Space for embrace

Ank Damen

The project Space of Embrace deals with intimacy and touch.

Emke started working on it when the corona crisis kicked in. There is a Dutch version of the project called ‘Omhelzingspakket’, which can be translated as ‘Hug package’ or ‘Gift of embrace’.

The ‘Hug package’ is gift that someone can give to a friend, family member, collegue who could use a hug. If you give it to someone, the receiver gets an email every morning at seven am, nine days long. These emails contain short (audio) stories (4-6 minutes) about touch and embrace to read or to listen to.

Emke started writing about embrace because she was missing being touched by loved ones, having no partner/kids during the first lockdown and friends that were suddenly physically distant. She strongly felt that imagining embrace could help her untouched body survive.

The stories all describe one memorable moment of touch from her life, that she tried to evoke as vividly as possible. For example about greeting her mom, which gives ambivalent feelings, about comforting a friend who can hug awkwardly long, about saying goodbye to her ill grand dad and about her first boyfriend.

Every embrace is different and tells a lot about a relation. How carefull, close, natural, awkward, how long and how intense a cuddle is, is never the same, there is a world to be found in a hug.