UNESCO: The Lockdown Blues


To celebrate Exeter’s status as a UNESCO City of Literature, the Centre held a short call for literary research projects. 


“Many of us felt lonely before the pandemic, and the lockdown might have made this better, worse, or made no difference at all. Some of us have become isolated recently in a way which is unfamiliar. Living alone during lockdown might feel different to how it felt before; our relationships might have changed or suffered; and we might feel sad about keeping a physical distance from others, with no touching. We might have discovered we have different priorities and views to the people we care about. We may also feel unsupported or abandoned by the government and the decisions they’ve made about our well-being.

Some of us could be worried about what comes next, and if life was difficult before the pandemic, then we might not want to return to the way it was. It’s also not clear if our new support networks and different ways of communicating will stay or go, and whether some of us might be left behind.”

The Lockdown Blues is an online scrapbook for people in the South West to submit their thoughts, feelings and experiences, in whatever their chosen  medium, to be shared with others in regard to the COVID lockdown.

The researchers, Fred Cooper, Charlotte Jones and Olly Clabburn, designed this project to show people who feel lonely that they aren’t the only ones, and to provide a way for them to tell their stories. They also wanted to make sure that the way people feel during COVID-19 isn’t forgotten or overlooked, and explore the connections between reading, writing, creativity, and wellbeing.

Go to the Lockdown Blues website for more information.

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