Sunderland Museum invites public to be part of Covid-19 photography project

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens have announced a contemporary collecting project asking residents to share photographs of their experience of life during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Museum seeks to collect images – that capture snapshots of feelings and experiences at a time when many local lives will have been put on hold or turned upside down – to store as a record in its archive and as a resource for future generations, chronicling this extraordinary period in our history.

Residents are being asked to send up to three photographs that sum up their experience of life during this difficult time – from those working harder than ever on the front line to those adjusting to working at home, from home schooling to new hobbies, from empty unspoilt beaches, closed shops and parks to queuing for shopping, from social distancing to poignant moments of sadness, love, bravery and incredible kindness.

A selection of images will be showcased in an online gallery on the Museum’s website and some will also become part of the Museum’s collection.

Jo Cunningham, Collections Manager at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, said:

“Over the past few months, Covid-19 has changed lives across the world and dramatically reshaped cultural and social norms.

“As a museum, we feel it is important to capture this major moment in our history and reflect upon the impact that coronavirus is having on Sunderland and its residents.

“We’re calling upon the people of Sunderland to share their favourite images from the past few months covering a broad range of subjects such as nature, family, food, work, art, or experiences including reflective, hard-hitting and optimistic.”

“Many years from now, these photographs will become first-hand historical accounts of events as they happened, showing how the outbreak changed the way we live and telling stories of resilience, creativity, and hope.”

Councillor John Kelly, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Sunderland City Council, said: “These last few weeks have been an incredibly challenging time for everyone in our city, and it’s only right that we should document this significant period in our history for future generations.

“Many of us will have taken photographs during this time, whether of the colourful rainbows popping up everywhere,  the amazing acts of kindness that have brought our communities together, the weekly clap for carers, or the heroic bravery and selflessness of our NHS, social care and key workers, who have kept our key services running and our city moving in these unprecedented times.

“It’s very important that we capture these memories, as these will become the historical records of the future, so I would urge everyone to pick up to three images that sum up their experience of the last few weeks and send them to Sunderland Culture.”

Photo entries are welcome from all ages and abilities and will not be selected based on photographic quality or technical expertise.

Entries can be submitted via email to [email protected] until 20 June 2020.


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