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Culture from Home!

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

As promised, here are several cultural and artistic activities that anyone with a smartphone (or a computer) and a decent internet connection can do from home. These are ideas pulled from the weekly “Culture from Home!” emails that go out to young Soul Food members during this period of confinement. There are diverse options, so we’re sure you will find something that inspires you!

(Please note, subtitles are available for all video links shared below, although not always in the same languages. All resources are free and all work well on a smartphone, unless stated otherwise.)

Art (music, film, theatre, visual arts):

The Metropolitan Opera in NYC and the National Opera in Paris are both streaming their shows online.

Danser sa peine is an amazing documentary by Valérie Müller, that follows a group of women in prison who dance with a professional choreographer.

Radio Anima is a beautiful short film by Orlando von Einsiedel, about Nigerian girls and their dreams for a brighter future. You can read about the film here

Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya has been working with girls in Kenya for over a decade. This virtual exhibit explains more about her meaningful work through photos and a short animated film.

The Delhi Photo Festival has a photography exhibit called “Childhood & Coming of Age

Explore Korea's National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art's exhibit, The 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Korean Modern Masters: Yoo Younngkuk 1916- 2002.

You can enjoy an online exhibit showcasing the work of Jacob Lawrence, the African-American painter, storyteller and educator, known for his portrayal of African-American life. Each of his colourful paintings and dynamic drawings tell a story.

The Museo Botero in Bogotá, Colombia has a virtual exhibit.  You can zoom in to get a closer look of the vibrant art of painter and sculptor, Fernando Botero.

Epicly Palestine'd: The Birth of Skateboarding in the West Bank is a short film about Palestinian teenagers who skateboard. It was shot and edited by SkatePAL volunteers Theo Krish and Phil Joa and tells the story of how the West Bank skate scene began.

The Van Gogh Museum collection in the Netherlands, which houses the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work, is available online.

Triangles and Triads – The Tone Clock Windows in PentAhouse is a short film that illustrates the concept of the tone clock. For a more detailed explanation, read the comments below the video.

For those of you who have access to a computer, the British Museum has a dynamic virtual tour through time, where you can learn about art and history from all around the world!

Situations: The square, the promenade and the hill of Anne Guillemin is a project by the artist and dancer Anne Guillemin. The film extract shows moving bodies in public spaces, in contact with urban furniture, and was created in partnership with art-exprim for the Art in Public Space Festival.

Language learning:

If you’re looking to use your time in confinement to improve your language skills, below you will find a few of our resources that we’ve sent to our young members. Some are more traditional language-learning tools, while others are lighter, fun ways to practice a language you already speak, or familiarize yourself with a new one. Enjoy!

Gymglish is offering one month free of their online language courses (several options including Spanish, English and French).

Bigflo and Oli released a song about migrants in France a few years ago. Here you can see the music video with French subtitles.

The British Council has a lot of online resources for teenagers to practice English, including this video of a powerful poem about refugees by Emi Mahmoud (not just for teenagers).

French public radio station, France Inter has a cultural and historical podcast for children and young people. It’s good listening comprehension practice for anyone looking to improve their French (& brush up on a little history;).

Stories Are in our Bones is a short Canadian film by Janine Windolph, an indigenous woman.  It's about her young sons reconnecting with their homeland and culture.

The Musée d'Orsay has a podcast called Les Promenades Imaginaires.  You can listen to 10min episodes that are associated with pieces in the collection.  Listen to each episode more than once for extra practice!

Photo © Soul Food / Kryssandra Heslop

Creation ideas:

If you have extra paper around, try making some paper planes.

One of our partner organizations, art-exprim, has been sharing artistic resources, including ideas for creating art from home. Here is an art project idea from the artist and illustrator, Louise Damiano, that you can do at home if you have a few basic materials (paper, coffee and a pen).

If you’re looking for other ways to keep children and young people busy while at home, or if you’re feeling creative, check out art-exprim’s website for more art project ides.

Travel & Culture:

Mali - Travel to the Dogon plateau in Mali and discover more about traditional food and culture, with the Slow Food project here.

USA - Street art is an important part of American art history and culture. 9 Amazing Street Art Murals in New York allows you to see and learn about a few of the city’s most iconic murals.

Peru – Bored at home? Experience the magic of Machu Picchu from the safety of your home.

Spain – The virtual tour, Spanish Cultural Sites You Can Explore From Home, allows you to travel around Spain and learn about the country’s rich and dynamic culture and history.

We hope these options for artistic activities and cultural exploration bring you some joy! Even though so many of us are forced to stay home for a while longer, away from great monuments and museums, fun concerts, delicious restaurants, and vibrant theatres, it is possible to enjoy a lot of what we love about these places from afar. In good times and in bad, art and culture inspires us, and this period is no different. Over the past six weeks, we have been using these resources to encourage and inspire our young members, and we will continue to do so, as we dream of the day when we can all dance together again.

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