Edition 2: Nice, Nice, Baby

If you’re like us and craving a sense of solidarity, community and connection after a testing, yet reflective period of physical isolation, then this second edition of ‘How to Feel Better with FAME – A Law Student’s Guide to Social Distancing’ is for you.

Our theme this edition is: ‘Nice, Nice, Baby’ (cue Vanilla Ice), to serve as a gentle reminder that kindness and empathy can go a long way. Our recommendations and reflections will focus on arts and media which have re-energised or inspired our most compassionate selves during this difficult time.

By Samara Jones and Delinna Ding

Broad City: Streaming on Stan or Foxtel

Image Credit: Abbi (left) and Ilana (right) in Broad City from The Economist

There has never been a better time to live vicariously through Ilana Wexler and Abbi Abrams – two best friends living life to the fullest in the big bad broad city. ‘Broad City’ is made up of 20-25 minute slices of these gals’ wonderfully bizarre NYC life. Watch out for cameos from comedians such as Amy Poehler and Steve Buscemi; fall in love with your neighbour Jeremy; then Facetime your bestie while you’re on the toilet (or maybe not that last one…). A word of warning, Broad City is not for the faint hearted – some weird shit goes down. But clearly, it’s through some weird and wacky times that meaningful and solid friendships form, and nothing says friendship like Abbi + Ilana ❤

Derry Girls: Streaming on Netflix

(In Order) Orla, Michelle, Clare, Erin in Derry Girls from Netflix Official

Set in Northern Ireland in the 1990’s, the hilarious and stirring ‘Derry Girls’ is super ‘class’. Meet Erin, Orla, Clare, Michelle and wee English fella Tom as they navigate teenage life against the backdrop of the sectarian conflict between Protestants and Catholics. This little gang gets up to all sorts of mischief while being individuals, together. A very easy binge with two cracker seasons.  

Crip Camp – A Disability Revolution: Streaming on Netflix

If you watch anything on Netflix in the next 24hrs please make it this documentary. Woodstock meets disability activism, Camp Jened New York was a hippie in a wheelchair’s dream and the place where the young spirits that drove America’s biggest disability rights movement, leading to the the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, was ignited.

The first half of the movie collates detailed archival footage of the camp itself, shot by the journalism collective People’s Video Theater between 1970 and 1972. The second half shows the teen campers’ journey to adulthood, in particular placing spotlight on camper and incredible force of nature – Judy Heumann. Activist and founder of Disabled in Action, we follow Judy and the entire disability community watching the unbelievable events that transpired during the Nixon and Carter administration, which led to government federally funded spaces (schools, libraries and hospitals) to be made accessible to people of all abilities for the first time.

If this passionate, fist pumping, hair pulling, feel good tear jerker doesn’t make your compassion cells tingle, then probably nothing will.


By Reetika Khanna

Virtual Exhibitions

While many of us miss being able to stroll through a gallery and interact with art in person, it’s wonderful to see how many organisations have made heaps of content accessible online and are working hard to foster a strong sense of community.

Why not hit up a pal on zoom, pour yourselves a glass of wine, and explore a virtual exhibition together? Or pick up a pencil and create something of your own? We may need to remain physically distant for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t need to stop you from engaging with and making art, sharing your reflections with loved ones, and curating the ultimate art bucket list for when galleries can open their doors again.

A real silver lining in these unprecedented times is how easy it is to connect with friends and family (and artists and galleries!) all around the world, while we remain at home. We’ve put together a few links and recommendations to get you started:

The National Gallery, London

Image Credit: The National Gallery in London from West End Flooring

You can walk through the endless hallways of the National Gallery virtually, scroll through photos of their impressive collection of Renaissance, Baroque and Modern Art, or take a deep dive into the paintings of Monet through their online exhibit. Find more virtual tours of the gallery rooms here.

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Our very own NGV currently has six virtual exhibitions on offer. I didn’t manage to catch the Summer blockbuster, Keith Haring & Jean-Michel Basquiat, but honestly, the amount of content that they’ve made accessible for free online (a virtual walk through function, all exhibition labels and 18 audio guide recordings) means I don’t at all feel like I missed out. Joining the line-up is:

  • Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness
  • Collecting Comme
  • Making Time: Indigenous Art from the NGV
  • Petrina Hicks: Bleached Gothic
  • Top Arts 2020

The NGV is also releasing a four-part virtual series of drawing classes for free here. Get your creative juices flowing from the comfort of your own home.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Image Credit: Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam from Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum has a digital tour of their masterpieces, literally hundreds of thousands of photos of their collection to browse, and some great online exhibits of Vermeer’s paintings if you’ve ever wondered who is The Milkmaid? They’ve also put together a video series called #rijksmuseumfromhome with curators sharing short videos from home with stories about their favourite artworks.

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Our neighbours have put together an online project called ‘Together In Art’ to affirm the power of art to connect people, even when we can’t come together in a gallery space. There’s a ton of content on their page already, including interviews with artists and curators, performances, art classes and spotlights on works from their collection. Pocket exhibitions, behind-the-scenes tours and new commissions to come.

By Peter Turner

Fleabag Live

Before there was Fleabag on our TV screens, it was a stage show. The show’s creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the Soho Theatre in London have recently made the original stage production that inspired the TV show available to watch for as little as four pounds (Please trust someone more professional than myself for a proper AUD conversion rate). On theme with this week, all proceeds from this initiative will be directly donated to organisations assisting those deeply affected by COVID-19.

Before we all started talking about Andrew Scott as the hot priest, it was simply a one-woman monologue where Waller-Bridge sits on a chair and tells the beautifully tragic and hilarious story. The capturing words to describe what you’ve got yourself in for are as follows: ‘Fleabag may seem oversexed, emotionally unfiltered and self-obsessed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With family and friendships under strain and a guinea pig café struggling to keep afloat, Fleabag suddenly finds herself with nothing to lose.’ – What’s not to love about that?

So if you’re feeling generous and want to engage in some awesome live theatre content, click here: https://ondemand.sohotheatre.com

By Art Pitchford

Sugar Candy Mountain – 666 (2016)

Despite the title of the album being the number of the beast, 666 holds very little relevance to the devil. Reminiscent of Tame Impala’s earlier albums (Innerspeaker era), this is a great collection of spaced out poppy psych-rock and makes for solid Sunday morning listening at home with your nearest and dearest.

Nu Guinea – Nuova Napoli (2018)

Ever catch yourself thinking that you need more funk in your life? Nu Guinea’s Nuova Napoli might be the answer for you. Taking influence from their hometown of Napoli, mashed with 70s and 80s disco and jazz funk Nuova Napoli makes for an excellent soundtrack for your house-based evenings and is best paired with good company and a vino in hand.

We’re All in This Together – Ben Lee

And just for kicks and giggles (or when you really need it) – Aussie legend Ben Lee reminds us we’re all in this together.

By Nat Montalto

Message from the Treasurer

If you are fortunate enough to have retained your employment at the moment, you may find yourself with a little more disposable income than usual. As I work from home, I have found myself in this category. Without a need for petrol, or Myki, or anything other than a home-cooked meal, I’m starting to look at my pay check as a whole new opportunity. To honour our theme this week, here are a list of tips and tricks to help you stay nice and support your community this quarantine period:

ONLINE SHOPPING

Am I just giving myself a social justice driven excuse for my recent online shopping purchases? Yes, perhaps I am. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember the brands and labels that you loved before iso, and keep showing them some love now. I’m a huge fan of researching funky and sustainable Melbourne/Australia-based businesses whenever I’m in need of a particular item. With more time on my hands than I care to admit right now, taking the time to support the labels that I love feels good.

If you want to see them survive this crisis, then support them! It can be hard enough under usual circumstances for small businesses with sustainable practices to function. So, satiate your procrastinating mind and share your cash with a brand that you love and support.

Image Credit: Sister Studios from Broadsheet

YES TO TAKEAWAY, NO TO UBEREATS

Not all of my suggestions are big, ‘save the world’ moments. So here’s a quick and easy one. Next time you’re ordering from your favourite local takeaway, take an extra minute and call them directly. Plenty of restaurants and cafés around Melbourne are desperate for your order at this time, and in light of COVID-19, many establishments are now offering local delivery, free of charge.

Uber is notorious for ripping off their contractors, and UberEats is no exception. By skipping the app, and ordering direct from the source, you’ll not only be saving yourself a few bucks, but you’ll also be saving the business from their fee associated to Uber. Win win!

CHOOSE SUSTAINABILITY

To continue from my previous point, if you are finding that without your usual social spending your savings have grown, take the time to pick the sustainable choice. If you’re a person who has previously overlooked the sustainable, organic or Aussie made option in favour of a more affordable alternative, maybe now is the time to make a pledge to shop more mindfully.

I’m talking your grocery shopping essentials – like fresh fruit and veg, meat and fish, sanitary items, and, dare I even say it, toilet paper. There’s usually a number of options, varying from the proverbial “cheap and nasty” to the sustainable, organic option that can often be outside the average student’s budget. Re-evaluate your budget next time you’re shopping, and you may find you can now afford to shop more sustainably than before.

Image Credit: Who Gives a Crap toilet paper from Zero Waste Man

DONATE

The biggest way that those of us who are privileged enough to have disposable income at this time can help others is by putting your money into worthy causes. Here’s a tip. Think of one thing that you would usually be spending your money on, and consider donating it to a worthwhile cause. As a personal example, I know that my usual petrol costs have been essentially eliminated. That’s about $50 a fortnight. As the treasurer of FAME LSA, our costs associated to holding in-person events, such as catering, have also been eliminated. So as an association, we are also looking for relevant places to send that money.

Start by thinking about a part of your life that you’re missing out on. For many of us here at FAME, we are sorely missing live performance and art from our weekly routine. Consider sending a donation to your favourite theatre, live performance venue or art gallery. They are missing you as much as you are missing them.

Another angle is to consider what you are most grateful for at this time. Whether it be your health, your access to food and shelter, your employment or your family, there are a number of ways to support those who are not so fortunate. You can send donations to not-for-profits like the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, who are supporting asylum seekers with food banks and access to healthcare and legal support. If you’re looking to make an impact without dipping into your funds, you can still donate blood.

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