Flavio Grassi

Sunday May 23, 2004 · Flavio Grassi

I’m a travel writer and photographer. Italian by birth and current residence, I spent a far too short part of my life in the US—first in Connecticut, which I consider my second home, then in San Francisco.

By profession I write about the world as a collection of vacation destinations and photograph the beautiful, the charming, and the ancient. But I do have eyes to look beyond my camera’s viewfinder, and I can’t help seeing that there is a lot more than that to the world.

Recently I haven’t been travelling as much and as far as I’d like to, mainly because between terrorism and war people just aren’t all that interested in exploring far away places right now. Vacations tend to be more and more like what they used to be in times past, a couple of weeks in a relaxing place away from home but not too far from home. And especially: not too different.

So my assignments from Italian magazines tend to concentrate more and more on Italian historical cities and nature spots. Which is fair enough. Except that in many ways the world we thought was shrinking into a kind of tiny island is suddenly getting as big and strange as it was before the age of jet travel.

But me, I just can’t help but keep scanning the news to see what’s happening in Asia, in Africa, in South America. And believe me, there’s always a lot happening that gets very little coverage in the mainstream media. And small events in a remote village of Bangladesh may turn out to be a lot more relevant to our western lives than you might think at first sight.

Spark Radio is my attempt at relaying those broken signals that do manage to get my way, and maybe even try to make some sense out of them, when I can.