2020 has given more to the authors of history textbooks than it has to the writers of diaries.
For all its eventfulness, 2020 has, for most of us, been a lost year. In several senses of the word. On top of the enormous loss of human lives, the pandemic paused many people's progress on long-plotted family and career goals. It forced countless celebrations, festivals and family gatherings either onto Zoom or out of existence. And it warped many people's sense of time, causing months-long stretches to seem interminable in the moment but like they passed in a blip in retrospect.
We have crossed over into a New Year. Like war time citizens, we too have yearned for a return to "normal." But, like the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, this pandemic may have far reaching repercussions for some time to come. That volcanic catastrophe caused major climate upheavals all across the Northern hemisphere including the USA. Water froze in the heat of summer, agriculture was wiped out, and snowfall was seen on July 4.
What has this "lostness" caused the artistic community? For the first time, each of us in the creative industries was in the very same boat. Out of work, performances cancelled, tours postponed, livelihoods threatened. Prima donnas, divas and devas, emerging dancers, fledgling actors, novice singers, newbie musicians - all faced a bleak scenario.
The delayed timelines, evacuation of public life, the absence of human bodies physically present for the live arts - these characteristics have made this lost year that we have lived through as a unique time, never experienced before in our lifetime.
And TECH swooped in - calling out to the nimble, adaptable, flexible, malleable bodies and minds. Nuance was out. Flash was in. Minimalism was pushed out by the grand gesture.
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