The Museum of Vancouver is Canada’s premier Civic History Museum. Their mission is “to be a gathering space that fosters connection, learning, and new experiences of Vancouver’s diverse communities and histories”. The MOV’s exhibit “Real-Time Collecting: Documenting and Remembering Covid-19” features objects collected by the museum during the pandemic and films made by SIAT students to help tell future generations about the pandemic and its impacts.
Learn more at the MOV website
To learn about and document how Vancouverites adapted to the limitations and opportunities of quarantine life, in May 2020 MOV created a digital platform that invited people to talk about their new reality through stories, testimonies, performances, art and confessions. Hundreds of people posted videos, texts and photos on Instagram using the hashtag #IsolatingTogetherMOV. The stories people shared and continue to share are moving, humorous and, at times, surprising. They speak of a desire to connect and to show resilience.
Another offshoot of the pandemic was the creation of an entire university course built around #IsolatingTogetherMOV. As part of their Moving Images course led by Prof. Kate Hennessy, Simon Fraser University students from the School of Interactive Arts & Technologies (SIAT) developed a series of micro-documentaries depicting personal experiences of isolation. Forced to work from home, alone, in various parts of the world and with little access to sophisticated film equipment, these students developed new storytelling abilities. Entries can be viewed on this wall and on MOV’s YouTube channel.
This initiative has prompted MOV to start collecting digital culture as well.
Dr. Viviane Gosselin is Curator of Contemporary Culture at the Museum of Vancouver and Associate Researcher with the UBC Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness. Her doctoral research examined how frameworks associated with the discourse on the pedagogy of historical thinking help conceptualize the experience of exhibition makers and museum visitors. Her study underscored the need for museums to consider their role as promoters of historical consciousness in fulfilling their educational mandate and maintaining their social relevance. Other research interests include intercultural curation, citizen-curation, and critical museology.
Dr. Gosselin has collaborated with instructors and students at SFU’s School of Interactive Technology for many years to develop rich video-based content for the Museum of Vancouver’s award winning exhibitions.