Bearing witness to unprecedented times: The Viral Archive as a record of personal responses to the COVID-19 global pandemic

Rosie Everett (UK), Ben Gearey (Ireland), Matt Pope (UK) and Orla Peach-Power (Ireland)

Live discussion event Sunday 25 October 18:00 GMT

The Viral Archive (@Viral_Archive) was established as a Twitter initiative at the beginning of the UK lockdown, and invited users from across the globe to share images of the responses to the pandemic they witnessed in their local area. The response to Viral Archive was overwhelming and has tracked the progression of the pandemic in its most personal form – everything from support for the health services on the front line to the creativity of those in the community to uplift to the current and the growing problem of COVID-related environmental waste in the landscape. 

As a the group leading the Viral Archive Twitter initiative, we see our contribution to festivalCHAT as an opportunity to reflect on the last six months – what the Viral Archive has achieved, what we are doing currently, what other related ‘witnessing’ projects have developed and what we see for the Viral Archive as the pandemic continues to develop across the world. 

Join us at an open discussion event when we will reflect on the project. Why we started it, what it means to us and what future form the project might take. The pandemic is certainly not over, but as we move into what feels ominously  like the next stage/’wave’, we want to know what you – contributors, spectators, supporters – of the Viral Archive see for the future and how we might move forward as the pandemic develops. 

[Edit] Also see this interesting blog which was based on the project: https://letsgetimpformation.wordpress.com/2020/10/13/togetherness-in-uncertainty/

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