'And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently …' - Kitty O'Meara
As health systems struggle to cope with the rapid spread of Covid-19, billions of people worldwide are currently living in some state of lockdown. Schools are closed. Movement is restricted. Physical interactions are limited to members of the same household. In the most extreme cases, permits are required to leave the house at all.
In a new world of social distancing and #stayathome, access to green spaces and time outdoors is increasingly valued. Online concerts and digital exhibitions are opening up new virtual worlds. The arts are not only providing much-needed sources of distraction, but also the tools to process the trauma of the crisis. Humans are adapting and creating new routines. The lasting psychological impacts of the pandemic and the associated isolation and economic downturn, however, are not yet known.
The fourth in a five-part series, this workshop will examine the implications of the Covid-19 on the everyday. Our speakers will discuss their daily lockdown routines, how their work has been shaped by the pandemic and why walking is a superpower. The floor will then be open for participants to respond: to ask questions and to widen the parameters of the conversation.
Shane O’Mara is a Professor of Experimental Brain Research and Director of the Institute of Neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin. His work explores brain systems supporting learning, memory, and cognition, and brain systems affected by stress and depression. He is the author of In Praise of Walking: The new science of how we walk and why it’s good for us (2019).
Rita Duffy is currently Artist in Residence at the Trinity Long Room Hub. She is one of Northern Ireland's groundbreaking artists who began her work concentrating primarily on the figurative/narrative tradition. Her art is often autobiographical, including themes and images of Irish identity, history and politics. Read about Rita's Raft Project at the Trinity Long Room Hub here. See Rita's project "The Emperor's New Clothes" here.
Rishi Goyal is Director of Medicine, Literature and Society at Columbia University, and an Emergency Medicine doctor. He is broadly interested in the intersection of medicine and culture and is more specifically interested in the areas of medical cognition and identity and representation after illness.
Crises of Democracy curriculum
Duffy, Rita. Art in a Time of Pandemic: Jogging in Lipstick.
About the series
This is a special five-part series organised by the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute in partnership with the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University in response to the Covid-19 crisis.