March was a fulfilling month with so many exciting plans ahead and a distant twist that we at Project Expressions, like everyone else, never saw coming. After the lockdown, plans changed, and yet we saw people finding newer ways to reach out to people, to connect and get their work going. The world was going virtual. Our USP is storytelling and human interactions, the sudden reliance on the screen seemed like the soul of the art was taken. To add on to the challenge, we are all camera shy people and in a way introverts. While we navigated through the personal challenges & the ones’ pandemic laid on everyday life, the workshop industry was booming online.
On September we finally took up the decision to show up for a discussion. The idea was solely experimental. It was dedicated to building a space where people can come and unwind themselves and engage in discussions of various topics. Topics were initially introduced as ice-breakers where multiple people participated. It seemed to have worked both ways, people got a break from a crazy year and we got our practice. The meets started becoming a calendar reminder of every Saturday 06:00 pm IST. People from across borders joined and some stayed as regulars.
This experiment was supposed to be only for 2 months with only 8 sessions, but we continued till December on public demand and successfully fulfilled our purpose.
While featuring the three feedbacks of the people who attended our sessions regularly, we wanted to share how different people find their own definition of solace in one aspect. We witnessed individual personalities flourish their presence and become even more comfortable being the self in front of complete strangers. Countless stories, laughter and memories later we achieved a little more than what we set for,
The year 2020 has been firstly really stressful and afterwords discovering myself and relaxing to the utmost in terms to express my emotion. A lot is said and done in this year for which I am actually glad of this quarantine situation to turn some of the situations in a u-turn and to understand it is sometimes needed to make a u-turn in life to move towards the future forgiving self about past and get ready to enjoy the life to the fullest.
As I am very bad at starting a conversation and have trust issues with new people, attending the webinar of PE was also similar to take a u-turn for me which helped to interact with different people.
Chaitali joined our experiences ever since she fell in love with the experience of the first. Right from Nature Trails, Food Walks to Alibaug Retreats, she watched us in our role. Having her as a part of Saturday Meets, let us watch her grow too.
Project expressions! This group never fails to bring a smile on your face even during these hard times. The Saturday evening catch ups have been fantastic and I've met so many crazy people just like me.. We are now the "Regulars"! There couldn't have been a better way to meet people who are out of this country but just like…sharing our experiences , laughters, jokes and super interesting stuff! Thanks PE for this…kudos!
Anuradha joined us in one of our Alibaug Retreat. I specifically remember she was one who was not much interested in the Treasure Hunt and ended up being the one most engrossed in it and winning it too! Ever since she’s been a part of PE’s support system. Watching her find her safe haven in the Saturday Talks, was one of my special achievements,
I loved the camera and as a cinephile, I liked always facing even if it's a polaroid. But this pandemic, hell! Never got an opportunity of meeting new ones and even facing for a photograph. Expressing rather than text seemed void. Session conducted by Project Expression made me realize I am still alive from the inside by meeting different artists. Not a Hitler ideologist but still felt to applause for such amazing factory….. Hail project expression.
Rahul was who joined any of our experiences for the first time, but was quick to stick for all future meets. This virtual meets we were fortunate to collect such loyal supporters, one of them being Rahul. His persona adds on to the fun in the meets.
2020 challenged us to scrap all the plans for the year and build a new one. Right from building this website to pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones to create that space just because we can. Sometimes, taking steps, not for the financial charts but because of having a privilege and ability to create something that can impact the self and the others, gives the direction to the plans that one would’ve never traced if not challenged.