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A reflexion on the importance of physical meetings in the online age


The 7 days spent at 180 Creative Camp 2017 in the company of strangers-that-soon-became-dear-friends made us reflect on the importance of physical meetings. The internet is great, but chatting without having to type is way better, and showing emotions without relying on emojis is still the best formula.

Life Beyond Our Screens

Why Abrantes? Why these people? What do they do? What are their thoughts on creativity and digital age? What do they have in common?

We asked Andrés Colmenares from Internet Age Media, Antonia Folguera from Sónar, Chris Unwin from The Creator Class and Jeff Hamada from Booooooom about their views on being in Abrantes, away from big cities, making real and physical connections.

How is life beyond our screens?


Andrés Colmenares

Andrés is the founder of IAM (Internet Age Media), a platform that is looking at the future of media arts on education through the lens of internet cultures. In Abrantes, "time flows in a different speed, slower" - he says. Andrés told us all about his views on the internet, how it breaks boundaries but how it can also monitor and censor us.


The most important side of collaboration in the internet is the idea of value exchange in real time and going beyond physical boundaries.

- Andrés Colmenares

Antónia Folguera

Antónia Folguera is a content curator at Sónar +D, an international congress inside Sónar festival. Abrantes is definitely a quiet town, and once there, you somehow get more time to think. Through the many years of 180 Creative Camp, we have asked ourselves, why Abrantes? But the question should be "Why not?". As Antónia says, "great things happen when people get together, no matter where".


I don’t think that you are more important just because you are presenting things or doing things in big cities or big places. Every place is good enough to expose your ideas and to exchange knowledge and ideas with people.

- Antónia Folguera

Chris Unwin

Chris says that these offline experiences are everything nowadays. In fact, we spend so much time online that being offline for a few days is actually the exception to the rule. Chris came to Portugal and met people he had been following online for the first time in real life.

Chris Unwin founded The Creator Class, a channel for creators and by creators, showcasing projects and collaborations by a community of visual storytellers.

Jeff Hamada

Jeff Hamada is the founder of BOOOOOOOM, Canada’s highest traffic art platform, and one of the largest on the Internet.

Jeff curates content from artists all over the world and showcases it on his website. He says that people will follow a website curated by a human for the curator's personality only. "You start to feel like you know that person or you’re interested in one person’s opinion on whether something is interesting or not" - Jeff says.


One of my goals is to help artists live off of what they do and get more people to see their work. That’s my main focus.

- Jeff Hamada

The world went from being a huge place to a tiny place. And we now have connections that can form overnight on Instagram and on Youtube. The next generation of creativity is about connecting in places around the world.

- Chris Unwin


If we think about it, the internet had the fundamental role of bringing all these people together. If it wasn’t for it, we never would have come across BOOOOOOOM, or The Creator Class, or met most 180 Creative Camp guests. It is also through the internet that most of the participants found out about each other, or even discovered 180 Creative Camp in the first place. However, it’s when we use the internet as a stepping stone, and bring these connection outside of the screen, that new things begin to happen. Real connections, face to face collaborations, and new ideas bounce back and forth, and turn into something greater, more meaningful and impactful than just a conversation through a screen could ever be.

So as long as we find a balance, and keep finding space for these offline meetings, we will keep bringing something new and different to the world every time. And that’s why we think 180 Creative Camp is so special.

Creativity is no longer a hobby. It is now being brought to the main stage.

- Chris Unwin

For more about this theme, please read this text wrote right after the 2017 edition of 180 Creative Camp.

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