In 2020, a group of artists with diverse abilities and exceptionalities documented their thoughts and feelings during the initial months of the Covid-19 Global pandemic through a series of Creative Journaling Exercises while staying at home. The topics covered a wide range from simple diagrams to elaborate mind maps to help them process their thoughts and feelings as they go through a significant moment in their lives. Creative journaling became an opportunity to be productive amidst the physical limitations set by the global crisis and a platform for socialization in an emerging new normal. They are happy to present their works through to share how they made the most out of their experience.
Using the online platform, the Creative Journaling Program was mostly participated by artists with exceptional abilities from Boundless Possibilities Foundation. The parents expressed their interest to enroll their children to online sessions as the Covid-19 Pandemic restricted access to in-person schooling, socialization and other activities.
The sessions are basically inclusive, with persons with disabilities, parents, teachers and artists joining for trial, while other attending religiously. Topics are very simple and anyone can express their thoughts and feelings about the subject in various degrees.
Some participants worked by themselves, some with assistance and others – working together with their parents. Many of the creative outputs are collaborations. All of these are under the concept of inclusive arts, where artists, facilitators and persons with disabilities co-create instead of having a teacher-student relationship.
Because of the wide range of exceptionalities, levels of creative engagement also vary, with some copying and tracing based on what they see and enjoying this experience. Some of the artists like talking as they articulated their thoughts on paper. Others used it as an opportunity to express their emotions, and these were very crucial at a time when the quarantine was being extended and they had to process their feelings why they couldn’t go about with their usual activities. The Model “Levels of Creative Engagement” by the principal artist, Amos V. Manlangit, was used to individualize the creative facilitation.
The program became a good platform for socializing because the artists could see each other and their fellow’s works on the screen. To prevent online fatigue, the sessions were kept short, at about 30 minutes, but the frequency within the week was increased to three (3) to keep the objectives of journaling attainable. At such set-up, the program would be sustainable.
The Sessions are ongoing - The first batch began in May 2020 and second batch in February 2021, and continuity will depend on the announcement of the Philippine president. If the community restrictions remain, the program progresses. This virtual exhibits are a showcase of what they have done so far.