There were 1,000 Nicki Minaj cutouts on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral this morning

Image via imgur.

Say, for the sake of argument, you had a Venn diagram, with one circle marked "city news", and one marked "Nicki Minaj". The overlap would be pretty slim, right? Non-existant, even?

Ha, no, because you reckoned without this story, which winged its way over to us from Finland today. 

You see, Helsinki Cathedral, a major landmark in the Finnish capital, was today invaded by a 1,000-strong parade of lifesize Nicki Minaj cutouts. Each was doing a squat, in a pose which you'll recognise from the cover of Minaj's "Anaconda" single. 

They lined up ominously on the cathedral's steps like an army of invading aliens: 

They are definitely watching you. Image: imgur.

The whole thing (this'll shock you) was a marketing stunt. According to the Helsinki News, some of the cut-outs came with two tickets to the country's Summer Up festival taped to their backs. The festival will be headlined by Minaj this year. 

Despite the rational explanation behind the stunt, there is still something horribly ominous about it: 

Did one of them just blink? Image: Summer Up. 

So, if festivals (or lifesize cutouts of squatting singers) are your bag, hot-foot your way over to Helsinki cathedral. Or, if, like us, the whole thing's giving you the creeps, go look at some pictures of cats for a bit. 



Podcast: Brizzle

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees, in Bristol. Image: Getty.

This week, we’re off to an English city that, to my shame, I’ve been neglecting: Bristol, the largest city in the south west, and indeed the largest city in the south outside London.

I’m joined by Sian Norris, founder of the Bristol Women’s Literary Festival, to talk about the city she’s lived in since her childhood. She tells me what makes Bristol so liveable, why it’s struggling with inequality, and how it’s coping with the recent influx of London expats bidding up house prices.

Since we’re on his patch, I also spoke to Marvin Rees, who since 2016 has been the elected Labour mayor of the city. He tells me why he was so keen for Bristol to host the Global Parliament of Mayors, and why local politicians need to work together after Brexit. Oh, and he talks about his transport plans, too.

The episode itself is below. You can subscribe to the podcast on AcastiTunes, or RSS. Enjoy.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and on Facebook as JonnElledgeWrites.

Skylines is supported by 100 Resilient Cities. Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, 100RC is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

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