Much of documentary research and production is profoundly social. It implies meeting people, talking to them, going to their homes, workplaces and neighborhoods to interview, interact, learn and understand. The quarantine disrupts this practice in so many ways. As a graduate course that engages documentary traditions and explores production methods with digital tools, we found ourselves grappling with a host of new constraints and limitations due to the pandemic. Dealing with new uncertainties and opaque, imaginable and unimaginable futures, our class embarked on a collaborative project of documenting. We approached it as an act of solidarity and an attempt to find solace and meaning in an increasingly confusing and precarious situation.
The documentation presented here was collected between the first days of the outbreak, when our weekly meetings moved online, and the end of the semester (May 7th, 2020) as the crisis continues. The timeline view allows you to browse a rich variety of “gleaned” impressions of life under lockdown by date and week. It includes diary entries, quarantine video observations, stills, conversation outtakes and news media clippings. It is a record of a changing world, an array of deeply intimate moments of radical honesty, vulnerability, hope and anticipation.