in favour of a “European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels”. (‘College of Europe speech in Bruges’, September 20th, 1988). Her intolerance toward the shared currency project caused the tension amidst her executive to grow. That was particularly explicit during her third term and profoundly eroded her widespread consensus, which was already cracked by a new economic downturn. Instead, and besides, the introduction of the poll tax (a new local tax on individuals), was perceived as particularly hateful and unfair. It was, however, most probably Thatcher’s treatment of Geoffrey Howe (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), which precipitated the situation in July 1989. Of her first government in 1979, he was the last member to remain by her side. Through trying to force the road to a single European currency, he was hastily replaced by the more orthodox John Major, who de facto was deprived despite his new status as deputy Prime Minister. On November 1st, 1990, Howe resigned. On November 13th he appealed to the House of Commons, attacking Thatcher severely – both politically as personally – centred around her persistent hostility toward the European project. The following day, former Minister Michael Heseltine officially ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Prime Minister Thatcher took on the challenge, displaying confidence. Nevertheless, on November 20th, although she obtained the absolute majority of the votes, she was not able to reach the threshold necessary to win the first round
(missing out on just 4 out of 372). Although she declared that she would fight for victory until the bitter end, following a consultation with her cabinet on November 22nd, Thatcher announced her withdrawal from the second round and her resignation from the executive. After ensuring that John Major would succeed her in the party and the government, Margaret Thatcher left No. 10 Downing Street on November 28th, 1990, for once not able to hide her emotions. It was the end of an epoch, along with her political parable: Thatcher had de facto dismantled the entire paternalistic leadership state, consolidated after the war. She had forged, though not without social cost, a nation educated in the cult of freedom – individual and entrepreneurial – ready to face the future without renouncing its glorious past. It was an era destined to have its effects reverberate through history. The following decades of British politics began paradoxically, with the Labour Party. Only after assimilating the Thatcher lessons and turning themselves into the ‘New Labour Party’ did they manage to storm the 1997 elections. Under the leadership of Tony Blair, they broke the eighteen-year cycle of an uninterrupted conservative rule to graft a new one, of continuous Labour domination. It was therefore not surprising that Tony Blair was often designated, to a certain extent, as Thatcher’s best political pupil. In fact, on several occasions, he did not hesitate to express his appreciation of her. If the City of London’s decade-long role as the financial heart of Europe is certainly amongst the main fruits of the Thatcher era, then the outcome of the June 23rd, 2016, referendum vote is unfortunate for the Conservative party. Twenty-four years after the Maastricht Treaty’s accession so abhorred by Thatcher – claiming national sovereignty – the British called for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. With no heirs apparent, Margaret Thatcher died on April 8th, 2013. Above, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with Russian President Michail Gorbacëv at Press conference outside 10 Downing St London, 1989.
SEPTEMBER 20TH, 1988 THE IRON LADY’S BRUGES SPEECH Prime Minister, Rector, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen: First, may I thank you for giving me the opportunity to return to Bruges and in very different circumstances from my last visit shortly after the Zeebrugge Ferry disaster, when Belgian courage and the devotion of your doctors and nurses saved so many British lives. And second, may I say what a pleasure it is to speak at the College of Europe under the distinguished leadership of its Professor Lukaszewski. The College plays a vital and increasingly important part in the life of the European Community. And third, may I also thank you for inviting me to deliver my address in this magnificent hall. What better place to speak of Europe's future than a building which so gloriously recalls the greatness that Europe had already achieved over 600 years ago. Your city of Bruges has many other historical associations for us in Britain. Geoffrey Chaucer was a frequent visitor here. And the first book to be printed in the English language was produced here in Bruges by William Caxton.
word— “restructured” under the Norman and Angevin rule in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. This year, we celebrate the three hundredth anniversary of the glorious revolution in which the British crown passed to Prince William of Orange and Queen Mary. Visit the great churches and cathedrals of Britain, read our literature and listen to our language: all bear witness to the cultural riches which we have drawn from Europe and other Europeans from us. We in Britain are rightly proud of the way in which, since Magna Carta in the year 1215, we have pioneered and developed representative institutions to stand as bastions of freedom. And proud too of the way in which for centuries Britain was a home for people from the rest of Europe who sought sanctuary from tyranny. But we know that without the European legacy of political ideas we could not have achieved as much as we did. From classical and mediaeval thought, we have borrowed that concept of the rule of law which marks out a civilised society from barbarism. And on that idea of Christendom, to which the Rector referred—Christendom for long synonymous with Europe—with its recognition of the unique and spiritual nature of the individual, on that idea, we still base our belief in personal liberty and other human rights. Too often, the history of Europe is described as a series of interminable wars and quarrels. Yet from our perspective today surely what strikes us most is our common experience. For instance, the story of how Europeans explored and colonised—and yes, without apology—civilised much of the world is an extraordinary tale of talent, skill, and courage. But we British have in a very special way contributed to Europe. Over the centuries we have fought to prevent Europe from falling under the dominance of a single power. We have fought and we have died for her freedom. Only miles from here, in Belgium, lie the bodies of 120,000 British soldiers who died in the First World War. Had it not been for that willingness to fight and to die, Europe would have been united long before now—but not in liberty, not in justice. It was British support to resistance movements throughout the last War that helped to keep alive the flame of liberty in so many countries until the
BRITAIN AND EUROPE Mr. Chairman, you have invited me to speak on the subject of Britain and Europe. Perhaps I should congratulate you on your courage. If you believe some of the things said and written about my views on Europe, it must seem rather like inviting Genghis Khan to speak on the virtues of peaceful coexistence! I want to start by disposing of some myths about my country, Britain, and its relationship with Europe and to do that, I must say something about the identity of Europe itself. Europe is not the creation of the Treaty of Rome. Nor is the European idea the property of any group or institution. We British are as much heirs to the legacy of European culture as any other nation. Our links to the rest of Europe, the continent of Europe, have been the dominant factor in our history. For three hundred years, we were part of the Roman Empire and our maps still trace the straight lines of the roads the Romans built. Our ancestors—Celts, Saxons, Danes—came from the Continent. Our nation was—in that favourite Community
We Europeans cannot afford to waste our energies on internal disputes or arcane institutional debates. They are no substitute for effective action. Europe has to be ready both to contribute in full measure to its own security and to compete commercially and industrially in a world in which success goes to the countries which encourage individual initiative and enterprise, rather than those which attempt to diminish them. This evening I want to set out some guiding principles for the future which I believe will ensure that Europe does succeed, not just in economic and defence terms but also in the quality of life and the influence of its peoples. WILLING COOPERATION BETWEEN SOVEREIGN STATES My first guiding principle is this: willing and active cooperation between independent sovereign states is the best way to build a successful European Community. To try to suppress nationhood and concentrate power at the centre of a European conglomerate would be highly damaging and would jeopardise the objectives we seek to achieve. Europe will be stronger precisely because it has France as France, Spain as Spain, Britain as Britain, each with its own customs, traditions and identity. It would be folly to try to fit them into some sort of identikit European personality. Some of the founding fathers of the Community thought that the United States of America might be its model. But the whole history of America is quite different from Europe. People went there to get away from the intolerance and constraints of life in Europe. They sought liberty and opportunity; and their strong sense of purpose has, over two centuries, helped to create a new unity and pride in being American, just as our pride lies in being British or Belgian or Dutch or German. I am the first to say that on many great issues the countries of Europe should try to speak with a single voice. I want to see us work more closely on the things we can do better together than alone. Europe is stronger when we do so, whether it be in trade, in defence or in our relations with the rest of the world. But working more closely together does not require power to be centralised in Brussels or decisions to be taken by an appointed bureaucracy. Indeed, it is ironic that just when those countries such as the Soviet Union, which have tried to run everything from the centre, are learning that success depends on dispersing power and decisions away from the centre, there are some in
day of liberation. Tomorrow, King Baudouin will attend a service in Brussels to commemorate the many brave Belgians who gave their lives in service with the Royal Air Force—a sacrifice which we shall never forget. And it was from our island fortress that the liberation of Europe itself was mounted. And still, today, we stand together. Nearly 70,000 British servicemen are stationed on the mainland of Europe. All these things alone are proof of our commitment to Europe's future. The European Community is one manifestation of that European identity, but it is not the only one. We must never forget that east of the Iron Curtain, people who once enjoyed a full share of European culture, freedom, and identity have been cut off from their roots. We shall always look on Warsaw, Prague, and Budapest as great European cities. Nor should we forget that European values have helped to make the United States of America into the valiant defender of freedom which she has become. EUROPE'S FUTURE This is no arid chronicle of obscure facts from the dust-filled libraries of history. It is the record of nearly two thousand years of British involvement in Europe, cooperation with Europe, and contribution to Europe, contribution which today is as valid and as strong as ever. Yes, we have looked also to wider horizons— as have others—and thank goodness for that, because Europe never would have prospered and never will prosper as a narrow-minded, inwardlooking club. The European Community belongs to all its members. It must reflect the traditions and aspirations of all its members. And let me be quite clear. Britain does not dream of some cosy, isolated existence on the fringes of the European Community. Our destiny is in Europe, as part of the Community. That is not to say that our future lies only in Europe, but nor does that of France or Spain or, indeed, of any other member. The Community is not an end in itself. Nor is it an institutional device to be constantly modified according to the dictates of some abstract intellectual concept. Nor must it be ossified by endless regulation. The European Community is a practical means by which Europe can ensure the future prosperity and security of its people in a world in which there are many other powerful nations and groups of nations.
THE IRON LADY’S BRUGES SPEECH
the Community who seem to want to move in the opposite direction. We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them reimposed at a European level with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels. Certainly we want to see Europe more united and with a greater sense of common purpose. But it must be in a way which preserves the different traditions, parliamentary powers and sense of national pride in one's own country; for these have been the source of Europe's vitality through the centuries. ENCOURAGING CHANGE My second guiding principle is this: Community policies must tackle present problems in a practical way, however difficult that may be. If we cannot reform those Community policies which are patently wrong or ineffective and which are rightly causing public disquiet, then we shall not get the public support for the Community's future development. And that is why the achievements of the European Council in Brussels last February are so
important. It was not right that half the total Community budget was being spent on storing and disposing of surplus food. Now those stocks are being sharply reduced. It was absolutely right to decide that agriculture's share of the budget should be cut in order to free resources for other policies, such as helping the less well-off regions and helping training for jobs. It was right too to introduce tighter budgetary discipline to enforce these decisions and to bring the Community spending under better control. And those who complained that the Community was spending so much time on financial detail missed the point. You cannot build on unsound foundations, financial or otherwise, and it was the fundamental reforms agreed last winter which paved the way for the remarkable progress which we have made since on the Single Market. But we cannot rest on what we have achieved to date. For example, the task of reforming the Common Agricultural Policy is far from complete. Certainly, Europe needs a stable and efficient farming industry. But the CAP has become unwieldy, inefficient,
Certainly we want to see Europe more united and with a greater sense of common purpose. But it must be in a way which preserves the different traditions, parliamentary powers and sense of national pride in one's own country; for these have been the source of Europe's vitality through the centuries. 47
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and grossly expensive. Production of unwanted surpluses safeguards neither the income nor the future of farmers themselves. We must continue to pursue policies which relate supply more closely to market requirements, and which will reduce over-production and limit costs. Of course, we must protect the villages and rural areas which are such an important part of our national life, but not by the instrument of agricultural prices. Tackling these problems requires political courage. The Community will only damage itself in the eyes of its own people and the outside world if that courage is lacking.
That a State-controlled economy is a recipe for low growth and that free enterprise within a framework of law brings better results. The aim of a Europe open to enterprise is the moving force behind the creation of the Single European Market in 1992. By getting rid of barriers, by making it possible for companies to operate on a European scale, we can best compete with the United States, Japan and other new economic powers emerging in Asia and elsewhere. And that means action to free markets, action to widen choice, action to reduce government intervention. Our aim should not be more and more detailed regulation from the centre: it should be to deregulate and to remove the constraints on trade. Britain has been in the lead in opening its markets to others. The City of London has long welcomed financial institutions from all over the world, which is why it is the biggest and most successful financial centre in Europe. We have opened our market for telecommunications equipment, introduced competition into the market services and even into the network itself—steps which others in Europe are only now beginning to face.
EUROPE OPEN TO ENTERPRISE My third guiding principle is the need for Community policies which encourage enterprise. If Europe is to flourish and create the jobs of the future, enterprise is the key. The basic framework is there: The Treaty of Rome itself was intended as a Charter for Economic Liberty. But that it is not how it has always been read, still less applied. The lesson of the economic history of Europe in the 70's and 80's is that central planning and detailed control do not work and that personal endeavour and initiative do.
In air transport, we have taken the lead in liberalisation and seen the benefits in cheaper fares and wider choice. Our coastal shipping trade is open to the merchant navies of Europe. We wish we could say the same of many other Community members. Regarding monetary matters, let me say this. The key issue is not whether there should be a European Central Bank. The immediate and practical requirements are: • to implement the Community's commitment to free movement of capital—in Britain, we have it; • and to the abolition through the Community of exchange controls—in Britain, we abolished them in 1979; • to establish a genuinely free market in financial services in banking, insurance, investment; • and to make greater use of the ecu. This autumn, Britain is issuing ecu-denominated Treasury bills and hopes to see other Community governments increasingly do the same. These are the real requirements because they are what the Community business and industry need if they are to compete effectively in the wider world. And they are what the European consumer wants, for they will widen his choice and lower his costs. It is to such basic practical steps that the
Community's attention should be devoted. When those have been achieved and sustained over a period of time, we shall be in a better position to judge the next move. It is the same with frontiers between our countries. Of course, we want to make it easier for goods to pass through frontiers. Of course, we must make it easier for people to travel throughout the Community. But it is a matter of plain common sense that we cannot totally abolish frontier controls if we are also to protect our citizens from crime and stop the movement of drugs, of terrorists, and of illegal immigrants. That was underlined graphically only three weeks ago when one brave German customs officer, doing his duty on the frontier between Holland and Germany, struck a major blow against the terrorists of the IRA. And before I leave the subject of a single market, may I say that we certainly do not need new regulations which raise the cost of employment and make Europe's labour market less flexible and less competitive with overseas suppliers. If we are to have a European Company Statute, it should contain the minimum regulations. And certainly we in Britain would fight attempts to introduce collectivism and corporatism at the
We have a responsibility to give a lead on this, a responsibility which is particularly directed towards the less developed countries. They need not only aid; more than anything, they need improved trading opportunities if they are to gain the dignity of growing economic strength and independence. 49
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developed countries. They need not only aid; more than anything, they need improved trading opportunities if they are to gain the dignity of growing economic strength and independence. EUROPE AND DEFENCE My last guiding principle concerns the most fundamental issue—the European countries' role in defence. Europe must continue to maintain a sure defence through NATO. There can be no question of relaxing our efforts, even though it means taking difficult decisions and meeting heavy costs. It is to NATO that we owe the peace that has been maintained over 40 years. The fact is things are going our way: the democratic model of a free enterprise society has proved itself superior; freedom is on the offensive, a peaceful offensive the world over, for the first time in my life-time. We must strive to maintain the United States' commitment to Europe's defence. And that means recognising the burden on their resources of the world role they undertake and their point that their allies should bear the full part of the defence of freedom, particularly as Europe grows wealthier. Increasingly, they will look to Europe to play a part in out-of-area defence, as we have recently done in the Gulf. NATO and the Western European Union have long recognised where the problems of Europe's defence lie and have pointed out the solutions. And the time has come when we must give substance to our declarations about a strong defence effort with better value for money. It is not an institutional problem. It is not a problem of drafting. It is something at once simpler and more profound: it is a question of political will and political courage, of convincing people in all our countries that we cannot rely forever on others for our defence, but that each member of the Alliance must shoulder a fair share of the burden. We must keep up public support for nuclear deterrence, remembering that obsolete weapons do not deter, hence the need for modernisation. We must meet the requirements for effective conventional
European level—although what people wish to do in their own countries is a matter for them. EUROPE OPEN TO THE WORLD My fourth guiding principle is that Europe should not be protectionist. The expansion of the world economy requires us to continue the process of removing barriers to trade, and to do so in the multilateral negotiations in the GATT. It would be a betrayal if, while breaking down constraints on trade within Europe, the Community were to erect greater external protection. We must ensure that our approach to world trade is consistent with the liberalisation we preach at home. We have a responsibility to give a lead on this, a responsibility which is particularly directed towards the less
defence in Europe against Soviet forces which are constantly being modernised. We should develop the WEU, not as an alternative to NATO, but as a means of strengthening Europe's contribution to the common defence of the West. Above all, at a time of change and uncertainly in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, we must preserve Europe's unity and resolve so that whatever may happen, our defence is sure. At the same time, we must negotiate on arms control and keep the door wide open to cooperation on all the other issues covered by the Helsinki Accords. But let us never forget that our way of life, our vision, and all we hope to achieve, is secured not by the rightness of our cause but by the strength of our defence. On this, we must never falter, never fail.
texts written by far-sighted men, a remarkable Belgian—Paul Henri Spaak—among them. However far we may want to go, the truth is that we can only get there one step at a time. And what we need now is to take decisions on the next steps forward, rather than let ourselves be distracted by Utopian goals. Utopia never comes, because we know we should not like it if it did. Let Europe be a family of nations, understanding each other better, appreciating each other more, doing more together but relishing our national identity no less than our common European endeavour. Let us have a Europe which plays its full part in the wider world, which looks outward not inward, and which preserves that Atlantic community— that Europe on both sides of the Atlantic—which is our noblest inheritance and our greatest strength. May I thank you for the privilege of delivering this lecture in this great hall to this great college.
THE BRITISH APPROACH Mr. Chairman, I believe it is not enough just to talk in general terms about a European vision or ideal. If we believe in it, we must chart the way ahead and identify the next steps. And that is what I have tried to do this evening. This approach does not require new documents: they are all there, the North Atlantic Treaty, the Revised Brussels Treaty and the Treaty of Rome,
TO SEA THINGS CLEARLY Sea2See fishes for plastic that has ended up in the seas of our planet. Its goal: To turn it into eyeglass frames by Lucia Galli
rançois van den Abeele is a pragmatic man but also a dreamer, an individual who began to fish after spending many years at sea. Belgian born – but do not only speak to him about chocolate and beer – he has family in Spain and business in Italy. He has travelled the world extensively - enough to come to know it - realising that perspectives can be turned around and that the economy is nothing other than circular. This is the reason why his ‘miraculous fishing’ adds value to something that others have abandoned today, the focal point of a clean and innovative business with which, for the past few years, this entrepreneur has been able to combine his love for nature and the sea with a commitment to our planet. Amongst the waves of our seas van den Abeele fishes for abandoned plastic, he works with it, and then returns it to us in the form of eyeglasses. Trendy yet responsible, they have been eye openers to many; not only to the Hollywood elite, like Javier
was accompanied by Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco’s team. Van den Abeele jokes that even though he she journeyed with his glasses, she didn’t wear them very often. His is a sea to behold – a Sea2See – a sustainable vision.
His previous work experience was built on factors such as social business, eco innovation, and
Bardem and Penelope Cruz, but also to environmentalists, think Greta Thunberg. Her transoceanic last summer down the United Nations route took place aboard the ‘Malizia’ and
This was how Sea2See came to be: “Not in one day – like with all things really worth our while – but through a long process made up of a spirit for research and enthusiasm”. Today van den Abeele has found his safe haven in Barcelona; his ‘seeing’ and the beginnings the fruit of an agreement with a series of fishermen and their boats. Located in around thirty different Spanish ports and in some French harbours, too, they ‘fish’ the seas for him, filling containers with sunken treasures, more than 500 kilos per day.
financial inclusion, mainly in Africa, where he also worked as a journalist. Thereafter came the shipbuilding industry as well as a series of sustainability–related projects around Europe. And one certainty: “When you have a new idea which is good but very little money to bring it to fruition, then you are lucky. Because it points to a product that will be ‘easy’ and decipherable by the market and everybody”. He began with a simple fact: 50% of the world’s population wears glasses “and he could therefore convey his message everywhere”.
Not all plastics are good for creating glasses frames. At the beginning we gathered everything, today the selection constitutes the basis of the most delicate part of our work.
may be similar, but never the same, giving us credibility”. Lenses, frames, colours, fashion, ideas, and even the collection names; there is a tremendous amount of Italy in Sea2See glasses. “What matters is the message”, he says, “brands as such, are today an end in themselves. The modern customer, on the other hand, wants emotion and experience”. He does not believe that buyers wish to purchase mere status symbols “but rather to convey something that carries a message and makes us feel a part of the actual process”. For Van den Abeele the younger generations, by now, have understood this concept and not solely thanks to Greta: “When we grow up, we forget that we were once children; we must find ourselves again in their simplicity of reasoning like the ‘Little Prince’ of de Saint-Exupéry”. François often lectures at schools, talking about the environment and pollution; he believes that the alliance which is hence created with these young students must give us hope. They will become the leaders of tomorrow and they are the optimal driving force behind the green initiatives. Van den Abeele is moderately optimistic: “Not on time, but never too late” is his motto. Sensitivities are changing. “I don’t know if we are still in time to completely
In their midst no sea bass, anchovies, tuna, or other fish. He is only interested in the plastic and microplastic that the seas know neither how to return nor how to dispose of. “Not all plastics are good for creating glasses frames. At the beginning we gathered everything, today the selection constitutes the basis of the most delicate part of our work”, he proclaims, stating that he was not afraid to travel the world in search of the best possible partnerships. His first moment of enlightenment came at a trade show in Milan. The second, a little later, in Veneto, near Treviso, between the Piave river and the land where prosecco was born. In the small town of Segusino, home to less than two thousand souls and a long tradition in the optics industry, he found the perfect framework for his project. He left them a suitcase filled with twenty kilos of plastic, asking what could be done with it? “I returned a few weeks later and the first frames were ready”. Today his alliance with this beautiful country and its know-how, the ‘Made in Italy’, has been stamped and sealed, a true twinning. “In this place I understood the true meaning behind a sense of belonging and the desire to work on a common project”. All of his glasses are made by hand: “Each piece
When you have a new idea which is good but very little money to bring it to fruition, then you are lucky. Because it points to a product that will be ‘easy’ and decipherable by the market and everybody. François van den Abeele
reverse the exploitation course of our planet which we have taken, but I know that we must not fail to try”, he says. “We can and must begin to do things differently: 80% of plastic pollution is fished out by maritime or fishing activities. Of this amount, however, 80% comes from the mainland. It is thus not enough to just ‘collect’, we must go directly to the root of the problem. It is just like trying to dry the floor of a room in which there is a leak”. The problem is not solved just simply by plugging the leak.
been very enlightening. The need to do something, to be proactive, also came from them as “they found themselves flooded with tons of plastic stranded in their nets”. The absurdity of the matter is that fish are caught for food and that plastic is caught to work with. The next step now is to create a product that is not only beautiful to wear and look at, but that is also good in price. “The product must be appreciated for sales to be achieved and it must have a ‘fair’ price - not too high, not too low - in order to penetrate the market”. Sea2See already boasts several collaborations with fashion brands and supports a variety of charities. Scandinavia, France, Germany, Holland, Canada and the United Kingdom are the markets in which environmental awareness first succeeded. Van den Abeele explains that: “Innovations are regarded cautiously by many of the worlds industry greats; you can’t ignore the cost and sustainability of each business, and every market has its own priorities,” Meanwhile, his fishing has already sent out a loud and clear message: “I wear garbage and it is also very good for me”! Van den Abeele is a man who not only has sight but also vision.
For the future his goals are to extend his eyewear social and deploy in various areas of costal Africa. “We are already working in Ghana, collecting with the fishing communities to create a new source of income out of the waste that they collect and hence create awareness about the problem”. “One of the most fascinating aspects of my work is the relationship with the fishermen: I was also once a man of the sea and the work dynamic, the fact of building something together, listening to their voices, their advice, and their testimonials, has
Dear Friend by Celeste MacMillan
As soon as I saw you. I knew it was going to be an adventure. We will always love you Punch Buggy! 63
It was an effort to produce a people’s car, affordable cars for the German workers. Production stopped during the Second World War, but Hitler, nevertheless, got to drive the first convertible. After the war, the production was placed in the capable hands of the British. By 1946, over 10,000 cars were being manufactured. Skip ahead a decade – 1 million had been sold. By the ’60s, the ‘Käfer’ (Beetle, Bug) is given its lasting name, and in 1968, Herbie went to faraway places, from Love, to Monte
ut we can no longer think it over. Because 80 years after our little friend decided to make his way down the winding roads of wherever it is now the end of the line. The Volkswagen Beetle is no more. Goodbye, dear friend. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche as an affordable, practical, and reliable vehicle, the Beetle was originally commissioned by Adolf Hitler in the 1930’s.
Our little car isn’t so much of a novelty any more. A couple of dozen college kids don’t try to squeeze inside it. The guy at the gas station doesn’t ask where the gas goes, Nobody even stares at our shape. In fact, some people who drive our little flivver don’t even think 32 miles to the gallon is going any great guns. Or using five pints of oil instead of five quarts. Or never needing anti-freeze. Or racking up 40,000 miles on a set of tires. That’s because once you get used to some of our economies, you don’t even think about them any more. Except when you squeeze into a small parking spot. Or renew your small insurance. Or pay a small repair bill. Or trade in your old VW for a new one. Think it over. Julian Koenig and Helmut Krone for Doyle Dane Bernbach – DDB – Advertising, 1959
(roughly estimated) 285-car collection, owns at least three rare VW models from 1938, 1955, and 1966, and he was the first person in the world to test drive the 2012 Beetle. The Volkswagen Beetle. What began as a practical, unique car for everything from offroad excursions to the needs of everyday life, has, without a doubt, become an icon. A staple. From hippies to celebrities, to dictators, the Beetle has lived up to its name as the peopleâ€™s car; from stories of people claiming their Bug was the next Herbie, to good old-fashioned sentimental value. Our love for them is unrelenting. And so, although their production may have ceased, we will never forget. Punch buggy! No punch backs!
Carlo, to Bananas. In 1971 it became the best-selling car in the world. Fast forward to 1998 and a new name; Mike Myers drove groovily in The Shag mobile. Various other celebrities have been associated with the Bug over the years - such as Jerry Seinfeld, Heidi Klum, and Jay Leno to name a few. Seinfeld, though known for his collection of luxury cars, claims his first ever car was a 1977 Beetle. He is also said to own a blue 1952 Beetle, which was featured in an episode of his show, as well as a 1960 Beetle that he sold at auction for $121,000. Heidi Klum starred in a Volkswagen Beetle commercial, in which she commented on her delight for German engineering, not to mention that she has been seen cruising down the street in her own green convertible Beetle. She has also said that she owns several others in various different colours. Jay Leno, notable not only for his roles in movies but also his
Above, Heidi Klum in a Volkswagen commercial. Below, Jerry Seinfeld in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, 2012. Right, Herbie Rides Again, 1974
este Ann Demeuleme
Dirk Van Saene
Walter Van Beirendon ck
Dries van Not
by Giorgia Chiampan
he most famous of the dernier-cri, trendsetting cities have ended their spring fashion weeks, instances dedicated to the dictation of our future orientation. The styles presented will influence all of our robings throughout the next few seasons. For those amongst us that tend to remain oblivious as to this particular subject, let us look at a brief recapitulation: Fashion weeks take place in the following order - first New York, then London, followed by Milan, to be closed by Paris – twice a year; in September for the next Spring/Summer fashion trends, and February, for those of the subsequent Fall/Winter. We are, of course, speaking exclusively about women’s fashion. The men follow a slightly diverse calendar, although often merged with their female counterparts, entirely, however, at the individual brands’ discretion. These ceremonial, extraordinary occasions bring together the world’s most prodigious fashion gurus – editors, buyers, influencers, celebrities – the eyes of all attentively feasting upon the manifestations. Outside of these specific dates, however, fashion is not forgotten as there is an abundance of further episodes in virtually every major city
around the world, from Cairo to Mexico City, from Berlin to Sao Paolo. Amongst these, there is nevertheless one particular city that deserves a part in the play named ‘Big City Fashion’ and should be present on the official circuit. We are talking about Antwerp, the most significant city in the Flanders province of Belgium, home to one of the most influential fashion schools in the world, and the breeding ground of some of the most original talents of all time; the birthplace of the ‘Antwerp Six’. The school’s location is in the centre of this municipality, primarily known for the diamond trade. The Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten van Antwerpen (the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts) is one of the oldest academies in Europe. Founded in 1663 by David Teniers the younger, painter of Archduke Leopold Guglielmo and John of Austria, he does not boast solely for this supremacy. His fashion design section is also one of the first to travel internationally. It
follows only in New York’s FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and the Marangoni Institute in Milan’s footsteps. In the sixties, when common opinion stopped comparing less applied arts to traditional arts, a series of new departments were added to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts: graphic design, photography, jewellery, ceramics, and fashion design. In the first instance, we can thus more than confirm that Antwerp may be considered the city of the avant-garde. Looking back historically to the time in which the Americans
launched the casual look (Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger were the trailblazers), the Italians focused on business suits and the opulence of turned silhouettes in recognition of the fitness trend (Armani, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana were frontrunners), and the French had just recovered from the Japanese invasion which began dictating unusual volumes for our western framework, a visionary group appeared virtually out of nowhere, completely messing up the cards on the table. It was a spontaneous collective, unwavering in their
decision to mix pure fantasy with art and showcasing it all through fashion. It all began in 1988 when, as the legend states, these six talented creatives decided to take the big leap onto the international fashion scene. They loaded a single truck with their collections and headed in the direction of London. Here they installed themselves on a campsite during the British Bridal Show – spending their entire savings on advertising. The British press immediately took note and was so impressed by their creations, that they celebrated them as the newest emerging talents – baptising
them the ‘Antwerp Six’. Who are they? Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Marina Yee, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, and Dirk Bikkembergs. Martin Margiela subsequently joined the six. Even though he had graduated earlier and had already worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Gaultier, he launched his collection only a few years after the six. Each of their collections
was presented displaying their individuality and personal peculiarities, nevertheless, with one common element: All six had an entirely new approach to presenting their collections. With this vanguard concept, they managed to establish a new fashion application. It was no longer a proposal for a total look – the ‘en vogue’ trend of the time. Instead, they allowed each garment to be viewed as a single idiosyncratic individual element (to be mixed and matched as desired). This method granted the wearer the privilege of selfexpression and eclecticism. For the first time, dressing became simply the freedom of being. It was an aesthetic turning
Dirk Bikkembergs Dirk graduated in 1982 and launched his first menswear collection in Paris in 1989. A women’s collection followed in 1993. In 2000, particularly amongst the young, his brand became trendy after launching his ‘Bikkembergs Sport’ fashion line – this marked the beginnings of a ‘sport-couture’ era within the fashion system.
point and one that is not easily summarised by just a few words. What is however possible, is to highlight each designers dictum: Dries Van Noten, the experimenter of refinement, of texture, of ethnic prints; Margiela, the ‘shadow’ designer, no one has ever seen him nor has he ever given an interview, a real surrealist; Ann Demeulemeester, minimalist and gothic, dark and at the same time energetic; Marina Yee, deconstructivism, architectonic, with braked yet rarefied sensuality; Dirk Van Saene, eccentric and emotional; Walter Van Beirendonck, graphic and ironic, a real freak; and Dirk
Dries van Not
Dries was born into a family with an ancient tailoring tradition. His grandfather was a renowned tailor, and his father owned a men’s clothing store. Even before obtaining his degree in 1981, his collections attracted the attention of Barney’s New York. Van Noten founded his own fashion house in 1985 with a women’s as well as a men’s prêt-à-porter collection. Presenting his collection in London the following year, he soon gained international popularity.
Upon graduating from the Bruges Art School, Ann studied design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp from 1978 to 1981. She then worked as a freelance designer for several international fashion houses before founding her brand in 1985, with the help of her husband photographer Patrick Robyn. Demeulemeester opened her first boutique in Antwerp in 1999. In November 2013, she bid farewell of her fashion house.
Bikkembergs, the technician, obsessed by non-colours and body anatomy. The success of the ‘Antwerp Six’ gave Antwerp impetus to create new boutiques, to redevelop certain areas of this avant-garde city, to make room for new students and new tourism attracted by the implications and secrets of this shared creativity. Since 2002 this city now has a real fashion district: the ModeNatie (i.e., a ‘nation dedicated to fashion’). In acknowledgement of the ‘Antwerp Six’, the Fashion department of the Royal
Walter Van Beirendon ck Walter graduated in 1981. He initially worked for the Italian designer Gianfranco Ferré, for whom he designed the Rhinosaurus Rex sportswear line. A collaboration that remained in place until 1992. From 1983 however, the designer also began creating his collections inspired by visual arts, literature, and ethnic influences. Additionally, Walter also taught at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp for twelve years, until 1996.
Academy has seen itself catapulted into the realm of international interest. It has opened itself to the public, and it has added a Fashion Museum with a unique visual and emotional impact. The school continues to generate avantgarde designers. In the shortest of time, these have had their names added to the list of Antwerp fabricated fashion geniuses: Veronique Branquinho, A.F. Vandevorst, Peter Pilotto, Haider Ackermann, Kris Van Assche…
Dirk Van Saene He graduated in 1981 and immediately opened a store where he sold his collections. Two years later, van Saene won the gold medal at the prestigious Golden Spindie competition in Belgium. His first fashion show took place in Paris in 1990. Unlike the other designers, he always maintained his niche production, a combination of design and art. He still teaches at the Antwerp Academy.
Marina is a Belgian of Chinese descent. She graduated in 1981 but astonishingly left the world of fashion in 1990, only to return to resounding success in 1998. Her creativity is not solely expressed through fashion. In fact, she created a unique fabric collection for the fashion house Aristide. Today she teaches at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague in the fashion department.
Guo Pei & Rose Studio
he may not be very tall, and many will not consider her fierce. A short, dark bob frames her translucent face. Each smile lights up her entire face, bringing her eyes to twinkle with bemused knowledge. The kind that only somebody who knows precisely what they are talking about can portray. Hence, we must make no mistake, Guo Pei is a force to be reckoned with. She was born in 1967 in Beijing. Daughter to a father who was a former battalion leader in the Peopleâ€™s Army and a mother who taught kindergarten-aged children. She began sewing at only two years old, helping her mother make clothes for the cold winter months, the onset of her love of fashion and dressmaking. At the time, the Mao uniform was the only acceptable one, even for children. She defied the world she lived in by designing loose-fitting garments, which she considered adequately appropriate in lieu of the norm. As is often the case, there is much more to a book than its cover. In Guo Peiâ€™s case, she is not only passionate but also a woman of surprising attitude. She pushed her way forward to study at the Beijing Sec-
ond Light Industry School, from which she received a degree in fashion design in 1986. The timing was perfect as post-Mao’s reforms were in the process of being implemented by Deng Xiaoping. Her first job was for Tianma, one of China’s first, privately owned, clothing manufacturers. For Guo Pei to stay here was never an option. The world was to become her oyster, and with her vision, she left in 1997 to open her fashion brand and studio: Guo Pei & Rose Studio. Today she is married to Cao Bao Jie (or Jack Tsao as most call him). A textile dealer by trade, he is the one she credits with opening up her horizons - from introducing her to European fabrics and embroideries to recognizing her raw and heartfelt talent. She was destined to become so much more than a simple tailor. The world of the haute-couture was hers for the taking. Guo Pei & Rose Studio is China’s first, registered, couture house. In 2008 she designed the uniforms for the Chinese Olympic team, and in 2015, she was admitted as a guest member to the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode – the first and only Chinese national to ever receive this honour. That same year, she is also named Asian Couturier Extraordinaire by the Asian Couture Federation (ACF) of which she is also a lifetime founding member. In April 2016, Time Magazine declared her to be amongst the 100 Most Influential People in the
Guo Pei & Rose Studio
World, alongside the likes of Leonardo di Caprio, Tim Cook, and Mark Zuckerberg. The list of international achievements, however, does not end here. Merely a month after climbing the ladder to reach the top 100, Guo Pei received the UNCTAD (Innovation and Entrepreneurship by the World Summit) award and held a speech at the United Nations. She represented China on this occasion and spoke about the necessity to respect tradition to create a future. A prerequisite she is well versed in. In 2017 she was awarded the ‘Keys’ to the city of Florence (an honour previously granted to Prince Charles), and produced a documentary – Yellow is forbidden – that was selected to represent the category of best foreign film at the Oscars in 2018. Today, Rose Studio has become China’s most internationally recognized couture house, with stores and exhibition halls all over the world. Guo Pei continues to train her team of embroiderers in China personally. She encourages them to revive Chinese traditional ‘Royal Embroidery’ techniques so that these may be exhibited on the world’s stage. Fierce, strong-willed, and strong-minded, Guo Pei has achieved beyond her dreams to effectuate those of others.
I love haute-couture because she is a kind of halt of life. Haute-couture doesnâ€™t like ready-to-wear, which prevails simply and also can be forgotten quickly. I hope my work could be a showpiece as a museum collection, be reassure as palace jewellery, and be a masterpiece that will be handed on from age to age. Real Haute Couture is eternal, long-tested, and, many years later, will be a kind of glancing back of time. By that time, she could have a representation of the lost glories and residual splendours and give a reinterpretation of happiness I have had and niceness I have created.
Storie V William Turner, View Of Venice The Ducal Palace Dogana And Part Of San Giorgio, 1841, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
enice is a city of mirages, music, and sound, of art “the revel of the Earth, the masque of Italy” (Lord Byron 1788-1824). A city steeped in history in a region that was already inhabited by the Veneta people going back to the 10th century BC. It is considered the first financial centre of our world (900-1400), the motherland of the Renaissance (1300-1600), as well as being the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi (16781741). For its citizens, the Republic of Venice (6971897) has shown variant civilisations the ways of the world and as such, will forever be fiercely defended. It is a matter of pride and joy, as ‘La Serenissima’ is their jewel.
A gem which for others is solely a place of dreams, transporting transients to another time and days gone by. Its alleys and canals hold an abundance of secrets that even if wandered for hours, will never fully be discovered. “This was Venice, the flattering and suspect beauty this city, half fairy tale and half tourist trap, in whose insalubrious air the arts once rankly and voluptuously blossomed, where composers have been inspired to lulling tones of somniferous eroticism”, (Thomas Mann, 1875-1955).
It is a mysterious city that captivates, beguiles, and ensnares. For Sophie and Didier Guillon it was an immediate seduction - their first visit together, the beginning of a love affair; their own and with La Serinissima. Venice does this to you, and Storie Veneziane pays homage.
Valmontâ€™s collaboration with Venice goes back to 2013. Since then, the city hosts a Valmont Foundation exhibition as part of every Venice Biennale. Art has always been at the core of the brandâ€™s identity. Expressive and inspirational works infuse La Maison Valmont, all signed by international contemporary artists and carefully selected under the watchful gaze of Didier. Born in 1953 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Didier Guillon is a descendant of a Viennese gallery owner. He was brought up in a universe of cosmetics under the guidance of his father, co-founder of the Mustela brand. They shared a taste for art in all its forms, travelling far and wide to visit exhibitions in the worldâ€™s artistic capitals, meeting with artists from all walks of life, and falling in love with works with no regard for fleeting fads. Didier began his career as a lawyer in France and emigrated to Switzerland
in 1988, acquiring the cosmetic company Valmont in 1991. In 2001, he developed another luxury cosmetic brand, l’Elixir des Glaciers – a unique and luxurious alliance of rare and noble ingredients derived from Switzerland’s pure and natural resources. Entrepreneur to the core, insatiable in his love for art, and a philanthropist at heart, Didier first visited Venice in 1991 on Christmas Day. The city was cloaked in a dense fog, which was both intriguing as mysterious, reminding him of Turner’s (1775-1851) watercolours – “I don’t paint so that people will understand me; I paint to show what a particular scene looks like”. For Didier, when Venice sheds its mask, bewitchment ensues. An enchantment which was transmitted to Sophie instantaneously. Sophie, born in 1964 in Phnom Penh, earned a degree in marketing from a university in California. This elegant French woman with Vietnamese ancestry enhanced the international dynamism of Parfums Balmain and Oscar de la Renta, before going on to manage operational marketing for Yves Saint Laurent Perfumes from Geneva. She joined team Valmont in 2000. With her keen eye for detail and an obsession with fine
materials, it was clear that she would find in Venice incomparable magic. For her, the Venetian soul is created through its aromas – jasmine blooming under the may sun whilst the sea air permeates even the smallest alley; the steaming coffee which is served as the first vaporetto sets off through the canals past the flavours of freshly baked bread and pastry; or even the fog and rain, with faint metallic traces as the humidity reaches the blocks of trachyte, releasing mists of steam. Each redolence is distinctive, exceptional, unique - a treasure – and the inspiration behind an exclusive range of new fragrances.
Five olfactory tales were hence created. Stories that may reveal the infinite facets of a city that is synchronously captivating and perplexing, mythical and legendary, yet consistently capable of reinvention. Bottled into golden flasks and adorned with colourful translucent Murano glass masks, these fables pay homage to Venice and its ‘masked’ traditions, in addition to paying tribute to Murano. Composed of seven islands in the Venetian Lagoon, Murano was once an independent ‘comune’ but today is considered a ‘frazione’ of the ‘’Comune di Venezia’. Although initially settled by the Ro-
mans and known as a fishing port and producer of salt, the art of glassmaking moved to this small archipelago in 1291, when the Venetian Republic feared potential fires in the city from the furnaces. Simultaneously the arrival of the Venetian masks representing the absence of rules and freedom of action in a Republic of unheard-of wealth – an equal playing field for servant and noblemen; with no face, everyone had a voice. Moretta, Jester, Dama, Bauta. Pierrot, Pantalone, Colombina, or Arlechino. From the Pontile Sant’Elena and its final splash of green before the infinite expanse of the Adriatic to the l’Arsenale, traversing Renaissance tradition and modernity; from the cloister of San Francesco Della Vigna in all its splendour to the Dorsoduro and its devotion to art, or the Campo San Moisè in all its opulence. Venice, eternally fascinating. “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth” (Oscar Wilde). Valmont’s ‘Storie Veneziane’.
Regalami il tuo sogno... because
I call it home
ranklin D. Roosevelt once said that “courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage”. How often does it happen that you come across a true gentleman? Not often. If, however, there is one place in this world where this could potentially happen, then Venice would most certainly be at the top of this list. Does history not confirm the present-day? He stood quietly, elegantly, gentlemanly, at the elevator. A soft-spoken, “after you, Madam”. A sliver of a moment. An insight into bygone days. Feelings of truly being considered a lady. A simple, “Thank you, Sir”. The gentleman in question is none other than the General Manager of Venice’s magnificent Bauer Hotel: Vincenzo Finizzola.
zo returned. This time, to the Gritti Palace. He was, nevertheless, not yet back to stay. The Four Season’s Hotels and Resorts asked him to open the company’s first hotel in Europe in October of 1992. Just a little time later, on April 1st, 1993, the Four Seasons Hotel Milan opened its doors. Finizzola’s elegance infused every little hidden corner. Then, and today, it remains amongst the list of not only one of Italy’s best Hotels, but rather, the worlds.
Finizzola was born in Tuscany in 1951 in the village of Altopascio on the Via Francigena, the pilgrims’ path from France to Rome. From childhood, he lived and breathed hospitality due to his parents’ activity in the Montecatini Terme. He studied, however, in Florence, first at the Liceo Linguistisco (linguistic high school), and then at the Scuola Interpreti (school for interpreters). Fate soon brought him to the charm and excitement of big cities and famous Hotels. He began his career at the Savoy in London in 1977 before returning to Italy in 1978 Venice, to be precise. First, a few years at the Hotel des Bains, followed by the Hotel Excelsior. In 1984 he moved to Rome to another Hotel, albeit with the same name. The big promotion arrived in 1987 when though still a very young man; he rose to become General Manager of the Hotel Romazzino, located along the magnificent beaches of the beautiful Costa Smeralda on the island of Sardinia. But Venice is Venice, and this city most certainly has charms like none other. King Henry III saw things clearly: “If I were not King of France, I would choose to be a citizen of Venice”. In 1990, Vincen-
His world, taking into consideration the undoubted artistic value of his surroundings, consists of many facets: There is impeccable service. There are a personalised service and one of genuine courtesy. There is a feeling of home, of luxury, of all that we have ever imagined in our dreams. And then, there is the man himself, the individual who had Mario Mancini’s famous and desired ‘Excellent Prize’ award bestowed upon him in 2015. Only a true gentleman would refer
to all of his staff in recognition, whilst receiving the ultimate of confirmations. “True Luxury is service, and it is thanks to all my collaborators…”. Today, and since June 2019. Vicenzo finds himself back in Venice. At the Bauer Hotel around the corner of the famous St. Mark’s Square, with its towering Basilica. An ode to Marcel Proust: “When I went to Venice, I discovered that my dream had become – incredibly but simply – my address”.
You have had a colourful and exciting past. Why did you decide to come back to Venice? Frankly, I did not decide to come back to Venice because it was Venice that called me back. I simply accepted its invitation, and I am grateful to life for this opportunity. I strongly believe in destiny and fate. If it is true that my professional life started in London, then it is in Venice where all began.
have been here before. There remains only to add that even if many of them were or are famous, each individual is important for a Hotel like The Bauer. You are the definition of a true gentleman. How important do you see the old-fashioned values in today’s fast-paced world? In the end, a gentleman is a man who respects people. To respect people and to treat them, in the same manner, you would like to be treated transforms you into a gentleman. At the end of the day, this is a simple thing to achieve, and it is not difficult to behave in that way. I think that chivalry is not dead. It has merely evolved, but good manners will always remain essential and help you to open many doors. Rudeness and arrogance keep them closed.
Do you feel that you are finally ‘home’, or do you think that the next adventure might be around the corner? It is true. My feeling is undoubtedly one of being back home, but as a famous song says: ”Que será, será, whatever will be, will be, the future's not ours to see”. I can only add that I am always ready for new challenges and opportunities.
Do you have any individuals that you consider your ‘heroes’? What aspects of their personality do you admire? My heroes are all the people who suffer and face their pain with strength and hope. My heroes are all the people who help others without asking for anything in return. Dignity is the aspect of their personalities that I admire the most.
The Bauer has an incredible history. What do you see in it that others may not at first glance? The Bauer is in Venice as Venice is within the Bauer. You can walk around Venice for years, and every single day, you can see and discover something you have not noticed before. The Bauer, in its own small way, has many hidden details: fossils in the marble floor of the lobby or the motto HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE of The Most Noble Order of the Garter, engraved in the mirror frame of a Murano chandelier hanging above your head. In any case, one of the most fascinating aspects is to sit in the lobby, trying to imagine Greta Garbo, Rodolfo Valentino, Elizabeth Taylor, Charlie Chaplin, and all the thousands of people who
What words of wisdom do you have for the younger generations that might wish to follow in your footsteps? Passion. Loyalty. Never give up. Always be authoritative, never authoritarian, and when you do not know what to say just, tell the truth.
THE HISTORY OF BAUER
furnishings are combined with a warm golden light created by extraordinary Murano chandeliers. They accentuate light and shadow, highlighting the transparencies and the patina of time. When the Bauer reopened, it was the most stylish and modern Hotel in Venice. The 1940s renovation also reconfirmed the Bauer’s continued attention to the highest standards of luxury, refinement, sophistication, and guest comfort. The Hotel interior featured elegant drawing rooms full of warm leather upholstery and walls richly decorated in the classical Venetian rococo motif. From the soft lustre of the silver service to the iridescent sparkle of the handblown glass chandeliers, no detail was overlooked - creating an ambiance of graciousness, wellbeing, and elegance which remains to date. In the years that followed, the Bauer was amongst the favourite destinations of the international jet-set. The guest book featured the names of kings and prime ministers, business people and intellectuals, musicians and stars of stage and screen. All were drawn to the Bauer by the excellence shown by its management and staff, as well as its impeccable level of service. Its two nightclubs, “Settimo Cielo” and “Arlecchino” were the pulse of Venetian nightlife. In 1999 Francesca Bortolotto Possati, granddaughter of Arnaldo Bennati, became Chairwoman and CEO of the Hotel. She was the only female executive-level hotelier in Venice. Her life-long love for the Bauer, more than evident, her first act at the helm was to undertake a massive 38 million-dollar, two-year renovation. That encompassed everything from engineering and systems to décor and furnishings. Completed in late 1999, the Bauer is reconceived as a property boasting two unique personalities. Firstly, the Bauer, a deluxe five-star hotel in the modern wing. Secondly, but not least, Il Palazzo at the Bauer, an opulent boutique hotel in the 18th-century palazzo. The renovation has brought state-of-the-art technology together with the traditional artisan craftsmanship for which Venice is world-renowned. The Bauer will continue to embrace the spirit and romance of its Old-World past. It will do so with grace, elegance, and gentlemanly serviceability. It will, however, and nonetheless, continue to encompass all, which is the future, so it is ready to serve its guest far beyond tomorrow. In June 2019, the Bauer Hotel was sold to Elliot Advisors (UK) Ltd. and Blue Skye Investment Group. Elliott and Blue Skye were attracted to Bauer’s unique value opportunity given its highquality properties (Bauer Hotels in San Marco & Giudecca), as well as the prospects for growth of the high-end hospitality market in Venice. Elliott and Blue Skye recognise the history and prestige of the Bauer brand name in the world of hospitality and are committed to enhancing the value of the properties through significant renovation plans.
Silence and indolence fell over Venice at the end of the Republic. A quietness which would last until the mid 19th century, when a desire arose for an architectural renewal. It looked nostalgically to the past and was combined with the new decorative style of Art Nouveau. The Venetians named it ‘Stile Liberty’ when it was imported from beyond the Alps. At the forefront was the architect Giovanni Sardi (1863-1913), who adopted this new eclectic architectural language. He interpreted it and applied it to famous architectures located on the Lido and in Venice’s historic centre. One of his oeuvres, the Bauer Il Palazzo, at the entrance to the Grand Canal. The doors of Sardi’s magnificent Bauer Hotel opened for the first time in 1881. Since it has not only continued to set the standard for hospitality in Venice but rather, has crossed the Republics’ borders. Known for years as the BauerGrünwald, the original hotel was a partnership. Between Mr. Bauer – the experienced and respected director of Venice’s Hotel de la Ville - and an enterprising young Austrian (who had just arrived in Venice) by the name of Julius Grünwald. Grünwald purchased several properties that were constructed with Sardi’s know-how. Just steps from Piazza San Marco, on the Campo San Moisé and the Grand Canal, the new Bauer enjoyed the most desirable location in all of Venice. It had, and has, a view of the island of San Giorgio and the church of Santa Maria della Salute, which extends its glorious gaze far beyond the sparkling basin of San Marco. The 200-room firstclass hotel quickly gained a reputation for gracious service, excellent food, and elegant ambiance. In 1930 the hotel was sold to Arnaldo Bennati by Grünwald’s heirs. Bennati was a successful Ligurian shipbuilder with a keen nose for real estate and a passion for the hospitality industry. The Bauer closed for almost an entire decade during the ‘40s, whilst Arnaldo Bennati undertook the first extensive renovation of the hotel. Giovanni Sardi was again commissioned. He designed the hotel in a particularly elaborate and elegant style, using materials typical of the Venetian tradition. Brick, Istrian stone, and marble were combined to create a luminous façade with a striking effect. Light and flowery Gothic ornamentation were added, and in the 1950s, the construction of a completely new wing on the Campo San Moisè was designed in the architectural style of the time. Among the highlights of this renovation - the addition of the 7th-floor terrace, “Settimo Cielo” (Seventh Heaven). It is still the highest outdoor terrace in Venice with views of unparalleled magnificence. Central heating and air conditioning were introduced, amenities that could be called exceptional for those years. Inside vast and majestic spaces strike us. Marble walls, burl wood woodwork, brass detailing, and period
A ALTA Will the tide turn? 101
ifty-three years lie between the big floods of Venice, almost to the day. In 1966 it happened on November 4th. In 2019, on November 15th. We cry with the city and its Acqua Alta. Major Luigi Brugnaro blames it on global warming. For that matter, so do most. It seems that this inundation has started a global hyperventilation trend regarding the subject. But he should know, because who else would be acquainted with the city the way he is? He knows every nook and cranny. He is aware of the city’s beauty and its heritage. He is also aware of the flooding tendencies as well as the unendurable, not to say inadmissible, tourism that walks the streets. Daily. A mere 55 000 inhabitants reside in Venice. Around 30 million tourists visit yearly. Massive cruise ships destroy not only the view. But what about back in 66? We need to understand the basics. The median sea level in Venice is not the same as in the rest of Italy. This fact goes back to 1897 when the tide-level-zero measurements began at the monitoring station located at the famous Punta della Salute. The remainder of Italy uses a reference-based in the port city of Genoa. Here the sea level considered zero lies at around 23 cm higher than that of Venice. In November 1966, all of northern Italy, including Venice, suffered from massive rainstorms and extremely high winds that travelled upwards from the south. These winds are called the Scirocco, a Mediterranean phenomenon generated in the Arabian or Sahara deserts of Africa. Most common in Spring or Fall, the wind can reach speeds up to 100 km/h, causing water surges which the Venetian ca-
nals are not always able to stop. If there is no time between the swells for the waters to flow back into the sea, which generally, even in circumstances of Acqua Granda, happens, then Venice floods. In November 1966, the water levels measured at St. Mark’s Square and its Basilica reached a height of 194 cm. On November 15th, 2019, water levels on the square peaked at 187 cm. Different to 1966, however, the fact that for the first time in Venetian history, the levels broke the 150 cm barrier three times over just a few days. 70% of Venice found itself submerged in water! Caused by a massive storm that swirled its way north above the Adriatic, havoc ensued. Once again, winds were the cause of enormous water surges. Once again, Venice and its canals lost the battle of the waves. History tells us that Venice flooded, on average, around 100 times per year. But these were ‘puddle floods’ in comparison, pooling around the lowest point of the Venetian squares, flowing through limestone grates into underground cisterns. All of Venice was constructed in this manner. The city does not have a natural source for drinking water, and residents would collect their water in buckets directly from these cisterns. It wasn’t until 1884 that an aqueduct, parallel to the railroad line, was built to bring fresh drinking water from the nearby mountains. Today the cisterns are closed, and there is nowhere for the rising water levels to go. It has to flow back into the canals, into the lagoon.
Only to rise
. .. n o o g t s u m The show the 1970s and has aided to slow things down, albeit slightly. Forbes magazine recently quoted a 2016 feature in the publication EOS entitled “Global Risks and Research Priorities for Coastal Subsidence”. In this the authors summarise the situation globally: “Many coastal areas are sinking even faster than the waters are rising: Natural and human-driven subsidence rates arising from shallow processes can be one to two orders of magnitude greater than the rate of climate-driven sea-level rise predicted for the remainder of the 21st Century”. But they do not stop here. The paper goes on to state that “coastal lowlands which rise less than 10 meters above sea level, are particularly vulnerable to the climate change effects forecast for the 21st Century, including of inundation by accelerating sea level rise and increases in severity and frequency of tropical storm surges.
Sea levels are increasing as the ice sheets melt, and the oceans are getting warmer. Extreme flooding, which used to occur once every century in the past, has now occurred again in half that time. Predictions are that by 2050, this will happen every 5 to 6 years. By 2100 we could be talking every 5 to 6 months. But these predictions only consider the rising sea levels. We should not forget that Venice is also slowly sinking (about 12 cm during the 20th Century) and tilting slightly to the east. A fact that, however, is due to natural forces that have impacted the area for a long time. The city was built on a known subduction zone, the Adriatic plate that is slowly pushed under the Appennine Mountains - going under, so to speak. A situation that was accelerated over the years by local industries that pumped the groundwater from the aquifer under the lagoon, destabilising the cities entire foundation. Thankfully this was forbidden in
Case in point. 104
of up to three metres. Construction began in 2003, There is nevertheless hope. That is, should the MOSE project ever really get but corruption, cost overrun, scandals, and delays off the ground. It has been ongoing for have ensued in an incapacity to accomplish the one thing that would have stopped this disyears. Sixteen years, to be precise. aster. It has already cost 5 billion Euros of MOSE stands for ‘Modulo Sperpublic funds and was meant to be finimentale Elettromeccanico’, a project that intends to proished in 2018. It is now expected to be tect the city of Venice and completed by 2022. How is this possible, and how many more Acqua Alta’s its lagoon from flooding. It will the city need to endure before the consists of rows of mobile project is accomplished? gates that are to be installed Luigi Brugnaro, The Major sees things clearly, and it at the Lido, Malamocco, and Major of is now up to us all to try and hinder any Onloggia inlets. The intent is Venice to isolate the Venetian Lagoon further damage to our planet and heritage. We can only live in the hope that Harriet Beechtemporarily from the onslaught of er Stowe was correct with her statement: “Never give the Adriatic Sea during situations of high up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will tide. Combined with other measures, turn”. May the tides in Venice be kept a bay, if not by such as coastal reinforcement, a raising of the quays, as well as the paving and the belief in saving our planet, then maybe, through improvement of the lagoon, the project the financial ramifications. To save Venice now, will cost hundreds of millions of Euros. is designed to protect the area from tides
A Limen Passage by Cristina Rogna Manassero
The road of life is a passage filled with twists and turns a criminal journalist's introspection
RenĂŠ Magritte, L'Heureux Donateur (The Happy Donor), 1966, MusĂŠe d'Ixelles, Bruxelles
Above, Mrs. Thatcher pictured on her wedding day in 1951. Right, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher addresses the Conservative Party Conference, October 12th 1984.
ing nor repetitive. The point being that I can give a similar description to my endeavours of today: I listen to ‘a’ truth and subsequently seek ‘the’ truth. Journalism is a process through which information is captured so that it may be transmitted. Nevertheless, I understood that by the time the news had reached me, my work would always take place at the end of a process, or of an action. In the meantime, the issue at hand had taken an even greater turn in a negative direction, resulting in violence or even murder. Searching for the truth, in many cases, left a bitter aftertaste, or worse, frustration. The victims of violence are usually casualties attributed to acts of senseless motivation. The reasoning behind, predominantly associated with money, blood, or sex. It is a simplistic explanation of occurrences and one that was no longer enough for me. In the long run, it wore me down. Only strange cases aroused my attention. I specifically remember a shooting in a village on the outskirts of Turin. A man lost control, killed eight people, and then committed suicide. It was a story of mental distress, a story of separation from his wife. It was also a story of too many psychiatric drugs and an arsenal of weapons hidden inside his house.
oday, I am a humanistic coach. Artè Associate Studio opened seven years ago in collaboration with Dr. Mariarosa Profeta, and we have been coaching in Turin ever since. Throughout this time, we have come across women and men alike, who looked for new reasons to stay amongst us, in this life. Individuals that have journeyed past us and, in most cases, have found strategic visions and a balance to life, with themselves at the centre. To understand one’s transformation, each individual needs to have a moment of self-questioning to comprehend their ‘here and now’. It may sound easy, it is, however, anything but. My questions became my focal point, and the result, what I am writing about here. It is an answer to the question of how ‘Cristina Tirelli, in a previous life a private television criminal journalist, was transformed into Cristina Rogna Manassero, a humanistic coach’.
There is the ‘Why?’. And the ‘How?’ I found the journalism profession exciting, authentic, intriguing, and full of humanity. Never bor-
exchange, the human being modifies potentialities, skills, and abilities to generate energy reserves in the form of feelings, motivations, and goals. The point is that the virtuous or destructive interchange with reality is a series (fortunately not infinite) of empirical evidence, precisely as in laboratory experiments without any control over the result, solely one’s level of satisfaction. In fact, if we try to transpose this undertaking into everyday life, we think of taking care of ourselves, taking care of our relationships, our life goals, or our happiness. We think about the environment that we have chosen and have built around us to discover our limits, what work methods and habits we undergo to find these, what technologies we use to improve, and what behaviours we have put in place to make ourselves and others happy. Let us look at our current situation. Are we able to discover the limits of our performance regarding our love for life, ourselves, and the people we care for? My only salvation was the dialogue with the many people I trusted and those I confronted. My former colleagues and friends described me as a person with great patience, privacy, and creativity.
In short, the perfect recipe for a massacre. In the days that followed, another murder occurred. Amongst my colleagues, it became a collective joke: “Only one dead person? Then it is of no importance nor interest”. In the meantime, the world of information had also begun changing. The spectacle of criminal news became an open gateway. There were suddenly containers filled with information, and these transmissions led to new forms of successful journalism. It became storytelling in detail, with its folds and facets filled with the paroxysm of the victims’ lives or those of their executioners. Features were presented chronicled without any intellectual modesty of professional ethics. My terminus had arrived. I had surpassed the famous 40, my colleagues were almost all, only around 25 years of age, and on television, wrinkles are not favourably accepted in a woman. I had no intention of becoming a Botox addict. Thus, I had to find a solution to make ends meet and to do a job that fascinated me as much as being a journalist had. I had reached my limit after 20 years - an idea with a negative connotation. It is an indication of finiteness, of obstacles, barriers, and also, of closure. It is inevitable and unbeatable. Adapting means accepting its existence. But for me, it was necessary to go back to the origin, the beginning. I would start to study again. The limit indeed defines the specifics of being. If its membrane defines a cell, then a human being is defined by his physical, spiritual, and performative boundaries. Just as the membrane is equipped with channels allowing it to relate to the environment, limitations put the person in contact with the context. The cell, as well as the human being in this transaction, evolves, develops, changes, and modifies the other with which it exchanges from itself. The limit becomes a combination of Limes (the term for frontier in the Roman Empire), indicating the border and Limen (a term whose origins date back to mid-17th century Latin) meaning a passage. As far as I was concerned, the point of my passage was to understand that listening and transformation were and are the essence of my personality. This moment of reflection lasted for over a year. Because in a context that is linked to action, the limit is an unknown – to be discovered with the same complexity that mathematics has put into place to calculate that infinitesimal point to aim for, without ever reaching it. As Kurt Lewin stated, behaviour (B) is a function (f) of the Person (P) and their Environment (E), characterized by a mutual exchange and influence - B= f (P,E). Motivations, feelings, skills, training, goals, and objectives are human traits; in the environment, one finds training methods, resource facilitation, obstacles, accomplices, or opportunities. Between a person and their environment, there is a constant rearrangement – to the point that every time the person changes, so does their environment. In light of this
But my next step had not yet been decided. Convincing yourself that the limit must be accepted implies facing it head-on and acknowledging it. In reality, its discovery, at any point in one’s life, is not an easy task. To identify it, we must build the optimal conditions for a relationship between ourselves and the environment such that our performance can be the best possible. To discover our limit is not to identify an obstacle, but to enable us to realise the best of ourselves. In the meantime, as I travelled along my path, a new companion appeared, joining my context. His children joined my family, and we have thus built a new one. But this was not enough for me. I wanted to continue working with people. Something I seemed to be good at as all of my colleagues or friends, continuously pried me to offer an opinion on their current place in the environment. Coaching seemed to be the most natural choice. Two years of a post-graduate master’s degree between Milan and Rome, and I arrived at my new destination.When you find a limit through self-expression, you have already built a new potential. At this point, one has a choice to make. You can try to overcome it by confirming its existence, or you can choose to attest to the current level; at this moment in time, the better for you. I chose to coach so that I would overcome my limitations in everything I did, wrote, and listened to. Because I believe that the discovery of the border of happiness is our choice: a creative invention on the road to human perfection.
a modern narrative by Sebastian N. Markowsky
The main recognition that Ethereum had so far reaped was for enabling blockchain based forms of fundraising, the so-called Initial Coin Offerings (‘ICOs’). In 2017 & 2018 more than 15 billion USD of funding were invested in the space, mostly from retail investors, driving the market up to a total market cap of over 800 billion USD. Even if we take into consideration the Austrian School of Economics effect, it still shows us the power through which globality can unfold within decentralised markets, even at a time in which only 30 million wallets existed. The token phenomenon may rhyme substantially with the dot.com bubble, with one major difference however; until recently there was little to no professional money in the space. Ethereum was a lonesome protocol which enabled the rise of ICOs and Ether (the currency associated with the Ethereum protocol), alongside a massive token frenzy demand, revealing one of the fastest growth stories that we have ever seen. Since the release of the Whitepaper, Ethereum has grown to a market cap of over 100 billion USD in just over three years. As a comparison, it took the fastest, non-blockchain company Slack, around the same time to grow from zero to 1 billion USD in valuation. It is interesting to realise that the Ethereum story has gone widely unnoticed by the global mainstream media. Regardless of all the boom and bust cycles that come along with nascent and immature technologies however, the craze of 2017/2018 will surely give rise to a giant leap of innovation, bringing with it the fundamental building blocks for a more decentralised future. The basic and core principle of a decentralised structure is consensus, a consensus which has to be reached between the stakeholders of a protocol. Consensus of behavioural norms has been the invisible glue of our co-existence ever since the beginning every breaking out or away from consensual opinions, beliefs or norms, has created fear and uncertainty in societies.
itcoin: A virtual currency based on blockchain technology which captured global awareness in 2018. One can look at it as the largest modern monetary experiment of humanity. Timewise coinciding with the Lehman collapse in 2008, the release of the Bitcoin Whitepaper later that year depicted a clear vision – one of decentralisation of power, of distrust in financial institutions and a trust-less infrastructure based on encrypted and immutable transactions. In this way, Bitcoin was to provide a solution for the double spending problem of digital transaction scenarios and hence would allow users to transact in a digitally native way, peerto-peer, without any central authority. Until today, Bitcoin has emerged as a global financial system outside of any censorship or government influence, accessible to everyone globally that has a smartphone. So much to its current state, which already represents a remarkable achievement when compared to the combined human efforts that have not proven to be impressively effective in banking the un-banked. And this is just one ‘use case’ of Bitcoin. There is so much more. Think back to 2013 when Vitalik Buterin, the 19-year-old wunderkind, proposed his version of a blockchain protocol, thus igniting the very recent wave of innovation in the space. Through his decoupling of the blockchain from the application layer, detailed in the Ethereum Whitepaper, he made contribution to blockchain projects independent from specialist blockchain expertise and he included smart contract functionality beyond that Bitcoin currently offers and thereby massively extended the potential applications of the protocol. Smart contracts are digital agreements, enforced and executed digitally rather than through legal action. His vision was to build a global, decentralised supercomputer which may be described as follows: “What Bitcoin is for money, Ethereum aims to be for everything else”.
Far away and out in the Pacific Ocean there is a tiny island called Yap. Yap is host to one of the most impressive examples of consensus in ancient societies: Not far from Palau in Micronesia, Yap boasts an economy that existed on the back of the so-called Fei Stones, which represented the island’s indigenous inhabitants’ currency. Several criteria influenced the value of these stones, one of the most relevant and interesting one being their sheer size. As a result, many of the most valuable stones have never been moved, even if they changed hands. It was the inhabitant’s consensus that determined the ownership as well as all changes of proprietorship. In this respect, Yap’s financial system represents one of the first distributed ledgers based on an oral consensus mechanism (while
there are also other examples of consensus in the Roman empire era). The inhabitants of this little island, however, went even further: In those cases, in which the stones drowned during transport to Yap, the common view of the islanders was that these stones were simply located on the ground underneath the sea, and as such, still represented the same wealth as if they were stored in the central bank of Yap. This monetary system was the only system used on the island Yap until the middle of the last century, when the US Dollar was introduced as a parallel currency. Overall this is a very interesting concept, even if it might feel slightly strange thinking of it for the first time. It is in fact however, very close to the reality that we live in today; we are told to believe that the actual
value of the bills which we hold in our hands is backed by real assets. At least over time they seem to mostly fail at this. Look at the inflation that has taken place over the last 100 years in the US. Speaking about volatility, particularly that of the Bitcoin: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”. Does talking so much about volatility not appear unbalanced if inflation in turn knows only one direction? Let’s fast-forward a few thousand years instead; in Bitcoins’ case, consensus is derived through computing power which is used to solve mathematical puzzles allowing to achieve agreement about the correctness of a transaction in a decentralised global system. By supplying computing power and by thus solving mathematical puzzles, consensus is reached in a decentral-
ised global system. By using this approach, Bitcoin claims to have solved a long-standing problem, mostly referred to as the Byzantine’s General Dilemma, that has existed throughout our human history. Officially recognised in 1982, it remained unsolved until the Bitcoin was invented. In short, the Byzantine General Dilemma describes the problem of actors who do not know one another and how they could possibly thus reach, a definite consensus. The stability of consensus is the key for decentralised systems to reach an agreement based upon the correctness of information that will be included in the last block; one that represents the last link of an immutable chain of blocks which store transaction history. The energy consumption that this process carries
with it may be perceived as high for software. Looking at it as a peer-to-peer platform for global digital value transfer and storage, however, makes it very clear that a comparison should rather take place with large parts of our global banking system – today, banks and central banks are the validators of a permissioned ledger. This global financial ledger – Bitcoin – is not controlled by anybody and only maintains its existence due to predefined rules that were baked in the code and are being exercised in form of a consensus mechanism, which at the same time has had a 100% uptime since its launch. This perspective suggests that Bitcoin is highly effective and as such moderates much of the debate that surrounds energy consumption. Going against the general conception, payments were never the focus use case of Bitcoin. Censorship resistance in contrast, was. It is important to understand why reducing the cost of the Bitcoin protocol needs a very reflective and careful approach in order not to hurt its core value. The advancement of technology will increasingly allow for this and in addition, it will help reduce energy consumption ceteris paribus. Pursuant to its 10 years of open source code existence, massive attempts to corrupt the code and exercise actions that fall outside of the code rules have not been known to succeed and it seems that the Bitcoin code, is un-hackable. Due to this, it is likely that Bitcoin is the most reliable and secure software known to human kind. And as such, another most important indicator of its value. If we were watching a movie, then surely the most unrealistic feature would be the fact that the initiator or initiating group of one of the largest independent financial systems on our planet be known only under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto – to date his identity remains only a rumour. The known facts are solely as follows: October 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published the Whitepaper under the name “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, sending it to a cryptography mailing list. It is presumed that on January 3rd, 2009, the Bitcoin genesis block was mined containing the following text: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”. Satoshi Nakamoto mined the genesis block of Bitcoin, effecting the first Bitcoin transaction from his account to a person named Hal Finney. Finney died a few years later. Finney always denied that he was Satoshi. Another Satoshi suspect is computer scientist
Nick Szabo, who in 1998 designed a mechanism for a decentralised digital currency named ‘Bit Gold’. His detailing; the architecture that would at a later point form the basic framework of Bitcoin. Today, the wallet belonging to Satoshi Nakamoto contains around one million Bitcoins. Should Bitcoin ever reach a price of 100.000 USD, then this would make Satoshi Nakamoto one of the richest persons on this planet, even if we most likely will never find out his true identity. Many of the worlds’ crypto millionaires and billionaires were created around the early innovators of the space; these mostly holding Ivy league PhD’s, BA’s or MBA’s comprising, in most cases, the most educated people on our planet in fields such as computer sciences, mathematics, quantum physics or cryptography. Contemplating only the most conservative of scenarios, the funding that will reach this circle of individuals will comprise several billion USD and offer this extremely talented group a virtually limitless financial runway to research, and thus build, a more human-centric and decentralized future. I think that we will have to accept that foremost and on the back of this decentral technology we will be entering an era of hyper-exponential growth, and the space will likely see the first people become not solely billionaires but trillionaires over the next ten years. Many comparisons have been drawn between how the internet was created and how technology will enable the Web 3.0, also referred to as the internet of value. But Blockchain today is assumed to be in a phase, comparable to the Netscape Age of the internet back around 1995. A point in time in which approximately 50 million computers are connected to the internet, equivalent to 50 million crypto wallets, allowing the end-user access to the technology and its bloodline – the token world. Decentralised networks will enable artificial intelligence to live up to an extreme capacity through silo-less infrastructures, allowing a move from human to machine speed and hence, particularly reducing the costs of very centric support infrastructures such as the healthcare systems, identification and government services as well as the mobility space. What does Europe have to do with all of this and why is it a fertile ground for blockchain? Europe has an outstanding reputation for producing products perceived as premium or of great heritage, such as wine, cheese, oysters, caviar, truffle, ham, cars, luxury goods, watches or jewellery, just to name a few.
In 2017 & 2018 more than 15 billion USD of funding were invested in the space, mostly from retail investors, driving the market up to a total market cap of over 800 billion USD.
The common denominator of global European prodSurprisingly, almost all traditional companies uct branding has always been tradition, combined bring with them the core elements necessary for sucwith a superior know-how from its heritage, the in- cessful projects, they just need proper translation gredients and their production, documenting these and execution. Deep blockchain domain expertise attributes reliably so as to hamper copycats. for both the commercial judgement as for the finanThis is one powerful use case offered by blockchain. cial structuring as a strategic plan, is the core of every Digital use cases may be formed around the orig- successful project, and timing is becoming more and inal idea of the internet being a place of borderless more important with every wave of new technology collaboration and cooperation, contributing content that is being introduced to the world. One core value to increase overall welfare. In hindsight, the internet of this technology is that it offers programmable monbrought us the most concerning levels of centrali- ey – a term that does not need much more detailing in sation through platform economies which created order to explain its magnitude for the future. the most extreme winner takes it all markets, whereDespite the attractiveness of the opportunity, by data advantages fuelled a domination of global global boards will in most cases fail terribly at making markets. Decentralised economies will allow for the the right decisions in an era of decentral transformacreation of level playing fields, where contributions tion and hence, we will see many companies slipping become transparently rewarded not only in primary, into irrelevance, and this comparably faster. but also secondary and follow-up transactions. We are now entering into a most exciting phase This in turn means that larger parts of the platform during which the most amazing projects since Biteconomy will face serious threats stemming from dis- coin’s and Ethereum’s creation will surface. Many of intermediation and trust-less ecosystems. Some of the these are already known. largest companies and tech investors may reconsider Albert Einstein once stated: “Two things are inand recalibrate their strategies and thesis in parallel. finite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not In order to credibly and successfully invest in tech, sure about the universe”. Since I do not wish to speak one needs to be at the forefront of developments in the about stupidity, instead I will rephrase the term with distributed ledger space. This becomes particularly a more general one - ‘behaviour’. Blockchain will not relevant for all kinds of marketplace models, fintech, only rebalance a level playing field but disintermee-commerce, media & marketing, etc. diate in a way that sustainable actions are rewarded, Whilst blockchain disappeared from many corpo- and vice versa. Blockchain will not make people betrate agendas in the course of 2018, ter but instead it will create better likely through the simple fact that frameworks incentivising people it was no longer mentioned daily to do the right things, hence allowin the media, the development of ing for better organisations, comthe actors that see the transformapanies and government systems tional value and subsequently build to be created. As this for many reathe strategies of how to get there, sons sounds frightening and may are nevertheless in full force. In an remind us of the current systems industry in which nobody wants trailed by China, it will need to to be first, but rather everybody come along with a leap of governwants to be second, it is about time ance that will likely replace democto start identifying reasonable use racy as we live it today. cases that will add more value than Also, there is one fundamenthis nascent, immature, and fragile tal element that is different to technology eats in turn. Facebook everything that we know: This is and the plans to launch Libra have the first time in human history impressively documented how the that a monetary system at scale has asset of access to 2bn people togethmoved outside of any government er with a decentralised technology censorship. Sebastian N. Markowsky is could be catalysed into creating a I want to conclude with the folan experienced technology new digital currency that even may lowing thought: If freedom of dealmaker and Partner at threat the majority of global govspeech is a human right which we Blockchain Valley Ventures, a ernments current monetary freeleading Swiss-based venture all agree to, then coding is a lancapital, digital asset, and dom. While this is a project and who guage; and coding can create curcorporate finance advisory knows if it will ever come to life, it rencies. This suggests that in the business with focus on highhas in any case taken the legitimacy end, digital money may also be quality blockchain businesses. of the blockchain sector to a whole protected under the umbrella freenew level. dom of speech.
japan iraq china philippines
by Roberto Pucciano CEO of Anchorage Group
‘Abenomics’ is back. The brand of fiscal and monetary stimulus (coupled with economic reforms) that Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe became known for beginning in early 2013. It is set for a reprise for recognisable reasons. Now, as then, Abe’s inflating policies are, in part, a response to a potentially damaging increase in Japanese consumption tax rates, which have risen to plug budget shortfalls. The $121 billion package – amounting to 1.9% of GDP over its 15-month period, and one of the largest of the past decade – will be spent on infrastructure, repairing recent typhoon damage, and investing in new technologies. It also aims to provide a bulwark against sluggish private demand among Japan’s trade partners. Abe became Japan’s longestserving prime minister last month. While he has brought modest but consistent growth to a significant global economy that, in many ways, is still recovering from its ‘Lost Decades’ of the 1990s and 2000s, his administration has also been embroiled in several alleged cronyism scandals and suffered from allegations of misuse of state funds. Still, the opposition is fragmented, which has allowed Abe to focus on some of Japan’s underlying economic issues without fear of considerable reprisal. Although he has been successful at boosting
domestic investment and income growth, spending remains lethargic. A fact mainly due to a heavily-aging population, low immigration, and rapid automation. These problems may prove too tough a nut to crack, even for Abenomics.
The Arab Spring 2.0, as it is referred to by some observers, has recently swept across the streets of Baghdad, Basra, Nasiriya, Najaf, and other Iraqi cities. Just a few weeks ago, it claimed the scalp of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who resigned in deference to protesters’ demands. While Iraq has seen no shortage of uprisings since the US invasion in 2003, this time may very well be different. What primarily started as public anger toward the poor delivery of public services, has now transformed into the country’s most massive protests in two decades. Dominated by young Iraqis calling for a more secular form of government, their current demands call for an end to the Lebanese-style ‘muhasasa’ political system, whereby government representation and its concomitant resources are doled out among the country’s ethnic and religious groups. The ‘muhasasa’ system may have at times allowed for uneasy peace to
reign between Shia and Sunni forces and their affiliated political parties. Still, it also has entrenched corruption and, many protesters argue, furthered sectarianism (ironically). Additionally, Iran’s growing influence in Iraq since the country’s fight with ISIS in 2014 has added fuel to the flames, no pun intended. Demonstrators torched Iran’s consulate in Najaf – twice in a week. With more than 400 killed and 20,000 wounded so far, Iraq’s vacant government must act quickly to address at least some of the protesters’ demands before more scalps are taken. But Tehran and its allies in the country - many of them well-funded militia groups – won’t go down without a fight.
Beijing continues to square it off with Washington over its current “trade war”. Combined with a range of other political and economic issues, it can no longer take widespread domestic support of its major national enterprises for granted. Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has long enjoyed strong local support, particularly in the aftermath of executive Meng Wanzhou arrest in Canada last year at the US’ behest, and the Trump administration’s debilitating export ban against companies selling to America earlier
TURKEY For the last two months, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has relished his role championing the investigation into the gruesome killing of Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul Consulate. Whilst his long-awaited comments to Parliament in late October did not turn out to be the exposé many were hoping for, administration’s consistent to themuch press and consultations Western chiefs they areleaks both very playing the Rightswith Council votedintelligence that they would this his year. But the mood ofgradual but the long game. begin anSalman. investigation into all theoccurred killings. Chinese populace thethe pressure have been crucial–inparticularly ramping up on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin This has someranks new the measures, Duterte hasof the middlethough class –Erdogan has mosthas recently even a poor Human Rights record, including the fact thatBy Ankara bottom indeed tried to curb his pugnacious become disenchanted with the World Press Freedom and his purge and jailing of tens of thousands of followers of his and rhetoric. He was,erstwhile however,ally back at curit company after reportsIndex, emerged rent US-based Islamist opponent, again last week when he threatened that a former employee was wronglyFethullah Gulen, is very much ongoing. the owners twotwo prominent jailedaffair for 251 This aafter the The hasdays. marked remarkable rapprochement with US President Donald Trump, less of than months after he Philippines business groups with violence. They US Congress recently passed bills doubled tariffs on the Anatolian nation’s exports of steel and aluminium, a move which within hours depreciated had won a pair of arbitration cases supporting Hong Kong protesters. the already-reeling Turkish lira by 20%. The tariffs themselves came not long after Washington’s objections to Turkey against the government in Singapore. Items that can be used for Additionally, he still exhibits worryingly surveillance banned from export acquiring a were Russian-made missile defence system that could expose weaknesses in US aircrafts. Regardless, Octoautocratic tendencies. These include in response ber marked to theChina’s officialdetention thawingof ofat relations when a Turkish court convicted jailed American pastor Andrew Brunson vowing to block the relicensing of the least a million Uighur Muslims. In a move raising plenty of eyebrows, of aidingrecent terrorism, buttothen abruptly releasing him for time served, an act which had largest long been on Trump’s wish country’s broadcast network Beijing’s decision waive Firebrand Philippines President earlier this month. was Syria and import tariffs also for certain US soybean Rodrigo Duterte recently removed list. Erdogan won some concessions from Washington, including joint US-Turkey patrols in This northern presumably to its unflattering and pork exportsreward may signal that it is his vice to president as co-chair a million-dollar for information leading the capture of threeoftop Kurdish militants.due Although these developreports on the police’s extrajudicial indeed feeling the economic hurt. It the government’s anti-drug agency. ments have helped calm investors’ frayed nerves and rebuffed a budding currency crisis that has seen the lira slide killings of thousands of suspected may be willing to compromise further Duterte is perhaps best known for 30% theindicated. US dollar, the finance ministry’s attemptand at a fiscal stimulus, despite the central fight to shore drug dealers. Still,bank’s much like Trump in than against previously However, his controversial uncompromising America, Duterte retains strong thethe factcurrency, that it was ablerenewed to override war for on drugs. Critics allege that contraction. he up have projections a prolonged economic US objections and obtain a small amount of World Bank concessional financing last week (capital it does not need), maybe a signal that it, too, can flex its muscles. In this ‘Trade War Plus’, both the US and China have moves and counters ready, even if
has given the green light to vigilantes, permitting them to kill both suspected drug dealers and users. Filipino police report that the drug war has claimed the lives of more than 6,600 people – likely a significant undercount. In July this year, The United Nations Human
support among the poor even in the face of numerous gaffes, partly due to his sound investment in infrastructure, education, and healthcare. Populism plus a dose of social spending mayactor keepCharlie Duterte in British Chaplin the clearinfor to satire come. theyears political commedy film “The Great Dictator”(1940).
British actor Charlie Chaplin in the political satire comedy film The Great Dictator (1940).
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tto. In Italian, the word for number eight. Look into numerology, and then the number eight stands first and foremost for balance. It is the great Karmic equaliser, a force to be reckoned with as it just as quickly creates as it destroys. It is the balance between the material and immaterial worlds. Should one draw it, it symbolises infinity. Listen to the words of Mehmet Urat Ildan, and then “the infinity of the universe is a great blessing for human beings because human beings’ desire to discover is also infinite”. Take everything a step further in the search for answers. According to Manuela Mollwitz “animals are the connection between earthly life and the divine”. The Venetian Lagoon stretches from the River Sile in the north to the Brenta in the south. It has a surface area of around 550 square kilometres, with only about 8% land (the remainder is made up of either water – canals – or mudflats, tidal shadows, and salt marshes). The architect Baldassarre Longhena designed the stunning Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in 1681, following the secrets of Kabbalah where the number eight stands for Salvation and Hope. It is built in octagonal shape, and the number eight is found throughout the building. Pursuant to the Holocaust, only eight Jewish Venetians emerged from the death camps. Antonio Vivaldi’s (1678-1741) The Four Seasons was published in 1725 in Amsterdam, together with eight additional concerti, and Casanova (1725-1798) enriched himself by selling bonds with only an 8% discount. It seems nearly unavoidable that Otto is invited to partake in the 58th Biennale of Venice, a city that seems to have such a close relationship with the number eight. His biggest version stood at 170cm in length and was presented at the European Cultural Center (ECC) and showcased at the
Giardini della Marinaressa, in the east garden. He is Manuela Mollwitz’s trademark and her most rewarded project to date. On October 5th, 2019, Otto and his wobbly friends paraded through the streets of Venice for the third edition of ‘bassOTTO’ day. Translated bassotto means Dachshund – in Italian, this little furry friend has been made infinite.
on the move! Manuela Mollwitz was born in Hamburg, Germany. She is an artist continuously looking for new inspiration, experimenting with a variety of mediums – changing and refining her works of art, offering the public a variety of paintings, sculptures, and jewellery whilst encasing in each piece her personal touch – thus increasing uniqueness and originality. She lives and works in Lugano, Switzerland.
KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS POSITIVE BECAUSE YOUR THOUGHTS BECOME
YOUR WORDS. KEEP YOUR WORDS POSITIVE BECAUSE YOUR WORDS BECOME
YOUR BEHAVIOR. KEEP YOUR BEHAVIOR POSITIVE BECAUSE YOUR BEHAVIOR BECOMES
YOUR HABITS. KEEP YOUR HABITS POSITIVE BECAUSE YOUR HABITS BECOME
YOUR VALUES. KEEP YOUR VALUES POSITIVE BECAUSE YOUR VALUES BECOME
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Boris Johnson once said that “his chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or being reincarnated as an...
Published on Jan 7, 2020
Boris Johnson once said that “his chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or being reincarnated as an...