Try to recall yourself exactly one year ago.
Could you ever have imagined then the reality of not being able to meet your loved ones?
Going in and out of lockdowns and quarantines? Holding face masks and hand sanitizers as essential accessories? Feeling like a criminal when you accidentally sneeze in the supermarket?
Covid-19 has confronted us with a challenging reality no one could ever predict - isolation, anxiety, unemployment, and lack of certainty. It generated a sense of disconnection from family, friends, and maybe even the pre-pandemic versions of ourselves.
However, it also opened up the endless possibilities technology offers us. New digital concepts and initiatives are emerging - breaking geographical borders and teaching us the deeper significance of human connection, the importance of belonging, and how much we actually need each other.
Pre-Covid, I couldn’t imagine myself holding a virtual reunion with friends from all over the world whom I haven’t spoken to for 10 years. Or being surprised by a Zoom party with the random combination of university friends, work colleagues, and family members all sharing a screen of small squares to celebrate my birthday.
Although we can’t travel as freely as we used to, in some ways the world now seems smaller than ever.
There is an exciting spark of global awakening due to the fact that people from so many countries and cultures are experiencing a similar reality, dealing with comparable struggles.
A common understanding is driven by the ability to feel each other deeply. We can comprehend what people in different parts of the world are going through because we do too. We all share the same helplessness, not having the slightest clue what will happen tomorrow.
Thanks to that, bridges are being built wherever they are needed, helping us get through this complex period and overcome the challenge together. Alongside the feeling of physical detachment, there are many fresh forms of connections growing.
While it might be disturbing for some to grasp how much we depend on technology to stay connected, it is also important to acknowledge how privileged we are to have the possibility to share love and affection while being so far apart.
Recently a lot of us have been starting to feel the holiday season rush and the immense desire to be with our families while not being able to do so. We share the same concerns of how the upcoming winter will look like, after already passing so many months apart.
But long before Covid-19 came into our lives, there were numerous global issues that have kept families, lovers, and friends separated. During wars and conflicts, for example, people would sometimes spend years before seeing each other again.
Now, as well, all around us, immigrants and refugees face these extremely difficult issues on a daily basis. Painfully, for them, it is the usual state of being.
This is a crucial moment in which all of us are discovering the sensation of being separated from the people we love, from our habits, and maybe from our home countries as well. Little by little, we grasp the global lack of certainty that is affecting us regardless of where we come from and how much we have.
It is both terrifying and fascinating at the same time.
One of the most meaningful moments of HÍDAS is related profoundly to the topics above.
In the reality of the middle eastern conflict sometimes it’s difficult to break borders and meet the people on the other side. Thanks to technology and social media, I was able to reach out and contact an amazing architect from the Gaza strip, who later became my collaborator and co-creator of two BRIDGING collections. As I am from Israel, our only way to communicate was online. Despite that, in six years of co-working without ever meeting in person, we have created something beautiful together and built an extraordinary friendship.
Below is one of the designs we created together.
(You can read more about our story and collaboration here)
This unusual form of online communication and remote collaboration has become a norm these days and I hope we will all learn from it and discover new humane ways of collaborations and connections, dissolving boundaries and building bridges.
Our BRIDGING collections are all about that.
We at HÍDAS, feel the struggle of being isolated and the strong desire we all share for human connection. This is why we would like to treat you, our community, with the possibility to gift whomever it is your heart is missing a unique present for the upcoming holidays -
As of today, everything on our website will be 15 percent off.
We wish you joy, warmth, and the great comfort of feeling connected to your loved ones this holiday season, whether online or on-life.
Michal & The HÍDAS team
P.S - At the beginning of the pandemic, I had the honor of taking part in the production of a short documentary that showcased people from different countries, age groups, and social classes all sharing their own experiences of this bizarre situation. We were aiming to show that even in extremely difficult situations, we can find some solace in a shared global experience and a sense of togetherness.
Click here to see the docu - #LOVESPREADS.