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One month of coronarchiv: Artifacts of the COVID-19 Crisis

How will we remember the time of the COVID-19 crisis? Now that we’re already several months into the crisis, we still do not know when the pandemic will be over. The openness and uncertainty of the current situation persist and with it the question of what comes afterwards.

With the aim of documenting our present for the future, the coronarchiv was launched at the end of March. The platform enables almost everyone, in principle, to archive their personal memories of, and findings about, the corona crisis right now.

The long-term goal of the coronarchiv is to ensure that the memory of the crisis will one day be as diverse and multifaceted as our personal experiences at the moment. Those who will deal with the history of the corona crisis in the future can do that (also) on the basis of the material which is collected now. The coronarchiv was initiated by four honorary historians who are concerned with the documentation of the Corona presence: Prof. Dr. Christian Bunnenberg (University of Bochum), Prof. Dr. Thorsten Logge and Nils Steffen, M.A. (both from the University of Hamburg), and Benjamin Roers, M.A. (University of Giessen). They are further supported by nine volunteer students. Benjamin Roers, who is doing his PhD at the GCSC, says: “I am always very pleased to see pictures of solidarity: of gift fences or banners pointing to the catastrophic situation of the refugees at the European external borders right now. It is also evident that people are already thinking about what they can learn from this crisis: mindfulness, responsibility, deceleration, gratitude, and appreciation for people and things that are missing”.

The database of the archive is growing almost every day. It currently counts over 1,400 contributions in all possible digital forms, such as texts, videos, photos, images. Thematically, the collected items revolve, for example, around individual reflections on the crisis, coping strategies (home sports, home office or even a collection box of anticipation notes for "the time after"), public life (empty seats, empty buses, closed cinemas but also graffiti, chalk pictures on the street) and hope. As the archive also shows, some find the situation more relaxed at the moment than their everyday life before (less stress at work, more leisure time, more flexibility); others find the concentration of their everyday life at home an additional burden (child care, home office, lack of structure). Some are afraid of the future because they belong to the high-risk group or cannot finance themselves and their studies due to job loss. Other topics include problems in managing long-distance relationships or the considerable strain on people in so-called systemically relevant professions – combined with the demand for improvements, especially in the nursing professions. 

The coronarchiv has gained a lot of interest and media coverage in various newspapers and magazines, radio and television. Furthermore, it counts more than 2,300 follower on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and the initiative is nominated for the Smart Hero Award 2020. 

 

For more information and for uploading your corona experience please visit:

www.coronarchiv.de

 

Here you can find the media coverage:

https://coronarchiv.geschichte.uni-hamburg.de/projector/s/coronarchiv/page/presse