We asked our authors and our network to answer three questions on how they are coping with this challenging moment in history. Here are the answers of journalist, freelance reporter and author of DooG ERICA BALDUZZI.
Is there any beauty in the world, even banal, that you have rediscovered in this period?
These suspended and very long days made me rediscover the pleasure of watching time pass, of perceiving its changes in the changing colours, lights and scents of the landscapes outside the window. I realised that, in ‘normal’ times, the seasons merged into each other without me noticing, whereas now they are the yardstick by which we define ‘outside’.
This has also led me to rediscover, because of its current impossibility, the need and pleasure of walking for a long time, of seeing the road or the path unfurl beneath one’s steps, of feeling the weight of it in one’s feet and savouring the intimate sense of freedom. This is one of the things I took for granted before.
How do you think your profession has changed or will change?
I believe that this crisis has brought back an urgent need for stories. Of well-told, humane stories, capable of showing the complexity of a world that now – as we share on a global scale a harsh health lockdown – is even more composite. Covid-19, it seems to me, is breaking the bank on the urgency of breaking news, restoring value to a slower and more careful narrative.
We have discovered that we have more time and are all more at the mercy of the outside world. responsibility in the future, to pick up the pieces of this situation, restore its complexity, and recover the myriad of local stories that will be the corpus real of this pandemic, recounting the scars. Perhaps, being from Bergamo and having lived through this period in the hotspot of the pandemic, I feel a solid collective need to give voice to all these stories. A kind of narrative for the future.
Therefore, journalism must abandon the bulimic rush of gorged progressively (and often inaccurate) news. And despite the practical worries – precariousness, what am I going to do tomorrow, what am I going to do in a month or two – this, in a way, reassures me.
A picture, a book and a song that represent this period for you.
At first glance, I would say that the most representative image of this period is that of the military trucks carrying coffins out of the city of Bergamo. But there is another, which acts as a counterbalance: handwritten signs attached to the windows of some of the city’s closed shops, with inscriptions such as ‘A hug for Bergamo‘ or ‘We will make it’. Perhaps this is not a city that openly manifests either its grief or its solidarity: but these two images together, for me, tell the story of this period well.
The book is Annus Mirabilis, by Geraldine Brooks, a novel recounting the plague epidemic of 1666 in an English village: a story of suffering, a community breaking down and coming together, superstitions and solidarity. And, finally, of rebirth.