We got you
Depending on where in the world you are right now, you may be social distancing, in self-isolation, or on total lockdown. You might have been doing it for days, a week, or maybe even longer. But whoever we are and wherever we are none of us are immune to loneliness, to the potential stress of the coronavirus outbreak on our studying or working lives, or to concern about friends and loved ones’ health and wellbeing. This is why now, more than ever, we need new ways to connect with another and build solidarity, togetherness, and communication.
Over the weekend, Dazed launched #AloneTogether – a new space to link our peers, collaborators, and readers to chat, share their work and spread the news of causes we can and should be supporting. There will be live streams – Benji B kicked things off with a set on our Instagram – as well as discussions and viewing parties. Expect beauty tutorials, exercise classes, and mental health check-ins from Dazed Beauty too.
Beyond that, we want to provide you with things you can do right now other than panic. If one positive thing has come out of this pandemic, it is – on one hand – the explosion of an exciting new digital cultural landscape, and – on the other – an opportunity to pause, reflect, and disconnect. With that in mind, we’ll be constantly updating the list below with stuff we see or think of that might keep you busy, entertain you over the coming months, and uplift you in the hard times.
Ever wanted to learn Korean? Take part in BTS’s new Korean lessons. Yes, that’s a thing!
Listen to new music being leaked or released by your favourite artists, like Childish Gambino, M.I.A., and Dua Lipa. Or listen to our ten under-the-radar releases you might have missed recently, from Bullion to Edge Slayer.
“Tune into one of your favourite artists on Twitch – Arca has been doing sets”
Star in your own Grimes video. As she explains in the video description on YouTube, Grimes has released assets and audios so that fans can complete their own version of a video for “You’ll Miss Me When I’m Not Around”. She says: “We thought if people are bored and wanna learn new things, we could release the raw components of one of these for anyone who wants to try making stuff using our footage.”
Tune into one of your favourite artists on Twitch – Arca has been doing sets. Boiler Room are also streaming from isolation (most recently Greentea Peng). Check-in on your favourite artists generally, as loads of them are hosting live-streams, Q&As, tutorials, and more with their fans.
Make your own music. Moog and Korg have released synthesiser apps for free during social distancing. Rina Sawayama has also leaked the lyrics and chords to her new single so you can make your own version. Or, you know, you could learn “Shallow” on the keyboard or something.
And finally, keep an eye on our #AloneTogether campaign. We will be doing some fun stuff with artists and Dazed contributors – from cooking classes to music workshops, coming soon.
It sounds simple but, to start with, read the book that you’ve always wanted to read. Or, if you’re lacking inspiration, read our list of books to get lost in this April, from a hefty Andy Warhol biography through to Miranda July and Olivia Laing’s new books.
Write every day. For one hour every morning, say, in the time that you might have otherwise spent commuting. Start the project you’ve never started. The novella you’ve always wanted to write. The TV show about a couple on a one night stand who get stuck in quarantine together. Whatever it is, now is your chance. Although, it’s also fine not to be productive. We’re living through a crisis.
You could also listen to Shakespeare and Company’s podcast, or the FBC podcast – a specifically feminist and queer book club run out of the famous Paris bookshop. London-based bookshop Burley Fisher have started a podcast, and Literary Friction on NTS is great too.
Plus, you can follow and submit to Naked Boys Reading’s lists of five things to read while naked and isolated. Usually intersectional, academic, and smutty.
POLITICS, COMMUNITY, & PROTEST
Perhaps the greatest beauty of the internet is that, just because we’re sofa bound, it doesn’t mean we can’t still make a difference to the world. I mean, for starters, the number of us staying inside is already having a drastic positive impact on the environment. Beyond that, there are things we can do to support the causes we care about.
Greta Thunberg’s virtual climate strike is no longer happening IRL, but you can join in on Fridays digitally by posting a photo of yourself with the hashtag “#ClimateStrikeOnline!” More info here.
You can support Act Up New York, or find your local branch.
You could also donate to Planned Parenthood, or as Dazed Digital Editor Anna Cafolla points out, “BPAS or Alliance for Choice, since Northern Ireland has no provisions for what is happening right now.”
In the world of beauty, you can make a contribution to Beauty Banks, “like foodbanks but with personal care and toiletries”, which is particularly important for disseminating soap right now.
Politics wise – if you tuned out in despair after the election way back in December – now could be a good time to re-engage.
“Leave your name and number at your local community centre or food bank with an offer to help buy or deliver food”
Plus, of course, there’s a lot you can do to support those affected by coronavirus right now.
We might not be able to donate $5 million like our queen Rihanna, but we can give what we can. Here’s a rated list of some charities you could aid. Relief International has been helping with the situation in Iran, and the Italian Red Cross, in Italy.
In the UK, you could sign up to Opening Doors London’s amazing telefriending service, where they pair you with a LGBTQ+ person for a weekly phone call, where you check-in and chat. Many of the people on the other end of the phone are isolated, particularly now, or in nursing homes where they aren’t out. There’s also LGBTQ+ Switchboard, which has global branches, and provides support to LGBTQ+ people who might be feeling particularly lonely right now – their volunteers are working from home to keep the service open!
If you’re in a position to offer work, there’s a directory for the LGBTQ+ freelance creative community-based in the US.
You could sign the petition for self-employed statutory sick-pay in Britain. Or support one of the many charities preparing to support kids in poverty in the UK now that schools have shut. Or leave your name and number at your local community centre or food bank with an offer to help buy or deliver food.
We have also rounded up some of the best podcasts for staying engaged with the pandemic and wider politics here.
First up, attend Grayson Perry’s art club, via Channel 4.
Around 900 ICA Talks from 1982 to 1993 are available to listen to online as part the British Library Sounds collection, including lectures from the likes of Julia Kristeva, Chinua Achebe, Nawal El-Saadawi, Derek Jarman, and Jenny Holzer. Listen here.
Bring out your inner Bob Ross and order a paint by numbers from the internet. They’re really, really soothing.
It’s frustrating not to be able to go to a gallery when you’re feeling uninspired, but we’ve made a list of the best digital art exhibitions you can go to, from the comfort of your sofa, including Amalia Ulman, Jon Rafman, and Ian Cheng, as well as the New Museum and Rhizome’s browser-based exhibition New Black Portraitures.
As of Friday this week, you can also tour the Andy Warhol retrospective at the Tate Modern, or listen to a podcast about it here.
Take an online arts course. Here’s a list of some good ones on Artsy.
TV & FILM
Not in the mood for Houseparty? Have a Netflix Party instead. That’s where you watch a Netflix show with your friends and discuss it in real-time. Not for those who get annoyed at people who talk in the cinema, I guess.
Specifically, watch Tiger King on Netflix. To quote the slack review from our Arts Editor Ashleigh Kane: “The drama!”
With so many film festivals cancelled, you could attend (follow) Viral Film Festival. Hosted by the people behind Broad Appeal podcast, Brian Mullin and Seán McGovern, they pick a film classic or film masterpiece every night between Thursday and Saturday, ask everyone to watch in real-time, and then have a debate about it on IG Lives. So far they’ve had Thelma and Louise, Rosemary’s Baby, and Three Colours: Red.
Or you could just watch all the films by your favourite director – Wes Anderson’s rounded up a few, or how about the Studio Ghibli drops on Netflix (which we’ve detailed here), and some more iconic anime.
If you’re a fan of queer cinema, you can watch some of the queer short films from BFI Flare, London’s premier LGBTQ+ film festival, which was sadly cancelled. There are more on BFI Player and some really great queer cinema classics on UK queer film label Peccadillo Pictures’ website. MUBI is also running a three-month trial for £1 deal right now, with tonnes of arthouse films to enjoy.
New stuff to do this week: Alexander McQueen’s Sarabande Foundation has put a bunch of lectures online, from the likes of Tim Walker, Molly Goddard, and Samuel Ross.
Can you sew or do you have the facilities to? Offer your skills to the BFC, who are looking for people to make masks.
All dressed up with nowhere to go? Submit your working from home outfits to @wfhfits. Started just two weeks ago, the IG now has over 10,000 followers and offers up not only a glimpse of some excellent WFH attire but also reminds you you’re not alone in these surreal and slightly scary times. Read our Fashion Features Editor Emma Davidson writing about it here, where you can also see our favourite looks. #OOTD be gone.
Read some of the best recent Dazed Fashion interviews that you might have missed: Virgil Abloh on the death of streetwear, or Diet Prada on five years of fashion industry vigilantism. Or look at some of the issues from the Dazed archive that we’ve made available, like the issue guest-edited by Alexander McQueen in September 1998.
Follow along with students from Central Saint Martins as they chart their final year collection creations from home.
LOVE, SEX, AND DATING
Just because we‘re all locked in our houses that doesn’t mean you can’t go to the virtual club and get your flirt on. Yes, people are creating virtual clubs. Club Quarantine is a queer club open nightly from 9 pm EST on Zoom and there’s also London’s sexy house party. Or Harpies – the trans and nonbinary strip club that go live on Friday nights in London every week.
If you want to try a more direct approach to meeting people, why not download Feeld – an app for the kinky and experimental – and try their new geo-location features. You basically enter a virtual location – “quarantine core” is just for people who want to chat to others in isolation, “sext bunker” is for those ready to sext right away (kind of like a dark room), and “remote threesomes” is exactly what it sounds like.
You may also have heard of Love Is Quarantine by now... named after Love Is Blind (while we mention it, read our article on whether straight people are OK – clue, no), Love Is Quarantine asks you to enter your details onto a G-sheet and then pairs up entrants at random for an online date each evening, videos them, and lets us watch back. No one has done anything as unhinged as sharing a drink with their dog yet, but this truly is the content we need.
Several dating apps have launched video features in order to let you speed video date from the comfort of your bed, from Tinder to Hinge.
Oh, and you could buy yourself a new sex toy. You wouldn’t be the first person to have had that idea.
Propagate your plants! Ok, so you can’t go to the flower market any more, but it’s easy to grow new, baby plants from cuttings of your existing ones – all you need is scissors, a glass or pot, and some water or soil. Look up YouTube tutorials on how, and then get growing.
On a similar note, a top tip for week two, when you’re bored out of your mind with your house: Feng shui your space so you feel like you’re in a totally new apartment.
Read your beauty horoscope. Or, if you can, pay someone online to read your chart.
Learn about Chinese medicine on Chuntian.world.
We will be scheduling some wellness classes on our Instagram as part of #AloneTogether real soon.
But for those feeling overwhelmed with screen time, you could also attempt a digital detox. Here’s some advice.
Finally, your eyes have gone square from watching too many TV show and films, your house has so many plants it’s like Jumanji, you can no longer stand the sound of Lizzo’s flute (although we find that hard to believe), here’s what else you can do...
Have a karaoke party at home! Singa app has seen a 700 per cent download increase recently. You just download it and connect it to your TV, and drive your neighbours insane. Simple!
Follow #voguechallenge on Instagram and learn how to vogue. (It’s much less embarrassing if you try at home before you do it in public.)
Antoni from Queer Eye is doing a cute mini-series on IGTV, teaching people how to cook with limited ingredients and resources (yes, more than just avocadoes!)
Dragula S2 winner Biqtch Puddin has been hosting digital drag shows on Twitch featuring Alaska 5000, Juno Birch, Laurel Charleston, and many more – looks huge! The next one is this Friday. Judy BK has started too.
Go to a comedy show (on Instagram Live)! Much-adored New York comedian and winner of Best Newcomer at Edinburgh Fringe 2019, Cat Cohen, is holding her cabaret night on Instagram live every Wednesday at 8 pm New York time. So far she’s featured Pat Reegs and Rachel Anne Sennott. We’re hoping Larry Owens will be on soon.
Listen to a podcast. We’ve made an up to date list of our favourites here. This week we also like Food 4 Thot whereby “a multiracial mix of queer writers talk sex, relationships, race, identity, what we like to read” and United Zingdom by ex-Dazed staffer Zing Tsjeng, about what British nationalism means in a post-Brexit society.
Oh and: Bathe in every. good. quarantine. meme. on. the. internet.
OH AND ONE LAST THING
Breathe. When all of this feels like a lot, remember that nothing lasts forever.