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Lockdown correspondent, Lois Keidan, London, UK.

Photo: The LADA team meeting with Zoom. Illustration by Katherine Borchsenius.

Lois Keidan is the founder and director of the Live Art Development Agency (LADA), one of the creative industries most authentic beacon's of creativity - a place which celebrates the 'other' and all kinds of 'difference'. If you wanted to seek out the most innovative and experimental laboratory for the arts - you've found it, right here. Infact, for a really good understanding of what LADA do, read this Run-Riot Interview with Lois by Lyn Gardner.

Right now, in April 2020 Lois is in lockdown London. Over to you Lois...

RR: Can you describe where you are right now?
Lois Keidan:
Right now I am sitting in front of my laptop which is on a table in my living room/kitchen area and am surrounded by cats (well, two cats). I count my blessings every minute of every day that I live in a house and have a garden.
 
RR: Could you share any fun and wise thoughts on your habits and routines?
Lois:
I am exercising regularly in my homemade gym (I already had a few weights, but have made other pieces of equipment from bits and bobs), and I am doing PE with Joe everyday. This is not a usual routine for me, believe me! Routine is useful and keeps you focused, but also breaking with routines and doing things in the spur of the moment is kind of liberating – who’d have thought that having a bath in the middle of Wednesday afternoon could have felt revolutionary. The opportunity to spend time looking through all kinds of cultural archives, especially those rare ones released especially to help us though the crisis, is great, but actually I am still busy all day every day with LADA work as we are getting all kinds of opportunities, resources and information for artists out there  as well as planning and plotting future work. We have a staff meeting every day on Zoom and are finding that we can do so much of our work remotely and online.
 
RR: What silver-linings are you experiencing?
Lois
: I’ve turned into a bit more of a homebody anyway in the last few years, so to be staying in and not feeling too guilty about it, or knowing that I’m not missing out on anything because whatever it is I can do it from home, is a silver-lining. The inventiveness and wit of all the videos, gags and the like flying around about life in self isolation is also a silver-lining. But of course the biggest silver-lining is the internet – what we’re going through now would be inconceivable without it.
 
RR: What creative activities or online culture would you recommend to our isolating readers?
Lois:
As well as providing useful information and advice for artists and arts workers on LADA’s website , we are recommending reading and watching lists to keep everyone entertained and/or inspired and/or provoked – see here. We’re also recommending that folks dive into our own online films, publications and web projects, are planning all kinds of Live Art related playlists, and will be posting things to do at home with kids from our Live Art game PLAYING UP. We’ve also put together a collection of books and zines people can get digitally from our online shop Unbound (in lieu of print copies which we’ll send when we reopen!). There is so much new and historical performance stuff being put up online that I don’t know where to begin with recommendations, but The Wooster Group have released free to view films of some of their classic shows - an opportunity not to be missed.
 
RR: What are your hopes for the post-covid-era?
Lois:
Well, as Naomi Klein said in the Coronavirus Capitalism online debate the other night, let’s not go back to normal because the normal we knew was itself a crisis – an environmental crisis, a care crisis, a capitalist crisis. So I hope the post-Covid era turns everything we knew and experienced in our pre-Covid/post-Brexit times on its head, reimagines what and who matters, reminds us how beautiful and resilient nature is, encourages us to be useful more than just be productive, and creates new forms of society, social interaction, civic responsibility and ways of being in this world together.  The crisis has brought out the absolute best and the absolute worst in people – let’s hope it’s the best who inherit the earth.
 
RR: How will you celebrate ‘Liberation Day’?
Lois:
I will hug as many key front line workers who have kept us going as I possibly can (if they will let me), shake as many hands as I can, go into a shop to buy something without feeling anxious, and return to LADA’s space and kiss everything and everyone in it.

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