Published August 20, 2020

In this webinar, recorded August 20, 2020, Lyall Harris and Patricia Silva discuss Silva’s 2020 pandemic project Before We Forget, hand-bound journals with writing prompts aimed at remembering this unprecedented time. The discussion includes project origins, such as the rediscovery of Silva’s father’s childhood WWII drawings and Silva’s own relationship to memory and memory loss. The journals, conceived and developed during the period of strict lock-down in Italy, renewed Silva’s commitment to local Florentine artisans, who have been particularly impacted by the quarantine, and invigorated her interest in creating works that rely on viewer participation.

In the first months of its release, Before We Forget has already garnered much attention and found homes in the US, Europe, and Latin America. Silva and Harris have been collaborators in the field of book art since 2014. Their collaborative work has been exhibited in two-person shows at the San Francisco Public Library, Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, Santa Reparata Gallery (Florence), and Cartavetra Gallery where The Interpreted Object, an installation of text, image and object, was part of the 16th Annual Florence Poetry Festival Voci Lontane Voci Sorelle. Their co-creations have also been included in numerous group exhibitions in the US and Italy and featured in the NYU publication Voyages; Journal of Contemporary Humanism. In conjunction with their exhibits, Silva and Harris have given artist’s talks and co-taught workshops for adults and youth.

This webinar is part of our Virginia Festival of the Book’s “Shelf Life” series. Sign up for the Virginia Festival of the Book’s e-newsletter to learn about future discussions as they are announced.

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