Fabian is spending this second lockdown in a Schaerbeek apartment together with his wife, exchanging urban life every weekend for a stay in their family’s house in the countryside. “Enjoying nature and the silence in the middle of the fields really helps to get through this strange period”, the branding, communication and PR expert says.
After eight years at iconic Brussels agency Base Design and a stint at MAD – Home of Creators as Creative and Communication director, he recently went freelance. “For me, the lockdown is the perfect occasion to renew contacts and to invest in new opportunities, now that I have time to dig into different projects and test the way I can support my new clientele. I like this moment where everything is on pause; time doesn’t seem to fly as when I was working in other structures. Controlling my own timing and workload is something new for me, and in this way, the lockdown is paradoxically an exciting moment for me and a chance to dive into this new rhythm.”
Fabian is also the founder of Project Pardis, shining a light on Iranian craftsmanship. A longtime visitor of the country, he brings back ceramics, fabrics, rugs, and kilims from his travels, always vintage and handmade. “Most things we find by knocking on doors in remote villages”, he explains.
With the country locked down for the second time this year and everything from galleries to concert venues closed once more, we asked a number of cultural figures what to read, watch and listen to from home in these art-starved times. Check out previous culture survival kits by DJ Soumaya Phéline, gallerist Bart Vanderbiesen and culture writer Sofie Crabbé.
During this second lockdown, I am diving one more time into Paul Verhoeven’s filmography. When watching movies such as Robocop, Showgirls or his masterpiece Starship Troopers, I can’t help but think that Verhoeven foresaw our current situation years ago.
I like the fact that it’s direct, without wooden language and with unexpected casting choices. A good opportunity to rethink our current way of life through the eye of someone else. I also like to watch my brother’s (aka Thomas Jean) project La Minute Sauvage, who dedicates his time to exploring wildlife in Brussels and surroundings through a YouTube series.
Just as during the first confinement, I’m using this time to explore one of my favorite parts of literature: the Iranian one. I just started to read Shâhnâmeh (Book of Kings) again, Ferdowsi’s masterpiece recounting the origins of Persia through a series of heroes and incredible adventures. It’s a way for me to travel again to this country I love so much while laying on my sofa. I’m also reading Wasted, a book published by Ludion about transforming trash into treasure. It’s a great way to discover initiatives by designers who decided to tackle overconsumption and pollution. It also includes the work of a Brussels-based duo I really appreciate, Studio Plastique, a local initiative with a global impact.
Following the recommendation of Jean-François Raffali from Fondation Luma, whom I recently met in Arles, I discovered edition 2 of Spectre and edition 65 of Spike Art Magazine. Both are dedicated to the importance of the vegetal world in this new future that is currently emerging. A perspective that invites us to rediscover nature, which confinement has unexpectedly brought to the forefront again.
I’m not really original as I always listen to the same music, confined or not. I start the morning with John Field’s Nocturnes or Barbra Hendricks’ Sacred Arias. Calm and peaceful. During the day, I turn on my Iranian playlist on Spotify, full of iconic songs from the 20th Century. Again, the best way to travel without moving. And to be honest, Michael Jackson is never far, Off The Wall is probably the soundtrack of my life; it helps to get through confinement with rhythm.
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