At a time where culture as we know it has been put on the back burner, we can take this moment to assess how the arts has truly impacted our quality of life. Most of the world is under government-enforced lockdowns with bars, restaurants, cinemas and gyms closed for at least another three weeks, many practitioners of the arts are being forced to use their creative skills to source an alternative income and reach an audience through virtual means. Artists like John Legend, Swae Lee, Charlie Puth and P!nk have all hosted free online concerts during the pandemic for fans. Even though production has stopped for many shows and events, an online community for creatives and artists are forming faster than ever before.
This has given the spoken word community a stronger platform to collaborate. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the arts have given many people a distraction and a source of hope. Since everyone has probably watched everything on Netflix by now due to the lockdown, poetry has allowed voices to be heard. Poet James Smith wrote a community-based poem called ‘You Clap For Me Now’ focusing on key workers of BAME backgrounds helping the nation during the global pandemic. Spoken Word artist Amalia The Alchemist, reminded us that we are still all socially connected whilst in quarantine and we should focus on the global planet and not the global panic. All of these poems allow us to focus on what really matters which is staying connected, focusing on the things we have and can control.