I think it is fair to say that this year has been the weirdest year of my life. For me, it has been like living in a claustrophobic-bubble with a constant burst of explosions that hurt only your soul, but when you try to escape the bubble, there is a chance that you might be killing yourself or others. So you are stuck.
On a personal level, plans of an amazing year of adventures, travelling and trying to be a digital nomad falls flat on its beautiful face. The industries I work in, the Arts, Culture and Travel, has been punched the hardest, K.Oed out of the ring. Sadly, quite a lot of amazing small organisations and companies are on life support machines.
While the natural world has a tiny inconsequential rest from the bombardment of exploitation, the human world seems to have woken up to so many inherent injustices, inequalities, problems and troubles. Most prominently the deeply rooted racism in our society. Then there is the LGBTQ+ human rights issues, refugees, violence against women, growing poverty, growing number of people suffering mental health, many more that got even worse because of the pandemic restriction and apathetic countries’ government.
It was a lot to process, especially when your only view of the problems are through a screen no bigger than your palm. Plus the feeling of despair and uselessness when it comes to doing something about it.
So when lots of my fellows in the arts and culture sector tried hard to navigate, survive and offer digital-only experiences, it felt more like yet another explosion, an Onslaught looking for my attention. Every day almost every hour there are a variety of zoom meetings, IG Live, online discussions, workshops, performances, too many to choose from. A lot I want to experience, but I have to choose, if I choose one not the other, it only made me feel guilty or I get FOMO.
In the end, I retreated and hid. In the entire time in official lockdown time, I only watched fully 3 performances. I am sorry.
Don’t feel sorry for me, that is not why I am writing this. Despite all this, I am very lucky and have the luxury of living in a house in the countryside. When I say I hid, I hid by spending half of my days walking in the countryside, slowly. It helped me to have a long meditative time.
I am writing this because I am now peeking out of my hiding and meditation, really missing good quality arts and culture experiences.
(Just when UK government announced we are in a Perilous Turning Point, which we all knew will happen, right?)
I started to watch and explore what is on offer online in the arts and culture world, especially those that put forward diversity in their offering. Experiences that amplifies voices, talents, history and variety aspects from different cultures. I am also looking to experience interesting offers that cross the invisible boundary that still exists between different art forms.
I will share what I find here, If you have any suggestions on what to experience please let me know in the comment section below. Oh and maybe also share what has been your favourite new arts and culture online experience so far?
Collage work can be combinations of illustrations, design and visual arts.
For me, collage seems to be a good representative of how we are now. Each collage made out of different layers, with a variety of colours, texture and style. Some parts of the layer are hidden, some parts are covered or exposed intentionally, some are ugly, some beautiful, some surreal. Where each layer comes from can be completely unknown.
Combined properly, with careful consideration they can be beautiful and a work of art.