My essentials: Stephen Saliba’s cultural picks

No 81 | Stephen Saliba, 43, profession, Artist

1. Book

‘Gganti’ by David Aloisio, this book was given to me by the author who is an old friend of mine during a class reunion. It is a classic adventure novel which reminds me of the books I read during my youthful days bringing out nostalgic atmosphere of reading Trevor Zahra and Enid Blyton books during the school summer holidays. It is a pity that the younger generations of our time seem to be losing on this sense of adventure and the connection with nature associated with such experiences.

2. TV

It’s a Series – ‘Servant of the People’ featuring Volodymyr Zelensky. It’s funny, irreverent, political, and intelligent. Zelensky’s role in the show, is in stark contrast to the current role he plays during wartime as the actual leader, which makes the show even stranger, more interesting, and even surreal in contrast. It also questions our views of political leaders – many of whom are only funny when they are being serious. I rarely finish a series, I get bored easily – so I don’t know how this ends, but I still recommend it since it increased my admiration for this person.

3. Internet

A feature on Neri Oxman – a scientist, an architect, an artist … and a mother.  She is known for art and architecture that combine design, biology, computing, and materials engineering. I remained fascinated by her intelligence and inspiring revolutionary approach combining such a variety of disciplines. I was humbled to the point of seriously considering stopping pursuing my artistic career. She is also a very attractive woman. Some people really have it all.

4. Music

I am not much of a follower of the current music scene. In general, I like Italian music and lately am into the Vasco Rossi phase. His lyrics touch upon social and existential themes that remain relevant. With Vasco I also share the soccer passion for the Inter team … renowned for making their fans suffer - probably that’s where he gets the inspiration from.

5. Place 

I would love to go to the Amazon rain forest again. I was lucky enough to experience it some years back and it is a place which puts you in perspective. Mind you there are many similar places like that outside Europe - so any such place would do. The remoteness, the beauty of nature, the variety of biodiversity, the vulnerability of the human species in such places. It also makes you realise that there are other ways of how man could live, and which provide an inner peace and an enriching spiritual dimension. This is what I long for in my travel destinations.