Biologist Charles Darwin formulated perhaps the greatest theory of all times in his book: “The Origin Of the Species.” Why? Because it means that all living beings are related. We are all family. He was British & European.
Former Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt is married to The Honorable Stephen Kinnock, a British diplomat & MP. Although she used to be an European politician in Brussels, he is supporting a British Brexit. Her most favorite book is Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice”, She is Danish, British & European.
Schoolteacher Mary Harris Jones lost her husband, all of her four children, and her business. When she had nothing left to loose, she started to “fight like hell for the living.” She was so successful as a community organizer and orator that, in 1902, she was named “the most dangerous woman in America.” At a time when labour conditions were dysmal, she stood up for miners and children in sweat shops. She was Irish, American & European.
Mikki Kaurismäki and his brother Aki are Finnlands most popular movie makers. They showed us and Jim Jarmush how cool “weird” can be. In their road movie, “Leningrad Cowboys go America”, a weird Finnish rock band comes to New York to make it big, then travels to Mexico to perform at a wedding. Many weird things happen on the way… Mikki is Finnish & European
Sir Isaiah Berlin OM CBE FBA, was a social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas. The Independent stated that “Berlin was often described, especially in his old age, by means of superlatives: the world’s greatest talker, the century’s most inspired reader, one of the finest minds of our time … there is no doubt that he showed in more than one direction the unexpectedly large possibilities open to us at the top end of the range of human potential.” While Isaiah Berlin may have chosen during his life time to not engage in political activism or deal with his identity, he couldn’t choose being Jewish, Lativian, British & European.
István Kakas lived on the small, picturesque Ha’penny Bridge in Bath, which he often swept with his broom and decorated with flowers. The former military vet and chef was well known amongst residents for his uplifting spirit and cheery personality. When he rescued a little girl and her father from the river with his broom, he became a Bath celebrity, and received a citizen award for his heroism. The community of Bath mourned his death of Leukemia in 2018. He was Hungarian and European.
While mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená received a rigorous opera voice training in the communist Czechoslovakia of her youth, it is her pure, mellifluous voice that fascinates opera lovers all over the world. And while she is half of a power couple with British conductor Sir Simon Rattle, her superb voice, wide range of musical repertoire, and nuanced interpretations make her a musical force in her own right. She he’s Czeck, British & European.
For Kyria, an archaeologist and Classics scholar, Greece and Europe are defined by the past, not the present. Her Greece is that of the Illyad, Athens under Pericles, Alexander’s empire, Herakleitos, Plato, and Aristotle. She cannot see the decline of talent that has plagued Europe since 400 BC, and specifically how a trauma of four centuries of suppression, and two world wars, would — even today — hamper Greeks’ agency, cognition, and problem solving. She is Greek and European.
Charlene, a psychoanalyst with an interest in evolutionary psychology, is keenly aware that professed values may be embellishing one’s identity, but won’t change the eternal laws of nature. While she stands back, watching the solemn swell of history run its course, she smells the roses, as long as she still can. She is British and European.
Jan works 16-hour days at a strategic consulting firm, and keeps fit. But as soon as he lets up, dread overwhelms him; he feels, as if he’s lost his way. Sometimes, he wakes up at night and remembers how he used to work at a small shipyard, wind in his face, smells of wood, saltwater, and lacquer wafting through the air; the sounds of the sea gulls, the clinking of tackle, and the ocean waves drowning out all other sounds.