How quickly everything turned around.

Earlier this month, we partnered with a European organisation who planned to host a series of ‘Sisters for Sale’ documentary screenings. Our screening planned for the United Nations’ largest annual gathering on women’s rights, in New York City, was cancelled due to coronavirus fears – a move which seemed a little pre-emptive at the time – but our Sydney screening went ahead the next night and was a great success. That was just two and a half weeks ago. 

I’d received a very interesting offer for our new book, ‘Every Stranger’s Eyes’, and was organising a book launch – then our New Jersey screening was cancelled, and then everything was cancelled. An avalanche of horrific news has come pouring in from all over the world, with a cascading series of lockdowns as one country after another crumbles before the COVID-19 pandemic.

When you’re shaken out of your comfort zone, there’s a strange distortion of time. It feels as though things are happening in slow motion, even as they go rushing by. It’s hard to believe it was just a few short weeks since life was normal – and now here we are.

To pile one catastrophe on another, some of our politicians have made it clear they’re more than willing to sacrifice their own people for the sake of maintaining profits. They’ve been taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to pour vast sums of money into the pockets of the already-wealthy, while neglecting the people who need it most. Just in case there’s any doubt: that money will not “trickle down”, and certainly not in time to help people through this crisis. Here in Australia, parliament has been shut down for five months, while unprecedented power to restructure the economy has been handed over to an unelected group of businessmen led by a fossil-fuel man. Ultimately, this will bleed our country far more than the pandemic will – yet it barely made the headlines.

What does the pandemic mean for our own work, here at ‘The Human, Earth Project’? Like many people, we’ll be shifting more of our work across to the digital world. While there won’t be a physical book launch or any more documentary screenings for the foreseeable future, we will be making the ‘Sisters for Sale’ documentary and the ‘Every Stranger’s Eyes’ physical book available to order online very soon – stay tuned for details.

The ‘Every Stranger’s Eyes’ ebook is already available here on our website, and our podcast is continuing here as planned, with a new episode released each Tuesday. It tells an inspiring true story of hope, courage, and freedom – and if you’re cooped up at home looking for something new, it might be just the thing you need right now. 

I hope you’re all safe and well, wherever you are. I hope you’re finding ways to keep your balance and stay connected with the people around you, even as you maintain your distance. I want to send a whole mountain of gratitude to everyone who is fighting this battle for us, and especially to the medical personnel who are working on the front lines and risking their lives to save ours.

It’s trite but true that every crisis brings opportunity. I don’t want to downplay the horror of what’s happening around the world – I want us all to fix it in our memories and let it fire us up so we can come together in new and meaningful ways to start building a better world. The one we have simply isn’t working for too many of us.

– Ben

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