As part of the efferts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Germany, GSBTB had shut down many of its activities in the beginning of March, simply because they required groups of people to meet with each other. After that time, we have been working on shifting these activities to an online format — keep reading to find out how you can get involved, all while staying at home!
The GSBTB – Open Music School has just launched OMS TV — because of the public health situation, the OMS and its weekly classes will continue to be on hold for a while. The OMS community has thought up of an inventive way to support each other (and you!) through the quarantine. Want to learn more about music, playing instruments, or making beats? We got you!
Introducing… “OMS TV“! A page on the OMS website just for educational videos made its amazing volunteer teachers. These videos are aimed at teaching a variety of different musical skills in a fun and friendly manner. Here’s an example below with our volunteer Joe, who delves into the world of the blues:
The video collection will constantly continue to grow, so be sure to stay updated by checking the OMS TV page periodically!
Open Art Space (from home)
Every Tuesday afternoon between 13:30 – 16:30, the GSBTB Open Art Space will take place digitally. They have curated a space for you to take a little time to focus your minds on something creative and switch off from the outside world — all from the comforts of your own house. You can paint, draw, do embroidery or sculptures, recycle toilet paper rolls — the sky is the limit!
It doesn’t matter where you are or what you want to make – the goal is to share a sense of community and support one another. Art and creativity can boost our immune system and bring a deep sense of calm.
You can stay updated with the digital Open Art Space by following the event page on Facebook.
Online German Sprachcafé
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s never too late to start learning German! Our German Sprachcafé is officially online — if you’re finding yourself with some empty spaces between your days during the lockdown, you can tune in to our Sprachcafé every Wednesday at 17:30 by downloading ZOOM (link here).
You can then access the group by using the meeting link or using the recurring ID number (9755 2669 690).
Online English Language Café
The weekly English cafe has also shifted its operations to an online format! Are you interested in having a virtual meeting (with REAL people) to learn English in a friendly, relaxed, and judgement-free zone?
You can join the meeting on ZOOM by using the meeting link or by using the meeting ID (987 2252 7384).
You can also call in at +49 30 5679 5800 in case you aren’t able to access the event.
The classes are scheduled to take place every Tuesday at 18:00 (Berlin time).
Every Monday at 12:00, Hania Hakiel (GSBTB Open Art Space / Komorebi Manager) will hold an online meditation/yoga/gratitude circle in Polish, to help those who are feeling anxious, stressed, or disillusioned due to the current pandemic.
This is part of a larger movement around the world designed around online stress reduction over Zoom, and is available in many languages (Turkish, Arabic, German) — you can look at an introduction to this movement here, as well as all the offered languages and schedules (in UK time).
The Open Art Space / Komorebi team have created a Women’s Circle on ZOOM, which takes place every Sunday between 18:00 – 20:00.
Here’s a little bit about this project, in the words of Hania herself:
The project is aimed especially at those women who are facing isolation, depression, or anxiety due to the ongoing circumstances. It aims to build a community, with an accompanying WhatsApp group where women can support each other. Hania will use psychotherapeutic skills to create a zone where difficult emotions can be expressed, discussed, and taken care of by other members of the community. Since the aim is to create a safe and supportive space, there is a certain emotional commitment required — potential participants are requested to keep that in mind before applying.
To take part, simply send an email to Hania Hakiel, or WhatsApp her on +49 176 436 562 71.
As part of the Komorebi project, Hania Hakiel has created “Homecoming Yoga” — a series of online videos intended for women to come together every Thursday at 11:00, and practice mindfulness and yoga.
Hania has created these special tutorials for Corona times, aimed at women who want to practice yoga at home by themselves, but united in spirit with the rest of the Komorebi community. These videos are accessible for everyone — even if you don’t have any prior yoga experience! Though there is some fun and laughter, Hania also touches upon serious topics relevant to the current crisis, including fear, isolation, and disconnection. More about the project, in the words of the Komorebi team:
“The name “Homecoming” comes from arriving home into your body. In times of Corona, we may feel that there is a new layer of physical presence at our living spaces, and we may want to transform it into little temples of mindfulness and connection. We believe that by synchronising our movement and breath, we create a special space of sisterhood, support and spiritual unity.
We connect to practice the same yoga sequence designed especially for us, individualised, adapted to our needs. The recordings are prepared by Hania, the yoga teacher and the caring spirit of the group. Each session contains an invitation to meditation, movement, self-inquiry, and journaling.
We stay connected over an intimate circle on WhatsApp to share not only photos of our home yoga corners, but also our reflections, feelings, or ideas.”
To join this space, you can send Hania Hakiel an email.
Our GSBTB Open Kitchen project provides a platform that takes people out of their isolation in a new city, and gives them a chance to get to know new people through the simple act of cooking and eating together — where everyone has something to contribute. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, meeting in person is not possible, but the Open Kitchen community is bringing out their inner home chefs and constantly trying out new recipes at home.
We wanted to document some of these delicious concoctions so that YOU can try them at home — and here’s where our Quarantine Kitchen series comes in. Featuring the best of our community’s Corona-time kitchen adventures, we’re providing a platform to share recipes, and give you a chance to share yours.
Check out our first Quarantine Kitchen post, and stay tuned for more!
Additionally, the GSBTB Open Kitchen is also hosting live cook-along events over Zoom, taking its Social Cooking events virtual. You can find details on the first event here.
If you’re interested in sending in some of your own kitchen recipes, please send an email to Ricarda Bochat.
As part of our Online Magazine, we reached out to community members across the globe to share their experiences of self-isolation, and how they’re coping with the lockdown in their countries. We’ve called this series the GSBTB Quarantine Diaries.
Based on location and circumstances, everyone has a very different experience with the restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 crisis. We recognise that many of our community have lived through circumstances that were not only relevant to the current situation but have also faced the threat of war, economic destitution, and forced migration. These incredibly resourceful life experiences can be shared, and create more positive associations to people’s previous experiences, highlighting individual strengths and collective solidarity.
An excerpt from the series, written by GSBTB community member Sasha:
“This is the tricky part: we have to normalise the situation so that we are able to carry on with our work and household tasks, but at the same time we also must not forget that nothing about this situation is normal — so that we don’t drown in guilt over not being super productive all the time.”