On June 17, 2020, the eleventh weekly online meeting of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) was held in association with OCA magazine on the theme “The People’s City”. This meeting was held in English and brought together thirty participants from eleven countries. The theme of the meeting was a kind of response of the creative community to the world crisis caused by COVID-19.
The moderator of the meeting, Natalie Bays, co-founder of the NO Collection, built a discussion around three key issues:
– Which of the directions of art represents each of the participants in their “normal” (without pandemic) society?
– What his city looks like now, and if these changes for the better or not?
– How can he use his creative abilities to change his environment for the better?
Natalie spoke about the projects that NO Collective is engaged in, and how they change life in London for the better. The theme of changing and improving the urban environment has become the main one within the framework of the meeting as well as involving local residents in this process through creative and educational projects. Then the floor was taken by Harry Hunter, who spoke about his activities in the framework of projects related to street art and graffiti. He revealed the potential of street art from the point of view of its ability to positively influence urban residents, including through a sense of humor.
The second part of the meeting was held in a mixed format of speeches by speakers and an “open microphone”. The meeting was attended by members of the Guild – a musician Margarita Mikhailova and a writer Aldona Grupas, a participant of the meeting and a writer Robert Crane, representatives of the Guild Executive Committee Anastasia Savelyeva, Bozhena Krasnogir and Yana Savelyeva. Each speaker presented his unique view of how life in their cities has changed during the pandemic, and also shared information about local cultural and creative projects (including their own).
The closing speaker was John Farndon, Chairman of the Eurasian Creative Guild. He emphasized that the pandemic made visible the difference between the possibility of access to the creative resources of “elite artists” and other artists. But he also emphasized that there is room for positive lessons learned from the world tragedy (for example, reducing the “toxicity” of everyday life in large cities).
As Natalie noted in the conclusion, the format of the meeting allowed the participants not only to tell their unique stories and discuss the common problems that creative people faced due to the lockdown and fading of social life. An important part of the meeting was the active exchange of contacts between participants, interest in each other’s projects, and the search for ways to combine creative efforts. It confirms that the Guild really continues to work as a platform for interaction between creative people, even in a difficult time of the pandemic.
Eurasian Creative Guild thanks conference administrators Tatyana Shevchenko and Maria Batz for organizing and holding a zoom meeting.
A full video of the meeting is available by the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7hfP-Gu8wk&feature=youtu.be