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Face Masks And Slippers: Museums Preserve Lockdown Life

Home made protecting face masks are ready by Sarah, a 45-year-old volunteer, who sews face masks to be distributed to folks in want, at her residence in Vincennes, jap suburbs of Paris, on Might 7, 2020, on the 52nd day of a strict lockdown in France to cease the unfold of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). – GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP.


Would you place your slippers on show? The worldwide coronavirus pandemic remains to be raging however museums are already gathering testimony and objects to recollect life below lockdown.

“It’s such an extraordinary experience,” Beatrice Behlen, senior curator on the Museum of London, instructed AFP.

“When we knew there was going to be a lockdown, we started straight away talking about what we needed to collect something for the future.”

The museum, devoted to the historical past of the British capital, launched an attraction for Londoners to donate objects that replicate their lives through the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It could be something that gives you comfort — one example mentioned often is maybe your favourite slippers, and you’ve been wearing them every day,” she stated.

It may also be proof of a brand new ability somebody has picked up, whether or not knitting or cooking or making masks for healthcare staff.

Among the many objects collected up to now are a pot of selfmade jam and a makeshift rattle used to accompany the weekly “clap for carers” throughout the nation.

“What is interesting for us is the story that’s behind it, not necessarily the thing itself,” Behlen stated.

“It needs to mean something to the people. And we asked them to tell us about the object as well.”

– ‘Collection of emotions’ –

Tougher to curate are the feelings folks really feel whereas remoted at residence, the emotions of loss and concern, but in addition security, hope and love.

In response to an attraction by the Museum of House, additionally in London, one household has recorded how they arrange a display screen in entrance of their desk so they may share a meal with family by way of video hyperlink.

One other remodeled their lounge right into a workshop to make robes for healthcare workers.

The museum can also be asking folks to document how they really feel about their houses, which at the moment are used as workplaces, lecture rooms and gymnasiums.

“What seems to be coming out time and again with some of the testimonies is people’s resilience to the situation and how they’re changing and adapting,” stated museum director Sonia Solicari.

In a single recollection, a person recognized solely as Amarjit describes how his Victorian home in east London has develop into “a palace” throughout lockdown, as “everything now happens here”.

In contrast, Alex, who lives alone in a small flat with no exterior area, says he appears like he’s in “solitary confinement in prison.”

“However, I am grateful that I am safe and not in a difficult relationship — the neighbours downstairs constantly fight.”

Solicari says she has been shocked at how open folks have been.

“It’s really become a collection of feelings and emotions, as well as a collection of images and testimonies,” she instructed AFP.

“So it documents feelings, which can be very hard for museums to collect actually.”

– Insta-museum –

Curators world wide are making comparable efforts to chronicle these historic instances.

In Sweden, the Nordiska Museet in Stockholm is at present amassing youngsters’s reflections of how their every day lives have modified and the way they see the long run.

In Vienna, a photograph of a birthday in confinement and a kiss by way of a window pane are a part of 1,800 contributions already collected by the town’s museum.

“You have to keep a record of this event to explain in 100 years time what happened,” stated Sarah Lessire, who’s coordinating an internet archive undertaking in Belgium.

“If we don’t act now, we risk losing all these memories,” she instructed AFP.

Her web site lists a number of initiatives equivalent to mutual assist teams on Fb or a digital Might Day celebration.

The lockdown has additionally impressed three younger promoting executives in Barcelona to arrange a digital museum on Instagram.

Greater than 900 items of labor have already been submitted to the COVID Artwork Museum from world wide.

For bricks-and-mortar establishments whose doorways have closed through the lockdown, nonetheless, there’s a fear that they could not have the ability to present their collections to actual life guests for months.

Some concern they could not survive in any respect, together with the Florence Nightingale Museum London, which is looking urgently for donations.

Devoted to the pioneering nurse, the museum is located within the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital, the place Prime Minister Boris Johnson was just lately handled for coronavirus.


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