Silvia Razakova, Graphic Designer
By Eve Marx
Silvia Razakova, italian/russian graphic designer established in Edinburgh. In August, she worked with Fest, a review booklet issued all throughout the Fringe.
“It’s hard work to focus on the positive, but it’s such a strength”
So you graduated in Graphic Design at the University of Edinburgh. How did you end up here in the first place?
I didn’t want to stay in Italy. Somehow I had a dream about the United Kingdom and I thought I could give it a try. Of course I started looking at London first, but it was a bit cliché – and so expensive. And The University of Edinburgh actually has great reviews, so I didn’t really hesitate.
What’s your favourite place in Edinburgh?
Everyday I walk from Stockbridge (North of Edinburgh) to town, all the way through Dean Park and the bridge. My favourite place is the crossroad between Princes St and Lothian Road. I like that because the castle just sort of suddenly appears and you can see the light hit it in a very different way. Even considering how busy that part of the city is, it’s crazy to see how eerie it can remain.
What do you like especially about Edinburgh, that maybe you feel you didn’t have back home?
I think respect. That’s something that people have for one another here and that I thought was lacking back home. Maybe a bit less in Milan but it is such a gigantic city, it’s easy to disappear. Edinburgh on the other hand is a good combination between a big and a small city. There’s everything you need, the possibility to work but the people especially are friendly. Back in Italy there’s no such middle ground when it comes to city sizes and what comes with each one.
Do you feel like it’s easier to connect with people in Edinburgh?
If you were to put up together your own show at the Fringe, what would you do?
I don’t think I would do a show per say, more like one of those special events that pop around in August, so inherently part of the Fringe spirit. Some sort of secret gathering, a secret party putting together a bunch of artists combining different areas of creativity.
Is there anything you think Edinburgh could do to keep up the weird and creative atmosphere? Or have you noticed something going in that direction?
Well for one thing, they could definitely get visas to artists who want to come work here. It’s a very interesting topic and I could talk a lot about it, but I know it doesn’t solely depends on Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole, it’s all very political.
But the Fringe is political! This year, for its 70th anniversary, we were reminded that it was actually created after the end of the war, when Edinburgh decided to invest in the arts and performance. They could easily focus on that again, instead I just see a lot of shows joking about Trump that barely scratch the surface. It’s hard work to focus on the positive rather than just make jokes about what’s wrong, but it’s such a strength and I wish it was more encouraged. I think the Fringe is the occasion to make a statement.