We are all in the same storm
About My Corona
WESTIVAL is Ireland’s coolest small music and arts festival. In the early summer of 2020, I was contacted by the festival organizers about being involved in the coming festival that year. I was awarded funding from the Arts Council to create a project based on the effects Coronavirus had on the community. How could I, as an interactive designer approach this topic mindfully and compassionately to give a platform for people’s stories and experiences to be heard.
The focal inspiration for this project came from a quote overheard on the radio during the first coronavirus lockdown, ‘We are all in the same storm but not the same boat’. It struck a chord with me, and helped me reflect on what I can be grateful for and become aware of how lockdown effects an elderly person living alone, completely differently to a 25 year old working remotely, or a 10 year old in primary school. Everyone has their own account and each one is very significant. The decision was made to create an interactive walking tour outside that mirrored the 5km loop used by the community during our first lockdown. This loop is significant because it was during these walks that we could share supportive smiles from a safe distance with each other. Spring was lush and it provided a huge relief to the uncertainty we collectively were navigating.
I put out an open call online with a range of 12 questions. I asked the public to answer just one question, film it and send it into Westival. From here, we selected 12 participants and I professionally shot their video accounts of their lockdown experiences and took their portraits to use for this project. I received their stories about what changes Coronavirus brought into their lives, the good and the bad, projects they started and their hopes for the future. This enabled me to create interactive posters for each participant complete with a qr code that would automatically direct the visitor’s smartphone to their video on youtube. These posters were posted around the Westport town and pinned to a downloadable google map.
The interactive walking tour was launched on the Thursday of WESTIVAL2020. The public had free access to download the map and take a tour around Westport with their smartphones. Out of nearly 100 events planned for Westival, this was the only one that could take place as it was COVID friendly and outside.
My Corona Playlist