20 June – 1 October 2020
In the first week of isolation, we announced a comics competition: "Life in the time of the coronavirus." We invited everyone to document their daily life, activities, feelings or thoughts about the current situation.
The National Museum of Contemporary History closed its doors on Friday, 13 March 2020, to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to remain connected with our audiences, we immediately began to look for new opportunities for cooperation and public participation in our efforts to document the isolation period for future generations. As a museum dealing with the heritage of the 20th century, we decided to actively involve our visitors in the collection process. They have thus become narrators and witnesses of an emergency very few could have predicted. It is true that written testimonies relating to previous historical outbreaks like the plague and other deadly diseases were not foreign to us. Furthermore, the memory of the Spanish flu claiming so many victims in the aftermath of the First World War was still alive among our ancestors. However, the situation was new for us and it was important to build its story and its collective memory together. We found the comics strip format to be particularly interesting, since everyone – regardless of age – can visually express their feelings. We were particularly keen on offering space to children and adolescents – a part of the population that has fewer opportunities to publicly express their feelings and thoughts.
Between 17 March and 1 May 2020, we received 280 contributions. The members of the independent jury, which evaluated the comics in three categories, were:
• Milanka Fabjančič: academic painter, illustrator,
• Tina Popovič: director of the Divja misel Institute,
• Iztok Sitar: illustrator, comic book artist and cartoonist,
• Maša P. Žmitek: illustrator, designer, producer and gallery manager at Vodnikova domačija Šiška.
The outdoor billboards present the selected stories about life in the time of isolation, additionally, a specially prepared exhibition presents the received stories of all the participants.
We thank all for your cooperation and express our gratitude for the joint creation of history for posterity.