Last week we would have commemorated ELA’s 5th birthday. It’s not easy to let this date going unnoticed and uncelebrated, lost somewhere in the mist of the current times.

It wasn’t easy to stay still in the week when it would have been ELA’s 5th birthday. But it is even more unsettling to rely on the uncertainty of not knowing at all when we’ll be able to get together again.

Social interaction is one of the most basic human needs. Our sanity and mental health depends on it, and so does life in Society. Furthermore, the lack of access to things that makes us feel alive – music, dancing, expressing ourselves artistically, sharing and creating moments – can rapidly lead to feelings of isolation and unhealthy patterns. The long-term exposure to this scenario of solitude and very limited access to culture is most likely to be nefarious.

On a not-brighter-side, professionals from different fields and artists that have been dedicating all their lives to culture and the arts/music scene are facing a daunting challenge. Not only the scene is slowly dying, with several venues and collectives not being able to sustain their businesses, as most of its people, per se, are struggling to simply put food on the table. The reality is worrying and requires solutions.

The reason why we didn’t come up with a more digital interaction with all of you these months is because we simply feel that it will never be able to substitute the real experience. However, it might be the best we have right now, to be able to cope with the present times.

We are looking into alternatives that we believe to be capable of promoting positive impact in the current local panorama, and will let you know what comes out of it. In the meantime, here is a DJ set recorded live in the last ELA Woods (2020) that has never been released before:

Social action

The current “technological dictatorship” – where the physical shops are closed, and everything is ordered online – is centralizing the money all in the same end: the big multinational companies. This is leading to wider social inequalities, poverty and, less obviously, the increase of power from these private corporations over our Governmental policies.

Once united we, the people/consumers, have chances of stopping (or at least, slowing down) this growing tendency. Our choices can make a difference to where the money is all going, and create positive socioeconomic impact.

Here are some suggestions to opt for next time you need to:

  • Order stuff online: OLX (local alternative to Amazon). Online distributor, shopping, 2nd hand.
  • Watch a movie: Filmin (local alternative to Netflix / HBO). Great selection of indie and short films, Portuguese cinema, and non-mainstream cinema in general.
  • Buy clothes, accessories, shoes, bags, home decor or even artworks:
    LxMarket (alternative to big clothing brands). Street market of local sellers and brands from a big variety of products. Great to support the local economy and the small Lisbon businesses. Also, to order second hand clothes and accessories locally, there is GOLPE and Boudoir Thrifts.
  • Order food: Too Good to Go (to fight the food waste), Deliver Lx (order directly from local restaurants without any fees. Created by Câmara Municipal de Lisboa). Both of these are local alternatives to big companies such as Uber Eats or Bolt Foods
  • Drink a nice craft beer: Dois Corvos, Bolina, Cerveja Lince. Straight from Lisbon’s beer district, Marvila.
  • Order groceries: Good After (alternative to big distributors like Continente or Pingo Doce). This is also a food-waste warrior, as all the products are sold close to expiry date, and super cheap. They do home delivery in all of Lisbon.
  • Go somewhere close: Gira (also from Câmara Municipal de Lisboa). Great value for money.
  • Go somewhere far: Izzy Move (alternative to Uber and Bolt). Support local taxi drivers and their households, rather than another big business.
  • Buy books: Bertrand, Almedina, Lello (Portuguese alternatives to Amazon, once again). These ones do national distribution. For a Lisbon distributor, we recommend Ler Devagar, LxFactory’s famous book store.
  • Buy vinyl records: Amor Records, Carpet and Snares, Peekaboo Records and Flur (Lisbon area).
  • Get natural hair/body products, toothpaste/brush, and vitamins: Celeiro, Biomiosótis (local shops that are also doing home delivery).
  • Chat with friends: Signal, Telegram (alternative to Whatsapp and Messenger). Messages are encrypted.
  • Listen to music recorded live at ELA: unlogical podcast radio (this is not an alternative to anything, just a way to shorten the distance between us).

This is what social action looks like in 2021.

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