Joyce Donnarumma

A Little Revolution

Interview with Joyce Donnarumma, photographer and author of DooG Reporter, on the complex historical period we are living through, COVID-19.
©Joyce Donnarumma, 2020

This post is also available in: Italiano

We asked our authors and our network to answer three questions on how they are coping with this challenging moment in history. Here is an interview with photographer and DooG Reporter JOYCE DONNARUMMA.

Is there any beauty in the world, even mundane, that you have rediscovered in this time?

Rather than rediscovering, I took advantage of my new condition to strengthen my connection with an essential beauty: nature. Isolation drove me to seek freedom away from the places of the everyday. An escape to wide green spaces, forests and mountains. With Teti, my puppy, always by my side, we lose hours searching for flowers and herbs to collect and preserve. An ancient art, rooted in the popular tradition of the small town where I live. A small village is so small that the world’s problems seem far away. I almost forget the abnormal period we are going through.

I can savour a small ‘revolution‘ each day that consists of taking away more than adding or slowing down. To value silence, time, and the delicate sweetness of the world.

How do you think your profession has changed or will change?

In his essay on painting in Florence and Siena in the 14th century after the Black Death, Millard Meiss speaks of the abrupt regressive effect that art underwent following the epidemic. Today’s similar experience will undoubtedly leave a profound mark on emotions, behaviour and imagination‘ (cit. Michele Smargiassi) will it also change the way photography is done? I dare not venture an answer; I stop at the threshold of the question. It is still too early to say how much and in what way the pandemic will affect our work and the very vision of reality. Right now, I am thinking of the consequences of the denied freedom to move in the world, of the infinite stories yet to be told, of how to reinvent our profession in the limited spaces in which we will be forced to live.

A picture, a book and a song that represent this period for you.

Image: I risk repeating myself, but once again, it is nature that fills my eyes. The resilience of the plants that I observe every day in their apparent immobility reclaiming their space is the image that gives me strength and serenity. Like ivy growing out of concrete, the world has not stopped, and neither have we.

Book: I found The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway by searching through new books. I leafed through it and re-read the sentences I had highlighted. They tell of loneliness and courage, the struggle for survival that no one can escape, and the confrontation and connection between man and nature. It thrilled me, like the first time.

Music: Fabio, my neighbour and great friend, is a musician. The guitar is his instrument, but for the past few months, he has been passionate about the cello. He spends entire days playing and practising, even involving me in his new love. He fills the silences of my days. From his room, a scratchy melody echoes through the deserted streets, filling them with new life. It keeps me company, and I rarely feel alone.

Text: Joyce Donnarumma 
Original text in Italian - In house translation
Italia
Atena Lucana, Italia
DooG's Author
Joyce Donnarumma
Italy
Photographer

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