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, video maker and author of DooG Reporter MARCO BARBIERI.
Is there any beauty in the world, even banal, that you have rediscovered in this period?
One of the things I most like to do when I have a lot of time on my hands is to reopen the old statuettes in my parents’ house and let myself be amazed. On some boxes, I wrote the contents on the outside with a felt-tip pen, but others are anonymous and surprising. In the garage where my father stored his tools, next to the laundry room, is a cardboard box, and inside it are family photographs. I say photographs and not albums because they are not tidy; I would say they are in bulk. The most recent ones date back to the 1990s and are stored in those 10×15 coloured plastic binders, while the older ones are worn and bear the signs of time and less than impeccable storage.
My mum often says, ‘I don’t like looking at pictures again’ with a strong melancholic tone. But I am convinced that they believe, as I do, in their beauty.
How do you think your profession has changed or will change?
My profession has certainly changed and will continue to change. Undoubtedly, commercial photography is relatively stagnant, and content production for companies has slowed down and conformed to a few shared and banal messages. Epic heroism, presence despite the distance, and recovery. Often also used inappropriately.
There are many critical issues, from the inability to travel to economic difficulties. But what makes work more complicated is ‘social distancing‘. Unfortunately, we talk about this and not about responsibility. The term ‘social’ implies all the genuineness and depth of the relationship with the other, a point on which I have always tried to work and improve myself and which I believe is fundamental in being a photographer.
A picture, a book and a song that represent this period for you.
During this time, I stopped, watched and listened a lot. Of everything. The image that sticks with me the most is a television image, an ugly image the government has given of itself. Italian parliamentarians brawl in the Chamber. During an emergency, this also happens, and I cannot understand how in politics, one can still chase one’s interests in such a situation. I know the country’s fragility and limitations, so I am certainly not shocked, but I expected better.
So I often took refuge in watching photos, films, and music playlists.
A book? Can I swap it for a TV series? I have to be direct; I have never been a big reader. And even these days, I have not changed my habits. But it has to be said, trying to regain some credit: Mr Robot is an excellent series, and Afterlife is poetry.
For music, I rely on playlists: I discovered one created by Thom Yorke for Sonos Radio. Fantastic!