What is the purpose of a magazine like ours? Providing the latest news from the sector, testing and describing boats, and featuring harbours and beauty spots. But also making people dream and helping to distance their minds from daily anxieties
by Francesco Michienzi
When I wrote the April editorial I was well aware it would cause some perplexity. Indeed, Mauro wrote to me: «A strange issue, if you’ll allow my notoriously outspoken mouth to express itself freely. Elegantly and brazenly removed from reality, from the outside world. Even the editorial, when read today, perhaps long after it was written (I wouldn’t know) seems over-the-top. Almost satirical, with its metaphor of golden isolation experienced in just 30 metres of a floating home on a yacht, mirroring our enforced reclusion in our tiny city apartments. I don’t know whether the issue is accidentally unaware of the situation (written too far in advance?), or whether it’s deliberately dreamlike. As if for the price of an issue of BARCHE one could grant oneself a few hours of total escapism from the anxiety of this moment in time…».
The editorial was written in late February, when the coronavirus crisis was just beginning. With hindsight I might perhaps have written something different, but I’m not sure I want to move away from my hope and trust that all this will be over within a few months. There is a wealth of information on the subject and adding my own voice to the chorus would not have generated anything new. We’re a magazine that focuses on passions and I feel it is my duty to continue to fuel them.
I like to think that our readers can find some solace in distracting themselves with something other than the problems we’re facing on a daily basis.
The feedback we received was all positive and many people have thanked us for continuing with our work. I totally agree that we cannot communicate in the same way as before during this emergency period. Words have to be clearer and more distinct. They have to help us distinguish between what is false and is true. They have to show us new paths.
The world and the economy will continue their course and, once this lockdown is over, they’ll start racing ahead to make up for lost time. I realise that a message about outdoor life and the desire to travel by boat might bother some people at the moment. But this is what we’re all about. We illustrate the world of yachting with all its implications.
We’re not a communication tool that fights to combat inequality around the world. Personally I’m all for fighting inequality in society and fighting tax evasion. I’m all for ethics and solidarity.
But I also believe in merit and I generally consider boat owners to be honest people like everyone else. We view them as being just like someone with a passion for luxury cars, travel, jewellery, horses or artworks. We shouldn’t criminalise wealth, but should instead hope that the divide between rich and poor grows smaller. I am mindful that only talking about positive aspects linked to boat use might run the risk of us seeming “insensitive”. Nevertheless, we must also consider that we have an important yachting industry, which employs many people and absolutely has to be safeguarded.
This is why we support the Chairman of Confindustria Nautica, Saverio Cecchi, who is working along with the association as a whole to identify the difficulties triggered by this historic moment in time and bring the needs of the entire sector to the government’s attention. Cecchi has also emphasised «the importance of tackling the Covid-19 emergency with a compact and well-informed team, which is motivated to defend and relaunch a sector that is globally renowned as an Italian area of excellence».
(Fuelling passion – Barchemagazine.com – May 2020)