Ex Fabula is leveling up because of the recent COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve taken precaution and made all programming remote and online. This means that all of our staff are working from home, and all of our workshops and StorySlams have moved online. I can honestly say this has been an interesting experience. I’ve missed the open jam sessions shared between my team members, but I’ve found a new love for doing data entry in my bonnet. After all of this is over, I’ll miss binge watching That 70s show while prepping workshop materials. While scary and definitely a serious matter, social distancing definitely has its perks.
Amid yelling, “Can y’all quiet down? I’m trying to work in here!” to my siblings every 5 minutes, I have been proud of the ways I have been able to take part in community engagement that Ex Fabula has been doing so far. This past week, Ex Fabula hosted a virtual workshop for the public to share stories under the theme “Identity”. Ten people (some old, some new) met on Zoom and had an amazing time connecting over the web. Seeing people in their element created an entirely new dynamic to the vulnerability in the room. This workshop has taught me that there is no limit to the amount of ways that communities can gather and has challenged my understanding of what we need to carry out an event.
With the help of breakout rooms, chats and audience reaction features, most of the things you can receive from an Ex Fabula workshop, you can receive from the comforts of your own home! It was so refreshing to listen to the experiences of others and be amongst folk who are still keen to engage. Once all of this is over, I look forward to hearing about all the new things people have learned about themselves and their homes/families during this time.
For example, I learned that I’m more productive in the sun. Being perched up on my balcony gives me motivation that working from my bed or couch can’t. On rainy days, I work facing the window and meditate to the sound of the rain hitting the pavement. These small things are things I plan to continue to do when it’s safe to go outside again.
Navigating ways to service the community while keeping safe has been interesting to me. I enjoy thinking about ways to continue to build with people inside and outside of my circle. While I definitely look forward to physical interaction again, I cherish how social distancing has challenged my thinking, planning and creative action.