When an obstacle becomes an opportunity

Gen Verde's experience during the lockdown

“We were right in the middle of our tour in Spain when we received some very disturbing reports from Italy about Covid-19 and the rising number of new cases. In a very short time we had to decide whether or not we should suspend the tour and return to Italy – and to communicate that decision to the organizers. The next day we boarded the boat, which turned out to be the last passenger ferry from the port of Barcelona.”

It all happened a few months ago but for Mileni from Gen Verde the memory is still very vivid and clear.

In these last four months, Gen Verde has transformed this difficult situation into an opportunity: “Almost every day we were hearing from friends who had caught the virus. They were asking us to be close to them – says Annalisa – and so we asked ourselves, how can we help them? How can we let them feel they are not alone, while respecting social distancing? Then we had an idea: why not connect with them online from our home?”

This is how the first live stream adventure began: with a few instruments and a not-so-stable internet connection, they decided to try even if they weren’t sure how many people would have followed.

In the months that followed Gen Verde held many live streams broadcasts, as well as several dozen online appointments through zoom, Instagram, Skype… all of them an occasion to meet young people and adults all over the world: from the Philippines, Argentina, USA, Romania, Italy, Australia. These months also provided space to create new pieces, ranging from the dramatic theatrical piece called Il silenzio (The silence) to the instrumental, Tears and light, not to mention the new videos produced to be able to celebrate the Easter Triduum together despite the distance. All that was created was shared immediately on their YouTube channel and through social media.

Clearly all this required a great deal of work, maybe even more than what is required while on tour, but Gen Verde never held back, and never said no to those who asked to share a moment with them. “We are very happy – says Marita – because during these months, despite the difficulties we faced, we were able to meet hundreds of thousands of people through various on line meetings. Of course, it’s not the same as meeting in person, but I have to admit that we had never met this many people in the space of just 4 months. For those of us in Gen Verde it has been an experience way beyond our expectations.”

And now, having concluded the last of this first round of live streams, Gen Verde will dedicate their time to the creation of new projects and ideas, which they will share soon.

Gen Verde is always on the go, always looking ahead. What’s their secret? “We try to live not thinking of ourselves but of those around us – explains Sally. What is important to us is to build relationships based on universal fraternity. In these months of the pandemic we have received a lot of feedback after our direct streaming and these impressions are what kept us going forward, always striving to give our best. We are honest with ourselves and with everyone else: this pandemic was no joke and in many countries the situation is still very critical. However we believe that what we have done has been for many, a positive moment from which they could emerge relieved and refreshed. Now, we’re moving on to prepare new programmes, and launch new songs to give hope to a world so badly in need of it.”

Tiziana Nicastro