INTERVIEW: LETICIA SALA
July 21st, 2020
Interview by Victoria Campa · Artwork by Tina Tona
In the words of Leticia Sala, "Escribir sobre alguien es quererle", which translates to: "To write about someone is to love them". The bilingual writer’s first book, "Scrolling After Sex", was published in 2018. She is a regular contributor to Vogue Spain. She writes poems as well as think pieces for the magazine and has an ability to articulate complex thoughts and feelings shared by girls all over the world. She is also a screenwriter and lyricist, and has written songs with Rosalía, among others. She finds inspiration in flowers, while traveling on airplanes, or wandering through supermarkets. Leticia spent the quarantine at her home in Barcelona with her husband, Pau, and their dachshunds, Greta and Science. "In Real Life" is her second book and literary debut in the United States. Here she is photographed on her balcony, where she spends her days writing.
How are you staying creative?
There have been all kinds of days. Days when I’ve been unable to create because I’ve been too worried about someone else, and days when I’ve been able to connect with a specific idea. The uncertainty and separation can be very creative tools when used well, but doing so is not always possible.
What revelations or realizations have you had about yourself or your life during this time?
Honestly, this time has not been that different from my normal life. I work at home so I am used to spending many hours here. Before quarantine, there were days when I only went out to take a walk. I think this isolation has calmed certain neurosis and aggravated others.
Tell us about art (books, movies, music, etc.) that you have discovered or revisited during this time.
I am currently reading "Nobody Knows My Name" by James Baldwin. I’ve seen many movies, from the whole "Godfather" series, to "The Hangover", to a few of Herzog’s films.
Is there a particular favorite piece of work you like to reference during difficult moments, such as this one?
For the times we are currently living in, I’d say this poem:
What are some silver linings that you've encountered during this time?
Nature gone wild, the silence, board games. It’s been very impressive. Hopefully I’ll find a way to tell our future generations about this moment in time. Hopefully we will practice putting ourselves in quarantine every once in a while, without there being a pandemic, but just to give the planet a chance to breathe, and give ourselves the chance to breathe. It’s been like some kind of fast.
What routines have kept you grounded?
Meditation, and doing yoga every morning, and board games every evening. I know it sounds cliché, but I’ve taken this routine very seriously.
What changes do you hope are in store for the post-quarantine world?
On a personal level, quarantine has made my family and I much closer. We live in different parts of the world and we’ve created a habit of having a Skype meeting every Sunday. We didn’t do this before and I hope that we will continue. I also hope we will begin to be more conscious of everything that can be taken from us in a second, and that that doesn’t paralyze us, but helps us live in a state of larger consciousness. This is a difficult objective to reach, but I have hope.
What has been inspiring you lately?
Flowers. I’ve had more time to observe their life processes. I think they are a living metaphor for everything.
This interview is part of a series of conversations with artists discussing their experiences during quarantine.
Victoria Campa grew up in Madrid, Spain, and has traveled around the world with her camera. She mostly lenses women in quiet moments within their environments, and she is interested in exploring the passage of time, strength in vulnerability, and inner lives through stories. She writes a bi-weekly newsletter about art, film, and writing called things to look at. You can explore her work at www.victoriacampa.com
Tina Tona is a 19-year-old multi-medium Rwandese/Ugandan artist from the DMV. They specialize in film photography and collage art, and use their work to highlight the nuances of Blackness and femininity. They are deeply inspired by black artists such as Solange and Andre 3000, and hope one day their work can be used as a tool to engage with Afro-futurism the way theirs is.