There’s a lot of “I’m bored in the house, and in the house bored” going on online recently– and with good reason. Most of us have been confined to our homes for weeks now, and quite frankly, I’m getting tired of writing about it. It is what it is , though, and as human beings, we’re excellent at adapting to tough situations. Thats why, while we’re absolutely getting fed up of being prisoners in our own homes, we’re simultaneously getting pretty damn good at it.Communities around the world have come to the realisation that what began as a three-week-quarantine is turning into a new flavour of reality. There’s only so much banana bread to be baked, and so we’re slowly finding ways to return to doing the things we loved before lockdown– we’re just approaching them differently.
Virtual dance partiesEven if nightclubs were to re-open tomorrow, many of us probably wouldn’t feel great about being packed into a smokey room with hundreds of other sweaty bodies. In fact, even without the coronavirus pandemic, this situation isn’t very appealing to a lot of people. Thanks to the rise of our new Zoom culture, though, we can still throw it back with our friends (and strangers) without even having to leave the house. The Social DisDance Party is a virtual dance party which connects people around the world by bringing a party – including a custom DJ set – straight into their bedrooms and living rooms. In a PBS interview, Social DisDance creator, Ani Taj said that she created the event to help people channel a lot of their pent up fears and anxiety about the situation into dance.
“It’s freeing, I think, for people to express themselves in a physical way where they don’t have to explain what they’re thinking and feeling,” she said, “and you can kind of like get the fears out physiologically.” Partygoers log into the meeting and set up their cameras. They then log into another app, called Mixlr, where they can stream a live DJ set created especially for the event. And then the dancing begins! The event is free (but participants can choose to make donations), and dancers have joined from around the globe. And this isn’t even the only virtual dance party out there right now. The trend has picked up quite a following, and our fellow quarantiners across the globe adapt new ways to pick up old hobbies. If you’re not into dancing with a lot of strangers but are still seeking creative ways to move your body while stuck in your apartment, you can set up your own (smaller) dance party with friends. The beauty of this, apart from the fact that you won’t be cramped into a room with strangers and COVID-19, is that you can have complete control of the music and you won’t have to spend a cent!
Balcony CinemasBerlin has always been big on film, but with movie theatres closed, the city has had to find a new way to get its flick fix. WindowFlicks is an organisation backed by a local cinema group, who has been bringing the movies to residents stuck at home apartment buildings by projecting them onto building walls.
Global Online Film FestivalsOur lack of access to theatres has film festivals from around the world teaming up to launch We Are One: A Global Film Festival, which will be available to watch for free on Youtube. The ten-day festival runs from 29 May, and will include programming from Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and the Venice Film Festival amongst others. Representatives from the Cannes Film Festival stated: “We are proud to join with our partner festivals to spotlight truly extraordinary films and talent, allowing audiences to experience both the nuances of storytelling from around the world and the artistic personalities of each festival”. This is the first time this kind of event is being organised, and proceeds will benefit the WHO and other COVID-19 relief efforts. It also allows us all a glimpse of film that we may otherwise not have seen, all from the comfort of our own homes. In a time when most of us don’t see more than our living rooms and the inside of the refrigerator, this kind of event can also serve to remind us that the world outside our quarantine stations still exists. In the words of Jane Rosenthal from Tribeca Enterprises, the company behind the annual Tribeca Film Festival,“We often talk about film’s uniquely powerful role in inspiring and uniting people across borders and differences to help heal the world. All of the world needs healing right now”.
It’s clear that while we’re having to make a lot of changes to accommodate for this new pandemic lifestyle, the events and activities we love are not entirely lost to us. If you’re getting tired of doing the same things on Zoom every week, rest assured that even if you’ll be stuck indoors for a while longer, new and exciting activities are just around the corner. It’s heart-warming to see communities and organisations inventing new and innovative ways to keep bringing people together. What’s even more inspiring, is that many of these initiatives are run solely on donations from participants. The motivation behind them is not financial gain, but to share art, experiences, beauty and optimism with people around the world. Whether it involves dimming the lights and dancing around your living room, or snuggling up with a massive bowl of popcorn to enjoy films from around the world, the opportunities to enjoy our daily experience are continuously growing. As human beings, we’re constantly adjusting to hard times, and finding ways to make them a little more comfortable. Seek out these new opportunities, and keep finding new ways to enjoy this bizarre and unpredictable time, because whether we like it or not, these are the times we’re living in.