For those of us working in the community sector, this is a time of deprivation, which adds to that experienced by many we support. It is a time of anxiety and uncertainty, hardship and strain. It is not without blessings. Nature has very quickly got on the rebound. The schisms of Brexit in the UK have been healed at a stroke, it would seem: we are all now in this together.
And we all owe a profound debt of gratitude to our health and social care workers, who are at the sharp end of this situation, protecting the most vulnerable, at great personal risk. Open Cinema has worked with the NHS to distribute health information films to street homeless people, and is ready to do so again after the lockdown restrictions are sufficiently eased for us to do so.
Because our activities depend on communal gatherings and community spaces, which are all now closed, or in the language of the theatre, "dark"; and because our London office is now closed, we are now only available as an online or phone-based service. We would welcome any such approaches from people planning community cinema activities once they are again possible.
And we encourage everyone to do so: to use this time - where the demands of family and professional life allow - to think creatively about what matters to you and your community. This feels to me like a great global winter, or 'new year' moment, where we have the opportunity to reflect on what we wish to leave behind, and what we wish to build towards.
I wish everyone in our communities the resilience, fellowship, and inspiration they need to endure this pandemic, all good health, and the sure hope that we will see each other again, and renew our endeavours to create an inclusive and harmonious world.
Christoph Warrack FRSA
Founder and CEO, Open Cinema
Thursday 23 April