MILAN — Vanity Fair Italia has joined forces with the publication’s American edition to develop a special issue focusing on the U.S. presidential elections.
Dubbed “America Anno Zero” — or “America Year Zero,” in English — the issue will feature Jane Fonda as the cover star and include contents curated by the Vanity Fair U.S. editorial team.
“For the first time in the magazine’s history, together with Radhika Jones and the American editorial team, we have put together an extremely clear picture of the United States at the present moment. A country that is dealing with historical changes and transformations that are challenging the foundations of its history, its democracy and even its dream — the American Dream,” said Vanity Fair Italia’s editor in chief Simone Marchetti.
Marchetti explained the choice of tapping Fonda for the cover, defining her as “an icon and activist, more than an actress” as well as “a force of nature, a woman that has never stopped fighting and that perfectly embodies the doubts, questions and actions of an entire nation.”
In the issue, Fonda talked about her engagement and commitment in being on the front line and fighting for the causes she believes in, ranging from joining the rallies against the war in Vietnam to the environmental protests in front of the White House during her Fire Drill Fridays, inspired by the actions of Greta Thunberg. In the interview, the actress additionally reflected on Biden and Trump and the challenges that any president will have to face after the vote.
“When Simone [Marchetti] asked me and the Vanity Fair U.S. team to help edit an issue about America in 2020, we jumped at the chance,” said Jones, editor in chief of Vanity Fair U.S.
“We report on the politics, celebrities, entertainment and technology that drive our culture every day. But collaborating with Vanity Fair Italia, which has been doing such powerful and moving work this year, has helped us crystallize our own thoughts about what America represents and where it is headed,” she added.
In particular, Jones penned a portrait of New York, her hometown, at the time of the pandemic, underscoring how the city turned resilience into its strength.
Hitting the newsstands on Oct. 21, the issue will also comprise contents on key topics confronted during the political campaign, spanning from climate change to social conflicts. For instance, a series of portraits dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement shed light on seven artists and activists who have laid the foundations for the global protests in defense of social justice, including filmmaker Ava DuVernay, novelist Colson Whitehead and journalist Isabel Wilkerson.
In addition, Vanity Fair U.S. correspondent Anthony Breznican analyzed the role played by Silicon Valley and digital platforms’ manipulations in an interview with Jeff Orlowski, director of “The Social Dilemma” documentary, while a story on politician and activist Gabby Giffords dealt with the topic of gun control in the U.S.
For the entertainment section, Vanity Fair U.S. critic Richard Lawson reflected on how a former reality show personality has managed to become the U.S. President — read Donald Trump — and the importance of Hollywood stars at the time of COVID-19, while the American publication’s contributors highlighted a range of books, films, documentaries and TV series essential for understanding their country today.
Vanity Fair Italia additionally asked its colleagues overseas if the American dream still exists. In her humorous story, journalist Sonia Saraiya offered it does — and it’s called Canada.