Welcome to the winter 2020 issue of Glass – Contact

I AM delighted to share with you the winter issue of Glass, themed “contact”, a theme at the forefront of my mind as our opportunities to be in contact with one another are now limited, at most, or non-existent at worst.

The year 2020 has been one of enforced no contact. Globally we have lived through these times often alone, yet in our universal struggle, we have grown closer as a human race. The power of mutual understanding is strong.

Glass Issue 44 Dover Cameron cover Dove Cameron. Photograph: Ssam Kim

This time of quarantine has brought home to me, however, how very important, even essential to one’s health and sanity, being in contact with each another is. In the digital era, where contact is immediate but, perversely, mediated indirectly through screens and devices we must make use of any interaction available to us.

There is something essential to our very human nature about direct contact – even something as simple as eye contact or a holding someone’s hand – a basic human need.

Glass Issue 44 Lana Condor cover Lana Condor. Photograph: Ssam Kim

In the UK, lockdown 2.0 has put a sudden and immediate stop to all group socialising – clubbing, going to the theatre, the cinema, attending sporting events, travelling – all ceased. In addition, personal one-to-one contact is, for the time being, limited. How is humanity going to deal with this? And what will its long-term effects be?

We asked our cover stars what contact means to them. The American actor Dove Cameron tells us “The only thing that matters to me is people. I think that growing up, I felt very alone and even in my adolescence I felt very alone … I am such a lover, I am so contact and connection-based. It is the reason why I love people. But it is also the reason I am afraid of people because I love them so much that they terrify me. I feel exposed because of it to the point I become introverted. That may not make sense to a lot of people though. But contact is the reason I am alive.”


While Vietnamese-American actor Lana Condor added: “I think contact can also mean ‘dropping into yourself’. Being dropped into yourself and being mindful and not throwing yourself out and saying, ‘I need to actually take care of myself’.”

Glass Issue 44 Annabelle Wallis coverAnnabelle Wallis. Photograph: Heidi Tappis

The British actor, Annabelle Wallis, who now lives in LA, said: “I connect through loving people and I connect through hearing people. I absorb wisdom, I absorb life force, I absorb everything. I’m hoping for a better future, a brighter future – a future full of hope because we realised that connectivity and contact is what we need.”


Finally, when we pose this question to artist and designer Adam Nathaniel Furman of Argentine and Japanese heritage, based in London, who we had the pleasure of speaking with for our space section, has a radically different take: ”I’ve always been lonely … I posted the other day that social media is loneliness without solitude. I do think that there’s a difference between loneliness and solitude. Loneliness is pain, it’s a presence that you feel, it’s a lacking, it’s a yearning, it’s an ache. That’s something I’ve always had. I can’t connect with people, like I can’t socialise in a way that makes it go away. But, I have a dog.” So that is something.

Glass Issue 44 Diane Kruger cover Diane Kruger. Photograph: Ssam Kim

In these pages, I am thrilled to publish our interview with fashion icon, actor, model and now writer Marisa Berenson about her fascinating life that has led her to her adopted home city of Marrakech, about which she has recently published a book.

We also feature leading British figurative artist, Chantal Joffe who has two important solo shows this winter, and in our humanitarian section we hear from Sunetra Gupta, a professor of theoretical epidemiology at Oxford University, and Peter Doshi, Associate Editor of the British Medical Journal, about their take on the UK’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

I hope you find this issue of Glass thought-provoking and engaging and that you keep in contact with everything, and everyone, that matters to you.

by Caroline Simpson

The winter 2020 issue of Glass – entitled Contact – is available now.

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