Barbara Silbe

The slow time

Interview with Barbara Silbe, editor-in-chief of EyesOpen! Magazine, on this period of forced closure due to COVID-19.
South Tyrolean forests | ©Barbara Silbe

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 are the answers of BARBARA SILBE, journalist, photographer, photo editor and editor-in-chief of the magazine of photographic culture EyesOpen! Magazine.

Is there any beauty in the world, even banal, that you have rediscovered in this period?

Slow time with my family has been the most precious thing about these weeks, as well as not having to run around with daily schedules and deadlines, allowing me to tidy up my ideas and the house. Let’s say I did my best not to suffer too much from the situation and closure but to actively participate in each day without complaining. However, doing physical activity and mental activities was my antidote. I don’t have any sick friends or relatives, so I consider myself a lucky person. And we should all appreciate the fact that this forced pause has generated cleaner air and the environment. Maybe this will make everyone think and act differently when running again.

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

My profession has several branches. The journalistic aspect worries me the most, publishing was already suffering a decade of significant crisis, and this period was the coup de grace. While it is true that we all tried harder than before to inform ourselves about what was going on, even accessing the websites of newspapers and news magazines, it is also undeniable that many people did not buy this information. In addition, companies are closed and are currently unwilling to pay for advertising pages, which are the fundamental support of any newspaper. So, while the peak in site access has increased, this does not translate into sales and money for future productions. I hope something will happen and people will understand the importance of supporting all publishing. Newspapers, magazines and books are a vehicle of truth and culture, reading opens the mind, and we must not forget that. As far as my work as a lecturer and curator is concerned, I can instead say that I have discovered that it is also possible to engage with photographers through the many video-sharing platforms, making up for missed meetings and being able to continue working together.

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

I enclose the picture: these are my beloved forests in South Tyrol, where I hope to return soon. They are the thing I have missed the most.

Books: I read several during this period. I picked up The Plague by Albert Camus, then read The Photograph by Penelope Lively and La mia Fotografia by Grazia Neri (bought some time ago and never opened). I now have in my hands Walter Benjamin and Gersliom Scholem’s Archive and Darkroom, an interesting correspondence between two scholars of the highest level.

Song: Sorridere sempre by Renato Zero. To be listened to and taken as a philosophy of life.

Text: Barbara Silbe 
Original text in Italian - In house translation
Milano, Italia
DooG's Expert
Barbara Silbe
Journalist | Editor

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