Brighton-based Moving Pictures Theatre and Language Umbrella Media have launched a cultural project in response to COVID-19. From Home aims to provide a unique historical snapshot of lives during an unprecedented time in global history. The results will become part of an online archive and an installation to be shown at Brighton Digital Festival before touring the UK.
The concept of home is taking on greater significance now we are under lockdown. We are spending most of our time in our homes – perhaps more than we ever wanted or expected. What does your home mean to you at this time? Is it a safe space or does it feel more like a prison? Are there objects you’ve collected, visitors you miss? How isolated are you, and how are you coping? Has your sense of home, your experience or appreciation of it changed during the lockdown? What about the sounds, sights and senses of home? Do you have a home at all?
The team at From Home are asking members of the public from all over the world to submit 3-minute videos of life under lockdown, responding to the theme of ‘Home’. “We want to hear from people from all walks of life: nurses and key workers and those on the front line,” explains Moving Pictures Theatre co-founder Lucy Nordberg. “Those that are having to self-isolate; people having to respond to the demands of working from home; parents coping with the challenge of small children out of school; artists and creatives having to adapt to creating art in a different environment when time takes on a different meaning. No story is too small. From Home will become an important time capsule recording these extraordinary times.”
The resulting installation will allow people to interact with the personal video submissions in a welcoming exhibition space while the VR and online project will display the videos in a format that is accessible to all, and as a lasting collection of experiences and responses.
The organisers of From Home would like members of the public to send in three-minute videos of life under lockdown, and beyond that under social distancing measures, responding to the theme of home. These can be filmed on a smartphone or camera or edited in some other way you prefer.
Pick any tone for your subject: happy, hopeful, reflective, anxious, melancholic. You can be autobiographical and simply tell your story or share your experience direct to camera, or you can creative through song, animation, drawing, painting, performance, readings, poetry. The team at From Home are open to everything. You can film in any room or outside space that sums up your feelings of what home means to you. If you use other people’s material just bear in mind that they might not be able to use your piece for the festival if it is subject to copyright.
Some of the videos will then be shared on For Home’s Facebook and Instagram pages and a special YouTube channel set up for the project. Selected videos will also be shown at an installation to go on show at Brighton Digital Festival in October 2020 (organisers will be in touch to gain permission). There are also plans for a virtual installation using VR elements. If the Festival is delayed, then the virtual installation may be released first.
Tom Ottway, of From Home, and a founder members Language Umbrella Media, is also planning to interview a number of those who submit videos for a series of special podcasts From Home, which will accompany this project and feed into his University of Sussex research project looking ‘Home and the Senses. Please get in touch if you would be interested in discussing your experiences of for this podcast.
The project is not for profit. Any payments received (e.g. from YouTube views), after expenses, will go to several charities including Acting for Others, which provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need, through 14 member charities.