On The Table Read, the “Best Celebrity Magazine in the UK“, Alexandra Nima shares details of the interactive flashmobs design to bring joy and happiness into people’s lives.
Written by Alexandra Nima
I am an Austrian artist and small business owner, living as an expat in Estonia.
Between February and March 2020, I traveled to the UK and Europe to meet friends. My small Content writing business had just seen its first two profitable months, and I needed some time off to rest and recharge. As an artist and entrepreneur with autoimmune, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is hard work in itself.
On my flight to Vienna on the last day of February, I already heard about a strange disease spreading fast in China and potentially Europe. When the pandemic hit Austria beginning of March, my life changed dramatically.
The next few months were, frankly speaking- hell.
Create From A Vacuum
The few months before the pandemic, I had quietly worked on an idea for an interactive, artistic performance triggered by a wearable dress people could vote on and activate.
At this point, the project was simply a pet peeve I had unsuccessfully pitched to the local embassy in my spacetime. Covid put everything to a brusk halt- my business almost went bankrupt, and I got stuck in Vienna during quarantine: scared, alone, and broke.
The only thing I had in abundance was time to think. Since everything had to be rebuilt from scratch, I transformed my content business into a content and pr agency over the next year, and my art- unexpectedly- expanded. I figured, why not do everything you always wanted- and do just that, if you have to start from zero again anyway.
The Interactive Flashmobs Idea Is Growing
Covid was utter chaos; young people everywhere were especially suffering from isolation, and improving mental health became an acute need. I also noticed the rise of digital and webinar software to connect virtually. Suddenly, my “techie” idea seemed less cold, more approachable, and made more sense.
Over the next year and a lot of constant, hard work in my spacetime, we refined the idea. My previously acquired HR, project management, and design skills served me well in the process.
As the idea grew into a chain of flashmobs used to re-connect young people in Europe, I took part in my first artist residency in August 2020, where I finalized the dress pattern and design. I slowly started pitching my idea to the media to see what reactions I would get.
Spring 2021, I started to give podcast interviews to practice my English and reach out to others and realized that my idea was embraced by every one of the GenX, GenY, and GenZ influencers I talked to.
People liked the concept and craved the idea of becoming connected in a fun community event- even if they were from countries outside of Europe. Eventually, we thought: why not broadcast it digitally so people can actively take part from anywhere?
A Chain Of Hybrid Interactive Flashmobs Through Europe
By May 2021, we had founded a local NGO and onboarded some student interns. We named the new format after an old project: Vitruvian Vision. Inspired by the classicist idea of a “complete,” fully conscious and authentic human being, the Non-Profit has “helping young people develop their full potential” as its primary goal.
In our first year, we connect (young) people interested in self-expression and self-development. To achieve this goal, we organize a series of 28 innovative flashmobs that aim to bring joy and happiness back into the community.
We encourage participants to show up in their most colorful makeup and attire, regalia, costume, or dress to embrace and appreciate their diversity. The brighter and more expressive, the better: disabled, BIPOC and LGBTIQ+ are especially welcome.
Where does the interactivity come in? Each event is started by people voting ”on” an interactive dress by clicking on a European flag of their choice on our homepage.
The costume processes the votes, lights up gradually, then plays the Ode to Joy. I start to sing with it, and, slowly, everyone joins in. We exchange after the singing act while listening to two local, curated dance groups or bands. Online participants will be connected via breakout rooms.
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Vitruvian Vision is a grassroots project, and we finance ourselves through donations and crowdfunding initiatives.
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