By Thea Bladt Hansen
— Coronavirus has ground foot traffic to a halt. With new regulations and no visitors, Amsterdam’s many festivals and museums have closed their doors for the foreseeable future. Now, these venues have taken to the internet to give your thumbs a well-needed break from scrolling endlessly on your platform of choice.
Here is a list of things to do in isolation, from online Egyptology to guided tours of Amsterdam museums:
After four weeks of online lectures and spending more time scrolling through the options on Netflix than actually watching anything, you might be looking for a new streaming source. If you find yourself in this situation then fear not, the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam has created their own online streaming service, which gives you access to indie films and documentary projects from their collection. The streaming service includes around 800 films, of which 300 are accessible for free. Another option other than your usual streaming services is the online forum Cabin Fever, which hosts collaboratively created lists of movies divided by genre and quarantine moods.
Mezrab is usually visited frequently by students of AUC. However, squeezing a significant amount of people together under close proximities is no longer possible. You can still get some of the experience once a week, as events are live streamed via their Facebook page. Previous live streams and small story telling videos are also accessible on MTV, which stands for Mezrab TV – the virtual Mezrab platform.
Is your museumkaart collecting dust? Then the online versions of several Amsterdam museums could be worth a visit. Experience FOAM’s new exhibition On Earth – Imaging, Technology, and the Natural World, which explores how humans document and observe nature through camera lenses; unravel the life and works of van Gogh through the van Gogh Museum’s website; and admire the works of prominent Dutch painters like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals through a series of youtube videos created by the Rijksmuseum.
If you are craving a more intimate encounter with art, then check out Galerie Fleur and Wouter’s online projects. This week the gallery will launch their newest exhibition Americana on instagram. The exhibition focuses on Dutch fascination with American culture, the richness and celebrity lifestyle on one hand and inequality and poverty on the other hand. The gallery has also created a “corona art blog”, on which the artists of Americana explain their artistic inspiration and their process.
Classical music can give you a sense of calmness, much needed during these strange times. Tune in to the Nationale Opera & Ballet’s recordings of earlier productions by visiting their website. Currently two streamings are scheduled: Tchaikovsky’s famous Christmas ballet The Nutcracker (translated beautifully into Dutch as Notenkraker en Muizenkoning) on 11 April and Delibes’ ballet Coppélia inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Sandman on 18 April. Both ballets can either be watched on the aforementioned days at 19.00 or up to a week after they have been screened.
People are using their newfound time at home to broaden their horizons by learning something new. What about an online class from Harvard University about Egyptology and the pyramids of Giza? Or a four-week course about the history of Japan organised by MIT in collaboration with Harvard University and University of Tokyo? Perhaps an online course about gothic cathedrals is just the thing you always wanted to study but never had the time to focus on? The world of online courses is wide open and however specific the field of your interest might be, there is a big chance of finding the online class you are looking for.
The AUC community is also taking to the web. AUC Webradio has playlists for this time of social distancing. Webradio has created three sets so far and describes the third set as: “A journey of electro, acid, house and techno with enchanting Middle Eastern influences and some funky fragments.”
Whether you are in your AUC dorm room, have flown back to your home country or are back home with your parents, the world is still very much alive online. Invite your friends to watch a ballet show together, follow an online class, or keep on watching Netflix.