How Can We Keep Creating—for Ourselves and for Others—Under Quarantine?
The pilot episode of Wonder’s rebooted Industria series zeroes in on quarantined creatives who are giving back
Welcome to the rebooted Industria, a signature video-and-article series from the hearts and brains of the Wonder team. While the initial series of the same name had a good run in the past two years, a reboot was in order—this time with a refreshed curiosity and a wider scope of view. Instead of focusing our video profiles solely on musicians, we’re taking a deeper dive into the worlds of artists, designers, photographers—you name it. Ingredients for the first installment: eight creatives, three initiatives and the ripple effect of one worldwide pandemic.
It’s taken a remarkably long time to produce this. Hardly what I’d call an effective start for a rebooted video series, this project took from the start of the ECQ to the announcement of the GCQ to plan, produce and release. For a long time (12 weeks to be exact) I’ve wondered why.
Part of it, perhaps, is all the adjusting that had to be done to get production on the road. Wonder has released our fair share of video content in the past—monthly cover videos, one quirky social experiment and a few profiles before this one—but we’ve always had the ability to do things as we pleased. We always had a sense of control. We could hire videographers and rent equipment and shoot on location, all privileges that we didn’t realize were privileges, all stripped away when the coronavirus marched into our capital and kept us inside.
But the struggle of making work now goes far beyond the technicals. Between stunted resources and a steady stream of toxic motivation Instagrams and global unrest, creating can become as exhausting as it used to be consoling. How are we supposed to deal with a pandemic, rampant racism and a government that serves us disappointment daily without feeling like we’re falling into a pit of emotional quicksand? How can we keep creating meaningful work when we have a pocketful of reasons to feel under-the-weather? With everything that’s happening, how can we do enough? Where can we get a manual on this stuff?
These are strangely sobering times.
“Making any non-essential work is a privilege especially at this time,” says Neal Corpus, creative director of YoungStar, a publication whose online leg ceased publishing over the course of the quarantine. We face our own version of oppression as employees, as artists and as Filipinos—but having the ability to create remains a concession we’re lucky to have. Those who work on the frontlines, rally on the streets and come face-to-face with brutality every day might not be so fortunate. Making use of privilege and platform, Neal—together with graphic designer Telle Ramos and photographers Cru Camara and Gio Panlilio—created Offshoot Online Gallery, a collaborative project between musician and artist pairs. Participation requires pledging at least half the profit earned from submissions for the benefit COVID-19 frontliners and patients.
Offshoot Online Gallery is just one of the initiatives trudging through the quicksand and giving back. Reaching beyond the confines of locked-down living, Lockdown Cinema Club and artist Clarisse Provido have also found ways to curb the struggle of creating and extend help to those who need it.
Take cues from Lockdown Cinema Club, Offshoot Online Gallery and Clarisse Provido and do your part from home. Discover ways to help out frontliners and families here. Stay informed on local issues, extend help to Lumad schools and combat the implementation of a potentially dangerous law in the country here.
Art Alexandra Lara
Editing Raine Santos
Assisted by Bea Bermundo & Danielle Francisco of Globe Studios
Produced by Cessi Treñas
Special thanks to Lockdown Cinema Club, Offshoot Online Gallery,
Poncy on Call, TJ Collanto, Mio Aseremo, Martin Yambao,
Myrene Academia, Iya Forbes and Clarisse Provido