SUSAN BIJL’s tips for staying in

The corona crisis has hit us all hard, and our thoughts go out to those affected by the disease personally and to those that have to work double shifts to keep our society from falling apart. For the rest of us who are forced to stay at home all alone or with their family, we have compiled a list of fun and exciting stuff to get you through these weeks.

Before we go into our lists, read this interview with trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort on Dezeen for one of the most interesting reflections on the current crisis and what we might learn from it. Also, as social distancing doesn’t mean we should stop all contact, why not send a card to your grandparents or that lonely elderly neighbour. They would love that!

Movies That Matter: socially and politically relevant movies
Today would’ve been the start of the annual Movies That Matter film festival in The Hague. As cinemas were forced to close the whole offline festival was cancelled. In just a week time they have managed to create an online festival so you can still watch a lot of the most important current movies on issues of gender, politics, race, freedom, human rights, and the environment, on your computer. Like All Against All, a fascinating documentary about early 20th-century fascism in The Netherlands.

Cineville: the best in arthouse
If you have a Cineville subscription, you are used to going to the movies a couple of times a month to catch the best new arthouse movies. Now that the cinemas are closed, Cineville is working hard to bring films that would’ve been in theatres now to your home screens. Keep an eye on their website and social media to see when this is up and running. Also, if you can, a great way to support smaller initiatives is to keep on your subscription.

IDFA: 305 great documentaries streaming online for free
The annual IDFA documentary festival has 305 documentaries available to stream for free on their website. We recommend Diário de Naná, an hour-long film about Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos on his quest for the spiritual and ethnic origins of his music in Recôncavo Baiano, in the north-eastern state of Bahía.

10 free hip hop documentaries on YouTube
Many of us at SUSAN BIJL grew up with hip hop, either when it was revolutionizing the underground in the 80s, breaking through in the 90s or dominating pop culture in the 21st centuries. Okayplayer has listed 10 of the best documentaries about hip hop music and culture that are available for free on YouTube. This is undoubtedly something to get lost in!

The Unreal Sounds & Story of Silver Apples
Silver Apples were a NYC band from the sixties that were way ahead of their times. This very mini-documentary on YouTube needs less than 10 minutes to tell you how revolutionary they were and how relevant they still are.

Make tempeh and miso yourself
Cooking is a great way to spend time at home. Now that restaurants are closed and there’s plenty of time to kill, this is your chance to get some new kitchen techniques in your fingers. Let’s try making tempeh and miso with these 2 videos by Meneer Wateetons.

Umeboshi: the sour taste of health
Umeboshi is a very delicate fruit that makes for a naturally healthy dish. We wrote this blog about it more than 6 years ago, and there’s plenty of time to revisit that now.

The wonders of vega(n) and macrobiotic cooking
We like to take care of ourselves and our environment when cooking. Therefore we continuously develop our kitchen skills in the fields of vega(n) and macrobiotic cooking. If you’ve always wanted to do so, too, but never had the time, then this is the moment. These are 2 great cookbooks to start with: Puur vegetarisch for the veg(etari)an diet and Halfgaar met Herr Seele for the macrobiotic diet.

The Moth: podcasts featuring personal stories
The Moth‘s podcasts are a great distraction from the current crisis, offering compelling stories told by people from firsthand accounts.

Boeken FM: discussing Dutch and international literature
A cooperation from renowned magazines De Groene Amsterdammer and Das Mag, Boeken FM is a podcast about great books. They cover hot from the press Dutch books like Jeroen Brouwer’s Cliënt E. Busken, as well as new books from Zadie Smith and Margaret Atwood.

The unlikely making of The Velvet Underground & Nico
Few albums are more classic and revered than The Velvet Underground & Nico, known to some as the album with the banana. For its 50th anniversary, Pitchfork published this very insightful article on how the album came together. It’s a great read, but probably an even more fantastic listen as it provides links to early (demo) versions of the songs that would all later become hugely influential classics. Basically, it’s a rare insight into the adolescent adventures that many songs go through before they get their definite shape that the world gets to know.

(Re)Discover music
To each and all of us, there’s always vast landscapes and deep treasure chests of music to be uncovered. Here are some albums and playlists that we think you should check out if you haven’t heard them yet:
Fanga: “Natural Juice”
Arthur Rubinstein: “Chopin: Nocturnes”
Tinariwen: Essentials playlist
Menahan Street Band: “Make the Road By Walking”
Mike D’s The Echo Chamber: Zamrock Special (about ‘Zam Rock’ from Zambia)
Maasai Ceremonies “Embarno”

Staying in also means moving a lot less than that you’re used to. Next to that, all the gyms and sports clubs are closed. Luckily there’s an army of online athletes and instructors ready to help you out and keeping that beautiful body of yours in shape. You can follow the Yoga Ground live stream on Instagram for your daily dose of downward-facing dog. We also had a lot of fun watching this Sexy Butt Workout by PopSugar.

So, that should enough to get you through the next few days. Please share your tips and ideas with us on our social media. Stay healthy and happy!

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