The Culture Trip: May Newsletter

Photograph: Classiq Journal


A regular round-up of the latest talks, films,
music, books, interviews and cultural news.


A few days ago, the co-founders of Wunder Workshop, Tom Smale and Zoë Lind van’t Hof, one of the most inspiring people I have interviewed, shared their thoughts in response to the constant reminder we get every day from the media that these are unprecedented times we are living: “They say there are two things in life you can be certain of: that the time we have now will never come again and that we can not predict the future. So what are the unprecedented times, if this is what we face every day anyway? What makes life magic is uncertainty and infinite opportunities. The way we approach a challenge or change is what matters. At Wunder, whilst we are challenged how to continue our business and support our supply chain, we have been trying to breathe into this time and make the most of it, learning new skills and catching up on the books that have been collecting dust. We are socially isolated but not socially distant and focusing on being more present (if not physically present) with our loved ones. Our wish for all is to stay healthy and stay balanced, riding the waves of this life as best you can.”

The one most important thing these times have taught us and made us aware of more than ever before is this uncertainty of the next moment. And where does this bring us? Cherishing the present. Living in the moment. And while we’re at it, we might as well realise that it’s time we were put on pause. That we took this time and thought about the things we had been doing and the way we had been behaving to ourselves, to our fellow humans, to nature. That we got down to doing and making things ourselves. Because going back is the only way forward. Because the only way we can move forward is slow, small, and in a conscientious manner. In solidarity.

Photographs: Classiq Journal


Photographer Ben Weller is documenting his life while isolating with his extended family in the wild English countryside.

Now that some of us are truly experiencing a simpler way of life, here is a podcast I have found very interesting. It is about indigenous technologies and a better understanding of how we can all live in closer harmony with the earth.

Resilience. These John Loengard photographs taken of Georgia O’Keeffe are the visual personification of that. They are worth a thousand words and they have been more inspiring to me than any motivational article (not a great fan of those) I have read lately.

Pedro Almodóvar shares what he is watching in quarantine.

This could be the moment when something significantly changes in the fashion industry. Giorgio Armani, who, after halting production after the lockdown imposed on factories, started to manufacture medical overalls, is the first one to embrace the change. “Beauty and quality, for sure, will regain relevance. Fashion should respond to the needs of people, making life easier and more beautiful. I do not like the blind acceptance of the silliest trends, doing things on repeat with no soul. I am for consistency, and soulfulness. My ideas have brought enormous change to the world of fashion, and I can say that without sounding pompous. I see copies of my work everywhere, and this is the reason for enormous pride because it means I have really touched people’s lives. And this is why I keep on doing my thing,” the designer said for The Talks.

Photographs: Classiq Journal


Artists are not considered essential workers, but art and culture and the little things are what keep us sane, always. Now creatives all over the world are stepping up and challenging everybody to get creative.

Cooking much these days? Here are two books I recommend, which are not just about food. Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, a life journey. Gabrielle is also the owner of Prune, one of the best restaurants in East Village, New York City, and her recent piece for The New York Times, is an eye-opener.

In My Paris Kitchen, by David Lebovitz, stories about France are interspersed between the recipes, each recipe inspired by a meal the author ate in France. Each of these two books mentioned above has its own beauty and can be read as a novel.

In his Letter for the New Time, Brunello Cucinelli, one of the pioneer conscientious designers, writes about this new time “brimming with fabulous opportunities, a bearer of new lifeblood, a creator of ideas revolving around a renewed desire for life” and points out that we must shape a future that is about “a virtuous relationship between humanism and technology, between spirit and harmony, between profit and giving back”.

Photographs: Classiq Journal | Typecast photograph (left), part of our Classiq Journal Editions, available in our shop

And now, onto the movie news.

IndieWire has made a list of the latest released films and where to watch them from the safety of your home, from virtual cinemas (most preferably, because you are directly supporting the film makers and independent cinemas), Kino Lorber and MUBI, to Netflix and VOD.

The Guardian also has a few new recommendations, from Spike Jonze’s Beastie Boys Story, “a Generation X nostalgia trip” (I’m in!), to Bacurau, by Brazilian auteur Kleber Mendonca Filho, an “exhilaratingly eccentric, bloody blend of exploitation thriller, sci-fi and fierce anti-colonial allegory”.

And here are the films I would watch on repeat today, tomorrow or in ten years.

The world’s biggest film festivals unite for a 10-day streaming event, as they announce The 10-Day We Are One: A Global Film Festival, starting on May 29. The movies, documentaries and conversations will be streamed for free on YouTube, but the viewers will be asked to donate to the World Health Organization’s solidarity response fund for the current health crisis.

But remember. As Peter Bradshaw writes in The Guardian, “in the end, after this is all over, people will want to go back to the flesh and blood experience, to see the films on the big screen, that sense of occasion that is the vital curatorial tool for focusing minds on a new film. And people will want to talk about films: talk about them over coffee, over lunch, in the street outside the cinema.”

Photograph: Classiq Journal

More stories: Wunder Workshop: Interview with Zoë Lind van’t Hof / A New Found Language for Jewellery: Interview with Anna Westerlund / On Craftsmanship and the Modern Woman with Sue Stemp of St Roche

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