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Fashion & Self-Isolation: Dramatist, Actor, Singer and Performer Jaouad Alloul

Jaouad Alloul holding a mic and performing
Jaouad Alloul performing
Jaouad Alloul

I hope this collective experience may pave the way for a new world. I think it's great how I have suddenly become more acquainted with my neighbours. Maybe we've become a little more alert? I experienced the first week of quarantine differently than most people. My schedule became empty, I felt clear and at peace and most of all I slept. In the second week, I woke up from feeling lethargic and it was a relief to notice that my boyfriend had a routine and a clear rhythm. Thanks to him I now have a morning ritual which consists of drinking coffee, reading a book and waking my mind. I no longer scroll through the news like a zombie.

Unfortunately, I find it difficult to do my work from home. I live to perform and that has gone away, yet every day I feel the challenge to be creative and to think about what can I do to earn something.

I have done a live stream for the Arenberg and that was very nice. I also sing on Instagram sometimes but that doesn't feel the same; I really am a live performer. My boyfriend and I both have jobs where contact with people gives us oxygen. More than ever we all realise that we need others around us to feel like we exist.

During quarantine you have to learn how to deal with yourself. That may seem simple but it can also be very intense for many people. Some things aren't going to change overnight. There is no pause button for racism, sexism and other bad things. They are now present more than ever.

In Kammenstraat you have Kamiano which is a centre for homeless people. I am working there as a volunteer. Most of the people who come there are men, so this week i’m going to sort through my wardrobe and donate the clothes to be put to better use.

Jaouad Alloul wearing a red blazer at home
Jaouad Alloul at home
Jaouad Alloul

I spend more time on my hair, almost an hour; It's never been healthier! I usually wear a djellaba at home. There are days when I only wear ‘comfortable clothes’ but then I don't feel very good. On the third week under quarantine there was a turnaround. I got dressed again on purpose, even if it is just for a ten minute walk in the park. I think about what I'm going to wear and I try to put colour into it because clothing is an extension of my personality. My black boots which I have performed in so much make me feel nostalgic, they give me the feeling of being on stage whilst at home.

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