“The colour that seems the softest can often speak the loudest" — Robin Cembalest
Pink, thought to be named after the frilled edge of a small flower of the Dianthus genus, emerged in the 17th century as a gender-neutral fashion choice for Europe’s elite, only becoming associated with femininity when men transitioned into business suits in the 19th century. The colour began to take on a more active role when it became the symbol of various campaigns in the twentieth century. One of these was post-World War II propaganda to lure women back into the kitchen. A more benevolent campaign, however, was that in the fight against breast cancer, with the symbol of the crossed pink ribbon.
From October 2013 to May 2014, the Boston Museum of Fine Art held a phenomenal show, “Think Pink”, charting the history and associations of the colour pink. It juxtaposed clothing (both men’s and women’s), accessories, graphic illustrations, jewellery, and paintings to shed light on changes in style; the evolution of pink for girls, blue for boys, and other colour associations were analysed. Not only all of this, but the exhibition also touched on the topic of breast cancer, and its pink link, including a selection of dresses and accessories from the collection of the late Evelyn Lauder, who was instrumental in creating an awareness of breast cancer by choosing the pink visual reference.
Life, as we’re told when we’re young, consists of a series of ups and downs. Each year brings new high points and low points. 2016 seems to have been the exception to this rule, particularly in popular media. It started off with the unfortunate death of rock legend David Bowie on 10 January.
The technological revolution that is artificial intelligence was proven on 19 March with the AlphaGo artificial intelligence programme crushing Go grandmaster Lee Sedol in the abstract strategy board game, Go. Just as our grandparents are afraid of the influence of technology, our generation is afraid of artificial intelligence. Throughout recent years, artificial intelligence has become the focus of scientific development and achievement. A major turning point, this event proves that artificial intelligence might in fact have the power to overcome humankind.
29 March saw the hijack of EgyptAir flight by Cypriot Seif Eldin Mustafa, which became famous across the world with a controversial selfie of an English passenger on board with the hijacker. Under the same terrorism umbrella, the “burkini" was banned by France on 22 August. As the country continues to reel from a series of deadly terror attacks by ISIS supporters, the ban, which was first introduced as a temporary rule in a single resort, imposes a fine of up to £40 upon women who aren’t compliant.
On 23 June, the British population faced what was unarguably the biggest decision of their 2016 year, and potentially of many before, and after - in, or out? Brexit’s outcome for Britain to leave the EU turned the world upside down, with David Cameron resigning from his post as Prime Minister, heightened fears on social media of ‘Italeave’, ‘Frexit’, and ‘Nethermind’, and the pound dropping to a three-decade low.