At the start of 2021 it became clear that many are lonely and stressed, and while we held our breath, Amanda Gorman and her poem took the world by storm. Many are affected by Covid and fear for loved ones, to become ill, lack of security, the absence of family, financial stability, friends and everyday life – slice of life – a piece of ordinary everyday life.
‘Slice of life’ is the core of Food films – both in terms of the fictional ‘real’ original Food films (such as ‘Tampopo,’ ‘Babette’s Feast’, ‘Eat, drink, man, woman’ etc. ), and for many of the documentaries about food, climate change, waste, food culture and its actors, chefs, restaurateurs, etc. (like “Chefs table,” “Just eat it,” “Need for meat”) which most people currently associate with “Food films.”
‘Slice of life’ / ‘Tranche de vie’ originated as a genre as early as 1890 by the French playwright Jean Jullien in a play at Theatre Libre in Paris and where ‘a play about a’ slice of life ‘is staged as art and not with the aim of to create amusement or drama, but reflection. “ On stage, in the film media and in literature (such as Japanese Anime and Manga), ‘Slice of life’ covers a narrative technique that does not necessarily need obvious, gripping conflict or major lifechances or actions, but the characters – their everyday desires, disappointments, emotional reactions to what is going on (or not going on) are in focus. The story / film / play often does not have a large plot, not much personal development and most often no further background information, conflict or dramatic structure and the ending is often open. While ‘Slice of Life’ may be ‘quiet’, it should still be interesting and capture our interest through the use of everyday situations and relationships, and by zooming in on movements, touches and for instance eating actions that help draw us in. .. all the way. in order to learn how to discover and appreciate the details.
The computergame Sims 4 – has been given the title ‘slice of life’ and it suggests, that it is precisely the piece of everyday life, that is important and that the deprivation of the same makes many feel lonely and stressed under Covid. Covid has also changed our consumption – in the first shutdown we threw ourselves over sourdough and bread baking. In January where most start the year fresh and healthier, – well, this year we brought and baked more cakes and the bakeries make money like never before. Sweets are also popular, especially with women, and the garden forums are buzzing with what seeds can germinate, and what garden project can be made now. We cultivate our homeliness and create peace and coziness through – food.
Loneliness is especially for many young people an even bigger problem in 2021. Loneliness is rising among the 18 to 34-year-olds, and is now at a higher level in the second shutdown phase, than it was during the shutdown in March. In addition to the loneliness, the latest figures from the HOPE project from Aarhus University show, that almost 50 percent suffers from stress, and many are afraid of that they do not suffice in their studies or at remote work. Many need to navigate the challenges of motivating themselves, and to the transition to remote work is often added the burden to control how colleagues, fellow students and professors perceive your personal space, which inevitably appears on Zoom, Skype, teams, meetups, etc. In the past, the home was a safe haven, where self-expression did not have to be compromised. Now everyone enters, which makes it harder to keep things separate (private-public life, home-work, leisure-work). It’s a new layer of emotional work, that makes it harder to disable code switching; rather than controlling certain features at the office door or study, it feels like one now has to control one’s entire life and lifestyle. According to Courtney McCluney, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the ILR School at Cornell University, remote work has meant, that code-shifting has also evolved to change one’s physical space to become ‘whiter’ and less personal: despite new ways of changing code in home work environments, such as to use virtual backgrounds or to turn off your camera and thereby try to hide personal posters, the fact that several generations lives together, religious or ethnic decorations, or that you do not have a home office but work from your bed. Many spend time staging their conversations by setting up the camera on the computer, changing clothes and doing ones hair, and moving around in surroundings. Laura Morgan Roberts, a professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, descibes how remotework “may challenge people’s ability to compartmentalise” ; the home is meant to be your sanctuary, and when you need to change code in that environment, it can feels as if your freedom is being restricted. When remote work mixes the personal and the professional, this can have a negative impact on well-being, and might make young people more exposed and thus more vulnerable than older people, who if nothing else often have more space at home.
In March 2020, ‘Hey There, Human” began in response to California’s “COVID-19 Safer At Home” campagne and was a project for SoulPancake and its co-founder, Rainn Wilson, and its sole purpose was “to give people some upliftment and much needed human connection during this bizarre and difficult time.” At ‘Hey There, Human’, Rainn Dietrich Wilson (the American actor, known as Dwight Schrute in“The Office”) interviews various people, such as Amanda Gorman, who on January 20, 2021 became the youngest poet in U.S. history to recite at an inauguration. Amanda Gorman grew up in Los Angeles and began writing poetry as a child. At the age of 16, she received the Youth Poetry Prize and published her first collection, “The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough,” however in “Hey There, Human,” Amanda talks about how her family have had to adapt to Covid ,and that she has, for example, started to grow food in her room. She also tell about how life’s great moments disappear in the absence of an everyday life – like when she had her final exam from Harvard in her bedroom. In the wake of the Capitol storm on January 6. Amanda Gorman revised “The Hill We Climb” fro Bidens inauguration and so what’s the point of the poem? “America is messy,” she tells the Los Angeles Times. “It’s still in its early development of everything, what we can become.”
Slice of life calls for reflection and contemplation, which is often a solitary occupation but in these times it becomes clear how important it is to learn to appreciate culture and togetherness in order to create your very own unique slice of life.
Have a nice week and take good care of one another.