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‘Creative Connections’ is a gen Z-optimised event focused on networking and wellness

Whether you’ve lived in London your whole life, recently moved here or have never visited it for longer than a few days in a row, you most definitely know one thing already: big cities can get pretty lonely—with London specifically once being ranked the loneliest city to reside in. Unfortunately, this feeling is often even more noticeable for professionals who don’t have the day-to-day structure and routine other jobs come with. I’m talking about the freelancers, those who constantly travel, the artistic souls and many more. But what if I told you that someone who was once in your shoes has come up with the solution to all your problems?

Introducing Creative Connections, a mind-body health workshop, dinner and DJ performance all held (and perfectly curated) into one evening. From the mind of Sci-Translate founder and neuroscientist Dr Anna McLaughlin and happening at Selina’s Camden location in London on Wednesday 13 July, this special night is the first instalment of many more to come around the world.

Extra credit should also be given to the creative collective OCD studio, which not only designed the event’s amazing website but has also helped forge the Sci-translate brand and its marketing.

Created as an event for those seeking an opportunity to connect with a like-minded community and immerse themselves in the creative scene—while learning how to improve their health and wellbeing, Creative Connections lets attendees have full control over what the night will hold for them. Speaking to SCREENSHOT ahead of the highly-anticipated night, Dr McLaughlin revealed a bit more. “The main inspiration for this event was to give people an opportunity to connect and interact with other individuals in a setting that felt inspiring, creative and fun, while also being useful to their goals,” she said.

“I think that it’s easy to forget how crucial social interaction is for our mental and physical health,” Dr McLaughlin added, continuing, “Despite having access to millions of online communities and being more digitally connected than ever, many of us live a lonely, isolated existence day to day. But we all crave connection—with others and with a community of people who share our interests. Even before the pandemic, it felt like there weren’t many opportunities for this anymore outside of work and school, which is particularly hard on younger generations. Combining the two elements felt like the perfect opportunity to get people to learn about mind-body health while also encouraging real human interaction and a sense of community!”

Interested in an intimate and interactive experience? Get a ticket to the event’s interactive wellbeing workshop hosted by consultant clinical psychologist and certified yoga teacher, Dr Gemma Luke. Creatively combining psychotherapy and mind-body techniques to enhance one’s confidence, self-esteem and resilience, in Dr Luke’s workshop, you’ll learn how psychological difficulties can manifest physically and how to become more in tune with those too.

“Participants can expect to be encouraged to tap into their current mind-body awareness, and through careful integration of information and experiential exercises, explore how to enhance and optimise this awareness using methods that best suit them,” the expert shared.

Because the workshop is at 6:30 pm, you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that you might get hungry afterwards. No stress, however, because next up is a vegan dinner held at Selina’s POWERPLANT restaurant which includes a two-course meal as well as a cocktail. And we’re not joking when we tell you to expect a personalised experience—as Dr McLaughlin explained, her aim through Creative Connections was to acknowledge that “each one of us has different goals, motivations and interests and these change over time” and in turn offer attendees “advice that is relevant and useful to their life circumstances in the workshop.”

The same approach will also be applied to the dinner experience, giving guests who might be attending the workshop alone the chance to connect with other people with similar interests or goals. “I understand how overwhelming it can feel to attend an event alone, so I wanted to give guests the option to get allocated to a dinner table with two to three other guests so they can chat about what they learnt in the workshop, their careers or their life in general,” Dr McLaughlin explained. “That way the event would not only be useful for people, but also feel more special and meaningful to them,” she added.

Last but not least, London-based DJ, producer, senior social media editor, digital nomad and yogi Kristy Harper will be waiting for you at the decks for an after-dinner set that spans disco, soul, world music and some more electronic beats. “The set is always guided by the energy of the room,” Harper revealed, “so the guests might have to bring a change of shoes, just in case!”

If you feel like you’ve heard of Harper previously, it’s probably because you have. In the winter of 2020, she released ‘My Body. My Future.’ on her own imprint called Sanctified Dreams. In the track, she sampled Samirah Raheem’s viral interview with Jesse Lee Peterson at the Los Angeles ‘Slut Walk’. It received recognition from BBC Radio 1 and reached 300,000 streams on Spotify and TikTok in the first three months.

Sold already? Grab your tickets for the workshop and curated dinner here before they’re gone. And I’ll see you on the dancefloor.

0.5 selfies are gen Z’s latest obsession with candid distortions

Every day is a new aesthetic and every picture in a photo dump carousel is a new memory on Instagram. While 2022 has officially taken the rose-tinted glasses off the social media experience, with crying selfies, BeReal, finstas, shitposting and spitballing in the forefront, a peculiar style of visual documentation is increasingly gripping gen Zers online.

Introducing the wildly distorted world of 0.5 selfies, a social media trend all about living your best candid life and trusting the process while you’re at it.

What is a 0.5 selfie?

Pronounced as a “point five” selfie, the picture in question is essentially taken with the ultra-wide angle lens of one’s smartphone camera. The 0.5x mode of a camera, to be exact. Unlike a traditional selfie, for which we flaunt the flattering side of our faces and prep endlessly, a 0.5 selfie is less curated and encapsulates a spur-of-the-moment aesthetic.

The result? Noodly legs, buggy eyes, arms which stretch on for days while your forehead is plastered across the frame for the world to witness and get an authentic glimpse into your life. In a way, 0.5 selfies are the anti-trend of poised—or sometimes Photoshopped—mirror selfies that have become a mainstay on Instagram. It ultimately conveys the fact that the user takes themselves, and social media in general, more casually than conforming to the ideals we’ve all been brought up with about our ‘public image’.

I mean, who wants to look perfect online anymore? We’re all just here for the laughs in 2022 and what better way to document this desirable absence of self-awareness than with 0.5 selfies? Plus, you get to capture your entire head-to-toe fit in just one picture. No need to pose Leandra Medine-style anymore. Win-win, if you ask me.

Now, 0.5 selfies are not to be confused with ‘half’ selfies, which are basically just pictures of your face—cropped tightly to feature your best side in the frame. Though half selfies have been around for decades, 0.5 selfies were birthed in 2019 on the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S10. However, the trend has only started taking off in 2022, alongside the general appeal for geometric distortions—all thanks to TikTok’s favourite “Train Guy,” Francis Bourgeois.

Equipped with a GoPro, Bourgeois is well-known for his enthusiastic trainspotting videos captured in ultra-wide angles. Every video which features clips recorded with the fisheye-like lens that’s angled down towards his face adds to Bourgeois’ awkward and gawky charm—earning him 2.6 and 1.7 million followers on TikTok and Instagram respectively.

The broad appeal for 0.5 selfies can also be traced back to the time everyone was placing Insta360 cameras in their mouth and walking around to show the point of view (POVs) of dogs and dinosaurs. What a time to be alive, indeed.

@insta360_official

Busy bee been working hard 🐝 @crazydudepaul 📽 w/ #insta360onex2 #insta360nosemode #fyp #animalcrossing #behindthescenes

♬ original sound - insta360_official - insta360_official

How to click a 0.5 selfie

Though the trend at hand doesn’t really need an explainer, here are some tips and tricks on how to truly nail your 0.5 selfie game.

1. Secure a smartphone with an ultra-wide camera lens

This one’s a no-brainer. The 0.5x camera mode is key to a 0.5 selfie. So start by getting your hands on an iPhone or Android smartphone with an ultra-wide camera lens to chronicle your life away with candid distortions. Once you’ve secured the bag, open the camera app and toggle the lens to the 0.5x mode. You can alternatively pinch your fingers on the screen in the same way you’d zoom out of a photo to access the ultra-wide setting.

2. Turn your camera around and get groovy

Yes, you read that right. For decades, we’ve all been accustomed to our front cameras for snapping self-portraits and typically reserve the ones in the back to capture other people and places from our POV. But 0.5 selfies are essentially the selfie’s great renaissance.

Given how the ultra-wide angle lens is built into the back cameras of phones, you can’t actually watch yourself take a 0.5 selfie. Instead, the uncertainty is hinged on blind angling and physical manoeuvring. And that’s exactly where things get interesting. If you’re planning to take a group 0.5 selfie, you have to stretch your arms as far out and up as possible in order to fit everyone in the frame. Now, if you want to maximise how much your face distorts, you have to place your phone perpendicular to your forehead—right at your hairline.

@livilewww

#greenscreen

♬ use this sound if your cute - ㅤㅤㅤ

The proportions rendered by wide-angle lenses are also worth noting in this case. For instance, subjects closer to a lens are bound to appear larger, while those farther away seem smaller. It’s good to keep these factors in mind while experimenting with the style. Don’t be afraid to use the volume buttons on your phone to snap the picture either. You should be fine as long as you don’t mistake it for the power button.

You can also play around with self-timers while taking a group 0.5 selfie. Because at the end of the day, nothing is certain until the selfie is clicked. And that’s what’s charming about the entire ordeal in the first place.

3. Share it with the world

Lastly, share your whimsical creations for the rest of the world to witness. On TikTok, 0.5 selfies have made a name for themselves with the ‘use this sound if your cute’ audio by @qlzt. “What’s 1 divided by 2?” the TikToks read, before they snap into a montage of 0.5 selfies clicked in every single style imaginable.

So what are you waiting for? March ahead and redefine the style of self-portrait Paris Hilton once proudly claimed to invent. Maybe mash it up with meta selfies to launch a parallel trend for others to jump on in the future too. In the end, just remember that the more ominous your creations are, the better.

@giolinaleone

#greenscreen .5

♬ use this sound if your cute - ㅤㅤㅤ