Ecology of care or should we say the „Offline“ group, is really something different. It is a group with 4 participants who are practicing unusual and unique methodology of work. On the first meeting, participants started their workshop with a task to get to know each other and share their experience of a strict digitalization and lockdown caused by COVID-19 virus. They would prefer meeting in private because they aspire to connect with people and nature. However, the group is sending messages (also handwritten ones) and exchanging little things and stories throughout the whole day. Their idea is to slow down the time and to articulate the common space and find alternative spaces. And they did. The group is passionately against imposed patterns and structures, so in order to do something creative and new, they developed a platform called Zmaily. Zmaily is a place where people write letters to each others and share personal stories from everyday life. On the first sight, the platform looks really plain and not so attractive. But, as the quote says; “The beauty is on the inside, not the outside“, and just like that, the true beauty is when you start looking and reading their letters addressed to other participants, but in some way, also to themselves. The messages are intimate, they are focused on their thoughts, fears and worries but also on love, peacefulness and freedom. Sometimes, this kind of personal stories and thinking have bigger affect on the others, it can raise awareness and motivate people to do something. Main focus of the group is caring about yourself and taking it easy, in your own rhythm. They crave human interaction outside the virtual world, so images of handwritten messages are the first step towards reality.
Main idea of the group is on practicing and experimenting solidarity, starting from themselves. So the focus is on individual practices, not only on collective ones. Group is concerned with time and how we deal with it, how we take care of it. In addition to that, they also shared personal micro stories and discussed the impact that time has on their relationships with close persons.
Their personal and political experiences and opinions shared in handwritten messages are impacting on people- making them question different topics like capitalism, ideology, manipulation, different patterns of behavior. It is making us to think critically towards mentioned, and using it as a tool for finding the truth. Also, it questions the price of our freedom, time and peace.
So, I'm leaving you down below a few of the letters to read and intepret them by yourself. How did they make you feel?
CLE Media Team Author: Doria Mohorović
Cultural studies student and journalist who loves wandering, creating art and hanging out with dogs
European Cultural Foundation