“Pandemic memories”, citizens’ reflections on theCovid-19 crisis

The exhibition “Pandemic memories. We’ll only get through this together” brings together the experiences of local people in Barcelona who lived through the crisis generated by Covid-19, in particular the months of lockdown. The exhibition is a collective reflection based on interviews with 74 people who share their experiences, their worries and the circumstances in which they faced the pandemic. The display is on at the memorial space at La Model from 12 January to 12 March, and at Montjuïc Castle, from 23 March to 31 December.

12/01/2023 14:00 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Conceived by Jordi Mir Garcia and João França and promoted by the Councillor’s Office for Democratic Memory, the project brings together the memories of people who do not normally generate narratives or audio-visuals about their experiences. The project sought to focus on the reality of people who were working formally or informally in the realms of care (professional and domestic), mutual support, citizen rights, public services, senior citizens and children. Accounts were also gathered from people without papers, people with mental health issues and others who had an important role in the response to this crisis: professionals from social services, healthcare staff, workers at establishments providing essential services, associations and community groups, mutual support networks, media professionals etc.

The interviews, conducted in the two years from March 2020, can be seen in full on the exhibition website and have become part of the collections held by the Barcelona City Archive.

In the context of this project and the memorial space at La Model, four debate sessions (in Catalan) are being held on Tuesdays in February to analyse the  consequences of this historic moment from different disciplines of thought.

  • “How will we remember the pandemic? The need for memory” (7 February). The first session will present the project and look at the need to remember the pandemic and ponder how we do so.
  • “How did we end up suffering a pandemic?” (14 February). There’s a lot of talk about the various and numerous consequences of the pandemic, but not much is said about the causes behind it and what led us to experience it like we did. How did we end up suffering a pandemic?
  • “What are we learning from the pandemic?” (21 February). The pandemic obliges us to learn lots of things about realities we are unfamiliar with, to try to respond to everything happening to us. Our experiences are also a source of learning and reflection on something we were not expecting to go through. What are we learning? What have we had to learn? How have we changed since the start of the pandemic?
  • “We’ll only get through this together: the communal response to the pandemic” (28 February). How can we tackle a pandemic? How did we do it and how are we doing it? What worked and what didn’t? This session aims to take an in-depth look at communal experiences, which are highly important in building responses to a pandemic which has no solution on an individual level.