Thursday, July 15

Fighting the Pandemic with Found Poetry


The book I made for the prompt #areyoubookenough_blackandwhite. 
All of June we were in lockdown because of the second wave. No shops were open except grocery stores, pharmacies and petrol bunks.
So I used whatever was there in the house. Copier paper, old magazines and black embroidery thread.
Limited number of black and white pictures but enough text so I decided to create found poetry.
Since 2019, WFH has become the new normal. Everything is now online it doesn't matter where you work from, as long as there's reliable internet connection which permits zoom calls and online classes for the children. Companies are giving up office space. Home schooling is being adopted by more parents. Remote places with internet connectivity are being favoured over homes in a metroplis. 
People feel imprisoned in their own homes. Single people try to cope with isolation and loneliness. Confined spaces, social distancing and living in a bubble with only virtual interactions have created many mental health issues. 
Virtual graduations - I attended my nephew's graduation from SCAD online, that was a first for me. Made a presentation of my work via Zoom for Parsons School of Design, New York, for the series Community Conversations. Now that was interesting, I don't think this sort of thing would have been thought about had it not been for the pandemic.  
Everybody is dreaming of that trip to visit family, to go on a short holiday. 
Looking to escape the monotony.
Staying at home, with no help and no restaurants open to dine in. People have started cooking. Cooking from scratch, non of the ready to eat tasteless food. Did you try your hand at making Dalgona coffee? People also took to baking all types of bread. Sourdough was very popular where I live. I didn't try to make bread or Dalgona coffee.   

 Cloud Kitchens and delivery services mushroomed. I discovered recipes which repurpose food. Being thrifty and more sustainable. Watermelon rind chutney, lime pickle made with lime peel after the juice has been squeezed out. Repurposing food or parts of ingredients which would have been thrown away usually, such as seeds, leaves, peels etc. has become a little project of mine.
Traditionally in India people have been very thrifty and judicious with the use of ingredients, I have started looking to find such recipes. Some forgotten and others like bread pudding which is a comfort food and at the same time gives stale bread a purpose besides feeding the birds.    
The pandemic, in a year has changed our reality. The way we get our education, the way we interact, how we shop, what we shop for, the way we communicate. Everything has changed.   
Isolation and minimizing social contact will dictate the way we take vacations and interact with friends and family.
The virtual world is becoming more and more our reality. The other thing is that you really don't need much. Creating this book is a good example. I get to view the creations of so many talented people on Instagram and I can participate and create a piece of art with whatever resources I have. There's plenty to work with if you go through your stash and the constraints makes you more creative.
  
There is a lot to ponder. Do you think the fall out of the pandemic has more positives than negatives?
I'd like to know. I feel there are more positives. 
Our lifestyles and it's impact on the environment was sorely in need of recalibration and I think the pandemic has done just that. 
It was good putting this book together.     

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