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UK Covid-19 inquiry

Updated: Jun 3, 2023

Culture Commons is convening a nation-wide project to bring artistic, creative and cultural responses to the Covid-19 pandemic together to submit them as formal qualitative evidence to the UK Covid-19 inquiry.

Blue Covid-19 face mask

Artists, creatives and the general public alike were engaging in creative and cultural activities of all kinds during the Covid-19 pandemic. From the UK's internationally recognised artists to the work made at home by amateurs, so many of us were tapping into our creativity to capture and make sense of the profound changes we were being forced to confront as a nation.

Culture Commons will co-curate an exhibition and associated materials that may include but would not be limited to: in-person, digital and hybrid collections, combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre and visual arts. Recognising that the work of both professional and amateur artists and creative practitioners evolved during the pandemic, we will explore new forms of socially engaged work and the ‘everyday creativity’ that flourished in homes and community spaces during the pandemic too.

Alongside partners, we will submit the curated artworks to the inquiry as formal qualitative evidence, and inviting the UK Covid-19 inquiry team to engage with the exhibition and associated materials throughout the inquiry period. We will also convene artists and creatives together to develop a policy document that will draw on the subjects and themes being drawn out by the artworks. We will consider ways to secure a permanent home for the exhibition.

Director of Culture Commons, Trevor MacFarlane FRSA said

By reframing creative responses to the pandemic as qualitative data for formal submission to the UK Covid-19 inquiry, we can hopefully achieve two things. Firstly, we'll help the enquiry team reexamine the emotional and psychological effects the pandemic was having on different communities within the UK in more human and visceral ways. What better way to communicate the fullness and complexity of those collective and individual experiences than through the art and creative works that were bubbling up 'in the moment'? Secondly, we can showcase how art and creative practices can be effective tools to impact policymaking and drive positive change. We're extremely excited to go on this journey and invite anyone who is interested in joining this project to be in touch with us.


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