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Helena Bagnoli, editor and publisher, Bravo!
At work with

Helena Bagnoli, editor and publisher, Bravo!

Art director Luciane Pisani recently highlighted Bravo! magazine here. For our first At Work With interview of 2019 we tracked down editor Helena Bagnoli, part of the team who resurrected the magazine in 2017. Helena describes her working week in São Paulo and her magazine’s role in Brazil’s changing political climate.

Tell us about your typical Monday journey to work
Coffee and music always, (I discovered a Brazilian electronics group, Teto Preto, which I’m listening to non-stop). My Monday morning starts with reviewing several newsletters to understand the temperature of the week. Then I check with Gui Werneck, my partner at Bravo!, regarding our agenda for the week, including priorities and urgencies.

Describe the state of your desk and what you can see in your office
I work from home, and from my very big window, I see lots of skyscrapers, houses and trees. My desk is often messy and is cluttered many books and papers...

Which magazine do you first remember?
The New Yorker, for me it’s a symbol of endurance, robustness and editorial excellence

Which magazine matters to you the most right now?
Here at Bravo, we work with all artistic areas, and it is these classics that remain important to us: The New Yorker for its quality and the profoundness of their reportage and essays. Elephant as it is beautiful, has great graphic solutions, and showcases interesting subjects.

Aesthetica because it covers global contemporary art, with witty and generally good themes.

However, we also use many digital magazines and websites for inspiration including Vulture, Colossal, Hyperallergic and many online Brazilian publication such as: Trabalho Sujo, Quatro cinco um and Nexo. These sites are fundamental news sources for is and offer real experiences through the medium of video. They are the language of everyday life and give us the possibility to be intimate with themes.

Can you describe your magazine in three words?
Sophisticated, modern, desirable.

Most of our readers won’t know your magazine – tell us its history
Bravo! was the first Brazilian magazine totally dedicated to arts and culture in Brazil. The magazine started in 1997 in a small publishing house, five years later it was sold to the country's largest publisher, Editora Abril.

The magazine always brought together the best professionals in the country and had very high editorial standards and design qualities. In a very short time, Bravo! became a key reference within Brazil’s arts and culture scene and earnt the respect of artists, intellectuals and culture lovers. With the crisis that effected the world media market, it sadly closed down in 2013.

Tell us about its 2017 relaunch
Other people and I, who had already worked on the magazine, met in 2016 and licensed Editora Abril's brand and relaunched the magazine with a focus on daily digital production. As people were asking for the printed version, we decided to run the magazine quarterly. Today, we work with thematic seasons within a three-month cycle. All the digital content is free and the magazine, we usually say it is our vinyl, is sold online.

Left to right: Almir de Freitas, editor; Guilherme Werneck, publisher; and Helena

How are you planning to deal with your country's changed political climate?
Our purpose will be to continue producing the best artistic content and resist the conservative proposals that may be installed. We work with culture and for it to exist, there must be freedom of expression and for it we will always fight.

What’s going to be the highlight of the week for you?
This week we are continuing our season called Anthology, where we highlight the thirty best works of each artistic segment. Then, we will digitally launch the episode on Movies, which will highlight the best Brazilian films released in 2018.

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