There’s a lot of “[X] of the Year” lists and awards out there, especially as the year winds down. In no particular order, here is a list of [X] of the Year 2019. Since I am based in the US, most of the organizations that chose the winners are also from USA. Unfortunately, the list is not diverse in demographics despite my effort to make it so. Contact me if you have one you would like to add on the list: firstname.lastname@example.org
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BRITISH FASHION COUNCIL-THE FASHION AWARDS: Model of the Year recognises the global impact of a model, irrespective of gender, who over the last 12 months has dominated the industry. With an influence that transcends the catwalk, the Model of The Year has made an outstanding contribution to the industry, garnering numerous editorial and advertising campaigns throughout the year.
Adut Akech is a young woman with an extraordinary story. Born in South Sudan, she's a former child refugee who spent the first eight years of her life in Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp before migrating to Australia. Today, Akech is one of the most in-demand models working in fashion, regularly walking for brands including Chanel, Valentino and Givenchy and starring on the covers of a number of high profile magazines. Despite her fashion fame, Akech remains deeply aware of the wider world around her and wants to use her voice and platform to create positive change.
During her acceptance speech, Adut said, "It is important for all of us to remember that someone like me winning this award is a rarity. This is for the young women and men who found representation and validation in my work. I want them to never be afraid of dreaming big like I once did."
MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY: It reflects a surprising fact: even a basic term—a personal pronoun—can rise to the top of our data. Although our lookups are often driven by events in the news, the dictionary is also a primary resource for information about language itself, and the shifting use of they has been the subject of increasing study and commentary in recent years. Lookups for they increased by 313% in 2019 over the previous year.
English famously lacks a gender-neutral singular pronoun to correspond neatly with singular pronouns like everyone or someone, and as a consequence they has been used for this purpose for over 600 years.
More recently, though, they has also been used to refer to one person whose gender identity is nonbinary, a sense that is increasingly common in published, edited text, as well as social media and in daily personal interactions between English speakers. There's no doubt that its use is established in the English language, which is why it was added to the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary this past September.
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL: The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu announcing the group’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his sly, politically charged “Parasite.” Explaining the group’s collective enthusiasm for “Parasite” at the post-ceremony press conference, Iñárritu said, “We all shared the mystery of the unexpected way this film took us through different genres and spoke in a funny, humorous, tender way — with no judgment — of something so relevant and urgent, so global in such a local film, with such a beautiful efficiency of media, and an understanding of what film really is. We were all fascinated when we saw it, and it kept growing and growing: that’s why it was a unanimous decision.”
SKYTRAX: In a relatively short time, Qatar Airways has grown to more than 140 destinations worldwide, offering levels of service excellence that helped the award-winning carrier to become best in the world. Qatar Airways network spans business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America. Qatar Airways is a member of oneworld global airline alliance.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are thrilled to be globally recognised by our customers by winning these four prestigious awards. Becoming the first airline to be named as ‘Airline of the Year’ for the fifth time is a landmark achievement and, combined with three other major Skytrax awards, it is testament to the tireless efforts of the entire Qatar Airways team. It is a proud moment for the airline as our constant innovation and service standards set the benchmark in our industry.”
THE SUNDAY TIMES-YOUNG WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARDS: British-Jamaican poet Raymond Antrobus has been named winner of the 2019 Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award for his critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning debut The Perseverance.
The award marks an unprecedented year of honours for the 33-year old writer from Hackney, east London. The Perseverance, published by the small press Penned in the Margins, has already won the Ted Hughes Prize, the Rathbones Folio Prize, and the Somerset Maugham Award, and was shortlisted for numerous others. The announcement was made at a ceremony at The London Library tonight.
Ranging across history and continents, the collection explores issues as wide-ranging as the poet ’s diagnosis with deafness as a child, mixed heritage experience, masculinity, and his father ’s alcoholism and later decline into dementia.
UNITED NATIONS: Languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool for communication, education, social integration and development, but as a repository for each person's unique identity, cultural history, traditions, and memory. But despite their immense value, languages around the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate. With this in mind, the United Nations declared 2019 The International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019) in order to raise awareness of them, not only to benefit the people who speak these languages, but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make to our world's cultural diversity.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Song of the year was chosen by aggregating 124 year end lists including Billboard, BBC Music, Complex, NPR, etc.
BILLBOARD: In 2019, Billie Eilish grew from hotly hyped alt-radio weirdo to pop’s ultimate tastemaker. She released her debut album, pretty much broke Coachella, unseated the longest-running No. 1 in Hot 100 history, earned Grammy noms in each of the Big Four categories, then saw her album top the year-end Billboard 200. A week from today, Billie Eilish turns 18.
Major label marketing and a savvy management team were instrumental, but the home-schooled Los Angeleno wouldn’t have assumed her undisputed King of the Teens status without an uncanny connection to young people. The proliferation of her baggy, adrogynous ensembles and sk8er swag (girl or boi, who cares) speak for that, but even the song that launched her to superstardom this year was birthed from ordinary teenage time passing. Eilish first composed “Bad Guy” -- namely the interlude that would become its ghostly 40-second outro -- two years ago while tinkering alone in her bedroom, speakers balanced precariously on some open shelf space.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Song of the year was chosen by aggregating 124 year end lists including Billboard, BBC Music, Complex, NPR, etc.
PITCHFORK: Norman Fucking Rockwell!...cements Del Rey as a newly emergent Great American Songwriter. The elements of the Lana Del Rey Cinematic Universe, as established in the Born to Die era, have remained consistent throughout her discography: Lynchian dreamscapes of haunted prom queens and suburban ennui, meditations on the death of the American Dream, Old Hollywood glamour, the agony and ecstasy of bad men, references to classic rock and Comp Lit 101. On Norman Fucking Rockwell!, her songwriting at last goes toe-to-toe with the grandeur of her ideas. Her lyrics are dense poems destined for academic scrutiny, anchored by the kind of dry wit that could come as easily from the pen of Dorothy Parker as from a really good Instagram caption.
Norman Fucking Rockwell! is an album that arrived feeling like a greatest hits collection. Future generations will marvel that one album contained “Venice Bitch” and “Mariners Apartment Complex” and “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have - but i have it.” And they will scoff in disbelief that Lana Del Rey was once treated as anything but the poet laureate of a world on fire.
HIPHOP DX: Though his ascent has clearly been a slow burn, it’s difficult to think of an artist who has had a bigger breakout year in recent memory than DaBaby. Capped off with the multi-platinum success of his single “Suge,” he dropped his debut and sophomore major label efforts — Baby On Baby and KIRK — in the same calendar (a lá DMX) and blazed a stack of notable singles — from remixes of Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” to “Cash Shit” off Megan Thee Stallion’s debut. Not to mention, he’s been touring like mad and making several high profile appearances, including his recent performance on Saturday Night Live. Crazy thing is, he’s just getting started. — Riley Wallace
WORLD PRESS PHOTO: Honduran toddler Yanela Sanchez cries as she and her mother, Sandra Sanchez, are taken into custody by US border officials in McAllen, Texas, USA, on 12 June.
Immigrant families had rafted across the Rio Grande from Mexico and were then detained by US authorities. Sandra Sanchez said that she and her daughter had been traveling for a month through Central America and Mexico before reaching the US to seek asylum. The Trump Administration had announced a ‘zero tolerance’ policy at the border under which immigrants caught entering the US could be criminally prosecuted. As a result, many apprehended parents were separated from their children, often sent to different detention facilities. After this picture was published worldwide, US Customs and Border Protection confirmed that Yanela and her mother had not been among the thousands who had been separated by US officials. Nevertheless, public outcry over the controversial practice resulted in President Donald Trump reversing the policy on 20 June.
John Moore is a senior staff photographer and special correspondent for Getty Images.
FOREST & BIRD: Winner of the Audience Choice for Show of the Year, Good Mythical Morning is hosted by Rhett & Link on Youtube. Posting every Monday-Friday, you can watch them eat truly unbelievable things, explore surprising new products and trends, compete in original games with celebrity guests, implement serious experiments in hilarious ways, and more.
STREAMY AWARDS: Winner of the Audience Choice for Show of the Year, Good Mythical Morning is hosted by Rhett & Link on Youtube. Posting every Monday-Friday, you can watch them eat truly unbelievable things, explore surprising new products and trends, compete in original games with celebrity guests, implement serious experiments in hilarious ways, and more.
iHEART RADIO: Slow Burn is a narrative podcast produced by Slate. The first two seasons of the podcast are hosted by Leon Neyfakh; the third season of the show, released in 2019, is hosted by Joel Anderson. The first season is about the Watergate scandal featuring interviews with Bob Woodward among others. The second is about the Impeachment of Bill Clinton featuring an interview with Linda Tripp, among others. The third season covers the growing tension between rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. in the 1990s
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES: Agricultural scientist, policymaker, and visionary leader Agnes Matilda Kalibata received the 2019 NAS Public Welfare Medal, the Academy's most prestigious award, for her work to drive Africa’s agricultural transformation through modern science and effective policy, helping to lift more than a million Rwandans out of poverty and scaling impacts for millions more African farmers.
Since 2014, Kalibata has been president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an African-led organization founded by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan that works with public and private partners to promote rapid, inclusive, sustainable agricultural growth and food security by giving farmers access to locally adapted and high-yielding seeds, encouraging judicious use of fertilizer, promoting policy reforms, and increasing access to structured markets to improve the livelihoods of farming households. Prior to joining AGRA, Kalibata spent six years as Rwanda’s minister of agriculture and animal resources, implementing a science-based approach to agriculture that greatly increased efficiency and productivity and transformed Rwanda to a largely food-secure nation.
“Throughout her career, Agnes Matilda Kalibata has recognized that family farmers are the key to agricultural success, and she has consistently made them the focus of science-based policies and interventions,” said Susan Wessler, home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences and chair of the selection committee for the award. “Under her leadership, a remarkable agricultural transformation is underway in Africa that will benefit many generations to come.”
STARTUP OF THE YEAR: re:3D is working to modify the world’s largest, most affordable industrial 3D printer to print from reclaimed plastic trash. Four limiting factors constrain the market potential of industrial 3D printing: cost, printer size, printing speed, and access to input material. re:3D is actively addressing all of these limitations through pellet extrusion. After pioneering the world’s first affordable, human-scale filamant-based industrial 3D printer — Gigabot® — they are now enabling 3D printing directly from reclaimed plastic pellets or flake.
THE GAME AWARDS: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the 2019 Game Awards’ Game of the Year, winning over games like Death Stranding and Resident Evil 2. Forbes' Senior Contributor, Erik Kain, "Miyazaki’s games are consistently brilliant, and the company he heads up, FromSoftware, has created several of my favorite games of all time. I was, to put it mildly, quite shocked that the game won—not because it isn’t incredible (it’s one of the best games ever made) but because it’s kind of a niche title, designed for skilled, and enormously patient, gamers only. There is no easy mode, and dear lord this game is hard."
CRUNCHYROLL: Fans from around the world decided the winners of each category, with over five million votes being cast. Devilman Crybaby — which took home both Best Director for Masaaki Yuasa and the top prize, Anime of the Year — is exclusively on Netflix. Geek.com review states, "From the heart-wrenching opening of the series where young versions of protagonist Akira Fudo and Ryo Asuka lament the eventual death of a kitten to the driving synths of the opening “Man Human” from Denki Groove, Devilman Crybaby is a thrill ride wholly unlike anything you’ve ever seen in the medium before. When anime is good, it’s out of this world, and that’s what Devilman Crybaby is, in the plainest words I can use: out of this world."
THE WORLD RESTAURANT AWARDS: If mother nature erected a sign saying ‘build restaurant here’, it would surely point to Wolfgat. Chosen from all the inspected big plates, our inaugural Restaurant of the Year is a small, remote haven of purity and good taste in every sense. The unanimous choice of our inspection panel is a picturesque oceanside dining room on South Africa’s Western Cape.
It feels like a restaurant that’s giving back to the community. All of its team are locals, many of them from fishing families, have never worked in a restaurant before and have trained on the job. Kobus is a believer in doing away with the traditional hierarchy of kitchen and front of house. The restaurant is very much a team effort and there is only one team.
THE TAB: The Hull Hustler's spent Black History Month promoting the Show Racism The Red Card campaign and Wear Red Day. With members from across the globe, it is important for them to take a stand against racism and discrimination. They also work with the Afro-Caribbean Society in order to make basketball a more accessible sport among women. Their second team players have gone on to coach a team with ACS. Each year they also created an Around The World social, where their members come in their country's traditional attire, giving them a chance to celebrate their heritage. They've also worked with Fabulass and Women Empowered to promote women in sport. As a female-run club, they want all members to feel empowered and feel comfortable whenever they train, and so all of their sessions are female-only. Finally, they've worked with Marrow, a charity raising awareness of blood cancer. Many of their members joined the stem cell register to check their eligibility to be donors and they organised a fun run on campus to raise money for the cause, raising hundreds for the charity.
TIME MAGAZINE: Thunberg began a global movement by skipping school: starting in August 2018, she spent her days camped out in front of the Swedish Parliament, holding a sign painted in black letters on a white background that read Skolstrejk för klimatet: “School Strike for Climate.” In the 16 months since, she has addressed heads of state at the U.N., met with the Pope, sparred with the President of the United States and inspired 4 million people to join the global climate strike on September 20, 2019, in what was the largest climate demonstration in human history.
Thunberg is 16 but looks 12. She usually wears her light brown hair pulled into two braids, parted in the middle. She has Asperger’s syndrome, which means she doesn’t operate on the same emotional register as many of the people she meets. She dislikes crowds; ignores small talk; and speaks in direct, uncomplicated sentences. She cannot be flattered or distracted.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Playing the world’s game, on the world’s stage, under attack by a world leader, she dominated. And in doing so without fear, Megan Rapinoe became a voice for so many across the world.
Megan Rapinoe is Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year. She is just the fourth woman in the award’s 66-year history to win it unaccompanied, a feat that is both a remarkable athletic achievement and a reflection of entrenched gender biases. Rapinoe challenged perceptions of her, of female athletes, of all women. She led her teammates, three months before their tentpole tournament, to sue the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay; to declare in advance that they would not visit the White House when they won the Cup; to score 13 goals in a group-stage match against Thailand, without apology.
BEAZLEY: Crawford and Joler's project looks at the amount of human labour, data and resources that are required during the lifespan of just one device from manufacture to disposal, using the popular Amazon Echo device as an example.
"You will never look at your smart home hub the same way again," said chair of the judges and Royal College of Art vice-chancellor Paul Thompson.
A diagram demonstrates the impact of the device on a global scale, from extracting metals from the earth necessary to build it and the resulting environmental effects, to the personal data about the user that the device gathers. This is supplemented by an essay explaining the connections and real-world effects of the device. "It is honesty of materials applied to technology," said designer Martino Gamper, one of the six judges, describing it as a "prototype" for how we understand the impact of technology. "The transparency here is incredible," he continued. "I have not seen AI mapped in this way before."
The project also highlights the huge wage disparities between executives working in the industry and the children employed to extract minerals, who would have to work 700,000 years to earn the same amount.
TOY AWARDS: The overall “Toy of the Year” winner was determined by an expert panel that discussed all the finalists before rendering a decision based on TOTY votes, holiday sales, and media buzz (traditional, online, and social). L.O.L Surprise doll assortment was the #1 toy for 2017 through November in the US. Surprise toys have been released including the L.O.L. Surprise House, L.O.L. Amazing Surprise, and the L.O.L. Bigger Surprise!. The L.O.L. Amazing Surprise Playset was a Top 100 toy on Amazon in November of 2019.
WORLD ARCHITECTURE: LocHal Public Library, designed by Civic Architects, Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau and Inside Outside, was recognized for its versatility by a panel of almost 150 architects, designers and academics at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) on Friday.
This project transformed a significant building which had been planned for demolition. The result has created a physical facility in which a variety of users can meet for a variety of purposes, in this sense the building has become a social condenser. It celebrates and exploits local traditions of textile manufacture and it has an environmental strategy aimed at heating and cooling people, not the building. It provides spaces of very different scales to provide both communal and more intimate uses.
NOBEL PRIZE: The Nobel Peace Prize 2019 was awarded to Abiy Ahmed Ali "for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea."
Abiy Ahmed Ali, the Ethiopian prime minister who, with stunning alacrity, has made major strides in resolving a decades-long border conflict with Eritrea. According to Matina Stevis-Gridneff of the New York Times, Abiy became prime minister in 2018 and “threw himself at a breakneck pace into ... peace negotiations with the rebel-turned-dictator Isaias Afwerki, president of Eritrea.”