‘There is such a tension now. I don’t know any longer what is normal and what is possible’
Member of Goose Green Mutual Aid Group, South London, 2nd April 2020
WHO ARE WE?
MayDay Rooms is an archive, resource and safe haven for social movements, experimental and marginal cultures and their histories. It was set up to safeguard historical material and to practically connect it with contemporary struggles.
WHY PANDEMIC NOTES?
Since the start of the pandemic we’ve seen people working from home, people continuing to go to work, losing their jobs, die, get locked in their houses, work and childcare simultaneously, participate in mutual aid groups, clean like maniacs, being indifferent; we’ve seen states taking extremely authoritative measures, and even passing new laws that they could have never done before as there would have faced some resistance. Simultaneously, we are bombarded hourly with an overwhelming amount of information. Unknown, disorienting and incoherent emotions are being triggered. None of us knows or can predict what from all these is here to stay. How to make sense of all these? How to collectivise this moment?
The idea of this archival project stemmed from how we personally experience the COVID-19 crisis and by identifying a lack of mediums to record our personal thoughts, stories and emotions. The Pandemic Notes archive will be a resource to help us respond to Covid-19 in the long-term – for future organising and the preservation of our collective memory.
We have two simple reasons for wanting to capture your responses to the Covid-19 crisis:
• To make a space that allows people to voice their fears, hopes, thoughts and aspirations for the future. By capturing these thoughts and feelings as archival material, they will be of later use in understanding and reflecting together on this moment;
• To help us re-design the future by reminding us what our hopes were in the midst of the crisis.
We see this project as a collective diary. We see it as a place where political subjects’ collective experience, trauma, hopes and aspirations can remain in history. We also see it as a kind of bookshelf where much of the great material being produced and published while everyone is on quarantine can be archived and revisited once we are out of the crisis. Pandemic Notes can help us make sense of what has happened.
Everyone expresses themselves in different ways. As well as written contributions, we are giving the option for participants to record audio recordings as the voice transfers emotions that might otherwise be lost in the written word. The COVID-19 archive will therefore include your anonymous personal testimonies, in either written or audio form, as well as your contributed links to both the political analyses and opinions produced during the crisis globally.
All contribution will be anonymous and will become part of a public domain archive. We encourage any other initiatives that hope to archive this current moment to make material similarly available.
WHAT ARE WE ASKING FROM YOU?
We are asking for short written or audio contributions which you can submit through this website. You are welcome to contribute more than one entry as time goes on.
Although we have prepared a series of questions that may be helpful in guiding your contribution, there is also space for you to contribute however you see fit.
You may want to talk about your daily routine or how the crisis has impacted you and others you know, or you may want to talk about your hopes and fears for the future. Your response, be that an analytical, emotional or other type of contribution, is gratefully received.
We would love to receive contributions from voices that are less-often heard, especially those more severely impacted by the current moment.
Help us by sharing this project further afield!