A Flow of Colourful Connections in Lockdown
An art video project created in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic
In the Spring of 2020, Jamii and Canadian Stage partnered to invite eleven women, residents of the Esplanade community, to express artistically their personal journey during the COVID-19 pandemic through the creation of a reflective art video, later collaboratively titled “Unlocked (A flow of colourful connections in lockdown)”.
As part of the creative process, the participating women were each paired with a professional artist, each pair was then invited to write a scene, acted out by each of the women, and edited together in this unique video. This artistic collaboration started with a conversation based on a neighbour’s comment in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic’s lockdown: “Three-quarters of my identity are gone” and the ensuing question “What’s left of me?”. We believe most of us can relate to this, both in an enriching or disarming way.
The resulting art video is an abstract symphony of thoughts, emotions, and reflective times. Participating women expressed their journeys from isolated days that connected them with close family, to sleepless nights which drew them to take a closer look inward, and to new relations to time that led them to dive into forgotten interests. Some found themselves in empty streets which used to paint their life with colour; some found joy and comfort in creative outlets that provided them with a safe space during social isolation; while others stepped into reflection and projected reminders to their children of their beauty, strength and worth to take up space in the world.
Some of the participants felt like melancholy and hope were blending in together. When some of them felt lost, they researched their own spirituality and celebrated love. This creative journey has been a spiritual, emotional, and communal experience for all involved.
By sharing their stories in this video, we are inviting viewers to contemplate how the pandemic has impacted each of us differently, offering a range of perspectives from our community, and inviting the rest of the digital world on this journey with us.
“Unlocked (A flow of colourful connections in lockdown)” premieres at the Berkeley Theatre on July 24th and 25th.
This project is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and Toronto Arts Council. This project is an adaption of WIND STORIES – an initiative that was adjusted due to COVID-19 impact on live arts.
Book your free ticket HERE to attend in-person the outdoor premiere of the event.
Book your free ticket HERE to watch the online premiere of UNLOCKED.
Produced by Jamii
In partnership with Canadian Stage
Directed and Produced by:
Charmaine Kachibaia & Isorine Marc
Afsheen Chowdhury, Aziza Virani, Bana Stegu, Britta Badour, Francisca Zentilli, Helena Maragos, Indrit Kasapi, Isorine Marc, Julie Nadine, Karen Lam, Kerryn Graham, Lilly Otieno, Mihaly Szabados ,
Paula Wing, Samantha Stewart, Sharon Zarita, Sid Aakowa, Takako Segawa, Tanjin Ashraf, Teilhard Frost, Tereka Smith, Wendy Devine
CAST (in alphabetical order):
Aela Kuria, Afsheen Chowdhury, Aziza Virani, Bana Stegu,
Daniella Gakumba, Francisca Zentilli, Gennavive Marshall, Gergetet Abdelmalak, Helena Maragos, Isabella Mutoni, Julie Nadine , Karen Lam, Lilly Otieno, Michele Brennan, Mireille Ouellet, Paula Wing, Tanjin Ashraf, Tereka Smith, Verna Chong, Wendy Devine
Director of Photography: Nick Kay
Production Coordinator: Sharon Zarita
Editor: Nick Kay
Assistant Editor: Charmaine Kachibaia
Sound Design and Audio Mix: Matthew Maaskaant
Teilhard Frost and Jason Mercer
Recorded at Neptune's Machine
Engineered and mixed by Jason Mercer
Written, produced, recorded and performed by Bana Stegu
“Set It Free”
Written by Robert Graham