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Write a letter to a stranger!

In the issue of April 4th of the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad author and regular columnist Tommy Wieringa poses the following questions: Did this forced standstill lead to introspection and the introspection to self improvement? The air is clean and the water is clear; will our soul soon reappear cleansed as well?’ The coronavirus is keeping everyone of us cooped up in our houses, travelling only from settee to bed and vice versa, and only very rarely do we set foot outside. We seem to be standing still. But the fact that we as people are staying inside doesn’t mean that there is no more movement. We only have to look outside, to the streets, the parks, the alleys, to see everything in motion.

We seem to have become our own islands. Everyone is in need of contact: with neighbours, with family and friends, with other students. Especially for these students life has become dire and lonely, with digital lecture after digital lecture fired at them in their tiny student rooms. That’s why De Nieuwe Oost | Wintertuin is facilitating a correspondence project between students. We’ll be pairing students with one other to establish connections. Want to join?

Step 1
Look out your window for five minutes and write down everything that moves, for example some rubbish on the ground, branches of a tree, a passing car.

Step 2
Now examine the movements more closely. Do the tree branches behave differently near the top? Is the piece of rubbish dancing, perhaps, or just stumbling along? How does the wind affect the movement? Write down your findings.

Step 3
Write a letter detailing the things you see and the things you miss. Tell the reader something about yourself as well, so they can get to know you better.

Send your letter via email  to tom@denieuweoost.nl. We’ll deliver your letter to a fellow student.

The above writing assignment is formulated by writer Koen Frijns. This project is made possible by Study Association KNUS, Cultuur op de Campus, Op Ruwe Planken en Radboud University.