June / July 2020
This moment in time is extraordinary. Every day, I take a long cycle ride around the city of York, UK, where I live, watching as all my memories unfold in front of me in the most cinematic way. All of them are so transient but so meaningful right now. Around each corner is a yet another recollection: restaurants I frequent; where I get my hair cut; where I got proposed to. These activities are all on hold.
I consider myself lucky. I have everything I could need during this lockdown – food, a lovely home, family, friends and the brilliant Aesthetica team. Everyone I know is healthy and that is absolutely the most important thing. There are times when life can feel almost normal, but then something like this happens, and you remember that there is nothing familiar about the situation. Still, I am maintaining a positive attitude. This moment will pass. Society must recalibrate, pressing the re-set button and trying harder to create a fairer and more connected world. I know it’s incredibly optimistic, but that’s how I roll. Perhaps, we can use this time to actually do something about the climate emergency?
This issue is entitled Recalibration. It’s about realignment and hope. As humans, we need to understand our place in the world and the fragility of this ecosystem. A major retrospective of Lina Bo Bardi was due to take place in Chicago, so we survey the importance of this, looking at Bo Bardi’s philosophy on architecture and rebuilding. As cities and urban spaces need to change, her oeuvre teaches us about how we must always interrogate the present in order to preserve the future. Meanwhile, South African photographer Athi-Patra Ruga asks us to decolonise the art world and deconstruct power structures. The work is simply arresting; it is calling for an end to the pageantry of nationalism and its rhetoric.
We also bring you contemplative photography that traverses genres, styles and boundaries. These are works that will inspire and bring a moment of joy. Meanwhile, our cover photographer Diane Villadsen soothes our souls with millennial pink and a good sense of humour. Stay safe, and enjoy!