CULTURAL LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS We normally send out our Margaret newsletters every 3 months (ish) – wouldn’t it be nice to think that the next one might not need to contain the word Coronavirus and that things will be back to how they used to be – we’ll proof, press send and […]
CULTURAL LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
We normally send out our Margaret newsletters every 3 months (ish) – wouldn’t it be nice to think that the next one might not need to contain the word Coronavirus and that things will be back to how they used to be – we’ll proof, press send and then head to the cinema to watch a film, to an exhibition to see work from a new photographer, to the pub for a well-earned pint or two, we’ll go out, out, out, anywhere and everywhere, or make plans then cancel them, just because we can. However, this currently seems unlikely and it’s feeling quite possible that the world as we know it will be changed forever (or at least for a good while) along with the way we consume, view, learn, work and play.
Whilst, similarly to most people we’re having to quickly adapt and move forward, we can’t help but take time to observe and reflect. We’re really feeling for the struggles and challenges many of our clients and cultural organisations are experiencing, but it’s also been great seeing some of the positive things and ways people are joining together to get through this.
So for this edition, we wanted to share some of those things that have inspired, entertained and made us smile over the past few weeks. Still staying true to all things culture and cultural content, which is our combined love and livelihood at Margaret (at least for now, unless we reinvent ourselves as digital librarians, need a good book recommendation, anyone…?)
NB Whilst things are uncertain we plan to do regular, shorter versions of these positive cultural digests to share with our friends and family. If you’d like to receive them then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add you to our list.
With love and well wishes
Image: Peter Blake, London Stands Together, 2020, as seen on @waddingtoncustot
A FOCUS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Galleries and cultural organisations have put renewed focus on social media to push their digital offering, as well as providing daily inspiration and a little light relief, too. The hashtag #MuseumFromHome quickly picked up on Twitter to earmark content that’s helping people get their culture fix while in isolation and we are also enjoying some of the clever and hilarious interpretations of classic paintings currently being staged from people’s homes (we’re looking at you @eveackroyd) using the hashtag #tussenkunstenquarantaine. Artist takeovers abound on Instagram; check out White Cube who launched the #TraceyEminDiary a few weeks back, with the artist posting “images and thoughts reflecting on the circumstances of the day”, and Martin Parr’s photography and ‘Sofa Sessions’ conversation series with photographers at @martinparrfdn on Instagram.
GOOGLE ARTS & CULTURE
Virtual museum & gallery exploration has taken on new significance in light of the global pandemic with Google Arts & Culture coming into its own, partnering with over 500 global art institutions to open their virtual doors to the public including the British Museum, Palace of Versailles and the National Gallery. We love ‘Faces of Frida’ – an expansive online exhibition in partnership with art institutions across seven countries that features more than 800 pieces by (and of) the artist.
BRANDS STEPPING IN
Some brands have been quick to take action, with many adapting their production processes or global platforms to help in the war against coronavirus. Notable examples include LVMH and Brewdog making free hand sanitiser amid global shortages, H&M and Gucci letting WHO takeover their Instagrams to help spread important health information and Netflix and Spotify setting up COVID-19 relief funds. We’ve also seen some brands getting it seriously wrong – Virgin, what were you thinking?! We really think consumers will remember this time.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
Musicians and music venues around the world are also banding together to prove that the show must go on, on Youtube, Instagram and Tiktok. DJs like The Black Madonna are hosting lo-fi “raves” from their homes, and artists like Christine and The Queens are broadcasting live sets. Record label Rough Trade has launched ‘Rough Trade Transmissions,’ a weekday Instagram TV series with live performances and interviews. And if you’re more classically inclined, Berlin Philharmonic’s digital concert hall should do the trick.
A NATION OF NEW HOBBYISTS
When we’re not holding down small children to try and get some work done, we also like the idea of learning some new skills with Grayson Perry in Channel 4’s upcoming show Grayson’s Art Club which is part of its new ‘Lockdown Academy’ season. And for those of you who would like a regular daily arts challenge, check out Chloe Sheppard’s Isolation Art Club, or The Isolation Art School (started by artist Keith Tyson) for lessons and projects from the likes of Sir Quentin Blake, Clare Woods and Gavin Turk. If cooking is your thing, then @iamlaurajackson is doing a sterling job of hosting evening cook-a-longs and virtual dinner parties and restaurants like @trullo_restaurant are sharing some of their recipe secrets via live cooking sessions too – check out their session tonight at 6pm where there’ll be making delicious looking, handmade pici pasta.
Not sure we can face another zoom or #houseparty meet up today (we just can’t seem to get the lighting and camera distance right), but for those of you who prefer just to like, learn, look or listen we’ve seen some brilliant community digital talks and festivals such as community arts project Social Distancing Festival and Marguerite’s freelancers forum and Fempowerment IV digital festival. Not to mention Jarvis Cocker’s first ever ‘instagram story’ live Domestic Disco bringing the party to your living room – see @jarvisbransoncocker and our very own client @modernfilmsent who are currently hosting a series of live streamed Q&As with film director Haifaa Al Mansour about her new film, The Perfect Candidate (look out for the next ones with @bafta and#reclaimtheframe).