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Corona Virus Effects on Amateur Culture

Corona Virus Effects on Amateur Culture

Covid-19 and Amateur Culture

Covid-19 undoubtedly effects whole life on our planet. In terms of human being, almost all of us worry about our personal health and are concerned about our future. Such questions as how?, why?, when?, who?, what will be?, preoccupy our mind. A great uncertainty that we experience first time, lead inevitably us to a nervous mood and unhealthy psychology. Frequently we heard about the news of deaths, severe conflict and divorce. We lose our job or about to be out of the job. This significant issue naturally has impacts on ‘amateur culture’ and art. However, as opposed to popular belief, we have experienced some pros of the lockdown along with its cons.

Cons of Covid-19 on Amateur Culture

Primarily, it compels us to set physical distance with each other and prevent the touches. (use of social distance not proper for me, it goes beyond its purpose) Audience centric performance arts, meetings and demonstrations that get us together, is banned. The established system of amateurs have broken down because rehearsals, classes and all collective outside activities could not be practised. Especially professionals have faced serious troubles. Californians for the Arts have conducted a questionnaire study with 1,000 creative workers and for this, 88% of respondents confirmed that they had lost artistic income because of the Covid-19 lockdown. Moreover, 43% of respondents were unsure whether they would continue to keep the food on the table in their own field.[1] In regards to cultural activities, the spiritual feeling of them, audiences, concerts, rehearsals, friendships and social circles are so missed by amateurs and pros.

To cap it all, governments has shown no empathy with amateur culture or art. Yes, undoubtedly health comes first but football should not be taken precedence of the art. Amateur cultural activities has the power to uplift us as a prescription for our health. As Damon Albarn has stated, football alone does not sustain our souls.

As a welcome news, Bergen Municipality City Council decided that amateur culture organizations could also apply for the extraordinary grant scheme to compensate funds for the arts and culture fields. Furthermore, as a part of Dutch government-backed test events, dance music festival were organised in Amsterdam as a short relief from COVID-19 lockdown by serving of a group as guinea pigs in a research project. Government will use the data of the participants to decide on easing lockdown in next months.[2] By the way, Nervous and hopeful wait to see the effects of Coronavirus variants and mutations on our situation.

Pros of Covid-19 on Amateur Culture

However, vapidity of lockdown at homes lead to ring a bell in some minds. By getting over the confusion of the Covid-19, people have begun to try new things, to take up new hobbies and to learn amateur pursuits for developing themselves by means of web.

Thanks to more free time and slowing flow of life, people could calmly turn to their creativity.

For instance, during the lockdown, while many people took up a musical instrument, most of those choose to play ukulele as a great choice for amateurs. It is not only affordable but also very portable. Additionally, you can find plenty of resources for learning ukulele on YouTube for all levels and styles.

Moreover, because of the lockdown, online events and courses have excessively increase then most amateurs have the opportunity to join interesting activities in the ends of the world, online. Webinars and online educations pave the way of them to improve their skills in a different way. Otherwise, it will not be possible. Amateur Music Network (AMN), whose workshops and conversations bring some of the best musicians and mentors in the music world to your desktop or phone, serves as a fine model.

Inspiring Truck against Covid-19

As an example of creativity that comes from hard conditions, a truck carries orchestra musicians, moves around the streets of a Venezuelan city. The live performance is an effort to give people some small respite from the coronavirus pandemic and other hardships. The conductor Sanchez name this as ‘musical disinfection’.[3]

From these points of view, possibly outside events will become more attractive because of health considerations, so the street arts – busking – may come to its own deserved value.

Upon the whole, increasing importance of online collective activities decrease the gap between professionals and amateurs to get in touch with audience. Prestigious concert halls and the culturally advantaged venues, those are already closed for amateurs and independent artists, are not available for professionals for now. Amateur Culture accelerates within these conditions.

Believing that regardless of all, new inspirations will emerge. It is an opportunity to challenge ourselves.

What about you ? Please share with us.

[1] Californians for the Arts, Impact Surveys for Arts and Creative Industries, Organizations and Workers.

[2] Dutch attend dance show to test if events can safely reopen.

[3] Moving orchestra gives some respite from Covid-19 in Venezuela.