What is the secret behind a good story? What makes us so passionate that we crave the next episode, feel as if its characters were family, and want to read or watch it dozens of times? That’s the question I ask myself both when covering a news story as a journalist and as a greedy consumer of media, offline and online.Nothing fascinates me more than exploring innovative and interactive ways to tell a story. What inspires me most about Hypercritic’s approach is the possibility of connecting distant worlds and combining the classics with pop culture into potentially unlimited paths.
Being a child in a small Italian town in the 1980s had its advantages. I grew up in the last years of the analog era, where the Sunday morning ritual was to sit on the steps of the newsstand near home, leafing through beautifully printed children’s publications. With two teachers as parents, the house was filled with books of all kinds. Still, my favorites were Italo Calvino’s Ancestors Trilogy, which converted reality into fantasy by creating a sense of wonder, page after page. As I dreamt of following The Baron in the Trees and The Nonexistent Knight in their adventures, I matured a need for new experiences that I tried later to convey into my job. After all, journalism is a challenge that restarts from scratch every day.
Then I discovered science fiction: Star Wars, Blade Runner, Dune. It was inevitable to become passionate about such a beautiful genre when sharing your childhood with an older brother (who brought me on board in this editorial adventure). Again, what captivated me most about these subtle and multi-layered stories was the ability to convey profound meaning through popular culture.
The biggest challenge for Hypercritic will be turning the academic language into something universally comprehensible: a digital tool of empowerment available to everybody. Our platform enables readers to become pioneers in the digital environment: where else can one jump from a Renaissance work of art to a Japanese animated film to a contemporary art installation at the Venice Biennale?
This opportunity, provided by technology, has become urgent now more than ever. In 2020, an invisible threat forced one-third of the world’s population indoors for months. Suddenly so many of us had to deal with limitations that are usually experienced by people who do not have the means to travel, access cultural sites, or go to school. Such an unprecedented scenario makes us understand how much free access to knowledge is vital for everyone and at any time.