Life in Malta already feels radically different since the country started shutting down bit by bit around 3 weeks ago when the virus got to the island. We're stuck at home practicing self-isolation and physical distancing, knowing that these are possibly our best weapon against the virus. We can't wait to go back to the days where having a casual drink wasn't a wild fantasy, but it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom until then.
In response to the outbreak, many companies around the world have started offering freebies or suspending fees for their usually paid services to help us pull through these uncertain times without losing our sanity. At this point, we really don't mind giving out our email address (and inadvertently selling our soul) in exchange for free entertainment. il-lokal gathered some of the coolest initiatives launched by Maltese designers as well as globally-accessible digital resources to help you cure your lockdown blues without spending a dime.
For kids and grown-up kids. Maltese illustrator Zack Ritchie turned his series of Malta's Got Character icons, into a colouring book available to download from his website.
Local art studio Te fit-Tazza made free colouring books for both of their brands. You can choose to either dive into the Maltese landscape with Souvenirs that Don’t Suck colouring sheets or into designs based on illustrations from Te fit-Tazza’s Elements of Malta series by clicking here.
E-books and audiobooks
Audible - The audiobook platform, has just made hundreds of audiobook titles available for free to help those stuck at home in self-isolation. The majority of books are for the little and elementary listeners, including Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter books, but adults can find some nice options too! All you need to do to get started is to head to the audible website from your browser. We are tuning in to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley right after this.
National Emergency Library - An initiative launched by the non-profit organisation The Internet Archive earlier this week, made 1.4 million (and counting) books available for readers and researchers affected by closed libraries. We’ve tested the database with a search related to Edgar Allan Poe and the available collection is truly impressive! Check it out!
Scribd - An e-book and audiobook subscription service, is offering a free 30-day trial that gives you access to over a million titles. You will need to register, but you don’t have to commit.
Foam Magazine is an award-winning magazine in the field of contemporary photography, based in Amsterdam. Their #foamathome campaign gives you free access to guaranteed eyecandy through 50+ digital magazine editions for up to 30 days from form completion, including many sold-out issues.
Vogue Italy unlocked access to its vast archive for all users for three months. The archive is a gold mine for design, photography and style fanatics and you can have a look at issues dating as far back as 1964! All you need to do to invite yourself to this rabbit hole of resources by entering the archive website, registering, clicking on 'Subscriptions' and selecting the 'Full Archive' option. To access your free plan use the VARCHIVE4YOU promo code.
Open Culture gathered links to 1,150 free movies available online ranging from great classics to indies, westerns and noirs. The list might seem a little intimidating, so you break it into Oscar-winning, Hitchcock, or Charlie Chaplin films. Acess the full list here.
Some of our personal favourites (you're welcome) below:
Why Man Creates - Saul Bass’ Oscar-winning animation on the nature of creativity from 1963.
Castello Cavalcanti - A 2013 Wes Anderson short film taking place in a hamlet tucked away somewhere in Italy. Features Jason Schwartzman, star of Anderson’s 1998 breakout Rushmore.
Blade Runner 2049 Prequels - Three official short prequels for Blade Runner 2049 have been released, advancing the Blade Runner story. One is shot by respected Japanese animator Shinichiro Watanabe.
Eat, Sleep & Kiss - Three silent anti-films by Andy Warhol made between 1963 and 1964.
Lady Blue Shanghai - David Lynch's 2010 short movie doubling as a commercial for Dior. Starring Marion Cotillard.
Plan 9 from Outer Space - An Ed Wood classic. Considered one of the worst films ever made and yet the ultimate cult flick from 1959.
If you still prefer Netflix and chill, but social distancing is getting to you, download the free Netflix Party Google Chrome extension to watch your favourite movies with your favourite friends.
Stop, Breathe & Think app offers guided meditations. They realise that people’s anxiety levels might be at a high, so they created free Calm Coronavirus Anxiety meditations in order to help people handle the stress. Zen out by clicking here.
Pornhub - Everyone's secretly favourite site is now getting on board with the free subscription services too. The adult entertainment service announced that it will be extending its premium support, which unlocks select content to everyone across the world until April 23. We're not linking you, you know where to look.
The Science of Well-Being is Yale’s massively popular happiness course, now available online for free on Coursera. It will engage you in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits.
Before you jump into 'At Home' make sure to check out the “Made in Malta” Spotify playlist. It’s a 3hr+ long dive into new Maltese music, created for all of us to enjoy by synthwave band Petit Massive based in Gozo.
Radiooooo is a musical time machine that will let you listen to the most popular radio songs in your country of choice over any past decade! Just pick a country that you can't currently go to and a decade that you wish you lived in and let yourself get carried away by the most unique musical collection in the world.
Art & Culture
Google Arts and Culture feature content from over 1,200 leading museums and archives that have partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to bring the world’s treasures online. You’ve got an opportunity to see all those amazing galleries for free from right from your sofa!
If you’re looking for a specific event happening right now, art institutions from all over the world took their current exhibitions online. So far we had the best experience with the NGV’s virtual tour of the current KWAS exhibition.
In the coming days, The National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, will also include in its virtual programming through the much-awaited world premiere of the exhibition Crossing Lines, showcasing works by Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
MoMA is taking things to another level by providing services that will help you up your art game. Now you can not only take a podcast tour of the collection but also join an online course as the Museum of Modern Art makes it easier than ever through its free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on Coursera.
If you've come across any other services and activities that you're loving, mention them in the comment section so that we can share them with everyone else.
Stay safe, stay sane!
Edited by Manuela Zammit.