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Google-owned YouTube on Thursday revealed a list of top videos as well as creators for 2021 and gaming along with comedy videos that have topped the chart in India.
In 2021, gaming leveled up, emerging as a rich and diverse ground for storytelling and community building, with a notable presence across top creators, top breakout creators, top women breakout creators and even top YouTube Shorts creators.
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"The main idea behind coming up with a list of popular creators is to inspire new creators. YouTube has given a proper platform both small as well as big communities. With the expansion of regional languages, the platform is ready to cater the needs of every content creators as well as consumers," Satya Raghavan, Director of YouTube Content Partnerships, India, told IANS.
"Our viewers turned to YouTube to learn new skills, hone newfound passions, discover content to watch with friends and family, and foster a shared sense of community," he added.
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While Round2Hell's 40-minute long horror-comedy zombie apocalypse short film became the #1 trending video, comedy did just as well in short-form video.
Tamil sensation Enjoy Enjaami, set off a drumbeat of content inspired by the Tamil Hit reaction videos, cover songs including some in Hindi and Malayalam, animated re-creations, re-creations within FreeFire, make-up tutorials, and even a PSA by the Kerala Police! Our Top Shorts creator A2 Motivation emerged as the most famous videos on the platform.
"Our viewers turned to YouTube to learn new skills, hone newfound passions, discover content to watch with friends and family, and foster a shared sense of community," he added. | Unsplash
"2021 showed us that even in challenging times, the inventiveness and creativity of our ecosystem can bring help and hope to the lives of millions of Indians. It's time to celebrate the content and creators that made YouTube an indelible part of our popular culture, and in fact our lives," Raghavan added.
In addition, Bhuvan Bam (BB Ki Vines) web series, Dhindora, Telugu channels Filmymoji and Funmoji, The Viral Fever (TVF) web-show Aspirants, Dice Media's Operation MBBS and Clutch, Telugu shows like 30 weds 21 by Girl Formula and Surya featuring Shanmukh Jaswanth in the lead, emerged as some of the top shows this year on YouTube. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Google, YouTube, gaming, diverse, storytelling, community, building, skills, passions, creativity, ecosystem, challenging, Indians.)
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By Zeenah Vilcassim
We are all born creative, but as we go through life, we learn to suppress it, especially in hard times. The global Stir Creativity platform by Bombay Sapphire was launched with the aim of inspiring and reigniting creative self-expression. The brand believes that creativity fosters positivity, this came to life during the second lockdown when people started sharing their creativity as a source of inspiration and hope.
Sometimes, even the smallest acts of creativity evoke optimism, and further inspire others to tap into their creative selves. Many turned to various forms of creativity, be it sketching, creating music, or just trying out a new recipe; it is what kept most of us going during our isolation. Creativity doesn't need a traditional canvas; it can be found in any form and with Stir Hope, the aim for this creative self-expression was to ignite hope for a better tomorrow in everyone.
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While creativity comes in many forms, it also plays a number of different roles in people's lives-to uplift spirits, to bring a sense of joy or purpose, or even to bring peace. Wit Stir creativity, it also stirs a feeling of connectivity in each of us. The narrative for Stir Hope was built by recognising the power that creativity can hold and tapping into visionary creators to share their personal stories of how indulging in their creativity helped them retain a sense of hope during a difficult time.
The Stir Hope campaign is aimed at inspiring others to share their own creative expressions and feel more connected despite being socially distanced. The creators who bring their personal stories to life are independent thinkers who used their creative expression to stay hopeful and optimistic during the lockdown. Each storey narrates the vital role creativity plays in their lives, inspiring others to explore and unlock their own creative potential. The masterpieces exhibited by the creators ranged from music (as it soothes the mind and soul), food (as it provides comfort), design (which helps relieve stress and anxiety), and mixology (which helps elevate the mood and inspires creative experimentation).
One didn't just see creativity as a way to inspire hope and positivity, but as a sense of community come alive during this time. People with similar interests come together to collaborate or just support one another. At the end of the day, people united to lift each other's spirits during testing times. And just like many out there, this sense of community that had been deeply embedded in our workplace come to life. It kept us hopeful, it kept us creative, and most importantly, it kept us going.
In the last year and a half, things have taken a complete turn. We have moved from our office desks to keeping global businesses running from the comforts of our homes. During this time, mental health was at risk for many. Hence, it was and still is important for businesses to ensure the safety of not just their consumers but also their employees and our society. At Bacardi, employees, their families, and partners were given free access to confidential counseling, an informational service helpline, and an internal emergency helpline to cope with this unpredicted change. It is how important to have a human approach to business and that empathy and emotional support go a long way, not just with employees but also with society and consumers.
Change of any kind is inevitableUnsplash
Also read: Tips to Boost your creativity amid lockdown
Times are changing. Change of any kind is inevitable. Adopting it smartly is also embracing it with empathy. Through the purpose-led Stir Hope campaign, the brand reflected consumers' needs. The goal was not to market or sell, but to empathize, connect, and inspire a sense of hope and positivity. This was an opportunity to share personal stories to inspire collaboration, spread positivity, and most importantly, communicate that there is hope, and that this hope can come from creative self-expression.
While we learn to cope with the new normal, one must remember that creativity has no limit, and it can spark feelings we did not know existed, so don't be afraid to recite a poem, or to paint that white wall in your home, because you never know who you might inspire. And lastly, don't forget to stir up a little bit of hope. (IANS/PR)
Keywords: Creativity, hope, pandemic, lockdown
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA — When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold early last year, artists such as Patricia Boyer of Charlotte, North Carolina, were panic-stricken. Who would see — not to mention purchase — her creations when much of America was on lockdown?
"It was really bad, because here you are with all this art, and you're like 'what am I going to do with it?'," the 65-year-old painter told VOA. "And the anxiety level was through the roof."
Amid a severe economic downturn and restricted in-person interactions, artists were forced to get creative. Boyer, who specializes in acrylic on canvas, said she was able to display some of her art with the help of friends and colleagues.
"I now have my inventory in three different spaces — one of my friends got me in her gallery. So, it's a way for me to get my name out," Boyer said.
Artists have faced unprecedented challenges triggered by the pandemic. Data published by the National Endowment for the Arts show, from 2019 to 2020, unemployment rates more than tripled for fine artists like Boyer and surpassed 50% for many types of performing artists.
Among major U.S. economic sectors, creative industries were among the hardest hit by the pandemic, second only to the hospitality sector.
Signs are situated along the walking path of Freedom Park urging festival goers to mask up, though few were seen wearing face coverings. (Salim Fayeq/VOA)
Arts scene reemerges in Charlotte
After more than a year of gloom, artists recently had cause to rejoice. Last weekend saw the resumption of Festival in the Park, a showcase of artisans and artwork Charlotte has held every year since 1964 — except last year.
The event draws a wide variety of artists and entrepreneurs, including photographers, ceramists, jewelers, bakers, carpenters, tattoo artists and puppeteers.
"I love coming out here and meeting so many people," Boyer said between conversations with clients. "This is the best thing that's happened in a long time for me. I look at all these people and I am just in awe that people are coming out to support us artists during COVID."
Signs remain of the toll the pandemic has taken on artists. VOA spoke with Haydar Serezli, a jeweler based in Atlanta. He pointed to a drop in vendor attendance compared with pre-pandemic festivals.
"It's a little different this year," said Serezli, who has been displaying work at Festival in the Park since 2011."The amount of people coming, that's stayed the same. But the vendors, many artists, we've known them for years, didn't come."
The event drew 130 vendors this year, down from an average of 180 in previous years.
"For us (Serezli and his wife), the pandemic didn't affect us as badly. But for many artists around here, it wasn't as easy for them. So, I hope some of them can come back around next year," Haydari told VOA.
Festival In the Park strings together local artists of various trades and crafts, with their booths lining the man-made lake of Freedom Park. (Salim Fayeq/VOA)
Renewal after 2020
"The biggest challenge was scaling it back," said David Dalton, who has served on the festival's board of directors for 30 years.
Even so, Dalton pointed to a sense of jubilation at the event.
"Look at this crowd here," Dalton remarked, gesturing at festivalgoers. "You can tell everyone's been penned up."
Dalton added, "It's an entirely outdoor event, but we're still doing what we can for COVID (precautions)."
Hand sanitizer stands dotted the grounds, and the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department staffed a booth to distribute pamphlets with tips for preventing coronavirus transmission.
Signs were placed throughout the park urging mask-wearing, although relatively few attendees were seen with face coverings.
Charlotte resident Jason Norvell said he has attended the past six festivals.
"Personally, I'm vaccinated so I'm not really worried about being out in public. It's great weather, so we thought, 'hey let's come out and have a nice evening,'" Norvell told VOA. "I think, frankly, so many people are kind of fed up with being cooped up, and so they want excuses to go to activities."
"It felt so nice to attend this year," said Hayley Schnackenberg, who grew up in Charlotte and works remotely as a technology consultant.
"Some of the best memories I have as a kid" were from going to the festival, she added. "There'd be dancers from local schools or local theaters and those were some of the things that I felt were missing [this year]." (VOA/RN)
(This article is originally published by Salim Fayeq)
Keywords: Art, Festival, America, Pandemic, Revival
Aung San Suu Kyi also known as "The Lady" is the most revered and distinguished figure in Southeast Asia. Her journey from being a regular housewife in Oxford, England to being a pro-democracy political activist and winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 has been arduous, perhaps perilous at times. The military junta of Myanmar, officially known as Tatmadaw has been ruling Myanmar ever since its independence in 1948 with an iron fist.
In 1989 during the heydays of the regime, speaking out against the junta could cost one their life. The previous year, Burma's generals had repealed the country's constitution, imposed martial law, and violently suppressed pro-democracy protests. The junta imposed a total information blockade. Newspapers and publishers were asked to register with the government and limit their publishing to the regime's propaganda.
Phone Thiri Kyaw, a well known young actress in Myanmar joined the pro-democracy protest in Yangoon, Myanmar.Photo by Saw Wunna on Unsplash.
It was during this nadir, that the pro-democracy activist cleverly devised a way to circumvent the junta information blockade and propagate the pro-democracy agenda. Initially, the information blockade seemed to work, but months later, rumours began to spread about the new one-Kyat banknote.
At first, its portrait of Aung San, the father of modern Burma, seemed perfectly normal. Holding the banknote up to the light, however, revealed a watermark that subtly altered the face, making the nose narrower, jaw rounder and eyes softer. Unseemly morphing the picture of Aung San into a picture of his daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the Burmese democratic movement.
Soon citizens began finding other hidden messages from the anonymous designer. Four concentric rings around an eight-petalled flower form four sets of eight, a reference to the '8888' pro-democracy demonstrations named after the date they began, August 8th, 1988. Even the medium was slyly appropriate. The 8888 protests were triggered by bizarre currency reforms that rendered three-quarters of Burmese banknotes worthless overnight.
Pro-democracy protests in Yangoon, Myanmar. Photo by Saw Wunna on Unsplash.
Soon, this one-Kyat note was also worthless, as it was promptly withdrawn from circulation when the regime detected the subterfuge. Its designer and his fate both remain unknown till today.
With the novel coronavirus pandemic ravaging through Myanmar, the country is a hotbed for new deadlier mutations to arise. The belligerent act of military junta seizing power from Aung San Suu Kyi in a military coup has invoked harsh US sanctions on Myanmar. The future of Myanmar and the fate of its poor citizens seems bleaker as time passes.
Keywords: Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, Democracy
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