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Raising the Bar

Lisa Portolan: Jagged Love

25 Belvoir St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Belvoir St Theatre, Downstairs Theatre

Wednesday 28 April from 7:30pm to 8:30pm

Jagged Love: how COVID-19 impacted dating apps and relationships

COVID-19 saw an immense surge in dating app usage - including rises in downloads, matches and chats. In times of social distancing, dating apps became one of the lead mediums in facilitating intimate interactions (be it dating, relationships or hook-ups).

But what did this look like during Covid-19? Plunged into ontological uncertainty, users sought stability via more traditional relationship paradigms and looked to emplot themselves within known romantic narratives.

The ‘organic’ nature of love described in the master-trope, conflicted with the pre-meditated and strategic experience of the dating app, leaving many feeling jaded and anxious - a condition coined by Lisa Portolan and Dr Jodi McAlister as ‘jagged love.’ Lisa will explore jagged love, and what is to come in the dating app domain post COVID. 


Lisa has 2 books published including best-selling, Happy As (Echo, 2018), and her third, The Overthinkers, co-authored with Ben Cheong, is set to be released in August 2021. Her PhD research relates to intimacy and dating apps. Lisa examines how and to what extent dating apps have changed how relationships are facilitated, navigated and negotiated - and the impact that Covid-19 had on dating. She is a frequent guest on Studio 10, and has previously been featured on the Today Show and the Drum. Lisa writes for a number of publications including the Conversation and is also the host of the Slow Love podcast series.

About Belvoir St Theatre

Belvoir began, in 1984, with a unique action taken to save the Nimrod Theatre building. Two syndicates were established, 'Company A' with shares at $1000 each, which would own the building, and 'Company B', with shares at $10 each. 'Company B' aimed to stage theatre productions which were 'contemporary, politically sharp, hard-edged Australian theatre; to develop new forms of theatrical expression; work by and about Aboriginal Australians; work created by women; radical interpretations of the classics and work that is surprising, diverse and passionate.

From its foundation, Belvoir also instituted a 'parity pay policy' where all employees, from actors to stage hands, received the same hourly rate of pay. This policy, which continued from 1985 to the end of the 2011 season, prompted former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating to describe the Belvoir as 'Australia’s last commune'.

Covid-safe information

Belvoir is a registered Covid-safe business.

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Raising the Bar


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