For over four decades the National Museum of Bermuda has been a steward of Bermuda’s cultural heritage. The artefacts in our collections document the development of Bermuda over five centuries, the everyday lived experience of locals, and the connections Bermuda has with the wider Atlantic World. We are living history right now and documenting and preserving this moment and your experiences of it are incredibly important.
To capture this unprecedented time, the National Museum of Bermuda is launching United Together: Sharing Bermuda’s Covid-19 Pandemic Stories, a project aimed at collecting electronic mementoes of people’s experiences as our community grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped the way we live and left an indelible mark on each of us. As we rapidly adapt to a new and unprecedented way of life we are mindful of the toll that this virus has taken on us as individuals and as a community, especially with the devastating reality that lives have already been lost and are still at risk. Social distancing, self-isolation, quarantine and shelter in place have become everyday vocabulary.
Everyone has found new ways to adapt: online schooling, working remotely, virtual exercise classes, grocery delivery and even video-conferencing quiz nights and virtual doctor’s visits. People are looking to technology to keep some form of normalcy, and keep themselves connected and engaged. But how do we record and preserve this historical moment in this increasingly technological virtual world?
Historians rely on first-hand accounts, memoirs, journals, photographs, art, music, and poetry to get a glimpse of the humanity behind history’s most significant events. Newspapers, official government documents and media coverage will provide future historians with information on how local, national and international leaders responded to the crisis but the records of everyday life are equally important. Though you may not think your story is museum-worthy it is. Creating this digital archive will provide future historians with the everyday lived experience and show how the average person dealt with this unique historical moment.
Whether it’s a diary, journal, painting, drawing, photograph, poem or song we encourage you to submit your experiences, thoughts and reflections of what it is like living in Bermuda during the coronavirus pandemic: waiting in line at the grocery store, virtual gatherings, virtual learning/gym classes, closed offices, emptiness of streets, and separation from family and friends. Are you a parent at home with children? Are you working from home or are you a frontline worker? What does it look like if you go out for a walk or to the grocery store? How are you staying connected to family and friends?
Post your photos to Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #UnitedTogetherBDA and tag @nationalmuseumbermuda. You can also submit your photos and stories via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading United Together: My Story.
Our Museum staff will review all submissions and will be putting together an online exhibit to share the stories that have been submitted. Help the National Museum of Bermuda keep a record of what it was like to live through these times. Currently we are not accepting physical objects, but we encourage you to keep mementoes from this time and consider donating later when the Museum reopens.