Hidden Cities and pandemic

This film was made during the Europe-wide lockdown of the Covid19 pandemic in May 2020. As historians we have been struck by the analogies that resonate across the centuries about public space and pandemic. Adopting a similar methodolgy to our project as a whole, in which we focus on objects of material culture and their relation to public space in the Early Modern period in European cities, this short film considers a series of objects and what they tell us about everyday responses to pandemic in the past. While in many cases there are direct similarities, in others the analogies are rather more oblique. Of course, this remains an ongoing situation, and this was a reflection at a particular moment in time.

The film produced and directed by Ross Gill (Freshground films) and we consciously adopted an interview that uses the zoom screen layout we have become so familiar with over the past months. With thanks to the contributors to the film: Prof. Fabrizio Nevola (University of Exeter), Prof. Daniel Bellingradt (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg – FAU), Prof. Sabrina Corbellini (University of Groningen), Juna Gomis Coloma (Universidad Católica de Valencia), Dr. Kate Osborne (University of Exeter), Dr. Massimo Rospocher (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Istituto Storico Italo-Germanico).

Our funding body, HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) have encouraged the Public Spaces teams to reflect on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on our work and research theme. You can watch other videos here.


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