Wednesday, 10 June 2015 08:00

Good Reads – From gender stereotypes in Lithuania to the beauty of street names

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Photo: The U.S Army (Flickr); License:  CC BY 2.0

In this week's edition of Good Reads, the new editor of Sixth Sense Nicoletta Enria shares some articles about reversing gender stereotypes in Lithuania, the "rescue" mission Triton in the Mediterranean and the importance of appreciating street names when visiting a city. 

Nicoletta, Sixth Sense editor


"They won the lottery"

The tense geopolitical atmosphere in Lithuania due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has meant that the government has reintroduced conscription, which had been previously outlawed in 2008. I found this article from the Guardian’s Nadia Khomami particularly interesting, as it deals with a moving photography project by Lithuanian photographer Neringa Rekašiūtė and actor and TV host Beata Tiškevič-Hasanova in response to the reintroduction of conscription entitled "They Won the Lottery".

The photographs are truly arresting, portraying men in tears as a result of having been called up. However, what I found most fascinating is the reversal of male gender stereotypes, whereby the men in the photographs appear to be crying due to societal pressures for them to “man up” and not be cowards in the face of conscription. This piece casts a light on the rigid male stereotypes in Lithuania, which can be compared to those of many other European countries, and the aims of the project are to subvert and criticise them.

Unconventional return of mare nostrum

Photo: Noborder Network (Flickr); License:  CC BY 2.0

Caught up in European news of conflict, one is always doomed to stumble upon more tragic, disheartening news about the Mediterranean refugee crisis and the European Union’s disappointing reaction to it. Having said that, I found this piece by Gwynne Dyer rather enlightening on what actually happens at sea. 

Despite the fact that after the horrific shipwreck in April that left approximately 700 people dead, the Triton mission budget was increased to about the same amount as Mare Nostrum, the aim of the mission did not change, and saving the people drowning still isn’t on top of the agenda. Dyer stresses the fact that national navies tend to stick to the maritime tradition of leaving no man drowning, ignoring the Triton aim that saving people will just be an incentive for more people to come. Dyer’s scathing criticism of the Triton mission casts a light on irresponsible behaviour of European politicians towards the crisis and the gravitas of the matter at hand.

THe importance of reading streetnames

street names
Photo: Marcin Wichary (Flickr); License:  CC BY 2.0

On a lighter note, this article by Oliver Farry on the New Statesman entertained me by showing the importance of reading the street names of cities we visit. I admit that when strolling through the streets of Hamburg my eye has been drawn to the street names of far more contemporary figures such as a road honouring Martin Luther King and even a square dedicated to the Beatles. This is in contrast to the streets of Rome where I grew up which only has far older figures such as Garibaldi accompanying the ancient city itself. 

This has sparked a certain interest within me as to what criteria are involved in how you name a street and how significant it is for a city. Farry comments on the poetic nature of different European street names and a musical quality they contribute to a place as the "lyrics" of a city – a beautiful thought in my opinion!

Last modified on Thursday, 11 June 2015 17:22
Nicoletta Enria

Nicoletta Enria is Italian, originally from La Spezia, grew up in Rome, London and Frankfurt. She graduated from University College London, studying Language and Cullture and now works as Project Assistant and Social Media Assistant at the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). Follow her on twitter: @NicolettaEnria or her blog.

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