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Key Visual: Lockdown Lessons Photo (detail): © John Simitopoulos

Visions of a Post-Pandemic Future
Lockdown Lessons

For a year and a half now the whole world has been preoccupied with a virus. We have experienced the global, if somewhat staggered, nature of the pandemic in multiple phased waves. And already early in the beginning of the global crisis a question emerged: What can we learn from this catastrophe? In five thematic modules, the project “Lockdown Lessons” searches for answers on a global scale.

About “Lockdown Lessons”

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Walking along Patission Street, Athens. Photo (detail): © Vangelis Patsialos

The Cool Kids on the Streets
Polaroid, Afternoons on Patission

The Patission Street in Athens is full of life and stories. Stories of fulfilled and unfulfilled dreams of the people who are at home here. Kostis Papaioannou tracks these stories down and captures them like a Polaroid of the moment.

In times of social distancing, digital rooms allow proximity where physical contact is not possible. Photo (detail): © Keun Young Lee

Proximity in the Digital Age
New Rooms, New Connections

In 2020, as measures to contain the corona virus dominated social life, many people began to connect even more online. In an interview Dr Duhun Choi, professor of journalism and broadcasting at Konkuk University in Seoul, speaks about the development of digital rooms in South Korea.

Online discussion on 25 August 2021 - Participants (left to right): Paromita Vohra and Kwang Sun Joo (above),  Jan Paul Heisig and Rosana Paulino (below) Screenshot (detail): © Goethe-Institut

Experts in Conversation
Reflections on the Pandemic

Associations, effects, outlooks - what do the Indian author Paromita Vohra, the South Korean professor of philosophy Kwang Sun Joo, the Brazilian artist Rosana Paulino and the German professor of sociology Jan Paul Heisig associate with COVID-19 and the worldwide pandemic in their countries and in a global context?

A Brazil nut tree burning inside the agroextractivist settlement project Praialta Piranheira, city of Nova Ipixuna, in the state of Pará. Brazil, 2010. Photo (detail): © Felipe Milanez

Indigenous Ecological Resistance in Brazil
Return to Living with the Earth and Hold the Sky

How can Brazilian indigenous art help us to imagine the post-Anthropocene era? Political Ecologist Felipe Milanez considers rising ecological interest in indigenous cultures at the time of COP26, against a backdrop of extractive violence and native resistance.

Minh họa của Srishti Gupta Roy Minh họa: © Srishti Gupta Roy

Distance Behaviour Scrutinised
Manifestations of Everyday Life: What Remains? What Comes?

The outbreak of the pandemic transformed our daily lives: Within families, at work, during free time and in interactions with each other - we experience ramifications and upheavals everywhere. The definitions of closeness and distance seem to have altered. Srishti Gupta Roy takes a closer look at how and where exactly. The illustrator examines diverse areas of life and artistically implements new proximity and distance behaviour in these spheres.

Visitors of a virtual reality exhibition at the ARKO Art Centre in Seoul. Photo (detail): © Keun Young Lee

Museum Work in Seoul
“I am anxious that national boarders could remain closed.”

How do museums remain a place of encounter and exchange - even in a digital, post-pandemic world? An interview with Leeji Hong, curator of the National Museum of Contemporary Art Seoul (MMCA).

Rhizome Project Collection: work developed during the Covid-19 pandemic, Belo Horizonte, 2020. Photo (detail): © Marlon de Paula

Insights into the Brazilian Art and Culture Scene
“What We Need Is to Imagine a More Porous Museum”

During the pandemic, museums opted for more open spaces and drew in a portion of the Brazilian population which is traditionally distant from art. On social media, the user substituted the visitor: actively demanding, provoking, and questioning curatorial strategies.

“What will happen to the generation whose desire for freedom is considered a crime?” Illustration (detail): © Beatrice Davies

Remembrance culture among young people
Collective memory of the pandemic

Today, children and adolescents are growing up in the midst of restrictions on physical contact and bans on recreational activities. What will they remember once it’s all over? How will their experiences shape the collective memory? In her comic, the illustrator Beatrice Davies looks for answers.

Collage – Illustrationen von Beatrice Davies (oben links), Nik Neves (oben rechts), Anjali Mehta (unten links), Jinyoung Choi (unten rechts) Illustrationen: © Beatrice Davies (oben links), Nik Neves (oben rechts), Anjali Mehta (unten links), Jinyoung Choi (unten rechts)

Multifaceted Illustrations
How Proverbs Connect Us

There are many sayings and proverbs that we use almost on a daily basis without thinking of the meaning behind them. For many of them an image instantly springs to mind – and sometimes that image is incomprehensible, amusing or just wrong. Yet, proverbs are a core element of every language culture. Four artists approach a different language culture in the form of illustrations.

After a long lockdown, Jan and Undine, who were already a couple before the pandemic, spend the first warm summer day in May 2021 enjoying the fresh air in Leipzig. Photo taken: 09.05.2021, Leipzig. Photo (detail): © Rafael Heygster

Physical Closeness and Distance
Corona Rhapsody

"Corona Rhapsody" is a contribution to the discussion on the question of what has changed in our society since the pandemic. The photographer Rafael Heygster has captured various scenes of public life and diverse social situations.

Field studies by Andrea Nightingale in western Nepal Photo (detail): © Andrea Nightingale

Modern Alienation from Nature
Creating New Ways of Being in the World

Efforts to respond to climate change are hampered by our current alienation from nature. Being affected by a changing environment, and recognising how efforts to predict and manage change are always infused with hazardous and uncertain dynamics, demands that we bring embodied, emotional, and affective ways of knowing into conversation with current climate science. To be effective, transformations in the face of climate change need to build on and mobilise these affective relations.

Illustration: Transformations Illustration (detail): © Sandra Kastl

Video Series from 29th October to 30th November 2021
What is “Transformations”?

The “Transformations” project of the Goethe-Institut in Brussels and Glasgow – in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow – presents selected scientific, artistic and activist pieces of work on the climate crisis from the global South and the Arctic region.

Illustration of Kwang Sun Joo (right) and Jan Paul Heisig (left) Illustration (detail): © Nik Neves

South Korea’s Way of Digitalisation
Education Means Isolation

South Korean philosophy professor Kwang Sun Joo answers the question posed by Brazilian artist Rosana Paulino: ”How do parents in South Korea react to their new role as digital educators alongside teachers? How are families supporting students in regard to an educational setting that places strong emphasis on digital content?” It becomes clear that digital education causes isolation and poses major challenges for single parents.

Illustration of Rosana Paulino and Kwang Sun Joo Illustration (detail): © Nik Neves

Brazil's Way Out of Poverty
The Internet as an Educational Tool

Brazilian artist Rosana Paulino answers the question posed by Indian author Paromita Vohra: "Which questions regarding Brazil's education system arise as a result of the pandemic?" Here, the issue of social inequality in the education system becomes particular apparent. However, the internet also creates new opportunities.

Illustration of Rosana Paulino and Paromita Vohra Illustration (detail): © Nik Neves

India's New Normal
Is Distance Learning an Equaliser in an Unequal Education System?

As brick-and-mortar educational institutions remained shut, digital education became the new normal. Filmmaker and author Paromita Vohra starts the letter exchange by answering how sustainable this model in India is. Will digital learning close or intensify the educational gaps or take a new form altogether?


Democracy and Solidarity

Illustration: Democracy and Solidarity Photo (detail): © Rob Curren

The pandemic jeopardises not only everyone’s health, but also the well-being of whole societies, testing what solidarity means today. In this module experts ask how much solidarity is needed in times of crisis to keep society from breaking up. Who gets to be represented by whom? Who is legitimised to represent them?

Creative Industry

Illustration: Creative Industry Photo (detail): © Steve Harvey

Creative companies in sub-Saharan Africa, each in their own way, have helped to overcome the privations of lockdown, isolation and immobility. Their products reflect the added value of creative work for wider social questions. In the module “Creative Industry” such creative entrepreneurs come together upon invitation of the Goethe-Institut Namibia and discuss ways of collectively constructing a designable future.

Science and Research

Illustration: Science and Research Photo (detail): © Eric McLean

The coronavirus has changed the social standing of scientists and researchers in the Global North. Researchers in various disciplines are helping us to understand what positive and negative effects the pandemic had on various social groups. The Goethe-Institut Brussels and its partners will address this urgent question and take the chance to look into the future: How do we want to live from now on?

Technological Change

Illustration: Technological Change Photo (detail): © Possessed Photography

This past year has made clear that while our lives are coming to a standstill in almost every domain, the dynamic of digital transformation is accelerating. We need new approaches to break out of the cycle of centralised data storage and surveillance technologies. Blockchain technologies allow new ways of working in the cultural domain, but cultural workers must be involved in order to explore and shape the future makeup and organisation of its institutions.

Proximity and Distance

Illustration: Proximity and Distance Photo (detail): © Nadine Shaabana

In ways we never imagined a virus now compels the world to keep its distance and regulates the closeness we are allowed to have with others. What happens with us when cultural practices of proximity are so fundamentally questioned? Which forms of distancing has the pandemic required in different social systems? The Goethe-Institut aims to explore these questions in Brazil, Korea, India and Germany. The focus will be on the future: How close to others can we be, and how close do we want to be?