Our private spaces made public
The lockdown experienced by so many around the world brought with it many challenges and opportunities. We were all at home. Some of us were completely alone, missing friends, colleagues and families, while others were trapped in their family bubble and found themselves home schooling, while juggling the demands of a full-time family and full-time work commitments.
The private space of the home became instantly visible to colleagues through the screen, with live interactions of cuddling the cat, distracting the kids, and cameo performances from unsuspecting house-mates, as well as the inevitable audio track of home lives when someone forgets to mute their mic.
Building new bridges
The Steering Group of Europeana Communicators - one of the six specialist communities of the Europeana Network Association - felt that we had a role to play in a time that no-one had an opportunity to prepare for, and no one had the time to evaluate. We organised a series of four webinars focussing on the theme ‘Culture from home’ and through them built new kinds of bridges across the community.
There was something very democratising about bringing together professionals who normally worked in a museum, library, archive or school and were kind enough to open up their homes and to share solutions for staying connected with their audiences. Everyone had amazing experiences to share and the conversation often felt almost electric.
When we asked the Steering Group for their highlights of the series, our Chair Peter Soemers said, 'The presenting institutions and their staff showed a very strong will to serve the needs of people, immediately, and as broadly as possible. Hear Louisa Torres repeating six times 'to be useful' and Andrew Payne talking about 'Giving it a go, taking a risk.'
Co-chair Killian Downing said, 'One of my favourite moments was playing with and sharing the Gallica BnF cat filters highlighted by Marion Ansel and Louisa Torres to friends on Instagram.'
And Marianna Marcucci described the series as, 'An incredible journey through museums, archives and libraries. People from every part of Europe together sharing their experiences to empower and inspire each other. Awesome!'
Welcoming a global audience
We recorded this series and you are invited to watch and share the four webinars.