Calcúra is an editorial visual journey through Sardinia. Through a series of conversations and photographic stories Acre has created a showcase of the Sardinian creative scene.
Several voices have been involved, and each of them represents an interweave, a root in the soil that creates intimate worlds waiting to be discovered.
Maquìni in Algherese dialect means having a fixation, a mania. It is precisely from the same fixation that a unique project was born to highlight creatives from the Sardinian scene. Co-founded by Veronica Peana and Giuseppe Esposito, the magazine includes fashion, photography, art and culture, becoming a synergic place of personalities linked by the need to express themselves. We thus interviewed them last August for the Acre X Calcùra project.
Tell us about your encounter and how the Maquini project came about.
Veronica: I graduated in psychology just before Maquini was founded. I’ve always been passionate about storytelling and the concept of interviewing, getting in contact with someone and establishing a certain empathy with the him.
When Giuseppe contacted me for this project, in less than 36 hours I did the branding of the magazine, then the name and the editorial line. Once it was finished, everything was practically ready. We hit it off immediately. In no time at all, we put together a list of people to be included in the first 2020 issue. We started with the designers we found interesting.
The focus is to give prominence to Sardinian people, who either work in Sardinia or have made their way here, most of the creatives are indeed Sardinians. However, our aim is to highlight the territory, those who try to emerge in Sardinia who do not have the same opportunities as others.
We are co-founders, I am the Chief Editor so I take care of all the content. Even content not written by me is revised by me and is selected in many cases. I also take care of communication outside Maquini, so I keep up the conversations with creatives, I decide the editorial calendar, discussing each upcoming issue within the editorial team.
Giuseppe: The selected projects are discussed, there is the selection of images and I proofread all the texts and copy. We work four-handedly to ensure that our articles and any projects come out with the highest care.
What is the philosophy behind Maquini?
Veronica: Maquini means having a ‘fixation‘, both in Alghero – we are from Alghero – and in Sardinian. Our fixation was the magazine, making fashion content even when it wasn’t trendy, when Instagram didn’t exist. Both Giuseppe and I were quite fixated, we had the ‘maquini‘ of doing things. Our target audience immediately went to people who had the same fixations as us, and that’s where the name came from pretty quickly too.
From there it became a real hub, a channel where we could bring in those who we felt had something to say but nowhere to say it or help to say it. As Giuseppe says, not everyone is able to ‘speak‘, there are those who prefer to paint, write or do sculpture. The magazine’s job, and ours, is that. Obviously the fact that it is a Sardinian representation is a plus because there was no reality like this in Sardinia when we were born.
The fabric of Sardinia was very receptive from the start, but I expected collaboration to be created more easily. Basically, there is a certain mistrust towards people who start this type of project and maybe don’t have sponsors, testimonials that act as a driving force, that’s it. It wasn’t very easy to get us to trust them.
Giuseppe: It took almost a year and a half.
Veronica: We’ve always been happy with the collaborations we’ve done, we hope that there will be more and more of a desire to be discovered. And what drives us is the fact that Sardinia, despite being small, is full of people who have ideas, who create, who want to emerge. In fact, it is the very concept of an island that makes you want to cross the sea, to make yourself known and say who you are.
Are there influences, artistic references that have guided you in structuring the magazine?
Veronica: The concept of the ‘factory’ has always fascinated us because it is about the group. It means doing something as a team where everyone has a particularity and puts it at the service of the final project, this has always interested us.
Giuseppe: The influences are many, as mentioned earlier in our chat. We are ‘multitasking‘, we have many passions, and personally I always manage to find little time for myself because I do so many things, ranging from photography to music and filmmaking. So in the end the influences are all inside, a bit hidden and they come to you a bit spontaneously.
Also maybe the last record I listened to contributed to the next photographic project that has to come out. We move around a lot, so we definitely have a subconscious full of many things that eventually complete the Maquini puzzle.
What are your future plans?
Veronica: Giuseppe is very passionate about film and for me it is a fascinating world certainly because it brings me back to certain vintage passions that I cultivate. So we decided to give space to an all-analogue section in the magazine, which would be characterised by that. Then curate some real events that for pandemic reasons we were not able to realise, let’s say quite achievable goals.
Giuseppe: Also because before the pandemic one event a month was organised. We do a lot of things, we are trying to wait for better times to return to the art that hasn’t been breathed for so long, at least here in our town and throughout Sardinia.
Veronica: We definitely plan to open up to more and more artists, creators, to continue to make ourselves known and to be known.