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Can Pandemic Storytelling Assist Heal Divided Communities?

Can Pandemic Storytelling Assist Heal Divided Communities?

Can Pandemic Storytelling Help Heal Divided Communities?

After years of pandemic-forced isolation, roiling politics, and every kind of losses and disruptions, the Anchorage Museum is rekindling a way of group by means of a writing residency and a collaboration with the Anchorage Every day Information to collect and share Anchorage residents’ pandemic tales.

COVID-19 practically halted Alaska’s expertise financial system as people self-isolated for practically two years. Polarizing attitudes about vaccines and masking additional divided group members, and typically, households. With museums more and more seeing themselves as having a social position of their communities, the Anchorage Museum thought-about the way it could possibly be a supply of therapeutic for its pandemic- and conflict-weary group. One response: Assist individuals reconnect each in particular person and on-line by sharing tales about how the pandemic has affected them.

“I’ve collected hours of interviews,” says Julia O’Malley, Anchorage Museum writer-in-residence and chief of the undertaking, known as Neighbors: Tales from Anchorage’s Pandemic Years. “What I’ve heard is that the group was examined and divisions run deep, however that there’s a robust want to reconnect.”

The Neighbors storytelling undertaking has three elements: listening, writing, and sharing. O’Malley gathers pandemic tales by means of surveys, interviews, and prompts shared on Instagram @eachotheranc. She leads group journaling actions within the museum’s satellite tv for pc outreach area and attracts from all these to jot down a sequence of pandemic tales that will likely be printed and archived within the Anchorage Every day Information digital version.

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“Our particular person tales will grow to be our collective historical past, and sharing them by means of inventive motion may be connecting and therapeutic,” says Anchorage Museum Director Julie Decker. “Tales maintain energy for mutual understanding and dialog.”

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