2020 was a wildly unexpected year with great social and institutional change gripping the world; COVID19 pandemic included. Our team has seen the year through with continually producing work to inspire growth, interrogate injustice and remind our audience of the immense creativity and ingenuity of artists around the globe. It is an honour to introduce their reflections of the year past, and their vision for the year ahead; always steadfast in our commitment of establishing Bubblegum Club as a source of cultural, social and artistic commentary and development.
Working alongside this team has changed my perspective, instilled wisdom and forged a great sense of hope as we move forward together – as we keep on, keepin’ on.
There’s this line in Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, it goes: “There are years that ask questions and years that answer”. Thinking about last year, I’m still working through the mistiness of it, allowing myself the time to language it by sitting with all of its ushered in feelings; its questions and answers. I do know though, it left no place to hide from it, and it taught me a thing or two about patience, stillness, lonesomeness and a lonely that’s all mine.
Thinking too far ahead stirs anxiety and a clinging to expectations that I don’t quite know how to process or have room to hold. I know I want to continue trying to make my life and its labours of love a practice of showing up with intention, honesty and playfulness. To build a relationship with finding pleasure in not having all of the answers, to make room for the possibility of (re)discovery everyday. To audaciously show up in bravery to feeling my way through. To stay softsoftsoft, and be nobody’s fool.
2020 has simply just been disaster euphoria—trying to find small sparks of beauty and joy in the greatest dumpster fire imaginable.
My vision for 2021 is less discourse, more destruction! I hope we see a year of upending norms and fighting the man.
2020: I mean no need to beat around the bush, 2020 was tough, really tough. I’m fortunate that I got to spend the year with my family and that I had that support structure around me but as with all of us, this year took a lot of my plans and threw them out of the window. I actually think the sense of isolation and this unrelenting trapped feeling was what got to me most. I’m immensely introverted, but now more than ever, there’s this utter desire to just talk to, and engage with people on a deeper level. I think it’s just a sense of longing for socialising—which at the end of the day is such a pillar of human nature.
2021: I’m actually pretty hesitant to look too far ahead but I definitely do have some goals set out, some of which have been carried over from last year. Definitely still want to move to Cape Town, just to explore something different; with different people. I find it hard to be stuck in one spot for too long and it feels like it’s time to make a change. Within a professional capacity, I’m most excited about the incredible people this line of work allows me to engage with. The human aspect of this job is always what I have adored most. The thought-provoking responses, the intricate and engaging conversations, these incredible minds doing incredible things. Personally, the goal pretty much stays the same each year. I’m not really someone for New Year’s resolutions or anything like that—the goal stays pretty simple actually—try my utmost to be a good person. Maybe a bit cliche but striving to be a good and kind person has always been the goal, everything else is pretty secondary.
For me 2020 was a “holding” year. Holding my memories, my stuff, my desires, my dreams. It was a very intense year in my mind. I guess, I never thought about things like that; in that way. I’ve lost many things, I’ve missed many people. I might say that I lost myself in the middle but was still good. I improved myself a lot and I’m proud of it.
My vision for 2021 is just to keep going. I’m with few expectations, but honestly I’m not so hopeless. I’m waiting for the best but I’m also preparing myself for the worse. I hope this year will be a really new year for me and not 2020 part 2.
2020: Last year was hazy and disorienting. The uncertainty, pain and discomfort brought on by the global pandemic were [intense]. I’m thinking a lot about resilience and persistence. In a positive sense—the resiliency embodied by all of us who have held through this challenging time—lone artists, small businesses, freelancers, single parents etc. Unfortunately, this goes both ways, thinking about the persistence of capitalism, racism and all other forms of oppressive regimes that continue to persist beyond crisis. And so, I find myself in this weird position of anxiety, joy, worry and hope.
2021: If I learnt anything from last year, it has to be the importance of slowness. Slow-thinking, slow-moving, slow-living. I’m really looking forward to shifting my habits towards a slowing down in pace. I’m becoming more and more drawn to the idea of deliberate acts and taking time to savour the moments. As a writer, it is so crucial to carve out space for reflection and rumination but this is only possible if you slow down. But also, in this capitalist system and culture of hyper-productivity and hyper-performance, slowness functions as a powerful mode of resistance and refusal from fully buying into the toxicity. I’ve been immersed in Korean television and culture for the greater part of this year, Korean life philosophy encompasses aspects of Neo-Confucianism, Buddhism and Shamanism — all of which advocate for a greater regard for humanity and a kinder and gentler existence. I’m really drawing inspiration from these ideas in how I want to approach 2021!
My reflection of 2020 is that it was a year of moving beyond the constraints and guilt around lost time. We are in the throes of great change and awakening, and the reset of oppression, authoritarianism and collective instability is underway. I centred my mental health as my ultimate concern; knowing that through my wellbeing I can continue to forge a life worth living. I learnt acceptance in that year—diving deeper into the aspects of my life that I have wilfully neglected. I am eternally grateful to be alive on this planet and to be involved in the evolution of my craft as writer and creative.
My vision for 2021 is healing; personally, and collectively. Fighting against injustice and ensuring my safety, stability and reliability. I hope to be of more service to the community around me, and hope that our resilience as a species continues to unfold as we dismantle societal oppression. My spiritual and emotional sobriety & health will be my focus—so I can continue to grow in strength, creativity and motivation.